In the darkness of that room, the sounds of laboured breathing, the rustles of fabric against skin, the soft creaking of the bed, skin to skin contact formed the sound of sin. Moans, cursings under the heat of passion, mutterings of the mind gone blank, they all went inside Takahashi Misaki's ears. They all went into the left ear only to go out to the right.
He couldn't moan or voice out such voice...for he wasn't really feeling it to begin with. Sex for money was just that. Sex, nothing more, even less.
"Hey...come on..." a voice of a man, raspy from too much sensations enough to make him go insane whispered. He had long reached his orgasm he couldn't count anymore. But not once the one under him moaned or anything. "Moan for me..."
The handsome man planted kisses on his young partner's neck. Kisses soft and hard, kisses supposed to tickle, but still Takahashi Misaki only stared at the ceiling with a blank face.
Sighing, the man threw a glance at the small clock on the bedside table glowing. "I guess I am losing the bet," he slowly sat from the bed and ruffled his hair. "They're right...making you moan is so hard...I am so gonna lose face."
"Believe me man, I already did what can make my other partners faint, but that kid didn't even change reactions..." his light brown eyes narrowed as he reminisced what he had last night with his fellow friends in a hotel's lounge. "Are you sure that kid isn't a robot or a mannequin?"
The hotel's lounge was full of men in business suits. It was the Golden Pen summit where all big names in writing industry and publishing companies gather for a one week conference. And these bored rich men had a game. A game involving carnal pleasure and betting.
"Well, we warned you!" Sumi, a son of a novelist who went to the conference as his father's representative mumbled before taking a sip of his whiskey. "Now, now, hand down the one million."
It all started one night when Sumi met a male prostitute. The young male looked and gave a different feel than the rest so he bought one night. It wasn't something to be proud of but he couldn't help sharing the experience he had with the other bachelors. Not once did his prostitute moaned or showed any enjoyment from all the things he did. But the teen gladly accepted the money after the sex.
In an ordinary set-up, a bottom who doesn't show any enjoyment, one who doesn't moan and respond with such passion would be a major turn-off. However, Sumi who spent the night with that boy found a surprising interest in conquering the boy. It was like playing a new kind of game. It was like breaking a wall. He did get pleasure from all the things they did, the prostitute was also skillful, but making that poker face change was the goal that developed. He was confident he could, only to fail. Takahashi Misaki did his role, nothing more, nothing less.
Having mentioned such a funny thing to the rich bachelors under the boredom of a one week conference, they had come up with the idea of betting who could make that one prostitute moan and scream in pleasure. But all four of them failed. Sumi, a mystery novelist named Sagara, a mangaka named Ijuuin, and an old business tycoon named Tsuda, and a handsome son of a publishing company, men who had the best confidence with their performances in bed only to receive a slight smile from the male escort after getting the money.
"I mean, it's not like we're gay people, but it's frustrating that a kid doesn't seem to be at all pleased from all the things we're doing...I didn't know someone could withstand moaning and gasping after being rammed hard," the old business tycoon mumbled, as his eyes darted to the entrance of the lounge where Usami Akihiko, a celebrated novelist just came in.
The mutterings of the men and women on many tables stopped as they checked out on Usami Akihiko. The man always had a poker face even during the conference that started three days ago. And still, he was as unapproachable as ever, The business tycoon and Sumi's group exchanged glances when the tall man passed by their table. All had one idea running in their heads.
"Hey, Usami-san," Tsuda called. "Care to join us in our little, fun game?"
Usami Akihiko threw a glance at the window overseeing the night of Osaka where the conference was being held. Everything beneath looked like glowing red ants and sparkling lights from far away windows. The open TV showing a late night news served as his back ground music as he waited for a stranger.
"Those bastards..." Usami uttered as he fished his lighter out of his jeans. "Men with lots of money and time...how childish..."
He lighted a stick of cigarette and boredly puffed smoke. In his mind, he'd been counting imaginary bears flying in the night sky when the door bell to his suite rang.
He wanted to just ignore it for all he cared, but the annoying sound of it made Usami's feet move on its own. Usami pulled the door open and he could swear he almost dropped his cigarette from his smoking lips.
"Good evening. I'm your escort for tonight. Misaki."
The older man motioned for the stranger to come in without saying anything. Just utter silence and awkwardness was there as Usami stood by the door and the escort, who looked like a minor stood there facing him with a blank face.
"I'm surprised. You're so different from what I am expecting," Usami mumbled, his cigarette moving up and down in his mouth.
The boy standing before the celebrated author was a shorty. His chocolate locks were all over the place like it was defying the pull of gravity. Skinny figure was obvious under plain clothing. What was more was that weary and vacant look in the boy's green eyes. The same look old women had when reminiscing their shitty relationships was the same as what this escort named 'Misaki' was having.
"Sorry to disappoint you, Sir."
Usami couldn't help but raise a brow. "I didn't mean that as an offense. Just, they were talking all about you, so I thought you were some sparkly model or something. You're...more into the plain side."
The boy didn't even flinch a brow. To Usami Akihiko's surprise, the boy, looking so plain and innocent started unbuttoning his shirt. It took a couple of seconds before the older man gathered back his wits.
"Hey, hey you stop right there."
The boy looked up, his eyes questioning.
With huge strides, Usami walked past the boy into the spacious living room where the distant sound of monotonous news anchors could be heard.
"I'm sorry but I am not into this kind of games. Just stay there, do whatever you want but we are not having sex."
Misaki, the male prostitute paid to service Usami stared first at the space where Usami was standing earlier. Then with slow steps, he followed the older man. He didn't come in. Like a poor kid he just peeked in.
"Uhm...I am not carrying any diseases if that's what you're worried about, Sir," the voice was so meak and soft Usami felt like he wasn't really hearing such words from it.
He darted his lavender eyes towards the door and grabbed the remote and changed channels. "Kid, it's not that. I don't like having sex with a stranger. I am not that desperate."
It probably was about ten minutes that passed, but the boy didn't move from where he was standing. It was like having a slave waiting for him that Usami started feeling a little disturbed, It was just ten-thirty in the evening. Would they be doing that stupid silence-awkward stuff for the rest of the night? Shit that, Usami grumbled.
"Kid, why don't you come in and sit?" Usami started, frowning at the all grown-up movies in bed scenes being played before him. Talk about wrong timing. "Watch...more news."
The boy did as he was told. He sat at the farthest corner of the black sofa, straight and silent, the escort fixed his eyes at the huge flat screen TV before him.
The older man was almost about to fall asleep from where he was sitting when he was called by that same meak voice from his drowsiness.
"Why won't you have sex with me Sir? Isn't this all about the bet?"
Usami turned his head towards the small figure at the end of the sofa. Thanks to that outright question, his sleepiness totally left his system and he was rendered staring back at the green eyes looking at him earnestly.
"That's because it's a pain in the ass," Usami finally answered after shifting from his seat. " It's going to be harder to ignore and say no to those guys than just say fucking 'yes' and be done with it. It doesn't matter what we do inside my suite anyway."
The boy just nodded as if thinking something serious. Seeing that, Usami rested both his long legs on the low table before him, his cheek resting on the cold and smooth surface of the leather seat facing the boy. He could clearly read what the boy was thinking. The money, the payment, the meager half a million yen for the one-night-stand.
"Don't worry, you'll get your money. Just treat this as a day off, I mean...night off."
With a slight smile, the boy looked relieved it was almost practically etched on his forehead.
"Say, Misaki right?" Usami through the shadows observed the intruder of his supposed to be relaxing and alone night. "Mind if I asked you some questions?"
Misaki pulled on his knees against his chest like a child waiting for a goodnight story. "You're a writer right? You're going to use me as a subject?"
Usami smiled. Rare for him to do that but he felt like smiling anyway. He propped his head on one of his hands and slightly closed his eyes. He wasn't sure if what he'd get from a boy like that would serve as a writing idea or if it would interest him. He wasn't the type to even think about others. Usami just felt like asking. So asking he did.
"Maybe...I'm just curious...why are you selling yourself?" Usami started. "I think that question is really old school but its the first natural thing to think...don't have to answer if you don't want."
"To leave Japan."
Straight, stern and without faltering, Misaki answered. It wasn't the kind of leaving Japan for touring purposes. It was very clear to Usami without having to pry for more information that this boy was itching to leave Japan for good.
"Hmmm...I see...to where?"
Scratching the back of his neck, the green-eyed boy fixed his gaze at his white socks, his toes moving. "I don't know. Somewhere where the sun is still up even if it's 8 or 9 in the evening..."
Usami couldn't help but chuckle. Such a shallow way of making decision. But then again, if that boy managed to do that to himself, selling himself for money, he wasn't really thinking anything at all to begin with. He didn't care about himself, his pride and his future. Usami knew he shouldn't be laughing. But the absurdity why he was chuckling like he did was because he couldn't believe how much he was starting to really enjoy the conversation.
"Well, try London," Usami replied. "When you're there, it's like experiencing the four seasons in one day. The weather is kind of unpredictable..."
"I'll remember that," Misaki answered, doing a mental calculation of how much he needed to live there forever.
Usami watched how those brows move and frown. The boy clearly was having a mental war. Why did those freaking perverts insisted that this boy didn't have any reaction at all when the kid was actually so expressive it was funny to watch.
"What if someone asked you not to go?" Usami asked, by now sitting properly as he grew tired from his previous position. "Will you still go?"
Misaki smiled. Not a shy smile. Not a cutesy smile. Just a plain smile of something serious it looked...sad. "There's no one who'd ask me."
For a long while, their conversation went on and on and on regarding things Usami would normally would never give such a thought about. The stupid subways that looked like a spider's web, the economy, the bookstores, the raw oysters, anything under the sun. For that, maybe anything under the moon was more like it. Seeing that animated face of a boy tell stories, no one would have guessed that this very same teenager was spreading his legs for money. It was hard to believe that such a world really existed. Not just in his novels but more so in reality.
"Huh, it's five already?" Usami suddenly blurted when he realized the pinkish horizon coloring the insides of his suite. "I have to prepare for the morning session of the conference. There's food in the refrigerator, eat before you go."
The older man went right into the bathroon. Little did he know that his supposed to be escort followed him until the door. And despite the running waters drowning all the possible sound from entering the tiled room, Usami still heard the boy talking outside.
"Is it because I am filthy that's why you wouldn't sleep with me, Usami-san?"
Usami was currently rubbing soap on his neck when he stopped. How should one answer at a question like that? He certainly didn't think about those stuff, But perhaps, for the one doing the job they couldn't help but think that way when they were rejected.
"It's not that," Usami replied, his voice a little muffled. The boy outside rested his back against the cold frosted door. "You know kid, if you keep on spreading your legs and selling yoursellf, whether you're a girl or a guy, you'll lose something important. I just don't want to take part of that stealing."
The man in the showers had to look at the black shadow againts the door. Misaki didn't answer to that so Usami assumed the boy must have felt like Usami was trying to be a lecturer of the good act and manners club.
"Usami-san, I have a question."
His lavender eyes darted from the foggy full body mirror on the wall and he waited patiently. Why was he even having a conversation like that when he was in a hurry?
"There were two brothers standing before their mother's grave," the boy's voice sounded faraway, but despite that, it felt like it wasn't a joking matter. "Their mother just died of sickness and that was their mother's funeral. The younger one was so sad he'd been crying nonstop..."
Usami for no reason went towards the closed door. He just stood there, watching the faint shadow of Misaki move here and there as he talked.
"The older brother gazed up from the grave and when he turned to look behind his back, he saw a man standing under a tree, taking refuge from the foul weather. The next day, the younger brother was found dead. He's been killed by his very own older brother. Why do you think the older brother killed the younger one?"
"What kind of a question is that?" Usami asked while frowning.
"Just give me anything," Misaki replied.
For a long while, Usami pondered about the answer but he couldn't find anything. And so sighing, he grabbed a towel and threw it on his head. "The man the older brother saw that funeral day exposed the truth that it was the younger brother who killed their motheir?"
If Usami could only see the reaction the boy made, he'd be laughing at it. The voice Misaki gave sounded so cheery yet serious.
"Far from it Usami-san. Use your imagination..."
"Because the older brother was the one who killed the mother and the younger one found out so he killed him to shut him up?"
"Then what would be the role of the man under the tree?"
"Giving up?" Misaki teased.
Usami sighed while smiling, his brain already tired from guessing. "Are you a mystery freak?"
"The reason the older brother killed the younger one...is because he thought that the man he saw under the tree would show up again in his brother's funeral. I...wanted to be a writer at some point..." the boy continued. "But there was no opportunity, besides I am already busy doing this shady business."
For a while, there was silence. But there was nothing Usami could think of as a reply so he just forced a laugh.
"Huh? How retarded...that conclusion."
The boy laughed.
"Yeah, really retarded," the boy repeated. "I guess people wouldn't read the things I'd write..."
"What are you saying, there are a whole lot of audience who love reading twisted stories...I'd read it if you write one..."
"Thanks..." the boy answered softly. "I am happy to have talked about so many things. There aren't many people willing to listen to a stranger nowadays. It's always 'me', 'me', 'me' and sex all around...so...thank you."
"So formal. Well we don't have anything else to do but talk right? Besides I enjoyed it myself.
"Thank you Usami-san...Too bad I am not good enough for a man of your status."
But the man inside the shower room didn't hear it.
Misaki knew one-night stands would always be that. One night and nothing more. Asking for too much would be selfishness and hoping from a small ray of kindness would be digging one's own grave.
When Usami finally went out the bathroom, he was met by the usual silence of his suite. The silence that he didn't mind three days ago. However, the sudden silence after a talk which he enjoyed, could really be a little unpleasant. If they met in a different circumstance perhaps they could be friends. Or more.
But Usami never did go out with people who sold themselves for money. For when these people were presented with more money, they'd be changing hearts faster than the speed of light. He didn't want to experience that ever again.
He was dripping wet. With one hand he started drying his hair with a towel in one hand and with the other, he clicked on his laptop to check on his emails.
"Damn it, this conference and everything in it."
The moment he finished fixing himself for the fourth day of the summit, he froze by the door way. His long fingers picked the white enveloped he placed there the night before. He even placed an extra 500 grand to make it a million yen. But there was the white envelope totally untouched, the supposed to be payment for that male escort lying silently on that bare table.
"Why is it here..."
He clutched the envelope and dashed out of his room. Looking both left and right, there was nothing but empty carpeted floors and cream colored walls and the silence of a five star hotel.
"Hey,Usami-sensei...did you manage to break that kid's poker face?"
"Yeah, he's good isn't he?"
Usami Akihiko who had been alone in a huge table the past days suddenly found himself being pestered by the men who offered him their mini game of betting. He acted all not at interested since he wasn't in the first place. But these men kept on bothering him he was soon snapping.
"No. We didn't do anything," Usami replied, his eyes at the huge screen flashing some things he was not following. He was just doing that to appear busy.
"Don't tell me Usami-sensei, you've taken a liking to that escort?"
He only narrowed his eyes at the man before standing up. Totally leaving the conference for good.
"I should have done this at the very beginning. Damn it."
It would be stupid to say that it was love. It wouldn't even be right to call it as being caring towards a young lost soul. If he would apply being a writer to his situation, Usami would say that it was 'curiosity'.
But the boy never showed up before him again. He ended up driving around the red light district or going into different bars with a little hope meeting that male prostitute and talk once more. But it proved that when you're looking for something, it gets harder to find. So Usami Akihiko left it at that. If they'd meet once more, he already know what he would say.
"What if someone asked you not to go?" Usami remembered asking. "Will you still go?"
"There's no one who'd ask me."
"Well you're so talented. You got me..." Usami mumbled as he nibbled on his sandwich at a snack bar he found not far from his condo unit. It was sunny and the weather was good so he decided to eat out. Very rare for him since he was the type to hole himself up in his room and just write or read or continue with his collecting of commoner's stuff.
"Just really want to talk to him...why's that..." he looked out the busy road and sighed boredly. "Been three months already...I could barely remember his face anymore."
He couldn't honestly remember how that Misaki looked like. They met at night and the room's lighting that time was low. They chatted in the dark, laughed and listened to each other's ranting without knowing each other at all. Everything was not normal for him to have that huge desire to meet a boy and a protitute at that.
Usami stared at the cup of chocolate drink before him and felt like he had just been hit by something hard behind his head. More so that blinding realization was so strong that it even affected his chest.
"Ah...stupid..." Usami thought. "He had taken a part of me with him when we were chatting...that's for sure...I'd been charmed."
As soon as the author stepped out of the shop, a sudden downpour blocked his way from going on. The weather was really nice just a while ago so having the rain just pour out like that was unexpected. He didn't even have an umbrella and he came in that shop just by walking. By the looks of the sky it seemed like it would rain for a long time.
The man gazed up and sighed. He could just run for it or just walk under the rain like some emo, but for some reason, the sight of the busy road where people suddenly had burst our running for refuge, the water splashing from the cars passing by caught his attention. Like some sort of an idea that he thought he would write as soon as he gets home.
At first Usami thought he was just hearing things. But when he looked closer at the person under a white umbrella, Usami had to make sure that he was still breathing. It seemed like his breathing just got all out of rythm that he almost coughed from shock.
His escort, or more like his chat buddy for one night was standing before him. He had been looking for this kid for almost three months to no avail. And when he was least expecting it, there, the boy presented himself, happily smiling while making the umbrella he was holding go round and round.
"Didn't expect to see you here..." Misaki continued. The boy looked around him and looked at Usami for a long while before grinning. "Want to share umbrella? I can walk you to the train station or at a stop..."
"Ah...I actually live very close by..."
"Then I'll walk you!" the boy chirped.
There was no second thought that Usami had to process. His brown, leather shoes splashed to the small puddle of water as he ran under the cover of the teen's umbrella. It was cramped. Their arms brushing every once in a while. Surpringly and strange enough, their pace of walking was synchronized as if they'd been walking together for a long time at a regular basis.
"I think, height-wise, I should be the one holding the umbrella," the older man offered, smiling as he noticed the tense face of the teen maintaining raising the umbrella more than he was used to. He probably was getting arm cramps by that time.
Misaki gazed up for a moment and a little grudgingly gave the umbrella to the man.
They walked under the pelting rain, while having the sound of the rain against the pavement and the roofs of the establishments as their background. It was kind of relaxing. The atmosphere that could just make one walk for hours without even realizing it.
"How was your saving up for London?" Usami asked, his eyes ahead.
"Hmmm...it will take time, maybe years and years..." the boy replied. Usami was expecting the boy to sound a little dejected about that but Misaki sounded like he was even more happy he had to wait for long before finally getting out of Japan for good. Not that Usami was pleased about the idea.
"Eh, why is that?"
"I've already quit escorting services...so income isn't coming in as fast like it used to..."
Usami's grip with the umbrella tightened. He just let the topic fade in the air. He didn't want to comment. He didn't want to say anything. For he knew if he opened up his mouth, his lips would betray him and would expose how relieved he was.
The rain was having no intention of stopping any sooner for until they reached the entrance of Usami's condo, it was still as fierce as it started,
"It's fun to see you again Usami-san," Misaki uttered as Usami handed back the umbrella.
"Misaki?" Usami called, feeling stupid for feeling so nervous inside. After all the public appearances that he had gone through, it was stupid that he could get so nervous like that even though it wasn't showing to his face.
"There's no one who'd ask me."
"Would you like to come in and stay for a while?"
The boy just stared at the older man. Green eyes wide and clear stared at the lavender eyes in havoc.
"What will we be doing?" the boy asked in return with a blank face,
The boy looked as if he was about to go away and run for dear self-protection but instead, the boy closed his umbrella with a smile.
"I'd love to!" Misaki walked right beside Usami with a childish glow. His weary look that Usami saw in his eyes three months ago was almost, may not be completely, but almost gone. "I have another mystery idea that I have been thinking about!"
"Really...I'd like to hear about it..."
They walked into the lobby, towards the elevator and already started talking about nonsensical things.
The older man nodded and smiled to the things Misaki said, enjoying the talkativeness of the teen. Usami even found how calm ne was feeling as he smiled to himself. For talking with Misaki was indeed something already of a pleasure. He was indeed curious with the boy. He wasn't sure if that feeling would develop into something deeper. Well, time could only tell.
After all, love doesn't just sprout out of nowhere. It was like a plant that grows out from a seed. It started from curiosity, that would most likely turn into friendship. If all things went well then mutual understanding then a deeper form of relationship.
Usami watched the boy point the wet and dripping umbrella here and there. "Yeah, it's best to take it slow..."
"Hmmm?" Misaki gazed up questioning.
"Nothing..." Usami shook his head gently. "I'm just glad it rained."
"Usami-san you're weird."
"Yeah, take it slow. Let the time nourish what is instore for me, for him...after all...when I saw him...the hole that was created when we lost contact, became suddenly filled again. That sure means something to look forward to...right?"
chapter end notes:
wahaha..just to let you know, i do believe in LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT...but i love stories that shows that there is a chance for the impossible. lika a prostitute being able to charm a good man. i mean not magically but through a process, as close to reality as possible.^^
the question about the brothers, i remembered a classmate asked me that with has something to do how a criminal mind works. it gave me the creeps that i got the answer correctly. muahahahahahhaha
thank you for reading!
been a while i think i've been gone for forever. just got caught up in stuff. hopefully i'd get back to my rythm.