I loved my job, even if it wasn’t for everyone. You woke up, got ready, plastered that smile on your face, and then headed out to face the world. That mean, cruel world loved to suck the youth right out of everyone. I wasn’t old by any means; twenty-eight was still manageable. My whole life was ahead of me, but I wasn’t a spring chicken either. The new girls came in, took clients, and would high- tail it when they found Mr. Right Now, but not us veterans. No, we were in this job for the long haul.
He was still asleep. This one always slept afterwards. Maybe he had to dream it out of his system, pretend he wasn’t as bad as the others. Let’s face it, most politicians and businessmen around here had one of our numbers on speed dial. We didn’t judge; we weren’t paid to. We did, however, talk, and if a john treated one of the young ones inappropriately, we took care of him. Our sisterhood was elite, hard to get into, but once you were here, you were a lifer, even if you did make it out of this hell hole.
I picked the money up off of the table and left the hotel, counting the roll of twenties one by one while walking down the streets. Some days it felt like I could do my job without the man’s help. Other days, like yesterday, I was glad to have a partner in this. Maybe partner was too strong of a word; it was probably more like a tour guide. You know, he told me where to go, what to do, and when to do it, but yesterday, when I was attacked, he was like a partner. He’d never left my side. One would argue that’s what the girls all paid him for, others would say it was the least he could do with the situations he put us in. Me, I was just thankful that I didn’t have to deal with it alone.
“Hey, Charlie, he’s waiting for you.”
As usual, I faked the smile I flashed at Stan as I walked through the doors and into the back office. I pulled the roll of twenties out and tossed them on his desk. Sixty percent to the house, forty percent to my bank account.
“I got a special assignment for you.”
“No can do. Got a regular in two hours. Can’t pass him up.”
“You can, and you will. This one wants to drop a grand just for one night with you. He asked for you specifically.”
“You can’t have one of the other girls do it? You know how I feel about my regulars.”
I watched him raise his hand in the air, as if he was trying to silence me. “I’ve spoken. I’m sending Misty to your regular. You’ll collect ten percent, like a finder’s fee, if you must. This guy, though, wants you specifically. Here’s his location and the time. Play nice.”
“Nice? Since, when do you want your girls playing nice?”
“Since we were just offered a grand for one measly fuck. Now go.”
He was holding out the piece of paper at me, waving it. With a regretful sigh, I took it and had just turned to leave when I heard him say, “A grand, Charlie. Wear your best panties.”
“Yeah, we’ll see.”
I walked out of the office and through the building back to the street. It was a good thing I liked walking, because I spent most days with my feet on the pavement. The pier was always nice this time of year. The paper said this guy was at the Eden Plaza on the pier. I knew that place well. A couple friends worked there. My mind wandered to my regular that Misty now had. I felt the need to warn her about his kinkier nature but decided everyone needed to be introduced to the weird and strange the same way I had been, by surprise.
The Eden Plaza looked magnificent against the sunset along the pier. The whole building of the hotel seemed engulfed in orange and red light. I walked up the side of the building and slipped into the lobby. Andy was standing there behind the counter. He caught sight of me and waved me over. He always was a good friend.
“Charlie! I assume it’s business not pleasure that brings you to my hotel, yeah?”
“You know I couldn’t afford this place if it was for pleasure.”
“Well you could, babe, if you ever decided to take me up on my offer.”
“You know I can’t be a kept woman, Andy. I need ta earn my way.”
“One day, Charlie, you will come to your senses. Until then, I will have to settle for our movie and pizza nights, I guess.”
I reached my hand over the counter and touched his arm, “Andy, I love our movie and pizza nights. Why ruin it?”
“I’m not, C. Just yakking. You be safe tonight. Should I wait around for you? Walk you home?”
“Nah, but thanks. I don’t know how long this is gonna last.”
With a smile and then a turn, I went over to the escalators and retrieved the piece of paper with his information. Room number 337, third floor. The elevator let out a ding, and I stepped inside. The number three button stared at me, daring me to press it. Now or never… I watched my finger reach out and the ring around the number three lit up. The doors closed and the elevator started moving. New people always made me nervous, never knowing what to expect or what you were walking into.
The doors parted, and I stepped onto the floor. The room was dead ahead, the master suite. Without hesitation, my feet lead the way, like it was muscle memory controlling them. I couldn’t shake the notion that he had specifically asked for me. He didn’t leave his name, so he wasn’t a regular. Maybe he was referred by someone.
Knock, knock, knock. The door opened, and a tall man, about 6’2”, stared back at me. His skin was tan with a touch of sunburn across his neck. It was hard to make the features of his face out due to the dark lighting, but his blue eyes stared back at me, shining in the darkness. His hair was dark, but his smile was bright. His white teeth were easy to spot through the blackness.
“Somebody order room service?” I flashed him my smile and tossed my hair back over my shoulder. He pushed the door open and signaled me in.
“Not a talker, huh? That’s all right. I’ll take care of everything, baby.” Walking past him, I let my hand brush against his stomach and linger a bit before moving toward the bed. With a graceful spin, I lifted up on the balls of my feet and turned around to face him. “Shall we discuss payment or just see what all you…” I paused when he started to walk towards me. His hands touched mine, and it felt like a spark went off at our fingertips.
“Let me strip you,” he commanded, his voice deep and sultry.
His hands were rough, not smooth like my normal clientele. It was obvious he wasn’t a CEO type of worker. He slipped his hand inside of my shirt. I felt his palm trail up the side of my stomach and cup my breast. My lace bra wasn’t much of a barrier between his fingers and my nipple. It perked up as if trained to stand at attention at any given moment when he swiped past the hardened nub.
He lifted my arms up while he pulled my shirt off. His lips parted with a smile when he caressed the blue lace bra.
“Thank you. What shall I call you?”
“You can call me John.” He chuckled low, like he was making a joke.