Product Placement

Chapter 12 - Exposition

Butch woke up alone, which in and of itself wasn't unusual, but the circumstances preceding it were anything but normal as far as sleeping with your best friend was concerned, and he half expected a warm body beside him.

He shifted in the bed, torn between stewing in his own warmth and getting up to find Francis. A somewhat dull, pulsing ache in his lower half decided he'd better stay put for a little while. He grimaced but it didn't hurt as badly as he gave credit. Butch forced himself to relax, despite being abandoned in a needlessly large house by some shady guy who he just willingly bent over for after starting to befriend him again. For a minute he was ashamed of himself. The feeling burned through him, settling in his face, turning it red. Soon enough it passed, replaced by the fact that he really, really liked it, and if he liked it there was no reason for him to bother fighting it. He just wished it didn't have a lingering painful after effect. At least the bed was comfortable.

Sinking into the sheets, Butch turned his head and looked around the room, taking in the sparsely decorated walls and the few items of furniture. A dresser towered over and stared at him from the opposite wall, old and dignified. A smaller version of it sat to its left. Two night tables were on either side of the bed he was occupying, and belatedly Butch realized everything matched, but not in a tacky, department store layout way. Even the carpet and walls and covers he was burrowed under complemented the few pieces. The only thing that was out of place was Butch, and he sunk in deeper, hoping the warmth of the bed would shield him a little while longer.

Butch realized a few minutes later that it wasn't him that stuck out, so much as a living body did. Aside from a few scattered papers on top of the lower dresser, his discarded clothes on the floor, and the clearly fucked up sheets wrapped around his legs, there was really no evidence of life. No pictures, no personal items, not even a mirror. It unnerved Butch a little. He felt alone, and feeling alone was not welcome, no matter how anti-social he was.

So with some degree of effort, he got up and dressed, ignoring the ache that made him limp, and went to search for signs of life.


About a half an hour after he ventured out of bed, Butch was hopelessly lost but not yet panicking. The house was massive (though Butch might be exaggerating the size a bit), and he thought he might have to hunker down or call Francis at some point, looking for rescue, but there was enough to hold his attention.

Everything was spotlessly clean. There wasn't a thing out of place, save for the boy wandering around aimlessly. Butch was almost afraid to touch anything. He pulled his sleeve over his hand, preventing fingerprints, whenever he opened a door or touched something on a table. The whole house was silent and still – the door hinges and footfalls didn't even make noise. Butch felt like his breathing was making too much noise, echoing over the empty walls and beating him over the head, but other than that it was really rather nice in here, if not a little on the extra big side.

So far he had counted a dozen rooms on what he supposed was the second of many floors. There was a bathroom, two guest rooms, a larger master bedroom, a closet, several doors he couldn't open, and Francis' room. After some debated (flipping a coin, rather) Butch decided to hook left down the end of the hallway and after a series of turns he came to a dead end.

"Of course…" Butch breathed, looking back and forth for a way out. He tried both doors, figured out they were locked, then tilted his head back to let out an exasperated sigh. He'd trapped himself in a corner and now he was all disoriented. All he needed to happen now was one of the locked doors to fly open and something try to eat his face. That would be the cherry on top of this whole shit sundae. Butch growled and rubbed his eyes with his palms, letting them come back into focus while he traced the walls, looking for something to signal their location.

His eyes fell on a picture. A huge picture, actually. One of a woman with long, brown hair and blue-grey eyes sitting on a settee, one leg extended and the other tucked under her, masked by a long white dress. Butch wasn't sure if it was a picture or a painting or one of those pictures that was transferred onto a canvas. Whoever it was or whatever it was, it kind of scared him, but it was too pretty not to look at it. She looked content, if not a bit lost herself, and oddly familiar. Butch wondered idly if perhaps it was a relative. A distant great-grandmother from a kingdom somewhere far away or someone slightly more modern, like a second aunt.

"You found mom."

Butch turned, ready to fight or bolt despite his weakened state and regrettable limp, and there was Francis, looking frighteningly average among everything else in a worn tee shirt and jeans. It took Butch a second to figure out why he looked funny, quickly deciding it was because of his lack of massive coat, which seemed a bit on the weird side considering he'd seen the guy naked already. Butch shook the thought out of his mind, hoping to recover gracefully from his blank stare. It didn't quite work but Francis half smiled all the same and rolled his shoulder.

"Got lost?"
"No. Hell no. Was just admiring the… stuff… and rooms. Stretching my legs. You know."
"I see."
"I was lookin' for you, actually. I woke up and you were gone. Looked everywhere."
"You didn't try the bathroom? It's like five feet away from the left side of the bed."
"…But I was on the right side." he paused, blinking. "You have your own fucking bathroom?"
"I have my own fucking everything. I live in a mansion and I'm the only child of two rich people– it comes with the territory."
"Damn lucky son of a bitch."

Francis smirked, one corner of his mouth picking up as he shook his head and looked down at his feet. Butch turned his eyes back to the massive picture on the wall, framed in gold. It looked professional and expensive – quite fitting with the rest of the house, and Francis to some degree. Despite the similarity, he looked a little uncomfortable in front of it and he wouldn't look up or at Butch.

"You look like her." Butch murmured, eyeing his impassive face "A guy version, I mean."
"I meant that in the most masculine way-"
"I know. I see it. It's what everyone says."

Butch knew better than to push it. He was kind of flattered that Francis told him what he did. HK seemed like the kind of guy ho didn't tell people much of anything, much lest the honest truth. Plus, he looked kind of set by that line of questioning. Butch cut his losses and sort of changed the subject, bent on milking the hustler's honest streak while he could.

"So where are your parents anyway?"
"Out. Business."
"What do they do? Hustle?"
"No." Francis ran a hand through his hair and seemed to look anywhere but at Butch "Dad's got companies around the world, so he's all over the place. Mom is… a fashion designer or something. Works a lot in the major cities."
"Shit. That explains the house…" Butch followed him, stuck to his heels and looking all over the place like an excited puppy "Doesn't sound like they're around a lot."
"They aren't."

Francis let the silence settle over them as Butch took in the words. He was hoping to avoid this line of questioning if he could, but he didn't see the harm in telling Butch at least a bit. Besides, if he ever thought about blabbing the hustler had the little mater of scars to hang over his head in retaliation. Still, the talking had made him uneasy, and he ushered Butch out of the dead end and down the hall, guiding him aimlessly for a few moments before he decided on someplace to take him so they could sit and be useless for a while.

"When were they home last?" Butch asked suddenly, a few steps behind but well able to keep up.
"Mm… something like a month ago."
"A month?"
"You're been alone all this time?"

The hustler nodded, slowing to a stop in the hall in front of the door he had been looking for, watching Butch out of the corner of his eye. Butch stared, his eyes wide, his mouth gaped a little. He looked almost astounded, in awe of him and all his earthly possessions. Here it comes, Francis thought. The request for parties and stuff and things spiraling out of control. Wanting to use him for the same shit all teenagers would want – parties and drinking and illegal crap that he could easily get out of by had no real energy to put up with.

But Butch, in what was becoming a pattern, surprised him.

"That ain't right." He murmured, one hand suddenly landing square on the hustler's shoulder, squeezing it tight in comfort or bottled anger – Francis wasn't sure which "Who the fuck abandons their kid like that?"
"Butch, relax." Though he was flattered by the storyteller's concern for him, it was rather misplaced "I can take care of myself. I like it better on my own."
"Such bullshit-"
"Don't get all pissy now. I don't have the patients for it."

Butch stopped, but followed after him, grumbling quietly to himself. Francis rolled his eyes and held the door open for the other male, ushering him into the parlor. Butch immediately stopped grumbling to inhale sharply and stare. Francis didn't see what was so special about it, but to his credit it was one of the most well kept (if not ornate) room in the house. Leather couches, paintings, wall decorations and flowers, various lamps and hand-blown glass fixtures, tasteful tapestry and drapes, a genuine Persian rug and mahogany floors, gold and silver and bronze accents – the works.

What Butch was staring at, though, was probably the glass double doors that opened to the balcony that overlooked the back garden.

Without saying anything, Francis leaned over and pushed Butch's chin up to close his gaping mouth. Then he padded over to one of the leather couches and sat. Butch didn't immediately follow him, and Francis tipped his head back onto one of the arms of the couch and shut his eyes. He suspected Butch's mouth had popped open again and he was still shocked, so he let him be for a few moments. But then the emptiness and quiet got the better of him, and he lifted his head to look at Butch who, though still in awe, was taking a few tentative steps inward.

"Like it?" Francis asked, only barely covering his chucke when Butch snapped to attention and put his hands behind his back.
"This room is bigger than my whole house."
"It's not. But it probably cost more." After a moment, Francis added, "This is basically where we shove guests for entertainment when it was too crappy outside. Otherwise they're out there" HK informed blandly, jerking his thumb over toward the garden "Mom worked at home for a while - but since then it hasn't been seen much use."
"…Shit man."
"Come here." and a more plaintive "Sit with me?"

Butch didn't respond right away. Once he tore his eyes away from a bizarre metal sculpture, though, Butch trotted right over to him and plopped on the couch, sighing audibly. Francis pulled him onto his lap, burring his face into Butch's neck. Butch squirmed a bit but didn't resist, and after a moment he tilted his head over to the side so Fran could mess with his scars. The hustler was even able to get him to reciprocate, particularly to tilt his head back and kiss his jaw line, before he started squirming more and wiggling out of his hold -not that Francis let him get very far. Butch was pressed to the couch below the hustler's larger body and, while it wasn't uncomfortable, the storyteller worried a bit over what this was probably leading to.

"My ass is still sore." Butch reminded blandly, shoving him off for a bit of breathing room.
"Too rough last night?"
"N-no. I'm good but I don't think I can take another round so soon."
"Then make out with me."
"Get your hand off my cock."
"It's not complaining."
"I told you I'm not having sex with you."
"I didn't say we were having sex. But I'm not stopping."
"You're a dick."
"Least I don't suck it."
"Fuck you."
"You already said no."

Francis grinned, kissing him to shut him up. It was totally the opposite of what Butch had alluded to but he wasn't complaining – not just yet. Francis sure had a way with that mouth of his, and Butch was distracted from his soreness for the time being. The hand on his crotch wasn't helping him stick to his guns, either. However, when Fran pressed down onto his dick, stroking it and forcing himself between Butch's legs that he whined and put on the breaks. He pushed the bigger body up surprisingly easy, breaking the kiss and panting, looking the hustler straight in the eye.

"I th-thought you said we weren't…"
"We're not." He affirmed, kissing Butch's jaw. "We're not. I'm just cashing in on our deal."
"I'm still sore."
"Say the word and I'll stop."

Francis kept up the gentle assault. Butch thought it was kind of weird but it felt nice and was muddling his brain. He had to be firm on this – he wasn't some sex toy and he really was in some pain. Problem was he didn't want to say 'no', because he would have taken it if he thought he could. But he didn't want to –and couldn't- give in to something this goddamn simple. So with some degree of reluctance he pushed his hand into Fran's face and forced him off.

"Can I at least get breakfast first?"
"I'll do you one better." Francis murmured, sliding off Butch smoothly "I'll loan you my shower. I'll get breakfast in the mean time."
"You trying to tell me something with the shower?"
"Just that you smell a bit… musky."
"That's your goddamn fault-"
"Which is why I'm loaning you the shower. Now get up so I can show you where it is. Don't look at me that way. I know your ass got lost."

Butch sneered at him, throwing a throw pillow and missing badly. Francis just laughed at him and went to retrieve it while Butch got to his feet. For a moment they stood in silence, looking at each other, Butch holding himself on unsteady legs and Francis gripping the useless pillow in both hands. This was nice, they decided, and they smiled at each other., unsure of why it felt so good to be there, but enjoying it anyway.



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