One morning Adam, after making sure his sister and mother had eaten and left the girl to the books he got for her and his mother on the mat staring at the ceiling yet again plucked up his courage and left for Suga-Xs club. He had no idea why he cared about this boy but he did. As he walked down the dirty street that in the morning could pass for a normal run down part of town and not a hiding place for the sad and lonely, the poor and helpless but also for the shameless men and woman who desired to please themselves with these same helpless men, woman and children, drinks and drugs.
He watched his feet drag over the rocks on the path he allowed himself to think of the events of that night. The cry he heard, convincing Suga-X to help him, finding the broken boy under the street light and the boy against a wall, watching Suga-Xs shield fall and seeing the soft side of one of the most feared men of the underworld, holding the crying boy against him and finding comfort in the silent presence of another person going through hell.
Adam realized how close ‘Nuit Rouge’ was to where he worked. Fate worked in such strange ways, if Adam had decided to take the back route home like he usually did he would never have found Finn, if he had chosen to ignore the cry he would not have held the boy against him yesterday, if he did not work here, none of this would have happened.
Almost too quickly Adam reached the front doors to the club and was walking through. He walked in and it was a quite, nice atmosphere with some song playing softly in background. It was morning and the only people there were two or three morning drinkers, the bartender and a small boy sitting at the counter where the bartender was chatting away to him.
Adam recognized the boy to be Finn and wondered how he managed to shrink himself so small. Adam walked over to him and stood behind him. He slowly stretched his hand out to touch his shoulder. Finn jumped off the chair and turned around. The obvious fear and worry drained out of his face when he saw who it was.
For some strange reason Finn had found comfort in the stranger who had been sitting beside him. The stranger he had sunk into, the stranger who had put his hand around Finn instead of pushing him away and ever since he found out the strangers name, nothing else occupied his mind.
Adam, Finn concluded, was gorgeous with his white hair, slightly pale skin and ear piercings, the only thing he thought out of proportion was how he looked like he barely ate. He had warm eyes that just made you want to trust him but the only difference from Adam’s eyes and his mothers eyes was that his weren’t glistening with crooked light but were instead welcoming and calming. Finn didn’t want to trust him but he was doing so without a choice.
“Hello Finn.” Adam whispered out.
“Did you forget my name already?” Adam asked in a small voice trying to make it seem as though he was just poking fun at him when in reality he was hurt. Finn’s name had been repeated multiple times. His name fell like precious pearls from Adam’s lips, each syllable rolled across his tongue in a pleasant way and it hurt him that Finn had forgotten his name.
“No, I’m sorry I didn’t forget your name.” he paused for a minute “Adam, for me to forget your name I need to stop thinking about it.” He returned to his seat at the counter.
Adam felt his heart stop when the boy confessed his secret. As it turned out both boys held the precious secret of knowing each other’s names close to their hearts and treasured it far more than the light they see every morning.
“How are you?” Adam asked him sitting down next to him at the counter.
“I guess I’m better, there aren’t any weird men around” He paused and looked at the bartender “except Harry over there of course.” He cracked a small smile at the bartender who winked at him. “And well you’re here as well.” He whispered as softly as possible.
Adam wasn’t expecting such a reply and was pleasantly shocked. If he had been happy to see the boy smiling then he was now beyond ecstatic. He chided himself for being so attached to the boy, Adam had just met him and already wanted to keep him safe and protected.
“What are you doing here?” Finn asked him, his eyes still focused on the empty cup in front of him.
“I- um, I came to see if you were okay.” He stuttered out.
“You did?” Finn had turned around to face him, his eyes were wide and his face had lit up. Adam, who was anxious as it was, misinterpreted his happiness for disgust and scrambled for a cover up.
“Ya, I had to pass by here to go somewhere and I decided to check up on you.”
“Oh” Finn’s face deflated “well thank-you. I should probably go and shower. Bye.” He got up and walked away.
“You idiot, why did you lie to him?” the bartender had wacked him with a towel on his hand and was now looking at him disappointedly.
“What I didn’t… I didn’t lie. It was the truth, I came to check if he was okay.” Adam defended, trying very hard to not show the embarrassment he felt upon being caught in a lie.
“Shut up, I know you work at “Desear”, you know the brothel before our club. You had no need to come all the way here except to see Fi. You upset him you know. He had gotten so happy when you told him that you came to see him.”
“No, he wasn’t excited or happy, I probably scared him.”
“Shut up kid, you don’t know him like I do. He’s sixteen and alone in the world and he believes no one likes him and he thinks he has no one, even though those of us here are like his family so when you told him you went out of your way to check up on him. Well you can imagine how happy he was and then you went and lied to him you idiot.” Another whack with the towel.
“I thought he got scared, what do I do? I don’t want him to be sad.”
“Go and tell him, just go and apologize for lying. He’s probably not in the shower.”
Adam raced up the stairs, following Harry’s instructions and found himself at a plane brown door and he plucked up his courage and knocked. Once, twice, thrice but no one answered.
Adam entered the room slowly but there was no one in sight. He heard water from the shower and a slight humming. He walked to the bathroom and stood outside the door listening to Finn humming the tune to the song that was playing downstairs.
Adam was mesmerized; Finn’s voice was soft, calm and relaxing. He held emotion in each note; the sounds blended together and made a perfect melody. His voice, Adam felt had taken him up to the clouds and that he was now lying amongst them. Adam didn’t know how long he stayed there listening to him sing but almost too soon it was over and he heard the water turn off. Adam backed away from the door and ran out of the room, closing it behind him.
Harry was wrong, Finn didn’t think like that. Adam decided to leave, he couldn’t worry about Finn. He speed walked out of the club and into the morning light. He contemplated going back home but decided against it and just roamed the streets.
Finn got out of the shower to hear his door being closed and was thoroughly confused. He had left Adam at the counter because he couldn’t bare the fact that he had been stupid enough to believe that someone would go out of his or her way to check up on him. Especially a stranger he just met. Finn had felt stupid and naïve and did not want to be there any longer. There was a reason why he didn’t interact with others that much, he hated being left behind, forgotten and hurt. He knew he brought pain, sadness and suffering on others when he got close to them but he couldn’t help it, he needed people.
When Adam told him that he had come to the club specifically for him, Finn couldn’t believe it but then he realized even Adam had just thought it was the polite thing to do. Finn was becoming attached to Adam way too quickly and it scared him. There was nothing worse to Finn than someone who made him feels comfortable; there was also nothing he loved more.
Adam was not only beautiful but he was also kind. From what Harry had told him he suffered tragedy but if you looked at him or held a conversation with him then you wouldn’t think his life was anything less than perfect. He talked with such happiness and calmness in his voice it gave you hopes. Even though his voice was calm and gracious, he emitted energy and excitement. Finn liked the feeling he got around him. He didn’t want to lose this person. He was a gift.
Finn after changing went downstairs to find Harry sitting at the counter with his feet up, alone.
“He came up to talk to you but he told me you were in the shower and left. You might still be able to catch up, he’s probably walking around on the streets.”
“Thank-you, I’ll be back soon.”
Finn raced out the doors with wet hair and his clothes sticking to him. He ran down the path that led to where he usually slept. He didn’t know why he expected Adam to be there but he was and he was sitting on the floor with his head and back resting back on the wall and his hands tied in his lap. He looked peaceful and calm. Finn wanted to capture him like this and stay in this moment.
Not wanting to disturb Adam but also be in his company, he sat down next to him replicating his position. He felt good, he felt at peace sitting next to this boy who had suddenly come in to his life and had already rented out space and was looking to stay.
Finn closed his eyes as well and drained in Adam’s presence. He felt the world around him dissolve as he fell in to the serenity of the situation. The mornings were usually quiet and even though they were sitting on the dirty sheet on which Finn would sleep on almost every night, he was happy, he was happy simply because he had Adam by his side.
He knew how stupid he must sound but to Finn, Adam felt constant and serene and he didn’t want to move so for the first time in months he let himself fall asleep without having to tire himself out. Sleep found him with open arms and glowed with a protective and comfortable light instead of the dark, swirling, pit he was usually swallowed by. As he fell asleep, Finn’s head fell on to the taller boys shoulder and neither stirred.
Adam was not asleep. He was simply waiting, for what he didn’t know but he felt that he should sit here and wait. He felt the same as when he decided to help Finn. He waited for not more than fifteen minutes when afore mentioned boy showed up, breathless and slightly panicked. When he saw Adam sitting on the floor with his back to the wall, Finn calmed down and Adam heard a breath of satisfaction leave him.
Finn had sat down next to Adam and Adam’s usual loneliness was cracking. The usual emptiness he felt in the pit of his stomach and heart began to swirl. He felt a smile play on his lips and he wanted in this moment more than anything to turn his head and look at the younger boy. Adam could feel Finn’s presence growing stronger and stronger. The more time the latter sat with him, the more he struggled to not look over and apologize for lying.
Adam could hear his breathing, calm and composed. Adam had seen Finn a total of three times now and this was the only time he heard such calm from the boy. The previous times Adam had heard him breath, it was either wracked, forced, painful and punctuated with a sob or one that sounded like he was just breathing for the sake of it, like he was only doing it so he could stay alive but stay alive why or for what he didn’t know. Adam treasured this moment in his heart.
With only three meetings Finn held three separate spots in Adam. The first being the first time they met and absorbed each other’s presence and formed a sense of security. The second being the fleeting moment in time when they exchanged the only thing either of them really owned, their names and the third being this moment right here, sitting on this dirty sheet, against the wall which had growth all over with Finn sharing each others presence, taking comfort in the warmth that came from the situation they shared.
He heard Finn’s breath become steady and stable and realized the boy must be asleep. He felt a weight on his shoulder and became still. He stayed still for a few minutes until he was sure Finn was comfortably asleep on his shoulder.
Adam turned his head to face him. The difference he saw shocked him. While awake, Finn always looked alert and ready to jump and run at any moment. He looked tired, worried and scared but right now, lying on Adam’s shoulder, asleep. He looked like a proper sixteen year old. He looked innocent and calm. His face had become soft and his features were now asleep along with the worries he carried around. Adam wished he could keep him like this, calm, peaceful and truly young but he knew the moment he awoke from his slumber these feelings would disappear and he would be back to the scared, strong boy who faces the world with a shut off heart and a careful mind.
There was nothing Adam could do; he had no desire whatsoever to wake him from his sleep. He didn’t want to leave either but he did want to talk to Finn. He took another look at the boy and decided that if Adam woke him now, he would never forgive himself. There was no reason good enough to disturb a person who was finally calm and safe. He smiled at the sleeping boy and bent his head to place a quick kiss on his forehead. He closed his own eyes and rested his head against the brick wall and let sleep take him away to whatever world Finn was in.
“Adam are you awake?” Adam heard a small voice ask him. He slowly opened his eyes to see brown ones mere inches from his face.
“Hey Fi, you can call me Ady.” He said smiling slightly as he found warmth and familiarity in the eyes in front of him.
Finn stayed in his place, he smiled. There was a feeling that neither of them was used to, one that neither of them has ever known. A feeling of peace and safety. There was a bubble that surrounded them and encompassed them. They stayed like that for a few minutes staring at each other’s eyes. For once instead of looking through the person they focused on the person in front of them. They’re eyes zeroed in on the other one and locked in place.
“Did you sleep well?” Adam asked him, regretting it the instant Finn moved away.
“Yes, better than I have for…well since I can remember, to be honest.” He had sat himself down in front of Adam cross-legged and smiling.
“That’s great, what time is it?” he asked stretching.
“I don’t know but it looks close to evening.”
Adam shot up and looked around, Finn was right the sun was sinking and Adam wasn’t even dressed. He would be late and get in trouble; he had no idea what to say to Finn, he didn’t want him to know that he sold his body to live. He had to make up some lie and he had to leave. He felt horrible about what he was going to do, lying to the one person he felt security and serenity with but he had to do it.
“Finn I have to go, I have work. I’ll drop you of at Nuit Rouge.” He said praying Finn wouldn’t ask where he worked.
“Oh okay, let’s go.” He said not suspecting a thing and jumped off the ground and walked over to where Adam was already standing and dusting himself off.
“Great okay, we’ll need to hurry since I’m already a bit late.” Adam thanked every immortal being in existence for the lack of curiosity in Finn. They walked together, exchanging mindless chatter about the few friends they had at they’re respective work places and the weird occurrences and things they had seen. When they reached the club Finn worked at, they stopped and he turned to face Adam.
“Well, I guess I’ll see you later.” Finn said sticking out his hand.
“Bye Fi, be safe.” He replied and grabbed Finn’s hand. Just as he was about to let go he was pulled into a hug by the younger. Finn’s head was buried in his neck and after the initial shock he wrapped his hands around the younger boy.
“Thank-you Ady, for everything.” Finn breathed out as he pulled away.
“You’re welcome Fi, I’m here for you.” He ruffled the youngers hair and waved good-bye. Finn was almost inside the club when he turned around and called out.
“Wait, where do you work? Maybe I can come and see you sometime.” Adam’s heart thundered. There was no way he would let Finn know about his job. He couldn’t lose him.
“Um at a club” he stopped as he saw someone in a waiters uniform rush into Nuit Rouge “as a waiter.”
“Oh wow, me too. Which club?” he asked Adam, excitement bundling up within him.
“You wouldn’t know it, don’t look for it Fi, it’s not for good people. You’ll only face trouble there.” He told Finn, not lying in any way. If Finn stepped foot in that place Adam knew he would be harassed.
“Okay then, I guess. Come around soon. Bye.” He yelled out and disappeared through the tinted glass into the room that was drenched in piercing light.
The moment Adam was sure Finn had gone he bolted for the brothel. There was no way he would let his pay get cut because he was late. His mother was getting worse each day and the food for three people was expensive when he needed to get any medicine he could for his mother. He saw the building looming up ahead and willed his legs to move faster. He ran to the back of the building and tried to find Nick so he could get into the dressing room without being troubled. Nick was against the counter with his elbows propped on it, mindlessly listening to the chatter. He waved his hands around wildly trying to get his attention but it was no use. He pulled his hood on, lowered his gaze and walked over to the bodyguard as fast as he could.
“Nick I need to get to the dressing room. Help please.” He begged as he pulled onto the sleeve of Nicks shirt.
“Oh Ady when did you get back?”
“Just a few second ago.”
“Okay let’s go. There’s a list on your dressing table of your customers for tonight and once you’re done you can leave.”
“Okay.” Adam felt like crying. Just a few minutes ago he was engaged in silly chatter with Finn, just a few minutes ago he was safe and loved but now he had to pretend to like what his customers would do to him and would have to submit their sickest of desires.
He walked into the dressing room and changed into leather pants and a black figure hugging t-shirt with a pinstriped jacket. He styled his hair and put on his makeup. His list for today was long and they were all hour-long demands. His frown deepened when he realized he would have no way to see Finn that day but he had to take care of his family. He looked in the mirror and got into character. The smug, sarcastic smirk stretched on his lips and his eyes glistened with mischief. He walked out with his head up, a lollipop set in his mouth and his hands lazily tucked in his pockets. He went straight to the first room, which was on the level below his and stopped outside the door. He took a deep breath.
“This is going to be a long night.” He sighed to himself and walked in closing the door behind him.
In Nuit Rouge, Finn despite the terrible demeanor of the drinkers and the profanities they yelled, was in a great mood. He had found someone that chased the loneliness away, someone that wrapped him up and made him feel safe. He wondered what Adam was doing, whether he was thinking of him and strangely of what he would be serving and whether his tips were as nice as Finn’s. He was sure they were, Adam was beautiful. At least to Finn he was. He sighed as he stopped at the bar and waited for Harry to give him his next order.
“Is our baby boy in love?” he asked wiggling his eyebrows.
“What no? I was just thinking.” Finn defended almost immediately.
“That’s what people who are in love say.” Amber stated as she walked to Harry to get the drinks. She was kicked out of her house because she identified as gender fluid, currently preferring female pronouns. She has worked here for long and took on the role of both an older sister and brother to Finn.
“I’m not in love. Stop it.” He said swatting her away and walking away with the drinks. He was sure he wasn’t, he just enjoyed Adam’s presence and found safety and comfort in his eyes.
As the night came to a close, Finn was retiring to the room he was assigned when Xavier stopped him.
“Sorry kid, but the room you were using is um occupied and well so are the others. You don’t have to sleep on the streets, you can sleep in my house don’t worry.”
“No, it’s okay I’m used to the streets don’t worry about it.” He tried to sound like it didn’t matter but his heart was breaking at the thought of having to go back to the dirty corner. The only reason he didn’t go with Xavier was because he didn’t want to disturb him anymore so he pushed past him and walked out of the door and went straight to his old resting place. He sat down and wished Adam was with him. He no longer felt safe nor did he feel worth anything. He let the tears fall with no one to watch him and sobbed into his hands letting the ghosts of the night hear his pleas.
Adam had just finished and was walking home; he had been too tired to take off the makeup. He walked by the club in hopes that Finn would still be awake and there but with just one peek inside he knew he wasn’t. Neither Harry nor Finn was present so he continued to walk until he passed the path and heard cries. Cries he identified as Finn’s and that was all it took for him to go running down there to find him. He found the boy alone on the floor crying softly while holding onto himself. Adam’s heart broke at the sight. He walked over to the boy and knelt down. If Finn noticed he didn’t show any sign. Adam wrapped his hands around the younger.
“It’s alright Fi, I’m here.” They stayed like that for a few minutes until Finn looked up.
He sniffled “I have no where to go. I can’t stay at the club and I don’t want to disturb Xavier. I have no where to go, I don’t have anyone to go to.” He ducked his head into his knees and wept again.
“Fi, you have me. Fi you’re freezing, lay down.” He somehow managed to get Finn to lay down and he sat next to him. Adam had placed Finn’s head in his lap and was playing with his hair trying to get the younger boy to go to sleep. Finn noticeably calmed down, his wails turned into hiccupped tears and soon it was silent all together as he left this torturous world at least for a while. Adam couldn’t bear seeing him lay in such a pathetic situation with tears staining his face. Adam decided to take Finn home.
Adam with much difficulty carried the sleeping boy to his own home and lay him down on the mattress he used as he retired to the other side of the room with a sheet to rest on. Before he could leave Finn’s eyes fluttered open for a brief second and closed again, a single sentence left his lips.
“Please don’t leave.” Adam sighed at the words and placed another fleeting kiss on the boys forehead and uttered a promise he would die to keep before moving a few feet away from him as to not startle him when he awakens.
“Don’t worry Fi, you’re safe with me. Just stay here.”