I'm pretty sure I'm right. Heh.
Okay, flying totally by the seat of my pants here. So if the plot changes to something completely other, y'all can deal, right?
Cole looked at Matthew. The boy had gone dead white. "Matthew? Who'd trying to knock down my door?"
Matthew swallowed. "Tyler."
"Your boyfried? The one who stood you up?" Cole tried to keep the anger out of his voice, but he wasn't sure how well he did.
Matthew chewed his lower lip. "Um. Well. Not just my boyfriend."
Something cold and unpleasant curled in the pit of Cole's stomach. Ignoring the continued noise from downstairs, he crossed his arms and eyed Matthew with as much calm as he could. "What else is he, Matthew?"
The boy closed his eyes. "He's my pimp."
Well. You wanted the truth. Cole nodded. Before he could say anything, Matthew spoke again.
"It all started out really good, you know? He was nice to me. I thought he was for real." Matthew let out a bitter laugh. "Then he found out I'd hustled and... done other things for my aunt and uncle. He was in debt up to his eyeballs for drugs, and he threatened to turn me in to the cops if I didn't turn tricks for him and give him the money."
"And tonight? Why were you meeting him tonight?" Cole marveled to hear his voice sounding so calm, when he wanted nothing more than to storm down the stairs and punch Tyler's face in.
Matthew sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "He's out of debt now. He was supposed to give me my cut of the money. I told him I'd leave town and never tell anyone what he'd done if he'd just leave me alone and let me start over."
"And you believed him?"
The glare Cole got could've killed at fifty paces. "What fucking choice did I have?"
"Point." A particularly vicious bang rattled Cole's front door, followed by another demand for Matthew to get his skinny ass downstairs pronto. Cole growled. "Okay. I'm going to deal with this asshole. You can stay up here if you want."
"No way. He's my problem. I'm coming with you."
Cole studied Matthew's face. He was still pale, but his jaw had a determined set to it, and his eyes burned.
Smiling, Cole took Matthew's hand. "Come on."
They descended the stairs together. Cole threw the front door open. A tall young man with short black hair, brown eyes and olive skin stood on the other side, scowling. His gaze zeroed in on Matthew. "There you are, goddammit. C'mere." He lunged for Matthew.
Cole blocked him with a hand to his chest. He shoved the man backward. "What the fuck do you think you're doing?"
Tyler gaped at him. "Getting my boy back, not that it's any of your business, old man. Get out of my way."
Shaking his head, Cole blocked another lunge. "Tyler, is it? You're trespassing on my property. Get out, before I call the cops."
Tyler's cheeks went bright red. "Fine. Matt, come on."
Matthew drew himself up tall. "No."
"What the fuck you mean, 'no'?" Striking like a snake, Tyler grabbed Matthew's wrist and yanked him forward. "Get over here."
The sight of Matthew stumbling forward, his slender wrist clamped in Tyler's cruel grip, made Cole see red. Before he could think too hard about what he was doing, he grabbed Tyler's wrist and twisted until Tyler let go of Matthew with a pained cry. Pushing Matthew behind him, Cole faced Tyler with a scowl. "I told you to get the fuck out of here. Now go away, and if I catch you bothering Matthew again I'll have you arrested."
Tyler laughed. "Oh, that's something, Matt. Found yourself a sugar daddy, did you?"
Matthew winced. Furious, Cole stalked toward Tyler, forcing him backward down the steps. "Don't you fucking dare call me that, asshole. I'll have you know that Matthew is working for me as an assistant at my shop." He is? Yes, he is. If he wants to "Now. Go. Away."
Snorting, Tyler turned and swaggered off. "Fine. Little bitch isn't even worth it."
Cole waited until he'd climbed into his car and sped off, then walked back to the house.
Matthew stood stock still in the open door, staring at Cole with wide eyes and a blank expression.
Cole swallowed. He hoped he hadn't just gotten himself into deep trouble.
Okay. So now it's up to the next person to tell us if there is about to be a fight, a HEA or something else *g*