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Demands And Deliverance

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Warnings: prostitution, mentions of emotional and physical abuse, dub-con, infidelity, drunken sex


For once, the wood panelling didn't echo with the tapping of incongruously heeled boots and the click and swish of wardrobe choices being made. No, for the once a week time it happened, the Dalton building was silent and dark, each man and woman ensconced in their room and slumbering between Egyptian cotton sheets - never let it be said that Madame didn't treat her children right.

However, as the clock ticked around to hit twelve noon dead on, a pair of honey-coloured eyes snapped open and Blaine raised his head from the opulence of his soft pillows, yawning widely and stretching out muscles noodle-limp from a night of sleep in the comfortable bed. Sneaking a glance at the other bed in the room, he saw only a mass of dark hair splayed out against the white cotton and slipped into the bathroom, shutting the door with a soft click before turning on the shower.

An hour later, he was fastidiously groomed, dark curls dripping water onto the towel bunched around his neck and smooth-shaved, ready to greet the crisp October afternoon with confidence in his appearance. Slipping into the white bathrobe Madame gave each of her children, revelling in the luxurious softness of the fabric, he crept back into the main room, opening the door to his wardrobe with a clatter that made him wince reflexively, trying not to wake the man slumbering in the bed. But he only murmured something unintelligible and rolled over, allowing Blaine to let out the breath he'd been holding lest he be caught and flick through the clothes, assessing each outfit for ease of movement.

Having selected and dressed his excitedly trembling, still shower-hot body in black jeans that clung to every inch of skin like the hands of an eager lover and a near-transparent white shirt half-unbuttoned, ready to pull in the irritable Sunday morning punters and smooth away the angry lines on their faces, see them off with a jaunty wave and watch them stumble down the street, dopey and glowing, Blaine pulled on the boots still shining from the polishing the previous day, the same boots he'd retrieved from a cold tiled floor on his way out of a cramped flat to drive back to Dalton in the early hours of the morning. As always, he had been the last to return to bed and was now the first one to leave the gathered warmth of the thick duvet.

"How can you be going out this early?" came a thick, sleepy demand from the corner of the living room as he slipped through. Blaine spun on the heels of his boots, seeing a rumpled Naomi curled up on the sofa, her tiny bare feet tucked beneath her, wrapped in a crimson knitted blanket, a mug of tea clasped between her hands.

"Madame doesn't let us work on Sundays, I have to make my own fun," he explained quickly, bending backwards to adjust the leather of his shoe where it was biting into his heel - hours of parading himself up and down the streets followed, and chewed-up, blistered feet were not a turn-on.

"Doesn't it get exhausting?" Naomi asked, looking half shocked and half admiring that anyone would dare to go against Madame's will and seek out clients outside of her faithful list of people who could be trusted to be discreet. "I mean, you have so many things to do all week and you always get back latest after your Saturday night and then you sneak out to get your own appointments on Sundays?"

"Stamina is part of my commercial appeal, princess," Blaine said, affectionately ruffling her tangled strawberry-blonde curls. "Don't mention seeing me, as far as anyone's concerned no one sees me slip out of here. I have Madame wound around my little finger anyway, everyone knows it."

Naomi smiled into her tea and waggled her fingers in an approximation of a wave as Blaine slipped the enormous oaken doors open a fraction and slipped out into dappling autumnal sunshine. He kicked at a carpeting of gold and orange leaves as he traversed a familiar route to the nearest crowded Sunday shopping paradise, where he would make bedroom eyes at miserable, sleep-deprived, grumpy people and take them to a private place where he could make them sigh and groan and see they left satisfied.

Perhaps now is a good time to inform you: Blaine Anderson, runaway son of Richard and Margaret Anderson, was a prostitute. Nothing so cheap and nasty as a whore. He didn't sleep with grubby men and scarlet-lipped women to pay for his next meal and a room for the night. He was one of nearly five hundred young and beautiful creatures of the night who resided in the hallowed halls of what had been Dalton Academy for Boys until a particularly nasty scandal had shut the educational institute down and Madame, arriving from places unknown with her fluffy blonde hair and fluffier pastel jumpers, had bought the place up and transformed it into a house of so-called sin.

Unlike Naomi, Seth, Janet, Quincy, the newest of Madame's children, Blaine was affectionately known as an old-timer of the prostitution industry. He had been one of the first to show up, clothed in a sodden suit and broken by the strength of his father's homophobic wrath, on the doorstep and beg for sanctuary. This Madame had provided for him, with all its luxuries, in exchange for all the money he could make selling his body. Which, as it turned out, was rather a lot - Blaine had a knack for pleasuring strangers that many would've found disturbing and wrong. But not Madame, as long as it lined her pockets and allowed her to run her prostitute ring in the manner to which her workers became quickly accustomed.

The business had grown more sophisticated as time flew on, a new beautiful young man or woman taking up residence in leather sofas every day, the phone always ringing with a request for one or another of the prostitutes. Blaine was one of the most demanded, taking on two or three appointments every day, maybe even four if he felt up to it. Days were spent bringing heat and goosebumps and shudders to sun-dappled skin, nights melted away in caressing velvet, clinging blackness into shivering bodies. It was not the profession Blaine would've dreamt of when he was young and restless and needing to unwind, but it was a lucrative and largely satisfying one. Nothing could stop his climb to fame in the night-lit underworld of prostitutes, strippers and burlesque dancers.

"Why, you're manna from heaven, Blaine," the client he had driven to pleasure last night had declared, her eyes heavy-lidded and still clouded with lust, sated and entirely naked on her sheets. "I've half a mind to ask for you again same time next week, but I gather you're rather in demand. And it's no wonder, I have to tell you."

"I'm sure I could fashion an hour or two in my hectic schedule for you, Lucy," Blaine had purred, hardly even conscious that he was naked in the same bed as a stranger, an occupational hazard of his career path. "I'll have a discreet word with Madame, shall I?"

"You really are the sweetest guy," Lucy had sworn, running her hungry eyes over his body once more. "You've got the softest heart of any guy I've ever met, and the hardest cock." She crawled across the bed towards him, licking her lips expectantly. "How about a round two?"

Still smirking triumphantly to himself at the knowing that he could so easily persuade someone to let him take over their body with a practiced ease, over and over again until extra tips were pressed into his hands at the door, half of which was handed over to Madame and half of which Blaine spent on his bag of tricks to make clients gasp and writhe with pleasure, Blaine paraded confidently out onto the main road. He was disgruntled that several cheap whores had beaten him to the punch, but didn't show it. Besides, it was only Smythe and Kings from the dirty back alleys and his manner of living showed in the glowing opulence of his body.

His bitterness grew with the falling temperatures as night drew closer. Smythe and Kings both shot him triumphant looks as irritated people hustled them into taxis, eyes darting wildly as if worried someone would catch them in the act of hiring a dirty skank. Which the smirking man and loose woman were. Blaine was a well-paid, much-demanded, high-class prostitute, yet tired eyes passed over him as if he were another boarded-up shop front. Maybe he looked too much like an ordinary civilian for people to notice his wares. Shuddering in revulsion at the thought of ever being like Smythe or Kings, he pulled a single cigarette and small lighter from his back pocket and lit up, inhaling deeply and reassured by the taint of the smoke drifting into his lungs.

"Excuse me?" The voice, high and melodic, startled him out of his belligerent reverie. Blaine turned, breathing out a spiral of frosty smoke, expecting to find one of those women who pretended to be nervous but turned dominant behind closed doors, only to be surprised to see a pale, lithe man, little more than a boy, standing behind him, wrapped like a present in grey skinny jeans and a leather jacket that seemed too big for him, maybe borrowed. "Are you like that boy and girl that I saw being taken away?"

"I'm not a cheap, dirty whore who sleeps in back alleys and fucks for food, no," Blaine answered, his lip curling in disgust as he thought of the notorious pair, taking away his business. "But if you mean am I a prostitute, yes, I am. And a high-class, well-paid one at that."

"Can I hire you?" the man asked in a rush of words, flushing as the final sound left his lips. And very pretty lips they were too, bitten to plumpness and pink with the cold. A teasing little thing to Blaine, already prompting him to taste them, suck on them, nibble them gently before teasing them apart and delving in the warm, wet cavern of what would soon be his newest independent client's mouth. "I-I mean, if you want to. Be hired, that is. And used. I'm sorry, I'm rambling."

"First time?" Blaine asked sympathetically, tossing away his cigarette and smiling at the man, his hook-them-in smile, lighting up every inch of his face, welcoming and joyful and happy to see them, make them feel like the only person in the world, even if all they were to him was cash.

"In all senses of the phrase," the man murmured shyly, apparently pathetically grateful for Blaine's reaching out and gentle reassurances. Blaine cocked an eyebrow, already thinking - a virgin? He'd never had one before in his four and a half years in the business. Then again, virgins didn't tend to come looking for a prostitute to pop their cherry.

"You'd have to pay up in cash now," he informed the man solemnly, all bracing and business-like. "I have a living to earn, you see. It's an odd way of making a buck, I'll admit, but it pays the cost of living in the manner to which I've become accustomed."

The man drew himself up to his full height, frustratingly fractionally taller than Blaine even on the heels of his boots. "I'll pay when it's over, if I'm satisfied," he said firmly, with a confidence that made Blaine shiver. Maybe the wilting flower of a virgin wasn't so limp and scared after all.

He chuckled lightly to himself as he raised a hand and flagged down a taxi, holding out a gentlemanly hand to help the man of multi-faceted eyes and flawless skin into the backseat. "Blaine," he murmured, ensuring his lips brushed across the shell of the man's ear and feeling a hot thrill deep in his stomach at the shiver and soft gasp this elicited. "So you know the name to scream."

"Kurt," he replied softly, sliding his fingers between Blaine's in a curiously intimate gesture, for someone who would willingly seek out a prostitute in an attempt to cash in their V-card. No doubt Blaine was a last resort, but that was yet another occupational hazard of his line of work. "So you know the name to scream." Blaine smirked at that too - it seemed this new client could be feistier than he had thought possible from his first impression.

Kurt watched him with round, nervous eyes as he leaned over to the driver, slipping a crisp twenty dollar bill into his greedy fingers and murmuring, "That's all yours as well as the fee if you put the partition up and don't look back here."

"It's a done deal," the balding man said, practically salivating at the thought of, for his line of work, a colossal tip. Grimacing in distaste, Blaine sat back in his seat and watched the solid black partition glide up, hiding the sweat gleaming on the back of the driver's neck from sight and focusing all his attention on the beautiful youth who seemed to be glowing in the dimly-lit compartment, trembling from head to toe and eyes darting from floor to ceiling to door and round again in an endless circle.

"Relax, sweetheart," Blaine whispered, hoping the cutesy nickname would reassure this shrinking violet a little. "He can't hear or see anything. It's just you and me, and I won't do anything you don't want. How else am I supposed to get paid?" You conniving little sneak he added in his head, but remembering that he should never abuse a client. Unless they wanted it, of course. It was all about pleasing the client, the one with the money, not himself.

"C-can you just kiss me first?" Kurt asked, his voice tremulous and slipping up and down the octaves, higher and lower by turns in a manner that was curiously seductive. "Please. If you want to." He was so unnaturally polite and tentative and concerned for Blaine's needs, it was a refreshing change from the clients he usually had to pander to.

"Kissing isn't what you're going to pay me for," Blaine breathed against Kurt's neck, making him shiver helplessly, one hand trailing over his stomach, trying to feel skin through the layers of fabric. He pulled Kurt carefully into his lap and laid one on him, all business as per usual, kissing with all of his usual serpentine expertise.

Something about Kurt's response, though, his shuddering gasp, and the way his hand was so gentle as it slipped around to press lightly on the back of Blaine's neck, made Blaine kiss softer than he usually would, keeping it light and sweet and what would probably be called tender if they weren't shameless prostitute and paying client. He grew quickly bored with this pace, however - a side effect of having spent four and a half years being spurred on to finish everything as fast as possible - and pressed his mouth more insistently to Kurt's, nipping once at Kurt's bottom lip. A shiver of satisfaction ran across his skin at the low moan ripped from Kurt's throat at his action, a hand fisting in his hair and pulling him closer.

As it turned out, it was Kurt who first made the foray in tongues, dipping his gently between Blaine's lips, probing and exploring with a youthful curiousness, the same way sticky toddlers jammed their fingers into video players, until Blaine groaned quietly and chased Kurt's tongue back into the velvet-smoothness of Kurt's mouth, teasing him open and into an ancient alternate duel that Kurt moaned desperately through, wriggling in a futile attempt to get closer. Blaine smirked internally, his mouth otherwise occupied with keeping Kurt making those delicious sounds, when he felt a distinct hardness against his hip as Kurt rutted in his lap. Jackpot.

"Alright, we're here!" came the gruff voice of the cabbie. "Pay me and get out." Used to the gruff manner of drivers, particularly when he started his job in the backseat of their vehicles, Blaine slotted the fee through the window and tugged Kurt towards the hotel he always used for these sorts of appointments, his client drifting dreamily along the pavement with flushed cheeks and starry eyes.

Harold stood behind the reception partition, his eyes dull and glazed with the boredom of a slow, sleepy, crawling Sunday. Those slate-grey eyes lit up immediately as they alighted upon Blaine and Kurt. "Blaine Anderson, it is so nice to see you!" Harold exclaimed, joyful and exultant, manoeuvring his paunch around the desk to pump Blaine's hand enthusiastically. "Room for two, is it? Overnight stay?"

"You have little faith in my line of work, Harold," Blaine retorted, slipping an arm around Kurt's waist and maybe trailing his fingers a little too low to scrape over the top of Kurt's thigh, his client shuddering beneath his ministrations. "We'll check out when we check out and you will cater to my every whim."

The hotel manager sighed, his red cheeks puffing out with the breath. "Indeed I will," he said wearily. "It is a shame, dear boy, that you are so accustomed to winding all and sundry around your little finger. A darn shame that you refuse to be bullied. A darn shame."

"It's a necessity in this profession," Blaine said casually, pulling another wad of dollars from his pocket and slipping a few into Harold's top pocket, seeing him grin at the extravagant tip. "See we aren't disturbed."

"Anything for you, my best tipper!" Harold exclaimed, stroking his fingers happily over the crisp new money. "If only the others of your kind were half as considerate as you are. Consider yourselves left alone for as long as you're under the roof of my hotel."

"Thank you, and I bid you good day," Blaine said simply, steering Kurt towards the rustic-looking lifts and summoning one instantly, stepping inside and smirking at Harold's heavy, conspiratorial wink from behind the desk as the doors slid shut and blocked off their view of the empty reception, the thunder of horses' hooves echoing from Harold's television to wile away the hours of boredom.

Kurt was twirling a strand of hair around his finger abstractly, leaning on the mirrored wall, as Blaine pushed the button to take them up to the fourth floor and stood beside his client, keeping his hands to himself and waiting for Kurt to come to him. Kurt to come to him. Kurt to-

"Blaine, I want…I mean, you can kiss me again, if it's alright with you," Kurt said anxiously, dropping his hands from his hair and darting his gaze quickly and awkwardly to Blaine.

"Sweetheart, everything is alright with me," Blaine said, deliberately dipping his voice into a low rumble that never failed to make clients shiver, and definitely did its job now as Kurt's eyelids fluttered and he licked his lips involuntarily.

The lift got slower and ground to a stop midway between the third and fourth floors, just as promised by Harold's wink. It was a tradition, something Blaine asked for each time he bought a client to the hotel in order to loosen up the nervous ones and tease the confident ones. Not that he'd ever do anything as callous as have sex in a hotel lift.

He did everything in his considerable power to keep Kurt from noticing and running out on him, diving in off the deep end straight into an undeniably dirty kiss, thrusting his tongue past Kurt's teeth to taste him, groaning quietly - a sound easily denied later, should anyone think to ask, thank God. Kurt's fingers dug spasmodically into his back, him moaning breathily as Blaine's hands roved over his back, exploring and teasing. A flare of triumph lit up in Blaine's belly as Kurt whined when he detached their lips, instead burying his face in the crook of Kurt's neck, where he smelt refreshingly sweet and floral and almost childish, innocent, and licking a wide strip up the muscle there. Kurt jumped in surprise, moaning, shuddering in Blaine's arms and clutching at his collar.

Taking hold of Kurt's wrist, Blaine guided his hand down from his collar to the strip of skin exposed by the open buttons of his shirt, ignoring the shivers of heat flying across his skin as Kurt's gentle hand, inexplicably soft and cool, brushed his own overheated flesh. Kurt's eyes, darkened to a mesmerizing cobalt-blue unfortunately half-hidden by dark blown pupils, went wide as Blaine kissed at his neck, finding a use for the inch Kurt had on him in not having to lower his head, occasionally scraping his teeth against the sensitive skin, or darting out his tongue to lick a wet stripe, or latching on and sucking, alternating pressure and always aiming to leave a mark. It was always an idea to make sure the client had some way of remembering him, a talisman, if you will, to carry with them.

"Fourth floor," the cool, pleasant female announced above them. Apparently the lift had spend back up and reached their destination without Blaine even noticing. This was a turn-up for the books.

"W-we have a r-room?" Kurt asked, stumbling along behind Blaine, his eyes still darkened with lust, his entire body trembling violently and his neck showing off red patches of skin from Blaine's lips and tongue and teeth. Blaine smirked at how easily he could have just such an effect on people and unearthed the card he kept slotted into his back pocket, swiping it through the black reader, counting slowly to three and shoving the door open with perhaps a little too much violence as the familiar beep sounded and the red light turned green.

"We do indeed," he said proudly, shedding his boots with a grateful sigh and gesturing around to the grandiose furnishings and soaring ceiling. "Four-poster bed and en-suite bathroom, only things you can really be concerned with in this profession of mine. Harold and I have an understanding."

"He's the man on reception, right?" Kurt asked, his voice drifting nervously a little higher as he looked around the room, trailing his fingers over the edge of the virginally white bedspread.

"You're correct, sir," Blaine answered, tiring of talking and skirting around the subject of what he had attempted to start in the back of the car and then in the deliberately slow lift. "Shall we begin, or do you want to freshen up first?"

"I'd prefer to be…um…clean for this," Kurt mumbled awkwardly, avoiding Blaine's eyes. "I won't take long, I promise. I just have to wash and everything. To be clean. For this…ah, for you."

"Can I join you?" Blaine asked coyly, turning a smouldering, blisteringly hot gaze on his client. Kurt, walking towards the en-suite door, gave Blaine a maddening look over his shoulder, smirking slightly.

"You can," he said archly, one hand turning the gleaming doorknob. "Whether you may is another matter." Blaine had to chuckle lightly at that, following Kurt into the bathroom without a second thought and shutting the door with a snap that sounded strangely loud in the tense silence.

Precisely five seconds later, which could possible be a new record for Blaine to boast about over dinner back at Dalton, he had Kurt pushed up against that same door, thanking whatever deities watched over immoral gay prostitutes for its strength in holding up both their weight. Kurt was whining tremulously as Blaine attacked his mouth, pressing past his teeth with his tongue, showing absolutely no mercy. Eager to go further than just this kissing, bored with the pace that only people in committed relationships should ever have to adhere to, he slid his hand down Kurt's chest, feeling the fevered heat of his skin and how violently he was still trembling, and cupped him through his jeans.

"Oh…oh my God," Kurt gasped out raggedly. "Blaine." Blaine smirked internally, squeezing the hardening line of Kurt's cock through the thick denim and drawing an earlobe between his teeth.

"I knew I'd get you screaming my name," he purred triumphantly, tracing his other hand down Kurt's spine to grab a handful of Kurt's ass and drag his hips forward, slamming him forward into his hand.

Kurt moaned loudly, breathlessly, his eyes rolling back in his head to show off whites unlined by crying, drinking or smoking. "I'm not going to be the o-only one screaming," he hissed, stuttering as Blaine rubbed over his crotch once.

Kurt surged forward, a cry leaving his lips as this movement thrust Blaine's hand more firmly against him, and grabbed Blaine's collar, dragging him into a deep kiss. Kurt tongue was tentative and exploring as it darted into Blaine's mouth, Kurt's hand skating over the strip of his chest exposed by his unbuttoned shirt and dipping below the final button, settling almost possessively over his stomach. Blaine groaned loudly, hoping he could still deny it or pass it off as part of his act later, never wanting to admit that he could genuinely be turned on by his clients' ministrations to his servicing body. Kurt's hand drifted lower, nervous yet curious as he traced the jumping muscles of Blaine's stomach through the thin material of his shirt and trailed his fingers in an unintentionally teasing manner along the waistband of Blaine's jeans, toying coyly with the button.

"K-Kurt," Blaine whispered, hating the break in his voice and the way he stammered because dammit, that would let Kurt know he was very much aroused by just Kurt's gentle hand drawn across his stomach and hipbones. "Kurt. I thought you wanted to shower." He dropped back into his aptly-named sex voice to grind out, "Because if you don't get in there now, I'm going to ravish you right here on the tiles."

Kurt's eyes almost bulged out of his head as he nearly tripped over himself unlacing his elaborated boots, simultaneously struggling out of his jumper and shirt and momentarily tangling himself in the material, growling in frustration in a way that sent shudders down Blaine's spine. "I wonder how you'd like it," he murmured hotly, running a hand up and down and over the shifting muscles of Kurt's now bare back. "Would you want me to push you down onto the floor and fuck you without mercy? Or hold you against me and go for a slow burn? Or maybe you'd want me to pin you against the wall and hold your hands above your head and pound into you?"

"Blaine!" Kurt wheezed desperately, his hands scrabbling at Blaine's back. A tearing sound rent the air and the flimsy white cotton fell away from Blaine's torso, fluttering to the floor in a display of strange elegance. "Oh my God, I'm so sorry!" Kurt exclaimed, appearing almost close to tears, his eyes wide and glistening. "I'll pay for it, I'll buy you a new one, I'll-"

Sick of his worried quick-paced chatter, Blaine shut him up with a long kiss. No tongue, but open mouths sliding and pressing together, their breath mingling in the silky warmth. He slid his hands down Kurt's naked chest, revelling in being able to touch him for the first time, unable to deny the feeling of power that came with it. When his hands encountered denim instead of quivering, flushed skin, he slipped the tips of his fingers past the waistband and left them there, able to draw Kurt closer as he swayed on the spot, clearly dizzy with lust. "Blaine," came the expected gasp. Finally taking pity on his whining client, Blaine opened the button on Kurt's jeans and rubbed his thumb over the exposed of his underwear, smugly triumphant as he felt the pre-come already soaking through the material.

It took a bare two minutes before Blaine was tugging Kurt into the shower, holding his client tightly against him as the water began to pound down over them, slick skin sliding and slipping. Blaine silently thanked any deities who would listen to his words for the reinforced partition allowing him to tilt Kurt back against it, hooking an unfairly long leg around his waist to press them together in a very particular way that made Kurt moan, long and low and loud. Apparently Kurt wasn't the shrinking violet he had appeared to be while fully clothed, because he was the one who slid his hand down Blaine's back, carving pink lines as a souvenir of this encounter into wanting flesh, and grabbed Blaine's ass to pull him forward and grind them together.

"You're so hot," Kurt breathed out desperately against Blaine's mouth, locking both legs around Blaine's waist and leaving Blaine to hold both of them up, leaning gently back against the wall to keep them both stable with the slippery surfaces surrounding him. Because even a professional, high-class prostitute couldn't perform acrobatic tricks if he slipped.

Apparently this was a bad idea, however, as it put Kurt in a position over Blaine, and therefore a domineering one. Their tongues slid sinuously together as Kurt pressed himself closer, pushing their erections together and groaning wildly into Blaine's mouth, clutching at him. Blaine just held onto him, wondering why something about this man made him want to experience something he had never had - real, honest-to-god, out of control, desperate, hot sex. No more factory farm fucking, no more pleasing someone else before himself and most times never even pleasing himself, just sex with someone he loved that left the world fuzzy around the edges as he lay back, heavy with the afterglow, sweaty, sleepy and perfectly sated.

Far more gentle and careful than he would usually be with any other client, Blaine slowly unwound Kurt's legs from their tight grip around him and lowered him to the floor of the shower, the water streaming over them as he pushed Kurt back into the partition, hands spread out over his hips to hold him up as Blaine began to work his way down Kurt's body.

He began with long kisses to the white column of Kurt's neck, scraping his teeth over spots that made the man gasp and writhe, moving down over his collarbones, nipping at the flawless skin. Even before Blaine pressed a kiss to Kurt's nipple, he was moaning and his hips were rutting forward against nothing, a hand rising to grab at Blaine's sodden hair, desperate and pleading. "Please…oh God, please."

"I could never deny a client," Blaine murmured into the soft skin of Kurt's stomach, bracing an arm across Kurt's hips and licking a wide stripe up his cock. Kurt's hips jerked forward against Blaine's restraint, a strangled moan escaping his lips.

With the knowledge that Kurt had never been touched like this by anybody, something that strangely burnt bright inside his chest, Blaine made sure that he was absolutely ruining Kurt for anyone with rough hands and chapped lips who would want to lay their mark on him in future. It was absurdly sweet, how Kurt tried to choke off his moans until Blaine whispered, "No, stop, I wanna hear," into his quivering thigh. Only then Blaine wanted to kick himself, because every noise escaping Kurt's lips made his cock throb with need, every soft plea for more and breathless moan and pant that made his pale chest heave.

Only when Blaine sensed that Kurt was close from the repeated whines leaving his wet, swollen lips did he take his arm away from Kurt's hips. He tried not to moan around Kurt's cock as the man thrust once, twice and came with a sob, his entire body shaking. Blaine pulled off and caught Kurt's hips as he collapsed, sliding down the fogged-up partition to sprawl on the floor with Blaine.

"I'm not a virgin anymore," Kurt muttered dazedly, then blushed an impressively deep crimson. "That sounded so stupid, I'm sorry. Thank you. I really liked that." He avoided Blaine's eyes, looking shyly down at the water, running cold now, pattering across the glossy white floor.

"You don't have to tell me you liked it, I can tell," Blaine said dryly, reaching up behind him to turn off the water before it froze them both to the bones and affected the hot, heady mood. "And you're not entirely a non-virgin yet." Kurt met his eyes and smirked suggestively, in a way Blaine would never have expected to see from him.

A minute later Blaine pushed Kurt down into the bed, both of them still dripping wet but smiling against each other's mouths, Kurt's hands skating down Blaine's back and Blaine's arms around Kurt's waist, attempting to reposition both of them for the exact act for which he was being paid - no longer in any doubt that Kurt would be satisfied, thank God.

The sheets were decidedly sullied and the room echoed with cries for moremoremore, moans for harderfasterdeeper and particularly desperate whines of pleasepleaseplease. Blaine could no longer hold back the waves of pleasure singing through his veins as he moved within Kurt, groaning with him and holding him close as he shouted his release into the room, biting into Kurt's shoulder and falling over the edge into ecstasy. Only when everything swam back into focus did he register the sheer humiliation of being someone who had sex for money, regularly advertised his stamina and yet came before his client. He snapped his hips against Kurt with renewed force and zeal, gritting his teeth and pounding into him until a high, breathless cry split the scorching air and Kurt came across both Blaine's chest and his own, a slash of brighter white against flawless porcelain.

"Mmm, baby," Kurt murmured, curling into the sheets of the bed. Watching his beautiful client sink into the depths of a peaceful, sated slumber, Blaine sighed and wriggled beneath the feather-soft duvet, drawing Kurt into his body and falling asleep almost instantly, not even thinking of how emotions would weaken him when it came to this man, because he never slept with clients after the sex was done and the scent of it still lingered in the air.

They had sex again in the early hours of Monday morning as retreating moonlight lingered on their overheated, intertwined bodies, the room cool but the bed far too hot as murmurs passed between them, hearts beating so fast it seemed likely they'd escape the confines of the body they were caged in and flutter away. Kurt whispered words of love and devotion in a sleepy murmur, combing his fingers in a strangely tender way through Blaine's hair as Blaine rolled off him and they basked in the afterglow, a ringing sound filling Blaine's ears. He felt clean and bubbly and light, like he could float away - something he never felt after any appointment.

"I have to go," he groaned disappointedly as he kissed Kurt against the door, now clothed in a spare shirt he'd packed in his bag of tricks - he did usually wear very thin and easily torn fabrics, after all - and his jeans, Kurt wearing his boxers and his shirt, hanging open to show the darkly vivid lovebites strewn across his skin. "I have work to do."

"Don't do it," Kurt murmured, ducking his head to kiss at Blaine's neck, still sensual and sexy with the afterglow of two - three if you counted the blowjob in the shower - rounds of fantastic sex. "Stay here with me, all day. Stay forever."

"Kurt, you don't seem to understand that this is my job," Blaine said firmly, pushing him away and shoving his feet haphazardly into his boots. "I don't do love or forever or extra rounds of mind-blowing, fantastic sex. I have a living to earn and fucking strangers is how I do it. Speaking of my living, I believe you promised to pay when it was over if satisfied." He rolled his shoulders, all business. "I charge two hundred per appointment, plus any tips you might want to give."

Kurt looked him up and down, his blissful expression shifting to condescending, bitter, angry and maybe even a little betrayed. "I'm not going to pay you," he said furiously. "Because I'm not satisfied."

"I spent half the day and all night with you, blew you in the shower and extended my hospitality and my boundaries to fuck you twice and you're not satisfied?" Blaine asked harshly, opening the door to their room. "Fuck you, Kurt. Just fuck you."

He stormed out, ignoring Kurt's shout rebounding down the corridor after him, angrily wiping away the tears that welled unwanted in his eyes. Instead of taking the elevator, where he had kissed Kurt so passionately and brought him in, he marched down the stairs, flinging an imperious, "Harold, kick him out as soon as you can," to the reception as he walked out into a blustery, grey skies sort of downstairs and flagged down a taxi.

Only as he sped along the roads back to Dalton did he allow himself to shed a few tears. No client had ever been so callous about his ministrations, but it was the look in Kurt's eyes as he turned away and left him that was needling at his conscience. He'd looked positively heartbroken, like Blaine was an unfaithful boyfriend leaving him.

He repeated his mantra of Sex good, feelings bad to himself all the way back to the looming, luxurious building he called home, ignoring the calls of breakfasting co-workers and running up to his room, curling into his blanket and crying for the man who made his ice heart melt a little, just around the edges.


"Hummel, you better have a damn good reason for still being in bed at this hour. What the hell, dude? You know we're supposed to be down at this shindig and Rachel will go all bridesmaid-zilla on you if you're not down here in the next thirty seconds. She's standing right next to me, dude, and it's fucking terrifying. Ow, Rachel, why'd you hit me?"

"Hello, Noah, how are you?" Kurt asked, shooting out of bed to grab clothes and brush his hair. Rachel Berry's wrath was not something he wanted to be exposed to with a headache from crying himself to sleep. "So exactly how angry is she? I mean, she hits you on a regular basis for insulting her so I can't really take anything from that."

"Fuck you, Hummel," Puck spat. "Just fuck you. Not in that way, though." Kurt rolled his eyes at the man's need for clarification, slotting the phone into the crook of his neck to button his shirt, attempting to shove his feet into complicated boots without the use of his hands - an endeavour that, sadly, failed miserably.

"And you felt the need to reiterate that fact why?" he asked, giving up and slinging his foot up onto the bed to fix his boots. "Anyone would need to have a serious bout of misjudgement to sleep with you, Noah. I ask you again, how angry is she?"

"Well, I see someone's taken their morning bitch pill," Puck said coolly. "She's angry. She's standing here glaring at me and tapping her foot and I swear it's burning my brain, Kurt. You need to move your ass and get it here before she starts shooting lasers out of her eyes."

"Okay, okay, I'm running out of the house right now," Kurt promised, lowering the phone for a moment to yell out a goodbye to Burt and Carole in the kitchen. "But if I look like crap for going out with everyone tonight I am holding you personally responsible and I will castrate you."

"Hang up the phone, dude," Puck told him. "Driving while on the phone is illegal and also dangerous. Rachel told me to tell you or she'd shave my head herself. I don't need to go through that again."

"We're graduates, Noah, you don't need to uphold a reputation as a badass anymore," Kurt said disdainfully before hanging up, starting the car and driving as fast as he could within the law to the church where Mr. Schuester and Ms. Pilsbury were holding their wedding rehearsal.

The moment he pulled into one of the only available parking spaces, every member of glee club, past, graduated and present, having decided they simply could not car-share with the sheer importance of having a perfectly silent space to psych themselves up for the nightmare to come, various women swooped on him. "Keep cool, I have a suit for you and we can fix your hair before the rehearsal starts," Tina promised, yanking him out and bodily shoving him towards the church doors. "We have about fifteen minutes, though you might want to talk to Rachel first before she spontaneously combusts with fury."

"I have never seen Puck look quite so terrified," Mercedes giggled as they passed various knots of people, all calling out to Kurt with variations of how late he was and questions of the reason for his lateness. "And you know, hon, there's a difference between being fashionably late for a party or something and nearly forcing us to postpone starting Schue's wedding rehearsal."

"It's not my fault, I was still asleep when Puck called," Kurt said petulantly as the pair steered him into a side room, Tina yanking the garment bag protecting his suit open and Mercedes flying at his hair with a brush and a can of hairspray.

"Kurt Elizabeth Hummel was still asleep at one o'clock in the afternoon?" Mercedes asked incredulously, yanking at his hair with perhaps unnecessary ferocity. "Were you in your dad's beer or something? Were you in a comatose state? Because there is no way the fabulous guy I know would sleep so late."

"I just had a bit of a crazy weekend," Kurt muttered. Mercedes arched an eyebrow at him and continued to tug at his hair while Tina fussily smoothed imaginary creases in his suit, gesturing for him to start getting undressed in order to put on the outfit and ready himself for what was bound to be a meticulously planned wedding rehearsal. Too bad the regimented timetable would go to pot the moment the seventeen of them confronted it. And, for once, the notoriously and unhelpfully perceptive pair hadn't noticed that he'd just made the biggest understatement since Finn had given himself a concussion and claimed it was 'just a little bump' right before he fainted and had to be rushed to hospital in an ambulance.

He brushed his fingers lightly across where his high collar hid the vivid violet bruise low on his neck, his eyes glazing over as he thought of water pounding over entwined bodies until the hot ran freezing, rough hands parting his thighs, trembling violently as a stranger who felt so familiar swayed above him, kissing him so passionately as he shook and surrendered to the waves of pleasure washing over him, collapsing in a sweaty tangle of limbs with the same name fresh and sweet on his lips.

"Kurt! Earth to Kurt Hummel!" Tina called, waving a hand in front of his face. "Get undressed and put your suit on. If you want to protect your modesty go behind that screen, even if it is nothing we haven't seen before." Not wanting the gossip addicts he called friends to see the lovebites across his chest and hips, not to mention his half-hard state with the memories of the most unforgettable night in his nineteen years, Kurt ducked behind the screen to a gale of giggles from the pair.

Ten minutes later the three of them were rushing out to be screamed at by an irate Rachel, having already sewed up a rip in Sugar's dress and yelled at Sam for walking in with tangled hair. "Okay, okay, we have to get the rehearsal in motion!" she shouted, clapping her hands at those slumping across chairs and chattering lightly.

"Oh come on, Rachel!" Santana exclaimed from her comfortable station lying across three chairs with her head in Brittany's lap. "Isn't Ms. Pilsbury supposed to be the bridezilla?"

"It's the first of many weddings of our happy little family and everything should go exactly to plan accordingly!" Rachel exclaimed indignantly, rearranging her skirts around her legs and sitting down with an angry huff.

As soon as the duo Kurt had hoped to avoid being in the direct sight of caught him in their glazed stare, they both immediately perked up, sitting up straighter. Puck waggled his eyebrows suggestively and Santana smirked knowingly. "Is there a particular reason you're walking like you've got a stick up your ass, Hummel?" she asked.

"Maybe because you did have a stick up your ass," Puck added, sniggering to himself. Rachel raised an eyebrow and immediately the other sixteen in the room were sitting up straight, sweeping their eyes up and down Kurt's body in meticulous assessment. "Who was it, Hummel? Who's this secret boyfriend you're not telling us about?"

"There's no one," Kurt replied in a carefully level monotone, while visions of slick skin sliding together and honey-smooth eyes catching his own as he left half-moons carved into smooth olive skin with the strength of his grip danced through his head. "You're delusional."

"That limp you're walking around with definitely isn't delusional, Hummel," Santana immediately replied brashly. "Who is he? And don't think we don't have ways of forcing it out of you if you continue to refuse to tell us."

"What are you, the Mafia?" Mercedes asked, arching an eyebrow at the inquisitive pair. Kurt smiled in thanks at her, but felt differently a moment later when she looked him up and down suspiciously and added, "Actually, now they mention it, you are walking funny.

"Tell me, boo, I wanna know everything!" Brittany exclaimed enthusiastically, jumping out of her chair to bob excitedly up and down on the balls of her feet.

Kurt rolled his eyes and sighed at the absurdity of the men and women he called friends before he said quickly, "Fine, look, as Noah and Santana guessed, I am no longer a virgin. Now can we please focus on getting through this wedding rehearsal without killing each other?"

As he made to leave and fetch their bride and groom to start the rehearsal everyone had been so adamant about starting on time before Puck and Santana had brought of the subject of his new sexual experiences, Mercedes stood in front of him, folding her arms with an unimpressed look. "Nuh-uh, white boy, ain't no way you're getting out of telling us everything that easy. Who is he? More importantly, why didn't you tell any of us about him?"

"I told you, there's no one," Kurt insisted, worrying he'd soon be forced to show his hand and tell them the truth of the man who had succeeded in taking his virginity. "I don't have a boyfriend and I never have. I'd like to have one, but I don't. Noah, straighten your tie before Rachel comes at you like bridesmaid-zilla."

"Kurt Hummel had some random hook-up?" Puck asked incredulously, attempting to straighten the offending accessory but only succeeding in making it worse. "I never thought I'd see the day. Who was it? Do you even know his name?"

"I take offence to that, Puckerman," Kurt said haughtily. "Of course I know his name, I'm not a trashy slut of a man. Um…do you promise not to judge me too harshly if I tell you who it was?"

"We would never judge you," Brittany said seriously, squeezing his arm reassuringly. "You're too special to be judged." Confronted by fourteen hopeful faces, one awkward and one still appearing slightly disgusted by the turn to conversation had taken, Kurt took a deep breath to compose himself.

"I hired a prostitute."

There a shriek as Tina tumbled backwards off her seat. Artie doubled over laughing, wrapping his arms around his belly. Rachel's eyebrows flew up and disappeared under her hair. Finn made a face that told everyone exactly how uncomfortable he was with this new revelation. Mike and Matt wore identical expressions of one part confusion and one part impressed respect. Mercedes' jaw fell open, Sam mirroring her a moment later. Quinn spluttered with unflattering laughter. Sugar, Joe and Rory all looked at him in a way that informed him he had just corrupted their innocence forever, as if spending time in the same choir room as both Puck and Santana hadn't already. Brittany grinned brightly and squeezed his hand happily. Lauren smirked and wiggled her eyebrows in a manner eerily reminiscent of Puck's earlier gesture. Puck crowed in triumph and looked suitably impressed. Santana smirked suggestively and looked right at where he was absolutely sure his collar covered the lovebite on his neck.

"You did what?" Mercedes practically screamed once she'd regained the power of speech, rounding on him with eyes bulging in unadulterated absolute shock.

"You were that desperate?" Sam asked, taking his girlfriend's hand in a gesture of reassurance. "Kurt, seriously, not cool."

"Yeah, if you wanted to cash in your V-card that badly you could've asked Trouty Mouth over there and he'd have been happy to oblige," Santana said with a shrug and a smirk thrown to Sam.

"For the last time, Santana, I'm not gay!" Sam exclaimed. It seemed as if he wanted to sound angry, but he just sounded tired of the same jibes.

"Yes, and Rachel isn't the most annoying person in the world," Santana retorted to apoplectic exclamations from Rachel. "Oh, shut it, Rachel. So, Kurt, what was his name? And the question we all want to know the answer to: what was the sex like?"

"Okay, everyone, let's get this show on the road!" Mr. Schuester called as he walked in. Kurt breathed a sigh of relief and Santana looked disappointed as Rachel shooed them all into their places.

The rehearsal was a blur. It was over and done with in just under an hour, having been punctuated with relatively little fighting or arguments. "Okay, everyone brought their own cars, our reservation at Breadstix needs to be taken in half an hour," Rachel announced. "That probably leaves enough time to rush home, change and get there in order to eat out. I don't know about everyone else, but Kurt and I have our flight back to New York booked for tomorrow morning, so tonight will be the last time we're all together for goodness knows how long."

"And every moment you speak makes it more likely we're going to miss our reservation," Lauren retorted, climbing into her car. "I'll see you crazies in half an hour. Are we splitting the bill seventeen ways?"

"Well, I think Rachel can pay with all the new riches she's finding in New York," Kurt said, smirking at Rachel's glare before they all dispersed into their separate cars.

Kurt pulled up to his parents' home right behind Finn, running inside to dodge up the stairs and change quickly. A shiver of longing wracked his limbs as he caught sight of the indecently tight jeans and leather jacket he'd been wearing when he'd first caught sight of Blaine on the streets. The leather sleeve swung almost hypnotically where it hung out from under the lid of his laundry basket, dragging him into a trance filled with only soft gasps and pleading moans.

"Kurt, bro, hurry up and I'll give you a lift!" Finn called, pounding his fist against the door. Kurt dragged himself back into reality and haphazardly redressed himself in the skintight red jeans Brittany had emphatically expressed an interest in seeing him wear again, smirking to himself at the orbit the indecency of his clothing choice would put Rachel into. You'd think she would get used to it, living with him in an apartment with rather limited space.

"I still don't understand how your legs don't get strangled by those things," Finn muttered as he thudded in an ungainly manner down the stairs while Kurt followed him decidedly more gracefully.

"It's a talent," Kurt said sweetly, poking his head around the door to find Burt and Carole in the living room, talking quietly. "We'll be back late or possibly stay somewhere else. Sugar's offered up her house for accommodation. If we stay there I'll be back tomorrow morning to pack before we fly back to New York." Burt nodded in acknowledgement of his words and Carole waved cheerfully as Finn, dreading the dinner with the group, bodily dragged Kurt out to his car and started the engine, already sighing and muttering pessimistically as he pulled out of the driveway.

Thank God people had decided to share cars for this outing, because the car park was almost full and if it wasn't for the seventeen of them only needing six cars they would've been in trouble. Climbing out of Quinn's car, Rachel smiled and smoothed back an errant strand of hair as a white-toothed waiter smiled at her and escorted them to their seats.

"Let me be the one to start the interrogation," Santana announced, leaning over the table to smirk at Kurt. "Who was this prostitute you hired?"

"Keep your voice down!" Kurt hissed as a pair of pensioners at the next table looked over at them with worried expressions. "His name's Blaine Anderson. Don't ask about his age or where he lives, I don't know. It was just sex." Just fantastically mind-blowing sex that's probably ruined me for life and I'll never be able to have that with any other man ever. That bastard.

"You know, Kurt, when you say 'just sex' I can tell that you're like in love with this guy or something," Mercedes put in from Santana's left, dragging him from his internal berating of Blaine. "I've said it before and I'll say it again, you fall in love too easily. Do you even know if this guy's gay?"

"But he had sex with Kurt, doesn't that make him completely confirmed gay?" Sam asked, furrowing his brow perplexedly as he stared at the three of them.

"Sam, dear, you have so much to learn about the prostitution industry," Santana said, rolling her eyes emphatically. "A hooker will have sex with anyone as long as they get paid. It's just Kurt who's the crazy person and falls in love with them."

"I'm not in love with him!" Kurt exclaimed indignantly. "I just…it felt…good. To be with him like that. Even though I can't compare it to anything." Santana snorted loudly and Finn nearly choked on his coffee.

"You guys, are we going to eat or just discuss Kurt's sex life? Because if we're not going to eat I have beer in the truck to take the edge off inhibitions and we can go back to Sugar's mansion," Puck said almost cheerfully.

A twenty minute drive in their various vehicles later found them sprawled through the enormous room Sugar called her bedroom, the owner of the fabulous place in question and Rachel fighting over song choices and everyone else - but for Joe, who was staring at them all from the corner with nothing short of disapproval in his gaze - had claimed one of the amazingly comfortable beanbags and claimed a space on the fluffy carpet, bottles of beer strewn haphazardly around the floor, ready to be picked up and swallowed for the purposes of frank and unabashed discussion of sexual experiences.

"Okay, Hummel," Santana said, swallowing half her bottle in one gulp and wiping her mouth in a rather un-ladylike way, "tell us everything." When Finn protested vehemently, she snapped, "Quit your whining, Frankenteen, and grab a pair of earplugs because I wants to hear this."

"Well, I don't know," Kurt began, taking a swig of beer to harden his nerves. "I hired him, I said I'd only pay him when he'd finished if I was satisfied, he got us a taxi, tipped the driver not to look in the backseat, pulled me into his lap and kissed me-"

"Kissed you how?" Quinn asked, picking at a loose thread in the rug as she looked up at Kurt with curious eyes. "Hard, soft, tender, sweet, hot, forceful, with tongue, with teeth, open-mouthed, how?"

"Started soft and got more passionate, open-mouthed and with tongue," Kurt answered to grins from all around. "Anyway, he took me to a hotel, tipped the manager, we got in the lift and kissed again in the same way, got to the room and he did what he was paid for."

"Oh, no way, Hummel, you are not getting away with only telling us the bare minimum!" Santana exclaimed indignantly. "I wants to know the dirty details. All of them."

So Kurt told them. He recounted how sweetly Blaine had kissed him in the back of the taxi, how his hands had glided so smoothly down his back as they kissed again in the lift, how it had felt as Blaine's tongue gently explored his mouth, the water pounding down across entwined bodies, slick skin sliding sinuously together, swollen lips stretched around his cock, the slow burn of Blaine thrusting in and out of him, the warmth of another naked body against him in the bed.

"Wow," Santana said as he finished the story. "I'm slightly turned-on by that. He really got you wound up, didn't he?" She smirked suggestively and took another swig of beer.

"Kurt, why did you do it?" Finn asked faintly, looking incredibly drunk due to repeatedly taking enormous gulps from his various bottles in order to get through Kurt's uninhibited tale.

"I guess I just wanted to feel loved," Kurt whispered sadly.


Dinner was served to them, nearly five hundred young men and women lining the polished tables, mostly exhausted after a long working day. Blaine pushed his food around his plate without actually eating any of it, frowning at a chip in the wooden surface. An imperfection on the face of the building's shining perfection.

"I had my first appointment today," Seth confessed, spearing a carrot on his fork and staring contemplatively at the tiny vegetable. "With a woman called Ruby Donaghue. Madame arranged it, said she always uses Ruby to break in the new ones."

"I swear to God, that woman is a nymphomaniac," Wes complained, chewing noisily. "She has three of us a week, and she's married. Quite happily, so she says. I have her on Saturdays, Jeff does her on Tuesdays and…Blaine, don't you have your appointment with Ruby on Thursdays?"

"What?" Blaine asked, dragged back into the conversation by the mention of his name. "Oh, yeah. Yeah, she's a bit bat-shit crazy, but what can you do? Just last month she gave me a hundred-pound tip, it's the most I ever made in one appointment."

"What's crawled up your ass and died?" Quincy asked, twirling a frosted blonde curl around her finger. "Seriously, you've been acting off since you got back from wherever you were last night and ignored breakfast. Was it Whitely complaining about you refusing to bottom again? Even a prostitute has his limits."

"No, I have Whitely on Wednesdays," Blaine answered. Seth chuckled softly at the alliteration while Quincy just gave him a look that demanded he elaborate. "It was nothing, just something with the client I got for myself yesterday."

"See, this is why we don't sneak out insanely early on Sundays to go pick up independent clients," Wes said seriously. "Besides, you know you only end up running into Smythe or Kings on the streets and we all know the mood that puts you into."

"They're nothing better than cheap, dirty whores who fuck strangers for their next meal," Blaine growled viciously. "And I happen to like the cash my Sunday sideline nets me. And I don't sneak out insanely early. Just because no one else in this building even moves before two doesn't mean waking up at twelve is insane."

"So what happened with this independent client of yours?" Seth asked, turning wide blue eyes on Blaine. It was no secret how much the cherubic blonde boy idolised Blaine, admiring his bond with Madame and his leisurely expertise with clients, and Blaine smirked to himself at the appreciation of the younger and far less experienced man. "Were they one of those really creepy people who wants to be tied up and spanked or something?"

"I had one of them my first month working here," Quincy confessed with an almost sentimental note of nostalgia in her voice. "He was a sweet man, though. I got so scared with it all that I started crying and he just dropped everything, gave me a hug and made tea. And he gave me an extra fifty dollars on top of my usual fee when I did eventually go down on him before I left."

"My God, is that Vic Manson?" Wes asked, his jaw dropping freely open in shock. At Quincy's answering smirk, he continued, "But you do him every week now. He's your best client, he pays you twice as much as Blaine gets for one appointment every time you see him."

"Ah, but Manson doesn't tip, so technically I can make more than her," Blaine contradicted. "She earns about four hundred a day, I can earn at least six hundred and fifty."

"Not all of us can have the stamina that allows us to fuck clients one after another until we come back home and eat for America," Quincy retorted icily. "I'm surprised your dick hasn't fallen off yet."

"So what happened?" Seth repeated, staring at Blaine with obvious adoration as Quincy glared at him for pointing out how far behind she was in their unnecessary competition to earn more than the other.

"A virgin came up to me and hired me," Blaine answered simply. "Absolutely stunning, and I'm not just saying that. Not as innocent as he appeared once he'd got his clothes off."

"Wait, wait, wait, wait," Wes said, holding up a hand to halt his analysis of his encounter with Kurt. "You had a virgin. Fucking hell, really? I assume he's gay, and he hired a prostitute to take him instead of finding a boyfriend who would make sure he was comfortable with it so the boyfriend could be comfortable and dance with him at his junior prom and be so warm and tender? Who is this guy?"

"More to the point, where do I find him and have him fuck me?" Quincy asked, licking her lips hungrily. "He sounds like my kinda man. I love the innocent act, it just does a lot for me."

"No, he was seriously flamboyantly gay," Blaine told her, feeling a little sickened at the thought of Quincy and her red-slicked lips crawling and sliding over Kurt's pale body. "His voice was higher than average, and I did initially think it was a woman before I saw him." He smirked and added, "All man once I actually got my tongue halfway down his throat."

"But what happened that's got you off your food?" Seth asked, concern painted across his round face. "Normally you're back for fourth helpings before most of us have finished our first. Not that I blame you, I was in Gregory's stash of chocolate like a man possessed when I got back from Ruby's. I can't even imagine what doing that three times over would be like."

"Not all clients are as demanding as Ruby, or my dick really would have fallen off," Blaine said sweetly, cocking an eyebrow at Quincy. "But when I started in on payment, after I agreed to work with him, he said he'd only pay me after I'd fucked him if he was satisfied. And I ended up fucking him twice and blowing him in the shower - don't look at me like that, Wes, he made the most amazing noises I've ever heard in four and half years of this job - but he refused to pay me when I said I had to leave this morning. I don't know, it just bothers me."

"Ugh, I hate the clingy ones," Quincy said, shuddering emphatically. "I did this woman last week who refused to let go. I had to tell her I was going to prepare myself in the bathroom and escape through the window, which is not easy when you're wearing the kind of heels that are just made to lie back and be fucked in."

"No, he wasn't clingy," Blaine said immediately, thinking back to lying tangled in sullied sheets with warm breath against the back of his neck and cold feet against the backs of his ankles. "If it was any other circumstance, I think I would've stayed. Is that weird?"

"The weirdest," Wes confirmed for him, looking at him with nothing short of disapproval in his gaze. "Blaine, we're prostitutes. We are paid to give strangers the best damn orgasm they've ever had and then get the hell out of there. We don't do literal sleeping together or fucking someone more than once in one appointment or seriously considering staying with someone instead of heading off to the next client. We don't do falling in love."

"I'm not falling in love!" Blaine said scathingly. "I just liked sex with him and I would do it again given half the chance. Everything is about sex, Wes! Nothing is about love, because even if I wanted to I have a job that pretty much puts paid to any outside relationships." He clattered his cutlery down onto the plate still laden with food, standing up with a loud creaking of the bench. "I'm going up to my room. Please don't disturb me, I have to sleep."

"Prepare for having Alyssa Monthart tomorrow, you mean," Quincy said as he left, shuddering. "I feel for you, Blaine, I really do. Thad had her up until last year and she drove him bloody fucking nuts."

Blaine left his friends and colleagues to argue over who had the neediest, the kinkiest, the meanest, the strangest clients and trailed up the stairs, brooding over this latest issue of his night with Kurt. It was true, what Wes said - he should never have spent the night with him, or had sex with him again in the morning. In situations such as those, he tended to get out as soon as possible, dressing by the dull orange glow of streetlights and quietly slipping money into the tin at reception for Harold to find when he opened the doors in the morning.

The room in the east wing of the dormitories was empty, Trent still downstairs, no doubt eating for America and rehashing the horrors of the day with Nick and Jeff. Sighing heavily, Blaine kicked the door shut, toed off his shoes and collapsed into his mattress, wrapping his arms around a pillow that smelt of fabric softener and nuzzling into it, suddenly exhausted. It had to be all the emotions and thinking about emotions and analysing his emotions. After four and a half years of almost exclusively thinking about sex, it was a tiring procedure.

Sleep took hold of him quickly as he melted into the soft white sheets, despite the fact that he was still fully-dressed and hadn't even showered and still smelt strongly of sex. He briefly considered his appointments for the next day and reminded himself to kick Trent out of bed so he didn't miss Trina before he surrendered to dreams, his eyes sliding shut.

He dreamt of Kurt. Of those soft needy whimpers, choked off moans and whispers for more. That perfect body, spread out and ripe for the taking beneath him. His long, slim fingers wrapped around the bed posts, clenching so hard his knuckles turned white as he groaned Blaine's name, over and over. Sliding slowly into him, all tight heat as eyes clouded with arousal gazed up at him trustingly, trusting that he would do everything right and make it perfect. The grateful kisses to his chin, his collarbone, his neck, as the feathery duvet wrapped itself around them and Kurt's head nodded forward against his neck, his breathing even and deep and soothing. The soft murmurs as he awoke and pressed warm lips back to Blaine's, pressing up against him with sudden desperation. Kissing him against a door, hands pushing against his hips to hold him back, a wet tongue slowly exploring his mouth, dragging wanton moans from his lips.

Blaine awoke with a start to hear rich snoring from Trent's bed. Blinking groggily, he turned the clock to see it was three in the morning. Moonlight sliced through the tiny gap between the curtain, searing into his retinas and ensuring he was fully awake before he could even think about burying his head in the pillow and simply going back to sleep. Being awake and alert also alerted him to the fact that he was hard. Extremely so.

He groaned softly, flopping back into the pillows and cursing his hormones and his profession and the whole system and his traditional Sunday independent clients for leaving him looking like a horny sixteen year old with his first boyfriend rather than a coolly profession nearly twenty-two year old prostitute who had had more sex than he really cared to admit. It was all Kurt's fault, for approaching him and hiring him and kissing him and willingly lying back and taking it while he fucked him. All Kurt's fault.

At the thought of Kurt he moaned softly, shoving his fist into his mouth to keep from waking Trent. Surrendering to his more carnal urges, the sort of thing he hadn't truly indulged for three years, he opened the button on the jeans he still wore, sighing in relief as it relieved some of the pressure on his cock, and shoved them down to mid-thigh with his underwear, wondering if he really should be doing this with his roommate fast asleep ten feet away. Despite his profession, Blaine was not an exhibitionist and didn't do such things unless it came as part of a specific request from a client. But, in the reality of needing to do something, it was a cold shower, which would rattle the pipes and awake the entire building; using the bathroom, which would make the entire tiled room smell like sex and instantly alert Trent to what was going on; or just getting it done with in his bed and stuffing a pillow into his mouth to avoid waking the man snoring in the other bed.

Grabbing one of the four pillows stuffed behind him, Blaine shoved the corner into his mouth and curled his hand around his cock, shuddering like a racehorse at the much-needed contact. His back arched up off the bed involuntarily, the springs creaking out in protest to make him freeze until he was sure Trent was still deep in the clutches of sleep. He moaned around the thick cotton nearly making him gag as he began to drag his fist up and down his cock, the slide just a little too rough, too much in a perfect way. As he did, he thought of Kurt, thought of kissing him and blowing him and fucking him. The flush rising up his neck when he pulled back from a kiss, his lips swollen and red and wet and bruised with the force of Blaine's kisses, his head falling back against the reinforced partition, neck arching forward and begging to be licked when Blaine ran his tongue along the vein on the underside of his cock, his amazing smile when Blaine had pushed him down into the bed, the wet tip of his cock smearing pre-come across Blaine's stomach as he thrust slowly in and out of him, how hopelessly and oddly erotic it had been when his nails had ripped Blaine's back as he gasped into the high-ceilinged room and came warm across Blaine's chest.

Blaine's orgasm crashed suddenly over him, the pillow muffling a long, low cry of mingled expletives and half-words and maybe even a few stutters of Kurt's name as he came over his fist. He collapsed back into the mattress, panting and staring up at a murky-dark ceiling as he thought of the man with the angel's face and the devil's lips.

Yep, I'm fucked.

"Rachel's postponed our flight home," Kurt said softly as Finn drove them back to their family home. "She's decided she missed her dads a lot and wants to spend some time with them."

"Well, that's good for you, isn't it?" Finn asked, a crinkle appearing in his forehead as he looked over at Kurt in confusion. "I mean, you could go looking for this Blain guy again. We won't be back here again until November for Mr. Schue's wedding and you wouldn't be able to find him in New York."

"Finn, we are not having a discussion about this," Kurt insisted, turning his head away from his stepbrother and gazing out at grey streets and a greyer sky. "I don't care how much you want to lecture me, I am not discussing that part of my life with my stepbrother."

"I don't want to lecture you, come on, I'm not Rachel!" Finn exclaimed, shooting an affronted look at him. "I just seriously want to know why you did it. And don't tell me you just wanted to be loved, I'm only buying that when I'm so drunk I pass out thirty seconds later on Puck's feet."

"I was just…curious," Kurt said carefully. "I've never had a boyfriend, no one I've liked has ever liked me back or even been the right orientation," Finn shifted awkwardly in his seat at Kurt's words, reminding them both of a time that seemed so long ago, "and I've never even watched any of those movies." Finn sniggered quietly to himself at Kurt's choice of words.

"But if you just wanted to have a one-night stand, why a prostitute?" he asked, truly curious. "Why didn't you just get Puck or Sam to give you a lift down the gay bar and pull there?"

"Well, because anyone halfway acceptable there would be so drunk they couldn't walk and that place has the worst reputation in the world," Kurt replied scathingly. "Plus, getting Noah or Sam to give me a lift to a gay bar? That's just weird and overstepping the boundaries of our friendships." He sighed heavily and explained, "I hired him because that profession demands that they treat a client right, and who's to say some random guy I picked out in a bar would respect my boundaries or even ask what I wanted?"

"Who says a prostitute is going to respect you any more than a random hook-up?" Finn retorted in frustration. "Those guys are paid to fuck, Kurt, paid to do whatever the hell they want to people and then fuck off before the next morning. If I had been there, I would never have let him get near you."

"I approached him, Finn," Kurt said icily. "I asked him, don't start thinking because I'm more flamboyant than anyone else you know that I'm not a guy with male needs. Look, if you want the honest truth, I wanted to lose my virginity before Christmas and a no-strings-attached fuck seemed the best way to do it."

"If it's no-strings-attached, then why does Mercedes seem to think you're like in love with him or something?" Finn asked with a slight note of triumph in his voice. "The whole point of hiring a prostitute is sex, payment, and never seeing each other again. That's how it works in the movies."

"My life isn't a movie, Finn, no matter how amazing it could be as one," Kurt snapped bitchily, tiring of his brother's idiocy. "And I'm not in love with him, I just wasn't anticipating how much I would enjoy the sex. And he was very good-looking. If I ever met him again, and he would even speak to me after the way I treated him, I would do it all again in a heartbeat."

Finn gave him a confusedly concerned look as he pulled into their parents' driveway to be greeted by Norris barking loudly and scrabbling at the front window with his oversized paws, overeager to greet them. Sighing heavily, Kurt slammed the door unnecessarily hard when he climbed out and shoved the door open, ignoring the excitable little puppy as he bounded up to me and stomping up the stairs angrily, crashing his door shut demonstratively. Like he was a fifteen year old who'd been denied the chance to go out partying.

"Kurt! Don't slam the door!" Burt shouted in a friendly, fatherly reminder. Having hardly seen him since he'd arrived in Ohio late in the night on Saturday and gone through worse emotional turmoil that he could have thought possible in just over forty-eight hours, Kurt just snapped.

"I'm nineteen years old and living in New York, you can't talk to me like I'm a child anymore!" he screamed before slamming the door so hard dust shook free of the doorframe. He threw himself down onto the bed, growling out a horribly frustrated noise into the floral-smelling sheets.

"Kurt, sweetie, are you alright?" Carole asked softly, pushing the door a bare few inches open and poking her head through the gap, her face set in an expression of affectionate concern. "You never yell at me or your dad. And Finn looks like Norris when I go into the cupboard and don't give him treats, so I'm guessing you yelled at him too."

"I'm sorry, I just couldn't help it," Kurt mumbled into the duvet. As he felt Carole's hand on his back, rubbing in soothing circles, he sat up, wiggling his toes against the floor and avoiding meeting her eye. "I'm just frustrated and I didn't bring my work out with me and Rachel's being crazy over this wedding and I still can't find a boyfriend and I just…" He flopped back over into the bed, groaning into the cotton.

"Are you having boy trouble?" Carole asked sweetly. "You know, you can talk to me. Finn's been emailing me constantly about how bad he feels about Rachel and how much he misses her and how much he wants her back. Honestly, I'd love to talk about something other than Finn's feelings for Rachel."

"Okay, maybe you can help me," Kurt finally said, sitting up straight and smoothing his jeans over his legs. "But first, please forget that you're my stepmother and pretend you're just a friend I'm telling this to." Carole smiled and nodded and Kurt closed his eyes as he recited an edited version of his Sunday afternoon, Sunday night and Monday morning. "I met a guy on the streets and before I knew it we were kissing in the back of a taxi and we went to a hotel and I thought it would just be a one-night-stand without any complications but when he had to leave on Monday morning I didn't want him to go and we had a fight and now I know he wouldn't listen to me if I met him again and I think I've sort of developed…feelings. For him."

"That sounds like the plot of one of those stupid romantic comedies all the teenagers are addicted to seeing these days," was Carole's first thought on the matter. At Kurt's withering look, she continued, "Sweetie, what you do now depends of what you feel for him. If you want to pursue a relationship, you'll have to find him again and get him to forgive you. I never considered you to be the type who would manage to get in far too deep with just a hook-up."

"It's exactly what my dad warned me about," Kurt said pathetically. "With two guys you've got two people who think sex is just sex except I'm the girl in this situation because I'm the one who agreed to just one night and ended up with feelings and, God, if I ever saw him again I'd drag him in way too deep and he couldn't do that with me because of his job and…oh, this is such a mess!"

"Kurt, sweetie, I think you really need to take a step back and separate your feelings for him from the sex with him," Carole told him gently. "I know you might think you're in love and you want to plan your wedding and do all that fairytale stuff, but you could just be mistaking something about the sex for falling in love. I know how easily you can mistake a little crush for falling in love."

"God, relationships are difficult," Kurt whined, flopping back down into the duvet. Carole chuckled quietly and patted his shoulder, though she didn't make a move to leave him to his thoughts and his analysing of everything Blaine had murmured in his ear into the sensuous velvet night.

"You really like this boy, don't you?" Carole asked softly, massaging his back soothingly, sounding almost wistful in her words. Kurt inhaled sharply, the image of Blaine's shining golden eyes filling his mind and breaking through all logical thought, the memory of their lips pressed oh-so-sweetly together almost making him cry at the idea that he had quite probably ruined any relationship they could've had.

"Yes, I like him, and I want to see him again in a less…um, sexual environment," he finally confessed, to both Carole and himself. It was perhaps a terrifying concept, that he liked Blaine, but indeed an inevitable one given his romantic history and the way Blaine had held him and touched him and kissed him.

"And is he worth fighting for?" Carole questioned, raising an eyebrow at him and sounding almost like a teacher asking a ridiculously obvious question. "Is he worth getting past this 'fight' you had?"

"Well, maybe I might think he is-"

"None of that, Kurt, either he is or he isn't," Carole said immediately, holding up a hand to halt his stuttering. "So? Is this boy worth it or isn't he?"

"Yes, yes, he is so worth it," Kurt finally answered, daydreaming of having a boyfriend, a boyfriend he could walk down streets holding hands with and dance with at weddings and take as a date to the parties his friends threw and smirked over when they asked if he wanted to invite a plus one.

"If that's the case, then, sweetie, you should fight for him," Carole pointed out as if it was the final word in their little discussion. "You shouldn't give up and just let him go. You find someone you truly want to fight for only a few times in your life and you shouldn't let the opportunity to have something that honestly makes you happy just pass you by."

"But how do I fight for him?" Kurt asked desperately. "He wouldn't listen to me if I tried to see him again and I don't have a phone number or an address or an email or any way of getting in touch with him other than face to face."

"Well good, because you need to make sure he knows how you feel and if you tried to do it over cyberspace or the phone I would personally tell him all your embarrassing baby stories," Carole threatened, smirking to show exactly how serious she was. "If he accepts you feelings and comes to you, he was always yours. If he doesn't, and he runs away from you, he never was yours in the first place." She smiled at him. "Okay, sweetie, I'm gonna make some tea, you want anything?"

"Just coffee, please," Kurt decided softly, wiping the scant tears from his eyes. "And don't give me food or I'll be drowning my sorrows in the biscuit tin like I'm Finn in the middle of girl trauma."

"Speaking of which, I need to go downstairs and make sure he hasn't eaten us out of house and home," Carole said, standing up. "Just think about it, sweetie. If he lives here you only have so long before you and Rachel are back in New York. And I want to see you happy, Kurt. Finding happiness with a boy who loves you as much as you love him."

"I don't love him," Kurt mumbled into his pillow. As Carole left, hiding a smile, he thought of the possibilities. Finding Blaine on the same ordinary street filled with ordinary people, paying him the money he owed him from their meeting, buying him dinner in lieu of an apology, and finally getting down on one knee, so to speak, and speaking the words he could only dream of saying in reality: I love you.

He could have a boyfriend. A real, honest to God boyfriend who would take him out on dates and let him bury his head in his shoulder during horror movies and pass him tissues when he cried over The Notebook and hold his hand while he drove. He could have goodnight kisses at the door and be walked to the door after a late-night date and maybe move on to makeout sessions in the backseat of a car and then, eventually, when the time felt right, whisper during a particularly heated moment that he wanted to go all the way and then the sex would come, but it would be more than sex, it would be making love.

Kurt deliberately stopped his train of thought when he started to reach the realms of a proposal, a big wedding with everyone they loved, adoption papers signed, a baby brought home, growing old together with arms wrapped around each other and mopping up each other's tears at their oldest child's graduation.

"Oh God, I am in love," he murmured to himself, rolling over and staring up at the luminous stars glued to his ceiling, bought for him by Brittany when they'd first moved in, as a housewarming present that she had repeated for his, Rachel and Santana's apartment in New York. "Christ, it's miserable."


"I thought you went out on Sundays," Trent said, looking over at Blaine where he sat in one of the least comfortable armchairs and stared out of the window. "Why aren't you out there making twice as much as the rest of us?"

"I'm guessing that, after what happened to him last Sunday, he's not overeager to repeat it," Quincy provided for him, smirking over at Blaine. "Haven't you had to listen to him complain over and over and over again about Kurt who's purely fabulous in the bedroom department and yet is what anyone else would call clingy but Blaine continues to deny that and-"

"Please, just, stop talking," Blaine demanded in frustration. "First of all, it's not complaining, it's asking your opinion about certain things that happened. Second, I never said Kurt was 'fabulous' or anything about the 'bedroom department', I said I liked it and there could be a repeat performance if I ever felt so inclined. Thirdly, he wasn't clingy, I told you, I would've stayed under any other circumstances."

"You want my opinion?" Quincy asked, her voice almost dangerously bitchy. "Okay, have my opinion: you're an idiot who's getting in way too deep with a client you shouldn't have picked up in the first place because it's against Madame's policy and you're underperforming for your other clients."

"The two hundred dollars worth of tips I've made this week says differently," Blaine retorted furiously. "And if you try to give me your opinion one more time, so help me, I will recommend to Madame that you desperately want Wilfred Gray as a client."

"Dammit, you know how to control me," Quincy groaned, punching the arm of her chair and settling back into the leather. Blaine smirked to himself - the threat of sending Quincy to Madame's least desired client was always one that worked to shut her up. Three people in the building had fought like cats last month just to avoid having him, the conflict only finally resolved when Quincy had arrived and immediately been dispatched to service him.

"Sunday relaxation!" Nick proclaimed happily, collapsing into an armchair with his hands wrapped around a mug of coffee. "Hey, what's up with you, Blaine? You look like one of your best clients dropped you for Quincy."

"Watch it, Duval," Quincy snapped sulkily, running a hand through her tangled hair and tugging her baggy shirt down over her knees. Every person in the room, far from being perfectly coiffed and stylishly dressed, was wearing pyjamas and still retaining the appearance of someone who had just climbed out of bed, happy to relax on their one non-working day off the week. "Anyway, Blaine's in a bad mood because of his client last Sunday."

"Ah, the elusive, not-so-innocent-once-he-got-his-clothes-off Kurt!" Nick exclaimed grandly, smirking at Blaine. "Why don't you just go out today, run into him, take him to Harold's hotel and fuck him until this is all out of your system and you can go back to working normally?"

"He lives in New York, he went home on Tuesday, there is no conceivable way to accidentally run into him and take him back to Harold's hotel and fuck him again," Blaine answered triumphantly, ignoring the meaningful look Quincy and Wes exchanged. "And I don't know if I could fuck this out of my system. I've been thinking about him all week."

"Uh oh, somebody's got a hard luck case of the hopeless romantic slushy-face," Wes stage-whispered to sniggers from Nick and Quincy. "Blaine, don't be an idiot. How many times do I have to say that prostitutes like us don't fall in love. Especially not with clients. How is he ever going to go for you?"

"Okay, you know what, I'm sick of this!" Blaine exclaimed, rocketing out of his chair and glaring furiously around at his so-called friends. "I'm sick of all of you constantly trivialising my life because you think it's funny that I'm having issues with my feelings! You are supposed to be my friends and not constantly belittle my problems, Nick or insult the possible future of my relationships, Wes! If you think this is funny, I think you should all run off and go find someone to fall in love with before you start sticking your noses in my business!"

"A-ha, so you admit you're in love with him!" Quincy exclaimed triumphantly. "Blaine, we're sorry and shit, but you have to admit it's pretty funny that the star of this company is about to leave due to falling in love with some innocent little independent client he fucked twice."

"Not in love, not leaving, not fucking falling in love!" Blaine near-shrieked, storming out of the room as everyone stared. He knew that, as soon as he was out of the room, the whispers of scandalous gossip would start. The entire building already knew the story of his Sunday night, thanks to Quincy's qualities of telling any juicy story she managed to pick up, whether in its entirety or not, whether perfect truth or twisted lies.

He collapsed back against the wall, breathing heavily and running his hands nervously through his hair. God, everything was such a mess and it had only taken a week for his life to implode into chaos around him. He looked up at the sound of footsteps and saw David, grinning widely and swinging a suitcase from each hand.

"Blaine, are you okay?" he asked. At Blaine's withering look, he said, "Yeah, stupid question. I heard about what happened with your independent client. Can't say I understand, but good luck with whatever you decide you're going to do."

"What's with the suitcase?" Blaine asked, gesturing to the battered object. "Do you have an appointment with some sort of specialist client? Is that divorcée wanting to take you on a weekend away again?"

"I'm leaving," David confided proudly. "With Madame's blessing, I am getting out of the house of disrepute and I'm going to find my fortune elsewhere. A job, a house, a wife and a life without this job."

"Wow," Blaine breathed, more than a little shocked. "That's amazing, David. I'm happy for you." He sighed, almost longingly. "Maybe I should start looking at getting out. This is not what I imagined doing at twenty-one years old."

"You know what, I'm going to tell you something that no one else in this building will ever give you the good fortune to hear," David announced, carefully putting his luggage down and looking at him seriously. "Go for it. Find this guy you like and get out of here. If you manage to hold onto him and he makes you happy and you make him happy, you don't need this job. You've got talent, squirt, and you can make it out there in the big wide world."

"Thanks man," Blaine said, almost a little choked by David's words. David smiled and hugged him tightly, clapping him gently on the back a few times. "Good luck out there in the cold, scary world."

David grinned at him, picked up his suitcases and left the building. Blaine looked after him for a long moment before he turned on his heel and ran lightly up the stairs to his room, where Trent had made him tidy up that morning and every wooden surface gleamed with polish. With David leaving, the man who had helped him in the early days and initiated him into the business, it truly made him think about the chance of leaving the life of prostitution behind and moving on to a new life.

Could a new life mean maintaining a relationship? There had been two short flirtations, one when he was seventeen and another when he was twenty, but both had barely managed to stagger on when the men had discovered his profession. Leaving the profession behind could mean having a boyfriend, being able to come home at the end of a day at a real job and be greeted by someone who loved him. It could be everything he'd ever wanted at sixteen, before the prostitute ring.

But no, he had a life and a lucrative career and it would do him no good to dwell in thoughts and daydreams of a life he couldn't have anywhere in the near and dear future.

Blaine sighed heavily and rolled over to check his catalogue of clients for the week. His usual regulars plus a couple of people Madame was trying to ease her business by starting them off with her best workers. His train of thought was only interrupted by his phone merrily chiming in a new text. Blaine, you've got a pair waiting downstairs looking to discuss the possibility of an appointment with you - Madame.

Blaine groaned as he dragged himself off his bed and quickly flattened his hair and dressed in slightly more formal clothes. It didn't seem that dressing like a slob in front of potential clients would make them want to hire him any more. Trailing down the stairs, he found a rough-looking man with a mohawk standing in the foyer, his arm around a very beautiful curvy woman.

"Noah Puckerman," the man said gravely, shaking his hand in a business-like manner. "This is my friend, Santana Lopez. And she is just a friend, not my secret girlfriend. That seems sick, to bring my girlfriend to book an appointment here."

"Not at all," Blaine said charmingly, trying not to roll his eyes at the fact that some big tough guy is bringing a very beautiful woman with him and saying she isn't his girlfriend. "What are you looking for, miss?"

"It's Lopez, Santana Lopez," the woman said, looking him shamelessly up and down. "Well, I'm looking for sex. I'm a single girl and I haven't had sex in six months and I just need something to take the mind off my life." She looked left and right shiftily. "Is there a more private place we can discuss this?"

Blaine ushered her into one of the consultation rooms, everything dark polished wood and classy pale leather that squeaked loudly when Santana sat down, her long acrylic nails tapping on the arm of her chair. "So, Ms. Lopez, what exactly are you looking for from this encounter?" he asked, all perfectly groomed and serious business. "And what is your back story?"

"I told you, single girl whose had no sex for six months and I swear I'm ready to hump a mannequin to satisfy my libido," Santana said sweetly, smirking at him. "I'm just looking for sex. But I'm currently living with my parents, so I'm hoping you'll have a place for us to do this."

"Yes, I know of just such a place," Blaine said easily, thinking of the hotel and firmly pushing away the memory of Harold's devastated face as he had run out of the place. "Any specialist sex? Whips, chains, anything?"

"Not really, but I would like you to wear a blindfold," she requested. "Meet me there at eleven tomorrow morning, your boss said you don't have an appointment." She got up to leave, but paused in the doorway to turn with an almost frightening smirk on her face and add, "Oh, and I expect you to be naked and prepared for me to rock your world when I get there."

Blaine grinned professionally and waved her and the man out, hearing him say, "Did you get the appointment?" and seeing the little smirk she responded with. Only when they were gone did he trail back up to his room and collapse face-first into his bed.

Maybe it was time to get out of the profession. A woman had to come to the place and ask for him to be naked and blindfolded in a hotel room when she turned up at eleven o'clock in the morning to use him and leave without so much as a thank you.

"Thank you. I really liked that."

Unbidden, Kurt's words as both of them knelt on the white slippery floor of a shower as the water ran cold over quivering, sated bodies swam back to the forefront of his mind, reminding him yet again that this absurd obsession with the man needed to stop. He'd barely been able to service his clients over the last week, and he'd dreamt of Kurt nearly every night.

Most terrifying had been the dream the night before, when he'd dreamt of simply kissing Kurt. Without roving hands or duelling tongues or moans panted into each other's mouths, just simply lips pressed against lips, moving in practised perfect tandem. Just a sweet, simple, tender, loving kiss. The sort of thing that made Blaine break out in a terrified cold sweat.

He was a prostitute. There were no relationships. No boyfriends. No sex outside of what was professionally required. And certainly no falling in love.

"Human blanket!" came a yell and Kurt screamed as an enormous heavy body covered his. He shot upright, kicking at the solid weight on top of him and scrambling up against the headboard, seeing Finn grinning inanely up at him.

"Finn, what the hell?" he shouted, no doubt waking up the rest of the house. "It's seven in the morning, why are you awake?" Finn sat up, still grinning as he fixed his bedhead with his fingers.

"Santana woke me up leaning on the doorbell," he explained quickly. "She's here to see you. And standing right outside this room. I'll just let her in." He opened the door, saying, "Yeah, you can go in now."

Kurt rubbed sleep out of his eyes as a fully awake Santana, made-up to perfection and dressed to impress, impressive for such an early hour in the morning. "What do you want at this hour?" he asked belligerently.

"Aw, I missed you too, lady-face," Santana said sweetly. "I have amazing news for you." She smirked as he sat up straight and kept her eyes trained on his face as she said, "I have got you an appointment with this Blaine guy you're obsessing over and it's in four hours! So do you love me forever now?"

"You did what?" Kurt near-shrieked. "First of all, why are you only giving me four hours' notice? Second, what the hell happened and how am I going to go to an appointment with him when he's refusing to talk to me?"

"Well, I looked around a bit online and I found the address of the prostitute ring he works for, called up to book a consultation with him and booked him for an appointment for 'me' today at eleven," Santana explained coolly. "This is the part where you're supposed to be hugging and thanking me."

"Santana, if you've booked him yourself than how am I supposed to go to the appointment?" Kurt asked, though he was already scrambling out of bed to grab some clothes. "And where is this appointment?"

"It's in some hotel, I'll give you a lift, I know where it is," Santana said nonchalantly, waving her hand as if to brush off the issue. "And do you really think I wouldn't think about that? I asked him to wear a blindfold and be ready when I get there."

"Oh my God, I'm going to see him again," Kurt murmured, stunned. "I have to shower and dress and fix my hair and it's seven o'clock in the morning. Christ, I need coffee."

"I'll make you a cup downstairs, I'm pretty desperate for it too," Santana offered. "It goes with the territory of getting up at five in the morning. Oh, also, your boy toy is pretty damn gorgeous, Hummel. I'd be after him, if penis weren't to me what vagina is to you."

Kurt showered and dressed as quickly as he could and found Santana lounging on his bed when he left the bathroom to fix his hair. "Why are you dressed so stylishly?" she asked, looking him up and down. "The clothes are just gonna end up on the floor in a hotel room." Kurt shot a glare at her and went back to spraying enough hairspray to ignite a match into his hair.

At precisely eleven o'clock, Santana handed Kurt the key card to the room Blaine had told her to meet him in. "It's so sentimental, but good luck, Kurt," she said quietly as the little red light turned green and the door unlocked with a click. "Have fun. Give it to him good." She waggled her fingers in an approximation of a wave and sashayed away down the corridor, back to the lifts.

Kurt hesitated with his hand on the door, a thousand thoughts chasing each other around his head. He would get to see Blaine again, the man he was in love with, but he was deceiving him to be able to have this again. He should feel morally obligated to turn around, get Santana back and figure out his own way to get Blaine back. But he didn't: he wanted to take the path Santana's plan had set out for him.

Kurt tiptoed into the hotel room, barely suppressing a groan when he caught sight of Blaine on the bed, naked but for the navy and red tie covering his eyes. "Santana?" he asked. Kurt shuddered in revulsion at the thought of Santana walking in on such a scene.

Peeling off his clothes as he went, Kurt crossed the room to crawl up onto the bed, carefully keeping himself from touching Blaine too closely, and kissing him, sucking on his top lip and pushing him down into the bed. Blaine chuckled softly, murmuring, "I should've known you liked to be in charge when you told me to wear the blindfold."

"Shush," Kurt breathed against his mouth, hoping that his voice sounded feminine enough that Blaine wouldn't quickly realise that it was not Santana Lopez who was kissing him. He kept Blaine from keeping up a running commentary by kissing him again, pushing his tongue fearlessly into Blaine's mouth and exploring the silky warmth. Oddly annoyed that Blaine was treating him like any other client and not groaning or whimpering softly as he had with Kurt before, Kurt trailed his fingers along Blaine's thigh before pressing them lightly to the head of his cock.

Blaine's hips jerked upwards, nearly dislodging Kurt from his awkward position. "You know, I'm supposed to be the one who's paid to make you come, not to the other way around," he murmured breathlessly. "Can I at least take this blindfold off?" Kurt shook his head, even though Blaine couldn't see him, and returned to claiming his mouth with hot, hungry kisses, sloppy and clumsy and making Blaine breathe heavily, his heart speeding up beneath Kurt's hand.

"Maybe you should get on top of me properly or something," Blaine panted, his hands twisting in the sheets as Kurt continued his ministrations, sliding his fist up and down Blaine's cock as he continued to push further into their kiss, as hard as he could without physically getting on top of Blaine. "Can I take this off now?"

"No, you'll take it off when I say you can," Kurt murmured, squeezing around Blaine's cock and taking a strange thrill in the strangled cry the action wrested from Blaine's lips. "Just lie here and let me kiss you."

Kurt continued to kiss him, dominating over their embrace, forced to hold Blaine's arms down against the bed as he tried to wrap them around Kurt's shoulders, still holding himself up and away from the other body tangled into sullied sheets, smirking to himself with each groan from Blaine's lips, a stutter of, "I-I…I'm c-close. Are you close?" And, with no warning, and no chance for Kurt to push himself away, Blaine yanked him down, thrusting his hips upwards and grinding their erections together.

The temporary relief of friction against his aching cock was instantly dampened by the realisation that Blaine couldn't fail to realise the body hot and heavy on top of him was not Santana Lopez or any woman at all. He was pushed back, landing heavily on the mattress near Blaine's feet. "No, don't take it off!" he insisted fearfully, trying to get back up the bed and pin Blaine's arms to the mattress.

But it was too late. Kurt squeezed his eyes shut in defeat as Blaine slid a finger beneath his blindfold and ripped the material away from his face. "Kurt!" he exclaimed furiously, looking almost hurt. "You…you tricked me into having sex with you?"

"You rejected my appointment when I got you on that street corner and asked you!" Kurt shouted, unbidden tears prickling his eyes as he rearranged himself into a more comfortable position, staring at eyes filled with betrayal. "Santana's a friend, she wanted to help, it was her idea!"

"But why would you do it?" Blaine asked in frustration. "How long did you really think you could pretend to be her? I know how it turned you on the last time I fucked you, you knew I'd feel your cock against mine. Why did you do it?"

"Because you made me so happy!" Kurt near-shrieked, hating his stupid overemotional moments for how close he was to tears. "You were the first person to ever touch me like that and I just wanted that with you again." He reached for his discarded jeans and drew a wad of dollar bills out of the pocket. "And, this time, I'm going to pay you first and trust I'll be more than satisfied."

"How much?" Blaine asked. A bubble of hope blossomed in Kurt's chest at the considering expression on Blaine's face. "How much are you going to pay me, sweetheart? Because Santana already paid me two hundred and fifty."

"How's another hundred and fifty?" Kurt suggested, pulling the corresponding money from the wad in his hand. He smirked at the way Blaine's eyes lit up and pressed the money into his hand.

"This is so much more than I can make with the best appointment," Blaine said faintly. "Jesus, Kurt, for this much you can do anything and everything you want to me."

"All want to do is make this so much better than your best appointment," Kurt told him softly, crawling back up the bed to lower his body next to Blaine's. He kissed the skin behind Blaine's ear and lowered his voice, hoping he didn't sound too silly or self-conscious or straight out of a porn film, to whisper, "Because I'm going to make you come."

Blaine moaned loudly, the sound grating on Kurt's ears and shooting straight to his cock, adding new fire to the tight heat twisting up in the pit of his stomach. There was a moment when Blaine turned his head, his chest rising and falling with each soft breath, and they simply gazed at each other, Kurt entrusting to his theatrical training to keep from showing every emotion these encounters made arise in him in his eyes, before he could take the heavy tension no longer and shifted to meld their mouths together, all hot kisses melting into one tremblingly hot clinch, tongues sliding around and over and under and against each other in an ancient carnal dance.

Kurt quickly took charge, eager to get his - and Santana's - money's worth out of it. He took a triumphant thrill in the guttural groan Blaine let loose with when he rolled onto him, pushing harder into their kiss until their entwined bodies actually sank into the mattress, already slick with sweat, both gasping with each new angle at which their lips pressed together. Kurt had to pull away eventually, sucking down air like a drowning man, but Blaine simply started kissing at his neck, scraping his teeth lightly over sensitive flesh. But Kurt pushed him down, pressing both hands firmly against his shoulders to keep him still, and lowered his head to lick across Blaine's nipple with the flat of his tongue.

Blaine arched up off the bed like a bridge, hands bunching and twisting in the sheets, moaning, "Holy shit, that feels fucking amazing!" Kurt smirked triumphantly to himself and blew gently over the wet trails his tongue had left, making Blaine shiver. It was an undeniable feeling of power, turning someone else on like this. "So, am I going to be allowed to fuck you or are we just going to rut naked together until we both come?" Blaine asked with a smirk and a suggestively quirked eyebrow. "I'm perfectly fine with either, of course. You're the client and it's your decision."

"Neither," Kurt whispered. He enjoyed the horrified expression of pure shock on Blaine's face before he continued, "Because I'm going to ride you until I come, then you're going to flip us over and fuck me hard until you come. And then we sleep so we can make another go of it later."

"That's a fantastic plan, I love everything about that plan," Blaine murmured, smiling at him. Not a smirk, a real smile, and wow, was it attractive. It made Kurt see for the first time that he was going to keep coming back to this man for far more than just the sex.

As it was in the hotel room and the two of them together on softest white sheets simple begging to be sullied, Kurt smiled, flushing a little, and curled himself around Blaine, their bodies tied up together and lips meeting gently, noses bumping awkwardly and taking a moment to find the rhythm, to fit into each other. But when Kurt's lower lip slotted perfectly between Blaine's and Blaine opened his mouth slightly, breath hot on Kurt's sensitive skin, they found their tempo. And it was hard, fast, desperate and hot.

"Taking it slow, are we?" Blaine teased softly, his hand warm and cradling in the small of Kurt's back, holding him close. It seemed almost tender, strangely so considering they were a prostitute and a shameless client, naked and pressed together in a hotel bed.

"Not at all," Kurt retorted, trailing his lips down Blaine's neck to find that spot he remembered. So vividly, because Blaine had made a hopelessly erotic noise somewhere between a growl and a moan when Kurt had kissed that tiny patch of skin, thrusting his hips roughly downwards and pushing himself further inside Kurt. While he paid attention to Blaine's neglected neck, Kurt groped across the nightstand and found the lube and condoms Santana had insisted on buying for him, in the unlikely event that Blaine wasn't fully prepared. "Knock yourself out," he mumbled into Blaine's warm, impossibly soft skin, tossing the bottle and packet at him.

"You came prepared this time, even though you should know I bring my own?" Blaine asked, arching an eyebrow. "I'm a professional, Kurt. I would never forget the essentials for this career choice."

"Shut up and do your job, professional," Kurt growled, pressing down against Blaine, twin moans sounding too loud in the suddenly stifling air. "I don't even care anymore, just please. Please, I…I need you inside me."

"It's only been a week," Blaine breathed teasingly, sitting up and dragging Kurt with him. "I don't think you really need me, not yet. Maybe youwant me, but I don't think that's enough for me to give you my body. I think I'm going to keep you like this until you're desperate and begging for my cock." Digging his teeth into his lip, hard enough to draw blood, to hold back a guttural moan, Kurt shifted back, staring at Blaine's eyes, dark with lust.

"Well, Blaine Anderson, professional prostitute, star of the Dalton prostitute ring," Kurt said, leaning closer and arching an eyebrow suggestively, "do your worst." Blaine grinned and took Kurt's head in his hands, fingers spread possessively from his jaw to his temples, and pulled him in for a long kiss.

Blaine's tongue slipped into Kurt's mouth as he pulled him down into the bed, Kurt's knees braced either side of Blaine to keep him from collapsing noodle-limp on top of him. His breath hitched involuntarily at the pop of a bottle cap. A slick finger slid down the cleft of his ass before pushing inside him.

"Blaine," he whispered against the hot lips claiming every inch of his mouth, heating twisting in his stomach. He pushed back, trying to feel more, more of Blaine.

"Kurt," Blaine mimicked teasingly, easily sliding another finger inside him. His taunts became a soft groan at Kurt's gravelly moan. "You're perfect." Kurt smiled triumphantly into Blaine's shoulder, kissing the sweaty skin over and over again, soft little grateful kisses, thanking Blaine for forgiving him, giving him the chance to have this again. His head shot upwards when Blaine pulled his fingers away, an involuntary whimper escaping his lips.

"What are you doing?" he asked in distress, looking down at the smirking man beneath him. "Are you stopping because you think I'm not ready? Please don't stop, I want you so bad, I-"

"Didn't I tell you I was going to tease you?" Blaine asked, kissing down Kurt's neck. "As far as I'm concerned, this is payback. I'm not going to help you until you really need it."

"You're an asshole," Kurt complained, tempted to roll off him until Blaine thrust his hips upwards and, through the haze of yesgoodmorepleaseinvading his mind, he decided that it really wasn't a sacrifice worth the loss.

Blaine grinned up at him and pulled him back down into a long kiss, his hands sinking into Kurt's hair, locks of hair twining greedily around his fingers. "I don't care how loud you moan, you're not getting it until you're good and desperate," he murmured as Kurt moaned into his mouth, perhaps a little too loud for show.

"Oh, fuck that," Kurt growled impatiently, grabbing the lube and covering his hand in it, dripping the liquid all over the sheets in his inexperienced clumsiness. Blaine watched in apparent astonishment as Kurt reached around and slid a finger inside himself, groaning softly at the all-too-welcome intrusion. "I'll give you payback," he mumbled to himself, really rolling off Blaine this time.

When Blaine sat up against the relatively undisturbed pillows, watching him with a carefully shielded gaze, Kurt decided he might as well go to town while he had the opportunity. With Blaine's eyes, darkening every second, fixed hungrily on him, Kurt slowly worked himself open, embarrassingly loud moans and high breathy whimpers escaping his lips no matter how hard he tried to hold back.

"So, I…I'm going to do this now," he mumbled awkwardly, colouring as he pulled his fingers out with a horribly lewd sound. Blaine just kept his gaze trained on him, silent as his body slid down the bed, cotton rustling when he lay back, bare and open and staring at Kurt with nothing short of lust in his gaze. It was unnerving, just to be looked at like that, especially with the increasing hot twisting in his stomach and the heady rush of lust and love and want and need racing through his veins, filling his body with light and some feeling of simultaneously sinking beneath waves and flying above clouds.

Both of them were silent as Kurt carefully lowered himself onto Blaine's cock, hands braced on Blaine's shoulders and only gasping when Blaine was deep inside him, intimate in a way having his feet over Blaine's shoulders just hadn't been, Blaine's hands rising to just kind of rest lightly on his hips, holding him still as they both got used to it, being as close as any two people could be, being naked in far more ways than the obvious one, unshielded and vulnerable.

"You're beautiful," Blaine whispered reverently, and in this moment Kurt could forget that the man beneath him wasn't his boyfriend, had no ties to him, had the money set aside for allowing him to do this, had probably done the same thing to hundreds of people and whispered the same words, and just feel them, feel Blaine filling him up, holding him together but breaking him apart, feel their desire for each other like sunlight on his skin, feel the way Blaine's fingers clenched into his skin, tattooing red marks across flawless white as he began to move, rocking his hips slowly, teasing him and biting his lip to hold back a proud, triumphant smile at the first moan reverberating through the room. "Please don't tease me, sweetheart, please don't."

"You're the professional, you can take it," Kurt murmured, the power filling him up and tingling through his fingers and toes, being in control and causing every shift of the flushed, overheated, wanting body beneath him as he slid up and down Blaine's cock in infinitesimal movements, his hands curling spasmodically around Blaine's shoulders.

Enthusiasm built with arousal, crackling like lightning across his skin, desperate heat twisting in his stomach, drawing so close to snapping before he pulled back, desperate to drag it out, to keep going until he was raw. "So close," he whispered, the words strange in air that echoed only with groans and guttural half-words and long strings of vowels and moans. "Remember what I told you. Oh God, Blaine, oh my God, Blaine…" The four words became a blur of mingled sound, gaining in pitch until they were an indecipherable scream when Kurt came across both of them, gasping through it as Blaine held him still, looking up at him with a searing smouldering gaze that he felt like lasers on his body.

The springs creaked loudly, complaining of the sudden movement as Blaine flipped them over in a fantastic display of upper body strength, hooking Kurt's ankles over his shoulders and pounding into him, teeth gritted and beads of sweat standing out of his forehead as Kurt screamed, oversensitive but still wanting, his cock twitching as it trained in vain so get hard once more. Finally a shout of some animalistic cry echoed through the room and Blaine collapsed on top of Kurt, both of them panting, exhausted, overwhelmed and perfectly sated.

"Thank you," Kurt whispered into the crook of Blaine's neck. Blaine pushed himself up on his elbows, looking down at him with an unreadable expression before he kissed him, slow and soft and almost tender, seemingly grateful.

"No, thank you," he murmured as they parted, rolling off him and slipping beneath the duvet. "I believe the next step in your plan was sleeping. And just as well, I'm exhausted. You shouldn't be so enthusiastic."

"Don't you have other clients to service?" Kurt asked bitterly, riddled with doubts and worries and concerns. Blaine raised his head slightly, looking at him with that same odd expression, a strange amalgation of emotions painted in the honey-gold of his eyes.

"As of right now, they're effectively cancelled," he said quietly, curling an arm around Kurt and drawing him close. "I'm yours for the day. I'm anticipating enough tips to make up for the loss anyway." Kurt smiled at the way Blaine always descended into the all-business facet of his personality, talking money and transactions and appointments, after he made a particularly sentimental remark.

Guessing by the slow, steady breathing next to him that Blaine was already asleep, Kurt pressed a kiss to his forehead and snuggled into him, the warmth of another body wrapped around his, twined together like vines. "I love you," he said softly, so quiet in the room, and he was filled with nothing but relief and almost a sense of pride that he could whisper those words to a slumbering body and have every confidence that he spoke the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


The Dalton Prostitute Ring, established 2007, owned by Madame Petreleggier. That was the world he came from, the world to which he belonged. Not one of soft kisses in the rain or arms draped casually around shoulders or whispered sweet nonsensical nothings witnessed only by caressing moonlight. And yet, with his hand resting so naturally on Kurt's hip and Kurt's back sealed warm against his chest, Blaine couldn't remember a time when he'd been so happy. He saw the possibility of a brighter future, moving on from the place he'd grown to call home, a little bird spreading his wings and taking a chance on learning how to fly.

Watching Kurt sleep so peacefully, holding tight, holding it glowing and burning close to his heart, to the intimate knowledge of what he looked like beneath the duvet tugged bashfully up around his shoulders, Blaine had a truly wicked idea that could only come from one with four and half years of experience in the underworld beneath his belt. Massaging Kurt's hip soothingly in a tried and tested manoeuvre to keep him fast asleep, he rolled the man onto his back and proceeded to worship every inch of warm, yielding, flawless white skin he could reach.

He kissed across Kurt's forehead, each of his close eyelids, the rings of bruised purple beneath his eyes that indicated sleepless nights, the tip of his nose, each of his slightly pink cheeks, both corners of his mouth, his chin. He kissed up and down and along Kurt's neck, each of the dark marks he'd left, never sucking or nibbling on the sensitive skin, just simple, soft, sweet, closed-mouth kisses. A scattering of gentle kisses across his soft belly, then down to his feet, kissing the arch of each foot and moving slowly upwards until his eyelashes were brushing Kurt's hipbones as he kissed across his thighs. Kurt murmured softly in his sleep, shifting in infinitesimal movements, a deep slumber's impersonation approximation of writhing on the sullied sheets with Blaine's ministrations. Blaine smirked to himself and placed a final kiss to inexplicably soft skin before sinking his mouth down around Kurt's half-hard cock.

Kurt's eyes flew open as if he had just suddenly realised the meaning of life, his head shooting up with a low groan ripped from his lips as his cock swelled on Blaine's tongue. It barely took a minute for Kurt to moan Blaine's name into the heavy air - something which Blaine filed away as a new record to boast about in his profession - and collapse into the mattress, sighing contentedly. "That's a much better way to wake up than with any alarm clock I've ever owned," he said faintly. He looked down at Blaine, wiping his mouth and trying very hard - pun intended - to keep from rutting shallowly into the sheets. "Oh God, I completely forgot about you. Let me-"

"It's fine," Blaine insisted, running a hand across his ribs and further down, the memory of the breathless little moans Kurt made when he was close drumming like a pulse in his ears. "I'll take care of myself and we can talk or whatever."

Kurt drew him back up the bed, holding his gaze with eyes darkened by desire. "I want to," he whispered. "Shush, just let me." He captured Blaine's lips in a possessive kiss, deep and dirty, actually licking into Blaine's mouth to taste himself as he wrapped his hand around Blaine's cock.

Kurt's hand was very different from his own, Blaine decided as he lost some part of himself in the haze stealing away of halfway coherent thought. His fingers were longer, and softer, and cooler, his movements careful, and deliberate, and precise (slowtooslow). Blaine's orgasm crashed unexpectedly over him like a breaking wave, groaning any number of expletives to the ceiling as he spilled over Kurt's hand.

He collapsed back into the creaking mattress, panting, legs refusing to move. Despite everything he'd had, he still wanted more, craving just for the hard lines of Kurt's body against his, trembling almost violently with a passionate, almost violent want and need for him. He felt feverish with it, mouth dry and nerves crackling with electricity. Kurt's lips pressed briefly to his sweat-damp forehead as he awkwardly mumbled, "We're all sweaty and sticky and gross. Want to shower with me?"

Which was how they ended up showering together in the least sexy way possible, Kurt humming softly as he shampooed Blaine's hair, a gesture that was somehow even more intimate than any sexual encounter they'd shared. Blaine was content to sink into the warm water cascading over him, washing his troubles and worries and tangled emotions down the drain in a whirl of scented foam, and Kurt's fingers massaging his scalp, just to listen to the inflections and tones in Kurt's voice as he exclaimed in disgust over the hotel shampoo and told a story about a friend of his who had a drawer filled with complementary bottles of aftershave swiped from hotels.

"Santana is going to tease me about the walk of shame outfit for weeks!" Kurt exclaimed as he redressed in his jeans and shirt, a slight flush rising on his cheeks when Blaine watched him button the shirt, every inch of skin disappearing beneath pale blue cotton. "And I have to live with her."

"It's not a walk of shame outfit, it's not the next day yet," Blaine reminded him fondly. "We didn't sleep that long, it's only five o'clock. Want to order room service? I find I tend to get hungry after such a vigorous session." He dropped Kurt a lascivious wink.

Ten minutes later they were sprawled out across the bed, fully-clothed for once, and eating the toast and bacon Harold had sent up with his compliments and the coffee pot. After one sip, Kurt had made a face and declared the stuff to be disgusting, haughtily sipping orange juice instead. It was the little things, his mannerisms and his quirks and the tiny inflections in his voice, that made Blaine feel his heart melt a little with every moment, another piece of his shield crumble to nothing.

"So, how did you end up at Dalton?" Kurt asked, looking up at him with comparatively innocent eyes. "I mean, I know it was a gender-specific school for young gentlemen. My dad's cousin went there, but he moved to Europe when I was a baby so I never heard any stories. Do you know why the school got shut down?"

"I think there was a student-teacher affair that got way out of hand and the headmaster hadn't seen any of it," Blaine explained with a slight shrug. "I don't know all the details, just the Madame bought it up in late 2006 and by March 2007 it was transformed into a fully-functioning prostitute ring. She's got friends in high places, and they keep her out of trouble." He crossed his knife and fork over the plate, fidgeting with the cutlery in the edgy manner that always surfaced when he spoke of life before prostitution. "I ended up here because my parents, especially my father, were homophobic assholes who didn't want me under their roof. He hit me across the living room and I ran away with nothing but the clothes on my back and went to Madame looking for sanctuary. She looked after me and assigned David to mentor me while I recovered. Once I had, I was out there working. Turns out I had a bit of a born-with-it knack for pleasuring strangers." He sighed heavily, avoiding Kurt's gaze as he confided, "David inspires me. He's just moved on from this industry, to greener pastures. He's only two years older than me, and he's out there, looking for a real job and a wife and a house to raise children in."

"But that's fantastic!" Kurt exclaimed, looking shocked and apparently thinking that Blaine didn't approve of David's actions. "He's on his way up, he's showing everyone that just because you turn to a career like yours when times are hard it doesn't mean you have to do the same thing all your life. Don't you want that for yourself, Blaine? Surely you can't imagine doing this for much longer. You're nearly twenty-two."

"You sound like my parents," Blaine said bitterly. "Always nagging me, telling me I couldn't slack off, I had to carry on the family business because all my brother was interested in was becoming a big Hollywood star. At least it showed they cared. After I came out to them, they…they stopped loving me." He was horrified by how good it felt when Kurt held him close and let him cry into his shoulder, the held-back tears of years of bottled emotions all flowing with strong arms around him, rocking him gently as one would soothe a crying baby.

"I forget how lucky I am with my family," he murmured, stroking Blaine's hair comfortingly as merely his voice calmed Blaine more than anything else ever could. "My mum died when I was eight, but my dad was always there for me. When I came out to him, just about three years ago, he was supportive, even claiming he'd known since I was three. Carole, my stepmother, is almost like my best friend and Finn, my stepbrother, used to harass me until we started living together and now we're real brothers in everything but blood. I'm so sorry you have a crappy family, Blaine."

"I have a family at Dalton," Blaine said into Kurt's shoulder. "I have friends there, and some of the younger ones are like my children, or annoying siblings, and David was like a father to me until he left. I just…sometimes I do think about going out there, finding a husband and raising a family with a man I'm completely in love with. Is that stupid?"

"That could never be stupid, Blaine," Kurt whispered, Blaine's name falling from his lips like a benediction, so reverent. "It's all anyone ever wants from life. To fall in love and be happy. It's what I want." Blaine disentangled himself from the embrace, wiping his eyes and smiling brightly, falsely. "Blaine, I wanted to ask you something. I know I've barely seen you, and I'm going back to New York tomorrow with my roommates, and this isn't supposed to be anything but sex, but I'm going to ask you a question. You don't have to answer straight away, in fact I'd prefer it if you didn't, but I would like an answer. You can have my phone number, and I'll be back here next month for a wedding and Thanksgiving with my family." He took a deep breath, Blaine staring at him in complete confusion, any number of possible questions that could be heading his way shooting through his mind. "Would you be my boyfriend?"

Well, out of everything he could've been asked, from, "Do you have any STDs?" to, "Do you mind if we never ever see each other again?" that had not been what he was expecting. Which was why he choked on his mouthful of coffee, splattering his shirt with brown flecks and bent nearly double, holding himself up on his hands and knees as he tried not to cough up a lung.

"Blaine, are you okay?" Kurt asked in distress, rubbing his back slowly. "Just take your time, try and breathe, don't choke to death, I'd quite like you to stay alive." Blaine wheezed and coughed and hacked until he could finally breathe normally again and sat back on his knees, eyes watering.

"Jesus, Kurt, you can't just spring something like that on a guy and expect him not to choke on his coffee!" he exclaimed weakly, pushing the cup aside with a betrayed look to the inanimate object. "I can't answer you right now, I really need to think about something like that." Kurt just smiled slightly and took Blaine's phone, entering his number.

"I should really be getting home so I can pack and clean the room I've been sleeping in before I go home tomorrow," he said apologetically, picking up all his belongings. "Thank you for everything today. I hope to see you around, Blaine Anderson." He handed Blaine another hundred dollars, winked, and was gone.

Blaine collected his wits and everything around him, smirking quietly to himself as he left the hotel, flipping the two keycards back to Harold, who gave him a knowing look as he jogged out into autumnal evening sunlight and hailed the first taxi that passed him by.

"You will never guess what happened today!" he exclaimed, exultantly cheerful, as he slid into his seat at the table where Wes, Quincy and Seth sat, morose and exhausted and barely picking at the food Blaine dived immediately into.

"No, we will never ever ever guess what happened today, so please tell us before we die of anticipation," Quincy said in a voice positively dripping with sarcasm. "Before you ask why we're all in such bad moods, Wes' best client cancelled, Seth was denied the chance to make more money and I had another fight with my roommate over space issues."

"I was supposed to have Santana this morning, but as it turned out, she's one of Kurt's friend and his roommate in New York, they're still here and she actually hired me for Kurt," Blaine explained happily. "So I spent the day with him and cancelled all my other clients. He gave me five hundred by himself, I think I can afford it for one day. And then the strangest thing happened: he asked me to be his boyfriend."

Quincy nearly stabbed herself in the hand with the prongs of her fork; Wes' eyes nearly bulged out of his head and he sent a glass crashing to the ground; Seth looked at Blaine with shining, expectant eyes before he caught sight of the other two and attempted to rearrange his face into an appropriately shocked expression. "Wait, you're not gonna say yes, are you?" Quincy asked in apparent distress.

"I told him I needed time to consider and he gave me his number so I can call him if I have an answer before he comes back in November," Blaine said with a shrug, almost a little hurt by the lack of happiness for him his so-called friends were displaying. "I guess you guys were all wrong: clients can fall in love with prostitutes."

"But can prostitutes fall in love with clients?" Wes asked, the question hanging heavy on the air, echoing unbidden in Blaine's ear throughout dinner and the impromptu marathon of Star Wars in Jeff's room that Seth dragged them all to. Could he fall in love with Kurt? Or was the relationship doomed to fall to dust, just like every other he'd had?

With every loud day and brightly-lit night in New York, Kurt kept watch over his phone, waiting every second for it to ring or vibrate with a call or text, hear Blaine's voice telling him that of course he would love to be his boyfriend, and when he returned to Ohio for Thanksgiving with his family and the wedding of the year for the glee club he would fall into those already familiar arms and kiss him until the world fell away.

"I still can't believe you asked a prostitute to be your boyfriend," Rachel said for perhaps the twentieth time in the two weeks they'd been home. Kurt rolled his eyes, even though she couldn't see him due to being halfway through her morning yoga. "And you should be doing this too, if you want to keep young."

"I'd still be asleep, like the smart girl Santana is, if you hadn't woken me up with your stupid soothing yoga music," Kurt complained, sipping sulkily at his coffee. "And you better believe it, Rachel, because I asked him and I happen to be in love with him."

"Oh please, you've met the guy twice and had sex with him the same number of times, you cannot possibly be in love after that," Rachel retorted, giving Kurt a disdainful look as she tried not to slip.

"And I'm speaking to the girl who saw Finn Hudson once in the corridors and claimed to be so in love she was ready to elope," Kurt snapped irritably. "You're supposed to know how you feel after a kiss and I went a lot further than that with Blaine. Five times, not two. I know I'm in love with him, unlike you with Finn three years ago."

"You thought you were in love with Finn too," Rachel hissed, bringing up a very old and still painful memory. "Anyway, Blaine is never going to be your boyfriend. He has sex with strangers for a living and I know you, you'd want him to quit his job. You could never cope with a boyfriend who regularly cheats on you, even for money. And what if he wouldn't quit his job? You'd be lonely and cry all over me and play your 'Woe Is Me' playlist over and over again until Santana threatened to fling herself out of the window."

"Rachel, if you don't shut up and let me have my lie-in I really am going to throw myself out of the window," Santana put in sleepily from the doorway, where she stood with a duvet around her shoulders. "I'm going back to bed, don't wake me up. I have razor blades in my hair."

Kurt and Rachel rolled their eyes simultaneously at her very untrue threat, both having seen her in the shower, accidentally in Kurt's case and apparently accidentally in Rachel's. Kurt tucked his feet beneath him and continued to fill his veins with caffeine, making him more alert by the second and conscious that it was absurdly early and he didn't have work or any designs to finish that day. It would just be yet another day when he stared at his phone and awaited an alert of anything, ignoring Rachel's many sing-song calls of, "A watched kettle never boils!"

A month passed by and soon they were returning to Ohio, Santana spending the entire plane ride complaining about staying with her siblings for the entire two weeks they were there and the dress she was being forced to wear for the wedding. Kurt blocked her out, checking his phone until it complained with loud buzzing that the charge was low and he was forced to stow it away.

Finn met them outside the airport with a hug for Kurt, a luggage trolley for the whining Santana and an awkward sort of half-smile for Rachel. After dropping Santana off at her house with loud complaints and greetings shouted from the open windows in Spanish, and spending fifteen minutes helping Rachel manoeuvre all her luggage from the back of Finn's car to her front door and exchanging pleasantries with her dads, they reached home.

"You're half an hour late even by Finn's idea of your arrival time," Burt grumbled as he helped Finn swing suitcases out of the backseat, at least until Kurt caught him and yanked the luggage away, admonishing him for exerting himself with his heart. "What happened to you two?"

"Oh, we had to drop off Santana and Rachel, and Santana's oldest younger sister has an enormous crush on Finn and insisted on talking to him for ages and we had to stand on the doorstep chatting to Hiram and Leroy for ten minutes," Kurt explained, dragging his suitcase up the drive and enlisting Carole's help to shove the thing up the steps to the door.

"I thought you might want to know," Carole murmured as they watched Finn huffing and puffing as he hauled suitcases up the stairs, having claimed that he could do it himself with all his military training, "that last week a boy dropped by here. Although I can hardly call him a boy, he looked older than you. Anyway, he was looking for you and I said you'd be back here in a week and to try again then." She winked at him, adding, "I have to say he was very good-looking. I can see exactly why you were pining over him."

Kurt retired to his bedroom once Finn had unblocked the staircase, wrapping the pristinely white duvet around his shoulders and staring unseeingly at the table at the bottom of his bed, covered in silver-framed photographs of happy times, the most recent of him, Finn, Mike and Puck in their red graduation robes, toasting the camera. Finally, after endless weeks of waiting and wanting and wishing and hoping, his phone buzzed in a single text.

When you're back in Ohio, come to the Dalton building. I need to see you -Blaine. Kurt couldn't help the slightly giddy smile that crossed his face as he grabbed his phone and rushed out of the house, past a knowingly smirking Carole making dinner in the kitchen and ignoring Burt and Finn's simultaneous enquiries of where he was going, who he'd be with, what time he'd be back and why he was going out in the first place.

Want and need and love and lust in equal measures already crackled beneath his skin when he pulled up in front of the old-fashioned building, the enormous oaken doors imposing and almost terrifying. When he pushed them open, he found a foyer filled with handsome men and beautiful women, crossing the polished floors with heels tapping against the wood and talking loudly, to each other and into phones.

Kurt grabbed the arm of the least scary-looking man who passed him and murmured, "I'm looking for Blaine Anderson. Um, my name's Kurt Hummel, and if you know where he is I really need to find him."

"I'm Seth Pitson," the boy, who looked awfully young to be in the place, said politely, shaking his hand and smiling, eyes shining joyfully. "I know where he is, let me take you to him."

"Thank you, thank you so much," Kurt said gratefully, following the shorter boy as he expertly wove a route through the crowds to an apparently deserted room. Seth pushed the door open slowly, quietly, wincing very obviously every time the aged hinges creaked slightly, and Kurt's breath caught in his throat when he saw Blaine, standing with his back to them and gazing out of the window at the frosty grey day, still impossibly gorgeous.

Seth vanished without a trace into the crowds, leaving Kurt to close the door gently behind him and cross the room. He considered the gesture for several infinitely long seconds before he laid his hand gently over Blaine's shoulder, squeezing as he whispered, "Blaine, it's me. You texted me and said you needed to see me."

Without a word, Blaine turned and pulled Kurt into a long kiss, flipping their positions to push him back against the wall a little too hard, almost violent in his kiss, thrusting his tongue straight past Kurt's teeth without preamble. "Please," he whispered against Kurt's mouth. "Let me."

"Yes," Kurt hissed without knowing exactly what he wanted, only knowing of the craving sparking through the pit of his stomach as Blaine's mouth ran hot up and down his neck, his hips pressing Kurt's back against the wall. One of his knees knocked between Kurt's, spreading his legs wide enough so Blaine could press his thigh up against the bulge in Kurt's jeans.

They ended up stretched out across one of the leather couches, most of their clothes scattered across the floor, Kurt only in his underwear and Blaine in unfairly tight jeans, Kurt's legs around Blaine's waist to keep their bodies pressed perfectly together and tongues twisting and gliding around each other, fast and desperate. Twin cries echoed against the high ceiling and they slumped down against the cushions, sweaty skin sticking to the leather as they just lay together, holding each other, panting heavily.

"I can't be your boyfriend," Blaine murmured, turning away from Kurt as he tugged his shirt back on. Kurt looked up in shock, scrambling across the slippery cushions to wrap his arms around Blaine's torso, kissing at the skin beneath his ear. "Kurt, stop it. I can't do it, I can't quit my job and leave all this behind just to be with you. I barely know you."

"You've seen me naked," Kurt whispered, blinking back the tears that prickled unbidden at his eyes. "You've seen me come. You've made me come. You've seen me and kissed me and held me and heard me at my most vulnerable. Blaine, please think about it more. I love you." The last three words, he never meant to say. A single tear traced a glistening line down his cheeks as he rocked against Blaine, trying to calm himself down.

"You can't, I can't, we just can't," Blaine babbled helplessly. Was it Kurt's imagination, or was Blaine's voice as choked with emotion as his? "Sweetheart, I can't just be with you. This is my life, this is what I know. I can't change my whole life for you. I won't."

"I want to be with you," Kurt near-sobbed, burying his face in the back of Blaine's neck and clinging tighter to him. "I could cope with you working like this, I promise I could. I love you."

"No you don't, Kurt," Blaine said firmly, disentangling his arms with a heavy sigh. "No one falls in love in eight days. No one wastes their time pining over a whore, waiting for them to call or text. Don't get hooked on me. Go out, find someone who'll love you the way you deserve, and don't think about me."

Blinking away the tears of anger and grief, Kurt shrugged his shirt back and took off, shoving his feet into his shoes as he ran out of the building and back to his car, slumping over the steering wheel and crying into his hands, already missing the warmth of expert hands on his skin and chapped lips moving in perfect synchronisation with his own.

Somehow he ended up outside Santana's house, honking the horn to summon her. After years of friendship with Puckerman, she was perfectly used to it. It only took a minute before she hopped into his car and took one look at his devastated, tear-stained face. "Well somebody got turned down today," she remarked. "I could've warned you, Porcelain."

"I can't help it, San," Kurt sobbed, breaking down once more. Santana sighed softly and slipped an arm around him, pulling him closer to her. "I just fell in love with him, and I just want to be with him and have a boyfriend and be happy and I just want everything with him."

"Kurt, Kurt, calm down," Santana murmured soothingly. "I promise you, you are an amazing guy and you're gonna find someone else really fast. I know a ton of gays, I'll set you up with one when we're back out in New York. You can get some hickies on your neck and a lot of tender fucking under your belt."

Kurt laughed through a sob and laid his head against her shoulder, crying into the wool of her hand-knitted jumper. He couldn't help thinking, as Santana whispered to him in the same way one would comfort a crying baby, that the wrong arms were around him. All he wanted was Blaine holding him close, pressing him into the mattress, claiming him with languid kisses that never seemed to end. He just wanted to love, and be loved in return.


"You turned him down?" Seth exclaimed, ignoring Wes and Quincy's looks of pure disbelief towards him. "Why would you turn him down, Blaine? He seemed so sweet, and he was very good-looking, and he's clearly in love with you, and, when he asked you, you seemed so happy. Why would you say no?"

"It's like we keep saying, there's no room in this lifestyle for dating!" Quincy put in, disregarding Blaine's miserable expression as he looked at the trio with dull eyes. "What we do is fuck and make money. I don't think I've even kissed someone outside of an appointment in weeks."

"I can't believe you had sex with him in this building, on one of the couches," Wes said, shaking his head. "He didn't even pay you. You're having sex with someone for fun and orgasms instead of money."

"Seth, I know you think I've somehow betrayed you, but it's perfectly within my rights to say no to one request for a relationship," Blaine said in a bored, disaffected monotone. "I don't think I'm seeing him again and I couldn't have a boyfriend. He'd want me to quit my job and I'm not going to change my entire life just for one person. I mean, he said he could cope with this being my work but I know he couldn't."

"What about David?" Seth asked, pressing on while Wes and Quincy appeared appeased by Blaine's reasoning and turned back to the lists of clients they were both analysing and highlighting carefully. "He's out of here and he's looking at marriage and kids. I heard he already met someone."

"He's older," Blaine said by way of excuse. A rather pathetic one, even by his standards. "He's nearly twenty-five and this just isn't something you want to do for that long." He remembered David's parting words, telling him to find Kurt and hold on to him and leave this place behind for a real life.

"But you've been here for nearly five years, same amount of time," Seth pointed out. "I don't think you should keep hanging around here working and earning all this money. I want to see you get out and say yes to Kurt's asking you to be his boyfriend."

"If you two are going to argue about right and wrong as far as romance goes, please go up to Seth's room so we don't have to listen to it," Wes said dully, continuing to mark up his schedule for the week. "Quincy, have you noticed you have two clients in two different places at the same time this Friday?"

"Dammit, Madame's been in the tequila again," Quincy muttered, noting the mistake on her scrap of paper. "Oh, if you see Roxanne, tell her to stay out of our room because I'm dying my hair once I'm done correcting this bloody schedule."

Seth stood up and dragged Blaine out of the room, leaving their schedules lying on a side table to be corrected by whichever bored resident of the building would want to fix someone else's schedule in an endlessly long Sunday afternoon. Blaine obediently followed the younger boy up the stairs, where the corridors were empty due to everyone being downstairs trying to wile away the long hours until Monday morning and work began again.

"Maybe I should've come here five years into the business halfway through the month," Blaine remarked as Seth ushered him into the single room, almost luxurious just in the space for an individual. "I'd love to have a single room, Trent is so neurotic about everything being perfect and pristine."

"We're not here to talk about my room," Seth said sternly, gesturing to the sofa pushed against the wall. "Take a seat, Blaine." Blaine obeyed the order of the younger boy, falling onto the overstuffed cushions as Seth smoothed the blankets folded at the end of his bed and sat down on the edge, feet up on a container filled with what looked like photographs. "Look, Blaine, you know we're friends," he began gently. "And it's because of our close friendship that I'm saying this to you: you're a fucking idiot."

"That's a little harsh, isn't it?" Blaine asked, tucking his knees up to his chin and resting his head there, looking at the younger boy, flushed with anger, with the gaze of a teacher upon an irate young student.

"No, it's not!" Seth exclaimed furiously. "There's a boy out there who's in love with you, Blaine! Who had the courage to tell you and ask you for commitment when he knows full well what your job is and the implications of it. And you're so stupid to just turn him down, I can't believe it. A month to think about it, to talk to Madame about arrangements and instead you throw your chance at happiness away. Why the hell would you do something like that?"

"Who would love me?" Blaine asked quietly. Seth looked at him sadly, looking more like a kicked puppy than ever before. "I'm a whore. I know I always say 'high-class prostitute', but honestly I'm nothing better than a whore. I am Smythe and Kings, I just have a better standard of living. Ordinary people don't fall in love with people like us." He blinked back tears as, in a dull monotone, he recited, "No one's ever loved me. My parents just wanted to mould me, and my dad actually started beating me up after I came out. My brother abandoned me with them. I've had sex with hundreds of people and not one of them has ever loved me."

"That's not true!" Seth exclaimed, laying a comforting hand on his shoulder. "You have friends here, friends who love you. Me, Quincy, Wes, David, even Trent, no matter how much he complains. Your clients may not love you by the traditional definition, but they respect you and they pay you a small fortune. And then there's Kurt. He's in love with you, and that's all you could ever ask for." He looked almost longing, his tone wistful, as he added, "It's all I want."

"Seth?" Blaine watched his friend let out a long sigh before pinning the same stern expression on his face and turning back to him, clearly with every intention of continuing his argument for Blaine to chase Kurt up again. "This is about more than me and Kurt, isn't it? Who is she? Because you like someone."

"It doesn't matter," Seth muttered. "She wouldn't look twice at me. I'm just pining, like the pathetic little puppy I know you all call me behind my back. There's no reason for her to go for me."

"We mean the puppy thing as a compliment," Blaine said guiltily. "Everyone loves puppies." He considered for a moment. There weren't many girls he'd ever seen Seth speak to, and if she was someone who wouldn't look at him twice when half the girls in the building cooed over him, it didn't leave many. Assuming she was someone he saw often… "Oh Jesus fucking Christ, you like Quincy!" Blaine exclaimed triumphantly. "Wow, seriously? You and Quincy?"

"How did you…I mean, don't be silly!" Seth said hotly, affecting a demeanour of haughty disdain. "It's not her, it's…" He trailed off when Blaine arched an eyebrow at him in disbelief. "Fine, I like Quincy. What do you want me to do?"

"Seth and Quincy sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!" Blaine chanted cheerfully, winking at Seth when he glared. "Sorry, sorry, I know, immature. The opportunity was too good to be missed."

"Do you find my pain funny?" Seth asked haughtily. "It's not funny! God, she's never even looked twice at me, and she's so shameless about her work. I'm never going to have her, I may as well just give up now."

"Just wait for New Years," Blaine advised bracingly. "Every year, because we have two weeks off work entirely for Christmas, we throw a huge party and everyone gets completely smashed. When midnight strikes, you'll get your kiss. Nick and Jeff got together through that. Woke up in the morning, remembered kissing and realised they liked each other. And they've been together for over a year."

"On New Years, where will you be?" Seth asked. "Will you be partying here, getting really drunk and telling everyone every detail of your sexual encounters? Or will you be with Kurt, kissing him to ring in the year?" He stood up and opened his door. "They say you spend the entire year the way you spend New Year's Eve. Would you rather spend 2013 with us, or with Kurt? Just think about it."

"Thank you," Blaine said seriously as he left. He paused in the doorway, smirking mischievously, and turned to chant, "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage!" A pillow sailed over his shoulder as he darted down the corridor, laughing.

Blaine walked through the corridors, his pace slowing with every step until he ground to a stop outside the door to his and Trent's room, slowly opening the door and collapsing onto his bed, pulling the covers up and around his shoulders.

Everything was difficult. Everything had changed so quickly in the space of one appointment, with one man, one day in what should have been a perfectly normal working week. He could've doubted Kurt's feelings, he knew he could. But he had sounded so incredibly genuine, and he had never struck Blaine as the type to lie for personal gain.

Blaine seemed to change around him - he could feel it, right down to his very bones. He wasn't the scarred, shunned second Anderson son, or the expert, well-paid, in-demand prostitute. He was just a man, held in the loving arms of another, falling for the eyes that didn't know any part of him but the façade of an experienced, confident, self-consciously sexy professional. Falling for Kurt, his youth and naïvety and beauty, the grateful murmurs in the depths of the night, a soft smile across a bed that might as well be an ocean for the distance between them, a hand covering his in a gesture of pure loving intimacy, something he'd never had.

He'd spent eight years wondering if anyone could care about him. Losing a little piece of himself in each insult, heart breaking with every time his father took a hand to him, tears cried in the middle of the night for the same awful thing, wondering each day if he would ever awake from this nightmare. A fist to his jaw, knocking him across the room, running out into the rain, running and running with clothes plastered to his skin and shoes filled with dirty water until he reached the building, his light in the darkness. Sacrificing his dignity every day just to pay his way in his new luxurious way of living. Wishing every day for a year to find someone who would love him, save him from this lifestyle.

Wishing for a boyfriend. Someone who was in love with him, and would never be afraid to admit it. Walk down the street holding his hand, dance with him under the streetlight, kiss him beneath a star-peppered sky. A date for weddings, parties, celebrations for the smallest achievement. To wake up in the morning and be glad to see a face on the pillow next to him, holding the same person close to him every night without complaint, cooking next to each other, enquiries about his day when he got home. To have love. To have someone who could be his forever, and have him as their forever.

Someone like Kurt.

Kurt stared blankly at the opposite wall as neon circles of light twirled and swirled around the floor, illuminating couples swaying together to slow songs filled with clichés of red roses and kisses in the rain. Despite feeling like a bad friend for it, he breathed a long sigh of relief when Rachel stumbled over to Puck and started crying about being alone for the rest of her life.

Yes, it had been a beautiful ceremony. And yes, it was wonderful to see his beloved teachers so happy. And yes, it was amazing to have everyone all in one place after three years of coming and going. But no, he wasn't really enjoying himself. The day had taken a turn for the worse as soon as the endless bottles of champagne had been brought out and the music had begun. They'd already been subjected to three songs of lost love from Rachel, who was already drunk, and something entirely inappropriate for the occasion from Puck, who looked to have a nervous tic, he was winking at Lauren so often.

"You not drinking?" Tina asked loudly as she and Mike drifted past the table he sat alone at, collapsing into a chair and easing her feet out of heels that looked to be positively murdering her feet.

"Rachel's already drunk, Finn's a lightweight and Santana's bound to be in the champagne at some point," Kurt answered dully. "I'm designated driver for the three of them."

"Aw, one glass won't hurt!" Tina exclaimed, seizing the bottle and pouring far too much clumsily into a glass. "It'll loosen you up; you can't sit here and look depressed all evening. Tell you what; me and Brittany will both save a dance for you. I know just the song." She cleared her throat and raised her glass. "I propose a two-person toast to being together at a wedding and not having to provide the entertainment."

Kurt laughed and, with a genuine enough smile, clinked his glass against hers and pretended to take a long drink. Tina drained her glass in one gulp and grabbed Mike's hand, dragging him back onto the floor. Mike shrugged and grinned knowingly in Kurt's direction as he left the glass on the table, no doubt to be picked up by a passing guest needing to drink themselves into a stupor.

Tina and Brittany bounced back over a minute later, both in the official yellow dresses of those glee club members, past, present and graduated. "We saved you a dance!" Brittany giggled in an almost sing-song way, swaying slightly on her heels. "And we picked the song!" Kurt gave them a look that immediately turned to a shocked glare as Single Ladies began to pound out of the speakers.

"Seriously? This song at a wedding?" he asked, arching an eyebrow. Tina giggled and grabbed his arm to drag him onto the dance floor, Brittany squealing happily as she kicked off her shoes and followed after them.

"I'm a single lady, and I'm putting my hands up!" Rachel announced, waving her arms wildly through the air to much laughter. As he danced the familiar routine with the two tipsy girls, Kurt saw Mr. Schuester put his head in his hands, and privately through that he deserved everything he got for letting any of his friends anywhere near the available alcohol.

Kurt had to admit, dancing with Tina and Brittany was fun, especially when Sugar threw saved handfuls of confetti over them after the big, flourishing finish and Puck whistled loudly when the girls ran back to their significant others and Kurt returned to his seat at the otherwise empty table, grabbing another glass of coke en route. The love songs began again, and Rachel apparently managed to persuade Puck onto the floor, though he abandoned her to Matt halfway through the dance for Lauren.

"You okay?" Santana asked, sitting down with a rustling of her skirt next to him with a concerned little smile, snatching his drink away and pushing champagne over to him with no heed for his complaints. "Taxis exist for a reason. I even have the nearest cab company on speed dial, so you can drink your angst away."

"If I start drinking right now I'm going to end up puking on someone," Kurt muttered, pushing the drink away. "Apparently it's hard to stop with the champagne when you're as miserable as I am."

"Yeah, I keep meaning to drop by with some movies so you can have a good cry," Santana said almost guiltily. "I called round some of my gay friends back in New York, and I've got a couple who are very interested in a date with you. Don't worry; I described all your best features."

"It's very sweet of you, San, but I don't really want to have a serious relationship right now," he said apologetically, watching the bubbles rise to the surface in his glass and purposefully ignoring Santana.

"I don't think any of them would object to a hook-up either," she said thoughtfully. "There's this really tall, really skinny guy who works in the café and looks like a beanpole, I could give him a call."

"Boy, you're really selling this guy," Kurt remarked sarcastically, sipping at his coke while Santana knocked back another mouthful of champagne, keeping a close, hawk-like watch over Brittany dancing with Artie.

"Please, Kurt, I'm totally broke and it's free for me to get you a boyfriend for Christmas!" Santana begged, completely shameless. Kurt laughed and shooed her away, smiling as she grabbed Brittany and whirled her away, Rachel immediately taking the blonde girl's place.

Kurt soon found himself snatched up onto the floor by a smirking Quinn when Afternoon Delight began to warble out of the speakers. Grinning and laughing, couples swayed together and friends danced idiotically. When the song ended, Kurt returned to his chair and Quinn grabbed Matt and whirled him into the dance as the group sang along to every song, improvising dance routines and generally acting like people without a care in the world.

"Thought you might want your phone," Sugar announced grandly as she drifted past him, placing his phone almost reverently down on the table and continuing on her way. Rachel had forced them all to place their silenced mobiles in a bag so the ceremony wouldn't be interrupted by, as she'd put it, 'this group's pathological need to text back immediately.'

Picking up the device, Kurt immediately saw the words 3 MISSED CALLS blinking at him, but when he checked his voicemail there were no new messages left for him. As he went to stow it away, it vibrated in his hand, making him start slightly.

From: Blaine Anderson

Where are you?

To: Blaine Anderson

At a wedding, in a church, not getting drunk like everyone else. Why?

From: Blaine Anderson

There's a car waiting for you outside.

To: Blaine Anderson

I'm sorry?

From: Blaine Anderson

I sent a cab to pick you up. Get in; the driver will take you to the hotel. I'll meet you there and pay for the taxi. Please hurry.

"Santana!" Kurt shouted across the dance floor, already grabbing his belongings and shrugging back into the suit jacket hanging across the back of his chair. His friend came running over, glaring at him for interrupting her dancing. "I'm leaving. Looks like you'll have to use your strategic speed-dial for the cab company."

"Wait, why are you going?" Santana asked, seemingly shocked. "You do know it's absolutely pouring out there, right? Come on, stay a bit longer, Rachel's over there telling the most hilarious stories. Why do you need to leave?"

"Maybe it's because I'm sick of Rachel crying into the front of my shirt about how lonely she is and how no one will ever love her," Kurt said. It wasn't lying, just omitting certain parts of the truth. "I've got a migraine coming on, I can feel it." He shoved his phone at Santana. "Hold that."

"Or, it could be because one Blaine Anderson texted you saying 'I sent a cab to pick you up. Get in; the driver will take you to the hotel. I'll meet you there and pay for the taxi. Please hurry.' It's supposed to be Schuester's wedding night, not yours," Santana remarked, arching an eyebrow knowingly. "If he hurts you, I will go all Lima Heights."

"Santana, you don't live in Lima Heights," Kurt reminded her. "Your dad is a doctor. You and the four of your six siblings who are old enough to drive all have your own cars. Your family pays your share of the monthly rent."

"Whatever, Hummel," Santana drawled, then grinned at him. "Have fun. And promise you'll call me once you're back home and tell me all the details. If he hurts you, I'm serious, I know where he lives."

Kurt just smiled at his friend, protecting him in her own way, before he raced out of the church, holding the cheap jacket over his head as the rain pounded in thick sheets over him, spotting the yellow taxi idling at the kerb quickly and running to climb inside, shaking excess water out of his hair. "You Kurt Hummel?" the driver asked in a bored tone.

"Yeah, yes, I am," Kurt said awkwardly. The driver grunted in acknowledgement of his response and started the car, driving smoothly away as raindrops slashed across the windscreen and windows, umbrellas blooming like mushrooms out of every crowd all around him as Kurt settled into the seat, breathing slowly and deeply to calm himself down.

The hotel loomed out of nowhere, a familiar figure dressed in eye-catching bright yellow standing right at the edge of the road, water splashing over his legs as the driver pulled up exactly in the middle of a deep puddle. Blaine opened the door, holding out a gentlemanly hand to help Kurt out of the car, holding the umbrella over his head as he unfurled bills from his pocket and slid it through the gap at the top of the window to the driver.

"Blaine, wonderful to see you again!" the receptionist, who Kurt just barely remembered as Harold, said jovially as they walked in. "Will you be needing a towel? It's really coming down out there."

Blaine nodded, taking the pile of towels from the rotund man and wrapping one carefully around Kurt's neck, placing a soft kiss to his rain-damp forehead. "Do you have our usual room?" he asked Harold, Kurt only vaguely aware of the words as he tried to process Blaine's action, his heart still racing from just the simple press of lips to skin, cursing his heart and his hormones.

"Of course, here's your keycard, enjoy your stay," Harold said with a smile, winking at Kurt as Blaine turned him with a gentle hand at the small of his back towards the lifts, guiding him as Kurt shivered, suddenly feeling the rain on the materials clinging to his skin and dripping from his hair down his back and trickling down his face.

"Clothes off," Blaine ordered as soon as they were safely inside the room. "I'll go downstairs and tell Harold to dry them off; you're going to freeze otherwise. There's a robe in the bathroom, you don't have to walk around naked." He smirked and waggled his eyebrow in a gesture Kurt found only ridiculous, adding, "Though I wouldn't mind if you did."

Kurt slid into the bathroom to undress, handing the sodden pile to Blaine through a tiny crack in the door and slipping into the robe, tying the cord tight around his waist. He bit his lip as he looked at himself in the mirror, cheeks coloured by rain and hair flat against his head except for the clumps sticking up in strategic places. He did not cut an attractive figure.

Apparently Blaine thought differently, because his eyes darted up and down Kurt's body when he walked back into the bedroom, licking his lips. "I asked you to meet me here to talk," he said slowly. "But I can't do anything until I've had you in this bed."

Blaine's hand landed on Kurt's hips, strong and warm and splayed out possessively, holding him up as his knees seemed to go out from under him at the touch of Blaine's lips to his, a chaste press quickly becoming furiously passionate, dirtily devouring as Kurt scrabbled at the knot in the belt on his robe, fingers fumbling as he fought to undo it. Blaine's hand replaced his as he flipped their positions, pushing Kurt backwards until the backs of his knees hit the edge of the bed and he fell back onto the mattress, toes brushing along the carpet as Blaine straddled his wait, still kissing him as he finally got the knot undone and pushed the two halves of Kurt's robe apart, sliding his hands up Kurt's chest, Kurt's breath stuttering and his hips thrusting slightly as Blaine's roughly callused thumb caught his nipple.

"Can I ask you something?" he asked, voice rough, stammering over the words as Blaine's teeth scraped along his collarbone. "I really want to fuck you. I've been thinking about it, not seeing you. I want to top."

"I don't bottom," Blaine said, as if that was the final word on the discussion. Kurt couldn't help the disappointed sigh that escaped his lips and Blaine looked up at him with an unreadable expression. "But, maybe, for you, I…I could make an exception."

Blaine was careful as he rolled onto his side, pushing the sleeves from Kurt's arms and tugging him on top of him as he rolled onto his back. "You're still fully-clothed," Kurt whispered, nipping at the tender spot beneath Blaine's ear, smirking to himself as Blaine's breath hitched and a soft whimper escaped him. "I feel exposed. We should probably remedy this situation."

Kurt leant down carefully, trying not to elbow Blaine and kill the mood, as he slowly unbuttoned Blaine's shirt, peppering each newly-exposed inch of skin with soft kisses and tiny licks, Blaine keening and mewling beneath him, wiggling frantically, trying to find the proper friction. "No, no, this isn't about you," Kurt murmured wickedly. "I'm in control."

"Fuck, sweetheart, you're cruel," Blaine groaned, arching up as Kurt ran his hand across his stomach, shedding his shirt quickly. Kurt just smirked and lowered his head to capture Blaine's lips in a long, achingly sweet kiss.

Within a matter of minutes Kurt was sliding three fingers inside Blaine, brushing strands of hair tenderly from his sweaty forehead, Blaine's fingers pressing bruises into his back as he clung to him, fucking himself back on Kurt's fingers, gasping and moaning with every breath. "Please, please Kurt," came the choked plea. "Fuck me, Christ, I need you."

Kurt couldn't help but privately think that Harold must be the most saintly hotel manager in existence to put up with all the noise. He had been reliably informed that many of the Dalton prostitutes used the same hotel. Any logical thought was abruptly ended, however, when he pushed slowly inside Blaine for the first time, shudders running across his entire body as his head fell forward onto Blaine's shoulder, both of them panting.

Their sex was slow and passionate, far closer to making love than any of their frantic previous encounters. Whispers of tender words painted onto sweat-glazed skin, eyes meeting and holding an electric gaze, hands wandering with tender appreciation, breath and hearts speeding and finally coming together with cries of each other's name, interspersed with groaned expletives.

"I really love you, you know," Kurt murmured as they lay together, sweaty and sticky and disgusting but sated and coming down from bliss. Blaine raised himself up his elbow, looking down at him with another unreadable expression.

"We can't be anything more than friends with the occasional benefit," he murmured. "I know you love me, but I can't be with you."

Blinking back tears, Kurt rolled over and tried to go to sleep, but didn't surrender to the black grip taking hold of him before he heard the whispered words, "You deserve so much better than me, beautiful."

It might look to the untrained eye that Blaine was wholly immersed in Pride and Prejudice, but to those who knew his mannerisms and gestures and expression inside and out, he was clearly in very deep thought.

His last encounter with Kurt had been different from all others, that was for sure. He hadn't been paid, not that he'd expected to be. Kurt was no longer a client, had never really been one in the first place. It had always been something more than prostitute and client between them. But that last time, it hadn't been just sex, and definitely not factory farm fucking. In fact, it had almost been making love, slow and sweet and tender. Having Kurt in control had made it so, not to mention the man had been the first Blaine had ever allowed to top.

And Kurt had actually told him he loved in. Sure, the world had still been blurry around the edges and Blaine's ears had still been ringing, but it had been a serious statement. Blaine had inadvertently made an innocent man fall in love with, and he would never be able to give Kurt anything but hurt and heartbreak. He wasn't good enough, with his job and his emotional baggage and tangled past and wounds still raw.

Kurt deserved so much better. Someone who wouldn't be afraid of hurting him at every turn, someone who didn't cheat on him just to keep a roof over his head, a man who would respect and love and cherish him every day for the rest of their lives.

"Gay for you in the foyer," Quincy said, snapping her fingers vaguely at Blaine as she passed. "And yes, I meant gay, not guy. You better hurry, you have the McArthur appointment in twenty minutes."

Blaine marked his place in the book and dragged himself to the foyer to find Kurt standing there awkwardly. "We're on our way to the airport, so I just…I came to say goodbye," he mumbled, holding out a hand for Blaine to shake.

"When can I see you again?" Blaine asked, the words slipping out before he could stop himself. And then he wanted to kick himself, because he hadn't meant to sound needy or pressure Kurt.

"We're not coming back for Christmas," Kurt explained softly, tangling his fingers together nervously. "Santana had a huge fall-out with her brother so her girlfriend is coming out to visit us and Rachel's dads are going out to the Caribbean for their twentieth anniversary so we're staying back in New York. We, or at least I, won't be back here until summer."

"I wish you didn't have to go," Blaine said softly. Kurt looked at him with an unreadable expression.

"What does that mean?" he asked quietly. "Seriously, Blaine, what do you mean by that?"

"Just that I'll miss you," Blaine answered brightly, perhaps a trifle falsely. "We are friends, after all. You'll be gone and I'll notice. It's not gonna be the same round here without you."

"Well, you've got my number, call me or text me if you need me to cast a little light on things," Kurt said, cocking his head in the direction of the door and biting his lip. "I have to go, but what does noticing I'll be gone mean?"

Blaine took a deep breath to steady his jangling nerves. This was it. The time was now. To tell Kurt, to do his best to persuade him to stay. "Kurt, I-" He was cut off by Kurt's lips pressing briefly against his, warm and soft.

Kurt pulled away, leaving Blaine a little dizzy and breathless as he opened his eyes to see the flush rising on Kurt's cheeks, the tiny smile tugging at his lips. "Our last kiss," he murmured. "I thought I should make it count. Good luck, Blaine. I love you." With those words he was gone, running down the steps and shouting something Blaine couldn't quite hear as the honk of a car horn blared around the building.

He shut the doors carefully, kneed in the stomach by longing as a thousand memories assaulted his senses. Kissing Kurt in the back of a taxi, holding him as they slept, laughing with him before the feelings set in and ruined everything, Kurt making love to him, Kurt's fingers twisted in stained sheets, Kurt's eyes bright and young and filled with hope, Kurt's face when it was ravaged by tears and still so beautiful. At the same time, he saw hundreds upon thousand of images of what they could be: a whispered confession of love in the night; those three words said so often and so casually they were burnt into skin like a tattoo; being able to come home at the end of a long day and collapse into his welcoming arms; tear-filled eyes at a proposal that rambled on and on about forevers and true love and happily-ever-afters; feverish wedding planning, fighting like cats but still loving each other; a golden band slid onto a finger as eyes met, wet and filled with love and devotion; a pet and rambunctious children playing as they watched proudly on; a wrinkled hand covering his, a silent promise of being together until their last breath on God's green Earth.

"It means I love you too," he whispered sadly into the wood, collapsing back against the door. How could everything be so wrong and yet so right? And why could he only have the courage to speak those words when Kurt wasn't around to hear them?

"I really don't like this game," Brittany complained, throwing the white remote down onto the couch. "I wanna play with Rachel's kitten. Did you name her yet?"

"A reminder, Rachel, you are not allowed to name the kitten your boyfriend got you for Christmas after Barbra Streisand," Santana said, giving Rachel a pointed look. "Okay, if we're bored of MarioKart, anyone up for a couple round of Wii bowling?"

"I'm not going to, I named my kitten Penny!" Rachel exclaimed happily, looking adoringly at the ball of white fluff currently curled up on Kurt's stomach. "So I can say 'find a Penny, pick her up, then all day you'll have good luck!'"

"Corny, Rachel," Kurt said sullenly, shoving the kitten away and picking the white hairs clinging to his jumper off. "Don't they say the worst time to introduce a pet is at Christmas? Particularly when Brittany's the only one making a fuss of her and she's going home in a week."

"You're only sulking because of Anderson back in Ohio," Santana snapped. "Seriously, Kurt, you could've gone home instead of staying here. Although I might have stabbed you for leaving me with Rachel, particularly when she's in the alcohol like this."

"Brody gave it to me, I'm gonna drink it if I want!" Rachel shouted triumphantly, taking another swig from the bottle. "Let's play Wii swordplay. I'm gonna shove you off a big platform!"

"There's no point, Blaine doesn't want to be with me and I honestly can't go one more round of no-strings-attached sex before I just do the Rachel thing of bursting into tears and refusing to let go the morning after," Kurt grumbled, pulling his knees up to his chin and wrapping his arms around his legs.

"Hey!" Rachel exclaimed. "My great-aunt had just died and he was nice to me!" She grabbed the bottle and a couple of the glasses still standing upside-down from her and Kurt's drinking session while Santana had taken Brittany to see a local pantomime the previous night. "Who wants a drink? Merry Christmas!"

"Shouldn't your boyfriend know that you don't even celebrate Christmas?" Kurt asked, ignoring Rachel's offering of a glass. "Thanks but no, I'm so depressed I'll just cry all over everything."

"I think you should try going out with Charlie from the café," Santana said, withdrawing the hand she'd reached out to take a glass at Brittany's pointed look and glaring at Kurt's chuckle. "I showed him a picture, he thinks you're cute. Going to bed with someone else might stop you from being hung up on the whore."

"Blaine's not a whore," Kurt snapped. "Rachel, I changed my mind, give me that bottle before you drink yourself stupid."

"What are you doing, Kurt?" Brittany asked, lifting the kitten onto her knee, her purring filling the room as Brittany stroked her with a triumphant little smile tugging at her lips. "You never usually drink."

"There are extenuating circumstances," Kurt replied haughtily. "By which I mean the man I'm in love with rejected me," he paused to count on his fingers, "four-ish times and I'm surrounded by people who are totally in love."

"I'm not in love with Brody, it's early days," Rachel retorted intelligently. "I really like him, though. And he must like me to get me expensive wine and a kitten for Christmas!"

Santana rolled her eyes and grabbed the wine when Brittany was distracted playing with the kitten, swallowing straight from the bottle. "We should go out and do something," she announced. "We're slowly going crazy in here."

"It's snowing and everything's shut because of Christmas," Kurt said dully. "What are we supposed to do, build a time machine and go back to being five years old when Christmas was so exciting?"

"Play more MarioKart!" Brittany declared, seizing the remote and starting a new race. "Rachel, I bet you a glass of wine you'll run over your own banana again." Rachel grinned and grabbed the second remote, Santana sighing in long-suffering before doing the same with the third.

"I'll pass," Kurt muttered, skirting around the kitten now clawing at the bottom of the curtains and dodging out onto the tiny balcony. The snow was falling thick and fast and he wasn't really appropriately clothed for the weather, but with four people and a kitten in an apartment only really meant for two people it was the quietest place.

He'd been thinking for over a month, since he'd kissed Blaine goodbye. He'd hoped so much, when he murmured those three words in goodbye and asked what he'd meant by his words, that he would get the reply he wanted to hear. Until Santana had shattered the moment leaning on her car horn and only smirked at him when he climbed into the car and immediately told her off. Was he too hung up on a relationship he'd never have?

"Santana," he called back through the doors as a yell of triumph echoed through the apartment, "would your friend Charlie be open to meeting me here today?"

"Oh, awesome, you're gonna give him a chance!" Santana exclaimed happily. "I'll call him and tell him we have wine and MarioKart, he'll be over here in a flash. Rachel, go to your room and call your boyfriend, you'd be off-putting to Kurt's potential new squeeze."

"If I'm being kicked out you two have to go out too!" Rachel shouted over the sound of a slamming door. Walking back inside and shaking melting snow out of his hair, Kurt chuckled softly as her door opened again and she added, "There are sledges in the cupboard, go find a nice hill."

Kurt met Charlie half an hour later, a tall, thin man who smiled awkwardly at him when Santana opened the door and quickly introduced them before Brittany grabbed her by the hand and dragged her out into the snow. "This is…kind of awkward," Charlie observed as he followed Kurt into the living room.

"Really awkward, yeah," Kurt said with a slight laugh. "I'm going to make coffee, do you want anything?"

An hour later, they were both at the kitchen table, drinking coffee and talking like old friends. Charlie had initially seemed a little shy and quiet, but once they started talking he was funny and charming. "So, Santana said you've just come out of a bad relationship?" he asked curiously.

"In a manner of speaking, yes," Kurt answered carefully. "I wanted something more, he didn't and then I had to come back out here."

"Are you over him?" Charlie asked, his hand covering Kurt's on the table.

"Yes, completely, I barely even think about him," Kurt lied blandly. Charlie smiled and leaned slowly across the table.

The kiss was sweet, soft and mercifully short, though Kurt felt awful for thinking it. He couldn't help but compare Charlie to Blaine, remember how hungry Blaine's first kisses had been, a hand creeping across his thigh, his moans swallowed by Blaine's mouth.

He really wasn't over Blaine. And he doubted he ever would be.

New Year's Eve came and went, with the usual wild party. Blaine stayed away, curled up in his room debating for hours whether to call Kurt and ask him to stay on the line until he fell asleep, eventually awaking with a start when a drunken Trent stumbled back inside at close to three in the morning. Seth's beam the next day put the weak winter sunlight to shame and Blaine bore witness to him holding hands or exchanging adoring looks with Quincy more than once, cracking a genuine smile for the first time in so many days when Jeff pouted as he handed over ten dollars, as per their bet.

And so came Valentine's Day, a day of all work and no play for the building as those left single for the holiday booked their expertise so they wouldn't be so alone or couples asked for a toy to spice up their sex life on that most romantic of days. The day was filled with complaints and a constant stream of people drifting in and out of the main doors, only pausing momentarily to eat before they were on their way again. Just before he sank gratefully into bed, thinking that they should really all get the next day off after the sheer exhaustion of the holiday, Blaine typed a text to Kurt of rambling and eventual confession of his feelings, thumb hovering over the send button for a good half-hour before he sighed and deleted the words.

Time passed. Winter became spring. Pale green new leaves grew on previously frost-veiled trees, petals of blossom in delicate pink and white floated from the sky on warming breezes, the skies slowly turning from grey to blue and rain beginning to bring excitement flowing through veins rather than a morose long-suffering acceptance. Spring became summer, bringing with it a baking heat and the promise of a new lease on life, the time to wipe the slate clean and find a fresh start.

It was with that, the true meaning of summer as far as he was concerned, in mind that Blaine knocked softly on the glass-panelled door to Madame's office one hazily hot morning, having already agreed with Trent about another rule of their room and laughed at Wes' disdainful expression when Seth and Quincy had kissed before the girl had headed out for her morning client. "Come in!" came the call in the deceptively sweet voice and Blaine pushed the door open to find the blonde woman with her bare feet tucked childishly beneath her, high heels hooked on her fingers as she spoke into the phone with nothing but business in her expression and tone. "Do you mind if I call you back, Mr. Ryerson?" she asked politely. "There's an issue that needs to be confronted." She placed the phone back onto the hook and looked up at Blaine. "Take a seat, Blaine, dear. That was a potential new client for you, my little star."

"I wanted to talk to you about that, Madame," Blaine said, polite to the extreme. "I've been here for over five years, since I was sixteen. I've had an amazing time here and made such good friends and I know the experience in business you've given me will take me through life, but I think it's time for me to move on." He met Madame's eyes as he said solemnly, "To put it in finer terms: I quit."

"Well, this is an interesting development," Madame intoned quietly, looking at him with steely eyes. "It will be a shame to see you go, Blaine. You are the best worker I have here, and my star. Who will take on all our richest clients now?" There was a slight edge to her voice as she inquired, "Would this happen to happen anything to do with the gossip of you having a special someone that reached my ears?"

"No, no, Madame, this is nothing to do with Kurt," Blaine said, wincing as he saw her eyebrows rise at the mention of a name. "This is my decision and I can't spend the rest of my life here. I'm getting older and, honestly, I want to find that special someone to spend the rest of my life with. I want a relationship, not endless clients." He looked at her equally coldly, boldly saying, "As for who'll take on your best clients, you have plenty of eager workers here who are younger and stronger and more enthusiastic than I am." He couldn't meet her eyes as he mumbled to himself, "I'm tired of whoring myself out just to keep living this way."

"I'm sorry to hear you think that way, Blaine," Madame said carefully, her tone almost dangerous at Blaine's put-down of the way she ran her very lucrative business. "You know, I took you under my wing six years ago and helped you make your mark on this industry. You have talent, my dear, and you could go a long way if this is something you chose to pursue. Won't you reconsider?"

"I'm afraid not, Madame," Blaine stated clearly. "This is my life and this is not the way I want to live it. This work was never supposed to go so far. I only came here to find sanctuary. And now I've found the strength to get out of here and find the life I always dreamed of. I'm tired of being this person, someone I'm not. I have to just be me."

"It's always your decision, my little star," Madame finally conceded. "This strength to leave this lifestyle behind, it wouldn't happen to come from Kurt, would it? You are no longer beneath my care and authority; I see no reason for you to keep secrets from me."

"Half of it is honestly being tired and wanting to find a life beyond clients," Blaine explained, feeling a great weight lifted from his shoulders just from being able to be honest with someone, anyone, even if it was the woman who was now his former boss. "And half of it is because I fell in love. I should have told him, but I never did. And I need to find him and be with him, because God knows enough people told me to just do it and I was such an idiot I couldn't admit to myself he was all I wanted until he was out of reach."

"Things always work out that way, dear," Madame said, her tone warm and cosy all of a sudden. "Don't worry, I'm sure he could never resist your charms. You were my star for many reasons, Blaine. I wish you every luck in your future romantic endeavours, and with this Kurt you're so infatuated with."

"Thank you for that, and for everything, Madame." Blaine resisted the urge to hug the woman, not sure how she'd respond despite her sudden chattiness. "I'll be gone in a week, when I've gotten everything in order and figured out where I go from here." Madame nodded to him in a kind of silent salute and picked up the phone again, already charming the socks off whoever was on the other end as Blaine slid the door shut behind him.

He leant back against the wall, unable to help the smile nearly splitting his face in two, hardly able to believe he had just done that. He was free of the shackles that had held him back for six years, free to love whomever he chose, free to rule over his own life rather than having a set schedule for every moment of the week, free of the prostitution industry. He was free at last, and it was time to spread his wings and learn how to fly.

"Surprise!" he shouted as he walked into the room, finding Seth and Quincy sitting suspiciously close, looking a little dishevelled. "I have to tell you both something: I'm leaving. I'm finally getting out, and the first order of business is to find Kurt and make him mine."

"I met a friend of his the other day," Quincy put in, oh so casually. "The girl who booked you for her and was actually part of a conspiracy to get you for him. We had coffee after I said I knew you and she told me they're back here for a week. That was three days ago. In fact, I think she mentioned something about going clubbing tonight."

"We should celebrate your fresh start by going out and getting completely smashed," Seth added, grinning impishly at his girlfriend, both of them giving Blaine beseeching looks as he considered the offer carefully. The bottom dropped out of his stomach at the thought of seeing Kurt again, his heart already pounding with anticipation.

"Sure, sounds like a whole barrel of laughs," he said with just the faintest hint of sarcasm. "Invite Wes and make him the designated driver, it pisses him off so much and it's so fun to watch."

The evening found them rushing out to Wes' car, having all filled their veins with caffeine to keep them going through the night, Quincy making an early start on the beer in the back of the car, already growing increasingly amorous with Seth. Alcohol always had made her handsy. Blaine just sat beside a scowling Wes, utterly blissful at the thought of seeing Kurt again.

"Get out," Wes spat as he parked outside the club already pulsating with music, the atmosphere pure electricity. Quincy giggled, swaying slightly on her ridiculously high heels as Seth steadied her. Blaine had to chuckle over Wes' sulking, which would likely go on all night as he watched them all get more and more drunk and make numerous stupid mistakes while he sat and sipped water and was expected to round them up and drive them home at the end of the night.

Blaine stumbled over to the bar immediately as he got inside, hands closing gratefully around his beer as soon as the bartender handed it to him, already handing him a tip to keep them coming. His eyes roved involuntarily around the club, searching out the one face he longed desperately to see and drink in.

He spotted Kurt halfway down his third drink, dancing in between two incredibly stunning girls, dressed to impress some anonymous, faceless man Blaine was immediately illogically jealous of and looking to be having the time of his life. His dancing was so mesmerizing, Blaine found himself watching in a stupor for a good five minutes before he shook himself out of a hip-grinding-induced trance and walked purposefully across the crowded dance floor to talk to him, ducking out of every attempt by woman or man to coerce him into a dance.

"Kurt!" he shouted, barely even able to hear himself over the pounding bass. Kurt certainly didn't hear him, his eyes closed and head tilted to the ceiling as he dropped to the floor, running his hand across his own thighs. Blaine unconsciously licked his lips at the sight, admiring the long, unmarked curve of his arched neck and the sinful way material clung to his thighs, enabling him to see the shift of muscle, then berating himself. It seemed positively obscene, to stare perversely at someone in a dark nightclub populated exclusively by the young, beautiful and wicked.

"Kurt!" he yelled again. This time, Kurt's eyes snapped open and he straightened up, whirling around to squint through the darkness. His eyes noticeably lit up like the night sky on the Fourth of July when they alighted on Blaine, then surprised pleasure turned to pure shock.

"Blaine, what are you doing here?" he asked, ducking away from the two girls dancing with him and hurrying over to Blaine, standing far too close and making the temperature in the room rocket to searingly hot, burning into Blaine's skin like the tattoo of Kurt's fingers he still remembered caressing his sides. "Not that it's bad you're here, it's just…unexpected."

"I quit!" Blaine shouted cheerfully, grabbing Kurt's hand to pull him away from the circles of writhing dancers and into a slightly more private part of the club. Even though they still had to yell to be heard, it was so much easier to talk without being periodically bumped by people getting a tad too drunkenly enthusiastic in their hip-thrusting. "I'm leaving prostitution behind and moving on to greener pastures, baby! So we came out to get totally smashed and celebrate!"

"How much have you had to drink?" Kurt asked, wrinkling his nose in distaste. "You stink of alcohol, Blaine, my God. You're as bad as some of my friends. Don't you ever think about alcohol poisoning?"

"I hardly ever get to drink and we made Wes be designated driver," Blaine answered with a shrug. "Aren't you drunk? You should get drunk, it makes you feel all floaty and bubbly and happy." His gaze dropped to Kurt's lips as he murmured, "I really wanna kiss you right now."

"Well you can't, honey, sorry," Kurt snapped irritably, pushing Blaine away and snapping his fingers at the bartender. "And for your information, I am drunk, I'm just not as much of an overgrown five year old while inebriated as you clearly are. And also for your information, I have a boyfriend now."

Blaine might have been pretty drunk for so early in the evening and chuckling over-enthusiastically at Wes' sour expression as he watched the dancers gyrating and sipped water morosely, but that didn't stop the way he felt his heart leap into his throat and slither down to somewhere in the vicinity of his stomach, adding a dead leaden weight. Kurt had a boyfriend. Right as he made the effort to escape his previous career, made the firm commitment to make something of his life and leave a mark on some industry to be gratefully remembered, as he promised himself to find Kurt and tell him everything about his feelings, Kurt had a boyfriend. Someone who was undoubtedly sweet and loving and warm and tender, who kissed him goodnight and good morning and for no reason at all other than love, who would hold him in the night and listen to his stories and kiss his tears away rather than being the cause of them. Someone like that was what Kurt deserved.

"Oh, that's nice," Blaine said aloud, far more breathily that he'd intended. "I'll pay for a couple of drinks, I have a ton of money to spend and I don't really know what to do with it except party hard."

"Maybe buy yourself a place somewhere and live off it until you manage to find a job that'll pay all your bills," Kurt suggested sarkily, arching an eyebrow. "Do you want me to introduce you to everyone I came with tonight? There's a whole crowd. And I'd love to meet your friends."

"I don't know where my friends are," Blaine admitted. "Wes is the one over there who looks depressingly sober 'cause we made him be designated driver, and Seth and Quincy are very possibly fucking in a bathroom stall. It goes with the territory." He bounced along at Kurt's side, beer spilling over the sides of the red plastic cup.

"Hey, everybody, I want you to meet my friend, Blaine," Kurt yelled over the music to an imposingly large group of people. "Blaine, I think you've met Santana and Puck. Otherwise, there's Quinn, Mike, Finn, Tina, Brittany, Rachel, Matt and Lauren. No one else wanted to come out tonight."

"We're filling the place up and rocking out to my jam!" the girl Kurt had identified as Rachel yelped, waving her arms around haphazardly and nearly knocking out Santana, who smirked suggestively at Blaine when she recognised him.

"D'you wanna hang out with us tonight?" the man identified as Matt asked, a trifle awkwardly. "We've heard quite a bit about you and I'd really like to know you better. Plus we have an awesome designated driver who's paying our way tonight." The group all cheered and Rachel blew Finn, the tallest and clearly most sober of them all, a kiss.

"I'd like that, yeah," Blaine answered immediately, turning to Finn and smiling admiringly up at him. "Wow. You're so tall." Laughter bubbled out of his new companions and Brittany, who Blaine vaguely recognised as one of the girls dancing up against Kurt when he'd first spotted him, the other being Rachel, bore Blaine off to dance, explaining as she showed off shamelessly that Santana was her girlfriend and soon they'd be living together and was he really in love with Kurt because he was her best friend and she would make anyone who hurt him walk the plank and Kurt was a unicorn and special and had to be treated right. Blaine mostly ignored the idiosyncrasies, instead watching Kurt dance alone, commanding all the attention as he flirted almost lazily with his audience, running his hands all over his own body and closing his eyes in apparent ecstasy as his hips swayed slowly, mesmerizingly.

"You can stop staring at him like you want to eat him now," Brittany concluded cheerfully, pushing Blaine away. In his drunken state, he nearly stumbled. "Go have some drinks with the boys, Finn probably wants to lecture you about not hurting Kurt. Kurt's his stepbrother, you know. They have platonic cuddles all the time."

Over the course of the next few hours, Blaine found himself quickly losing a game of I Never with tequila shots, dancing with every single one of his companions and laughing hysterically with everyone else when Rachel cried into Puck's shirt and the man just seemed at a total loss for words, staring beseechingly around the table at everyone, begging them to save him.

"Let's dance!" Rachel yelled as a new beat shook the club. Mike and Tina, who Blaine had quickly learnt were dating when he came across them making out against a wall, were first onto the dance floor, on par with Santana and Brittany on how dirty their dancing was. Rachel, surprisingly if the initiated group's reaction was anything to go on, yanked Quinn up against her and began shamelessly grinding, sending Matt and Puck into peals of slightly hysterical laughter. Puck whirled Lauren onto the floor and Matt happily slipped between Santana and Brittany, leaving Finn, Kurt and Blaine sitting alone. From Finn's scowl, he clearly wasn't going to be receptive to a proposition any time in the next century.

Blaine turned to Kurt. "May I have this dance?" he asked grandly, standing up and offering a hand, imagining himself as a prince. Kurt laughed and slid his hand, warm and somehow deliciously familiar, into Blaine's.

"You may, handsome," he breathed, lips dangerously close to Blaine's ear, making Blaine bite down hard on his lower lip to choke back a soft moan. Kurt's arm wrapped around him, sliding down to his lower back and pulling him tight against him as Kurt's hips began to rock against his in a slow, steady rhythm with the song.

"Get a fucking room, gays!" Blaine heard Quincy's sudden yell from a place very far away, perhaps a radio station with dodgy reception or maybe from dry land when he was deep underwater. All he was conscious of was Kurt's hips rocking against his, making his cock harden against his jeans, Kurt's breath hot against his neck and one of Kurt's hands tracing up and down his sides and across his chest, pausing to flick a hard nipple through the thin fabric of his shirt.

"I'm very very drunk and can't be held responsible for my actions," he murmured, groaning softly as Blaine's lips found his neck, kissing beneath his collar, determined to leave a mark and show that Kurt was his, and no one else's. "You still want me, don't you, Blaine?" Blaine moaned so loudly he would've been embarrassed at any other time when Kurt drew his earlobe between his teeth, the sharp spike of pain nothing to the waves of arousal rushing through him. "You still want me so bad you'd kill to have me up against that wall right now."

"Yes I would, I would, God, Kurt," Blaine groaned unabashedly, his words rough and tremulous as Kurt continued to grind against him, apparently unaffected by how close they were. "Do you want me to, Kurt? I swear I will, I'll push you up against that wall and fuck you right here in front of everyone. You'd love it, you'd love everyone hearing you scream and everyone seeing you're mine. Mine, you're mine, Kurt."

"I'm not a big exhibitionist," Kurt breathed against his neck, making him shudder helplessly in the face of Kurt's seduction routine, pulling out all the stops to have Blaine like putty in his hands. And the strangest thing was, Blaine didn't care in the slightest. He loved it, Kurt controlling him and manipulating him and doing everything in his power to turn him on so much he couldn't see straight.

"I can't stop thinking about you," Blaine continued, fearlessly smoothing his hands over Kurt's shoulders and down his back to grab his ass, rocking them more roughly together so he can feel Kurt's equally hard cock against his, finding perhaps that tiny spark of the friction he truly needed. "All I think about is fucking you, blowing you, you riding me, you fucking me. You look so gorgeous when you come for me, Kurt, so gorgeous, and you're so pretty when you beg for me. I want to take you to bed right now and record it, so I can always listen to those noises you make. I want you so much, fuck."

"Blaine, stop, please, it's too much," Kurt pleaded, his voice shaky and rough and perhaps tinted with desperation. "Please, take me somewhere away from here. I need you, I want you really bad right now. I mean, I always want you, but now it hurts. Please, Blaine."

Blaine didn't need to be told twice. He guided Kurt with the hand on his ass through the dancing throng, out of the door and into a humid night that didn't help how feverish he felt, dizzy with lust as he hailed the first taxi he saw through the hazy surroundings and pushing Kurt into the back.

"I'm a bad boyfriend, I'm a bad boyfriend, I'm a bad boyfriend," Kurt muttered to himself over and over again as they drove to the hotel. Blaine stumbled inside, trying to keep his hands running all over Kurt, relearning every dip and line and curve of his body, even as he groped behind reception to retrieve the keycard for the room he was going to use for the last time and dragged Kurt into the lifts, resisting the urge to pounce until they were in the room with the door shut and bolted tight.

"I can't do this, I have a boyfriend, we shouldn't do this, it isn't right," Kurt babbled as Blaine's fingers flew to unbutton his shirt, sliding the material away from Kurt's shoulders and looking at him with nothing but overwhelming desire, almost drooling at the sight of so much skin for him to hold and sustain and cherish.

"Fuck him," Blaine growled, pulling Kurt towards him by his belt loops and laying a hand possessively over his ass. "Not literally, though. I only wanna fuck you. I'm gonna fuck you right now, make you scream for me and forget all about the stupid boyfriend."

Their mouths clash roughly together in a fierce, long-awaited kiss, Blaine fumbling to wriggle free of his shirt until their bare chests are pressed together, stupidly erotic after so long without this. Blaine backed Kurt up against the door, passion sizzling between them as their tongues duel for dominance and their hands claw at clothing, Kurt's legs tight around Blaine's waist, thrusting with rhyme or rhythm against him as Blaine attempted to reciprocate, knocked sideways by sudden need and want and lust and desperation.

"Naked, now, please, I need to feel you," he whispered against Kurt's lip, unhooking his legs from their vice-like grip on him and reaching between their overheated bodies to unbutton Kurt's jeans, growling in frustration as they prove impossible to push down quickly.

"Let me do it, I'll be quicker," Kurt murmured with a hint of laughter in his voice, wriggling out of the aggravating and simultaneously hot as hell jeans and relieving Blaine of his as well, smirking as he realized Blaine's lack of underwear halfway through unzipping him. "Let me blow you," he murmured as he slid down Blaine's body, taking a nipple between his lips, and fuck, Blaine would say yes to something that would mean the end of life as we know it when Kurt's tongue is laving roughly across sensitive skin.

"Yes please, fuck, please do it, I want you to, I want you to do that so much." His babbling was completely aimless and turned to rapid moaning as soon as Kurt knelt in front of him and took him in his mouth, looking innocently up from under his lashes in a way that only caused another surge of arousal to pulse through Blaine's veins, his hands clenching around thin air as he fought to keep from thrusting into the tight, wet heat of Kurt's mouth.

"Do it, I know you want to," Kurt whispered, briefly pulling away to look up at Blaine, positively debauched, hair dishevelled and mouth swollen, a trickle of spit running down his chin. "Fuck my mouth." Groaning wildly as Kurt sank down around him again, Blaine began experimental jerks of his hips. From the way Kurt moaned and hummed around his cock and his eyes slid slowly shut, he loved it, loved taking Blaine in his mouth.

It was with reckless abandon that Blaine began to thrust, his cock gliding in and out of Kurt's mouth, hopelessly hot and already making the heat in his stomach twist almost painfully. "Kurt, s-stop," he choked out as what was meant to be a concise order but came out a garbled plea. "Too close, don't wanna come now, wanna come with my cock in you."

At those words Kurt stood up, grabbed him around the waist and pushed him across the room until the back of his knees hit the bed and they collapsed onto it, a messy, sweaty tangle of limbs and desperate want after waiting so long without seeing each other, electricity sparking between them as Kurt dived for the top drawer and found the bottle of lube Blaine had kept there for convenience's sake. "Shit, there aren't any condoms left in there," he muttered. "Don't suppose you're the type of guy who carries the thing around in his wallet?"

"Can we not?" Blaine asked, though again it came out more like begging. "I just want to…feel you." Kurt chewed on his lip nervously, his eyebrows knitting together in worry.

"Is it safe?" he asked doubtfully. "We've both been with other people and I don't know how to explain an STD to my boyfriend." Blaine shook his head frantically at the mention of the anonymous boyfriend, the promise to drive all thoughts of him out of Kurt's driving him on.

"I was clear last week and I haven't done anything without protection since," he promised. "Are you clear? The type of things you can pick up from NYC guys are truly horrible."

"Rachel bullied me into a check last month, I was perfectly clear, and I haven't…my boyfriend hasn't wanted to have sex with me since," Kurt admitted softly. "We're kind of in a rough patch at the moment."

"I can't imagine anyone not wanting to have sex with you," Blaine purred. "Give me the lube, I can't wait to be inside you again. It's been too long, sweetheart." Kurt smiled at him dazedly, lowering his head to kiss him, slow and deep and a little dirty.

Within what could be seconds or several sunlit days, the time didn't matter as long as he was entwined with this beautiful man, Blaine was slowly thrusting three slick fingers in and out of Kurt, a constant stream of Ohfuckyes-Blaineplease-rightthere falling from Kurt's lips as he brushed constantly over his prostate. "Do it now, oh fuck, please," Kurt begged, catching Blaine's lower lip between his teeth and biting down roughly.

Even though they're both drunk, both on actual alcohol and pent-up want, and uncoordinated, Blaine quickly built up a steady teasing rhythm, feeling with every slow thrust and drag how perfect Kurt felt around him, how it seemed as if they were made to fit each other like this. When he thrust sharply forward, the head of his cock pressing against Kurt's prostate, Kurt cried out and near-sobbed, "Oh fuck, right there, baby, harder, oh my god, Blaine."

Blaine's hands were wrapped tight around Kurt's hips as he fucked him with reckless abandon, Kurt's limp body, taking it as he was, sliding up the bed with every thrust, the headboard clattering hard against the wall, no doubt the banging loud enough to wake up the entire hotel if their cries and groans and shouts haven't done that already. Nothing had ever felt so right, so raw, so real as Kurt stilled and came with a shout of Blaine's name and a sob, real tears rolling down his cheeks as Blaine thrust once, twice more and came inside Kurt, so close and intimate and perfect as he collapsed on top of him.

Both of them were panting and covered in sweat and come as Blaine eased out of Kurt and padded over to the bathroom, returning with a wet washcloth and carefully wiping Kurt clean, love swelling in his chest as Kurt watched him with trusting eyes, still blissful and dizzy with the aftermath of what Blaine could safely say was the best damn orgasm he'd ever had.

"That was incredible," Kurt breathed as Blaine slid under the duvet beside him, pulling Kurt's feverishly hot body against his, holding him tightly so his chest was flush against Kurt's back. "Thank you so much."

"I just missed you," Blaine whispered, pressing an open-mouthed kiss to the back of Kurt's neck before curling himself up in this man and this bed and this night and surrendering to the embrace of slumber.

Kurt opened his eyes, head spinning and an ache burning between his eyes. The first thing he realised was that he was very hungover. The second was that someone else was in bed with him. Which didn't make sense; he should be back at the house and not sharing the bed with anything but his pillows. Unless Rachel had been in one of her tragic melodramatic moods and demanded he stay and hold her through the night.

"Kurt," came a soft breath from the body next to him, "Kurt, sweetheart, I can practically hear you thinking. Calm down, take a deep breath and look at me. I promise, I won't tell anyone what happened last night."

Kurt rolled over, squeezing his eyes shut to avoid having to face the reality of what he had done, remembering the desperation of their encounter and the moral wrong of his actions. "Blaine, why am I in bed with you?"

"Don't pretend you don't remember everything," Blaine said, a slight edge to his voice. "Open your eyes, sweetheart. This doesn't have to get complicated. We don't have to tell anyone."

Kurt reluctantly opened his eyes to see Blaine smiling at him softly. "Good morning, beautiful," he murmured, carefully pushing a strand of hair from Kurt's forehead. He was glowing, his expression warm and tender, and something inside Kurt just snapped.

"I hate you!" he screamed, rocketing out of bed, finding his clothes and yanking them on, stuffing his feet into shoes. "You made me have sex with you and you made me a cheater and this isn't who I am."

"I made you have sex with me?" Blaine asked, his voice almost dangerous. "Tell that to the man who begged for it last night." As Kurt started for the door, blinking back angry tears, Blaine whispered, "Don't go, Kurt. We have to talk about this, figure it out."

"Don't you dare tell anyone," Kurt snapped before he left, slamming the door hard enough behind him to shake the floor. He ran out of the hotel and into the bright morning sunlight, running through morning traffic for the one place he knew he would never be judged.

"Is Santana in?" he asked as one of his friend's younger sister's opened the door to the family home, surprisingly quiet for a place that usually echoed with arguments, music and Spanish expletives.

"Did you bring Finn with you?" she asked, a blush creeping up her cheeks as she looked behind him. Kurt had to tell himself not to snap at the sixteen year old with her unrequited crush on Finn, but all he really wanted to do was see Santana and talk to her about what he'd done.

"Rosa, lo dejó entrar!" came a shout from within the house. Santana's mother appeared briefly in the hallway as Rosa, muttering something in Spanish, no doubt a dire threat riddled with cursing if she was similar in any way to Santana, stepped aside and Kurt ran up the stairs.

When he knocked on the door, he heard the creak of bedsprings inside, feet thudding across the room and Santana yanked the door open, her hair a tangled mess and smeared mascara smudged around her eyes. "Alright, alright, I'm awake!" she roared before she saw Kurt and a horribly knowing smirk came over her face. "Good morning, sunshine. Lovely walk of shame outfit. Your shirt's buttoned up wrong. So whose bed did you end up in last night?"

"I can't believe I did it, San," Kurt said quietly, picking his way through the messy room and sitting down on the end of the bed, unbuttoning his shirt quickly to shove the buttons through their corresponding holes. "This isn't who I am. I don't cheat on boyfriends."

"How would you know, you've only ever had one," Santana said immediately. At Kurt's glare, she added, "Sorry, that was bitchy, but I'm hungover and it's absurdly early. What do you want me to do about it? Brittany hasn't finished building a time machine yet."

"I don't know, tell me I'm dreaming and I was dreaming and any minute now I'm going to wake up back in New York with that stupid cat on my head and go out with Charlie and learn how to fall out of love," Kurt whined, flopping back onto the bed. "Other people fall in and out of love fifty times a day, why is it so hard for me?"

"Why are you stringing poor Charlie along?" Santana asked. "He's a nice guy, Kurt. Aside from the Bieber hair and the addiction to stupid reality shows and the resemblance to a beanpole and the fact that he can't make a decent coffee for shit, he's lovely. Are you still in love with Blaine?"

"No!" Kurt immediately protested vehemently. Santana arched an eyebrow at him and he sighed heavily before murmuring, "More than I was before. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder."

"Well yes, anyone could've guessed that from the way you were all over each other at the club last night," Santana agreed. "I should've guessed you'd be the slutty drunk of us all, Hummel. Although maybe you should've agreed to it when your boyfriend asked if he could come back with us so you could fuck him instead of some whore you should've been over months ago."

At Kurt's sob, Santana sighed and sat down next to him, saying, "But I guess I can sort of see where you're coming from. He was your first, and you always have a connection to the person who popped your cherry. And I've cheated on people, so I really shouldn't be preaching like this." She flopped down, dragging him with her, and almost gently asked, "Are you going to break up with Charlie?"

"I should, it's the right thing to do," Kurt said quietly before he abruptly shot to his feet, pacing back and forth as best he could across the cluttered floor. Santana watched him in quiet assessment. "God, I tried everything to get over him, Santana. I had the option of coming home for Christmas but I didn't, I started dating someone else who's sweet and understanding and loves me but I've still never been able to give him what he deserves because I'm in love with someone else." He met Santana's eyes, seeing how truly sympathetic she was, and whispered, "But how can I break up with him when he's been so good to me?"

"Kurt, if you don't break up with him you'll just drag this out longer and make it miserable for both of you," she advised gently. "If you still want Blaine, you can go after him, and if you don't, at least you can find someone you'll actually be able to get it up for without thinking about a stupid one-night stand." She stood up and pointed him to the door. "Now go home before I have to field another call from Finn because you went running off to satisfy your libido. We're going back to New York in two days, and you need to decide what you're going to do before then." She gave him an unreadable look as he left, actually feeling worse than before, saying softly, "I know you, Kurt, and I know you'll do what's right for everybody. Including your dick."

Kurt finally grinned at her before he left, dodging two boys having a fight with plastic swords halfway down the stairs, politely rejecting Marissa's offer of him staying for breakfast and brushing off Rosa's request for him to bring Finn for a visit and making it back to his car unscathed by the insanity personified that was the Lopez family.

When he finally reached home, it was to loud barking from Norris, the dog leaping around his feet, and Finn clattering down the stairs and levelling him with a suspicious look. "Where did you go last night?" he asked immediately.

"I promise, I'll tell you everything, but upstairs, out of earshot of our parents," Kurt said, steering Finn back to the stairs and shoving him between the shoulders until he got the message and thudded back up them, into his room and slamming the door demonstratively loudly behind them.

Wrinkling his nose slightly at the stale, musty smell of the room, Kurt fell into the armchair Finn pointed out, kicking aside a discarded single sock and drawing his knees up to his chest, tucking himself in small enough that no one could hurt him. "I'm sorry for worrying you, I went back to a hotel with Blaine last night," he said quietly.

"And you had sex with him," Finn added. It was a statement, not a question. When Kurt's head snapped up and he fixed Finn with a shocked look, his stepbrother shrugged and continued, "I'm not that stupid. What other reason do two drunk gay men leave together and go to a hotel for?" He shifted uncomfortably, averting his eyes from Kurt's as he asked, "Were you safe and everything?"

"Finn, I'm really not comfortable talking about this with you," Kurt said hastily. "I know it's late, but I slept in and then I went to see Santana before I came back here. You wouldn't happen to have any idea about what to do, would you? I think…I'm still in love with Blaine."

"Well, you've really screwed up your love life," was Finn's only observation on the subject. Kurt sighed heavily and left Finn and his useless advice to themselves, slamming the door irritably on his way out.

Within the next two days, Kurt stayed in his room, wrapped up in his blankets and ignoring Carole's increasingly concerned whispers through the cracked-open door as she brought him coffee and meals. He drank the coffee, his veins quickly seeming to run with caffeine instead of blood, but fed the food to a sympathetic Norris, who lay on the end of the bed with his head on Kurt's feet once he realised Kurt was upset, just to avoid hurting Carole's feelings.

He lay on his stomach, head buried in the floral-scented depths of his pillow, listening to his phone buzz incessantly with incoming texts. After five minutes, he pulled his hand out of his dark, relatively quiet, warm cocoon and retrieved the device, wondering who was so desperate to talk to him as it vibrated once again in his hand as he propped himself up on an elbow to read the messages. His heart leapt into his throat upon seeing their sender.

Kurt, are you there?

Kurt, I really need to you to answer me, okay?

Sweetheart, if you're getting these, please text me back. Just so I know you're reading these.

Okay, so I'm guessing you're not going to text me back. Maybe your phone died. Maybe you're hanging upside-down from some criminal mastermind's ceiling while he's reading these out to you as one final act of torture. Maybe you're just ignoring me. That does seem the most likely. But I'm going to send you some messages, and I want you to read all of them.

I swear, I didn't mean for the other night to happen. Yes, I was drunk, and my chief motive for even going to that club might have been because I knew you'd be there. But I never had the intention of leaping into bed with you. Fine, I did, but if I had been sober I would've backed off when you told me you had a boyfriend. Even as drunk as I was, I promise, I would've backed off if you'd given any indication that you didn't want me to. But you didn't, and so we ended up having another one-night stand.

I wish you'd stayed, Kurt. I really do. If you hadn't panicked and run out on me, we could've talked about this, about us, about what it all means. But I can see why you ran away, and I won't tell anyone as long as you don't want me to. I haven't told Seth or Wes or Quincy where I went or who I was with, and I won't as long as you need me to keep this a secret.

And I need to talk to you about this and us and what it means, Kurt. Because I don't know if it still means to you what it does to me. What it has to me, for quite some time, but I never found the courage to admit to you until you were going and gone and I realised how much I was going to miss you. How much I needed you around me just to stop that ache in my chest. I didn't realise that, since the moment I saw you on that ordinary little streets, my heartbeat and my thoughts and my wishes and my breaths have all been for you, until you were out of my reach and apparently in another's arms.

When you told me you were in love with me, way back in November, I was scared. I didn't think you were telling the truth, because I didn't see how anyone could fall in love with me. With a whore. I spent five years of my life being convinced that falling in love was bad for business, that it wasn't something to be desired or admired, but rather brushed away and feared. Sex was all anything was about, sex and money. No one ever loved me, not even my parents after I came out. I ran away because of what they did to me.

But then you came along, and you just lit up my life, Kurt. You were sweet and innocent and nothing at all like the clients I usually have. You didn't use me, you didn't force me into anything, you were understanding and gentle and never pushed my boundaries. Which are non-existent, by the way. Aside from the fact that I never bottom for a client. I always thought that was something to share with the first person I actually loved. It was intimate, it was opening myself up to this faceless other person, it wasn't something I wanted to share in some casual factory-farm fucking. And, as you hopefully remember, I let you top on that night before you went back to New York, when I stupidly said we could never be anything more than friends with the occasional benefit.

What I'm trying to say, Kurt, is that I'm in love with you. And I would be so grateful for another chance with you. And I should've told you the other night, but I thought you wouldn't believe me because I was drunk out of my right mind and all over you from the second I stepped through that door. I thought you might have just thought I was trying to get into your pants, which I was. But this confession is so much more than trying to get you into bed.

I love the way you smile at me. I love the way you look in the morning when your head's on the pillow next to mine. I love how witty and sarcastic you are. I love the way you clearly care for your friends and your stepbrother. I love how soft your skin is. I love your expressive, colourful, beautiful eyes. I love how you talk in your sleep and cuddle closer to me in the middle of the night. I love your breath on the back of my neck as I sleep. I love you and everything about you, and I hope you'll give me another chance.

My best to the boyfriend. I hope he understands and you do the right thing for everyone. I love you -Blaine

"Kurt!" came a shout from Burt up the stairs, making Kurt start suddenly and finally drag his eyes away from the pixellated words blinking balefully at him on his phone screen. "Santana's here, says she's come to give you a ride to the airport. Have you packed at any point during your moping these last couple of days!"

"Yes, I'm packed, I'll be down in a minute!" Kurt shouted back, stuffing his phone into his back pocket, quickly smoothing the duvet and shooing Norris out of his room, grabbing his suitcase and swinging it mindlessly by his side as he clattered down the stairs, clumsy in his shock. He paused in the doorway of the kitchen to give his father a long hug, needing the reassurance the same way he had before his first performance at a competition. "Say bye to Carole and Finn for me."

"Take care of yourself out there," Burt ordered, sounding as choked as he did the first time he saw Kurt off to New York. "I'll see you when I see you. Hopefully you can make it back for Thanksgiving. Call me when you get there so I know you're home safely."

Kurt nodded to Burt, fearing he might start crying and pour out the whole sorry story if he so much as opened his mouth. He found Santana outside, getting ready to lean on the horn, with the older brother she'd only just made up the fight with in the driver's seat, considerately providing their lift to the airport. Santana always did hate taxis. "Took you long enough to get out here!" she exclaimed, hanging out of the window as he shoved his suitcase between him and Rachel in the backseat and climbed in.

"Shut up, I've spent the last two days in my fortress of solitude with the dog, I can't be expected to remember what time you're picking me up," he retorted irritably. "Especially when it's you and you can be anything between an hour early and four hours late."

"What's got you so irritated?" Rachel demanded around the suitcases stacked between them. "Last time I saw you, you were all happy and dancing with yourself. Granted, you were also very drunk, but I hardly think there's a reason for you to snap at us."

"Santana," Kurt said, ignoring Rachel and passing his phone into the front seat, "read those latest texts and tell me what you think of them. Well, they're not really texts, more like essays, but what do they mean?"

Santana was silent for a very long moment, no doubt reading and analysing every one of the messages. Finally, she let out a long breath and passed Kurt's phone back to him. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure it means Anderson's in love with you and isn't scared anymore," she said with a shrug. "I said something similar to Brittany. Of course, I did it to her face instead of through texts, but I'm guessing you would've ignored him if he'd tried to talk to you, so this is the next best thing." She met Kurt's eyes in the mirror, giving him a decidedly stern look, "You have to break up with Charlie, Kurt."

And so it was that Kurt found himself in the coffee shop where both Santana and Charlie worked, with the man himself smiling lopsidedly at him from across their little table and a horrible hot guilt twisting uncomfortably in his stomach. "We have to talk," he finally said. "About us and about where we want this to go."

"I'm crazy about you," Charlie murmured, taking Kurt's hand across the table. "And even if we rushed into this because of what happened on New Year's Eve, and even though you won't let me so those three words because you don't think we should enter lightly into something like this before a year has passed, I still really, really care about you. I'd like this to go the distance."

"Charlie, what I've always said about entering into that sort of commitment lightly…that's not exactly how I actually feel," Kurt said slowly, taking a deep breath to steady his jangling nerves, pulling his hand out of Charlie's grasp. "I didn't want you to say those words to me because…because I knew I couldn't say them back."

"Why wouldn't you be able to say them back?" Charlie asked, his voice low and dangerous in a way Kurt had never heard from his charming, funny, incessantly smiling boyfriend of seven months, even around the worst homophobe. "What do you mean by that, Kurt?"

"The first time we met, Santana had already told I'd just come out of a difficult relationship," Kurt began to confess in a quiet, carefully steady voice, determined to keep calm for the sake of his boyfriend. "I told you I was over him. I'm so sorry, but I lied when I said that. I wasn't over him. I'm still not over him. I was in love with him from the very start, and I still am. I've always loved him and I'm sorry for stringing you along all this time." As Charlie stood up, starting to leave, Kurt grabbed him by the elbow and yanked him back down into his seat. "I know, I know you're going to leave, and I know this is over. But there's more: last week, when I went back to Lima with Santana and Rachel to see my family, we were out clubbing with some friends and I met Blaine, the man I'm in love with. I was drunk, he was drunk, we'd missed each other so much and we were still in love and, you know, wanting each other. And we ended up in bed. I had sex with him. I cheated on you, and I'm so, so sorry. I hope we can part on vaguely friendly terms. I may not love you, but I do care about you."

Charlie stood up, his eyes flashing dangerously. Kurt saw, as if in slow motion, his hand swing back, heard the sharp crack and felt the pain explode in his jaw, but it took him amount to equate those events to the fact that Charlie had just slapped him. "You bastard," Charlie hissed as everyone in the café whirled round to look at them, jaws dropping open and one man with his phone out, filming the encounter. "You took my heart and all you did was break it. I hate you, I never want to see you again. This is so over."

Kurt threw ten dollars down onto the table, holding his hand over the throbbing right side of his face, and rushed out of the place, blushing violently. They were supposed to part vaguely amicably after he had told the truth, he wasn't supposed to be running home to find ice, his jaw throbbing every time he panted as he ran through the streets, dodging innocent bystanders until he reached the flat.

But at least he had done what was right. Admitted to his infidelity and his lies for the last seven months and broken up with Charlie so he could find someone who would love him the way his sweet nature deserved. And yet Kurt knew that this regret would chase him for years, and it broke his heart to have treated another so appallingly.

Two month. Two months since, with shaking hands and a hopeful heart, he'd sent those texts. And there had been nothing back. No phone calls, no messages left on his voicemail, no reply to the texts, not even the slightest confirmation that his extensively debated, carefully chosen, well thought-out words had even reached Kurt and not vanished into the depths of cyberspace.

Never had he poured out his heart in that way. He'd searched deep within himself, to darker, more emotional parts of his heart he hadn't considered the opinion of since the age of sixteen, when he'd hardened himself to emotions and hurt, to write out those words. It had taken a half-hour of fierce internal debate to even press the send button, staring at the screen until the confirmation that the messages had been sent had appeared on his screen, frozen in time and space, worried and biting his nails in nervous anticipation.

"Give me your phone before you develop a nervous tic checking your messages every millisecond," Quincy ordered, snatching his phone out of his hand without waiting for him to let go. "If Kurt wants to get back to you, he'll get back to you."

"You've certainly changed your tune," Blaine observed irritably. "Four months ago you were adamant that it was a good thing I rejected Kurt and I should never be in a relationship but the minute I announce I've officially quit you're the most enthusiastic I've ever seen you about anyone's love life. Including your own."

"I'm totally enthusiastic about my own love life," Quincy giggled, winking at Seth. "It's just that my boyfriend has decided to be emotionally invested in yours, so by extension I have to put in the effort to make sure it goes right."

"Oh, so that's why you decided to pressure me to send him those texts instead of waiting for your new best friend to tell you they're coming back here for some holiday so I could tell him face-to-face like he deserves," Blaine said, rolling his eyes disparagingly. "I bet I scared him off sounding too needy over text. What am I supposed to do?"

"Well, my 'new best friend', as you put it, told me that Kurt got your texts and asked her to analyse them, as if the meaning wasn't already obvious," Quincy recounted, rolling her eyes. "And she told me that Kurt told his boyfriend everything and they broke up. Kurt got slapped for his trouble as well. And she gave me their address in case I wanted to visit. So, hypothetically, I could give you this address and you could go out there with some of your spectacular quitting pay to tell Kurt all that shit face-to-face and have your touching romantic reunion, blah blah blah."

"Weren't you always going to move to New York after you got out of here?" Seth asked from Quincy's other side. "I mean, we could help you pack up all your belongings, get you on a plane and you could be out there visiting Kurt and Santana and that apparently very irritating girl they live with and finally making Kurt yours exclusively."

Blaine met his friend's eyes, hopeful and happy, and thought of what he could do. He didn't have many personal belongings in the building, and with Seth and Quincy's help he could be packed and ready to leave in just a few hours. A plane ticket was only a phone call or an online booking away with the money he had, and, with Quincy's help, he could easily find the apartment where Kurt lived with his two roommates and pour his heart out in a situation where he could look into Kurt's eyes and see the emotions dashing across his mind. "Okay," he finally said.

Quincy and Seth's eyes snapped up as one, staring amazedly at him. "You're saying 'okay' to what?" Seth asked. "Do you mean you'll…you'd…you're going to let us…New York?"

"Yes, Seth, I mean I'm going to let you two idiots help me pack up my belongings, I'm going to book a plane ticket, Quincy is going to give me the address of Kurt's apartment and I'm going to go get him," Blaine answered by way of explanation. Quincy squealed embarrassingly loudly and hugged him tightly.

An hour later found the three of them in Blaine and Trent's room, sealing cardboard boxes filled with the belongings from Blaine's side of the room. From the blanket folded at the bottom of his bed to all the clothes in his tall drawers, Quincy had carefully ordered and arranged everything, ordering them around like dogs, her newly-dyed blue-black hair tied back with a scarf as she lounged lazily on the bed, only moving to take a black marker pen to each box and label it with the main contents.

"Quincy, I told you, I only have four boxes, I don't need labels!" Blaine exclaimed exhaustedly as he straightened the tilting stack and Quincy printed CLOTHES on the final box in her neat block handwriting. "What's the number to book tickets from the airport?"

"Oh here, I've already dialled it," Quincy said exasperatedly, handing him her phone. "And I don't doubt that, with Kurt living with two girls, it's going to be messy over there and, even with your very few belongings, having them boxed and labelled and organised will make it all easier."

As Blaine hung up with the operator having booked himself a ticket to New York, he held Quincy's phone so tight his knuckles turned white, staring blankly at the opposite wall. "Are you sure I should be doing this?" he asked doubtfully.

"Blaine, do you love the guy?" Quincy asked.

"Of course I do!" Blaine exclaimed, shocked that she would even doubt his true feelings for Kurt after helping him write those texts.

"And is he worth all this trouble?" she asked in persistence. "Of course he is, don't answer that. So of course you should do this, Blaine, because after everything you've been through you deserve a scrap of happiness and Kurt can give that to you."

"The coffee's nice here," Blaine said weakly, holding his cup up to Quincy. She gave him a quelling look. "Right, yeah, stupid comment. Sorry, I'm nervous and it's making me chatty."

"Look, Santana works the six to ten shift here, she'll be here in about five minutes and you can, like, wait around for her or something," she said. "And this coffee's crap, who in the hell made this?"

"That would be Charlie, resident crappy coffee brewer," came a voice from behind them. Blaine turned to see Santana, looking so different from the previous times he'd met her, behind them, hair tucked into a ponytail and logo-emblazoned apron wrapped around her waist. "I got your text, Quincy, why do you need me to meet you here?" She caught Blaine's eyes and smirked. "No, wait, don't tell me. You told him our address and you've brought him here so he can spell out those texts to Kurt's face, very sneaky."

"Shut up, San, my cunning conspiracies are better than yours," Quincy retorted good-naturedly. "Naked and wearing a blindfold when 'you' get there? Truly, not subtle. If Blaine here had gotten more sleep around that time you would never have gotten away with it."

"If you're planning to hang around here, don't," Santana warned. "Charlie, the guy who can't make decent coffee for shit, he's Kurt's ex. When Kurt explained about cheating on him, he got slapped. I had to sit holding a bag of frozen peas against his face for an hour while Rachel whined about her cooking being ruined because I wasted the peas." She eyed Blaine. "He'd probably punch you across the room if he knew who you were." When Blaine looked horrified, she sighed heavily. "Look, I will give you a lift back to our place so you can avoid the wrath of Charlie."

It didn't take long for Blaine to find himself outside a neat little apartment block, waiting for Santana to give him a signal that he could leave. "Well, thanks for the ride," he said politely. "Will someone be in to buzz me up?"

"Yeah, Rachel and Kurt are both there because they're away from school, in Rachel's case, and away from work, in Kurt's case, for another two weeks, the lucky bastards," Santana answered bitterly. "Blaine, wait." She grabbed his elbow as he made to leave, pulling him back. "Do you love Kurt? I mean, like, really love him. Did you mean what you said in those texts?"

"Of course I did, I wouldn't have sent them if I didn't mean every word," Blaine answered immediately, almost disgusted that she would even think he could send such a heartfelt confession without meaning it.

"Look, Blaine, you're not the type of guy I ever thought Kurt would go for," she said slowly. "You know, a prostitute. But since October he's been happy every time he's seen you. And if you've finally decided to stop being scared and love him back like he deserves, I don't see any reason for me to stop you. Just, if you're fucking, keep it down because Rachel has a tendency to barge in if you get too loud for her liking."

"Thank you," Blaine said sincerely. In many ways, Santana was similar to Quincy, and he knew her words were genuine. "Have fun at work. And, if you get the chance to see Charlie, tell him it was never meant to happen that way."

"I will, but he won't believe me," Santana said with a little shrug. "Breaking up due to infidelity makes people very irrational." She winked and Blaine grinned as he climbed out of her car and watched her as she drove away, trying to summon the inner courage to climb those stairs and see the man he loved.

"Kurt, get the door!"

"I'm getting the door, Rachel, but would it kill you to stop painting your nails some time in the next ten years and occasionally answer the door? It's probably your stupid boyfriend anyway, and I am not going out for coffee again today! I've spent at least fifty dollars in the last fortnight because the new place I'm going is much more expensive than the place I now can't go because Charlie works there!"

Blaine managed to pin a smile on his face just as the door was yanked open to reveal Kurt standing there. His jaw dropped open as soon as he saw Blaine and Blaine saw him lean momentarily on the door for support. "Surprise!" he said weakly with an awkward little chuckle.

"Blaine, what the hell are you doing here?" Kurt asked, stepping out into the hallway and shutting the door firmly behind him. "And how did you manage to find out where we live?"

"I know where you live because Santana and Quincy struck up a friendship and Santana told Quincy, who told me," Blaine explained quickly. "And I'm here because you never answered my texts and I need an answer, Kurt. I really need an answer to that confession I sent you."

"You think you can get away with this?" Kurt shouted, no doubt attracting the attention of the entire apartment block. "You don't get to fuck up my life any more than you already have, Blaine Anderson! You think you can just text me all that stuff you could've been making up as a cruel practical joke and just waltz back into my life like what I feel doesn't even matter, after everything you put me- mmph!"

A smile spreading across his face as Kurt berated him, Blaine leant forward and pressed his lips to Kurt's, his hands naturally going to hold Kurt's hips and pull him closer. For a moment Kurt relaxed into the kiss, his arms winding their way around Blaine's neck and his head tilting to deepen the kiss. Then his eyes snapped open and he pushed Blaine away, a flush rising up his neck and creeping up his face. "You don't get to do that!" he screamed. Blaine heard a creak and click as someone opposite peered out of their doorway, and the sound of feet on the stairs. "You don't get to just turn up at my door in New York and interrupt me and kiss me when I…when I…" He trailed off, his eyes drifting very obviously down Blaine's face to his lips. "Oh, fuck it." He grabbed two handfuls of Blaine's shirt and yanked him into a fierce kiss, draping his arms around Blaine's neck and pulling him closer while Blaine silently thanked any deities deigning to listen to him for this chance.

"Get inside," Kurt murmured as he finally pulled away, opening the door for Blaine to slip inside. "Good evening, Mrs Cooper. I trust you'll be welcoming my new roommate into the building later this week?"

"I'm your new roommate?" Blaine asked stupidly, toeing off his shoes and looking around the untidy room he was standing in, listening to showtunes blasting out from behind one of three closed doors. "I thought you hated me."

"I do hate you, I really do," Kurt said firmly. "But they say there's a thin line between love and hate." He grinned and leant against the door, taking Blaine's hands and pulling him in close. "I love you. And those texts are the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me."

"I love you too," Blaine replied, revelling in finally being able to say those words. "And I would've said all those things face-to-face if Quincy hadn't persuaded me to write it all down and then harassed me until I sent the message. Well, if I'd said it to your face there would've been a lot more stuttering and fumbling, but you get my point."

"I wish you'd said it to my face and stuttered and fumbled your way through it," Kurt laughed softly, sliding his arms around Blaine's neck. "That would've been adorable. And, about the roommate thing, was that presumptuous? I just kind of assumed you'd want to get together and start living together, but if that's too fast for you, we can wait. I've already waited a year for you, I can wait a month or two more."

"No, no, it's perfectly fine with me, I'll definitely move in with you and get together with you," Blaine said hastily. "It's great, actually, I didn't really have a plan about what I was going to do when I got here. I can get Seth to send my stuff through, there isn't that much of it." He watched Kurt fussily sweeping a stack of papers into a pile and shoving the recycling box into the corner and softly spoke up. "Kurt? I know this might seem presumptuous and silly but…will you take me to your bedroom? I want you to…to make love to me."

Kurt smiled and took Blaine's hand, pausing outside the middle door to open it to an indignant shriek from the girl inside. "Blaine, Rachel, Rachel, this is Blaine, my boyfriend who will now be living with us, and also, you need to leave," he said quickly. The tiny brunette turned off her music and dashed past them, glaring sourly. A moment later, the front door slammed shut and Kurt pounced.

Blaine was powerless to do anything but hold tight and let his brand-new boyfriend rock his world as Kurt pushed him back against the door to his - their? - bedroom, fumbling to open it until it gave unexpectedly and they stumbled backwards, flushing, heating bodies entwined, mouths hungry and swallowing breathless, desperate moans as Kurt undressed them quickly, snagging fingers in belt buckles and buttonholes, and shoving Blaine backwards towards the bed until the backs of his knees collided with the wooden frame and he tumbled back into the mattress.

Kurt was on top of him in an instant, wriggling against him and peppering kisses at random across his face before moving back to his mouth, panting and moaning as he struggled to press himself closer. "Kurt, Kurt, slow down," Blaine breathed, pushing him away gently. "You're going to hurt yourself. I don't want this to be over too quickly, I want it to be slow and sweet. I've never had it that way before, but I want it, with you." He breathed out a shuddering breath, holding Kurt close with a hand on the small of his back as he sat up, determinedly not reacting to the way Kurt was pressed against him, straddling his lap. "This, here, now, you and I, means so much to me. I feel like you're taking my virginity. Before now, it's always been fucking, but now, here with you, it's…it's making love."

Kurt smiled, his eyes misting with unshed tears, and kissed Blaine's forehead gently, whispering, "I love you," against his skin, forcing Blaine to blink frantically to hold back the tears threatening to spill over his lids. "So, slow and sweet?" Kurt suggested softly. "I'm sorry, I'm kind of desperate to have this with you. I fell in love the very first time I met you."

"I don't believe in love at first sight," Blaine contradicted, smiling up at his boyfriend and brushing an errant strand of hair from his sweat-damp forehead, love swelling in his heart at this moment, holding Kurt in his arms before they made love more tenderly than they ever had before.

"Well then, mind if I walk by again?" Kurt asked, winking down at him as Blaine groaned at the sheer corniness of the line. Kurt chuckled softly and pressed a kiss into his hair.

"Slow and steady wins the race, after all," Blaine retorted, making Kurt groan at the over-used motivational saying. But both of them laughed, and the tension that had really lingered in the air since they'd met each other was gone, dispersed on the wind. "I love you."

"And I love you so much, but could you maybe please stop talking," Kurt replied, raising his eyebrows and pressing a finger to Blaine's lips. "Because I have a mostly-naked man in my bed who just became my boyfriend and I would quite like to…oh." Blaine sucked Kurt's finger into his mouth, watching Kurt's pupils dilate hungrily. Suddenly Kurt was fuelled by desire again, leaning over Blaine and pushing him down into the mattress, kissing him hard and fast, his tongue pushing past Blaine's teeth, catching Blaine's moan in his mouth and swallowing the sound.

The ancient bedsprings creaked and groaned in complaint as interlocked bodies bounced together, Blaine's nails carving raised pink lines into Kurt's back as Kurt finally relieved them both of their underwear and they were naked, pressed so deliciously together, dizzy with love and arousal and desire, just the two of them in a world that may have been falling away around them and they wouldn't have noticed.

Blaine had fucked so many people in his life, both men and women, catered to their every whim and more often than not crept out in the middle of the night with their payment held tight in his fist, leaving a sated body slumbering in an unfamiliar bed. But Kurt, Kurt was gentle and slow and cared about him, cared about what he wanted rather than what he could get him to do for his money. Blaine was in love with Kurt, and Kurt was in love with Blaine, and that made all the difference.

Because when Kurt kissed him, it was with a tender passion Blaine had never found anywhere else. When Kurt pressed himself up against Blaine's naked body and groaned into his neck, it made Blaine's cock throb painfully in a way no one else ever had. When Kurt slid two slick fingers inside him, opening him up to a world of discovery only Kurt would ever drive him to, Blaine didn't immediately add a non-optional twenty dollars to his fee, because he wanted Kurt to do it. And when Kurt covered Blaine's body with his own and slowly pushed inside him, thrusting shallowly, Blaine's hand twisted in the sheets and he gasped out words of love, whispers of devotion and promises of forever into the hot and heady air. If Blaine had been able to find the air, he would've shouted those three words until time ceased to exist as he cried out Kurt's name and came across the fist dragging up and down his cock, shaking and shuddering as Kurt whispered tenderly to him through it.

"I love you so much," he finally murmured as they collapsed entwined into the bed, clean and giggly and sated and exhausted, fully-dressed once more. "Thank you for accepting me. Thank you for everything."

"It was my pleasure," Kurt whispered, kissing Blaine's cheek softly. "Literally." He smirked and rolled over into the fresh sheets, tugging Blaine's arm around his waist and entwining their fingers as he buried his head in the pillows and was almost instantly asleep. Yawning widely, Blaine nuzzled his cheek against Kurt's hair and settled into him, their legs tangled together and Kurt's back sealed against Blaine's chest, held tight and never to let go again.

Eighteen months later, they broke up. There was a screaming fight, smashed glasses while Rachel and Santana cowered in their respective rooms, moments from their past brought into the daylight when they should've long been lain to rest in dark graves, tears streaming down faces red with fury until Kurt finally screamed that Blaine could, "just fucking leave if this is all our relationship means to you!" and Blaine had stormed out furiously, pacing the streets all through the frozen night until dawn found him on a bench, crying silent tears and hugging himself tightly, wishing that his own arms were Kurt's, rocking him and telling him it was going to be all right.

Seth and Quincy found him, having newly quit their jobs and moved to New York to start a new life, Seth training to teach English to young and impressionable minds and Quincy looking for work behind the scenes of the most prestigious theatres, designing hair and make-up. They took him in, shouting down his protests and making up their spare room for him. Quincy was the one who bought him hot cocoa in the middle of the night when he awoke from nightmares screaming and sobbing, who forced him to eat as the weight fell away from his bones, who finally snapped him out of it, forced him to go back to his work as a reporter, rubbed his back soothingly as he wrote out a letter to Kurt and posted it away, only for it to return to his feet a week later with a printed message, undoubtedly from Rachel, that Kurt didn't want to speak to him, now or ever in the foreseeable future.

Seth sat opposite from him in over-stuffed warm armchairs, a tabby cat curled up on Blaine's concave stomach as Seth talked him slowly, gently, through everything, demanding answers to age-old questions about his feelings for Kurt, reminding him that relationships were hard and the real world wasn't always interested in lending a helping hand, and that shit happened and life went on but he should never let the good things go. Seth convinced him to return to the apartment, gave him the lift there, spoke to Santana over the intercom without mentioning Blaine's name so she'd buzz him up and shoved Blaine through the door when Rachel answered before vanishing without a trace.

"He's in his bedroom," Rachel said without letting her eyes linger on his face. "He doesn't want to talk to you, but you can go right in." When Blaine gave her an amazed look, wondering at her usual overprotective nature temporarily leaving her, she sighed and added, "Look, Kurt's madly in love with you and has been for over two years, and you're madly in love with him. It's meant to be between you, and when it's meant to be you don't let some little argument stand in the way. Please, go and talk to him and convince him to stop hating you with every fibre of his being and go back to being that blissfully happy Kurt he was a couple of months ago. I liked seeing my best friend like that, and I miss him being that way. He won't eat and he won't sleep and I can't cope with seeing him destroy himself anymore."

Blaine hated himself for the vindictive little sprite in his head who grinned in satisfaction at the mention that Kurt had been coping as badly as he was, missing Blaine as much as Blaine missed him. He nodded to Rachel in thanks, hesitating a moment before kissing her cheek affectionately and just shrugging helplessly in the wake of her incredulous little smile as he crossed the apartment and opened the door to Kurt's room with a soft knock. "Kurt? Sweetheart?"

He heard quiet sobbing and hurried across the dark room to the bed, finding Kurt there and immediately wrapping his arms around him without a thought for the last awful months, rocking Kurt gently in his arms and worrying over how desperately thin he felt through his baggy clothes. "I th-thought you were never coming back," Kurt sobbed, his voice breaking over every word. Tears slid down Blaine's face too as he placed a gentle kiss behind Kurt's ear, holding him tight in the way he'd feared he might never get to again.

"I'll always come back to you," he promised, finding Kurt's hand and entwining their fingers together in that way that had become so welcomingly familiar. "It took me twenty-one meaningless years of my life to find you, and another entire year to make you mine, I'm not going to lose you because we had a stupid argument that should never have escalated into that fight. I'm sorry for all those horrible things I said. I didn't mean any of them."

"I'm so sorry for yelling all those awful things about you," Kurt whispered tearfully, turning in Blaine's arms to attempt a small smile with a face ravaged by tears. "I didn't mean any of them. You're sweet, and loving, and gentle, and you never demand anything from me, and I don't want you out of my life, and I know how much our relationship means to you. I'm just so sorry, and I love you so much."

"I love you too," Blaine whispered, pressing his lips fiercely to Kurt's forehead, a thousand promises branded into his skin, holding tight to the only anchor in the ever-changing world in which he lived in. He moved up the bed, to the headboard, and traced the initial carved with a pen into the headboard. K-H + B-A, a small smile tugging at his lips as he realised exactly how lopsided the heart surrounding the scratched letters was. "Do you see this graffiti, Kurt? This is a promise. It's a promise that I'll always be with you. And, years from now, when our grandchildren are looking in this bed, they'll see these initials that we carved when we were young and wild and they'll know that, no matter what, I always have and always will love you."

"So you'll come back?" Kurt asked hopefully, eyes shining with fresh unshed tears as he held Blaine's gaze. "You'll move out of where ever you've been and come back here with us crazy people?"

Blaine took Kurt's hand and held it to his heart. "I never left," he murmured. "Can you feel how fast my heart is beating? It's for you, and my heart is always yours. As long as you own this part of me, I will never leave you."

Three years later, and they were standing in a glamorous hotel, surrounded by unfamiliar people, watching Santana and Brittany promise themselves to each other for eternity, the tears Santana shed as she kissed her new wife and confetti showered down around them, catching in hair and clothes. Sitting in the pew alongside Seth and Quincy, Blaine smiled proudly on Kurt as he stood beside the women as Santana's 'gay of honour', holding bouquets and smiling through the tears streaming down his face, dabbing away the drops with the flowers, blowing Blaine a kiss when he thought no one was looking.

Seeing how happy Kurt was that day, it made Blaine think. They had been together for almost five years, and those years had been the happiest of Blaine's life. Kurt was perfect for him in every way, and though they still had their disagreements and sometimes slept with a valley of cold bed between their bodies, or Blaine slept on the uncomfortable sofa while Kurt cried silently in their bedroom, they always made up the arguments. And they always loved each other, no matter the words screamed in the heat of the moment.

So Blaine planned it. He went the whole hog, choosing Kurt's favourite restaurant and planning the evening, a spectacular occasion on their fifth anniversary, to the letter, hiring a smart car he knew Kurt would love, choosing the suit Kurt most loved seeing him in, booking a private back booth and making sure the manager would know to put the white-gold ring he had spent so much of his savings on in Kurt's champagne glass. He wrote the promises and devotions, with a little help from Seth, who had recently proposed with shaking hands and stuttering words to a still rendered speechless Quincy, and spent long hours memorising it with Santana's help, listening to her endless tales of newly-wedded life as he dreamt of having such moments with Kurt. Unfortunately for his meticulously detailed plan, Kurt beat him to the punch just three days before he would execute his planned proposal.

Just as with many mornings, Blaine awoke with Kurt's half-hard cock hot and heavy against his hip. And, as he always did, he grinned to the dimly-lit room and rolled over to awake Kurt with a tender kiss, whispering, "What do you want today, sweetheart?" against his lips.

"Just your mouth, please," Kurt murmured politely, still half-asleep, arms curling around the pillow. "I'm far too tired for anything requiring more effort for me. I wouldn't let you if you weren't much more effective than any sleeping pill I've ever taken."

"You keep telling yourself that, sweetheart," Blaine said with a smirk as he slid down the mattress, taking one of Kurt's nipples in his mouth and sucking until the little nub was hard against his tongue and Kurt was groaning softly as Blaine traced a hand down over his stomach and hipbones to slowly palm his now fully-hard cock. "Just lie there and let me do all the work and then you can go back to sleep and I'll bring you breakfast in bed like the good boyfriend I am. Thank God we don't have any roommates now and you can be as loud as you want."

"Can't be that loud, I'd annoy the Fletchers downstairs and Paula upstairs," Kurt murmured sleepily, nuzzling into his pillow and briefly opening his eyes to look down at Blaine. "Get on with it, then. I would quite like to spend my Sunday sleeping in and not waiting for you to do your job and suck my dick…oh holy shit!"

Blaine would've grinned if he hadn't had his lips stretched around Kurt's cock. He settled for gazing innocently up at his boyfriend from beneath his lashes and continued his merry ministrations, an expert by now in exactly how to make Kurt writhe and scream, push him close to the edge with every sinuous flick on his tongue. And so he began to hum slowly, tracing his tongue along Kurt's slit and licking away the pre-come beading there with a filthy enthusiasm.

Kurt's hands twisted desperately in the sheets, Blaine internally smirking as he did on a regular basis at the realisation that Kurt was suddenly far more awake than he had been a bare few minutes ago. "Oh God, oh God, oh Blaine, please, marry me," he groaned, eyes sliding shut as he came down Blaine's throat.

It was only by routine that Blaine slid back up the bed and kissed Kurt, allowing his boyfriend to taste himself. He barely felt Kurt's hand as it trailed down his chest and across his abdomen to wrap around his cock, his mind echoing with those groaned words: marry me. Had they been genuine? Or had those words he longed to be real and genuinely meant simply been another mindless affection murmured in the throes of ecstasy, not to be taken in any way seriously, much like those sexual fantasies Kurt always confessed so enthusiastically when he was drunk and blushed over when he awoke hungover and realised he'd confided, begging Blaine never to speak of them again.

After Blaine's analytical train of thought temporarily blew into smoke to surrender to Kurt's triumphant smirk as Blaine came over his hand and their sheets, and after Kurt had cleaned his hand and changed the sheets, muttering about how he really had to start using his mouth too because Blaine always made such a mess and they were just sitting together with Kurt sipping tea and Blaine watching him carefully, he gained the spark of courage to speak up. "Kurt, sweetheart, when I was giving you that blowjob, right before you came, you said…you kind of ordered me to marry you. Did you mean it, or was it just one of those things you say in bed?"

Kurt placed his mug on the bedside table and stood up, slowly walking over to the closet and reaching inside, fumbling around with much rustling until a triumphant look flickered across his face and he turned back to Blaine, now with a small black box in his hand. "Blaine, I fell in love with you at first time, and I knew right from that moment you were the one for me," he recited slowly, eyes glazing over with unshed tears as he looked into Blaine's eyes, nothing but sincerity reflected in his gaze. "I dreamt of having a future with you, having that house with the flowers outside and the white picket fence and the dog and the cat because we'd never agree on which to get and our two children, a boy with my eyes and a girl with your hair. I even though of what our children would look like, I was so in love with you. Well, I still love you that way to this day, and now it's going to be our five-year anniversary on Wednesday, and I can have that future with you." He opened the box to reveal a ring that made Blaine's heart skip a beat and then begin to pound, so violently it was almost painful, against his ribs, and lowered himself onto one knee. "If you weren't so fantastic in bed, you could've had a spectacular proposal at sunset with champagne on ice and the New York skyline as the background to the picture you took, but there's no better time to ask than now, in our bedroom where we've grown and loved each other every day for these last five years. You're my forever, Blaine, but it's not enough any more. I want to be your forever too. Will you marry me?"

"Oh, Kurt," Blaine breathed, voice choked with emotion. "I love you so much." The box fell to the ground, forgotten, as Blaine pulled Kurt from his kneeling position and up into a long kiss, their tears mingling hot on their cheeks until the sobs fighting to claw their way up Blaine's throat forced him to stop, gasping for air and sobbing with unadulterated joy into Kurt's hair.

"So, is that a yes?" Kurt asked hopefully, smiling up at Blaine and retrieving the ring, holding it up so it caught the light perfectly. It was beautiful, and Blaine could see it on his finger, imagine wearing it every day for the rest of his life and always remembering the man who had given it to him, the man he loved more than life itself.

"Of course it's a yes, sweetheart," he confirmed, chuckling wetly as Kurt's eyes lit up with happiness. He held out his hand and Kurt slid the ring carefully onto his finger, brushing a kiss across the cool metal once it was nestled comfortably against Blaine's skin. "I promise, I will love you every single day for the rest of time."

"Save it for your wedding vows, Blaine," Kurt deadpanned, though he couldn't hide his wide smile. "So, shall we christen what will soon be the marital bed or would you rather go back to sleep?" Blaine laughed outright, finding that he couldn't stop no matter how much Kurt pouted at him until he tugged Kurt back into bed and on top of him.

"Come here, my beautiful, amazing man of a fiancé," he whispered, melding their mouths together in a kiss that left every clinch rated the most passionate or the most pure behind. This love they shared, this was forever.

This had never been a mistake, nor an accident. It had been pure kismet that they'd met on that dull, ordinary street on that dull, ordinary October day, and they had always been each other's destiny. Falling in love had been the path chosen for them by Fate herself, and it would come full circle when they married and truly joined their bodies and minds and souls and hearts as one entity, one being with a heart that beat only for the love they shared.