6 - Asher & Roman
Asher startled, tearing his gaze away from the storefront to stare wide eyed at Roman. “What? No. It’s nothing, it just caught my eye for a second. It’s nothing. Let’s go. We don’t have a ton of time until the party. We should really be going..”
Asher sped up his pace, leaving Roman blinking in surprise in his wake. Neither said anything as they left the store behind.
Once the store was out of view, Asher breathed out a sigh of relief, returning to a regular pace. But his relief didn’t last long. A cold sweat broke over Asher’s body at Roman’s next words.
“What was it about that store that flustered you so, Asher?”
Asher felt a rising panic bubble up in his throat. He couldn’t let people know his secret. He just couldn’t. So he deflected.
“You’re very direct for a man who’s known me less than 3 hours.”
He could see Roman was side-eying him and Asher swallowed, nervous. He just wanted to be held. Be held, and forget all the crummy things in life. But he couldn’t. Real life rarely was that kind.
“In my experience, you can be as direct as you like when you have money. People tend to forget any grievances you make when you flash a hundred dollar bill in front of them.”
Asher was surprised his misdirect worked, and thanked whatever God there may be that Roman had dropped the line of questioning.
“Are you trying to bribe me, Mr. Verlaine?” Asher teased.
“Why would I try to bribe someone I’m already paying for? Seems pretty counterintuitive.”
The quick retort died on Asher’s tongue at the reminder this was a job. And that getting friendly with a client would do nothing but lead Asher to getting attached, and hurt in the end.
Asher liked to pretend he could keep a distance, but with a single look on his face, Asher was hooked on Roman Verlaine’s line. And the more they spent time together, the more Roman pulled him in, and Asher was helpless to stop it.
There was just this..spark. Asher couldn’t explain it, or why it burned so bright. But it did. That worried Asher. Very few men could love a guy with..interests like him.
Roman had fucked up. He still cringed at the memory of his ‘paying’ comment.
Asher had been quiet the rest of the walk out of the shopping center, and Roman hadn’t known what to do to dispel the awkward silence between them. Usually, Roman cared little for others' opinions of him. But he cared about Asher’s opinions.
But it was only one night. It didn’t matter if Asher liked him or not. They simply had a part to play, then would split and go their separate ways. Roman would tell his family in a few weeks they had broken up, and that would be that.
The silence has reigned all the way to the parking lot. Not knowing what to say, Roman simply texted Asher to be ready at 7:30, and provide an address to be picked up at.
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