Hi everyone! Welcome to my brand new story!
Loving Arms is completely written, as usual, and it's 20 chapters + an epilogue long. I honestly cannot remember where the idea for this came from. It's a Prostitute!Kurt AU. That means we'll have sexual themes and lots of angst. For the first time ever, I will be giving warnings when necessary. So make sure you read the author's note for every chapter. There aren't warnings for this first chapter, so you can go ahead and read!
Thank you so much to my beautiful betas Wutif and Christine for the help with this chapter. Also, a huge thanks to Lana (she's coughsyrop on tumblr!) for working on the cover art!
The title was taken from a Dixie Chicks song of the same name.
I own nothing!
Here we go!
Blaine flinched at the thud of the door closing, as if he'd been slapped. It felt like a slap in the face. After all, this was the third time someone he loved had dumped him.
The sudden silence echoing in the apartment felt overwhelming, and he dropped onto the couch with a dejected sigh. This wasn't how he had imagined his Sunday evening going. He had imagined dinner, a movie, some cuddles on that very same couch where he was now alone; maybe some lazy sex before going to sleep… but not this. Definitely nothing like this.
He felt a soft pressure on his knee and opened his eyes to see his Dalmatian dog resting her head on it, whining. Blaine scratched behind her ears, soothingly. "I guess it's just you and me again, girl."
Nayla stared up at him with her big dark eyes. Blaine had the feeling even his dog was feeling sorry for him right now.
Blaine Anderson was twenty seven years old and up until an hour ago, he would have said he was largely contented with his life. He had a job he loved, a loving family, a nice apartment, an adorable dog, and a boyfriend that he'd really believed loved him… but, once again, he'd been deceiving himself. The one thing he didn't have, the one missing puzzle piece, was the perfect man to share his life with.
Three times, he had been sure he had found the one, and each time they had proved him wrong. Why was it so hard to find someone who loved him? Was it that Blaine wasn't boyfriend – husband – material at all? Why couldn't anyone love him for who he was? Why did they always turn their back on him and leave him heartbroken? And why did he never see it coming?
They always implied it was Blaine's fault, so now he was starting to believe that there was something seriously wrong with him.
Logan had been his first boyfriend, during his college years. They had lasted for nearly three years, even getting an apartment together when they were both in junior year. Blaine had been so deeply in love with him – it had been love at first sight: the athletic blonde guy who seemed to like going out for a run around campus at the same time Blaine did, and had inevitably ended in them running together, exchanging phone numbers, going out on a date. Blaine had hoped they would spend their entire lives together, and it still stung that Logan suddenly ended it, right out of the blue. It certainly hadn't seemed like a big deal to Logan to just move on, while Blaine, whose life had revolved around his boyfriend, had spun into orbit.
"I can't do this anymore, Blaine," Logan had said abruptly, with a frustrated sigh. Blaine had paused in the middle of their tiny kitchen, completely blind-sided, with a pan in one hand and a spatula in the other, halfway through making breakfast. "I feel like I'm married to a 1950s housewife. You're choking me…"
"I…" Blaine blinked in confusion. "I'm sorry? I thought I was just taking care of you…"
"This isn't taking care of me. It's being clingy," Logan had snapped, irritated. "Constantly sending me messages asking me when I'm coming home…"
"That's just so I'll know when I should have dinner ready!" Blaine exclaimed, hazel eyes going wide.
"That's exactly what I'm talking about!" Logan threw his arms in the air. "I don't need you to make my dinner every night. I don't need you to tell me you love me every five minutes…"
"I don't… I don't tell you that every five minutes," Blaine muttered, wilting. That one hurt. Did sharing his feelings truly annoy Logan that much?
"Look, I know I'm your first boyfriend, so let me break it down for you," Logan stepped closer to Blaine to put his hands on his shoulders, their faces so close that Blaine could lean in and kiss him if he wanted to… although Logan didn't seem to want his kisses anymore. "The best thing about dating guys is that they're usually a lot more relaxed than girls are. With you? It's like dating a fifteen year old girl who keeps sending you little love notes with hearts all over them during class…"
Blaine put the pan and the spatula down, his eyes welling with tears from that cheap shot. "Am I a fifteen year old girl or a damn 50s housewife, then?"
"Worse. You're a combination of both," Logan said in a cold voice. Blaine felt his heart breaking, and he knew, he just knew, it was all over.
"I'm sorry for trying to keep you happy. I didn't know loving you was such a bad thing to do…"
Logan rolled his eyes. "Listen, Blaine. It would be a lot better for the both of us if we just went our different ways. We clearly aren't working…"
Blaine stood there numbly in the middle of the kitchen, as Logan gathered his things, before the door closed behind him. That was the first time he had been dumped.
His second boyfriend, Richard, had been a little older than him. They had both just gotten out of long relationships and, feeling lonely, they had found comfort in each other. Mostly, physical comfort. After the fourth time Richard fucked him, Blaine knew that he was falling in love. He didn't say it yet, afraid of another rejection, but once the months passed and they were still together, hope began growing in his heart.
They had been together for almost eight months when, as they sat close together on the couch at Blaine's apartment, watching mindless television, Blaine had brought up something he had been thinking about for a while.
"So… I was thinking…" He said, licking his lips nervously. "You know I'm going to my parents' house this weekend, right?" At Richard's nod, he continued: "Well, I was wondering if you'd like to come with me… if you'd like to meet them."
Richard looked at him as if he had grown another head. "You want me to meet your parents?"
"Yes?" Blaine replied, frowning, because that didn't sound crazy at all, right? They had been together for a while now. Wasn't it time to make it official? "They've been asking to meet my boyfriend for months…"
"Wait." Richard eyed him with surprise written all over his face. His arm slipped from where it had been resting over Blaine's shoulders. "You think we're boyfriends?"
Blaine was, once again, very confused. His heart shriveled and died a bit, at hearing the disbelief in Richard's voice. "Well, yeah. Of course…"
"Oh, Blaine," Richard chuckled patronizingly. He actually chuckled. "Sometimes I forget how young you are. Are you really that naïve?"
Blaine muted the television. "I am not naïve. Maybe it started as something more casual, but…"
"It's still casual. It never stopped being casual sex, for me," Richard interrupted, far too seriously for Blaine to feel at ease. "I'm not looking for a boyfriend. I don't want a boyfriend. And if I did want one, I wouldn't want a boy as clingy as you are."
Clingy. There was that word again. It made Blaine's stomach churn. "I'm not clingy! What makes you think I'm clingy?"
"Oh, Blaine, please. You spend more time at my apartment than at yours. You want me to meet your parents. You even showed up at my office a couple of times to surprise me with lunch…"
"I was being nice! That's not being clingy! I know you hate those damn dry sandwiches from that horrible cafeteria and I wanted you to have real food!" Blaine protested, feeling younger with every word. It seemed as if Richard was looking down at him, almost pitying him for being so innocent.
"Blaine, come on. We have sex, we have fun, but at the end of the night, I don't want to cuddle with you. I just want you to go home," Richard shrugged, as if what he was saying wasn't tearing Blaine into pieces. "Although, I admit waking up with my dick in your mouth isn't a bad way to wake up at all, but I really…"
Blaine clenched his fists. He was furious, especially with himself. How had he convinced himself Richard loved him when he felt nothing for him? He was an idiot. "Don't you think you could've been clearer about your expectations? Don't you think it would've been nice to let me know there was no future in this… this relationship?"
Richard, obviously bored with the conversation, grabbed his jacket from the back of the couch. "Don't you think that if you hadn't been so busy building this relationship into something it wasn't in your head, you would've realized that the only thing we actually share is a bed?" He put his jacket on, and then dared to pat Blaine's shoulder condescendingly. "Sorry to disappoint you, Blaine. Have fun at your parents this weekend."
When Richard walked out the door ten seconds later, Blaine knew he wouldn't ever see him again, either.
Blaine felt stupid for crying, but he couldn't stop his heart from breaking, even if the man who had just broken it wasn't worth his tears.
After Richard, Blaine had taken time for himself. He focused on his work, on reading the books he hadn't taken the time to read and hanging out with his friends. He got a dog to fill the emptiness, to be excited to see him when he came home. Nayla was an adorable puppy and Blaine enjoyed taking care of her. He was the kind of guy who liked to pamper the ones who loved, and he had to accept that there were people who didn't appreciate that. But Nayla did, so for a while, her devotion was enough.
And then he had met Paul, the cute receptionist at the vet's office, who flirted with Blaine every time he took Nayla for a checkup. But Blaine refused to take the first step, this time. Paul finally asked him out on a date, and it didn't take Blaine long to fall for him. Paul was truly a great guy, friendly, open, gentle. Even though Blaine tried to stop himself, he was already planning their wedding when they had been dating for only six months. Was it so bad, that he could see himself living the rest of his life with him?
But now it had happened again. Paul had been so stressed lately, working two jobs and studying for his Master's Degree, and Blaine's instincts had kicked in again, making sure he got enough sleep, enough food, enough time to relax. He couldn't help it; he just liked taking care of people, and Paul didn't seem to be annoyed with his attention.
(Blaine admitted to himself, when it was late at night and no one could hear his sighs, that he wished someone would take care of him, for a change. Paul was great, but he was always too busy to spend quality time with him…)
Blaine had really believed things were okay this time. He really thought Paul loved him just as much as he loved Paul.
"Blaine, we need to talk," Paul murmured just as Blaine walked into the living room after checking the lasagna in the oven.
Blaine frowned. "What's up? Are you okay?"
"I…" Paul ran a hand down his face. "I hate doing this, I really do, but… I just… Blaine, this isn't working out."
Blaine sat next to him and tilted his head to the side, at a complete loss. "I don't know what you're talking about, honey. Are you having trouble at work?"
"No, Blaine. I'm talking about us," Paul looked him in the eyes, and could see his determination to follow through, even if it hurt him. Blaine felt like all the air had abandoned his lungs. "We are just not working anymore. I'm sorry."
Blaine barely managed to choke out one word through his devastation. "Why?"
"I think we both want different things from a relationship," Paul explained. At least he was being nicer about it than the others, Blaine thought miserably. "I can't give you what you want, and what you're giving me… it's not what I need. It's not what I want…"
"What are you talking about?" Blaine asked again, floundering for solid ground. "What different things? I just want you. Tell me what you want, and I'll give it to you."
"Please, please, don't hate me for using this word, but… you're… well, Blaine, you're being clingy," Paul cringed, knowing how much Blaine hated that horrible word. "I know you don't see it that way, but…"
"How can you say that to me?" Blaine stood up again, unable to stay still.
"I'm sorry!" Paul raised his hands in front of him, defensively. "Blaine, you're a great guy, but we really do want different things: I'm way too independent and you are…"
"Don't you dare say clingy again," he gritted, between clenched teeth.
Paul sighed. "You do understand what I mean, though, right?"
Blaine felt like he was about to explode. "No. You know what? No, I don't understand! I don't understand what's so wrong about wanting to take care of the people you love. I like being there for you whenever you need me; I like making dinner for you when you've had a long day, and I like…"
"Blaine," Paul interrupted, putting his hands on Blaine's shoulders, squeezing softly. "You're an amazing guy. You just haven't found someone who needs you the way you want to be needed yet…"
Blaine bit his lip. "I thought you did…"
"I wanted to. I really wanted to. But… I just can't," Paul said regretfully.
Blaine knew it was a lost cause. There wasn't anything he could say to make Paul stay. So he nodded.
He nodded, and he let him go.
He always let them go.
Clingy. That damn word was Blaine Anderson's worst enemy. It meant he wasn't understood; it meant his love wasn't wanted. It meant the person he loved didn't really know what to do with all the love he had to give.
He didn't know when he started feeling the need to have someone to care for, but it had probably started when he was little. He was always the kid who stopped when he was riding his bicycle around the neighborhood to pick up injured birds and frogs and take them home to help them get better. He was the kind of kid who made his mother a cup of tea when she wasn't feeling well. He liked listening to his older brother talking about his day, and comforting him if he was upset about something. He helped his father with the car he had bought and stored away in the garage, even though he wasn't interested, because he knew it made his dad happy. He liked baking cookies to take to school and give to his classmates. He liked making everyone happy, and what was so wrong with that?
But now that he was an adult, being so caring had gotten him far more heartbreak than he ever imagined.
As he sat at the kitchen table alone, eating lasagna without much of an appetite, Blaine sighed, tiredly. He wondered if calling him clingy was just an excuse, the convenient excuse everyone used to find a way out. He wondered if there was something else about him, something that made the men he loved walk away, and break his heart. Would he ever find someone who needed him, someone he could need, someone who wasn't going to close the door on him?
Blaine sat at the kitchen table, for a long, long time, as if he was waiting for something. But he wasn't waiting for Paul to come back, to regret his choice.
They never did.
And Blaine kept waiting, even though he didn't know exactly what he was waiting for.
Mondays were usually bad enough, but today was the worst Monday in the history of all Mondays.
Blaine was a kindergarten teacher. He had always loved kids, and teaching, and he hadn't ever doubted what he would do with his life, once he graduated from high school. Seeing a bunch of rambunctious, joyful children on a daily basis, watching them grow, watching their faces light up when he taught them something new… it was priceless. If there was anything he was definitely happy with in his life, it was his decision to become a kindergarten teacher.
But that didn't mean that going to work the morning after yet another break up was exactly what he wanted to do.
"Mr. B, Jenny took my glue! Tell her to give it back to me!"
"Mr. B, isn't my picture really pretty? Can we hang it on the wall?"
"I need to go to the bathroom, Mr. B!"
Blaine allowed himself a moment to take a deep breath, and then forced a smile back on his face and got back to helping his kids. On Mondays, they loved making paintings about their weekends. Blaine loved encouraging them to be creative, but today everything seemed harder.
They always had story time after the kids' lunch, and today Blaine welcomed it gladly. Some of the children fell asleep, and the few that didn't were quiet, focused on the book he was reading to them. Blaine's head was pounding, so he was glad to have some peace.
Once the day ended, and every kid had been picked up, Blaine returned to his classroom to tidy everything for the next morning. He put each tiny chair back in its place, put the items forgotten by the kids in the 'lost and found' box, put the toys in their respective box, and then hung the day's drawings on the Wall of Art, where he put the kids' new paintings every week. It was one of the things the kids enjoyed the most, having their work displayed there for everyone else to see.
As he was about to grab his satchel, his phone vibrated in his pocket. He checked it distractedly, and sighed when he saw it was his mother calling. She always seemed to sense when something was going on, and he just wasn't ready yet to talk about what had happened with Paul the previous night.
He knew he couldn't just ignore her call, though, so he took a deep breath, and tried to sound as normal as possible.
"Hi, dear," Grace Anderson said happily. "Are you busy?"
"No, not really. I was about to leave school. Why? What's up?" He asked as he turned the lights off in his classroom and walked down the hallway.
"Oh, I just wanted to check something with you," she murmured, and Blaine could hear a soft rustling of paper, as if she was writing something. "I'm finishing up with the catering details for the party, and I thought I remembered you said Paul is allergic to crab…"
Blaine stopped in the middle of the hallway, suddenly paralyzed. The party. He had completely forgotten about his parents' anniversary party, where he was supposed to finally bring his boyfriend over to meet them. It was going to take place during Spring Break, so Blaine (and Paul) had agreed to stay for the week, to help with the final preparations. And now, instead, he was supposed to tell his mother that he didn't even have a boyfriend anymore. He was supposed to tell her that, yet again, he wasn't good enough. And fuck, that was so humiliating. Why was he so incapable of having a lasting relationship? Why did he always screw everything up?
"Dear, are you still there?" She asked, a frown clearly audible in her voice.
Blaine shook his head. "Uhm. Yeah, I'm still here. Sorry."
"So, is Paul allergic to crab? The entreés have crab in them, so I just want to make sure we have something different available for him…" she explained, obviously excited about finally meeting the guy who had been making her son so happy.
Blaine blinked. And then he did one of the stupidest things he had ever done in his life. "Uh, yeah. Yeah, he's allergic to crab…"
"Oh, okay, then. Don't worry about a thing. I'll make sure we have something else for him," his mother replied immediately, and Blaine could hear her writing something down. "I can't tell you how happy we are to finally meet him."
Blaine swallowed nervously. "Me too, Mom."
"I'm sure we're going to love him. Someone who makes our boy so happy can only be a wonderful man." There was a beeping sound on the other end of the line, and Grace hummed for a moment. "I have to go, dear. I got a message from your brother asking if he needs to wear a suit. I'd better call him before he rents a tuxedo, as if he's going to the Oscars…"
Blaine leaned against the wall and closed his eyes. "Sure, Mom. I'll talk to you soon. Love you."
"I love you, too, dear. Tell Paul I say hi!" And just like that, she was gone.
Blaine realized that, in less than two weeks, he was going to show up at his parents' doorstep completely alone, and his parents would spend the entire week sending pitying looks his way and trying to comfort him for being dumped (again).
He was most definitely not looking forward to that.
When he woke on Thursday, Blaine felt like maybe he was starting to get over it. Yes, it still hurt, and yes, he wished it hadn't happened, but he couldn't spend the rest of his life weeping for guys who weren't worth it, right?
That lasted until that evening, when he found one of Paul's favorite t-shirts mixed in with his laundry.
He spent the rest of his night curled up with Nayla on the couch, drinking wine straight from the bottle.
As the days until the Spring Break passed by, Blaine became more and more desperate.
His brother sent him a picture of his suit – at least their mother had talked him out of wearing a tuxedo – and two different ties, asking him for his opinion on which one to wear.
Blaine hadn't even decided what he was going to wear himself. He was too busy wondering what he was going to do about the absent boyfriend, instead.
"Look, Mr. B, I made a picture for you!"
Blaine smiled his brightest smile as he crouched next to Wendy and took the drawing from her. "Really? Let's see it, then!"
"It's you!" She announced proudly, bouncing a little, and making her long pig tails sway around her shoulders. "See?"
Blaine looked at the drawing. His head looked huge, his body tiny, and she had drawn his eyebrows thick and low over his eyes, as if he were frowning.
"You're a gloomy gus!" She observed, pointing at the eyebrows. "Because you've looked really sad lately! See? Those are tears falling down your cheeks!"
For once in his life, Blaine hated how uninhibited and honest children could be.
It was Thursday, again, and Blaine was supposed to be at his parents' house the next afternoon, after he was done with school for the week. An entire week had gone by and he still had no idea what he was going to do about his missing boyfriend. Needless to say, he was very close to having a nervous breakdown.
He decided he needed to relax a little, breathe some fresh air and stop thinking so much, so he grabbed Nayla's leash and took her out for a walk. They lived in a nice neighborhood in Columbus, and Blaine usually enjoyed their late walks, but lately… lately he didn't seem to be able to enjoy anything. Lately, all he did was question his life, even though not too long ago, he had been convinced it was quite perfect.
Nayla walked happily ahead of him, as much as her leash allowed her, with her head high and her tail wagging eagerly. She briefly stopped to sniff a tree, but walked on almost immediately, the tree deemed unworthy to be her toilet.
Blaine's plan to stop thinking wasn't really working for him. His thoughts kept coming back to the impending weekend and how much of a disaster it was going to be. He knew he should man up and tell his family the truth. It wasn't as if he had any other options anyway. What was he going to do? Show up at their doorstep alone and say his boyfriend couldn't make it because he had food poisoning, or whatever else he could come up with? They would discover the truth in the end. It wasn't worth lying about it.
That didn't mean he liked the idea of coming clean, though. After his two previous break ups and the intermittent disappointing dates that led him nowhere, he knew his parents were worried about him. They knew how quickly he fell for guys, how much he hated being alone. They knew he tended to do really stupid things when he was heartbroken.
Like hooking up with older guys who used him only for sex. Or pretending he still had a boyfriend, when actually, he didn't anymore.
Blaine sighed as he stopped at yet another tree for Nayla to investigate. He would call his parents as soon as he got to his apartment and he would tell them the truth, humiliating or not, that Paul wasn't in the picture anymore. It was better to give them time to process the news, than seeing the pity on their faces when he got to their place the next day.
Just as he was thinking about that, his phone buzzed in his pocket. He picked it up to find a text from his father. He opened it up, curiously.
So glad we're finally meeting Paul tomorrow. Just in case you're interested, I found your grandma's engagement ring yesterday. We could have it modified if you happen to need it some day.
Blaine almost dropped his phone. Why was the universe conspiring against him?
He let out more leash as he waited for Nayla to finish with the tree, leaning against a building's wall. His father was offering his grandmother's engagement ring to him. Yes, okay, maybe he had mentioned Paul could be the one. Maybe he had hinted at wanting to get married a few times already. He knew his parents had lost all hope with Cooper, who prided himself by having a different girl at his arm every time they saw him, but he hadn't expected this.
And what was he going to say to him now? No, thank you, Paul actually left me last week?
Gosh, Blaine had never felt so pathetic in his entire life, and that was saying something.
Nayla pulled at the leash to go on and he reluctantly followed. He lost himself in his depressing thoughts, and didn't really notice where he was going. Before he knew it, he was walking by a part of town where he had never ventured before. He looked around at the unfamiliar buildings and streets and sighed in frustration.
He just wanted to go home and hide away from the world in his bed, with the covers pulled over his head.
He turned the next corner to go back to one of the more familiar streets in his route, when something caught his eye. It was quite dark and he had trouble figuring out exactly what it was at first, but then realized he was looking at a tall, slim man, leaning against a wall in an alleyway. But what really caught his attention were the clothes the man was wearing.
He wore knee-high boots and the tiniest pair of leather shorts Blaine had seen in his life, with laces down to both sides that contrasted with the pale skin they exposed. They left absolutely nothing to the imagination, and he couldn't help but notice the bulge straining the front. His top was also made of leather, tight and sleeveless, and over that, he was wearing a corset that made Blaine gape blankly for a moment. The pale glow of a street light illuminated the man's sharp cheekbones and sinful mouth, and accentuated his perfectly styled hair. Blaine couldn't even decide what color his eyes were, stunningly lined with smoky eyeliner.
Blaine simply couldn't look away. He had never seen a man who looked like this before. There was so much pale milky skin there to see, and yet, not enough at the same time. How could he look simultaneously vulnerable and strong? Blaine was completely bewildered.
The man tilted his head to the side, looking Blaine up and down. He arched a delicately trimmed eyebrow. "What's up, darling? Never seen a whore before?"
Blaine gasped, unconsciously. The man's voice was high and breathy, just as attractive as the rest of him. It wasn't the first time Blaine saw a prostitute, but it was definitely the first time he saw a male prostitute, and he couldn't help but wonder how many people in Ohio would actually stop to hire him.
And then, Blaine completely lost his mind, because the most absurd idea crossed his mind, and he actually considered acting on it.
"Hi," he said, feeling a bit stupid.
The man crossed his arms over his chest. They were long and pale, and Blaine could see the muscles shifting with the movement. He seemed amused. "Hello."
"My name's Blaine," Blaine continued. He didn't know exactly how to say what he was thinking. "Yours?"
"You can call me whatever you want, as long as you have some cash," the man breathed, smiling coquettishly.
There was a knot forming in Blaine's stomach, but he forced the words out anyway. "Then I need you to pretend that your name is Paul."
"Paul?" The man repeated. "Really, now?"
Blaine swallowed as he nodded slowly. "I… I have a proposition for you."
The man hummed, probably hiding a laugh. "Don't they all," he muttered, mostly to himself. "What kind of proposition, darling?"
Blaine took a deep breath, and decided to cut to the chase. "I need you to be my date for a whole week."
The man straightened up and looked at him guardedly, obviously surprised at Blaine's words.
That would've been the perfect time for Blaine to turn around and run away before he did something even more stupendously stupid.
Instead, he tightened his grip on Nayla's leash and said: "What's your price?"
There was an amused smirk on the man's face as he took a few steps closer to Blaine, coming farther out of the alley to face him. One of his long pale fingers trailed a line across Blaine's jaw, who tensed under his touch.
"I'm having a hard time believing a cute little thing like you has trouble getting a date," he said softly, teasingly, gazing down over him, his boots giving him an advantage in height.
"Are you interested in my proposition or not?" Blaine muttered tightly.
The man leaned in until his mouth was close to Blaine's ear. Blaine felt a warm flush running over his body, with his warm breath ghosting his skin. "Make your offer, pretty boy, and then I'll tell you if I'm interested or not."
Blaine was already regretting it, but he made an offer anyway.
That's how truly desperate he was.
So, there it is! I cannot wait to hear what you guys think about this first chapter, so please hit review and let me know!
I will be updating every weekend, most probably Saturday, for the near future. If the updating schedule changes, I'll let you know ;)
Have a wonderful week!