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The Same Deep Water As You

by Solo & Jo

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Chapter 2


Tuesday 02 September

He brought out the script after clearing the dishes off the table, and when he's gone over the dialogue for the soccer field scene twice, he checks the clock again. Could be soon now, he thinks, and starts skimming more randomly, stopping at scenes he's not going to be in, the stuff that's less familiar. They could turn this into an interesting movie, if they get their act together.

He's almost emptied his beer, but won't have another before his guest arrives. The blinds are drawn, shutting out curious gazes along with the darkness that has mercifully replaced the grey, and Kame is reading in soft lamplight. He's still warm from the shower under his clean white shirt, and slipping into the mood of the evening, bad schedules and set intrigue fading from his mind and out of tense muscles. Aside from the beer there's Chablis chilling in the fridge, which is what Tatsuya would have. He also checked that he's got a decent Rioja, and quality sake; it is a first appointment with somebody new.

Outside it's getting windy, and he gets up when the blinds start flapping in the breeze, to slide the wide glass front shut. The air seems fresh enough now anyway. He's throwing a glance at his hair in the reflection of the window when the doorbell rings.

Kame studies the security screen for a moment before he presses the speaker button. The style is familiar, the suit elegant but not so that it would raise suspicion. Despite the blueish blur of the CCTV, he recognizes the face he saw on the website. The man is taller; still not tall enough to be gawky, but the way he ducks his head against the wind, you'd think he's afraid of being blown away. Maybe he's worried about his hair.


"I'm from Kitagawa Financial Services. I have an appointment with Kamenashi-san."

"Go around the left side of the house," Kame says. "I'm on the first floor at the back. You'll see the stairs. Ring again at the door."

"Left, back, stairs, door," comes back through the intercom. "Understood."

So Kame buzzes him in.

He casts a quick final glance over the apartment. It's tidy enough as long as you ignore the open wall, and there's nothing to be done about that now.

The second ring comes sooner than he expected, but when he checks the security camera, everything is in order, and he opens the door.

He's seen the picture, so he doesn't stare, but the real thing is something else.

"Good evening," Kame says, taking in the wide shoulders, the perfect mouth, and eyes that make him flush a little when they meet his, because he must have been staring after all. He bows slightly. "I'm Kamenashi."

He steps back to allow him past the door, and after the answering bow, his guest follows him with a polite, "Good evening."

"Thank you for coming out here on such short notice," Kame says, knowing it's an empty phrase, but he always makes a point of being appreciative.

"Thank you for the invitation," the man replies, not so easily but predictably enough. He bows again. "I'm Jin."

"Please," Kame says, "get comfortable," and at that, Jin steps out of his shoes and up into the apartment. "Did you find it all right?" Kame asks and moves back inside, inviting Jin to follow, until they come to a stop at the first piece of furniture. Jin nods at him over the corner of the dining table.

"Eventually," he says. "I thought I was lost for a bit, but then a taxi driver told me I wasn't, after all." He shrugs and tries a brief smile, apparently waiting for an answer.

"I see," Kame says. It really isn't a common quarter for film stars, he reminds himself. Most people would be surprised.

The ringing of the phone interrupts them.

"Excuse me." The man nods readily. Kame gets his phone from where he left it on the coffee table, putting a few steps between him and his guest, and flips it open. "Kamenashi."

It's Toyoda, and the first thing she does is apologize, first for calling him in the evening and then about the photo shoot.

"Honestly, don't mention it," Kame says when she stops to breathe. He catches Jin's curious glance, fleeting enough that it's not rude, wishes briefly his apartment had a second room, and then is annoyed with himself. These escorts cost as much as they do precisely for reasons of privacy and discretion.

"I don't mind getting up early," he adds, feeling awkward trying to be reassuring while he keeps his eyes on his visitor's profile.

"I shouldn't have complained so much," she says. Jin is getting interested in Kame's interior design choices, but he's welcome to it, it's preferable to him watching Kame's phone call. Toyoda still sounds upset. "We all get tired. I'm sorry I made a fuss. You didn't have to do that."

"You weren't complaining," he tells her. "You always come into work on time, you know your lines…" He also thinks she's entitled to a little more consideration, but he's not sure how to put that. Maybe he could figure it out better if the escort wasn't examining the bare wiring, and the brickwork revealed where the workers had to strip away the wallpaper. He might be expecting grander environments from his customers.

Toyada bridges the silence with a heartfelt thank you. "I… just – I appreciate your support."

Kame makes himself ignore Jin, thinks of work. Thinks of intrigue and malicious scheduling. "Really, it's fine," he says in a low voice, friendly. "I'm looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. Get a good night's sleep."

She thanks him a second time, and apologizes for the interruption before she ends the call. Kame takes a moment to try to put it all out of his mind again and focus on what he'd planned for the evening, though wondering whether his living conditions passed inspection wasn't really part of that either.

He sets the phone to mute and puts it back on the coffee table. "Sorry about that," he says.

"No problem," Jin says easily, eyes lingering on the fine layer of brick dust on the backs of the dining chairs before meeting Kame's.

"I didn't expect to be here tonight, so the cleaner hasn't been in," Kame says, and then he wonders, impatiently, what he'll find to apologize for next.

Jin looks like it all make sense now. "So this place isn't where you live, it's just for— "

"—when I have to stay in town for work." It sounds sharp, he can't believe the escort would come out suggesting—

Maybe he's overreacting.

But the man could stand to be a bit more embarrassed at least. Instead he just nods, a little too slowly for Kame's taste, looks around again, says, "Of course."

And then there is silence again.

Fine. Something else then. After a moment Kame asks, "Would you like a drink?" That should not go wrong.

"A beer would be good, if you have that," Jin says. Kame gets another one for himself, too. Maybe it will help. Get them something like an actual conversation.

"Thanks," Jin says, and Kame nods.

"Ootomo-san recommended you," he offers, because perhaps Jin is just shy, perhaps he needs some reassurance, too, though why it should be up to him to make his escort feel at ease is a question he can't plausibly answer.

"Yeah," Jin says with a little shrug. "I'm new." Whether the apologetic note is intended, Kame can't tell. Jin adds an uncertain smile to the raised shoulders, as if that would make it look more charming, but if he's playing at flirting, he's doing it wrong.

"I haven't seen you at the club before," Kame tries again.

"I've been there for six weeks," Jin explains. "I guess we kept missing each other." And that's the end of that. Jin ducks his head again as if he's one of the club's cute little things barely Kame's height, not a man grown enough and tall enough to just look awkward and suddenly Kame is annoyed, because—

He isn't sure why. Nobody is forcing him to help out the guy who is clearly still acquiring elementary conversational skills. Maybe they should just get to the sex. But that… he doesn't do it like that.

"I guess," he says shortly.

He reminds himself that Jin probably isn't being deliberately difficult. He is a beginner. Ootomo warned him, after all. But gods, Kame was looking forward to a pleasant evening, not to teaching a paid escort the basics of intelligent discourse.

But clearly it's up to him. While he thinks about what to say next, he takes the time to clear the script off the table and put it in the bookcase along with the highlighter he was using.

"So… you're an actor," Jin says into the silence. Kame isn't entirely sure if it's a question or a statement. It's something, though, and by now Kame will take what he can get in terms of small talk.

"Yes," he says. Unfortunately, there's not that much more he can think of in support of Jin's brave efforts that isn't bragging. It doesn't happen often that people don't know who he is.

"Is it a good role?" Jin says, motioning at the shelf – and presumably the script – with his chin.

"I think so," Kame says truthfully. It doesn't stretch him as much as he'd like; he's played the passionate, idealistic type before and the more surprising material is Toyoda's, but here the idealism comes wrapped in a decent plot, and he finds the film's message moving.

But that's hardly something he can say to an escort – this escort.

"It's a positive role," is what he settles for, because they were doing so well on the talking front, "it fits the film, it's very hopeful." The man nods slowly, with a thoughtfulness that Kame doesn't find entirely appropriate. Maybe he said too much already.

"What sort of character is it?"

"A teacher."

"What kind of teacher?"

What is this, an interrogation? Kame reminds himself of taking what he can get and elaborates, "A literature teacher."

"Literature, huh?" Now he's being studied, and he wonders if the next question is going to be, 'what kind of literature'. No, probably not.

"I've seen you somewhere before, though," his guest finally says.

"I've been in a few things." He wonders if he should list them, to help Jin out, or whether that would be bragging too.

"I don't watch much TV," Jin says, and it sounds like an apology. "Or movies. Have you done any sports films? Soccer or something? Maybe… I mean, that would explain where I've seen you, maybe."

"Sports films?" He hasn't.

"Not, I guess," Jin says.

"No. Not."

Jin looks at him, perplexed. It's a pretty look on him. Maybe they should end the conversation part of the evening after all.

"Oh wait, that—" Jin stops.

Kame knows. "The campaign. That campaign I was in about sponsoring sports clubs for children."

Jin nods, a little reluctantly. There's something else in his expression now, something Kame can't place but he doesn't think he likes it much. "They play it during half-time. '… youth of Japan something… '"

He's an actor; the line's not hard and he's said it dozens of times. "Try harder for the youth of Japan." But it's always been a slightly stupid slogan, and it sounds worse than he recalls.

Jin's opinion of it appears low, too, or maybe it's his opinion of Kame, or, going by another one of those badly concealed measuring glances out over the room, he's still hung up on Kame's apparently sordid living arrangements.

Though what right he has to an opinion is debatable. He could try to keep it to himself better. The awkwardness was bad enough, but Kame finds his mood slipping further into irritation. He's not paying for this, and it's been a long day and he's already been patient.

He puts his beer down. "Maybe we should…" He doesn't need to finish the sentence; at least the guy they sent him gets that.

He, too, leaves his beer on the table. The spark of concentration that straightens his body might promise a little less difficulty here. "How do you want us to start?"

Kame is no longer entirely sure what he 'wants them to' at all.

But this is his night off, why should he bother about an escort's opinions and lack of finesse; he's primarily paying for sex and for that… for that Jin looks perfectly suitable even now, even while he's almost staring Kame down.

Kame gestures towards the couch. "Let's start over here."

Jin takes his jacket off and Kame is pleased to find that the shoulders are real, not an impression created by clever tailoring. They look good above Jin's narrow hips; they'll feel great under Kame's hands. Jin moves well, too, so well that Kame only starts to walk when Jin is waiting for him by the couch.

Maybe they can do at least this professionally, this once.

He sits down, almost comfortable, and Jin sits next to him, their legs touching. Jin turns towards him but doesn't lean in, holds back. "Do you like to kiss?" he asks courteously.

Kame nods, says, "Yes, that's fine," and Jin half-turns and reaches for him, a gentle touch on Kame's chest and his lips are full and lickable, and maybe this isn't going to be so bad; Kame answers the movement and when their lips touch it's soft, and nice, and he closes his eyes.

It's different from kissing Tatsuya, though he can't say how and it seems familiar, tender and a little bit hesitant, and it should be fine. Jin is appropriately shy about it, testing the waters, a flick of tongue against Kame's upper lip, licking gently when Kame gives.

Fingers in his hair now, stroking lightly past his ear, careful; it's distracting because he has to concentrate on the kiss he seems to know somehow, slow and tentative, the pressure that doesn't come back right when he opens his mouth. A hand on his chest, too, up to his neck, down again, feathery and aimless and he can't track the kiss with the way Jin is playing with him and petting him as if they're fumbling teenagers who are still figuring out what they want and they're not, and he doesn't need coaxing.

So he pushes, angles his head and sucks Jin's tongue into his mouth and that's at least something, something that's not floating and weird and it should be better, he thinks it should be better until Jin shifts, sits up taller and leans in, his hand sliding up to Kame's shoulder and the touch on his head becomes forceful, pulling him in and under and he turns his head away but Jin just moves to the side of his face and down to his neck, bungling touch just hot enough for Kame's skin to react with an unwelcome tingle.

He has to lean back to put a stop to it.

But Jin is looking at him, flushed and questioning, and the last thing he wants is more discussion, so he just shifts and moves back in, touching Jin's darkened mouth once with his fingers before cupping the side of his face. He's in charge of the kiss now and he turns it serious, deeper, pushing back Jin's tongue and taking possession, and that works, the way Jin is leaning into his touch works, would work even better if Jin weren't so much taller and if there wasn't– Jin's hand pushing at his shirt, two buttons undone and his hand moving inside, on his skin and Kame stops him, at once, because no, not yet, not like this.

Jin flinches and his eyes are wide, startled, going from Kame's face to his wrist caught in Kame's hand, and back.

Like this, Kame thinks out of nowhere.

And he's getting hard; finally. This may yet work.

He holds Jin's eyes and tugs at his wrist, spreading his legs at the same time, undoing button and zip on his trousers with the other hand. It doesn't get plainer than this. And if he holds on to Jin's wrist slightly longer, that's because they've had a few misunderstandings already, and he wants to make sure there isn't one now.

Jin gets it, though; gets on the floor, quite gracefully, and Jin kneeling in front of him is much, much better than Jin looking down on him. So good that he takes a moment just to appreciate the picture, the warm reality of that body close and waiting, and whatever else there is flickering at the back of his mind about Jin's eyes on him that he can't quite place becomes secondary.

So he nods, helps Jin deal with the underpants, and when Jin licks his lips, he suddenly has to take a deep breath. He's ready for this.

He continues to watch, enjoying himself at last, as Jin bows his head, long dark fringe covering his eyes, the tips brushing lightly against Kame's cock…

…and then that lick of warmth across the tip, full of promise, slick and sure, and behind the curtain of hair he catches glimpses of Jin's tongue moving over sensitized skin. He feels himself sink more heavily against the back of the couch, spreads his legs further… and Jin complies, goes down, down, mouth closing around him, tight warmth everywhere. Pulling off, coming back. Again. Again.

When Jin's hands reach for his hips, Kame bats them away. He doesn't want instructions, he just wants this, now. Jin gets the message – good – and gets back to the sucking. Kame keeps watching – the view seems to be the best thing about this assignation and he's not going to miss any of it, and he starts to brush Jin's hair out of his face, to see more of his downcast eyes under his high forehead but somehow the line of concentration there is distracting and he thinks better of it. Let Jin hide his eyes if he wants to.

The mouth around his cock is pleasurable enough, but somehow it's not going anywhere, the rhythm is slow maybe, or fast, or simply off. They can't even get a blow job right.

Jin must have heard his badly suppressed sigh of impatience and he stops, looks up, lips parted and red. But Kame doesn't want to talk, Kame has no answers either, so he pushes Jin's head down again, keeps his hand in the thick hair as heat closes in again around his cock, and maybe… he jerks his hips up; yes, this can work, this feels… feels good, here's a rhythm, they can do this harder, just a bit, and Jin shifts under his hand and it's good, and very good and good and better, and his hips buck and his hands tighten in Jin's hair, hold him down and thrust up, up again and this is wrong, he doesn't do this, he doesn't like it like this, he pulls his hands away.

He never does this with Tatsuya.

Jin stops briefly, but then he continues without looking up; Kame approves. He forgets other escorts, forgets working for this to work, just wants to let this happen. It continues, warm and wet… and not quite right. Just not right. He doesn't know what it is, but the speed is off, the rhythm is off, he hasn't had such an unprofessional blow job in years.

He doesn't know what to do about it. He thinks he can feel himself losing interest in a serious fashion…

…and apparently his escort can feel it, too, because he stops, pulls off and lifts his head and for a moment he looks like he's been there before or like he knows what Kame is thinking or something, like he's going to say—

"Is there anything else I should do?"

Not looking at him like that would be a start, Kame thinks, embarrassed and frustrated and he snaps, "Try harder?"

Because it's not him, he knows it's not him and what's he supposed to do with a whore who can't even give a blow job properly?

Jin's head goes down again, a breath like he's the one who should be impatient and then he catches "right, for the youth of Japan," just before Jin's mouth closes around him again, and what, who the hell does he think—

Kame draws in a shaky breath, hands in front of him where they caught those shoulders and the escort is staring up at him from a short distance back, sprawling from the shove. Kame stands, is half zipped up while the guy is still recovering and the first thing Kame does then is move away and get himself a glass of water because he'd rather not say anything or do anything while he's this furious.

When he turns again, the man has stood up but he's in the same place, standing very still, watching him. Watching him as though Kame were the one not sticking to his side of the deal here.

He finishes half of the glass – three careful gulps, three times he takes the glass down and there's that weird look waiting for him, assessing, almost accusing. This isn't what he had in mind, but if the guy thinks he can just wait him out, wait him out and then walk out as if he didn't come here with a job to do —

"Fine," he says, mouth dry despite the water, his hand still hot around the glass. "If you're having such trouble, I have a better idea."

He sees the man blink, sees him wonder, those eyes narrowing, not so bold now, and Kame adds quite calmly, "Bed's over there."

He puts down the glass. Watches the escort move at last, past the armchair to the foot of the bed, where he stops. Kame waits.

"Would you like me to get undressed first?" There's still attitude, right there in the formulaic politeness of the question.

"Go right ahead," Kame says, and leans back against the kitchen counter to watch the show.

The tie comes loose with a smooth gesture; it could be quite appealing if the man was at all trying, he's hot enough under the wary glances in Kame's direction and the painstaking way of undoing his cufflinks. Kame watches the fussing until the man has reached the last buttons on his shirt before he decides he's at the end of his patience.

Jin stops with his hands just below the collar when he notices Kame moving. He drops them slowly, uncertainly.

Kame stops just out of arm's reach, couch and armchair at his back. "Go on," he nods. "Take it off."

Jin does; stands there for a moment holding the shirt, not knowing what to do, then passes it to Kame's outstretched hand.

Kame turns to drape it conscientiously over the arm of the chair.

He has a real look then. Takes a slow step, takes a bit more time to take it all in. Those shoulders looking just as good naked; dark nipples an appealing contrast to pale smooth skin, and it feels warm under his palm; Jin only shivers a little.

He skims his hand up to Jin's neck, lazy enough to catch Jin's controlled intake of breath, sees him swallow, and when the backs of his fingers stroke along the smooth line of Jin's jaw with soft suggestion Jin hesitates, thinks, but then he tilts his head. Kame steps closer, he wants to now. Jin is warmer there in the curve of his neck, even against Kame's lips; first touch and Jin obediently bends his head back further, letting him, and when Kame presses some tongue against the hot skin there's a little gasp that goes straight to his cock.

But it's— not a bad angle, no, he shifts and gives it a bit of a suck and he can feel it echo in Jin's body— but he has to tip his head up and stretch just enough that he thinks he'd rather not. Well, he can change that; with his hand firm on Jin's neck and a nudge as he turns them both, some pressure on Jin's shoulder to remind him what his job is.

It takes no more than that to end up just like he wants them for now, with Jin sitting on the foot of the bed, looking up at him.

Straining a bit to do so, because Kame steps in close between Jin's legs. He pushes back the fringe from the dark eyes again, his thumb tracing a frown line that isn't there and it's not quite right either, but the hair still feels nice and thick under his fingers and nicer still when he tightens his grip, and there's a startled blink and a bit of resistance when Kame pulls his head back; that looks good on him, too.

Jin lowers his eyes, just a blink, and his lips part as if to say he's ready and that's not what Kame is going for but it's attractive anyway, and he leans forward, tumbles them over, catching them on one arm, Jin held between gravity and Kame's hand in his hair, and there's none of that odd feeling from earlier when he bends down and presses his mouth hard against Jin's.

Then Kame lets him down, has to catch his breath for a moment but so does Jin, who's staring up at him with wet lips and confused eyes.

Kame can help him out there. He lifts his chin meaningfully; Jin struggles a bit with Kame hovering over him but he scrambles back on the bed, and is looking quite fetching, hair a mess, stomach dipping with every nervous breath, when Kame climbs on top of him.

So. He likes this better anyway. He books rests because he likes the bed and fucking and contact, and he likes it when he leans forward and runs his hand from the faint line of hair on Jin's stomach all the way up to his face, stretching out over Jin and here's some friction for his cock and that mouth opening for his tongue and that's what he wants, right there.

Nothing weird now, just wet and soft sensation and when he's done there he puts his mouth to the neck again because that worked too. Sucks harder this time, some teeth, and there's a small twist from the body under him, just right, and Kame grinds his hips hard in answer. Yes.

He lets go of the hair and there's a delicious little shudder when he brushes his fingertips down the naked side, laying his palm flat on the warm stomach. It's easy, with his leg across Jin's thighs, rocking himself against a convenient hipbone, and this, this works well with the pretty skin under his hand and the nipples that tighten when he gives them a lick just to see. And the view is superb, the subtle sheen of sweat, and it's not just his own breathing he hears, coming hot and faster and good when— Jin's hand is brushing up, a vague pressure on the small of his back that he can do without.

He moves his own hand down, pushing that arm back with an uncomfortable twist and he's lost the flow for a moment, but a firm grip on Jin's hip does it, a little shove and he gets it back, and when he's ready he pushes down harder, picks up the pace.

He feels a hardness under his hip and restrained little movements against him and that's fine, that's how it should be, he pushes back sharply and faster and drags his thumb over one nipple, his mouth on hot skin, and he's got it now, knows where they're going, slides his hand down, dips his fingers past the waistband of Jin's trousers, so good when Jin sucks in a breath and lets him but then he wants it off, all of it, this is going to be good too, and he's got the belt unbuckled when there's a sliding sensation at his back and at his sides and a brush of cool air on his skin before he even realizes and that's not, that's not what he wants, and fuck

—and he's got enough of this, he swings his leg over on the other side and sits up, and catches those hands and then he stops, fixes the man underneath him with a glance because he needs him to get the message here, he doesn't need all this interference from—

He seems to get it.

The tension fades, and he doesn't resist when Kame takes both of his wrists in one hand and leans over him, pushing them above his head and into the pillow.

He doesn't like it much, but Kame does, and right now he likes the look that goes with not liking it, those brown eyes wide and wary, a guarded expression framed by soft dark hair.

Likes it a lot.

Enough that he's ready to move on to other things, and he presses down once on those hands, sharply, makes himself clear, before he eases up.

The hands stay in place. "Better," he says softly, and waits, and Jin keeps his wrists crossed and his mouth shut, and Kame nods.

He slowly moves down, a light brush of fingers over Jin's forehead and down his cheek, his neck, and Jin stiffens, none of the previous lovely compliance and Kame lingers, fingertips circling on tender skin, until he gives in at last.

Further down then, flat palms on collarbones and chest and Jin holds still, breathes – Kame checks – evenly, and then Kame's eyes fly up to Jin's hands because there was— no, he just flexed his fingers but it's enough, it's too much, Kame was clear and why should he have to worry about this, what more does he have to do to make the man follow simple directions?

He stares him down for long seconds, until nothing is moving at all, only the rise and fall of Jin's chest, and a nervous blink, once. "You're nice like this," he mentions.

Nice… and open and beautiful, and finally still, letting Kame focus; ready for what Kame wants and letting him have it, and Kame is ready too, and maybe—


Kame moves down, randomly touching – beautiful, good like this – and he settles on Jin's thighs. He pulls the belt through the loops of Jin's trousers easily, is pleased when Jin lifts up a little, helping. The belt still in his hand, he brushes the skin above the waistband, makes Jin shiver again, and yes, perfect like this, and he stretches upward and leans over Jin, who swallows hard and tries not to hold his breath when Kame presses one hand down on his wrists again. Kame feels the startled look run through him hot and sharp, and his voice goes rough. "Let's keep you like this."

He lifts Jin's wrists and he's got the belt right there, and Jin's eyes go wide with a flash of something that Kame doesn't mind at all but the next thing he feels is a blow against his shoulder and he's toppling, a sharp pain in his wrist as he catches the wall and his knees hit the ground.

The escort is half a room away, backed up against the dining table, staring at Kame where he landed in the gap between the wall and the bed.

First thing Kame does is get up. Next thing, he takes a breath to speak, but the man is quicker or in more of a hurry.

"I'm sorry," he says. "I don't do that."

What, Kame thinks, do what? They were going to have sex. That's his job, that's what this guy gets paid for, a lot, and it's also his job to be accommodating about it.

He's standing now, but there's no point going near the guy again. "Anything else you don't do?" he enquires, because he's curious. "Do you fuck?"

What was Ootomo thinking of? New, fine. But… incompetent?

"I'm sorry," the escort repeats doggedly, edging towards the chair, snatching off his shirt and backing away again. Kame lets him. "I think you should make an appointment with someone else."

Kame gives him a long, even look. "Do you."

The man drops his eyes, and he's managed to get his arms into his shirt and now he's trying, also incompetently, to button it up.

Kame walks around the bed and leans against the arm of the couch, watching the clumsy fumbling, which gets clumsier with every furtive look the escort sends him from under his thick eyelashes.

Not just that, the buttons are misaligned. Kame thinks he may be beginning to find this funny.

Only not.

"Watch those buttons," he says. "I can't have someone leave my place looking like they just failed to have sex."

The escort – escort! – freezes, glances down his front, then starts undoing the buttons again tortuously. Kame wanders to the bar, giving him a wide berth, and has a drink.

Finally, everything is in order, and that means the man has to look up from his fiddling and at Kame again. By then, Kame doesn't even care about the trapped, defiant look any more. He just wants his own space back.

"Goodbye," he says, opening the door and standing back from it because gods, we don't want to frighten the paid escort.

The man takes a deep breath and walks past him very straight, very tense, and then he's gone at last.

Kame throws out the barely touched beer; then he sits down to finish his own, willing his heart to slow down. Damn. He's going to get up at four in the morning and he's more on edge now than he was before this guy showed up all opinionated and weird, and it's not like he will walk out on his job because he doesn't get to pick just how to do it.

He fingers the beer bottle, feels a faint ache in his wrist. He's restless, his skin all prickly and wrong, and maybe he should go for a run; but looking out, he sees the rain has started again. He opens the windows again anyway, cool air in his face; but still he feels a flush every time he thinks of that look on— this guy and this is ridiculous.

He'll have to call the club tomorrow. He's not paying for this.


Chapter 3


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