04 March 2012 @ 07:41 pm
 The clients vary. Some of them are young and attractive. Some are old and not so attractive, with a greedy, slick look to their eyes in the sick way they linger as they inspect the wares.

Ellis shivers every time he feels eyes pass over him. He hates feeling exposed to these strangers, forced to strip down to the bare minimum of clothing. Some others still have even less on; creaking leather harnesses that accentuate what they’re here to sell.

He doesn’t meet the eyes of anyone who is there to browse the selection. He cannot bring himself to. There are others still who dare to; these are the ones, Aidan said, who have returning clients. Some of the ones who have stayed long enough find out how to tell which ones are good clients and which ones play mean. They play games with the ones they like, little flickering gazes and maybe a playful smirk. Ellis keeps his head hanging.

“How much for this one?” A voice says right in front of Ellis. He looks up with a start. The people next to Ellis look equally surprised. The man is of dark complexion, and he has a smooth, rich voice. He is impeccably dressed and the look in his eyes is entirely unreadable. He seems worldly and carries himself with an air of disconnected grace. Someone comes to see who the man is looking at and smirks.

“You have a good eye, sir. As you can probably tell, he’s fresh stock. His little pussy probably hasn’t been played with much, so he’ll be tight and clean. He just needs the right person to break him in.” He winks knowingly at the client, who does not react at all.

“I would appreciate if we could step aside to discuss price.”

“Who is that?” Ellis asks Aidan in a hushed whisper, his eyes wide in fear.

“Nobody knows his name,” admits the redhead, murmuring. “They call him the Spider. He comes all the time, but he never makes any purchases. No one knows anything about him or what he’s like. He does that all the time; he just looks disinterested in everything. You’re the first person he’s shown any interest in.” Ellis shudders. Soon, the man they recognise as the man in charge of pulling sales and bargaining prices points to Ellis.

“You. Out. You’ve got your first client.” He pulls out his ring of keys and goes over to the door. Ellis obeys slowly, head drooping. The man lets him out and the door slams shut behind him. For once, Ellis finds him wishing he were behind those bars again. At least those offer some protection from the monsters outside. “He’s bought you for a whole day, so you’ll be going to his own manor. Don’t piss him off or you’ll have all hell to pay with your own blood. If you fuck this up, you’re dead.” Oh, so he paid well. Ellis goes to meet the man who bought him. He takes one look at Ellis and takes off his coat, slinging it around Ellis’s shoulders.

“You’ll catch cold in this weather,” he says, and escorts Ellis out. Ellis casts one glance back toward Aidan, who is also staring after Ellis, before he is ushered outside and into a cab. He huddles in on himself, shivering in the cold. The man pulls a blanket from a compartment below his seat and drops it in Ellis’s lap. “Relax. I am not going to force you into sex with anyone.” He chuckles when Ellis’s eyes widen in surprise and he darts an incredulous look up at the man. “You cannot expect to make me think you would enjoy it even if I did. What is your name, boy?”

“Ellis Wellington.”

“Call me Ramses. So, Ellis, how old are you?”

“Twenty-five.”

“Ah, still so young. I am thirty-six, myself, and a possessor of many estates. Surely you have some ambitions for such a tender age.”

Ellis trembles. Of course he does, or did. Those all crumbled into nothing when he was kidnapped by sex traders. “I did, sir.”

“You still do. Come now, out with them.”

“It does not matter what ambitions I previously had. They will come to no fruition now.”

“That is not quite true,” Ramses chuckles. He leans forward in his seat, carefully inspecting Ellis. “I will tell you what I intend to do with you, Mr. Wellington. I intend to buy you every night, and we will talk, and we will go out and do nice things. I will take you to your family, and I will take you to do things you enjoy, be it going to the opera or watching boxing matches. Through this, I will make every attempt to acquire your love, and then I will buy you entirely. Then you are free. If you have pretended to love me, then you are free to leave. If you have not, you are welcome to stay with me for as long as my days last and share with me whatever I have. It is all too much for one person, anyway.”

Ellis gapes. He is astounded that this man would… His eyes fill with tears. “Do you mean it?” Ramses smirks.

“Darling, I have too much money to deceive with any conviction. I could just as easily hire someone to do it convincingly for me.”

“…I wanted to become a doctor. I had been going to college before this, and I was coming back from an interview for an internship when I was taken.” He names the place he was wanting to work at, and he feels a genuine spark of hope. Maybe Ramses can help him. Maybe this won’t be so bad after all.

“A doctor? Ah, I see. That is the sort of profession I would have taken on myself, but unfortunately I was born so rich that taking a job seemed purely ridiculous.” He smiles gently at Ellis. “And what of family? Did you have a lover?”

“No. I have a sister and my mother, and that is all. My sister lives abroad, and I never travel because my mother is very ill. I look after her.”

“Perhaps we can go visit her later on.”

“Truly?” Ellis’s eyes brighten, and Ramses cannot help but smile. No, he did not make a mistake with this one, though he knows that Ellis may very well end up breaking his heart in the end. He is the sort who loves everyone, but will only make that very special bond with a very special person. Ramses may be loved by him sometime in the future, but never beloved. He can only hope.

“Yes. I cannot see the harm in it.” He will be the benefactor. He will be the saviour, giving Ellis a few hours reprieve and never submitting this poor boy to the agony of a whore’s forced shame. He will be the saviour, but if a hero came first, he stands no chance.

This is a love predestined to failure, but Ramses cannot help himself. There was something so refreshing about the delicate genuineness of this man that he could not pry himself away. He always comes to establishments like this, wondering if it is possible to find something pure and beautiful blossoming out of such pain and misery. There are too many who become accustomed to the work, because if they do not, it will break them. Ellis was clearly terrified that it would happen to him, too, and Ramses could not sit and watch day after day as the light drained from his eyes and the bruises bloomed on his body, then the cuts, whip marks in his back, then finally he would look straight ahead soullessly, march with a drowsy limp as another pair of greedy, filthy hands hauls him off to desecrate that beautiful body again and again.

Ramses finds that he has reached out to touch Ellis’s face, his fingers hovering a few centimeters from his cheek. He promised himself he would not touch Ellis, not yet. Ellis senses what Ramses’ intention is and he tilts his cheek into Ramses’ hand. The touch lasts only a few moments before Ramses pulls his hand away. “Please talk to me,” he murmurs. “Tell me about yourself.”

Ellis does. He tells Ramses everything he can recall, and then the carriage rolls to a stop. Ramses exits the cab and holds a hand out to Ellis, helping him out. For a moment, Ellis just stares in awe at the manor, a beautiful big thing where clearly no expense was spared. He has never seen such finery.

From then on, the time passes quickly. A pretty maid escorts him to a luxurious room where he is allowed to bathe and finds some clothes that fit him relatively well, though the maid takes his measurements regardless, and then he is taken to dine with Ramses. Their chatter is pleasant, and he finds it very easy to speak with Ramses. They share a love for books and history and the sciences, so they spend the hours into the early morning conversing about those. Ellis feels content. They say goodnight and Ellis is taken back into the room where he can dress into nightclothes. The bed is luxurious and enormous, and he sees no more of Ramses that night. He lies awake, wondering how he got so lucky with this client. If all goes well, he will never have to worry about another one. The thought makes him smile.

In the morning, they have breakfast together (in their pajamas, which Ellis almost considers delightful fun) and they dress and Ramses takes him to see his mother. Ellis tells her that he cannot explain his disappearance, but one day soon, he hopes he will be back and able to give her some answers. She kisses his cheek and smiles, telling him to take care of himself.

Ramses looks thoughtful when Ellis hops back into the carriage.

“It would have been just as easy for you to stay there. I could not have done anything about it.”

“Why should it matter? You are kind to me, and I like you. I will honour what you have paid, even if the people back there do not.” A peculiar look crosses Ramses’ face, and Ellis looks worried. “Have I said something wrong?”

“No,” Ramses murmurs. “In fact, I think it would be very easy to fall in love with you.”

When he is taken back, he looks… Happy. Aidan is there, in the cells. His eyes lock on Ellis and he frowns in confusion. He has a few new bruises; on his forearms, and there are red lines on his wrists. Ellis is put back into the cell and he goes straight to Aidan, gently taking his hands. “What happened?” He cries. The red marks are from rope. His eyes meet Aidan’s, concerned.

 
 
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