The prisoner, sitting on a hard narrow shelf with one leg drawn up, glared at me through the clear wall. His tattooed right arm stood out against his pale skin. It was good work but against the law. That wasn’t why he was here, though.
I flipped on the intercom. “You need anything?”
I understood his rudeness, but it still hurt. “Someone’s coming through in twenty. Thought I’d warn you.”
“Why bother giving me a heads up? What possible difference will that make?” Po sneered. He’d been seen by many and taken by none.
“Look.” I heaved a sigh and leaned against the plexi. “You want to get out of here. Your time’s running out.” I wasn’t telling him anything he didn’t already know, but I felt compelled to repeat it. “Two days left. That’s it.”
In a show of disrespect, he got to his feet, strolled into the adjoining space, and pissed in the exposed toilet. Everything prisoners did was done publicly. Cameras were pointed at them all day, every day.
After shaking off his dick, he looked at a blank wall as if it held a mirror and ran his fingers through his lank hair, adjusting it as if it mattered, acting out, trying to push my buttons. He’d refused to take a shower for several days. That didn’t detract from his beauty, though. His tall, slender body was muscled just right, and the tattoo sleeve accentuated a strong chest and narrow waist. Prisoners weren’t allowed clothing; naked worked for him, unlike most of the rest of the people in the facility.
“Twenty minutes,” I said and left.
“You guarantee he’s disease-free?” the client asked. He was about sixty, reeked of sweat even in his fine clothes, and sported a huge gut beneath a silk vest.
I breathed through my mouth, surreptitiously taking a step back. “Silver’s offers nothing but the best.”
He adjusted his pristine cuffs. “Take me to him.”
I led him through several doors and down multiple halls until we got to Po’s cage. Po glanced at me only briefly before focusing on the client. He was not pleased with what he saw. My heart ached for Po.
The client looked Po over. “Turn around,” he said. “Let me see you.” Po obeyed slowly. The client gestured. “Bend over. Show me your ass.”
Po presented his back to us, bent, and looked at me over his shoulder. There was something in his eyes that caused my muscles to clench and made me want to cry out a warning.
In the next instant, shit shot out of his ass, spraying the plexi and bouncing off the floor.
Even though there was a wall between the client and Po, the client leaped back, disgust on his face. “No. No! I will not take him. He’s an animal.” He disappeared through the nearest door.
I shook my head at Po. He’d blown his last chance. Morning after next, he’d be killed per the laws of the state.
He didn’t look the least bit contrite. “I’d rather die a free man than be a sex slave for the likes of that.” He made a rude gesture.
That night, I snuck back into the place during the graveyard shift. Knowing where the cameras were, I slipped past them without being noticed. My ID got me through the locked doors.
The lights in his cell were on. The lights were always on. He lay curled on his side on the metal platform, facing me. He had no blanket or pillow.
I turned off the cameras. I pushed the button that sent an electric charge through his platform. He jerked awake. We looked at each other through the plexi. I placed a finger over my lips. He nodded; we both knew everything said was recorded.
I released him and guided him out of the building. No one saw or heard us. Two streets away, I unlocked my car and pulled a bundle from the backseat. “Clothes and instructions. Follow them exactly.”
He still hadn’t spoken, but now he hugged me fiercely. He smelled like an open sewer, but I didn’t care. I hugged him back.
Minutes later, wearing the pants, shirt, and shoes I’d given him, he melted into the shadows and was gone.
The next day, I gave my notice at work. Two weeks later, I drove to an isolated cabin on Owl Lake. My grandparents had owned it, and it had passed to me through my father. A candle burned in one window.
I unlocked the door and went inside. Po was sitting on the couch, reading. He looked a hell of a lot better.
At my entrance, he put the reader aside, got to his feet, and crossed the room to put his arms around me.
“I’ve been waiting for you.”
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