The Not-So-Celibate Life
You led no celibate
life, no skirt while chemicals danced on your head.
You stole the keys to this ride and your fables are falling tonight.
The Shins, The Celibate Life
Nighttime in Treyton. On the east side of town, the streets were empty, people asleep or watching television. Designer cars remained parked in driveways while their owners sipped expensive wines and watched shows about the shady side of life. But some people got into their cars and drove for the west side to witness it first hand.
The dingy streets were awash with less-than-savory folks, who jostled and swore and generally made a ruckus. Cars cruised down the streets, checking out the prostitutes and drug dealers waiting for business.
Lying on the sidewalk was a young man named Gabriel Bancroft, and he looked every bit as angelic as his namesake. A lock of red-gold hair had fallen over his face, his delicate white features relaxed as he slept, tucked into a ball. He had clearly made an attempt to be attractive, as one could see from the tight jeans and shirt he wore, as well as the earring he wore. But tonight he wasn't working, just trying to sleep…
…which was rudely interrupted by a booted toe nudging him in the ribs. He opened his eyes and glared up at the prostitute looking down at him. She looked down at him with careless green eyes and raised an eyebrow.
"You need help, kid?" she drawled, flicking a long strand of auburn hair over her shoulder. She was wearing a short skirt and fishnets, and a plunging neckline showed off her curves, but Gabe just gave her a disinterested look. She sighed. "Kid, I'm not trying to solicit you. You're a prostitute like me, yeah? I'm not expecting you to be interested in women."
"Fuck off," he muttered, putting his arms over his head.
"No." She squatted down. "Kid, you are clearly out of your depth. You obviously have no idea how to sell yourself, and you need a place to stay."
"What makes you think that?" he demanded, glaring at her.
"Kid, you're sleeping on the street. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why." She stood. "It's your choice. As long as you work and go to school, you can stay at my place. You don't even have to work as a prostitute. I only do it because it makes more money." She held out her hand. "Take it or leave it, kid." He shook his head. "Fine. At least let me feed you while I try to convince you, all right?"
Gabe hesitated, but took her hand and allowed her to pull him up, pulling a small bag up with him. She nodded, a slight smile on her startlingly pretty face, and turned. "Come on, kid."
"I'm not a kid," he muttered, but followed in her footsteps. He heard her chuckle.
"Hey, Adi!" called the waitress in the dingy diner. "Found another stray?"
"Yep." She pointed at a table and ordered Gabe to sit. "Got anything for a skinny call-boy?"
"Sure, hon, hold on." The waitress ducked back in the kitchen, leaving Gabe with his rescuer. She scrutinized him for a moment.
"What's your name, kid?" she asked.
"Gabriel," he said shortly. She raised her eyebrows.
"No last name?" she inquired casually.
He sighed. "Bancroft. Gabriel Bancroft. Yes, those Bancrofts. That's why I'm in Treyton."
"I see. Your perfect CEO parents couldn't handle your…preferences, I suppose?"
"It didn't help that I seduced my mom's lover."
"It wouldn't." She leaned back, looking him over. "Kid, you need some help. You're cute, but you look like hell."
"Don't call me kid. I'm not that young."
"Please, how old are you? Sixteen?"
He glared at her. "Seventeen," he muttered resentfully.
"And unless I miss my guess, you only turned seventeen a few weeks ago." The woman raked her hair back. He gaped at her. She grinned at his startled expression. "Wikipedia, anyone? You're lucky that age of consent is sixteen around here." She stretched her arms. "God, I love the little aberration that is Treyton."
"What's your name?" he asked curiously.
"Adelle Reynard. Call me Adi." She tugged at her shirt. "So what's your story, kid? Why are you out here?"
He sighed and pushed a lock of reddish hair out of his blue eyes. "Parents kicked me out, I needed money, end of story. Yours?"
"Like you, I come from a fairly wealthy background. Different, yet strangely similar story. Told my parents I wanted to work for a living, told them I was majoring in computer science, and that I wasn't going to marry the boy they picked out for me." She bared her teeth in a less-than-amused smile. "I needed money for college, and my day job wasn't cutting it, so…" She trailed off, waving her hand expansively. "Had the figure and the slightly husky voice, so I figured that the easiest way was just to sell myself. I don't have any regrets, really. I like my life. The only worries I have are getting an STD or impregnated. You don't even have to worry about the second, lucky bastard."
"You on the pill?"
"Hell yeah," she snorted. "Couldn't live without it." The waitress came over and plopped down two bowls of soup and some coffee. "Thanks, Lynn." Lynn nodded and disappeared back into the kitchen.
Gabe ate slowly, not wanting to overload his poor, abused stomach. Adi ate hers with gusto, slurping the broth happily, and gulping down the coffee. After about ten minutes, she glanced at her watch.
"Fuck, I have to get home." She gulped down the remainder in the mug. "I have school today." She pulled out a ten dollar bill and slapped it down on the table and stood. She glanced at him. "You need a place to stay, kid? You can crash at my place, if you want."
"Really?" Gabe stared up at the woman who was smirking slightly.
"Sure. But if you want to make it a permanent thing, I have the rules that I laid out for you before." She shrugged. "But you know what? We'll burn that bridge when we come to it. Done?"
Gabe gulped down the last bit of his soup and stood. "Let's go."
She walked up the dim stairwell in the apartment building on the '8 mile' of Treyton, separating the east from the west. She opened up the door and shooed Gabe in.
The apartment was relatively spacious and cluttered. The living room had a TV and a huge amount of movies and CDs, as well as books, both textbooks and novels, scattered everywhere. Three doors led to the bathroom and the bedrooms, the kitchen off to the right from the entrance. The woman sighed happily as she entered her home.
"Sorry about the climb," she said, unzipping her boots and dropping them on the floor. She shrank about four inches in height and she wiggled her toes in the thick carpet. "The elevator's broken, but they're fixing it." She tied up her hair and pointed at one of the doors. "That is the door to the room you can stay in. My roommate graduated college last year, so she moved out. You can have it. Sorry about the crappy bed. She had shitty taste."
"You won't say that tonight when your back is aching like a bitch." She frowned. "On second thought, it might be better if you take the couch. Thoughts?"
"I'll take the couch in that case," he said before he flopped across the big blue monstrosity. He squirmed into a comfortable position and sighed contentedly. "Ah, nice."
Adi grinned, then looked at her watch again. "Damn damn damn. Sorry, Gabe, I gots to run. Don't trash the house. I'll be back around fourish. Get some sleep. There's food in the refrigerator, if you want any." She ran into her room and was out less than five minutes later, dressed more sedately in a pair of jeans and a shirt that read, 'Support the Arts: Date a Musician'.
"Adios, amigo!" she called, grabbing her book bag and darting from the apartment.
"See you," Gabe replied sleepily before he finally was able to relax and get some goddamned sleep.
Adi whirled in at the promised time, dropping her messenger bag on the floor, and collapsing on the cushioned chair next the sofa. Gabe was barely awake, but he gathered the energy to glare at her.
"You fucker, you woke me up," he muttered angrily.
She grinned unrepentantly. "Too bad. Are you going out tonight?"
"I dunno. I feel kind of shitty." Adi frowned and leaned forward to touch his forehead. She jumped.
"Fuck, kid, you're burning up. I think you caught some cold or something out on the streets." She paused and seemed to come to a decision. "Get up."
"Get up. You're sleeping in my room until you're better."
"I can't do that to you," he protested. "You don't even know me. You shouldn't be giving up your bed for me."
Adi smiled slightly. "Truth be told, kid, you remind me of my little brother. He won't speak to me now, so I need someone to coddle to death." She put her hands on her hips. "Get up and get into my room now."
Sighing, Gabe hauled himself upright and shuffled into Adi's bedroom. He collapsed into her fluffy bed and sighed happily. She entered the room a minute later with a hand full of pills and a glass of water.
"Are those all for me?" Gabe asked, startled. She gave him a look that clearly said, You idiot.
"Certainly not." She drank one down. "That one was for me." She put the glass down and took his hand, dumping the pills into his grasp.
"I have to take all of these?" he groaned. Adi fixed him with a death glare. He blinked. "Right, sorry." He sat up and drank them down. Adi nodded happily.
"I'm going to go out and get you some soup, okay? I'll be back soon. Don't die while I'm gone, the insurance will be hell." She nodded and left, grabbing a coat on her way out.
He moaned and stared up at the ceiling. He noticed dimly that there were glow-in-the-dark stars stuck to the wooden surface. Blinking, he looked around the room for the first time.
The bed he was in was a queen size, with a table on either side, both supporting lamps and books. Across from him was a door the closet, and there was a computer table against the wall to his left. He made a mental note to ask Adi about using it before his energy gave out and he collapsed against the pillows.
Adi returned fifteen minutes later, bearing a thermos full of chicken soup and a bottle of Gatorade. She placed it on the bedside table and sat on the edge of his bed. She put her hand to his forehead and blinked.
"I'm going to have to take your temperature, dear," she said, pulling a thermometer out of table's drawer. "Open up."
He opened his mouth, and she put it in gently. He closed his mouth and rolled his eyes heavenward as they waited.
After what seemed like forever, it beeped and Adi removed it. She looked at the display and sighed in relief. "Only a hundred. Good. Okay, now drink this soup and Gatorade and get some sleep. I'm going out to work; I should be back around four a.m." She smoothed his hair away from his face and smiled down at him. "Get better, kid. I'm getting to like you."
"Thanks," Gabe retorted weakly. "Don't catch any STDs."
She flipped him the bird before briskly leaving the apartment. Gabe ate the soup slowly until the medication and weariness set in, and he fell back against the pillows, asleep.
A cool hand touched his forehead. "Gabe, wake up."
"Fucking bitch," he muttered. "Let me sleep."
"No. I need to talk to you before I run off to school."
Gabe opened his eyes and looked up into Adi's face. "What do you want, Adi?" He stretched.
"You are feeling better?" When he nodded, she smiled. "Good. All right. Do you want to stay here? It's clear to me that you have no place to go, and staying out on the streets is obviously not doing you any good. But it is your decision, and I won't make it for you."
"I'll stay here, I guess." Gabe struggled to sit up. "You've been extremely kind to me for no reason at all. I'm very honored by your offer, and I think I will take you up on it."
"In that case, I have some…rules? Nah, guidelines. I have some guidelines for you." Adi sat on the edge of his bed. "You will go to school. I'm going to pretend that you're my half brother that I've just been given care of because your parents died. This will solve many problems with us living together."
"How on earth will you accomplish that?" Gabe wanted to know. Adi smirked in a smug way.
"I know a guy. Go take a shower, will you? I need to clean my sheets."
"Adi. What do you want now?" Kenneth sighed, turning in his computer chair to look up at his friend and sometime girlfriend. Kenneth Freeman was an amiable CS student from Los Angeles, and was often asked if he was related to Morgan Freeman, which he was not. He looked Gabe over with a raised eyebrow. Adi smiled sweetly at him.
"This is Gabriel." She tugged the younger man forward.
"Another project?" Ken shook his head. "Darling, you have to stop acquiring new pets."
"I'm not a pet!" Gabe objected. Adi ignored both of them.
"I need to enroll him in school, but he's underage, so he needs to have a legal guardian. Can you create some things for me? Like a will that states that I'm his legal guardian and some school records?"
"Yeah, okay. I know what you need." Ken turned back to his computer. "Come back next week, and I'll be ready."
"We need it before then."
"Fine. Come back in three days."
"Sounds good." Adi leaned forward and kissed his cheek. "See you soon!"
"Okay, we've gotten you an ID…you're name is now Gabriel Reynard."
"Sounds fucking weird," he remarked, taking the ID card from her hand. "Wow, I look surprisingly good in this photo. Usually ID photos are absolutely terrible."
Adi grinned and flopped down on the sofa. "I know. Mine is absolutely shite. It's hard to even describe it. It bears almost no resemblance to me."
"So I'm your younger brother," Gabe said thoughtfully, sitting down next to her.
She propped her feet up on the coffee table. "Get used to it. I'll be your half sister for the next two years."
Gabe laughed and put his arm around her. "Well, big sister. When are we going to register me for school?"
"His name is Gabriel Reynard," she told the woman behind the counter. "He's my half brother." Gabe nodded, trying to look convincing.
"What is the reason for his move?" the secretary inquired in a bored tone of voice.
"He was living with his mom and step-dad, but they died recently, and their will stipulated that if I was of age, I was to become his guardian." She smiled sheepishly. "He's under my care now."
"How old are you, Ms. Reynard?"
"You are his legal guardian?"
"Yes," she nodded, crossing her fingers in her coat pocket.
"And he will be entering eleventh grade?"
"Look at this packet," the woman said, handing Adi a white envelope. "It has information containing his course options, which he may choose. Being a latecomer, not all of his desired classes may be open."
"Of course," Adi said graciously. "Thank you very much. I'm sure he'll love it here."
"He'll need to get a student ID," the woman told her. Looking at Gabriel, she said, "You can take it the first day. All you need is ten dollars. You need it for checking out books and for buying food."
"Thank you," Gabriel said. "I will see you next week."
"Sure," the woman muttered, waving them out.
"What the hell?" Gabe groused, looking over the courses offered. "Advanced Autoshop? AP Art?"
"It's the rich folks' public school," Adi said dryly, rifling through her purse. "Are you done looking? We have to go get some clothes and school supplies for you. Also, do you use protection?"
"Adi!" he exclaimed, blushing. After a week in her company, he hadn't quite gotten used to her very blunt manner of approaching things. Even if he did continue to sell himself, he was still embarrassed when she mentioned it.
"Sorry," she said, not looking apologetic at all. "I don't want you to come home with some horrifying disease. And if you don't, or if you're out, we need to drop by the drug store and pick some up."
"Yes, I'm fine," he snapped. He pointed at the little bag he'd brought to the apartment with him. "It's all in there."
"Okay, okay," Adi grinned, holding up her hands. "Fine. Just wanted to check. Now come on. You need some school clothes and some whore clothes."
"What about the clothes I have?"
Adi glanced at his outfit and sighed. "This is a hobo suit, darling. You can't be seen in this. I won't allow it." (1)
"Thank you for that," he muttered. She grinned and grabbed her keys, ushering him out.
They drove to the mall, Gabe marveling at her rather nice car. She drove like a maniac, but seemed to be able to avoid cops with eerie skill. Swerving around an SUV, she swung into the parking lot and parked.
Adi dragged him inside the building, and brought him into a department store. They began to browse, looking for things he could wear.
"Hey, kid," she called. "Look at these." She held up a pair of jeans. They were clearly going to be low slinging and tight.
"Whore clothes?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Of course not," she exclaimed. "That's these." She indicated the leather pants slung over her arm. "I'm sure they'll be perfect."
"Do you want me to look like a drag queen at school?" he demanded, grabbing the jeans from her hand.
"Why shouldn't you?" Adi asked. "I'm sure it will be fun. Besides, that school needs a good shock. I went there for a semester, and it's so sickeningly conventional. They offered me a job as a teacher's aid, and it would pay better than my job at the diner, but no way am I working there ever."
"So why do I have to be the guinea pig?" he demanded. She smiled.
"Because I'm giving you a house," she said calmly. "I'm feeding you."
"Fine," he sighed. "What else do you want me to try on?"
Adi patted his head. "Good boy."
"Some guidelines," she said, coming back into the apartment, dropping shopping bags on the floor. "If you don't have some little hideaway for your customers, you can come back here, but I'd prefer that you didn't. Also, if you would rather not work as a prostitute, I'm entirely fine with that. In fact, I'd encourage it. I can get you a job as clerk or a waiter that would be just perfect."
"I want to go to college," Gabe pointed out. "College is expensive. Prostitution pays well. I'm good at it. Any more questions?"
"Not that I can think of right now," she answered, scratching her head. "I'll do your make-up and such, but do you need any…tips? You know, for blow jobs and such?"
"Adi!" he exclaimed, turning red.
"For a prostitute, you're remarkably naïve and bashful," she commented unconcernedly. "Get used to dirty talk. Also, out of curiosity, are you top or bottom?"
"Whatever," he shrugged, fighting off a blush. "Whatever they ask for. I'm okay with either."
"I figured," she nodded. She ran a hand through her hair. "So tomorrow is your first day of school. I kept you off the streets this past week so you could get back to normal-ish. If you want to work during the week, that's fine with me. Just make sure you come back around three, because then you can get some sleep. I'll show you my schedule, and you can see if it works for you."
"Thanks," Gabe said, running a hand through his newly cut hair, trying to get used to the fresh cut. "Thanks for everything, Adi."
"It's no problem," Adi told him, smiling sweetly. "I have an altruistic streak that comes out at the weirdest times. I like having you around, too. You're like a little brother."
Gabe impulsively reached out and gave her a hug. She hugged him back, startled but pleased.
"It's all good, kid. It's all good." She released and fixed him with a critical eye. "Now about those blow job tips…" She pulled him up and pushed him into her bedroom. She reached into her dresser and pulled out a model. "Now watch closely."
"I don't need tips, Adi!" Gabe exclaimed. "You can stop now! For fuck's sake!"
"Fine, you don't need tips. As for other things...I'll get you a job at a store or something to supplement your income. Also, when we go downtown…be careful. Have you seen Sin City?"
"Yes…" Gabe said cautiously.
"The girls of Old Town are much like the girls in West Treyton, so be careful. They probably won't like you at first, but if I back you, they'll warm up to you."
"Great. So I better be nice and not the prat I usually am?"
"You're not a prat," Adi told him. "They'll probably think that you're adorable. I don't think it will be hard for you to win their favor." She pushed him out. "Now get some sleep. You have school tomorrow. Oh, I bought you a new mattress. Enjoy."
"Thanks, Adi. I promise you I'll repay you one day."
"Nonsense," Adi snorted. "You owe me nothing. Now go to bed!"
Gabe smiled at her and ran to bed.
(1) Quote from The Incredibles.
A/N: First chapter. I'm watching Shakespeare in Love right now and it's fucking awful. But I do have some ideas now.
Anyway, I hope you liked this chapter. Sin City is a terribly violent movie. Also, the school is partially based on mine.
Wow, this chapter was a bit long. The next one will probably be long too…but I'm not sure. I'm not entirely happy with this chapter. I think I could have written Adi better. And Gabe.
And don't worry; Adi won't be dominating this story like Leigh did in The Interview. The main focus will certainly be Gabe, as you will see in the next chapter.