This story may occasionally include explicit depictions of sexual acts between consenting adult males. If you are underage or it is illegal to view this for any reason, consider yourself warned. If you find this material offensive, please leave.
This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people, living or dead, is entire a coincidence. Everyone lives in my head. As the author, I retain all rights to this story, and it cannot be reproduced or published without explicit consent from me. This work is copyright © 2018 by Steven Wells.
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"Connor Rodriguez!" Tide said as stood beside our table. "Imagine bumping into one another. How's the movie business going?"
"I wouldn't know," I replied. "This really isn't an appropriate time to reminisce, Tide. I'm busy right now."
"I'll bet if I were one of your rich man clients, you wouldn't have said you're busy, would you, Connor?" Tide said as he glared at me.
"I believe you might want to be moving on," Jackson said as he stood. Tide had to look up at Jackson's massive body.
"Don't get bent out of shape, pussy boy," Tide added. "I'll be on my way. But, Connor, I thought I should let you know. You'll get a call from your future husband's brother-in-law, Dwaine. Dwaine Carlisle, I believe his name is. I heard he looked pretty shaken a few days ago. I'll see you around, Connor, pussy boy."
Tide turned and left us speechless. Finally, Jackson reacted. "It's time to get you home, Connor. We need to discuss this. I'll have Landon and Cory meet us."
"This is bad," I finally said as I looked at Noel. "This is really bad, Noel. My worst nightmare just left a smoking gun on the table."
"Let's get you home," Noel replied. "We'll get to my last topic of discussion when we see each other next."
Jackson stood and pulled me up with him. He handed Noel his keys, and we left Starbucks.
"Connor!" I heard Cory's voice resonate through the condo. I just sat in the chair staring at the floor. I still had on my jacket. "Connor?"
I looked up at Cory. Tears started flowing. I still couldn't move.
"Connor?" Cory asked again as he knelt in front of the chair and put his hand on my thigh. "Please talk to me."
"What am I going to do, Cory?" I finally asked.
"We will do everything we can to prevent this asshole from ruining lives," Cory replied.
"Maybe I should just go back to New York and not cause anyone here problems," I said in a hushed sob.
"You are not going to New York or any other place without me, Connor," Cory added.
"I should call Dwaine and let him know he might be in the news," I said as I started to dig out my phone for the front pocket of my jeans.
"Not yet, Connor," Jackson said as he approached us. "Landon has the police on the phone. Someone will be here shortly to take a statement from you. Your attorney is on his way here as well. We had a restraining order preventing Tide from contacting you. He's now committed a crime and a warrant will be issued for his arrest. Right now, we can only wait until we have more facts."
"Connor," Cory said to me as he stood. "It looks like we'll be here for a while. Let me take your coat."
I slipped off my coat and handed it to Cory. He hung my coat on the back of a chair. I didn't realize Cory had moved in front of me again until he hugged me and pulled us close together.
"We'll get through this together, Connor," Cory said in a hushed voice.
The doorbell rang. I heard voices in the entry hall. Jackson appeared with two men in suits.
"Cory... Connor," Jackson said as he led our guests into the living room where Cory and I stood with our arms wrapped around one another. "These men are police detectives. They want to speak with you, Connor."
Cory and I untangled ourselves. We turned to greet our guests.
"I'm detective Pablo Cruz," the six-two Hispanic man said.
"I'm detective Truman Jennings," the ebony-skinned man said. Truman stood two inches shorter than Pablo.
"I'm Cory Wainwright, and this is Connor Rodriguez," Cory explained. "Please sit."
"Pablo has one question he needs answered before we talk," Truman said as he and Pablo took seats on the sofa.
"Are you THE Connor Rodriguez, the Tony winning actor?" Pablo asked.
I smiled for the first time since meeting Tide at Starbucks. "Yes, I am the dude who was lucky enough to win a Tony. Did you see Haywire?"
"Four times," Pablo admitted. "My twin brother lives in Hell's Kitchen. He and I are what you might call fans of yours."
"At least someone appreciates me for more than my boxers," I said.
"Those were good, too," Pablo added. He smiled.
`God, he was sexy!' I thought to myself before I tore my eyes away from him.
"Now, Mr. Rodriguez," Truman began. "Tell us about this Tide guy."
"He and I were boyfriends for a while back in New York," I began. "While I slugged away doing eight shows a week, Tide was sticking his dick in other men. And it appears other men were sticking their dicks in him. He gave me a gift that keeps on giving... the HIV virus. I threw his ass out of my apartment. I changed the locks. I had a restraining order issued against him."
I paused hoping someone would ask a question so I wouldn't need to explain my other dilemma.
"How long ago did you throw him out?" Pablo asked.
"I found out about his gift a few weeks after I won the Tony," I continued. "I gave my notice I'd be leaving the show shortly after. I left New York in June. I thought he finally left me alone until he showed up stalking me here in Boston."
"Obviously, he was upset after you kicked him out of the apartment," Truman added.
"He kept showing up on my doorstep," I explained. "I didn't call the police, unfortunately."
"What exactly did your ex-boyfriend say to you in Starbucks?" Pablo asked.
"First, he said, `I'll bet if I were one of your rich man clients, you wouldn't have said you're busy, would you, Connor?'" I explained and then continued. "'I thought I should let you know. You'll get a call from your future husband's brother-in-law, Dwaine. Dwaine Carlisle, I believe his name is. I heard he looked pretty shaken a few days ago. I'll see you around...' His words exactly. I'll be hearing those words and that voice over and over again until he's out of my hair."
"What did he mean your `rich man clients?'" Pablo asked.
I looked at Cory. I'm certain he could see the trepidation in my eyes.
"It's okay, Connor," Cory said as he squeezed my hand.
"I need to give you a little background," I explained. "When my mother discovered I was gay, right before I started school in New York, she disowned me. I had no financial resources. I did have a scholarship. The scholarship paid tuition and fees. I needed money to live on. I had three jobs to survive. I didn't know if I would be able to survive going to college without much sleep."
I paused. Cory squeezed my hand again.
I continued, "One day I met a guy in Central Park. I sat on my meditation park bench trying to figure out life when this man..."
"It was me," Cory added.
"When this man without a shirt whizzed by me on his roller blades," I continued. "I watched him disappear into the bowels of the park, and I went back to my meditation. The next thing I know, the shirtless man on roller blades sat on my park bench right next to me."
"I asked him out," Cory added to my story.
"He asked me out to coffee," I continued. "We exchanged phone numbers. I met him at a Starbucks near Columbia two days later. It turned out his family was a big contributor to the arts and he knew several people in the theater business. It also turned out he wanted to go to bed with me... for a fee, of course."
"And you accepted because you were tired of working your ass off?" Pablo asked. "Pardon the pun."
"It's okay," I replied. "And, yes, I did accept after about one week of consideration. The deciding factor came on Friday night of an extra tough week. My roommate announced he dropped out of college and would be going back home to Denver. Guess what? I now had to pay the entire rent for a dingy studio apartment we shared. I inherited a two-thousand dollar a month rat hole of a studio apartment. The next kick in the ass happened when I finished my shift at a restaurant where I made most of my money. The owners ran out of money. The restaurant closed that night and never reopened. I never received my last week of wages. I found myself totally fucked."
I took a deep breath.
"The final kick in the ass lands a couple of scenes into the last act. I agree to meet Cory for dinner at a really nice restaurant. I managed to throw an outfit together which didn't make me look like a total dork. I won't go into details, but he handed me five hundred dollars after I agreed to go home with him. Five hundred dollars was more than I made in working twenty-four-hour weeks. I made five hundred dollars in two hours I quit my other job and focused on school."
"One night, Cory asked me if I wanted other clients. He had a few rich, closeted friends who were eager to find a regular piece of ass. I took on three others—except I charged them one thousand dollars for two hours. Am I painting an understandable picture here?"
"You're making $3,500 for eight hours work?" Pablo asked. "Every week. How long did this go on?"
"Until I landed the part in Haywire," I replied. "My clients always wore protection. I even had a few clients who would come to the city on business. They called Cory, and I'd go to bed with them. It's not easy telling someone, two cops at that, I was a prostitute for six years."
"And this Tide knew what you were doing, and he was okay with it?" Truman asked.
"Yes," I responded.
"Did he know your clients' names?" Pablo asked.
"I didn't think he did, but, obviously, I was wrong," I said as I looked at Cory. He squeezed my hand again.
"Has he asked for any money from either you or your clients?" Truman asked.
"He hasn't approached me for money," I explained. "I don't know about the clients. He'll more than likely want to make me pay to keep quiet, but he'll threaten the others if I don't give in, I'm certain."
"Has he been violent, hurt you in any way?" Pablo asked.
"Not in the past," I said. "However, I've never seen the fury in his eyes until today at Starbucks. It scared the shit out of me."
"Do you know where he lives?" Pablo asked.
"Yes," Jackson replied. "One of our guys followed him to where he's staying. On the corner of Rutland St. and Shawmut. He's staying with a friend. Jason Grimley."
"Jason fucking Grimley?" I screamed.
"Yea," Jackson replied. "Do you know him?"
"He's hounded me ever since I got the part in Haywire," I explained. "He wanted to play Humphry. Tide and Jason fucking Grimley are friends? You have to be mistaken. They hate each other."
"No," Jackson replied. "We have evidence they may even be boyfriends."
"I didn't think this could be any worse than it already was," I said to no one in particular. "Tide is spiteful because he's dumb as dirt. Grimley is spiteful because he's one angry misfit of an actor."
"While we're on the subject of Tide and Jason fucking Grimley," Jackson began. "Do you know a Michael Radanovich?"
"I never heard of him," I responded.
"I have," Cory interjected. "This is all making sense."
"How?" Pablo asked.
"He was best man at Dwaine's wedding," Cory added. "I don't know how they found one another, but I can see where the three of them would be involved in this. Michael and Dwaine had a falling out shortly after Connie and Dwaine were married. Maybe it's Dwaine they want to blackmail."
"Or to humiliate," Landon said. "Dwaine's reputation with the society set would be pretty much demolished if this were leaked. The society set doesn't like bad publicity among their peers."
"What do we need to do here?" I asked.
"We'd need to get this approved by our superior," Pablo said, "but would you be willing to have a conversation with Tide? Try to get him to admit blackmail or extortion?"
"Cory?" I asked.
"Connor won't be alone, right?" Cory asked.
"Someone will be very close by and monitoring the conversation carefully at all times," Truman explained.
"Yes," I said without thinking. "I'll do it. You can even include Jason fucking Grimley in the discussion if it will help."
"Thank you, Connor," Pablo responded. "We'll get this going quickly. Here's our phone numbers. Call us if you need anything, anything."
Landon and Jackson showed Pablo and Truman to the door. Cory and I remained in the living room.
"I think Pablo wants to be more than a fan," Cory said as we both moved to the window and watch the city below.
"I'm engaged, remember?" I asked.
"How could I forget!" Cory added. "He is cute as shit."
"I cannot say he isn't," I said as I leaned into Cory. He put his arm around my shoulders.
Being with Cory like this made me feel good—safe. But I knew there was a storm brewing on the horizon. Like a nor'easter, it would bring heavy damage.
"What am I supposed to do now, Cory?" I asked. "Too bad I didn't sign a contract for the Haywire movie. I'll need a new job once this hits the news."
"Connor," Cory began. "Don't let this situation kill your dreams. You won't be the villain. Tide, Jason fucking Grimley, and Michael Radanovich will be the villains."
"Let's hope," I replied.
"Connor?" Cory began as he turned to me with both hands on my shoulders. His eyes fixed on mine. "Why don't we get married sooner rather than later?"
"What do you mean by sooner?" I asked.
"In the next week or two," Cory replied.
"You're a mad man, Cory Wainwright!" I finally said as my smirk turned into a smile. "There is nothing I'd like more than to be married to you right now, but where in the hell would we have a wedding?"
"Noel and John's house," Cory suggested.
"Wait a minute, Cory," I finally said. "We have this shit with Tide et al to resolve before we can get married."
"Why?" Cory asked.
"I'll be a pariah after this comes out," I replied.
"So?" Cory continued. "Do you think I'll stop loving you because some people don't like your past?"
"No, but what will your family think—your mother and father, your brother and sister?" I asked. "They can't very well want me as their son-in-law or brother-in-law once my name appears in every corner of New York once this leaks."
"You'll still be the same Connor they fell in love with over the weekend," Cory said.
Cory's phone started to buzz. With one quick look at the screen, he answered the call.
"Hey, Dad," Cory said into the phone as he switched it to the speaker phone. "What' up? You're not the one who usually calls to catch up."
"Well..., this isn't a catch-up call, Cory," Mr. Wainwright said. "Is Connor with you?"
"Yes,' Cory explained. "He's standing beside me. We're on speaker."
"Good," Mr. Wainwright responded. "I suggest you sit down."
"Sit down?" Cory asked.
"Yes," Mr. Wainwright replied. "Sit down. I have some news to share with the two of you."
Cory looked at me and motioned to the love seat next to us. We sat.
"Okay," Cory continued. "We're seated. What news?"
"Do either of you know Jonathan Tidewater, Jason Grimley, and Michael Radanovich?" Mr. Wainwright asked.
"Their names just came up in conversation today," Cory replied. "Why?"
"The feds want to question them about a blackmail scheme involving a number of prominent gay men in the city," Mr. Wainwright explained. "You probably already know where I'm going with this, right, guys?"
"Unfortunately, yes," Cory said as he put his hand on my thigh
"If you don't mind, I'd like to offer an opinion on your approach to this matter," Mr. Wainwright said.
"We're listening," Cory said.
"Connor, I believe you could cut the damage dramatically if you were to announce publicly you were a male escort during college," Mr. Wainwright explained his position. "You and your clients could possibly avoid a blackmail scheme."
"So, you believe I should announce to the world I was a prostitute while in college, and some of my clients paid me lots of money to have sex with them?" I asked.
Mr. Wainwright chuckled before he answered. "You might want to change the word `prostitute' to `male escort,' but I do believe you should publicly explain your situation."
"I don't know about you, Cory," I said. "But I'm damn tired of sweeping my work as a male escort under the rug and being judged by some high and mighty assholes. What do I have to be afraid of? Sullying my reputation? I could live with a sullied reputation if need be."
"You have pranced around the stage in your boxers," Cory began. "You're thinking about appearing naked in a play at the Center. Maybe you want to add male escort to your résumé."
By the time Cory finished his monologue, we were both smiling.
"But I'd take you down with me, Cory," I added.
"Sweetie, I hired you," Cory said. "Remember?"
"The others," I said in my quiet voice. "I don't want the others to get hurt... like Dwaine."
"One last bit of information before I let you go decide on how you want to handle this situation," Mr. Wainwright said. "Dwaine has had a steady boyfriend for about three months. It ended about two weeks ago. Dwaine was seeing Jonathan Tidewater."
I sat there unable to speak for what seemed like hours only it must have only been seconds.
"Dwaine was dating Jonathan fucking Tidewater!" I exclaimed. "Dwaine, my future brother-in-law, dated my ex-boyfriend who is now trying to blackmail me! What was Dwaine thinking?"
"He wasn't thinking," Mr. Wainwright replied.
"I hope Dwaine and asswipe practiced safe sex!" I exclaimed.
"They didn't," Mr. Wainwright added. "Dwaine stopped by the office to ask my advice about something. He wanted my help in trying to explain all of this to Connie. The problem solved itself, however. Connie had known Dwaine dated this jackass since the beginning of the relationship."
"Don't tell me Dwaine is HIV positive?" I shrieked.
"You'll need to ask Dwaine your question directly," Mr. Wainwright replied. "But I believe you get the picture. Your ex-boyfriend also dated most of your former clients, Connor."
"I only hope the feds throw asshole in jail for a long, long time," I hissed.
"I'll let the two of you decide on your course of action, if any," Mr. Wainwright said to us. "Let me know what you decide so I can prepare the others."
"Thanks, Dad," Cory said as he ended the call.
I scrunched up to Cory as we sat voiceless for several minutes.
"I feel bad for Dwaine," I said after a long, reflective silence. "Tide gave him the same gift as he gave me."
"It is sad," Cory said as he, too, broke our silence. "He can live being HIV positive. I'm not certain about his ability to live after the embarrassment of the situation. Dwaine is a very proud man. Connie knew Dwaine was gay from the beginning. But she loved him. She knew going into this marriage she wouldn't be the only lover in his life. Connie doesn't shy away from problematic situations. She's strong, and, I believe, she will stand beside Dwaine and support him. She likes to say `fuck you' to the polite society of New York."
"How do you know all this?" I asked.
"We've talked about Dwaine's tendencies from day one," Cory continued. "Before the wedding. And several times after the wedding. Connie will stand up for Dwaine just like Dwaine would stand up for Connie. I have no doubt."
"It must be nice to know your family like you do," I added.
"Don't start the `I feel sorry for Connor routine,'" Cory countered. "I know your early life wasn't filled with a lot of terrific memories, but please look ahead. Don't drive a car looking through the rearview mirror. Look through the windshield. You'll find a whole, wonderful world out there... Except for Tide, of course."
"I can always count on you, Cory," I responded. "You counter my negativity extremely well. You also make me want to snuggle up to you naked in bed."
"Are you intimating you'd like to engage in homosexual relations with me," Cory asked.
I took Cory's hand. "Yes," I replied. "You know me very well, don't you?"
"Yup," Cory replied. "I believe I do!"
"Let me get this right," Noel said as we sat at Starbucks near the Center. "Your ex-boyfriend dated your future brother-in-law before he married your future husband's sister."
"You answered correctly, Noel," I replied. "And we have evidence to show my ex-boyfriend not only stalks me, but he also stalks my former clients I serviced as a prostitute."
"You have a way with words, cuz," Noel responded as a smile forced its way across his face. "Not only has your future husband has had sex with you, but your future brother-in-law also has had sex with you. Can't you keep it in your pants, Connor?"
"I just did my job," I replied also with a smile. "I didn't think of Cory as my future husband back then. I also didn't fathom Dwaine might become my future brother-in-law."
"How was Dwaine in bed?" Noel asked.
"A little kinky," I added. "But we had a good time."
"How kinky?" Noel asked. "As in whips and chains?"
"No whips and no chains," I explained. "How is John in bed?"
"Amazingly flexible," Noel said. "What's happening with Tide?"
"I haven't heard from him since our meeting here a week ago," I replied. "I'm waiting on the next shoe to fall. And it will sometime in the very near future. Cory's father thinks we should make a public statement. I'm more inclined to let the feds take care of him."
"I'm on your side," Noel agreed. "Let the federal government corner him. It's not as hazardous to your health."
"I wanted to talk with you because Cory and I want to get married as soon as possible," I began.
"Are you pregnant?" Noel asked.
I threw a scrunched Starbucks napkin at Noel. "I wish, but no. We've decided we don't want to wait for this huge extravaganza his mother and sister want us to have. It would be small. Cory's immediate family and yours and John's families."
"Where will you have this small, intimate wedding?" Noel asked as his smile brightened.
"Cory and I thought about your house, but we've decided to have it at the Center," I explained. "We want to have it in the small theater. It has seating for one hundred. We'd have the reception in the lobby. We thought the stage would make the perfect wedding backdrop. The entire Center also happens to be free of commitments this entire month. We want to plan this to happen three weeks from tomorrow."
"Sounds exciting!" Noel enthused. "Let me know if you need assistance with the planning."
"I will," I replied. "Would you and John be groomsmen? I hope my brother will be the best man."
"We'd be honored," Noel replied.
"And Eagan the ring bearer?" I asked.
"Sure," Noel replied.
"And your dogs flower pets?" I asked my last question.
"They are seasoned flower dogs," Noel replied. "Sure. Do many people know about this wedding?"
"Cory's family, now some of my family, and I'm asking the Center staff this afternoon," I replied as I glanced at my phone for the time. "I need to get back because I'm making an announcement in twenty minutes."
"One last nut case item: have you heard any news about your mother?"
"No," I replied. "What's happening now?"
"I'm not privy to the details, but I have surmised, from excepts of conversations with my mother and yours, it's a health issue," Noel explained.
"When you find out, please let me know," I said as any pleasant thoughts slipped out of my brain.
"Or you could find out when you call her to invite her," Noel added.
"Why would you think I am inviting the woman who threw me away because I turned gay?" I asked in a louder than expected voice. "I had to work as a prostitute to finish school."
The last statement turned some heads in our direction.
"I understand how you feel betrayed," Noel began. "I resumed conversations with my mother during the rehearsal dinner of our wedding. I'm happy she's now part of our family. My side of the family's culture is an important learning tool for Eagan. I don't believe you'll regret at least asking her even if she doesn't attend your wedding."
"I'll think about it," I replied. "Now, I really do need to run. I so much appreciate our conversations. You know you're like a brother to me."
"I know," Noel replied. "I feel the same about you."
We arrived at Noel and John's house thirty minutes before our guests would begin arriving. Both Cory and I had bottled the last three weeks energy. We bounced off walls. Jackson and Landon watched our every move.
We made it through the last three weeks without contact from Tide. We hoped he had given up.
"Have you heard from your mother?" Noel asked as he pulled me aside.
"No," I replied. "Not a phone call, a note, or an e-mail. Nothing. I didn't expect she would attend, but I hoped she would at least pick up the phone to give me her decision."
"I'm sorry, cuz," Noel replied as he put his hand on my shoulder. "Maybe one day."
"Maybe," I replied. "Let's get this party rolling, cuz!"
The guests began arriving. All of my family entered in waves in just a few minutes. Like clockwork, Cory's family also seemed to arrive in mass, but separately arriving. I wasn't able to look Dwaine directly in the eyes."
Cory and I worked the room. Eagan demanded our attention from the very beginning.
"After you and Uncle are married, will I start having more cousins?" Eagan asked.
I looked at Cory, and he smiled back.
"Not right away, Eagan," Cory explained. "We will, but we need to get settled first."
"Okay," Eagan said as he wiggled to the floor. He took off in pursuit of the dogs.
I almost jumped out of my skin when the doorbell rang.
Then I heard Noel's voice, "Connor! I believe we have one more guest you want to meet."
I shrugged my shoulders and moved to where Noel stood with someone else. I stopped in my tracks.
"Mom?" I finally said.
"I hope you don't mind I didn't RSVP, but my sister and Mrs. Wainwright convinced me to come," Mom said to me with tears forming in her eyes. "I've missed you, Connor. I don't want to miss you anymore."
I pulled her into a hug which lasted I don't know how long. When I released her, Cory stood beside us. Noel had crept away.
"Mom, I'd like you to meet the man I'm marrying tomorrow," I said as Cory put his arm around my shoulder. "Mom, this is Cory Wainwright. Cory this is my mother Helen Rodriguez."
"I'm so pleased to finally meet you Mrs. Rodriguez," Cory said as he took her outstretched hand. "Thank you so much for coming tonight. I know it means a great deal to Connor."
"It means a great deal to me as well, Mr. Wainwright," mom said to Cory. "I'm certain you are already aware your mother is extremely persuasive. She and my sister visited me last weekend."
"Several people have indeed told me she is, yes," Cory added with a smile.
Cory and I circled the room introducing her to our guests. Mrs. Wainwright finally swooped her up into a conversation between the grooms' mothers.
"Did you have anything to do with this, Cory Wainwright the third?" I asked.
"I only suggested you were trying to reach out to your mother," Cory explained. "She took it from there. I did manage, however, to give her Noel's mother's contact information."
"Thanks," I replied. "I'll thank you properly later."
Cory and I wanted a one-of-a-kind wedding. The Center gave us a perfect backdrop for what could only be described as a Broadway musical performed live.
The production crew for the Center put together an awesome set. They started outside with a red carpet from the curb to the front door of the Center and continuing into the theater's center aisle, ending at steps leading up to the stage.
The music started, signaling the beginning of our wedding. First down the aisle were the groomsmen, Doug and Gabe. Next were Noel and John, followed by Eagan and five dogs. Eagan served as ring bearer and the dogs as flower pets.
It was our turn right after Fletcher and another singer started singing "I'll Cover for You" from Rent. We did a quick rush up the center aisle to the stage and took our place and waited for the guys to finish the song.
Cory and I turned to our guests and stepped forward.
"I can't tell you how awesome being on the stage under the lights again makes me feel," I began. "Some of you may think this is a little over the top, but Cory and I wanted a wedding we'd always remember."
Cory and I turned to face the officiant. The wedding began. Then it ended. The in-between moments faded into a blur until we turned to walk down the aisle.
Once we landed outside the theater, Cory turned to me. "How do you feel now we're married?"
"Like were in a dream," I replied. "I'm looking forward to getting you home, stripping off your clothes, and riding your dick as a married couple."
I sat at my desk trying to wrap my head around some promotional events the Center will host in the next few months. It wasn't easy. I was still on an endorphin high after our wedding two weeks ago.
I heard something in the storage room behind my office, and then I heard an all too familiar voice.
"Seems like we're meeting on a regular basis now, Connor," the voice said as I slowly turned around to see Tide with a gun pointed at me. "You don't look happy to see me, Connor! You used to love it when I surprised you while we lived in Hell's Kitchen. Something changed? Maybe it's your rich husband. He's a Wainwright I hear. Very proper, upstanding New York socialite family. They live in an environment so unfamiliar to you, Connor. Don't you think you'll be bored!"
"Tide, please put the gun down so we can talk," I said calmly and quietly. "The gun won't solve anything."
"Sure it will, my amigo!" Tide said in his fake Spanish voice. "I'll be in charge with this gun. Your rich husband won't want a dead husband on his hands, especially a prostitute dead husband. So, you'll be receptive to what I believe is a fair solution to this mess you've gotten yourself into."
"Tide," I said as I tried to remain calm. "I haven't gotten myself into a mess."
"Au contraire!" Tide continued. "Your secret's out, Connor. Several of your current clients have come forward and given detailed descriptions of your work habits."
"I don't have any current clients, Tide," I said. "Now, put... the... gun... down!"
"Drop your gun," Jackson exclaimed from the doorframe of my office door.
"No, big man," Tide said to Jackson. "You're not understanding how this will work. You see, big man! You can't shoot me. You can't shoot me because I'll blow this room and everyone in it to bits."
Tide pulled his jean jacket open. He had a canvas belt around his waist. Little red lights flashed on and off.
"Is that a bomb on your waist?" I asked.
"You guessed on the first try, Mr. Tony Award Winning Actor," Tide replied. He turned toward Jackson. "Now, big guy, get the fuck out of this office before I blow us all to bits."
"I'll leave when Connor leaves," Jackson said as he followed Tide's every movement with this gun.
"Is everything okay, Jackson?" I heard Tina's voice asked.
"Get everyone out of the building," Jackson said without taking his eyes or gun off Tide. "Now!"
Seconds later I heard Tina's voice on the PA system, "Everyone! Please evacuate the building. Don't panic. Leave now. Immediately!"
A few moments later I saw the intercom light on my phone turn on.
My cell phone rang. Cory's name lit up the screen.
"Your rich husband is calling you, Connor," Tide said with a smirk. "Answer it."
"Connor," I said into the phone.
"Connor!" Cory exclaimed. "Is something happening at the center?"
"Tide and Jackson stopped in to see me," I explained. I tried not to panic, but I didn't believe it was working.
"Are you okay?" Cory asked.
"It's a little tense," I replied. My voice became shakier. "They both have guns. Tide's pointed at me. Jackson's pointed at Tide."
"And I'm a walking time bomb, rich boy," Tide exclaimed. "Turn it on speaker. I want to hear the fear in your rich husband's voice."
I switched the phone onto speaker.
"It's on," I said with as much calmness as I could muster.
"Now, rich boy," Tide began. "How much is your husband worth to you? Ten million? Twenty million? What is it, rich boy?"
"I can't put a price on Connor's life," Cory replied in a steady, calm voice. Knowing Cory, it was an act.
"See, Connor," Tide said to me. Hate dripped off his words. "Your rich husband doesn't think you're worth the money. You aren't good enough, Connor. He thinks you're a piece of shit. Just like his dumbass, fairy brother-in-law Dwaine. Oh! Rich boy! I'd stay in a secure place if I were you. Someone is following you just like every one of Connor's clients. Shut down the call, Connor. Now!"
"Love you, Cory," I said into the phone right before Tide grabbed the phone and threw it against the wall of my office.
"What can we do here, Tide?" Jackson said in a paced voice. He still pointed the gun at Tide. "What can we do to let Connor go?"
"He'll leave here in a body bag," Tide replied. "Just like you will, big guy. Just like I will."
"Connor needs a more comfortable place to sit," Jackson said to Tide. "He hurt his back two days ago. He's in lots of pain."
"Aw!" Tide began. "Little Connor's in pain. Little Connor needs a comfy place to sit. Sit on the couch and take off your shirt."
I paused a moment.
"Now, Connor!" Tide exclaimed. "Now!"
I pushed away from my desk and slowly and crept over to the sofa.
"Shirt off, Connor," Tide demanded again.
I pulled the shirt tails out of my slacks and unbuttoned the front. I slipped the shirt off my shoulders and let it fall to the floor.
"Very nice, Connor," Tide said as he cautiously glanced back and forth from me to Jackson and back to me. Over and over. "Shoes, sox, and pants, Connor. Take them off! Now!"
I untied my shoes but didn't let my gaze off Tide. I stood once my shoes and sox were off and unbuckled my belt. I saw out of the corner of my eye Jackson began to slowly move out of the doorway and into the room away from the window. Tide fixed his gaze solely on me. I returned his gaze. I unbuttoned the top button of my slacks and gently lowered the zipper. I pushed my slacks down over my ass. The slacks dropped to the floor, and I stepped out of them. I stood in my black Calvin Klein low rise briefs looking squarely at Tide.
"You look as good as ever, Connor," Tide said as he moved toward me.
"Don't move any closer to him, Tide!" Jackson warned.
Tide glared at Jackson. "I don't like you telling me what to do, big guy. Do you understand me?"
"Yes," Jackson replied. "I understand."
I saw a red dot on Tide's forehead. Tide's body dropped to the floor.
"Run Connor! Now!" Jackson screamed at me as he jumped on top of Tide's body.
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Links to all stories:
John's Journey Forward found in the Beginnings section
Together Forever found in the Beginnings Section (Sequel to John's Journey Forward)
Sam and Chris in the College section.
We're in This Together found in the Relationships section. (Sequel to Sam and Chris)
Jeffery Comes Home in the Beginnings section.
Taking a Stand in the College section.
Other Stories by the Author
Please note, the following stories are not for everyone because there are several scenes depicting Master/slave and BDSM relationships. So, if you are not interested in this type of literature, please, please do not read this story.
Life with Tim in the Authoritarian section
Steven's Evolution in the Authoritarian section.