Since Frank and Jasper’s pimping business kicked off, they’ve been gradually climbing the social ladder of the East End. Jasper strives for more in life, and Frank’s determined to make sure he gets everything he wants. But with money too tight to even afford shoes decent enough to impress wealthy ladies, they have to move on to more drastic measures.
A solution seems to come in the person of a wealthy punter, but what will Frank do when matters get out of hand, leaving Jasper in danger?
“In His Shoes” is set in the “Zombie Gentlemen” universe, but can be read as a standalone.
Length: ~9000 words
This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’s “Love Has No Boundaries” event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.
“Ya go pickle yer cock s’m’ere else tonight. I got plans!”
Frank blinked, looking up at Molly, who was too busy sewing to even spare him a glance. As if to prove her point, she crossed her exposed legs and tapped her foot on the raw wooden floor. He exhaled the smoke from his pipe, stroking one of his thick sideburns, and frowned at her barely-clad body. He could see the milky skin of her naked thighs above the stockings, and she didn’t even bother to put on a dressing gown over her corset when he and Jasper came over. Not that it was unusual for Frank to see her like this, and the dim glow of the single oil lamp reminded him of all those nights he spent between her thighs in this tiny room. Molly was a favourite and she knew it.
“Yer the one walkin’ around nekkid.”
“I got more clothes on than ’e does.” She shrugged and some of her dark curls obscured her eyes. Frank’s gaze darted to Jasper. Sprawled shirtless in a shabby armchair by the bed, he was playing around with his gun. Frank knew the thing didn’t work, but he had to admit it was good enough as a threat. Jasper was waiting to get his shirt back from Molly, yet kept his tattered top hat on.
“Well, I’m not the one selling what’s on show.” He flashed Frank a cocky grin. Jasper had the most elegant accent out of all the people Frank knew. And because they’ve known each other since he could remember, he knew Jasper wasn’t raised around people who spoke that way, though it seemed to have grown on him.
“So examine the goods and shut it,” spat Molly, squinting over the shirt she was mending.
Frank inhaled some smoke and glanced over to Jasper’s spread out form. There were still dark stains of bruising on his ribs from a fight they got into a few days ago. Every now and then, when Jasper undressed, Frank felt the urge to ask whether it hurt, but that would be a silly thing to do.
This new pimping business turned out more painful than they assumed, but it was also far less straining than factory work and Jasper certainly enjoyed the money it put in their pockets. He was buying those colourful cravats, even though he only had one proper shirt. And two weeks ago, he even got a pocket watch that looked like it was made of gold. Since then, he kept showing it off far too much for his own good, but when Frank told him so, all Jasper did was shrug. He had always been reckless, but now, every time Jasper went out at night, the wait gave Frank a giddy feeling. People killed for less than a fake gold watch, and he couldn’t afford to lose his partner in business. Whom could he ever trust like he trusted Jasper?
“I’m going to get a new shirt real soon,” Jasper boasted. “We’re on the way up with Frank.” He looked into Frank’s eyes with that intense blue stare, which never failed to tighten Frank’s stomach. “Just got a new girl yesterday. Expanding the business, you see. Don’t worry though, you’re still our best earner, love.” Jasper leaned towards Molly to stroke her knee, giving Frank a good view of his pale, lean back and wide shoulders.
He could almost see the crack of Jasper’s arse, and he couldn’t help but stare. Jasper was lean, but not too small, nearly hairless except for his head and crotch. Speaking of the devil, once Jasper leaned back again, the soft light of the lamp cast a shadow stressing the sharp ridge above his groin and Frank’s eyes were inevitably drawn lower, to the bulge in his trousers. He was hung like a donkey, and while Frank was not a little man himself, he kept thinking about that impressive girth whenever he was to breach a woman. No wonder Jasper was so popular with the ladies. Frank couldn’t complain about the lack of female attention himself, but he lacked Jasper’s silver tongue.
Molly’s voice cut through the haziness clouding his brain. “That’s all very well, but ’ow can ya look after more girls if there’s just the two of ya?”
Frank opened his mouth, surprised by her reasoning. He hadn’t thought of that.
Jasper was quicker to answer though. “Don’t you worry that pretty head of yours. We’re in business now and we already have a few men wanting to become new associates.” He scratched his fuzzy, dark blond beard, probably trying to feign looking thoughtful. They didn’t have any guys wanting to join, and Frank wasn’t even sure he wanted anyone else handling their money. But instead of questioning Jasper, he couldn’t help but stare at him. He knew one of the reasons Jasper grew all that facial hair was that his face looked like a boy’s, with large blue eyes and full lips that stretched into the broadest, most carefree smile.
Frank nodded at Molly “Yeah, we’re thinkin’ ’bout ya girls.”
She gave him a doubtful look and shook her head. “Betta’ make those fresh dollymops wear somethin’ pretty, so’s they get another Mister Stevens.”
Jasper straightened up in the armchair. His pale eyebrows drew closer with clear interest. “Stevens? Is that the one with those fancy shoes? He’s so young, too. I’m sure he could charm some girls and get muff for free.” He laughed as Molly passed him his shirt. She snorted and walked over to the bed, where she laid out her best dress. It was red and far too frilly for Frank’s taste.
“I’m not tellin’ ’im to find a different muff. Pays betta’ than others. Worth endurin’ even if he is a pig sometimes.”
Frank cleared his throat, looking over to Jasper, who was hiding his body under the shirt. “Pig?”
“Yeah, what does he do?” Jasper was always eager for filthy details. Strange how he had the nicest accent and the dirtiest mouth. “You charge him extra, Molly.”
“Oh, ya don’t wanna know what ’e likes to do. Trust me.” She rolled her eyes and stepped into the skirt before reaching for the bodice. “Bet ’is wife’s a nun.”
Frank frowned, tracing his sideburns with his fingers. “But he’s not makin’ ya work less?”
Jasper was meticulously putting on subsequent layers of clothing. His embroidered vest was brand new and looked far too elegant combined with a coat that had seen better days. Instead of giving his garb a bit of a boost, Jasper would rather get the newest, most fashionable items. Which, at the moment, meant he could only afford the vest. “I’m not joking, Molly. We need to know. We’re here to take care of you.”
Curious little bastard.
She laughed out loud and shook her head. “Oh, Frankie’s takin’ care of me all right, at least once a week. But ’is taste’s not as strange.”
Frank groaned, running his fingers through his hair. He certainly did not want Jasper to know he was pulling off his shirt only to make her wear it during the ordeal. “Shut yer mouth, Molly!”
“I want to know.” Jasper put on his leather overcoat and nudged Frank with his elbow. “Does he take you up the rear?” There was a stupid grin on his lips.
Molly chuckled and Frank felt his cheeks heat. She better not say a word! He never beat women, unless it was absolutely necessary, but those things, he wanted her to keep to herself. But, of course, being Molly, she did talk.
“Frank, do you take me up the rear?” she teased, parroting Jasper’s accent. Relieved, Frank grunted in reply.
“Betta’ get dressed already so that yer pig can rip that dress off ya.”
“No one’s going to share any filthy fun with me, are they?” Jasper rolled his eyes and went for the door, holding his chin up high.
“Do not say anythin’!” Frank mouthed to Molly and followed his partner only to stop midstride. “If ya want us to talk to that hog, we will.”
“Gone ya are!” She made a dismissive gesture and turned towards her mirror. There was no use arguing when she got like that.