“Brother, I’m in trouble.”
How many fucking phone calls in Leaf’s life had started that way? Too many to count, but as always, he answered the call and went to rescue his identical twin.
Today, that call had him heading into a huge old building. The people in the lobby stared at him. “River deCosta. My brother. He called me.”
An extremely tall, gaunt man came forward. “If I hadn’t just left River, I would have thought you were him. You’re two peas in a pod.”
“Yeah. He needed to see me. Please.” So Leaf could kill him.
“It’s highly unusual, but certainly. Follow me, please.”
He followed the man down a long corridor, stopping at about the fifth door. A single knock and the guy went in. “River? You have a guest. Please keep it short — you go on in a few minutes.”
“Yes. Yes, thank you.” River was… naked.
“Three minutes, River,” the guy admonished, closing the door behind him as he left.
“Leaf, brother, you have to help me.” River came up to him, started pulling at Leaf’s clothes.
“What are you doing? What’s up?”
“I promised to auction myself off for a week, but then Harry texted and he wants to get back together.” Leaf’s shirt came off as River continued. “You’ll make a fortune. Enough to live on for almost six months. It’ll be fun.”
There was a knock at the door, and a soft female voice sounded. “River? It’s time, honey. You’re up.”
“I’ll be right there.”
Leaf’s pants were opened, shoved down. “It’ll be okay. It’s only a week. Please. Harry… I love him.”
Leaf shook his head. Harry didn’t love anyone, and yet River kept crawling back to the asshole. “Only a week what? What exactly are you getting me into here?”
“You just have to be good for a week, honey. You’re good at that. Go. Go, they’ll help.” His shoes, wallet, underwear — River took everything.
Leaf swallowed as River pushed him out the door. “I’ll make it up to you. I promise.”
A short girl with blonde, curly hair beamed at him. “There you are, River. Oh, that wide-eyed innocent look is perfect.” She laughed softly and pinched his cheeks as she slid a silk robe around his shoulders. “The robe’ll come off when you get to the viewing room. Come on.”
“But…” Oh, this was fucked up.
“But what, honey? I know Yves and Bart went over everything with you. And we talked about the walk and how being naked would get you the biggest price. But if you have any other questions, you have… uh, okay, only like a minute, so make it snappy.”
“He’s…” Leaf looked back, but River was gone and Leaf’s clothes were gone with him.
“Come on, honey. I know it can be hard the first time, but you’ll feel better once you’ve started.”
River’s voice came from down the hall, toward where Leaf had come in. “Have fun! I’ll see you next week, brother!”
Leaf was going to kill River. Slowly. Painfully. Dead.
“There’s been a lot of excitement over you since the profile went up, honey. You should pick up some good bids. Remember not to be too cocky, but not too shy, either. And don’t pick your nose.” She gave him a wink as she opened another door and ushered him through.
“I won’t.” No way. God, River sucked. Moose nuts.
The room he went into was softly lit, and he could see cameras mounted all over the place. Seriously, there were at least six, getting him from various angles. What the hell had River done?
The lights came up, and an announcer’s voice sang out. “And here we have lot twelve. This is River’s first time at Shibari, and he’s eager to please. We’ve got a full week up for grabs. Please refer to River’s card for his dos and don’ts. And let’s start the bidding at ten thousand.”
Ten thousand dollars?
What had River agreed to do?