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The couple had been sipping wine for almost half an hour when he made his first move.
They had already exhausted talk of his work (he was an accountant, so that part didn't take too long) and hers (she was a graduate student, she told him, though when you purchase companionship through an escort service you never know whether you're being told the truth), and he had been watching the ample cleavage defined by the black lace camisole long enough to be feeling excited. Very excited.
Still, he liked the sound of her voice, and he listened to it longer than he had planned.
He took the wineglass from her hand, gently, courteously, and placed it on the glass top of the coffee table in front of them. She was smiling. When he kissed her, her lips were as warm and yielding as he had thought they would be.
She put her arms around him and drew him in closer, her mouth, her lips against his, her tongue exploring inside his mouth, feeling hot, feeling impatient. He sensed a surge, a response inside himself, as though his groin were suddenly on fire.
She leaned back on the bed and pulled him on top of her, still fully dressed, and her legs came up and encircled him, pulling him down harder on top of her. She was kissing him back, his face, his neck, pulling at his clothes even as she held him pinned on top of her; it was as though a fire had been ignited inside ofher when he made his first move. She must like me, he thought, as he returned her kisses, reaching between their two bodies to fondle her breasts. She must really be hot for me.
She gasped and pulled away from him, scrambling up further on the bed, still with that smile. Slowly, watching him, she started to undress. The black lace top that barely concealed the camisole, the skirt ... she was wearing a garter belt and stockings-he caught his breath and felt that pulsing in his cock again. She knows what I want, he thought, and locking eyes with her, he stood up, unbuckled his belt, and unzipped his khakis.
She was just wearing the camisole and stockings now, no underpants-God, I love it when they don't wear anything underneath-and she leaned back against the headboard, still watching him, her legs falling apart naturally. Slowly, she put a finger in her mouth, then withdrew it; slowly, she moved her hand down and slid the same finger into her pussy.
She's so hot, he thought. He pulled off his shirt. He couldn't take his eyes off her pussy. She didn't shave it, like some girls did, and he was fascinated with the curly dark hair and the slender hand on it, moving, pulsing....
He crawled up to be with her, but she put one elegant black-stockinged leg up, her foot against his chest, to hold him away from her. Her eyes were still holding his. She wet her finger once more and started really caressing herself, rocking her hips rhythmically, moving against her hand, her breathing coming faster, even moaning, and all the while her eyes were still on him.
He felt like his cock was going to burst.
She paused and then asked, her voice low, "Do you want me?"
Oh, God, like no one I've ever wanted before. "Yes," he managed to say, licking his lips. "Yes, yes, I want you!"
The hand went to the nightstand. "Put this on," she whispered, passing him the foil packet. He complied, fumbling with it a little, watching as she went back to touching herself, she's getting ahead of me, he thought, and then it was on, finally it was on, and she slowly-too slowly, too slowly!-moved the foot that was holding him back from her, extending the leg gracefully to the side, her arms now up and open, pulling him down on her.
He fumbled for another moment, his cock in his hand, and then he was sliding inside her, fast, hard, and she moaned again. She was kissing his face, kissing his neck, his ear-and then she bit his ear, hard. He gasped, but she only whispered, "You're so good ..." before tipping her head back, her eyes finally closed, moaning as she moved with him.
She was soft and yielding and magnificent. He drove his cock into her pussy, again and again and again, feeling the fire building, feeling it engulf not only his groin, but then, suddenly, unexpectedly, his whole body-Christ, he thought, I'm on fire-and then he was coming, again and again and again, feeling it wash over him like waves, putting out the fire, leaving him weak, exhausted, and empty.
She didn't hurry him, like some of them did. Finally, she slid out from under him and padded into the bathroom. He heard water running, and a few moments later she was back, a washcloth in her hand.
She moved him onto his back without saying a word, removed the condom, and used the washcloth on him. It was warm and wet, just like she had been. When she was finished, she lay down next to him, her head on his chest, her fingers slowly, lazily caressing him.
He started drifting off. He saw a farmhouse and a well next to it, fragments of some dream he'd been having the night before resurfacing as he drifted into a sleepier state, lulled by her warmth next to him and her fingertips on his body.
The telephone rang.
He jerked awake, aware suddenly of the hotel room, the woman next to him, the shrilling of the phone. It was his room, so he reached for it. Christ, that's loud! "Hello?" he managed to say at last.
The voice on the other end managed to be both gentle and cheerful. "Craig, hi, this is Peach." He rolled over so that he was sitting on the edge of the bed. "Hi, Peach."
"Can I talk to her?"
"Sure." The girl was next to him; he handed her the phone. "Hi, Peach," she said easily, and then listened for a moment. "Yes, I enjoyed it." She reached over and took his hand, winking at him as she said it. "Anytime he calls again, I'd love to see him." Another short pause. "Okay, thanks, Peach. Bye."
She hung up the phone, put her arms around him, and kissed him again. That was unusual, too. "I had a lovely time," she said, softly.
"You mean that?" She probably says it to everyone. Still, I really felt that she liked me.
"No," she said softly. "Only when it's true."
She moved away, pulled on her skirt and blouse, and he realized with a start that that was all she had taken off. He's had girls nude in the first five minutes who hadn't gotten him off like this one had. This is going to be embarrassing, he thought. Here goes....
"Um," he said, "I'd like to see you again."
She was running fingertips through her long red hair, tangled now. "I'd like that, too," she said, softly. "But-" Just say it. "Umm ... I'm sorry, I forgot your name."
To his surprise, she grinned, a wide spontaneous smile. "That's okay," she said. "Sometimes I forget it myself." She had on her black blazer and little black handbag that had been on the nightstand, where she had put the condoms. She came over to where he was still sitting, with just his pants pulled up haphazardly, and kissed the top of his head. "Tia," she said. "My name is Tia."
"Tia," he said. That name suits her. Maybe she's Italian.
She kissed him again. "I have to go," she said. "Call Peach and ask for me."
"I will," he said.
She started for the door, then suddenly turned, came back quickly, bent down, and gave him a full, deep, wet kiss on the mouth. A lot of the girls never did that, and especially not once they were leaving; there was a depressing postcoital efficiency in the profession that he found irritating. "Soon," she whispered. "Please call soon."
He started to say something, then cleared his throat. "I will," he managed, "I will."
She closed the hotel room door behind her and walked down the carpeted corridor. Waiting for the elevator, she once again fixed her hair with her fingertips, and straightened her skirt. By the time she emerged into the lobby she looked cool, collected, and still very sexy.
She went to the bank of phones located to the left of the front desk, put in coins that she had ready in her blazer pocket, and called me. "Peach? It's Jeannette. I'm done."
"Great." I mentally checked my roster of potential clients for the night. "Do you want another call?"
The woman in the hotel lobby stifled a yawn. "Not really. Only if it's one of my regulars," she said. "I have some reading to catch up on."
"Okay, then," I said. There was another call coming in. "Hey, honey, call me when you get home, okay? Maybe we can have lunch tomorrow."
"Sure thing. Talk to you then."
I disconnected her call and picked up the one that was waiting. "Hello?"
"Hey, Peach, it's Crystal. I'm here with Mark."
"Great, honey," I said, checking the clock. "I'll call you out in an hour."
I stretched and looked around for my novels and magazines. Always need my novels. It looked like it was going to be a busy night.
The telephone was ringing.
That's not unusual: in my world, the telephone is always ringing. It's an occupational hazard. I don't suppose that I should complain; I'm the one, after all, who has the advertisements in the local alternative newspaper asking people to call me. I'm the one who persuades guys to use my number, to see my girls, to become, in an odd, indescribable way, my friend. It's my lifeline, the telephone.
But sometimes-once in a while-I do find myself wishing that it would just stop.
It was ringing this morning while I was trying to get Sam ready for his day. Yes: I am a madam, and I also have a child. It's not an oxymoron; it's my life. I checked the caller ID and saw that it was a new client, someone I'd sent a couple of girls to in the last few days. That kind of regularity translates as Very Good Client. "Hi, Gary."
"Peach?" He sounded surprised that I knew who he was. As though he hadn't heard about the latest in telephone technology. Although, to be fair, I've always been very good with numbers, and I'd matched the cell phone display to his name almost instantaneously. "Hi, Peach. Um-I was just, you know, thinking about what you said last night, and you're right, I need to get out of my rut."
Great. And now you want to talk about it. "That's probably a good idea, Gary." I was hunting for one of Sam's missing shoes as I waited for the rest. I already knew what it was going to be about. When one of my clients says he wants to get out of a rut, he's not talking about changing jobs, going on vacation, or taking up a new hobby.
My clients are much more specific than that.
"Well, you know what you said, about trying something new, and I guess that I just had this kind of fixation with blondes, you know, but I think...." He paused and took a deep breath, as though entering into an important pact, making a difficult commitment. "I think I'm ready for a change."
I was watching the clock. The school bus waits for no madam. "Gary, that's terrific. But can you call me back later? I've got a new girl working tonight. I think you'll really like her. We can connect you once she checks in."
"What's she like, Peach?"
I sighed. I should have known I wasn't going to get him off the phone that easily. "She's got dark hair, five-seven, 122 pounds, 36-26-32. She's gorgeous, Gary, and she's really sweet."
"What's her name?"
Thinking fast, I said, "April. I'll have her call you as soon as she checks in, does that work for you? She's a college student. She's in class right now."
"Oh. Okay, Peach."
No "Thank you, Peach," or anything like that. Silly me, to expect courtesies from someone who calls an escort service at breakfast time just to chat. I frowned at the phone as I pressed the off button. April. I'd have to remember that.
Most of the girls who work for me use fictional names. I can't blame them-after all, I do the same thing-but sometimes it's a little tough keeping them straight. Especially when I assign one on the spur of the moment, as I just had.
In the kitchen, Sam was voicing his displeasure with the menu choices. I sighed and marched in to head him off before he decided to throw the offending food around. Now all I had to do was figure out who the hell I had that I could pass off as this April, who was, unfortunately, a total figment of my imagination.
Sometimes I think I'm in the wrong profession altogether.
Mornings, in particular, are tough. I'm not supposed to be working then-we do most of our work in the late afternoons and at night-but I still answer the calls: it would be suicidal not to. Talking with Gary this morning hadn't precisely made my day, but yesterday was worse. It was raining for the third day in a row, my husband was away, and Sam was adamantly refusing to eat the exact same breakfast he had loved only the day before.
And I had a new girl on the phone, asking for advice.
"Peach, should I get the wax done just before I go? Sometimes my skin is a little irritated right after I have a wax. And-there's this other thing: What do you think-should I have all the hair removed, or leave a strip of it on?"
Wonderful. I haven't had my first cup of coffee yet, and here I'm talking to this girl about her pubic hair. Ask me if I care.
Well, actually, the reality is that I do. I do care about these girls and I care about making things as comfortable for them as I can and I care about their confidence (if not, precisely, about their wax jobs); but sometimes it just gets a little ... overwhelming. Like I'm a nanny with a particularly difficult and demanding set of charges.
The only difference between us is that my charges are all drop-dead gorgeous and in their twenties. The rest? I'd say it pretty much stays the same.
Despite what you may be thinking after reading all of this, most of the time, I love what I do. I love owning my own business. I love having my days free. For a long time, I loved the cachet that went along with being a successful madam in a relatively small city where everyone who is anyone knows everybody else. I loved the entrée it gave me to events and parties and inner circles; I loved being seen as someone who people wanted to be seen with.
And then there's the issue of power. After all, my profession involves providing something that men want, and I'm the gatekeeper. I'm the one who gives or doesn't give what they are asking for. There are days when that feels pretty good.
This book is partly about that, partly about what it was like to be flashy and successful in a glittering world where it was always night, where the real world was somewhere else. Because that was a big part of my life. But it's also about how that gets old, finally; about how the other side to the nightlife can be devastating and even deadly; about how, in a sense, I grew out of it and into something that is just as satisfying in a completely different way.
And, through it all, I ran-and continue to run-a very successful escort business.
I didn't start out wanting to be a madam.
I mean, it's not the kind of career choice that little girls consider when they talk together about what they're going to be when they grow up. Let's see: teacher, nurse, lawyer, bordello owner ... nope, just doesn't work. There are some careers that you choose, and some careers that choose you. This one definitely falls into the latter category.
So, how does a nice girl like me end up running an escort service?
I'm not sure exactly where to start. I could use all the excuses that people generally use when they're trying to justify what others may see as questionable behavior. I could talk about boyfriends and about wanting to do well at Boston's Emerson College; about my parents' expectations that I would marry and buy a mock Tudor somewhere in the suburbs. I could list my various jobs, give you a resumé or a list of recommendations; I could self-right-eously mention exactly how few positions are available to people when they first leave a school like Emerson, which is so specialized in communications and acting and related fields. I could even say that I had put a lot of thought into it and decided that running an escort service would make me Businesswoman of the Year.
Excerpted from MADAM by JEANNETTE ANGELL Copyright © 2005 by Jeannette Angell. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted August 12, 2010
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