This story was originally published in the S/H zine TRACE ELEMENTS in 1987. This zine is now out-of-print. The story is reproduced with the permission of the author and editor. Special thanks also go to Judy, Lisa, and Barbara for translating the printed story into electronic copy, and proof-reading it. Please do not print or reproduce this story except for your own convenience. Do not post the story to lists or reprint it in zines. Please respect the author's wishes so that the fans of Starsky & Hutch might continue to enjoy this piece of classic fiction. This story was written for entertainment purposes only, and is not meant to infringe on any rights held by any holders of rights to Starsky & Hutch.
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It hadn't been such a terrific day for the hustler. The landlord had demanded the rent in advance for the flea trap they were living in, and his lover had a bad week with the ponies. It tapped them out completely. A box of cracker-jacks was presently beyond their means. So he was back on the street and liking it less than--what was that expression he'd heard the other day--less than spit.
Clint had promised him no more. No more hustling, no more selling his mouth for a fin, his tail for a twenty. But it just hadn't worked out that way. Wasn't Clint's fault really. He tried to keep them in Twinkies, but the big score seemed to evade them both. It was a damn shame. They really had something good with each other. If people would just let them alone, if other things didn't keep barging in on them, they'd be happy as fuckin' clams. Money. Fuckin' money. They just couldn't seem to get ahead no matter what. As Clint kept telling him, all they needed was one good break and they'd blow this shithole town. Try someplace new.
But in the meantime, they had to eat, didn't they? Had to have someplace to crash. So, back to the old patterns. And right now he had the more salable assets. Not that Clint wasn't a hunk, but he was older...and johns liked young ass.
He leaned against the phone booth, jutting out his pelvis suggestively. God, he hated this. Some old, fat fag would come along and ask him to blow him, or take him back to some cheap, roach-infested dive with peeling wallpaper and fuck him on a greasy mattress. It stunk. The whole situation stunk. He'd left Clint cursing, on the verge of tears, telling him not to go, not to do it. But they both knew there was no choice. There was always hope that something would turn up tomorrow, but they couldn't afford to wait.
It was foggy; a bad night for tricking. The johns were scared to come out in the fog. It raised all the subliminal fears, the animal terrors of the night. The person you were paying to suck your cock could as easily slit your throat. It could happen on any night, of course, but the swirling mist seemed to underline the pervasive risk, made it more immediate and dangerous.
Still, he had to make enough dough to get them through the week, and the desperate ones would come out and take the risks. Just as he was desperate in a different way.
The soft voice broke through the fog. The john was standing in the shadows and it was difficult to see him at first. "Hi, yourself." The hustler answered in a purring tone, turning his face to the light so it would pick up his profile. He needed this trick badly.
"Waiting for someone?"
"Sure. You maybe?" He slid his hand up his thigh invitingly.
"Uh...." The shape backed off a little. "How...how old are you?"
He usually told the johns he was seventeen to attract the chicken hawks, but he somehow sensed it would be a disadvantage with this one. He was twenty, but on impulse he said, "Twenty-three." According to the mood and imagination of the buyer, he could pass for either age.
The man seemed to relax a bit, and moved closer until the pale circle of the streetlight picked out his form in the fog. "What's your name?"
"David," the hustler replied off the top of his head. As if you give a shit, mister. Just cut the conversation and let's get on with business.
The john stiffened, then chuckled bitterly. "Coincidences...God!"
"What?" David asked, unable to catch the mumbled words. Now that he could see the man clearer, he was even more anxious to make a connection. He was a hustler's dream come true. Tall, long-legged, blond. The light that struggled its way through the thick fog seemed to center on the white-gold hair, creating a misty haloed glow around the head.
For a second David wondered if he wasn't wasting his time talking to another hustler. The guy was certainly sharp enough. But he did look past the age to be on the street; at least thirty, maybe older. So what was he after? Why didn't he just come right out and make an offer? Was he a cop? He dismissed the thought immediately. Cops were never so unsure of themselves as this dude seemed to be. No, this guy wanted sex, he was certain of it. He could almost smell the desperation and hunger. But a guy like this shouldn't have any trouble getting what he needed--unless it was something kinky. David didn't think he could handle that, not tonight.
"Hey, listen man, you lookin' for somethin' special? I mean, I don't go in for weird numbers, ya know?"
Ken jumped slightly, as if startled. He swallowed nervously. The night was so still and muffled by the fog, David could hear the sound clearly. "I...I don't know if...." He trailed off helplessly.
Suddenly afraid the blond would bolt off into the night, the hustler said quickly. "I'll blow you for ten."
The abrupt offer strangely seemed to make it easier. His head lifted and he faced the hustler with a touch more certainty. But his voice was horse as he answered. "Okay, Da-- Okay."
"You got a place? Or you wanna settle for the alley? Makes no difference to me." He was vaguely hoping this particular john had a room somewhere. He wanted to do this right, not just a quick five-minute suck. Someone this good didn't come along every night, even as freaky as he seemed. But he shook the thought away as disloyal to Clint.
The blond hesitated. "Uh...no. Right here...in the phone booth."
It was the hustler's turn to be startled. "You kidding?"
"No. I...I want to...call someone and...." He shrugged, unable to explain further. Again, the hustler received the impression he was on the verge of running away, forgetting the whole thing.
"Well, sure, if you want." David said hastily. He glanced at the booth. It was covered with metal half way up and the fog, darkness and deserted streets made it nearly as private as the alley--probably safer. A little kinky, yes, but he'd done stranger things for ten bucks. He remembered hearing another street hustler telling about this weird trick he'd had with this john who wanted to be sucked off in a ratty LTD while he talked to some guy over the CB radio.
The florescent bulb in the roof flickered erratically as the both stepped inside. The blond's hands were shaking as he laid the ten on the metal shelf and dropped the twenty cents into the phone. He hesitated, then dialed the number rapidly.
David tucked the money in his pocket, watching the other man curiously. The blond was gripping the receiver tightly, eyes shut as if trying to deny his actions. A little uncertain of what was expected of him, the hustler pressed closer, running his hands down the lean body, then back up.... He froze as he felt the hard lump under the armpit of the leather jacket. Gun, he thought wildly, mouth going dry. More like a fuckin' cannon! He considered making a run for it, but decided it was academic at this point. If the guy was a cop, he would have busted him already. If he was a nutcase, it would be smarter to humor him than risk having the back of his head blown off trying to get away.
Whoever was on the other end of the line was taking their time answering. The hustler unzipped the blond's jeans and released his cock. It was already hard and pulsing, as if he had been walking around with a hard-on for a long time before finding the nerve to do something about it.
The phone was answered at last. "Hi. Yeah, it's me."
The hustler glanced up. The man's face had paled even more, and his eyes were still shut tightly against this reality. His voice was strained.
"Sorry to call this late. I forgot Kathy would be there.... Oh, nothing really. How's it going? She's in the john, huh? Well, maybe we can talk a few minutes then? No...no nothing's wrong. Couldn't sleep. Yeah, I know, same here. Uh...thought I'd work on those reports...yeah, those. But I forgot the Zantini file...you have a copy? Well, yeah, if you could. It'd save me a trip to the station. Thanks, buddy."
There was a pause and the hustler took advantage of it to begin his job. Dropping to his knees, he ran his tongue around the head of the blond's cock. The man gasped and pushed his hips forward, moving into the waiting mouth, his hand covering the receiver automatically.
"Uh...yeah. I'm still here. Go ahead. I'm listening."
The hustler could pick up the low drone of the voice on the other end of the phone as he read the mentioned report. This is really crazy, he thought, but mentally shrugged and continued sucking. But not the craziest thing I've done for ten bucks, so what am I bitchin' about? At least it was far more of a pleasure than a chore to do this guy. In fact, he was beginning to get a little turned on himself. The blond's free hand was tangled in his curly, dark hair, urging him on and the taste and feel of the long cock in his mouth was as exciting as hell. No, he told himself sternly, save it for Clint. Just give the trick what he paid for. No more, no less.... Don't get involved. He's not your type anyway.
It didn't take long. All the pent-up pressure and tension in the long body exploded into the hustler's mouth with a choked cry of relief. The dropped receiver clattered against the side of the booth as both hands moved involuntarily to cup the dark head in the last convulsive burst.
The hustler could hear the voice on the phone very plainly now, as the receiver dangled level with his head.
"Hey, what's going on? Hutch? You there? Hey, man, you almost busted my eardrum! Hutch! You still there? What happened? Are you okay? Hutch!"
So he gave me a phony name, too.... The hustler sat back on his heels and looked up. His customer leaned against the wall, shaken and panting. His eyes opened at last, still glassy and dazed. Their gaze touched for a second before the blond looked away hastily, bringing a trembling hand up to rub his eyes. He shook his head to clear it, zipped up his pants carefully, and finally reached for the fallen receiver. The tension had drained from his body but not from his voice.
"Yeah...sorry. I dropped the phone-- Okay, I said I'm sorry! I...I spilled hot coffee in my lap...yeah. No, I'm all right. No, why should you come over? It's just coffee, for chrissake! What do you mean, I sound funny? You would too if...." His voice broke. He cleared his throat. "...If you'd just dumped hot coffee on-- No, there's nothing else wrong. Honest. Listen, why don't we save the rest of this for tomorrow? Yeah, I gotta go change these pants...and I'm sure Kathy is waiting for you, so.... Yeah, I'll see you in the morning. Pick me up at 7:30. We'll have breakfast...yes, I'll buy. No, not McDonald's. I couldn't face another egg McMuffin. Somewhere nice. Okay.... No! I'm fine! Have fun. Yeah, see you."
He hung the phone up slowly, and stared at it for a long time, as if he had forgotten he was not alone. He was still shaking and for an awful moment, the hustler thought he was going to cry. Instead he just took a deep breath and zipped his jacket.
David stood, uncertain of what to do. He had his money, he should just leave, find another trick. But something held him here. The sadness in the blue eyes was breaking his strongest rule--making him care.
The blond looked at him, biting his lower lip nervously. "I...I'm sorry, David."
The hustler stared at him, hit by the soft words. No one had ever apologized for using him before. Sometimes he was lucky if they didn't spit on him before they left. But this guy was different--very different. Somehow they both understood that neither of them had really wanted to do this, that both had been driven to it by situations too complicated to explain.
"You're really hung up on this guy, huh?"
The blond nodded absently.
"Can't you tell him?"
"No, it wouldn't.... No."
"Too bad." The younger man hesitated. "You know, you could be readin' him all wrong. He sounded real worried about you. Like he cared."
"He cares. Just not in the same way."
They stepped out of the phone booth and paused for a moment in awkward silence.
The blond stooped to tie his shoelace. When he raised up, he seemed calmer, or at least more in control. "Thanks," he said softly, touching his hand to the young man's arm.
"Yeah, sure. See ya around."
The hustler watched until the long legs were swallowed up in the fog. Then he leaned against the phone booth and waited for the next trick.
The sequel to this story is: The Other End of the Line