A/N: Yup, you guessed it, I'm starting another fanfic. XD I know what you're thinking; it's not like I don't have enough of them going already. But in my defense, I'm writing this with my fellow ChainShipper Readyornotxx! So… We're doubling the awesomeness! Or whatever! Either way, you're going to have two angry semi-psychos after you instead of one if you don't like it. ;)
Prologue: Everyone Needs Something
Yes, it was stupid to come here. He should've known better. There's a good chance he's going to lose everything just to get a taste of something he's not even sure he wants, he just knows he wants to know if he wants it. And there's also a chance that he's already lost everything, because honestly, is there any way Alison could've bought any excuse at all for leaving in the middle of the night?
Fortunately, Alison doesn't care anymore. She looks over her shoulder, since they sleep back to back now, half awake, sees his jittery fingers on his shirt buttons, and just thinks that he's going to leave her again, like he's done so many times, and with that thought, she goes to sleep.
Lawrence didn't tell her. He has no problems lying to her, about work hours, his feelings for her, the ones for his nurses, interns, random girls he meet at bars. But if she asked him where he was going tonight, what the hell was he going to tell her?
Honey, I feel completely unfulfilled. Don't get me wrong, we both know that neither of us will get anything out of this marriage anymore, I've accepted that, so that's not it, but I also don't get anything out of banging women I barely know anymore, they all feel the same, taste the same, and honestly, I feel like my head is going to explode if I don't find anything, anything that makes me feel alive again.
That might upset even her. And that woman hasn't shown any kind of human emotion in the past ten years.
Lawrence clutches to the lining in his pockets, they're already damp with sweat, and he's disgusted with himself, not because he feels those looks on him but because he actually enjoys it. For Christ sake, what the hell was he thinking, what did he think he'd achieve by coming here? What if he sees someone he knows? Everything about him screams "client," how will he ever be able to look Alison in the eye after this?
They seem to be arranged by some kind of age order. Age and gender. The older women first, dead eyes gleaming from the darkness between the buildings, eyes of the ones who aren't even desirable as the most degraded, lowest people in existence anymore. They get by because they're cheap. And then after them the men, whistling greedily when Lawrence passes by. Baring teeth.
Lawrence speeds up. The youngest are the ones who don't even hide in the alleys, because they're still hot. If a cop sees them, they blow them, and they're off the hook. Lawrence walks up to them, worn down, dark emeralds glowing in the streetlight, smoking their cigarettes and bickering over the little food they have, and god, they're the most beautiful things he's ever seen for some reason, but his grip on the inside of his pocket doesn't loosen up, the nervousness remains.
This is definitely what Lawrence was looking for. But he's not sure what to do now.
His gaze swims anxiously between the slim, slender bodies. Okay. Okay. This isn't a big deal, people do it all the time. He's seen it in the movies. He's just going to have to… Act like this isn't scaring the shit out of him.
He spots one boy leaning his back against a dumpster, handing over his cigarette to a kid who - even Lawrence's heart retracts in pain at this - doesn't seem to be older than twelve. Lawrence decides that that's the leader of this pack, and walks up to him in a way he hopes seems powerful.
The kid looks up when he sees Lawrence's shoes next to him. A sly grin spreads across his face; he's used to this.
"May I help you, sir?"
His politeness, as fake as it may be, throws Lawrence off guard, and something about the red light in the doorway makes him feel less like a bad person, and more in an annoying way… Stupid. He clears his throat.
"How much do I have to pay?" he says and nods towards the huddle of adolescents on the sidewalk. "For one of them?"
The boy takes a drag from his cigarette. His eyes don't leave Lawrence's face one second.
"What do you want him to do?"
Lawrence opens his mouth, and closes it again. Mostly because he's ashamed of himself, but the boy in front of him seems to take this as a sign of hesitation, so he stands up and throws the cigarette butt on the asphalt.
"Young?" he says, genuinely helpful. "Eight, nine? Four?"
"Jesus, no!" Lawrence says and shakes his head violently. The mere thought makes him feel even more rotten. "Like… Fifteen, sixteen?"
The boy nods and points his hand towards the opposite wall.
"They're in the alley next to this one."
Lawrence nods and walks in that direction. A little more confident, but still with that cold, slimy feeling in his stomach. He'd sort of wished that he'd get someone handed directly to him. Did this mean he'd have to… Pick one?
His expensive shoes feel wrong against the grimy street stones. The very air feels wrong on his skin. He never should've done this, he never should've done this, but he keeps walking.
Some gives him hateful looks, like it's his fault that they have to do this. Some strike a pose when he passes them, because they need him, and even though it's just the money they need, Lawrence finally feels the thrill he went here searching for jolting through his chest.
And then there are those like Adam Faulkner, who just stands next to a dumpster, his head fallen back against the wall in a silent defeat, chain smoking and completely indifferent to everything. Or, he shouldn't say "those," since there's no one like him, no one who can just stand there and still radiate with dark energy that makes him shine through the darkness without even doing anything. But to Lawrence, he's still just "one of them," since Adam hasn't changed him yet. He's still just the hooker, and Lawrence still the client, and that's what makes Lawrence walk up to him, feeling again, alive.
And that's what's going to change everything. The second Adam straightens up and meets Lawrence's gaze, nothing no longer is, or ever will be, like it was before.