Author: K.C. Wells
Genre: M/M Romance
Two months after Mitch Jenkins had the rug pulled out from under him when his two-year relationship came to an abrupt end, he is still hurting. A colleague’s attempt to cheer him up brings Mitch to a secret “club.” Mitch isn’t remotely interested in the twinks parading like peacocks, until he spies the young man at the back of the room, nose firmly in a book and oblivious to his surroundings. Now Mitch is interested.
Nikko Kurokawa wants to pay his debt and get the hell out of the Black Lounge—where he is forced not only to have sex, but sometimes suffer abuse to please clients. Earning his freedom isn’t proving easy, especially when he starts attracting interest. Life becomes that little bit easier to bear when he meets Mitch, who is nothing like the other men who frequent the club. And when Mitch crawls under his skin and into his heart, Nikko figures he can put up with anything. Before long he’ll be out of there, and he and Mitch can figure out if they have a future together.
Neither of them counted on those who don’t want Nikko to leave….
“So?” Aaron nudged him again. “Which one lights your candle?” He grinned. “You’ve got to admit, there are some beautiful men in there.” He nodded toward one young man standing nearest the window. He was stroking down over his chest and well-defined abs, to where a thick cock jutted out toward them. Just then the young man turned and bent over, reaching back to spread his cheeks and reveal a pink, glistening hole, clearly lubed. He wiggled his ass, his dick bobbing stiffly.
Aaron smothered a chuckle. “Wow. He’s eager.”
That wasn’t the word in Mitch’s mind. He preferred blatant, and it wasn’t turning him on. In fact, none of them were.
“This is a mistake,” he said quietly. “Thanks for bringing me here, but honestly, this isn’t me. And there isn’t one guy who does it for me.” His gaze swept across the room, taking in the smiling, pouting faces and….
Mitch stopped, his pulse quickening. “Him.” How did I miss him?
Aaron peered in the direction of Mitch’s stare. “Which one?”
At the back of the room was a small table and a couple of armchairs facing each other. In one of them sat a young man with long, black hair tied in a single braid down his back. He was Japanese in appearance, with small, round glasses perched on his nose. Physically he was slight, not that tall as far as Mitch could tell. Unlike the others, he wore a pair of jeans and a white shirt.
What caught Mitch’s attention was the fact that he was reading a book, his legs curled up under him, lost in his own world.
“Mitch?” Aaron pinched his arm.
“Hey!” Mitch grumbled, rubbing the spot near his elbow. “What was that for?”
“You were off in cloud cuckoo land.” Aaron cocked his eyebrows. “Well? I repeat, which one?”
“The one with the book.” There was something so delightfully incongruous about him that Mitch was intrigued.
Mitch dragged his gaze away to give Aaron a firm stare. “You said to take my pick, so I pick him.” He couldn’t account for the way his body reacted to the young man. His heart pounded and his mouth was dry.
“That’s Nikko. He’s new here.”
Mitch turned toward the speaker. A dark-haired man wearing a black suit and matching shirt smiled at him. “My name is Randy. I’m here to give you any information you require.” He gave a flick of his head toward the window. “Nikko only joined us recently. Would you like to meet him, and if so, for how long?”
His heart still racing, Mitch regarded the young man who was oblivious to his surroundings. “An hour?”
Beside him Aaron chuckled. “And that’s my cue to leave.” He patted Mitch on the arm. “Enjoy, with my blessing. You can tell me all about it on Monday.”
“Thanks, Aaron.” Mitch gave him a warm smile. “And as for Monday? Uh-uh.” The smile became a grin. “I don’t kiss and tell.”
He snorted. “Spoilsport. And you have nothing to thank me for yet.” Aaron grinned. “See ya.” He walked toward the door and gave one last wave before disappearing through it.
Mitch returned his attention to Randy, who was regarding him with a hint of amusement. Mitch cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, I’m new to all this.”
Randy’s smile widened. “Then you and Nikko have something in common. Do you have your card?” Mitch held it up and Randy peered at it. “Okay, that’s fine. If you’ll come with me, please?”
He led Mitch through the door at the end of the lounge. They were in a long hallway with doors on either side. Randy escorted Mitch to door number seven and opened it. The room was small, but what it lacked in size, it made up for in furnishings. In the corner was a Chinese painted screen and a washbasin with a thick towel hanging from a rail beside it. Most of the space was taken up by a bed adorned with white sheets, a soft gray comforter, pillows, and cushions. A wide chair faced the bed, its cushions deep. There were no windows. At the head of the bed was a large mirror, and beside it, a small cabinet with two drawers.
“You’ll find condoms and packets of lube in the cabinet,” Randy said. “You’re aware of the club’s strict safe-sex policy.”
Mitch nodded. He had no problem with that. He’d never had bareback sex in his life.
“There are also some toys, should you require them. If there’s something particular you’d like, simply ask. We do cater for those clients who are into S&M, but they generally stipulate their needs ahead of time. Would that be of interest to you this evening?”
Mitch was sure his face was bright red. “Uh, not for me, thank you.”
Randy gave a polite nod. “Then I shall go and bring Nikko to you.” He exited the room.
Mitch gazed around him while he removed his jacket. He placed it on the chair and examined the prints on the wall. The room was definitely nothing like he’d expected; he’d had something much more austere in mind. A glance behind the screen revealed a toilet, tastefully hidden from view.
They really do think of everything.
Mitch scanned the walls and corners for any sign of a camera. Nothing. But from a safety aspect alone, he knew there had to be one in there somewhere.
Damn, they’re good.
He came back to the bed and sat, bouncing on it to test its springiness.
“Are we to be using it as a trampoline?” a soft voice asked.
Mitch jerked his head toward the door just as it closed gently. Nikko stood there, his fingers laced together in front of him, dark brown eyes focused on Mitch, his braid not visible, his expression impassive.
Mitch coughed and rose to his feet. “Maybe not.” He took a few steps toward Nikko, his hand extended, his belly tensed. Inwardly he cursed his uncertainty. It wasn’t as if he was a stranger to meeting guys, but after two years of being in a relationship, he felt decidedly out of practice. And this was definitely a new experience.
Nikko took his hand almost shyly and shook it, his fingers cool to the touch. “I’m Nikko.” The handshake over, he laced his fingers once more and stepped back, maintaining his distance from Mitch. His manner had Mitch retreating too.
“Is that your real name, or just one you use here?” Mitch wanted to know. When Nikko raised his eyebrows, Mitch felt the warm flush that rose up his chest and neck. “I’m sorry. This is my first time in a… in one of these places.”
Nikko became still for a moment, tension evident in his posture. When he smiled, it didn’t reach his eyes. “Then we have something in common. And to answer your question, Nikko is my real name. May I know yours?” Those eyes were captivating, a rich, deep brown framed with long, sooty black lashes, and set in a pale, unblemished face.
“I’m Mitch.” It was on the tip of his tongue to say Pleased to meet you, but the words sounded wrong given the circumstances. I don’t suppose there are etiquette rules for greeting a hooker in a brothel.
Not that Nikko resembled his preconceptions of what a hooker looked like. The young man was beautiful, maybe five foot five, six max. He felt tiny next to Mitch’s five foot eleven. Those clasped fingers were slim, his hands delicate. Mitch was reminded of one of his mother’s ethereal porcelain figurines in her china cabinet back home. They shared that same fragile quality.
“Are… are you feeling awkward too?” Nikko asked, biting his bottom lip. “You’re my first… client.” A flush crept across his cheeks and his ears turned red.
His words stirred something in Mitch’s chest, an absurd desire to enfold Nikko in his arms, to protect him. The yearning took him by surprise. Maybe it was Nikko’s slight build, his fragility, that engendered the inclination. Whatever it was, it sent a rush of warmth through Mitch’s body.
He beckoned to Nikko. “Come here.”
Slowly Nikko walked over to him, his gaze fixed on Mitch’s face. He stopped a few feet in front of him and tilted his chin up, not quite meeting Mitch’s gaze. The rapid rise and fall of Nikko’s chest, the ragged breathing, betrayed the nerves he hid. Mitch stretched out his hand to cup Nikko’s face, his large hand exaggerating the diminutive young man’s size.
“How old are you?” Mitch asked quietly. Nikko had to be barely legal.
“I-I’m twenty-two,” Nikko said in a low voice that cracked. “I know how I look, Mitch. I’m old enough to work here. This may be my first time with a client, but I’m not a virgin.”
“I never thought for a second that a virgin would be working here,” Mitch admitted. He tilted his head. “You can come closer, you know. I won’t hurt you.”
Nikko swallowed, blinking. “I… I’m sorry. It’s just that you’re not how I expected a client to be.”
Mitch took a step closer. “How did you think I would be?” He kept his voice low and soothing. Nikko reminded him of a colt he’d spent time with on his uncle’s farm as a boy. The young man gave an impression of being about to bolt at any second.
Nikko took a deep breath. “I didn’t expect to be treated with so much… respect.”
Now Mitch got it. “Come closer,” he said, coaxingly. When Nikko hesitated, Mitch gave him a warm smile. “Nikko, I meant it. I will not hurt you. I don’t have it in me to do that.”
Nikko regarded him in silence. “I believe you.” He inhaled slowly and took that last step to bring him to Mitch.
Mitch couldn’t help himself. He bent his head lower and took Nikko’s mouth in a gentle kiss. Nikko held himself still for a moment longer before putting his slim arms around Mitch’s neck and responding, his lips parting.
When Mitch broke the kiss, Nikko looked up at him with shining eyes. “Thank you.”
Nikko smiled, this time genuinely. “For being gentle.” His breathing hitched. “You… you make this easier than I thought it would be, Mitch.”
Mitch’s first reaction was a surge of pleasure, until a thought nagged at him. He paused, his hands on Nikko’s shoulders. “Are you here because you want to be?” Something about Nikko’s choice of words tugged at his mind.
Nikko regarded him, face calm. “I chose to be here, Mitch. Have no doubt about that.” There was no trace of deception in his voice or expression. He reached up with both hands and cupped Mitch’s face. “Kiss me again?” His Adam’s apple bobbed.
“Are you asking because you want to be kissed or because you feel you should ask?”
Nikko stared at him, lowering his hands, his eyes wide. “You are… perceptive.”
Mitch shrugged. “I use my eyes, is all. If you’d rather we sit on the bed for a while, maybe chat, that’s okay, I don’t mind.” He waited for Nikko to make the next move. The young man was skittish enough without Mitch making matters worse.
Nikko’s breathing grew more even. “Then I should like you to kiss me, because”—he stroked Mitch’s cheek, the touch light, and for the first time, he looked Mitch in the eye—“because I want you to.”
Mitch smiled. “That’s better.” He caressed Nikko’s cheek, brushing his fingertips over his cheekbones. “Because I want to kiss you.”
Nikko closed his eyes, lips parted, waiting.
Fuck. Nikko was beautiful.
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….
K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.
And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….