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He was in a jam. Again. The story of his life.

But, as he had learned after a few alarming propositions—in broad daylight, no less—there was a market for teenage boys like him. A very lucrative market.

And a highly illegal one.

Ezra was desperate, though. He needed credits. He couldn’t keep robbing and running forever. People were beginning to recognize him. Taskmaster Grint, who had been keeping a record of Ezra’s thievery and mischief for the last three years, had a personal vendetta against him. If Ezra didn’t find another way to earn money—and soon—he was going to have to leave Capital City and try his luck in another town. He was scared; he didn’t want to leave. He knew Capital City like the back of his hand. He had been born there. It was where his house still stood, the one he had shared with his parents. All the memories. Starting over in a new location would put him at a severe disadvantage. He would be better off to stay put and find some other way to make cred.

So he did. He had recently found a new home in the abandoned communications tower at the edge of town—it was perfect: high, secluded, and there was still some tech left behind—and little by little he gathered what he needed to set up his own private encrypted channel on the HoloNet. He knew how to do it. Both of his parents were pirate broadcast operators and avid technophiles. It was practically encoded in his genes.

His first holo was awkward. After making sure he was broadcasting in the right channel and had his feed marked with all the best keywords—teen, amateur, boy, solo, first holo, requests open—he stood in front of the cam wearing only his undershorts and a nervous smile.

“Uh, hi,” he said, waving. Like a dumb little kid. He winced and stopped. “My name’s… Ebri. I’m thirteen and a half and… and I’m really horny!”

He laughed at himself and combed a hand through his hair. He knew how to act, but playing sexy was a whole new experience for him. He bit his lip in what he hoped was a sultry look.

“My mom and dad don’t know I’m doing this.” Well, that was the truth. “I, uh… really wanna be famous someday, so I thought this might be a good place to start. Maybe acting or singing or something”—he had no interest in doing any of that—“I dunno. I just feel like I need someplace I can show myself off. Express myself. That kinda thing. So…”

He shrugged and opened his arms in a “well, here I am” gesture, remembering to smile for the holocam. He hoped he looked okay. He couldn’t imagine anyone being turned on by him. He was skinny and short and ugly, he hated his nose and his chin was too small, and his chest was—

A soft blip from the message column of his feed. You’re very cute, said Anon 1.

Love your hair, said Anon 2.

Reach for the stars baby, said Anon 3, followed by a tip of five credits.

Ezra blinked in disbelief and laughed. The blush on his cheeks magnified by several degrees. He tucked a strand of hair behind his ear. “Wow, thank you. Especially you, Anon 3. I’m trying to save up for some stuff and this’ll really help.”

Show us your pits please??? wrote Anon 2.

“You mean, like, my armpits? Sure.” Ezra raised his arms and folded them behind his head. “How’s that? Okay?” A patch of indigo blue hair sprouted in the crook of each arm. The skin underneath was creamy smooth and lighter than the rest of him.

YES BEAUTIFUL

Very nice.

I bet you smell great Ebri

[6 users have joined the chat]

Hello handsome boy [Anon 7 just sent 10 credits] how far can you stick out your tongue?

Ezra’s heart galloped in his chest. Stars, why hadn’t he done this sooner?

“Hi, thanks, Anon 7. How far? Lemme see.” He leaned close to the holocam and tried to touch his nose with his tongue. He laughed after several failed attempts. “Sorry. I guess not that far.”

Far enough

You have a beautiful mouth

Lick lick ♥

Have you been kissed yet baby?

“Kissed?” Ezra bashfully lowered his eyes and shook his head. “No, not yet.”

Shame.

Can’t believe it

Are you a virgin

No boyfriends???

“No, no boyfriends. I’m a virgin.” Well. Not counting the fidgety guy last year who gave him 200 credits just so he could get off while sucking Ezra’s toes. Did that count as sex? Ezra didn’t know. He was barely involved.

Pretty thing like you should be kissed often

I volunteer

[Anon 5 just sent 5 credits] Can’t kiss you but I’d love to see if the carpet matches the curtains

Ezra froze. What did that mean? “The… carpet? Sorry, I’m a little new to this.” He grinned and ducked his head, making sure to bat his eyelashes. His viewers were very forgiving.

Wow so innocent, love that

Precious

Carpet = pubes, curtains = hair on your head

Ebri is that your natural color?

“Oh, okay, I get it now. Thanks, Anon 3. My natural color? Yeah, of course. I don’t dye my hair. Who does? Sounds like too much trouble.”

Good. Don’t ever. Love you natural

So?? Do they match?

“Um.” Ezra pulled the waist of his shorts out and looked down at himself. “I… guess so? I’m really not the best judge. Maybe one of you could tell me, but I’d have to turn on the lock just to be safe.”

Locked channels by default came with a twenty-credit price tag. Ezra knew exactly what he was doing. Teasing his viewers and then funneling them into the money trap.

Kriff yeah

Do it

Waiting with bells on

Ezra snickered. “Okay, gimme a sec to switch over.”

With a few taps on the control panel, Ezra locked the channel. In less than a minute he had made 160 credits. He reopened the holoscreen with a smile and a wave. He didn’t feel like a dumb little kid so much anymore.

“Thanks for waiting. I’m glad so many of you came though. I’m real shy, so… I hope this is worth it.”

Worth it already to keep seeing you.

Aw you’re shy that’s so sweet

You’re worth it baby. Let the show begin

Ezra stood back and hooked his fingers into the waist of his shorts. He paused and put on the best sad little Loth-kitten pout he could manage. “You guys promise to be nice to me, okay? This is my first time and I’m so nervous I could cry.” It was a lie, but Ezra was very good at faking tears. It was a talent he had learned at a young age, one that never failed to manipulate the adults around him.

You got this, Ebri

You’re doing great!

If anyone makes you cry I will hunt them down

Pull down those pants, they don’t deserve to be on you

Ezra took a breath and pushed his shorts down until the waistband rested just at the root of his penis. With only half-feigned shyness, he turned his head to the side and let eight anonymous users on the HoloNet look at his pubic hair. Messages flooded the chat.

They DO match

Lovely

Kriff you’re so hot Ebri

Well done baby

Pull em down a little more hehe

Bet you have a nice cock

[Anon 4 has just sent 10 credits] 20 more if you show us that cute little butt

Ezra laughed. “I don’t wanna give away all my secrets in the first show. Maybe my next one. I think if you become a paid subscriber you can get notifications for when I post a new holo? Is that how it works?” He knew how paid subscriptions worked of course, but playing a shy, innocent naïf was better for business.

He spent the rest of the 30-minute chat answering questions about his favorite sports, how tall he was, how much he weighed—he fudged the numbers a little bit; maybe with a steady income he could finally afford to start eating better and put on some weight—whether he liked boys or girls more—“I dunno. I haven’t figured that out yet.”—that was the truth. He was interested in girls and wouldn’t mind having a girlfriend someday, but he was, as he had come to find out, and not without a little confusion, more aroused by his own gender. He didn’t let it worry him. He wasn’t in the market for a girlfriend (or a boyfriend) just yet.

And he was also, as he discovered just minutes after his little pube peek, strangely aroused by having an audience. He had gotten hard and started to leak a little, but he kept the holocam focused above his waist until it was time to go.

He was 230 credits richer by the time he signed off. And ecstatic.

He threw himself onto his cot, pulled his shorts down to his thighs, and masturbated with a joyous energy he hadn’t had in months. He climaxed with a broad smile on his face, squirting a rill of creamy white semen onto his belly.

As he lay there, grinning and breathless, he wondered how much money he would make if he filmed something like this. A thousand? Ten thousand? He would have to make it good. Worth the money. And maybe he could do other things. He’d taken a peek at some of the other feeds on the channel. Toys. Ropes. Dancing. Costumes. Some of the guys had really nice rooms. Maybe someday Ezra might be able to afford all these nice things. But right now, he was just glad to have money.

He cleaned himself up and pulled on his jumpsuit, even taking a few seconds to stand in front of his cracked mirror and comb his hair.

You’re very cute.

Love your hair.

Beautiful.

You’re worth it baby.

Ezra smiled at his reflection. No trace of the short, skinny, ugly kid. Only a lovely boy that people would pay good credits just to look at.

He popped the datachip confirming his 230-credit collection out of the reader, flipped it jauntily into the air, and caught it. There was a banking kiosk just across from the market. He’d withdraw his credits there, then do some shopping. Maybe even buy some space waffles from that vendor who was always giving him dirty looks. He’d sure be surprised to see the boy he’d mistaken for a thief was actually a paying customer.

Ezra pulled on his short brown jacket, pocketed the datachip, and left his tower whistling.