Jaded Trade
by Trixie

He hated getting up at 6 am to make class, but it was worth the switch in schedule to be able to watch Duo every Monday - Wednesday - Friday. Despite the fact that he hated sitting in the back, Heero took a seat in the second to the last row, because Duo was sitting on the aisle, about a quarter of the way down. Heero didn't hear or see the physics professor in the front of the room at all; his attention was wholly focused elsewhere.

Duo played with his hair while he took notes, his braid in his hands the entire class. Sometimes, he would brush the end of the braid like a paintbrush over his face, especially his lips or his nose. It looked like a totally unconscious gesture, something Duo had been doing since he was a child. Heero imagined that hair being brushed over his naked skin, and the tangible image that popped into his head was so vivid and tactile, he had to lean over his chair, nearly putting his forehead on the narrow half-desk, to regain his composure.

Class was torturously long and unbelievably fast all at once.

He was glad when Thursday rolled around, and he could have the chance to actually interact with Duo again. He spent a good portion of Wednesday afternoon practicing things to say to Duo, ranging from 'How was your week?' to 'You set my soul on fire.' He had yet to successfully say the latter without appearing to spontaneously combust, but he decided that was more of an advanced conversational topic anyway.

The actual speaking to Duo proved to be more challenging than the looking in the mirror and pretending to talk to Duo. Still, he did smile at Duo, which was an accomplishment, and he laughed, in his own way, at most of Duo's jokes, and Duo seemed to enjoy the whole lab experience.

Heero was very proud of himself.

He was still feeling rather pleased on Saturday, when Quatre showed up and demanded that Heero take him out to dinner. Quatre was being dramatic and obstinate, so Heero felt that it would be prudent to just give in to the other man's demands. Fortunately, when Quatre demanded to be taken out, he still paid, which was good, because although Heero would have had no trouble paying for the meal, he really didn't like Quatre enough to be buying him anything.

And, after all, he had to listen to Quatre bitch and whine about his latest conquests and his latest conversation with his horrible, ogre father, so Heero felt that it was an even trade.

He didn't even resist when Quatre pulled him along to the club afterward. It was too early, really, to be going out on a Saturday, which was why Heero allowed it. He could just take a cab home as soon as it was clear that Quatre was going to go home with someone else. He even ordered a drink at the bar, as he was feeling rather mellow.

It had, of course, crossed his mind that Duo might be working, but he hadn't really thought it all the way through. The windows of time in which he watched Duo and the windows of time in which he interacted with Duo were so discrete in Heero's mind that it really never occurred to him that they could overlap.

Duo looked *hot* tonight. Of course, Duo always looked hot, but tonight, he was *especially* hot. He was wearing this nylon mesh shirt thing that looked like it was waiting to be ripped right off his torso, and he had on tight, black vinyl pants that hung low - *really* low - on his hips, and he had left the button undone. Everyone was jazzed about Duo. Patrons were making it hard for Duo to go about his job, and there were always hands trying to catch Duo, even a few that tried to grab his crotch. Heero hated them, of course, but there was a languid heat seeping through his blood vessels, creeping up his nerve endings, making his flesh hot and tight, so that he had to resist the urge to touch himself, and while half his brain, which knew that Duo didn't like chocolate milk but loved hot chocolate, was arguing that he was no better than those perverts trying to cop a feel, the other half of his brain was too wired to his body chemistry to care. He licked his lips, and watched Duo dodge grabs, and he imagined Duo naked and bent over his table until he didn't have to touch himself to make his pants feel too small.

Quatre was being whiny and pouty. He wanted to dance, but it was too early, still, and no one was on the dance floor yet. He *really* wanted to go to the back rooms with the thin dancer from last week, but he wanted to dance first. Most of all, he wanted Heero to pay attention to him, so he was tugging at Heero's elbow and leaning against Heero's side.

It was irritating, and distracting. So much so, that Heero was looking at Quatre instead of at Duo when Duo approached the table.

Yet, even still, it didn't really register with Heero that Duo would recognize him, that a line had been crossed and that there was no going back. He had been at the club dozens of times, had been waited on by Duo dozens of times, and Duo hadn't recognized him when they met for the 'first' time. It was two separate worlds in Heero's mind.

"Can I refresh your drinks?" It was such an ordinary thing for Duo to say, and such an ordinary thing for Heero to look up and take a moment to really gaze directly into Duo's eyes, he didn't even see the moment when everything crashed together. "He-Heero?"

Heero blinked. Blind panic rushed over him like cold water over a hot, dehydrated tongue. His first instinct was to run, but his legs refused to cooperate. "Duo."

Duo blinked, looking from Heero to Quatre. His face flushed red, and he looked away from Quatre, glaring at Heero. "What the hell are you doing here?"

Heero stared up at Duo, shocked. What had gone wrong? Was Duo angry with him? Why had he not foreseen this very likely outcome? He felt tongue-tied and useless. He wanted Duo to stop glaring at him. He wanted to crawl out of here on his hands and knees. He wanted, *badly*, to just rewind the last few hours and take them all back.

"That's nice," Quatre laughed, throwing an arm over Heero's shoulders. "Very courteous. Way to treat a regular customer, honey."

Duo was flaming red now, nearly sputtering as he tried very hard not to look at Quatre. He slipped his tray down to cover his belly, and he backed away just an inch. "What, did you come here to make fun of me? Have you... have you been laughing at me behind my back? Humoring me in class, oh, poor Duo, the little slut, he thinks he can play with the all of the spoiled children, the stupid little fool? Well fuck you! Your legs aren't broken, you walk to the damn bar yourself!"

He stormed off, his braid flying after him, struggling to keep up.

Heero stared, his mouth agape. He couldn't think or speak. Quatre said something, dismissing Duo as rude or something, but Heero's mind blanked out, and he could only hear static.

Duo *hated* him.

*Hated* him!

It was entirely possible that his life was over. Heero certainly was having trouble breathing. He watched Duo at the bar, slamming his tray down and wildly gesturing as he talked to the bartender and another waiter. They both looked at him and Quatre, and then made soothing gestures to Duo. The bartender stroked his hands down Duo's arms, starting at the shoulder. Duo looked over his shoulder at Heero and Quatre, and then *shuddered*.

Heero had never, never in his life, *ever* been defeated. He didn't get defeated; it just wasn't something for which he was trained to cope. It had always been there, just outside of his realm of experience, something to strive to avoid, but to which he could never surrender.

There was a weight on Heero's chest, and he could hear the pained gasps of breath as he tried to keep oxygen moving into his body and carbon dioxide out. He blinked, dozens of times, but he still felt sick.

"Heero!" Quatre looked deeply aggravated, as if the effort required to yell in Heero's ear had been terribly great.

Heero blinked at him, not really seeing the shape of his face.

"Isn't that the waiter you wanted to do? Do you know him?"

Heero said nothing. He thought nothing.

"You should have said something, Heero. Explained yourself. Hey, maybe he liked you, too."

Heero stood up, picking up his drink as he did. He swallowed it all, not tasting anything, wanting the burn as it poured down his throat, but feeling nothing. He had to get out of there.

Quatre was protesting, but the look of relief on Duo's face as he saw Heero walk out was like a fire under his feet, casting him out.

The cold air hit him as he exited the club, but he didn't feel anything.

Sunday was wasted on games, all day long. Heero sat in front of his television, his eyes blurring, his fingers getting numb as he recklessly threw himself into the fighting, virtual, but hard and bloody, only to die off too quickly because he wasn't watching his health meters. It was a long, frustrating fourteen hours of too much light and sound and not enough thinking, fueled by stale pretzels and peanut butter straight from the jar.

He fell asleep on the couch, not intending to close his eyes for more than a minute, but his whole body just shut down on him.

Normally, he wasn't so weak. He was kicking himself in the morning as he brushed his teeth. He was rattled, and he couldn't identify the source. It was like all his gages had been switched on him, and he no longer knew what gear he was in, or how much gas he had left. Somewhere in his head, he knew he had to sit and *think* about what had gone on with Duo, and *why* he was reacting the way he was, but every time he even started to think of his Beauty, he'd see that anger in Duo's eyes, and he would turn away.

His instincts told him to keep running, and he trusted those more than he trusted the feelings that he was having that begged him to stop.

The only reason he went to class on Monday morning was the training that was too deeply ingrained to ignore that told him to complete his objectives, no matter what. He trudged into class, keeping his eyes down so he wouldn't be tempted to look for Duo. He sat close to the wall on the left, as far away from where he normally sat as he could, but still far enough up the classroom that the professor wouldn't take too much notice if he weren't paying attention.

The thing was, there was nothing he could say to Duo. Certainly, he wasn't guilty of the things that Duo had accused him of, but he was guilty of things a million times worse. He would never dream of making fun of Duo, but he had no problem dreaming about using his body like a cheap whore.

Heero bent his head over his notebook, and cradled it with his arm. He left his hand on top of his head, and started scrawling madly over the page, shielding himself from the class.

The professor just began to introduce the topic of friction when someone plopped into the seat next to him. Whoever it was must have come from the row behind him, because Heero hadn't seen anyone approaching. He stopped scrawling for a second, waiting.

"Heero, sit up," Duo admonished under his breath, "you'll develop a hunch."

Slowly, Heero unwound his arms and stretched out his back. He watched Duo warily. Duo was sitting up, eyes forward, looking as if he actually cared about the relationship between friction and motion. He had pulled his braid forward, and he was toying with it unconsciously in his lap. Heero swallowed hard. How should he apologize? He hadn't even thought to prepare something to say, because he just assumed that Duo wouldn't want to have anything to do with him.

Deliberately, Duo laid a neat piece of paper down in the middle of Heero's desk. Half the sheet was covered in Duo's large, but precise, handwriting. It appeared as if Duo had taken great care with what it said and how it looked.

'Heero - Sorry I overreacted on Saturday. I didn't mean to blow up at you like that, and accuse you of things. I guess I just got used to thinking of school and work as being completely separate, so it was quite a shock to see you there. Plus, your friend is kind of well known there. See, some of the people, especially the dancers, make some extra money in the back rooms. I've never done anything like that, but your friend is really familiar with the back of the club, and the guy who handles money told me that he had asked about me once. So it really put me on edge, seeing you there with him.

'Still, that's no excuse for behaving so rudely, and I'm sorry. I know we don't know each other that well, and you probably have plenty of friends, and maybe you don't want to hang out with someone like me, but I had thought that we were getting along rather well.

'Again, sorry.'

Heero read it twice, his vision swimming with each sentence. He wanted to pound Quatre into a bloody pulp, and if he ran into the little pipsqueak after class, he damn well might do just that. Heero wrote slowly, concentrating hard on each letter so that his hand wouldn't shake.

'You don't have to apologize, and I can promise you, I never laughed or you or belittled you in any way. Quatre isn't really my friend, he just thinks he is.

'I'm really glad that we got this straightened out.'

Heero agonized over the wording of the last line, but Duo was watching him write, so he didn't have any time to perfect it.

Duo took the paper and started writing again.

'Hey, forget it. Water under the bridge, ok? Let's just pretend it didn't happen.

'Do you really go there a lot?'

Duo's handwriting was much less tidy this time, and Heero wondered how long he had worked on the apology. He wondered if his boss told him he had to apologize, because he had driven a customer away.

'No, not really.' Heero wrote. 'Over break I did, because I was bored, and because some of the guys who work there are hot. But I'm not much of a drinker, normally.'

Duo was grinning. Heero liked to see Duo grin, see the humor twinkling in Duo's eyes.

'Yeah, there's a lot of hot guys there. But it was pretty dead over break... Didn't you go home?'

Duo was looking at Heero when he passed the paper back, and Heero had to swallow hard to keep from choking.

'I live here. On my own. I don't really have a "home" per se.'

Duo nodded, the corner of his lips twitching. He took the paper back rapidly.

'Me neither. Well, I mean, I HAVE a home, but just, not like the average college kid. I guess I'm officially a townie, but whatver.

'See? We have a lot in common.'

Duo beamed at Heero as he handed back the sheet, now full. Heero wasn't really good at smiling. It wasn't something he spent any time thinking about, but he had been told many times that his smile was scary. Duo must not have thought so, though, because he just slouched in his chair, still grinning, and leaned against Heero a bit. He reached over and wrote on Heero's notebook, under Heero's depiction of Jack the Ripper's favorite art form.

'Wanna grab some breakfast after class?'

Heero was sure that he hadn't blushed, because he *didn't* blush, but he did feel like he might be glowing, or that maybe he might be able to walk on air, just a little bit.

Duo sauntered, enjoying the view in front of him. Hilde and Solo were already teasing each other, picking at each other's hair like monkeys, laughing and enjoying the evening. Duo hoped that the baby had Solo's straight, jet-black hair, and Hilde's cute little nose. He licked his ice cream cone contentedly, watching the two of them play, and the way that people reacted to them on the street.

Duo knew most of the people they passed. Half of them still looked down on him and Solo, just like they had when they were kids. Solo had always told him to hold his head high, and never watch your feet. People who had something to hide watched their feet; people who had someplace to go watched where they were going. People would just treat you how they'd treat you, no matter what you did, so you might as well do things right.

They must have done something right, even after all that they'd survived, because look at them now; Duo was in school, Solo's art was starting to gain momentum, and now that they had Hilde, they were going to have a family. A real family, like they had only ever been for each other before.

He had spent all of Friday night, his one weekend night off this month, and all of Saturday working on homework, so Hilde and Solo had treated him to a big day of relaxation and fun. They went to the movies, they got hot dogs and ice cream, and they had gone to the park, even though it was too cold, really, to spend too much time there.

It was just what he needed after a long week. Even if they did tease him about his 'new little friend.' He could see how glad Solo was for him behind those smoky grey eyes anyway.

Just as the rounded the corner to their building, Solo and Hilde shared a look. They'd been sharing looks for a while now, and it was starting to get on Duo's nerves. If he hadn't been chewing on the remains of his cone, he would have said something, too.

"Race me upstairs?" Hilde teased, posing like a runner. "Just give me a ten second head start, 'cause you're boys, and you cheat! Loser cleans the bathroom!" She took off, surprisingly nimble for a pregnant lady.

Duo was about to run after her when Solo grabbed his collar and pulled him into the alley. "Kid, we gotta talk."

Damn it, it was about to come out. Solo never reverted to his old street name unless he was going to be dead serious. Duo took a deep breath and nodded, "Yeah, what's up, Cap'n?"

"Kid... how much money you got stored up?" Solo crossed his arms over his chest, holding his hands under his armpits.

Duo's heart sank. "Why?"

Solo sighed, shaking his head. "I... We got troubles, Kid. See, we've been... we've been keepin' some of the finances a secret from you. There've been some... some troubles. See, Hilde, see, she was kinda scared about going to the clinic's doctor, so we cut a deal with her doc uptown. But like, they wanted a down payment and shit, because they don't normally accept Medicaid patients, or patients without insurance, and like, she wanted to run all these special tests cuz her brother died when he like three months old from some congenital shit, and so she was scared, ya know?"

Duo sank back against the brick wall behind him. "Goddamn it, Solo, why didn't you tell me this shit? I mean, forgive me, but god forbid the freakin' princess would have to go to the clinic like the rest of the common people, but even excusing that, how the fuck do you expect us to pay for this crap? I make good money, but we got school and rent and all that other shit, and Hilde doesn't pull down enough to shake a stick at."

Solo winced, looking away. "Yeah, see, that's the other thing. Hilde had a... falling out, as it were, with her boss, over what she would and would not do while she was pregnant, and so she quit."

"Fuck! You gotta be fuckin' kidding me!" Duo began to pace, burying his fingers in his bangs. "No one's gonna fuckin' hire a pregnant woman, Solo! She's fuckin' *showing*! And you're telling me the doctor's bills aren't even going to be covered, and what the fuck are we supposed to do? What kind of down payment do they want, I mean, how are we even gonna make a dent in it? And how long were you planning on keeping this a secret? What, have the two of you been conspiring to keep mean, miserly Duo in the dark or some such shit?"

Solo started rocking on his feet and gnawing on his lip. "No, man, no, nothing like that just... It's been one thing after another, you know? The doctor and Hilde's job and the frame for my canvas broke so I needed to get a new one..."


"And it's just been piling up, you know? And see, I thought, I mean, I wanted to, see, I had it worked out, kinda, I was going to work for Howie at the yard, but man, I had a seizure, and he wouldn't let me come back, and see, I took out this loan, to pay the doctor, you know, and I was thinkin' that between Howie and this painting, I could cover it, hopefully, but then Howie fell through cuz I'm a fuckin' weak piece of worthless shit, and then the frame broke, and now it's gonna be, like, weeks before I can finish it, and man, this loan, Kid, this loan is coming due..."

Duo felt cold, really cold, from the tips of fingers right into his heart, like when they were kids and they didn't have anyplace to sleep at night 'cept broken down buildings waiting to be razed and old warehouses. Solo was shaking, his rock, his lighthouse, and he wouldn't look at Duo, and suddenly, he felt very far away.

"What the fuck have you done?"

Solo cringed at the fear in Duo's voice, and he turned his back to Duo. "I had it worked out! I was gonna pay 'im back, Kid, and you wouldn't even have had to know, cuz it all would've been squared away, but, man, it's been one thing after another, and man, Kid, I *hate*, HATE, doing this, but I need... I need you to help out, you know, because my days of being the Cap'n of the Sewers is long gone and I can't even fuckin' catch my breath long enough to get the fuckin' paper in the morning, and it's all gone to shit, man, and if I don't get Mueller the money by Wednesday..."

"*Mueller*??" Duo was utterly staggered. "Fuck, Solo, Mueller's fuckin' *made*! You went to the fuckin' *Mueller* for money? How much?"

Solo shuddered. "Five grand."

"Jesus FUCKING Christ!!!" Duo shook. Five grand! That was too much, that was way too much... "What the FUCK do you think is gonna happen on Wednesday when you can't pay?!"

"That's why I gotta pay him, Kid." Solo turned, his eyes bleeding desperation. He took Duo by the arms and shook him as he spoke. "Jesus fucking Christ on a pogo stick, man, I fuckin' know I screwed up big, but man, I can't... I can't let it all go to hell, you know? I mean, if I thought they were just gonna kill me, I'd let 'em, I'm no fuckin' good to you anyway. But they'll still want their money!"

"Solo!" Duo reached out, trying to gain purchase on Solo's skinny arms, trying to hold himself steady. "Solo! Cap'n, Solo... calm down, calm down... It's ok... Christ!" Duo pulled away from Solo's grip, and pulled Solo into a bear hug. He wrapped his arms around Solo's wiry chest, and put his face in Solo's neck. "Christ, look, ok... Don't worry 'bout it, ok? Don't say shit like you don't care... I don't fuckin' care if you have the lung capacity of a jellyfish with a hook in its belly, and I don't fuckin' care if you can hold a job or whatever... We just... we just gotta do what we have to survive, like always right?"

Solo shuddered, and since he never cried, ever, that was as close to falling apart as he was going to get. Duo tightened his grip on him. "Damn it, Kid, I didn't want to lay any more on you. You already sacrifice enough for us! Do you... you don't... you know, stockpiled...?"

"Solo..." Duo felt like crying, but boys didn't cry, and tears didn't solve problems... "The money I have stored up, it's for the fuckin' rent and for fuckin' school and if I dropped out now, I still couldn't get enough money together..."

"You can't drop out of school!" Solo gasped. "Look... I know you made that promise, but there's no one faster'n you, right?"

"Yeah," Duo nodded, sounding hollow. "No worries, man."

"Look, whatever you need, I mean, I'm not 100% but I'm no damn freeloader..."

"No," Duo brushed his cheek across Solo's chin. He spoke softly, with his eyes closed. "No, forget it, man. Look, just take care of yourself and Hilde. That's all I ask. Leave the money to me. And for god's sake, Solo, *leave the money to me*!"

Solo chuckled weakly, and Duo smiled up at him. Solo ran his hand down Duo's cheek, scratching the inside border of Duo's hairline gently. "You're a treasure to me, Kid, you always have been. Lucky since the day you were born, you are."

Duo kissed his cheek and put his arms around Solo's neck, letting Solo hold him.

Lucky. Duo didn't feel so damned lucky.

It wasn't the church he had lived in; even the ashes of that church were long gone. He had never really cared about the church itself. He wasn't even positive that *this* was a Catholic church, although St. Mary's of the Lake sounded Catholic.

There was no stone. The walls were painted a warm, soothing shade of nothing, and there was wood paneling. The altar wasn't in the same place... In Father Maxwell's church, the altar had been in the front, but here, it was in the middle.

But there were similarities. The pews were uncomfortable. There were stations of the cross on the wall. There was stained glass, although it was very modern.

There was a giant cross.

Duo was supposed to be at work, but the church doors were never locked, and he needed to think. He needed to talk to someone.

He put his elbows on his knees and his raised his eyes to the bloody figure frozen in pained sacrifice.

"Father... Father, Sister... I don't know if you can hear me... You said the saints were always looking over us, and that everyone who went to heaven was a saint. Well, you damn well better be in heaven or me 'n' the folks upstairs are gonna have to have words. I need... I need your help...

"You always wanted me to grow up to be someone. You wanted me to be like you. I guess I fell short somewhere along the way. I mean, I'm hardly like *you*... But I've been trying, Father. You can see that, right? I've been going to school, like everyone wants, and I've been supporting everyone...

"I don't know what to do, Father. As far as I can tell, I've got two options. I can break my promise to you... Or I can talk to G. I know... I know you said stealing was a sin, Father, but so is the other thing, right? And I... I need the money *fast*!"

Duo steepled his hands together, and put his forehead against his thumbs. He was shivering and cold, despite the heat in the church, still on at this hour for the late night sinners.

"I can lift it, no problem. I can pick pockets at the club, and get a coupla thou, easy. I can sneak a bit here and a bit there, and I can work the crowds heavy for a few days... It's a lot, but a bigger job means bigger risk, and I had enough of juvie, I ain't going to jail.

"I know I promised you I would never lie or steal again, but Father... my only other option...

"Please, Father. I can't believe you want me to do this. Please, release me from my word. Please. Father... Father, I'm scared. I don't... I don't like it when they *touch* me, and then, to... to..."

Duo's whispers were barely audible to himself. The darkened church remained dark. The cross before him still bled, permanent tracks of red that never stopped gushing. The icon's cold eyes gazed sadly down, as if he couldn't look Duo in the eye.

Duo bit his lip to keep from crying.

"Please... Please, Father... You said you'd always be there for me. But you never say a word, do you? And you don't have to, do you? I already know what you would say.

"If I steal the money, I'd be ok, but I might hurt someone else. Might get someone in trouble, might make someone else late on their rent or short in the till. I could lose someone their job or make their life hell at home.

"The other way, I only hurt myself.

"God knows, I should be dead already. Livin' on borrowed time, what right do I have to the easy way out?"

Duo covered his face in his hands, no longer able to keep from shedding a few tears, but unwilling to show them to anyone, even the dying icon. His body shook with his fear as he poured it out into his hands.

"I would do anything for them. Anything. This is for them. For the baby. For Solo. Christ.

"Father, if you won't give me a way out, will you at least give me the courage to see it through? Cuz I'm fucking scared, and I don't want to do this. I don't want to give this up. Please, Father, have mercy on me..."

G barely looked up at the soft tap on his door. He didn't bother saying anything, either. Anyone who knew would just come right in; anyone else wasn't worth his time.

"Hey, G, can I have a minute?"

"Duo," G sighed, flipping through his books. He spared Duo a quick glance. "You missed your shift."

Duo crept in slowly, closing the door behind him. Interesting. Normally, Duo avoided being shut in with him. Boy was slipperier than an eel... "Sorry 'bout that, boss-man, but I was wondering... You, ah, offered me a slightly... different position once. I was, ah, wondering if that offer still stood."

G looked up. He looked the boy up and down. Duo was standing straight and tall, his head held up, his eyes straight forward. Good. Damn good. But there was fear behind his eyes, and his hands were fidgeting at his side.

G shoved his books back and leaned back. "Come over here. Sit on the desk."

At first, Duo didn't move, but then he complied, taking tiny steps and slipping up on the desk tentatively.

G grinned from ear to ear. "You're in trouble."

Duo didn't shudder, or betray himself. Good. Kid was damn, damn good, but G was holding the cards now, because he was *right*. "I need five grand, up front."

"Ha!" G slapped his thigh, and smiled approvingly. "Ballsy. Good. Good! Ok, five grand up front... and what do I get? What are you up for, as it were?"

Duo's back was ramrod straight, and he was looking over G's shoulder. "Whatever it takes to pay back my debt as quickly as I can."

G nodded thoughtfully, considering. Duo wasn't like the other boys in his club. Duo was *smart*, like a shark. He could smell blood, and he went for it. Men liked petting him and ogling him? Duo would let 'em, for a fee. And always on his terms.

Something major had shifted. Something five grand major, and now Duo had to give up the reigns. But could a shark play like a kitten out of his waters?

"Ok. Here's the deal. Tonight, I give you five grand cash. You work it off, with the clients I pick. You can say no, but remember, Duo, people don't pay for a whore with preferences. Once you give the go-ahead, you're committed. And they aren't all nice. None of them want to make love to you. They all want to fuck you dirty and raw, and they want you fast. They want you willing. *Pliant*. I won't even charge you interest... now get on your knees."

"What?" Duo blinked.

G smirked. "I need to know you can do this job, boy. You can suck my ragged old cock, you can take anything I send your way. Get on your knees... Suck me off, and then let me play with you a bit, and I'll give you the five grand, and I'll even skim a grand off your debt."

Duo's eyes widened. G could see it all... the fear, the loathing, the regret... the calculations spinning. It was a good offer. A damn good offer, and Duo knew it, though he was cursing himself for it. Yes, this was too good to pass up... too easy, too quick... and really, so little to give up...

G watched it all in Duo's eyes, and it made him a little hard.

Duo closed his eyes, sank to his knees, and did as he was told.

On to part four. Back to part two.