well, this is my post for October's Self-Induced Disease prompt: escort. i'm always late on this shit. why. (procrastination.)

anyway. there's not much sex in this one, but maybe just enough. hope you enjoy it, regardless.

sunday, 4 november, 2012. 11:07pm.


The tiles on the floor were polished to a mirrored shine, décor obviously tasteful yet designed in such a way to remain subtle in its atmosphere. I only noticed because that's what I do; I design things.

The man escorting me through the building was plain but well-put-together, his suit costing as much as the décor, easily. He was also pleasant, despite that I obviously did not belong with everything else.

"Wait here, sir, and Ms. Dufray will be with you presently."

I nodded and sat in one of the plush chairs he'd indicated, the man waiting until I'd settled before walking away, the sounds of his shoes tapping his departure. So I waited. Fifteen minutes later, I suppose, a door finally opened somewhere and heels clicked on tile as a woman as well-put-together as my earlier escort came and found me, a polite little smile on her face as she informed me to follow her.

I was lead down a short hall and shown to an office, one that could have rivaled any business office downtown. A woman, very handsome, sat behind a dark, wooden desk, her poise elegant as she stood, walking around and extending her hand in greeting.

"Mr. Mays, welcome."

I nodded, shaking her hand and then sitting in one of the chairs she had indicated with a very elegant mannerism. She sat herself and then stared at me, a good couple of minutes, maybe, before finally raising one eyebrow.

"Why are you here, Mr. Mays."

"Here, in this office, or here, in this building?"

She said nothing, and I shrugged.

"I'm here because you run an escort business and I have a need for an escort. I'm in this office because you care about your people and want to make sure I'm not someone out to hurt you or them or this business."

"Succinct. Indeed, that is exactly why you are in my office. You see, someone might look upon your choice in attire and presentation and see a threat; someone posing as something entirely harmless in order to lower our defenses."

"But then you looked at my bank account and realized I'm more than I appear."

The eyebrow rose even further, her mouth fighting against her amusement.

"Very succinct. …Very well, Mr. Mays. How may we help you?"

"I would like someone to accompany me to a concert in four days time. Gender is not an issue, though I have noted that women tend to get the wrong idea about me. The occasion should not take more than six hours, as I would prefer to eat afterward. If that is an unreasonable request, I understand, and I will seek accompaniment elsewhere."

"And you are aware of our fees."

"I am."

She studied me once more, taking in my slightly-rumpled-but-clean attire; a plain shirt and jeans that actually fit without being loose or cock-wrangling. My clothing is not designer, nor is my haircut. I'm often mistaken for a college kid despite being almost thirty.

I am not overly rich, although I make enough; I just don't care about the rest of all that bullshit.

"All right, Mr. Mays. You pass."

I nodded, just once, and that somehow amused her, her smile becoming more genuine.

"We will contact you in two days time for you to meet with your escort and determine compatibility. Any requests I should know about beforehand?"

"Only that they enjoy rock music."

If that was strange, in comparison to very my presence, I guess, she did not remark upon it, simply giving me a stately nod and rising to shake my hand once more.

"I trust you can find your way back to the lobby?"

"Yes, ma'am. Thank you for your time."

"Thank you, Mr. Mays. I do believe you will be most satisfied with our arrangement."

As I had only ever heard glowing praise for the service, I had no doubt my escort would be adequate for my purposes.

...

I left my name with the head waiter and took a seat at a table with a good view of the sunset out the floor-to-ceiling windows on one wall of the restaurant owned by Ms. Dufray. The place was sleek, the decorating taste one to admire; and I did; and was just the sort of place one might expect for clients of its escorts.

I was wearing an outfit I normally left for meeting potential high-end clients; tailored charcoal-gray jacket and slacks coupled with an even darker gray shirt; and so while I knew I was not necessarily out of place, I still did not feel as though I belonged.

"Mr. Mays, I presume?"

I looked up at the husky greeting, unsurprised to see my chosen escort was male. At my nod, he smiled, sliding into the seat opposite with some degree of subtle grace, although I could not fault him that, given his profession.

A waiter was almost immediately on hand taking our order; both of us chose non-alcoholic beverages, and the man bowed slightly before departing.

"Name's Dennis," I said in way of introduction, uncaring for the bluntness of my tone, but he appeared not to notice as he smiled.

"Antoine, if it pleases you."

I raised an eyebrow, and his smile was a bit more honest.

"It doesn't always."

"Perhaps because it is an ill-fitting name. I do hope it is not the one you were born with because that would be most unfortunate."

Surprise made him blink before he grinned, shaking his head a bit; "Ms. Dufray was right about you. Definitely someone different. And no, it is not the one I was born with, but I'd rather you call me Antoine, if you will."

I nodded; it was a fair request, even if the name was indeed ill-fitting based on my own gut feeling, and I'm usually pretty spot-on in that regard. His skin was dusky, maybe African American with Latino or East Asian background, and his hair was dark brown, naturally curled but arranged masterfully to fall about his forehead and temples.

I felt he was more of a Bernard, personally, but even that did not feel right.

Oh well.

Our drinks arrived, and he sipped his, looking at me through his eyelashes; maybe a move designed to thrill me, or something, but utterly unnecessary.

"All I need to know, today, is whether or not you enjoy rock music, so there's no need to beat around the bush or try to be pretty."

He choked a bit on his drink, covering his mouth with a handkerchief he pulled from his shirt pocket.

"You're a blunt one," he said finally, to which I said nothing.

"The answer is yes, I do enjoy rock music."

"Real rock, or the shit they play on the radio?"

"Well, Dennis, that would depend upon your definition of shit. I happen to like some of the rock they play on the radio."

"U2?"

He arched an eyebrow; "I like U2."

"This isn't going to work."

He laughed in surprise as I stood and went to lay down some bills for my drink; his hand stilled me as it touched my arm, amusement plain on his face.

"I like many things, Dennis, I dabble in all genres. No need to get all purist on me."

Well, okay, maybe I was being a bit judgmental, but I've been burned by such people before. They say they're rock fans but all they listen to is the Top Forty shit; some of it might be good, yes, but it's almost all watered down bullshit. One single to sell the album that everyone illegally downloaded anyway.

And maybe I am a purist, of sorts, but I had no call to be too particular, considering I've burned every bridge for concerts thus far.

"You'll do. Meet me outside the Red Jack Ballroom at seven this Thursday."

His eyebrows rose, but he acquiesced by releasing the gentle hold he'd had on my arm and giving a slight nod even as I lay down the bills for my drink and left the restaurant.

It was drizzling, and had been for a few hours, so the parking lot was a mix of mud and gravel; I held up the legs of my faded jeans because I hate when they're wet all night, though I didn't give a shit about the layer of mud soon caking my boots. I only ever wear them to concerts, for that purpose.

I was early, as it was only a quarter 'til, but Antoine stood in line already, his pants splattered with mud and curls weighed down from the rain. His smile was warm when he saw me approach, though he shivered a bit from his lack of jacket; at least he wore a nondescript shirt, albeit something designer.

"You should have worn a jacket," I commented when close enough, and he shrugged.

"Didn't have anything appropriate."

Barely even giving it a thought, I shrugged out of my loose flannel shirt, leaving me in just a black tank as I handed the shirt over to him. It was only at his incredulous stare that I realized such a move to someone you barely knew was probably not something ordinarily done.

"I'll be all right."

He accepted it only because I didn't give him the option; it was a moot point anyway, as they opened the doors maybe five minutes later, the line slowly filing in as personnel checked tickets and patted people down for weapons and contraband.

It was only once we were inside that he drew close enough for conversation, pushing up the sleeves of the flannel shirt after I waved off him returning it; it was already warm in the building, and would probably get even warmer still once the show started. He was thinner and still pretty wet; he'd need it more.

"Thank you."

I shrugged, not understanding the puzzled smile he gave me in response, choosing instead to lead us closer to the stage while maintaining a 'safe distance'. That is, a distance that won't get us smushed, trampled, packed, flattened, or moshed out of existence.

We talked, some, feeling each other out for mutual musical interests, and found we had a few overlaps.

Then, the opening band went on and it became difficult to hear anyone talking, so we didn't bother trying; the band was not one I was familiar with but I found myself leaning toward their sound. There was something almost thrash or underground punk with their lyrics being more ironical or satirical of society in general than the more angry songs bands of that nature tend to play.

By the end of their set, people were pretty pumped up for the show, dancing more freely than at the beginning.

The silence afterward was almost deafening, Antoine smiling slightly but not trying to hold a conversation while our ears still felt stuffed with cotton. I made the universal sign for asking if he wanted something to drink, but he shook his head and I shrugged, not needing one for myself just yet.

We had just regained the ability to hear each other speak by the time the next band went on, this one more heavy and angry than the first. My escort bobbed to the music as much as myself, and I couldn't help but approve, hating when people stand there like lumps when everyone else around them is having a good time.

Halfway through the second set, a mosh pit suddenly sprang up to our left, people cascading back to give the people space and nearly bowling Antoine head over heels if I hadn't thought to grab that flannel shirt and yank him back up to his feet. Keeping a firm grip on me, he stared with fascination as men and women both swarmed around the pit, slamming into each other and being rebounded off the barrier of stronger guys keeping them at bay.

I only grinned, not one for being violent at a concert but not looking down on those who feel the calling; until I noticed one of the guys forming the barrier was not rebounding people back, but pulling them in and slugging them indiscriminately.

My grin faded, my face pulling into a frown, and I motioned Antoine to stay back as I waded through the crowd and grabbed the nearest security. By the time I made it back, a bigger fight was going down, people taking matters into their own hands and only making things worse.

The set was over by the time things calmed down again, and I'd lost Antoine in the crowd.

Frowning, I scanned faces until a long arm suddenly reached through a small pocket of people and tugged my shirt, making me turn and see him stuck where he was. I squirmed and bullied my way to him, quickly looking him over to see he'd not come to much harm in my absence.

"Are you okay?"

"What?"

"Are you okay?"

We had to shout at each other, but he nodded once he understood, leaning closer until nearly in my ear.

"That was insane!"

I shrugged, and he shook his head, grinning a bit, and said, "Can you believe this is my first concert?"

I nodded, smirking, and he laughed, running a hand through his sweat dampened curls and then wiping sweat from his forehead and temples with his wrist. It was indeed hot, with too many bodies and not enough fresh air, but I'd suffered through worse.

I just hoped they'd open the front doors to the hall at some point or it'd get to be like a charnel house in August in here.

...

The heat got to me during the final set. One minute, it was bearable, and the next, I nearly collapsed in the middle of the abruptly-crushing throng of moving bodies. My head swam and vision became spotty, and I must have looked as awful as I felt because Antoine mouthed, "What's wrong," moments before having to catch me as my knees tried to give out.

I felt like an idiot, but was too shaky and miserable to care as I let myself be half pushed, half dragged out of the worst of the crowd, some people moving to let us through without hindrance and others being complete asshats who forced Antoine to shove them out of the way.

We made it closer to the open doors, the fresh air helping to clear my head some, but not entirely. With shaking hands, I dug into my pocket and removed a package of peanut-butter crackers, giving it to him to open after my fingers refused to cooperate. He did without question, watching me eat and looking prepared to have to save me from cracking my head open again.

As I became more stable, he motioned that he was going to get me something to drink, and I nodded, watching him slip off through the crowd and head over to one of the bars lining the walls.

By the time he'd made it back with a bottle of water, I was leaning against the wall, mostly myself again but still somewhat shaky, like my joints were made of paper and too sharp a movement would send me tumbling down to the concrete below.

I fucking hate hypoglycemia.

Too soon after he'd returned, the set was over, people beginning to file out of the hall into the cooler air outside to head out.

"Are you all right?"

He had to get close to talk, but not as close as before, and I kind of missed the way he'd leaned on my shoulder to get to my ear.

"Yes, I'm okay. Blood sugar dropped like a fucker."

He frowned slightly, "Diabetic?"

"No. Not yet, anyway. Hypoglycemic. Have been since I was a kid. Could turn Type Two any time now, though, as I get older."

His expression spoke for his heavy thoughts, but all he said was, "You wanted to get something to eat after, correct?"

I nodded, and let him lead the way outside, where the rain had stopped but left a cold mist in the air. We split to head for our cars after agreeing upon a mutual location to meet.

...

The restaurant was nowhere near as classy as the place we first met, my attire gaining me looks but nobody saying anything of the likes of kicking me out. Antoine's clothing wasn't much better but he held himself differently than me, all grace and subtle charm, nobody so much as looking twice at the mud splattered on his jeans or the dampness still darkening his curls.

Both of us ordered iced tea and I drained the first quickly, thirstier than I'd thought, and he pushed his over to me; I drank that one as well, though more slowly than the first. Nearly passing out always makes me thirstier than fuck.

"Does what happened at the concert happen often?"

I frowned, vaguely uncomfortable with the concern in his voice and unsure of the depths of its sincerity.

"Sometimes. Usually only at longer concerts, but it's been spotty lately."

My condition was also the reason I'd gone through the trouble of hiring someone to go with me; only once have I ever passed out by myself, and I never want to wake up in the back of an ambulance with an IV taped to my arm again. Sucky as all hell.

"Have you had that checked out?"

I sighed, grumpier now and fed up with talking about something so stupid; "Can we discuss something else?"

Clearly, he wanted to continue in that vein, but he bit it back and settled for discussing the music; which bands he'd liked best and how it'd been different than he'd expected. I grinned a bit when he talked about the mosh, his eyes as wide as they'd been at the time, even when talking about the douche nozzle who had been punching people he had had no call to touch.

"That was insane, the way the guards poured in and took people down left and right. It was like watching Cops."

I laughed, picturing this man watching something so crass as Cops, considering his occupation, but then again, nobody is on the clock all the time. Still, it wouldn't hurt to remember that this man, with me, was on the clock.

No sense in forgetting it.

...

The mist from before had dissipated by the time we finished eating and walked together to the parking lot, and he abruptly remembered to begin removing the loaned shirt, until I shook my head.

"No, keep it for next time."

"Next time?"

I smirked; "Next time you attend a concert. Never met someone to like their first that much and not find themselves going to more."

"Oh."

I was puzzled by the nearly-imperceptible disappointment in his voice, but it was gone by the time he'd smiled again, almost as coy as our first meeting.

"Where to next, Mr. Mays?"

I frowned; "That is not necessary. My arrangement concluded with dinner, and this is where we part ways."

Still, to soften the refusal, I smiled and took up his hand, giving an old-fashioned kiss to his knuckles in a manner I knew was my most charming.

"Thank you, Antoine, for gracing me with your time tonight. Your company has been more than I'd expected and could possibly deserve."

He surprised me by blushing, his face more open now than even during the concert, but remaining as suave as ever as he grinned.

"No thanks are necessary for a mutual good time, Dennis. Please, do not hesitate to request me for such events in the future."

Before I could do more than nod, he leaned forward and pressed a light kiss to the corner of my mouth, pulling away even as I was frozen with shock. He was gone by the time I'd collected myself into something less resembling a cold idiot, and I shook my head and head for my vehicle, wanting nothing more than a good, hot shower before tumbling into bed.

...

"Dennis."

"Yes?"

"You do realize that we are beyond the necessity of you paying me to accompany you to concerts, don't you?"

I looked up at the man seated across from me at our favorite restaurant on such occasions. For six months, I have paid handsomely for his accompaniment, despite that I had yet to have another sugar drop as severe as the one at that first concert.

"We are?"

He smiled, slightly more shy than I'd ever yet seen him; "I'd like to think we're friends at this point. And as such, I feel guilty for requiring a friend to pay me for my time."

"Oh. Okay."

He shook his head at my acceptance, grinning as he leaned over and filched broccoli from my plate, the bite almost too big for his mouth but he managed it in one go.

...

Having Antoine in my house was strange.

Having him in a pair of my spare beat-up jeans and tank-top was even stranger, but his clothing had been ruined after a sudden deluge after a concert downtown. As I was taking his wanting to be friends at face value, I'd invited him over and let him shower, exchanging his fancier clothes for something more durable.

"Wow, Dennis, your house…I mean, I know you say you design things, but what do you do?"

I shrugged, handing him a beer from the fridge and leading him to the entertainment room just down the hall and down a half-level. I had game consoles housed along one side; just about one of every model because there was always a favorite game I could only play on that specific one; with one of the more modest large-sized flat screen televisions mounted on the wall.

I mean, I might have money to waste on toys, but I didn't need a theater.

Along another wall I kept my cello; the one I'd had since high school; and a violin I never liked to play but kept for sentimental value. There were also various other stringed instruments from the days when I was more likely to have friends over.

Not too many friends, these days, but I was pretty satisfied with the one currently staring at me like he never knew me.

"I have ideas. That's what I do. I can look at a space and see what could be there, or look at a project and envision problems and how to solve them. I'm a freelance creative-thinker, basically. A company needs something designed, they come to me, and working with the various members of their creative department, we get it done."

He slanted his eyes at me, mouth quirked; "Bullshit. That sounds like you're in charge of bullshitting people."

I shrugged; "Sometimes. But only for money, and never to you."

His blush made me feel awkward, and I took myself over and sat on the sofa, hearing the rain still pounding on the roof as I worked on draining the rest of the beer still in my hand.

"Dennis…if you're always honest with me, then can I ask you a question?"

I looked at him in slight surprise; "Of course."

He came and sat next to me on the sofa, elbows on his knees as he looked at me with something like deeply-burning curiosity.

"Why did you ever need to pay someone to go with you to concerts? Surely you have friends?"

I looked at my hands, voice more bitter than I'd wanted as I replied; "Because I don't have anyone to go with anymore besides you. Everyone I knew, before, left me after the divorce."

"Divorce?"

His voice was strained, almost hurt, but I could only nod.

"Always knew it was a bad idea, marrying my best friend, but she said it'd be okay. That me not wanting her would be okay."

His hand touched my arm; "Are you gay?"

I snorted; "Even worse. I'm asexual."

"…You don't feel anything?"

I yanked my arm away; "I feel things, okay? I'm not some fucking robot, I just don't want to fuck everything in sight like the rest of fucking humanity. Jesus, I loved Viv and I still had to use a fucking pill to get it up on our wedding night."

"So it's not me?"

The relief in his voice made me finally look at him, the water in his eyes puzzling me even more than what he'd said.

"Antoine-"

"I always thought there was something wrong with me because I kept giving signals and you never even seemed interested. You bought me more times than I can count-"

"Thirty-nine."

He laughed, wiping a wrist across one eye; "Right. Thirty-nine times, you paid for me, and that could have bought you anything you wanted, but you never even kissed me. I thought maybe you were straight, but even that girl last month, the one who put her tits on just about every man but the one she was with, never even drew your gaze."

"Gross. She was doing that? Was she drunk?"

He laughed, eyes different even than before, and it startled me to realize it was fondness.

Oh.

Oh.

"I don't even know your name."

That shyness came back, one shoulder rising up as he said, "Eugene."

Oh. That one fit much better.

"And you've been forcing me to use someone else's name?"

"Antoine is not that bad. Much better than stupid Eugene, which is not sexy, I mean, at all."

His fluster made me grin, loving the blush spreading down his cheeks.

"Antoine is not bad for an Antoine, but you? You're an Eugene. And it is sexy."

He snorted; "Coming from you-"

"It's sexy enough for me."

He blinked, staring at my own stare, the steadiness to my face that made his blush burn even darker. Biting his lip, he looked away, opening his mouth and then closing it, having to take a deep breath before being able to say anything at all.

"I'm an escort. I look pretty, and I act pretty. I fuck pretty. I sleep with people, for money, and I like it. It's fun, doing what I do."

"Good, because I will likely never want to fuck you. I don't mind who you receive pleasure from, Gene. I'm not the jealous type."

"Gene?"

He was teasing, but I grinned, mindful of the liquid still in the bottle in my hand as I leaned closer to him and pressed a light kiss to the side of his mouth, as he'd done to me all those nights ago.

"So you do like kissing?"

His whisper was still teasing, even as he turned for a more solid touch of mouths. I allowed it, enjoyed it, nipped his lower lip playfully before pulling back.

"I like you. I like you being with me, I like kissing you. I would like to sleep with you."

He frowned slightly, puzzled, and I smiled, what Viv always called my 'sweet puppy' smile.

"Sleep, sleep?"

"Sleep. Are you tired?"

He laughed, softly, and pulled back a bit.

"I could be, I guess."

Good, because I've missed having someone to curl around at night like someone else might miss getting laid.

I let him laugh at me as I went around turning off lights, making sure the security alarm was set for the night and the bottles were in the sink before leading the way to my bedroom. Its design was flawless; I'd designed the space myself; and I enjoyed the way he looked around despite himself, his attention taken by the mural I'd had commissioned on the wall opposite the bed after the divorce.

Before, it'd been a nature scene more geared toward Viv's tastes than mine, but now it was a city skyline at dusk, the colors of the sky still bright enough that the scene was not dull or depressing in the light of day. It'd helped me reclaim a space that had become jointly hers for that brief amount of time, and allowed me to feel no guilt for bringing someone else into a room no one beyond the two of us had ever seen.

"Bathroom's through there, if you need anything," I pointed out, and he nodded and let himself into the smaller room, the door shutting behind him. I ignored the sound of him using the toilet as I kicked off my shoes and peeled off my socks, jeans being discarded in the hamper near the wardrobe.

He rejoined me as I was turning down the blanket on the bed, his eyes flashing over my wearing a pair of briefs and the same tank from before; I didn't have to ask for him to go around to the other side and turn down the blanket there as well. I slid into bed and watched him remove his watch, his wallet on the nightstand being followed by his cell before he pulled the tank-top I'd given him over his head.

He removed the jeans as well, leaving him in nothing but a dark gray jockstrap, not at all body conscious as he stood there a moment and let me have a good look.

"Tease," I stated finally, and he grinned, turning off the light and sliding into the bed without trouble.

I let him get situated a moment before sliding closer, drawn to his body heat and pleased at the way he fit against me as I practically draped myself everywhere. He allowed himself to touch, fingers sliding down my side and back in the dark; I could have purred.

"You know, I don't snuggle on the first night."

"Hm, is that so."

He laughed, moving one of my legs for a more comfortable position and pressing one of those light kisses to the side of my mouth.

"No, ma'am, that's not…well, no, I don't think that would…. Three-quarters? Well, let me just…yes. Yes, I think that will work. Let me work that out on paper and I will email you the new schematics in the morning. Yes. Yes. Okay."

I started jotting down the new measurements even as I hung up, a rustle behind me alerting me to the fact that I was not alone.

"You're back later than expected. A good night?"

His chuckle made me smile; he sounded tired, which given the smell of sex still on him, was only par for course.

"Twins."

I hummed; "Are you satisfied?"

"God, no, Dennis, they were selfish pricks."

"Okay. Go soak a bit, get them off you, and I'll be in in a few."

He walked over and pressed a kiss to the side of my neck, murmuring a quick thanks before pulling away and heading to the master bath; it was not attached to the bedroom because I always felt it was a shitty thing to do. I hate bedrooms with the best bathroom in the house secreted away from everyone else.

I wrapped up my measurements and set my pencil aside for later, turning off the light and heading down the hall where steam billowed out of a door left half-open.

Gene was already in the soaking tub, curls plastered to his head and soap still seeping down the drain in the shower. I peeled off my shirt, leaving it in a heap on the counter, and knelt behind where he sat submerged in the tub; I'd surreptitiously placed a mat on this side to save my knees from the cool tiled floor ages ago, not wanting him to feel guilty for needing this.

"Feeling better?"

He hummed, smiling, but kept his eyes closed, especially as I got my hand wet before running it across his slick chest and shoulders. Soon, I had my hand wrapped around his hard dick, his moans soft and making me grin, glad I could help him feel good when someone else had left him un-sated after using him.

I didn't tease him this time, not tonight, working him swiftly toward orgasm and drinking in his sobbing moans as he finally came, one of his hands at the back of my neck to hold me in place. I only let him go once he relaxed fully, kissing his face until he finally nodded that he was okay.

"Soak some more. I'll be in my office if you need me."

He nodded, looking better, and I pushed to my feet and dried off my upper body with a towel, amused at how much water he'd managed to deposit on my neck and chest this time.

Grabbing my shirt, I detoured to the bedroom to deposit it into the hamper before returning to my work, knowing I had only an hour at most before he finally came to drag me off to bed. I had a lot to accomplish before then, but would be damned if I didn't have it done.

As if a deadline could ever keep me from going all 'octopus' on my escort.


a/n: end.