REG KNEW this room—had used it a number of times in the past. Had engaged in sex for entertainment on the bed, had bent over the dresser, had even come on the closet mirror once or twice, for effect.
He’d been comfortable here, with the smell of antiseptic, sweat, and old jizz. This was his work space, and he’d had no problems at all forgetting about the smell and engaging in the body of his partner, male or female, and participating in sex on camera for money.
No problems until now.
Now he cuddled his coffee like it was December instead of a hot and humid late July.
“Dex,” he moaned softly. “Dex, no. You can’t… I can’t.”
Dex had stunning blue eyes, innocent as a baby’s, so innocent it was hard to remember he had as many, if not more, porn films under his belt than Reg did. Dex didn’t do that anymore, though. Hadn’t since last October. Not since Chance—wait, Chase Summers, Reg always forgot—tried to kill himself.
Suddenly Dex had quit modeling and started bossing, and quit pining for his useless druggie ex-boyfriend and started living with Kane, who had stopped modeling too, and then they’d gotten married and adopted Kane’s niece, and now Reg was the oldest living porn model and all his friends were daddies.
Reg wasn’t sure if that was the exact chain of events, but then he was often muddy on cause and effect. He was really much better off in the now.
But right now sucked.
Dex looked up from his computer screen and turned those innocent eyes on Reg.
They were filled with nothing but compassion.
“Reg—I mean Digger—”
“Reg,” he said, because the Digger thing had been a day late and a dollar short and it didn’t matter now.
“Okay. Reg. You said it wouldn’t be a problem.”
“He’s….” Reg swallowed and darted a furtive glance across the room. The kid standing there in jeans and nothing else was drinking water, just like Reg had told him, hydrating with no sugar, because fucking for money was a strenuous occupation. His sandy-brown hair hung layered around his long square-jawed face, and his eyes—brownish-green, whatever the word was for that—were wide and friendly. He had pillow lips and a ten-inch cock, which made the wide and friendly eyes almost like a trap. Yeah, you could fall for this kid’s wide-eyed farm-boy routine, but watch out. He could suck your balls through your cock like a straw and then destroy your asshole with a few good strokes.
He was tall—six foot five now, because he’d grown two inches—with a long torso just waiting to fill out completely at the shoulders when the kid passed twenty-five. Or, oh God help him, twenty. Reg was almost ten years this boy’s senior, and he couldn’t even look the kid in the face. “He needs to find somebody else,” he said, taking a sip of his coffee and wishing it was laced with something stronger.
“For the shoot?” Dex clarified. “Or for real life?”
“I wasn’t supposed to be on the shoot, remember?” Reg asked bitterly. “I was supposed to be out of it. You said I could be out of it, and then you asked if I could fill in and I—”
Dex was looking at him like he was waiting for Reg to get something, but Reg wasn’t seeing it.
Of course, Reg didn’t see a lot of things. Reg was pretty goddamned stupid, but Dex was always nice enough to not say that.
He just waited, lush mouth slightly parted, eyes not quite as wide as the kid at the end of the room, but just as patient.
“What?” Reg asked, miserable. “What am I not getting?”
Dex shook his head. “Look, Reg? You undress down to your jeans, and then I’m going to leave the room for a sec. You two need to talk.”
Reg started to obey immediately, not sure why undressing was part of talking or why Dex would leave the room before a shoot. He often had one or two guys doing lights and other camera angles too—they weren’t there today, and Reg didn’t know why and frankly didn’t care.
He had one job to do. Get hard and get laid. He wasn’t smart, but that much he knew.
So he obeyed orders. He was good at that, even when he topped. It’s why he didn’t mind when the director made him start fucking or stop fucking or told him more tongue or less or when to come.
Orders meant direction.
Reg needed direction.
He looked up at the big kid in the corner and swallowed. Bobby had given him orders. Good ones, like “Let’s clean the house and go out” or “I’ll cook if you go buy these ingredients.”
In bed he’d been insatiable, had made as many of the decisions as Reg could stand, and Reg could stand a lot.
Or he could with Bobby.
Dex left, venturing into the hallway of the small office complex that Johnnies called home. This room had been outfitted to look like a bedroom—there were a couple here, so they could shoot more than one scene at a time. But the front office had a reception area and offices for John, the owner, and one for Dex, who did most of the editing, and now one for Reg, who didn’t fuck for money anymore but arranged public appearances and things.
He’d taken off his shoes and shirt, folded it neatly, and set them on a shelf in the corner with his shoes. There were locker rooms for clothes, but sometimes a director would decide he wanted different things for a shot, so always be prepared, right?
Also Reg had a place to keep his coffee, which was a plus. He should have brought water, like what Bobby was drinking, but he’d forgotten.
He hadn’t done this in a couple of months.
He stopped fidgeting with his stuff and then walked to where Bobby stood, arms crossed over what was already a magnificent chest, the recent scar still healing across his ribs and stomach notwithstanding. He stared at Reg with a no-bullshit expression that made him look years older.
“I’m sorry,” Reg said, not meeting his eyes. “I didn’t know it was you, or I would have made Dex get someone else. I’m sure I’m the last person you want to do a scene with and—”
“Reg, stop talking,” Bobby said sharply.
Reg looked up at him in surprise. He usually let Reg finish rambling—was, in fact, one of the few people who could stand to listen to Reg talk at all.
“Bobby?” His voice sounded broken to his own ears.
Bobby took two steps forward, looming over Reg’s five foot ten without apology. “You look like shit,” he said. “You haven’t been taking care of my boy.”
Reg bit his lip, miserable. “I told you to fuck off,” he whispered. “Twice.”
Reg still couldn’t look at him. “I… I can’t—”
Bobby reached out, and for a moment Reg thought he’d touch him tenderly, brush his cheek with his knuckle or hug him, and the thought made him want to cry.
Instead he grabbed Reg’s hair and tilted his head back slowly, until Reg had no choice but to look him in the eyes.
“You listen to me, Reggie.” He sounded angry and sad at once, and his mouth kept working, like he was having a hard time not letting his face crumple and cry. “We’re not here to fuck. That’s not why Dex put you in here.”
“But—” Reg gestured. “The scene!”
“You want to do a scene?” Bobby yanked him forward until their bare chests touched, and Reg’s body lit on fire with want. “Fine. We’ll do a scene. But you need to think about this right now, Reggie. If we do a scene, we’re not doing it for the camera, and we’re not doing it for money. We’re doing it because we’re together, and I’m not letting you push me away one more goddamned time.”
He was so close, his mouth soft and threatening, his arms locked around Reg securely.
Oh God, Reg felt safe.
He never felt safe in his life—unless he was right here.
He never felt wanted, just right here.
But he was too old. Too old and too stupid, and this kid… this kid here… he needed someone with promise. Someone he could regard as an equal, right?
Reg swallowed hard and thought about pulling away.
Bobby lowered his head and stayed poised, a breath away. A kiss away. A lifetime away.
“C’mon, Reg,” Bobby whispered. “What’s it going to be?”