Tristan was bored.
At least business had been steadier lately at Market Garden, ever since the Christmas lull had ended. Apparently the wealthy elite had placated all the annual demands for gifts and family time, and could now spare money and evenings for expensive rentboys. Great for the wallet, but as far as Tristan was concerned, the only thing worse than no john was the same john every bloody night. Well, not the exact same guy. Just an endless stream of clones coming through the black curtain in search of a night’s entertainment. Every one of them wanted the same thing, and they all grinned and smirked like they were the first mugs ever to ask a rentboy to suck a cock or bend over. Yawn.
“I could use a refill.” Jared held up his empty glass. “You?”
Tristan looked into his own glass and realised he was almost to the bottom. “Sure. I’ll pick up the next one.” The drinks were free, but he and Jared took turns fighting the crowd to the bar for refills.
“Sounds good.” Jared slid out of the booth and headed for the bar.
Tristan watched him, and couldn’t help grinning. There was a sexy little strut in Jared’s step these days. Ever since the two of them had started working together and double-teaming johns, Jared had gained some much-needed confidence, and it showed. God, but he was both cute and mouth-watering, and that gorgeous little arse in those tight leather trousers was icing on the cake. He even flirted shamelessly with Raoul and the other bartenders now.
Johns and rentboys alike glanced at Jared, checking out his lithe body in all that gorgeous, tight leather. As Tristan watched them watch Jared, both pride and a hint of jealousy swelled in his chest.
Look all you want, lads. I get to fuck him.
Tristan shivered at the thought. Even if it was only for the sake of performing for their johns and making a few hundred quid, he enjoyed the hell out of being with Jared. With a body like that and a mouth that talented, who wouldn’t? Even if they didn’t know Jared was also sweet, funny, smart . . .
Jared came back a moment later, drinks in hand, and slid into the booth beside Tristan.
“Thanks,” Tristan said.
“Don’t mention it.”
Tristan slid his hand over Jared’s leather-clad thigh under the table in their shadowy booth. At least things had been more interesting since they’d started working together. Fucking a john while Jared watched, or—even better—fucking Jared while the john watched, that kept his interest. Most of the time, anyway. Lately, even that was getting repetitive.
Or rather, frustrating. They had to concentrate on pleasing their paying clients, and those clients nearly always wanted to get involved in more ways than just sitting back and watching, which meant Tristan never could focus exclusively on Jared. The more they did this, the more he wanted to do exactly that. What he wouldn’t have given to get Jared alone for a little while, away from the distraction and interference of the guys who kept their wallets nice and fat. The uptight kid had relaxed a lot recently. He’d been inching out of his shell ever since they’d partnered up, and Tristan wanted to know what else Jared had up his sleeve.
Except the more Jared came into his own, the less interested he seemed in Tristan. Lately, it’d been strictly business for him. A performance he could have put on with any other rentboy. He’d even gone back to taking a lot of johns on his own. As more men turned Jared’s head, Tristan desperately wanted to work up the nerve to suggest skipping out of work and spending a little time in his flat, doing what they wanted rather than what someone else wanted them to do. Jared seemed to enjoy working with him, but how would he feel about sleeping with Tristan for free? Or even just hanging out and having a conversation that didn’t include keeping an eye on the door for would-be clients? Tristan could’ve sworn there’d been a little crush going on in the beginning, and now he was kicking himself for not making his move before Jared’s interest in him cooled in favour of johns and money.
“You boys look bored.” Nick, one of the kinkier rentboys, appeared beside their booth with a characteristic smirk on his thin lips. “Slow night?”
“Night’s still young.” Tristan sipped his soft drink. “What about you?”
Nick shrugged, the gesture extra flippant in true Nick style. “Just waiting for a worthwhile victim to show up.” He shifted his always-predatory gaze towards Jared. “You sure you don’t want to play with some of the kinky customers?”
Tristan slid his hand further over Jared’s leg.
“I don’t know,” Jared said. “I’m having a pretty good time with the ones I get.”
Another shrug. “Suit yourself. But if you ever change your mind . . .”
“I’ll give it some thought.” Jared sounded sincere. Genuinely interested, not just being polite.
Nick grinned. Tristan said nothing, just ran his thumb back and forth over the inseam of Jared’s trousers. Funny, Jared used to squirm under Tristan’s touch, but now it was as routine as flirting with potential clients. Something to entice johns and establish that Jared and Tristan worked together with no implications that they were together.
Nick glanced at the door, and straightened. “Oh. Looks like tonight’s paycheque just arrived. I’ll talk to you guys later.” With that, he was gone.
“Think we’ll ever get a client like one of his?” Jared asked.
“You never know.”
“Could be fun.” Jared played with his straw. “Good money, too.”
“It could.” Jealousy flared in Tristan’s chest. He wasn’t into the same things Nick was. The bondage, the pain play, it was all fine and good, but it wasn’t his thing. He liked the power games, just not the implements and bloodshed. He hadn’t thought Jared was into that kind of thing either, but everyone knew Nick made a killing servicing the kinkier johns. There was nothing stopping Jared from partnering up with him and getting in on that action.
How the hell do I tell him I want him for myself?
“Hey.” Jared leaned closer, lips brushing Tristan’s ear. “You remember that guy who paid us to fool around while he watched? The first time, I mean?”
Tristan shivered and squeezed Jared’s leg. “How could I forget?”
“Yeah, well.” Jared tilted his head towards the door. “Look who just walked in.”
Tristan turned his head.
Well, fuck me.
There he was. Suited and booted, looking like he owned the place, flashy gold watch peeking out from the end of an expensively tailored suit.
Rolex. We meet again.
And he was coming right towards them, too.
“Looks like we might be making some money tonight,” Jared said with a grin.
Is that opportunity I hear knocking? Tristan ran his hand higher up Jared’s leg. “Hope he stopped at the bank on his way here.”
Rolex strolled up to their table. He gave Jared a long look, then Tristan. “I was hoping you boys would be here tonight.”
“We are.” Tristan offered a toothy grin. “And you found us. Now what are you going to do with us?”
Rolex seemed to think on it for a moment, as if thrown off his stride, then grinned. “Oh, I’ve got a little fantasy in mind.”
“How kinky are we talking?” Tristan asked. “The place has specialists for the weirder shit.” His teeth snapped shut. Best not to give Rolex—or Jared—any ideas that might subtract Tristan from the night’s equation.
Rolex glanced around. “Nothing weird. You guys know I like to watch.” He leaned closer, flattening his palms on the table. “And give some orders along the way.”
“Orders, eh?” Tristan flashed him a wide grin, and Rolex laughed, clearly picking up the challenge. Tristan reached for his drink. “It’s a rematch, then?”
Rolex pushed his tongue against his teeth. “Yeah. In a manner of speaking.”
Tristan was intrigued enough that he glanced at Jared, picking up the nod there. It might not be just watching, but by now they’d had enough experience to play basically any john who entered the Garden by ear. Oddly, two against one wasn’t fair—even if the other guy called the shots. Totally different to play this game as a team. And they were a bloody good team, especially when paired up with a john as hands-off as Rolex.
“You ready to spend some money?” Tristan asked. You ready to watch me seduce him for real?
Rolex didn’t flinch. “I think I’m over my sticker shock from the last time.”
“Good. Let’s go.”