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The badge of his identity

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He checked his image in the mirror. Eyebrows adroitly plucked to not look plucked at all, just neat and disciplined. Hair just as neatly combed, falling in lush waves on his broad shoulders covered by a silky, shimmering black jacket, short and tight-fitted, fastened in the middle of his torso by two lavender frogs in a faux-military style, a marvel of haute couture design created especially for him and more expensive than what his mom used to spend in a month, back when he was a kid, to feed the whole family. The deep mauve shirt gently flattered his wealthy skin tone, miles away from the pasty complexion of the cheap whore he had once been.

Smoky eyes emphasized with eyeliner. Moles highlighted by the black beauty spots he had made fashionable again.

He covered his ears with his hair to try it on for size but then tucked it back behind them. Maybe a touch of glossy lipstick on his lips. Light, discreet pink. Harmonizing with his shirt and underwear.

He looked perfect already, his face beautiful enough to make angels weep. Nothing to do with narcissism ; after so many years selling his charms to the highest bidders, doing his best to push himself always further up the tricky, slippery ladder of the world of courtesans, Jared had to know how much he was valued. How many men wanted him. The way they wanted him, and how much money they'd agree to part with for the pleasure of his company, to be seen next to him, to appear worthy of his interest, and rich enough to buy his time.

Jensen Ackles was not among the richest, but he was certainly worthy enough. He was beautiful too – more beautiful than Jared to be honest – in a nonchalant, manly way. As if beauty was a hazard Jensen had had to deal with, the least important part of his personality, best forgotten and ignored. He would have made the worst competition, had he chosen the same career as him. But Ackles was a journalist, one of those men who could make or end a reputation in his gazette with a few lines of respectful words or acerbic witticism. He was known for being tough but fair, very opinionated on certain topics but trustworthy in his judgments. If Ackles, who had never seemed interested in courtesans before, spoke highly of him, Jared's reputation would know no bounds anymore. Foreign clients would travel from their faraway lands to knock on his door and beg for five minutes of his time. The richest men in the world, the most resplendent kings, would pay thousands of whatever money they used to see him naked ; millions to sleep with him.

He had to seduce Jensen Ackles. If he did, he would become the leading courtesan of the capital. And he might afford to be free at last of Morgan's hold.

Speak of the devil. Ever the perfect valet, Chadwick opened the door after a light knock and introduced his visitor.

"Master Morgan, sir."

"Jeff," Jared acknowledged without interrupting his self-evaluation. "This is not a good time for a social call, I'm due at the restaurant in less than an hour."

"Let them wait, Jared, they will desire you all the more. I thought I had taught you that trick long ago."

"You did. But they say that punctuality is the politeness of kings."

"Which you are not, so let's keep it simple, shall we ? I'm sure your beau du jour will happily wait a few more minutes for the prospect of fucking you."

"Not this one," Jared countered, "he's special."

"Really ? Are you falling in love ? You know that's not in your job description. You're a whore, you don't have time for that."

Jared sighed, resigned to explain himself.

"I'm not falling in love. I hardly know the man yet, just saw him twice in passing. I'm meeting with this journalist, in a much more intimate setting than before, in the hope of getting free publicity."

"Always a good idea. Who's the journo ?"

"Jensen Ackles," Jared answered after a while, seemingly transfixed by his own image in the mirror.

"Ackles ? I heard about him. He doesn't do people pages, he covers world politics and financial scandals. Boring topics, even more boring people. And he certainly does not gravitate in your usual circles. How did you manage to score a rendezvous with him ?"

"You know I have my ways. Why would I sell my body if it didn't get me what I want ?"

"Because you're only good at being fucked and you owe me too much to quit ?"

The minute trembling of the brush held assuredly by Jared's hand in the previous instant as he applied the cream on his lips was the sole proof that Morgan's words had hit a sore point. But the bastard saw it, of course. He enjoyed few things the way he loved to rattle Jared's chain and remind him who was the boss ; who had power over the other and could make him do anything he wanted.

"I love your mouth for its sheer size," Jeff commented, "but this color on your lips is genius. Makes it downright obscene !"

Jared saw immediately where this was going.

"I don't have time for anything, Jeff."

"You'll make time, Jared."

The steel in Jeff's voice. It had followed Jared since his late teenage years, from the day the man had turned him into a whore.

Everything was always an order with Jeff, but at times like this, Jared was reminded with impeccable clarity that his only choice was to obey. The hand on his shoulders forced him to his knees, then Jeff quickly opened his dress pants that indicated that he too would be going soon to some nightly event. As soon as Jared had performed his art.

As his right hand surrounded Jeff's girth, Jared admired the beautiful manicure he had gotten earlier in the afternoon. Smooth skin and short nails meant pleasant caresses, something all his clients had always praised about him.

His eyes closed as his mouth opened. Whatever the part of his anatomy, Jeff was not a small man. His taste about sex went to the rougher side of the spectrum. Fucking Jared's face without regard for his breathing capacity. Inserting himself deep into Jared's throat, trying to choke him. Silly attempt fated to failure.

Jared hadn't made it to the rank of courtesan thanks to his sharp mind, but because he was a master in this art. And many other sexual ones.

Cock and balls, meet hands and tongue. Again. Lick and suck, stroke and squeeze.

Jared let the storm pour over him, provided Jeff with the best blow job a pimp could ever wish for. Tucked him back into his pants. Remembered to put on his own face the blissed-out expression of the satisfied lover. Never mind that his cock hadn't even twitched.

Never mind. Jeff was oblivious as usual. Correcting his clothing arrangement to look proper as a politician, he neglected to offer Jared a hand to stand back up.

"Don't forget I have invited a few friends this weekend at the countryside manor," he reminded Jared instead, business as usual. "They requested your presence insistently, you are going to be the main attraction once again. I need you on your best behavior."

Jared would not give him the satisfaction to display how much he hated that kind of event, where he was fresh meat at hungry bears' disposition and after which he generally had to follow the doctor's order for bed rest and no work for a week at least.

"I know, Jeffrey. I've never let you down, have I ? You know I pride myself on a job well done and leaving my clients happy. Nothing worse for someone like me than having the reputation of a prissy bitch who won't put out."

"I know you like to take it up the ass," Jeff stated, joining said ass with one of his hands to stroke it and feel the give of the flesh under his fingertips. "Just don't let some pretty journo's appreciation go to your head and make you think you're now above those little weekends of fun. Because we both know it won't ever be true."

Not that Jared had ever entertained the hope that they could be.

"Well, your friends might get tired of me someday," he suggested anyway.

One of Jeff's hands took hold of his waist and brought him in close contact, while the other one slid under Jared's pants and his lacy underwear to get to his skin ; to his asshole, that two fingers breached in the same movement.

"I say who and I say when people get tired of you ; you just obey. Is that clear ?"

"It's always been very clear, Jeff. I'm merely implying that I won't be forever young and pretty, and that some people prefer variety."

"Then you'll have to give them variety, stretch your talents and please them. Don't believe for even one second that I'll let you go if you don't make enough money. I'll just take a bigger part of your earnings and make you work double."

Jeff waited to see if Jared had some rejoinder to share, his fingers still playing in Jared's ass for a while. When it became evident that Jared would remain silent, Jeff let go of him and rinsed his hand in Jared's washing basin.

"Make sure you remember who you belong to, boy," Morgan concluded with a stinging slap on his ass before he headed out.

Posted in the downstairs hall, Chadwick helped Jeff put his cape and top hat back on before Jared heard him wish a good night to the visitor, then the sound of the door opening and closing indicated that his pimp was gone for good. Jared let out a sigh of relief.

With a determined shake of his head, Jared forgot what had just happened to get on with his task. He washed his teeth and mouth before he applied the pink cream on his lips again. Then he smiled brightly at his reflection.

Jensen Ackles wouldn't know what hit him.

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Jared had long ago learned to get himself in tune with his clients' habits and mores, to use his formidable ability to gauge, with each new person, the right balance between playing himself and the part those men wanted him to become, as reflected by his clothing choices.

One of the things he had found out about Ackles was that the man was a stickler for punctuality, so Jared arranged to get to the renowned restaurant five minutes before his appointment's time.

Even then, the journalist had made it already and Jared had to go swiftly through multiple hand-kissing and many invitations hopeful would-be lovers threw at him upon his arrival. As the maître d' took Jared's cape, purple so deep it looked almost black, and his coordinated hat, a modified faluche that showed off his hair prettily, he informed Jared that his guest was waiting for him in the Vaporous Boudoir that Jared had made downright infamous, for it was the place where he concluded most of his deals. Meeting for the first time in a neutral environment encouraged each party to feel more at ease, able to leave at any time in case the negotiation went wrong.

Jared didn't expect anything to go wrong tonight, but the Boudoir remained some kind of fetish for him, a good luck trick from which he drew support. So much of his future lay on the shoulders of the attractive man standing up to greet him with an appreciative glint in his remarkable and expressive green eyes.

Upon each occasion Jared found himself in front of Jensen Ackles, he realized his memory had once again underestimated the man's gorgeousness. Unless he proved a real jackass, Jared was going to enjoy every minute of sleeping with him. He couldn't wait particularly to discover how those pretty, plump lips would feel, on his own if he was so lucky, or anywhere else on his body.

Some kind of electricity saluted their first touch as Ackles took the hand Jared was offering in both of his.

"Jared, I was looking forward to this meeting."

The journalist bent over Jared's hand to apply a sweet but lingering kiss that had Jared grinning wide. It seemed his work was halfway done already.

"The pleasure's all mine, Mister Ackles."

"Please, call me Jensen. I hope we won't stand on formality tonight. I'm here so that we can get better acquainted."

"Very well, Jensen," Jared agreed and he gripped the other man's fingers tighter to show his appreciation.

God, those eyes ! Those lips ! The man was hot, so very hot that Jared had to banish the need to get on immediately with the sex, foregoing dinner and seduction. But then, he hadn't been attracted to someone in eons, such a long time that it looked like a new experience he wanted to make last and relish.

He felt unbalanced, but predominantly surprised. Beyond this unexpectedly fierce desire, it had been a very long time since Jared had been unable to read a potential client and was left unsure of his path. But therein lay the problem, right ? Jensen was neither a client nor a lover. He was a category unto himself, one that Jared had never approached or dealt with, one that could bring him to a state of attraction unlike anything he had experienced before.

Jared desired a man. For himself.

Jensen showed he had been raised as a gentleman as he held the chair while Jared sat at the dinner table, but he was still direct enough to scoot his own chair over, nearer to Jared's around the curved table, their hands separated only by a few centimeters of pristine white tablecloth. It was easy to guess that their knees weren't much more apart, to imagine that all those limbs would probably come in contact soon, governed by a mutual attraction too powerful to deny.

"I'm so delighted you accepted my invitation," Jared initiated the conversation. "My desire to meet you properly goes far back in time."

"Is that so ? Was it because of something I wrote ?"

"Nothing specific, but yes. Your articles, as well as your reputation, called to me. I thought we might be same-minded enough to enjoy a good discussion. Then I saw you, and my decision was made. None of your colleagues I've met had me wishing for any kind of close encounter."

Jared operated under the certainty that Jensen Ackles liked honesty and that he would not be charmed by flattery. He felt like he was riding a fine line between his attraction for the journalist and how vocal he could be about it. A modicum of subtlety was necessary here. But a frank approach of the deal was just as important to show that Jared was trustworthy and decided. As for the driving force behind his action, he would let Ackles infer if Jared's lust was just adorning his opportunism, to make it more presentable, or if his will to climb socially had taken a back seat to the hope for intense physical pleasure.

He was not quite sure himself of the answer now that he was seated next to the other man. He thought he had prepared for any possibility – that Ackles would not be interested in the end, that his talent in the sack would be so abysmal that Jared would have to put to good use his considerable array of professional tricks – but he hadn't foreseen his own reaction to the journalist's absurd sex appeal.

How very stupid of him ! As Jensen and he launched into small talk, Jared was reminded that, for all his years in the business, he was still a man subject to physical needs and primary attraction. It was a fight with himself to put the deal into motion and not engage in a simple but outrageous flirt.

"I'm happy we're able to talk so freely."

"You're the one who makes it so easy. Let me be blunt : you seem incredibly wholesome and stable for someone doing this job. Is that a façade ?"

"I guess I'm just wired that way. Why fret and worry when you can be happy, you know ? And as far as my job goes, all things considered, I can attest that I've been pretty lucky. In the end, it may be because of my sunny disposition that this career, which certainly wasn't a vocation, offered me so many opportunities."

"So why did you get into that life ? You're obviously learned, and smart. You could have chosen any career."

"It's more a matter of the job choosing me, than choosing the job. I learned early on that my body was my best asset and not to let anyone have it without paying."

Jared held Jensen's gaze for a long while before he went on.

"Unless I want it, of course."

He offered his hand, sliding it palm up over the table, and Jensen took it, slowly stroking along his life line with the tip of his thumb in a hypnotic manner that sent shivers through Jared's whole body.

"I may be doing this for the first time," Jensen recognized, "but I'm not totally clueless. I thought we were here for a… transaction. A business affair."

"It doesn't mean pleasure can't be sought and obtained by both parties in the process."

"I would hope so, even though I might have trouble measuring up to your previous lovers."

"That's not what I heard through the grapevine."

"Really ? You got me curious, here. I'm not famous, I don't mingle much with high society outside of a few friendships, unless there's information to be gained and used for my profession. I'm not the kind to flaunt it, and I only ever have one lover at a time. I was able to come here tonight because I ended my last relationship two months ago. Turned out he was not as faithful as he claimed to be ; my frequent travels made it quite easy for him to see other men. I was pissed but I doubt it made the headlines any more than the rest of my private life. But I'm here first and foremost, I must admit, because I was curious about you. Contrary to me, you are the kind of person who makes the headlines. I heard about you a lot, and I wanted to see for myself if half of those rumors were true."

"It would be my pleasure to help you find out. Just like I'd love to know if the rumors I heard – obviously through different sources of information – saying you're a very focused, very thorough lover are true. I want to experience how magnetic and irresistible you are."

"So I'll make a point of not disappointing you."

Jensen brought Jared's hand to his lips to kiss the palm. A pang of desire expanded from Jared's abdomen to his chest, a tidal wave that didn't stop before it got to his toes and the roots of his hair, exquisite and troubling sensation previously unknown despite his many lovers. He actually wanted this, the seduction and the foreplay. Maybe it was the fact that no money would be exchanged, or maybe it was all Jensen, but he really wanted it ; wanted, instead of just having sex, to know what making love meant, with a strong man who wouldn't compromise his beliefs for a courtesan ready to do just about anything to him.

He had to finalize the deal right now.

"From your previous words, I assume you're aware of the kind of services you and I can bring to the other."

"Indeed, I've been told about meetings of that kind between some of your colleagues and a few of mine – lucky fellows !"

"Do you have questions ? Worries ?"

"I admit to wondering how much I rate for you. I know already that you had Stuart introducing us at the biennial exposition, because he knew both of us and you probably thought it would look like less like a set-up, that I wouldn't be as wary of your intentions with such an informal meeting. What I don't know is how much he made you pay for that service, after the little stunt you pulled on him two years ago."

Jared should have known that Jensen would not be fooled by their fortuitous encounter, and that he would do his homework before tonight's meeting. Just like he should have known that this stunt Jensen had evoked would come back someday to bite him in the ass. Literally. But Jared didn't have a mean bone in his body – he had had to be very, very angry to think of that stunt in the first place – and it always proved difficult for him to imagine nastiness in other people.

Back then, Jared had taken the duke's money for fifteen minutes of his time ; fifteen minutes he had employed to disrobe enticingly, slowly untying all the knots and laces he had purposely fitted his clothes with, only to throw his would-be lover out once the time had been over. Stuart only got to see his bare chest and his long legs, not his gorgeous ass that had taken over the city a few months before and was the talk of the whole nightlife, and he certainly didn't get to fuck him. Jared despised Stuart since the man had abandoned one of his lorette friends, who Stuart had convinced to become exclusive with him, after he had gotten her pregnant. He downright hated him after the duke didn't even bother to send flowers for her funeral when she had died giving birth to his bastard.

No need to mention that the hate was mutual after their failed encounter, especially when Stuart's discomfiture had made it to the gossip lines and ridiculed him forever.

"One week," Jared answered softly, eyes hidden behind his bangs because honesty was not his strong point, driven out of him a long time ago, and he had a hard time sharing when everything about his life meant being who his clients wanted him to be, not his real self. But he was pretty sure Jensen would see through any lie and he didn't want to risk it. "I had to give him one week after you and I met, and agree to everything in advance, as long as it wouldn't injure me or put indelible marks on my body."

And Stuart had made sure this time to get his money's worth, keeping him naked and fucking him like the most desperate whore, anytime and anywhere he wished, beating him just as easily. But the hellish week also seemed worth it to Jared, cost-wise, now that he was seated in a private room of the most fashionable restaurant, next to the man who could change his future. Once more fascinated by his incredibly focused and so pretty eyes. By these lips made for kissing.

Jensen looked like his breath had gone with Jared's revelations but he recouped quickly.

"One week," he repeated, stunned. "One week with Stuart. It never occurred to me that I could rate so high. Not on your scale, anyway. And I can't believe the duke was still enough of a fool to introduce us before you gave him anything in exchange."

"I guess he knew how much meeting you meant to me. Maybe he thought that you'd see right through it, and then you'd disapprove of my duplicity in case I wasn't faithful, or you'd be disgusted by what I had to do to get my wish."

There was kind of a question mark at the end of Jared's sentence.

"Then he was wrong. I admire tenacity and professionalism. And he underestimated your appeal by a mile, it's evident now."

Jared's heart skipped a beat. For some muddy reason, the idea that Jensen Ackles was attracted to him had taken on a whole new meaning in the few moments they had just spent together. Not so much a professional victory as a personal gain.

"Does it mean that maybe you wouldn't have agreed to this rendezvous with someone else ?"

"I'm not sure. Probably not as readily, in any case. Not so impatiently."

Dinner went on, punctuated with succulent victuals and pretty sweet wines, and Jared's gut feeling consolidated into a tangible truth. Jensen and he shared many interests and likes, ranging from philosophy to an appreciation for beautiful men, via popular music and simple cooking. And if on occasion their opinions didn't match, Jared never felt belittled or judged for his – he noticed it at the same time he realized he had felt at ease enough to speak freely about his personal likes and dislikes, without particular regard for the fact that they matched Jensen's or not.

Sexual tension rose progressively between them, up to the point where they decided to forego dessert. As the waiter left after serving the liquors, Jensen drew his chair even nearer and took hold of Jared's hand again. He linked their fingers over his thigh and watched them.

"Before anything happens," he said, pensive and looking for his words, "I want to make this clear : I wasn't sure I would go with the deal when I came here tonight. It felt kind of…mercenary, even if I'm pretty sure many think that one would have to be stupid to refuse such an opportunity to be with a man like you. I've had my fair share of wild and crazy relationships when I was younger, quite a few one-night stands too, but nothing that resembles what we're about to do."

"Does it mean... ?"

"Yes, I'm sure I want it now. Because it's you, and there's no doubt I want you. You're pretty much the sexiest and most seductive human being I've ever met, but I've also enjoyed this evening and I really appreciate the person you've let me see. If you want this too, then I'm game."

Jared's response was to lift Jensen's hand to his face to caress his lips with the knuckles. Then Jensen spread his fingers to cup Jared's cheek, somehow getting even closer in the process.

"How do you like it ?" Jared enquired. "Do you enjoy taking charge ? Or would you prefer that I do all the work ?"

"Other than my preference for topping, I'm pretty flexible. But tonight, I think I'd like to take charge, if it's okay with you ? Get to disrobe you the way I want, piece by piece, at my own pace. Would you enjoy that too ?"

"More than anything. I'm yours to play with."

It was all the invitation Jensen needed to lean forward. Jared's eyes begin to close, wanting to enjoy Jensen's lips on his own without any other stimulus to disrupt the sensation, but they opened again when Jensen paused in his move.

"Can I kiss you ? Do you even kiss ?"

"Oh yes, I very much want you to kiss me."

The teasing began, Jensen's mouth meeting his own only to withdraw, tiny licks of his tongue as a proof of the other man's continuous interest. Jared let go of his expectations and doubts, willing his body to live in the moment, in the fierce pleasure of having the most beautiful man slowly unleashing his desire. He had been so right to wish for the feel of Jensen's mouth, inside and out, new and exciting ; for this glorious feeling that kissing was a goal in itself for Jensen, not just a means to an end, the fastest way to Jared's body.

The journalist's other hand, the one not occupied in Jared's hair, found his waist and slid around to get to the small of his back before it began to roam leisurely up, up until the large expanse of Jared's shoulders. Even through the light fabric of his shirt, Jensen's heat did things to Jared that soon became apparent.

"Maybe we could take this to the alcove ?" Jared suggested breathlessly when Jensen's lips left him more or less able to speak.

He was not usually the one to speed things up, but there he was, ready to burst and so hungry for Jensen's touch. In such a hurry to see his body, too, to feel skin against skin.

Of course, they had to separate to do so, to stand and walk to the alcove, push the curtains open to uncover the bed. It took a few more minutes of kissing and heavy petting before they found in themselves the will to finally stand apart for a short moment. Even then, Jensen clung to Jared's back while Jared prepared their love nest, and he kept on kissing the nape of his neck, sending shivers right along Jared's spine.

Soon, his jacket was gone, and his shirt unbuttoned. In the next moment, Jensen's hands were on his chest, mapping his pectorals and stroking his nipples with fingers and mouth to the sound of Jared's enthusiastic and truthful encouragements. And then his trousers went away, and Jared was left in nothing but his lacy and unusual underwear.

"You're full of surprises, aren't you ?"

Jensen's smile turned hungry while his fingers scouted the separate pouch keeping Jared's balls snuggled together, and next the see-through sheath encasing the length of his cock, save for the top of his crown, leaving his slit unobstructed. Jared held his breath.

Men loved to unwrap him, like a gift, a treasure. The infinite possibilities felt like a game. Some simply untied his sheath to let his cock hang exposed while his ass and balls were still covered in lace, some kept it all wrapped, playing with the slit of his dick while they detached the hole behind to reveal his more personal, intimate opening. Jared had an indecent collection of special underwear at home, and it seemed he had chosen the right one to entice his new lover.

Jensen admired him for a long while, his hands stroking Jared over the racy lace.

"You're just as beautiful as in my fantasies, but reality feels incredibly better."

Jensen finished uncovering his whole body then, bit after bit of skin appearing under his hands, like performing a magical trick whose ultimate goal was to get Jared naked and offered.

Nudity had stopped bothering Jared a long time ago. Too many men had watched him, at times as a simple means to fuck him, sometimes enjoying the view even more than any other sexual activity. Sometimes even with the notion that Jared's nakedness embodied his helplessness, enhanced their own dominance.

Nothing was farther from the truth. Nudity had come to mean next to nothing, save for the way Jared dealt with his clients' own fascination for his bare body.

Yet here he was, unbalanced once again to realize this wasn't true with Jensen. A part of him felt happily licentious, sexually charged by Jensen's devouring stares. Another part complained about Jensen's still complete clothing, fueled by his own need to see more.

"You know the reverse is true," Jensen said, and then went on when he picked up on Jared's questioning look. "I'm also yours to play with."

Jensen's explicit permission dispelled in Jared the fear of wanting and taking too much. On their own accord, his hands went in search for the warm body, alternately soft or hard in all the right places. They disrobed, they gripped and stroked and mapped in their turn.

Damn ! Jensen didn't need any alluring underwear to be the most attractive man Jared had ever seen. He was strong and battle-scarred, manly and eager. He was all of Jared's fantasies summed up into one of the prettiest packages he had ever had the privilege to sleep with.

They spent an unusual amount of time discovering each other's body. With other clients, Jared might have felt dearly the passing of minutes but he found he enjoyed all of them this time, taken by the same need as Jensen to feel that he knew the terrain, but not as a simple visitor ; that he could claim and be proud of his thorough knowledge of this magnificent man. Of his body, at the very least.

He followed Jensen's hands' silent order and laid on his front, secure in his body's seduction. Jensen's eyes moved like flames on his skin, warm and heavy, quicker than his fingers, almost as arousing all along his buttocks. Left and right, and up and down, and Jared let a small, unexpected whimper escape his hold.

Jensen's lips felt but like a kiss on his hole, the fluttering of wings on his delicate flesh as his lover's fingers traced his rim over and over, reverent discovery that made him feel new and clean.

"You smell… true. Earthy."

Strange choice of words, but still Jared understood. Contrary to other courtesans, and unless he was paid for something different, he only ever used basic hygiene products and the scent his clients got was his very own. He disliked the heady perfumes and sugary fragrances some of his colleagues drenched themselves with. Jensen, it seemed, shared his preference, his scent, so natural and personal, crazily attractive to Jared's nose.

"Do you have condoms ?" Jensen asked, his voice wrecked by desire.

Jared extended a searching hand towards the side of the bed where a drawer hidden by tulle and muslin opened for him and revealed its treasure of scented oils, rubbers and Vaseline. The next drawers contained many toys that he wouldn't need tonight, not right now anyway.

He disposed a vial over a small bowl heated by a flame to make sure the jelly would be soon brought to a nice warm temperature. Jensen quickly took over after more kisses, dipping a finger to check the lube's readiness before he brought it back to enter Jared's ass.

Jared turned again, and then he bent his legs and tilted his hips to give Jensen full, unrestrained access, smiling with satisfaction at the man's avid gaze. He found himself thoroughly prepared, lovingly opened, one more finger inside him, and then yet another one, completely at ease under Jensen's care.

"I'm ready now, and I want you."

"What's your favorite position ? Is there something you imagined for the two of us that you'd like to try together ?"

"This is generally my line, you know ? It's my job to make sure you get to live all your fantasies."

"In my fantasies, you enjoy yourself just as much as I do."

It shouldn't have hit so hard. Not all of his clients were selfish brutes who just took and never gave back. Some were even great people with whom Jared had an equally great time, regardless of the fact that he was paid for it.

None of them had shown the genuine care for Jared's feelings and pleasure Jensen offered so freely. His fees built a wall between him and his clients, so resistant that most feelings couldn't pass through, climb or bypass it. Most men were very okay with this, protected from getting involved, and Jared counted himself as one of them, all the more happy because it also made him rich.

"I like it this way," he then acknowledged, "face to face."

He watched as Jensen stretched the condom on his cock and he couldn't resist gathering some Vaseline to coat it with, stroking the shaft slowly with his firm grip, one way then the other. Up and down, and a little twist right before the crown, varying pressure meant to arouse and frustrate, to push Jensen to take him at last, to fuck him senseless.

His eagerness paid off and his reward was more teasing. Jensen's smirk told him all about the man's need to lead right now, as he pushed his fingers once more into Jared in lieu of his perfect cock. Jared's hips tilted up again, begging for more action, for Jensen's invasion.

"Jensen, please, I need you."

Jensen gave in finally, and the way he slid into Jared was slow but confident. Jared surmised such a gorgeous man had had many lovers eager, especially in his young age, to teach him about lovemaking. It was a happy turn of events that he hadn't developed arrogance and condescension over it, just an easy confidence allowing him to care for his lover and forget about technique.

Jared's back arched impossibly at the first touch of Jensen's cock against his prostate, basic, simple caress that never failed to send him high. Jensen didn't miss his reaction and he offered him the gift of his strokes again and again, passionately watching Jared keen and moan, drinking from his lips the words asking for more. Always more.

The rhythm changed, accelerated. Still his prostate lightened and sent fire throughout his whole body. His cock throbbed, rubbing against Jensen's stomach with every one of his thrusts. He tracked with his eyes the little drop of sweat sliding along Jensen's face, and then his neck, up until it crossed his throat and Jared's tongue snatched it. His lips closed on Jensen's neck, sucking bites and kisses into his lover's skin to make sure he would be remembered tomorrow and the next few days, hoping that his impression on Jensen would go far beyond a shallow love mark.

"More," he begged again, knowing it would end soon.

Neither of them had the power to make it last much longer, but they could certainly go at it deeper, and harder. Jensen gave it his best shot, spreading Jared's legs wider, creating more space for himself, and shoving at him forcefully. Jared's moan morphed into cries. The string quartet in the restaurant room behind the wall engaged in a loud and animated polka-like piece to drown the sounds of Jared's pleasure.

Jensen's head came down to suck on each of his nipples, and then to kiss him some more, enough to give them both time to calm down a bit before he went anew, just as forcefully as before.

In no time, they were walking the edge again, more than ready and eager to fall into this alluring abyss together. They pushed for more, sloppy kisses and random caresses bringing them always closer. And then they stumbled over, Jared first, closely followed by Jensen, and it was a long time before Jared was able to take in his surroundings again, the persistent odor of sex, the warm body nestled against his, the need to kiss some more.

They dozed for a while, and then made love again, twice, getting always higher until they were too tired to do anything more than kiss and talk, and sometimes not even that.

"What are you looking at ?" Jared asked when he woke up after another nap to find Jensen watching him, something close to an unusual lack of self-confidence creeping in his voice in response to such a long and unbelievably amorous stare.

Jensen's hands answered first, coming up to trace the highlights of Jared's face.

"You. The way your hair riots after love and fights to escape while your features soften. Even your skin doesn't glow in the same manner. It feels… content."

Jared had had a novel writer for a client once, at the beginning of his rising through the ranks of prostitution. The idea that maybe he could become the man's muse had motivated his decision to sleep with him when Jeff wasn't so hot about it, arguing the author was a noted spendthrift who might never pay for Jared's work. And he had been right. Not only did the guy fuck him like he was a woman, he didn't care what a prostitute could think about literature or sociology, only asking about what Jared's days looked like and the ways in which he satisfied his clients, obviously looking for facts for his next story rather than the inspiration of a beloved muse. Jared had felt in the writer more compassion for his characters than for a fellow, lowly human being.

Today, he had invited Jensen with a very mercenary goal in mind, rid of any romantic notion about muse and love, and Jensen did this to him. The journalist proved to possess more of a poetic streak than his famous writer. More gentleness too, and an eye for observing people to their core that left Jared just as breathless as their lovemaking.

He felt he had been made love to for the first time in his life. He wished to repeat the experience, to do it again and again to make sure it wasn't a fluke, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

They said their goodbyes and parted ways in the next hour as dawn was breaking outside, Jared strangely reluctant to put an end to a unique encounter that had brought him personally far more than the intended outcome. Jensen seemed to suffer the same predicament and it softened Jared's melancholy. Despite his few moments of uncertainty along the course of the night, he was pretty sure right now that Jensen would agree to any other offer to meet again. No publicity required, no strings attached.

He would wait for Jensen's article and, if the man proved trustworthy, Jared would consider with pleasure allowing himself a love life on the side, free of fee and duty.

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Jared woke up as his valet entered after a light knock. Without a word, Chadwick set the tray on the nightstand and glided silently towards the window to open the curtains. The noonday sun invaded the bedroom, painting lively and warm colors on the walls and furniture.

Jared sat in his bed, feeling a bit sleepy still, but mostly fabulously sated, in a way he hadn't for a long while. No pain in his ass this morning, although he remembered how thoroughly Jensen had used him. How lovingly he had taken care of him.

Chadwick came back just as silently to put the tray over his legs but, instead of filling his cup of coffee like every morning with the steaming pot, he unfolded the journal lying on the tray and offered it to Jared.

"I recommend that you go directly to page 4, sir."

Jared looked blankly at the Gazette for a moment. The Gazette ! Jensen's newspaper. Could it be that… ? So soon ?

He flipped the newspaper to the fourth page and yes, here it was already, under one of his most admired photographs, the article he had been hoping for. Jared closed his eyes for a second, praying he didn't really know to whom that Jensen wouldn't let him down.

Modern courtesan, by Jensen Ackles

Meeting Jared Padalecki was akin for me to a transcendental experience. So much beauty and spirit in a single frame would be too much for anyone else, and as soon as you find yourself in front of the lauded courtesan, you understand why he's so tall and broad : no other silhouette would have allowed for such a strong personality.

Polite and well-mannered, he knows how to listen ; far from being just a pretty face, he understands what you say as well as what you mean. You're possibly amused or turned on by his clothing quirks and surprisingly sexy underwear. You might let yourself be distracted by his carnal envelope, the perfection of his smiling face, the slanting of his eyes, the little moles that beg for the touch of your tongue, just like his lips beg for yours and his bottom begs for the caress of your hands. But Jared won't let you forget that he's more than the sum of his physical assets, as otherworldly as they look.

He's muscular, yet slender still, his chest a thing of beauty that can only get more attractive as Jared will become more and more of a man. This abdominal gorgeousness never lets you question the protectiveness you feel over the person, as if the child Jared used to be, not that long ago, this child is still there, close under the surface, showing in playful laugh and big gestures calling for your attention. And you want to indulge him.

You know you're besotted and yet you can't help it. You take it all in and you want ; a blazing, easy-in-its-thoroughness-and-evidence want. Then you succumb, willingly.

There's a strong will behind this fiery gaze, and it's all turned on you, to make sure you're enjoying your time in his presence. Despite a life that probably had its fair share of tough moments and scary encounters, enough to lead to such a career, there's no sense of bitterness in the man. You find yourself enraptured by the wide smile enhanced by deep dimples, showing yourself off and preening to make sure he'll bestow another one on you soon. Like a drug, you need Jared's full attention, the feeling that you're the only person in the world for him in this instant, and maybe still in the next ones. You're proud of capturing his interest and engendering the kind of conversation best suited perhaps to a library or a university thesis. He matches you, idea for idea, arguments for counterarguments. He makes you think as much as desire. And he gives as good as he gets. In any way.

Of course, he's not without the artifices that have made him and all his colleagues famous around the world for the pleasures they're associated with. He's mastered all the ways to laugh seductively, to ensure that your eyes will be caught by the view of his long neck that you suddenly want to bite and lick, regressing to the mental state of our more animalistic ancestors. You want to claim him as yours, grip his lush mane and drag him back to your cavern to have your wicked way with him. In all his alternately playful and dirty tricks, Jared makes you want to possess him. You want to hear him moan your name in passion or cry out in delight, just as much as you wished to impress him with your brain a few minutes prior.

And then you're sated but you can already tell that you won't ever forget those hours spent with the most attractive and fascinating courtesan of our century, that they will be part of the highlights of your life, the kind of memories you'll enjoy telling your peers when you're old, living in your past more than the youth's present. Those young people of the future, who may not have had the chance to know Jared Padalecki in his full glory but hopefully will always remember the one important thing about him, the truth I want to end this piece with.

More than a courtesan, Jared Padalecki is a good man, one that you'll feel better for knowing.

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It was not even two o'clock in the afternoon when the first messenger arrived with an invitation from the Earl of Ashby to his Naughty Cotillion on Wednesday night. Jared had crossed the man's path more than a few times but never had the earl saluted him or acknowledged his presence in any way. But Jared now held in his hands the elegant calling card inviting him personally to the most elitist of the cheeky soirées of the Bon Ton. All because of Jensen's praising prose.

He would have to prove that he was just as good as the journalist had written. He felt ready for the challenge, ready to mingle with those people and show what stuff he was made of, the reason why he had impressed Jensen Ackles.

Five more invitations found their way to his house in the next hour, brought by obsequious valets who wouldn't have known Jared the day before, opening for him the doors to events previously beyond his social circle. Each one heralded the reign of Jared Padalecki over the nightlife world and the subsequent fortune he was bound to make.

Dressed and ready for the day, Jared sat at his desk to reply. Those invitations would have to wait, though, because the pride he felt receiving them paled next to the feeling Jensen's words had awakened in him. It was as close to a declaration of love as he had ever gotten, the most beautiful testament of devotion and admiration, from a man he thought he could learn to love in return.

He would make time for Jensen, whatever Jeff had to say about it ; he would offer to include his new friend in his more private life, to share intimate moments with him in the sanctuary of his own bedroom, not the one he reserved for his clients. If the journalist was able to accept his job's obligations, then maybe they could make something of this mutual attraction. Jared wanted to believe in him, in them together.

Decision made, he selected his best pen and the blue ink he favored, specially made for him, to issue his pressing invitation.

My dear friend Jensen,

I'm calling on you to join me this afternoon in my humble abode at your earliest convenience. There are so many things I need to tell you, to share with you, that I'm not sure this rendezvous will suffice in this enjoyable task but I know we'll be able to arrange for more informal meetings in the future to partake in our love for philosophy and good food. I can't wait to explore further the kinship we discovered last night.

Until then, your devoted,

Jared Padalecki

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