Lift-Off
by Kebzero

He paid the driver and exited the cab with more speed than grace, courtesy of the light drizzle that the dark skies above chose to share this evening. Five quick steps, and he was safely under the awning of Wilmington's, brushing droplets off of his jacket sleeves. The doorman touched the brim of his top-hat in greeting. "Good evening, Mr. Winner."

Quatre acknowledged the nod with one of his own. "Evening, George." He gave the departing cab a glance and smiled. "Cold night, isn't it?"

"Yes... Yes, I suppose it is." George brushed his big palm over the lapels of his red and gold dress uniform, then applied his white-gloved hand to the door. "But it's always warm inside, sir."

With a chuckle, Quatre stepped forward. He dug into his pocket and slipped a bill to George, whom smoothly accepted the offering and tucked it away.

"Keep this up, and you'll put my daughter through college before long," George remarked with a wink.

Quatre grinned, gave George a nod and walked inside before he could start a blush. As George - perhaps unintentionally - implied, Quatre's visits here had grown frequent. Perhaps too frequent. Still, this establishment was as anonymous as Quatre could wish for, and the staff - George included - were discretion personified. Careful screening, levels of pay, strict contracts and good tips saw to that.

Tied tongues were an absolute necessity here. What went on behind these walls could not go beyond them. The yellow press would have had a ball if they could write anything closer to the truth than they already did. For all Quatre knew, there was a paparazzi or two hiding behind the curtains at any given window of the buildings across the street. No doubt, pictures of the rich and famous entering this place were plentiful.

Even so, there had never been a front-page scoop centering around Wilmington's or its big-name clientelle. Officially it was a classy club - at least at this entrance. The establishment offered meeting locales too - but to the general public, the strip joint in the basement was the most well-known. While the 'Fleshdance' bar had its separate entrance at the side street, there were also stairs connecting that rowdy venue below with the far calmer place above. Distant cousins of George guarded those stairs, though they did much less to hide their intimidating bulk under a veil of fineries.

The club remained fairly restrictive in its admissions, unlike its foundation. The doormen slash bouncers ensured at least a rough filtering of first-timers, but they let regulars like Quatre through without any hassle. George had once told him it was easy to distinguish people; someone looking for a scoop and someone looking for a good time had very different glints in their eyes - plus, cameras and notepads were solid tip-offs.

Wilmington's put up a good front, but behind the facade it remained the best scene and fanciest whorehouse in town; it would show, but never tell.

This suited Quatre just fine, though he came for the stage shows rather than a body to bed - and it wasn't as if he was up to the challenge of getting value for his money, should he have craved the latter. It was a stigma he'd suffered from for more than two years now, and he had yet to hit twenty-five. He wasn't a virgin; he'd pleased more than one woman in his brief adult life, or at least liked to think he had - but there had been none for the last three years. When his father had died well before his time, Quatre had been forced to step up to the plate of management years ahead of schedule, and it had nearly killed all of him, like the stress had evidently killed off one part already.

He'd learned to take care of himself since his first breakdown, but li'l mister happy remained uncooperative. His visits here came with the hopes of rekindling the fire he'd once experienced - curing him of his very premature impotence.

In Quatre's opinion, the saying got it all wrong - it was not better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Having lost it, the urge to get even a glimmer of it back was far worse than the bliss ignorance might have been.

He gave a brief consideration of where to go today. Fleshdance was a good place to get lost in a crowd, or a deep glass. The drinks were cheap and the strip shows along the counter were good. Sure, it was open to everyone, but it remained 'safe' for half-known faces like his own. It helped that cameras of any sort were banned - and the beefy bouncers at the entrances saw to that this commandment was followed.

The wall roughly in the middle of the bar was the most interesting part short of the artists and drinks. Tending to all patrons, half the bar was reserved for a mainly male audience, the other for a predominantly female audience, with entertainment to match. The wall between the two sections moved, and it did so according to which section made more money the previous night. The successful half got a few extra inches of stripper walkway and space to serve drinks at the expense of the other side. Add to that how the wall was anything but soundproof, and you had a competition between the patrons of the two halves, both craving victory - which would be to have the wall hit the nearest dancer pole on either side. All in all, the battlefield was sixty feet long - and so far, neither side had managed to claim a full victory, as whichever was the losing side was quick to rally.

Quatre didn't feel like joining that ruckus tonight. He exchanged his jacket for a ticket stub in the Wilmington's lobby, entered and looked over to the small upstairs bar; vacant of people other than the bartender, quiet except for a nearly inaudible classical track playing in the background. Quatre made a slight frown - not for Kevin, the attending man this evening, but for the empty row of seats. Most nights, at least half were taken. Then again, this was just your average Wednesday, not the Friday or Saturday nights Quatre usually came here.

Kevin noticed him, raised a condescending brow above a questioning look and brushed a fingertip against the end of his trimmed moustache.

Okay, maybe the frown was in part for Kevin, too. A decent guy, but the man made no effort whatsoever of endearing himself with the customers, often quite the opposite. If 'stiff upper lip' could be made into a person, Kevin would be his evil twin.

Quatre made his way over and picked a stool at random. From below there was a throbbing rhythm - most of the music was lost on its way through the layers of concrete and hardwood. From the main backroom came faint moans, groans and the occasional catcall. He reasoned there was a scene going on in the Showroom.

He raised a finger; Kevin knew what Quatre would want in the glass, and the bartender was well under way preparing Quatre's drink before he ever ordered it. As Quatre pushed the umbrella aside and took a sip, he felt relieved he didn't hear anything from the rooms above, not that he had to worry in the first place. Those were very much soundproof; he knew that from experience.

"I didn't expect you to come in today," Kevin said, startling Quatre. He didn't know the man for his small-talk - at least not without some insult on the sly baked in.

"Oh?" Quatre countered. "I didn't know there were restrictions on attendance."

"There aren't, of course," Kevin replied as he wiped off a glass and inspected it. "But it is Wednesday. You prefer to come in on Fridays."

Quatre shrugged the remark away. The moans and catcalls from the show grew steadily louder. He couldn't help send a look in the direction of the backroom. Unfortunately, he was not in line of sight - but he did see three more patrons make the crossing from the plush couch group in the lobby to the peek-a-boo booths of the Showroom.

Simply put, the Showroom was just that; a low, simple bed put on a spinning platform, surrounded by one-way vision glass plates, each section of glass harboring a sheltered seat. The entrance was a small hallway encased in a plastic dome, good for the occasional quick encore while scantily clad maids fixed the stage for the next act. The audience would see the scene unfolding and its mirror images; the performers could only see their reflections - though other than the solo acts, they rarely seemed to notice.

Couples were the norm, threesomes and more occured. Sometimes there was bondage play involved, other times various kinks - although there was usually a warning before the more peculiar of such were displayed. If you enjoyed the performance, your options were threefold. You could follow the actors to the entrance passageway, hoping for another fast show before they retired - and perhaps mock a pawing if body parts were pressed against the transparent plastic in teasing. Or, if you'd been left with a more solid and urgent manifestation of desire, you'd rush off to the bathrooms across the hall; the spacious and curiously well-equipped stalls there had been designed with the occasional need for instant release in mind. Quatre could only imagine what the ladies' room was like, given all the men's room offered - and he didn't dare think too long on the subject.

Thirdly, you could return with your desire to the bar and hope the performer you craved more of was for hire - and available.

Bottom line; the club wanted sated customers.

Again, the ruckus called for his attention. Quatre removed his paper umbrella and chucked the last of his starter drink back. "Sounds like there's a good show on tonight."

Kevin raised both eyebrows and gave him a vacant expression. "Yes..."

Growing tired of the company, Quatre slid off his stool. "Guess I'll go have a look."

Kevin startled at that, pausing his glass cleaning. "Sir, I'm not sure that's a good idea."

"Why not?" Quatre answered testily. He had had a bad day - that was his main reason for showing up at an evening different from his usual. His head secretary always insisted he was too predictable; there was no denying this venture was to spite her as well.

Not that she'd ever know about it.

Kevin glanced at the doorway leading to the Showroom, at the cloth in his hand, then at Quatre. "Well, there's a rather... special show tonight. I'm not sure it is to your tastes."

So, it was a kink night, Quatre concluded. He'd attended a few of those before - but the baptism of fire in learning what scat meant left him with a queasy feeling regarding kinks.

He didn't think the usually somber clientele of upstairs would go wild over such a thing, though - but there were hardly as many patrons in attendance tonight as there usually was.

"I guess I'll find out," he told Kevin - but the slight smirk the bartender gave him as a bon voyage bothered him.

Through the doorway, he made his way towards the Showroom. Black draperies were drawn before the occupied booths, stretching to the floor as to not reveal so much as the pants legs or shoes of its occupant. From the pitch of catcalls, Quatre presumed this was a mixed gender audience - hardly an unusual thing, but something seemed off.

He made his way to an empty stall, close to the domed passageway. He pulled the drapes down and pushed the button that lifted the shutter in front of him, giving him some twelve square feet of voyeurism.

Spinning slowly on stage, a couple was well underway in their lovemaking, sounding and moving so passionately it was difficult to tell whether it really was an act or not. The man's thrusting backside faced Quatre first, a pair of legs wrapped around the man's waist. Long, brown hair caught Quatre's eye as the stage turned; the brunette's voice giving off a deep curse, egging the man on.

And as the bed rotated a little bit further, Quatre finally realized what was different here. The brunette with the long, attractive hair was definitely not a woman - and the very bad and very eager man wrapped between those legs was clearly not ramming his cock into a pussy.

Quatre swallowed, lost to simply staring at the scene for awhile. He'd never attended a gay show, but as his mind caught up with him, he reasoned the act before him was hardly bad. He was taken aback, but he didn't particularly want to return to face the uppity bartender. No doubt, Kevin had some scathing remarks at the ready for Quatre's predictable, quick and dejected return.

Instead, Quatre watched as the dominating man sent a splayed set of fingers through his wild, soaked dark chocolate bangs, then began leaning forward, reducing his pace to deliver a kiss to his partner, one that was cravingly met with the tip of a tongue and coaxed on to its origin. Their slick chests slid against each other as the rocking slowed to a near halt; both of them lost in the deep, continuous kiss.

Quatre's throat felt dry, and he caught himself with his jaw down. With some mental effort, he managed to close it and wet his mouth.

The lovers on stage broke their string of repeated lip-locks, and Quatre caught a glimpse of the deep blue eyes of the top as he slipped out of the brown-haired man and reached for his partner's ankle. Up one leg went, the other straddled. The thick cock thumped against the grinning man's thigh, tip nudging his balls and half-hard erection.

With coarse words, the bottom asked. When that went unanswered, he started to beg, with a threat or two mixed in.

Quatre caught the top's wicked smirk just as it disappeared out of sight, courtesy of the spinning scene. After paying momentary attention to the man's tight buns, Quatre watched him grind his cheek against the bottom's foot in the far side mirror, then slide his tongue from heel to big toe. The top moved up along the bottom's thigh, grinding their dicks together as he caressed the back of the knee and kissed the ankle.

Bottom moaned loudly and curled his fingers in the sheets. He pushed himself up on his elbows, swore at the other man for just teasing, shivered as the touch at his knee swept down the inside of his leg to pump him softly, endearingly - tormenting. Quatre sucked a breath, convinced there had been a mysterious glint of purple in Bottom's blue eyes as he glared at his lover.

Top gave in, perhaps more to his own desires than the demands of Bottom. Steadying the raised leg against his chest, Top positioned his dick and eased forward. With a ragged cry at penetration, Bottom crashed his shoulders and head back against the bed, his long, light brown hair piling in an even bigger mess, more so as the thrusts picked up pace, rocking him against the bed sheets as he reached to paw at Top's chest, stomach and hips.

Quatre felt lost. Time became elusive, then escaped him. Caught up in the scene, not disturbed at the sounds of departure of other voyeurs - presumably for the bathroom or procurement of a warm body for the night - anything but the couple on stage fazed out. He wasn't sure how long he'd pressed a palm against the one-sided window, but it came off with a wet sound. His heart was pounding; he'd rarely seen a show so intimate, a display that had affected him this much.

He blinked, suddenly aware the pair had broken up again in favor of grinding against each other, chest to chest, crotch to crotch, mouth to mouth, pants and gasps escaping as best they could. Top was bottom now, their faces obscured by a cascade of chestnut hair. The man with the faint Asian features raked his fingers along his partner's spine, then shifted down to cup his buttocks. In Quatre's full view, Top traced a finger along the crack, making the other man shudder. They rolled over again, Bottom giving a yelp of pain as his hair was briefly caught under Top's elbow. The man had the audacity to laugh, cut short when his left nipple got a rough pinch.

Up on their knees now, Top hand-combed Bottom's hair out of the way. They kissed; light licks to lip crashes; hands wandered lower; Bottom gave Top a hand-job he could thrust into and had his balls fondled in return. Their teeth clashed one more time before Bottom went down on all fours and pressed his ass against Top's crotch.

Not one to refuse the invite - and going by the dark purple of his cockhead, being very close, Top positioned himself, put a palm between Bottom's shoulder blades - and made a savage thrust forward.

Quatre almost caught himself crying out loud. Bottom did not, but his deep, trembling groan sent shivers down Quatre's spine.

Top took a hold of his partner's hips and picked up the pace, each one a little more needy, a tad more desperate, a dash more craving. Bottom met each of Top's thrusts halfway, his own hard cock swung between his legs and thumped against his stomach.

In a brief moment of respite, Top slowed, took a hold of Bottom's shoulders and coaxed him upright, meeting compliance. Top splayed one hand across the other's chest; fingertips brushed against a nipple, the other five digits searched south through dark, stiff curls and closed around Bottom's erection.

Bottom arched his neck and tilted his head, sought - and received - a sloppy half-kiss as Top fondled him, fucked him, jerked him off. He touched Top's cheek with one palm, made a grab for his ass with the other, panting heavily now, the platform having brought them in a position directly facing Quatre.

And then, it happened - Bottom reached the end of his stamina, shooting the first of his load clear off the stage to splatter against the one-way mirror just where Quatre's nose was pressed against the glass. Startled, Quatre jumped back, gaping as the come slipped downward, as Top pumped his lover dry, as they both seemed to smirk right at him.

Swallowing, Quatre touched the glass, less than half an inch away from the sticky stuff now sliding down over the fading damp mark his breaths had left. He shifted his attention to the stage beyond.

They were engaged in a rough kiss again, and the thrusts had slowed nearly to a halt. For a moment, Quatre wondered if Top was merely biding his time, planning to play even more with his lover.

When Top's rear came into view, Quatre saw that he was not. Through Top's legs, he could see Bottom's - as well as the traces of semen that slowly seeped down the insides of Bottom's thighs.

It took another three slow rotations before Top finally pulled his spent cock out, and another two before they managed to get to their feet and stumbled towards the exit to surrender the stage to the maids and the next act.

Only the realization they were leaving made Quatre snap out of it - and as he was about to slip off the stool, hoping to catch an 'encore' in the see-through passageway, another fact dawned on him.

His dick had hardened.

It wasn't a full erection, and it was already in retreat, but this was far more than he'd had for years. With urgency, he pushed the button to close the window and almost ripped the black drapes down as he exited the booth.

Top and Bottom entered the passageway as naked as they were born, but definitely fully mature. Their skin glistened with sweat, their hair all disheveled, their crotches still stained with come and lube, their shaky legs barely keeping them aloft as they made their way out.

Quatre knew he wasn't alone; only on this side of the passageway, three other patrons had come to watch them leave, hoping the exit wouldn't be swift.

The couple didn't disappoint; Top caught Bottom in a half-embrace, followed up with a kiss and pushed Bottom up against the glass wall right in front of Quatre. Bottom raised a leg to rub the back of Top's, seemingly oblivious to how the last bit of Top's load seeped out of his ass, mashed against the wall. Quatre felt his mouth run dry again.

A dark-haired woman in a French maid's outfit - with certain risque modifications, short of giving it all away - entered the passageway, presumably to perform the badly needed change of sheets. As she passed the couple, she gave Top's ass a solid slap, causing him to glare after her, and Bottom to laugh aloud, fast distracting his lover with another kiss.

Realizing her action effectively brought the encore to an end, Quatre matched Top's glare in the maid's direction, wondering what could possibly cause a woman to want to color her hair a dark purple.

And they were gone.

It took Quatre another few soft pants to remember the three options. He'd done the first, the time for the second - if it had ever been there, without him noticing - was passed. With the third in mind, he rushed back to the bar, praying nobody else had had the same idea.

He wanted to see them again.

No, he wanted to be with them this time - touch, be touched, kiss, be kissed, fuck... He made a half-step, then resumed his hurried pace.

He dared a smile when he saw Kevin as alone as earlier that evening. Quatre wondered for a moment whether he was the only one lusty enough to want Top and Bottom's willing flesh at his disposal, and his mind might have strayed onto the morality of buying sex for half a second - but these two had gotten him hard, something many a beautiful woman, powerful drug potion and random wonder-cure had failed to do these last couple of years.

Not going to be shot down by one of Kevin's snarky remarks, Quatre opted for the offensive. "I want them!"

He got a slowly raised eyebrow, an appraising look. "Those two?" Kevin said and tipped his head towards the backroom.

Quatre nodded, perhaps too eagerly.

The mildly sadistic smile the barkeep slash clerk offered gave little comfort. "I'm afraid that's impossible."

"What do you mean?"

"Those two - Heero and Duo - they are quite exclusive, and I don't mean in cost. I'm afraid they choose not to offer themselves in our catalogue at this time."

Quatre's mind sluggishly registered Kevin's words. So, Top and Bottom - no, Heero and Duo - were not just together on stage. Or at the very least, were not among those performers also leasing their bodies. Quatre clenched his teeth. Perhaps he'd hoped for too much.

"They limit themselves to the Showroom and occasionally the bar downstairs - they are exhibitionists," Kevin droned on. "But, they seem very talented at that," he said with a quirky smirk. "If you wish, I can check for when their next performance at our club is due..." Kevin gave Quatre another appraising look. "...or perhaps you wish to browse the catalogue for... other company tonight?"

Repressing the urge to glare at the man, Quatre nodded curtly. Even if it couldn't be those two, this was an avenue he wanted to explore as soon as possible. He'd nearly gotten off on a gay scene. Perhaps he wasn't looking for a woman to stoke his fires back ablaze. Perhaps his solution lay with another man.

The club's catalogue was a fairly thick book, bound in elegant leather. Quatre had browsed it before, albeit in search of female companionships. The half dealing with men, he hadn't bothered to look through - until now.

Like the club, the catalogue dealt little with names. However, pictures were plentiful. Kevin helpfully opened up the relevant section and left Quatre to thumb forward; page after page filled with naked men in various poses, along with presentable mug shots.

Just from how the men chose to display themselves, it was easy enough to separate them into three categories. First, there were the studs, showing off hard dicks and cocky smirks, craving warm body cavities to ram into. Second came the bitchboys, usually lying on their backs with their legs spread in invitation, showing the goods. Lastly, the swingers, those who presumably could - and would - assume both roles. They were just as naked, but came in a mix of front and rear shots, if not both - and more often than not their cocks were flaccid. It made sense, Quatre decided. If you were to appeal to someone seeking a piece of ass, you might not want to show off an intimidating and envy-inducing eight inches plus.

Going by the notations next to their photos, Quatre could see that some of them catered only to one gender, others to both. From shows he'd attended in the past, he thought he recognized some of the bodies - some of the faces.

He ignored the total bottoms at first. Given his disposition, Quatre wasn't sure he'd be able to keep them entertained. On the other end of the scale, he wasn't sure that giving himself to another man would lift his spirits, either. He decided he wanted one of the flexible men - perhaps he could let himself get fucked at first - but if he actually got a reaction, he would want to use that erection right away. The long-haired exhibitionist had started out soft, but he'd hardened. Quatre had heard of the prostate and that it was supposedly why a man could find enjoyment in deep-reaching anal sex. He'd never explored that avenue, though - the thought of it sounded painful. The couple on the stage had been what it would take to convince him; Bottom had enjoyed himself, that much had been very visible - even tangible, if not for the mirror glass.

Quatre's drifting gaze came to rest on a fairly young gentleman, naked as day, doing a bland standing pose; one front shot, one back shot. Two things made Quatre pause at his picture; the man's overgrown bangs which obscured a good portion of his face, and his hand at the front shot, strategically placed to hide most of his crotch, as if anyone in his profession could be that shy. Quatre started a smirk. Yeah, this guy seemed a fine choice. His body was appealing - light muscle mass to his upper body, and going by the vital stats scribbled at the side of the photos, a bit taller than himself. No fairy, but no brute either. Quatre wished he could have seen a smile on the man's slim face rather than the thin line of apathy his mouth made. He looked at the man's face, at length noticed his eyes were a shade of green. He'd expected to see some hesitation in there, given his hand placement - but there was none. Quatre wanted to know why - he wanted to know more about this - this - he glanced to the information bar again, catching the name he went by; Trowa. Perhaps his real name, perhaps a stage name. It sounded a bit odd, but with his own given name, Quatre didn't feel he had the best platform to argue that from.

"I think I'd like this guy," he said to Kevin, tapping Trowa's chest.

Kevin checked Quatre's choice and slowly raised both brows as he took the catalogue back and closed it. "Ah, Trowa. Yes, he's a good man. I'll check his itinerary."

Quatre wasn't sure if the clerk meant 'in bed' or 'in general'. Kevin didn't have a history of praising people - not that Quatre knew of, at least.

Kevin's exaggerated sigh caught his attention. "I'm afraid he has tonight off, I-" he paused, then tapped his finger at the itinerary book. "Hang on - it seems... yes, it does seem that you are on his shortlist."

"I am?" Quatre knew of the shortlists. Some of the high-class prostitutes here kept a brief list of names - people they were willing to come in to spend time with, even when they were not on active duty. A few never went outside the list. Quatre hadn't brooded much on why they'd bother with such a list, but it could be they wanted to keep a good tipper - or a good shag, perhaps - all to themselves. This place was hardly your average whorehouse, after all. That said - how had he ended up on Trowa's shortlist? He couldn't even recall having laid eyes on the man before.

"Yes," Kevin said with a nod, giving Quatre a glance. "Please wait, i'll give him a call."

Quatre nodded on reflex, albeit he knew from experience Kevin was not the kind to wait for his direction.

The clerk picked up the receiver, hurriedly dialled a number and waited for no longer than three humms. "Hi, this is-" The answer that cut him off obviously didn't please him; Kevin wrinkled his nose in distaste. "There's no need for that kind of language, Mr. Barton, I'm well aware it's your day off. You know I would not disturb you unless-"

Again, the voice at the other end took over. Even from across the counter, Quatre could hear the irritation - and volume - in Trowa's voice, if not his exact words. Perhaps he'd been wrong about this choice.

"Yes," Kevin interrupted, "But this gentleman is on your shortlist." He shot a smirk Quatre's way. The pause was distinct, and the answer was but a mumble in comparison to the previous outbursts. "Yes," Kevin said laced with smugness, checking the itinerary. "And as far as I can see, he's the only one on your shortlist...?" There was another brief pause, and just as short an answer. Kevin nodded. "Very good." He put the receiver down, faced Quatre. "He'll be here in fifteen minutes. Care for another drink while you wait?"

It was odd how dry his throat felt. "Please."

Kevin had it mixed in less than a minute, umbrella and all.

Quatre took cautious sips from it. The drink wasn't very high in alcohol content, but he didn't want to overdo it - not with what he was about to do. Still, a bit of inebriation might help quell his nerves. "So... he lives close?"

"Oh, yes," Kevin replied as he adjusted a row of bottles so that the labels were all facing outward. "He has an apartment at the top of the building."

"He lives here?" Quatre knew some of the staff did, for the convenience of a short commute and a neighborhood of equals. Wilmington's took care of its own, as far as they'd let it.

"Yes," Kevin repeated, tapping a bottle to check its level of content. "The rent comes out of his salary, obviously."

Quatre's lips closed around the straw again, and he watched Kevin do his best to ignore him, averting further conversation. Minutes passed, and he was down to the cocktail berry, which he stabbed with the umbrella and crushed between his teeth. Somewhere behind him, an arrival bell rang.

"Ah, there he is," Kevin said.

Quatre followed Kevin's eyes and looked over towards the elevators on the far side. It was the man from the pictures, alright - although his body was covered now, that characteristic overgrowth of shabby bangs gave Trowa away instantly. He wore a loose T-shirt, easily a size too big, slipping at one shoulder to flash his clavicle. His pants appeared well-worn - in the state where they'd finally been worn in, but had accumulated so many small tears and holes that they would have to be discarded soon. One tear was at his knee, there was another gash across his thigh on the other leg, and the edges at his ankles were frayed into tassels. Trowa's sneakers were simple, equally matured and walked in.

That was all the assessment Quatre could do in the time it took Trowa to close the distance from the elevators and over to the bar. He flashed Quatre a faint smile and offered his hand. "Hi - I'm Trowa."

Quatre swallowed as he slipped off his barstool, jaw feeling lax. Hurriedly, he wiped his palm at his pants, then went for Trowa's hand. "Quatre," he snapped over two shakes, barely able to hide the treble in his voice - or his arm.

"Trowa," Kevin cut in. "Do you wish to reserve a room? I know the standard suites at fifth and sixth are free, but if you want-"

Trowa shook his head. "That won't be necessary. We can use my place."

Kevin eyed him suspiciously. "Are you sure?"

Still not looking Kevin's way, Trowa nodded. "Yeah." Almost as an afterthought, he let go of Quatre's hand, perhaps a bit fast, suddenly uncertain. "If that's alright with you?"

Quatre wet his lips, that little pause enough to make his mind tick again. "That's - that's fine," he stuttered.

Trowa showed him that faint smile again. "Great - this way," he said, leading the way towards the elevator.

"I'll put this on your tab then, Mr. Winner."

"Yeah..." Quatre answered absentmindedly. It took some effort for Quatre to start walking; his legs felt rather like jelly and his stomach was doing back-flips by now. He considered it a miracle Kevin didn't toss a feistier remark after them - not that Quatre could have cared.

The doors closed behind them, and there was a tug as the elevator began to lift. Being in a small enclosed space with Trowa did little to reduce Quatre's qualms, especially as Trowa faced him again. Tentatively, Quatre smiled back, albeit his was far less steady than Trowa's.

Quatre tried to understand why he felt so uneasy, if not in a bad way - excitement and expectation was mixed up in equal portions with queasiness, fear and mild dread. Though it had been a while, it wasn't the first time he'd ever leased someone for pleasure - but it was the first time he'd gone for another man. As nervous as a virgin he was, even though that was a thing years in the past.

No, Quatre reasoned, what really got to him was that Trowa had offered his own apartment up as the scene. Trowa had basically asked him home, rather than to the standard 'playpens' Wilmington's offered. Those suites had concealed panic buttons and hidden backdoors, just in case a client got too frisky - or turned out to be outright violent. Quatre hadn't seen any passageways or red push buttons, but he knew of them from Kevin and the other barkeeps. He'd never heard of anyone being bounced this way, though - George and his cousins were good weeders.

Trowa's gesture was a sign of trust, one that Quatre wasn't sure where came from. Perhaps Trowa didn't find him particularly intimidating, for which Quatre couldn't fault him - but looks could be deceiving. It had been a long time since Quatre had last been in a brawl, but he had stood his ground then. He thought he could probably take Trowa, if he put in enough effort.

Quatre's uncertain smile turned into a crooked smirk. He was planning to take Trowa. A quick glance down his chest later, he reconsidered; he hoped to take Trowa - he'd just need something to take him with first.

The elevator stopped with a chime. Quatre checked the display, verifying they'd gone as far as the lift would take them.

"My place is another two floors up," Trowa warned him. "Up for a little walk?"

Quatre nodded. He knew the top three floors were reserved for staff, including the penthouse floor. However, the elevator didn't go beyond the eleventh floor, ensuring them some level of privacy - if at some inconvenience.

Down the hallway, there was a steel gate before the staircase up. Trowa unlocked it with a key card and code, let Quatre through and made sure the gate was closed behind them. "This way," he motioned, setting up the stairs.

Quatre followed a few paces behind, the jitters in his belly not getting any calmer. Moreover, when he tried to look up and ahead, he found himself pausing halfway, staring right at Trowa's ass. Quite the eyeful; his attention was drawn to the small gaps in the fabric just where Trowa's buns became his legs.

No sign of underwear. Quatre's throat constricted again, and he gulped. A thong? No, he didn't think so. Trowa didn't seem the type for constrictive clothing. His pants seemed ready to drop on their own, the way they barely clung to his hips. Embarrassed at himself, Quatre took to watching Trowa's feet instead, noting the bare ankles. No socks either. Trowa was very badly equipped for a game of strip poker.

But Quatre suspected the man was well equipped for what they were going to do. In the picture, his hand hadn't covered that much.

"This way," Trowa said at the top of the stairs and headed down the corridor to the right.

Trowa needn't have asked. Quatre followed him like an affectionate stray puppy, and nearly bumped into Trowa when the man came to a halt before a door, digging deep in his pockets for a set of keys, pushing them down enough to expose a good piece of hip in the process.

Quatre barely managed to raise his eyes in time when Trowa turned around and gave him a soft smile. "Won't you come in?"

Nodding a little too eagerly, Quatre stepped forward, into Trowa's private sphere. Behind him, Trowa flipped a switch, lighting the place up, then closed and locked the door.

He watched Quatre look around, take another step forward. "It's not much, I know - but it's home."

"Yeah..." Quatre mumbled. Trowa's apartment was pretty much one big room only - there was a kitchen nook over in the right hand corner, and a couch group centered around a small table, a TV and a Playstation set to the left. Across the room was the only other door, ajar, a bathroom going from the tile-work and the edge of a shower stall he could see. What really caught his attention was the big bed with a mirror behind it, flanked by nightstands on either side, elevated on a low platform - the only section of the room not covered by wall-to-wall carpeting, short of the small oak square by the front door. Quatre froze, observing.

"I guess the grand tour is pointless - bathroom's through that door, and the rest is pretty much as you see it. Why don't you just sit down and get comfortable?" Trowa paused, glancing at Quatre's feet. "Oh, and do you mind removing your shoes? I try to keep a clean carpet."

"Oh! I'm sorry." Quatre quickly resolved the problem, putting his shoes next to where Trowa put his sneakers. Fingertips touched Quatre's chin as he stood up again.

"Thanks," Trowa said, smiling at him, leaning closer as if to kiss him, but slow enough to-

Quatre stepped back. Too fast, he thought. Too fast. He wanted this man's body, not... He shook his head, made his way over to the big bed, pausing when he saw the discarded briefs on top of a pair of sweatpants halfway tucked in under the bed, as if someone had shoved them there in a hurry.

Trowa quickly made excuses. "Sorry about that - you caught me by surprise, and I didn't want to keep you waiting. Didn't have time to clean up the place." He flashed a chagrined smile. "So, please don't mind the mess."

Quatre nodded slowly, then looked at the bed. He got the distinct impression the dishevelled appearance was the result of a hasty shine-up action. Before he sat down at the edge, he also glanced into the bathroom and saw the shelf next to the sink, a clutter of bottles of hair gel, brushes, a deodorant, a discarded toothbrush, and a couple of items he couldn't quite make out at the distance and angle. He grew a nervous grin of his own, but couldn't put much soul in it. His heart was beating too fast for that.

Over by the door, Trowa stripped off his T-shirt and ruffled a set of fingers through his oversized bangs, which despite the backsweeping action flexed back to the great forward quiff shape. "So, what's your pleasure?"

Quatre was outright staring now, and not just at Trowa's hair, no matter how curious he was as to what product could possibly make hair behave like that.

Trowa noticed and glanced down at the T-shirt bundle in his hand. "Oh - did you want to strip me?" He held up the bundle. "I can put it back on, if-"

Quatre snapped out of his reverie, shook his head furiously, already feeling his cheeks flush. "N-no, that's okay," he said, staring at the far edge of the platform.

Trowa lingered for a bit, then made a lopsided smile. He tossed the shirt over towards the couch group, then popped his pants buttons in one go and let them fall to the floor, confirming Quatre's assessment of Trowa's state of underwear - meaning, none. He stepped out of one leg, used the other to kick the pants towards where his T-shirt had landed, then stretched towards the ceiling, popping a few joints in the process.

Quatre struggled to keep from gaping, his eyes glued to Trowa's naked body, up and down, down and up, especially as he walked over towards the kitchen nook, completely unabashed at being naked.

And half-hard, Quatre added to himself. He did a quick mental assessment before Trowa's backside faced him. Trowa was probably bigger than he was - or rather, bigger than he'd ever been. The other man's half-state didn't calm his nerves any, given how fully mature dicks came in roughly two sizes; 'pee' and 'fuck'. The transition between them tended to be quick.

Trowa leaned up against the counter. "So, can I get you anything? I have a couple of beers, but not..."

Quatre was gawking. He didn't care. Was he seriously thinking about having that shoved up his-

"Like what you see?"

The mirth of the words startled Quatre enough to raise his gaze from Trowa's crotch, past the vaguely defined stomach and chest where arms were folded, only to catch Trowa's crooked grin and the suggestive lift of an eyebrow. Quatre looked away, embarrassed, his hand clawing at the already tousled bedspread.

"So... something to drink?"

Quatre shook his head and dared a glance.

Trowa started laughing, but it was a soft laugh, not a mocking one. "You can look, if you want. I don't mind. I'm here for you, you know. Anything you want to do..." He left the suggestion in the air, waited for Quatre to pick up on it and clue him in on the gameplan.

Quatre did have one, of sorts - but it had been a heat-of-the-moment thing, and cold feet were rapidly setting in. Sure, Trowa was a handsome man, he knew that already from the pictures - but the gap between viewing and doing... Quatre struggled not to panic when Trowa sauntered over, slowly, his dick wagging back and forth as he walked.

Half a step beside Quatre, he stopped. "You can touch me too, if you like."

Tentatively, Quatre raised his hand, moved his palm towards Trowa's chest, then paused and withdrew. He half-expected Trowa to laugh at his shyness, or maybe grow angry at this client's unresponsiveness.

Trowa did neither. Instead, he kneeled before Quatre, rested his hands and chin on top of Quatre's knee and looked up at him with a gentle smile. "Need some time to think?"

Quatre couldn't quite respond, but finally did as much as reach out and touch Trowa's bangs, sensing the coarse hair and the slight stickiness of whatever gel Trowa used. Cupping his hand, he moved his fingertips down the shell of Trowa's ear, and a warm pit built up in his guts when Trowa leaned into his palm, rubbing his cheek against it before giving Quatre's wrist a kiss with the corner of his mouth.

"Well..." Trowa said almost wistfully, smoothing his own palm slowly up Quatre's leg, from the knee halfway up the thigh, then back again. "I figure no matter what we end up doing, you're a bit overdressed for it - or do you prefer sex with your clothes on?"

"N-no, I-"

He flashed Quatre a grin. "Want me to help you?"

Quatre gulped, and after some hesitation, he nodded. It was too late to back down now.

"Okay..." Trowa straightened up, and from his kneeling position he helped Quatre remove his vest and tie, discarding both over by the sweatpants. He pulled at Quatre's shirt to loosen it from his pants. Trowa's long, dexterous fingers went for the shirt buttons next, and after the top three were undone, Trowa leaned in close, threatening to kiss again. He changed heading underway and landed his lips to Quatre's now exposed clavicle instead. With each new button, each new bit of skin revealed, Trowa nipped and licked his way down Quatre's chest, well aware of the soft shivers going through the body before him. Halfway down, he paused and looked up. "Let me know if I do anything you don't want, okay? This is all up to you - I'm not going to force you into anything you won't enjoy, promise." He moved in to swipe his tongue across Quatre's left nipple, glad to feel fingers dig into the hair at the back of his head. Egged on, he slid two fingers down Quatre's hip to slip inside the waistband of the blond's pants and underwear.

"S-sure," Quatre managed to say belatedly, enjoying the fire Trowa was provoking. When he closed his eyes, he could even forget that it was another man doing this to him - but Trowa's bangs brushing against his chest served as a good reminder of who he was with, who it was that coaxed him to lean back on his elbows, kissed a path down his chest and across his belly button, where at last the tip of Trowa's tongue brushed through the golden whips of a southbound treasure trail.

Trowa popped the pants button, caught the metal slider with his lips and pressed his nose to Quatre's cotton briefs as he pulled the zipper down.

Self-consciousness returned in force then. Despite being more than a little turned on by Trowa's moves, Quatre's dick remained entirely flaccid, and Quatre couldn't help catch the flicker of surprise on Trowa's face when his fly opened. It was embarrassing, even though beyond that brief moment, Trowa didn't seem to care his efforts so far hadn't produced the most obvious tangible result.

Slender fingers slid down Quatre's thighs while a warm mouth covered his sac, tongue pressing at his balls through his underwear. Quatre's fingers flexed, and he couldn't help the soft moan; it felt good. Trowa retreated, dug his hands in under the waistband and curled his fingers at Quatre's hip, cupping his ass.

Taking the hint, Quatre raised his hips, allowing Trowa to strip off his pants, socks and underwear in one slow, fluid motion, leaving him just as naked as Trowa, just as vulnerable - and nowhere near as hard. He'd glanced at Trowa's crotch when the man had tossed the clothes aside, and was more than a little jealous - and intimidated.

Trowa kneeled in front of his client again, smiled up at him before he touched his lips to Quatre's knee. Cautiously, he landed a series of light kisses up the inside of the blond's thigh. Once or twice he alternated with raking his teeth across Quatre's skin, if not pausing to give a gentle bite.

Quatre finally caught himself as he spread his legs; he wanted Trowa at his supposed destination as soon as possible - but there wasn't much there for Trowa to work with, and the charade had gone on long enough - even as nice as Trowa's lips at his skin felt, nevermind the nimble fingers that gently toyed with his balls. "W-wait," Quatre managed, almost a little disappointed to note Trowa obeyed him.

Trowa didn't seem surprised at the request - he stilled his hands, put his cheek against Quatre's thigh as he shot a smirk up Quatre's chest. His bangs threatened to tickle Quatre's skin, or even brush against the blond pubes. The soft touch that had massaged Quatre's sac a moment ago now drew lazy circles around Quatre's belly button. "...thought about what you want to do yet?" Trowa offered, then sent a gentle puff of breath up Quatre's thigh.

Quatre shivered, not from the cold. He knew all too well he didn't need an arousal to be aroused, but tonight, he wanted it so badly, he wanted- "I want to fuck you," he caught himself saying, barely resisting the urge to clamp a palm over his mouth as the words left him.

That didn't make them any less true.

Trowa just smiled up at him. "...okay," he said before shooting a glance at Quatre's crotch. "Well, I can work you up for it, I think - or if you're impatient, you could use toys on me."

He sensed he was being teased, that Trowa already knew of his problem, but his curiosity was peaked, unlike other things. "Toys?"

Trowa nodded, the tips of his long bangs caressing the slight stretch of skin at where Quatre's hip became his thigh. Seemingly unaware of the warm spike that the barely perceptible touch sent up Quatre's spine, Trowa stood up and brushed off his knees. "Yeah." He walked over to one of two large cabinets, opened the left side one - and in so doing revealed the greatest selection of dildos, paddles, vibrators, buttplugs, leather whips and numerous other accessories that Quatre had ever seen, stacked up along shelves inside the doors as well as in the cabinet itself.

Briefly, Quatre wondered if it would be wise to ask what the drawers in the bottom halves of the cabinets hid. Probably not. Still, he couldn't help think Trowa had enough toys to open up his own store.

Trowa's long fingers smoothed over several, paused to touch the base of one, but for one reason or another passed it by in favor of another, then another, a mien of concentration coming over him.

"You... use these?" Quatre caught himself asking.

The man shot him a look, complete with an underhanded smile. "Most of them... and a few with... special guests," he added as his gaze swept Quatre head to toe and back again.

Quatre pulled his legs up, wrapped his arms around them and shot a glance at the door. A tapping sound called his attention back to Trowa, in particular the large, purple object Trowa indicated; a dildo the length of his lower arm, wide as a fist at the base.

"Fourteen inches," Trowa answered, unasked. "Had to use some others to work up to it, but I've taken this one in almost to the hilt before."

The blond gaped at the big rod. "S-seriously?"

With a grin, Trowa picked it off the rack and pointed it in Quatre's direction. "You don't believe me? Or do you want to prove me wrong?"

For a moment, Quatre imagined Trowa on the bed, his legs spread apart, shoving that... thing inside. Quatre felt a stir, but that was killed when he also imagined Trowa's handsome face contorted in discomfort. Besides, that wasn't what he wanted. He wanted to- to- He stared at the door again and rubbed his elbows. "I... Trowa... I want to - to fuck you, but first... I thought maybe... maybe you could... could..."

"Could what?"

"...fuck me..." Quatre managed to put out in a whisper, his teeth clenched.

Trowa gave a chuckle, just at the brink of honest bewilderment and wicked torment. "What's that?"

Quatre pressed his lips together, balled his fists. "Fuck me!" he snapped and glared into the carpet before he pressed his eyelids shut.

Trowa smirked. "Sure," he said calmly, awarding Quatre with a wink when he glanced up again. Trowa turned back to his collection. "Your first time?"

Another question Quatre really didn't want to answer, but it seemed a little too obvious. "...does it hurt?" he cautiously inquired.

Trowa's expression mellowed into seriousness as he sent a puff of air into his bangs. "With careful prep..." he said with a shrug. "Plenty of lube helps." His eyes browsed his collection. "We could try something easy first, like... ah, here's one," he said as he picked out a floppy, grey dildo, one that wobbled in his hand like a dashboard-mounted hula dancer. He then pulled out a drawer and fished out a bottle the size of a large soda can. "Lubricant, value-sized," Trowa explained unasked, "Water-based. You have any allergies?"

Quatre shook his head and merely watched as Trowa came back, put the artifacts on the bed and went for the nightstand drawer next, fast depositing a wide selection of condoms next to the lube. He glanced back and forth between Trowa's back and the dildo as the man described the types of condoms they had available; flavored, extra thin, knobbly, desensitizing - the list went on, but Quatre focused on the rod of silicon. It didn't look too intimidating - maybe the width of two slim fingers, if twice as long. By the looks of things, Trowa would be bigger than that.

"Okay," Trowa said. "Any preferences?"

"Huh?"

"In condoms," Trowa explained with a dim, amused smile.

"I..." Quatre mumbled, sweeping the selection, a chill running from his toes and up.

"I suggest this one," Trowa offered as he picked up a silvery wrapper. "Can't get more vanilla than this." Not waiting for approval, he tore the wrapper open and applied the rubber to the soft dildo. "This one doubles as a buttplug," he went on. "See the flip-switch down here at the base?"

Hesitantly, Quatre nodded, all but stared as Trowa applied a generous amount of lubricant to the tip, his long, elegant fingers swiftly smearing it out along the entire length.

"Okay, done," Trowa announced, hurriedly wiped his hand off on a corner of the sheets and presented the slick result to Quatre.

Quatre swallowed, hard. "Y-you go first," he stuttered.

If Quatre had expected Trowa to become angry, or even just frustrated at his reluctance, he was proven wrong. Trowa merely shrugged and lay down on his back. "Okay," he stated, already taking aim. "You want to do the honors?" he added with a slight grin.

Quatre started to reach, paused, then rapidly withdrew his hand, his face feeling like it was on fire. "I'm sorry," he mumbled.

"Don't be," Trowa replied and started to push the dildo inside himself.

"Y-you don't mind?" Quatre tentatively asked, watching.

Deeper it went. Trowa chuckled. "It's not like I haven't done this before, and I need to be ready for later anyway, if you're going to fuck me." He looked Quatre in the eye. "I did do some quick prep before I ran down, just in case you were in a hurry," he offered with a wink. Almost at the base, Trowa pulled the dildo back out, slowly, then thrust it back in and sighed contently.

Quatre observed as Trowa played with the soft rod, spread his legs a little more, gently scratched his chest. More than once, Quatre caught his hand approaching, retreating each time.

The fourth time, Trowa softly grabbed Quatre's wrist, guiding Quatre's palm down to his chest. "It's okay," he spoke softly, drawing a breath as Quatre's digits flickered over his nipples, tension striking both. Tentatively, Trowa let go of Quatre, and with a content smile he noted Quatre's warm palm remained applied over his heart. He opted for well enough, plunged the dildo in one last time and locked it at the base, exhaling slowly.

"...does it hurt?"

"It's not that big," Trowa said with a smirk. He pulled his knees up, then thrust his legs out, doing half a cartwheel to get to his feet. "It's also very soft. I can walk without any trouble, see?" he demonstrated. "All it does is flex me a bit and keeps me from buttoning up." Trowa let his eyes fall down Quatre's chest. "You're bigger than this," he casually observed.

Quatre shot a glance down at his limp form, then directed an accusing glare at Trowa.

"I can tell," Trowa grinned. "I'm fairly adept at judging how big a limp dick can get - I've worked enough of them into an erect state to have some idea."

"...I think you'll have a challenge here," Quatre muttered, watching his feet as he brushed his toes against the raised floor.

Trowa shrugged, kneeled at Quatre's side and looked up at him. "I can only do my best," he said truthfully, painting lazy circles at Quatre's thigh.

Quatre pressed his lips together and balled his fists for a moment. "You don't know - I-" He clenched his teeth and sucked a breath. "Look, I'm impotent, okay?"

Trowa's digit didn't even pause. "Oh..."

He was glad Trowa hadn't sounded like his last attempt at dating when the time came for that revelation. The woman's choice of words had been so loaded with sympathy that it hurt. Trowa's response had been utterly flat, betraying no surprise at all. Quatre put his palm over Trowa's hand and trapped it against his thigh. "I thought... I watched a gay scene down at the Showroom, and it... turned me on. For the first time in a good while, I felt... movement."

"How hard did you get?" Trowa inquired with the sincerity of a medical professional.

Quatre shook his head at first, uneasy. Still, he'd already told this much, and he was sure Trowa wouldn't pass this on to anyone. "Not.. not very - and it didn't last," he confessed.

Trowa nodded, accepting the fact. "So... you thought that being screwed might turn you on enough to-"

"Yes," Quatre snapped back, still reconciling with his impulsive idea.

The man started to smile now. Trowa wiggled his fingertips to negotiate his hand's release and smoothed his palm up alongside Quatre's inner thigh, stopping short, then withdrawing. "Okay, then. I'll do my best to get myself fucked tonight," he pledged.

Quatre shot him a stare.

"I'd like to go slow on you, though. Do you have time? No wife or kids to go home to?"

"N-no," Quatre started. "I mean yes - yes, I have time." If it meant he could nail Trowa's ass, he'd have all night, if need be.

"Great," Trowa added with a slight smirk. "Do you know what rimming is?"

Quatre nodded slowly. He'd been subjected to it once, but it hadn't done anything for him then. Of course, at the time he'd also worn nipple clamps, ball weights and a blindfold, never mind the other bits of rope, chains and leather that restrained him. The dominatrix he'd hired had licked him in any number of places, in so many words called him a dirty boy when he'd let go a moan - not exactly out of pleasure. She'd proceeded to spank him with a paddle, also to no avail. It had been a real pain in the ass at work the following day. That occasion was when Quatre had started questioning the policy of being willing to try everything once, in hopes of rekindling his fire.

"You okay with it?"

Quatre merely shrugged.

Trowa let go a chuckle. "Guess I'll have to show you how it's supposed to be done," he said and tapped Quatre's thigh. "Okay, scoot further up on the bed, Mr. Winner." He grabbed a pillow, shoved it at Quatre's chest. "Put this under your belly and lie down," he ordered.

Quatre obeyed and rolled over; his heart hammered a little faster as Trowa touched his calves, coaxing him to spread his legs just a tad further. He felt the bed shift, tried to relax as he fisted the covers and rested his chin to the mattress. The sudden cool touch to the crack of his ass startled him.

"Easy," Trowa smoothed over, warm palms to Quatre's thighs, thumbs swept Quatre's butt cheeks. "It's just lube," he explained, wiping up some of it with his thumb.

Quatre turned to shoot Trowa a glance just as the man licked his thumb clean.

"Honey-flavored," Trowa answered with a grin. "Safe," he remarked, adding "Tastes okay."

Not convinced, Quatre faced forward again and took a slow breath as Trowa fondled his ass, gently pulling his cheeks apart.

Trowa touched his lips to Quatre's lower spine, landed one lazy, light kiss after another down over the tailbone and into the top of his crack. He paused, slid down to lick across Quatre's tense pucker, testing the waters as he lapped up some of the lube. Trowa rolled his tongue to administer a gentle probe, once, twice, thrice, patiently waiting until he felt Quatre relax before he thrust inside, flicking the tip.

Quatre shivered. Trowa's hands massaged his buns and the long, thick bangs brushed the top of his ass while Trowa tasted him, touched him, went as deep as he could go before pulling back. Quatre glanced back to see Trowa smile at him, lick his lips and reach for the lube to apply more. Another tasting followed, then a third, each time coaxing Quatre to ease up, to let go. As Quatre's body relaxed, his heartbeat grew fast and erratic, his breaths shorter and shorter. A particularly deep thrust left him gasping, his hands curling up the sheets. "E-enough," he said, his voice cracked at first. "Just - just stick it in already."

Trowa withdrew, let his thumbs slip off Quatre's buttocks and slid his hands forward to gently grab his hips. "Hands and knees?" he suggested.

Tentatively, Quatre nodded, not looking back.

"Plain wrapper okay?"

Quatre shot a testy look into the mirror, craving progress before he lost his nerve. His stomach was already hosting a butterfly convention, and for every uneasy breath his keen feeling on why they called it 'second-guessing' grew.

Trowa, on the other hand, seemed determined not to rush this. With painstaking slowness he applied the chosen condom to himself, then coated it with a fair amount of the flavored lubricant. He moved in behind Quatre, his hard dick landing in the top of Quatre's crevice. Gently, Trowa rocked back and forth, rubbing his cock against Quatre's ass. He leaned down, kissed Quatre's shoulder. Balancing on one palm, he pressed the other to Quatre's chest, making lax, circular motions there as well, all the while biding his time.

Despite impatience, Quatre couldn't deny he enjoyed the attention, the way Trowa's bangs tickled against his neck, the pinky that subtly dipped inside his belly button with each low end of the circle. Quatre tilted his head, felt Trowa's abdomen against his back, Trowa's warm breath across his ear in advance of his tongue. He sighed contently, the rigidness leaving his spine. It took him half a moment to realize the tender palm against his chest was gone.

Trowa hastily positioned himself at Quatre's pucker, the tip of his cock barely inside. He leaned down to kiss Quatre's upper back again, sought balance on one hand, played with a nipple with the other - and as he thrust forward, hard, he pinched the pinkish nub and bit down at Quatre's shoulder.

The stinging pain made him tense immediately, take a deep, sharp breath, just short of an outcry. He clenched his teeth and eyes shut for a moment, then glared into the mirror.

Trowa didn't face him; he was already doing his best to soften the damage done. Keeping his hips steady, his dick almost fully sheathed inside Quatre, he landed soft lip touches to Quatre's back while his free palm nursed tender skin at Quatre's chest, doing the utmost to soothe for a few seconds more before looking up to see Quatre glower at their reflection.

Still panting, trying to cope with this unknown, Quatre near yelled at him. "you damned liar! That hurt!"

"I know," Trowa stated briefly as he tentatively leaned forward to trace his tongue along the shell of Quatre's ear.

Quatre shook his head to discourage him. "You told me-"

"I know," Trowa repeated, this time looking into the mirror as he reached to touch Quatre's chin and cheek with soft knuckles. "And I'm sorry - but I've never found a good way to make my entry completely painless." In their reflection, he started a wan smirk. "At least not for virgins."

Still not breaking away, Quatre shot back a furious look. "I'm not a virgin!"

"Oh?" Trowa replied, bemused. "So you have had a dick up your ass before?"

Quatre puckered his lips and bit down any counter-argument - not that he had any at the ready. Still none too pleased with his hired lover, Quatre's indignance slowly faded away as Trowa continued gentle ministrations, subtle touches to distract, leave time to adjust. Tension followed indignation into the insignificance of background.

Tentatively, Trowa moved his hips, barely enough to test the lubricant.

Quatre felt sore, perhaps more with his ego than his body. He looked down at a pillow, felt fingertips flick across his belly again. He took one more breath to rid the last of his nerves. "...get on with it," he grumbled, barely audible.

Willing to please, Trowa carefully eased back out as he straightened up. His fingertips curled at Quatre's hips, softly grazing the folds at Quatre's abdomen before he thrust inside once more, half of his dick in before repeating the motion, easing Quatre's pucker open.

Quatre calmed down some, focusing on simply feeling, sensing the other man enter him, probe him, Trowa's digits caressing his skin, the slow pace occasionally broken as Trowa leaned down to nuzzle his neck. The burning sensation had passed, only soft pricklings lingered on, and it was almost with some relief Quatre noticed Trowa picked up the pace, thrusting deeper and deeper, until Quatre finally felt Trowa's balls hit his ass.

Trowa let go of Quatre's hips. He placed one palm on Quatre's shoulder and let the other dance across Quatre's skin; from collarbone around the upper arm, down to the elbow and off, back to chest, over the soft outline of abdominal muscles and in to follow the line at the top of Quatre's thigh, under to nudge Quatre's sac, alongside blond pubes back up the golden treasure trail to slip the tip of a digit inside Quatre's belly button, only to graze knuckles against every rib in Quatre's side, across the shoulder and back to the neck, starting the long caress all over again, each time with a slight variation of paths, short of one. He never once moved in to touch Quatre's cock.

He didn't have to. Quatre was long since panting at the ministrations without and within, his arms threatened to buckle at any moment. As if sensing this, Trowa paused the titillating touches just long enough to tug a pillow in under Quatre. Taking the hint, Quatre lowered his chest to the pillow and folded his arms up before him. Glancing up at the mirror above the headboard, he caught glimpse of Trowa's focused look just as those long fingers took firm hold of his hips again, a rapid series of hard thrusts following, each one marking stars before his eyes. Enjoying Trowa's precise aim, Quatre could only presume where and what the man hit and brushed against; he didn't really care short of the sensations that followed. He barely managed to sort one out of all the rest - the soft thump against his abdomen with each rough gyration. His eyes flew open with realization. "Trowa!"

Trowa couldn't deny he hadn't longed for the moment Quatre would call out his name, but the pitch wasn't quite what Trowa had hoped for. He slowed his pace as the blond turned his head to give him a look of pure joy. Trowa paused entirely as Quatre struggled to get up on all fours, then his knees. Trowa tried to steady Quatre as best as he could, all the while making sure he did not slip out, not just yet. He placed one palm across Quatre's chest, the other at his hip, and rested his chin at Quatre's shoulder, studying their reflection, fast catching on.

Quatre grinned like a loon, glancing between the mirror image and down to the real thing; a true hard-on; what had been but a dream for years. Tentatively, he reached to touch himself, twice stopping inches away, fearful of waking up.

Ever helpful, Trowa slipped his hand in, folding his fingers around Quatre's base as he gently thrust up, reflecting the motion with his warm palm. He felt Quatre sigh, relax, reach up to touch the back of his head. Trowa latched his lips on to Quatre's inviting neck, wishing for time to make a hickey, the gameplan all too clear in his mind.

Quatre suddenly shook his head, leaving his moment of rapture in favor of another desire. "Switch," he called out, tilting his head to make eye contact.

Deliberately keeping his eyes closed, Trowa made this difficult. Instead, he kept up the slow thrusts, carefully building up momentum as he slipped his hand down to rub Quatre's balls tenderly. He cocked his head, took a languid whiff of Quatre's hair, absentmindedly guessing at shampoo brands. Trowa had found his happy place, and he was most reluctant to leave.

"Trowa..." Quatre growled, curling his fingers to scratch rather than caress the back of Trowa's head.

He paused, sighed. Quatre was not his lover, he was a customer - and the customer is always right, even when they're wrong. "Okay..." Trowa muttered, resigned. He let go, reached down to the base of his cock, careful to make sure the condom came with as he pulled out of Quatre.

Quatre surprised himself at the sudden feeling of emptiness, but one glance down his chest made him forget it just as fast as it had come. He made a grab for the pile of fresh condoms, dug up a fistful and glared at them. Not lingering to choose, he picked one at random and tossed the others aside, put the corner of the wrapper in his mouth and bit down to rip it open. The time of sophistication had passed, just like his hard-on might suddenly do. He struggled with applying the rubber, fumbled the first attempt so badly that the condom suddenly slipped from his fingers and ricocheted off the mirror and onto the floor somewhere. With a growl, he grabbed another pack.

Beside him, Trowa had laid down at his back, a pillow tucked in under him. He bent his legs, reached down to unfasten the soft buttplug and pulled it out, suppressing a snicker as the first rubber flew off Quatre. The dildo hit the floor with a dull clank as Trowa reached out to touch Quatre's dick at its base, calling his attention. "I'm clean," Trowa suggested, sliding his palm up to administer a few, soft jerks. "You are too, right? I don't mind if you don't..."

Not one to be asked twice in this, Quatre nodded. His first and foremost thought was his hard-on in Trowa's ass, now. He grabbed the bottle of lube, poured himself a handful and applied it sloppily, three strokes before rubbing off the rest at the sheets. He crawled into place, put Trowa's ankles at his shoulders and took aim, pausing for just a moment.

Trowa looked up at him with a narrow, tilted smile and nodded.

No further encouragement was needed. Following Trowa's earlier example, Quatre thrust forward, all to the hilt, both men gasping at the penetration. Quatre opened his eyes, recalled how to breathe, then how to rut, fast and needy, only now and again diverting enough attention to rub his cheek against Trowa's ankle, once or twice even landing half a kiss, his hands clasped onto Trowa's thighs, his mind only distantly registering Trowa's fingertips occasionally brushing his chest.

Trowa smiled up at Quatre, well aware he was the one causing these looks of bliss passing over the blond man's face. He didn't mind the rough fucking, rather the opposite. He reached for his dick, peeled off the used rubber and gave himself a few quick jerks. Tentatively, he curled his back and pushed his hips upwards, rested his weight on his neck and shoulders, coaxed Quatre to come in between his thighs and fuck him down into the mattress, the thrusts short, deep, hard. Trowa let go a moan in appreciation and wrapped his legs around Quatre.

Quatre was panting, sweating, grinning, all too aware of how close he was, how desperately he craved that final release. When Trowa reached a hand up behind his neck and softly pulled him downward, Quatre didn't object - nor did he slacken his pace much; his tight sac slapped against Trowa's ass. Both of Trowa's arms were around his neck now, Trowa's face so close, Trowa's eyes closed, mouth open - and before Quatre ever realized it, they were kissing, sloppy, wet, teeth clashing before tongues ever did.

And it was all over.

The warmth that had pooled in Quatre's guts and crotch found release; a sudden heat-wave flashed through his entire body as he pushed in hard, depositing his load deep inside Trowa, letting go a garbled cry that might or might not have been the man's name. He paused for a moment to catch his breath, then started a series of languid thrusts, emptying himself completely. He grinned down at Trowa, reached down to caress his cheek.

Smiling back, Trowa leaned into the touch, his chest heaving erratically. Trowa didn't know when he'd come himself, but the streaks up his chest and the slight pool balancing on his belly marked that he had. It was all that mattered. He reached up to pull Quatre back down for another kiss.

Quatre obliged. His dick was growing limp again, but it didn't matter, not for now. What had seemed like a curse was clearly broken now, and he had Trowa to thank for that. He let himself slip out, eased Trowa's rear back to the bed and crawled in on top of him, chest to chest as he latched his lips to Trowa's earlobe.

Trowa started a low chuckle, then groaned in appreciation. He raked his fingers up and down Quatre's spine, touched his lips to Quatre's cheek. "Okay... get off now, big guy..."

He pulled back to give Trowa a look, unsure what the man meant. Was he unwanted now?

Trowa made a slight smirk. "Need to move - bathroom," he muttered tiredly.

After a nod, Quatre rolled off to the side and over on his back, his breathing and pulse winding down towards normal. He put his hands behind his head, felt the dip as Trowa got off the bed, then watched his backside as Trowa walked towards the bathroom. Quatre's gaze lingered at Trowa's ass, at the smears of come and lube slowly seeping out and down the man's long thighs. His come, Quatre thought with more than a little pride. "Going for a shower?" he asked.

At the doorway, Trowa paused to look back. "No - toilet."

"Huh?"

He smiled at Quatre's puzzled look. "Some guys crave a cigarette after sex. I need to take a leak."

"Seriously?"

Trowa cocked his head and laughed. "Call it a ritual, Quatre. Want to come with, or something?"

Chagrinned and seeking a comeback, Quatre quipped "What, need help with your aim?"

"It didn't sound like you had problems with my aim earlier," Trowa retorted as he slipped inside the bathroom, leaving the door enough ajar to let Quatre see part of his side and back.

The onset of a trickle made Quatre look back up into the ceiling.

"Had a guy fuck me while I peed once," Trowa said aloud. He made a quick glance out into the main room. "Got messy," he added with a grin, finishing up.

With Trowa out of sight, washing his hands by the sounds of things, Quatre briefly closed his eyes and took a deep whiff. The trace scents of sweat, musk and come tickled his nose. The low hum of the AC unit suggested they'd thin before long. He glanced to the empty side of the bed, the wet spots, the soiled pillow... Feeling adventurous, he scooped up some of the smear at his chest with a finger, then touched the slight pool on the pillow with the same, and finally brought the digit to his mouth, licking it clean. In the bathroom, the flush ended. "Trowa?" he called.

"Yeah?"

"Why did you put me on your shortlist?"

Trowa emerged from the bathroom with a couple of towels, one he was wiping against his own chest and crotch, the other lay draped over his shoulder. "Saw you down at Fleshdance a couple of times," he curtly explained. "Thought you looked hot. You kinda got to me, so I signed you up. Didn't think you actually swung this way."

"You dance?" Quatre found himself blurting out, Trowa's grin making him aware of the blunder.

"Not in that half," Trowa answered as he sat down at the side of the bed, applying the clean towel to Quatre's chest, rubbing gently. "I worked the bar," he added. "You always had this cute, abandoned look to you, like a lost puppy - more concerned about your drink than the women walking across it."

Quatre wrinkled his nose, trying to look indignant rather than smile in the face of Trowa's mirth. He opted for silence rather than digging himself another hole to fall down in and reached down to take over the job of wiping the worst grime off his lower front.

Trowa didn't object. Instead, he grabbed the pillow, flipped it over and rolled his hips onto it, relaxing against one side.

Quatre paused. "Does it hurt?"

With a wan smile, Trowa leaned in to land a kiss at Quatre's shoulder. "Just a bit tender, studboy."

Quatre's face paled. "I'm s-"

A long finger covered both his lips before the word could emerge. "That, I don't want to hear, 'cause you're not," Trowa cut in. "You wanted to fuck me, and hard." He started to smirk as he withdrew the seal. "And I liked it."

Quatre licked his lips to speak, but hesitated. Instead, he lay back on the bed.

"Those guys you saw in the Showroom..." Trowa started, wiping at his inner thighs. "Was it a loud guy with long, brown hair, and a more sullen Asian guy?"

Mild surprise flashed across Quatre's face. "Yeah - I think their names were Duo and Heero, or something. How did you know?"

Trowa merely shook his head. "I should have guessed..." he muttered. "I used to share one of the penthouse apartments with them, back when they were first hooking up. Had to soundproof my room and change the lock."

Quatre's pleasantly languid thought processes could figure the first, but... "Why the lock?"

With a smirk, Trowa raised an eyebrow. "Ever woken up to a couple making love right next to you on the bed? Your bed?"

Quatre's jaw laxed.

Trowa started laughing.

The blond man frowned in reply. "You're putting me on..."

"Yeah," Trowa admitted, nodding. "They might have no shame, but they do have some decency. Bottom line is, they're nice guys, but I had to move out when it got serious. I needed space. Got tired of walking in on them getting it on wherever in the apartment. I mean, I still had to sit by the kitchen table or the counter to eat later - and do you know what it costs to get sofa cushions dry-cleaned?" He snickered. "I think they were born for that stage."

"...what about you?" Quatre cautiously inquired.

Trowa thought about it for a second, rested the towel at his knee. "I prefer working the bar downstairs, or the backroom with a select clientele. I've done the Showroom and the Fleshdance counter a couple of times, but..." He shrugged, gave Quatre a quick once-over, from the soaked blond bangs down the calmly heaving chest all down to briefly flexing toes. "You feeling okay?"

Quatre tilted his head to face Trowa. "I'm feeling great," he answered truthfully. "That was... awesome," he finally settled for, reached out to place his palm on Trowa's thigh and smoothed it slowly alongside. "You cured me."

Trowa smiled back. "You're not impotent, Quatre. You just needed someone to let you know what your body already did - that you're gay."

He briefly closed his eyes, wrinkled his nose. "I don't know if that's it. I don't really think that I'm-"

Trowa tapped his knuckles to Quatre's hip. "It took my dick up your ass to get you going," he said with a grin. "Not that it bothered me the slightest to stick it in there." Quatre's ensuing expression made Trowa chuckle. "You're cute when you're all flustered."

At that, Quatre started a frown again, and curled his fingers to scratch at Trowa's thigh, first in warning, a little rougher to make the soft laughter stop.

"It's okay, though," Trowa pushed on. He reached out to play with Quatre's bangs, brushed them aside. "We can work on that, make you accept it."

Quatre shot him a disgruntled look. "What are you now, a sex therapist?"

Trowa merely shrugged his shoulders and lay down beside Quatre. "If the shoe fits... Want to book another therapy session next week?"

He thought about it, but knew Trowa was probably right. At the very least, he was bisexual now, maybe with tendencies toward- Quatre shook his head, not sure he wanted to continue that train of thought. Still... maybe experimenting wasn't a bad idea. Maybe... "Trowa?"

"Hm?"

"Would you - would you go out on a date with me?"

Trowa tilted his head to look at him, half expecting to see signs of a joke, facing only honesty. He contemplated it for a moment, then made a wan smile. "Quatre... this isn't 'Pretty Woman'. I'm not going to be your kept man or houseboy - you can't buy me forever, Quatre. I'm not going to be this nice piece of ass you stick your dick into whenever you feel like it."

Half exasperated, Quatre sputtered "I'm not asking for that - I just - look, I know we're sort of going the wrong way here, but... I just want to go on a date with you, that's all. A perfectly normal, boring date. I want to do it right this time."

"And you won't expect to get anything from it?"

Quatre started one answer, caught himself, and began another. "No... but I might be hoping for a goodnight kiss or something for the first date."

"You can hope all you want - you'll still have to work for it."

"I've always been hardworking," Quatre stated. "I'll take my chances."

Trowa made a slant smile. "And you'd pay for everything, right?"

"We can go Dutch, if you like."

Trowa pointed at him. "Deal."

Quatre brightened up instantly, pushing up on his elbows. "So - we're going on a date?"

Trowa gave him a long look, then took a deep breath, as if he hadn't believed Quatre was serious - until now. "Quatre... Before we do anything, you have to know one thing - I'm not going to change who I am, and I'm not going to hide it, either. This is what I do for a living, and I like it. Are you sure you're okay with that?"

"I..." he hesitated.

"If I was dating someone, I'd make sure to be delisted from the catalogue, but I'd probably still do shows - and I'd never run from my past. I'm good at what I do, and proud for it. I'd never sell you out, Quatre, but if we date, it's my personal business who I share that with. You wouldn't be protected by the Wilmington's codes."

"You wouldn't," Quatre stated with conviction, inching close enough to rest his cheek against Trowa's shoulder. Briefly, the potential paparazzi pictures and attached gossip columns flashed before his mind's eye. Just as quickly, he dismissed them. To heck with everything else, he had what he needed, and he wasn't about to throw that away, if he could avoid it. "How's this Friday?"

"I could go along with that," Trowa drawled, his voice a little sleepy. "What's your plan? I know there's this club somewhere around here..." Trowa said, forming half a grin.

Quatre quickly pinched one of Trowa's nipples, smirking back.

Trowa swatted Quatre's hand away, with little success. "So?"

"I don't know..." Quatre slowly started, drawing circles around the wounded spot with his fingertips. "There is this new movie I'd kinda like to see..."

"A public theatre?"

"Okay," Quatre accepted. "And maybe dinner after that?"

"Like the Ritz?"

Quatre's fingers paused, then started tapping the nub instead. "If that's what you want. Italian, Thai, MacDonalds - you pick, we go."

Trowa rolled over towards Quatre, flipped him over in the process. He reached around Quatre's waist, hugged him close and planted a kiss to the nape of his neck.

"So... is that a yes?" he managed. His voice betrayed his nerves, in part for the question, in part for Trowa's move, in part for the half-hard cock now pressed against his ass.

"Sure," Trowa breathed against Quatre's ear.

Quatre let go a sigh of relief. One less thing to worry about - and a thousand new ones. This date would have to be perfect.

"Stay a bit?" Trowa asked drowsily. "My meter is off now," he muttered, briefly tightening the embrace. "This is special service, on the house," he added.

Quatre reached behind to place his palm at the back of Trowa's head, turning his neck. "You'd charge your own boyfriend?"

Trowa nuzzled against Quatre's ear. "You're not my boyfriend yet..." He languidly reached for the far side of the sheets and pulled it in over them.

For a while, Quatre simply enjoyed the warm body close against his back, the soft breaths at his neck. Even so... "So... if you're not... working full-time ...while you're dating... what are you going to do until Friday?"

Quatre felt Trowa's soft laughter against his back as much as his ear. "...possessive," he muttered, more than a little amused. After a moment of thought, he added "...I think I just might be coming down with something..."

Quatre swallowed, unsure what Trowa meant. "You're not getting sick on me, are you?"

Trowa grinned to himself, planted his lips to Quatre's earlobe. "Maybe lovesick..." He placed his flat palm to Quatre's chest, lingering for a moment to feel Quatre's heartbeats. "Now hush," Trowa added. "I want to end with an unbroken string of satisfied clients."

Quatre thought to mumble something about top marks, but couldn't summon the energy to voice it. Fleeting thoughts of trouble that might surface down the line drifted aside. There would always be gossip, but what did it matter what other people thought, if he could find happiness with this man?

As Quatre drifted into sleep, he really didn't give a damn what the press might print. Trowa, the man who had revived him, the man who might get Quatre's name off the Wilmington's guest list, was worth all the trouble he could possibly stir up - and then some.

It would be years later until Quatre's faith in Trowa truly wavered, just as he found himself strapped to a dagger board at the small circus of his new sister-in-law, a knife quivering to a still barely an inch away from his ear.

Eventually, Trowa made sure to make up for that, too.


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