Status: My problem is that I think I'm funny but I'm also lowkey ***ed up. enjoy<3


chapter one.




The middle-aged man pulled a twenty from his pocket, more than he had ever willingly let out of his grip all at once before, but today, was the one and only exception. It was needed to gain the trust of someone he hoped would be his new worker.

David Grieco sighed at the piece of paper before forking it over to the cashier on the other side of the counter. She tried to muster up the nicest ‘thank you’ she could, the man’s presence making her feel uneasy.

Seconds away from handing David seven cents back, he shined a smile at the teen, shaking his head.

“Keep the change,” he told her as if he was doing the whole world a favor. And though the girl did bite back her scoff with a forced smile, she rolled her eyes when David huffed the two large pizzas off the counter and hauled them out the front doors of the Papa John’s she unfortunately happened to be working at.

Of all the eateries, right? What luck.

Her co-workers laughed at her grimace.

David’s feet took him effortlessly down the rush-hour filled streets, the time of day making a smile come to his face. He knew he’d have no problem finding the boy now, him having left the doors of the high school building - David recalled the time - not even half an hour ago.

Waiting for the light to turn, David rehearsed his lines, down to the very pronunciation, tone. It had to flow perfectly. He needed a new recruit. His own paycheck was riding on it. After losing the star of the show, a certain group of gun-loving foreigners were angry with him and the illness that forced him to implore the help of...that...fucking

David pressed his fingers to the bridge of his nose and zipped across the intersection, taking a few glances up at the hefty building that sat at the corner of the block. A motel that he brought up from the ground, rightfully (uh, egotistically) naming it after himself and what his intents were.

Grieco’s Blue Moon - Gentlemen's Club.

Instead of trekking into the establishment’s front door, he kept his walk straight for the stripmall, and praised the heaven’s when a certain figure came into his view.

Lounging down on a pile of blankets, his school bag under his feet and back pressed firmly against the wall of the building, sat exactly who David hoped to see. The dark-haired boy was all he had on his mind for weeks, and he was finally going to make an attempt at chitchat.

The teen was stunned to see someone coming down the alleyway, into his temporary home. The lacking identity of the stranger left him feeling cautious. He tipped his head down nervously to the ground, fidgeting with his hands. One of his thumbs retreated up to the corner of his mouth when David figured he was close enough to make conversation.

“Hi,” he ventured, stopping right in front of the boy, making him looking up. His eyes locked on David distrustfully, but he nodded up at the him.

Kiran Nelson gave the greeting back quietly, warily.

“Hello?” He tried not to focus too long on the box in David’s hands, but the smell registered to him as food, and he felt his stomach tightened with hunger. He scolded himself once more for putting ‘not freezing to death this winter’ as his number one priority, which coaxed him into buying the large comforter he now used as a butt cushion. He knew this particular moment counted on him surrendering to the bigger issue that was hunger.

He wish he had gotten something for lunch at school today when his friends offered.

He wondered what David’s intents were, coming down this lone alleyway with a box of pizza in his hands.

‘Why’s this creepy fuck talking to me?’

Then it clicked.

Ah. Charity. That was something Kiran knew too much about yet personally not enough, his financial state and age reeling in charity and pity every so often, but not enough to actually help with anything.

David saw the glimmer in Kiran’s eyes. He raised the box up slightly, smiling when they followed the motion. “Hungry?” he asked, though he already knew the answer. Kiran continued to downplay his hunger, a faint smirk on his face as he shook his head.

“Nah,” he said sarcastically. He gestured in front of him, as if a large display of food was laid out inches away. “Just had myself a buffet. You go on your way now, sir.” His retort made David’s smile widen, and hearing Kiran’s voice speak more than one word made his skin tingle. It was rough and deep, smooth. There wasn’t a twange that gave anything about his personal preference away, but David hoped there was a little curiosity in there somewhere, or at least a desperate willingness for cash.

David stepped forward to present the pizza. Flicking the fold back, he knelt to join the young man on the ground.

“Here, have some anyway,” David offered, setting the box down in his own lap. “It cost me twenty bucks and I’m a greedy bastard, so it wasn’t that easy.”

Kiran smiled at David’s words but couldn’t keep the confusion out of his stare. He looked at David again with slight wariness, then at the pizza with hunger.

“Are you serious?” he said hesitantly, that laughter still in his voice, but fading slowly. He stared at the food and remembered the last time someone had offered him something. The stomach aches he was wrecked with for weeks after. The raw and leftover ingredients gave him food poisoning.

They thought he was pretending to be homeless for the easy cash and figured that was good enough punishment. He was now hesitant regarding the kindness of strangers, and he wasn’t getting the best signals from David Grieco. There was something there in the man’s eyes, something there every time the two crossed paths over town. For the past two months, the fifteen year old felt uncomfortable under David’s gaze, and very soon, he’d find out why.

But he forced himself to at least give the stranger a chance. He had food and Kiran was beyond starving.

Kiran’s nose crinkled as he looked down at the gleaming cheese that covered the large pizza. He was very, very hungry.

“Just cheese?” Kiran said with another twinge of sarcasm. “Way to dig deep.”

The boy’s attitude was refreshing. David grinned. “Well, if you want, give me a few minutes and I’ll go run back clear across town to get you something else. Any recommendations?” Kiran’s eyes lit up at David, but he shook his head, peering into the box. He slowly reached in and grabbed the biggest slice he could find.

“No, this is fine,” he assured David with a laugh. He looked from the pizza to David one last time before taking the world’s smallest bite.

Just in case.

He was under David’s stare until he finally downed the bite. From what David could understand, Kiran’s been all on his own for some time, kicked out of his home for reasons unknown to him. The sudden company was starting to make Kiran uneasy. David could see that.

He softened his stare and asked, “Good?”

He was happy to see Kiran nod, taking another bite.

“Damn good, actually - though now I’m a bit parched.” He leaned forward, glimpsing over his own shoulder, an indication that he was about to reference one of the little shops that made up the stipmall. “I think Marsh’s is having a sale on Gatorade, so…” His shoulders popped as he shrugged.
“Just saying.”

David smiled again, but first, he wanted to know just a little more before he even considered leaving Kiran alone for a few minutes.

“How about you give me your name first? I’d like to know who I’m doing all this charity work for.”
Though David’s intentions were starting to bubble out through his tone, that didn’t scare the boy away entirely. He was curious to see just how much he could weasel out of this overly generous stranger.

“Right, right,” he said nodding. He stuck his hand out for David. “Kiran.”

“David Grieco.” David had hoped that by name dropping himself, his identity would register to the now-proclaimed ‘Kiran.’

And that it did.

“Grieco,” Kiran muttered under his breath, retrieving his hand from David’s. The name flooded through his memories in search of where he had heard it before. Repeating it several times, a certain neon sign popped into his brain.

Kiran’s brows rose as he exclaimed, “Oh, shit. You own that, uh, that place, right? Over down on Canal?”

David tried to keep the smile off his face, simultaneously hoping the teen had no idea what really went on behind those closed doors, the fear that it would scare him off, but lucky for David, Kiran just knew it to be: “...a motel, right? - Wait…” David’s heart dropped, but lifted back up when Kiran began to smile.

His index finger waved between them.

“Are you...offering me a place to stay? Is that what’s going on?” And as fast as the smile appeared, it vanished off Kiran’s face. “Oh,” he said, beginning to shake his head sadly. “I wouldn’t be able to pay - I mean, if that’s what’s going on. Is that what’s going on? Are you serious? I don’t have a job or anything; it’s kind of hard for people to want to hire me. I don't have a ride or anything -...”

“That’s exactly what I’m here to talk to you about,” David interrupted. He stood up straight to pull a folded-up sheet of paper from his back pocket. He unfolded it before glazing his eyes over the words swirled across the paper. He handed it down to Kiran and after a confused look, Kiran tipped his eyes to the business ad.



EARN $60 to $100 PER WEEK!




There was a phone number printed at the bottom of the page with the words ‘Ask for Joanne’ next to it. Kiran’s brow pricked up - a place to stay and a job? Holy shit. Davide took that as a sign for him to speak.

“Normally most kids wouldn't need somewhere to live, but we’ve got a few just like you that do. You’d get a room to rent at the motel, food to eat whenever you want, a well-paying job. The whole nine yards. Would you be interested?”

He was too well-rehearsed - and the flyer. He’s seen a few variations of them scattered throughout town and they all asked for young teens and promised them a shit ton of cash in exchange for work, but never any detail on the jobs, or a location.

He'd live at the motel, right, but just how shady was this place? It's usually dead when he walks by, no cars in the parking lot, lights always off - Was it even in business? - but other teens lived there, worked there. He wouldn't be alone.

But how could he know for sure?

This whole thing still struck a chord with Kiran; he was feeling anxious again.

The only thing Kiran could get himself to say continued to be, “Wait. Seriously? I mean, come on - what’s the catch?”

“Why’s there gotta be a catch?” David asked with a laugh, though he had several in mind. “Why can’t I just decide to do something nice? I’m offering you all this because it does my heart good.”

Kiran would’ve taken David’s words as a genuine answer if it hadn’t of been for the last sentence. Kiran’s eyes narrowed, a distrustful smile was still on his lips.

“Really,” he laughed. “What’s the catch?”

David’s mouth went into a line to hold back his smile. “I wouldn't necessarily say it’s so much of a ‘catch,’ but I mean -”

“Oh, of course. I knew it. Knew it.”

“- I just need you to promise me you’ll come by - maybe tonight, and we can talk about it. How about that? I have a lot of jobs open for you to do. I’ve talked to my supervisors about it, everything. You come by and we’ll find one that’s a match for you.”

Kiran’s eyes were still narrow, unsure - he was too rehearsed - but he played the last feeling down. He didn’t feel right. David didn’t seem right. He’s gone through this spiel before. His first few weeks as a runaway, he was able to stay at a close friend’s house. It wasn’t long before they themselves couldn’t afford taking in another teen, adding to their already large family of eight, and kindly asked him to leave. Another two weeks out on the streets, then he found what he first thought to be a safe haven, the motel a couple blocks down from his own house. Those pervs didn’t bother to hide their intentions, which is why Kiran’s frequently back in this alleyway, only occasionally stopping by to shower, raid the mini fridge and, most importantly, ‘pay his rent’.

If this went the same way...he’d lose his damn mind.

Another shady place to sleep at night - great. Hopefully it’d be much better than where he’s been staying at. All he wanted was somewhere he didn’t fear walking into every day. With fall halfway over and winter close behind, shelter was a thing he needed. He didn’t want to keep leaving in the middle of the night to come snooze in an alley.

He needed a real bed of his own, where he felt safe and wasn’t always looking over his shoulder.

It’s been two months. Two long, long god awful months.

“I promise,” David spoke again. “You can trust me. Okay? Honestly, I’m just trying to help you out. You out by yourself - it kills me to see. If you stop by, and you don’t like any of the job openings…” The next part of his sentence stuck in his throat, but looking at that boy’s young, fresh, eager face…

David was reminded of his age. He didn’t know the exact number, but knew it was low.

David had to play it safe, or his business was going down.

He was so young. Too young to be on his own like this. Sleeping on the streets. It’s too much. David really did want to help, but his hidden agenda could do more bad than good.

When am I ever going to get a chance like this again? he tried to negotiate with himself. If I don’t get someone new fast, I’m done. That’s it. He had a month to fill the open position or he’d be dealing with something worse than the police, and he hasn’t been having much luck with any other teens as their parents are usually the ones that call and request that they be there during the job interview.

But Kiran...he was an easy target. No one would come looking when he didn't return home. He didn't have a home.

Perfect - he was the perfect victim.

“If you don’t like any of what I have to offer you,” David picked up his sentence, “then we’ll figure something out. Well, we’ll have to. I can let you rent a room, but you’ll need to pay for it somehow, because as much as I’d like to, I can’t just let you stay there for free. I can’t. Remember that.”

“What would I need to do? What kind of jobs?” Kiran asked, hating the thought of passing up an opportunity like this. A chance to get as far away from the Royal Inn owners.

This was the third time someone has been this generous - and the second to seem somewhat genuine when doing so. But that’s the thing, what if he did have bad intentions? He could kill him. Rape him. Beat him, in whatever order he deemed fit.

Kiran quickly looked away, blinking away the tears that stung their way into his eyes.

He expected David to at least say gardener or janitorial, but no insight into the ad was given. Kiran was just told again to stop by - “...try to tonight. We need to get you out of here before it gets too cold...” - and then David was on his way.

Just like that, the meeting was over.

But hell - Kiran looked down at his lap, at the food David so kindly told Kiran he could keep.

If anything, at least he got a meal out of it.


The large door thankfully didn’t creak when Kiran pulled it open, and he sighed heavily, stepping through the sidedoor. He peered down the long hallway that led to the motel’s check-in. Their voices were faintly heard, speaking in their native tongue to one another, which was enough proof that they weren’t religiously watching the footage relayed to them by the security cameras.

He quickly retrieved his room card, bolting through the doorway into the small room, locking the door behind him. Kiran pressed his back against it and sighed.

It was only a matter of minutes before he had company.

He tossed the card onto the TV stand. He headed straight for the bathroom to run a hot shower, steeping under the showerhead, letting the water rid his body of the layers of sweat that had accumulated under his hoodie on the walk home.

There was this thought that kept nagging at him. David’s offer. But he knew he’d be an idiot to even consider it. Look where the last ‘generous offer’ got him.

It’d be beyond stupid to consider it.



Five minutes quickly came and went. A sharp knock hit the motel room’s door. Shit! He shut the water off and reached for a towel, drying himself off as fast as he could. He spotted his clothes out of the corner of his eye, but it was too late. There were several more knocks, immediately followed by the door knob clicking, then creaking open.

The bathroom lacked a door itself so he watched with wide eyes as someone entered the motel room. He snatched a robe from the towel rack, flinging it on, jolting over to hide behind the wall.

Then that heavy accent spoke. “I know you are here. We have cameras for a reason.”

Kiran peeked around the corner, meeting weary eyes with the stout man in front of him. Just seeing that the young boy was dressed only in a cheap robe, that was beyond enough to entice him. A devious smile tugged at his mouth and he raised his index finger.

“Come here.” By now, his breathing was coming in quite ragged, already knowing what was underneath the sheer fabric.

Kiran bit at the inside of his cheek, but stood there.

Arjun shrugged and made his way over to the bed, sitting. “Come on.” He quickly began unbuckling his belt. The grin on his face -- Kiran looked down at the ground to avoid his penetrating, eager gaze, feeling very disappointed in himself.

He left his home, his shitty family to go find a better life, and here he is only months later, blowing older, creepy men just so he had a place to sleep.

Kiran could barely stand to look at him as he unzipped his jeans, knowing all too well the satisfied gleam he had in his eyes as he watched Kiran slowly walk over to the bed. He was told to kneel at in front of him and open his robe. Kiran did what he was told, knowing better by now. Arjun forcefully pushed his crotch into Kiran’s mouth. Kiran squeezed his eyes shut, doing his best to block out his loud panting. He refused to listen, to watch, to acknowledge what he was doing.

As always, Arjun finished quickly with a loud grunt. He was a minuteman and for that, Kiran was relieved. His cousin Raul, on the other hand, forty minutes, minimum.

Kiran sat back on the ground, making sure to tightly tie his robe closed, avoiding eye contact as he wiped his mouth furiously, like it would somehow get the taste off his tongue.

Arjun looked down at him and laughed, standing from the bed. “Was it good?” He continued to smile, still laughing as he left the room. Anger overwhelming him, Kiran jumped from the floor and slammed the door shut behind him. He could still hear his laughter as he walked down the hallway to the management office.

Kiran bit his quivering lip and broke down into tears, slumping to the floor.

How could he have stooped so low? How did he even let himself hit such a low point of his life? Sure, he didn’t have the best childhood, and the first few years of adolescence were a complete shit-show, but he never -- ever -- thought he’d hit rock bottom so hard, so fast. He could’ve had such a good life.

He should've. Yet here he is.

The tears came freely now -- he couldn’t stop them -- and he sniffled, resting his head on his knees, continuing to cry silently.

Anything would be better than this. Anything -- just why, why was it so hard?

His red, puffy eyes soon ran dry and Kiran sat up straight, taking in a deep breath to try and clear his mind so he could think clearly. What if David could help him? He’d give him a job, a place to stay, food to eat. It sounded like heaven, but he was scared. He was so scared that he was being lied to. He was terrified of being deceived again. But he refused to stay here anymore, and let those grubby hands ever touch him ever again, because they knew he couldn’t say no.

Well, now he is saying no.

Kiran got up from the ground, sniffling. He grabbed his drawstring bag out from under the bed, filing it with everything he had brought with him when he left home. When that bag was full, he ripped a pillowcase from one of the pillows, positioning himself in front of the mini-fridge. It was mainly water bottles and Slim-Jims but it was better than nothing.

He pulled on his clothes from earlier and grabbed both bags, and with one last look of disgust, he simply left, leaving the roomkey in plain view on the TV stand.


Kiran got himself lost several times since he had never really seen the motel in person, just heard stories of its location, unknowingly passed by it every once and awhile, but that’s all. Surprisingly, it was the city’s ‘best kept secret’ in that not one single person had any clue what actually went on there, despite the amount of business it brought it.

It’s all ‘hush, hush,’ he guessed.

Eventually, Kiran was able to place the neon sign in his mind to the actual sign as his feet finally found the blocky building; it sat right across from the Dollar General.

Kiran studied each of doors that led to their own little room. All were closed, blinds were snapped shut, but nearly every one of them was inhabited at the moment, their residents busy with something foul. There were two complexes, three floors with about a dozen rooms on each. It was a very run-down building. It’s recently new addition caught Kiran’s attention. For nearly five years, on the first floor of the main complex, sat what used to be a dining area, but now, as the neon lights dubbed it, it was something new entirely.

Grieco’s Blue Moon - Gentlemen's Club

“Well then,” Kiran mumbled, voice raising an octave. He peeled his eyes away from the sign. “That better not be my new fucking job.” If that was the case, he’d have no problem high-tailing it out of here and heading back to his cozy alleyway. There wasn’t a chance in hell he’d let himself be that desperate for money or a place to stay. That’s why he left the last place.

And only chicks work at ‘clubs’, right?

Kiran found the motel’s check-in. The large glass windows let Kiran see that the room was empty except for the girl working the front desk. So far, if anything, a cute, young girl was much better than sweaty fifty-year-old men. She sat doodling her name on Post-it notes, only taking a break to glance up briefly at Kiran when he brought himself through the door.

McKenzie Harris’ green eyes were a little too hollow and dead to belong to the young teen she seemed to be. Her dyed-blonde hair hung up in a ponytail, leaving her bony shoulders and long neck open to proudly display the hickies and bruises that she had gotten over the past few months. Her tanktop doing just the same for her thin arms.

Kiran could easily assume she worked at the gentleman’s club part-time, even though she only looked a year or so older than him.

She went back to doodling as Kiran took a step closer and leaned against the counter.
Without looking back up, she spoke. “Here to meet someone, baby?” she asked him, her voice going lower, sultrier, than it normally is.

Her attention hitched up after Kiran took a second to nod.

“Yeah, I guess. This guy - David, I think.”

She set her pencil down, eyes doing a double take on the teen in front of her. They took in his physique, his large, calloused hands - she liked his fingers in particular - broad shoulders, quite common for a teenage boy. She peered at the forearms his rolled up sleeves left out in the open, the veins that pushed against the skin, typically something she feared seeing, only seeming to be able to match the sight with flashbacks, reminders of those veins belonging to a pair of strong arms that pinned her to a squeaky, dungey bed.

McKenzie looked to his face; the chiseled jawline, nicely tanned skin, dark brown eyes with a tuft of hair to match.

She felt her mood drop even more.

Why don’t I ever get anyone cute? she groaned in her mind, but a smile curved her lips as she said out loud, “Well, aren’t you special. You talked to David? You from across town or somethin’? Stables? I don’t think I’ve seen you before.”

Stables? Kiran asked his brain. I'm not a fuckin' horse. Then figured she thought he was some type of delivery boy, here to give something to her boss - and unknowingly, he was.

“No, I don’t think we’ve met,” he answered her, shaking his head. “I’m actually here to talk about a job or something. Apparently, there’s an opening. The ad said something about a Joanne. Maybe I should talk to her.”

The words ‘job’ and then ‘ad’ grabbed McKenzie’s attention, but it was the name ‘Joanne’ that quickly sparked the fire. It all locked into place and Kiran’s tone made her frown. Her throat burned as she looked at him with a loss for what to do.

Should I….? she began to ask herself boldly. Should I tell him? Give him the chance to run like hell? Balance my karma? But she stayed quiet, only nodding. You gotta figure life out on your own. No one was there to save me. Her thumb jabbed towards the closed door that was marked ‘Management.’ On the other side sat David, but he wasn’t alone. He went in with a man that gave McKenzie the chills.

Nothing but muscles and Jesus hair.

“David's in there,” she told Kiran. “Busy right now, but he’s there.” She sat back from the counter and began her walk towards the door. “I’ll go tell him you’re here. He’s got a meeting, but…Can I get you name?” she asked him, nodding once he revealed himself.


“I’m McKenzie.”

She knocked twice before getting the word to come in.

She was in there for only a few seconds, but came out like she had just fought a war. McKenzie felt like she had just sold another soul to the devil. That was when her go-to defence mechanism kicked in.

She smiled up at Kiran, brushing her hand over his shoulder.

“How ‘bout after you’re done talking to him, you come see me?”

Kiran’s brows rose as he met McKenzie’s gaze. “Oh, uh,” was all he got out, and she was fine with that answer, seeing the awkward smile he let out with it. Her fingers trailed over his back momentarily, then headed for the countertop.

Before she sat down, she exclaimed to him, “Free of charge and everything!” revealing that she did indeed have a personality. Kiran took her response as another joke, chuckling a phrase of gratitude.

He had to wait a few seconds for David to finish up with his supposed meeting, but instead of telling the man to leave, David called Kiran in to join them. Kiran gave a look back to McKenzie and saw her shrug even though she had learned who the man was when she went in to inform David of Kiran’s arrival.

That man...was Kiran’s first client.

“Shut the door,” David instructed Kiran to do before he was barely even in the room. Kiran followed his instruction, peering back again at McKenzie once more, then at the door when it clicked shut.

The two men stood, and Kiran fidgeted with his hands, getting a look at the stranger.

He was like one of those guys you see at the gym, and your jaw drops, and you think, ‘Dude, why are you still here? You’ve won. Go home.’ He could rip a building in half just because it was a Wednesday. He could see through the man’s suit jacket that he was ripped beyond belief. He towered over Kiran, Kiran’s head only coming up halfway to his shoulder. His hair was to his chin and dyed a dirty blond over the brown his thick brows, ‘stache, and roots showed naturally.

His biceps could eat me and still be hungry, Kiran thought rudely, turning his focus away when David lifted his hand between Kiran and the man.

“Kiran,” he said, “meet Miguel. Miguel, meet Kiran.”

Why am I meeting him…? Maybe...he was going to ‘show me the ropes’? The employee of the month? Though he was a bit older than Kiran expected. He figured only teens would work here, but after seeing the gentlemen's club on the first floor, he figured Miguel could possibly be a bouncer. He definitely looked the part.

Kiran swallowed hard and nodded, saying, “Hi.”

Miguel smirked. “Hi there.” Kiran was stunned when Miguel didn’t go in for the excepted handshake but a rough pat on the back. It was enough to almost send the hundred-and-twenty pound boy flying.

He tried to keep his balance, grunting out in shock anyway.

They laughed at Kiran’s reaction. Kiran waited for Miguel to say ‘Do you even lift, bro?’ when David’s voice was heard instead.

“I told you he was young,” he said to Miguel, a certain tone behind his words. Kiran raised his brow, looking between the two as they exchanged a grin. His forehead creased at Miguel’s chuckle.

“Oh,” he heard him say, the smile clear in his voice. “How old are you, baby?”

Whoa - ‘baby’? Kiran had to suppress a gag. "Fifteen."

"Oh, you're so young."

Kiran nodded slowly at Miguel's smirk, confused. “Yup,” he said. “Is that going to be a problem?” If it was going to affect what jobs he could work, he would have rather lied about his age, knowing that if it could be the dealbreaker, he’d be right back out on the streets, and then this would've all been for nothing. He couldn't even go back to the other motel. He left his roomkey. He didn’t want to talk to Arjun or Raul to let him in.

Seeing Miguel and David exchange another devious smile, a nauseous feeling spun into Kiran’s stomach, and his brow pricked up.

Oh, Christ...

David shook his head, shrugging. “Shouldn’t be. Not if it stays between us.”

“What kind of job is this, exactly?” Kiran finally asked, somewhat afraid of the answer. “I’m not, like...uh, I don’t know - wine tasting, am I?” Or shakin’ it for old men?

His naivety made them laugh again. “No,” David chuckled. “Nothing like that.”

Kiran felt a speck of sweat hit his back. He made himself nod.


“Virgin?” Miguel asked, tightening his grip on Kiran’s shoulder. Kiran could’ve sworn he felt the blood drain from his face. He roughly shook the man’s hand off.

“What?” Kiran asked right back, his question going unanswered.

David nodded. “I think so.”

“What?” Kiran said again. He was ignored.

“I’ll show you to your room,” David continued on, coming around his desk. There were empty boxes of Chinese take-out sprawled across the surface. Were they waiting for him? For how long? Why?

“I’m fine,” Kiran insisted, feeling his heart rate began to speed up. “I’d appreciate if someone told me what the fuck was really going on.”

“No,” David shook his head, his hand grazing against the boy’s shoulder blade. Kiran was turned towards the door as David’s hand shifted over both of his shoulders. He went on. “Don’t you want to know where you’re staying? Come on.” But Kiran pulled himself out of David’s hold.

He asked again, more sternly than before, “What kind of job is this? My virginity shouldn’t be an interview question.” This was very similar to how his first encounter with Arjun and Raul went, and look where that got him. But this shit couldn’t happen twice, could it? What kind of fucked up coincidence was this? He suddenly thought of McKenzie. Either she liked to get around in her free time or those hickies and bruises really were a result of what went on here - and boy or girl, they were taking anyone who would work for them. He was starting to catch on. The club on the first level...

Hell no. I’m not...doing that.

Kiran quickly shook his head, starting for the door. “You know what - forget it. Thanks for the offer but I'm gonna have to decline.”


Kiran was gripped by the wrist and met David’s eyes with a narrowed glare.

“No,” Kiran gritted through his teeth, pulling his arm back, “get off me.” Fear flashed over his face. “Please...don’t...”

David kept his firm hold and bit the inside of his lip, sharing a look with Miguel. He faced Kiran, gently placing his free hand onto his shoulder, the other tightening around the boy’s wrist.

He spoke lowly.

“Listen to me,” he began coaxingly. “Hey -- just relax, okay? Don’t ask any questions -”

“How couldn’t I?!”

“Please. I’m trying to do all that I can to help you out. You see that girl out there?” he asked, lifting one of his fingers to gesture to the door. He was referring to McKenzie. Kiran stopped fighting momentarily to look over his shoulder. “Her?” he said again. “I saved her life; she was out there sleeping on a bench at some park when I found her, hadn’t eaten a real meal in months, a drop-out. What do I do? I took her in, gave her a place to stay, and food to eat. Exactly what she needed. I gave her love - and she’s not the first. Me?”

He let go of Kiran’s shoulder and arm, but kept his anxious stare, to point to himself fleetingly.

“It’s what I do. I see kids like you out there on your own and it kills me.” Because the less fortunate are gullible enough to do anything for anyone who promises them a future. “Because it’s a sad, sad world we live in if we’re going to throw away these great children who have so much potential -- just...kick them out, turn a cheek. Do you understand?”

Kiran sure as hell didn’t, but David’s fingers pressing into his shoulders again, the look his soulless eyes gave him...he clenched his jaw and nodded, just hoping it was enough to make David stop touching him.

“Are you going to trust me?” David asked, continuing to massage his fingertips against Kiran’s crawling skin. That face that David had come to love seeing looked at him with such distrust. That was when David knew that if Kiran didn’t give in...he’d have to be dealt with, for no other reason than having a mind of his own that didn’t react keenly to what David wanted to wheedle in.

Is this like a hobby for him? Kiran thought in disgust. Targeted. I was going to be one of them? Really? I’ve managed two months, he reminded himself suddenly. I can handle however many more. I don’t need to do this. I don’t want to.

But looking back into David’s eyes, Kiran suddenly feared his disagreement might do more harm than anything. He had a feeling that if he said no, despite what David was telling him, he might not see the light of day ever again. Why? Because he could leave with the knowledge of went on here? The underground child-sex-trade that David Grieco ran easily with the help of runaways and naive teens? Because he used his fucking mind and sanely thought to decline the offer?

Kiran knew that was a possibility. A possibility he found himself oddly fine not coming face-to-face with, knowing that however David or Miguel would kill him, it’d be worse than the famine, disease, freak accidents that could get him if he stayed sleeping in that alleyway.

Kiran was forced to give an answer when his shoulders were being shaken slightly.

“You listening to me, kid?”

Finally, Kiran nodded, muttering, “I fucking guess so,” which David took as his final answer.

He let go of Kiran’s shoulders, reaching for the door handle.

“Then come on. You’re on the second floor.”

Kiran avoided eye contact with either men, briefly looking at McKenzie when he was escorted out of the office. She frowned, eyes darting down at her pile of discarded Post-it notes when she caught sight of Kiran’s pale, petrified face.

A look she’s seen walking out of that room too many times.

Because of me? she asked herself mournfully. I could’ve told him. He’s better off dead than here. I’m such a bitch.

She started picking at her cuticles.

David asked her to find the key to room A17, snapping at her when her fumbling hands had her dragging out the simple process. She handed it over, pretending to go back to her doodles, anything to keep herself from reading Kiran’s face for emotions.

Kiran stared at the ground, cringing each time Miguel guided him when a nudge. Walking passed each door, he heard sounds that made him feel sick to his stomach, sounds he’d feel being breathed down the back of his neck come soon enough.

I just want to go home, his mind pleaded. I want to go home.

Kiran stopped walking and tried to blink his vision clear as he stared out into the motel’s dimly lit parking lot. He thought of jumping over the railing and booting it. Run for his goddamn life. What had he gotten himself into…?

A scream huddled at the back of his throat -- Scream, dipshit. Someone’ll hear and then they gotta do something.


Before the urge left his mouth, a hand jabbed him on his shoulder and he jumped back to look at Miguel. He stood directly behind him, much closer than Kiran would prefer. His large, calloused hands gripped the railing, the whites of his knuckles showing. He trained his eyes down at him and simply warned him.

“Don't even think about it. Keep walking.”

Kiran instinctively glared up at him and receiving another shove, he turned himself back around.

David had also stopped walking when he heard Miguel speak. He urged him to, “Come on,” and Kiran sluggishly did so. David halted in front of the door labelled A17 and fidgeted with the knob.

Kiran stared into the drab motel room the door opened up to reveal. The lights flicked on and he regarded the interior with mixed feelings. It was a room nightmares took place in with a bed he would spend more time on his stomach in, a stranger on top of him, than actually sleeping. A dresser he’d soon keep copious amounts of narcotics in that he would use just to get himself through another consultation.

There was a bathroom he’d find himself in at three in the morning, hurling into the toilet, crying in the shower. They somehow managed to squeeze in a small couch between the foot of the bed and the adjacent wall, with an equally small coffee table in front of it, as well as a dinky little TV that only had ten channels on it. Down on the floor, next to the television was what he guessed to be a mini-fridge he would never use, the feeling of hunger never fully returning to him.

It was like a tiny apartment.

He scowled at the sight of his new home, his lip quivering momentarily as it all began to set in.

It was a place to sleep, eat, live, but ‘home’? Nothing about it was inviting.

I’d rather die.

That horrible feeling in his gut didn’t go away. It sunk in deeper when Miguel let himself into the room, heading over towards the bed. He sat and waited for David to say something.

Kiran’s breathing hitched. His ears tensed, right along with his throat at the sound of David speaking.

“Why don’t you go sit next to him, baby?”

He felt sick. Kiran stared wide-eyed at David.

Fuck no.” He squeezed his fingers against his palms, hands starting to shake at his sides. He fearfully looked from David to Miguel as they shifted shrugs with each other. Before either could speak, Kiran's mouth was open again.

He turned on his heel for the door that was still wide open. “No, no. I need to go. I'm leaving.” Just as he reached the welcome mat, the door got slammed shut and he was pushed up against it.

“Fuck off!” he hissed up at David, trying to push him off as he suddenly towered over him. Kiran's eyes widened, looking passed him as Miguel stood from the bed, and he shook his head wildly as if that would do anything.

“No,” he breathed, cowering further back against the door. “Please don't -- just let me go. I want to leave. Please.” Neither men spoke and that somehow scared Kiran more than anything.

He wailed his hands, hitting David’s chest. “Let go of me!”

David scowled -- and Kiran was somehow shocked at what happened next -- he struck him hard across his face. Kiran let out a cry of shock, squeezing his eyes shut for a split second. His jaw dropped as he sprang his eyes open. He was gripped roughly by the neck. David snapped at Miguel to sit back down on the bed.

He grinned at the sight of Kiran's tear-strung face.

“Please,” he began to plead, “there has to be something else - something else I can do. Is there any other way? -- please, I’ve never --...” He abruptly cut himself off, but they already knew how that sentence was going to end.

“Ah,” David tipped a giddy smile back at Miguel. “Never had sex? So you are a virgin, huh?”

“Please,” his voice cracked out. “I just want to go home.” His plea seemed to be getting him nowhere. The fear in the boy’s manner was almost enough to have an effect on David, but he was now numb to the reaction, having had seen it so many times already.

David almost laughed, scoffing condescendingly instead. “What home?”

Kiran's throat tensed, a terrified whimper slipping out.

“Go,” David said coldly. “He’s paying two hundred bucks to fuck you. Go.”

Two hundred?

When the only reply David got was the sight of a tear rolling down Kiran’s cheek and the look of utter disgust he gave him, David sighed, lifting his finger as a signal for Miguel to stand. On instinct, Kiran tried to take a step to cower back, crying out.

“No! Don’t fucking touch me!”

David shoved him forward, landing him right into Miguel’s grip.

Snarling every curse word he knew, he screamed at Miguel to let him go. Kiran’s fingers dug straight through Miguel’s sleeves and into his skin, having no effect on the man. He was yanked hard against his chest.

The tears pushed themselves out and the horrid sound of his crying cut through the air, ricocheting louder when he was slammed down onto the bed, being pinned down, face first, in a matter of seconds.

“Get off of me, you old fu-- !”

Miguel attempted to silence him by pushing his face into the dirty mattress, only managing to muffle his profuse swearing.
David sighed again, but walked over to the bedside table, setting down the room key. “I’ll leave this here,” he mumbled before muttering louder, “Oh -- Miguel, aspetti un momento.”

Miguel tightened his grip on the back of the boy’s neck, pushing his screaming mouth further into the mattress, quieting him until a sharp needle pierced the skin of his forearm. The plunger was jammed down, inserting the chip under his flesh, ensuing his panic attack with louder, hellish screams of agony.

David stood, capping the needle. Pushing it into his shirt’s front pocket, he waved Miguel on.

“Have fun,” he murmured to Miguel, taking his leave for the door. He left the fifteen year old in sheer terror and pain, the trust the boy had felt for him no longer there at all, creating a new outlook David would use against him anytime he threatened to step out of line.

And with nowhere to go and no one to run to for security, the only thing Kiran could do was listen, and pray that one day, death would set him free.

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hey like this? You should. I wrote it in two days. It's not the best it could be, but it's alright. I'll certainly add to it and make it better over the next few lifetimes, as I always do.
And it's gonna be a dozy. Rough as hell obviously, but what's new when it comes to my stories. Prepare yourself, though. It's clearly got stuff to do with prostitution, some of dat gayness, all forms of abuse at some point, drugs, and...yup. damn that third person POV. it's weird to write in, but with so many characters and different intentions and thoughts, I just think it makes more sense to write it this way. Tough to keep to tho. it's weird.
But if you do like this, PLEASE be so kind as to either tell me in the comments (those inflate my ego greatly), maybe subscribe??? okay. bye now.