Alex drove slowly down the strip. The neon lights flashed, inviting you in to come and see the girls, or boys, depending on whatever you were into. He made the same drive, night after night. Watching. Waiting. Hoping that he'd be there - that he hadn't driven off to God knows where with God knows who to have God knows what done to him.
Alex's breath caught in his throat as he approached the corner. His corner. He was there. The tension in Alex's shoulders dissipated as he saw him, pacing slowly up and down on his little patch of pavement. The neon lights behind him picked out the green and gold in his eyes as he lifted his head.
He’d never forgotten those eyes. In all the years that had passed between then and now – he would have recognized them anywhere. Alex remembered all the nights they had lain awake and talked until the dawn broke through the clouds. The dreams they had shared – the promises they had made. The last tearful goodbye on the steps of the children's home after Alex had been adopted. The dollar bill Alex had torn in half, thrusting one half into Wade's sweaty palm as the tears coursed down his cheeks. The promise that the twelve year old Alex had whispered into fourteen year old Wade's ear – his arms wrapped around him tight. “I will find you.”
Alex slowed the car to a stop in front of him and waited until he stopped his pacing and stared over at the car. Green eyes narrowed as he noted Alex at the wheel and, after several long moments, he moved toward the open passenger window.
Alex's gaze took in the muscles of his thighs rippling beneath the tight jeans he wore and swallowed hard. That was not what this was about. Not yet, anyway.
“You lookin' for a date, cutie?”
His voice was gravelly and raw from too many cigarettes and whatever the hell else it was that he did with his throat – something Alex didn't want to think about right now. Alex turned away from those questioning green eyes and gazed out of the windscreen. “Get in.”
Wade opened the door, slid into shotgun and leaned back against the headrest as the car eased out into the traffic. When the man beside him pulled down a side street and steered the car to a stop in an alley, Wade turned to face him. “Cash up front, handsome,” he said, his tone matter of fact, his fingers already unbuttoning his shirt. He was surprised to see a flicker of sadness in the beautiful brown eyes following his movements and a his gut tightened with a twinge of empathy - probably the guy's first time paying for it. “Don't worry,” he smiled slowly, pulling his shirt from the waistband of his jeans. “I'll make you feel real good. It'll be worth every penny.”
Alex reached into the back seat and took his wallet from the pocket of his jacket, pulling out some cash. He handed it to Wade and waited. Alex heard Wade's gasp as the half a dollar floated into his lap when he opened the wad of bills. He watched, his heart in his throat, as Wade's hand dipped into the inside pocket of his denim jacket and took out an often folded piece of worn paper. Saw how Wade's fingers shook as he opened the paper and placed it against the half on his knee. Alex's eyes filled with unheeded tears as Wade looked up at him and whispered brokenly.
“You found me.” Wade fell into his arms and buried his face against Alex's neck, hot tears wetting soft skin.
“I'm sorry it took me so long.” Alex rocked him and murmured nonsense into Wade’s hair as they cried together.
There would be time for talking later. Time to learn how Wade got here. Time to move forward. Time to love.