[This is a completed four-chapter story that will post within ten days]

He should have known. He should have known that Hal Etheridge wouldn’t have had him brought to a fleabag hotel like the Downtowner on 14th Street. Etheridge wouldn’t be in a place like this. Chaz and Fred, two of Etheridge’s minions--goons, really--had met Jason at the elevators on the 12th floor and virtually frog marched him down the corridor to a room off the back of the hotel.

“Is he here? Is Etheridge here?” Jason asked with a shaky voice. He didn’t like it that it was Chaz and Fred who had picked him up. They’d always leered at him when he was brought someplace to service Etheridge.

“What d’ya care as long as you get paid?” Fred asked. “You don’t care who uses you as long as you’re paid.”

“Shh, keep your voices down in the corridor,” Chaz admonished. Chaz was the leader of the two. Neither of them was really bright enough to be considered a leader. But they both were just the type of muscle a politician like Hal Etheridge needed to do his dirty work and cover it over, when needed.

Jason only now was getting the idea that maybe he’d been moved to the “cover-it-over” phase. Maybe he’d gone too far in his snit with Etheridge the last time they’d trysted. He didn’t know then, though, that a candidate likely to get a party’s nomination for president had already named U.S. Senator Hal Etheridge as a vice presidential running mate.

They stopped by a door at the end of the hall next to a window with a fire escape outside it and the brick wall of yet another building, probably built in the thirties as this hotel had been, across the alley. The neighboring building probably was as dreary and outdated as this hotel was.

“Inside,” Chaz growled as he turned the lock of the door to a room with an old-style key. The door swung open, and Jason saw a smallish sort of hotel room with scruffed up furnishings, a window overlooking yet another solid brick building wall, and a tired-looking bed with a brass head and footboard and a yellowing white chenille bedspread.

It wasn’t the sort of room vice-presidential contender Hal Etheridge would pick for a sex session with a regular servicing rent-boy like Jason Stuart. He didn’t go in for hotel rooms at all. He required special equipment to scratch his itch--and insulated walls. Jason was trained to serve these needs. The young blond was a real looker--a male model, minor porn star, and barista in a trending coffee bar. With blond hair, a small and perfect body, and boyish facial features, he didn’t have any trouble keeping his dance card filled in. Hal Etheridge might be his most prominent client, but he wasn’t the only up and coming politician Jason serviced.

“Where’s Senator Etheridge?” Jason asked in panic, well knowing the answer to that.

“Inside, I said,” Chaz repeated and pushed Jason inside the room, making the young man stumble forward. “And I said no talkin’ in the corridor.”

As the door clicked shut, Fred voiced the obvious. “The senator isn’t coming. He’s busy with more important matters. We’re taking care of this for him. We’re your clients tonight. Who’s first, you or me?” he said, turning to Chaz, who had Jason contained with one arm around his neck and the other around his waist, holding Jason into his body. Jason could feel that the big bruiser was hard.

“Show him the cash. My back pocket.”

Fred pulled a wallet out of Chaz’ back pocket while Chaz was working Jason’s belt buckle and zipper. Jason moaned, but he didn’t struggle. He did it for money and they were talking money. Fred fished four fifties out of Chaz’ wallet and went over and slapped them down on the top of a scruffed dresser.

Quickly making Jason naked, Chaz draped him bent over the back of an upholstered, low-backed boudoir chair, on his belly. Fred stood in front of the chair, holding Jason’s wrists captive and face fucking Jason with a meaty cock he’d pulled out of his unzipped pants, while Chaz knelt behind Chaz and ate his ass out while pulling on his own cock.

When he was ready, Chaz did a circle of the room holding Jason in front of him, Jason’s knees hooked on his hips and Jason’s fists locked behind Chaz’ neck, while the big bruiser crouched a bit, held Jason’s slim waist between his hands, and bounced Jason’s channel up and down on his hard cock until he’d ejaculated. Jason had come first.

Jason was calming down. This was his world, what he did for men. He even fell into the “Yes, yes, you’re so big. Give it to me; be good to me, daddy” routine he used to inflame johns. His eyes were on the money on the dresser. They had shown the money. Everything was going to be all right. They’d shown the money.

Chaz then dropped Jason on the bed on his belly, and before Jason could respond--even if a response were possible with these two muscle men manhandling him in the small hotel room--he had been trussed up with three pairs of handcuffs--two on his ankles, chained to the corners of the brass foot rail, with his legs spread, and the other pair handcuffing his wrists behind him. Chaz stuffed the young rent-boy’s mouth with his own briefs.

Jason started to struggle with Fred when he was handcuffing his wrists, but a fist to chin had sent Jason sprawled with an “ooff.” After that lashes to his buttocks and back again and again and again with Jason’s own leather belt subdued him to whimpers and ended any fight he had in him. Even this wasn’t beyond the zone yet. The fetishes Jason served--indeed what he took with the senator--included the lash and a bit of beating.

“You love the strap,” Fred hissed at him. “Almost as much as you love the fuck.”

“Your turn. I’m gonna take a shower,” Chaz said.

“Where do you think . . . afterward? Down river or a public dump near Baltimore?”

“Shut your yap,” Chaz admonished. “He’s still got ears.”

“Won’t do him much good though, will they?” Fred asked. They both laughed. “So, you wanna do him again, or--?”

“Naw. No time for that,” Chaz responded. “You can finish him. I’m taking a dump and then a shower. Nothing we have to clean up later, or you have to do the cleaning.”

Now they were beyond the zone.

Jason, paralyzed with fear, heard the door to the bathroom close and Fred’s belt buckle thump on the threadbare carpet. Then Fred, all 230 pounds of him, was on top of Jason’s hips, his knees gripping Jason’s thighs and the palms of his hands pressing down on Jason’s shoulder blades. He was thicker than Chaz had been, so it took him a minute to bury his cock in Jason’s ass, but once saddled, he began to ride Jason hard.

Jason’s moans and groans from the thick, deep fuck were drowned out by the mechanical scream of the shower being turned on in the bathroom. After a few minutes of pumping him from behind and above, Fred wanted to change position. Jason felt the big man pull out of his ass, lift his weight from Jason’s buttocks, and move off the bed. The handcuffs at Jason’s ankles were undone and removed, and Fred came back up on the bed on his knees. He obviously wanted to do Jason in a missionary for a while. Surprisingly, he unlocked the handcuffs imprisoning Jason’s wrists as well.

Jason’s head was turned to the side and he could see a garrote strap laying on the bed. He no longer was paralyzed. There wasn’t any doubt what these two goons had in mind--or why. Now that Etheridge was a national candidate, it was cleanup time on his background. Jason gathered all of the adrenaline that he could to unleash in one stroke. It was now or never.

With only one wrist out of the handcuffs and heavy metal handcuffs hanging from the other wrist, he now had a weapon of his own. He swung the loose cuffs at Fred’s head in a desperate lunge that, nonetheless, worked a charm. Fred’s eyes went large in surprise and pain as the metal of the free cuff slammed into his temple with the sickening sound of crushed bone. He toppled off the side of the bed and onto the floor with nothing louder than an “Ooof,” which was covered from the bathroom with the grinding noise from the shower head.

Jason walloped him again on the side of the head for good measure, but the goon was already down for the count. Jason scrambled around on the floor, finding the key to the handcuff and freeing his other wrist. It was only a matter of seconds before he’d pulled his clothes back on, grabbed up the money from the dresser, and scooted out into the hall.

He couldn’t chance the elevator and the lobby. Who knew that these two goons were the only ones who had been sent to capture and eliminate him? He had seen the fire escape through the window at the end of the corridor when he’d been shoved into the room. The window didn’t want to cooperate on opening, but, feeling infused with superhuman strength fueled by the survival instinct, Jason muscled it open and scrambled down the fourteen stories of metal scaffolding before Chaz turned the shower off in the hotel room.

Did he dare go back to the apartment on R Street in Northwest D.C., near Logan Circle, that he shared with three other rent-boys to at least gather his shit together before he escaped town? Had he ever told the senator or any of his goons where he lived? He didn’t think so. The goons had always picked him up on the street--on 13th Street--when the senator wanted to be serviced--just like they had tonight.

Yeah, he thought he could chance it. He’d been stupid, though. In that last argument he’d had with Etheridge, he not only had revealed that he knew who Etheridge really was, but that this gave him some form of control over Etheridge. But he’d never have snitched on Etheridge--not that the senator could or would count on that, Jason now realized.

* * * *

Hardesty was cruising the old Impala along 14th Street in the Logan Circle gay district, his eyes peeled for trade. Despite what he was out here for, he was looking for something special--in size and type. He was always on the lookout for something special in that regard. He had the tape recorder attached to his wide black leather belt on the driver’s door side. He was dressed the part--black jeans and black leather boots and a black leather vest over a black muscle T, showing off his bodybuilder musculature. A black knit stocking cap was pulled down over his buzz-cut hair, hiding the gray that was starting to show here and there.

He was forty and would have looked it if he wasn’t so muscled up. He had a close-cropped mustache and beard too, but the gray there didn’t show in the not-long-past twilight in his dark Impala out on the street, as he pulled over by a group of young men standing near an alley entrance--one that opened at the other end for a quick getaway, as needed. He knew he looked like a thug, which he could easily be, on demand or when he got wound up. His gray eyes had a steely, piercing look to them and the nose had obviously taken a few too many off-center hits. Otherwise he looked good--if what you were looking for was a little danger and more than a bit of the rough.

It was hot enough that he didn’t really need the vest, but it hid the tape recorder and the piece in the holster in his left armpit. He was right-handed.

A couple of the rent-boys moved away, either down the dimly lit street or into the alley, when he pulled the Impala over to the curb. Maybe some of them recognized him or the Impala. The guy who had caught his attention hadn’t. Young and short, but very well formed. A look of innocence and nervousness. Hardesty hadn’t seen this one before. He wasn’t blond--he was at least partly Hispanic--but he was a pretty boy and looked like he’d be fun to break, and Hardesty knew he couldn’t have everything. He turned the recorder on, hit the roll-down button for the passenger door, leaned over, stared the young Hispanic down, and called out, “You. Come here.”

The young guy jerked, turned his full attention to the Impala, squinted, and squeaked out a “Me?”

Neophyte, Hardesty thought. Think I caught this one early, on the rise.

“Yes, you. Come here.”

“Yes, sir, can I do something for you?” the Hispanic said as he came, leaned an arm on the sill of the passenger door window, and got the front of his face into the car. His arm was trembling and the expression on the young guy’s face went through a couple of permutations, like he wasn’t quite sure the look he should be taking on.

“You just loitering with friends or are you looking for company?” Hardesty asked.

“What did you have in mind?” the Hispanic asked. He’d obviously been told he shouldn’t bring up the deal--like that would give him some protection or anything.

“What services are you offering? You look pretty green. You sure you’re--”

“I’m old enough,” the guy said.

There, the first barrier crossed. Hardesty had asked and had received the claim. “And experienced enough?” That, legally, could mean just about anything.

“Yeah, I can do it all.”

Pulling him out--like taffy. There wasn’t much question what that meant.

“What’s it all? You take it or give it?”

“I can give a good BJ and can take a big cock.”

Bingo. “How much each way?”

“Twenty and thirty. Best on the block. Just see if you can get better.”

Proof he was new to it. Hardesty and any other john certainly could get better. “Get in.” Hardesty switched off the recorder. He’d gotten what he needed and he wasn’t that wild about recording any of the rest of what was going to transpire here.

He got onto P Street headed for 16th. The guy really was small. He was dressed in short shorts, sandals, and a tight T-shirt. As Hardesty got the Impala back onto the street, the guy turned his torso toward him and reached over and palmed Hardesty’s crotch. “Holy moly,” he mouthed breathily. Whether he’d say that to any john or not didn’t bother Hardesty. Hardesty knew he was packing.

“You said you could take it big, kid. And old Dick here has been cruising around looking for it.” He dipped into his pocket and pulled out a fifty-dollar bill and slapped it down on the dashboard. “Just so you know I’m good for it,” he said. As he’d fiddled around with his pocket, he’d unstrapped the recorder and let it slide down between the seat and the driver’s door. Chances were good he wouldn’t be using it. He’d be using something, though.

There came a decision time for a guy like Hardesty--either to do strictly what he came out here to do or to approach it from another angle and get his enjoyment out of it too. This guy wasn’t what he normally liked, but he was liking what he saw anyway. And he was in the mood. He’d include doing what he came out here for, though. A lot of the guys wouldn’t do that. They’d just take advantage of the situation to get their rocks off.

“So, like, you want me to blow you now, while you’re driving?” the young guy asked.

“First, what’s your name? I don’t like just anyone sucking my cock. I like to know who they are. I’m Frank.” Of course he wasn’t Frank at all--in much of any sense of the word when he was working the street like this.

“Raul. My name is Raul. So, you want me to suck it now?”

“Be my guest. We’re headed to a hotel up the road. I have a room there. But if you want to get a head start, go ahead.”

The guy seemed to be anxious to get at it. He kept eyeing the fifty on the dashboard like it was some sort of lifeline. He already had Hardesty unzipped and had a hand inside his pants. Others on the street must have told him to get right to it. That, if it was a cop, he’d have to back off at that point. Hardesty didn’t play that game.

“Holy shit,” Raul exclaimed when he’d unrolled the cock. “It’s big, really big.”

“It’ll get a lot bigger. And it’s been needing attention. Take it in the face when it gets there.”

Hardesty pulled over into a gas station that looked like it was closed forever, not just for the night, and stopped by the pumps on the station side, the pumps blocking good observation from the street. He reclined his seat and put his hands on the back of Raul’s head as the young guy bobbed his mouth up and down on the cock. The mouth was soft and Hardesty decided to get the full value out of it. Raul wasn’t intending on taking it deeply, but Hardesty used his hands to make sure that the Hispanic did just that, gagging and gurgling as his lips tried to get to Hardesty’s short hairs. Part of Hardesty’s plan was for it to bother the guy.

“Now, pull off now,” Hardesty commanded, releasing Raul’s head, and the young guy managed to pull back up just in time to take a thick wad on his cheek and nose. He started to sit up, but Hardesty grabbed the back of his head and held him there to make sure he took the second, and third load as well.

“Do you always . . . ?” the guy said, with a voice of awe.

“Always. Multiple times. You’re not bad. Here’s a Kleenex,” Hardesty said, reaching down between the seats to pull one out of a box. “Clean it off.” It wasn’t a bad blow job, but it wasn’t anything close to the most professional one Hardesty had had, which was further evidence that he had caught the guy early. He had a soft mouth, though. That would harden up in time if the guy kept at it.

Hardesty nosed the car back on the street and drove the three last block to the Downtowner hotel on 16th Street, in the close-in northwest of D.C., above Union Station. He pulled up in front of a dark clothing storefront several doors down from the hotel’s front entrance. “You get out first--yes, you can take the twenty that you’ve already earned. Go over and stand just inside that alley over there and wait for me. I’m going to repark the car.”

The Hispanic docilely did as directed and Hardesty parked down the street where the curb was clear next to a fire hydrant. He walked back to the mouth of the alley, where Raul stood, hunched over on himself and looking very nervous.

“Down the alley,” Hardesty said.

“Why?” Raul asked. “Thought we were going to the hotel.”

“We are. But you don’t want them to see you taking a john into the hotel, do you?”

“Suppose not.”

Hardesty went back into the alley, followed, not too closely, by Raul. He opened a door and light tumbled out into the alley. “Come on then,” Hardesty said, and Raul caught up with him to find they were entering a back hallway, some sort of employee’s entrance. There was a service elevator too that took them up to inside a storage room on the fourteenth floor.

Down a narrow hallway, Hardesty turned at one of several doors along the corridor, used a key to open it, stood aside, and ushered Raul inside.

It was a small room on the back of the hotel. A double bed, brass headboard and foot rail, covered in an off-white chenille bedspread. A threadbare and stained gray carpet, a nightstand with a lamp with a torn shade on it, a scruffed-up dresser, and a writing desk, with a boudoir chair pushed into it. The bathroom, which had seen better days two decades earlier, opened off to the left. The one window, bordered by gauze curtains that probably wouldn’t meet over the window, overlooked a blank brick wall across the alley. They quite evidently were close to the street front, as the on-off glow of a green neon sign filtered in from the right of the window.

“Strip and go down on your belly on the bed,” Hardesty commanded.

While Raul did so, Hardesty stripped too. Out of the corner of his eye, the young Hispanic saw Hardesty place a tube of lube and three condom packets on the nightstand.

“Hey, man,” he started to say, and he sat up on the bed. But then he saw Hardesty put two fifties down on the top of the nightstand as well, and they choked off anything Raul had to say. But Hardesty did see the young man shudder. More evidence he was a neophyte.

“On your belly, on the bed,” Hardesty growled again, and. with a low moan, Raul complied. He groaned as Hardesty saddled over his buttocks, embracing the young man’s thighs on either side with his knees. Raul murmured in surprise, though, when Hardesty began to massage his back muscles.

“You’re tight. I don’t want you tight,” Hardesty said. “Relax.”

The massage went on at length, and Raul did relax. In fact he was so relaxed and loose that he had nearly dozed off when the first snap of the belt awakened him in surprise and pain. Hardesty was up on his knees above Raul, still holding the young man’s thighs between his knees. His thick leather belt was folded over and, whack, whack, whack, he was snapping it on the Hispanic’s tender flesh--on his back and his arms. On his buttocks and his thighs. Again and again. Whack, whack, whack. Raul sobbed and writhed under the beating, but there was no competition between them. Hardesty had him by fifty pounds.

“Oh shit, oh fuck,” Raul cried out as Hardesty let off with the flogging as fast as he had started it up. He was using the belt to tie Raul’s wrists together over his head.

“Up on your knees,” Hardesty commanded, not waiting for Raul to comply as he ran an arm under the young man’s belly and jerked him up. Grabbing Raul’s cock and balls in one hand and squeezing the balls while Raul squirmed and cried out for mercy, Hardesty buried his face in Raul’s butt crack and ate his ass out, running his tongue deep into the young man’s hole. No mercy was given.

In short order Hardesty had rolled a condom on his cock, mounted Raul’s hips, worked his thick cock inside, grasped Raul’s waist between his hands, and, as Raul groaned and moaned and asked for patience and time to accommodate the dick that wasn’t provided, slap, slap, slapping his balls against the tender flesh of Raul’s inner thighs, Hardesty fucked the shit out of him. Raul was hanging onto the brass rungs of the headboard for dear life as Hardesty rode his ass hard to an ejaculation. The bed groaned and shuddered at the intensity of the bouncing, the springs squealed, and Raul had to let loose of the brass rungs to keep his knuckles from being bruised by the headboard beating against the back wall.

When Hardesty had come, he went up on his knees, letting Raul collapse, sobbing, to the bedspread. But he didn’t leave him. He jerked off the spent condom, three-pointed it into a wastebasket beside the desk, and went back to massaging Raul’s heaving back, running his fingers over the welts he’d raised with the belt.

When he was ready to go again, which was quicker than Raul was ready, he rolled on another of the condoms; thrust his cock inside Raul’s channel again, to the sound of Raul howling; leaned down and put Raul into a full Nelson hold; and, arching Raul’s torso up to his beefy chest, rocked back and forth vigorously, letting the rocking motion do the cock pumping for him.

Afterward Hardesty sat in the boudoir chair he’d pulled up to face the side of the bed, while Raul lay stretched out on his belly on the bed, panting and moaning low, exhausted, with his now-unbound arms radiating, uselessly, from his torso, the one on Hardesty’s side of the bed dangling down to the threadbare carpet. His eyes were big as saucers. His expression was one of surprise, shock, and incredible weariness. He was warily eyeing the service pistol Hardesty was holding in his lap.

“It’s going to be like that here in D.C. if you choose this life. Every night, sometimes twice and three times a day if you want to make a living at it and don’t have a sugar daddy. And you won’t last long,” Hardesty said. “Is that what you want?”

Raul said nothing. He obviously was scared stiff and hurting from the flogging and rough fuck.

“I’m a cop, see. A vice cop. I could take you in for this. I should take you in for this. That’s why I’m out on the beat tonight.” He was flashing his “yes, I really am a D.C. cop badge” at Raul. Raul was impressed, but there wasn’t much he could do about it.

“Oh, Christ,” he did say. “Please, man.”

“You have two choices from this point,” Hardesty said. “I’m putting another hundred on the nightstand here. That’s two hundred, plus the twenty you got in the car. I don’t know where you came from, but that should be enough to put you on a bus to go back there and forget you ever came to D.C. to get killed doing this.”

He slapped two more fifties on the nightstand. “The other choice is to stay at it. If you do, though, I have some words of advice that should keep you alive a little longer than the way you’re going about it. First, don’t approach a car by yourself like you did tonight. Get a buddy and cover each other’s back. Have him stand there while you make the deal. Make sure the john in the car knows the other guy saw and memorized his license plate and can describe him. It could be a stolen car, but it, plus the ID, would be a start for the cops--and the john would know that. He’s less likely to do more than fuck you as agreed. Also, if you want to get serious about it, get a cop for a boyfriend and protector. A vice cop boyfriend will keep you from being constantly pulled off the street. I’m not angling for that pleasure, though. I already have my male whore.

“Also, you charged too little. It’s a dead giveaway that you aren’t in full control and could be taken for a ride. Ask fifty for a blow job and be prepared to settle for forty. But have change for a hundred so he can’t work you on not having the right money. Give the blow job through the window of the car, if you can. You’re always in danger if you go someplace else with the john. I could have easily shivved you at the gas station or in the hotel room. Ask a hundred for an anal fuck but settle for seventy-five. Any cheaper and he’ll know you’re a newbie.

“Don’t give your real name. You did, I think. I’ve looked through your wallet, and unless these are good forgeries, your name really is Raul. My name isn’t Frank. A john won’t give you a real name unless he’s as much a rube as you’ve been tonight. Don’t believe the bit about a cop can’t carry through on the deal and still take you in. I could. I have you recorded making the deal--but nothing beyond that. It would be your word against mine that I fucked you, and they’d believe me for court purposes, even if they knew I’d done it. Vice cops like me took it up for a reason. Most of us are randy for it ourselves. I’ve got regular snitches and I’ve got snitches I fuck. I got more of the latter than the former. Most vice cops will be the same. You stay in the business and I run across you again, I’ll fuck you and not pay you. I won’t protect you, though. No offense, but I’m partial to blonds.

“And don’t let a guy bring you into a hotel like I did. Go through the front door. Don’t let them get you into an alley and don’t believe them when they say there’s a back entrance that would be better. He’ll do you right there in the alley and, more than likely not, off you there. Make sure the doorman or someone else in reception sees you and the john real good. They don’t give a fuck why you’ve come into a hotel like this. I could have fucked and offed you in the alley, or I could have brought you up here through the back, fucked you, and then offed you and walked away without anyone ever knowing I’d done you. I’d have all night to erase the evidence if I wanted to. Got that?”

“I said, got that?” Hardesty repeated when Raul didn’t answer.

“Yes, sir,” Raul said, his voice low and wavering.

“Last thing.”

Hardesty paused, and Raul finally said, “What?”

“You do have a sweet ass, even though you’re not blond. I wanted to fuck you. I want to fuck you again. But there’s someone waiting for you wherever you came from who can love you properly. And you are a sweet fuck. Find love, not a john. I’ve got another condom on the nightstand and I’ve more than paid you for another round, so I’m going to do you the right way now. It isn’t just the lesson. I want your ass again. And I have the power to take you whenever, and as many times, as I want. Remember that. I see you out on the street again, I’m bring you here and do you hard again. I won’t pay for it, and you can’t complain about it.”

Hardesty moved to the bed and sat down next to Raul, coaxing Raul’s face over into his lap. “You’re going to suck me again now.”

With a low moan, Raul opened his mouth over Hardesty’s cock head. Hardesty twisted to where he could do the same with Raul’s cock. After a few minutes, as they were both panting more heavily and were hard, Hardesty gently pushed Raul down on the bed on his back and moved his knees between Raul’s bent and spread legs. He pushed his knees under Raul’s buttocks, raising the young man’s pelvis to him, and slowly entered the young man’s channel again with his cock. The cock went in easier, as it had already reamed the channel twice that evening.

This time he took Raul slowly at first, in long, languid strokes, as he embraced the young man and covered him with kisses from his forehead down to his nipples. Raul lay in Hardesty’s muscular embrace, open and in total, acknowledged surrender, and sighed at this version of the taking. As he heated up, he began to move his pelvis too, working with Hardesty, until the intensity of the fuck overtook both of them and they were pounding at each other and growling for the fuck, Raul taking the cock deep and hard and thrusting against it to take it deeper and harder. He was crying out, “Yes, yes, fuck me! Fuck me hard!”

And Hardesty did fuck him hard, the two of them moving in consort, not just a rent-boy and his john, but two well-tuned and toned lovers, getting as much as they could from each other--clawing at each other and thrusting their pelvises forward to get that last inch of depth. Once again, the headboard pounded against the wall and the bedsprings squealed, but now they both were so much into establishing and maintaining a coordinated rhythm that they were making music, not noise.

At the end, Hardesty rose and withdrew. He ripped the spent condom off, scored another three-pointer on the wastebasket with it, and creamed Raul’s chest, while Raul, waiting for the multiple spoutings to finish, stroked his own cock with a hand, and arced his cum up onto his chest to mingle with Hardesty’s. Hardesty lowered his face to tongue up the cum and then shared it with Raul in a kiss.

“Find someone at home who will do that with you,” Hardesty said, as he jumped off the bed and headed for the bathroom.

At the door out to the corridor, showered and dressed, Hardesty turned and said, “If you can only remember one of the options I gave you, remember the first. It’s what will keep you alive longer. I don’t really want to see you on the street again. Remember, if I do, I can fuck you rough and not pay.” And then he was gone.

Raul lay there for much longer, spread-eagled and one leg and arm dangling off the side of the bed. He was exhausted, but he had a small smile on his face. If this cop wanted to fuck him again that would be fine with him. And, no, he wouldn’t have to pay for it. If anyone every asked him what a total fuck was, it was this.

* * * *

Raul gingerly climbed the seven stories of stairs to the one-bedroom apartment he shared with three other street rent-boys on 14th Street just a few blocks from the corner he regularly stood to conduct his business. He was mulling in his mind what this “Frank” had said about pulling out and going home. Except the guy wasn’t named Frank. He’d left a card, whether purposely or not, Raul didn’t know, on top of the money on the hotel nightstand. It identified him as Hardesty, a D.C. vice cop, and gave a telephone number. Raul couldn’t be sure this was any more real than the “Frank” name or even if the guy was a cop. He easily could be just a john jerking him around.

He was going up to the apartment more to get the card out of his possession while keeping it in case he wanted to use it than for any other reason. If not that, he could have gone back to his corner. He’d heard the cop, if that’s what he really was, about the dangers of this work but he’d have to think about it. But even with the money Hardesty had given him, he’d still be tapped out. His share of the rent for the previous month was due. If he was going to cut and run home, he’d still need to turn tricks for a while to get relocation money.

He couldn’t bring himself to toss this card, but he sure as hell couldn’t let someone find it on him, and Raul couldn’t predict who would be undressing him.

“What’s happening?” he asked when he opened the door to the apartment. All three of them were there. That almost never happened. There were two sets of bunk beds crammed into the small bedroom, but they rarely were all occupied at the same time--nor was the rest of the apartment. But there they were, Jason stuffing crap into a suitcase and Drew prancing around just in his briefs mouthing off to Jason--and Lyle--tall, thin, black Lyle standing off to the side and taking it all in.

“Jason thinks he’s throwing it over and leaving town. Going back to Allenton is Jason. Just like that. When we need to come up with the rent. He says he won’t be here so he won’t contribute.”

So much for me leaving now too, Raul thought, as he sat on the side of his lower bunk and slipped Hardesty’s card into a pocket calendar in the nightstand drawer. “Why? What’s happened?”

“You read the news--the national news?” Drew, a short blond who easily could be Jason’s brother in looks, said.

“Drew,” Jason exclaimed, stopping his packing and looking up. “Don’t.”

“News?” Raul asked.

“Yeah, a dude who’s just been tapped to be vice president of us all is a client of Jason’s, and Jason, for some reason, thinks that makes life difficult for him in New York.”

“Drew, shut your fuckin’ yap,” Jason yelled. “You had to be there, dude. His goons were gonna off me. But I wouldn’t have told you anything if I thought you were gonna broadcast it from the roof.”

“Vice president?” Raul said.

“Yeah, vice president of the fucking United States. This big important politician gets it on with Jason. Whips him and beats him for his jollies. Gives him welts. You’ve seen them, haven’t you, Raul? Well it’s this possible fuckin’ vice president of the United States that gives him those.”

“Just fuckin’ get out of the room--all of you,” Jason said. “And keep your yaps shut. This is bigger than all of us.”

Raul moved out into the living/dining space with Drew and Lyle.

“What’re we gonna do?” Lyle said in a shaky voice.

“We’re gonna let him go, if he wants,” Drew answered. “He’s been nothing but trouble anyway.”

“No, I mean what’re we gonna do about a big time politician beatin’ up on call boys.”

“I have my ideas,” Drew answered. “Where the fuck you goin’, Raul?” he growled, turning toward Raul, who had his hand on the door to the outer corridor.

“You said the rent’s due,” Raul said. “I don’t know nothin’ about this political crap, but I can see I have to get down on the street and rustle up some more rent money. Maybe you two better start thinking how you’re going to throw more into the till until we get another roommate too.” He’d put most of the money he’d gotten from Hardesty in the envelope taped to the underside of the nightstand drawer when Jason was getting all of the attention in the bedroom. But he’d kept some back. He needed a drink--he needed a drink even before cadging a drink off a john.

When he entered the gay bar near Logan Circle, the Purple Pig, he didn’t make it all the way up to the bar before a big guy, who was bent low over the bar, nursing a drink, had seen him, swiveled toward him, given him a boozy smile, and opened his right arm out, waving with his hand for Raul to come into the space beside him.

“Want a drink?” the big guy, maybe six six and well over two hundred pounds asked, as Raul bellied up to the bar.

“Sure, but In exchange for what?” Raul said, although that didn’t keep him from bellying up to the bar, standing nearly a foot shorter than the big guy, and signaling to the bartender for a Corona.

“A bit of company, maybe leading to something more chummy. I’ve seen you standing the corner.” The man put his hand on Raul’s buttocks and Raul didn’t flinch. He let his own left hand come down to rest on the thigh of the man’s bent leg, with his foot raised to the bar rail. The man reached down, took Raul’s hand, and slid it between the man’s thighs, to his basket. Raul kept his hand there. The guy had a beauty of a bulge. The negotiations had begun.

“My name is Chaz. From out of town. And this is a lonely city.”

“I’m . . . Julio”--Raul had remembered at least this of what Hardesty had said about survival in the business--“and no one with money need be lonely in New York.”

The dude--the guy who said his name was Chaz, but it probably wasn’t--dug his hand under the hem of Raul’s T-shirt and was feeling up the young man’s back, skin on skin. He stopped moving up abruptly and his fingers traced the edges of the welts Hardesty had raised there with his leather belt. The man gave a low whistled and looked directly into Raul’s eyes.

“You do sessions?”

“Sessions? What do you mean?” Raul asked.

“You know, sessions. Bondage, whips, straps.”

“Not usually,” Raul said, shuddering.

“But you’ve done them. You did one very recently.”

“Well--”

“$500 for a session. Now.”

So much for negotiations. Raul very much needed money right now. Five bills was a mother lode.

“Money up front.”

The money was produced and Raul flagged the bartender to come over and hold it for him. This was a regular service provided at this bar. The bartender would know what to do with the money if Raul didn’t come back for it--he’d pocket it. But if Raul did come back, he’d return it less 5 percent.

The black SUV was parked in the alley behind the club. There was a driver. Chaz pushed Raul into the backseat, pulled a black hood over his head, and pushed him down to the floor. “Just security and your safety,” Chaz said.

Raul already felt way the hell out of his element, but there wasn’t anything he was going to do about it.

They drove for about fifteen minutes in city traffic. The hood was pulled off Raul’s head as he was being pulled out of the back of the SUV. They were in another alley between two brownstones of four or five stories. Raul was hustled through a door and up three flights of the back, service area of whatever building they were in.

The bedroom was decked out in red satin, silk, and velvet--all very garish. It appealed to the Hispanic in Raul, though. The room was dominated by a four-poster bed, and Raul quickly learned that restraints dropped from the top corners of the canopy and restraint leads came out from the four bottom corners. Human cries of pain could be heard faintly from other parts of the building--both men and women.

He was stripped naked and hooked up at the foot of the bed, facing the bed, his arms raised, spread, and restrained and his legs spread and restrained.

Chaz fondled and felt Raul up intimately in that position--but not for long. Only long enough for Raul to hyperventilate and wonder why the hell he’d agreed to this.

The door opened and in walked a tall, slender man in black leather. His body was well-muscled but with the caveat that he probably was in his fifties. His body was well muscled for a guy in his fifties. He had a black leather cap mask that came down below his eyes and over the bridge of his nose. There was a matting of mostly gray hair on his chest and forearms. A black leather harness with a brass ring at his sternum caged his chest. He was wearing black leather leggings with the crotch and buttocks exposed. His pubic hair was salt and pepper. His cock was erect. His balls hung low in their sacs. He was carrying a hand whip.

It wasn’t Chaz.

The whipping didn’t last long, but it was hard enough to make Raul writhe and scream, adding to the cries elsewhere in the building that Raul could still hear. The tormentor seemed to enjoy this. It certainly enhanced his erection. The initial fuck, from behind, with the man cupping Raul’s buttocks, releasing his ankle bonds, raising his feet off the carpet, and setting his channel down on the man’s cock, lasted longer and was relentless, the stroke strong and deep, with Raul, again, writhing and crying out.

There was a knock at the door before the man had come and he went over to open it and to talk with someone through the crack in the door. He raised his mask to talk and Raul, who had turned his head in that direction when the knock was heard, sucked in air.

He had, in fact, seen some news. He had no idea who this political guy was who was being touted as a running mate in the presidential race, but this clearly was the same guy they’d shown in the photos. He turned his head back in the other direction so the senator--he couldn’t think of him with another name, although he didn’t know his actual name--wouldn’t know he’d been IDed.

When Senator Etheridge returned, he released Raul from the wrist restraints, but only to force him onto his belly on the bed and to restrain him from the four bedpost corners again.

Whatever had transpired at the door had dampened the senator’s ardor. He had to resort to the whip again, lashing Raul’s back, arms, buttocks, and thighs repeatedly until he’d worked his cock up. Then, mounting Raul’s ass, and thrusting his cock deep, the senator started pounding the rent-boy’s ass again as Raul cried out in pain mixed with a passion he couldn’t deny and writhed as best he could within the limits of his bondage.

 

Habu

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