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He was drawn to the young hustler… the boy-for-hire… despite everything.
Derek is addicted to being desired by someone new, the object of lust or love, whichever they wanted. He’s a hustler too damaged to be salvaged. Brian is the new “object” in his life, an older man with lots of money. Brian falls in love with the young hustler, but when he learns the truth about him, things change, and Derek must choose… Brian or boy-for-hire.
Smiling warmly, Derek stood silently peering into Brian’s eyes. He leaned over and whispered, “Why don’t we find a booth in the other room?”
Brian knew that soft, solicitous voice well, and once again, Derek seemed like the fresh-faced, young scholarship student he so admired in dance class. But Brian wondered if it was just another opening gambit in a well-practiced negotiation scheme. Briefly he thought about leaving, but he was already hooked, drawn to the young man no matter what the outcome. “Sure, why not.”
Derek led them past the pianist to an adjoining room, where booths lined the far wall, empty of customers.
Brian leaned over the table, glaring at him. “What the hell are you doing in here?”
Derek stiffened. “What do you think I’m doing in here?”
“Can’t you do something else, like wait tables, clean apartments… anything else?” Brian paused to catch his breath. “I don’t believe this, Derek.”
“Believe it. I gotta eat, and I gotta pay rent,” Derek shot back. “I’ve had my own apartment for over three years, and I’m not giving it up.”
“What about AIDS? Have you been tested?”
“What for? A woman I slept with for a while was tested recently. She’s negative, so I guess I am too.”
Brian couldn’t believe what he heard. “So you think you’ve been tested vicariously?”
“Yeah. Look, I only do this if I need money for the rent. So, Brian, what are you looking for tonight?” Derek smiled seductively.
“I really don’t know. I’ve walked by this place many times wondering what it was like in here.” Brian settled back in the booth, breathing deeply. “I just wanted to know more about you.”
Derek tensed, but said in a gentle tone, “I think you’re a nice man.”
“Maybe I am, but let’s face it, I’m an older man.”
“You’re not so old. But I’ve got to warn you about something.” Derek’s sudden earnestness surprised him. His shifting emotional anchoring was hard to follow.
“I’ve been taken care of by some men, but I’ve never loved any of them. It’s never been in me.”