Buy Me

By: Cassandra Dee

“I guess so,” she said slowly, trying to smile. “I won’t be long, will I?” she asked the woman in black.

But our handler was vague.

“Every client is different,” she said smoothly. “Every customer has different needs.”

And that just made the alarm bells go off even louder in my head. Needs? Clients? Customers? These were words that had connotations of something darker, tinged with desire and the illicit. Suddenly, it didn’t sound so platonic anymore, the situation didn’t sound like it was limited to snacks and drinks with a random guy.

But there was nothing we could do. We were already inside, the door clanking shut behind us, the darkness overwhelming. I guess we could have turned and tried to bolt, to fight our way back to the sidewalk, but it seemed impossible. There was the bouncer, looming and large, and even more, the icy glare from this woman was just so scary. I thought I was a feisty, take-charge type of girl, but clearly, there was confident, and then there was downright intimidating.

So nodding hesitantly, Jennelle turned bright eyes to me.

“Okay, well bye for now,” she said, trying to sound cheery, giving me a small wave. “I’ll catch up with you once all this is over, okay Abs?”

I nodded dumbly, my throat stuck. Holy hell, what was happening to us? Suddenly this whole thing seemed like the delusional adventures of two teen girls who had no idea what they were doing. Because in a matter of minutes we’d gone from sassy and confident to completely overwhelmed, out of our depths, paddling with sharks. But it was too late, so I just tried to look confident and positive.

“Sure,” I replied, trying to keep the waver from my voice. “See you soon.”

And with that, my friend and the woman disappeared around the row of bushes and I was left on my own in the narrow hallway. What the hell, what the hell. I stood there, stock still for a moment, cold as ice. The corridor was so dim, and all I could see was a purple wall along one side, and then those damn bushes. It was like my friend had been led into a maze, a labyrinth from which escape seemed unsure. It was scary, downright frightening, and I bit my lip, unsure again.

But suddenly, another middle-aged woman materialized, this one also with a tight, painful looking bun and a black cocktail dress, her expression just as smooth, just as robotic. What the hell, were these ladies clones? Or was it actually the same woman, save for a few tweaks here and there? I stared hard in the dim light, trying to make a decision, but it was no use. Between her stiff expression and the heavy make-up, I just couldn’t tell. They could have been sisters, twins, clones or maybe even totally different people. It was that hard to tell, given her robotic look.

But there was no need to give away my nervousness, so I took a deep breath, trying to appear calm.

“Hi,” I managed, voice steady. There, that was a good start. Not exactly poetic or take-charge, but “hi” is always a good way to begin a conversation.

The woman merely nodded, checking something off on her clipboard.

“Abigail?” she asked, voice smooth.

I bit my lip, nodding again.

“Come with me please,” she said, voice placid. “The client is ready.”

And I hesitated, hearing that word again. Client. Why were they calling them clients? Wouldn’t customer or guest be more appropriate? It was weird, downright bizarre, and I hesitated.

“I’m so sorry,” I apologized quickly. “But I just wanted to know what this is about? I’m here to talk with guys right? To make small talk, get them comfortable, make sure they have a good time?”

The woman looked at me, an eyebrow quirked.

“Yes, you’re here to do as the client requests,” she replied. “Not more, not less.”

That made me jump again. Not more, not less? What happened to employee protections, to make sure nothing crazy happened?

“But that’s it exactly,” I rushed. “Is there more? Is there, you know, like more? Kissing and stuff?” I blushed, the words were so juvenile but I had to know. I couldn’t go into this with my eyes closed, if we’d indeed signed up for something extreme, it was better to know now. At least I could put up a fight now before heading into the wilds.

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