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Picking Up The Pieces by Ortega, Frey (1)

Chapter One

I turned my face up to the ceiling as he heaved and pressed against me from behind. A solid, hard body, brimming with virility. The scent of him was intoxicating, his cologne mixing with his sweat. He slid into me roughly, with full force. Covered by the loud music around us, the clapping of his body against mine was in time to the rhythm of the beat playing in the club.

He had one arm wrapped around my waist to draw me back toward him. His other hand grasped my neck firmly, not quite choking me, but making me wheeze every so often from the constriction.

I let out a soft, garbled cry, muffled only by my arm that I pressed against my lips. I bit down into the skin, making indents in my flesh from how harshly I was biting.

There was no love here, no emotions. It was pure, carnal, bestial lust and attraction. I saw him from across the dance floor, his gaze met mine, and within ten minutes we’d found our way to a bathroom stall.

Some people are drawn to the casualness of it all. They enjoy the chase, and the pleasure, and the unsaid goodbyes as clothes are quickly put back on. It’s possible they might exchange numbers, when the fucking is good enough, in the hopes it might happen again. Others, like me, use it to fill a void, when the darkness gets to be a bit too much and the only way to stop it from closing in around me is with a distraction.

I revel in those moments of pure clarity when, for the briefest second, the only thing I am is a sheath for a cock—a hole to be used—and I can focus on the sensations of pleasure coursing through my body. They were like a drug to me, little jolts of pleasure-lightning emanating from my pelvis, throughout my core, all the way to my fingertips.

“Such a pretty boy.”

The man behind me was solid and warm and, from what I remember, he was attractive. Most importantly, his dick was rock hard as it slammed into me over and over with wild, reckless abandon. I could feel the steady slide of lube, and every so often he would lean back to dribble some saliva over where his cock met my hole and the lubrication would get nice and sticky again.

I gasped and smiled, feeling his fingers interlace with mine as he pushed our hands up to the walls of the bathroom stall. My knees buckled, and I bit down on my lower lip to keep from moaning too loudly. People outside the stall probably already knew what we were up to.

“You like that?” he whispered, his breath hot and tingly against my ear. I knew his words were just platitudes. He didn’t really care. Just like how our fingers were intertwined, I knew it was more an empty gesture than anything else. He wouldn’t be fucking me in a bathroom stall within the first ten minutes of meeting if he actually cared.

I didn’t mind. I knew what this was. I knew not to expect more. This was already enough.

“Yeah,” I replied, my voice a little higher than it usually was but muffled by my arm. I knew if I showed some form of pleasure, he would be a bit more enthusiastic. Maybe it would even be enough for him to start pleasuring me.

His thrusts became as erratic as his breath started to hitch.

“F-fuck,” he moaned. “Pretty boy has a really tight ass.”

Inwardly, I sighed. He was close. I could feel it in the way he gripped me tighter. Sure, this felt good—but I had hoped maybe he would reach around, perhaps give me a little bit of common courtesy.

It was too much to hope for in a restroom fuck, I supposed.

“Fuck!” he exclaimed.

Moments later, we shuffled out of the bathroom stall, his load firmly deposited in the condom that had been flushed down the drain. I was sore in all the right places but managed to stuff my erection down my pants.

We were both in front of the mirrors. Some of my makeup had smeared from the sweat, and I had a serious case of raccoon eyes now.

Life went on, as usual.

My frown deepened as I took in my reflection.

I looked like shit. The mesh shirt I wore was disheveled, and I could see the beginnings of a rip in the seam of one of my sleeves. The tight, checker-patterned pants I stuffed myself into were a little crooked and tighter than they had been earlier. My hair had been tousled, although I already made a point to keep the tangles of my rich, chocolate brown hair as pseudo-messy as possible, like I had just gotten out of bed—or had sex. My makeup was a mess. The bags under my hazel eyes had gotten deeper, making me look like I hadn’t gotten to bed in a long time. Which I hadn’t—sleep had become difficult for me as of late.

But even then, I knew I wouldn’t be too off base to say that at my worst, I still looked better than most people. How else could I find someone to fuck in the middle of a crowded club every night?

A gift and a curse, I supposed. I don’t mean to be the way I am, but it’s all just the product of a winning combination of genes.

The man I’d just fucked didn’t even give me a second glance once he finished buttoning up his pants and slicking back his hair. He grinned at himself in the mirror while he adjusted his shirt collar and tie. “That was great,” he said. “Hope I can catch you around and we can do this again sometime.”

Looking at him now, at least I was right. He was attractive.

Then he left. I couldn’t even give him a proper send-off back into the faceless horde grinding on the dance floor.

That was okay. I didn’t need his number, even though I wouldn’t have been averse to fucking him again. He was just a way to pass the time, for me to rid myself of the darkness.

Now, though, I knew it wouldn’t be long before that very same feeling I was trying to avoid rammed into me like a truck.

Once I was as presentable as I could be, I went back out to the roaring beats of the club with that Cheshire cat grin I had practiced all my life.

Smile, Noah. Show off a little of that sparkle. Don’t let them see any trace of weakness. They’ll pounce on it.

I took a deep breath…and pushed all of those emotions inward.

I knew I wouldn’t find another person to play with tonight. Part of me didn’t really want to play anymore—there was always going to be tomorrow, or the day after. I didn’t want to try to hook someone else into sex in the bathroom the way I had with that stranger. Double dipping was bad form. If I did, I might get into trouble. Worse, I might get banned from the club.

Even if there were a couple of people who were meeting my gaze, offering their own smiles and maybe even trying to beckon me closer, I knew it was best that I left for the evening.

I decided to go back home. I took my time, looking through the crowd one last time before I finally stepped out of the exit.

The bouncer smirked at me. “Done for the night, Noah?”

I looked at him and gave a little shrug. “Tomorrow’s a new day,” I answered cryptically.

“Oh, I’m sure. Besides, you know you can always find me.” The bouncer laughed and waved me off. I turned to look back at him only to find him sticking his tongue out at me while grabbing his crotch, waving himself—and his basket—at me.

I stared for a moment, entranced.

Maybe.

For now, I was content thinking about the fact that the emptiness inside me didn’t feel like it was about to consume me whole.

In my own little world, I let everything around me melt away. Not exactly the best thing to do in a big city where it was important to keep your wits about you, but I never said I was particularly street smart. Why else would I be having anonymous sex in club bathrooms if I was?

But I relished these moments after a hookup. The emptiness seemed to be at bay, sated at least for the meantime. Someone I once dated, a therapist, used to tell me that the rush of endorphins and hormones was the reason why the void didn’t seem as strong whenever these things happened, but I didn’t need the scientific explanation to know it was a welcome reprieve.

I walked down the street, feeling the cold air of the night wrap around me through my mesh shirt. My ass was sore, and my checkered pants clung tightly to my legs and were rubbing against all the wrong places. I knew I was sweaty and tired, and God only knew how unkempt I actually looked.

But I didn’t care. Dulled to the discomfort and pain of the world around me, I was invincible. With every forward step I took it was like I could feel myself returning to my body. I wasn’t just some specter of a person. I was settled, safe and sound.

“That’s him. Shithead said he’d come out of the club looking like the sluttiest piece of meat this side of town,” a woman said, somewhere in my periphery.

I had barely registered that the insult was about me when I turned my head toward the feminine voice. Something bulky and solid rammed into me from behind, tackling me. The force was enough to push me into a dark alley nearby, quickly moving me around until my back hit the nearest wall. A hand suddenly wrapped around my neck and slammed me right up against brick. I knocked my head against the solid wall, enough to disorient me for the briefest moment.

I gasped, the wind knocked out of me from the sheer force. The hand that grasped my neck was strong, tight around my windpipe. I instinctively grabbed onto it, and found myself face-to-face with a much larger man.

A much, much larger man.

All at once, the emptiness and dull ache grasping around my chest that had been kept at bay came back in full force, and I almost wanted to snap at the people who had pulled my high away from me.

He had a frown on his face, but the most distinctive part of him was that he was wearing a denim jacket over a white tank top. Even in the darkness, I could see the strength simmering in his body, in the way his arms tensed. He was all muscle, and probably not a lot of brain. He would have been attractive, too, were it not for the vacant expression in his eyes.

Hell, he was still attractive. I would have fucked him if he had been in the club earlier. And in spite of, or maybe because he had a hand around my throat, there was that mix of danger and arousal that made me gasp as I looked into his cold, unfeeling eyes.

Beside him was a woman, much smaller than he was, but about the same height as me. Unlike her companion, she had an ugly expression on her face—cold and judgmental—with unchecked rage simmering just underneath the surface. Her arms were crossed over her nearly flat chest, and she was looking at me with such disdain that I had to look away just to get that sour expression out of my mind’s eye.

And that earned me a derisive scoff from her.

“Do I know you?” I asked.

The woman sneered. I still didn’t quite meet her gaze.

There was a moment of silence. I heard the siren of an ambulance screaming past.

“He can’t even look at me. What a disgrace,” she said, and spat out on the ground in front of me. Contempt was clear in her eyes.

“What do you want with me?” I asked. The larger man pressed me even harder against the wall. The hand around my neck tightened, and I winced.

“You don’t even know what you did, do you?” the man spat out. His voice was gruff. Hot. “You fucked my sister’s boyfriend, you dipshit.”

There must have been something wrong with me that I was still aroused in the midst of what was becoming an increasingly dangerous situation.

“I’ve fucked a lot of guys. You’re going to have be more specific,” I said, the sass as natural as breathing. And of course, that earned me a swift punch in the gut from the larger man holding me aloft.

I immediately doubled over, but that hand was pushing me upright again in no time. The pain racked through my body and made me wheeze.

The urge to be sassy stayed with me, though, because I gave the large guy a smile. “You know, I usually ask guys to give me a warning before they get extra rough with me,” I said, my breezy tone a little bit wheezier than normal. After all, this guy was putting pressure on my windpipe.

“That smart mouth isn’t gonna do you any favors,” the woman said.

“Oh, you wanna bet?” I looked up at her barbarian of a brother and offered the slightest of smirks.

For the briefest moment, it seemed like the big brute considered me, and regarded me with understanding. Maybe, just maybe, if this had been a different situation entirely, he would have stopped getting rough with me in this way and started getting rough with me in a wholly other way. I offered a smile, but that whiny, nasally, female voice cut through the moment me and the big brute were having.

“What are you doing? Aren’t you going to pound him into the ground?”

If only, I thought, ready to say those words out loud but letting the mischief glimmer in my eyes instead. I knew I could be quite playful and persuasive with men. I always did have a gift for it. Judging from the glint in the other man’s eyes, I knew he was receptive.

But he had to make an example out of me, that much was clear. Honestly, it was a shame—we could have had such fun.

I braced myself for the worst.

The big brute of a man cleared his throat, uttering a soft apology to his sister. He clenched around my throat tighter and raked my back upward against the brick wall. I was a small, scrawny thing, more lithe than muscular, and barely taller than five feet, give or take a couple of inches. I couldn’t run away from him even if I tried. When he hoisted me up with a single hand, it didn’t seem very difficult for him.

But I was having a hard time breathing.

“You really need to be more careful throwing that little gay ass of yours at random men,” the woman said. “It’s frankly a little disgusting. Hasn’t your hole blown out by now?”

“Slut-shaming is so 1900s,” I replied.

“Whatever,” the woman scoffed. “You clearly have no respect for any boundaries, so we’re going to teach horny little gay boys like you a lesson.”

The sass was there at the tip of my tongue, and I would be lying if I said I was a paragon of self-control. In the heat of the moment, I let loose a couple of words that I knew I would immediately regret. “If your boyfriend is cruising around bathrooms for sex, he’s clearly not getting enough satisfaction from you in bed. Besides, if it’s a lesson your brother’s going to be teaching me, I’m all ready for the comprehensive exam.”

I looked at the man who was still holding me aloft, and I could’ve sworn I saw the tiniest glimpse of a grin appear on his face.

The woman, of course, didn’t find it so funny. “You make me sick.” She turned to her brother. “Get rid of him.”

Though I could sense some hesitation in the other man’s movements, he knew he was here for a job. Unfortunately, that job included beating the shit out of me.

At his sister’s behest, he nodded. And as soon as I saw that fist draw back, and the pain spread all across my face, I blacked out.

A fitting end for a fuck-up, I suppose.