Kicked out of his house at thirteen, Alec is on the streets of Nashville doing the unthinkable to keep himself alive. Little does he know that something else is about to come along to keep him breathing.


1. Chapter One

   The beautiful sounds of nature and the breathtaking view before me slowly ease their way through my mind, targeting the agonizing reason I came here in the first place.


   I run my fingers through my hair, a nervous habit of mine, doing my best at focusing on the world around me instead of the world inside of me. I focus on the sounds, breathing in the smell of fresh-cut grass and blooming sunflowers. The birds continuously chirp from somewhere up in the surrounding trees, making me feel less alone.


   I slide off my socks and dip my toes into the lukewarm lake water. It feels nice, really nice in fact. I lie back on the ground and look up at the evening sky and watch the breathtaking view of the sun setting along the horizon.


   After the sun sets, I lie in the darkness, trying to enjoy the peace a little while longer before I have to hit the frightening streets of Nashville, Tennessee. I have grown into a nonstop routine in the past eight months. Wake up, go to school, hang out with Maya, lie here until nighttime, then hit the streets for the next few hours, then come back and go to sleep again.


   The weekends suck more dick than I do in a day. I sit around at the lake since school is out and Maya is visiting her father and remember. Thinking is bad. It allows the heartache to ease back in and before I know it I'm standing back on that same ledge of the school building, beating myself up for not having the courage to just end it all.


   Not thinking has payed off in more ways than one. I have the highest grades in my entire Junior class, at this rate I just might receive valedictorian for my class. Whoopee. I'm the best gay whore on the streets at night, therefore earning me more money than my opponents. I only ever have time to let thoughts of HIM ease into my mind when I'm alone like this, then proceed to cry myself to sleep.


   I grunt in frustration, shaking my head as if to clear my mind of HIM once again. Try all I might, I couldn't keep the haunting image of his smiling face out of my thoughts. They taunted me, clawing at my heart and urging me to break down for the third time today. I wasn't going to let it happen. I could morn HIM all I wanted when I was alone; I had a job to get done.

   I slide my socks and high tops back on my feet and make my way out of the woods, towards Maya's home. She's waiting outside for me, leaning on the hood of her black 2013 Lexus with her keys dangling from her fingers. I approach and she flashes me that same disapproving glare she does every night I show up.

"Save it Maya," I mutter, taking the keys and shoving them in my back pocket.

   She sighs heavily and wraps her frail arms around my torso. I return the embrace and kiss her lightly on the cheek as she plucks the lint off of my hoodie, another action as a result of her OCD.

"I just worry about you Alec. One of these days I might wake up to discover that one of those bastards hurt you," she mumbles.

I smile reassuringly, reaching out and squeezing her delicately manicured hand. I have no clue what I'd do without Maya, she's the only person in this world that cares about me. We've been best friends since the sixth grade, she's like a big sister to me, since she's a year older.

   Of course she doesn't approve of me whoring myself out to strangers in the city, but there's nothing she can do to stop me. So she does everything she can to make sure I'm safe. Including buying me condoms and letting me borrow her car when I go out.

"I know. I can take care of myself out there, don't worry," I shrug.

   She bites her lip and nods slowly, giving me a peck on the cheek before turning around and disappearing behind the oak door of her two-story home. I pluck the car keys out of my pocket and jam them into the ignition, causing the car to roar to life as I backed out of the endless stone driveway and along the back roads of the country side of town.

    The drive only takes fifteen minutes before I'm parking the Lexus into an almost deserted Wal-Mart parking lot and walking up the sidewalks.

   Of course it doesn't take long. It never does. Within minutes of my stroll a regular of mine, Philip he claims his name to be, slowly approaches me in his maroon Dodge. He presses the button on his door and the passenger side window slides open.

"Hey kid," he smiles politely.

   I wave slightly and slide into the passengers seat, buckling my seatbelt up as he drives the Dodge into the usual ally we get business done in. I unbuckle my seat belt and look at him.

"What do you want?" I ask.

"Just a rub down this time, my wife drained my wallet for a new living room set this weekend, so it's all I can afford," he frowns.

   It wasn't a surprise for me. Most of the men I do business with are in the closet with wives and children. Philip never reveals details about himself, but my best guess is that he's around thirty-seven and he has a pretty shitty job.

    He handed me a ten dollar bill and I rubbed him down until he came as promised. He thanked me and I was on my way. In the next two hours I got seven more customers, except three of them had money to burn and got the whole experience. Yeah it sucks, but the two hundred and seventy eight dollars in my shoe felt worth it.

   I proceeded back to the Lexus and instead of hopping inside, made my way inside the old Wal-Mart supermarket. I needed some fresh groceries since all of my food had been stolen by a fucking homeless man while I was working the night before.

    I picked up the usual things. A few boxes of corn flakes and Poptarts, a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter and jelly, and a family sized bag of cool ranch Doritos and some ham, cheese and mayonnaise, and a pack of water bottles. The only thing different I purchased was a lock set with a key.

   This is basically all I eat anymore since I don't have time for much else. Once checked out, I drive back to Maya's and park the car back in the driveway, slipping the key in the potted fern by the porch.

   I walked back to the lake with my groceries in hand. Once I reached it, I climbed the tree that lead to my small home. I built it myself when my little sister told me I was getting kicked out soon. It took awhile, but soon I had built a small wooden tree house with a tin roof.

   I climbed the rope latter and slid open my door. My home wasn't perfect, but I at least could live somewhat comfortably inside it. I had a twin sized mattress in the corner of the room with a thick cover and oversized pillow. There was a small table in the middle of the room and a mini fridge next to it. Other than my clothes piled up in the middle of the floor in a gigantic heap, it was really orderly.

   I had everything in order by midnight and immediately crawled into bed. Dozing off to the comforting noises of the crickets and soft breeze outside.

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