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CABIN COMMOTION


BY BRINA BRADY



M/M/ Gay Winter Romance



Copyright Text by Brina Brady © 2018 All rights reserved.

Cover Art by Brina Brady at Brina’s Bargains

https://www.brinasbargains.com/

Editor: Michelle Simm

Disclaimer: Any person depicted on the cover is a model used for illustrative purposes only.

WARNING:

This is a Gay adult consensual story between two men.


DEDICATION

Thank you to all my awesome Beta Readers.

Cj Lewis, Debby Demedicis Elliott, Diane Dannerfeldt,

Debra Bloomberg, Elizabeth Levander, Lily Drew, and Rebecca Stein


CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

CHAPTER THIRTY

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Connect With Brina Brady

OTHER BOOKS


CHAPTER ONE

Marcus

The tears burst forth like a rainstorm, spilling down Marcus’s face while he scrubbed the old man’s scent from his body in the steamy shower. He pressed his head against the tiled wall, unable to stop trembling. Why couldn’t he stop crying? The muffled sobs wracked against his chest. His life turned into a blur, and so did all his pain. He wasn’t new to this line of work by any means. During his four years as an escort, there were good and bad men. Some hurt him and others made him fly into ecstasy.

Marcus wanted out of the escort business and he had no idea how he could make that happen without paying a high price. After he rinsed his face with cold water, he squirted eye drops into his red swollen eyes, toweled himself dry, and changed into another suit in his room above The Manor where affluent gay men could seek out the best in adult entertainment in Los Angeles. The gentleman’s club promised to make fantasies come true; from surfers, jocks, to muscle men inked to the max. Marcus was versatile and could act out any role needed.

Marcus took the elevator down to the pick-up bar area and waited for Arturo at the bar. He ordered a Coke and watched two men requesting an escort. Most clients made advanced reservations, but for those escorts who didn’t book up, they would take the walk-ins. He noticed a gray-haired man in his sixties sitting at the table beside the bar. He was as round as a globe, taking up half the padded bench. He flipped through the thick colorful boy-toy menu; each sex worker had his own page wearing various outfits to seduce future clients. On Marcus’s page, the photographs displayed him wearing all leather, a cowboy outfit, a school boy’s uniform, and nude shots of his front and rear. There was always a long waiting list for Marcus and many repeat clients, so he never had any free slots for walk-ins. The man anchored his attention toward Marcus, then lowered his gaze at the menu opened midway where Marcus’s page was located. No doubt he was studying Marcus’s page with him. He felt like the man could see through his suit. The old man rushed to his feet, and sauntered over to Marcus. Please go away.

“Are you available now?” the man asked. His breath smelled of deep fried food marinated in an unknown bitter seasoning.

“No, Sir. I’m done for the night. If you want me, you’ll have to talk to Lese.” Marcus pointed to the Samoan security guard at the back table. The scary man scheduled the escorts and clients. Most of the escorts never argued with Lese or the other security guards. Marcus wasn’t one to talk shit about anyone, but Lese was toxic. The guy abused men, had a deep-seated anger and hatred toward most rich white males as well as defiant escorts. Marcus avoided him as much as he could and never argued about his schedule. Kalepo hired armed Samoan men to punish his employees for any infractions. They also served as security guards in the Manor for out of control clients.

Marcus had witnessed Lese beat down a few of the escorts in the backroom for refusing a client or complaining about their schedule. The beaten escorts were carried to their rooms covered in blood and bruises, and placed under lock and key until they had recovered enough to work.

Individual efficiency apartments for each escort were available on the premise to serve their clients or they could entertain them elsewhere. Some of the boys lived in their rooms, but Marcus had worked hard and saved enough over the four years that he was able to afford his own apartment away from the club, his own sanctuary without any of his clients invading his apartment.

“Too bad for you.” The man spat out through gritted teeth.

Marcus watched the man walk over to the back table. Lese shook his head, meaning he wasn’t going to assign him the man tonight, which was a relief.

Arturo Garcia, another escort, sat on the stool beside Marcus and ordered a beer.

“How did it go tonight?” Arturo asked Marcus.

“The last guy was a bastard. He was into BDSM. The bad kind.” Marcus handed Arturo an envelope with Kalepo’s share of the money for the evening.

“Who was he?” Arturo slipped the envelope inside his suit jacket.

“He said his name was Master Joe. He hurt me.”

“You know the damn rule. If you don’t like the scene for any reason, leave.”

“I know the rule.” Marcus liked and trusted Arturo, but sometimes, he spoke like a walking and talking robot programmed by their boss. Arturo was the only escort who had worked at the agency longer than Marcus. Kalepo trusted him to collect the boss’s share from all the escorts.

“Why didn’t you leave?” Arturo asked, digging his fingers into the peanut bowl that the bartender placed in front of them.

“I didn’t want to be interrogated by Kalepo. You know how that goes. You end up having the boss fuck you for hours and God knows whatever else he wants.”

“You knew what was required when you signed on. I warned you what it was like and Kalepo made that clear when you accepted the job that your ass belongs to him when he wants it. Right?” Arturo removed the shells from his peanuts.

“I’m not blaming you. Look, I was seventeen then and Kalepo found me living on the streets. He offered me a place to sleep and food for a year before he taught me how to be an escort. I felt like I owed him, but I had no idea what I was getting into.”

“Well, you’ve been working here for four years so you know what is expected. No use in complaining now.”

“Do you honestly think I went to school to continue being an escort? I graduated and now I want to work in the area that I studied. I’m done here.” A harsh tone wedged between his words and he hadn’t meant to take it out on Arturo. It wasn’t his fault.

“I know you want out, but I doubt Kalepo will let you go. Maybe you shouldn’t have been such a star fuck, Mr. Popularity.” Arturo winked at Marcus.

“What are you talking about? I’m not a star fuck.” Marcus held his gaze for a moment before looking away.

“Only five other escorts have as long a waiting list like you do. I’d say that is a star fuck around here.”

“I do what I’m told to do so I don’t get into trouble.” Marcus removed the peanut shells and ate a few peanuts.

“Kalepo talks about you to everyone.”

“What does he say about me?”

“He tells them they should be more like you. You do know he’s on the hunt for a new live-in boy toy? Word has it that you are one of his top contenders for the job. But you must know that already since he fucks you more than once a month.”

“I hope he doesn’t pick me. I have other plans for my life.”

“Sure you do. I doubt you’ll be leaving here anytime soon.”

“Don’t spit on my dreams,” Marcus shouted.

“Remember when you used to crush on Kalepo? He didn’t give you the time of day. So now you finally have your chance with him.”

“I don’t want him anymore, not now that I know how he treats people.”

When Marcus inhaled the familiar woodsy cigar smoke from the one and only, Kalepo, he turned around and sat up straighter on his stool. Kalepo reminded Marcus of a wild tiger ready to devour his prey. The man appeared, in all his grandeur, wearing a tailored black suit with a charming red tie. His chiseled jaw lifted with a proud, pleasant smile when his eyes met Marcus’s. His public demeanor was seductive, intelligent, and powerful. In private the man was demanding, cruel, and selfish with his employees. His voice was that of any rich man, honeyed and proud. Every word he had spoken sounded like poetry but Marcus felt no passion for the man. The tall man had eyes the color of coffee and his wild dark hair hung down his back. He had the kind of face that stopped you in your tracks. Marcus always thought he was hot looking for a man in his late thirties, but he didn’t trust him or his men. By anyone’s measure, the man was handsome in an alpha kind of way. Marcus feared him with good cause. He had heard too many horror stories from some of the escorts who had run-ins with Kalepo, and Marcus had been here long enough to know two escorts had disappeared for good.

“Good Evening, Sir.” Marcus swallowed a mouthful of Coke and set his glass down. He knew what Kalepo’s visit meant and he wasn’t all too happy about it. Marcus held his head up and smiled, radiating confidence, no matter what he felt inside. He had other plans for the evening that involved soaking in a hot tub with a drink and listening to music from his iPad.

“My limo is out front waiting for you,” Kalepo said to Marcus.

Kalepo used his size and physique to intimidate everyone. Typically, he wore all black, mostly suits, but tonight the bright red tie signaled something special, but Marcus couldn’t figure out what that might be and he hoped it didn’t include him.

“Thank you, Sir.” Marcus removed the disappointment from his voice and mustered a tad of excitement to play the part for his boss. Marcus slid off his stool and stood before Kalepo.

Kalepo ran his hand down Marcus’s zipper and squeezed his balls. “I own you.”

Marcus nodded as he took a deep breath when he passed his boss, and made his way to Kalepo’s limo. His legs turned to rubber as he left the club. Many of the other escorts would’ve killed to be Kalepo’s live-in escort because their boss went overboard with lavish gifts, trips around the world, and all the rent boys had to show respect to Kalepo’s escort. The object of Kalepo’s affection was treated like a royal prince. The last live-in disappeared, never to be heard from again. Kalepo remained alone for one year. Some believed he was grieving and others said he found his whores elsewhere. No one really knew, but the last month, he took The Manor escorts home, one at a time.

The driver opened the door for Marcus as if he were royalty. He sat in the assigned seat and waited nervously for Kalepo.


CHAPTER TWO

Marcus

As Marcus leaned his head against the tinted window, he wished he were somewhere else, any place other than here. He was too sore to endure Kalepo’s large punishing cock all night. He didn’t mind being with Kalepo on a slow night, but tonight he was too tired. Even though, he wanted to leave the limo, Marcus knew he couldn’t. Kalepo paid the driver to keep watch on his chosen rent boy for the night. If Marcus attempted to run, the armed limo driver would run after him, then he would have to deal with an angry Kalepo.

When Kalepo entered the limo, he slammed shut the partition window between the driver and the passenger compartment. His rich scent mingled with the cigar smoke and whiskey. Marcus searched for any sign indicating Kalepo’s current mood. The man might be bipolar for all he knew by his wild and unpredictable behavior at times. When Kalepo was good, he was very good, but when he wasn’t in a good mood, things turned dark and scary.

“How was your evening?” Kalepo shoved his long hair behind his back and poured them both a glass of red wine.

“I entertained four clients tonight and gave Arturo your share, Sir.” Marcus sipped his wine.

Kalepo nodded while raising his eyebrows with amusement at Marcus’s response. “From here on out, you’ll service me and maybe my friends if I can part with you.”

“Yes, Sir.” Marcus’s stomach twisted in knots as if Kalepo had punched him in the gut. The peanuts he ate sat at the end of his throat. Kalepo wanted to keep him. The other escorts told him they thought he would select Marcus. He didn’t believe them nor did he ever imagine Kalepo wanting him to belong to him, like a dog. No, this couldn’t be happening. Why now? He had stayed with him for one year in his home until he turned eighteen and after that he had been working for the man for four years. His boss had never shown a great deal of interest in Marcus until he graduated college.

Arturo told him that when Marcus finally grew a beard, his sex appeal jumped a few notches. If that were the case, he should have shaved it off. Though he liked it because it made him appear intelligent and that was the look he was going for after he had finished his Master’s Degree in Computer Science and Web Design. Though he was twenty-two years old, he tried to stamp out his twink look so he could be taken seriously and eventually find a better job.

“Your blue shirt and tie look great on you. The suit is a perfect fit. I like your style.”

“Thanks. I used the tailor you told me to use.”

“Don’t think that your graduation in Computer Science has gone unnoticed. I know you probably want to better yourself. So, I have a proposition for you. I need an intelligent man at my side, who I want to fuck too. I’m offering you the opportunity to become my live-in escort and my personal business assistant for a one year trial. You’ll be paid ten thousand a month to begin with. Remember, you need to meet all my sexual needs at any time of day or night. Will you sign a contract for one year to be my personal escort and business assistant?” Kalepo pulled out his gun and rested it on his lap. He massaged the gun as he waited for Marcus’s response. Marcus knew that Kalepo resting his gun in his lap was a threat of what could happen if he didn’t agree.

“It would be a pleasure and honor to serve you, Sir.” Marcus couldn’t stop eyeing the pistol. Kalepo wouldn’t take no from any rent boy. Chills ran down his spine. The man had trapped Marcus right where he wanted him without any honest way out.

Kalepo kissed Marcus on his lips, leaving an imprint. “You’re beautiful.”

“Thank you, Sir.” Marcus knew that was Kalepo’s way of marking him as his property. The man never kissed Marcus or any of the other escorts and now he kissed him. Marcus refused to kiss any of his clients because he reserved kissing for the one he loved and so far, that man hadn’t entered his life. Kalepo had invaded one of Marcus’s sacred boundaries.

“Call me Kalepo. You’ll live with me and do as I say. You won’t be working The Manor anymore. I moved your personal things out of your apartment and ended your apartment lease.”

“Thank you, Kalepo.” Marcus wiped the sweat from his forehead.

“We’ll sign our written contract tomorrow night at dinner on my yacht.”

Even though Marcus knew Kalepo never asked, just ordered, he was still shocked that Kalepo had moved his belongings without permission. Of course, Marcus couldn’t stay with Kalepo for one year. As soon as Marcus had a chance, he’d leave. He worked too hard in college to be owned by a pimp. Just like the way he had made his own way in the world, with help from Kalepo after his Uncle Ben had kicked him out of the only home he had known, he would start over again. This time he didn’t need any help from Kalepo or anyone since he had a college diploma and money in the bank. He could begin a new life anywhere away from Kalepo.

Kalepo unzipped his slacks, and pulled out his cock. “Take care of this.”

Marcus dropped to his knees between Kalepo’s legs. The man took care of his body; always clean and fresh. As soon as Kalepo’s hands were free from his wine glass and his cock hardened, he took control. His erection was thick and long enough that it stretched Marcus’s mouth open. He tended to be rough when he first entered Marcus’s mouth, but he managed to take it though. When Kalepo plowed deeper into his throat, Marcus accepted all of him. Marcus didn’t mind giving his boss blowjobs because he showed his appreciation afterwards with his praises and money. Tonight, he didn’t care about any of that. He wanted his freedom.

“Take it. Take it all.” Kalepo shouted, pulling Marcus’s hair.

Once Kalepo pushed all of his erection down Marcus’s throat, his boss banged his cock in and out, hard and fast. Marcus’s throat was going to be sore like his ass soon enough. Marcus usually got off on giving a man pleasure, but not tonight. Kalepo continued hammering into Marcus’s throat until he felt that momentary pause before cumming, where it swelled up more, and then spurted his cum, filling every part of his throat. Kalepo held the sides of Marcus’s face until he emptied all he had. Marcus felt like he was drowning, then finally Kalepo removed his cock, and he could breathe again.

“Lick me clean,” Kalepo ordered.

Marcus caught his breath, then sucked Kalepo’s cock clean.

“I love your pretty mouth,” Kalepo said, and kissed the top of his head. “I’m going to take really good care of you when we get home.” He helped Marcus to his seat, then refilled his wine glass.

Marcus nodded, knowing Kalepo liked to get him off when they had sex. The other boys complained that Kalepo didn’t always get them off. Marcus kept his mouth shut about what went on with his boss.

“You’re going to make lots of money for me and not with your sweet white ass.”

“Anything you want, I’ll do it for you.” Marcus didn’t believe a word that Kalepo said. He was great at promising the world if you obeyed him to the letter. Kalepo used people and when he no longer needed them, he disposed of them one way or another. That was the only truth Marcus could count on.

“I want you to set up a website for the escort service. I’m planning to expand the agency and hire more boys. You’ll train them to be good escorts like you are.”

“I can do that for you and do it well.” Marcus wanted to use his education, but not for Kalepo’s benefit. He didn’t want his boss fucking him, when there was no love between them and never would be.

“I know you will. That’s why I selected you out of forty escorts. I want you to be my escort trainer.”

Marcus allowed the burgundy wine to cleanse his mouth and throat. Was this going to be his new life, his ass and mouth on call twenty-four hours a day seven days a week? Currently, he worked four hours per night four days a week. He earned enough money that he had been able to pay for his college, his living expenses, plus he saved tons of money for his future. Even though Kalepo was offering him more than being his personal escort, Marcus didn’t trust him. At some point, Marcus wanted a real relationship, someone who loved him and someone he could love. Kalepo didn’t love him. His boss wanted to use him and no matter how much money he paid Marcus, it wasn’t worth giving up his freedom. He wanted out of the contract before he had even signed any papers.

“I have great plans for you.”

“Do you care to share those plans with me?” Marcus needed to know what to expect.

“Tonight, we’ll discuss what I have in mind for you. It’s all good. You’ve been a faithful worker for years. You are more than just a whore to me.”

When Kalepo’s phone rang, he spoke to someone and hung up abruptly. After he put his phone inside of his suit jacket, he shot Marcus a wicked glance. “You’ll wait naked in your room for me. I have business to attend to.”

Marcus breathed a sigh of relief that he could rest first and think about how he was going to get out of the current predicament with his boss.

Kalepo made another phone call; shouting threats to whoever he was speaking to, and ignoring Marcus. When the limo stopped in front of the large house, the driver opened the door onto the circular brick driveway. Kalepo planted a kiss on Marcus’s lips, then he shoved him out of the limo with an envelope.

“That’s your sign-on bonus.”

Marcus stepped away from the black car, admiring the familiar large mansion that was set back beyond the sidewalk, towering over him as if the home attempted to swallow him. The tall, white fencing kept the house enclosed; neatly trimmed hedges and colorful flowers surrounded it. The roof was peaked, slanting down at an angle. The windows were sealed with blinds drawn closed, preventing anyone from looking inside. The front of the mansion had a water feature with water cascading over stones. The sound of the water acted as a sound buffer from inside of the home. The front door could accommodate a family of giraffes.

Two uniformed Samoan men ushered Marcus into the home. The polished wood floors always fascinated Marcus because he could see his reflection on the floor. The two men led him up the curvy stairwell to the second floor. Famous paintings decorated the white walls. Kalepo was an avid art collector and painted in private. The two men directed Marcus to his room down the long hallway. Kalepo usually had Marcus taken to his bedroom when he was ready to use him. He had been here many times so he knew what was coming. There was a Welcome Marcus banner taped to the mirror on the dresser. Kalepo had known he would agree because Marcus had no other choice unless he had a death wish.

“Do you want something to eat?” the top guard asked.

“No, thank you,” Marcus said.

The other guard left Marcus alone with the top guard and he wondered if he had to service him as well, now that he lived here. He wasn’t going to do anything unless he heard it directly from Kalepo.

“Ring me up if you need something. Master Kalepo wants your needs met.”

“I’m fine. I’m going to relax until he returns.”

Marcus opened the envelope and counted ten thousand dollars. He put all the money into his wallet. His stomach ached as if butterflies were taking over. He stood by the window, drew the blinds open and inspected the edge of the lighted fence bordering the dense woods. He was torn by his desire to run away from Kalepo and his obligation to his boss. Marcus owed him his life, but didn’t mean he had to give up his life, as well as, all his dreams and his freedom. Guilt pestered him when he thought about running.


CHAPTER THREE

Blaze

Blaze Bossio swaggered into Fritz’s gay bar as if he owned it as he scrutinized the young men who had partnered up already. He swore he wouldn’t repeat a rent-a-fuck or a pick-up since his last lover left him a year ago because Blaze had refused to sever his ties from his father. His former lover was a criminal attorney and didn’t want Blaze to associate with criminal elements, including his father and relatives. When Blaze refused, his lover dumped him. He figured he didn’t deserve love, so he wouldn’t ever invest any emotions with a man. The pain wasn’t worth it.

Blaze had adhered to his plan except tonight; he’d have to break his own rule. For one, he was running out of new rent boys to fuck. He scanned the familiar young men at the smaller tables sitting alone. Standing taller knowing that he could say with pride that he’d fucked almost all of them. He spotted the familiar cute blond standing alone, thinner than he’d liked, but he’d be okay if he were available. Blaze had fucked him about three months ago and the blond was damn good except he was a little on the feminine side and wore too much makeup, but he listened to Blaze. Blaze couldn’t remember the blond guy’s name but did recall that he lived in the bad part of the Bronx. That poor kid traveled the subway to downtown to earn money every night. He was younger than most, maybe eighteen. Blaze preferred men closer to twenty-four years old, his age.

“Hey, are you working tonight?” Blaze asked the blond boy.

“Yes. Are you interested in me, Blaze?” His pink lips curved to the side when he smiled.

“Only if you are available for an entire month.” Blaze was impressed that the kid remembered his name and hadn’t forgotten it. Blaze would like to wash the makeup off the kid’s face because he saw no need to advertise he was gay to the world.

“Day and night?” His eyes widened with excitement.

“I’m going to my cabin in Vermont for a month. I need a guy to fuck while I’m there. If you say yes, four grand is yours at the end if you do what I ask.” Blaze whispered in his ear, knowing the guy would love the contact. He remembered how much the blond enjoyed cuddling with Blaze in the hotel bed. Blaze had spent the night with him because the blond was sensitive and needy. Blaze had to admit, he had a soft spot for the blond, more like that of an older brother than a lover. Normally, he fucked and left them in the hotel room. He didn’t like seeing his father’s grin on his face when he spent the night away from home.

“And what are you asking?” He unbuttoned the top two buttons on his bright colored shirt.

“Be my fuck boy on demand. If I say bend over, you do it. You’ll sleep with me and I’ll take care of your food and whatever else you need to make me happy.”

“No kink?” He played with his colorful bracelets.

Blaze smiled. “The only kink I’ll be doing with you is spanking your pretty ass if you don’t listen to me.” Blaze winked.

The blond boy’s face turned fire engine red. “You can spank me anytime.”

“I like spanking bad boys. So what do you say?”

“I need to be paid in cash.”

“I can do that. Do you want the job?”

“Yes. I’m available for you, Blaze.”

“Pack light. You won’t be wearing much inside and if we go outside, you’ll need winter clothes and heavy boots for the snow.”

“Got it, but I don’t have boots.”

“Don’t worry about boots. I’ll buy you what you need after we get there. I’ll pick you up in two hours. Be outside of your apartment building where I dropped you off the last time.”

“I’ll be there, Blaze.” The blond licked his lips.

“Hey, wash that shit off your face,” Blaze shouted.

“No problem.” The sweet smile left his face as if Blaze battered him.

“Look, you can wear some makeup in the cabin, just not in public for safety reasons.”

“Thank you.” His adorable smile returned and he skipped out of the club.

His name finally came to Blaze. Danny Mulligan. He was cute enough for thirty days and decent enough to break Blaze’s rule of no repeated fucks because he wouldn’t fall in love with him. The thin rent boy was too young and not his type, but his need to please Blaze was entertaining and somewhat exciting.

Blaze didn’t want to find a guy in the desolate Vermont area since he didn’t know enough about Vermont, as he had never been there before. His father, Sal Bossio, had given him the cabin as a Christmas present, one of many expensive Christmas presents. His father lavished him with gifts, money, and opportunities. He was grateful for everything his father did.

Last night, at his father’s Italian restaurant, he told Blaze to take a vacation at his Vermont cabin for one month. When his father ordered him to take time off, he knew something was going down and he wanted Blaze out of sight and safe. Blaze worked at Salvatore’s Italian Restaurant in various capacities. His father also had many illegal jobs on the side. When Blaze graduated from St. John’s University in accounting, his father hired him as his business accountant and paid him well.

Blaze never argued with his father in public because he would have seen it as a mortal sin. Blaze rarely won an argument when he disagreed with him or attempted to prove him wrong at home. Blaze wasn’t foolish enough to test him out around other people and he didn’t want to cause him further stress. Blaze had seen his father put a number of men down like they were sick animals. Blaze didn’t feel comfortable with many of the illegal activities his father took part in. He loved Blaze no matter what he was or what he did and Blaze felt the same way toward him.

After Blaze had a glass of wine at the club, he drove back to his home and packed up his black BMW. The car had snow tires so he was all set to meet the snow. Maybe he could teach Danny how to ski or they could ride the snowmobiles. He looked forward to being with someone for thirty days. He found his father in the living room with a glass of wine. The flames from the fireplace warmed the room.

“Blaze, if you need anything, call Vinny. He’ll take care of everything,” Blaze’s father said.

“This is kind of drastic to make me take a one month vacation in Vermont of all places.”

“I’m sure you rented one of your boy toys for the month.” His father’s famous guilty grin covered his face.

“Do you know every damn thing I do? Nothing is private around here.”

“I take care of what’s mine. I appreciate you don’t bring them here in our home out of respect for me. Though I told you many times, I wouldn’t mind if you moved in a boyfriend here if it makes you happy.” His father sipped his wine.

“I don’t know why you’re so against me living on my own. I’m twenty-four years old.”

“I know how old you are. I like coming home knowing my son is waiting or sometimes, I’m waiting for you. I need you, but then you know that. I’d be lost without you. There’s no reason why we should live separately.”

When Blaze was eight years old, he nursed his father out of a deep depression when his mother passed away. Cancer had stolen his mother from them, but Blaze still remembered his mother and all the things they had done together. He had the two best parents and now one.

“But you don’t need me for thirty days?” Blaze felt sorry for his father because he didn’t have a partner and he had no idea if he dated any women. He never discussed it with Blaze or brought anyone home.

“This can’t be helped. I don’t want you caught in the crossfire. I want you to see the beautiful cabin I bought you. It’s all stocked up with everything you like. I hope you enjoy your little boy toy in Vermont, so I don’t have to worry about your happiness while I’m busy.”

“You’re the best father anyone could ask for or want. You made your life around me and gave me everything. I love you.” Blaze bent over and kissed his father’s cheek. “Please stay safe. I worry about you. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“Let’s both agree not to worry about each other. If you need to get a message to me, call Cousin Vinny. Don’t call me during the thirty days and I can’t call you.”

“I got it, Pop.”

“I pray every night that you would find a man and settle down soon. Adopt some kids so I can be a grandfather.”

“I don’t know about all that. I’m lucky if I find someone for the night.”

“You’ll find love. I lit a candle in church last week. I know it will happen soon for you.”

“I wish you would find love too. You’re not too old,” Blaze said.

“Take your boy toy to dinner at Millie’s. I circled it on your map. The food is great for diner food. If you run into Neil and Tom, give them my regards.”

“Sure will.”

“Did you have something to eat?”

“I ate at the restaurant.”

“What did you have?”

“Chicken Piccata.”

His father nodded with approval. “Go to mass on Sunday.” He handed a piece of paper with the name and address of the church to Blaze.

Blaze smiled at his father, they both knew he wouldn’t be attending mass. The reason Blaze went with his father was to please him. They both attended mass every Sunday together, which never made much sense to Blaze since the Catholic Church had no use for gays and his father was a mobster. He didn’t bother arguing with his father about attending church. If it made his father happy, then Blaze would be a part of it. Often times his father nudged him when Blaze continued texting on his phone during mass. After mass, his father cooked pasta for some of their relatives. Sunday afternoons were to socialize with family. Sunday evenings, they read in the den together and listened to Italian opera. They often discussed their books with each other.

“Stay safe, Pop.”

“I will. God is protecting both of us.”

Blaze double checked everything in the trunk before he left home.


CHAPTER FOUR

Marcus

When the servants left his room, Marcus found his clothes hanging in the closet. His personal papers were all in place in his mini file cabinet. He gathered his birth certificate, college degree, and passport. He wanted to take his laptop but there wasn’t any way he could carry it out of the house since he planned to exit from the second floor. He stuffed his important documents into his old suitcase along with casual clothes. He opened the window, threw his suitcase to the ground, then he climbed on to the roof. When he didn’t see anyone outside, he wrapped his arms around the thick branch resting on the roof, and scaled down the tree to the ground. He picked up his suitcase and ran through the backyard. He slowed down when he didn’t hear anyone chasing him. He had to think fast before Kalepo sent his men after him. His heart pounded as he thought of the possible consequences if they caught him running away.

Aside from the boys who worked for the escort service and his cousin, Adam, no one cared about him one way or another. His Uncle Ben had raised him with Adam, but he made sure Marcus felt unloved and unwanted. When Marcus was seventeen, he kicked him out of the house. He’d miss Adam because they were more like brothers than cousins. He hitchhiked when he reached the main road. A bright red convertible car stopped.

“Where are you going?” a young woman asked.

“I need to catch a bus at the Los Angeles bus station.” Marcus was glad he still wore his suit and tie.

“I’ll get you there. Hop in.”

“Thanks.” Marcus sat in the front passenger seat beside her and noticed a dog in the backseat. He wanted to get his motorcycle, but he had parked it at the club. There was no time for that, plus he wouldn’t go unnoticed there. He had to get out of Los Angeles as soon as he could.

“I’m on my way to LAX. I’m flying to Philadelphia for a Collie Dog Show,” she said.

“Your collie is beautiful. I hope he wins first place.” Marcus loved dogs but his Uncle Ben never allowed them to have any pets. Someday, he might live in a place he could have a pet.

“Thanks.” She smiled at him.

For the rest of the drive, she chatted about her miniature collie that sat quietly in the backseat with a red bowtie and tied-on sunglasses. Marcus checked his surroundings to make sure no one was following them until they reached the bus station. He thanked her and handed her some money but she refused to take it. Marcus jumped on the next bus out of Los Angeles to the train station and bought a one-way ticket to New York City. Kalepo and his men wouldn’t find him riding on a train across the country. He slept most of the day on the train and the other days he read novels from his phone. He spoke to no one but occasionally, he listened to pieces of conversations. He had nightmares about Kalepo and his men finding him.

Marcus constantly surveyed his surroundings to see if anyone was tracking him. So far, no one displayed any interest in him or his activities. He wore his tattered jeans, navy T-shirt, and knit cap to hide his ginger colored hair. He’d miss all his expensive suits but he was starting over. He didn’t need any reminders of all the men who used him in those suits. He could replace them and everything else he left behind. He was trying to appease himself of his great loss. His wardrobe defined him or at least Marcus thought so.

His phone was buzzing all morning and night and he finally read some of the many messages. He made sure his phone wasn’t tractable, one of the many things he learned at school. He had removed all tracking software that was installed. His GPS was turned off. Kalepo might trace him another way, but not through his phone. He read his messages.

Kalepo: “You’re dead.”

Kalepo: “I will find you, and you will suffer.”

Kalepo: “You can’t hide from me. You will die soon.”

Kalepo: “I will personally castrate you and make you eat it.”

Marcus deleted all Kalepo’s messages, but left the others. He couldn’t deal with reading any more of Kalepo’s threats. Marcus rushed to the men’s room and vomited his lunch. He rinsed his mouth and noticed his entire body was shaking. He couldn’t remove the visuals of Kalepo’s last text. Did he really mean what he threatened? Time would tell. If he had to die, he didn’t want to be tortured and made to suffer to the bitter end. He sat back down and drank some Coke to ease his troubled stomach.

He had more texts and he was about to delete them when his friend’s name popped up.

Arturo: Where are you? Come back and say you’re sorry.”

Arturo: “I’m worried about you. Tell me you’re okay.”

Adam: “Hey, did you forget about meeting me for lunch? Where are you? Are you okay?”

Marcus couldn’t answer any of the messages. He had no idea how Kalepo and his men worked when they were looking for someone. If he managed to get away, he would be the first that Marcus knew of.

Marcus gazed through the moving train window at the falling snow, a winter wonderland. The snow erased the familiar sight of the country scenery. The lights blinked on and off during the bumpy ride and the temperature dropped. He rummaged through his suitcase for a hoodie, and quickly zipped it up to his chin. Inside his suitcase, he double-checked the manila envelope holding his birth certificate, college degree, and passport. Everything he needed for his future, wherever he decided to live and work was inside the envelope.

He would never return to Los Angeles because he was certain that Kalepo had put a hit on him. He’d miss his friends and his cousin Adam. He felt guilty about departing without saying goodbye to anyone, but that was the only way he could leave Kalepo. Maybe all of the turmoil was a good thing since it forced him to leave the escort business. Certainly Kalepo would never allow him to quit and move on to another career. He should have left the money that Kalepo had given him. Returning it wasn’t an option because he would track where the letter came from. What was done was done and he couldn’t correct his mistake. He didn’t remember he had Kalepo’s money in his wallet until he paid for his ticket.

The train would stop in New York City in fifteen minutes. He had been on the train for days and was ready to walk around in the city. After hours of thinking, he remembered what his mother had told him on the night before she disappeared with his father. She said if he ever needed to hide from anyone to go to Vermont. His parents disappeared when he was four years old and his uncle never discussed it. He decided to take his mother’s advice about hiding in Vermont. Who would look for him there? He checked the Port Authority for the time the next bus to Vermont left. Marcus had a few hours to explore the city.

First, Marcus stood in line; purchased his Vermont bus ticket, then he left the Port Authority to check out the city. He shopped at a kinky adult store and bought several sex toys for when he was alone. He figured it would be best to remain celibate when he had to make major decisions in his life but that didn’t mean he couldn’t entertain himself. He didn’t need any distractions. The truth was that Marcus didn’t have any interest in sex since he left California and hoped these toys might help his lack of desire for sex. He always prided himself in not depending on the blue pill to get it up for his clients and wasn’t going to rely on the pill to get him through his lack of interest.

Marcus stopped at a pizzeria and had a slice a pizza and a Coke. He had to admit the New York pizza was the best that he had eaten. Once he finished eating, he returned to the Port Authority and caught the bus for Vermont. He slept most of the time on the bus. Two men on the bus talked too loudly and woke him up. He heard enough to know that the next stop had rented cabins.

The bus stopped at a bright red train car that was converted into a diner named Millie’s. Behind the diner was a small motel where he could rent a room until he found a cabin to rent for the month. He told the bus driver he wouldn’t be back on the bus. He took a risk without having any transportation, but if he couldn’t find a motel room, he’d stay at the diner until the next bus rolled in again.

Marcus scanned the breathtaking view, the snow topped mountains, and the tall Pine trees were completely white. The snow was coming down like a Russian blizzard. It reminded him of a Christmas Hallmark movie. He didn’t get to enjoy snow living in California, and the only time he had seen snow was when he went skiing in Big Bear in California. His Uncle Ben used to rent a cabin in Big Bear for a week once a year.

As soon as Marcus entered Millie’s Diner, he relished the warmth. The diner had the original train’s brown leather booths. The scent of coffee drifted through the air, calling to him. The speckled Formica tables reflected the sun, almost blinding him for a second. As he slipped into a booth, he parked his suitcase under the table. The sun-heated leather seat gave him comfort as well as warmed him up, he did a quick search for a waitress; the need for caffeine consumed him. Several customers gave him a serious once over look; some not so friendly. People were talking and hopping tables. He figured they all knew each other and he was the invading dangerous stranger. He noticed all the people from the bus had returned to the bus. Where were the motel people? They had to be strangers or maybe they fit in better than he did.

The waitress teetered over in a red mini uniform. The uniform top was cut too low and left nothing to the imagination. Her red high heels were impractical for someone who would be on their feet all day, but they matched her uniform. Her small face froze into a friendly smile. She wore too much makeup and her dyed blonde hair was up in a bun like a fifties movie star. She handed a menu to Marcus. He scanned the menu for any kind of Mexican food because he had been craving it since he left Los Angeles. He wanted a new beginning away from Kalepo; Vermont was nothing like California.

She pulled a pencil from behind her ear. “Do you know what you want?” She chewed her gum loudly between each word.

“No, I just sat down.” Marcus didn’t mean to sound rude, but she grated on his nerves. The fruity bubble gum had to go. Her name tag displayed Molly. Maybe Molly was Millie’s daughter. How else would she keep her job chewing gum while she took orders?

“Are you new around here?” Molly asked, and this time she blew a pink bubble.

“I’m here on vacation.” Marcus lowered his eyes after she blew the bubble and focused on the menu, not wanting to give her any mixed messages. Marcus wasn’t into girls and if he were, she wouldn’t be his type. He dated a few girls in high school to keep his Uncle Ben from finding out he was gay. That worked well until his uncle caught him kissing a guy in the backyard.

“You have real pretty blue eyes,” she said.

“Thank you.” Marcus hoped she wasn’t flirting with him.

“Where are you staying?” She pulled her gum out of her mouth and wrapped it with a napkin.

“I’m going to rent a room behind here until I can find a cabin to rent.”

“Oh, Sir. Leo is all booked up with skiers.”

“Molly, I’m Marcus. Don’t call me Sir.” He put out his hand and shook hers. They were the coldest hands he had shaken. She was a waitress not an ice carver. He examined her; she couldn’t be more than sixteen years old.

“So you don’t have anywhere to sleep tonight?”

“I’ll call a cab or wait for the next bus out of here.”

“You might be able to stay at Millie’s.”

Two men wearing bright red plaid shirts and caps to match walked over to his table. They had good old boys written all over their faces. No doubt, they were straight, possibly homophobic, and he didn’t want or need any trouble. Were they Millie’s security guards? Marcus pulled his knit beanie over his earring.

“Molly, is there a problem?” the tall one asked.

“Marcus was hoping to rent a room at Leo’s Motel until he can rent a cabin.”

“My name is Neil and this is my business partner Tom. We have a cabin you can rent. How long do you need it?” Neil shook hands with Marcus.

“One month.”

“Is it just you?”

“Yes.”

“Can we sit down and discuss the cabin?” Neil asked.

“Sure.” Marcus heard that the people were friendly, but this seemed super friendly.

Molly showed up again and she placed three black coffees for them. “Do you know what you want?”

“Cheeseburger, fries, and a Coke,” Marcus said, noting these two planted themselves with coffee.

“Sure thing.” She turned to leave.

“Wait,” Neil said. “You ought to try Millie’s special. It’s roast beef, mashed potatoes, and corn with biscuits.”

“That sounds good. I’ll take Millie’s special.” Marcus didn’t care at this point. He wanted Mexican food and since there wasn’t any in this diner, it didn’t matter. He wanted to be alone in his cabin and he hoped they could make a deal.

“Okay, Marcus.” Molly paused as she crossed out his old order. “I wish Millie was here. She’d love to meet you.” She winked at him and left.

“I have one cabin available tonight for a month. I can give you a good deal.” Neil pulled out his phone and brought up a picture of a small cabin in the woods.

“Perfect. How far is it from here?” Marcus asked.

“It would take you thirty minutes on the dirt roads. Do you have a four wheeler?”

“No transportation.” Marcus wished he could have riden it here, but he left his motorcycle behind. Then again, it was too cold and snowy to ride across the country during the winter and he planned to buy a vehicle once he settled in one spot. He wanted to give himself the month before he made any major decisions.


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