Authors: Leigh James
© 2015 by Leigh James
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ll I wanted was
a date for my stupid asshole brother’s wedding.
Not a girlfriend. Not a relationship. A
No strings. No ties. No games.
So when I called Elena at the escort service, I was very clear.
“I want someone beautiful. Who can function at high-society events,” I said. “She needs to be able to use her silverware properly and to be discreet. I can’t have someone who gets drunk and falls down in public. Also, no one who looks cheap. I don’t want a lot of makeup and big, fake boobs.”
“I don’t have any cheap-looking girls, Mr. Preston,” Elena said. “Unless the client is into that. Then I have plenty.” She laughed.
I waited for her to finish. “I need her to be available for two weeks. I have cocktail parties, lunches, brunches, the rehearsal dinner, then the wedding. And then for some ungodly reason, my brother wants us all to go on his honeymoon to the Caribbean with him. It’s going to be the wedding from hell.”
I sighed and rubbed my temples; two weeks with my family was going to be bad enough. And now I was going to have to babysit a hooker the whole time.
But it was better than going alone. I hoped.
“She’ll need a passport. And a drug test. I don’t want any users.” I winced, remembering the last time I’d hired an escort. It had been over ten years ago, but I still clearly remembered waking up and finding her in the bathroom, shooting up in between her toes.
I went on a penicillin and no-whore diet after that.
“All my girls are drug tested,” Elena said smoothly, “and they all have passports. They have to travel frequently. It’s not a problem.” She paused for a beat. “Speaking of tests, you’re going to have to be screened for STDs. I’ll need those results emailed to me before we make the final arrangements.”
“I’m not planning on actually sleeping with her—” I said.
“Excuse me?” Elena asked.
“I don’t want to sleep with her,” I insisted. “I need her as a buffer from my family.”
“Whatever you like,” Elena said sweetly. “But she will be young and gorgeous. And completely at your disposal.”
I exhaled and stalked around my living room, my footsteps bouncing off the hardwood floors. I was dressed in a suit and ready for work. I looked out at the sun rising over Los Angeles, the light flooding my house. I didn’t want to leave here. I had everything I needed, including my favorite leather couch and an enormous flatscreen television, and nothing I didn’t, including a prostitute and my family.
I didn’t argue with the madam. Still, I had no plans to sleep with the girl I was hiring—I wanted to keep her at arm’s length, just like everyone else. I didn’t want any messy emotional entanglements. I just needed a fake relationship to keep my family at bay. No more questions about why I was alone, no more wondering or whispers. The whispers that I was gay. Or worse, that I was lonely.
The truth was that I preferred to be alone, left to my own devices. And it was nobody’s damn business.
“I’ll have my doctor send you the test results. Tomorrow. I need to get this wrapped up—I fly in on Friday, and I need her then.” All the events and the wedding were happening in Boston. Then we were all flying to Providenciales together, one big happy family.
I thought. I needed a drink just running through the itinerary in my mind.
“What sort of look do you prefer?” Elena asked. “I gave you the code to look at the girls online…”
“I already did,” I said. “They all look decent. Find me one that won’t embarrass me. Find me one that’s smart. Not some hick. And no strippers. My brother can pick out a stripper from a mile away.”
“Do you have a preference for hair color?” She asked. “Build? Anything? Because you’re going to be around your family, you’ll want it to seem natural.”
I thought of my last girlfriend, Logan. She’d had stick-straight blond hair and not an ounce of fat on her toned, lithe body. And she’d been a total, complete, unending pain in my ass.
“Dark hair,” I said. “Curvy. I want someone who isn’t afraid of a steak. And who looks good in a bikini—but not
good, if you know what I mean. I don’t want someone who’s going to have their ass hanging out in public.
, Elena. I need classy.”
I rubbed my temples again. I was hiring an escort as a date to my brother’s wedding. Classy probably wasn’t a reasonable request, all things considered.
“I’ve got that,” Elena said confidently. “In fact, I think I have the perfect girl. I’ll send you over the contract. Send me that test result and your deposit.”
“How much is it, again?” I asked. The fee was astronomical, if I remembered correctly.
“The total for two weeks, including the travel, is two hundred thousand dollars.” She paused for a beat. “Half paid up front. And we’re cash-only.”
“Don’t you think your services are a bit, umm…overpriced?” I asked. “I’m not prepared to pay investment prices for a rented date.”
“You’re paying for a luxury product,” Elena said, not missing a beat. She’d heard this a thousand times from rich men who doubled as cheap bastards.
“The cost breakdown, per hour, is five hundred and ninety-five dollars. You pay your lawyer more than that, I’m sure. And he doesn’t always bend over when you tell him to.”
If I’d been capable of it, I’d be mildly chastened by that. I let her continue.
“That being said,” Elena continued, “the price I’m charging you is our standard rate. I’m not gouging you just because you’re a gazillionaire. But
feel free to tip generously at the end of your arrangement.”
“Your escort is going to be the most beautiful woman you’ve ever met. She’s going to fulfill your every fantasy—which in your case, is being the perfect date for your brother’s wedding. If you had any other fantasies”—she paused for effect—“she could fulfill those, too.” She laughed again. “But of course, you’re not interested in that.”
“Ha ha,” I said. “For that price, I might just
to fuck her.”
Six ways from Sunday.
I made myself stop from forming a mental picture.
“Of course,” she said. “And once you get a taste, you’ll really understand why you’re getting your money’s worth. By the way—all of our escorts are on birth control. We test them regularly to make sure they’re in compliance. So condoms are optional. Her test results are part of the contract. We guarantee healthy, clean girls. So if you’re clean, too, you can both relax and just enjoy each other.”
She paused and I squirmed, my cock stiffening at her words. It had been a long time.
“We’ll see you soon, Mr. Preston. I’m looking forward to working with you.”
We hung up and I shook my head, laughing to myself a little. Two hundred thousand dollars. But the promise in her words would make any man’s dick hard. That was the point. That was why Elena’s escort service was the most successful, the most exclusive one on the East Coast. She was good at sales.
And based on the pictures she’d sent me, her employees
I willed the stirring of my erection to go away. I was using Elena’s service because I was in a bind, not because I couldn’t get laid. I needed the perfect woman to bring to my brother’s perfect wedding.
So that everybody would leave me the fuck alone.
wasn’t going to be enough to wash the date off me, but that didn’t stop me from trying.
My skin was practically raw when I finished. I didn’t look at it closely, just like I didn’t look at the dirty clothes I’d thrown in the corner. The John had cut my bra apart.
With a switchblade.
I shut my eyes tightly and made myself block it out. It was over, and he’d managed not to cut me. He’d paid me. And that was all that mattered.
I was just drying off when my cell phone rang. “This is Dre,” I said formally, knowing full well that it was my almost-former boss, Elena.
“How are you, Dre?” She asked. She was being fake nice to me, I knew. She was still pissed about that thing I’d done.
I was pissed at her, too. Elena hadn’t been giving me any work lately. That’s why I’d spent the afternoon with Mr. Switchblade, who I’d found online.
“I have a top assignment for you,” she said. I immediately perked up. “James Preston. The real-estate mogul. Have you heard of him? He’s been in the tabloids—one of those
“No,” I said. I wasn’t exactly up on my real-estate moguls or my tabloids. Outside interests were luxuries I couldn’t afford.
“Even better,” Elena said. “I need someone who can be genuine with him. This is an extended assignment, Dre. Two weeks. Incredible money.”
My mind flashed immediately to my brother, Tommy. I got a lump in my throat. “I’m listening,” I said over it.
“Mr. Preston needs a date for his brother’s wedding. There are related functions as well—including a family trip to the Caribbean the day after the wedding. He wants you to pretend to be his girlfriend. His family needs to believe that you’re a couple.”
“Why isn’t he bringing an actual date?” I asked.
“He’s not seeing anyone right now. He said his family was difficult. They’ve been giving him a hard time about his bachelor status—so he wants a date as a buffer.”
“Huh,” I said.
“He also told me he wants this to be a business transaction, no strings attached,” she said. “He’s a professional, and he needs a professional. He wants you to attend these functions with him, pay you afterward, and then say goodbye with a clean slate. If you perform per the terms, you’ll receive a third of the full fee. In this case, that’s over sixty-five thousand dollars for two weeks’ worth of work.”
My mouth dropped open, gaping.
“Do you understand?” Elena asked.
“Hell yeah,” I said, because money I understood. What was less clear was why a billionaire real-estate mogul had to hire an escort for his brother’s wedding. If he’d made a “Hottest Bachelor” list,
must want to date him…
But really, it didn’t matter. There was no way I was letting this assignment go to another girl. Not a real-life girl and not another escort. Sixty-five-thousand dollars would be life changing for me.
“You can do this, Dre. Be polished. Your best self. Just like that girl you were when you first came to me,” Elena said.
I peered at myself in the mirror. My hair, long and brunette, hung wet and dripping over my shoulders. My face was red and blotchy from crying in the shower.
I was a wreck.
But if I let myself block out everything that I’d done—including the things I’d done earlier today with Mr. Switchblade—I could see myself the way I used to be. Before this. What I’d become.
“I’d love the assignment. Thank you so much for thinking of me,” I said quickly. “That money will help out so much.”
“I know it will,” Elena said. “That’s why I know you’ll do a good job. This needs to seem natural. No fuck-ups. If there are any problems, that’s it—you’re out for good. And I know how much you need this.”
“I won’t let you down, Elena,” I said, trying to sound upbeat. “When do you want me to come in?”
he good thing
about working as an escort was the money. And the clothes. The bad part was the guys who cried, or who hit you, or who were just plain-old weird.
There was a lot of weird.
Elena hadn’t given me any assignments for a whole week, so I’d been taking in strays I found on an online “dating” site. The money wasn’t enough to cover my rent, let alone Tommy’s, and there were plenty of weirdoes out there. Mr. Switchblade was Exhibit A of that.
So I was relieved to go back to AccommoDating, Inc.’s South End office the next morning. Located on Tremont Street, the office was airy elegant. It was also easily accessible from the Financial District, where most of our wealthy clients came from.
AccommoDating, Inc. was a mostly legitimate business. We were registered with the Massachusetts Corporations Division as a high-end dating service, which at heart we were. All of our other services were strictly off-the-record. Sometimes Elena had us give the necessary politicians free services, so they were happy and we were left alone.
This morning I had to get tested again, both for STDs and to prove that I’d faithfully been taking my birth control pills. I also had to get prepped and packed for my trip. Mr. Preston was picking me up this afternoon. I had butterflies in my stomach. I was curious about my new John.
Usually the clients chose their escort via our pictures and a brief description on the private AccommoDating website. James Preston, however, had left it to Elena.
“He said he wanted someone brunette, curvy, and smart,” she’d told me. “I immediately thought of you, even though you’re on probation. He also said he wanted classy.”
I wasn’t sure about that part. I’d been an escort for over a year, and any classiness I might have had was long gone, rubbed away by more hands than I liked to count. But for this kind of money, I would fake the classy. Maybe wear a turtleneck or something. In the Caribbean.
I would do just about anything.
Elena greeted me at the front desk, all business in a cream pantsuit.
“Dre. We missed you around here,” she said, air-kissing me on each cheek. Her hair was spiky with mousse, and her maroon lipstick was applied flawlessly, as usual. She was what someone would call a
; she was tall, six feet, but she still always wore heels. As for what had gotten her into the escort business in the first place, no one knew.
“Elena,” I said and forced myself to smile. It wasn’t that I disliked her. But she’d sucked me into this life, with the shining promise of money. True to her word, she’d delivered, and now I was on the verge of making more in the next two weeks than I’d ever thought possible.
“This assignment is first-class. You’ll have to pack all Louis Vuitton luggage,” she said, getting right down to business. She led me to the back room, where we kept closets full of clothes, shoes, and accessories. We all picked clothes for our assignments from here. Elena kept everything we needed—whether the John liked his escort to look like a buttoned-up accountant, a glittery cowgirl, or a French maid, we had it all.
“You have to dress tastefully for the duration of the next two weeks. Not flashy. No boobs.” She looked at the T-shirt and jeans I was wearing and scowled. “And no T-shirts.”
She went through the racks of clothes and handed me a conservative blue dress. “Wear this today.”
I went and changed as she bustled around, packing and giving me instructions.
“The Prestons are an old Boston-Brahmin family. They have more money than God,” Elena said. “You need to fit in with them, and by that, I mean that your clothes have to be impeccable and outrageously expensive. I’ve been shopping, and I’ve gotten you all the essentials—cocktail dresses, skirts, blouses, jewelry, and handbags. A lot of it’s from a luxury rental service—so don’t spill anything on any of it. I have to send it back.”
I came out in the dress and she smoothed it. Then she examined me, playing with my hair, running her gel-manicured fingertips through it.
“You’re so naturally pretty. He’ll be pleased.” She smiled at me approvingly and went to another one of the wardrobes, pulling out clothes in dry-cleaning bags.
“I picked out a couple of dresses for the wedding,” Elena said. “Do you like red?”
“I think yellow would be better, actually,” I said. “It looks good on me. And no one wears yellow when they’re trying to look slutty,” I offered.
“I like that,” Elena said. She pulled a pale-yellow lace dress from one of the racks and handed it to me. I turned the delicate fabric over in my hands. I recognized the label; the dress cost well over a thousand dollars.
I tried it on, and we both liked it. Then we went through lots of other outfits, picking out dresses for brunches, lunches, and cocktails. The bathing suits for the trip were the hardest to choose. I looked like an escort no matter what I wore. I had boobs and a round ass that I couldn’t hide.
“Your body just screams sex,” Elena said and laughed. “Maybe you should just wear a cover-up and not swim the whole time. Hmm,” she said, pulling out another suit. It was pink and covered in flowers. “How about this?”
?” I asked. “I think that’s a little too soccer mom for a Hottest Bachelor.”
Elena frowned. “You’re right. Let’s just stick with black bikinis. But no jewelry except for a watch and diamond studs. No body chains.”
“I’m not sure what a body chain is, so that works for me,” I said.
“Perfect,” Elena said. “Now, for your background. You’re going to tell the Prestons that you’re in school still—graduate school for design at a little school in New Hampshire they’ve never heard of. I’ve had other girls use this bio before—it works like a charm. Nobody knows how to talk about graphic design. Plus, everyone in James Preston’s family is a lawyer, so they’ll have no idea what you actually do.
“Tell them you met James at a PR event in California while you were interning out there. Easy. He doesn’t stay in touch with his family, so they don’t know what he does on a regular basis.
“They don’t know that he’s dating someone—because he isn’t. But for the fake record, you two have been together for a few months. It’s getting fairly serious. Serious enough that he’s bringing you to his brother’s wedding, to meet his family.”
he dating anyone?” I asked.
Please don’t let it be because he’s totally weird,
I thought. A lot of the Johns were. And two weeks was a long time to be on a date with someone who was obsessed with peeing in your face, for example.
That would be a lot of pee.
“He broke up with someone recently. And now he doesn’t have the time, he said. Doesn’t want the commitment, the games, the issues. He wants no strings.” She paused. “He says he doesn’t want sex, either.”
I looked at her, stunned. “Huh?” I asked.
“I said, he’s not interested in having sex with you.”
I raised my eyebrow at her. “I beg your pardon? Isn’t that, like, the whole point? I am an
, after all. That’s what I do.”
She shrugged. “I’m still having him get tested, and he still has to sign all the waivers,” she said. “Because once he takes a look at you, he’s going to change his mind.”
I smiled at her. “We’ll see,” I said. I sort of hoped he wouldn’t. Two weeks without having sex with a stranger would be a
vacation for me.
“So, back to James Preston,” she said. “He’s extremely wealthy. As in, the top one percent in the country wealthy. He’s into real estate, like I told you. But don’t worry about that, and don’t talk about his business unless he brings it up. If he does, just ask questions, be polite, and listen. Men like James have women after them all the time. He has a fixed arrangement with you. This should be relaxing for him. A break from what his real life is like.”
Elena turned to me. “I want you to make this the best two weeks of his life,” she said. “A client like James Preston only comes around once. If he likes us and uses us again—or recommends us to his jet-setter friends—I’ll be able to put my girls through college. And you can get your brother into a single room for the rest of his life. Don’t fuck this up for any of us.”