“Don’t wander off far, Spock,” Mother told him. “This is a dangerous place.”
“I am well aware of that, Mother. I am armed.”
She nodded, studying him carefully. “Don’t hesitate to defend yourself. Whatever is necessary.” She leaned over and straightened the collar of his sweater. “Your father and I will not be long. I expect you to be back here and waiting to return to the hotel in ninety minutes.”
“I will be.” He pulled away from her fussing.
He waited until she went back inside the conference room before turning away. The nearby Empire Guards barely glanced his way. Spock supposed they found little to be threatened by in a teenaged Vulcan. If only they knew some of the Vulcans Spock knew.
He went to the exit of the building and out into the night. Mother was not wrong. The area was dangerous. But there really wasn’t any part of Terra that was not. Not for him. Not really for anyone. But there were those who thought the thinner, elegant builds of Vulcans meant they were easy prey. Those assumptions generally proved incorrect.
Spock looked to the right and then the left. He decided a walk down by the pier would be better. Perhaps more dangerous still. He did not particularly care.
He had gone a block when he noticed the blond boy following him. He was actually fairly good at evading detection, but Spock was better still at detecting. Even from this distance he could get the boy’s emotions. Fear, lust, fascination, intrigue, and sorrow. So much sorrow.
Spock turned a corner and the blond human followed. He was getting bolder now, creeping closer to Spock’s position. He felt pain from the boy, physical pain. From his lip. Spock touched his own lips and then turned abruptly to face his pursuer.
The boy stopped, frozen. His blue eyes were wide in surprise and undisguised fear. He looked ready to bolt. His lip was split and there was still dried blood caked in the corner of his mouth.
“I will not harm you.” Spock paused. “James.”
His breath caught. “How do you know my name?”
“I got it from your mind.”
“It’s Jim. And, wow. Really? Vulcans are that good?”
“You should exercise caution around Vulcans, Jim. Not all of them are as kind as I am.”
“I-I was just curious is all. I wasn’t going to rob you or anything.”
“Indeed you were not.” Spock placed his hand on his scabbard. “The last who tried did not live long.”
Jim licked his lips, nodding nervously.
“What happened to your lip?”
Jim shrugged. “I got it for refusing.”
“To suck a guy’s cock. He busted my lip and I had to suck him anyway.” His gaze slid away from Spock’s, skittering around the area.
“You live on the streets?”
“No. I have an apartment with another. He’s currently off planet.”
That earned him a shaky laugh. “No. My master.”
Spock blinked. “You are a slave?”
“Of sorts. He’s sort of a master and a pimp.” Jim shrugged. “Whatever. Who cares.”
Spock noticed that Jim’s clothes were torn too. When he spoke of the man who lived with him, Jim’s fear had increased. He tried to be nonchalant about it but without much success. Spock could read his terror well.
“Show me your apartment.”
Jim raised his eyebrows. “Yeah? You got money?”
The blond human bit his lip. “I don’t do anything weird.”
“What do you consider weird?”
“I don’t know. Just, um, keep that in mind.”
They began to walk in the direction Spock had been going anyway and as they reached a barely lit area, a man came out of the shadows and grabbed Jim by his middle.
“There you are, Jimmy boy.”
Spock could smell the alcohol pouring off the cretin. Sour and stale with sweat and sexual fluids. Not washed in a long time.
“Let go of me. I already told you no.” Jim squirmed in the man’s grasp as the drunk stuck his hand on Jim’s crotch and squeezed hard enough to make Jim whimper.
“You ain’t allowed to say no. You’re a whore. You know what Pike said. You gotta. So bend over, boy, and I’ll make it only a little painful this time.” He leered at Jim and started kissing the human. Jim tried to push him away.
Spock had seen enough. He reached over and squeezed the man’s neck. He fell to the ground.
Jim wiped his mouth and spit next to the man. “So, that’s real, huh?”
“The Vulcan Neck Pinch.”
“Clearly,” Spock said coolly. He kicked the man on the ground in the stomach as they continued past him. He considered killing him, but for now, he let him live.
“Thanks for that. Not that I couldn’t handle it myself or anything.”
Spock ignored the bravado for what it was. “You are welcome. You deal with that a lot?”
“Pike is the man you live with?”
“Yeah. A right, mean bastard.” Jim spit on the sidewalk. “Keeps me alive though, I guess.” They stopped in front of a very rundown building. “Home sweet home.”
“You are applying sarcasm.”
Jim smirked. “No shit. You never told me your name.”
“I am Spock.”
His blue eyes widened. “Shit, really? Ambassador Sarek’s son?”
“Yes. Then you have heard of us.”
“Duh. Everyone has heard of you. And him. He saved the Emperor’s life. He’s the Emperor’s most trusted advisor. You’re practically Vulcan royalty.”
“Are you sure you want to come into my apartment?”
“Lead the way.”
Jim licked his lips and opened the door that was leaning on its hinges. He stepped around some debris and Spock followed suit. Jim stopped at a set of stairs that did not look stable to Spock. He headed up them and Spock went after him.
Jim picked the lock of the door and went inside. It was more of a room than an apartment. With a double bed in the middle of it with a soiled mattress. There was a bathroom to the side that had a cracked tub, a sink, and a toilet.
“Real glamorous,” Jim cracked. “What do you want to do?”
“First? Come here.” Spock grabbed Jim’s wrist, pulling him into the bathroom. He raised his shields at the constant barrage of the blond’s thoughts and feelings. Spock would not be distracted. He wet a cloth and wiped it across the blood on Jim’s mouth. Then he washed Jim’s face. He shook his head. It was too much. “Remove those clothes and get in the shower.”
“You want shower sex?”
“What I want is for you to get in the shower. If we are going to copulate, I prefer clean.”
Jim stared at him. “Vulcans are as odd as they say.”
“Perhaps.” Spock removed Jim’s shirt for him and then went to do the same with his pants, but Jim batted Spock’s hands away. He stepped around the blond. And turned on the shower spray. Brown water came shooting out at first, then it turned clear.
“Nothing but the best,” Jim said with a grimace. He got in the shower and Spock stepped out of the bathroom. He only had an hour left before he was to return to the embassy.