I canít be sure exactly what day it was that I first spotted the boy on the corner, but I think it was about two weeks ago, give or take a day or three.
He may have been there earlier than that of course, you know, on previous days, but that was when I actually first noticed him there, standing just inside the edge of the circle of light which was being thrown by the street lamp at the side of Doolans Hardware. It was on the corner of Market Street and the highway, which was the road I took on my way home from my office at about the same time every afternoon.
I remember that I was travelling behind someone in an old Subaru station wagon and we were both going quite slowly, which was probably why I had time to see him there and take in his image.
Blonde. About sixteen or seventeen. Slim build, maybe a bit too slim if the truth be known. Dressed in pale cargo pants, a dark T-shirt and a red track-top, with white stripes down the sleeves.
"Man, thatís nice," I said to myself, which was a bad habit that I seemed to have picked up somewhere along the way, whenever I spotted someone that took my eye. So far Iíve had a couple of close calls, where Iíve said something like that and people have been around, but I think Iíve generally been lucky and so far I havenít really been busted.
All in all though, the boy on the corner was just what I liked, but sadly for me, he was probably untouchable, unavailable and unapproachableÖ or all of the above. He was more than likely just waiting for mom or dad to pick him up!
Anyway, by the time I had passed him and travelled a couple of more blocks, he was all but gone from my mind, and a few minutes later I was pulling into my parking space below my apartment and then trudging up the stairs, and letting myself in.
No doubt it would be another cold, lonely evening for me, with nothing but my television to keep me company, but that was O.K., I was used to it now. Iíd had six months to get used to it.
That was when Pete had left.
Over the next twenty four hours I never gave the boy on the corner another thought. He was just another cutie that I would never see again.
Or so I believed!
It was on the way home from work the following afternoon however, with me neither expecting to see him or even thinking about him, that I saw him again. He was standing there, in much the same position as he had been the previous night, just looking around and acting as if he were waiting for someone.
I slowed down and cruised past him, trying to have as good a look as I could, and enjoying the view just as much as I had done twenty-four hours earlier.
He looked like he was wearing the same clothes that he had been wearing then, but that did nothing to change my first impression of him. He was a nice looking boy, although on second thoughts maybe he wasnít a boy after all. My second look at him gave me the impression that he was definitely older than sixteen, but most likely seventeen, or possibly even older.
Tonight, he was once again propped up against the wall of the hardware store, and as I drove past I noticed his head turn and follow me, causing my heart to skip a beat as he looked at my car.
"Maybe heís not waiting for mom or dad after all?" I quietly said to myself, and at the same time wondering what it was exactly he was doing there.
When I reached the end of the block, I slowed and then took a left, drove a block and took a left again, then again, and that brought me back to the corner that he had been standing on.
I slowed, hoping to catch sight of him again, but there was no one there. He had vanished.
Damn! Maybe he was picked up by mom after all?
Turning the corner again, I pointed my car for home, and a few minutes later I was pulling into my parking space and then climbing the stairs once more.
I didnít forget about the boy on the corner that night though. He was in my thoughts right up until the time when I stripped off and went to bed, and for quite some time afterwards, while I exercised some demons that he had stirred up within me.
* * * * *
"Huh?" I asked Brad as we sat at a table in the Mall the next day, while my mind was obviously elsewhere.
"I saidÖ did you see the new chick thatís working in Accounts?" he scolded. "I know youíre not into chicks mate, but you have to have seen herÖ sheís likeÖ," then held his hands well out in front of him.
I managed a wry smile and nodded. "Yeah, Iíve seen her," I said. "She damn near took my eye out with those things."
He giggled, then took another bite of his sandwich.
As work mates go, he was an alright kind of guy. He never hassled me about my preferences, unlike some of the other assholes I worked with, and outside of the office he was fairly good company also.
He was twenty three years old, just a couple of years younger than me, and as far as I know, he didnít have a girl friend. I had often found myself wondering though, if he might not have been gay, but if he had been, and if I had put the hard word on him, it would have only served to complicate things between us. So that was someplace I never went.
As it were, we were friends and that was that. That was enough.
"Are you O.K. mate," he asked between mouthfuls of ham and salad. "You seem a bit quiet today."
"Yeah, Iím fine," I replied. "Just a bit tired I suppose."
He grinned at me.
I shook my head. "No, not from that," I said to him.
"So, you heard from Pete since he left?"
"Nah. Heís past history."
"Sorry to hear that. Anyone new in your sights then?"
"No. Not at the momentÖ but I do live in hope," I answered with a grin.
"I bet you do mate."
We chatted for a while longer, then when we had finished we got up and dumped our trash in the nearest garbage bin and started back toward the office.
"Are you sure youíre alright?" he asked again as we marched along.
"Yeah mate. Iím fine," I answered, and he left it at that then.
The truth was though, my mind was elsewhere. About ten blocks away to be exact. On the corner of the highway and Market Streets.
The rest of the day dragged on, much like most others do, but I think I spent most of the afternoon just staring out the window, watching the clouds roll by, and wondering. I was grateful that I had an office to myself.
"O.K. then. Who is he?" Brad asked just before knock-off time. I looked up and saw him leaning against the frame of the door, grinning at me.
I spun back around and faced him, managing a wry smile.
"Well?" he urged.
"So, whatís with the sudden interest in my love life, then?" I asked.
"Just making sure youíre doing alright mate. We canít have you being all miserable now, can we?"
"Well, itís nice of you to care Brad. Too bad youíre so damn straight," I said with a sigh.
"Yeah, right!" he laughed. "But you didnít answer my question."
"Oh, no one you would know."
"Possibilities there, then?"
"I doubt it. But I can dream canít I?"
"Yeah, I suppose you can mate."
I didnít say anything to him. I just grinned back at him.
"Iíll see you tomorrow then," he said.
"Yeah, you probably will," I answered. "Unless I get a better offer."
"You wish!" he replied, then disappeared down the hall, with his laughter echoing along the corridor.
I looked at my watch and decided that enough was enough, it was close enough to home time anyway, so I packed up everything on my desk and turned off my computer. What wasnít done today could wait for tomorrow, I reckoned.
I would be lying if I said that I wasnít keeping an eye out for the boy on the corner as I made my way home that night. I drove quite slowly, with irritated drivers zooming past me regularly, but I didnít care.
All I wanted was to see him again. All I wanted wasÖ
"Fuckiní hell Jim, get a grip will you?" I said out loud to myself. "Just what the fuck are you playing at here? Are you that desperate for a fuck? Youíre becoming obsessed with this guy!"
The answer to that was, I had know idea what I was playing at. And yeah, I probably was that desperate for a fuck. I mean, I hadnít exactly gone without since Pete had left, but then again I hadnít actually been swept off my feet with offers either!
I drove on into the night, but when I reached Ďhisí corner I was to be disappointed. There was no sign of my obsession. No sign of him at all.
Crestfallen, I drove to the next corner, then did my usual lap of the block, coming back to Ďhisí corner a few minutes later.
Again, there was no sign of him, and so once again, I headed for home, resigned to the simple fact that I would never see him again.
* * * * *
Over the next few days I made a point of slowing each time that I approached that corner, but each time I was to be disappointed.
In my mind I still held that image of him, standing in the edge of the pool of light, his blonde hair shining, and it seemed to be becoming sharper with each passing day. Maybe that was just the image of what I was hoping he would be like, this picture perfect young man, that the world would swoon for, but I didnít care. He was my fantasy, and he could be whatever I wanted him to be, couldnít he?
It was on the third night however, that things changed.
When I approached the intersection, I could see a car there pulled over, and someone on the footpath, leaning in the window and talking to the driver.
As I got closer, the guy on the footpath straightened up.
There was no mistaking the blonde hair. It was him.
He seemed to notice my car, as I cruised slowly past them. I was sure his head turned and followed me. But as I looked back in the rear view mirror I noticed a door open, and my beautiful boy climb in.
"Fuck!" I said, punching the dashboard as I did so.
I was over-reacting of course. I mean, it was probably his mom picking him up, right?
Shit, I hoped not!
There wasnít any point in doing a lap of the block now. He was gone for sure. So I headed home. Alone once more. With another image of him now burned into my mind.
Just who was that he was talking to and then got into their car?
The question hung on my mind all evening, and I carried it with me to bed.
The next day was pretty much the same as any other, except for Brad still prodding me for details on this mystery guy that I appeared to be hung up on.
"Is it that obvious?" I asked over coffee at our usual lunch table.
"Hell yeah," he replied.
"Great, thatís just what I need," I answered.
"Everyone looking at me and wonderingÖ"
"Geez, get a grip will you," he replied. "No one cares if youíre gay."
"Bullshit!" I spat back at him.
"Listen Jim, itís true. Sure, some of the guys might razz you over it sometimes, but they donít mean anything by it. If anything they just do it to get a rise out of you, because they know they can!"
"Youíre joking, right?"
He shook his head and said, "No. If you didnít burr-up every time someone said something to you, they wouldnít bother. Trust me on this one, alright?"
I took another bite of my sandwich and chewed everything over.
"So, are you going to tell me just who it is thatís on your mind?" Brad urged.
I swallowed and said, "Not just mate. Lets just see if anything ever happens."
"Fair enough," he replied and left it at that. For now.
I was glad that he didnít push it any further just then. I mean, how could I explain to him that I was obsessed with an unknown, blonde, seventeen year old that Iíve seen on some street corner about three times and who Iíve never actually even spoken to yet?
No. Things were best left just as they are for now.
That night, when I reached the corner, Ďhisí corner, he was there again. I slowed, and I watched him watching me as I cruised past him.
When I got to the end of the block I turned left and did my usual lap of the entire block, but when I got back to Ďhisí corner all I saw of him was one brief view before he closed the door of a car.
And it was a different car to that which heíd climbed into the night before.
For some reason I wasnít totally shattered this time around. In fact, it was probably the opposite. I now had an answer to the question that had been buzzing around inside my head.
He wasnít being picked up by mom or dad! And that gave me hope.
I watched as the car pulled out and disappeared into the night, and quietly said to myself, "Next time!"
* * * * *
First thing the following morning Brad came and perched his cute little ass on the edge of my desk.
"What?" I asked him.
"Well? Any luck yet?" he asked with a grin.
"Jesus Christ, Brad, you never give up do you?"
"Nah, not me," he answered.
I just shook my head in amazement.
"Well?" he urged.
"Nothing to tell," I answered.
With a sigh he got to his feet and then sauntered out through the doorway, and I didnít see him for the rest of the day. Not even for lunch.
I still wasnít sure why he had such a fascination with my love life, or the lack of one. Maybe he was just a caring sort of guy? Who knows? Anyway, I liked him and he was a good mate. I just hoped that things between us stayed that way.
I made it through to knock-off time without any major disasters and as usual it was dark when I pointed the nose of my Ford toward home.
After thinking about it throughout the day I had decided that the next time I saw my boy on the corner, I would have to speak to himÖ no matter what. It was no use sitting back and doing nothingÖ all that would ever come of that was nothing!
And so, my mind was once again on him as I drove along, and as I got closer and closer to Ďhisí corner I started to wonder if tonight would be the night that I would finally speak to him.
I slowed and cruised past the corner.
Nothing. And no-one.
"Fuck," I said.
Not being one to give up easily though I turned left at the next intersection and did a lap of the block, and soon coming back to Ďhisí corner.
I wasnít to be disappointed the second time however.
There he was! And there were no other cars around!
I slowed and stopped at the corner, then turned left and pulled up beside the kerb.
He was leaning up against the wall, standing on one foot and with the other up against the wall. He also looked to be wearing the same clothes as he had been wearing on that first night I had spotted him.
Pressing the button that controlled the windows I lowered the passenger side front window and watched him watching me. Eventually he disengaged himself from the wall though and sauntered over toward my car.
I have to admit that I came within a split second of jamming my foot back down on the accelerator and getting the hell out of out of there, but I didnít.
He leant into the window and for the first time I actually got a close look at him. He was even more beautiful than I had first imagined. Still more boy than man, but I reckoned he had to be at least eighteen, seeing him close up like this.
And his eyes, so blue and deep, they just captivated me straight away.
"Hi," I said to him.
As an opening line it was pretty tame, but it was the best I could come up with on short notice.
"Hi, yourself," he replied. "You interested, are you?"
"ErrrÖ could be," I stammered.
"Two hundred," the boy says to me. "For the night."
I looked away from him, out through the windscreen of my car, with my mind racing at a million miles an hour.
Fuck! I had never paid for sex before in my life! And two hundred bucks? Double fuck!
Knowing that it was against my better judgement, I reached across and unlocked the door for him.
He smiled and opened the door, then got into my car and closed it behind him.
"Where to?" he asked.
"UmmmÖ my place I suppose. Is that alright with you?"
"Yeah, of course."
I pulled back out onto the road and drove home, looking across at my passenger every now and then as if to make sure he was still there.
"How far away do you live?" he asked me one time, when he glanced up and saw me staring at him.
"Huh? Only about five minutes away," I stammered, to which he just nodded.
"Yeah, itís not too bad," I replied. "So, do you have a name?"
"What name do you want me to use?" he answered.
"Your own," I said.
He stared at me for a minute, then said, "Josh."
"Iím Jim. Or James actually, but everyone calls me Jim."
"So, how long have you been doing this?" I asked.
"Fuck! Youíre not another one of these do-gooderís going to give me a lecture are you?" he said, starting to sound a little agitated. "If you are you can stop the fuckiní car right now!"
"Relax," I said to him. "Iím not like that. How you live your life is your own fuckiní business. I was only trying to make conversation, thatís all."
He relaxed back into his seat and nodded, but he was still watching me warily, with his arms crossed in front of his chest.
"You didnít answer me though," I urged.
"About how long youíve been doing this."
There was a lengthy silence, then he finally said, "About six months I suppose."
"How old are you then?"
"Old enough," he replied rather testily. "Iím legal, if thatís what youíre worried about. You wonít get youíre ass busted for screwing me."
"Well, at least thatís good to know."
More silence then, while Josh just stared out the window, then a few minutes later I pulled into my parking space and we got out and climbed the stairs to my apartment.
"You live alone?" Josh asked, rather nervously, as I fumbled with the key to the door.
"Yeah," I answered. "Itís alright, we wonít be interrupted or anything."
I looked up to see him nodding, and looking relieved.
I opened the door and stepped back, allowing him to enter first, then switched on the lights and closed the door behind us.
* * * * *
"How do you want to do this?" I asked him, rather nervously.
"Half now. Half after," he said.
"Fair enough," I replied, reaching into my pocket and pulling out my wallet.
I was lucky that I had about one hundred and fifty dollars on me at the time. I would have to get the rest out of my hiding spot in the bookcase though, sometime when he wasnít looking.
I counted out the notes and handed them to him. He counted them and shoved them into his pocket, then started taking off his jacket.
"Would you like a drink first? Maybe something to eat?" I asked.
He might have been keen to get stuck into it, but I was still feeling more than just a little nervous. Even if he didnít want a drink, I certainly did, so I went into my kitchen and pulled two tumblers from the cupboard, then a bottle of scotch from another cupboard and some Dry from the refrigerator.
"Scotch alright with you?" I asked.
"ErrrÖ sure," he answered.
I nodded and finished pouring the drinks, then added some ice and handed him a glass.
He followed me back into the lounge room and then sat down beside me on the lounge, sipping occasionally on his drink and looking all around him.
"I have a confession to make," I said to him.
"I havenít actually ever done this before?"
"What? Been with a guy?"
"No. I meant actually pay for sex."
We both sipped away at our drinks without saying anything more, then when we were finished and had sat our empty glasses on the table in front of us I reached across and placed my hand on his leg.
I thought that I felt him jump at my touch, but that may have only been my imagination. He felt warm and firm and nice.
Placing his hand on top of mine, he picked it up and brought it up to his lips, gently kissing me, while his other hand reached across and gently massaged my inner thigh, moving slowly higher and higher, until he reached my groin.
"What do you like doing?" he whispered to me.
"UmmmÖ. I like most things," I replied, to which he simply grinned.
He continued to massage my groin, and I could feel it working, with my cock quickly starting to rise to the occasion, as was his.
After a few minutes of mutual fondling he broke away from me and got to his feet, holding out his hand toward me. I took it and he dragged me to my feet as well, then he let go of me and started undressing me.
First it was my tie that hit the floor. Then it was my shirt, after he had carefully undone each button. He then started on my belt, my trousers and my zipper, which soon had them all down around my ankles. I stepped out of my shoes and then my trousers, while holding onto him for balance, which left me standing there in front of him wearing only my shorts and socks.
Apart from his jacket, which heíd already taken off, he was still fully dressed. I thought Iíd best do something about that and so I started tugging at his T-shirt. It came easily out of his trousers and then I slipped it over his head, revealing a wonderful tanned torso, a little on the thin side, as I had first thought, but with some definite muscle definition.
In his left nipple he had a stud, one of those oneís with a little silver bulb on either side of the nipple, and around his navel there was this fine outline of a tattoo, in the shape of the sun, which I had a really strong urge to suddenly kiss.
I fumbled with the button on his trousers, then undid his zipper and let his pants fall around his ankles. Immediately his cock sprang out, as he wasnít wearing any shorts or underwear, which really surprised me.
He could see the surprise on my face and said, "You liked that didnít you?í
"Yeah. It was a nice surprise."
"Yeah, they all say that," he replied, while slipping off his shoes and stepping out of his pants.
I let the comment pass. I didnít even want to think about who "they all" were.
Dropping to his knees Josh tugged at my shorts and soon had them down around my ankles, with my cock now staring him in the face.
I could feel his warm breath on me, blowing through my pubic hair and gently teasing my skin. I felt his lips gently kiss my erect manhood, first one side then the other, then a hand slipped between my thighs, with expert fingers soon running along the length of my crack.
"Oh god," I moaned. "That feels so good."
"Iíve barely even started yet mate," he whispered.
"Not here then," I said to him and gently pulled him to his feet, then taking his hand I led him through the living area and into the inner-sanctum, my bedroom.
I sat on the bed with Josh standing in front of me and placed a hand on either side of his hips, holding him there in front of me.
This was the first real chance Iíd had to check him out, and I wasnít disappointed. About eight inches of uncut meat, nestled into a base of dark blonde hair. Doing the same as he had done to me, I slipped one hand between his thighs and then gently kissed him on either side of his hard cock.
He smelt clean, and young, and I was becoming intoxicated on his fragrance.
Gently he pushed me backwards, until I was laying on my back on my bed, and then he climbed over me, turning his lithe body around and settling into position so that we could sixty-nine.
With his lips wrapped around me, and mine around him, I felt reckless, and for the first time in months, I felt alive.
"Jesus, youíre good," he moaned, when he came up for air one time.
I let him slip from my mouth and said, "You ainít so bad yourself, babe," then continued sucking him.
We stayed like that for some time, each working on the other, each exploring the other, enjoying the experience.
"I think Iím going to come soon," I whispered to him.
"Me too. Weíd best do something about that," and so we both sat upright, just staring at each other.
"I want you to take me," I said to him, then reached across beside my bed and opened a drawer, retrieving some condoms and a tube of lubricant.
"AhhhÖ I think we can manage that," he replied, then took the items from my hands.
For one so young, he was an expert at satisfying a personís needs. And when his cock slipped inside me a few moments later, every fibre of my being felt alive, and every sensation felt as if it were new.
I was on my knees on my bed with Josh on top of me, thrusting into me, then backing out, almost too far, then thrusting into me again, while one hand was wrapped firmly around my cock, and the other was teasing one of my nipples.
I was in heaven, and I didnít ever want to leave that place.
We continued our thrust and parry, with each thrust being harder and faster then the previous one, and within a few minutes I could feel his body tense, as did mine.
"Iím coming!" we both moaned at exactly the same time, and as I blew my load all over my sheets, I could feel him pumping his load into me.
Breathless, but feeling exhilarated, we both collapsed onto the bed, with him still inside me, breathing quietly into my ear.
"That was wonderful," I whispered to him.
"Iím glad you liked it," he replied, then kissing me on my cheek.
A short while later, after we had both recovered sufficiently to move again, we showered together and dressed, and then I poured each of us another drink.
"Feel like something to eat now?" I asked him.
"Sure. That can help really build up quite an appetite sometimes," he replied, grinning from ear to ear.
"Ainít that the truth. What do you fancy?"
I had noticed how thin he was and had no idea about his domestic arrangements, but I thought it might be a good idea to take him out and buy him a meal some place.
"Come on, thereís a cafť down the road a bit, weíll go down there. Itís only a couple of blocks, we can walk there. That alright with you?"
"Yeah. Of course," he replied.
We chatted easily as we walked, and then all through our meal (where he ate enough for two people Ė so I was right in thinking that he needed a good feed), and I found that the more time I spent with him, the more I was liking him.
I didnít find out why he was on the streets, or where he was living or anything, but I figured that he would tell all in good time, if our relationship happened to ever develop past this one night.
I know it was foolish of me to be jumping ahead like that, but Josh was no ordinary street kid. Besides his good looks, there was something else that set him apart, something that I couldnít quite put my finger on just yet.
When we had finished I paid for our meals we walked the few blocks back to my apartment and settled in on the couch for a while watching the television.
"Youíve got me for the night you know?" he said to me after a little while.
"I know Josh. Just let me get over the first session first will you," I replied, to which he just laughed, and cuddled up close beside me.
It had been six months since anyone had done that. God, I missed it.
When the late news was over we both retreated once more to my bedroom where we turned out the lights and slowly undressed each other in the dark.
He was just as gentle and loving the second time around as we repeated our earlier escapades. And when it was over we collapsed into each others arms and drifted off to sleep.
The last thing I remember was kissing him on the forehead, and him reaching up and kissing me on the lips.
* * * * *
I woke the next morning, with sunlight streaming in through the bedroom window, to find that I was alone.
"You there Josh?" I called out, thinking he may be in the bathroom or the kitchen or some place, but no one answered.
I got up and after a quick check through my apartment discovered that he was nowhere to be found. I hadnít heard a thing when he had left, but I found the security chain off the front door, but with the door still locked, so he must have slipped out quietly and then locked it behind him.
Immediately thinking the worst I went straight to my wallet, to check and see if the rest of my money was still there, and it was. I then checked my hiding place in the bookcase, just in case he may have gone looking for anything and stumbled across it, but the cash I stowed there for a rainy day was still safely stowed there.
There was nothing else missing from the apartment either, as far as I could see. It seemed as if I had misjudged him.
As I did every morning, I showered and dressed, in a better mood this morning than most others though, and when I walked into the office I was actually whistling, which caused all heads to suddenly turn my way.
"You scored!" Brad said to me, after rushing to catch up with me as I headed down the corridor towards my own little cubby-hole.
"Did I?" I replied. "I didnít notice!"
I just grinned at him.
"Youíre not going to tell me anyway, are you?" he said to me.
I shook my head.
"Just not yet mate," I replied. "You wouldnít understand."
"You could try me!"
"Maybe next time."
He slunk away with the huffs after that, leaving me to my usual morning ritual of checking e-mails and sorting out distribution problems, but my mind was never far away from the night I had just had.
I was hoping that I would see him there again tonight. But that was still more than ten hours away. In the mean time however, there was still work to be done.
* * * * *
I didnít see my boy that evening, or for next couple of days after our encounter, but it wasnít for the lack of trying.
I cruised past that corner each night, in the hope that he would be there once again, but each time I would be disappointed. After that one night I had spent with him, I was certainly eager for more and I didnít want to miss out on any opportunities.
It was on the third night however, that I noticed a car standing on Ďhisí corner, so I slowed, to try and get a better look. As I did, and I saw the passenger side door open, then someone almost fall out of the vehicle. It was almost like they were being pushed.
The door closed and the car pulled out directly in front of me. Giving me a clear view of the person that had been left behind.
It was Josh.
I knew it was him, from the moment when the door had first opened, even though at that stage I couldnít see who it was.
Quickly I slammed on the brakes and pulled in alongside the kerb, just in front of where Josh was now sitting with his head in his hands, then got out and ran to him.
"Josh!" I said.
He looked up at me through puffy eyes that were swollen and bruised, while blood trickled from the corner of his mouth.
At first he looked terrified as I approached and made as if to back away from me, but then he must have recognised me and his expression changed from one of total fear, to one of sad defeat.
"Are you alright?" I asked, dropping to my knees in front of him.
"Iím fine," he answered, wiping his mouth with a sleeve.
"Well, you donít fuckiní look it," I replied.
"What would you care anyway?"
"You might be surprised at just what I do care about Josh."
He tried getting to his feet, but stumbled and I caught him just in time.
"Just leave me alone will you?" he spat, wrenching himself away from me and almost falling once more.
"No. I canít do that," I replied. "Youíre hurt. What are you going to do? Where are you going to go?"
He stopped and looked back at me, but said nothing.
"Well?" I asked again.
"Some place," he eventually said.
"Yeah, thatís what I thought," I replied.
Taking him by the elbow I led him to the passenger side of my car and opened the door, then safely deposited him inside and shut it behind him. He showed only minimal resistance as I did so, then he looked up at me through the window, his face a battered mess, and in the pale street light I could see the pain and the hurt in there. But I could also see gratitude, I thought.
I literally ran back around to the driverís side of the car and jumped back into my seat.
"Where do you want me to take you?" I asked him.
He just looked at me and said nothing.
"Well, you need to get checked out," I said. "What about the Hospital?"
"NO!" he said forcefully. "You can forget about that!"
"What about your family?"
"Donít have any. Well, not here anyway," he replied, quite softly.
"Then where do you live?"
I sighed, then started the car. There was only one place I could take him, and that was to my place, so that was where we went.
I tried to get him to open up on the short trip home, but he steadfastly refused to answer any questions, then after I parked the car and we got out, he just followed me meekly up the stairs, still without saying a word.
Inside he went to sit down on the lounge, but I stopped him.
"Come on, letís get you cleaned up first. Then you can tell me all about this little escapade."
He followed me into my bathroom and I helped him strip off his clothes, then he just stood there while I got a towel and soaked it under warm water and then gently started wiping the blood away from his face.
He was also covered with bruises, as if heíd been pummelled into, or maybe even been kicked.
"You going to tell me how this happened?" I asked him.
He just looked away from me, as if he were ashamed of what had happened.
"You can talk to me you know mate. Iím not going to hurt you, or judge you, or even run to the cops or anything. I want to help you. Do you understand that?"
He looked directly at me and nodded, then finally said, "That guyÖ"
"Yeah?" I urged.
"Ö he just wouldnít take no for an answer."
"About what exactly?"
"He wanted me to suck him off. But I wouldnít," he said.
"Well, itís your choice isnít it?"
"I tried telling him that. But then he started getting all agroÖ"
"Why wouldnít you suck him off?"
"Coz he fuckiní stank!" he answered. "Man, he just grossed me right out. Old, fat bastard. I havenít ever had any like him before. Made me want to puke."
"How old was he?"
"Dunno. At least fifty, but probably a lot older."
"And thatís when he started laying into you?"
"Yeah," he answered, with his bottom lip trembling.
"Itís alright mate. Nothing is going to happen to you here."
"I know," he replied, in between quiet sobs.
I hugged him, but soon after that the flood gates burst open and he started to cry, like a little child, wrapped in my arms, sobbing uncontrollably.
I pulled him to me once more and just held him, saying, "Ssshhh, itís alright," over and over again, and that was where we stayed, but for how long I donít know.
After a while the sobbing slowed, and eventually stopped, and so I soaked the towel once more and wiped the salt from his face.
"Come on," I said to him, "how about we get you dressed? Then we can figure out what to do about you."
"We?" he replied.
"Well, Iím not going to just throw you back out on the streets Josh. I happen to like you, and if I can help you in any way, I will. O.K.?"
"Why would you want to even bother?"
"Like I said, I like you. Now shut up and come with me," I replied, then taking him by the hand I led him back into my bedroom where I dug some clothes out of the cupboard and handed them to him.
He pulled them on, wincing only a couple of times at the touch of fabric on his tender skin, and while they may not have been a perfect fit, they would do for the time being.
We then went into the kitchen, where I poured us both a drink, then I sat him down in the living room and we started talkingÖ about him, about me, and about how we both ended up where we were today.
He was hesitant at first, but he soon opened up, once the whisky started to take hold and warm him through, and pretty soon we were talking comfortably.
When he yawned, after about the third or fourth drink, I glanced up at the clock on the wall. Without even realising it, it was now quite late and we were both getting tired.
I reached over and took the empty glass from his hand, then stood up and walked into the kitchen.
"You get to have my bed tonight," I said to him, from the kitchen doorway, but he didnít answer.
I walked back over to him and looked down upon him, finding him already asleep, his head tilted to one side, his mouth open and an almost angelic expression adorning his features.
He looked so beautiful.
I picked up one of the small cushions off the lounge and gently slid it under his head, so that he wouldnít end up with a kinked neck, then retrieved a blanket from the cupboard and gently draped it over him.
He didnít stir, He just lay there, sleeping.
Leaning down, I kissed his forehead, then switched off the lights and walked into my own room, where I lay down on top of the bed still fully clothed, my hands behind my head and just staring at the shadows dancing across the ceiling, thinking about the week that I had had.
At some stage I drifted off to sleep, and when I woke the next morning, with my room once again filled with sunlight, I rolled over to find him there beside me, laying on his side with his hands clasped together under his head and just staring at me.
I was startled at first, but then he smiled and said, "Good Morning."
"Hi," I said to him. "You nodded off in the chair last night."
"Yeah. Thanks for the blanket and pillow."
"I suppose youíve got some place to go to this morning?"
I thought for a second, then said, "No. Iím not going anywhere. But Iíll have to make a phone call first."
"You feel like talking some more?" I asked him.
"Yeah. I think so," he replied. "And Iíd like to use the phone too, if you donít mind? Iíd like to call my mother, just to let her know Iím alright."
"Iím glad," I replied, then leant across and kissed him.
I got up a little while later and called the office, leaving a message and telling them I wouldnít be in today, then made us both some breakfast.
"Can I ask you something?" I said to him as I put a plate down in front of him.
"And will you give me a straight answer?"
"Yeah. I will."
"Do you actually have a place to stay?"
After a lengthy silence, during which time I was studying him intently, he slowly shook his head, then said, "No, I donít."
"I thought so."
I came back over to the table and sat down opposite him.
"Do you want some place to stay?" I eventually asked.
It had been something that I had been thinking about all night, but I wasnít sure if I would be doing the right thing or not, right up until the point that I asked him.
When he looked up at me though, looking totally dumfounded, I knew that I had done the right thing. He was shocked, and surprised, but happy.
"Are you saying what I think youíre saying?" he eventually asked.
"Yeah. I am," I replied.
"I donít know what to say."
"Just fuckiní say yes, and eat your eggs," I replied.
He did that, but every so often he would glance up at me and smile. And it was a smile so warm and heartfelt, that I couldnít help but be touched.
Sometime through the morning, Brad called from the office, with a crisis that needed solving.
I was actually in the shower at the time, and Josh answered the phone.
When I eventually picked it up Brad said to me, "O.K., so his name is Josh, huh?"
"Yeah," I answered. "Iíll fill you in later, if you really need to know."
"Of course I need to know," he laughed. "But you better get your ass in here, if you can tear yourself away from lover-boy for long enough. We have a problem."
When I hung up the phone I turned to Josh and said, "Iím really sorry, but I have to go in."
"Thatís O.K.," he replied.
"You be alright here?"
"Yeah, of course."
"I wonít be long."
"Just go. And stop worrying."
I walked over to him and put my arms around his waist.
"Iím not worrying. Iím just going to miss you."
"Well, just think about me being here when you get back. Waiting for you."
"Now THAT, I can do."
"You better go," Josh said.
We kissed, then he pushed me away from him, mouthing the word, "GO."
With a new spring in my step that I hadnít felt in quite a while, I dressed and went down to the car, then headed for the office.
Brad was there by the front door as I went in, his face lighting up as soon as he saw me.
"Whatís the problem?" I said to him.
"Not sure," he replied. "But the boss needs you to sort something out."
"So, whatís he like? Is he good looking?"
"Yeah mate, he is."
"Can I meet him?"
"One dayÖ maybe," I answered, then we came to the office of the General Manager. "Later, O.K.?"
"Sure," he replied, then slunk off to his office with a grin on his face, finally satisfied that I was going to give up my little secret.
* * * * *
It took longer to solve the problem than I had originally thought, and it was well into the afternoon when I finally got out of the office again.
I called Josh a couple of times to see he was alright, then again to tell him I was just leaving.
"See you soon," he replied.
As I drove home from the office a short while later, with an expectant smile on my face, I eventually reached Ďhisí corner.
I looked at the wall of the building and noticed that he wasnít there. I smiled to myself this time, thinking about the number of times I had passed that corner and wondered where he was.
This time was different. This time I knew exactly where I could find my boy on the corner.
~ The End ~
(c) 2002 Mark Peters
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