David remembers his first trick like it was yesterday. Everyone in between is pretty faded, except for the regulars and the occasional asshole, but he'll remember Donny forever.

Donny still comes around sometimes. David isn't his cup of tea though. Not anymore. David's grown too big for that; he has too many muscles and too much hair that isn't on his head. No matter how pretty and fresh-faced he looks, he isn't a boy anymore. Donny likes boys.

David was young when he got here. Younger than most. He always looked even younger than his age too. That served him pretty well for a few years. He's small, kind of fragile looking. Pretty too, once he let his hair grow out. It was Athena who taught him to do that. Taught him the first rule of whoring – take what you've got and make it what they want. Anyone can spread their legs or drop to their knees and open their mouths. True, you've got to get good at that sometime, but the first step was getting their attention.

David looked like a boy. Like a doll, like a broken doll, he thinks bitterly, but they liked that. He's too old for it now. He plays rebellious teenager in tight jeans and gets a new crowd. Businessmen who like to pretending they're fucking their son, or their son's best friend, or the new intern in the mailroom; the ones who never enjoyed their society wives but can't stand them now that the parts have started to sag. There are the politicians so far in the closet that they can't chance sleeping with anyone else. It's pretty sad, David thinks, that the only sex they'll probably ever enjoy comes from a hooker. Paying someone to keep their mouths shut means more than hoping someone will love you enough to. Then there are just the plain old closeted ones. They're almost a relief.

David wonders what the hell happened to normal sex. He's sure it existed, once upon a time. He remembers being traumatized when his parents used to do it, back before the divorce. Now he wishes he could remember.

Once in a while he gets picked up by college kids for parties. Jalil says he's taking chances he shouldn't with those jobs, but considering Jalil's got a few select, steady clients who pay him well, David doesn't think Jalil has much room to talk. Parties are risky but profitable. David figures it's a risky business anyway. He doesn't have much to lose.

Jalil's been with David for a few years now. They aren't friends, exactly, because this isn't the line of work for friends. Jalil is something more than an acquaintance though, so David will call Jalil his friend for lack of a better word.

Jalil seems like any other student in this town until you look him in the eyes, which are dark and even and flat like a lake in winter. It's in his voice, too, the easy coldness, soothing and stinging by turns. He's an expert at knots and at knowing just what points on anyone's body bring the most pleasure or pain. There's no one else quite like Jalil around here, and everybody knows it.

Jalil and David stick together for a pretty simple reason: survival. You don't hang around with people who are going to bring you down. Jalil doesn't do drugs. Doesn't deliver them, doesn't sell them, doesn't touch them at all. Neither does David, unlike most of the others they know. David thinks its too dangerous. The others say it makes it easier. They get a cut of the goods and they don't feel until they want to and when they want to it's like flying. David has enough problems with feeling all ready and Jalil's just too fucking smart to bother.

Athena taught him a lot, but there's one thing David's learned on his own. It's all about survival. Life. And when the chips are down and life's dealt you a shitty hand, you'd be surprised what you can come up with. You'd be surprised what people will do just to survive.

He's done it. He knows.