So for those of you who have alerted to this story, I am re-posting this back on FF and will then be adding new chapters. If you don't wish to be notified of the re-post, you might to unfollow this fic for a time. If you're re-reading this, you'll note this was originally the first chapter. I am revising this fic as I go and have shifted some things around to help the flow of the story. There's more AN and a revised first chapter posted you might want to visit.

If you're re-reading, I appreciate the faithfulness. If you're new, welcome to the ride.

Either way, I thank you for enduring my insanity.

The Escort

Chapter Two: The Call

Nowaki rolled over in bed. He picked his cell phone up off the nightstand, and turned it on. It was almost noon.

I need to get up.

However, his last client had wanted him to linger and had offered to pay him so much extra he couldn't refuse. He'd ended up staying out with the man until almost five a.m.

Pulling the extra pillow over his head, Nowaki wanted to pretend he didn't now know the time. He was tired in ways that he'd never experienced when he used to spend almost eighteen hours a day shuffling between part-time jobs.

Nowaki marveled at his exhaustion. Funny... It's not like Decker-san was even that difficult.

The client in this last, extensive, engagement was an accomplished German entrepreneur visiting Tokyo on business who had wanted an evening of relaxation after a long week of grueling meetings.

This was not an uncommon profile for one of Kusama Nowaki's tricks: he was no common hustler.

While his "manager," Matsuo, ran flesh on a number of tiers, the high end of Matsuo's business, his "Elite Escorts'" service, catered to rich and powerful individuals looking for "entertainment." And at this level, the pimp only accepted clients on a referral basis and even then he was very selective.

Nowaki belonged to the elite class. It was a strict stable of men who were smart, clean, and good looking. Matsuo's stock here was groomed to meet and exceed his customers' expectations.

Turning over onto his back, Nowaki threw the pillow aside again and covered his eyes with one long muscular arm. He growled at his lingering fatigue as if this might drive it away.

As he worked nights most often now, he had fitted the single bedroom of his small apartment with special blinds to keep the intruding daylight out. Lifting his arm and looking at his phone again, in his darkened room, the illuminated display screen on his cell showed he'd missed several of his manager's calls.

Matsuo's not going to be happy.

According to the time, he should have been at the man's office two hours ago to hand over his share of last night's extra fees; pick up his schedule for the weekend; and have his bi-monthly blood test taken.

Maybe if I give him half of my tip he won't be too upset.

The loss of the extra yen would hurt, but Decker had taken him to dinner at a very exclusive restaurant, then the symphony, and then back to his luxury hotel afterwards. The symphony wasn't usually his cup of tea, the twenty year-old preferred his music to be more contemporary, but he'd been awed by the performance. Decker loved music and had offered little insights to the pieces too that had only heightened Nowaki's experience of them. It was an evening that the escort could have never managed on his own and this was worth something to him.

Initially he had been a little wary about going out with the German. Although he had a few good foreign regulars, Nowaki had found, for the most part, his non-Japanese trade tended to be more unpredictable.

Fortunately, Decker had proven to be remarkably amiable and his Japanese language fluent, so that helped. It had been a bit strange, however, for Nowaki to find himself with someone who was as tall as he was. His clients were most often native and generally considerably shorter than he.

Not that this difference mattered much generally, once they were horizontal.

As well as being good company, Nowaki was also a good fucker, if that was what the man/woman he was escorting wanted, though Matsuo's patrons were primarily male.

Nowaki stretched out his legs and wiggled his toes as he reflected on last night's post-entertainment "entertainments."

That Decker's cock was cut had been different too for him: few of the men he serviced had ever been circumcised. In addition to being cut, however, the German had also been incredibly thick and the thought of having to accommodate the businessman in "that way" had made Nowaki uneasy.

While Nowaki was remarkably comfortable with most sex, this was an aspect of his recently shifted status from pure escort to consort-escort that he still struggled with at times: he really preferred to top. Still, although he'd found himself on the receiving end more often than he'd liked, so far Matsuo had been generally good about matching him up with his proclivities.

At least I didn't have to bottom for him.If he had, Nowaki doubted that his lower half would be feeling quite so limber this morning.

In the end, the escort had been relieved to find after their long evening together, all Decker wanted from him was an extensive "oral" performance. Something else Nowaki excelled at. He'd managed to navigate the German's fat cock admirably.

It helped things that Decker was on the older side; so, he hadn't been quite as resilient as some of the men Nowaki encountered.

In between rounds and afterwards, the businessman had spent the remainder of the night talking about his family back in Germany: his wife and two beautiful daughters, his son in college who was just slightly younger than his "companion."

Nowaki had listened dutifully and asked all the right questions, using the intervals to rest his throat and tired jaws. Decker had seemed very pleased by the attentiveness and interest and had given him a sizable bonus. It was not an uncommon pattern.

There was something about Nowaki that drew people to confide in him. Half the time, in fact, given the eventual confessional nature of so many of his dates, the handsome youth often felt more like a priest of sorts, rather than a prostitute.

Nowaki knew he had a natural inclination to want to make people comfortable. It pleased him too when he could give his clients a pleasurable experience and then leave them feeling relaxed and smiling. Over time he had concluded that these things might be part of what caused people to open up to him.

The larger truth was, however, people had always been drawn to him, especially people in some kind need, and from the time he was a small child, he'd spent his life trying to make others feel better. Nowaki had convinced himself that in this way, what he was doing now honestly wasn't too different.

If Matsuo keeps giving me guys like Decker-san, maybe the next few years won't be so bad.

He had been escorting for two years now and consort-escorting for almost a year. So far he didn't think it had hardened him in the way some of Matsuo's men seemed to become. He supposed he should count himself lucky since he often found himself rather enjoying most of what he did.

Besides, where else would someone like him, a young man of no means and no family, with no more than a middle school education, have been to be able to make the kind of money he'd needed?

Nowaki pulled off the light sheet that had been covering him and let the cool air of the apartment prickle his flesh.

He found more and more he had to constantly reminded himself of this so he wouldn't resent the three-year contract Matsuo had tricked him into signing in exchange for his last loan. He also comforted himself with the reminder that, although it was taking him longer to pay down than he had originally thought it would, he seemed to be finally making some progress now.

Unlike many of Matsuo's other stabled studs, Nowaki was very careful with the money he earned and made sure his tastes and his lifestyle outside of work remained quiet and simple. If things kept going as they were, with no more unexpected "expenses," he'd eventually be done with escorting and with Matsuo.

Once his contract was over, he had originally thought he would have enough saved to start college if he wanted to. But now…

Nowaki sighed. His circumstances had shifted far more than he'd ever anticipated.

Even so, despite everything, he continued to believe if he worked hard enough he could get where he needed to go. Not that he had a clear direction of where that was exactly anymore.

Still he moved doggedly forward, getting ready to take the college proficiency/placement tests. He planned to take these as soon as he passed his high school equivalency exam. He was scheduled to this take in two weeks.

Nowaki knew he had to do something to prove to himself that his dreams were still viable, despite the twists in his fate. He trailed a lazy hand over his bare torso.

Of course, if things get too bad before I get Matsuo paid off, there's always the option of becoming someone's exclusive consort and having them buy my contract out immediately.In his time working for the pimp, he had received more than a dozen offers of this sort, although his increased debt now made this option less likely.

However, Nowaki wanted to get himself free, not be dependent on any other. Being a kept man, more than he already was, held no appeal. He was determined to prove himself and make good on his own.

Rolling over on his side on the futon, Nowaki's mind continued to wander.

He might have thought differently of course, if he'd found himself in love with any of his prospective "sugar daddies." But, though it might seem odd to some, his personal code of honor, while it allowed him his one night dalliances and the more than occasional repeat customer, would not allow him to stay with someone long-term, however enticing the benefits, if he did not love that person.

And regarding love… so far and perhaps fortunately, this had eluded him.

It helped that he was purposefully cautious; he knew the danger of this potentiality as well its benefits. In the two years he'd been "escorting," he had watched more than one of Matsuo's other boys be destroyed by allowing their hearts to get in the way of their job.

After another sigh and a stretch Nowaki looked at his phone again.

Delivery and pick up by one of the company's drivers was mandatory for regular dates. It was part of how Matsuo watched over the safety of his human inventory as well as kept track of his boys' hours to ensure that no one was skimming their fees. A car was supposed to have picked Nowaki up at midnight. Matsuo, vigilante as he was then, would have known hours ago about the prolonged engagement.

Considering this, Nowaki might have hoped for understanding from his boss, but he didn't. He had come to know the man too well.

Before he left on last night's call he had been told Decker could be potentially a very valuable repeat and that he should feel honored that he was the one being entrusted to escort him. This having been said, he knew that Matsuo would be anxiously awaiting a full report (as was clearly indicated by the number of calls left so far).

As he reluctantly punched the auto-dial for his manager's number, Nowaki hoped that Matsuo's share of the extra fee and his tip from last night would be enough to pardon his lapse in punctuality.

Matsuo picked the phone up on the first ring and his greeting told Nowaki his hope had been foolish.

"Kusama, where the fuck have you been? I have been trying to reach you all morning! What did I tell you about turning your cell phone off? EVER!"

"Don't." Nowaki replied calmly.

"And your excuse for disregarding my order?" Matsuo's tone dared Nowaki to lie to him.

"I don't have one, Matsuo-san." Whatever it was he was doing to make his money, Nowaki had never been dishonest and he didn't plan on changing that any time soon.

"You know Decker-san extended.

"I left his hotel at five, came home, I was tired and I wanted to sleep. So, I turned off my phone and overslept," Nowaki admitted.

"Now I'm late. You're angry, Matsuo-san, and rightfully so. And I'm sorry. I can be there in an hour."

Nowaki's apology did not hold the timidity or groveling that Matsuo preferred, but it did hold the sound of honesty.

While there was much about this tall stud of his that left the pimp perplexed, at times Matsuo could not help but find himself admiring Kusama. He was also pleased that Nowaki had not lied to him about the phone, as about ninety-nine percent of his other whores would have done. This fact alone mollified him a bit.

"Did Decker tip you?"

"Yes, Matsuo-san. I was going to give you half to apologize for my lateness."

"I accept your apology. But you'll bring the full amount then, since I am charging half your tip to start for not showing up on time."

Nowaki silently cursed himself for not having anticipated this move.

"Did you make it to the salon yesterday for your cut and the waxing?" Matsuo's tone indicated that after confiscating Decker's entire tip he was now feeling soothed. He was a stickler on grooming and regularly scheduled maintenance for his boy's.

The pimp had a few hirsute chaps he kept on hand for the patrons who liked that sort of thing, in the same way he kept a few boys who were heavily pierced, but overall he wanted his stock smooth and adornment free. While Nowaki did not mind the regular haircuts, he did not particularly appreciate being subjected to the waxing process on a regular basis. However, he had come to accept it now as part of the job and was glad that he did not have more body hair.

"I did."

"You'll get to the gym today too? Despite your late start?"

"Yes," Nowaki promised. This too was part of his job now.

Matsuo had an arrangement with a small gym near one of his offices. His employees were required to sign in when they attended (and they were expected to go regularly) and the trainers there made sure that no one got lazy. If schedules weren't maintained or a trainer reported any slacking, an escort could find his percentages getting docked.

"And you picked up the new suit I had made for you too?"

"Yes, Matsuo-san." Nowaki replied, then he added, breaking his usual terseness, "But Matsuo-san, it looks really expensive." His voice revealed his concern.

Rising up off his bed, Nowaki stood and opened one of the blinds. He blinked as the midday sun attacked the shadows of his bedroom, driving them out. Once his eyes had adjusted he glanced over at the new charcoal gray suit suspended on its hanger from the top edge of the closet door.

"You need to stay current, Kusama. I can't have you hanging out with my clients looking like a ragamuffin," Matsuo chided. "And that last suit you bought yourself was a disaster."

"Yes, but how much is this one going to add to what I owe you?" The loss of his whole tip had reminded Nowaki how vigilante he needed to be of his pimp's tactics.

"Nothing, if you want," Matsuo offered slyly.

"What do you mean?" Nowaki's guard was really up now; nothing was free in the world he occupied.

"Usami Haruhiko offered to pay for the suit… If he can see you in it tonight." Matsuo laughed.

"What!" Nowaki exclaimed more loudly than he meant to.

He felt his face becoming heated; he didn't want Matsuo to know how much this deal bothered him. He adjusted his voice and said much more calmly, "No, I told you I don't want to see him again. Why don't you send Yuki? Yuki likes him a lot and he's into Usami-san's tastes."

"Because Usami doesn't like Yuki, he likes you!" Now it was Matsuo who was getting hot.

"And I don't know what you're bitching about, Kusama. Having an Usami panting after you is quite the coup! If you were smart, you'd take advantage of the situation.

"Why not let him buy you a few things? It's not like he's asking you to marry him. He just wants a few hours of your time.

"Besides…," Matsuo purred, trying to entice his agitated stud, "He said he'd pay four times what he paid you before… That would help your account considerably."

"How do you figure?" Nowaki growled back, entirely unmoved by his manager's cajoling. The last time I went with Usami I couldn't work for two weeks afterwards. Not until all the bruises had faded. That cost me a hell of a lot!

Recalling that night now Nowaki was angry. "You told me when I signed that contract that I wouldn't have to go out with anyone I didn't want to and I'm telling you right now. Again! I don't want to go out with Usami-san."

"Yes, Kusama. I know he got a little out of hand the last time," Matsuo acknowledged. "But that's a risk of this line on occasion. Anyway, he promised this time he would behave. Not even anything sexual, just a date really."

Nowaki remained still, his cell clutched tightly in his hand. He moved over to the suit and fingered the rich fabric. He grimaced as he lifted the tag on the sleeve and saw the marked price. Even so he said nothing.

Matsuo finally conceded when the line remained interminably quiet. "Fine, I'll see if I can't get him to take Yuki!"

The pimp was amazed by Nowaki's stubbornness, but while Usami Haruhiko was a great client, Nowaki was also a great moneymaker.

Matsuo also knew the twisted blueblood was interested in cashing the kid out and he wasn't ready to see that happen yet, nor was he quite ready to smash his young stud's illusions about the reality of their arrangement.

"Despite how stupid I think you're being, I'll tell him you don't want to see him and I'll add the suit to your account."

Matsuo chuckled, "I don't know why I am so soft with you, Kusama. If you were anyone else I'd be driving you over to Usami's condo myself right now. However…

"You're going to do me a favor, in exchange for upsetting one of my highly-valued customers. I know you're supposed to have tomorrow off, but I've had a new client come in and you're going to take him."

Nowaki still said nothing.

"Look, it's just a straight escort. No sex this time, though the guy's willing to pay for the whole package regardless. And, it just might be enough to cover your new suit."

"Right…" Nowaki didn't sound convinced.

"No, I'm serious," Matsuo assured. "And you sound perfect for what he wants."

"The client is some buttoned down college professor. He said he was looking for someone 'tall, reasonably good looking, and able to function well in a social situation without saying a bunch of moronic things that would embarrass him.' That's what he asked for specifically.

"Anyway, he needs someone to attend an event with him and pretend to be his boyfriend for the night."

Matsuo laughed again, it was not really a pleasant sound. "To be honest, the guy sounded so nervous, I doubt he'd even be able to get it up for a hand-job."

Nowaki was silent again. It had been ages since he'd had a night off, let alone a Friday evening and he'd really been looking forward to it.

"Enough with the attitude, Kusama; you're doing one of these jobs: the professor or Usami… Your choice."

Some choice.

"I'll do Friday night, Matsuo-san."

"Of course you will… Now get your ass down here and I'll give you the details and then you can give me the details about how last night went.

"It must have gone well, because Decker already called and wants to book you again when he comes back to Tokyo for business again next month."

"I can be there in an hour," Nowaki repeated, his voice resigned. Remembering Usami and thinking about spending his one night off in weeks with some stodgy old professor made him want to crawl back into bed.

"You have thirty minutes, Kusama, to get your sweet ass here," Matsuo saw another call coming in on his line.

"And you better not make me wait again or I'm going to start charging you even more for wasting my time. Got it?"

All pretense of amiability was gone now from Matsuo's voice. Nowaki heard the hard edge in the tone and knew too well Matsuo wouldn't hesitate to make good on this threat.

"Yes, Boss."

Nowaki's blue eyes trailed over the surface of his new suit once more. He waited until Matsuo hung up and then exhaled a long breath. He drew in another, filling his lungs as deeply as possible, but somehow, even with his chest tight with air, he had a terrible sensation of drowning.

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