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Pretty Woman

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Nolan was in the bathroom doing his eyeliner when the landlord started pounding on the door, shouting that the rent was two months late. 

“I know you’re in there!” the landlord shouted.

Shit,” Nolan muttered under his breath. He ran around the apartment, pulling on his shoes and grabbing his wallet. He scooted into the kitchen and opened the narrow window out onto the fire escape. His hips just fit through the frame. 

He climbed down the fire escape, jumping the last half-story to the street. If he hurried, he could make it down the block before the landlord came outside.

At the end of the block he turned onto Santa Monica Boulevard, sprinted down the block, and then turned the next corner toward The Abbey. It was still early, but the gates were open and the security staff was hanging around on the front patio. “You okay, man?” the largest bouncer called out to Nolan.

“Yeah, man,” Nolan said, out of breath. “Is TK here?”

“In the back,” the bouncer inclined his head inside.

“Thanks,” Nolan said. He held his hand out to bump fists with all of the bouncers and went inside to find TK, who was behind the bar organizing the jars of cocktail olives. “Hey,” he said as he leaned over the bar, “landlord came around.”

“Ugh,” TK groaned. He stood up and held out an open bottle of olives to Nolan. “What a drag.”

“I know it’s a drag,” Nolan said, taking several olives. “But I need your part of the rent. We’re behind.”

“I can pay you after tonight. It’s Saturday and I should make a lot of tips.” TK did a wiggle of his hips. He looked cute when he was in his leather go-go shorts on top of the bar but looked silly while he was in his off-duty outfit of sweatpants and a tank top. 

“Where are your tips from last night?” Nolan knew that TK had worked last night until 4am, even if he hadn’t come home until 10am. 

“Listen, Carter and Scott and me had a little party after my shift,” TK said, his face broken out in a grin. “Carter always has the best coke.”

“Yeah, and he makes you buy it with money you don’t have. Come on, man, my savings is gone and I don’t want to get evicted.” 

“Nolan, baby, don’t worry,” TK said. He came around the bar and slung his arm around Nolan’s shoulders. “In that outfit, I know you’re going to hit the big one tonight. You look hot!”

Nolan looked down at himself, his legs long in his tight faux leather pants and the ripped t-shirt that was cropped to show off his abs. His arms were scattered with tattoos, his wrists were covered in black bracelets, and his greasy hair hung around his shoulders. “Hmph,” he huffed, “fine. But you better shake it tonight.” He smacked a kiss on TK’s cheek and started to leave.

“Hey Patty?” TK called after him. “Be careful tonight?”

“I will,” Nolan smiled at him and then headed back out onto the street.

***

Jonathan had been at this party at his client Kevin Hayes’s house in the Hollywood Hills for days. Or at least it felt like days. 

Jonathan was jet lagged. He had only arrived at LAX from Chicago that morning and had a full day of meetings at the Los Angeles CAA office. Now he was at this party that Kevin was throwing for the whole LA Kings organization to boost his contract prospects. It was all too much. Jonathan needed to go. 

He made his goodbyes around the pool, making sure to shake the GM’s hand one more time and to do that stupid elaborate handshake that Kevin had made up, and then he headed out front to find his driver - only to discover that he was 45 minutes away in L.A. traffic.  

Shit,” Jonathan cursed, impatient to get to the hotel. He needed a shower and to relax. 

“Hey, big man,” Kevin shouted from the front step. “You need a ride?”

“Yeah,” Jonathan yelled back. 

“Just take my Mas,” Kevin said, tossing a set of keys and then pointing to the four car garage to his right. “You can drive stick, right?”

***

Jonathan made his way down the driveway and out onto the 101, but that was pure downhill momentum and he was in neutral most of the time. He had learned to drive stick when he was 15 but that was a shitty 5-speed Dodge, not this sleek GranTurismo with a baffling 6-speed gear shift. Once he hit the traffic on Hollywood Boulevard, he was fucked.

Dammit,” Jonathan yelled over the sound of the gears on the $250,000 sports car grinding and the car stalling. He managed to restart the car and made it down Santa Monica through West Hollywood, with Beverly Hills in his sights, when the car stalled again. “Mother fucker!” he yelled, banging on the steering wheel.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Nolan said, pushing off of the wall of the building that Jonathan had stalled out in front of, “what are you doing to that beautiful car?”

“I’m trying to drive it,” Jonathan gritted out, “but it’s so temperamental.” He hit the steering wheel again with the palm of his hand.

“You can’t treat it like that,” Nolan said, leaning into the window so he could see the driver, who turned out to be a handsome thirty-something man with dark eyes and a golden tan. “Let me show you,” Nolan licked his lips and smiled.

“I- I don’t think so,” Jonathan stammered. “This is a very expensive car and it isn’t even mine, so I can’t let someone off the street just-”

“Just what?” Nolan crossed his arms on the window well. “You’re going to kill that car if you keep driving it like you’re driving it.”

“Are you going to give me a driving lesson?” Jonathan scoffed.

Nolan smiled again. “Fifty bucks and I’ll drive you where you’re going.” After a pause, he added, “Los Angeles city limits only.”

Jonathan closed his eyes and took a deep breath before he sighed out, “Fine. But I’m just going to a hotel a few blocks away.”

“Great,” Nolan said, standing up. He watched Jonathan get out of the car and pull out his wallet. “There’s a $20 hotel surcharge.”

Jonathan rolled his eyes and pulled out a hundred dollar bill. He held it up and then carefully folded it to put in the front pocket of his button-down. “When you get us there, safely.”

Nolan whooped and pranced around to the driver’s side of the car. Jonathan held the door open for him and watched as he slipped into the driver’s seat. “Oooh,” Nolan cooed, “these seats are nice. Where are the keys?” 

Jonathan sank into the passenger’s seat. “Here,” he held them out but pulled them away when Nolan reached for them. “I’m Jonathan.”

“Nolan,” he grinned and grabbed for the keys. “Come on, I don’t have all night.” Nolan started the car, groaning at the purr of the engine when he revved it, and pulled out into traffic. 

“That’s it, nice and easy,” Jonathan said.

“Hmm,” Nolan said, just before the light they were stopped at turned green and he floored it.

***

“Welcome back, Mr. Toews,” the valet said, examining the car and Nolan stepping out of the driver’s seat with a raised eyebrow. “And welcome to your guest.”

“Thanks,” Nolan said. He tossed the keys to the valet and pulled at his shirt, trying to cover his stomach. If only he could cover his entire body from the prying eyes of the snooty guests pulling up to the hotel.

“The Beverly Wilshire?” he hissed at Jonathan. “Fancy.”

Jonathan pulled Nolan away from the front entrance. “It’s a Four Seasons. If you’ve stayed in one, you’ve stayed in them all.” Nolan frowned at that, but Jonathan blew right by it. “I believe this is for you?” He held out the $100 and Nolan snatched it, tucking it into his pants.

“Nice doing business with you,” Nolan said. He turned to walk back up Wilshire. It was 2 miles back to his usual spot in WeHo but at least he had $100. Not a bad start to the night.

“Are you...um,” Jonathan started. Nolan turned to look at Jonathan and saw that he was standing awkwardly under the lights of the hotel entrance. “Are you heading back out to work?”

“Yeah,” Nolan said, waiting. He had seen the way that Jonathan’s eyes had traveled the length of his body when he came around the car. He had seen the pulse in Jonathan’s neck jump when Nolan stood close to him a moment ago.

“Just...if you want to come up for a drink?” Jonathan said, his voice tight. “I’d compensate you for your time, of course.”

Nolan put his hand on his hip. “I guess if you’re staying here, you can afford me.”

Jonathan smiled at that. He pulled his wallet out and looked inside before tucking it back in his pocket. “Is $1,500 enough for the night?”

“Shit, yeah,” Nolan said too fast. He was lucky if he made $250 in a night, and that was with three customers. 

“Let’s go upstairs, then,” Jonathan said, holding out his hand. 

Nolan looked around - at the hotel, the fancy cars, the rich people - and took Jonathan’s hand.

***

“Wow,” Nolan said when the elevator opened into the penthouse suite. “What do you do again?” Nolan spun around as he entered the suite, taking in the great room and dining room decorated in shades of vanilla and the far wall of floor-to-ceiling windows with an expansive view of L.A. at dusk. 

“I’m a sports agent,” Jonathan said, loosening his tie. He went over to a laptop set up on the dining table and sat in front of it. 

“Uh, can I use your bathroom?” Nolan asked, feeling nervous for the first time. He’d never had a client bring him to a hotel and then ignore him. 

“Down that hallway on the right,” Jonathan said, not taking his eyes off of the screen. 

Nolan found the bathroom easily and stood for a minute looking around, marveling at the fact that this bathroom was bigger than his and TK’s whole apartment. That reminded him that he should text TK to tell him that he’d be out all night, but when he took his phone out of his pocket he didn’t have any service. Nolan spent five minutes moving around the bathroom, holding the phone up to see if he could get a signal - so long, apparently, that Jonathan came looking for him.

“Hey, Nolan?” Jonathan poked his head through the door that Nolan had accidentally left open. 

Nolan quickly hid the phone behind his back. In his experience, his clients didn’t like to be reminded that they generally were such a risk to Nolan that he needed to text a friend his location.

“Oh,” Jonathan said, his face falling. “Are you- if that’s drugs, I’m sorry but I can’t have that here-”

“What? No,” Nolan laughed, his stomach tight. Who did this guy think he was? “It’s a phone? I was- I was just texting my roommate so he didn’t worry.” Nolan let his voice trail off, hoping that Jonathan wouldn’t be mad. He didn’t know this guy and the fact that he was rich enough to pay for this fancy suite didn’t mean that he was a good person.

“Oh,” Jonathan sighed. “Come out here and see if you can get a signal.” He gently took Nolan’s arm and led him back to the great room. “Here,” he sat Nolan down on the plush couch, “I ordered champagne and some snacks. Just relax.”

“Okay,” Nolan said. He smiled up at Jonathan and then watched in dismay as Jonathan went back over to his computer. 

Shortly, the elevator dinged open and a waiter in a tuxedo wheeled in a cart covered in sterling silver domed dishes and an ice bucket with a bottle of champagne. 

“Ah, thank you,” Jonathan said, hopping up to pass the waiter a folded bill. He wheeled the cart over to the couch. “Champagne?” 

“Sure,” Nolan smiled. He watched as Jonathan deftly peeled off the foil and popped the cork before pouring a single flute of champagne and handing it to Nolan. “You’re not going to have any?”

“I still have work to do,” Jonathan said, straightening up and returning to his computer.

Nolan sat on the couch, sipping his champagne and thinking while Jonathan worked on his computer. Nolan put down his champagne flute and stretched ostentatiously, tracking Jonathan’s eyes as they flicked toward him, taking in the broad expanse of his stomach as he stretched. He stood up, sliding his hand across his stomach and up under his shirt. He knew he could keep Jonathan’s attention if he showed some skin, so he slowly pulled his shirt over his head. As he dropped it to the floor and moved closer to Jonathan, he was satisfied to see that Jonathan’s hands had stilled on the keyboard and his eyes were locked on Nolan’s body.

Nolan moved closer, his hands at the waistband of his pants. He undid the fly and zipper of his pants, turning to bend over as he peeled the pants down his long legs, not breaking eye contact with Jonathan, who had pushed away from the computer and was watching rapt, his thick thighs spread and his mouth open. Nolan kicked his pants off and moved closer, Jonathan’s hands coming to his waist and skirting over the fabric of his black briefs, avoiding his half-hard cock but drinking the rest of him in. Nolan stepped into Jonathan’s space and slung a leg over his thighs, sitting onto his lap and letting his hands come to rest on his shoulders. 

“This okay?” Nolan asked as he undid the knot of Jonathan’s tie and slid it out from underneath the collar of his shirt. Jonathan nodded mutely and just watched as Nolan unbuttoned his shirt, exposing his tanned chest. “This okay?” Nolan asked again, leaning down to kiss Jonathan’s chest, across his collarbones and up his neck. “That feel good?” he whispered into Jonathan’s ear. 

“Mmm,” Jonathan rumbled and turned his head to kiss Nolan. But Nolan pulled back, a hand flat on Jonathan’s chest. 

“I don’t kiss on the mouth,” Nolan said. 

“Oh,” Jonathan responded. He looked surprised but then Nolan rocked forward on his lap and took Jonathan’s earlobe into his mouth.

“I can kiss you other places,” Nolan smirked up at him, grazing Jonathan’s earlobe with his teeth. He slid off Jonathan’s lap to the floor between his thighs, his hands palming Jonathan’s growing length through his suit pants. “Seems like there’s a lot of you to kiss,” Nolan said, mouthing at the fabric.

Jonathan reached to unbuckle his belt and undo his pants, eagerly lifting his hips so Nolan could slide his pants and briefs down to his ankles. “This okay?” Jonathan asked as he slid his hands into Nolan’s hair. 

“Yeah,” Nolan breathed. He peppered kisses on the inside of Jonathan’s thighs, following his lips with his hands so he could squeeze the muscles of Jonathan’s quads. Jonathan held his head lightly but was firmly guiding him up to his crotch to where he was fully hard and thick. “Mmm,” Nolan hummed as he licked up Jonathan’s length, his tongue darling out to circle around the head, “you’re so big.”

Jonathan guided Nolan’s head down until his lips were wrapped around the base. Jonathan sighed as Nolan hollowed out his cheeks, his breathing coming heavier as Nolan started to move up and down his length, spit dripping down as he sucked harder. Once Nolan had a rhythm going, Jonathan tightened his hands in Nolan’s hair and fucked into his mouth, punching out groans each time he hit the back of Nolan’s throat. “Yeah, just like that,” Jonathan said as he got closer. He could feel his orgasm building and when Nolan flicked his eyes up at him, his mouth full of Jonathan’s cock, Jonathan lost it and started to come in Nolan’s mouth. Nolan closed his eyes and drank every drop down, finally pulling off and pushing his hair out of his face with a deep breath out. 

Jonathan leaned forward, nuzzling the top of Nolan’s head. “That was amazing,” he said. He cupped Nolan’s cheek with his hand. “Can I-”

“No, finish your work,” Nolan smiled up at him. “We have all night.”

***

Nolan drank the rest of the champagne and the strawberries Jonathan had ordered from room service and he watched a movie on some premium channel that he and TK were too broke to get at their apartment. By the time Jonathan finally came to bed, Nolan was pleasantly buzzed. He was happy to let Jonathan curl up behind him and fuck into him, filling him up with his length. Jonathan slowly rocked their hips together and fisted Nolan’s cock until they both came, Jonathan’s teeth sunk into Nolan’s shoulder as Nolan called out Jonathan’s name.

That night, in the big expensive hotel bed, Nolan had the best night of sleep in his life. 

***

“Hey,” Jonathan said, leaning over to kiss Nolan on the cheek the next morning.

“Hmm,” Nolan murmured. He squinted his eyes open to see Jonathan kneeling on the bed next to him in a full suit and tie. The sun was streaming through the windows of the bedroom. “Is it morning already?”

“Yes and I have to get going,” Jonathan said.

“No,” Nolan said, grabbing at Jonathan’s arms, “come back to bed.”

“I have meetings,” Jonathan said with an indulgent smile. He walked toward the doorway and then turned. He hesitated for a moment and then started speaking quickly. “I was wondering if you were free the rest of the week. I need dates for some work functions and thought if you weren’t busy-”

“Yes,” Nolan blurted without thinking. He had never had a client who wanted him to stay longer than the regular checkout time at the 2-star motel on San Vicente. The idea of staying at the Beverly Wilshire with Jonathan, who was hot and nice, even if he was a stranger, was a no-brainer. 

“Great,” Jonathan said. He was all business all of a sudden, like he was instructing a subordinate. He reached into his pocket for his wallet and took out a wad of cash, which he put down on the dresser. “That’s for last night, plus some extra. You’ll need a suit for dinner tonight. Gucci is two blocks down on Rodeo. They should have just what you’ll need.”

“Okay,” Nolan grinned. He sat up and clutched the sheet to his chest. “Are you going to be gone all day?”

Jonathan softened and came back over to the bed. “Yes, but I’ll meet you out front at 7:30,” Jonathan said, kissing Nolan’s cheek before leaving. 

***

Nolan took his time getting ready, luxuriating in the massive jacuzzi tub in the master bathroom and ordering room service breakfast. When he was ready to get dressed, he realized that he only had his pleather pants and ripped t-shirt from the night before - a fine outfit for hustling in WeHo but something totally inappropriate for daytime shopping on Rodeo Drive. 

He flipped through the closet and pulled out one of Jonathan’s many starched white shirts. Jonathan’s pants wouldn’t fit him but Nolan assumed that he could wear his own pants and one of Jonathan’s shirts with the sleeves rolled back and be passably appropriate for daytime. 

Nolan assumed wrong. 

He should have known from the looks he got when he stepped off the elevator. No one minded a rent boy in a hotel lobby at night, but in the daytime it was suddenly a scandal. A man in a trim gray suit and a neat ginger beard hurried over toward Nolan before he could make it to the front door.

“Hello!” the man called after Nolan, who was walking quickly and trying to make an escape. “Sir? Sir?”

Nolan turned and put on a shocked face. “Me?”

The man barely refrained from rolling his eyes and smiled instead. “Hello, I’m the manager, Claude. Are you a guest of a guest or…” Claude trailed off, inviting Nolan to chime in with why he was in his fancy hotel lobby looking the way he did.

Nolan gave Claude a fake smile. “I’m a guest of...uh,” he said, suddenly realizing that he didn’t know Jonathan’s last name. “Jonathan,” Nolan guessed, “the penthouse suite.”

“Ah, Mr. Toews,” Claude said. “And you must be a relative."

“Yes?” 

“His nephew,” Claude supplied for himself, evidently to his satisfaction. “What is your name, sir?”

“What do you want it to be?” Nolan sassed, cocking a hip. 

"That may happen in other hotels but it does not happen in the Beverly Wilshire," Claude snipped. "Your name, sir."

"Nolan," he mumbled.

“Mr. Nolan, I expect that when Mr. Toews leaves us at the end of his stay, you will depart as well.” Claude gave Nolan a tight smile. "I hope you enjoy your stay."

“I intend to,” Nolan said, as haughtily as he could manage, and then he spun on his heel and exited.

***

Rodeo Drive wasn’t much better. Out on the street, Nolan was able to blend in with the shoppers and tourists, but inside the Gucci store things were different. He was approached right away by a snooty looking thin young man with pale blond hair. “Can I help you?” the man said, as cold as humanly possible.

“Yes,” Nolan said, trying to sound authoritative while wearing a pair of motorcycle boots he had found by a dumpster. “I need a suit. Elias,” Nolan finished, reading the man’s name tag. 

Elias shuddered in distaste. “Our suits are custom tailored. They are very expensive.”

“Yes, okay,” Nolan said impatiently, looking around to see if any other customers were being discouraged from spending money. He pulled out the wad of bills that Jonathan had left for him. “I’m good for it.”

“I’m sorry, our suits are not for sale today,” Elias said, pressing his lips together. 

"You’re not selling suits? What kind of place is this?” Nolan said, raising his voice, but none of the other shoppers paid him any attention. 

“I think you might be more comfortable in a different part of town,” Elias said. He raked his eyes down Nolan’s cheap pants and turned away in disgust.

“I-I’m a customer here,” Nolan insisted, but he could hear his voice faltering. He didn’t belong here. He didn’t deserve a fancy suit from this store. 

“Good day, sir,” Elias sneered. He had moved across the store and was holding a phone, as if he was about to call the police on Nolan. 

Nolan didn’t wait to find out. He left the store, turning north on Rodeo, and walked quickly through the crowds of shoppers on the sidewalk. He looked down at his outfit - the shirt that obviously wasn’t his, his tacky tattoos, the shiny pants that were too loud for daytime, the scuffed boots with the heel that was about to fall off. He was a joke. He walked faster and held his head down so no one could see him crying.

***

Nolan tried to hurry through the lobby and back up to the suite, but Claude intercepted him again. 

“Excuse me, Mr. Nolan,” Claude called out, but then paused when he saw Nolan’s face. “Would- would you come into my office?”

“Fine,” Nolan huffed. He was sure that this snooty manager was going to bar him from the hotel so he might as well get all of his humiliation over for the day.

Claude sat down behind an ornate desk and gestured to a chair for Nolan to sit. “Here,” he said, pushing a box of tissues toward Nolan. 

“Thank you,” Nolan said, sniffling, and the flood works broke open again.

“Okay, okay,” Claude said, coming around the desk to pat Nolan on the arm. “It’s okay.”

“I need a suit.” Nolan said through his tears. “And this little twink at Gucci was so rude to me and I have to go to dinner with Jonathan and I have this money but no one will sell me a suit!” Nolan laid the crumpled $100 bills on Claude’s desk and sobbed into his hands.

“Oh, we can get you a suit,” Claude said, hopping up. He pushed a button on his phone. “Ryanne, call my man at Tom Ford and tell him I need a guest fitted for a suit.” Claude eyed Nolan, who was still wiping his tears. “Mr. Toews' nephew. Yes. A 42. We need him right away.”

“Thank you,” Nolan said, his voice wobbly. 

“Let’s see if we can get you in an at the salon before he gets here. Shave and a haircut, maybe a manicure,” Claude said, gesturing to Nolan’s chipped black nail polish disdainfully. “Come with me.”

***

Nolan was waiting outside the Beverly Wilshire at 7:30 when a chauffeured Mercedes pulled up. Jonathan was in the backseat. “Where’s the Maserati?”

Jonathan smiled at him as he got out of the car. “Haysie took it back. You look great.” Jonathan leaned in to take Nolan’s hand and kiss him on the cheek.

“Thank you,” Nolan said, tucking a lock of his newly-cut and deep-conditioned hair behind his ear. He felt uncomfortable in his suit, unused to fine clothes that had been tailored close to his body, but he knew he looked much better than he had earlier that day. 

It was only a 15 minute drive to the restaurant, but Nolan enjoyed looking at L.A. from the inside of a fancy car instead of from the street for a change. This was how he knew half of the city lived and now he’d get to play at it for a week. 

They pulled up at the restaurant and Jonathan helped Nolan out of the car before escorting Nolan inside. 

“What kind of restaurant is this?” Nolan looked around the dim interior, noticing too late the sushi bar at the far end of the main room. Shit, Nolan thought. Claude had given him a whole lesson on which fork to use for each course but he hadn’t covered how to use chopsticks.

Jonathan laughed. “It’s Nobu,” he said, squeezing Nolan’s hand. “Sushi, babe.”

“Great,” Nolan said, trying to cover the nervous flop of his stomach.

They were meeting Phillip, the owner of the L.A. Kings, and his wife Nancy. In the car on the way to the restaurant, Jonathan had explained that he was negotiating with the Kings for a new contract for Kevin Hayes, their star forward who would hit the free agent market at the end of the week if Jonathan didn’t secure a deal. Everything Jonathan did this week was focused on Hayes’s contract, one that would net him and CAA a multi-million dollar bonus if it worked out. 

Phillip and Nancy were a fit older couple, each with the elegant clothes and bearing of the billionaires that they were. Just the sight of them made Nolan want to run out the door. Not only was he likely to humiliate himself, he was likely to embarrass Jonathan as well. 

Without them even needing to order, food started to arrive - delicate pieces of fish draped over ovals of sticky rice, tempura light as air, dishes of raw fish heaped with caviar. Nolan stared at everything, chopsticks in hand, while Jonathan and Phillip started talking about Hayes’s contract, their heads bent together. Nolan held the chopsticks, one in each hand, and shrugged at Nancy. “This is- I’m from Manitoba,” Nolan stammered, blushing. 

“I’m from Kansas,” Nancy said, setting down her chopsticks. “I’ve lived in California most of my adult life but I’ve never gotten the hang of chopsticks.” She picked up a piece of sushi with her fingers and dipped it fish-down in a small dish of soy sauce. “Good thing that I heard that in Japan they eat sushi with their hands,” she said with a smile and popped the sushi in her mouth.

“Really?” Nolan leaned in, his eyes wide. Neither Jonathan nor Phillip were paying attention to them, too busy with their heated negotiation. 

“Really,” Nancy said. “Plus, who cares what these Beverly Hills snobs think,” she said with a snort, gesturing to the scenesters at the tables around them. 

Nolan laughed and picked up a piece of fish with two fingers and put it in his mouth. He chewed for a moment, considering. “It’s really good,” he giggled, his hand over his mouth. 

“What are you two whispering about?” Phillip said loudly, taking his wife’s hand. 

“I’m just getting to know Nolan.” Nancy looked at Jonathan. “He’s a smart cookie. Very good Jonathan,” she nodded at him. 

“Thank you Mrs. Anschutz,” Jonathan said, looking over at Nolan with a smile on his face. 

“Please,” Nancy smiled. “It’s Nancy. Now, are you two done with your boring shop talk?”

“Yes,” Phillip said, folding his napkin in his lap. “I think we’ll come to a fair agreement, don’t you Jonathan? Let’s eat.” 

***

“You were very good,” Jonathan said quietly in the elevator on the way up to the hotel suite. “I’ve never gotten first names from either of them and I’ve been representing Kings players for years.”

“Then it’s a good thing you hired me for the week,” Nolan said. “I wish that mean queen from the Gucci store could see me now.” Nolan leaned in to kiss Jonathan’s neck when the elevator dinged. 

“What?” Jonathan said, pulling them out of the elevator. “Who was mean to you?”

“It’s nothing,” Nolan said, regretting bringing it up. “I got the suit, didn’t I?”

“Did you get anything else? You’re going to need clothes for the whole week.” Jonathan looked mad, but not at Nolan. His chest was puffed up, like he was ready to fight someone. Nolan didn’t say anything, remembering how embarrassed he’d been earlier that day and not wanting to think about it again.

“Right, I’m taking tomorrow morning off and we’re getting you a wardrobe for the rest of the week,” Jonathan said. 

“Jon,” Nolan said, not wanting to make a fuss in front of the Tom Ford staff again. 

“And we need to talk about your fee for the week,” Jonathan said, ignoring Nolan’s blush and moving him gently toward the bedroom by the hips. 

“Oh,” Nolan said, trying to think as Jonathan untucked Nolan’s shirt and slipped his hands underneath. “Um-”

“I was thinking $20,000 for the week,” Jonathan said. He pulled back to look at Nolan’s face in the dark bedroom, the only light coming from the city below. 

“Oh,” Nolan said, unable to process a sum like that. With that kind of money, he could pay their back rent and move him and TK to a better neighborhood. With that kind of money, maybe TK wouldn’t have to dance on a bar to make rent.

“Nolan,” Jonathan said, interrupting Nolan’s thoughts.

“Yeah?” Nolan said. His attention was back on Jonathan, who was half undressed and obviously hard in his pants. 

“Get on the bed,” Jonathan said, licking his lips and palming at Nolan through his pants. “Hands and knees, be a good boy for me."

***

Nolan thought shopping montages were only in the movies. Until the next morning, when he found himself with Jonathan and two personal shoppers at Neiman Marcus. Jonathan was sitting in a chair checking his phone while Nolan stood on a raised platform. The personal shoppers, Joel and Morgan, had measured him at length and were now running in and out of the room with different outfits for Nolan to try on. He had already won Jonathan’s approval of a soft dark blue suit jacket, several pairs of jeans that showed off his long legs, a buttery soft leather jacket, and a few casual outfits. It seemed like more than Nolan would need for the week. Nolan didn’t know how much any of this cost - there were no price tags to be seen - but it all seemed like too much. 

“Jon, do you like this?” Nolan asked. Jonathan looked up and saw that Nolan was wearing a dove gray suit, jacket fitted perfectly to his broad shoulders, and a shirt the color of his eyes. Nolan was smiling a small smile and his cheeks were bright red.

“Looks great,” Jonathan said. He put his phone in his suit pocket, got up, and came over to step up next to Nolan. He looked at the two of them standing together in the mirror, Nolan in his light gray suit and Jonathan in his charcoal grey one, and took Nolan’s hand. “You look perfect.”

“Oh, hats!” Morgan exclaimed when Joel walked in with an arm full of hats for Nolan to try on.

“No hats,” Jonathan said and winked at Nolan in the mirror.

“You heard him,” Morgan said, shooing Joel out the door.

“I’ve got to get to a meeting,” Jonathan said. He had stepped closer, his arm tight around Nolan’s waist and his lips in Nolan’s hair. “Get everything.”

“Jon, no,” Nolan protested. He turned from looking at Jonathan in the mirror to look at him directly. 

Jonathan was so close, his lips quirked into a smile and his eyes dark on Nolan. “Everything,” he said and kissed Nolan on the cheek. “Except for the hats. See you tonight.”

“Bye,” Nolan said, a little weak in the knees as he watched Jonathan walk out the door.

Girl,” Morgan said, his hand on his hip. “Where did you find that one?”

***

On his way home, Nolan made sure to cruise through the Gucci store, his arms laden with shopping bags. He was wearing head-to-toe Saint Laurent and his hair was held back with a pair of sunglasses. When he saw Elias’s blonde head across the store, he made a beeline for him. 

“Hi, remember me from yesterday?” Nolan plastered a fake smile on his face. He saw the startled look on Elias’s face as he took in Nolan’s new look, so different from his ratty clothes and cheap accessories from the day before. “Just letting you know that you missed out on a big sale yesterday.” Nolan flipped his sunglasses down onto his face and turned on his heel. “Big mistake!” he called out over his shoulder. “Huge!” he yelled as he pushed through the door and out onto the crowded street.

***

Jonathan walked into the suite later than night, his eyes on his phone. He loosened his tie with one hand and kicked off his shoes. The suite was dark and he almost walked past Nolan, who was sitting at the dining table. The table was covered with dishes for dinner that Nolan had ordered, plus candles and flutes of champagne. Nolan’s chair was pushed back from the table, his feet propped on the table. He was wearing a tie loosely tied at his neck and a pair of black sheer boy cut panties. 

“How was your day, dear?” Nolan asked in a flat voice.

Jonathan looked up from his phone and his mouth dropped open. After a moment, he recovered. “Nice tie,” he said, putting his phone down and advancing on Nolan. He got close enough to put his hand on Nolan’s ankle.

“I got it for you,” Nolan said. He ran the pale blue silk of the tie through his fingers. He moved his feet off of the table and spread his knees, watching Jonathan’s eyes drift down to where he was hard in the panties, the head of his cock straining against the waistband. 

“Come here,” Jonathan said. He pulled Nolan to his feet. He was standing close to Nolan, his breath coming fast and hot on Nolan’s face. Jonathan was so close, he could just lean in, his lips could just touch Nolan’s lips, soft and pink and-

“Bedroom?” Nolan said, moving away and toward the bedroom of the suite. “And take your clothes off.” Nolan swung his hips as he went through the door, knowing that Jonathan was staring at his ass in the panties.

Jonathan followed him, shucking his clothes quickly and leaving a trail of clothes that led to the bed, where Nolan was reclining. 

“Fuck,” Jonathan breathed out. He crawled onto the bed in only his boxer briefs, covering Nolan’s body with his. 

“Did you have a long day?” Nolan asked as Jonathan kissed his neck, grinding his hips down against him.

“Really long,” Jonathan said, licking up Nolan’s neck to his ear. “So long.”

“Here,” Nolan said. He pushed Jonathan over onto his back and slid down his body, peeling his boxer briefs off as he went. Then he kissed up Jonathan’s thighs and took Jonathan’s cock in his mouth, flicking his eyes up to Jonathan’s face to see the look when Nolan went all the way down on it, his lips touching the base. 

“Fuck,” Jonathan moaned. He slid his hand over Nolan’s head and down his back, reaching to where Nolan’s ass was in the air, the panties stretched over him. “Fuck, that’s perfect.”

Nolan took Jonathan deep again, Jonathan’s cock hitting the back of his throat. Nolan let his saliva run down Jonathan’s cock so he could smear it up Jonathan’s length with his hand over and over again, his mouth and his hand working together to bring Jonathan closer to the edge. He could feel his gag reflex being triggered every time he took Jonathan down but he kept going, swallowing around Jonathan’s length and enjoying the sounds Jonathan made each time. 

“I’m gonna come, wait wait,” Jonathan said, pulling Nolan off his cock. He flipped Nolan onto his back and knelt over him, his cock in his hand. “Wanna see you, god you’re so sexy,” Jonathan said, his free hand touching Nolan where his precome had made the panties wet. “Gonna ruin these,” Jonathan groaned, eyes dark on Nolan’s body and then he came all over Nolan’s stomach and abdomen, soaking the panties.

“Shit,” Jonathan said. He fell back on the bed next to Nolan and pulled him close, his clean hand wound in Nolan’s hair. “You’re fucking amazing,” Jonathan panted. He reached down and pulled Nolan’s cock out of the panties. “So hard for me.” 

Nolan tucked his face into Jonathan’s neck as Jonathan stroked him, hard and fast until he came all over himself. 

***

The bathtub was big enough for the both of them, Nolan laying between Jonathan’s legs with his back against Jonathan’s chest. The bubbles were up to his chest and he felt relaxed from sex and the champagne they were drinking. 

“Feel better?” Jonathan said into Nolan’s ear.

“Much better,” Nolan tipped his head up to look at Jonathan. “Much less sticky.”

Jonathan chuckled and then said, “So, um." He paused to take a sip of champagne. “How did you get into this line of work?” Jonathan sounded formal and guarded again all of a sudden and Nolan could feel Jonathan tense up under him. 

“You don’t have to ask about that,” Nolan said dismissively. He had been with a few guys who wanted to hear his sob story, find out where his life had gone wrong. Maybe they wanted to save him. He never stuck around long enough to find out. He didn’t need to be the hooker with a heart of gold in someone else’s story.

“I want to,” Jonathan said. He took Nolan’s hands and laid them flat against Nolan’s chest. “Would it make you feel better if I told you how I became a sports agent first?”

Nolan laughed. “Sure.”

“Okay,” Jonathan said, kissing Nolan’s cheek and then laying back in the water. “So I’m from Manitoba-”

“Wait,” Nolan sat up with a start, “I'm from Manitoba.”

“Really? Where?”

“I was born in Winnipeg but we moved around a bunch,” Nolan said. 

“I’m from Winnipeg too! What a small world,” Jonathan said. He pulled Nolan back against him and threaded their fingers together. “Did you play hockey?”

“A bit when I was younger,” Nolan said. He didn’t really want to explain to Jonathan how his family never lived in one place long enough for him to earn a spot on a team, or how there hadn’t been any money for skates even if he had. 

“I played - I was a center, of course - and I even went to boarding school in the States for it,” Jonathan said, his voice wistful. “I got a scholarship to UND and there was even talk of me getting an NHL tryout.”

Jonathan stopped talking, so Nolan looked over his shoulder at him. “So what happened?”

“Well," Jonathan continued, hesitant now. “In my junior year I got injured and could never play again.”

“Man,” Nolan said, squeezing Jonathan’s hands. “That sucks, I’m sorry.”

“It all worked out,” Jonathan responded. “I had met a lot of people through hockey and made connections, so when I was done with school I got a job at CAA in Chicago representing hockey players.”

“That’s really cool, man,” Nolan said. “My deal isn’t really that interesting.”

“I’m interested,” Jonathan said softly, kissing Nolan’s shoulder and cradling him closer in his arms.

Nolan shrugged. “It’s embarrassing.” He paused and, when Jonathan didn’t interrupt, continued. “I met an older guy when I was a senior in high school and fell for him really hard. I probably wasn’t going to graduate so when he said he was moving to L.A. I came with him.”

“Oh,” Jonathan said, his voice a little flat. “Is that your roommate? The one you mentioned-”

“No,” Nolan laughed, “God, no. That’s TK. I met him after my boyfriend dumped me. He abandoned me in L.A. without any money." Nolan could feel his cheeks burning red. "I was so stupid, moving so far for a guy who didn't love me back. So I ended up doing this.” Nolan faded off into a mumble with the humiliating memory of being 19, alone on the street in L.A., when TK took pity on him and showed him how to make a living. 

“I think it’s really brave to change countries for love,” Jonathan said, quiet, his lips against Nolan’s hair.

“But it wasn’t love. It was a fantasy. I thought he was my Prince Charming,” Nolan said, splashing the bathwater in frustration. “But it wasn’t real. I couldn’t go back home after that.”

Jonathan hummed thoughtfully. 

“I like what I do,” Nolan said defensively. “I take care of myself and TK, and the people I meet are mostly cool. None are as cool as you though,” Nolan said, tipping his head back to smile at Jonathan. 

“I’m having a really good time with you,” Jonathan said, heartbreakingly earnest. Nolan wondered if he had a wife at home, anything that would explain what was actually wrong with Jon. There had to be a trick because this fantasy - a week at an expensive hotel, fancy dinners, great sex, shopping sprees - couldn’t be real.

***

The next morning, Jonathan left for work, dropping a kiss on Nolan’s cheek before he left. Nolan had plenty of time that afternoon to go to the spa for a facial and a massage before he had to take a car to the Staples Center to meet Jonathan. 

When Nolan arrived at the arena, he was ushered through a VIP entrance and up to a box suite where Jonathan was already waiting, surrounded by a group of young men in suits, including a few who looked like players. Nolan was glad that he had worn the tasteful blazer, plain button-down, and dark jeans that the personal shoppers had picked out for him so he would blend in. 

“There he is,” Jonathan said, spotting Nolan. “Come meet the guys.” Jonathan waved Nolan over.

“Hi,” Nolan smiled shyly and shook hands with each person Jonathan introduced, their names flying out of Nolan’s head as soon as he heard them. He stood close to Jonathan, happy to feel Jonathan’s shoulder solid against his.

Phillip and a few other older men in suits came into the suite. Phillip made a beeline for Jonathan and Nolan, clapping Nolan fondly on the shoulder before peeling off to talk business with Jonathan. 

When the game started, Nolan settled into a seat at the front of the box, happy to see a hockey game in person from such a good vantage point. He had never had box seats for anything. 

“Mind if I sit here?” 

Nolan looked up to see one of Jonathan’s colleagues standing by the seat next to him holding two beers. He handed one to Nolan and smiled, a little too smoothly. “I’m Nico, remember?”

“Of course,” Nolan smiled. He took the beer and set it next to his seat. “You can sit here.”

Nico sat and crossed his ankle over his knee. “So, you know Mr. Anschutz.”

Nolan nodded stiffly. “I met him a few days ago. He and Nancy are really nice.”

“Are they?” Nico said skeptically. “How do you know Jonathan again?” He raised one heavy eyebrow. 

“We met a while ago, at a bar,” Nolan said without thinking. Technically he wasn’t lying. He had been standing outside of a bar when Jonathan had pulled up. 

“Huh, interesting,” Nico said, turning to look back at Jonathan, who was still in conversation with Phillip and another man that Nolan thought had been introduced as the General Manager of the team. 

Jonathan caught Nolan’s eye and frowned. He mouthed “You okay?” in his direction.

Nolan gave a little nod and tried to smile, but Nico was leaning too close. “I, uh, I’m going to use the bathroom. Excuse me.” Nolan got up, abandoning the beer and Nico, and made his way to the exit. He needed air.

“Hey,” Jonathan intercepted him. “What did he say to you?” Jonathan was gripping Nolan’s shoulders tightly and his mouth was flattened into a line.

“Nothing,” Nolan shrugged him off. “I just need some air.” Nolan headed out the door and, once he was in the empty hallway behind the suite, stood leaning against the wall and gulped in the cool air, his eyes closed. After a few minutes, he walked down the hallway to find the bathroom and spent a long time splashing water on his face and trying to get the color in his cheeks under control. Once he had pulled himself back together, he headed back toward the box. 

“There you are.” It was Nico, standing outside the door of the box, his hands in his pockets and a smug grin on his face. 

“I just needed some air,” Nolan said, his voice faint. Did anyone know that he was out here with Nico? Where was Jonathan?

“I’m a little new at CAA so I’m trying to get the lay of the land,” Nico said, his smile too smooth. He was standing too close and his hand was snaking around Nolan’s waist. Everything about him made Nolan uncomfortable. “And I’ve only known Johnny briefly but he didn’t seem the type to bring a rent boy to the owner’s box but I guess I was wrong.” 

Nolan’s stomach turned. How did this guy know who he was? Before he could respond, Nico interrupted.

“Don’t worry, Jon told me in the strictest confidence. Maybe he’ll give me your number and we can meet up when I’m in town next time. I’m sure I can be as generous as him. What’s he paying you, a grand a night?”

“I don’t- I,” Nolan stammered, his face aflame with shock and anger. “I- Jon wouldn’t-”

“Nolan?” 

Nolan turned to see Jonathan emerge from the suite, his eyebrows drawn down in concern. “Are you okay?”

“I’m not feeling well,” Nolan said quickly, gripping his stomach and hoping that he wasn’t actually going to throw up. 

“It’s okay, I’ll call the driver and have him pick you up.” Jonathan led Nolan away from Nico and toward the exit. "Are you okay?" Jonathan’s voice was low. “Is it okay if I meet you after the game?” 

“I’m fine, I’ll see you,” Nolan said, rushing away.

“Are you sure? Text me if you need anything!” Nolan heard Jonathan call after him, but he kept walking until he was outside and alone.

***

“Hey,” Jonathan said, waking Nolan up from where he was laying on the couch in the suite, a damp towel draped over his eyes. “How are you feeling?”

Nolan pulled the towel off of his face and sat up slowly. “I’m feeling-” He stopped and looked at Jonathan, who was biting his lip and looked worried. “I probably should go.” Nolan stood up and started looking around the suite for his belongings, not remembering what was his and what Jonathan had bought him. He settled for pulling on the closest pair of shoes and grabbing his wallet. 

“What? Where are you going?” Jonathan followed Nolan to the elevator.

“If you’ll just pay me for the three nights I’ve been here-” Nolan said, holding out his hand.

“Nolan, wait. Is this about money? I can pay you extra-”

“It’s not-” Nolan started, angry, his fists clenched at his sides. “It’s not about money! It’s about you telling that smarmy dick Nico about me!”

“What?” Jonathan’s face fell. “What did he say to you?”

Nolan looked at the ground, sure that his blush was giving him away. “How could you do that?” he mumbled quietly. “I was humiliated.”

“I’m sorry, I- please come sit down,” Jonathan said. He took Nolan’s arm and led him to the table where they sat, Nolan perched stiffly on the edge of his chair. Jonathan rubbed his face with his hand, looking exhausted. “I’m sorry, we’re working together on this Hayes deal and he was bugging me and bugging me about you, so I told him in confidence. I didn’t think he’d say anything to you.”

“Well,” Nolan looked at Jonathan, his chin jutted out, “he did. It was gross. He made me feel gross.”

“I’m sorry. God, I fucked up. I'll talk to him tomorrow and make sure he doesn't say anything to anyone.” Jonathan took Nolan’s hands and bowed his head toward them. “Can you forgive me? Will you please stay?” 

Nolan paused, looked at the top of Jonathan’s head where it was bent over his hands. Nolan leaned his head down and rested his cheek against it. This was his job. He was paid to be Jonathan’s date at the game, and he was paid to fuck Jonathan after. Nolan knew this, and yet he’d let himself think for a brief moment that Jonathan was different, that he saw Nolan for who he was instead of what he did. He’d been stupid to think that this week was different from any of his other jobs. Jonathan was a client, just one who was paying extra and letting Nolan live the high life for a few days before he went back to his shitty life. 

“I’ll stay,” Nolan said quietly. He watched as Jonathan picked his head up, his eyes alight again. 

“I’m sorry again, Nolan,” Jonathan said, leaning in to kiss Nolan on the cheek. “I’ll make it up to you.”

Nolan was skeptical, still thinking about the humiliation of Nico’s smug face as he cornered him outside the owner’s box earlier that night. But Jonathan was so sweet that night, ordering strawberries and champagne for them to enjoy together in front of the fireplace in the suite, massaging Nolan’s feet and listening to Nolan’s stories about the scrapes that TK was constantly getting them in. 

Later that night, Jonathan wouldn’t let Nolan touch him. Instead, he spent the longest time eating Nolan out until Nolan was shaking, collapsed onto his forearms with Jonathan’s tongue deep inside him, begging Jonathan to let him touch himself and come. After, when Jonathan held him and pet his hair softly, Nolan thought about how different he felt than when he was with his other clients, the ones that used his body without a thought about his pleasure, the ones who would sooner throw him away than get to know him as a person. He didn’t know what was happening with Jonathan, this lovely man who had come into his life for a brief time. It wasn’t love, not that Nolan thought love existed. But it was something. 

***

Nolan woke to the phone by the bed ringing. 

“Hello?” he said, his voice gravelly from sleep.

“Nolan,” Jonathan said, “it’s 10:30.” Nolan could hear the smile in his voice. He knew Jonathan had been up since dawn and had probably exercised and worked for several hours at this point.

“I need my beauty rest,” Nolan replied, rolling over and stretching his muscles. 

“Like hell you do,” Jonathan said fondly. “Listen, I’m thinking of taking the afternoon off.”

“Can you do that?” Nolan said. He had seen Jonathan working at all hours over the past few days in an effort to finalize Hayes’s contract. It didn’t seem like he ever took a day off. 

“Of course, things are calm here. I’ll send the car for you at 2.”

“Okay,” Nolan said, sitting up and looking around. He needed to eat something and maybe hit the gym downstairs, and of course shower and get pretty for Jonathan. He didn’t have much time. “What should I wear?”

“Something casual, no big deal,” Jonathan said. Nolan was skeptical. Jonathan had been unconcerned about their dinner at a five-star restaurant with a billionaire hockey team owner. He tended to downplay things. 

“Where are we going?” Nolan asked. He held the phone against his shoulder with his ear as he flipped through the closet.

“It’s a surprise,” Jonathan said lightly. “I’ll meet you at the airport.”

“The airport?” Nolan said, but Jonathan had hung up. 

***

After much dithering, Nolan decided to wear an Issey Miyaki jumpsuit and Balenciaga sneakers and had braided his hair away from his face. He stopped by Claude’s office on his way out to make sure he looked okay and was rewarded with a grudging nod from the grumpy hotel manager. 

When the car pulled up to the tarmac at Jack Northrop Field, Nolan saw Jonathan standing next to a helicopter in jeans, a Paul Smith camp shirt, and a pair of aviators. Nolan had only ever seen Jonathan in a suit or naked. He didn’t know that Jonathan owned casual clothes.

“Are you the pilot?” Nolan yelled over the sound of the rotor. He ducked and ran toward the helicopter.

“No,” Jonathan shouted. He pulled Nolan close, his lips close to Nolan’s ear so he could be heard over the din. “You look so cute,” Jonathan said. “Get in the copter.”

Nolan took his headphones from the actual pilot and settled in the alarmingly-small helicopter. “Where are we going?” he said over the headset to Jonathan, who was buckling himself into the next seat. 

“Coachella,” Jonathan said. He tucked his sunglasses into the neck of his shirt, which was unbuttoned dangerously low, showing off the muscles of his chest. “Do you like Tame Impala?”

“Yes!” Nolan shouted. “Are you serious? I love them!”

“I wanted it to be a surprise,” Jonathan said, leaning over to kiss Nolan on the cheek.

The helicopter took off soon after, soaring above Los Angeles and heading west over the city. Nolan was busy looking out the window, watching the tiny cars on the freeways below stuck in Friday afternoon traffic. When he looked back at Jonathan, he noticed that Jonathan was sitting ramrod straight, his hands clasping his thighs and his eyes squeezed shut.

“Are you okay?” Nolan said, poking Jonathan gently in the side. 

“I- I don’t like flying,” Jonathan said, his eyes still squeezed shut. 

“Then why did you book this helicopter?” Nolan said, incredulous.

Jonathan opened his eyes and rolled them at Nolan. “Because it’s the best way to get to Coachella.” 

“Oh my god,” Nolan said. He put his arm around Jonathan and pulled him close so he could see out the window with him. “Look how beautiful it is! Live a little!”

“Yeah,” Jonathan said, his head leaned close to Nolan and his breath hot on the side of Nolan’s face.

Nolan turned to see Jonathan looking at him, his eyes big and dark. Just then, the helicopter banked sharply to make a turn. Jonathan squeezed his eyes shut again and gripped tight around Nolan, who just laughed and watched Los Angeles dip behind the horizon.

***

They stopped first at the Ace Hotel for a drink and a late lunch at the pool bar, where there was already a pre-festival party underway. As they ate and ordered a second round of mojitos, Nolan pointed out a Jonas brother, a young actor from an HBO drama, and a whole slew of models. 

“How do you not know any of these people?” Nolan asked. He could feel that his cheeks were flushed from the drinks. 

“I really don’t watch tv,” Jonathan protested. “I work most of the time.”

“Yeah, I noticed,” Nolan teased. “What do you do in Chicago when you’re not working?”

Jonathan took a sip of his drink and paused. “I...nothing? I go to the gym and I work. I don’t really date.”

At least Nolan now knew that Jonathan didn’t have anyone waiting for him home while he was here with Nolan. “It’s a shame, you’re hot and rich,” Nolan said lightly. He jutted his chin at a group of impeccably groomed men with toned muscles. “You could pick up one of those Instagram models, no problem.”

Jonathan didn’t look where Nolan was indicating. Instead, he was pulling out cash to pay the check and then set an orange velvet drawstring bag on the table by Nolan’s hand. 

“What’s this?” Nolan asked.

“Something I picked up for you,” Jonathan said, looking for the bartender. “Open it.”

Nolan opened the bag, which was stamped with the Hermes logo, and pulled out a double-wrapped black leather bracelet with a sterling silver H clasp. “Jon, I love it.”

“Goes with your outfit,” Jonathan said. Nolan noticed that Jonathan was blushing as he helped Nolan fasten the bracelet around his wrist. 

“Thank you,” Nolan said quietly and dropped his head to rest on Jonathan’s shoulder.

“COACHELLA!” the d.j. shouted from the booth at the far end of the pool. “Who’s ready to get this party started?!”

“That’s our cue,” Jonathan said, getting up and offering his hand to Nolan. 

***

At the festival grounds, they headed toward the stage and found good spots in the VIP section near the front. Before long, the stage was lit up with multi-colored beams of light and the band came out to loud cheers from the crowd.

As the first song started, Nolan looked over to see Jonathan pull a joint out of his shirt pocket and light it. “Jon, what are you doing?” he squawked. Jonathan had freaked out when he thought Nolan had brought drugs into the suite yet now he was taking a hit off a joint like a pro. 

Jonathan smiled at him through hooded eyes and let out a long exhale of smoke. “Live a little, babe,” he laughed and handed Nolan the joint. Nolan bumped Jonathan with his hip and took the joint, passing it back and forth with Jonathan as the music washed over them. In no time, Nolan was singing along, crooning the words to "‘Cause I’m a Man" off-key. Jonathan wrapped his arms around Nolan and Nolan held onto his hands, their fingers intertwining as they swayed along to the music. He looked down at the bracelet that Jonathan had given him and held onto Jonathan tighter, his heart surging in his chest and his head swimming. 

“Thank you,” Nolan whispered to Jonathan. They were in the car on the way back to the hotel and Nolan was laying across the backseat, his head in Jonathan’s lap. 

Jonathan brushed a tendril of hair off of Nolan’s face. “Did you have a good time?”

“The best,” Nolan said, his eyes falling closed. ”Never had such a good time with a client.” He was stoned and it was late, so he let himself drift off, Jonathan’s fingertips tracing along his jawline.

When they got to the hotel, they headed up to the suite and Jonathan went to take a shower. He was quiet when he got out, moving around the suite in just a pair of pajama bottoms and not looking at Nolan.

“Hey, come here,” Nolan said. He held out his phone to show Jonathan pictures he had taken at the festival. “This is a good one of us, don’t you think?” They were in the foreground of the picture, their heads bent together and smiles on their faces, while Tame Impala played behind them. Everything was bathed in blue light from the stage. 

“Hmm, yeah,” Jonathan said, looking at the phone briefly.

“You don’t like it? I was thinking of posting it on Instagram.”

“Do you post pictures with your clients on Instagram,” Jonathan said, crossing his arms and frowning.

“What?” Nolan stood and followed Jonathan into the bedroom. 

“I just-,” Jonathan started and then let out a sigh. “It’s stupid.”

“Jon, come on. You know I don’t think of you like that.” Nolan didn’t elaborate, hoping Jonathan knew that he was different - not dangerous or unpredictable like his usual clients, not furtive or demanding, not another man who would toss two $20 bills at him and push him out of the car. Nolan cared about him, probably too much at this point. He didn’t think of Jonathan like a client, but instead as someone he could have fallen in love with if everything had been different.

Jonathan sat down on the bed. “I’m such a cliché. I thought- I don't know what I thought.”

“You’re not a cliché,” Nolan said. He sat down next to Jonathan. “I’ve never been with someone like you.” Jonathan treated him better than any client or boyfriend ever had, even boyfriends who claimed that they loved him. If Nolan wasn't who he was - and if Jonathan had come into his life at some other time or some other way - maybe they could be something more than what they were. For now, Nolan was resigned to the fact that Jonathan was unattainable, that nothing more than this was possible. However much he had let himself dream, holding onto Jonathan at the concert and feeling loved, Jonathan could never love him the way he wanted.

"Can you send me that picture?” Jonathan said, lifting the corner of his mouth into a smile. “So I don’t forget you?” 

“How could you ever forget me,” Nolan said, leaning in to kiss Jonathan on the cheek. Jonathan turned his head and Nolan let his lips meet Jonathan’s, lingering there in a soft kiss before pulling back. “I could never forget you,” he whispered.

Jonathan surged toward him, taking Nolan’s face in his hands and kissing him deeply. Nolan held on to Jonathan’s back and let himself be kissed, let that final barrier between them fall. They fell back on the bed together, Jonathan kissing him again and again, and Nolan let himself be swept away, knowing that he would be leaving all of this behind soon. For the next day or so, he could let himself have this fantasy, the one where Jonathan loved him, before he turned back to the real world.

Jonathan slowly undressed Nolan, only breaking their kiss to reach for the lube and a condom and then diving back in, kissing Nolan like his life depended on it. Nolan wrapped his legs around Jonathan’s waist and let Jonathan move over him, slowly sliding into him. Jonathan leaned down, one hand on Nolan’s face and one braced on the bed, as he kissed Nolan and moved inside him. Nolan gave himself over to the sensation, Jonathan holding him tight and whispering his name in between kisses, both of them building together toward their orgasms. He let himself forget who he was, who Jonathan was, and surrendered himself, telling Jonathan with every move of his body that he loved him, falling apart in his arms. 

***

In the morning, Nolan woke slowly to Jonathan wrapped around him and sleepily snuggling his face into Nolan’s neck. 

“Morning,” Jonathan said, pulling Nolan closer.

“Hi,” Nolan smiled at him. “Do you have to rush off to work?”

“Mmm no, Saturday,” Jonathan said. He rolled on top of Nolan and kissed him softly. “Going in later.” He scooted down Nolan’s body, trailing kisses until he was nestled between Nolan’s legs with a bottle of lube at hand. He touched his fingertips to Nolan’s hole, gently pushing at the rim. He looked up Nolan’s body. “You okay from last night?”

“Yeah,” Nolan exhaled and let his eyes fall closed. Jonathan slid his fingers inside, gently probing until he brushed Nolan’s prostate, drawing a long moan out of Nolan and making him arch his back in response.

“God, so beautiful,” Jonathan murmured. When Nolan looked down, Jonathan was still staring up at him, his eyes dark. Jonathan moved his fingers, pressing deeper, drawing another moan out of Nolan. In no time, Nolan was grasping for Jonathan’s free hand, holding on as the tension in his body grew. 

“I can’t, Jon,” Nolan near-sobbed. Nolan spread his twitching legs, letting Jonathan slip another finger in, certain that he would die before he came without a hand on his cock. 

“Come on, baby,” Jonathan coaxed, his voice gravelly low. “You can do it.” He squeezed Nolan’s hand with one hand and pushed deeper into him with the other, brushing his thumb over Nolan's perineum. Nolan tightened and pulsed around him and then came hard, curling his knees up as the waves of his orgasm hit him. 

Fuuuuck,” Nolan moaned and finally fell back on the pillow. “Fuck, Jon, what the fuck did you do,” he laughed, out of breath and giddy. 

“You’ve never done that before?” Jonathan said as he kissed back up Nolan’s body. He rubbed his cock against the come on Nolan’s stomach, sliding slowly as he held himself over Nolan and kissed him. “You’re a natural, babe.” Nolan wound his arms around Jonathan’s neck and pulled Jonathan against him. They kissed lazily as Jonathan rutted against him, whimpering for more friction as he got closer. 

“You want my hand, baby?” Nolan said, nipping at Jonathan’s bottom lip with his teeth. 

“Yeah,” Jonathan said, his voice thick with desire. His hips stuttered as Nolan took hold of him and slowly started to stroke him. He dropped his head onto Nolan’s shoulder, his mouth open against Nolan’s neck, until Nolan drew his orgasm out of him. 

***

They showered and were just sitting down to room service breakfast when Jonathan’s phone started to explode. 

“It’s the GM,” Jonathan muttered to himself. He pulled his napkin off of his lap and set it beside his plate of egg whites. “Back in a sec.” he said as he dropped a kiss on Nolan’s cheek.

Nolan kept eating his pancakes, scrolling through Instagram as he ate. He had just posted the picture of him and Jonathan with the caption “Sugar Baby’s First Coachella” and TK had immediately commented with a shocked face emoji. 

“No, no sir, I swear, I didn’t know anything about this,” Jonathan said loudly into the phone as he rushed back into the room. He was half-dressed, his shirt unbuttoned and a tie slung untied around his neck. “I will get to the bottom of this right away.”

Nolan frowned at Jonathan, who ended the call and started pulling his shoes and socks on. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s Haysie,” Jonathan said, looking for his wallet and jacket. “Someone told the Kings that he was getting ready to sign somewhere else.”

“Is he? Did you know about this?”

“Of course not!” Jonathan snapped. “He’s still under contract. If he’s been talking to another team, that’s tampering.” Jonathan stood up, his face red with anger. “I have a feeling Nico’s behind this, that little twerp.”

At that moment, the suite telephone rang. Nolan went quickly to pick it up. “Hello?”

Claude was on the line. “A Mr. Hischier is on his way up. He said it was urgent.”

Nolan put down the receiver and turned to Jonathan. “Nico’s here, please don’t kill him.”

The elevator dinged and out stepped Nico, a pair of shiny aviators and a shit-eating grin on his face. “Johnny! My man!”

“What the fuck Nico,” Jonathan said, charging toward him. Nolan sprang in front of him, putting his hands on Jonathan’s chest to keep him back from Nico. “What the fuck have you been doing?”

“If you had been in the office recently, you'd know,” Nico said, tucking his sunglasses in the front pocket of his Burberry shirt. 

"What the hell are you talking about!" Jonathan shouted, his fists clenched at this sides. Nolan could see the muscles bunched in his arms and the vein throbbing in his forehead with rage. 

"Haysie needs someone who's totally dedicated to him and that's me," Nico said. He looked toward Nolan and winked. "And I've been helping him explore all of his options. The Flyers in particular have been very interested."

“That’s,” Jonathan started, pinching the bridge of his nose, “that’s tampering.” 

"Only if the league finds out about it."

"Everyone knows about it," Johnny stepped closer and shouted in his face. "I’ve been working on this deal for months - it took me so long to get the Kings to make an offer this good -  and you just blew it up! The Kings are furious and my phone is blowing up with texts from the Commissioner’s office and our boss at CAA.”

Nico took a seat at the breakfast table. “Once CAA finds out the max contract I can get from the Flyers, it'll all blow over." 

“You’re going to get fired, I will make sure of it,” Jonathan seethed. 

“You've been MIA this week, Johnny. You have no authority at CAA anymore,” Nico said with a smug smile. He picked up a piece of bacon. “No extra crispy?”

“Get the fuck up,” Nolan said, taking Nico by the arm to get him up from the table. 

“Oh, the whore is your bodyguard now?” Nico sneered at Nolan. He shook himself out of Nolan’s grasp. 

“Don’t you dare,” Jonathan growled. "Don't even look at him."

Nico just laughed in his face. “Once I get my commission, I'll be able to buy a dozen boys hotter than him."

Fuck you,” Jonathan yelled and launched himself at Nico, punching him in the face and knocking him to the ground.

***

“Move your fingers,” Nolan said. He moved the ice bag off of Jonathan’s knuckles and watched as Jonathan flexed his fingers.

“They’re okay,” Jonathan said. His cheeks were still flushed from the fight with Nico, which ended when Jonathan threw Nico out of the suite (via the elevator, of course). 

“You’ll be fingering again in no time.”

“Ha,” Jonathan said without mirth. “I have to go to the office, fix this mess.” Jonathan stood up, pausing to cup Nolan’s chin in his hand. “Be here when I get back?” Jonathan didn’t say it, but Nolan knew that Jonathan was telling him that he’d need his comfort later, physical as well as emotional. 

“Of course,” Nolan said. Jonathan leaned down to kiss him, sliding his tongue into Nolan’s mouth. Nolan surged up toward him, desperate for more contact. 

“Later,” Jonathan said, laying a final kiss on Nolan’s lips before he left.

***

“Tell me all about him,” TK shouted through the phone as soon as Nolan picked up his Facetime call. Nolan was in workout clothes, cooling down from a Pilates session in the hotel gym. On the other end of the call, Nolan could see that TK was sitting cross-legged on the floor of his messy bedroom, piles of discarded clothes and takeout cups around him on the floor. 

“You get the money I sent over?” Nolan asked, ignoring TK’s question for the time being. “Please tell me you bought groceries and paid the electric bill.”

“Yes, mom,” TK rolled his eyes. “Stop worrying about me. What’s going on with you?”

Nolan smiled and shrugged his shoulders. “The usual, just hanging out in my penthouse suite.”

“You bitch,” TK smirked. “Is he there?”

“No, he’s at work,” Nolan said, stretching out on the couch. He ran his hand through his newly-cut hair.

“Did you get a makeover? Who is this guy?” TK yelped in response.

“He’s a sports agent,” Nolan said. “His name is Jonathan.”

“Girl, you hit the bigtime!”

“Stop,” Nolan mumbled. 

“What’s the dick like?” 

“Teeks,” Nolan groaned and covered his face with his hand. 

Come on,” TK insisted. “You have to give me the dirt.”

“I don’t want to talk about him like that.”

“Oh,” TK sang. Nolan could see TK leaning forward, his face taking up the whole screen. “Oh, you love him.”

“Teeks, shut up,” Nolan said. He could feel his face burning. “I don’t love him.” Nolan paused and tried  lightly, “I like him.”

“You like him?”

“Yeah, I like him,” Nolan said. “Don’t make a big deal out of it, nothing can happen.”

“Why can’t it happen?” TK said. “You can go back to - where is he from?”

“Chicago.”

“You can go back to Chicago,” TK continued, “and buy a horse and count his money together.”

“Okay,” Nolan rolled his eyes and stood up to go into the bedroom. 

“What? It could work out.”

“Who could it work out for?” Nolan said before he flopped back on the bed. “Tell me one guy we know who it’s worked out for. Carter, who’ll suck any dick for coke? Or Scott, who can’t keep a sugar daddy for more than a week?”

“Okay, they’re not great examples. But it could work out for you,” TK insisted. When Nolan looked away from the phone, TK raised his voice. “Hey, listen to me. Nolan.”

“What,” Nolan said, leveling TK with a flat glare.

“You’re special, you know that?” TK paused and, when he started speaking again, his voice was softer. “You’re not like Carter or Scott. You’re not like any of the guys I’ve met on the street or at the club. You’ve taken care of me ever since we met. You’re gonna do something great someday. I know you will. You deserve to live your dreams. Whatever they are.”

“Thanks Teeks,” Nolan said, biting the inside of his cheek. “See you in a day or so?”

“Maybe,” TK nodded, a smile playing at his lips. “Or maybe your Prince Charming will sweep you away.” Nolan scoffed but TK kept talking, a wide grin on his face. “If that happens, don’t forget to drop me a postcard.”

“You’re crazy,” Nolan smiled back. “Love you.”

“Love you, Pats.”

***

Nolan fell asleep soon after his call with TK, napping away the whole afternoon. When he woke, Jonathan was sitting on the bed next to him.

“Hi sleepyhead,” Jonathan smiled at him. He loosened his tie and laid back on the bed next to Nolan. 

“Hi,” Nolan smiled back. “What time is it?”

“Seven thirty. Did you eat yet?”

“No.”

“Good, because I ordered us steaks. They’ll be up in a bit.” Jonathan stretched his arms above his head and then turned on his side to face Nolan.

“How did everything go at work?”

“Bad,” Jonathan said. He slung an arm over Nolan’s stomach and pulled him closer. “But I think I’ve got the Kings to extend their last offer and Hayes will agree to it.”

“And Nico?” 

“Ugh,” Jonathan groaned. “That little shit is AWOL but he’ll be dead as soon as I find him. Now I just need to make sure none of us get fined by the league, Hayes included.” 

Nolan hummed in sympathy and tucked his head under Jonathan’s chin. 

“I have to go back to Chicago tomorrow,” Jonathan said quietly. 

Nolan looked up at him but Jonathan was staring up at the ceiling. “Week’s up, I guess.” 

“Yeah,” Jonathan said, rubbing his face with his hand. “I was thinking. Maybe I could get you an apartment in Chicago and we could keep doing whatever this is.” He looked at Nolan, nervous like the first day when he asked Nolan to stay. 

“Oh, Jon,” Nolan said, looking away from Jonathan. “I don’t think I can do that.” 

“No, listen,” Jonathan sat up. “This week - If anything, this week has shown me that I just can’t go back to my regular life. I can’t just go to work, and then the gym, and then home, over and over again. I need something - I need-”

“Jon,” Nolan said.

“You can have your own life. I could have my nights with you and you’ll be free to do what you like. I’ll pay for everything, you don’t have to-”

“Jon, stop,” Nolan said, cutting Jonathan off. “That’s not - This week’s changed me too. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wanted when I came to California.” Nolan paused to take a deep breath, his heart clenched in his chest. “The whole fairy tale, it’s still out there for me. I need to find it. I deserve to try.”

“Oh, baby,” Jonathan leaned down and put his hand on Nolan’s face. He was frowning, his pained expression creasing his forehead. “You do.” He leaned in to kiss Nolan fiercely, his hands grasping, pulling Nolan to him.

Nolan kissed him back, allowing himself to be swept up in Jonathan’s desperate touch. Nolan focused on how quickly Jonathan undressed him, how his lips were all over his body. Anything to distract himself from the realization that what Jonathan had offered would allow him to survive, but if he really wanted to live - to live the life he deserved, the whole romantic Prince Charming dream that was still out there for him - he’d need to leave all of his behind. 

“Stay with me tonight?” Jonathan asked suddenly. He was on top of Nolan and his eyes burned bright in the dim bedroom. “Not because - Stay because you want to?” 

Nolan nodded. That night - over the steaks Jonathan ordered them, in bed with Jonathan buried deep inside him as Nolan rolled his hips, riding him to a crashing orgasm - Nolan tried not to think about how this was their last night. But every touch of Jonathan’s lips only reminded Nolan that he had come so close to the love he wanted. Nolan held onto Jonathan’s shoulders as they came together, knowing that he couldn’t hold on to someone that he never had in the first place.

When Jonathan fell asleep after, spread out on his stomach with one arm flung across Nolan’s chest, Nolan stayed awake. He watched Jonathan sleep and, just as he felt his eyes grow heavy, he whispered I love you.

***

In the morning, Nolan woke early and packed his new things before Jonathan had woken up. As he was sipping a cup of coffee and scanning the suite for his belongings, Jonathan padded out of the bedroom. 

“Morning,” he said. He came over and looped his arms around Nolan’s waist. “You already packed?”

“Yeah,” Nolan sighed out. He leaned his head on Jonathan’s bare shoulder. “What time is your flight?”

“Three,” Jonathan said. He kissed the top of Nolan’s head and tilted his face up to kiss him softly on the lips. “Sure you can’t stay a little longer?”

Nolan smiled sadly. “I should go. TK will worry if I’m gone too much longer.”

“Are you - are you planning on staying in L.A.?” Jonathan asked after a moment of hesitation.

Nolan shrugged, hoping that he wasn’t going to start crying in front of Jonathan. “I need to think about getting my degree, maybe help TK go to school? I don’t know,” he trailed off. He wasn’t sure of what he was going to do, except maybe take some time to go back to Winnipeg to see his family.

“I believe in you,” Jonathan said and kissed Nolan one last time. “Here,” he said quickly, stepping away and reaching for an envelope on the table. “My end of the deal.”

When Nolan took the envelope, he could tell that it was thick with cash. He wasn’t going to count it, but he wondered whether Jonathan had given him more than the $20,000 that he had promised. “Thanks Jon.”

Jonathan held him tight, one hand cupped around the back of his neck, and Nolan held his breath, trying not to inhale Jonny’s cologne. He didn’t want to be walking through a club in a month, smell an expensive woody scent, and be reminded of this moment.

“Have a safe flight home,” Nolan whispered once Jonny let him go. Then he got in the elevator and watched the pain on Jonny’s face as the doors slid closed.

***

Nolan stopped by Claude’s office on his way out of the hotel. “Hey,” he said, knocking on the open door. “I just wanted to say thank you.”

Claude got up from his desk and came around it to take Nolan’s hand. “You’re not going to Chicago with Mr. Toews?”

“Come on,” Nolan shook his head. “You and I live in the real world.”

Claude clasped Nolan’s hand tighter. “I hope to see you again sometime. The car is waiting out front.”

“Thanks again,” Nolan said. He gathered his luggage and headed for the front of the hotel, where Jonny’s chauffeur helped him into the car. 

***

“Even your luggage is expensive!” TK yelped when Nolan wheeled his new Louis Vuitton suitcases into their apartment. They looked out of place among their cheap furniture.

“I’m not staying actually, Teeks,” Nolan said. He took his sunglasses off and sat down at the small table in the kitchen nook. “I’m going to Winnipeg for a bit, see if I can patch things up with my family.”

“Yeah, that’s good,” TK said. “How long do you think you’ll be gone?”

“I dunno,” Nolan said. He went over to one of the kitchen drawers and started fishing around in it for his passport. When he found it, he slipped it into his pocket. “Here,” he said, going over to where TK was sitting on the windowsill. “This is for you in the meantime.” He took out his envelope and pulled a few hundred dollars, folded the bills and handed them to TK.

"Pats, I can’t,” TK said, taking the money anyway. “You’ve already given me too much.”

“Listen,” Nolan said, coming over to nudge TK’s dangling leg with his foot. “You took care of me when I showed up on Hollywood Boulevard with no money and no place to stay. Think of this as a repayment.”

“Thanks man,” TK said. He hopped up and launched himself at Nolan, wrapping his arms tight around his waist. 

***

“Mr. Toews?”

Jonny turned as he walked through the lobby to see Claude following after him. “Yes? Is there a problem with the bill?”

“No sir,” Claude said, ducking his head. “Thank you. I hope you enjoyed the suite.”

“Yes, it was very lovely.”

Claude paused, his eyes shifting. “And your time with Mr. Nolan. It must be difficult to let go of someone so charming.”

“Uh,” Jonny paused. 

“I know if I had someone who loved me like that, I could never-”

“Mr. Giroux, is there something I can help you with?” Jonathan interrupted.

“No sir, I’m sorry. Your driver is back from taking Mr. Nolan to his home. He is out front.”

“Thank you again.” Jonathan eyed him warily and turned away. 

***

Jonathan was staring out the window of the car as they approached the 405 on the way to LAX. The driver had fiddled with the radio and landed on a station playing "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette. The driver was humming along. 

Jonathan groaned, unable to stand the saccharine song. "Can you please change the station?" he gritted out.

"Yes, sir." The driver pressed buttons on the radio until the car was filled with the thrumming baseline of the guitar and the rhythmic synths of "The Less I Know the Better" by Tame Impala. 

Jonathan sat still for a moment, letting the music and the memories wash over him. When the onramp came into sight, Jonathan sat up suddenly, grabbing the back of the seat in front of him. "Turn around, we have to go back to West Hollywood."

***

“What time is your bus?” TK was still on the kitchen windowsill, fiddling with his phone.

“Four,” Nolan said. He was sorting through his bags, trying to figure out what of his new designer wardrobe would be appropriate in Winnipeg. From the open window behind TK, Nolan could hear the beeping of cars from the street down below.

“Want me to walk you to the bus station? I can buy you lunch on the way.” TK waved a $100 bill in Nolan’s direction.

“I’ll let you buy me a slice of pizza,” Nolan grinned at him. The beeping from down below was getting louder. 

TK turned to look out the window and started. “Patty, there’s a guy yelling your name out there.”

“What?” Nolan rushed over to the window and stuck his head outside. “Oh my god, it’s Jonathan.”

TK shrieked and leaned his body out of the window next to Nolan. “He's hot!”

“Nolan!” Jonathan yelled up toward the window. He was halfway out of the back window of his chauffeured car and was waving a bouquet of pink roses up at Nolan. “Come down!”

“What? What are you doing?” Nolan yelled back. 

Jonathan groaned in frustration. “Fine, I’m coming up!”

"Oh my god, I have to get my camera," TK shouted and ran into his bedroom. 

Nolan watched Jonathan clamber out of the car and approach the building, jumping up to grab on to the pull-down ladder to the fire escape. “Be careful!” Nolan shouted down to Jonathan. Nolan shimmied out the window onto the fire escape. 

“Had to live on the top floor, didn’t you?” Jonathan yelled as he bounded up the fire escape. When he reached Nolan, he swept him into his arms.

“What are you doing?”

“What I should have done before you left,” Jonathan said. “Giving you your fairytale ending." He kissed Nolan sweetly on the lips. “What do you say? What happens after the boy gets saved by the handsome prince?”

Nolan threw back his head and laughed. “He saves the prince right back."