The south side of Colchester has a reputation: if it’s illegal and makes you feel good, you can find it here. The same can be said about Gems, the scandalous little secret that hides deep in the heart of that gritty urban maze. Gems is the hottest gay bordello to be found east of the Mississippi. Its clientele includes some of the most affluent men in the world; bored men with money to burn and certain elite tastes. There is no price tag too high, no scruple too low, no fantasy that cannot be lived once you’re through the door at Gems. As long as your money is good, there are only two rules that need to be followed:
One is never touch the beautiful jewels until your credit card has cleared.
Two is never to fall in love with the clients or the precious gems.
Tonight, one of those rules is about to be broken…
One ~ Ian
He was the most alluring creature I had ever seen.
My fingers itched to touch him, to skim over the glimpses of pearly flesh that peeked out of the satiny red robe he wore. His flesh was rich and milky, powdered surely to give it that creamy glitter. But in the right light, and he was positioned perfectly under a soft ivory globe, the smooth thigh that slid provocatively from within the flowing robe seemed to shift and change in an erotic play of color. There was no looking away from him. He was mesmerizing. Soft and slender, his lips painted deepest red, his brown eyes lined with kohl, his ebony hair held up off his swan-like neck with a jewel-encrusted hair comb. Each opal in the comb flashed and twinkled when he rotated his head to look out over the sea of men shopping for the right gem to purchase.
My cock throbbed steadily. My mouth was dry. I needed a drink. Badly.
“You sure this is a good idea?” Butch asked, nudging me in the side with his elbow. A server in a deep blue vest, white shirt, and trousers stopped in front of us, flutes of champagne and small dishes of caviar on his tray. I lifted a flute from his tray, Butch did as well, and then we motioned the man away. “I know the place comes highly recommended and all but maybe a gay bar would be a better choice.”
“No, I hate bars. They’re nothing but cattle auctions.”
“But whorehouses are okay? You’re fucked in the head. No offense, boss.” None was taken. I was too enamored to be offended. “I take it that guy in the red robe is your pick? You’ve not looked at any of the others here.”
“None of the others compare,” I stated, taking a deep drink, the bubbles tickling my tongue. His grunt was like granite. Butch Hurley could tell a whole story with just that growl of disagreement. “Tell the owner I want him. Opal.” Yes, Opal. It was the perfect name for the Asian beauty. I twisted to the left to see around another man who was intent on checking out a long-legged redhead arranged just so on a velvet settee. His name – ‘Garnet’ – on an antique cherry pedestal sign holder beside his display area, just as my chosen desire’s nameplate was. Opal was situated on a soft white, low slung sort of charpoy bench, lying on his side, that one hairless leg displayed to the seventy or so men here. Seventy men bidding for the favors of ten gorgeous fallen angels. Rent boys, if you’d rather cheapen things. Hookers if you’re in the gutter. But the stunning courtesans of Gems were no mere street corner whores, or so one of my stockholders had discreetly informed me. Did one call a male prostitute a courtesan? What did one call them? Boy of easy virtue? Seemed a man such as Opal should never be called anything less than a pleasure boy or a soiled dove. “Tell the owner that I’ll give him ten thousand dollars for the night.”
“Jesus, Ian, calm down. You’d think you’d never seen a man before.”
“Yes, sorry, I just…sorry.” I tossed back the champagne, appalled at how I’d been drooling over the young man poised so prettily on his little bench. “It’s been a long time.”
“No one told you to be celibate during the divorce proceedings. That little rat fuck Dante did not deserve the settlement you gave him. Little shit cheated on you and you set him and his boy up for life.”
“He was unhappy. I made him unhappy.”
“You made him fucking rich,” Butch huffed, snagged two more flutes of champagne from a passing server, and handed me one. “Such a soft-hearted mogul you are.”
“Those are contradictory terms,” I informed him, my gaze roaming up over Opal’s perfectly formed limb. Ankle, calf, thigh, hip. All glistening with light powdery perfection. My balls ached. “Find the owner, tell him I’ll give him fifteen thousand for the night.”
“Ian McDougald, calm your ass down.” Butch gave me a shake. “There’s no advance ordering, according to Bernard. When his auction begins, you offer what you think is a fair price, and then the bidding starts. If you have the highest bid, he’s yours for the night.”
“How high do the bids usually go?” I slammed back the pink champagne. “And wipe that look off your face. Head of personal security or not, if you keep glaring at me like a priest, I will fire your ass.”
“Of course, boss,” he muttered, knowing full well I’d never can him. He was the only family I had and there was no shared blood between us. There was over twenty years of friendship, though, and as we gays know, the family you choose is sometimes better than the family you were born into. “Just cool your jets. Bidding will start in exactly…” He checked the Rolex on his wrist. “Five minutes. Need to go piss or anything?”
“As if I could piss with this fucking erection,” I mumbled into my flute then drained the last drop, sucking it from the delicate crystal, my eyes levering up to the tastefully decorated ceiling then feathering back down to land on Opal. Those alluring brown eyes decorated with black touched on me for the merest of seconds. I feared coming in my slacks with no other means of stimulation other than a glance from Opal. It really had been far too long…
“Just think of baseball, then, or those boring damn propulsion systems you love so much.”
My thoughts were too scattered to settle on business. Yes, I did love propulsion systems. I really loved tiny thrust systems for small satellites. So did the military. They absolutely creamed their camouflage shorts over my little satellite systems. The government had made Blue Moon Propulsion & Aerospace Systems one of the top ten space companies in the world. And in doing so they had made me a wealthy man.
Hard to imagine that a tiny idea I’d had back during my days at MIT would lead me to this moment in time. Freshly divorced man of forty-five in a high-priced brothel with a boner and a serious case of infatuation for a pretty rent boy. If the four-star generals and senators who courted me so nicely could see me now. I wasn’t even sure if it was really me here or some doppelganger. Ian McDougald, son of proud Catholic Scottish immigrants, didn’t do this kind of kinky shit. Sure, he was gay and out, but he was one of those button-down gays. The kind that probably voted Republican and knew their place. A quiet, controlled gay. Not a flouncy one. And most definitely not one of those gays who marched in pride parades or bought pricey courtesans for a night of slippery sex with a beautiful stranger.
I was about to ask Butch to go find the owner. Patience had never been one of my strong suits, when a tall man in a fabulously cut tuxedo walked down the grand marble staircase that led from the second floor where, I assumed, the private suites were, into the ground floor viewing area. Slicked back dark hair, small eyes, deeply cut cheekbones, and a smile that was far too pleasant to be real.
“That’s Kennedy Parks, the flesh monger who owns and runs Gems,” Butch whispered in my ear as the conversation died off.
“That’s a rather classless term for a man who offers such rare and expensive beauties,” an older Black man beside us said.
“Agreed. Perhaps we could find a more suitable moniker. Ponce, perhaps, or fancy man,” I offered and the heavyset man on the other side of Butch nodded.
“Call him what you want, those of us born here in the southside call things as we see them, and that’s a flesh monger. Sure, he’s a fancy whoremaster, but he’s still selling flesh to the highest bidder. That makes him a pimp, plain and simple.”
I opted to not argue. In truth, my bodyguard and best friend was right. Butch always spoke the truth, sometimes even when he shouldn’t. Gucci clothing and thousand dollar watches aside, Kennedy Parks was a pimp and we were all whoremongers. That realization left a bitter taste in my mouth, yet when Kennedy went to stand beside Opal to open the bidding, I shouted out an opening bid of ten thousand dollars. Standards be damned.