“Thanks for the ride,” Kemp said as he got out of the car. The man just nodded as he pulled away. “You coulda said thanks back,” Kemp grumbled. After all he’d ‘paid’ for the ride by giving the man head a couple of times on their way from San Antonio to New Orleans. Then the man had unceremoniously dumped him at the edge of the highway, telling him he could probably catch a ride into the city proper from there.
Kemp could see the downtown from where he stood and figured he’d be better off walking than trying to catch one last ride. Sitting down on a convenient rock he opened his backpack and took out his other pair of shoes. They were ratty from wear, but when it came to walking, a lot much more comfortable than the ones he had on. Once he’d changed them he hefted his pack back on his shoulder and took off.
Two hours later, wiping the sweat from his forehead one more time, Kemp dropped down onto a bench next to a shop that seemed to carry voodoo paraphernalia. He looked around, smiling tiredly. The area was straight out of all the movies he’d seen of the city; old buildings with wrought iron balconies, music coming out of the open doors of some of the clubs and restaurants, with tourists, and he supposed locals as well, strolling down the street.
“Made it,” he whispered in awe. “It was worth all the creeps with their grabby hands and tiny dicks.” As with the last of his rides, he’d used his mouth, and occasionally other parts of his body, to pay for his traveling from Seattle to New Orleans. Hell, one look at him and the men had just assumed he’d do it, and who was he to tell them different if it got him a free ride.
He ran a hand through his hair, trying to un-plaster it from around his face, before taking out the wallet he’d bought to replace the one that he’d lost. After checking to make certain no one was paying attention to him, he quickly counted the cash he had left. Unless New Orleans was much more expensive than Seattle he could probably make it for a week, if he only ate once a day and found a cheap hotel to park himself at night. “Real cheap,” he mumbled under his breath. Until he got the lay of the land he wasn’t willing to sleep rough. So, for at least the next couple of nights he needed shelter.
“Guess it’s time to see what’s what,” he told himself, not realizing he’d said it out loud until a voice asked, “Need a guide?”
Glancing up he quickly shook his head. “Nope, I’m fine. Just needed to get my bearings is all,” he told the dark haired man who stood there.
The man shrugged his shoulders. “Word of warning kid, stay off the streets after dark unless you know what you’re doing.” He studied Kemp for a long moment, his lavender eyes seeming to see deep inside him. Then he turned and walked away.
‘Talk about weird,’ Kemp thought as he hoisted his backpack over one shoulder and began his search for food—and someplace to crash that he could afford.