Here’s a sample from the beginning of Downlow Muscle at the City Barbershop, a new story by Calvin Freeman!
Sharif didn’t take his suit off. He just pulled his dick out through the fly and let Omar go to town. He said over and over that he was “fine” with letting Omar suck him off, but it was pretty clear that he didn’t want to do it. He only agreed because he wanted to seem as tough as a rapper.
His cock throbbed and leaked precum down Omar’s throat. Omar loved guzzling down every drop, made even tastier because of Sharif’s stiff nervousness. His muscles were rigid beneath the suit he wore uncomfortably because he didn’t really fit in it. Sharif grunted, trying to maintain his tough demeanor despite his anxiety.
The only reason Sharif was here at all was because of Craig, or Craig Jay, as he went by in the rap world — Omar still knew him as just plain Craig though, because they had grown up together. They had been friends for a long time, and then they grew apart — Craig became a thug and a dealer, while Omar came out of the closet and became a barber.
And then Craig did a guest spot on a single released by local legend (and Craig’s long-time boss) Waystation. The song became a surprise national hit, and Craig released an album of his own that made him the most unlikely rap star of the year. Craig had never been much of a gangsta, Omar thought, but he played himself off as plenty tough on record.
Sharif rapped too, but he wasn’t very good and that wasn’t why he was here. His hair was in tight, perfectly done cornrows, so he didn’t need a haircut. He came in wearing that fine suit. When Omar caught a glimpse of him while he cut someone else’s hair, he just saw a large body and thought it was some fat guy in a black coat.
Then he realized it was a suit, not a coat, and that Sharif wasn’t fat at all — he was a bodybuilder. He had competed in the Mr. Texas bodybuilding pageant and come in second place a few years ago. He stood nervously near the door until Craig was ready for another customer.
“Yo, man, Craig Jay wanna me to be…” Sharif grunted and bit his lip. “I mean… Yo, nigga, I got… I got a message.”
It had been a busy day, and Omar had other things to do. He sighed. “What? What are you talking about? Who are you?” He only then realized that Sharif mentioned Craig Jay, which was Craig’s performing name. “Oh, Craig? The Craig Jay?”
Sharif nodded. He nervously bit his lip. He looked around the barbershop, where Omar’s coworker James cut a little boy’s hair while his grandfather watched. Everyone was silent because Sharif had mentioned a celebrity and they wanted to hear.
“You work for Craig?”
Sharif shook his head. He sighed. “Yo, I mean…”
Omar paused. “If you have a message, aren’t you supposed to say it?”
Sharif had a bone-rattlingly deep voice, which contrasted with the nervous quaver in his throat. “Yeah. Okay. Yeah. We, uh… We can’t… I can’t, uh, give this message… here.” He glanced at the little boy. “It ain’t, like… child-friendly.”
A long awkward pause filled the air. “Are you threatening me?” Omar didn’t really think he was simply because Sharif looked like he would have been comfortable delivering a threat, so his obvious discomfort implied that was not it. But Omar lived in a tough neighborhood and felt he needed to consider the possibility of violence.
Sharif’s massive shoulders flexed as he gasped. “Nah! No! No way, man, that ain’t… It ain’t a threat.”
Omar shrugged. “Okay, well, why don’t we go into my office?” He led Sharif into the backroom, where he had a small office. Sharif sat down across from Omar, who smiled at him. “So how’s Craig? Is fame treating him okay? I know he-“
“I dunno, nigga.” Sharif said. He leaned his head back. “Okay, look, man, you gotta suck me off.”
Omar was taken aback. This wasn’t too surprising — Omar worked at a City Barbershop, a chain that had a reputation as a place for straight black men to get blowjobs on the downlow. Omar was well-known for sucking off thugs precisely like Sharif. But they rarely wore suits or came in delivering a message from a celebrity, so Omar assumed there was more to this story. “Oh. Well-“
“I mean, you ain’t got to. I guess. I dunno. I mean, Craig ain’t say nothin’ ‘bout makin’ you do it. He say you was gonna want to,” Sharif said. He stood up and lifted up his button-down suit shirt for a second, revealing his flat belly and bulging pecs — he showed off his body for Omar’s benefit, but he was nervous enough that he didn’t give any thought to how to do that: he simply lifted his shirt up to display his muscles for a second, not doing it in a sexy or seductive way. “I’m s’posed to let you suck me off. Craig say he won’t hire me — I’m a bodyguard, that’s what I do — he say he won’t hire me unless he knows I’m a real nigga. He say he wanna know I can perform.”
“Ah….” Omar had to suppress a giggle. He had a feeling this was more of a joke than a real requirement. Craig was a stoner-slacker who would probably never even bother to call Omar to ask if this had happened. Sharif could simply lie. Craig would always take the path of least resistance, and he would definitely never retract a job offer to a muscle-bound thug without a very good reason.
“Keep the suit on,” Omar said. “I like sucking off men in a suit. It feels like I’m giving a blowjob to James Bond.”
He came around to the front of the desk and sunk to his knees in front of Sharif. He unzipped his slacks and pulled his dick out too quickly for Sharif to get nervous.