Ladies and gentlemen of the Hussy Lair...
Please offer up a warm welcome to....
Ms. Anne Brooke!
Interview with an Escort
Anne: So, Adrian, it’s good to spend some time with you again. Please, sit down. Make yourself comfortable. Can I get you anything?
Adrian: Thank you. I’d appreciate a coffee.
Anne: Coming right up. [Pauses to brew coffee – good quality Kenyan, naturally]. Here it is.
Adrian: That’s good, thank you.
Anne: My pleasure. Now, as you know, in my rentboy story, Where You Hurt The Most, you’re my main character and you begin by being very happy indeed in your lifestyle and professional choices. What drew you towards taking up a life as an escort, albeit a high-class one?
Adrian: [Laughs] People do often ask me that, and there are a whole variety of reasons. I enjoy the lifestyle, the freedom it gives me, and the chance to pursue my interests: travel, art, good food, and so on. But in the end, it comes down to two simple things. I love men – being with them sexually, yes, but also being in their company. I love their conversation, and the way they think. So when I met Max and this opportunity came up, I was happy to pursue it.
Anne: Tell me more about Max. You and he have a very good relationship, don’t you?
Adrian: Yes, we do. I owe a great deal to him. He was the friend of a friend, and I met him at an art exhibition launch. We talked about one of the pictures we both particularly admired, then he invited me for coffee and our friendship grew from there.
Anne: Did you sleep together?
Adrian: [Pauses, puts down the coffee cup] I don’t like to talk about sexual intimacy as it’s a private matter, but I promised you I’d be honest, so I will be. Yes, Max and I did sleep together. Not straight away, but later, when we were closer friends. By then, I already knew what he did for a living – running his escort agency, for both sexes – and perhaps it piqued my curiosity. I don’t know.
Anne: So you began a relationship with him then?
Adrian: Not exactly. With Max and me, it was always more about the friendship. I was never in love with him, nor he with me. If we went out for a meal or an evening at the theatre, then sleeping together afterwards seemed like the natural thing to do. It was very relaxed.
Anne: So who was it who first raised the option of you working for his business?
Adrian: Funnily enough it was me. Max isn’t the pushy type, but I was at a point in my life where I wasn’t looking for any kind of relationship, and I had no particular moral opinion about the sexual entertainment industry. I also, as I’ve said, enjoy sex a great deal and it seemed like a worthwhile opportunity to explore. When we’d agreed on the terms, Max was very generous with his tuition and his time, and we’ve not looked back since. Not, at least, until Dan …
Anne: Ah yes, I knew we’d come to Dan eventually. He was a great surprise to you, wasn’t he?
Adrian: Absolutely. I wasn’t expecting anyone quite like him. I don’t mean the way he looked – Max had warned me about that. No, I mean the way he was: angry and spiky and in pain. Most of all, his honesty about his emotions – that more than anything struck me hard. He put me off balance from the start and I’m not sure I ever really recovered my equilibrium, though I did try.
Anne: What was it about his emotions that spoke to you most?
Adrian: [Stays silent for a while, considering] I think in the end, it was the way he reminded me of who I used to be. Not in our interests or approaches to life as in many ways we’re very different, though of course we both love art and beauty. But his anger and pain took me back to a time when I’d felt like that too, and hadn’t known how to change things or to move on. He made me see everything differently, I think, even then. And in the end I couldn’t deny it.
Anne: Would you like to elaborate about your past a little?
Adrian [Shakes head and smiles] No, thank you. I don’t think I’m able to at the moment. I’m happy with the way things are now. The past will have to remain for another time and place.
Anne: I understand. Well, thank you so much for your time, Adrian. It was a pleasure to talk with you, and I’ll look forward to chatting with you again perhaps, in the future.
Adrian: I hope so too. It was my pleasure being here with you all. Thank you for your time.
*****Giveaway competition details******
You Hurt The Most are answered correctly:
1. What was Dan's hoped-for career before the accident?
2. Where does Adrian take Dan on their second meeting?
3. What month is it when Max visits Adrian for the last time?
Answers should be sent to albrookeATmeDOTcom (and NOT left on the post), and winners will be notified as soon as possible after 18 May, when the tour ends!!!
Gay Reads UK
Anne Brooke’s fiction has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Novel Award, the Royal Literary Fund Awards and the Asham Award for Women Writers. She has also twice been the winner of the national DSJT Charitable Trust Open Poetry Competition.
She is the author of six published novels, including her fantasy series, The Gathandrian Trilogy, published by Bluewood Publishing and featuring gay scribe Simon Hartstongue. More information on the trilogy is available at http://www.gathandria.com/ and the first of these novels is The Gifting. In addition, her gay and literary short stories are regularly published by Riptide Publishing, Amber Allure Press and Untreed Reads. Her most recent gay short story is Where You Hurt The Most, a tale of unexpected connections and possibilities, published by Riptide. All her gay fiction can be found at: www.gayreads.co.uk.
Anne has a secret passion for theatre and chocolate, preferably at the same time, and is currently working on a gay fantasy novella, The Taming of the Hawk. More information can be found at www.annebrooke.com and she regularly blogs here!
Where You Hurt The Most blurb:
Adrian is more than happy as high-class escort for a number of regular clients. When his boss and dear friend asks him to entertain his nephew, Adrian readily agrees, but meeting Dan challenges him in ways he'd never imagined. Dan is scarred inside and out from an accident that destroyed a promising future. Despite Adrian's loveless lifestyle and Dan's withdrawal and anger, the two men forge a deep - if unnerving - connection. Soon they find themselves questioning the choices they've made and the futures they've mapped out for themselves.
Yet even bright young men like Adrian and Dan fear the unknown and take comfort in the familiar. Neither may be strong enough to step away from the life they know and toward the one they dare not hope for. But while it's true that love can't heal all wounds, it is the surest balm for where you hurt the most.
You can read an excerpt and purchase Where You Hurt The Most here.