By Mickey S


If you are under age, or live in an area where reading stories that include sex between males is illegal, or if you're not into this type of story, please leave. This is a fictional story and all characters and events are a figment of the author's imagination. My thanks to Tim and Drew for all of their help. The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at


Chapter 2

I rented a Nissan Altima at the agency Livy directed me to and headed for the Lincoln Tunnel. The last time I'd driven a car was two years before while on vacation visiting Barbara in Oregon. Manhattan wasn't the best place to brush up my rusty driving but I had no choice. Fortunately it was Sunday. Even so I was driving very tensely through the tunnel and out Route 3 past the Meadowlands. By the time I turned north onto Route 23 I'd begun to relax and allowed myself to stop concentrating so much on the driving and start thinking about how I'd ended up in this position.

Dad and I had never been a good pair. I knew that occasionally being embarrassed by one's parents was a part of growing up, but I was constantly discomfited by Dad's personality as far back as I could remember. He was loud, opinionated and assertive. He thought his opinion was the right one on every subject and never hesitated to tell others how they should live their lives. I thought he often came off as an egotistical blowhard although others didn't seem as put off by him as I was. And he wasn't always blatantly obnoxious. He did all of the things a father should do. He worked hard, provided for his family, took me to ball games and 4-H, helped me with my homework, went to parent-teacher conferences at school, all of the usual stuff. But we never quite bonded.

Part of that was my own personality. It hadn't taken me very many hours of therapy to figure out that my demeanor was a direct reaction to his. I was so horrified that I would grow up to be like him that I tried every way I knew how to be the opposite. I was quiet, shy, overly agreeable and did my best to blend into the background. It wasn't so much craving acceptance as Livy had put it, but more fearing rejection. I would rather not be noticed at all than to be found offensive. As a result, Dad was always belittling me, calling me spineless, mealy-mouthed, lacking in convictions.

He wasn't quite as hard on the rest of the family. He truly loved Mom although he was a chauvinist and could occasionally be insensitive towards her feelings. He picked on Barbara, who was four years older than me, though not as much as he did me. If she wore too much make-up or clothes that were too revealing he called her a slut. If she toned it down too much he called her frumpy and said she'd end up an old maid. She got out of his line of fire by eloping with her boyfriend Ted a month after they graduated from high school. Ted  enlisted in the army and they were gone. After his discharge they settled in Portland so Barbara only had to deal with Dad long-distance.

I had a much closer relationship with my mother. She'd figured out I was gay almost before I did. She sat me down one day in my sophomore year of high school and told me it didn't matter to her as long as I was a good person and was happy. We both agreed that Dad wasn't ready to be let in on the news, however.

Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer during my first semester at county college. She had a mastectomy followed by both radiation and chemotherapy but they had caught it too late and it went through her like wildfire. She died a few weeks after I got my associates degree. Apparently she had decided that since Dad and I were going to be left alone with each other it would be a good idea for him to be clued in on my homosexuality because she told him shortly before she died. To his credit, he didn't let on, until the day of the funeral, that is.

Barbara, Ted and their two little kids flew in for the funeral. They stayed at the house and after the services lots of neighbors came by with food so the place got quite crowded. I wasn't in the mood for all those people chatting and munching so I went across the road past the barn and stood with my back to the house looking out over the pasture. I'd done a lot of crying of late and felt the tears start to run down my cheeks again. I felt totally lost. As sick as Mom had been I'd never once believed she'd actually die.

I'd just decided to go for a walk when I heard a sound behind me. I turned and there was Dad, about ten feet away.

"You killed her, you know," he said quietly through clenched teeth.

"What are you talking about?"

"Your perversion. She told me about it a couple of weeks ago."

I was stunned. I had no idea he knew. I would have expected a violent explosion from him over news like that but somehow his quiet demeanor was even scarier.

"That had nothing to do with her getting sick. She knew I was gay for years and was fine with it."

"That may have been what she told you. She was a decent woman who would never hurt anyone, but knowing that she'd raised a degenerate must have been eating her up inside."

"You don't know what you're talking about. She loved me and accepted me."

"You know, I used to think that because you were my son I had to love you even though I didn't like you very much. But nothing requires me to love a pervert. I want you out of the house by the weekend." He turned and strode across the road back to the house.

I was stunned. On one level I hadn't quite been able to come to grips with living in the house with just Dad. Mom had been the glue that kept our little family together. I couldn't imagine what it would be like with just the two of us. But I'd never even thought of living anywhere other than the farm. Every day of my life had revolved around that place. But I suddenly realized that I couldn't spend another day there. Even if Dad relented there was no way I could live with him. I had to leave, and leave now.

I went in the house and slipped upstairs to my room, avoiding getting snagged in conversation with anyone. I took a large duffel bag from my closet and packed, conscious of how little I could fit. I mostly packed clothes but included a few books. I got my toothbrush and razor from the bathroom and I was ready to go. With one last look around my room, I crept down the stairs, not eager to bump into anyone while carrying the duffel. I made it out of the house, threw the bag into the back seat of my car and left. I don't think anyone even saw me go.

Driving down the two-lane country road toward Route 23, I tried to think where I might go. I didn't have any friends I was close enough to to just crash in on. Besides, there would be questions and I didn't feel like talking. New York City popped into my mind. That's where it seemed half the runaways in the country headed and it was only sixty miles away. And it was gay, too. Or at least that's what everyone said. Though the idea of a big city made me nervous, it was definitely a place I could get lost in. I decided to go to the local library and do some research, something I was good at.

I spent a couple of hours at the library using one of their computers to browse the Internet. I found a gay travel site that gave me lots of information. While apparently every neighborhood in Manhattan had lots of gay people it looked like the West Village and Chelsea would be my best bets. When I left the library at closing I had a map of Manhattan, a map of the subway system, the address of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center and a list of gay bars and restaurants. It was a start.

The next step was to put together what money I could. My only asset was my car, a 6 year old LeBaron convertible. I'd worked after school and weekends at the local feed store all through high school to make the money to buy it and it was my baby, but right now money was more important. I drove to the dealership just south of Sussex where I'd bought it used two years before. I'd finally begun to feel hungry, not having eaten anything all day, so I pulled into the Sussex Queen Diner, just down the road from the dealership. Over a bacon cheeseburger deluxe I analyzed my situation.

I'd paid just over six thousand for the car so I knew it was now probably worth only half that. In addition to the car, I had nearly a thousand dollars in my savings account. The city was supposed to be very expensive so I knew my money wouldn't last long. I'd have to find a job as soon as I found a place to stay. And my job skills were somewhat limited. I could do just about anything on a farm; Dad had been a very demanding boss. But that wouldn't help me in New York. Likewise my associates degree in animal husbandry wouldn't have people knocking down my door in the city. I looked around me. Maybe I could wait tables in a restaurant. Or at least bus them.

But first things first. I had to sell my car, close my bank account and get into the city. Then, after I'd found a place to live I could think about making money.

I went to the dealership and saw the salesman who'd sold me the car. I explained to him that I'd just graduated from college and was leaving the area, so I didn't need the car anymore. He went to talk to his manager and came back with an offer of $2,000, less than I'd been hoping for. I didn't hesitate long before accepting it. What choice did I have?

I told him I'd be back in the morning with the title. I had it with me but as the bank was closed for the day I needed a place to spend the night. I drove around for a while until the dealership closed, then pulled into their parking lot and went to sleep.

In the morning I walked out of the dealership with my duffle bag and a check. My bank was right down the road so I was able to walk there. Old Mrs. Decker was concerned when I told her I wanted to close my account. She'd heard about Mom and kept glancing at my bag on the floor so I said the first thing that came into my head, that I was going to stay with Barbara in Oregon for a while. That idea had never crossed my mind but now that it did I gave it some thought as Mrs. Decker did the paperwork.

Barbara and I had never been close - four years was a big difference in age to kids - and I'd never cared much for Ted. He was a salesman and his personality turned me off. With two little kids I was sure they wouldn't welcome another mouth to feed. Besides, they didn't know I was gay and I had no idea how they'd react when they found out. So they weren't really an option.

As a concession to Mrs. Decker's concern I took most of the money from the car and my account in traveler's checks and only a couple of hundred in cash. Now for New York. Sussex had no mass transit so I stood on the side of the highway and put out my thumb. It took three rides to get as far as Butler, where I was able to get a bus into the city.  

I managed to find the right subway to get me to the Village and found the Gay Center easily enough. The woman in the office said a youth group was meeting there that evening and they had experience finding places for street kids to stay. She suggested I come back at seven.

I had two hours to kill so I walked around for a while, being a tourist, looking over the neighborhood. I finally stopped at a café for something to eat. I sat at a small table in the window and watched the people walk by. It was as if I were on an alien planet. The subway had terrified me. It was a warm June day but underground it was stifling and hot. And the noise and the crowds! The streets were nearly as noisy and crowded and at times I felt like I was suffocating. I'd been to New York on school trips as a kid but this was my first time alone in the city itself, not just bussed in to visit a museum or zoo. Maybe I'd made a mistake thinking I could live there.

There were only a few people in the café. One was a cute guy a few years older than me. He had short dark hair and a trim mustache and goatee that made him look a little devilish. He was reading a book but looked up now and then, catching me checking him out more than once. I quickly looked away but the third time he smiled. Again I looked out the window but a few seconds later he was standing by my table.

"Mind if I sit down?"

He didn't wait for an answer and sat opposite me. He'd brought his coffee mug and book along and set the book on the table and sipped his coffee.

"I hope you don't mind but I don't think I've ever seen anyone look as lost as you do. Is everything all right?"

I meant to be cool and just say something like, "Sure, no problem," but instead found myself blurting out my story to him. Well, not all the details. Just that I'd had a big blowup at home and left, thinking I'd go live in the city. But now that I was here, not knowing anyone and having no place to stay, I was having second thoughts.

"I've been sitting here waiting to go to the Center to see if the youth group can help me."

"Probably a good idea," he nodded. "But if I might suggest an alternative ... I live a few blocks from here and you could spend the night with me, maybe more than one night. Of course, there's strings attached to my offer."

"Strings?" I jumped as I felt his hand on my knee. He leaned forward, sliding his hand up my thigh. I looked around, scared that someone might have noticed. No one was paying any attention to us.

"Yeah, I'm a nice guy but I don't invite strangers home to share my bed and not expect something in return. It's up to you. I won't force you to do anything you don't want to do, but there would have to be something. It's up to you. You can go to the Center if you'd prefer."

I didn't know what to do. I'd never had sex with anyone before and had always imagined my first time would be special. But I needed a place to stay. And this guy was really hot and his hand on my thigh had already made me hard. My thinking process was quickly shifting from my big head to my little head.

"Okay, but if I change my mind I can leave anytime?"

"Of course. Relax, babe. I'm not some crazed killer, just a grad student at NYU."

I paid the bill, threw my bag over my shoulder and we left.

"By the way, my name's Jeff." He stopped and held out his hand as we got to the sidewalk.

"Mine's Silas."

"Interesting name."

"Yeah, it's a family name, pops up every couple of generations."

He led the way down the sidewalk, talking about his anthropology studies. I couldn't absorb anything he was saying. All I could think was that I was about to have sex for the first time in my life and it was going to be with a total stranger. Three times on the two block walk to his apartment I changed my mind, but when we got there I went upstairs with him.

"By the way, I've got a couple of roommates, but they're cool. They won't mind you," he said as he opened the door to the apartment.

His roommates were home. There was a long-haired blond on the couch reading a book  and a black guy with a buzz cut sitting in a chair, typing on a laptop on the coffee table.

"Guys, this is Silas, he needs a place to crash and I told him he could shack up here for a while. Silas, Jerry and Tom."

I wasn't sure which was which but they both looked me over from head to toe then said hello. Jeff led me to a room off a short hallway and told me I could  drop my bag anywhere. There was a double bed in the corner, a chest of drawers on the wall opposite and a small chair. Clothes were everywhere.

"I'm a slob." He shrugged, stepped up to me and gently kissed me on the lips. I nearly fainted. He gently undressed me, lay me down on the bed and then took off his own clothes. He had a slim, smooth body. He lay down beside me and resumed the kissing. After a few minutes of kissing and groping, he began to lick his way down my body. I gasped as he took my left nipple into his mouth and sucked. Then he swirled his tongue around the right one before sucking on that, too.

But when he took my rock-hard dick into his mouth I let out a groan that his roommates probably heard. He stopped and looked up at me.

"Are you okay?"

"Never better."

So he went back to sucking on my dick. It felt so great I was afraid I'd burst in seconds, so I started doing multiplication tables in my head to keep from ending it all too soon. But I was thinking things like, two times two is six, so it really wasn't doing me much good. Just when I thought I couldn't hold out any longer he stopped and moved back up to kiss me again. Then he rolled over onto his back, pulling me on top of him. I realized this meant it was my turn. I tried to duplicate his moves exactly. That was a safe move because I figured he would do to me what he liked done to himself. I kept thinking that my moves were probably pretty amateurish, but I found myself enjoying it. When I got down to where I was face-to-hardon, I hesitated. Though it was probably a little smaller than mine and he'd done fine with me, I couldn't imagine being able to swallow the whole thing.

He propped himself up on his elbows and looked down at me.

"Are you sure you've done this before?"

"Of course," I lied. "But I don't have much experience so bear with me. I'm probably not very good."

"You've been just fine so far. Don't think about it so much, just do what feels good."

And I did. I surprised myself by being able to take his entire length down my throat, not the first try but eventually. And I got into it so much that finally he swiveled around so he could go back to work on mine. After a few minutes he moved lower and took my balls into his mouth, one at a time, then began to lick behind them toward my butt. I couldn't believe it when he used both hands to spread my cheeks apart and then he actually licked my hole, then stuck the tip of his tongue in. It was pure heaven!

In doing that his whole body had moved a bit further down so I was in position to do the same thing to him. Following my assumption that if he did it he must also like to have it done, I tried to copy his moves. I wasn't sure I could put my mouth on his anus but when I saw his clean, tight, pink hole winking at me I threw caution to the winds and dove in. After a minute of slurping on his puckered hole and having mine eaten as well, I realized this was what I'd dreamed of every time I'd looked at that kid Declan's ass in the locker room. Thinking about that hot white ass was too much and I exploded, shooting ropes of cum all over without even touching my dick. When he realized what was happening Jeff pulled back and watched me shoot.

"Damn, you must have been storing that up for a month. What a load!"

"I guess it has been a while. I didn't mean to come so soon."

"Don't worry about it." He reached over the side of the bed and picked up a pair of boxers which he used to mop up my mess. "I'm sure you'll be raring to go again in a few minutes. We're far from done."

Of course, he hadn't come yet. Since he was so much more experienced than me (and who wasn't?) it would probably take much more to bring him to orgasm. I wondered if I'd be able to. I took his dick in my hand and lightly stroked it, hoping he wouldn't lose the excitement he'd already had.

"Don't worry about that right now. Just recharge your batteries and then I'll take care of both of us."

And so we lay side by side for a few minutes, running our fingertips over each other's bodies, tweaking nipples, nibbling on ears. Before I knew it I was hard again.

Jeff had been playing with my cock and balls and had slid his hand down to my still damp hole. He pressed his finger against it lightly, over and over pressing a little harder each time.

"Ever been fucked, babe?"

"Uh, a couple of times," I lied again. When he started touching me there I suspected what he wanted and realized I wanted it too. And I didn't want my inexperience to turn him off.

"Then you're gonna love this."

He knelt between my knees, spreading my legs and bending them to give him better access to my hole. He fumbled in a drawer in the stand next to the bed and came up with a tube and a condom wrapper. He spent a long time preparing me, rubbing lube on my hole, inserting first one finger, then two and finally three. I got the feeling he enjoyed this part as much as any other. To me it was very uncomfortable at first but once I relaxed I found it to be incredibly exciting. His cock was like steel and dripping by the time he unrolled the rubber over it and moved into position.

He pushed my legs back until they were pressed to my chest. Then he placed his head against my relaxed pucker and pressed very slightly. After a second he popped through and I felt a sharp stab of pain. He froze, not moving for a full minute and the pain went away. I nodded to him and he resumed his slow entry. I was feeling very full by the time his pubic hair pressed against the smooth skin of my ass.

"You okay?" He asked as he smiled down on me.

"A whole lot better than okay."

"Then let's fuck!"

He withdrew almost entirely and then pushed slowly back in. He did that over and over again, adding a little speed each time. Soon he settled on a regular rhythm, pistoning in and out of my hole. I was thrilled that I was finally getting fucked. I'd always been afraid that when the time came I wouldn't be able to handle it. But this was better than I'd ever dreamed.

He fucked me for over ten minutes, sometimes changing the speed, sometimes the angle of his thrust. I mostly looked up at his face but now and then glanced down, trying to see him going in and out of me. After a while I glanced toward the door and saw it was open, and the blond roommate was standing there naked, stroking his cock. When our eyes met he moved across the room and as he stepped up to the side of the bed he pointed his dripping dick toward my face. Without thinking I opened my mouth and took it in. Because of our positions I couldn't take the whole thing but I slurped on his rod as best I could. I guess watching me suck his friend turned Jeff on even more because in a minute he began to pump faster and harder and then I felt his dick begin to throb inside me. He collapsed on top of me and tried to kiss me but the roommate's dick was still in my mouth. So he kissed the dick instead.

"So can I have a piece of that hot little ass, too?" The roommate smiled down on me.

The idea of being fucked by a second guy startled me but then I thought, 'Why not?' I'd just sucked them both and loved it and I'd enjoyed the fucking so far. So what the hell?

So Jeff pulled out of me and left the room to clean himself up while the blond put on a condom and got between my legs. He entered me much faster than Jeff but then I was already well-prepared. Besides, his dick was a little smaller than Jeff's. He'd only been pumping a couple of minutes when Jeff returned, accompanied by the third roommate who was also naked.  I knew where this was going and nodded to the guy to come on over. He gave me his dark lollypop to suck on while the blond continued to fuck me, harder and harder. After the blond had shot his load and slowly withdrawn from my ass, the black guy pulled his dick from my mouth.

"And I suppose you want some, too?"

"If you're not too fucked out."

"More like fucked in, but I suppose I can handle one more. There aren't any more roommates, are there?"

"No, it's just the three of us," he laughed.

And with that he sheathed his dark brown rod and knelt between my legs. His dick was probably the same length as Jeff's but a bit thicker so he slid it in slowly. Once inside though he really went to town, ramming it into me harder than either of the other two. My hole was starting to get a little sore by this time so I was glad when he came after only a few minutes. He gave me a peck on the cheek as he rolled off the bed and Jeff came over to help me clean up.  
I'd gone from virgin to slut in just over an hour and a half and I'd loved every minute of it.

Afterward we all sat around naked in the living room drinking beer.

"So what do you think, guys?" Jeff asked. The other two just nodded and Jeff turned to me. "Would you like to stay with us for a while, Silas?"

"Before you answer, we should tell you the house rules, so you know what you're getting yourself into." the black roommate said.

That sounded ominous so I just nodded and waited. Jeff started counting off rules on his fingers.

"First, as far as finances go, we split all household expenses equally. With three of us that comes to a little over $850 a month including rent, utilities and basic groceries. With four it'll be closer to $650." That wasn't a problem. Even without a job I could swing that for a few months.

"Second, as you can see, we all like sex a lot. If you live here you've got to be open to whatever whenever with whomever. From your little performance just now I don't see that as a problem for you."

True, I'd thoroughly enjoyed having sex with the three of them. I wasn't sure about their open-ended terms but since we'd already done pretty much everything I'd ever imagined, Why not?

"Third, you can bring tricks back to the apartment, but only if you're willing to share."

With three hot guys at home I didn't think I'd be looking for more on the outside so  I was agreeable to that.

"Fourth, we take our studies even more seriously than our sex, so be considerate when it comes to noise."

Not a problem. I'd been tiptoeing around Dad for years.

"And last, but very definitely not least, always, always use condoms, whether here or anywhere else, with us or anybody else. We play around a lot but we always play safe."

I had no disagreement there. Even Mom had told me I should be careful when I started having sex.

So that was it. I'd been in the city less than one day and I'd found an affordable place to stay in a gay neighborhood and had three hot guys who wanted to have sex with me. How great was that?

And my life with Jeff, Tom and Jerry got even better. Jerry (who turned out to be the black one) worked as a waiter at a restaurant around the corner and he got me a job there as a busboy. It didn't pay much but it meant I only had to take a little out of my savings each month to make ends meet. At the end of the summer one of Tom's friends from school left the city and I took over her business of walking dogs each morning. It was only an hour a day and the pay wasn't much but it filled in the hole in my budget so I didn't have to touch my savings at all after that. And picking up after 5 dogs was nothing compared to cleaning a barn with 18 cows.

And my sex life was fantastic. The four of us had different schedules but it seemed like whenever I was home at least one of them was also, so I was constantly having sex. The apartment had two bedrooms. Jerry and Tom slept together as did Jeff and I, at least most of the time. Occasionally one of them would bring a guy home but I never joined in. Three sex partners was enough for me. They always invited me to take part but didn't pressure me when I refused.

My sex life did increase slightly in October though. Out of the blue, one of my dog-walking clients, a married man with a standard poodle, offered me fifty dollars if I'd let him blow me. I flat-out refused. I liked sex but wasn't a prostitute. Not only was it illegal, it was wrong. The next week when he offered again he seemed so pathetic I relented but I refused to take the money. I had no objection to an extra blow job now and then. But at the end of the week when I opened the pay envelopes from the dog owners I found he had drastically increased the size of his tip to the point where the tip was much more than the dog walking fee. That left me with a dilemma. In both bussing and dog walking, tips were a substantial part of my income. They were important to me. Even though I knew what the money was really for, it was against my nature to give back a tip, so after debating it in my mind all weekend, I kept it. But when the man propositioned me again the next week I turned him down. He didn't give up, and refusing his offer became a part of my weekly routine.

In December, Tom got his masters degree and took a job in Boston, so not only did my living expenses go up, my sex life decreased. Actually, my expenses increased in another way as well. Living with three students had inspired me to enroll in CUNY for the spring semester. That meant I definitely needed more money so the next time my poodle owner made his offer, I reluctantly accepted. The money I had in the bank was a comfortable psychological cushion and I didn't want to deplete it. Besides, both Jeff and Jerry were going to finish their studies in May and I had no idea what they'd be doing after that.  

One day while using Jeff's computer to surf the web looking for porn I came across a web site for guys looking to hook up. I'd seen sites like that before but this one had a category for escorts. After reading a few of the ads I realized that escort was just a euphemism for prostitute. None of the 'dates' being offered was for anything other than sex. The idea of trading sex for money was still distasteful to me, even though that's exactly what I was doing with Mr. Poodle. But the term escort got me thinking about the whole subject in greater depth. If the product being offered was an actual date and not just an orgasm, that might be more acceptable. Sex could be involved, but if it were an evening out that was being charged for, I wouldn't find that so objectionable. It was all a theoretical debate in my mind, at least until major changes in my life occurred in May.

Upon receiving their degrees, Jerry took a job in Silicon Valley and Jeff announced he was going to pursue his anthropological studies by following Margaret Mead (and Mary Martin) to the South Pacific in the fall. That meant I had to both find a smaller, cheaper apartment and more income, fast. At the restaurant I'd moved up from busboy to waiter when Tom had left so that had helped my financial situation, but it still wasn't nearly enough to support myself on my own. Also, I was going to have to give up the dogs and that meant even less money. I'd managed to fit them into my spring school schedule, but given the classes I wanted to take in the fall it wouldn't be possible to walk them every day.

I decided I would try my idea of renting myself out for dates. I put together an Internet ad for fantasy dates, making it clear I wasn't one of those charging by the hour for a  roll in the hay. It also wasn't about kink. While the guys had shown me that there was a whole lot more to sex than just basic fucking and sucking, I was still a pretty vanilla kind of boy.

My escort business started off pretty slowly over the summer but gradually built up. I worked four nights a week at the restaurant so that only left three for dates. Soon I was getting more offers than I could take. Part of it was that I was charging $200 for the evening and that was the hourly rate of a lot of the other escorts. And the photos I used in the ad, including a couple taken of me on the farm the year before, made me look like a blond-haired, blue-eyed, All-American boy, which was pretty much what I was.

Starting October 1, I found a one bedroom apartment in Chelsea that I could stretch to afford, but the first and last month's rent wiped out my bank account. The dates were more profitable than the restaurant so by the end of the year my schedule had changed to two nights a week of waiting tables and five of dates.

For the most part, my dates were fun. They were mostly middle-aged guys, or older, who wanted someone to go to the opera, ballet or theater with them. Some wanted a hot young guy on their arm to take to parties to make their friends drool. Of course, they all wanted sex at the end of the night, but that was fine. I'd become used to having lots of sex with Jeff, Jerry and Tom and so had never become good at finding it on my own in bars or clubs. The sex wasn't great for the most part, but it was okay.

After three years I had a bachelors degree with a double major in biology and psychology and was well on my way to an MBA at Pace University. I loved my apartment in Chelsea and had some money in the bank. But I was exhausted. I'd given up the restaurant job after a year but working five nights a week, 52 weeks a year while going to school full-time was tiring.

So, when Ed responded to my ad, asking me if I'd be interested in joining his new escort service, the offer was appealing. He charged far more than I had for the dates and even though he kept a third of the money, I ended up with lots more. And he took care of all of the arrangements including checking out the clients and taking care of the money. I only had to work three or four days a week and got a good paycheck every Friday. He withheld taxes so I felt good I was no longer cheating. I'd always paid tax on my restaurant income but was never sure how to report my escort money. I didn't want to be nailed for prostitution even though I rationalized that that wasn't really what I was doing. I also got benefits - health insurance, even a 401k. It was just like having a real job.

Seven years, two masters degrees and several vocational certificates later, I was still going to school, happy with my job and my life. The only downside was my romantic life, or lack of one. I dated (non-professionally) occasionally, but had never had a real boyfriend. While I did well on my professional dates, when it came to my personal life I reverted back to my old high school personality. I was shy, awkward and blended into the background. Olivia and I had for some reason become bosom buddies as soon as we met but other than her I had no real friends. Overall I was pretty content with my life, though it wasn't very well-balanced.

As far as family went, I'd never had any further contact with my father at all. I'd written to Barbara as soon as I got settled in the city, explaining the situation, including coming out to her. She didn't seem surprised. I think she'd always assumed her wimpy little brother was a homo. We kept in touch, but it was more a birthday-and-Christmas-card-with-notes-enclosed kind of relationship. Until I met Livy I'd always listed Barbara as my emergency contact person but we weren't close. The few times she came out to visit Dad she also came into the city for dinner with me, and I went out to Portland twice to visit her family, but it really was a distant relationship.

And yet, after all these years, I was being dragged back to the farm.