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


chapter two.


It’s kind of a bitch how fast people will judge based on a preconceived notion of what you do or say without even beginning to consider figuring out the backstory. Kiran knew he was going to be plagued with an awful name once word got about about the life got he dragged into not even two hours ago. They weren’t going to know the fight he put up, why or even how he got pushed into it.

All they know is he’s a whore now -‘because that twenty dollah make him hollah.’

You get it. Messed up stuff.

Lying in that filthy bed, he stared up at the ceiling, and grimaced at a rough set of lips gluing themselves to his chin. The scruff of a mustache and peach fuzz started to rot his mind of all coherent thought. Groaning, Kiran hit Miguel hard in the chest, surprised when doing the same gesture that minutes ago would’ve gotten him a whack in the jaw, but as he looked down at the ravaged boy who barely felt the need to cling onto life anymore, who was sore and traumatized because of something he had done, Miguel must’ve felt some sympathy.

All he did was sigh.

He perched himself onto his elbows and sat up to finish heaving up his jeans. He jumped up off the bed, standing still to push his face against his palms, then he dipped his fingers into his pocket to withdraw two marked fifties and a stamped hundred dollar bill.

Two hundred bucks in total, the promised price.

Coming around the other side of the bed, as he zipped and buttoned his jeans, Miguel didn’t make eye contact with Kiran, just stood inches away from him holding the money in his hands.

“Two hundred,” he noted aloud. He spaced them out, counting the bills to their total for proof. Kiran didn’t respond. He turned his back to Miguel, digging his face into the pillow. Miguel’s jaw clenched, and he shoved his hand back into his pocket to take out another bill.

He joined it with the others, now changing the dollar amount.

“And a fifty...for yourself. It’s all I have left.”

And again, Kiran stayed silent, just as Miguel thought he would.

He set the money on the dresser and picked his shirt up from the ground.

Once it was on, he left the motel room without another word, aware that contact with him was the last thing the boy wanted. The door clicking shut broke Kiran, and with a failed attempt at holding in a sob, his throat burned and he let it out until his eyes ran dry. He didn’t sleep that night. He couldn’t.

A quarter to one, he rested in front of the toilet, his stomach telling him that the only way he’d feel better was if he purged until he saw blood, but he stopped long before that ever happened.

His stomach was empty, not even the pizza came up - which he *totally* left under a trashcan, by the way. Along with his blankets and pillows. He thought he’d be back at his little ‘home’ by now, but seven hours had passed and he was still in this hellhole.

Kiran leaned back against the wall, crossing his legs in front of him. He had pulled on his boxers after Miguel left, but that was all he could get himself to put on, the physical pain of what was taken from him made it a bitch to move at all.

And he had several sheets of toilet paper wrapped up and underneath him, trying to stop something he didn't consider to think would happen. Not too long ago, he spent an entire hour having something forced inside of him repeatedly, with no preparation or consideration.

He was bleeding. Badly.

It ached and burned so much to the point where he felt numb.

He periodically switched out the toilet paper stacks, the amount of blood loss making him have no choice.

Closing his eyes, Kiran ran his fingers over his forearm. Smooth skin and then a tiny cylindrical welt where the microchip had went it. It drove him insane not knowing what it was or why Davide trapped it under his skin.

And it itched, but touching it almost got Kiran puking to the point of bloodshed, so he only looked.

It was tiny (hence the given name: microchip), not even an inch in length, but it was causing a small rash on Kiran’s forearm.

“What are you?” he asked the microchip, sanely not expecting an answer. He sighed and shut his eyes, tipping his head up towards the ceiling.

Kiran was finally starting to fall asleep when his heart rate spiked, his blood running cold, at the sound of a light rapping coming from the outside of the bathroom, like someone was knocking on the door to his motel room.

He’s back? Kiran’s thoughts immediately went to either Miguel or Davide - Or someone else? Another...client? At one in the morning? He wasn’t exactly sure on how this type of thing could go. Did he call the shots or his boss?

Either way, Kiran didn’t get up to answer the door. He pushed his face into his hands, hoping that if he ignored the possible problem, it would disappear on its own, but once he considered the consequences he’d have to deal with for ignoring another walking ATM...yeah, no. Kiran didn’t care. Whatever Davide could do to him, he’d rather deal with that come the morning than be manhandled again right now.

He carried on with blocking out the problem at hand, sighing in relief when the visitor only bothered to knock a few times before giving up. Kiran sat in silence, assuming they had left, and while he nearly fell asleep in his hands again, Kiran suddenly got a brilliant idea.

I could just...leave...right?

He could get up right now and take off out the door, sneaking by the Davide or whomever sat in at the check-in counter. It was dark out; there was less of a chance of someone spotting him. A simple solution that took him hours to finally think of, the fear of getting caught and punished for trying to leave combined with the reminder of the temp postponed it from even entering his mind.

If Kiran planned on running off tonight, he’d have to do it now before it was too late, before whoever it was that was knocking at the door moments ago came back, with or without Davide.

Without a second thought, Kiran hopped up from the tile floor, running into the main room. He picked his clothes into his hands, throwing them on as he went skidding (limping) around the room, looking for his phone that had gotten thrown to the ground, as well as his bag. He found the phone under the bed and threw it into his bag once he located it.

Tossing it over his shoulder, Kiran stopped at the sight of two-hundred-and-fifty dollars chilling on the nightstand. It didn’t take much for him to cock his brow and shrug, snatching it from the table’s surface. He tucked it into his waistband, deciding to take the room key just for the hell of it.

He set his sprint for the door, stopping to peek out the peephole, relaxing when nothing waited for him outside besides the cool night air and darkness.

Kiran took a deep breath, turning the latch slowly, in all efforts to make as little noise as possible.

The door opened with a faint creak and Kiran stuck his head out through the opening. Mustering up all his courage, he bolted out onto the walkway, turning back to lock the door. He hoped there wasn’t a spare key to the room Davide could find and let himself in with, but knew that his being the only one in existence was very unlikely.

He quickly made the haste decision to boot it down the staircase to his right, it being the smarter choice than the one that curved in front of the main office. But as he zipped passed the room next to him, he caught someone’s attention, anyway.

After her failed attempt at checking in on Kiran and balancing her karma, McKenzie had headed back to her room with the assumption that he was asleep, exhausted from the hell he had been put through earlier tonight. But, hanging off the couch, her bed currently taken by a sleeping stranger, McKenzie's eyes crossed themselves when a figure quickly passed by her window, their shadow catching her focus.

She flung herself up into a sitting position, touching her hand to her forehead, cringing in pain.

Recovering from the trauma, she sat still and stared at the window, wondering if she should even bother.

Shrugging it off, she made an ‘eh’ sound, and layed back down into the sofa, but only for like half a second. She jumped up and sprinted to look out the window, the curiosity getting the better of her. Her brow rose at the sight of who she could easily place as the fifteen year old boy she saw hours before, and had attempted at seeing less than ten minutes ago.

A one in the morning, instead of sleeping, he was hauling his limping ass down the steps. What he planned to do when he got down them and hit the asphalt - with the help of his frantic manner - dawned on McKenzie quickly.

She was out the door almost instantly.

“Hey!” she snapped in a whisper, just about tripping herself down the stairs. Since the inflection of the voice sure as hell didn’t belong to a man, Kiran’s head snapped back and he skidded to a stop. “Where do you think you’re going?” McKenzie continued on.

Kiran looked around, his forehead furrowing as he peered across the street.

“Gas station - oh.” Seeing her make to the last step, Kiran felt a rush of panic fill him and he abruptly picked up his feet and began to sprint away. “I gotta go before it closes. See ya!”

“You can’t just leave!” she informed him in a tone of disbelief.

Kiran’s pace slowed as he turned his upper body back towards the girl, popping his shoulders in a shrug. He forced a chuckle, joking, “Yet here I go.” If the circumstances were different, McKenzie would’ve laughed, but her eyes looked to where the asphalt met the sidewalk; merely inches away and Kiran’s feet could be crossing the line any second.

A rush of panic now filled her veins and she threw herself forward to latch her fingers around Kiran’s bicep. Although her weight wouldn’t have been enough of its own, he still jerked back slightly in confusion.

His reason for stopping completely was her yipping out, “I’m being serious - you can’t leave. He’ll know. Just listen to me.” She grabbed him by the wrist and snatched his sleeve up, going for the common injection site. Her finger jabbed towards the rash forming on his inner arm.

“You see that?” she asked him rhetorically. His forehead creased as she pulled him to her side and zigged her index finger to the entrance of the building’s parking lot. There sat a hedge, and bolted in the dirt, hidden from view, was a wireless motion detector, its infrared lasers invisible to the naked eye and keeping watch of the perimeter.

However, it being disguised as an ordinary lamp light, there to let you know where the asphalt ended and the greenery began, Kiran had no fucking clue what McKenzie was talking about.

“The light?” he asked her skeptically.

“You’d think so, huh? Motion detector.”

Pointing out the similar set up on the other side of the parking lot, McKenzie put her attention back on Kiran’s arm. “Even try to step foot out of here, that’ll set it off - like an alarm - he’ll be after you in no time. Trust me. I’ve seen it happen.” Her voice was grave and the implication that there was a tracking device stuck under his skin made Kiran’s stomach cramp.

He yanked his arm out of her hand and inspected the welt.

He looked up at her. “What if I chopped my arm off? Leave it here, ya know, then...left. Think that would work?”

There was a brief second before they both laughed. Anxiously.

“Definitely seen it attempted,” she shrugged, then shook her head, smiling vanishing. “I’ve seen kids dig it right out of their flesh. They always end up back here. Griec’s got this weird way of finding you no matter what - hours, days, he’ll bring you right back home.”

Kiran picked up the gist of things, nodding to himself.

“I shouldn’t test it, basically?"

“I sure as hell wouldn’t.”

“Well, great. That’s just...dandy.” He turned his back to McKenzie to look out at the street he hopped he would’ve freely skipped across not even a minute ago and been home free. Two blocks away was the alleyway he’d been sleeping in for the past month. He was doing just fine there - dare I say it, he was oddly content.

Now, somehow, he’s here. The realization weighed in his stomach for the third time tonight. He felt his mouth twist into a frown and heard his voice crack when he asked McKenzie a heart-wrenching question.

“Why’s he doing this?”

McKenzie’s head shifted at an angle and she frowned, shrugging her shoulders, though she had an idea.

A forced smile tightened over her teeth.

“Money makes the world go ‘round, don’t it?” she said, like it was an unneeded reminder. “He needs cash just as badly as you and I. He’s just found a way to rake it all in without having to do any of the dirty work.”

“Lucky for him.”

“I know. It pisses me off. A lot.”

McKenzie sighed and after sharing a look with her, Kiran did, too. “’re telling me,” Kiran began, looking over his shoulder up towards his motel room. “I have to go back up there?”

She nodded. “If I have to go back to my room, you have to go back to yours. Are you still in school?” she asked him and he nodded. “Then there’s your chance to be away from here. Make those eight hours count. Trust me.”

“Do you go? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you.”

She shook her head. “The day I got kicked out of my house was the last day I went to school. I mean, it’s not like my parents are there every morning making me go, so why would I?”

Kiran mumbled a sound of agreement but what he ended up saying contradicted it. "Well, don't you think an education would be good? Get into college, get another job besides this. There's a reason school's compulsory, right?" McKenzie didn't answer his question. Kiran continued with, "It's one of the few ways to actually make it in the world - unfortunately."

"No, you're right," she was able to make herself acknowledge out loud. "Sucks, but you're right. I wouldn't really know how to start, not that I think I could, anyway. Griec's got me booked nearly all day, everyday. This job demands I actually listen to my boss. I’m fine," she went on. “I couldn’t go anywhere worse than where I am now, could I?”

The corner of Kiran’s mouth drooped and he averted eye contact with her. McKenzie started to hate how this conversation was going. She sighed aloud in exhaustion, her eyes fluttering towards the main office and the empty front desk Davide was supposed to be situated in between hours eleven and six, but instead he snoozed in his office.

The two teens regarded each other again with weak smiles before McKenzie decided it was time for them to part ways.

“Well,” she started towards the iron staircase, stopping about halfway to finish her sentence. A smile was donned onto her pale, hollow face. “Hopefully I’ll see you tomorrow. I’ve gotta sleep at some point. Might as well try now.”

Kiran pushed a faint smile back at her.

He nodded. “I should probably do the same.” He took a second to join her on her path and as McKenzie reached her closed door, she scooted to let Kiran pass behind her. They both stood in front of their doors hesitantly. He unlocked his. One last smile of farewell then they disappeared from each other’s view.

McKenzie shut her door and leaned her back against it. The stranger still dozed in her bed. She sighed and collapsed back down into the couch cushions.

She was up for the rest of the night.

Kiran did just the same, only he passed out at some point while watching the staticy recap of yesterday's news. He groggily awoke to knocking on his door and was startled into a sitting position when the door cracked open and Davide stood in the doorway.

“It’s seven,” he informed. “You’ve got school, right?...That was you...wasn’t it?”

Seven? Kiran’s jumbled mind raced. He was up an hour later than he usually is. My alarm didn’t go off? When he turned his head towards the doorway, he saw that Grieco was gone and the door was shutting itself.

Kiran sprang up from the sofa and began to sift through his bag for a jacket, flinging it on when it was found. He hoped it was enough to fool people into thinking it was a different outfit than what he wore yesterday since he bailed on considering to bring a new change of clothes last night. He sprinted into the bathroom and used the toothbrush always in his bag to brush his teeth. Dragging his fingers through his dark hair, he went to wink at his reflection, but the image of his current appearance made him grimace.

“Oh, shit,” he gaped into the mirror. “What the fuck happened to you?”

His eyes were bloodshot, leaving it obvious for everyone to either think he spent all night crying or getting high. His skin was also pale and blotchy from the tears he leaked until he finally crashed at four in the morning. And there were dark circle forming under his eyes from distress and exhaustion - he looked like a druggie. Already, and it's only been twelve hours.

Kiran groaned again and quickly splashed his face with cold water from the sink - Proactive-commercial-style. Using his jacket’s sleeves to dry off his face, he peered at his reflection, saw nothing had changed, and sighed. He went on his merry way out of the room, his school bag over his shoulder and room key in hand.

He locked the door and two-stepped to sneak a peek into McKenzie’s room, seeing through the paperthin curtains that her bed was inhabited - by a middle-aged man and not the sixteen year old he expected. McKenzie was out of his view, whipping up a riveting breakfast of Poptarts in the kitchen.

Knowing he’d probably catch her later, Kiran headed for the same stairs he treaded down last night. He considered stopping by to tell Davide he was leaving - maybe something had to be deactivated before he could pass through the motion detectors - but remembering the time, Kiran did not give a single diddily ding dang.

He sped up his walk, and only got a few feet away before his name was called.

“Hey - Kiran. Get over here."

Davide stood at the front office’s door. Eye contact with Kiran made Davide raise his hand and motion for the boy to bring his ass over to him. Hesitantly, Kiran sauntered across the parking lot. Inches away, he noticed there was a device in Davide’s hands. A bulky thing, kind of like one of those price checkers you see Walmart employees walking around the store with.

Kiran’s eyes looked warily at it and then at Davide’s fake smile.

“Morning,” Davide said, shifting his weight onto the other foot.

Kiran mumbled back, “Sup.”

Davide’s smile widened and he chuckled. His hand was suddenly outstretched, awaiting. Kiran rose his brow. “Uhm?” he said and Davide answered after another amused chuckle.

“Your arm,” he explained.

“Uh - ? Alright.” Kiran slowly held his arm out and lifting Kiran’s sleeve, Davide took it into his hand. His touch sent a wave of disgust to Kiran’s brain and he cringed, having to look away, his jaw clenching. Davide ran his thumb over the bump once he located it. With a sigh, he raised the microchip scanner toward his face, scowled, and began to wave it slowly over Kiran’s inner arm until it beeped.

Kiran’s voice wavered to say, “So, uh, whatcha doin’?”

“What grade are you in?” Davide asked instead. “Tenth?”

“Mmm. Uh-huh.”

Kiran’s arm was dropped from Davide’s grip as Davide focused on the screen. He typed in the boy’s name, storing it as ‘Kyrin’ into the database. A content sigh and then he smiled up at Kiran, but Kiran didn’t smile back.

He looked at him distrustfully. “What did you just do?” Kiran asked, voice becoming stern.

“Don’t worry about it.”

“No,” he retorted with angst. “I think it’d be great if you let me in the loop. You’re messing with my life. You get that, right?”

To that, Davide rolled his eyes. “Mouthy?” he characterized Kiran instantly in a sarcastic tone. “You’ve got an attitude. Great.”

“Of course I have an attitude!” Kiran sniped incredulously. He repeated with such balls, much guts, “You’re fucking with my life. You really think I’m just gonna sit back and let you kill me? Fuck that.”

Davide stemmed a new focal point. “You better come right back here after school ends." He was tense, irritated, but as you guessed, Kiran didn’t care.

“Like hell I am,” he chuckled haughtly. “I’d die before I ever come back here on my own.”

Davide shot him a look that ran his blood cold. His eyes were narrowed, his jaw gritted his teeth together. “Fine,” Davide didn’t sound at all like he was about to cave in. “If you’re going to act like a little bitch, you wait for me. I’ll pick you up." Kiran scowled and on command, he rolled his eyes.

"Right,” he murmured sarcastically. "See you then.” He turned to leave in haste.

Davide only let him move an inch before he said, “Uh?” holding his hand out.

“What?” Kiran snapped out.

A wave of anger fled through Davide and he had the passing thought to kill the boy where he stood - he had never brought in someone so mouthy, someone who even thought to disobey him. I could kill him, Davide thought arrogantly. And he wants to talk to me like that? He immediately knew Kiran was going to be a hassle, much more of a hassle than he knew he could handle. He was too keen on remaining independent, and it was going to do more harm than good in the end.

Trying to relax himself, Davide rubbed his index and middle finger against his thumb.

“I believe you owe me rent.”

“You expect me to pay you? I’m not coming back; I’m not renting anymore. Nothing to pay.”

“We had a deal. I own you know - or at least that’s what that little chip in your arm is telling me. I’m giving you a bed to sleep in, food to stuff your greedy mouth with. You pay me. Now. You're going to have to everyday, 24/7, three-sixty-five until the day you die. Y'better get used to it.”


Davide gritted, “Now.”

Kiran was suddenly reminded of the real dangers of tracking device in his arm. If he continued to disrespect this man, this man who truly did ‘own’ him, who he would have to come back everyday to and deal with...he really would be dead before he walked off this property today.

Pushing his tongue against his bottom lip, Kiran felt defeated.

“How much?” he struggled to ask. Davide remembered setting a price with Miguel, but having met with countless of other clients after he left the two alone, he couldn’t recall the exact price.

“How much did you make last night?”

Imagining the scenarios that would happen if Kiran lied, he told the truth. Kind of.

“Two hundred.”

“That will do just fine.”

More like that was an arrow to the knee. Kiran’s flabbergasted face let the world know he thought that was utter b.s.

“Are you - ? All of it? The hell you put me through and I don’t even get to keep any of it? Are you fucking kidding me?”

Davide countered grimly, “Do I look like I’m kidding?” He took a sharp intake of breath through his nose, trying to calm his heart rate, but the anger remained prevalent. Exasperated, he snatched Kiran’s wrist into his hand and yanked him forward. Kiran urgently pulled himself back, but failed against Davide’s strength. He seethed, “I have never had anyone talk to me like that before - never had anyone do that to me and live. I promise you, you ever do that again and I will kill you.”

Kiran refusing to make eye contact, adding with him trying to tug his arm from Davide, sent another ping of anger through him, and without a second thought, Davide had the teen by the throat. Utterly shocked, Kiran gasped for a breath and latched his hands around Davide’s fingers. All that did was make him tighten his hold.

Now Kiran was on the tips of his toes.

Against the intense pressure, he wheezed an incoherent plea. The sound had the opposite effect Kiran wanted.

Davide’s hands gripped tighter and his teeth gritted harder down.

“Do you hear me, whore?” he snarled. “Don’t ever talk to me like that again.”

And though every fiber in the world told Kiran to shut his goddamn mouth, there was the nagging voice in the back of his head that almost fueled him to spat a ‘fuck you.’ His mouth even strained to voice it aloud, but the sight of Kiran’s lips forming the first letter of the insult resulted in the deathgrip tightening violently.

Davide fed off of the whimper Kiran let slip out. He positioned their faces to rest merely inches apart from each other.

A smirk found it way to Davide’s face.

“Gonna say something?” he smiled. “Was it ‘I’m sorry, sir. I’m sorry I’m such a little bitch’? That sounds like a smart thing to say right now.”

A wad of spit started to form in Kiran’s mouth. He wanted to aim right between the eyes, but knew swallowing would be better.

First, he needed to have his throat released.

Davide roughly shook Kiran fleetingly, asking again, “Was that it? Was that what you were going to say?” This time, when Kiran wheezed, he also nodded stiffly.

Davide’s smirk grew and with that, he dropped Kiran out of his grip. The boy immediately faltered, his knees almost giving out completely. He slumped with his hands gripping his knees, and he wheezed and coughed, trying to take in a full breath of air.

His throat burned. It burned to breathe. It burned to scream and cuss. He needed to stand up for himself. It's been years since he's ever let someone walk all over him like that.

He was better than this. He was so much stronger.

But under Davide's glare and with the faint memory of last night still vivid in his mind, he felt weak and ashamed.

He heaved in another breath and pulled his bag off his shoulders. He searched its contents for the money. Finding it, he threw it to the ground, mustering up the nerve to sneer up at Davide. He was met with another smirk.

"I'll pick you up at three," he was told condescendingly.

Kiran slowly rose from his hunched over position. Letting out a deep breath, his eyes slanted at Davide one more time. Davide's head tilted to the side, any trace of humor leaving his face.

He spoke lowly, regretfully.

"You are nothing like what I thought you would be.”

Kiran's mouth went into a straight line and he huffed air out of his nose in a scoff.

“Sorry to disappoint.”

He expected to be smacked. Davide without a doubt wanted to be the one who dealt it. However, he decided against physically harming the young man - now, anyway. He’d be punished later. That was one thing he could count on.

Receiving a tight-lipped smile from Davide, Kiran felt his throat tense and he began to walk away.

Once he crossed the street, he heard Davide faintly groan in disdain. Davide took himself back into his office and pulled his phone out to dial a familiar number, making the call he hoped would satisfy his sparking frustration.

And on the fourth ring, the line was answered.


School let out at 2:35 that afternoon and Kiran sat waiting on one of the benches out front until fifty after. The time when the line of school buses began to pull away from the building.

Kiran slumped his chin into his palm and sighed, just as a Camaro rolled onto the scene. Its waxed finish blinded Kiran momentarily. Regaining his sight, he squinted through the windshield to see the man lounging like an O.G. in the driver’s seat.

Davide Grieco.


Davide didn’t even bother getting out of the car to let Kiran know it truly was him. Kiran saw the driver’s side window roll down, and a hand extended out like it was the Devil there to yank him back to hell.

It’s a metaphor, Hazel Grace.

Davide’s fingers did the ‘come here’ motion, and Kiran rose from his seat, making his way over to the passenger’s side. Davide popped open the door from the inside, but Kiran just stood there, contemplating whether or not he was stupid enough to get in. He really didn’t want to. He kept getting this nagging feeling that something bad would happen if he did - other than having to go home and ‘work,’ I mean. There something darker in Davide’s mind. Kiran could feel it in his gaze.

He made Davide mad this morning. He knew it. He knew he was going to be punished somehow. He feared it’s severity.

Kiran had the urge to run away, but didn’t know what would happen if he tried. He had a tracking device implemented under his skin and there was nowhere he could go; Davide would have no problem finding him, and with Kiran being a streetkid, there were no family members there that would ever bother wondering where he went if he never showed up again.

In Kiran’s mind, no one cared; no one was going to be there to save him.

It's a shit feeling.

“Are you getting in or what?” Davide asked from the driver's seat, slumping back to sit up straight behind the steering wheel. “You don’t have all day. You’ve got someone at four. The longer you make ‘em wait, the more cash you lose - it’d be smart to get in.”

He had to meet with someone after school, as soon as he got home, basically. He didn’t even have the time to ‘recover’ from yesterday. He was still in so much pain, mentally, emotionally, physically.

His mind and body were exhausted.

Kiran looked around for a sign of a superhero, but the carpark was empty; the assistant principal that usually roamed the schoolyard until the buses pulled away wasn’t patrolling anymore. He had the passing suspicion that Davide planned to arrive late enough so that if Kiran did put up a fight, there wouldn't be any witnesses. Sucking in a sharp intake of breath, Kiran warily stepped into the car, shutting the door once inside. He didn’t hook himself into the seat with the safety belt - if a car crash happened, he was ready to die, or if Davide tried something, he was willing to dive right out the window.

The engine roared that it was still active as Davide pressed down on the gas pedal. The vehicle drifted slowly from the scene.

The drive home seemed to take forever. It was like they had gotten every red light in the city, which Kiran was just fine with, mind you. Anything that could stall him from getting back to the motel, he was up for.

Stopping for the fifth red light, Davide’s eyes peeked at Kiran, and when Kiran’s eyes darted down to his own lap, Davide spoke.

“Sorry I’m late. I had to go pick up your payment.”

Kiran didn’t know if he wanted to ask what his ‘payment’ was. He thought that maybe Davide was being facetious when he said that, and Kiran’s payment was actually an asswhoppin’.

The only response Kiran let out was a nod and, “Oh. No, it’s okay." The light changed to green and the car geared a left turn. Davide hitched his thumb towards the back seat. Before the worst case scenario fled Kiran’s mind, Davide was talking again.

“It’s in the back, if you want to grab it - in that bag, the brown one.”

Kiran’s eyes shifted from his boss, fleetingly peering into the back seat. Moving in time with the movements of Davide’s driving was a brown paper bag. Oh, god, Kiran thought, jumping to conclusions, It’s a box of condoms. The thought of using them on anyone anytime soon didn’t sit well in the boy’s stomach.

Davide added, making another turn, “I, uh, I think you’ll like it.”

Kiran stayed silent, reaching back to pluck the ‘gift’ from the leather seat. The paper bag crunched in his hands and crinkled loudly when Davide told him to open it.

Seeing the bag's contents, he looked cautiously at Davide.

What was inside made Kiran’s head tilt in confusion. Two narrow snack-sized bags rested at the bottom. One bag had a substance Kiran could easily placed as weed; he used to smoke it with his dad every night. And the other, he’s seen it before but didn’t know which substance the powder was before it got pressed into the shape of pills. Four pills of an unknown drug resided in the second baggie, each a different color: one orange, another yellow, green, and the last blue. They had symbols carved into their surface. Hand prints, smiley faces, stars.

Hieroglyphics of what type of trip they’d take him on.

He was getting drugs. This is what he gets in exchange for the money he earns. The reason he was given the narcotics slipped over Kiran’s head, and instead, he questioned why he would need them; there were many other things he would’ve rather spent that two hundred on. He hasn’t smoked in two years. He didn’t have the need or desire to. The latter was just the same for the pills.

Kiran looked to Davide.

“What is this?” he asked, tipping his chin down towards the paper bag.

“Well, according to all your bitching, apparently letting you live isn't enough for you.” There was a sense of laughter in Davide’s explanation. He went on. “You do a good job each night, bring in enough cash, and I can promise you there's more where that came from. But don't start thinking you're special. I don't do this for free. I took it out of your paycheck.”

Just as he had thought, but thinking of his hard-earned money being spent on this...Kiran wasn’t going to use the drugs, anyway. He refused to become like that. He didn’t want to further the cliches that came with the job title.

“I don’t do drugs,” Kiran said quietly.

Though that wasn’t the ‘thank you’ Davide expected, he refrained from snapping at the boy. “You do now,” he said back shrewdly. “From what I’ve heard, you’re going to want to.” The sad truth sent a tense wave into the air. Kiran turned his head to look out the window. The pair were silent for only a few seconds. Davide sighed and tried to keep the frustration out of his words.

“Really?” he chuckled. “No ‘thank you’? I didn’t have to do that, you know. I don’t have to do anything for you. You piss me off. A lot. I don’t usually do these types of things for people who won’t respect me. Do you respect me?”

‘Feared’ was more like it.

The was evident as Kiran quickly nodded. “Yes,” he whispered. He looked into the bag again, then at Davide. “Thank you.”

Davide looked at him expectantly. His brow told Kiran there was something he forgot to add on.

Davide repeated, “Thank you…?” He was waiting.

Kiran didn’t know what for. His eyes shifted in a puzzled fashion and he felt his heart rate jump at the notion that he was disrespecting Davide again.

Then it clicked.

His jaw tensed. He cleared his throat to speak.

“Thank you,” he said one more time, then tacked on, “Sir.” He hoped that was what Davide wanted. It was line he had seen many times in movies, a line he’s had to say to his previous boss, to his teachers. A title of authority. One that made Davide’s eyes light up, and he smirked.

“Now that’s better.”

The car slowed to a stop and Kiran looked up to see they were in the parkinglot of the motel. The engine shut off, but neither of them moved to get out.

“See the pills?” David said, referring to the ones in the bag. “Take one. I want you to be ready.” He leaned over Kiran to push open the door, saying on the way back, “Alright. Get out.”

It would take about thirty to forty minutes for the ecstasy to kick in, an hour to an hour and a half for the high to reach it’s max. If Kiran waited to smoke til the peak of the trip, it’d create a more powerful high, just in time for his four o’clock, making it a hell of a lot easier to get through the meeting.

Then, if things go as planned, in about two hours, the effects of the MDMA will still be prevalent and will make Davide’s plans work out even better.

It’s called the ‘hug drug’ for a reason. He needed Kiran willing to make nice with complete strangers. Even if he didn't succumb to the 'happy-go-lucky' feel, the voices on the other end of that phone call would still happily follow through with the plan.

The drug's real name was still unknown to Kiran. He attempted to identify the substance after he threw his ice pack into the fridge and popped a squat on the couch. He had the faintest idea that it could be ecstasy, maybe some type of LSD. He didn’t know. The health class he took last year and the drug course he had to sit through was all for nothing.

Percocet…? He did a presentation on it, but couldn’t remember anything about it.

Davide had said Kiran would have his second client today at four. He had less than forty-five minutes until then. These would definitely help him out.

Praying that would be the case, he shook the baggie over his palm and used his finger to poke a random one out. The blue pill with a smiley face stamped on its profile. How to ingest the pill seemed pretty straightforward, and after a moment of hesitation, Kiran popped it into his mouth.

Then dumbly decided to chew, knowing right away how stupid of a decision that was.

It was chalky and bitter. Kiran groaned a whimper out and jumped up from the couch to dart into the kitchen. Bypassing the cupboards for a glass, he bent to take a gulp of the water that ran from the faucet. He thought about splitting the watery-chewed-up drug out of his mouth, but something dawned on him to just swallow.

Kiran stood in the middle of the tiny kitchen and grimaced as he took his jolly ol’ time gulping it down. The taste still hung around in his mouth thanks to his genius idea to chew. Pieces of the drug stuck in his molers. His tongue failed to rubbed them free. (Weird sentence, I know.)

Kiran turned for his fridge, in hopes of finding a bottle of something to drink. There were about three half-empty bottles of water and a couple cans of beer. He was not willingly to go anywhere near either of those. However, he snatched a beer from the fridge anyway, figuring it's empty can could be of use. He shut the fridge’s door and whimpered when the taste made itself known again.

Becoming desperate, he went for his bag for a drink he had bought himself while at school. Feeling like a million bucks, Kiran bought an overpriced Propel from the vending machine during lunch. He let his bag fall to the floor and twisted the cap eagerly. He down about half the bottle in ten seconds. The taste had started to go away.

He relaxed and fell down onto the couch with a sigh.

Within thirty minutes, a smile had planted itself onto his face. The mixture of drugs were finally starting to take effect, starting out with a feeling of exhilaration as the serotonin pumped through his veins. The happiness only hung around for a few minutes, then Kiran’s stomach started to churn. He felt sick, nauseous. His head spun momentarily and he began to panic at all the ideas of what he had gotten himself into.

Maybe he took the pill wrong. Maybe he wasn’t supposed to chew it at all. Or what if swallowing the pill sped up the effects?

His heart rate relaxed when the anxiety died down, taking the nausea away with it. He felt serene again. This cycle continued, ebbing back and forth between contentedness and a mild panic. The rate at which he yo-yoed between emotions was intense, and became even stronger when he crushed a pinch of weed into one of the empty beer cans and inhaled the smoke.

The panic went up several notches when a few knocks hit the door. He stared at it a little longer than he had meant to. The visitor knocking again made him get up and twirl his way over to answer it.

Staring through the peephole, he was shocked to see someone he recognized, and their presence killed the high.

He figured he would have someone he had never met before, but Miguel Ramirez pushed a tight smile at the teen when the door was slowly, but surely opened fully.

“Miss me?” the man asked him, a smirk forming over his mouth. Kiran inhaled deeply, trying his best not to puke.

“Not really.”

Miguel chuckled at Kiran’s slightly slurred answer. He was already putting his focus on the bed.

“Well, I missed you,” he said, leering back Kiran. “Can I come in?”

All Kiran’s jumbled brain could think about was what would happen when he let Miguel in and shut the door behind him. He feared what was going to happen when they were alone. He already experienced what the man had to offer, the brute strength he used to get what he wanted, and how effortlessly he took Kiran’s virginity from him. How easy it was for him to block out the boy’s cries and screams.

The sight of Kiran’s tear-strung face made him thrust his hips harder and the moans felt so much better to get out. Miguel wanted that again and again. It was the reason he was always the first to volunteer for meeting the new recruits.

He loved that power.

Last night, before he left Kiran’s room, he gave into a moment of weakness. He let that quivering lip and those hollow eyes taint how he felt.

For a split second, his pride was gone. He had to prove himself again.

When Kiran nodded and moved to let Miguel come in, Miguel waited for Kiran to shut the door before gripping him roughly by the wrist. He wanted to see tears, and by being rough, he knew he'd get them out.

Letting out a grunt of shock, Kiran was yanked to Miguel’s chest and was kept in place with Miguel’s hand at his throat. Kiran groaned groggily in disgust at Miguel's breath hitting his neck, and his head tipped away, his eyes squeezing shut when the scruff of Miguel’s mustache pushed against his skin. His tongue flicked hungrily down the length of his throat as he pulled the boy forcefully towards the bed.

Kiran crying out again fueled his rampage and drove him to be even more violent with every one of his actions. Now that he had something to prove to himself, Miguel was much more forceful than the first time. He scratched and prodded at Kiran’s skin, marking him as his. He hit and smacked harder, and pulled at Kiran’s hair the entire time.

The drugs Kiran took weren’t enough to keep his mood elevated throughout anything Miguel could throw at him or put him through. Ecstasy is renowned for heightening the sense of touch, taste, and smell. Being high was the worst thing for him right now. He took the pills with the thought that they’d help him forget.

He was going to remember this. It’d stick like glue until the day he’d die.


Another two-fifty was handed into Kiran’s possession. Miguel mumbled that Davide wanted to see Kiran ASAP. He was going to be sent on another job.

Without an answer, Miguel left the room, and Kiran curled up under the blankets and cried.

It only took him about ten minutes to sob until he felt extremely exhausted. He knew keeping his boss waiting was going to be a big mistake; Davide probably saw Miguel leave, anyway.

Kiran hauled himself up from the bed, and stood there with a scowl on his face. A sharp agonizing pain shot up his spine and the entire lower half of him strained against any movement he tried to do. With his head falling into the palms of his hands, he breathed deeply, waiting for the pain in his rear to subside.

He postponed his meeting with Davide for five more minutes. He grabbed an ice tray from the freezer and dumped the cubes into a hand towel, securing it in a loose knot. He sat on the couch with it underneath him.

Groaning, he took a few puffs of smoke from the now-charred filled beer can, welcoming the disintegrated weed into his system.

The sharp shooting pains died down but the intense burning from the teared, tender skin remained.

Before he stepped foot out the doorway, he pushed another ecstasy pill into his mouth, this time letting it dissolve.

As he was shutting his door, he looked to his right when the sound of laughter echoed into his ears. It sounded distant - and foreign to Kiran. How someone could ever feel happiness here was beyond him. He glanced towards the direction the laughter came from.

Standing outside one of the rooms, in the complex next to his, was a young boy, probably a few years younger than Kiran; he stood in the doorway, and was giggling and smiling up at the man standing in front of him.

The man seemed to be in his early thirties. He was tanned rather nicely with dark, almost-black hair and a matching mustache.

He stood with his body turned towards the teen in front of him, his thumbs hooking around two belt loops. They unlatched when the boy’s fingers slipped over his shoulder and pulled him in the
direction of his room.

They laughed to each other again before disappearing from Kiran’s view.

He looked like he could’ve been his dad, and they were about to go have sex with each other? Disgusting Right as Kiran thought that and had his back turned toward the duo, the feeling of being watched registered to the man, and he was left to stare at Kiran’s back as he took his walk down the iron staircase.

The only thoughts that entered his mind were the desire to see what Kiran looked like under those clothes, followed by quite a contradictory sneer.

♠ ♠ ♠
Do y'all like this? I'm starting to a lot now. As always, I don't usually start out loving what I've written, but it's kind of okay. right...?
also, I've made character profiles for some of the main-ish character's in the story so far. You might want to go check those out so you can start picturing who I've been picturing when they pop up in a scene.
also also remember that Arizonian-looking dude, alright? He will be a HUGEEEE part in just a few chapters.
okay. peace. tell me if you liked this by either commenting or subscrbing. :p byyee.