"I'm Not Just a Sniper....."
Zell's heart races as he watches and waits for Irvine's reaction. He doesn't have to wait long as he can almost see the steam coming from Irvine's ears, "You little... bastard!" He screams and literally bitch-slaps his old friend and storms out of his own dorm. As he leaves Quistis runs into him. She can instantly sense what just happened, "Irvine, are you okay?"
"Tell that prick of a martial artist to stay away from me. I mean it."
"That's cold! Zell cares about you and.."
"Don't start with me Quisty. Just stay out of this," He starts to walk off.
"Where are you going??"
"Out," He snaps without even looking back. He's had it with men like Zell; men who try to tie him down or make him a trophy husband. On his way out Irvine tells himself that he belongs to no man and that he could do whatever he wanted....
Balamb's resident bubbly blonde sits on Irvine's bed, trying not to cry as his heart is crumbling. His hand wraps around the velvet box, trying hard to crush it, but he cannot bring himself to do it. "Why did I even bother with that whore? Why did I have to fall in love with him of all people?" He rants and mutters to himself until Quistis walks in and breaks the mood, "Zell?"
Zell looks up, his eyes red and glassy from all the tears that want to flow. "I sure can pick 'em Miss Trepe. First it was the pig-tailed girl... whom I found out had a boyfriend in Trabia she failed to mention... now Irvine... I felt like I've loved him for several years... only to find out he's been selling his body and soul for a piddling amount of gil each time," He lazily rubs where the cowboy slapped him. "Yet here I am.. asking him to marry me... I guess I asked to be slapped."
Quistis frowns and hugs the smaller boy, "Listen... There's something I have to tell you."
"About why Irvine does this. He never got adopted when he enrolled in Galbadia Garden, so despite his dreams of becoming the first SeeD sniper, he didn't have the money needed for the extra training classes. He was swept into escorting when he was fourteen."
"Fourteen?! Isn't that illegal?"
"Very much so, but neither Irvine nor his employer cared. He pretended he was eighteen so his boss wouldn't get in trouble. These men are wealthy Zell. They're business men, doctors, lawyers... Irvine figured if they were rich, they were his ticket to SeeD. I think recently Irvine's lost sight of his dream... I've noticed he's almost stopped attending his SeeD training courses. His grades have dropped since his transfer..."
"I have to save him," Zell says to himself.
"He doesn't see it as saving him," Quistis sighed, "He sees it as you wanting to own him. You need to show him that he's better than that. I know you can show him.."
"Yeah... I guess I've been going about this the wrong way. I do want to marry him one day, but I want him to accomplish his dream first. Thanks Miss Trepe..." He hugs the young woman tight.
"You're welcome. Remember, don't let your love for him blind you. Act with your mind before your heart in this case."
Zell smiles at that, "Will do! But I think I'll save this for later..." He lets go of Quistis and slips the little box into his dresser.
"He.... wanted to marry me!! That spoiled brat....!" Irvine sobs into Darlene's arms. The older woman coos and comforts the boy, "There there Irvy..."
"Why do men always want to tie me down?! I don't ever want to be married!" He blows his nose into a tissue and wipes his eyes with his duster's sleeve.
"Shhhh.. it's going to be okay sweetie.... Men think marriage will fix any problem. It doesn't, as my ex-husband found out. You are your own person, Irvine. Don't let these men tell you what's right and wrong."
"I won't..." He sniffles.
"You're obviously upset over this... How would you like to take a break from escorting for a while? I need some help in my cocktail lounge. The pay's a little less, but the tips will make up for it."
"What will I be doing? Serving drinks?"
"Basically. The law says you have to be twenty-one, but I think you can pass for that. All you need is poise and balance, and you have both thanks to your training."
"Err... thanks," Irvine blushes.
"Of course there will be men who will ask for sexual favors. It's up to you whether or not to accept. If you do, please take it to a private spot."
Irvine nods, "I can do that."
"Good. Please follow me."
Irvine stares at his new uniform, "I have to wear... this?"
"I'm sorry Irvine. It's not the house uniform, but I like to have my workers be individuals."
"But it looks like something out of a bad hospital manual!" He takes the outfit and still stares at it: a white and pink striped dress with a frilly skirt, garter belt, a pair of white stockings, and pink ankle boots with heels. "I'll have it tailored to fit, but I know you'll look lovely in it."
"It's a DRESS!!"
"Several of my customers enjoy an occasional drag queen. You have the perfect face and body for it. Trust me Irvine.. it's not that bad... And I suggest you supply your own lingerie. Thongs are preferred."
Irvine blinks at that, "Sure.. thing."
Darlene takes his measurements and hugs him, "Don't worry sweetie. You'll be back to normal once this whole thing blows over, okay?"
"Yeah... you're right Ms. Darlene. Thank you... for everything." Irvine smiles wide, "I'm gonna go shopping to add to this costume." He beams and leaves his employer to find the perfect items to compliment his ensemble.
"This is the life....!" Irvine chuckles while he ignores his true dreams...
END PART 11
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