The anonymous invitation that someone slipped under my door promises $1,000. Just for meeting a man downtown, in a public place, no questions asked.
I can make more than I ever imagined if I agree to take part in a competition.
Just get into the limousine. Just get on the private plane. Just fly to an airstrip at the foot of the largest, most luxurious estate I’ve ever seen. Just stay the first night, then another. Tell no one where I’ve gone, or why.
Everything in me screams to run away.
The rules say I can leave whenever I want.
So why am I still here?
“I think you have me mistaken for someone else.”
“I don’t think so,” he says.
I stand straighter. Ice clinks in my glass. I’m drinking scotch. I give the stranger my usual look. The one that Brandon says makes grown men cry, and not in a good way. Like I might kick them in the nuts. Or pull off their pants and laugh at the size of their dicks.
But the man doesn’t flinch. Alexander, he claims. He gives me a smile that lifts from only one side of his mouth, like he’s playing with me. A condescending, knowing look — dead sexy in a way I’d rather not admit even to myself.
“Nice to meet you, then,” I say. And I peel myself from the wall to walk away. Toward the front. Toward my friend, who dragged me here to support her, to get me out of the funk she couldn’t possibly know I’ve been in. Unless everyone knows. Unless everyone knows it all, like Alexander here.
He grabs my wrist. Hard. I’m so shocked, I don’t even wrench my arm away. I can only look back at him, aghast. Was I really feeling some strange attraction to this man just minutes earlier? Goes to show how fucked up I am lately. How fucked up I’ve been through my whole vagabond’s life, I suppose.
“It wasn’t easy to find you,” he says, still holding tight.
“I don’t know who you think I am, but — ”
“I think you’re Elle.”
I yank my hand back, but he’s already let go. He’s leaning back against a rail along the outer wall, one leg propped up like we’re here to shoot the shit. His hand lays down on the knee of a kicked-up leg. He’s wearing cufflinks. Tailored French cuffs, starched stiff as boards. I can’t guess at the thread count in his pants.
“My name is Bridget.”
His smug smile widens. Great. Now I’ve given this creepy asshole my name.
His eyes are unreadable in the club’s gloom. His head shakes.
“And I don’t seem familiar to you at all.”
Except that he does. If he’s the guy he claims to be, I know him well. And more importantly, he knows me. We’ve never met, breathed the same air, or seen each other’s faces before now. But he’s whispered in my ear, and I’ve whispered in his. He’s made me come, and this despite the fact that I haven’t let a man past my defenses in years.
“You’re not how I pictured you.”
I spare us both the cliché of saying that I don’t know what he’s talking about.
“I imagined a blonde.”
“Men always imagine blondes.”
I get a little smile. I’m not sure what it means, but for some reason I’m sure that Alexander, or whatever his name is, has a different reason for picturing me blonde than the one I’m imagining. Like he knows something he shouldn’t, beyond the obvious things that no one should know.
“But we’re supposed to know the truth about it, aren’t we? That women with sexy voices are actually fat and ugly. I called that line on a dare. I don’t know what made me call back and ask for you when I was alone.”
There’s an elephant sitting between us. I won’t say it, or admit it. Everyone knows I’m a voice actor. I record audiobooks, and I’ve done a few commercials. A bit of video game work. But Bridget has never done phone sex. Not even if the money were excellent and it turned out she was pretty good at it.
“I knew you were beautiful. But I thought you were blonde.”
God help me, I pictured him exactly as he is. Doing my secret job rarely turns me on. I’ve even thought about telling my friends what I do because it’s typically a laugh. I can always hear the men panting as if they’re drooling over the ridiculous things I say. In my head, most are short, balding, too awkward for women they don’t pay for dirty talk. Socially retarded misfits, brave on the phone but cowards in person. I don’t resent them at all. But I do pity them, even if it makes me a bitch.
Except for that one night.
Except for that whiskey-smooth voice. His words reaching into my mind to evoke images I didn’t know were lurking there. I don’t date because I frighten men away, and I frighten them away because they always have it coming. But apparently, I’m still a girl inside. Apparently, I still have needs a strong man can invite with the right words. Here and now, I can try to pretend that I was only doing my job that night, that I was only saying what my phone sex clients expect to hear, and that I laughed with my girlfriends about it later. But he’ll know I’m lying. He’ll know I made myself come picturing him as he is now, imagining the big, strong hands as they did unspeakable things to my body.
The hands that are now so close to mine.
I feel myself blushing. Not just in my face but in body. My nipples are hard. And holy shit, I’m getting wet just picturing his hands on me.
How long has it been?
“Creep,” I say, moving to shove past him. But again, he catches my wrist. I shake it free, and a second later I’m out the door, into the alley, where I’ve been catching blasts of fresh air, trying to forget the stew of trouble that’s dogging me.
But it’s the wrong move.
Because ten seconds later, my phone sex stalker is out in the alley with me.
The door to the club has shut.
And we’re alone.
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about the author
I love to write stories with characters that feel real enough to friend on Facebook, or slap across the face. I write to make you feel, think, and burn with the thrill that can only come from getting lost in the pages. I love to write unforgettable characters who wrestle with life’s largest problems. My books may always end with a Happily Ever After, but there will always be drama on the way there.
connect with aubrey
- $50 Amazon Gift Card
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