“Okay, speak to you in a minute.”
Shoulders back; head high. Walk with confidence. Take your time, scope the place out; locate the lifts as quickly as possible. Smile at the night staff behind the big black slab of a desk, but not for too long or you’ll stick out in his mind. Even as you’re smiling your eyes stray from the man’s podgy face, just like his have strayed from yours.
Lifts – a gift to the whore and the vain. Check your reflection, make some last-minute tweaks – face is bright red, nothing you can do about that, straighten out your clothes, make sure your boner isn’t sticking out, fiddle with your hair – ding! – you’re here. Plush grey carpet underfoot, soft enough to sleep on. Stalk down the hallway like a cat to room 703.
It’s always a rush, meeting a client for the first time. Even though we’d exchanged numerous emails and texts – well, you never can tell, can you? He could be hideous; he could be drop-dead beautiful. Or he could be a deranged serial killer.
This could be the time I meet my maker.
Three short knocks. My cheeks and cock throb with the pounding of my heart.
The door opens.
His hair is short and silver, bald at the crown and dark grey at the base of the skull and beneath his large ears; glass green eyes, pale skin. Late fifties or early sixties – he obviously looks after himself. Expensive pale grey suit, scarlet tie, silver tiepin. The tie should look ridiculous, but somehow he makes it look classy. His teeth are perfect, obviously fake – no one has teeth that white in real life.
No it’s the pope. Smile. “Yes. John?”
“Yes. Please, come in.”
The room is expansive, expensive. The 32-inch tv is playing a quiz show, volume low.
“Can I get you a drink?”
Never accept a drink, unless you get it yourself and you know it’s not been tampered with. You never know what someone could have put in it.
“No, not for me, thanks.”
Fawn coloured curtains are open just enough to see floor-to-ceiling windows, wooden slatted balcony beyond and metal and glass railing. The bed is queen, white, soft. Sleep here, it says. Not much bloody chance of that.
“Please, have a seat.” John motions to the small circular table and two chairs set up near the window. The talkers normally book for more than an hour.
Quick smile, “do you mind if I use the bathroom first?”
Always check the bathroom, have a feel for the place –be aware of your surroundings at all times!
The bathroom is as luxurious as the rest of the place. Grey tiles, square sink, dark wood paneling and shelves. I flush the chain and splash cold water on my cheeks in vain effort to cool them down. Come back out.
“Yes.” Another brilliant smile. Someone once told me that my smile was my best asset, that it was ‘disarming’ and that I could probably charm my way into – and out of – any situation with my smile alone. Of course he was trying to get at my cock, so he probably would have said anything.
I take off my grey jumper, smiling at myself and at the memory. I match the bathroom. “I’m just going to call my buddy, let them know I’m here okay.”
John nods. “Of course.”
“Hi, it’s only me, just got here and everything’s fine… yup… yeah. Okay. Speak to you in a bit.” Another smile. “Sorry about that.”
“No, absolutely. I’m glad to see you’re taking your safety so seriously.” Odd thing to say. “Shall we?” He motions to the table and chairs; again, odd. They normally go straight for the bed.
“Sure.” I move around him and around the bed and take the seat next to the wall, rather than the one next to the window. In this profession it pays to be paranoid.
“Shall we get the formalities out the way?”
“Oh, of course.” He reaches into his breast pocket and produces a thick white envelope. Too thick.
“Uh, I think you may have…” Open the envelope. Thick wad of pink-red notes look back. “I think you’ve overpaid me.” Blood pounds hard, thrilling across my scalp and making the money jump in time with the throb of my veins. On the one hand, ohmygodlookhowmuchmoneythereisinthisenvelope, on the other, he probably wants something weird, unpleasant and quite possibly dangerous.
“I’m sorry, I can’t-”
“No no, that’s yours.” John holds up a hand, warding off the return of the money. “And I can assure you, I don’t want anything kinky, and you won’t be harmed. At least not tonight, not by me.”
“Okay… so what’s this for?”
The silver-haired man produces an A4 manila envelope from a black briefcase at his feet, from which he withdraws a large glossy photograph. “You know this man,” he says, tapping the aged face of the man in the photo with one blunt finger. It’s a statement. My scalp prickles again and my mind starts running in a blind panic, so fast I barely know what I’m thinking.
“I’m sorry, I’m not-”
“Don’t worry, that wasn’t a question.” He draws another photo, this one taken from afar. There’s me, naked, on all fours, with the man from the previous photo fucking me from behind. The photographer had caught me looking up almost directly at the camera.
My blood, my whole body, feels like that moment you stick your hand in the bath and for a second it’s freezing and then the pain receptors kick in and it’s actually melting your arm off.
“What do you want?”
“I mean you no harm, Matthew.”
“What did you call me?”
“Your name. Your real name, Mr Robinson.” The man with silver hair leans back and steeples his fingers over his stomach. “He’s a regular client of yours, yes?” Without waiting for an answer he continues. “I want you to kill him.”
John hands me a bottle of water, unopened. The seal cracks and I gulp.
“My son had one too many, you know how it is. This man… took advantage of his vulnerable state, took him back to his apartment, fed him even more alcohol and then raped him. My son doesn’t like men, Mr Robinson, not when it comes to sex, anyway, and he certainly does not like your client. I want this man dead.”
“You want him-”
“Dead. I’ve been forbidden to use the company in this. I’m too close, apparently. Which is why I need you. It has to look like an accident. You will, of course, have to deal with the police, but you should have no problem with that. I’ll have someone inside, so I’ll be keeping an eye on the situation. If it starts to get out of hand I’ll get you out of there.”
“From what I’ve observed you’re a fine actor. You should consider it as a career.”
“Please, I need a minute-”
“SHUT UP!” Harsh sigh. “Sorry. I just… I need a minute to digest.” I hold up a finger as the silver-haired man began to talk. “Please. Just, shh.” Heave a breath. “Can I think about it?”
A nod. “You have three days.”
“Yeah… Yeah… You like that? You want it, don’t you?”
Uh, sorry? I’ve already fucking got it! “Mmmyeah.”
I’m laid on my stomach, the right side of my face buried in a mountaintop of soft white quilt. Why are hotel sheets always white? Unless of course they’re made of the same material as the curtains, but that’s really generally the 2-star hotels.
He rolls the condom on, dots the tiniest bit of lube on the tip of his knob – “Uh, aren’t you going to use any more?” – and then pokes and prods at my arse like it’s play dough putty and he a two year old child. Men, take heed; remember that the area you’re battering at is a sensitive area, and your fingers and mouth have sharp pointy bits. Plenty of lube and smooth motions; do not ram your finger up there and pull it out again like a ham-fisted Neanderthal. Don’t then jam it back in and wiggle it about. This is in no way erotic or pleasurable. Stop. A finger is completely different to a cock or a tongue.
After about seven minutes of vigorous doggy-style rutting – arch the back, claw the sheets, moan “yes” a few times, all the while taking mental stock of what’s in the cupboards at home, trying to concoct a meal, ultimately deciding that I can’t and will have to go to Tesco’s – I’m pushed, rather rudely, facedown onto the bed, where he clambers atop me once more and continues to thrust. At this point it’s just sore; I’d lost my erection a while ago and now that he was bucking on my back I was hot and a little more than irritable. The sound of men fucking coming from the porn on the laptop on the table somehow only makes it worse.
“You don’t have to be anywhere, do you?” He breathes into my ear between grunts. Oh, Christ, saywhatnow?
“What do you mean?” Just fucking come and be done with it.
“I could fuck you all night.”
Fuck! Fuck that!
A laugh, a smile. “Hang on a sec, need the bathroom.” Scamper out from under him. Run the tap. Clean up a bit. Run the tap some more. God I hate the smell of condoms. Eventually flush the chain. Damnit, I have to go back in, don’t I?
“Bit sore, actually.” Should have fucking listened to me about the lube you stingy cunt.
“Oh, sorry. C’mere.”
He’s half laid back on the bed, still stroking his cock. It’s a nice cock, I’ll give him that, but it’s as if he thinks he is just a cock. He doesn’t know what to do with it, or what to do with the rest of his body for that matter. He still smells of rubber and sweat.
I crawl back onto the bed, between his legs, stroking, and purr, “I’m close, are you?”
“No, I take a while. Where you wanna shoot?”
A laugh. “Where do you want me to shoot?”
I do. We clean up. The smell of my sweat kinda reminds me of the smell of cum, though they don’t really smell the same. I like it.
We laugh. I try not to bare my teeth too much.
“Next time, use a bit more lube.” I smile. I decide against the lesson in arse play, I just wanna get out of here now. I came here to get out of my head for a bit, not to be trapped in my own mind.
He wants to cuddle me after. One minute he’s biting the back of my neck and slapping my arse, the next he’s kissing my nose and wants to canoodle. Fuckin’ weird.
I’m getting dressed but he keeps pouncing on me, pawing at me, kissing me. I’m finally fully clothed – even though I’m burning up in my jumper – and a last quick kiss and then I’m gone.
There’s this sense of two worlds colliding. He wasn’t a client, but I leave feeling I should have charged.
Colin, the client, the mark, was one of the good ones, or so I’d thought. He wasn’t weird or awkward like some of them. He was… nice.
We met every few weeks, I’d make us a hot drink – tea for him, milk and one sugar, coffee for me – we’d have a chat and then we’d get down to it. He liked to watch porn, have his nipples played with, sometimes he wanted to be spanked or caned, and sometimes he wanted me to rim him – something I refused to do for anyone else, but he was a regular and he paid well and was always impeccably clean. We normally finished early – he was quick to come. He was an arse man, like me. Liked seeing guy’s arses, in jeans, usually, or in jogging bottoms. Luckily, I have a cracking arse.
I keep looking at the pictures. John had given me a memory stick with the details in it, pictures and reports, although he’d warned me that he hadn’t gone to the police yet and neither should I. The company may not want me to use their resources for this, but I’m very rich, Mr Robinson. I’ve hired someone to watch you for the next 72 hours. He’d written a report of what his son had told him – nineteen days after the incident – and had surreptitiously got people to speak to witnesses who saw the boy leave with Colin. No one actually witnessed the assault itself.
Whatever company John worked for was international and very powerful.
I can’t get my head around the fact that Colin was a Bad Guy. I mean, I’ve met my share of predatory gays, but did they deserve to die?
“What if the boss wants to kiss you?”
“I d’nno, I mean-” You’re fat, for one thing, and you look like a thumb. And I’m gunna be sick.
“What if the boss wants to suck you?” Zipper’s undone. Cock still flaccid but that doesn’t stop him.
“No, you shouldn’t, I mean I don’t wan-”
Biology works its magic.
“The boss says yes. It’s okay. What if the boss wants to fuck you?”
I’d been drunk. Fucked, actually. To sober up a bit I’d decided to walk over to the 24-hour Tesco at the other side of town to buy some fags, telling Sarah and Steph that I’d meet them after. On my way there I bumped into a load of people from the bar I was working at.
“Come back for a lock-in with us.”
“I’ll get your drink, what’re you having?”
“JD and coke. Whoa, that’s strong.”
“It’s on the boss! Enjoy it!”
“I’ve got to go to Tesco, I need fags.”
“Go out the back way. I’ll take you.”
Luckily someone had come out the back and interrupted him. For some stupid reason I couldn’t move, couldn’t extricate myself from the situation until that moment.
“Oh, sorry. Way-hey!”
I tucked my cock away and ran all the way to Tesco’s. I curled up into a ball against the ticket machine in the car park, called Steph and cried at her for about ten minutes.
That was the last night I got drunk. And the last time I saw Alan.
I’d not told anyone about that, I mean besides Steph and Sarah. Except for my dad, oddly enough. Work had called the house and asked why I wasn’t in. I could have lied; indeed I did lie at first. I don’t know what made me tell him the truth. Normally I’d go to mum with personal stuff, but neither of us told her. Would dad have hired someone to kill Alan? Probably, if he could’ve got away with it. Christ.
I scoured the files on the stick. Apparently the company dealt in assassins. Interesting. We both used our bodies for our work, but they charged a fucktonne more than I did.
I got up. Went to the gym, went for a jog. Ran. Ran faster. Sprinted. Sweating, gasping, I went and showered, then got out a notepad.
1) Stop one bastard from attacking anyone else.
Only ONE bastard, though.
2) Money. LOTS of money.
Would never have to work again.
1) You’d be taking a life… surely if there was a
heaven, you’d be denied entrance. Though you
probably wouldn’t be allowed in anyway. And
would the world really miss someone like that?
2) Could you do it? Could you actually kill
The notepad was suddenly ripped from my hands, and the man who took it had me pinned by the neck to the lockers behind me before I’d even registered that the notepad was no longer in my possession.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” He hissed. “Anyone could’ve seen you.” He had dark hair shaved short, brown eyes and a red face. He let me go, looking around. I slumped to the wooden bench. No one was in the changing rooms. I’m reminded of school, P.E., the changing rooms. He wants to look at your dicks, boys! Watch your arse!
“Make your lists somewhere else.” The unspoken ‘gayboy’. He throws the notepad into my lap. He’s wearing a white polo neck and black joggers, the staff uniform here. I’d assumed he was staff, but on closer inspection his clothes are slightly different and don’t have the small company insignia. “John doesn’t want anyone else to know about this, does he? So you’d better stop waving it about.”
“Right.” My voice is a harsh cough. My energy fizzles, drains out my feet, leaving me light-headed.
“Good. Get goin’.”
This time the meeting is in a different hotel, in a different part of the country, though not too far away to be a nuisance. I take the train to Bristol Temple Meads and a taxi to the Radisson Blu nearby. The room is the same as the others, slightly less opulent than the last one we met in but they’re all essentially the same.
“Why do you have that playing in the background?” I thrust my chin at the tv screen. Reign it in, Matt, nerves getting the better of you.
“In case someone is listening.”
“I didn’t think a tv would make much difference if the room was bugged.”
“It wouldn’t. It’s not bugs I’m worried about. I’m just being overly cautious.” He smiled, motioned me to take a seat again, though this time at a desk. “Have you thought about my proposition?”
“Let me ask you one question; what happens to me if I say no?”
A small smile. “Are you going to say no?”
I want to argue, but I can tell he’d dance with me and with his words until the world span and I was still none the wiser. “…No. On one condition.” A nod. “I want you to hire me. I want a place on the team, or whatever it is.”
“On the team?”
“I want you to train me. To be an assassin.”
He looks at me for a long time, green eyes narrowed, face unmoving. Eventually he says, “you understand what this means? You will almost certainly die young, violently.”
“I don’t care!” Without thinking my fist lashes out at the desk. Shaking, I lean back. “I don’t care.” I look up. “I won’t be a victim anymore.”
He stares at me. I’ve blown it. I shouldn’t have shouted, should have kept control, should have-
“Let’s see how this one goes.”
“So you’ll do it?”
“If I’d said no, would you have had me killed?”
He’s fucking me from behind, his heart is beating against my back, his breath comes in fast gasps and with one, two, three thrusts he comes, collapsing on my back. According to John’s instructions he should have died ages ago, why is he still breathing? I stay like that for a few minutes, supporting his weight, waiting to catch my breath until my arms start to tremble. His heart is beating against my back like a monkey trapped in a cage, shrieking for freedom; I know how it feels; my cage is made of the same flesh. Sweat drips onto the cotton next to my hand. His cock is growing soft inside me; I grip the base and slowly pull myself off, squirm out from under him and stumble off the bed. Graceful, that’s me. He topples to his side on the bed.
“You okay? I’ll get…”
His face is purple and red and white, like a knotted fist.
And he’s lying still, eyes open, bulging even.
And I realise.
It wasn’t his heart I could feel beating.