Absolutely everything had been typical up to the point of Louis arriving at the predetermined rendezvous point, but well bred nerves danced about his shoulders anyway in the familiar icy electricity that had kept him alive and relatively unharmed during every paid tryst he’d attempted. These were the same nerves that saved ancestors walking down muddy colonial streets on a dark night. The same that shivered in the woods when the fire was in sight but the warmth too far away. Well bred nerves.
But now they had been short circuited, as the client who greeted him at the suite looked like nothing to fear at all. Not at first. Doors opened on beguilingly large eyes, a small face he had to tilt his chin down to look at, and someone who looked decided unlike any client he’d had before. At once he leaned back and doubled checked the number but-
“You’re in the right place, come in.”
Louis didn’t lean forward and instead turned his head away, looking down the hall and then side ways at the young man in the door before glancing past him and into the suite for any sign of a set up.
“Louis, come in.”
The man at the door grabbed him by the wrist and when their gazes met those big brown eyes went wide, like he’d only just caught sight of him. Usually Louis would wrench his hand away if grabbed like that before any ground rules had been stated, but those nerves of his were still dazed and he failed to do anything except stand and stare.
“There we are, come in it won’t take long.” The young man pulled him through the door into the hotel suite and nothing was out of place except for the duvet and a game system thrown atop the mussed sheets. A pizza box was open and picked over, MarioKart’s title screen trilled from the television, outside the window he could see the part of the Venetian across the street, glittering in the night as Las Vegas hotels were wont to do. Louis was stunned still and began quickly wondering just what all he was going to get busted for in this very obvious sting.
The young man let him go and then stood back, gesturing at himself. He was dressed nicely, black suit, as if he really were going out and needing a companion for the evening as his messages had stated. However, his tie was undone and he gestured at this. “Tie this for me, would you?”
Louis obligaged and the entire time he was looking between his shaking fingers and the unfettered stare of the young, very young, man who was watching him work with perfect concentration. When tied up properly he tucked the tie into his vest and then buttoned the second button on his three button suit. He turned and looked into the mirror in the suite’s foyer.
“Excellent, thank you.” He fished into his pants pocket and dropped a wad of 20’s into Louis’ hand without looking back from the mirror. “You’re dismissed.”
Louis wasn’t sure what to make of anything and his brow knit in the middle with a severe case of the elevens.
The man, ‘Armand’ if Louis went off the names he signed his messages with, pursed his lips and looked at his call boy’s reflection in the mirror.
“Unless you still want to join me, and I’m not going to be offended if you do or don’t. I’m bringing along a stronger magnet this time,” he began with incoherent order and further confusing Louis. “Which should make collecting coins in the Bellagio fountain that much easier. An assistant to help me collect samples without drawing attention will be useful. You can distract as I extract.”
What would someone with wads of twenty dollar bills want with a couple of coins flicked into a fountain? Much less in a three piece suit and a tie he couldn’t even tie himself.
As Louis would discover with Armand on their many, many trips out, there was a lot of hypocrisy. Namely, that he paid for the attention of a man who found him charming enough to be around for free.