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"Tommy, honey, I was just lying here on the bed thinking about
you, how are you, big guy?"
Thank goodness it was one of her regulars. Maxine shoved her
unruly hair out of the way so she could prop the telephone
against her ear and change baby Graham's messy diaper while
purring suggestive comments into the receiver.
She caught sight of herself reflected in the bathroom mirror
and grinned at the witchlike image. She wasn't wearing a scrap
of makeup, she had a zit on her chin, her green cat's eyes
were puffy from lack of sleep, and she needed a haircut. She
had on a pair of well-washed gray sweats and a pink tee shirt
already stained from the apricots she'd fed Graham for
breakfast, and contrary to her fantasies, the ten pounds she'd
gained with Graham hadn't evaporated overnight.
Man, she really needed a haircut. Her shaggy auburn mane,
thick and impossibly curly, was now well past her shoulders,
and any style it had ever had was long gone. She usually
braided it, but this morning there hadn't been time.
Graham was cutting a tooth. He'd been awake nearly every hour
last night, needing a cuddle or a bottle or adiaper change.
Aware that Edna was out in the living room working the night
shift, Maxine had put James Taylor on the tape player at one
point and danced the baby around the bedroom until he slept
A child wailing in the background when you were trying to do
phone sex wasn't easy to explain. Maxine, and Edna too, had
often told callers the noise was an imaginary poodle named
Maxine yawned hugely, only half-listening. The night had taken
its toll. She'd been a wreck when she groggily took over the
business phone at seven a.m. so Edna could go home, and the
calls had been steady ever since. She'd fed Graham his cereal
and made a pot of coffee with the receiver clamped to the side
of her head.
"I'm not wearing much of anything, darlin'," she said in
answer to the usual question. She giggled provocatively. "Just
a lace negligee and a teensy pair of black panties, and
they're ..." she lowered her husky voice to an intimate
whisper as she described her imagined lingerie.
Neck bent at an awkward angle, she murmured provocatively into
the receiver and tried to keep her wriggling ten-month-old-son
amused with goofy faces so he'd lie still long enough for her
to get the fresh diaper secured and the snaps of his jumpsuit
done up. It was a little like trying to contain mercury;
Graham was good-natured when he wasn't teething, but he was
also determined, and he was getting stronger every day.
He was also trying to talk.
"Mummummum." He gave up struggling for an instant, grinned up
at her and gabbled again, and she smiled at him and quickly
covered the mouthpiece. But Tommy hadn't heard a thing; he was
far too busy telling her what he wanted to do to her. She
rolled her eyes and silently mouthed every word he said; she'd
heard it all so many times before. He was a faithful customer,
but like most of the others, he definitely lacked imagination.
Maxine got the last snap fastened and hoisted Graham from the
countertop to the floor, where he took off toward the living
room and his toy box using the funny sideways crab walk that
was his version of crawling.
She watched him adoringly as she absent-mindedly groaned and
panted into the telephone. "Oh, Tommy, I love it when you talk
dirty, it makes me so hot ..."
Darn, but she needed the portable headset she'd seen
advertised on the Shopping Channel. That way her neck wouldn't
ache so much by nighttime. She needed to change her sweat
pants for clean ones; these had gobs of farina stuck to them,
as well as a streak on the leg of something she'd rather not
"Bbbbmmmmmm ..." Graham rolled a toy bus along the rug and
grinned when she waggled her fingers at him.
She needed to launch another career before her son began to
understand what she did for a living.
The call ended just then with the usual satisfactory results.
Maxine checked her watch; twenty-three minutes, not bad at
all. She felt more than a little proud of how far she'd come
with this phone sex thing. At first, she'd had a hard time
keeping a caller on the line at all. It was a technique she'd
learned gradually, and at first it had taken concentration.
Now she could do it almost automatically.
Added to the other calls that morning, she'd done well, she
concluded as she tidied the bathroom and gathered up the
Even with the hefty amount the telephone company charged for
the use of the 900 line they'd installed in her house, she'd
be able to pay the rent and the utilities again this month and
put a little into her savings. Guys always wanted to know if
telephone sex was as good for her as it was for them, and she
could honestly assure them it was. For two months before
Graham was born and during the ten months since, it had paid
the bills and bought Pampers and formula. It had even made it
possible, and necessary, to hire an employee; Edna Gimbel had
only been working for Maxine for the last seven weeks, and it
still seemed a miracle to be able to sleep through the night
... when Graham co-operated, of course.
Yup, life was hectic, but it was also a triumph to know that
she was self-supporting, Maxine mused as she hurried into the
bedroom for fresh clothing.
She hastily tied her hair back with a stray shoelace and
managed to get a load of laundry tossed into the washer and
the stuff from the dryer half folded before the business phone
"Hi, this is Jerome." The deep voice sounded shy, and Maxine
felt sympathetic. Guys were often bashful at first.
Maxine had learned to allow the customer to initiate whatever
he wanted from the call, and she was still surprised at how
many times her callers never got around to sex at all. They
talked about their golf game, or football, the stock market,
the problems they were having with their wives or girlfriends.
They often seemed satisfied just to have her listen.
Jerome wasn't one of those, however.
"I'm lyin' in the sun, alright, honey. Out on my deck." His
voice dropped two decibels and took on a certain tension.
"With not a stitch on. And Jimbo is just standin' up and
salutin' fer you, darlin."
Excerpted from Gentleman Caller
by Bobby Hutchinson
Copyright © 2002 by Bobby Hutchinson.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted December 9, 2008
To support herself and her baby Graham, Maxine Bleckner provides phone sex to her clients under the name India McBride. She needs eight to ten customers every day talking to her over her 900 number for at least twenty minutes to buy diapers and baby food. In spite of walking her infant while on the phone with paying studs, her business has become so successful; she has hired an employee. However, Maxine worries about the future once Graham becomes of an age where he understands how she puts food on the table. Vancouver Star assigns reporter Harry Watson, single father of a three year old daughter, to investigate phone sex. Though he has no experience in this safe sex, Harry calls Maxine, but he cannot bring himself to discuss his libido. Instead he wants to just talk to an adult. As Maxine and Harry begin to fall in love over her 900 number (and the Star¿s business account), both worry that if they are to meet, they will see the child in each one¿s life ending the relationship before it began in person. GENTLEMAN CALLER is a funny creative romance that is at its best when Maxine fakes heat as she changes a diaper. The story line works amusingly well when the couple talks over the phone while tending to their respective child though a sidebar involving another couple with intriguing commitment problems takes away from the prime tale. Still Bobby Hutchinson furnishes a wild romantic romp that sasses modern sexual not in the flesh encounters at two cents a page. Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.