Six – Opal
At six-thirty I vacated my suite so it could be cleaned and set up for tonight’s customer. I’d swapped the red robe for a pair of jogging pants, a white tank top with a rainbow toad on the front, and thick socks. They kept it cool in the suites as well as back here, behind the carefully crafted façade that was GEMS, back where the offices and employee quarters were located. Living here was part of the contract each of us signed. Most of the workers here were thrilled to have a small room with a bed, clean sheets, hot water, heat in the winter and AC in the summer. Meals – aside from a breakfast buffet of sorts – were not included but laundry service was for a small fee.
I slid into my room, one of ten behind Kennedy’s huge office/apartment and hit the shower first thing. I needed to shave but I’d tend to that later so my face was smooth as a woman’s when the customers were allowed in to peruse. Hunger clawed at my stomach but we had to wait for breakfast until seven. Then we’d be allowed to meet in the main bidding room and have some of the coffee and pastries that the customers had left over. We all took advantage of the free stuff because it saved on our own food costs and gave us time to spend together. A small band of odd brothers we were. The day was ours to do with as we wished. Most of us slept, but we could go out to shop, see a movie, hang out with friends. Not that we had many friends outside the sex business. We gems tended to cling to each other because few outside this world could fully understand us or the lives we lived.
I shampooed and then conditioned the shit out of my hair. Maybe I’d go to the nail parlor down the street and get a mani/pedi and a wax. That would set me back about a sixty bucks – Kennedy paid half since it was his obsessive rules about his gems being clean and well-tended. No gangly toenails or callouses on our feet were allowed. No hairy assholes or wild pubic mounds. Everything must be waxed and tidy. Everyone had to be neat as a pin, in Kennedy’s words, because the customers did not like dirty boys. Well, they did but they didn’t like their boys to reek or have crusty fingernails. It was all about the illusion here. After I rinsed the conditioner out of my hair, I washed well, scrubbing twice, once with an antibacterial wash which was followed by a gentler soap with moisturizer.
I was trying to comb the knots out of my miserable hair when someone rapped on the door.
“Yeah,” I called, tugged, winced, and lowered the comb. Garnet stuck his red head around the door. I waved him in. “Come in. The others down already?”
“All except Onyx. I think his bidder was rough on him.”
“Fucker,” I hissed, working the comb through a large gnarl. “We’ll check him before we go down, yeah?”
“Yeah, let’s do that. You do okay?” Garnet was a nice guy, tall and lean, pale, freckles, and working that boy next door look well. I’d totally do him but it was against the rules. “You look like you got a sucker.”
“Mm, yeah, he was something,” I replied, rubbing my fingers over the red mark Ian had left on my neck. I thought to mention to Garnet that I’d gotten off twice last night but I kept that to myself. Getting hard happened, sure, on occasion, mostly when the bidder demanded it and worked hard at it. But to pop wood twice and come like I had was weird. Then again, the whole night with Ian had been weird. “He wanted to talk. And hold each other.”
Garnet chortled, his back resting on the doorframe, long legs crossed at the ankle. He was super casual as well, soft lounge pants, t-shirt, socks. We spent hours and hours in make-up and costumes so our down time was all about the comfort.
“I didn’t think you did baby kink,” he said when I rose from the bed and tossed my comb to the dresser.
“I don’t.” I pulled on clean underwear, fleece pants, tank top, and socks. The shit I’d worn from suite to room had been scrubbing on cum-sticky skin so into the hamper it had gone. “I think he was just lonely or something, maybe? Told me he’d signed divorce papers yesterday so I guess he was just sad or some shit? I don’t know.”
“Fucking bidders, eh?”
“You’re too Canadian to be looking so All-American,” I joked, pushing his shoulder playfully. He took a playful swing at me. “Come on, let’s go check Onyx then eat. I’m fucking wiped out.”
We headed down the corridor, not up, and knocked softly on the fourth door down, left hand side of the hallway. Onyx told us to go away.
We tried the door but it was locked. “Told you he was hurting,” Garnet whispered beside my ear. I nodded and rapped again, but the reply was the same. “He never misses the breakfast buffet.”
We left our friend to sleep it off. Sometimes that helped. What would be the biggest help would be to give the guy a few nights off but that was not happening here. You were on that floor by nine forty-five p.m. sharp and in place by ten or your ass was Kennedy’s and that fucker could take a pound of flesh. I knew, I’d pushed a time or two when I’d first come here. I’d not stepped out of line since. Kennedy was a first-class pimp with a deviant streak that few saw unless they broke the rules.
When we arrived downstairs, the doors had been locked, the drapes drawn, and the cleaning staff granted permission to begin working. They were upstairs, vacuuming, stripping stained sheets and covers, and disinfecting the bathrooms. I nodded to the other eight young men spread out on the settees, loveseats, and wingback chairs for customer use.
Diamond gave me a long look. I gathered my hair up into a ponytail to ease his hair in the food phobia. He smiled casually and tossed me an apple and cranberry muffin. Diamond was the perfect name for him because he was as hard as they came. Beautiful, too, like stunningly so. Dyed silver hair cut short on the sides with a long mop on top, the build of a fullback, and eyes the color of a peacock’s plumage. The bidders he attracted were into the rough stuff. There were a few others here who got into various kinks like bondage, Dom/sub, leather, puppy play, slave/master, and age play but Diamond had a thing for flogging and candle play, it was rumored. There had been times you’d hear the shouts from the orgasmic bidders leaking through the walls of his suite.
“Kennedy is going to freak when he sees that mark on your neck,” Diamond said, his long, thick legs stretched out in front of him.
“Yeah, I’ll get it covered before the bidders arrive,” I tossed over my shoulder. Diamond was older than the majority of us, perhaps closer to thirty, and had been here for twelve years. Or so he told us. He liked to think of himself as the head of our lowly group. “You hear Onyx had a rough one last night?” I asked, filling a cup with coffee as Citrine and Ruby got into a discussion of anime heroes that grew a little loud.
“Quiet!” Diamond barked and the two twits fell into silence. “Anyone stop by his room to check on him?”
“We did, but he wouldn’t let us in,” Garnet told Diamond as he piled several pastries into a glass plate.
“I’ll go talk to him. You all eat and get to bed. We’ll meet down here at three for dinner.” With that the big man stood, stretched arms the thickness of logs over his head, and climbed the stairs to check on Onyx.
“Nice to have someone who cares,” Amber said, his green gaze following Diamond up the stairs. I sat down beside him, shaking my head. Amber was our resident puppy play go-to boy, and while his adorable clean-cut face and lean build was perfect for his chosen bidders, he was not at all the type of guy Diamond would even look at. Didn’t matter if he did manage to catch Diamond’s eye, relationships between gems was strictly forbidden. Love tended to make a guy want to be with the man they loved, and only that man, and monogamy was a dirty word here. No steady boyfriends or marriage until our contracts expired. For me that was in another five years. I’d signed on for seven.
Most of us were let go when we reached twenty-five as we were inching close to “too old” for the bidders who liked their gems young, younger, and youngest. Some even asked for underage. They were shown the door immediately and the police then got an anonymous call about a certain Mr. Whatever and his predilections for young boys. Had to give Kennedy that much, he did not tolerate pedophiles. At all.
“We care, buddy,” Garnet said and sat down on the other side of Amber.
Amber laid his brown head to Garnet’s shoulder and made puppy dog eyes at him. Things then fell into the usual morning routine, eating and talking about the night’s bidders and what assholes they were. I nibbled on my apple-cranberry muffin in silence. Usually, I was way into the conversations because the majority of my bidders were fucking jerkoffs who insisted I fall into the weak, submissive, broken English “me love you long time” Asian stereotype bullshit. Not Ian. He’d seemed appalled at some of the things that I’d said. He had taken his time with me, aroused me, made me come, twice, and then wanted to hold me. He’d fallen asleep beside me.
I plucked a tiny cranberry from the wedge of muffin left on my plate and placed it on my tongue. Ian wasn’t the ordinary bidder. He was different, caring, soft around the edges instead of brittle, kind. I hoped he would come back tonight and bid on me. It was unlikely. Ian McDougald seemed like the kind of man who’d come out to play but once and would never sully himself by slinking back to the seedy side of town again.