Rating And Warnings:  This story is rated 'R' for a reason.  Many, actually.  There's some swearing (though not large amounts); the theme is adult (male prostitution); there's some violence; some suggested drug-use; and sex scenes (though they aren't very explicit).

Setting: If you've seen the film 'Wilde', this is set in that time (and who knows, maybe even the same rent boys…) – the late 1800's.

Pairings: Slash and some het.

Claimer: It's all mine.  Feel free to play with them in your mind (heh) but if you have any ideas for writing something please ask me!  They're my little rent boys!

Phrase Note: A rent boy is, for those who don't know, a male prostitute normally hired by men.

Dedication: To G, again…  And also *grin* to a certain actor who's character inspired this fic with a certain role he played.  *Cough* Orlando Bloom *cough*

Please enjoy and review – constructive criticism is welcomed!


'Gabe.'  It's surprising that someone could put so much meaning into one syllable; could meld such a harsh reminder into a melodic word that was nearly song, a word that rang with feelings both annoyed and caring.

Ezekiel.  Always the charismatic bastard, the articulate one, the speaker who can make black fade to white.  Not that I'll believe your honey-coated lies any more.  The young man, who was perhaps only around his twentieth year, dug his hands a little further into the pockets of his trousers.  'Zeke, I've told you, he'll be here.'  He turned dark eyes towards the door where the boy, Thomas, had been due to emerge from for half an hour; and tried to hide his nervousness.  'Soon.'  I hope.

Ezekiel snorted to show exactly what he thought of that.  He slowly let out a stream of blue-tinted smoke from curved lips before taking another elegant drag on his cigarette; and his eyes followed the few men who passed quickly by them along the narrow street with experienced eyes.  Apparently none of them looked like potential customers, because he didn't approach a single one.  Or perhaps this business was more important to him.

'Gabe, I have one more hour I can waste here, freezing to death.  Then I'm gone.'

Gabriel reached up a hand suddenly, motioning for the older man to be quiet while pointing to the doorway across the street.  Emerging from it was a boy, perhaps fourteen or fifteen years old.  An incredibly beautiful one at that.  And beauty was important in this line of work, though not as much as you might guess.

'That him?'  Ezekiel didn't need to ask, but he had to be sure.  He didn't want to make any mistakes.

'Yes,' replied Gabriel, careful not to look at the young boy any more than he had to.  I'm sorry.  But I have to do this.  'He's the one.  Does he look good enough to you?'  How could he not?  The boy's gorgeous…  Probably the one thing about him that will bring him the most strife.  A lot of which is my fault.

Ezekiel looked over the youth who was now closing the door, and a smile curved his lips.  He sure does…  The boy's looks were innocent – at the moment – but the kind of innocence that was made to be corrupted, that called out for some sin to mar it.  His beauty was nearly feminine, and wide-eyed – breathtaking, heavily-lashed eyes were dark and secretive; pale skin showed off high cheekbones and red lips that were inviting even to look at; while browns hair twisted over neck and brow.  Ezekiel watched as the boy made his way off down the road, whistling softly.

'Gabe,' he said finally, turning to the younger man and laying a deceitfully friendly hand on his shoulder, 'we have a deal.'

Gabriel nodded.  'I'm gone, then.'  In return for that boy's youth and spirit, I'm free.  What else could I have done?

'Of course,' drawled Ezekiel.  'I will never acknowledge you again – and neither will any of our clients.  At least – not in a business way.  It was nice working with you, Gabriel.'  He held out one hand, which Gabe took and shook firmly.

I'm finally free…  'You'll…  You'll look after Thomas, won't you?' he asked haltingly, his conscience trying it's best to make him feel guilty for what he'd just done.

A slow smile curved across Ezekiel's face.  'Of course I will, mate.  Him and his beauty'll be safe with me.'

I want to punch you now so much.  I want to forcibly remove that smirk from your ugly face.  'Zeke, look after him…  He was a friend of mine.  And more - he's only a kid.'

The smile disappeared.  'Look, Gabe, you've done what you came here to do, you've shown me a boy to recruit that I would have missed otherwise, this street being too far away, you've got your freedom, your anonymity, whatever you'd like to call it, now go and stop pushing your luck, alright?  You know full well what'll happen to the boy – bloody hell, it happened to you.  Just forget about it now.  Go on.'  And then he turned away, wrapping his long coat about him, and strode off in the direction of the busier streets, leaving behind him only a trail of eerie smoke from his cheap cigarette.

Gabe stood there in the dim early-morning light, shivering, though it was not from the crisp winter cold that so permeated London at this time of year.  He looked over to the doorway, imagining the corridor behind it, the small but comfortable house, and the family that lived in it.  The family who's son he had just, effectively, sold.  A large part of him wanted to go and chase after the boy, to tell him what had just happened and warn him to refuse any offers of friendship, of "easy work".

But he didn't, because he knew it wouldn't work.  Ezekiel, Zeke to those who knew him well, was such a clever talker he would be able to charm the boy away no matter what.

The boy's as good as lost already.  But I'm free.  A soul for a soul.  Kill or be killed.  I had to do it.

Gabriel shivered again before lowering the brim of his hat a little and then moving quickly away towards a new life and a new chance.