Drew Green wasn't a good man, nor was he a patient man, nor was he the type of man to frequent campus eateries, he wasn't dressed for it, and the kids sitting around him made him feel ancient in comparison.

He held a four by six photo between his fingers and tapped it impatiently against the table as his eyes scanned the place purposefully. The sun had gone down twenty minutes ago and the dim yellow bulbs in the shop made it hard to see behind his sunglasses, but them made him feel devious and suave. A few kids looked over at him to whisper something secretive to their friends in hushed giggling voices.

He glanced at his reflection in the window self-consciously. Time had taken away the tautness of youthful skin and replaced it with something less kind, but he liked the safety that his aging appearance gave him. The older he became, the less harmless he seemed, and that served his purposes. Besides, it's not as if his looks were what got him this blind date, it was his money.

Lou had called him early that morning when he was dyeing the whites out of his hair with an at-home kit. The man was relatively well known for being the pimp of choice for the rich and famous.

Drew's wife had given him Lou's card before she started a new round of campaigning, and only warned him flippantly to be discreet. She knew of his interests, and was glad that they kept him out of her bed.

That particular phone call was to inform Drew that the escort he had wanted was finally available. Lou had emailed the kid's picture over along with a resume, and then upon Drew's giddy approval, set up a date for him to 'inspect the goods.'

Drew glanced down at the page long resume he had printed out as he took a foamy sip of cappuccino. Twenty-two was probably an appropriate age for an escort, though he was used to younger, but he thought the kid had the kind of face that would look good when he's down on his knees. Drew dismissively glanced down at the body stats that listed all the finer details right down to the cock size.

Sasha Pier, he read to himself and looked at the photo again. There wasn't much else in the resume besides what was common to most people trying to make it in the entertainment industry: part time modeling, vocal coach, bar tending and part time at whole foods.

Must be another down on his luck industry-reject in need of rent money, Drew thought with a snide laugh. But as long as the person in the photo was as attractive in real life, he wouldn't complain about having to pay Lou's outrageous transaction fee.

A warm gust of wind swept in from the door, the doorbell over the entrance announced the arrival of a new patron with a clinkering bell. Drew glanced up from his table at the back; his hand went automatically to his face to remove his sunglasses. The sudden brightness made him squint.

The photo didn't quite capture the energy of its subject as Sasha walked in with long confident strides, the thin knit of an over sized black sweater draped casually over long lean legs dressed in leather. Shoulder length auburn locks contrasted with the deathly paleness of baby soft skin and pouty pink lips. Large green eyes locked onto him with innocence and filth and made Drew hold his breath for a second.

Sasha came towards him with a practiced smile.

"I'm Drew." Drew's chair scraped against the floor as he rose and extended his hand in greeting.

"Nice to meet you. Hope I didn't' make you wait." Sasha's voice wasn't very deep, but there was a soft raspy drawl to it that made Drew shiver. He shook Drew's hand with a firm grip before sitting down.

Drew was used to beautiful people, he had paid for plenty others like this one before, but his attraction for someone rarely made him feel this flustered, and he knew that he had picked right. He let his anxiety spread until he was almost trembling, and then he reined it all back.

I'm the one in control, after all. Let's see how far that composure goes when I'm fucking him into the mattress. Break him down until he knows he's nothing but a cheap whore.

But he puts back his mask back on and replied with a professionalism he usually reserved for his wife's fundraisers. "Not at all, I like being a little early."

"Lou mentioned that." Sasha nodded. "I tried coming earlier, but my job at the bar needed me until the next shift could take over."

"How long have you worked with Lou?"

"I just started last month," Sasha said like Lou had instructed, it was never wise to tell a client you've been around the block more times than necessary.

"What has Lou told you about me so far?" Drew asked cautiously. Lou had reassured him that he didn't divulge client details with his employees more than was necessary. Confidentiality kept both sides of the party a little safer sometimes.

"Just that you are a good guy, checked out safe, very mature. He said I'll understand your charm as soon as I meet you." Sasha replied with a smirk and wink.

Drew snickered to himself; Lou probably meant his charm was his wallet. "I'm flattered, though I think he might have oversold me."

"I do see what he means though. You are very handsome and mature"

Drew laughed at the word mature and imagined it being replaced with old. "What do you think of our age difference?"

Sasha shrugged with a small tilt of his head, the innocent act flowing gracefully from every blink and every syllable. "I don't know, how old are you and how old would you like me to be?"

"I'm thirty five, are you okay with that?" Drew lied without missing a beat. It was the age he told people who haven't visited his Wikipedia page. His plastic surgeon told him that's how old he looked and he was going to stick to it.

"I'm twenty two." Sasha offered in return.

"Not a very big difference." Drew mumbled.

Sasha grinned reassuringly his agreement. "So tell me, what are you looking for right now? Lou said you were looking for someone discreet and willing to be exclusive."

"I'm not interested in a relationship."

"Don't worry, it'll be anything but that. Think of it as easy access to someone who is drug and disease free, discreet, and no strings attached."

The waiter came by with the menu. Sasha didn't so much as glance at it before handing placing it down in front of him.

"Just a black coffee please." Sasha said.

The waiter nodded with a rehearsed smile.

"Awfully late for caffeine."

"The night's still young."

"You aren't getting something to eat?" Drew asked as he flipped open the menu and pretended to look through it.

"I had something before I came, in case you wanted to end dinner early and go home to think about this. "

Drew glanced up, saw the seriousness in Sasha's eyes, and chuckled. "Shouldn't I get to know you more before I have to decide?"

"Most of the interesting stuff's in my resume." Sasha nodded at piece of paper Drew had placed on the table. Most of the other guys Lou had introduced to him hadn't been this anal retentive about knowing his life story. They usually took a look at him and decided on the spot that they wanted him. If he weren't their type, they wouldn't have picked him in the first place.

"I find you more interesting in person." Drew put down the menu and reached out to brush a strand of hair from Sasha's eyes.

Sasha nearly flinched at the touch but he forced himself still. Lou had been very straightforward when explaining that this was just an interview, no physical contact allowed. Sasha hated it when clients thought they could just touch him when he wasn't being paid the rate for it.

"Good, that's what I'm hoping for." Sasha said and tried to keep the coldness out of his tone.

"I have no problem putting down a few grand for a good time—"

"I'm sure you've discussed the fees with Lou." Sasha interjected; he never talked number with clients. That's what Lou was for.

"But I want to know who I'm sleeping with." Drew explained simply.

Sasha raised an eyebrow. He was used to kinks, but conversation was his least favorite one.

There was an awkward silence between them until Sasha finally smiled with a small shake of his head, and started reciting his life in a monotonous voice and bored expression, "I was born in a small hick town in the south, my parents were pretty conservative. I went to Brown, it was as far as I could get away from home. I was afraid to come out until I met my best friend in college."

"Ah ha, the best friend, you fell in love with him?" Drew laughed with a huff and took a sip of his cappuccino.

"Not at all." Sasha shrugged, "He was my roommate freshman year and was really understanding when he saw me watching gay porn in our room."

Drew coughed as his drink went down his windpipe. "That must've been awkward."

"He said he's supportive of my lifestyle."

"Sounds like a pretty nice guy."

"He is, we've been together ever since." There was a hint of a blush on Sasha's cheeks.

"Together?" Drew raised an eyebrow as the gossip queen in him stirred with interest.

"I meant as friends." Sasha corrected quickly. "Anyway, my family stopped talking to me after I came out to them and I thought it would be cool to come here with him and his fiancé."

"What made you pick San Francisco?"

"I wanted to go to a big city. It's less lonely setting up in a new city if you have friends around so I sort of followed them when they asked me if I wanted to join."

"Ah, I see. So I don't need to worry about the best friend?"

"Not at all. He's like the brother I never had." Sasha shook his head at the preposterousness of the thought and laughed.

Drew's phone rang and he smiled apologetically as he hit the answer key. Sorry, he mouth to Sasha, then said into the phone, "Yes?"

"This is just a kind reminder that if you stay for longer than thirty minutes, we start charging $350 per hour." Lou's shrill voice came through the line.

"Thanks, we are almost done." Drew said coldly and hanged up.

"I'm guessing that's the bell?" Sasha asked. The waiter came back with his coffee and rested it in front of him. Whatever false air of friendliness they had built in the past few minutes had reverted back to the original detachedness of two strangers meeting for a business transaction.

"Do you want me to stay? I can make it worth your while." Drew asked hopefully.

"I think you should have time to think." Sasha replied quickly. He didn't do business by the hour, only long-term exclusives. It was a hard rule he set to early on and the only way he could convince himself that he wasn't just another prostitute.

Drew nodded as he put down a hundred dollar bill under the saucer of his cup and gathered his papers and sunglasses.

"I guess that's it for tonight. I'll let you know what I've decided." Drew said tersely. The atmosphere between them had become business like again.

"Take your time." Sasha noted the nervous shakiness in Drew's hand and smiled. It was always a positive sign when he flustered the client.

"Let's keep in touch then." Drew rose and made to leave.

Sasha nodded a noncommittal reply, and didn't mention that he couldn't keep in touch with someone unless they called him first. He never asked for a client's number, there was no need for him to have it, only the customers who didn't want to pay ever tried to contact him directly without Lou, and he certainly didn't have any interest in that kind of business.

Sasha didn't get up from his seat when Drew walked out the diner. He sat in silence as he slowly sipped his coffee and watched the sun disappear down the horizon. People outside walked in hurried steps as they tried to rush home before dark.

When the people outside had dwindled down to a rare few, he took out a cigarette from his wallet and held it unlit between his lips, then rose and walked out of the diner. The hush of the night wrapped around him like a cloak as he made his ways towards his secondhand Kia in the rear parking lot. Outside in the cooling evening air, he lit up his smoke with the click of a lighter. His cellphone rang just as he got into his car.

"What do you want Lou?"

"I always try to get some feedback before my employees forget the details." Lou said. "Are you smoking?"

"You make it sound like we've done the deed, and no." Sasha said and stabbed out his smoke. Lou has been trying to make him quit because most of their clients didn't like the smell.

"The deed?"

"Sex." Sasha clarified with an exasperated sigh.

"I'm sure you'd know better."

Sasha ignored that statement, "So to what do I really owe the honor for the call?"

"Drew called me back." Lou baited in a singsong voice.

"Did I fulfill his requirements?" Sasha asked, bored.

"Yes, you did." Lou laughed without much humor. "Come to my office tomorrow, I'll have the contract written up."

"Will do." Sasha tapped the 'end call' button and threw it into the passenger seat with a smile tugging at his lips.









"How did your date go?" Matt asked while Sasha changed into his work clothes for Busky's Bar.

Matt was Sasha's best friend from college and had covered for his shift while he went on the date. The night was slow, but the sound of football games on the flat screens made it hard to hear much. Sasha's station was behind the bar, mixing drinks and attracting customers with his face. At least that was what the owner had told him.

"I don't know. He had to leave early." Sasha shrugged and pulled his hair into a short ponytail. A few strands of hair fell from behind his ear and he pushed them back with his fingers in annoyance.

Drew didn't stand out from his other customers other than the overwhelming sense of entitlement. But Sasha was used to that, rich old men always thought they could give him something he wanted when it was really a symbiotic relationship.

"Did he?" Matt snorted, his tone more sarcastic than questioning as he leaned against the counter with his hands hooked in the pockets of his apron. "Who's this Lou guy that set you up anyway?"

Janice came up behind them with an empty tray of drinks. She dropped off a list of drinks to make on the counter. Matt slipped an arm around her waist and leaned in to kiss his fiancé. Sasha took a glance at the orders and started picking out the bottles for mixing.

"Lou? That guy's always given me the creeps. I heard he's a pimp in Oakland." She said with distaste, her arms crossing over her chest defensively. Sasha froze at Janice's mention of Lou's profession.

"A pimp?" Sasha tried to feign shock as he glanced up at her. Janice stretched like a cat and cracked the air out of her spine. She was long and thin as were her eyes and nose, and her cheekbones were sharp enough to cut with. She used to be a model before deciding to come to California with Matt.

"It's where people pay him to find someone for them to sleep with."

"You make it sound like prostitution." Sasha was careful not to betray his nervousness at how close she was to the truth.

"Bingo, you catch on fast baby boy." Janice ruffled his hair.

"I'm not a prostitute." Sasha mumbled to himself and patted down the mess she made. He wanted to add that he was simply providing companionship with benefits, but decided to keep his mouth shut. Matt and Janice didn't know that he had taken up escorting after they moved to California and he saw no reason to worry them about it now.

"No, but you keep chatting with that Lou guy and he'll make one out of you, I can see it in his eyes. He definitely has business interests invested in you. That, or he wants to bang you himself."

"He tips well."

"You are too sweet for your own good." Janice shook her head.

"Am not, I'm just saying he's a good customer." Sasha pretended to whine helplessly. "And it's not like I was going on a date with him, just his friend."

"That's why I'm telling you to watch out especially for his friends." Janice lectured. "His frienddidn't offer your money to sleep with him, did he?"

"No, we didn't talk about money." Sasha said and thought, Lou already did.

"You didn't tell me Lou was a pimp." Matt interjected.

"You didn't' tell me Sasha was going on a date set up by Lou." Janice shot him and accusing glare.

"You sure he's a pimp though?" Matt tugged at the piercings on his right ear in habit when he was in thought.

"The owner told me to watch out for him because he likes coming here to pick up prospective employees. We get pretty good looking patrons from that talent agency next door." Janice said as she started to prepare another tray of drinks for takeoff.

Sasha was afraid to look up from the bottles in his hands. He had been one of Lou's prospective employees at the receiving end of a job offer, and now he was actually working for the man. He should have told Matt something else rather than that he was going on a date, but he never thought they would land so close to the truth on their own.

"He ever try to hit on you?" Matt asked Janice with a scowl of concern.

"No love, he only wants pretty little boys like our Sasha." Janice said.

"What a bastard, remind me to charge him double for drinks next time." Matt said before turning to Sasha, "It was just a date?"

"Yeah, it was just coffee. " Sasha tried to brush it off casually and pretended to clean the counter with a rag, "I mean I went on my own free will and nothing bad happened so ya'll don't have to be so worried."

"I didn't know you were looking to date. I thought we were buddies. What happened to telling me everything?" Matt pouted dramatically with a huff.

"If you want, I can set you up with some cute guys. I know a few models that are really sweet." Janice offered.

"Nah, I don't' think I'm ready to date anyway." Sasha said quickly, and thought, not unless they are ready to pay.

"Sasha, if anyone tries to talk you into stuff again you make sure to come to me and I'll set him straight." Matt leaned with his elbow on the counter and pointed to the jutting muscles of his biceps.

"Yes sir, I'll be sure to let ya'll be the first to know if there's an issue." Sasha took a step forward and pecked Matt on the cheek with good humor. Then with a mock bat of his eyelashes, said in airy voice, "You are my hero."

"Where's my kiss?" Janice pointed to her cheek as well. Sasha laughed and planted a loud smooch where she pointed.