This is a short piece that has no home so I decided to post it for all of you in sections over the next week or so. Enjoy!
“I’m done with men.” Devin said as he watched his latest disaster walk out the door with his small bag of clothes that he’d left at Devin’s apartment. Mark had been nothing but trouble from the first second they’d met. A notorious bar-whore, he’d been tall, strong, and good looking, everything that Devin had wanted in a man. But, Devin didn’t understand the difference between being strong and being cruel. Mark had been a passive aggressive sometimes downright abusive son of a bitch.
“It’s okay, honey.” Crystal put her arm around his shoulders and gave him a squeeze. “He’s not worth it.” Devin knew that. Logically he knew that. Didn’t he? Mark was just another in a long line of people better left forgotten. They’d all been the “one” in Devin’s eyes until he’d had the rose colored glasses torn off his face by their personalities. Devin thought he had to have a sign on his back that said “Sucker” that attracted every asshole in New Orleans.
He sighed. “Wine?” He asked hopefully. Crystal crossed to the kitchen and pulled out a bottle she’d been chilling in his ice bucket. Thank God. “You’re the best, Crys. I mean it. Sometimes I wish I was straight.”
“Ew. First off, that is just weird. You’re like my brother. Second, we, unfortunately, have the same taste in men and you my darling are not that type.” Crystal dug in one of his drawers and got out his wine opener. It hadn’t had much use lately. Mark had preferred liquor and had disdained Devin’s love of wine. Devin planned on drinking the whole damn bottle tonight.
He was so glad Crystal was here. They’d been friends before she’d been his personal assistant at his consulting company and she continued to play both roles effortlessly. They’d known one another since Devin had been a fresh faced twenty and had been the unfortunate witness to his many relationship debacles.
“Yeah. You have a point.” He conceded, pulling two wine glasses out of his cupboard. “It’s not like I didn’t see it coming.” Unfortunately he’d seen it coming from ten miles off. He wasn’t stupid and had been in similar situations before. First Mark had been attentive. That had quickly changed to controlling and then sullen at Devin’s noncompliance. They were headed for disaster even before he’d found out that Mark had been working as a pimp with a group of male rent boys in the French Quarter.
Crystal snatched a glass and poured deep red liquid into the wine glass almost to the rim. “You knew that boy was hood before you picked him up. You love that bad boy thing.” She reminded.
“Not even I am prepared to deal with a pimp. I got in over my head.” Way over his head if he were honest. He realized too late that Mark had wanted Devin to redeem him and Devin had been unable to do so. He just wasn’t some kind of angel. He couldn’t “fix” anyone. That had been made painfully clear over the course of their relationship. He watched as Crystal poured herself a glass.
“I don’t know anyone who would be willing to deal with that, Dev. You’re only twenty-eight. You’re too young to be a cynic.” She said.
“How many crappy relationships do I have to suffer through before both of us realize that I am somehow fundamentally flawed? I don’t attract decent men. I am not attracted to decent men. I am so over trying to be a productive human being. I give up. I concede to the will of the universe. I am done with men.” Devin raved.
“Someday Mr. Right is going to sweep you off your feet, Devin.” Crystal warned. Devin snorted and rolled his eyes. He wasn’t going to argue with her. She was almost as stubborn as he was.
“Cheers.” He said instead. They drank.
They’d fallen asleep together in Devin’s huge, empty king-sized bed. Cuddling with someone he had no attraction to was a welcome change from his normal routine and it was a hell of a lot better than sleeping alone. She’d even made him breakfast the next morning. It nearly made him cry. Mark had used to do that after they’d had a hard night. God, he hated being heartbroken…again.
He drew his mind back from the morning and tried to focus on the project proposal that was on his computer screen. He was getting zero work done today. It just figured. If he didn’t hurry up and get his notes on this proposal before he passed it on up to the partners, he was going to get chewed out and he simply wasn’t in the mood.
“So I was thinking about something a little crazy.” Crystal said from his doorway. She was leaning against the doorframe with a cup of Joe in her hand. Her desk was just outside the door so she got up and came into his office quite often.
“What are you thinking about?” Devin asked. He usually indulged her when it came to her nutty ideas. They actually worked out most of the time.
“You have to promise to hear me out.” That usually didn’t bode well. That usually meant she was going to say something more off the wall than usual.
“O…kay.” He said slowly. He pushed back from his desk and closed his laptop. There was no point trying to even look at the proposal right now. She shut the door. His eyebrows furrowed. What was going on?
“So, I was thinking while I was in the shower about your situation.” She began. Devin winced at her phrasing.
“Seriously? The shower? You’re a sick puppy, Crys.”
She rolled her eyes and pointed a finger at him. “I’m not joking. It was a brilliant idea. You know I get the best ideas while I’m showering. Something about the water. Anyways, so this idea of mine is sort of crazy.”
“You’ve said that. Five times.” He wished she’d get on with the point. It was obnoxious trying to get information out of her when she was like this. “Spit it out, Crystal. I have work to do.”
“Fine. Fine. Keep your pants on, jeez. So as I was saying, you like bad boys and we’ve established that they’re the only type that turns your buttons so to speak.” She said. He felt his cheeks heat. Jesus. Were they really going there? She pressed on. “I was thinking that maybe you’re just stuck on the sexual aspect of having a bad boy. You hate their personalities but they turn you on in the sack. So, my suggestion is that you pick up a rent boy. The Quarter is full of them and some of them even have websites where you can register.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! You’re asking me to solicit a prostitute? You are crazy. Jeez, Crystal, what is wrong with you? I’m not a college kid aiming to cop a feel. I want a relationship, er, wanted a relationship. I told you. I’m done with men.” Devin crossed his arms over his chest protectively. She’d obviously been drinking the Kool-Aid along with her coffee this morning because that was nuts. “Besides, after finding out that Mark ran a ring of hookers you think I seriously want to pick one up?”
“That’s the brilliant thing, you see? You’ll go out with these men a few times, get your sexual kicks, and then maybe start dating someone decent. It’ll also help you get over Mark quicker once you see that he was just another guy. It’s an exceptional plan.” Crystal was excited. He could tell by the almost manic glint in her big blue eyes. He sighed. His PA was off her rocker. She made a noise of frustration, making him realize she’d noticed his incredulous expression. “At least check out the site I found and tell me what you think.”
He could’ve already said what he thought but he let her come around his desk and flip open his laptop so that she had access to his screen. He signed in and let her get a good look at his desktop, the background of which was still a picture of him and Mark at their favorite bar on Bourbon. She gave him a look but didn’t say anything. She knew he was superstitious about things like that. It was bad luck to throw away pictures of your old lover before you picked up a new one.
With a few decisive clicks and a few more keystrokes and she had a website pulled up. He looked at the porn worthy title: Frat Boys For Sale. He rolled his eyes. “That has to be some sort of joke.” I said. “There is no way this is legitimate.”
“No! I checked, even got a friend of mine to call. It is apparently a hush hush sort of thing but it is real. My other friend paid 200 bucks and got his money’s worth. Trust me.” She reassured. “Look, it says, “Looking for a new kind of Rent Boy? The boys of Kappa Alpha Nu are more than willing and able to fulfill you’re every deep fantasy. We are working diligently to get through school and are willing to go beyond the call of duty in order to get the job done. Browse through our profiles until you find the Frat boy of your dreams. Contact information and sexual orientation is included for your convenience.” It’s perfect.” She declared.
“How, pray tell, did you manage to come up with this idea in the shower this morning and yet still find time to talk to your “friend” into doing this, commit this act, and hear back from him?” Devin asked dryly. This entire thing was fishy but… Damn if he wasn’t curious. The photo on the front page showed the collection of “brothers” in little to no clothing, teasing potential clients. It was so working.
“Okay, you caught me. I had DJ try it out a week ago when I found out that Mark was a pimp.” She confessed. His eyebrows shot skyward.
“What. The. Hell.” Devin growled. “You are unbelievable.”
She grinned unapologetically. “You love me.” She was so lucky that he did. Seriously. “Besides, as your PA it’s my job to provide you with everything you need. You are a sexual creature my friends and as such you have needs. This is perfect for those needs.”
“But two hundred bucks a go? I mean, even if I was considering this, which I’m not, this would be a pretty extravagant.” He argued.
She snorted. “Oh please. Like you wouldn’t spend that much on booze the next few weeks, drowning your sorrows. Besides, I’m not saying spend that much every week or whatever but at least once. Try it out.”
“I really don’t know about this.” Devin hedged. “I mean, I like strong guys, Crys. You know this. I know this. If they’re all twinks I don’t think they’ll do it for me.” But they didn’t look like twinks. The shirtless boys on the website’s main page looked exactly like the sort of thing that Devin would normally beeline to in a bar. Even the smaller members of the Frat looked like they could throw down.
“Just browse through the profiles, my darling Devin. Let me know what you think at lunch.” Without another word she straightened and headed towards his door. As she shut the door behind her, Devin smoothed his hand down his face and sighed. Oh what the hell? Why not?
He clicked the “view profiles” tab and was instantly brought to a scrolling list of frat boys complete with half nude individual photo. Yummy. This was so wrong but he was intrigued by the idea of anonymous sex. He was a serial monogamous. Had been since before he realized that he wanted a romantic relationship in seventh grade. The idea of wanting someone as a means of sexual release only was a foreign concept for him.
The first profile flashed onto the screen. Damon Summers. Age 22. Sexual orientation: Bisexual. Open to all forms of sexual expression including BDSM. Bondage preference: Bottom. Um, no thanks. He wasn’t into whips and chains. He clicked the next profile. Jerry Louis. Age 19. Nope. Too young. He clicked the next one and sucked in a breath. Wow. Christian Matheson. He was drop dead gorgeous. He was listed at being right at six feet, several inches taller than Devin’s modest, five ten. He was also a freaking hottie. The picture on the profile page showcased the frat boy to absolute perfection.
He wore a wicked half smile, like he knew a secret and was dying to tell someone. He had lovely brown eyes and the darkest chocolate hair Devin had ever seen. He wondered if the icy shades were natural. Age 24. Sexual orientation: Gay. Top primarily, will bottom for an additional fee. Yowzah. Yes, please. Devin definitely wouldn’t mind a roll in the hay with Mr. Perfect.
Devin took his sticky pad off his desk and dug in the top drawer for a pen. He jotted down Christian Matheson’s personal phone number and a little information. Maybe he could do this. Maybe.