Because the first story is so long, I decided to break it up into two bits. Here then is part one. You’ll have to wait until next week for the climax (lol, see what I did there).
DISCLAIMER: Remember this is a first draft, hot-off-the-press, unedited version. Enjoy the ride.
“Good afternoon, Stephanie. Is it all right that I call you that? Thank you for coming.”
“Stephanie is fine.” I fidgeted in my chair and smoothed down my skirt for the millionth time. Mrs. Murphy looked respectable in Dolce and Gabbana, dark-framed glasses and a tailored pant suit, her long brunette hair pulled back in a bun. Why on earth was I here?
“Try not to be nervous,” she said.
“I’m sorry. I’ve just never done anything like this before.”
She clasped her hands over the manila file folder with my name written on it. “We are a service of firsts.” Her smile was warm.
The space resembled any other commercial building: lots of glass and greys. Mrs. Murphy’s office looked out over the city, revealing people as specks of dust and trucks as dinky cars. I glanced at a door off to the left and behind her desk. Was that where everything happened?
“We have a private location for our encounters.”
Her uncanny ability to read my mind caused sweat to drip between my breasts.
“I thought you’d like to know, I’ve assigned one of our finest personal attendants to oversee your experience with us.”
“Oh.” I couldn’t manage more than that.
“Would you like to see his picture?”
That piqued my interest. I didn’t know if I’d get to find out anything about him before our… well, our date. I grimaced. Date sounded innocent. This was anything but. I’d come to Pleasure Incorporated for very non innocent longings. It was a secret club of sorts. They didn’t advertise, and only referrals from previous clientele earned you an interview with Mrs. Murphy. My girlfriend Amy was the one who told me about them. I couldn’t believe she’d done something like this. Now, I couldn’t believe I was considering doing something like this. Hell, I’d already committed to it, signed the confidentiality contract and everything. Paid the fees in full.
I leaned forward in the chair as she slid an 8×10 glossy my way. I turned it over and whistled. He was beautiful—strong jaw, dimples, shoulder-length dark brown hair, warm eyes, and the body of an Adonis. I swallowed and handed back the photo. I left clammy finger prints on the edges of the film.
She placed a standard white letter envelope on the desk. “Inside is the private location for your meeting tonight. You will need the card key to enter the building and your room. You are to meet Stephen in the lobby at 5:00pm. On your questionnaire, you mentioned wine would be a welcome addition. You will enjoy a quiet dinner together first, get to know one another a little bit. The conversation will help to put you at ease and open you up to the events of the evening. All the details are outlined in the enclosed letter.”
I dropped my head in my hands.
“There is no need to be embarrassed. Stephen has been briefed and is more than qualified to meet your needs.”
Her chair rolled back. I looked up to find her standing, hand outstretched. I followed suit.
Her handshake was firm. “It’s our policy to ensure all aspects of your fantasy are met with the utmost respect and professionalism. But I can assure you. You will enjoy yourself tremendously. Stephen will take good care of you.”
My grip on the envelope caused the paper to roll over the firm plastic card inside. I stared at the flashing numbers as the elevator descended. I couldn’t believe I was about to do this. I should kill Amy for suggesting this. My biggest sexual woe was that I’d never had an orgasm with another person. It’s not like it was the end of the world. I’m sure I would have had one eventually. Perhaps when I met the right guy and felt comfortable in his arms. Amy thought my ‘problem’ was sexual heresy and that I needed a ‘good, hard’ reckoning. This insane situation was her solution.
I passed a lobby full of people going on about their day, flustered that at any moment one of them would look at me and know what I was about to do. Do they even know what the company on the thirty-third floor did? P. Incorporated was all it said on the huge information board behind the security desk. I shuffled down the sidewalk and ducked inside my car. The meter was flashing, but there was no ticket. Thank God. How would I explain that one?
I opened the envelope and pulled out the card. I scooted forward and tucked it in my back jean’s pocket. I unfolded the letter and scanned the pertinent details. My room was ready immediately, and the Pleasure Motel was located an hour northeast from downtown. The letterhead called the place the Country House, but the sleazy label wrapped itself around my mind and held on. I programmed the address into my GPS and headed toward the highway. I’d packed my bag yesterday but brought way too much stuff. What on earth does one bring or wear to a sexual escapade? I suspected other than making sure my breath was minty fresh with toothpaste, there was very little I’d use in my overnight bag. I’d bought some sexy lingerie, but the more I dwelled on it, the more ridiculous the purchase seemed. Would he just throw me down? Would he rip off all my clothes? I wiped a hand across my face. This was such a bad idea. I picked up my phone and dialed into the Bluetooth.
“Hello?” Amy’s voice echoed on the other end. She must be driving too.
“This is such a bad idea,” I said.
“Nonsense. This is a step forward for all women kind. You can’t have your girl bits all shrivelled and lifeless like that. She needs to be set free and soar.”
“It’s not an eagle, for fuck’s sake; it’s a pussy, and cats can’t fly.” I took the off ramp and veered north.
“Only because your canary hasn’t learned to sing.”
I snorted. “This is the most ridiculous conversation I’ve ever had with you. And that’s saying a lot.”
“Steph. Trust me. By tomorrow morning, your world outlook will have changed. You won’t be the girl afraid you’ll never come. You’ll know it can happen, and you’ll revel in the feeling and the experience. Who have they hooked you up with?”
I didn’t bother pointing out how tawdry ‘hooked up’ sounded. “His name is Stephen. Looks like a Greek god.”
“I had a guy named Paul. Blond and tall as fuck.”
Amy had her encounter last year. I only learned about it a few months ago. As her best friend, I gave her a serious brow beating for the secrecy. She redeemed herself (according to her) by talking me into trying an experience myself.
The company only took on one client a week, which didn’t make any sense to me. If the demand was there, why delay? I’d had to wait over two months before I received my appointment. As much as I wanted to know the reason behind the wait, I didn’t ask. The less I knew about this organization the better. I wasn’t even sure it was legal.
I shuddered and pushed the thought from my mind. As soon as I made the clandestine call to the agency, I was sent lots of paper work to fill out, including a manifesto of past sexual experiences and health history. The company’s mission statement and policies were well laid out in the welcome package, including the rigorous screening and medical standards mandated for their personal attendants. At least I could be confident Stephen was clean.
“I have no idea how I let you talk me into this.” I still had a long drive ahead of me, but the green spaces were opening up now, and the concrete jungle was slowly giving way to real trees.
“Because you’re repressed and you need a good lay.”
“Do you have all your condoms?” she asked.
“Yes, Mom, though Mrs. Murphy said they take care of all that.”
“Yeah, she told me that too. I still brought some just in case.”
“Some?” I laughed.
“I had twenty-four hours. I planned on using as many as I could before the clock ran out.”
I heard Amy’s car ding, and she switched to her handheld. “I have to go, babe, but seriously, you need this. Try to let go of the crap in your past. Not all guys are demons.”
“Good. Then go out there tonight and have some fun. Leave stuffy, overthinking Steph in the city. Let the wild child out. You know, the one that goes out drinking and dancing with me. Bring her to the party. Let her loose on Stephen and leave nail marks on the guy’s back.”
I laughed. “I’ll do my best.”
“Atta girl. Have fun, sweetie. Love ya.”
“Love you too, girl.”
She rung off, and my speakers clicked back onto the radio. I turned up the volume and sang, blocking out my objections and doubts. I didn’t let them out of the bag again until I pulled up the long, winding drive that stopped in front of a colonial mansion. Columns, shutters, and trim in white and plaster exterior walls in a soft, welcoming yellow greeted me, as did the gentleman who waited to take my keys and whisk my car away. A bellhop retrieved my luggage and carried it up the front steps.
He waited at the entranceway. “You will need to use your card, Madame.”
“I’m sorry, of course.” I rummaged through my pockets. I wiped my palms on my jeans and tried fishing the plastic out. “Sorry. I’m just nervous.”
“It is all right.”
I studied him out of the corner of my eye. He was handsome and young, and very clearly not from around here. His accent betokened a café by a lazy river, or wine alongside a wicker picnic basket in a flower-filled meadow.
I swiped the card. The light flashed red and the door wouldn’t budge.
“Try again,” he said. “Slowly.”
I just wanted to get the hell inside and hide in my room. I gave the card key another shot. This time, I heard the click, and my friend opened the door for me. “Après vous.”
“Thank you.” I crossed the threshold and took a moment to appreciate the dark-stained hardwood flooring and grand staircase before me. We were in a wide atrium and there were two rooms, one on either side of the foyer.
“To the left is the main sitting area. Feel free to bring a book here to read. The light is very good from the large windows.”
I poked my head in to have a look. Floor to ceiling bookshelves ensconced a large stone fireplace.
“To your right is the music room. Do you play?”
A Yamaha ebony grand piano commanded focus. “No.”
He stopped at the bottom of the stairs. “This is the main lobby area. You will meet your personal attendant here at the appropriate time.”
There was a pair of wing back chairs tucked into the curve of the stairwell. I nodded.
He proceeded up the steps, turned right at the landing, and ambled down the long hallway. We passed several doors before stopping at one with the label, Master Suite, in gold font etched in the dark wood. I retrieved the card key again and swiped it in the metal lock. The light flashed green, and my porter opened the door, motioning me inside. I took a moment to process the room while he placed my belongings on a fold out luggage rack.
“Will that be all, Madame?”
I blinked. “Yes, thank you.”
I started to dig in my pockets but he held up his hand. “We do not accept tips. Enjoy your stay.” He bowed slightly and closed the door behind him.
The room was opulent. A large sitting area with couch, wingback chairs, a coffee table, and television sunk two steps down off the main entrance way. A kitchenette with granite countertops, and a large sunroom that opened to a patio with lounge chairs and a hot tub stretched before me. I followed the stone tile floor into the bathroom. The tub could fit three people. A stand up shower, built for two with a rock ledge for sitting, gleamed behind glass doors. The bedroom had a four poster bed, two elegant upholstered chairs, and two wide-paddled ceiling fans. The room looked like it should overlook the ocean. After taking one lingering look at the bed, I hightailed it back out to the sitting room. I checked my watch. I had an hour before I was to meet Stephen. I couldn’t fathom what I was supposed to do with myself for that length of time. I had enough pent up energy to win a marathon, but I couldn’t manage a run, a shower, and still have time to get ready before five. I’d showered before I left home, so it would take me a half hour at most to sachet out the door in time. I opened my bag and laid out my supplies. I could curl my hair. That would take a good twenty minutes in and of itself. Satisfied that I had something to do rather than dwell on what was about to go down, I set to work.
By the time five o’clock rolled around, I had changed into a black dress that dipped low in the back, crept down the front, and swooped around my neck. I paired it with some sky-high heels and my blonde curls. I touched up my make-up, applying mascara and lipstick for that extra oomph and grabbed my small clutch, double checking that the card key was tucked safely inside, along with my compact, lipstick, and a condom. I took a gulping breath and clicked the door shut behind me.