Yuu was grossed out.
Grossed out of his goddamn mind. The man – a doctor, Yuu vaguely recalled him saying – seated opposite him had been going on and on about a terrible operation he’d had to deal with of late, and frankly speaking, when you were seated in a five-star Italian restaurant, drinking top-notch wine and having high-grade medium rare steak, the last thing you’d want a mental image of was a man with decaying balls.
Ugh. Yuu resisted making a face as he ate the last bits of his steak and placed his fork gently down onto the table, wiping his mouth gracefully with a napkin while he was at it. It didn’t help that the man seated opposite him wasn’t the most attractive person, either – he was about fifty years of age, balding at the crown of his head, and looked as if he didn’t understand what the basic concept of hygiene was. Which was ironic, considering his profession. Though, it wasn’t like Yuu usually minded; to him, gaining his money was his priority, and Yuu didn’t care how these men looked, as long as their fat wallet made up for it.
It was a business, this sugar daddy dating game, and Yuu was only being paid for his time, to listen to this man’s sorrows and keep him company and make him feel good about himself. That was all to it. There were no strings attached. Yuu was a sugar baby, and he was proud of it. At the prime age of twenty-one years old, Yuu could have opted for other jobs, sure, but after months of struggling with three part-time jobs whilst trying to keep up with a university workload at the same time, Yuu just didn’t think it was worth it anymore.
Not when one of his sugar daddies had just paid off half of his university loan last month, and another daddy had decided, on a whim last week, to create a credit card for Yuu in his name. The raven-haired had made ten thousand dollars total last month, in cash and gifts, and all Yuu had to do was ensure he was constantly looking fresh, young and pretty, as well as remember to set aside time once a week to meet up with them per their request.
Today’s date with the doctor was a first for the both of them; Yuu usually went through ‘trial’ dates such as these to see if they would be a good match or not – or, well, to put it bluntly, to simply see if he could put up with the guy for hours on his end – and Yuu would only agree to future arrangements if their first date went well.
An hour into this dinner date, however, already proved it was a canonical disaster. Yuu had feigned a smile and nodded simply at random intervals into their conversation, but the balding doctor seemed to catch no hint that Yuu was not interested in hearing about some man’s vasectomy while he was having steak. Suddenly the piece of meat didn’t look so appealing anymore. Yuu felt like a cannibal now, for Christ’s sake.
Yuu found himself slowly slipping out his phone from his jeans; texting the one person he knew could save him from this distress.
save me. help. potential sugar daddy is a fucking disaster. i still have an hour to go.
Yutaka’s reply came quick. He was Yuu’s roommate, living in an apartment just outside the city, and when Yuu started sugaring, the raven-haired didn’t see a point in hiding his work from Yutaka when it would be so easy to realize the true reason Yuu was slipping out at night and disappearing every other weekend, anyway. They studied at the same university, but unlike Yuu, who was an English major, Yutaka was studying in the field of medicine, hoping to eventually get his doctorate.
Yutaka usually spent nights staying up late to study, though with the amount of texts Yuu spammed him with nowadays, Yuu wondered how Yutaka managed to get anything done with the raven’s annoying presence.
Yutaka: Jesus. Does he stink?
Yuu: worse. a doctor. he’s talking about sterilizing someone now. i don’t want to know the details
Yutaka: Haha, oh. I get it. Did he mention the vasa deferentia?
Yuu: a vasa- what? oh god, Yutaka, don’t get started on your biology crap. i’ve had enough of doctors for the day.
Yutaka: OK, OK, fine. Need me to call you and give you an escape route?
Yuu: technically, am being paid for my time. so no. he might not give me the $400 he promised. oh, he’s starting to notice i’ve been looking at my crotch for too long. brb.
“Something wrong, honey?” The man was saying, widening his mouth into a grotesque smile. …Yep. Okay. Yuu was definitely not seeing this man again. Why did he ever think it was a good idea to meet up with men with no profile pictures? Oh, right. Because Yuu had seen the income stated on his profile and the 300k this doctor earned per year was way too tempting. Though, Yuu felt like he would probably pass up on this one. There was no way he would be enduring future vasectomy conversations with this baldie.
“Nothing!” Yuu responded cheerfully, perking his head up. The doctor seemed delighted to see the raven-haired look so enthusiastic, and took it as a good sign to continue talking. Ugh. Yuu rolled his eyes to himself in the back of his head, though his face didn’t move an inch.
Yuu always felt some kind of responsibility to always look as high-spirited as possible, at least in these men’s company anyway, for he knew they were buying his time and Yuu had to put on a façade to please them. Yuu had to act like the perfect boyfriend. He would have no troubles in the world, would be carefree, and also loved life to the fullest. He would be a pretty young thing who just needed an older man to support him – and the older men who were in his company usually sucked all of it up, enjoying Yuu’s chirpy presence.
This was exactly how to be a successful sugar baby. You act as if everything about them interests you, and lavish them with your complete attention and body. The payoff was well, too. Yuu mentally counted this month’s estimated earnings in his head – he’d be getting at least 3k from an attorney and 1.5k from a car dealer, two of his regulars, and at least another thousand from random dates like these with men he probably won’t be seeing again.
Well, it was about half of what he would be getting last month, but he wasn’t complaining. His university loan was halfway paid and at the rate things were going, he’d most likely have it paid by the end of the year.
“Ready to go, darling?” The doctor asked, smiling to the raven-haired and looking rather pleased with him so far. He was going to arrange for future dates, Yuu knew it. Yuu briefly contemplated the idea of an additional 2k every month, but the reminder of the doctor’s vivid description of a man’s decaying balls turned him right off.
“Sure!” Yuu exclaimed happily, then watched as the doctor called for the bill and paid for it with his platinum credit card. Yuu eyed it lustfully, but made sure to turn his attention back to the doctor as soon as he called for Yuu again.
“So, I’ll be driving you home now, then?” The doctor asked in a sorry tone, his disappointment showing. Yuu knew what he was hinting at, and the raven wasn’t falling for it. Yuu let out a sigh; as much as he was a whore (which he wasn’t), he had a policy of no sex on first dates, and he was definitely not going home with this doctor after their disastrous date.
It was just a trial date, a date where they could get to know each other further and see if they were compatible for future arrangements. Plus, Yuu didn’t exactly want those hands touching him after he’d heard what the doctor had done in those… operations.
“Um, you can drop me off at the gas station you picked me up from, and I’ll make my way home myself.” Yuu politely said, smiling gently to the doctor. There was also a policy Yuu adhered to when it came to sugar dating – never give them his real address or let them know where he was staying. There was no way he was going to get harassed by these perverted old men if their relationship backfired.
So began their walk out of the busy restaurant to the doctor’s car. Yuu strapped himself into the front seat, and the doctor began driving, dropping him off at the gas station as promised. But not before passing him an envelope containing a thick wad of cash, which – as Yuu carefully counted – contained four hundred dollars as promised.
“Thank you!” Yuu sang, smiling widely to the old man as he left the car, pretending not to notice the way the doctor seemed to be leaning in for a goodbye kiss. As he slammed the car door shut to the doctor’s frowning face and gave one last customary wave to him, he watched as the doctor drove away, before starting his short walk home. Yuu clutched the envelope of cash under his leather jacket, humming satisfiedly at today’s earnings. He had earned an easy four hundred, without even needing to deliver a short, disgusting peck to the old man’s cheek.
Yuu was so not going back to being a mere waiter.
“I’m home!” Yuu called happily, striding into the apartment he shared with Yutaka. Their apartment lights had been dimmed, but the kitchen lights were on, and Yuu guessed Yutaka was studying around their dining table again.
“Welcome back,” Yutaka responded coolly, his head never looking up, his eyes still focused on the set of textbooks opened right before him. One of his hands flipped a page, and the other was concentrated on jotting down notes in that thick book of his. “You came back early today.”
“Well,” Yuu skipped his way to the kitchen, stopping short just before the dining table. He teasingly slung his arms around Yutaka’s slumped back, hugging him tightly from the back. “I told you it was a trial date! Guess how much I got for listening to the old man rant about decaying balls today!”
Yutaka sighed, momentarily pausing in his writing of notes. He turned his head back, side-eyeing Yuu’s flirty gesture. “Just so you know, a better term to call those ‘decaying balls’ would be–”
“So yeah, I got four hundred bucks.” Yuu huffed, brushing Yutaka’s intellectual response off. Yutaka had a habit of correcting whatever Yuu said into scientific terms, and Yuu didn’t know if Yutaka was just showing off at this point, or if he was truly annoyed by Yuu’s vulgar terms for things sometimes. “Anyway, Dr. Yutaka, I’m having another date later this week, so rent won’t be a problem this month. Yay~”
Yutaka laughed a little at Yuu’s enthusiasm. “You know, Yuu, you don’t have to worry about money that much. You know I’m not uptight about it.” The apartment they stayed in belonged to Yutaka’s family, and though the apartment was located in a good location, neither too far from the city nor their university, the rent hadn’t been too expensive. Yuu saw the opportunity and took it, when Yutaka put up the advertisement looking for a roommate, and it came to Yuu’s convenience that Yutaka later became one of Yuu’s closest friends as well.
Yutaka came from a family of doctors, thus it was natural that Yutaka took interest in studying to become one, too. Though his family background made him well off, he never did become arrogant or cocky, and was honestly a good person to be around with. Yuu liked him a lot.
He also casually accepted Yuu’s work as a sugar baby, so hey.
“I can’t possibly take advantage of you, when you’re already so easy to be taken advantage of,” Yuu teased, then loosened his arms around the brunet and danced off further into the kitchen. He pulled the fridge door open and grabbed for a drink, before deciding to prance back to the dining table to annoy Yutaka a little further. It was a Monday night, and Yuu only had afternoon classes tomorrow, so he didn’t have to worry about sleeping early today.
“Don’t make too much noise,” Yutaka chided, snapping him a look as Yuu pulled a seat out and plopped himself down on it. Yuu ignored him and took out his phone, checking his inbox messages out of habit.
There were a few messages from his current sugar daddies that he promptly replied to, those of which were asking him generic How are you, I miss you questions, wanting to know how the raven-haired was doing. Yuu also received a few more notifications from the website that he used to find potential sugar daddies itself, called SeekingArrangement.com, and Yuu decided to check them out.
He scrolled through his inbox on the site, going through the men who’d newly messaged him. Checking some of their profiles showed that their income brackets were way too low for Yuu, and the raven-haired scoffed as he read the flirty messages that they sent in hopes of charming Yuu out on a date. Yuu might be young, but he had been doing this for a little over a year, and he didn’t need men who wouldn’t be able to afford him.
There was only one that caught his interest this time, one that had no profile picture – probably to remain discreet due to his profession, as with many other high-profile sugar daddies out there – and he seemed to be living in Yuu’s area as well. He also appeared to be significantly younger than most men on this website – his profile listed his age as thirty-five – and he didn’t sound like a creep in the message he sent, so. It was just a simple Hello, I saw your profile and you look like my type. Care for an arrangement?
Plus, an annual $600k per year? Yum. He was likely a CEO of some sort. Or a high-ranking doctor. OK, no. Yuu was totally not down with doctors. Please tell him he was not a doctor.
Grinning to himself at the prospect of an additional, much wealthier sugar daddy, Yuu quickly typed a reply back to TK0609.
sugaraoixox: hi! you seem like my type too ;) are you sure you can afford me? heh.
“Oi, stop smiling to yourself. You look crazy,” Yutaka said, rolling his eyes at the sight. “Are you sexting one of your sugar daddies or something? No, wait – please don’t tell me. I don’t want to know the details.”
Yuu giggled at his words, then spontaneously jumped up from his seat. “I’m going to take a shower, then head for bed. Don’t stay up too late, okay?”
“Thanks, mum,” Yutaka mumbled, waving the raven-haired off.
Yuu made his way to his room, stashed the newly acquired wad of cash into a savings box, then prepared for his bath, feeling pleased with today’s overall catch.
TK0609: Haha, I like challenges. Pretty sure I can afford you. I’ll pay anything for someone as gorgeous as you.
The reply came at 8 in the morning, but Yuu only read it in the afternoon when he got up. Yawning as he slammed his alarm clock back shut, he found himself grinning again to himself as he looked back to the message. He’d been doing this sugar-dating thing for slightly over a year, and yet he never got tired of the whole compliment thing. He loved being showered with attention and love like this. He loved being flirted with and called ‘gorgeous’. Man, Yuu was such an attention whore.
sugaraoixox: i like a man who is adventurous ;) are you sure you can afford me? tell me how you want to pamper me… :)
Yuu then got into the shower and changed into a casual hoodie and jeans for class, and by the time he came out, his phone was already ringing with another message.
TK0609: I’m not exactly sure what beautiful creatures like you want these days, but I’ll give you anything you want as long as you’re good to me… I would try to make sure that stunning smile is on your face all the time, I would hate to see you upset. Let me take care of you.
Yuu actually found himself blushing at the message sent. OK, this was too good to be true. Whoever this TK0609 person was, he had to be hella ugly to need to go on a sugar-dating site to look for a paid relationship. 35 years old, earning $600k annually and highly emotionally sensitive? He had to be hella ugly. Or a bad conversation partner. Or, hella ugly.
Yuu just prayed he didn’t have a STD.
sugaraoixox: mmm, sounds good to me! that’s what i wanna hear from a befitting daddy <3 i’ll be good to you if you’re good to me!
His reply was prompt as usual.
TK0609: So... can I take you out for dinner?
And fast. In his moves.
sugaraoixox: mmm! just letting you know though, i usually set first dates as trial run. if it goes well then we’ll make an arrangement. you don’t have to pay me for my time on the first date, but if you want to, i won’t decline ;)
TK0609: Got it. How about Friday night at 7? I’ll take you out to my favorite restaurant downtown.
sugaraoixox: sure! i’ll text you where to pick me up a bit later. class in awhile, brb!
Yuu found himself smiling all the way to class, happy he’d just scored another date.
They ended up texting all throughout lunch, and when Takanori, a good friend of his who was an English major as well, asked if Yuu was texting his boyfriend, Yuu shrugged it off.
“No boyfriend, remember?” Yuu laughed, but he still couldn’t stop the smile on his face as the texts from TK0609 came in. No one knew of his sugaring activities except for Yutaka, and Yuu preferred to keep it that way. If people caught wind of his little job that he did on the sidelines, there would be no future for Yuu, academically or job-wise. Yuu made certain that there was no way his personal and sugaring lifestyle could ever mix, taking his safety and future into account.
“Fine, a boyfriend-to-be, then,” Takanori piped, and Yuu laughed once more at the term.
“You know, it’s actually something close to that,” Yuu mused, smiling, looking once more to his phone. There was a long stream of messages from their earlier conversation.
TK0609: I figured since we’re meeting, you get to know my name. I’m Kouyou.
sugaraoixox: you sound promising… :) you can call me Aoi, but i have to warn you that’s just a nickname though~ you get my real name if you stick long enough.
TK0609: I have a good feeling about sticking long enough… Aoi.
sugaraoixox: well, i’m quite easy to please, you know ;p not as demanding as you may think I am, ahaha!
TK0609: I don’t think you’re demanding at all… :)
sugaraoixox: hmmm… <3
Yuu then decided to appeal to his interests a bit. It always helped to look at your potential sugar daddy’s profile to check out what his hobbies, likes and dislikes were, since you could use them as conversation topics for kick starters, as well as gain more access into his life. And the more you showed that you were interested in him, the more he’d feel genuinely liked, and thus the higher the allowance he paid you. Yuu knew his game well.
sugaraoixox: you say you like golf on your profile. you know, I’ve always wanted to try it out… too poor for it :(
TK0609: I can take you… and teach you. If you want. It’s an easy sport. Ahaha. But it can get boring when you’re playing with really boring associates. Or old men. Wait, I’m probably old to you.
sugaraoixox: actually, you’re significantly younger than a lot of men on here. I’m surprised. and you’re not a creep too… :)
TK0609: Haha, I can get creepy if I want. I mean, if you like that sort of thing.
Yuu laughed aloud at that message. There was something so horribly polite about Kouyou’s way of speaking so far that that random suggestive message seemed so funny.
“Still denying it’s a boyfriend?” Takanori asked, raising an eyebrow to the raven. Yuu nodded insistently, taking a huge bite of his sandwich as he raised his other hand to type a reply back to Kouyou on his phone.
sugaraoixox: i like a lot of things… i will also like anything you like, Kouyou :)
TK0609: Huh… I like a lot of things, too, you know. ;)
A smiley. That was a first. Yuu beamed at the message, feeling good about their relationship development so far, then shut his phone off. Class was starting and he didn’t exactly feel like replying to Kouyou further – it was one thing to get your sugar daddy interested, and it was another to play the hard-to-get game and gain the upper hand first. Yuu would reveal more information to Kouyou in time to come, when it came to meeting him for dinner.
For now, Yuu would play the haughty vixen who enjoyed flirting with Kouyou a little bit too much.
When Yuu got back to his apartment, he could recognize by the delicious scent of food wafting in the air that Yutaka had already started cooking dinner for them.
Usually they took turns to cook, but lately Yuu had been cooking more often since Yutaka was caught up in his exams. On days that Yuu was busy and out on a date, Yutaka would call for takeout. Occasionally the both of them had pizza or pasta if they weren’t feeling up to home-cooked food, however they tried their best to cook as much as possible, since they preferred it to takeout which could get too expensive at times.
“Oh, you’re back,” Yutaka said, turning around to greet Yuu, dressed in his usual checkered apron. Yuu tossed his bag and keys on the counter then made his way into the kitchen, preparing to set the dining table.
“It smells so great! You’re cooking your fish specialty again,” Yuu cooed quickly, happy at the sight of Yutaka’s signature dish. “Yum! I’m going to be grow too fat and the new guy I’m meeting this Friday will be sooo upset when he sees me.”
“Eh? A new guy?” Yutaka asked, his interest perked. He finished whipping up his dish and moved to place it onto the dining table. “Care to elaborate?”
“Umm, it’s just going to be another trial date, I guess,” Yuu said, setting the cutlery down as well. “His name is Kouyou, he’s thirty-five and he’s been flirting with me the past day. Also, he earns $600k per year. Yum!”
Yutaka rolled his eyes at his response. “You know, I never did see the appeal in all these sugar baby-daddy dating business. I mean, if I had that much money, I would invest it or spend it on my family instead, not on some random–” He noticed Yuu’s glare midway and hesitantly trailed his words off. “Well, I mean… if it gets the bills paid.”
“You’re only saying that because you’re rich,” Yuu said disapprovingly, folding his arms. “You don’t know the pain of debt, do you?”
Yutaka sighed. “I can’t control what you do, Yuu. And I’m not trying to say what you do is bad, either. But you’re my close friend, and I care for you, and I would love it if you didn’t have to pretend you liked all these older men in order to get your bills paid.”
Yuu remained silent for a while, and Yutaka was almost afraid he’d offended the raven. It was rare that anyone could silence the chirpy raven-haired who always seemed to be untroubled by anything in the world, but there were feelings and secrets Yuu kept to himself, too. And though the both of them knew that the reason Yuu started working as a sugar baby was to alleviate his stress from struggling with three jobs and school all at once, Yutaka usually steered away from talking to Yuu about it, knowing it was a touchy subject with the raven.
He wasn’t exactly sure if Yuu ever did truly like his job, or if Yuu was doing this purely out of survival sake. Yutaka always wished he could help Yuu out somehow, but Yutaka knew that until he held a job himself, he was powerless too in terms of finances.
“You know, I wish that too,” Yuu finally uttered quietly, as he settled himself down against a seat. “But we can’t have what we want in life, right? And being a sugar baby is a lot of work, too – I have to pretend to be someone I’m not, I have to pretend to only be happy or horny, nothing else, and I have to forgo a social life to meet all these men. So, in the end, it’s just like any other normal job, right? I’m working. They’re paying me for my company. It’s a business transaction. And it makes me happy enough.”
Yutaka gazed over to him with a worried look.
“If you say so, Yuu. But I’m just letting you know that if you ever decide to quit this business, all you have to do is let me know. I won’t accept rent from you.”
Yuu tried to brush off the topic quickly. “Just shut up and start eating already! I’m starving.”
Yuu tried not to be too concerned with Yutaka’s words, but it wasn’t like Yuu hadn’t thought over the same things himself. Of course he’d love to work a normal job and still be able to pay the bills, but his family wasn’t well-off, and to be able to afford a university education meant that Yuu had to work ultra hard to pay off his debts. He’d found out that sugar dating was a quick and effective way in ensuring cash, and so far, it was something he found came naturally to him – appealing to older men, making them happy – and so Yuu didn’t think of quitting this business anytime soon.
But even though Yutaka hasn’t expressed displeasure in Yuu’s choice of profession, Yutaka clearly didn’t like it very much, did he? And though Yuu made sure to tell Yutaka wherever he was going and made sure Yutaka checked on him hourly whenever he was on a date, those safety and precautionary measures meant nothing when Yuu was miles away, in some other man’s car, on his way to the old man’s home. Yuu was constantly vulnerable to attacks, and the knowledge didn’t stomach well with Yutaka, who was hoping to be able to eventually become a doctor and save future lives.
Either way, it wasn’t like Yuu had a choice.