Aug. 14th, 2011 09:58 pm
hannah_chapter1: (Calm)
Title: Substitute
Author: hannah_chapter
Pairing: Belldom, kind of.
Summary: "You're not him. You never will be."
Rating: 15/R
Feedback: Would be most welcome
Disclaimer: I don't own them, this is fiction.

"We can't do this anymore. You're not him. You never will be."

While this were not the last words he ever said to me, these are the ones that matter. These are the words that haunt me, the words that turned my precious little world upside down.

Let's go back to the beginning.

I'm a prostitute, or I used to be. But I wasn't some cheap rent boy, giving blowjobs in filthy alleys for twenty quid a go. I worked for an escort agency and we were never referred to as prostitutes, oh no. We were "companions." Men would phone the agency, say they were lonely and ask for some "company." We'd meet these men, usually in a hotel bar, and we'd go to dinner with them, or drinking, or clubbing, whatever they wanted to do. But the evening always ended the same way, with two sweat-soaked bodies writhing together on a bed somewhere.

We may have been high-class whores, but a high-class whore is still a whore.

Do I sound bitter? I'm not, not really. It wasn't something I'd bring up in polite conversation but I wasn't ashamed of what I did for a living and, for a while there, I was happy in my work. Why should that surprise anyone? The hours were good, the money was fantastic and being with the agency meant the work itself was reasonably safe. They had ... ways ... of dealing with clients who got rough or refused to pay. Everything was going so well - then he came along.


I was on the desk the day he called, picking up some extra money by filling in for a sick receptionist. He was so shy and quiet on the phone and I kept expecting him to lose his nerve and hang up, as so many of them did. When I asked him if he had any special preference he stayed silent for so long I thought he really had hung up on me. But then his voice was in my ear again, little more than a whisper. He wanted a blond, slim, with grey eyes if that was possible. Smiling at my own reflection in the polished countertop, I assured him it was.

I met him the following evening, in the bar of the Radison hotel. I wasn't sure what to expect. But when he stood and shook my hand, I was pleasantly surprised and I did find myself wondering why he felt the need to contact the agency in the first place. Matthew wasn't what you'd call conventionally handsome but he was ... intriguing. While it's true that he was small and skinny, he had great cheekbones and the most amazing blue eyes I'd ever seen. He was shy on the phone but, face to face, he was chatty and actually quite sweet. A man like that shouldn't have had any problems attracting men. But if he wanted to pay for it, who was I to disagree?

The second time we met he showed up with two shopping bags, each one so stuffed with new clothes it was in serious danger of bursting. Keeping his eyes on the floor at all times, he told me he'd like me to "dress up" for our "dates." But I didn't have to do it if I didn't want to, it was just an idea, he thought I'd look good in these clothes.... He rambled on until I put a hand on his arm. I'd do whatever he wanted me to, I told him. I didn't mind. It's not like this was the first time a client had asked me to play dress up - but I kept that little fact to myself.

I stayed as I was that night and, when I got home, I spread my new clothes (most of them with the tags still on) out on my bed. Rubbing my eyes, I started to laugh. Tight tops and shirts, skinny jeans and brightly coloured trousers, okay, the leather jacket was nice, but a leopard print belt? Who dresses like that? There was even a bottle of cologne and a pair of aviator sunglasses at the bottom of one bag. My own taste in clothes tends to run to the more conservative end of the spectrum and I was sure these new clothes would look ridiculous. Imagine my surprise when I tried some on and realised I looked good in them. A bit flamboyant, maybe, a bit of a peacock, but not the walking practical joke I feared I'd be. I did get some funny looks and raised eyebrows on the way to my third date with Matthew, but the way his face lit up when he saw me made it all worthwhile.

We soon fell into a routine. On the first and third Friday of the month, Matthew would call the agency and ask for me. I'd meet him at a hotel, we'd go to dinner and then up to the room he'd reserved. The sex? Well, it was pretty pedestrian, as these things go. He usually wanted a blowjob, but sometimes he wanted me to fuck him. Nothing wild, no whips or chains or toys, no dangling from the chandelier. In bed he was passive, happy to let me do all the work. He never wanted to be on top. Afterwards, he'd lie in my arms and I soon realised that this was what he came for. He paid for sex but what he really wanted was someone to hold him.

The months flew by and I found myself thinking of Matthew more and more, even when we didn't have a date. He was just so different from my other clients and, when ten months had come and gone, I knew I'd done something very unprofessional: I'd fallen in love with a client. I never told him; I didn't know how and even then, before it all came crashing down, I knew he could never return my feelings.

It happened almost a year to the day of our first meeting. I knew something was wrong the minute I walked into the bar. Matthew's face was flushed and he was drunk, drunker than I'd ever seen him. He wasn't much of a drinker, a couple of glasses of wine with dinner and he was done. But there was no time for dinner this night as he grabbed me and hurried me up to the room. I didn't even have time to shut the door before he was on me, tearing at my clothes.

He stripped me, shoved me on the bed and pulled at his own clothes, tearing some buttons off his shirt. Naked, he crawled on top of me and, for the first and last time, he fucked me. When I woke the next morning I found bruises on my wrists from where he pinned me to the bed but I knew he didn't mean to hurt me. He wasn't violent, just desperate. I looked up at him as he pumped away inside me, his eyes closed and his lower lip caught between his teeth and I wasn't afraid of him, I was afraid for him. What could have happened to make him act this way? He bucked up into me and, as he came, he gasped out one word:

"... Dom ..."

Matthew froze, his eyes flew open and bored into mine. He tore himself away from me, sobbing for breath. He found his wallet and threw some notes on the floor, mumbling apologies all the while. Then he gathered up his clothes and fled the room, not even stopping long enough to dress. I don't know how long I lay there, staring at the door, but I eventually got dressed and stumbled home.

Matthew stopped calling, which didn't surprise me. But then, six weeks after our last encounter, I came out of the agency one evening and found him waiting for me. We needed to talk, he said. He took me to a hotel, a different hotel, and we went right up to the room, just like the last time. But he didn't even try to touch me. He sat on the bed and stared at the wall and I sat on the floor and stared at him. Then he sighed.

"We can't do this anymore. You're not him. You never will be."

"Who's he?"

Matthew took a deep breath and then the story came tumbling out. He met Dominic when they were both sixteen and it was love at first sight. Now, people say that kind of relationship can't last - but this one did. Matthew and Dominic stayed together for almost eighteen years, right up until the car crash that took Dominic's life.

Matthew stumbled around in a daze for months. Coming up on the first anniversary of Dominic's death, Matthew's friends and family were urging him to go out and find someone new, Hiring a prostitute probably wasn't what they had in mind. But Matthew had only ever been with Dominic and he didn't know where to begin and he was so fucking lonely and a prostitute was better than nothing. And, when he was with me, he could close his eyes and almost believe he was with Dominic again. Pulling out his wallet, Matthew showed me a picture of a smiling blond in yellow trousers and I saw what he meant.

We could have been brothers. The resemblance was that close.

But, as the months wore on, it got harder and harder for Matthew to keep up the charade and, on the second anniversary of Dominic's death, our last night together, it all fell apart. Saying Dominic's name while he was inside me, that was Matthew's wake up call. He couldn't do it anymore, it wasn't fair to anybody, not to him, not to me and not to Dominic. He could never see me again. My heart was breaking but I forced a smile, hugged Matthew goodbye and left him there. At home, I threw away all the clothes he bought me and spent the night drinking and crying my eyes out. I quit the agency the next day.

I know some people might consider Matthew's behaviour creepy - I mean, Alfred Hitchcock's made films about this kind of thing. But I don't think it was creepy, I think it was tragic. That poor man, so desperate to have his lover back, he actually tried to recreate him in another man, it's just too sad for words. I still think about Matthew sometimes, I hope he's okay. I sometimes wonder what would happen if we ever met again. I'd like to think we could forget everything that happened between us and have a real relationship. But I know it will never happen.

Because I'm not Dominic and I never will be.

I'm nothing but a poor substitute.


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