Drew wouldn't be able to see Sasha again until the beginning of the new week, when their contract for companionship officially starts. He had anticipated starting a new round of his mind games with a new whore, but Lou said something about Sasha needing to get the all clear from his real job.

Since he wasn't allowed to contact Sasha for two more days, Lou had offered him a free piece of arm candy for the night as a sign on bonus, but he should have known that nothing good comes for free. The kid's name was Tanner, a spray tan pearly smile type who talked too much for Drew's liking.

Drew tried to reason with his dick if he should keep letting Tanner's self tanner rub off on his expensive suit, or if he should call it a night and go look for a fleshlight online.

The booked band had thankfully finished playing their off beat delusions of fame and was switched out by a karaoke band that did reasonably good covers of oldies. There was a group of three in the corner next to the karaoke signup sheet and one of them looked oddly like Sasha from afar.

It wasn't by a stroke of luck that Drew had picked that pub. Lou had unintentionally mentioned Sasha's schedule for Friday when he was counting Drew's money, and Drew had clutched on to that information with a devilish fire in his eyes.

"—But I totally knew his bag was fake, like, since when did Gucci start making ugly fanny packs? Drew, are you listening?" A voice droned in close to Drew's ear as he squinted and tried to make out the face on the Sasha lookalike.

Tanner had his legs crossed over Drew's knee; his arms were hugging one of Drew's arms. Drew wrestled his way out of the deathlike grip with an uncomfortable grimace on his face.

"Yeah, I think I see someone I know, I'll be back later." Drew shook off a hand that tried to drag him back into the cushions.

"Oh, introduce me too!" Tanner said and tried to follow him.

"It's no one important, why don't you order something fruity for me, I'll be right back." Drew said impatiently without a glance back.

Before Tanner could protest Drew had already disappeared into the crowd.






Sasha was convinced that Janice wasn't going to give up until she had successfully set him up with someone. This was going to be her third attempt that week.

Right after they got off their shifts, she had told Matt that she was going to have a girl's night with Sasha, much to Sasha's chagrin. Matt pretended to feign hurt that he was being left out, even though they all knew that he'd rather chop of his feet than dance.

Janice made sure Sasha didn't know that there was someone else joining them until they were at the pub, but as soon as she started waving wildly at the tall muscular blonde guy drinking a martini at the bar, Sasha knew that he was doomed for the night.

"You and Jason would look so hot together." Janice insisted in a secretive whisper when Jason left for a bathroom break.

"Janice, we aren't even into the same things." Sasha groaned and downed the rest of his Jack Daniels in one gulp. Janice slapped his hand away when he tried to reach for her drink as well.

"No more alcohol and you know that's not true, you've both modeled before." She chided.

"That doesn't count as an interest." Sasha whined. If he was going to have to talk with that guy for the rest of the night, he wanted to be as drunk as possible.

"You aren't even trying to enjoy yourself!" Janice sighed, and then looked at the lonely karaoke band that was trying to recruit brave patrons to go up on stage to join them. "Come on, go pick a song and sing for us, I haven't heard you perform since New Years."

"If that means I don't have to talk with surfer boy, then sure." Sasha shrugged and tried to reach for a beer on their table when Janice was distracted.

Janice caught his hand just as he succeeded and dragged him towards the book at the foot of the stage that listed all the songs the band could play. Before Sasha could see what song Janice had decided on, she had already jumped on to the stage and was leaning over to whisper her song pick in the keyboardist's ear. The karaoke band nodded their approval and tapped out a beat on the drums. Sasha stepped onto the stage with a helping hand from Janice.

Sasha had a pretty good memory when it came to song lyrics so he was pretty confident that he could sing whatever Janice had picked, but when the melody started, it took him a moment to realize what song it was.

"Janice, you can't be serious!" Sasha shouted to her over the music, but she had already jumped off stage and was giving him a thumb up sign from her place in the audience.

Shaking his head a little at her madness, Sasha let the buzz of the alcohol in his system take over as he switched on his stage persona.

"It's gonna be me, oh, yeah…" Sasha started singing over dramatically in his rocker voice. "It's gonna be me!"

The karaoke band sensed the type of genre change he was going for and picked up with a heavier guitar. The lights were brighter on stage and blinded him from the view of the audience, but he heard the cheering and people singing along around him.

It's been awhile since Sasha's performed on stage, but it all came back to him like second nature, he brought out every trick he had picked up when he played with Matt in their band during college. The music was loud; the bass reverberated through him with a near physical force. The stage felt good after being away from it for so long, and he let it own him.






Drew was mesmerized by how natural Sasha was on stage. He hadn't anticipated this new development and grinned to himself; this will definitely make the game more fun.

He saw a few cellphones going up in the dark to record Sasha when he started to air guitar to the chorus.

Sasha's lithe body moved on stage like it owned the attention of every person around, his red hair flashed liked fire when he dipped back his head and showed off the curve of his neck, his eyes fell close as he slid down the microphone stand to his knees and sang the last line.

Sasha's confidence was captivating, but it also made him angry. The little bitch must really think he's something special; what right did a whore have to be so proud. It made him want to bring that arrogance down. There was nothing that pleased him more than seeing their kind sniveling at his feet. A need boiled in his guts, and it made him lustful. He wanted to make the whore miserable, and damned be the wait.

When Sasha finished singing, a few people in the crowd shouted for another song, the band gave Sasha a pat on the back and sad something that made the boy smile, Sasha shook his head at something they said to him and jumped smoothly off the stage. A tall woman and hugged Sasha and messed up his hair with a familiarity reserved for close friends.

Drew stood in a dark corner and waited for the rare moment when Sasha was alone in his seat to approach. The woman and the guy that was with them had gone off to the dance floor to dance, leaving Sasha with a table filled with empty shot glasses and a solemn expression.

"Contemplating life questions?" Drew teased when he slid up quietly to the empty seat next to Sasha's.

"Drew?" Sasha's exclaimed with wide-eyed shock, he hadn't expected to see the man again after their last meeting.

"I didn't know you could sing like that." Drew grinned with practiced charm.

"I forgot I could too." Sasha said with numb panic, he had to get rid of this guy before Janice comes back.

"I was hoping you'd call." Drew said when he saw the apprehension in Sasha's expression.

"I don't think I have your number." Sasha shrugged, not that he would have called even if he did.

"Lou didn't give it to you? I was hoping we could get to know each other more before the contract started." Drew shook his head as though he was disappointed.

Drew intercepted a waiter that passed by their window and dropped a one hundred dollar bill in the man's apron.

"Keep the beer flowing for me." Drew instructed.

"What kind of beer would you like sir?" The waiter asked.

"I'll take a pitcher of the house specialty brew." Drew ordered without his eyes leaving Sasha.

"I should probably go join my friends on the dance floor." Sasha shifted in his chair uncomfortably.

"They look like they are enjoying themselves." Drew looked over at the dance floor and indicated to the two dancing figures with a quick lift of his chin, then he looked at Sasha with hurt in his eyes, "Am I bothering you?"

"That's not what I mean," Sasha shook his head quickly. He didn't want a bad review before his contract even started.

The waiter came back with Drew's order and filled their cups with the pitcher.

Drew was confident that he knew Sasha's type; the kind that seemed tough on the outside but was always careful to never hurt anyone on purpose. He could try to play that to his advantage.

"I've been waiting for a chance to talk to you again. I was going to call you tomorrow if you still didn't contact me."

"Oh." But we don't start until Monday, was what Sasha really wanted to say.

"Would it be presumptuous of me to think that we can talk like friends before that?" Drew asked, making sure to make himself sound insecure and small.

Sasha bit his bottom lip and refrained from saying something scathing.

"Hey, don't look so stressed, I just want to get to know you. Never hurts to have another friend in the city, right? We can still keep the business portion strictly business." Drew smiled shamelessly.

Sasha felt like calling Lou and canceling the entire deal. It was the first time Sasha had run into a client outside of work. He glanced at Janice and Jason still dancing away on the floor. He had to get Drew away from Janice.

"To be honest, I've always wanted to be a singer in a rock band. Too bad I never had the talent you had." Drew said even though he'd never sang more than a happy birthday in his entire life, but Sasha looked like he was closing up on him and he had to rescue the conversation somehow.

"Singing can be more about practice than talent sometimes." Sasha said between clenched teeth, his grip on his empty glass was nearly white.

"True, but I guess I just didn't have that kind of faith in myself. Things worked out in the end though." Drew said, hoping that Sasha would ask him what he meant. He wanted a chance to talk about how rich and well off he was, it had always made his dates easier. Instead, Sasha put down his drink and looked more annoyed.

"Why don't we go outside to talk, it's getting too hot in here." Sasha took out his mini song-writing notebook from his jacket and wrote a short message for Janice. It was better to have a pissed off Janice than have her find out about Drew.

Sasha got up from his seat after carefully placing the note on the table where it was most visible. Drew got up with him and followed him out of the club.

"Have you studied music before?" Drew asked when they were walking out.

"It was my college major." Sasha said as he took out a cigarette and lighted it outside. His brain felt too slow as it scrambled for a reason to get rid of Drew.

"I thought so, you sounded like someone who knew what he's doing. You must've had some experience on stage too."

Sasha shrugged soundlessly as he stared at his own boots without much interest. Usually people took silence and disinterest as good reasons to fuck off, he wondered why Drew was being so insistent.

"Have you tried getting signed? I bet you aren't making much use of your degree with what you are doing now."

"No one's interested in my music." Sasha sighed and exhaled a long tendril of smoke. He didn't mention the stack of rejection letter under his bed, next to his recording equipment.

"I know some people who could help you get signed." Drew said and popped a piece of gum into his mouth, the way he smacked the gum was audible even against the cacophony of the street.

Sasha laughed without much humor when he caught the look in Drew's eye. He was too familiar with the empty promises that those kinds of looks held.

"I doubt it'll do me much good, I think I've already tried every record company in California."

"Knowing someone can get you farther." Drew wanted to tell Sasha how many important men he knew in the music industry, but Sasha didn't seem to be biting.

"Do you have a demo?" Drew tried again.

"It's not good enough." Sasha's voice waivered, but his reply was true. Matt had declared it garbage after the last rejection letter. They hadn't bothered recording another one since then.

"I'd like to hear it, you know." Drew said with a toothy smile.

"I'll bring it Monday, when we start." Sasha chewed on the butt of his cigarette.

"What are you doing later tonight?"

"Going home, sleeping the week off." Sasha's tone was impatient, as though dealing with a child.

"Come to my place."

Sasha raised an eyebrow. His hand that held the cigarette was frozen midair, caught in surprise by Drew's bluntness.

"I can pay upfront." Drew reached for his wallet, grinning, expecting Sasha to jump on the opportunity.

"You need to go to Lou." Sasha said finally and placed his sight on the customers going into the pub.

A puzzled look passed over Drew's face. What was a whore if he didn't bend to paying customers?

"You would get more if I came to you directly, wouldn't you?"

"No. Go to Lou." Sasha's face was closed as he took one last drag of his smoke, stabbed it out under his boots, and made back towards the door.

Drew caught his wrist and held it tightly. His lips thinned in displeasure. What had he expected? Certainly not the denial, he was the customer, he had rights. His anger overwhelmed him and his grip on Sasha became even stronger.

"I'll see you Monday, Mr. Green." Sasha said firmly and pried Drew's fingers off his wrist.

Drew stood stunned at the rejection even after Sasha had left him standing alone outside. It was a hand on his shoulder that tapped him back to his senses.

"I looked everywhere for you!" Tanner cried indignantly. Drew walked away from the pub and away from Tanner. "Oh my gosh, was that Sasha?"

"Yes," Drew said, then murmured under his breath. "Fucking bitch."

"Omigod, you think so too? Totally not wroth the price tag if you ask me." Tanner's voice was excited by the idea that Drew shared his distain for Sasha. He followed behind in a half run; he locked his arm in Drew's when he was close enough.

No one asked you, Drew wanted to growl. He still had every intention of fucking Sasha once Monday comes. If anything, he wanted to make that face cry in shame even more now.

Drew stopped walking and wanted to tell Tanner to go home by himself, but then an idea popped into his head.

"You know him?" Drew asked.

"I guess, he doesn't go to the office much like the other guys. Lou always makes us pick up our paychecks, says he wants to keep an eye on our condition, but Lou gives him special treatment or something." Tanner rambled on, completely oblivious to the hot anger in Drew's eyes. "Little bitch, always goes around thinking he's so perfect or something, right?"

Drew laughed tersely even though he couldn't feel it reaching his expression.

"Sounds like he needs a chill pill." Drew said coldly.

"Omigod, exactly!" Tanner agreed. "Hey, you want to take me to your place or go to a hotel?"

"Here, give this to him, then we'll go to a hotel." Drew pulled a thin stack of bills out of his wallet and a little packet that contained a white pill.

Tanner studied the unmarked white pill on top of the money and looked at Drew questioningly. The dumb look on his face reminded Drew of a baboon.

"It's just my anxiety medication, it'll make him chill out like you said."

"Wait—I, I don't think I should do that, what—what if he's allergic…" Tanner stuttered.

"They are harmless. You can get these over the counter. I have friends who pop these from Pez dispensers." Drew lied.

"I don't know…" Tanner still looked hesitant, but Drew could see the way he was thumbing the money and trying to determine just how thick the stack was.

"Here, I'm having one, see?" Drew took out another little packet from his wallet. His hands were too fast and all Tanner could see was a little white pill falling into Drew's mouth. He couldn't possibly have known that the pill was shaped differently.

"I don't hate him that much though, I was just saying it because…." Tanner shuffled his feet. "Maybe you can do it yourself."

"I'm gong to get the car. Here, you take one too. Happy pills all around." Drew took out another pill and forced it between Tanner's lips, then laughed at Tanner's shocked expression. "Tastes like candy, doesn't it?"

"I guess." Tanner mumbled. He didn't dare spit it out in front of Drew so he held it under her tongue and hoped it wouldn't melt. Lou had given him strict instructions to make this guy happy.

"Told you so, go give the pill to Sasha and I'll have the car waiting for you in the front." Drew pushed Tanner towards the pub.






Sasha didn't see the little white pill being dropped into his drink when Tanner greeted him, nor Drew sitting parked outside the pub when he went outside for fresh air. He didn't realize the eyes on him when he started feeling dizzy, nor hear the footsteps walking towards him when his vision started blurring.

He didn't hear his cell phone ring when Janice tried to reach him, nor the cold hands that held him when he tried to stumble his way back into the pub for help.

He didn't hear Drew tell Tanner to get out of the car, nor see the burning hatred in Tanner's eyes when Drew warned him to keep his mouth shut.

There was only confusion in Sasha's head, and he couldn't untangle any of his thoughts at all. Fear raced towards him but then slipped by without pause. He knew in the back of his mind that something was off with his body as it was dragged through doors and hallways, but a voice told him to relax, told him that he was going to feel good.

He leaned into the voice and tried to focus his eyes on the shadowy face above him, but he felt like his eyes felt like they were weighted with stones. Instinct told him to fight, but his body wouldn't obey his scattered thoughts. Finally, sleep came for him like a heavy black blanket, muffling his struggles.

And then, he remembered nothing at all.