1st installment: a new one every week
Nolan paced up and down waiting for the doorbell to ring. Not wanting to appear too anxious, he consciously tried to calm down. He stopped and stared out the window at the spectacular nighttime view of the Chicago skyline, taking deep breaths. This man, Zee, could be the key to bringing Nicky home, and he had to handle this just right if his plan were to succeed.
First he had to lure him to this apartment. Once he had him there, he couldn’t allow him to leave under any circumstances. Not until he’d agreed to help him with his quest to bring Nicky home. This could be Nicky’s only chance. He waited impatiently, nerves teetering on edge, to see if the first part of his plan would actually work. Just finding the man had been exceedingly difficult. It took days of negotiations with a Chicago detective’s contacts and informants to even get his name, or rather his alias, Zee. Then there was another big outlay of cash to get his very exclusive cell phone number.
Zee was a high priced, exclusive male prostitute, dealing with only a very select clientele, and rarely taking on new clients. Nolan had been texting him back and forth for over two weeks. He negotiated, bargained and bribed him with a large amount of cash. Finally he was taken on as a new “patron” as Zee termed it in his last text. Two days ago, Zee finally texted the number of a private account where the money could be deposited. Once the money was transferred, he agreed to meet with Nolan in his apartment.
Actually the apartment belonged to a friend of Nolan’s uncle, a wealthy businessman currently out of town. He generously allowed Nolan free use of his space. This setting was important for his cover, and necessary to make Zee think he was dealing with a wealthy man.
Nolan had spent the last two weeks carefully setting up this sting, and it was only at the last minute that everything fell into place.
Nolan nervously checked his watch again. Five minutes to eight. Zee agreed to be at the apartment by eight o’clock, and as precise as their communications had been so far, Nolan figured he’d be right on time. He gazed out at the city lights beneath him and wondered where Nicky might be tonight. He, too, was in a sprawling, impersonal metropolis, if the intelligence was accurate. Was he scared? He hoped he wasn’t hungry, or cold, or mistreated. He was only eleven years old. Nolan ran his hand distractedly through his hair and shook off the frightening images springing to his mind. This meeting was critical--he had to keep his wits about him, and he couldn’t allow his emotions to overcome him.
When the doorbell sounded discreetly through the apartment, he twisted around to face the door and took another deep breath. He steeled himself to confront this man-whore. He despised the very idea of the man, though he’d never seen him or even spoken with him. All of their communications so far had been through texts. He had an idea of what he would look like—handsome in a slick and phony way, like some Hollywood actor, with a flashy suit and expensive shoes. In Nolan’s eyes, he was a sexual predator, plain and simple, preying off the sick needs of older men and their perversions.
It wasn’t the fact Zee was gay. Nolan, himself, was bisexual. He had been with men before, but never for money and never by pandering to someone’s eccentric fantasies. He dreaded the time he’d be forced to spend with this man over the next few days, if things went as he planned. There was no help for it. Zee had knowledge he needed if he had any chance of finding Nicky alive and bringing him home.
With another deep breath he crossed to the door and opened it, regarding the man who stood on the threshold in total surprise. Nolan once took a class in Art History in college, and he remembered one painting in particular. The painting was so striking he’d never forgotten it, nor the name of the German artist, Franz Von Stuck. The painting was called The Guardian of Paradise, and portrayed a beautiful archangel, striking an arrogant pose outside the gates of heaven. Nolan remembered thinking at the time if this was what angels looked like, he was going to have to start being a much better person so he could go to heaven. The angel was tall, slim, yet muscular, with dark hair falling into his eyes, a thin aquiline nose and achingly beautiful eyes. The young man who stood before Nolan was the spitting image of the Von Stuck angel, right down to the arrogant pose. Wearing a leather jacket, skin tight jeans and an equally tight T-shirt, cut in a low v in the front, he looked slightly bored, slightly dangerous, and sexy as hell.