Dress Slutty And Hope For The Best
by Cody

JC gnawed on his thumbnail, the makeup counter beneath him vibrating with the heavy bass beat that permeated the club. He idly watched his coworkers mill about the cramped dressing room, pulling his knees up to his chest to keep his dangling legs out of their way. Nobody talked to him, and he didn't mind. He didn't want them to talk to him. They were all stupid, trashy strippers that had too many tattoos and too many piercings and used incorrect grammar. He'd been working there for three weeks and had exactly one friend, Joey, but he didn't count because JC had known him beforehand. Joey was one of the bouncers and if not for him, JC would've never even thought to strip. But Joey had made it sound so good; lots of money, easy money. And the perfect kind of job to convince his boyfriend that he shouldn't be working at all. A few more weeks at most, JC was sure, before Chris insisted that he quit. And then JC could pretend to be upset about it before finally agreeing, with a pout and a sigh, to allow Chris to support him.

A Professional Boyfriend is what JC's friends called him, but not insultingly--most of them wore the same badge proudly. And it wasn't like they'd date a guy they full on hated (unless he was super rich), so it wasn't a bad way to live. Maybe that meant they didn't always have the hottest, youngest, most interesting boyfriends, but it was worth it when the alternatives were bagging groceries or waiting tables.

Most boyfriends offered to support him right off the bat and it was kind of annoying that Chris hadn't, and look at to what extremes it had pushed JC! Sweating on stage for a bunch of drunken hornballs four nights a week, but at least he was well compensated. Chris's main attraction, besides his killer sense of humor and willingness to chauffeur JC around, was that he was a manager of a Papa John's. So, sure, he was unattractive and sometimes obnoxious, but he was fun to hang out with and the pizza was always free. JC figured Chris was good for another six months of amusement and, he hoped, freeloading.

"Dude," JC looked up and saw Joey's head peeking into the dressing room, "come meet my friend."

JC picked up his phone from where it lay beside him and slid off the counter to follow Joey into one of the VIP rooms. "I'm off," was his knee-jerk reaction to seeing the strippers dancing with each other on the tiny private stage. "Chris is on his way to get me."

"I know you're off," Joey said. "I just want you to meet him." He walked over to a table where two men were sitting , one in a dress shirt and slacks and the other in jeans and a tight t-shirt. "This is JC, the one I was telling you about."

The dressier one looked him over and smiled. "Good to meet you, JC. I'm Lance."

"Charmed, I'm sure," JC said, because it was the most irritatingly cliched response he could recall. He got off on shit like that; it amused him to make others think he was a tool. Lance nodded and stood up, grabbing Joey's arm, then turned to the slutty t-shirt guy. "We'll be right back, okay?"

The slutty guy shrugged, "I'll be here."

Joey patted JC's arm as they left, and JC sat in Lance's abandoned chair and checked out the slutty guy. He was hot as fuck, with frosted baby curls and a pretty smirk. "Who are you?"

"I'm Justin," the slut said. "You're really hot."

"I get that a lot," JC smiled. "I think it might be the bootyshorts."

"What?" Justin leaned closer, even though the music wasn't half as loud in VIP as it was in the main room--at least you didn't have to scream to be heard. But JC put a hand on Justin's neck and repeated himself. Justin slipped a hand onto JC's thigh. "Can I get a dance?"

JC shook his head, still smiling flirtatiously, "I'm off."

Justin smiled back, "Is that an answer?"

"Come back sometime and visit me," JC suggested. The clothes Justin wore looked expensive; he obviously had money. The problem with hot guys like this was that they were usually on the receiving end of financial support. Still, JC would be happy to dance for Justin, get some cash the old fashioned way: by shaking his ass for it.

"How about this," Justin persuaded, his hand sliding higher. "If you give me a dance right now, I promise I'll come back and visit so often you'll get sick of me." Seeing JC's indecision he added, "I'm a really great tipper."

"I'm off," JC protested, but he was already getting out of his seat to straddle Justin's lap. Justin grinned triumphantly and rubbed his hands over JC's hips. "Just a little dance," JC coquetted, rolling his body as he stroked his hands up his sides, chest, neck and into his own hair before twisting his arms in the air. Justin's hands were on JC's waist, supporting him as he bowed back until his head nearly touched the table behind him. He bumped his head on the tabletop, startled, when Justin bit the skin just below JC's bellybutton. He flailed a little as he straightened quickly, gaping at Justin like he was nuts. "What the fuck was that?"

"I bit you," Justin explained helpfully.

"Well, duh!" JC tried to pull out of his grasp but couldn't. "Let go of me, you freak."

Justin dipped his head and bit JC in the same spot again, then licked it. "Stop it!" JC ordered; his hands on Justin's shoulders and he fully intended to push him away--pretty soon. Justin licked again, then sucked. "You're gonna give me a fucking hickey!" JC's legs were getting a little trembly, so he backed up and sat on the table. Justin lifted one of JC's legs onto his shoulder and kept sucking. "What the fuck, stop it…" JC moaned, leaning back on his hands and bucking his hips. "You're fucking…"

"Mmm." Justin finally pulled away with a parting lick at the newly formed bruise. He put a hand on the straining bulge in JC's jean shorts. His eyes flickered just beyond JC, then back to him. "Wanna go someplace?"

"Where could we go?" JC blurted, but quickly corrected himself, "No!"

"We have a place." Justin seemed to slither up JC's body, suddenly their faces were very close. "Come with us."

"Us?" JC shook his head, confused, then looked over his shoulder at where Justin kept glancing. Standing with Joey near the doorway was Lance, watching them with a pleased expression. "No! What? Get off me!" JC pushed Justin away for real now. "I'm not going home with you guys, you must be crazy!"

Justin laughed, low and throaty, "Don't worry, baby, he just likes to watch."

"What?! You want to take me home and screw me while your boyfriend watches?" This sort of thing only happened in porn, right?

"He's not my boyfriend...well, okay, he is tonight," Justin amended. "Come on, babe, it'll be fun. He tips even better than I do."

"Wait, are you--" JC felt dirty at the realization, had he really been messing around with-"Are you a hooker?"

Justin rolled his eyes. "I'm an escort."

"Same fucking thing," JC snapped. "You screw for money, right?"

"An escort…look, fuck this, I don't have to explain myself to you. I don't screw ninety percent of the guys that take me out. I fuck 'em if I feel like it, if the price is right and I'm in the goddamn mood. You know how much it costs to fuck me? More than you make in a year, shaking your ass in this hellhole."

JC blushed hotly. "Fuck you, at least I'm not a whore!"

"Well baby, it's a very thin line. At least I'm mainly selling my company. You're just getting paid to let people drool on you."

"You get paid for your company? That's why you're asking me to come screw you so your pervert date can watch?"

"I'm asking you to come with us because he drops insane amounts of cash just to watch me jack off, can you imagine what he'd pay to see me fuck a hot piece of ass like you? Baby, come on, it'd be a blast and we'd both go home happy." Justin stepped close and nuzzled JC's neck seductively. "You're so fucking sexy, I'd do you for free…but why not get paid?"

JC would've delivered a verbal bitchslap, if only he could formulate one. But this whole weird situation was kinky in a twisted way and he was still kind of hard and if only Justin would stop touching him, JC could tell him what an asshole he was and how JC was just not that kind of boy. Because he wasn't. Because…

JC's phone started clattering across the table, buzzing urgently. JC snatched it up and looked at the screen, Chris Cell. He wriggled and shoved at Justin's chest. "My boyfriend is here," he said. "I have to go."

Justin backed off obligingly. "Can I give you my number?"

"No," JC glared at him. "Go to hell."

"Eventually," Justin agreed, reaching for his wallet. He grabbed JC's hand and put a bill in it. "I'll come back and visit, okay? We'll see how you're feeling next time."

"Fuck off." JC shoved the money into his pocket and turned abruptly, storming off. He pointedly ignored Joey and Lance by the door. He rushed through the club and out the back entrance, waving at Chris as he jogged up to the car. "Sorry, have you been waiting long?" He plopped into the passenger seat and buckled up.

"Not too long," Chris said. "I brought a chicken pizza home. You hungry?"

"You asked the right boy," JC sniffed appreciatively. Chris's car always smelled yummy.

"How was work?" Chris asked, all normal as if JC worked in a fucking office or something.

"It was fine," JC said, reaching into his pocket to pull out the money Justin had given him. It was a hundred. Figures, JC thought. Fucking cocky hooker. I wonder how much I would've gotten if I'd…not that I would. Perverts. But I bet it would've been a lot. He leaned his head against the window and sighed. What a fucking weird night.


Three nights later, as soon as JC hit the stage, Justin was the first thing he saw. Sitting front-and-center, smirking and looking as fine as the day is long. JC worked it hard, refusing to let Justin intimidate him, and Justin openly touched himself as he watched. It was nasty and hot, and when his set ended, JC was panting and sweating from more than just his Olympics-worthy splits and backbends. He hurried offstage toward the dressing room to clip the bills falling out of his thong and squeeze himself and his money into his favorite indecent jean cutoffs. He wandered back into the main room leisurely but made his way directly to Justin. He wasn't going to bother pretending he didn't recognize him, because he obviously had. And he wasn't going to pretend he didn't care that Justin came back, because he'd spent half a song hanging upside down with a dancing pole clenched between his thighs and Justin's face nearly pressed against JC's crotch.

Justin greeted him with an easy smile and a drawling, "Hey, baby. You're so fucking hot up there."

"I'm hot down here too," JC told him, angling to give Justin a brief view of his scantily clad ass.

Justin reached out and grabbed JC's ass appreciatively, tugging him closer. "So you wanna fuck or what?"

"Sorry, I don't fuck whores," JC scoffed.

"Well neither do I, but I'm willing to make an exception just this once," Justin retorted evenly.

"Fuck you, I'm not a whore! No matter what you think, there's a big difference between someone like me and someone like you--"

"Yhea, I make a lot more money," Justin said.

"--I don't let people touch me," JC finished, scowling.

"I'm touching you," Justin pointed out, spanking him as if to prove it.

"Well, you're not supposed to," JC said. "I could have you thrown out of here for it. And I'm friends with the bouncer, so he'd kick your ass."

"Who, Joey?" Justin laughed. "That'll be the day."

JC ruffled, put off by the idea that, "You're friends with Joey?"

"Me and Joe go way back." Justin spanked JC some more. "He comp'd my admission. I seriously doubt he's going to kick me out for hitting on you, considering he's the one who told me about you in the first place."

JC remembered their initial meeting, and how he'd assumed Joey was talking to Lance when he'd introduced JC as 'the one I was telling you about'. "What did he tell you about me?"

"He said you were hot, and that he thought we'd get along. I was asking him if he knew any guys." Justin tilted his head, half-smiling. "I'm looking for a guy for this thing, and I think you're perfect."

"Perfect for what?" JC asked, flattered despite himself.

"You remember Lance, the dude I was with last time? I told you, he's very generous when it comes to his entertainment." Justin flashed a big, charming, shit-eating grin. "He's willing to drop some major cash if I bring a friend. Someone hot. Like you."

"Someone like me," JC parroted dumbly. "Joey recommended me for an orgy? You asked him where to find a good fuck and I was who came to mind? I don't know whether to be pissed or flattered."

"Knowing you, you're probably pissed," Justin guessed.

"Well, you don't know me, so how 'bout you shut it?" JC shot back. "But while we're on the subject, I thought I made it clear that I would never do something so trashy and gross."

Justin looked meaningfully at the stage currently being humped by a particularly ugly stripper.

"Shut up," JC said. "Why don't you just ask one of your fellow hookers?"

"Escorts--" Justin started, then rolled his eyes. "Whatever. Look, I will ask one of them if you don't come around. But frankly, most of them fuck a lot more than I do and they're kind of dirty. Plus they're my friends. And most importantly, none of them are my type. I'd much rather fuck someone I find attractive."

"And I'd much rather fuck someone that doesn't have the meter running," JC shrugged. "Guess we're both shit out of luck."

"I told you before and I meant it: I'd fuck you for free," Justin said. "And you'd fuck me for free, right?" He waited, but JC just raised an eyebrow. Undeterred, he continued, "So if we'd fuck for free alone in a room, why not fuck with one extra person watching and get a bunch of money for it?"

"Is that how you justify letting him watch you masturbate?" JC snarled.

"Fuck yhea, that's how I justify it. And why not? Doesn't it make sense? I'd be jacking off anyway, why not let him watch and get paid? I support a goddamn good lifestyle by wasting a little time with lonely old men and wanking for voyeurs. What's the harm in it?" Justin asked, a bit defensively. "You think it's so fucking beneath you, but if we're being honest, I wouldn't be caught dead stripping in a shitty joint like this for peanuts."

"I've only been here a few weeks." JC was ashamed, but his indignation still burned hotly. "I'm making an honest living. I don't need your approval, of all people."

"Whatever, fuck this," Justin shook his head. "I'm not going to argue with you, because neither one of us is going to change his mind. My cards are on the table. You in or you out?"

"I'm fucking out!" JC glared and, suddenly aware that Justin's hands were still on his ass, pulled away roughly.

"Okay, fine." Justin glared back, standing up angrily. "You're a fucking idiot."

"I know you are, but what am I?" JC retorted brilliantly, and mentally awarded himself ten Cool Points for working that into a conversation.

Justin's frown twitched into a smile for a second, then twisted back down. "When you stop being a hypocritical asshole, give me a call."

"You can't even spell 'hypocritical'," JC said, hands on hips. "Besides, I don't even have your number."

Justin smirked. "Joey has it. I'll hold my breath."

"Yhea, well, you'll die waiting!" JC watched as Justin walked away and felt somehow clumsy.


JC glanced over at Chris, deliberating. He finished his slice of pizza and wiped his mouth decisively, reaching for his messenger bag. He pulled out his cell phone bill, opened it and sighed. When Chris didn't seem to notice, JC sighed again, louder this time. No reaction. JC sighed again, then shook his head and groaned, "Oh man, this sucks…"

Chris kept chewing.

"This sucks," JC repeated, and flung the papers onto Chris's plate. "Oops, sorry," JC scrambled to retrieve the bill. "Just my luck."

Chris swallowed and grinned.

"I'm probably going to have to cut the damn thing off. My phone," JC explained, as though he'd been asked. "I can't afford any luxuries with what I make at that damn strip club." JC looked down at the bill sadly, "But I hate to cut it off, because it's really the only way people can get in touch with me. And plus, working in that strip club is pretty dangerous, I'd hate to not have a phone with me. In case my like, life was endangered or something. Because you never know what kind of crazies come into that strip club."

"You're right," Chris agreed, and JC looked up hopefully. "That does suck." JC waited for Chris to continue, but he didn't.

"I shouldn't have brought it up, I don't want you worried that I can't make ends meet," JC said apologetically. "It's just a rough patch, I hope…"

"No worries," Chris smiled. "I know you're a big boy. You can take care of yourself."

"Right," JC returned the smile faintly. "I'm just embarrassed to have you know how tight my belt is right now…"

"Don't be embarrassed," Chris said. "It doesn't bother me at all, promise."

JC's eyes narrowed for a second but he caught himself and opened them wide, doe eyes. "And I don't want you worried about my safety or anything. I mean, I'll be fine. I'm sure it's not too likely that anyone's gonna assault me at that strip club, probably. The bouncers usually don't pay that much attention to what's going on in the dressing room, but I don't see that many customers sneaking back there that often. Well, there is that one guy that always comes back and stares at everyone…I don't know if the bouncers know about him, but he seems pretty harmless, I think..."

"Oh, I'm not worried," Chris assured him cheerily. "I know Joey's got you covered."

"Good ol' Joey," JC nodded. "But I'm probably going to have to double my hours to make ends meet, so I'll be taking shifts when he's not working. And if I start doing private lapdances I'll make a little more money, so that'll be good…"

"Sounds like you got your bases covered," Chris reached for another piece of pizza.

JC wanted to scream, but settled for innocently remarking, "You're having another slice? You must be really, really hungry."

"Yhea, I am," Chris said, but put it back in the box after two bites. JC chewed on his nails and pretended not to notice. Inside, he was laughing.


JC wondered what the fuck he'd gotten himself into. In a (hissy)fit of rage, he'd called Joey and gotten Justin's number, and now here he was in a big fucking living room of a big fucking house waiting to have sex for money. And there Justin was, his hand hovering above a lit candle and lowering incrementally. JC reached out and slapped it away. "Stop, you're going to burn yourself," he said. When Justin smiled at him, JC crossed his arms haughtily. "Not that I care."

"It doesn't hurt," Justin claimed, reaching for JC's hand. "Here, try it."

JC stepped back, "No way."

"Scaredy cat."

"Whatever," JC rolled his eyes. "Look, are we going to fuck or what? Because my ride is gonna be at the club at midnight and I don't want him waiting."

"Let him wait," Justin said. "I'll take you wherever you need to go."

"That's rude!" JC cried, affronted. "I'm not going to stand someone up when he's doing me a favor!"

"Who is it, your boyfriend?" Justin guessed. "You said he's a jerk, right? So what do you care?"

"He's a jerk, but he's still my friend," JC said. "You're so mean."

"I'm mean?" Justin said, surprised. "I'm not mean. I wouldn't stand someone up, I'm just assuming that someone like you wouldn't have a problem with it."

"Someone like me?" JC scowled. "Why are you always making assumptions about me? You don't know shit about me. I'm the nicest person in the world."

Justin smirked, "Do tell?"

"I am! All my friends love me!" JC insisted. "I dare you to find someone nicer than me…it's impossible! I cook soup for people when they're sick, I make homemade birthday cards, I go along to doctor appointments for moral support! Just last week I went with my friend when he donated blood, even though I'm like, needle-phobic. I nearly passed out just watching!"

"How selfless of you," Justin admired.

"I know," JC said, then frowned. "I mean, shut up. I'm just…you act like I'm so mean or something, and I'm not."

"Not to everyone," Justin said. "Just to me, right?"

"Right," JC nodded. "I mean, no. I'm not mean to you."

"Yes, you are," Justin laughed.

"Well…you deserve it," JC said.

"That's okay." Justin leaned in to whisper in JC's ear. "I like it. You're a sexy bitch." JC burst out laughing at that, and Justin grinned.

"What are we laughing at?" JC jumped at the question, spinning around to see Lance standing in the doorway. "Sorry to keep you boys waiting. Are we ready to start, or would you care for a drink first?"

"I'm ready," Justin said, glancing at JC. "You want anything?"

JC blushed and looked down at his feet, feeling enormously uncomfortable and mumbled, "Let's just get this over with."

"God, we're going to have sex, not scrub toilets," Justin complained, grabbing his hand and following Lance down a hallway. "Don't make it sound like such a chore."

JC stayed quiet as he was led into a bedroom, his eyebrows rising as Lance left the room and told them to, "Have fun, boys."

JC looked at Justin expectantly, "Where'd he go? I thought he likes to watch? And why the fuck does he keep calling us 'boys'? That's so creepy. Plus he's like, what, twenty-four?"

"Younger, probably." Justin gestured towards the mirrored wall across from the bed. "He watches from behind the mirror."

"Even when it's just you?" JC asked, and Justin nodded. "That's so creepy!"

"He can afford to be as creepy as he likes," Justin shrugged.

"How'd he get all this money, anyhow?" JC took in the large, extravagant bedroom.

"Internet porn," Justin said. "He's got a Pay-Per-View site. Photos and movies and he's even got some web cam boys."

"He's not--" JC started, eyes wide.

"No," Justin assured him. "He wouldn't, not without getting permission. Seriously, he's creepy but he's cool. Trust me."

"Why should I trust you?" JC said, but didn't object when Justin started undressing him. He just reached for Justin's shirt and returned the favor. "Just remember I'm only doing this to get back at my boyfriend."

Justin said, "Yhea, okay. I'm good with that."


JC's own moans broke him out of his daze. He found himself on his back with Justin on top of him, inside of him. He shook his head, trying to think, but his mind was like primordial soup, Justin's sharp, precise movements sparking shocks of electricity, birthing sounds and feelings and-

"Soup?" Justin asked, and JC realized he'd been mumbling aloud. He bit his lip, shook his head harder. He didn't want to distract Justin from anything-god, everything-he was doing. Even if he wanted to, he doubted he could form a coherent sentence.

Despite Justin's rigorous thrusting, JC's hand came up tentatively, fingers barely grazing Justin's biceps, but when his spot was hit he grabbed on tight, moaning. He responded eagerly when Justin leaned in for a kiss, moaning restlessly when it ended and Justin rubbed JC's stomach; gentling him. Then he reached down, gripped each of JC's ankles and used them to tilt JC's hips to a new, higher angle. Justin was panting, keeping intense eye contact as he pushed JC's legs down further, driving in with wild circular thrusts, too fast and too intricate. JC didn't bother jacking off, because there was no way he'd be able to come like this. He could do nothing but grunt and struggle to breathe, dizzy from lack of air and surplus of stimulation.

He tried stretching up, anything to get away from the feeling that his ribs might break and crush his lungs, and nearly cried in relief when Justin eased up, used JC's ankles to flip him over. JC repositioned obediently, up on spread knees and elbows with his face between his own arms, his hands tugging at his hair in anticipation. Justin covered him, one arm stretched out to bear his weight, palm digging into the bed and fingers in the crook of JC's elbow, Justin's other arm low around JC's waist and hand smoothing teasingly over JC's cock as Justin slid back in. JC cried out when Justin was all the way in, bumping his hips against JC's ass as if making sure he could go no deeper. He pulled out, nearly all the way out, and went back in to the hilt, actions smooth and devastatingly skillful. JC forced himself to take his hands out of his hair so he wouldn't pull any out and instead scratched desperately at the sheets. He wanted to beg Justin to stop, to leave him alone, to fuck me, fuck me, fuck me! Which made no sense, because Justin was fucking his brains out. Literally. JC felt sure that if he could manage to open his eyes, he would see grey matter spilling out all over the sheets and yhea, that was gross and-

"Grey matter?" Justin panted, hips rolling with unerring rhythm and efficacy. JC grimaced and thought, I'm losing my fucking mind.

And then Justin's body cradled JC's; the ridges of his abdomen sliding against JC's back a nebulous delight. He gasped when Justin's hand stopped teasing and started stroking JC's cock in earnest. He was talking but he didn't know what the fuck he was saying, but that was nothing new, so he just kept doing it and hoped Justin would know what he meant.

And Justin did know, he knew perfectly, because he just kept going faster and harder and better, and JC didn't know what to do with himself. Didn't know what to do but push back into every thrust and push forward into every stroke and pound his fists against the mattress and come so fucking hard he nearly passed out. He whimpered as Justin slowed to a nasty glide before finally pulling out, and JC collapsed on the bed, spent. Did he even come? JC wondered, and looked over at Justin when he plopped down beside him. His skin was flushed a healthy pink as he slid off the condom, tied it, and tossed it in the waste bin by the bed-and yhea, he'd come. Ew, JC thought as he watched the condom drop into the trash. Then he lifted up a bit and looked down at the sheets beneath him. Double ew. When Justin lay down, JC rolled on top of him to get away from the wet spot. "Can we sleep a while?" JC murmured.

"Hrm? yhea, 'sfine." Justin wrapped his arms around JC.

He snuggled into the embrace contentedly. "I gotta be back at work on time though, okay? Don't let me be late."

"I'm not gonna sleep," Justin said. "I won't let you be late, I promise."

"Mmkay," JC said, and closed his eyes.


Chris greeted him cheerfully, "Did you have fun at work?"

"I'm hungry." JC settled tiredly in his seat.

"I brought a spinach pizza for you."

"Good," JC said, then sighed and looked out the window.

"Something bothering you?"

"Nothing worth talking about." He watched the scenery blur past. "I hate my job."

"Well, why don't you quit?"

"Because rent doesn't pay itself," JC said, but remembering the check in his wallet sent a pleasant shiver through him. Maybe he would quit. "There's this guy that comes in the club all the time that wants to be my sugar daddy," he lied. "I should take him up on it, don't you think?"

"Sounds like a plan," Chris said. "Will you let him fuck you?"

"Of course not!" JC slapped Chris's arm. "Is that what you think of me?"

"I don't know what I think of you," Chris confessed. "I'm just wondering if that's what it takes to get some action from you."

"You get plenty of action!" JC protested.

"We've been-whatever the hell you want to call this-for nearly a month and I don't consider the privilege of being allowed to suck your dick two and a half times 'plenty of action'," Chris said.

JC bristled. "Well if you want more beef, buy the fucking cow!"

Chris cracked up, hardly the reaction JC'd expected. "See, that's why I've been putting up with this bullshit, JC. I like you. And you're hot as fuck, but mainly it's that I like you. But us, we're obviously not going to work. I've just been waiting it out, kind of amused to see how long it takes for you to finally freak out on me like this."

"I'm not freaking out!"

"Yes, you are," Chris laughed. "You're throwing a tantrum because you're realizing that I'm not going to offer to pay your bills. That's what you've been hoping for all along, and we both know it."

JC's jaw dropped and he asked, "If you knew that's what I wanted, then why didn't you say anything?"

"Because it's so damn entertaining to sit back and watch your scheming little brain at work! Like when you offhandedly let it slip that you're tight with money, then pretend that you're embarrassed and change the subject. And then get pissy when I let it go."

"I don't get pissy! Although a person with any heart at all would offer to help someone out, I'd think."

"Any heart at all? But what if mine's just as ruthless as yours?" Chris grinned.

JC made a face. "Shut up, quit insulting me just because you're a lousy boyfriend."

"I'm not a lousy boyfriend; I'm also not an idiot. You think I didn't know what you were doing when you started working at that strip club? You wanted me to feel jealous, or maybe sorry for you, either way you wanted me to tell you to quit. It was so funny, picking you up everyday and I could tell how annoyed you were every time I asked how it went."

"You're a bitch." JC slumped low in his seat, crossing his arms.

"Likewise. That's why we get along, isn't it?"

"We don't get along at all," JC said spitefully.

"Sure we do," Chris said. "C'mon, don't pretend you hate me, just because of this bullshit. I don't hate you for it. I think it's hilarious! More power to you, you parasitic sex kitten. And I admire your integrity for not putting out until I started footing the bills! Very noble and all that."

JC's stomach growled and he peeked at the pizza box on the backseat and then over at Chris. "So what happens now?"

Chris shrugged. "Nothing really, I don't think. Why, should anything happen? I still want to hang out with you, you're sweet when you want to be, and fun and bitchy and weird like me. And you're probably hungry like me, too."

"Starving," JC smiled, relieved.

"So let's go back to my place and eat some pizza, huh?"

JC nodded happily, "And then in the morning I'm going down to that damn club and quitting."


In the 'morning' turned into 'evening' because JC slept in and felt too lazy to move from his nest of blankets on Chris's couch. It was comforting to know that he was welcome to crash on it anytime he wanted, and chauffeur service and free pizza were included in Chris's Friendship Package. As Chris had put it, "It's fun to take care of you because you so sincerely expect it."

Walking into the club felt like a triumphant return from…something. There was a victorious thrill in sauntering into the manager's office and announcing that he wanted to pick up his last check and planned never to return again! It was a little anticlimactic when no fuss was raised, his check handed over with a distracted, "Good luck, kid."

He went to deliver the news to Joey, and that reaction was more satisfactory. "Quitting? Why? You said yourself the money is great!"

"It is great, but you know…stripping. I was never cut out for it," JC straightened his posture, glancing derisively at the stage.

"Sure you were," Joey said. "You're great at it!"

"Well, I didn't mean I'm not great at it," JC clarified. "Sure, I'm great at it; it's not about that. It's just…this sort of thing…it's not for people like me. You know what I mean?"

"Yhea sure," Joey nodded, but looked confused. "Well, I'll miss you, definitely."

"I'll miss you too, Joey. Working with you was a blast. But we'll see each other all the time! You going to Chris's party tomorrow?" JC moved out of the way to let a stripper pass, careful that they didn't touch.

"I'm planning on it. Do you really think you'll be able to stay friends?"

"I told you, yes! He's being very cool about the whole thing." JC almost said Chris was being mature but thought that would be pushing it. "I'm sure it wasn't the first time he's ever been dumped."

"Man-eater," Joey accused affectionately.

JC licked his lips with a wink, then checked his watch. "He's waiting in the car, actually. I should go." He noisily smooched Joey's cheeks. "See you tomorrow! Bring hot friends!"


JC crossed his arms. "I told Joey to bring hot friends and this is the best he could do?"

"More than you ever dared dream, am I?" Justin grinned cheekily.

"Yes, more. More annoying, more unwelcome, more conceited…the list goes on."

Justin wrapped his arms around JC's waist and tugged him close. "You're cute when you're obnoxious."

"You're obnoxious when you're cute," JC countered, but let Justin kiss him for a few good minutes. "Just because I had sex with you doesn't mean I like you."

"Of course not," Justin agreed. "You liked me way before you ever had sex with me. It just made you like me more, is all."

JC pulled away and went to the sliding glass door, opening it and walking out onto the balcony. He leaned against the railing and waited while Justin joined him. "Must you follow me everywhere?"

"Oh, you wanted privacy?" Justin smirked, turning to go back inside.

JC quickly grabbed the back of Justin's jeans, "I mean, I can't force you to leave. Balconies are like…public property, I guess."

"Public property?" Justin was still smirking, but also coming closer, gripping the rail on either side of JC.

"I can't think right now," JC shook his head, putting his hands on Justin's shoulders, then on his neck. "I'm drunk."

"You're not drunk." Justin kissed him. "I'm not going to do this if you're going to pretend you only want it 'cause you're drunk."

"Okay fine, I don't care," JC said, leaning up to kiss Justin hard. "I want it, okay? So what?"

"So nothing," Justin shrugged, pressing his body against JC's. "No crime in that. But if I call you tomorrow, will you pick up?"

"Yes, fine." Right now, JC was too busy wrapping a leg around Justin to care about much. "Let's go somewhere, fast."

"Where do you want to go?" Justin asked, but JC only responded by sucking on his neck. "Okay, my place? I'll drive, you want…?" Justin navigated them back inside, down the stairs and into his car, JC clinging like a vine. On the drive to Justin's place they kept the music loud and didn't talk. JC kept glancing at the backseat and was about to tell Justin to just pull over, when they finally arrived. They pulled up to a well-kept complex, waited for the gate to open and Justin to park in his two-car garage behind his townhouse. "Let's go?" Justin prompted when JC didn't move. "You still want to do this?"

"Yes!" JC enthused, then blushed. "I mean, you live here?"

Justin smiled knowingly. "You approve?"

"I just didn't realize…it's so nice," JC said.

"It's even nicer inside, come on." Justin got out of the car and JC did the same, hurrying to follow him into the house.

"Wow, it's gorgeous!" JC took in the large rooms, the beautiful furnishings. "You live here alone?"

Justin nodded, "And it gets so lonely, too."

JC went to the large leather couch, plopped down on it. Soft as butter. He groaned appreciatively. "Why do you ever leave the house? If I had a couch like this, I would never leave."

"Well, I've always wanted a pet." Justin stroked his hair teasingly. "You're like a cat that feeds itself."

Justin's nearness was like a switch being thrown, just that fast JC was in the mood again. "I'm a lot more fun than a cat," he purred, his arms circling Justin's neck.

"I believe you," Justin breathed, pulling out of JC's hold and taking his hand, guiding him onto his feet and toward the stairs. "But why don't you come to bed and prove it?"


"Joey is a good friend," JC said, nuzzling Justin's neck.

Justin petted JC's hair idly, "How so?"

"For bringing you to the party last night," JC said.

"Well, I agree that Joey's a good friend," Justin said. "But he didn't bring me. Chris invited me."

JC pulled back to look at Justin's face, shocked. "You know Chris?"

"He's one of my best friends," Justin said.

JC pulled away completely and sat up. "You're fucking kidding me! How do you know him?"

Justin sat up too and said nonchalantly, "I used to deliver pizzas before I found my calling as hired company. He was my boss."

"Well, then…did you know about us?" JC asked, forehead wrinkling with confusion.

"There wasn't much of an 'us' to know about, was there?" Justin smirked. "From what he said, you don't put out before payday."

"Did he really say that?" JC blushed.

"Well, I paraphrased. But you're probably wondering, so I'll tell you: yes, I knew who you were when we first met. Chris was the one that suggested you. I asked Joey to make the introductions; I thought it would help break the ice."

JC's eyebrows arched ridiculously high in disbelief, "Chris suggested me? You said it was Joey!"

"Yhea, well, I lied," Justin said easily. "Chris thought it was something you might be interested in. He seemed to think it would be right up your alley."

"That's so messed up!" JC cried, slapping the mattress for emphasis.

Justin grabbed JC's hand and laughed. "Why? He was just trying to help you out. You obviously weren't attracted to him, and you were after money. He thought getting paid and laid would help you relax some."

"So that's why he dumped me…he knew what I'd done!" JC realized. Finally, it all made sense!

"Because it's so impossible that someone would dump you for any other reason than knowing you outright didn't want him and had slept with someone else?" Justin asked, amused.

"Well," JC shrugged, not bothering to deny it. "So if you know so much about me…"

"Why don't I care?" Justin smiled, laying back down and pulling JC with him. "I told you, I'm lonely and I want a pet. I have money but no one to come home to, and you want money and are willing to stick around if the couch is cozy. I'm not like Chris; he's too proud to keep someone like you around because he knows you'd only want him for his checkbook. I know the money helps, but I think you'd be interested in me either way, am I right? Be honest, it won't make or break anything."

"I don't know," JC demurred. "You're pretty irritating. Even if you are hot and a demon in the sack."

"Two out of three ain't bad." Justin's arm around JC squeezed tight, then slackened. "And the feelings are mutual."

"So you're fine with taking care of me as long as I what? Cook and clean for you? 'Cause I'm no housebitch," JC said.

Justin reached down and spanked JC's ass playfully. "What cat do you know that lifts a finger around the house? Your job is to look pretty and purr when I pet you, that's all. I'll even get you one of those rhinestone collars."

"Rhinestone? I don't think so," JC sniffed.

Justin laughed a little, but then said, "There's something I should tell you. Like, first and foremost."

"What's that?" JC licked Justin's earlobe.

"I'm not going to be an escort anymore. Or a hooker, as you so kindly call it."

"Really? That's great!" JC nibbled happily.

"Don't get so excited just yet," Justin cautioned, but massaged JC's neck encouragingly. "I'm still gonna spend time with Lance, because as you know, he's incredibly generous."

"That's not so bad, though. He seemed like a nice guy," JC said.

"I'm going to make some movies for him, too. Solo-movies. The pay is phenomenal; I'd be stupid to pass it up," Justin told him, then ventured tentatively, "What do you think about that?"

"Well, it's no worse than stripping, really," JC reasoned.

"Except that I'll be stripping, then masturbating. On camera. For anyone with internet access and a credit card to see," Justin pointed out.

"Look at your abs," JC said, caressing them. "You're so fucking hot I could barf."

"Wow," Justin grinned. "You're sexy and observant. Definitely a keeper."

"I bet you say that to all your boys," JC quipped, and mentally tallied his Cool Points.


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