Times were tough.
Kentrell Lewison had less than twenty bucks to his name when he stepped off the bus in New Orleans. Much of the city still lay in Katrina-wrought ruin, and the economy overall just plain sucked. Jobs here, as in the rest of the country, were hard to come by.
Kentrell was smiling.
He stowed his backpack in a locker, feeding enough coins into the meter to cover 48 hours’ rental. He shouldn’t need any more time than that. It was 11:15. The summer night was hot and clear. Perfect business conditions. He left the station and went straight to Bourbon Street.
He had just been a kid the first time he came to the French Quarter, three years before the infamous hurricane that would all but drown the city. Apparently an ocean wasn’t enough to wash out the perpetual smell of upchuck and pee. Or keep the party people away. Kentrell slipped his way through the Friday-night crowd, making eye contact with men and women alike. Maybe he’d get lucky. There were a lot of females out and about. Women seemed to feel safer playing in numbers. In places like this, groups of girlfriends had taken him on eagerly, multiplying his pleasure and, more importantly, his pay.
But luck wasn’t with him tonight. Plenty of the ladies—and even some men—looked into his eyes, intrigued, smiling, but easing away before he could strike up a conversation. No problem. He parked himself outside the main entrance of Frenched, the city’s biggest fag bar. Within, music was pumping so hard he could feel the beats shaking the wall at his back. Men of all ages, sizes, creeds, and colors flowed back and forth through the gaping double doorway in a constant stream.
Kentrell presented an enticing product. A dark-skinned African American, his slender, five-foot-ten body was chiseled, the muscles honed through daily workouts. He was twenty-four years old, but his cute, hairless face made him look innocent and barely eighteen. Yet the outfit he wore—a size XX jersey, baggy jeans sagging off his narrow waist, scuffed black work boots—gave him the look of a gangbanger. “Rough trade,” as the fags put it.
He had actually been a gangbanger once, back in his mid-teens. That career had been violent but, thanks to his mom, brief. He ran up a string of arrests for everything from truancy to assault with a deadly weapon before Mater decided she’d had enough and kicked him out. He’d thought of his gang as his “real” family, but none of them would do him the favor of taking in his homeless ass. With plenty of rival thugs gunning for him, he left Detroit and hitched his way to New Orleans, where he discovered being young and cute could pay big-time.
He got into doing the ladies, of course. Unfortunately it was mostly men who wanted his services. Fags disgusted him, but they were bigger, bolder spenders than women and, if he closed his eyes, their mouths on his dick felt no different than the females’. His terms with men were simple: cash up front, you suck me, keep your hands off my ass. He could live with that, and so, apparently, could the fags.
He unbuttoned his jersey, displaying the white wifebeater that clung like paint to his pumped pecs and six-pack. A grin tugged at his mouth, but he kept it off his face because thug sold better in this venue, and everyone knows thugs don’t smile. Not even five minutes passed before the first prospects started circling.
He decided on a tall, skinny, middle-aged white man, simply because he offered two hundred bucks, far more than anyone else present was willing to shell out. That would be enough cash to get him back to Nashville, where he currently made his home, and keep him solvent for a few days. Which was all he needed. Two years ago, he’d stumbled into another profession that was just as lucrative as pimping himself out to men, and far less disgusting. It was to further that second profession that he had come back to New Orleans.
The white man led him down the block and into an alley. They found a shadowed doorway. Kentrell leaned back against the door and held out his palm. The white man handed over two crisp one-hundred-dollar bills and got to his knees. Kentrell tugged down his drooping jeans until his dick popped into view. The man actually licked his lips. Kentrell grinned and shook his head.
Fags never ceased to amaze him.
This fag’s mouth was cold from too many daiquiris, which didn’t exactly help Kentrell’s reluctant cock come to life. Tough shit. He only agreed that the punk could suck on his stick, and he was now fulfilling his part of the contract. There’d be no refund if he couldn’t get it up.
Kentrell closed his eyes and turned his thoughts to more important things. He could start his real work when this freaky shit was done. Much as he hated to do it (he was exceedingly cheap), he’d have to spend money on a cab.
The tomb he planned to rob was outside the city.