[This story is completed and will post in six chapters before the end of May 2016]

The dancer on the pole looked too young. That’s why Hardesty zeroed in on him. Hardesty was looking for them young. The others were working the crowd. Leering back, throwing dirty words into the crowd in response to what was being called out to them and making suggestive motions with their bodies on the poles. But this one, the small, lithe guy, not more than five foot five, Hardesty estimated, with the blond Mohawk and the fluttering eyelashes, was dancing the pole to the slow music in a shyer, more introspective way. That didn’t mean that he didn’t have guys zeroing in on him like Hardesty was--but for different reasons, Hardesty told himself.

It’s just that he was an enigma.

What was he doing here at all, Hardesty wondered. He kept going back to the guy looking too young, too innocent--wholesome under an attempt to play the part--but sexy at the same time. Really, really sexy. His body was boyishly perfect. The Mohawk wasn’t extreme--he didn’t look punk. He was a dyed blond. The hair was auburn at the roots, but it looked like he’d let it go that way on purpose, like the hair was just frosted. He had hardware--a small ring in his eyebrow and one in his navel--and a tattoo of a gecko or some lizard or something disappearing down under the waistband of the gold G-string he was wearing. All you could see of the tattoo were a tail and some hind legs in green. He wasn’t heavily muscled, but there wasn’t any fat on him either. His stomach was flat and his hips thin, but his buttocks flared out into perfect bubbles.

The face was boyish too, almost pretty. His eyes were hazel or blue, Hardesty couldn’t really tell which in this light. But he didn’t care that much about the eyes--more that he looked young, too young, and that he was dancing within himself. Very sexy, but as if he was too innocent to be in here. Too vulnerable.

Patrons were coming close to the stage and stuffing fives and tens and even a few twenties in the waistbands of the G-strings of the other two dancers, and the dancers, in turn, were blowing kisses and making lurid movements to fit the mood. But none of that was happening with this one dancer. There was some sort of barrier around him that the boisterous men couldn’t penetrate. He had more than his share of admirers, but they were worshipping him from a distance, most of them sitting there, lost in watching him, no doubt spinning in their minds what they’d like to do with the small, lithe, vulnerable body. Occasionally they’d come up and put their bills on the surface of the stage below where he was dancing. So he was getting his share of the tips. They just weren’t touching him. It was like they were afraid he was too young to touch, not legal. They fully appreciated what he was doing, but they sensed a danger in treating him like the other two dancers.

This is what caught Hardesty’s attention more than anything else. He took out his wallet and extracted a fifty-dollar bill and laid it down on the table in front of him. He made sure the young dancer saw him do it, which he did, and then Hardesty pushed the bill a nudge, just a nudge, toward the dancer on the tabletop and gave the dancer a meaningful look.

Putting a ten in a dancer’s G-string waistband was showing one form of appreciation in a bar like this. Showing a fifty on top of the table told the dancer something entirely different. And all of the dancers here were on call for those fifties. Hardesty knew it was part of the contract.

Fifteen minutes after the end of the set, the dancer was walking through the beaded curtain at the back of the room and slowly making his way to Hardesty’s table. He was managing to perpetuate the enigma. He was wearing low-rise faded jeans--the hind legs and tail of the gecko were still disappearing down into his pants at the crease where the sculpted edge of the under curve of his belly joined the lop of his right leg--but he was wearing an open green plaid flannel shirt and a yellow-gold baseball cap with the word “Lions” embossed in green above its bill. Some sort of high school team cap was Hardesty’s first thought. The kid looked that young; the baseball cap certainly didn’t make him look older. It was like there was a basic innocent, boy-next-door aura about the individual pieces of clothing he was wearing. The thing was, though, that the plaid shirt was open in front, showing his perfectly formed, honey-colored torso, and he was wearing thin-strip sandals and no socks. He looked both innocent rural hick and sex on wheels all at the same time. Hardesty wondered what was real and what wasn’t with this guy. He’d have to push the envelope to find out.

They were hazel. His eyes were hazel. He was only half smiling when he sat down at the table, across from Hardesty, and he looked half embarrassed too, like this was all new to him. He placed a couple of fingers on the fifty-dollar note and cast his eyes down, on the bill, as if he couldn’t say what he did to Hardesty face-to-face.

“You want to come into the back?”

“I have a room--at a motel,” Hardesty said with a low growl. “There will be more than the fifty. Quite a bit more. That cool with you?”

“Yeah, that’s cool,” the young man answered, although even in this he managed to send confusing signals. He said it like he wasn’t completely sure--like he hadn’t really been through this routine before and didn’t know if leaving the premises was permitted. Like he didn’t know whether he should pin down what “quite a bit more” totaled out to.

Hardesty just wasn’t sure. He had to be sure. He could have made the young man say the words here and taken care of it all right here. But he just wasn’t sure. And there was something about this young, vulnerable-acting guy that spoke to Hardesty. That aroused him. He didn’t want to think about the consequences of that, thought.

Perhaps he should have.

* * * *

Hardesty showered first at the motel room. He’d wanted to take off his suit coat a long time before now. The young man--especially when he was sitting so close to Hardesty in the car--had heated Hardesty up. Once they got in the motel room, he couldn’t wait to get into the bathroom and take that coat off.

He could have taken care of it all in the car--just like he probably could have right there in the bar. He could have let the young man offer to suck him off there. It seemed that the kid was going to do that. But he hesitated in making the offer--that innocence and uncertainly forcing its way through the studied sexy exterior again--and Hardesty had overridden the start of an offer with questions about the young man, most of which were diverted or answered in the least-revealing way the kid could manage.

“Twenty-one,” the guy had said. He’d been smoking a cigarette and rolled down the car window and flicked the butt out when he’d said that. He face was turned away from Hardesty, who was trying to keep his eyes on the road and on Todd at the same time. The guy had already said his name was Todd. Hardesty gave him his own real name.

“Just Hardesty. Everyone calls me just that. No first name needed.”

Turning away from him like that when giving an age told Hardesty it was a lie. But just how much of a lie? That was the crux of the matter. That’s what mattered with Hardesty. He was looking for them young, real young.

“Gotta piss, so I’ll go first,” Hardesty said as soon as they got in the door of the room at the seedy nearby motel that he’d already rented that afternoon. No issues with checking in, even if this was the type of motel that gave a shit how many and of what variety occupied its rooms--more likely by the hour than the night. He’d used this motel before.

For a split second Hardesty was afraid that Todd was going to ask to go first--or, more likely--for them to shower together. But Hardesty had business to do that he didn’t want the kid to see.

Once in the bathroom, he stripped his coat off, and pulled the gun holster out from his arm pit and over his shoulder. He looked around. If nothing else, he could wrap it up in the folded clothes when he came out of the bathroom. But he wanted it well out of the way. He saw the gap between the wall and the back of the toilet tank, and the gun fit in there, out of sight, just like it was built for this need.

He showered quickly, not wanting to lose the mark, not wanting Todd, who continued to seem skittish about the whole deal, to fly the coop. But Todd was there, naked, and stretched out on the bed, his eyes on the bathroom door, when Hardesty came out, a bath towel wrapped around his waist and knotted in place.

Todd’s eyes knitted and his mouth formed a little O when he saw Hardesty, which Hardesty knew would be the case. He was pretty nondescript in build in the specially fitted suit, but seen only in a towel revealed he was a cut bodybuilder. Hardesty knew that when he dropped the towel, Todd would have another reason to widen his eyes and squirm a bit.

“Your turn. And clean yourself out real well while you’re in there.”

Todd stood up from the bed in a fluid motion, not hiding anything, all innocence--or purposeful posing. Hardesty couldn’t discern which. He took his breath in, though. The gecko tattoo hadn’t just been scurrying into the guy’s pants. It was stretching out into his groin and its red tongue was flickering out and around the base of Todd’s cock. Even here, despite the tattoo Todd was all fresh innocence. The cock wasn’t small but it wasn’t anything to crow about either, its innocence proclaimed by being flaccid and uncut. The balls were pert. The evidence of studied intention, though, was hinted by the groomed pubes. They were trimmed short and shaved into a V down into the root of his cock and had the same dye job as the Mohawk on his head--auburn underneath blond highlights.

Hardesty wondered how Todd had managed to do that as he watched the bouncing little butt cheeks move toward the bathroom. He supposed that could be done at home with a toothbrush.

While Todd was showering, Hardesty took the small tape recorder out of the pocket of his folded suit coat, turned it on, and placed it in the top drawer of one of the nightstands. Before closing the drawer, he took a small can of lubricant out of the other suit coat pocket and put it in the drawer too. Then he fished three condom packets out of his folded trouser pocket and a wad of fifties and deposited them in the drawer. He stood up from the bed and walked over to where Todd had carelessly dropped his clothes on the floor next to a chair.

“Some never grow up,” he muttered. Then he stiffened at the thought of just how much of an innocent Todd was. And, delving deep into his secret of all secrets, he felt his cock hardening.

This was a point where he could have--probably should have--dressed and walked out of the motel room. And he thought briefly about doing that. But how he reasoned his way out of that was to recall that his gun was in the bathroom with Todd, concealed behind the toilet tank.

Instead, he fished Todd’s wallet out of the lad’s jeans and quickly searched it for forms of ID. He found a couple, including a driver’s license. Todd wasn’t twenty-one--surprise, surprise--and he wasn’t Todd either. All of the ID cards were for a Toby Drake. Hardesty wondered why he found the name “Todd” more comforting in this role he’d taken on than “Toby.”

He wasn’t twenty-one, but if these IDs were to be believed, he wasn’t underage either. A couple of them gave a birth date that put him a couple of months above nineteen. Still a teen, though. But that part of what Hardesty was looking for was by the boards. The ID went back into the jeans. Either the guy was a neophyte to be carrying around real ID, or he was really clever. And if he was being really clever, then it was likely that he was underage after all. Hardesty decided he had to stick with his line of approach.

Todd walked back in the room, rubbing his Mohawk with a towel and walking along, naked, just like he was in the boy’s locker room back at school. No self-consciousness, no attempting to be provocative or sexy. But, in that, being very sexy.

He walked over to the bed and sat down on the side of it, facing Hardesty.

Hardesty, standing across the room, turned to him and dropped the towel from his waist. Todd’s eyes went big and he gave a little gasp, as Hardesty knew he would. And Hardesty was barely half hard yet.

“I need to know what I’ll get for fifty dollars,” he said.

“I thought you said it would be more.”

“It will be if I’m satisfied with what I would have gotten for the fifty. We can work our way up from there.”

“What is that you want?” Todd asked.

“Tell me what you’ll do for that.”

“I’ll suck it and fuck it for fifty dollars--but just one of each. Repeats or anything kinky would be more.”

Another chance to end it. But Hardesty didn’t take that opportunity. He had the fifty-dollar bill wadded up in his fist.

“Guess we’ll start with the basic and see if that satisfies enough to build from there.”

He opened his fist; smoothed out the bill; walked over to where Todd’s clothes were piled; rummaged around, and put the fifty in the pocket of Todd’s jeans. He lifted the jeans from the floor and deposited the bill dramatically so Todd could see he wasn’t palming the fifty. Then he came back to the bed and stood close to Todd.

This was the point of no return for Hardesty. He chose what he wanted to happen over duty. He decided to go with the age on the ID.

Todd put his left hand on Hardesty’s waist, cupped Hardesty’s balls with his right hand, and opened his mouth over the head of Hardesty’s cock.

While Todd was sucking his cock--with Hardesty still uncertain whether the guy was proficient at this or was a bit awkward, which only made Hardesty go harder and enjoy the blow job more at the thought he was working with a neophyte here--Hardesty leaned over, opened the nightstand drawer, took out the three condom packets and the can of lubricant, and put them on top of the nightstand. He also took out another fifty and placed it next to the can of lubricant, making sure that Todd saw him do this. While his fingers were in there, he turned off the recorder. He had what he needed if he wanted to use it. And he didn’t want what would happen now recorded.

He had already decided what he wanted to do.

“Belly to bed,” he directed in a low, commanding bed. “And scoot up on the bed.”

Todd turned and went up on the bed on his knees and stretched out on his belly. He gave a sigh like this was all just a nighttime “going to bed” routine for the little guy.

He had no idea how arousing that was, Hardesty thought. But then maybe he did. The jury was still out on that.

Hardesty straddled Todd’s hips on the bed and massaged the young man’s back and shoulder muscles and arms, feeling the tension slowly draining out of the teenager. Todd was giving little mewing sounds like he was enjoying it. Hardesty glided his hands up Todd’s side and into his pit on one side, finding that he had groomed himself to short tuffs of hair there and wondering if Todd had frosted what little pit hair he had as well. He’d have to check that out later. He pushed his arms under Todd’s chest from both sides and lifted the young man’s torso off the surface of the bed. Hardesty’s hands went to Todd’s pecs and he massaged Todd’s nipples with his fingers until Todd was groaning and Hardesty could feel the younger mans pelvis raise a bit from the surface of the bed and move in a slow rhythm, stroking the underside of his cock on the bed.

“Please, man.”

“Please what?”

“You know.”

Yes, he knew. But it was arousing him more that Todd didn’t seem to be able to say it. Young, innocent, vulnerable. Hardesty decided to go slow. The underside of his own cock was wedged inside the cleft of Todd’s buttocks. Hardesty started to stroke slowly across Todd’s hole while still massage his nipples and playing with the nipple ring. Todd whimpered and groaned. His fists had bunched up wads of the bedspread over his head, and Hardesty watched the young man bring the bunching of his fists into rhythm with the dry-fuck stroking of his cock.

Letting Todd’s torso descend on the surface of the bed, Hardesty started kissing his way down the youth’s spine while moving his body down below Todd’s. He kissed and nibbled at Todd’s cheeks before pulling them apart with his hand and blowing on Todd’s hole. It puckered right up for him. Hardesty kissed the bud and ran his tongue over it. He blew on it a couple of times. Todd sighed and the hole opened. Hardesty stuck his tongue in it and it opened more.

He felt his muscles tighten and a flash of anger come up from his belly. He tongued it again and now could see a couple of inches up into the channel it had widened so much. Why, he could get several fingers in there. He could drive a Mac truck up that channel.

Hardesty growled. The little fucker was a poser. This hole was in regular use.

He stood up from the bed and with hands trembling in anger tore open a condom packet, rolled the condom on his rock-hard cock, sprayed lubricant on his cock and on the puckered hole, and came back down on the bed between Todd’s spread legs.

Todd didn’t know a thing in the changed plans on the length of the foreplay until Hardesty was pulling him up to his knees with an arm grip under his chin and was stuffing his cock inside Todd’s channel with the other hand.

Todd howled his surprise and the roughness of the invasion of Hardesty’s cock.

“Ayieee, you’re huge. Oh, fuck, you’re splitting me.”

Hardesty knew that he, indeed, was huge, but he had seen the slackness of that hole. He knew the young man could take him.

When the cock was fully buried and Hardesty started to piston hard, Todd, with groans and whimpers, relaxed and let Hardesty have his way with him--which was a very rough, hard, deep, and demanding way.

He was docilely taking the hard, rough fuck until Hardesty started working his torso with his free hand. Nothing unusual happened while Hardesty was giving him nipple play, or when he played with the ring in the young man’s navel, or even when he pulled on Todd’s cock and balls during the fuck. But Hardesty moved the palm of the hand to where Todd’s right leg joined his torso, and Todd suddenly went active.

He started begging for the fuck. “Yeah fuck. Get it, get it! Fuck me. GiveittomegiveittomegiveittoME!” with his body writhing and his pelvis counterpunching Hardesty’s thrusts.

Todd shot out on the bedspread and went limp, and Hardesty, ready to blow himself, let Todd fall in a heap on the bed, pulled the condom off his cock, and masturbated for six or seven strokes before ejaculating on Todd’s back.

Todd was panting heavily, his shoulders were heaving, and Hardesty couldn’t tell or not if he was sobbing into the bedspread. He had rolled into a fetal position.

Hardesty’s anger had evaporated, and he was ashamed of himself. He had no right to be angry with Todd. Christalmighty, he was a rent boy. It was Hardesty making out something innocent and vulnerable in him. The kid hadn’t led him on--other than adding at least two years to his age in what he’d told him. Of course his hole would be well used. That’s how he was trying to make a living.

All of the innocence stuff was in Hardesty’s mind. Although maybe not all, if the guy had been reduced to a sobbing pile of hurt.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me,” Hardesty said in a low voice. He placed his hands on the arm and thigh of Todd. Todd didn’t shrug him off. “You were just so desirable at that moment,” Hardesty continued. He was too embarrassed to tell the truth. “I just wanted to have you so bad.”

Todd was still trembling, but Hardesty could feel him relax a bit and his breath become more regular. He lightly rubbed the areas of Todd’s body he could get to for a good ten minutes more, while the ball Todd was in slowly untightened. Hardesty managed to run a hand down between a thigh clutched to a stomach and Todd’s belly and reach and encircle the youth’s cock. He played with Todd’s balls and did a squeeze and release on Todd’s cock, which the cock seemed to appreciate.

“Let me make it up to you,” Hardesty said. He moved over and opened the drawer to the nightstand. He extracted another fifty-dollar bill from the small wad. Waving it in the air where Todd, untucking his head, was now watching Hardesty display the fifty dollars.

“As you see, the insurance fifty is still on the nightstand. I’m going to walk over and put this one in your jeans. If you don’t tell me to stop, then you’ll let me make love to you again--love this time, not like what I just did.”

Todd’s eyes were wide and he sniffed. “You’re hard again.”

“Yes, I am hard for you again. That’s how much I want you.” He continued on to Todd’s jeans, tucked the fifty in, and turned toward the bed again. Todd hadn’t told him to stop. Instead, he had unclenched his body and turned over on his back, raising his torso on his elbows.

Hardesty looked up the whole sweep of the lithe, boyish body and moved quickly to the bed and came down on top of Todd, careful to take his muscular weight on his elbows and knees rather than crush the small man. They went into a deep kiss, and their cocks rubbed against each other as they both moved their pelvises in harmony.

Hardesty kissed slowly down Todd’s body, paying particular to his nipples and navel ring. When he reached Todd’s groin, he kissed him in the fold of his torso into his left leg and then repeated on the crease on the right, where the gecko was. Todd moaned and grabbed Hardesty’s hair with both of his fists.

“Yeah! Fuck yeah!”

Hardesty kissed him again there, and Todd groaned and shouted out another “Yeah! Fuck it!”

The older man moved his lips to Todd’s cock. He pushed the foreskin down with his teeth, lightly scrapping the sensitive glans, and flicked his tongue in Todd’s piss slit. Todd groaned and arched his back. “Yes, yes, YES!”

Hardesty sucked the cock for several minutes as Todd’s body went stiff and he raised his pelvis and pumped with his cock. Testing a theory, Hardesty moved fingers to the gecko tattoo and started rubbing it. Todd went wild with his pelvis and shot his load.

The lips of the older man went to the gecko and he was licking and sucking there.

Todd writhed under him, even more aroused now than when he’d ejaculated. “Fuck me, Fuck me! Getitgetitgetit!”

Careful to keep his fingers rubbing the gecko, Todd went up on his knees; pushed them under Todd’s buttocks so that Todd’s thighs were on his hips and his torso streamed out below Hardesty; and slowly, this time, buried his cock in Todd’s hole.

Todd was beside himself with passionate response as Hardesty pumped his channel--and rubbed the gecko.

Hardesty had obviously found Todd’s erogenous zone.

Later, asking almost too late, as they were well into the wee hours of the morning with the two of them stretched out and Todd spooned into Hardesty’s pelvis, Hardesty murmured, “Can you stay the night?”

“I have no place else I need to be,” Todd answered. The way he answered it made Hardesty think that he had no place else he could have gone that night.

In the night, Hardesty woke from a very pleasant dream in, he thought, the same spoon configuration they both, exhausted, had dozed off in. He realized that the transition from the dream to reality was that there was a mouth working his cock--exactly what had been pleasant about the dream--and that they weren’t really in the same configuration. They were in a 69 position. So, while Todd sucked him, he sucked Todd. In the dark of the night.

He felt the mouth pull off his cock.



“I want to make love to you now. I want to fuck you.”

“I don’t . . .”

“You don’t understand. Here, sit up on the edge of the bed.”

He did so and Todd moved around and sat on his thighs, with his legs, bent, on either side of Hardesty’s hips. He placed his hands around Hardesty’s neck, clenching his fists together, and rolled his hips up. “Here, put it in me.”

“Just a sec,” Hardesty answered. He took the last condom packet off the nightstand, feeling the regret that it was the last one he had, extracted the condom, and rolled in on his engorged cock as it rested against Todd’s navel ring. Todd raised himself up with the strength of the leverage of his heels and his knotted fists, while Hardesty slowly entered his channel with his cock.

“Hold still. Let me do it all,” Todd whispered. He then started to stroke his channel on Hardesty’s buried cock.

Hardesty couldn’t keep wholly still. After a few minutes, he placed his hands on the youth’s thin waist, making sure that a thumb could reach the gecko tattoo on Todd’s right side. He started to rub. Todd threw his head back and howled to the ceiling and began riding the cock like he was a jockey in the Kentucky Derby.

They came almost simultaneously.

* * * *

All during breakfast at a greasy spoon down the block from the motel, Hardesty couldn’t think of much else other than that he was stupid to have come with only three condoms. The kid had wanted to go two more rounds in the night. He was stupid for other reasons too, but in for a penny in for a pound on that, he decided.

It had been a chore shrugging back into his suit this morning, especially getting the piece in its holster under his armpit again, when all he wanted to do was have another go at Todd. But he’d only had three condoms. The fact that he’d never been able to get it up more than three times a night before--and not even that many times--wasn’t something he was going to let comfort him. With Todd--pure innocence under that great, pliable body and a hole that could take him easily--he felt like he could go all night.

He wasn’t stupid about everything, though.

“No, I can’t take it. That time was for me. I’m just sorry you didn’t have more condoms. I shoudda brought some. I knew I’d forget something.”

“No, Todd, you’re not a charity, and you need it more than I do. So, here, take this fifty. I want to be on good terms with you.” He stuffed the fifty-dollar bill in Todd’s pocket to go with the hundred the guy had outright earned. He had that green plaid shirt buttoned now, and suddenly he looked just like any other nineteen year old having breakfast with an older brother.

Well, uncle, maybe, Hardesty thought. Despite the pleasures of the night and the prime condition he was in, Hardesty’s muscles felt all of his thirty-two years this morning. That’s not to say that he wasn’t ready to go again.

“So, you usually remember to bring condoms?”

“Yeah,” Todd said, looking down at the tablecloth as if the whole topic was embarrassing for him.

“And you do this often--go with a man who watches you dance at the club?”

Todd looked up at the corner of the ceiling now. “Often enough.”

“How long have you been dancing at that club?”

“Just a week. I’m just filling in for a friend. The manager wants me to continue, but . . . well . . . I don’t know.”

Hardesty could well imagine that the club manager wanted Todd to continue working there.

“So, what’s ‘often enough,’ Todd? If you’ve only been dancing at the club for a week, how many times have you gone with a man in a week?”

“Once.” Todd looked like he was ashamed to admit it.

Hardesty momentarily regretted again having been so rough with him the first time. But then he remembered how slack Todd’s hole was--how quickly it had opened to his attentions. The young man hadn’t just started doing this in the last week.

“What do you do, then, Todd, if you aren’t a regular dancer at the club.”

“Ummm, this and that.”

“And do your parents know you are doing this and that?”

Todd flared. “I’m twenty-one. What do parents have to do with it?”

“Uh, right,” Hardesty said. What he thought was a more sarcastic, yeah, right. “It’s OK. I just worry about what you’re doing.”

“It gets me by.”

Hardesty was “this close” to asking Todd to go home with him. To throw all of this over and to be with him--just him. But he stopped himself. He already was off the reservation here. He couldn’t fall for a kid like this.

“We have the room until noon,” he said in a low voice, watching Todd closely for his response.

Todd looked at him, smiled slightly, and then looked down at the fifty-dollar bill again.

“Yeah, fifty each time,” Hardesty murmured, and then when Todd didn’t say anything, he continued, “Maybe I’m too old and ugly for you. Maybe you didn’t like it?”

“What’s not to like?” Todd lifted his head and shot back. “You’re not nearly as old as much of the men coming to the club and wanting something extra. And you’ve got a hard body and a gigantic cock. What’s not to like about that?”

“And fifty dollars each time,” Hardesty said. But then he felt that was unfair. Todd hadn’t wanted to charge him for the third time, the time that Todd had initiated it and done most of the work. “Sorry, I didn’t mean that,” he said, then he rushed on. “I have to take a piss, and we need more supplies. Give me a minute and we’ll go back to the room. There will be a rubber machine in the john, I’m sure.”

He stood up and turned and headed toward the toilets at the back of the diner. He didn’t really have to take a piss--but he did anyway as long as he was there. What he really wanted was the machines he knew were in the men’s room of this diner. He’d eaten here often. He’d used the motel down the block often even. Just never quite the way he’d used it last night.

He put his coins in the machine and a condom packet dropped out. Screw this place for selling only single packets, he told himself. He hesitated. Then he searched around in his pockets and found enough change to have another go at the machine. He had condoms at home--lots of them. But, well, they were at home, and it was 9:00 a.m., and they had the room until noon. Although he didn’t know what the other guys would say if he didn’t drag into work until after noon. Fuck ’em on that, though. He was already so far out of bounds that it didn’t make a rat’s ass of a difference.

He only had change enough for a second condom. They’d just have to make do.

He came out of the men’s room to find that Todd was gone. He wasn’t at the motel either.



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