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FROM: "BOOK 1 SHORT STORIES"

"DOWNLOW ESCORT"

It was Fashion Week in New York; excitement was in the air and the room was abuzz with anticipation. The hip-hop elite occupied the first two rows.

Everyone was there to see two black supermodels, Ava and Brayden.  Affectionately known as "A&B."

Ava was a stunning brown-skinned model with beautiful long legs, long hair, heart shaped lips and hazel eyes.

Brayden was a gorgeous specimen of a man, with caramel skin, chiseled features, bedroom eyes and six-pack abs.

These two were in such demand; they were paid $10,000 per show.

People stood in anticipation as they strutted down the runway like two graceful black panthers. When they reached the end of the runway. They both used their professional dance training to do a wide variety of choreographed moves.  Kicks, spins and leaps. They effectively mixed hip-hop with modern dance. Brayden also did the splits.

Near the end of their routine, they both spun on cue, headed in the opposite direction. Without warning, they both stopped in their tracks and turned back around to face the crowd.  They blew kisses to former models Pat Cleveland and Alva Chinn before they broke into a tango and marched back up the runway and out of sight.

The crowd gave Ava and Brayden a standing ovation.

Backstage was a madhouse as everyone congratulated Ava and Brayden on their routine.  They also received several invitations to celebrity functions. 

Ava decided to go to a yacht party hosted by a hip-hop star.

Brayden accepted an invitation to a very discreet ‘gay’ function.  Many of the men in attendance would be on the downlow.

Both models embraced before they went their separate ways.  Ava went home and changed into her Dolce Gabbana and Prada, after she slipped into her Jimmy Choo’s, she left. 

She arrived at her party to find bottles of Cris along with caviar, smoked salmon and prime rib.  Every celebrity man in attendance was trying to get at her.  She circulated and mingled with hip-hop stars, actors, actresses, singers, other models and Hollywood producers. 

Meanwhile, across town, Brayden, an admitted metrosexual, took time and care with his appearance, he gave himself an facial with Lams cold cream ($1500 per jar), he had a manicurist arrive to give him a pedicure and manicure. He adjusted his platinum cuff links on his Versace shirt, put in his 1-carat diamond studs and slipped into his Sean Jean suit.

When he arrived at the party.  The music was loud and the men were gorgeous.  Brayden got his fair share of attention as he made his way to the food. 

After he sat down with a plate of shrimp, three men surrounded him.  He recognized the men, they were in the hip-hop industry, two were married and one had a steady girlfriend.

After brief conversation and a few ecstasy tablets, Brayden went in the back room with the men.  Two of the men partnered off and began feeling each other up.  Brayden was left with a famous hip-hop artist, before long, they were all over each other.  Condoms were passed out, within minutes; a male orgy was in progress.

The next morning, Brayden slept in late, when he awoke, he reached over and got a magazine, the ‘Robb Report’ (a magazine for the affluent) off the nightstand.  He flipped through the pages until he came to the classifieds, he found a Ferrari for sale; he called to inquire.  Next, he browsed “Unzipped,” a gay magazine with gay personals.

Meanwhile, Ava was on a private plane to Kentucky to attend the ‘Kentucky Derby.’  The evening before the derby, she attended the ‘Barnstable Brown’ gala where she and Usher shutdown the dance floor.

The next evening, she flew back to Hollywood and hooked up with an African prince.  They attended a private screening at the home of a Hollywood producer.

The next day, Ava flew to New York.  Brayden picked her up at the airport in his Ferrari.  Ava said, you go boy, first a Rover, then a Harley, now you rolling in a Ferrari. Handle your business.  Brayden replied, you not doing to shabby yourself; don’t forget, you rolling in a Corvette and Navigator.

Two days later, they shot a calendar, titled “A&B.” Afterwards, they went and rented a movie and returned to Brayden’s penthouse. 

After the film ended, Brayden dropped Ava off at her brownstone.

Life was good as they traveled the world and dated the most desirable men in the world.

They arrived in Paris (for a fashion show), the men known as ‘International Model Chasers’ and ‘Modelizer’s’ were waiting at the airport.  These men sought out female and male models for seduction.

They walked past the men, Ava flipped open her cell and called her Italian count and Brayden made plans to take a side trip to Spain to visit his Spanish bullfighter.

A&B set the Paris runway on fire; they were the talk of the town.  They returned to New York exhausted.  Later that week, Ava and Brayden become the first duo to be named to the ’50 Most Beautiful List.’

In one night, Ava and Brayden attended several modeling agency parties.  Ava caused quite a stir when she arrived in a $5,000 micro mini that highlighted her long legs.

At each party, the models let their hair down as they danced uninhibited across the floor. At one of the parties, in a darkened corner, a female model treated her boyfriend to a lap dance.  Across the room, two lipstick lesbian models engaged in a kiss.  The atmosphere was wild and untamed.

The following week, Ava surprised Brayden with a trip to New Orleans because she had a taste for authentic gumbo.  From there, they went to Mississippi to gamble on a riverboat casino.

A week later , their agency gave a modeling picnic.  They arrived in Ava’s Corvette, almost immediately; they noticed resentment from other models.  The models became even more upset when people asked Ava and Brayden for autographs.

During the softball game, it appeared that another male model hit Brayden intentionally with the ball when he was trying to steal a base, Brayden had to be restrained.

Afterwards, Ava and Brayden went to 40/40 for drinks.  Brayden was upset and asked Ava; can you believe those haters?  Ava said, yes I can.  Calm down, why don’t you come to Argentina with me, I visit Argentina to cool off; we can also brush up on our Tango. Brayden replied, no thanks; I have plans to go to St. Tropez for a hip-hop party aboard a private yacht.

Ava didn’t like to see Brayden sad, she tried to cheer him up by saying, life is good, we're making tons of money, we are famous and we are living out our dreams.  Brayden replied; you’re right.  They embraced and departed in opposite directions.

The next day, everything came to a screeching halt when an article appeared in a popular fashion magazine complaining about the black models on the runway, the article hinted that runways were beginning to resemble ‘South Central.’  An unnamed source was quoted as saying, “These black models are taking over the runways and a lot of people are mad about it.”

Within 24 hours, work for black models dried up, overnight, the runway became ‘blonde.’   Ava and Brayden had to scramble for jobs and downsize their lifestyles.

THE FOLLOWING YEAR:

Brayden had to sell his Ferrari and Range Rover and Ava had to sell her Corvette and pawn her bling and furs.  For the first time in three years, Ava couldn’t shop from the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue.

Ava would fare better than Brayden, she would marry a formula one race car driver who was popular on the LeMans and Indy 500 circuit.  He retired Ava from modeling.

Meanwhile, Brayden was reluctant to give up the lifestyle, he hustled for jobs, night and day.  Against his better judgement, he decided to supplement his income as a male escort. He signed up with an agency that catered to the hip-hop crowd.

Within a few months, due to his escort income, Brayden was back in the mix.  When word leaked out that he was supplementing his income as a prostitute, designers blackballed him and a blind item appeared in Page 6, ‘a former male supermodel is now a male hustler.’

His cell phone and sidekick blew up as he was flown all over the world to service hip-hop stars, executives and moguls.  Due to his name status, he charged top dollar.

Brayden was giving a blowjob to a hip-hop star in the back of a limo as the star waved to fans from the car.

Brayden turned up in Monte Carlo to have a three-way with a male pop singer and a hip-hop producer.

Brayden escorted a hip-hop mogul to Las Vegas.  In the hotel suite, the sex became so loud and violent; they broke the bed and residents complained about the noise to hotel management.

Brayden accompanied a rapper to a championship-boxing match in Atlantic City.  He was mistaken as part of the posse; the rapper openly referred to him as, ‘my homo thug.’  After the match, they went to a strip club.  Later, they had sex in the back of a Bentley.  It wasn’t satisfying because the rapper couldn’t maintain an erection due to the liquor and pills he had consumed earlier.

The following week, Brayden was in the bedroom of a private plane with a popular R&B star. Brayden was usually a ‘top.’  He was taken aback when the singer insisted he be the ‘bottom.’  Despite the lubrication, the singer was so well endowed; the penetration was extremely painful and Brayden clenched his teeth.

Afterwards, the singer called his wife to tell her he loved her.

That weekend, Brayden went jet-skiing in Miami with a record producer, later, they boarded a boat.  They stripped naked below deck and jumped in bed.  They indulged in chocolate dipped strawberries and Brayden poured Dom all over the producer and proceeded to lick it off.

After that encounter, he was booked in Hawaii.  He arrived to meet his customer, a NFL superstar.  They went to a magnificent home.  The NFL star was an exhibitionist and talked Brayden into having sex on his deck in view of the locals.

Brayden attended a party a week later; this is where he was introduced to crystal meth by the party host, Shon (pronounced Shawn) a meth addict.

Brayden liked the high that crystal meth gave him; he became addicted after the first hit. He also became uninhibited under the influence and often had sex without condoms, the drug made him feel alive and invincible and his tolerance for pain increased; he engaged in anal sex frequently and became an exclusive ‘bottom.’

He stayed in touch with Shon, they began dating, Shon kept him supplied with meth until he was cut off by his suppliers due to non-payment. Brayden loaned him the money to pay off the debt.

The drug kept them awake for days at a time; they became tweakers, sometimes Shon would wake up and scream for no apparent reason, this occurred every few hours.  Within months, most of Brayden’s income went for meth and he became an unreliable escort. 

When he met clients, he was moody and twitching.  Customers stopped booking him and his life began to spiral out of control.

He and Shon went on a binge, meth was so affordable, one day; they got high every 20 minutes.  When the money ran out, Brayden began stealing from friends.  People stopped inviting him over.

Brayden let his appearance go. He stopped combing his hair, bathing and brushing his teeth and meth spots covered his entire back.

He wore the same clothes for days at a time. 

Brayden and Shon were so strung out, they started hallucinating that ants were crawling up their forearms; they scratched their arms, leaving marks.  They also went to skid row to panhandle.

Brayden became so desperate for money, he tracked down Ava; she lived in the Hamptons.  He arrived on her doorstep, she barely recognized him and his body odor was unbearable and he kept scratching his arms.

He told her, damn girl, you still fine as hell, they hugged and she invited him in; her husband was out of town.  She noticed that his nose was running, he was twitching and his eyes were bloodshot. 

When she asked him, what was wrong, he avoided the question and asked to borrow money.  She asked him what the money was for, he said he was launching a business and he needed whatever she could spare.

She grabbed his hands and said, Brayden, what the hell is going on with you?  He told her she was being too dramatic, he had a slight flu bug and would be fine.  He assured her, everything is okay.

She left the room to get the money, when she returned, she saw Brayden putting a sterling silver cigarette case in his pocket.  She screamed at him, what the hell are you doing?  He looked as frightened as a deer in headlights.  Words wouldn’t come out as he put the cigarette case back on the table.

Ava said, I am not giving you any money, you need some type of treatment, you are obviously on drugs; I will drive you to a treatment center right now and pay for your stay.

Brayden said, are you crazy? Ain’t nobody on drugs.  Ava had tears in her eyes when she asked, what happened to you?  One of the finest and classiest men I ever had the pleasure of working with, what the hell happened?

Brayden didn’t reply, he turned around and walked out the front door.

Brayden returned home to find Shon dead; of a meth induced heart attack, he was 27.

6 Months Later:

A group of transients sat around a fire under the overpass. They listened to Brayden recount his glory days; they didn't know who this stranger was but they considered him a good storyteller. 

It began to rain, Brayden grabbed a newspaper to cover his head, just then, he noticed the headline announcing ‘NY Fashion Week,’ he muttered one word under his breath, "Ava."

Brayden took an army jacket out of his grocery basket; he put the jacket on to protect himself from the rain.  After he buttoned up the jacket, he knelt down to pick up cans for recycling.

BY: MYRA PANACHE

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