The first time I saw her in the flesh, I knew she’d be trouble. But trouble is my business, so I didn’t worry until later.
I’d driven in from the City of Angels, losing myself in the long stretch of desert nothingness, finding it again in the bright neon sunburst that is Las Vegas.
I knew just where to look for her – as far on the wrong side of the tracks as one could get in Sin City. In my line of work it pays to be cozy with bad people and worse places. I had pictures, so spotting her wasn’t difficult.
I’d thought this would be a routine job. In and out, done. A dog, a steak, and a hefty paycheck waited for me at home.
Then I saw her, Sky Harlow, and I wasn’t so sure I’d called this one right at all.
She wasn’t what I’d expected. Say chippy from sleeze-ville Vegas, and you didn’t picture this Snow White, Goth princess, siren-witch. She belonged on the screen or in a painting, not walking the boulevard. The girl in the pictures I’d seen was younger, fresh-scrubbed, but I could still see her under the makeup. Smoke and mirrors was her game, just like mine. Like always recognizes like.
I rolled my window down. She leaned in, all femme fatale, kitten-with-a-whip gorgeous, and agreed to come with me to a cheap motel off-strip. Five hundred bills had more to do with her trust than my good looks.
I sat in the room’s only chair, careful not to touch the armrests. The place reeked of stale smoke and paid-for sex. Outside, I heard loud voices, car horns and the screech of tires. I focused on her. It wasn’t hard to do – Sky was a vision of succulent flesh on display. A lock of hair fell like a raven’s wing over her left eye whenever she looked down – innocence defiled, and liking it.
She perched on the edge of the bed, her knees almost touching mine. I drew away and, spreading her legs, she showed me that she wore nothing beneath her slinky red skirt. Her cunt was smooth, and had a tender pink center. Nothing I’d not seen before.
“Please, don’t do that.”
My hands cupped her knees, pushing them together. Her skin was hot, and I pulled away, as if burned. Maybe I was in hell. I was dizzy.
“Then get talking Mister. I haven’t got all night.”
She crossed her arms over pert little breasts. They spilled fetchingly over tight black leather – a corset that hugged her tiny waist like a lover’s hands. She really wasn’t my type. I liked my women tall, cool and blonde. Classy. Sky was raw sex, blood and razors, stings and nettles with an angel’s face.
“I want you to talk. I want to know about you, about your life.” I wasn’t lying. I’d been paid to find out, but looking at her, I really wanted to know who the fuck she was. I cared, and had no idea why.
“What’re you? Some kind of reporter?” Her eyes narrowed into black-rimmed, violet slits – cat’s eyes, hoyden’s eyes, liar’s eyes.
“I’m just someone with cash enough to indulge a healthy curiosity. What more do you need to know?” I made my tone harder – bullets on brick. It worked.
“Alright, so what do you want to talk about?” Her voice went soft as butter melting.
She pulled her jacket around her even though it had to be pushing eighty in the close room. Her small movements produced the scent of her perfume – flowery – poppies and opium. I inhaled it like a drug, and that’s when I knew I was in deep shit.
“Tell me about the men you sleep with.”
She laughed. “We don’t do a lot of sleeping Mister.”
“Alright, tell me about the men you fuck.”
“Well, I don’t always fuck them. Sometimes they want me to suck them or just watch them jerk off. Maybe show them my tits or talk dirty to them. Do you like that, Mister?”
“Do you like it?”
“Sometimes.” She looked me right in the eye. I liked that.
She frowned, and I could see her youth in the expression. She had a dimple in her chin and baby-fat still clung to her cheeks. The rest of her body was all woman, the stuff of every bad boy’s wet dreams, but scrub away the makeup and she was little more than a child. Old enough that the law usually didn’t hassle her – she’d assured me of that in the car on the way here. She didn’t tell me, but I knew she was twenty-five, not much younger than me.
“Tell me about the times you like.” My cock was rock hard, and I crossed my legs to hide it.
She leaned forward, her tongue taking a slow trip along the curves of her upper lip – pink on slut-red glitter. “Well, I have one regular who’s very handsome, very clean. He always talks with me first, almost like you’re doing, and then he watches me masturbate.”
“Do people ask for that often?” I imagined her spread out, fingers buried in her pussy, and almost came in my pants.
“Sometimes.” Her voice went stainless-steel cold.
“Don’t worry. I’m not judging you.”
She smiled – coy, and coquettish, but wary. “I’m not worried. You paid me so it’s your dime. But, it’s pretty fucking strange you giving me five hundred bucks just to sit here and talk. You want me to talk nasty to you? Is that it? You want to hear what bad girls like?”
I ignored her questions, mainly because the answer was yes, but I had a job to do. “Don’t other clients sometimes have odd requests, ask you to do things you don’t understand?”
“Of course.” She leaned back into the pillows, curling onto her side to face me.
She seemed more relaxed, and I let her talk. Let most people talk and they’ll get around to telling you what you want to know, you won’t even have to ask.
“Weirdest one was a guy who wanted me to suck him off while he sang “Danny Boy.” He was Irish. Cried when he was done. I didn’t ask for the story. He was in enough pain.”
Her voice was girlish now, soft and sweet. This girl was a chameleon. All she needed was an idea of what a customer wanted, and she became it. She couldn’t quite get a handle on me though, which was the way I wanted it.
“How much did you charge for that?” I imagined her in a dirty room similar to this one, on her knees in front of some old Irishman, and wanted to slap her, and then fuck her silly. Hell, I’d even sing.
What the fuck was wrong with me? This was a job, nothing more to either of us. She wasn’t a hooker with a heart of gold, and I wasn’t the tough but kind private eye. This was no movie. It was life – rough and real, and vicious as a pit-bull in a room full of kitty cats.
Her matter-of-fact voice brought me back. “I did it for fifty. With no fucking, I didn’t even have to clean up after.” Her heels snagged the bumpy orange bedspread as she sat up again, shrugging her shoulders.
“And did you like doing that?” I really wanted to know.
“Not especially. But, in a way, I was helping him. He needed me. And I needed the money, so it’s all good.” She shrugged her shoulders and drew her knees to her chest. I saw a flash of bare ass before she remembered my instructions and smoothed her skirt down, pretty legs dangling over the edge of the bed. The image of her naked curves burned a hole in my memory. I kept flashing on it, and my palms itched. I wanted to touch that perfect white skin. Instead I lit a cigarette.
I managed a smoke ring, though I was beginning to feel slightly buzzed, and was fighting a growing urge to just get up, walk out, and end this now. I found a loose thread on my cuff and worried it with my fingernail.
“Does your pimp make you earn a certain amount every night?”
“I don’t have a pimp. I stay away from the popular places and no one messes with me.” She cocked her dimpled chin at me, purple eyes flashing. Proud and pissed off – a dangerous combination, one that made my heart and cock throb in unison.
“How’d you decide to make this your profession?”
“I didn’t decide. Life did.”
“Tell me about it. Don’t you have friends, a family? How about a boyfriend?” I stubbed out my cigarette.
“I don’t have or need anyone, Mister, and the last person I told my life story to said it was, what was the word, oh yeah – predictable.” She smiled a brittle smile, her eyes sharp as nails. “Now, you’ve about used up your five hundred, and that doesn’t even come close to covering this kind of soul-searching shit anyway.”
I almost felt bad enough to stop, but not quite.
“Are you happy? Sexually?” I added, willing to play by her rules, to have more time with her. I was going to need it. “I don’t see what I do for a living as having anything to do with my own sexual happiness, if that’s what you mean. The two are separate – business and pleasure.”
“You mean it’s never good for you?”
“Well, it’s not all bad. Like I said, some of my clients are very nice.” She stood up on platform shoes – wet-looking black leather with stiletto sharp heels.
I stood too. I was unsettled, antsy. I stepped closer so she wouldn’t see that my dick was a pole down my leg. I felt her warmth, breathed it in, and drowned in the violet pools of her eyes.
“Tell me how it is, fucking so many men in one day.”
She arched, her nipples kissing my shirtfront – leather on linen. Her breath was sweet, her tone naughty. “I love it.”
That was it – I slammed into her, knocking her back against the door with a thud, my hand jammed between her legs. She was wet and my fingers slipped easily through her folds as her leg lifted and curved around my waist. I jerked her head back; handfuls of black hair filled my fist.
“I love this,” she said, sliding my zipper down, taking my dick in her hands and rocking into me, her fingers hot and slithery, just like the rest of her.
“You love the business, huh?” I groaned as she jacked me off, my thumb and forefinger catching her clit and giving it a twist. I shifted to give her better access to my raging prick.
“You didn’t pay for sex Mister. You paid for talk.” She leaned forward and kissed my jaw, right where I could feel a tick of tension throbbing. It calmed, but the rest of me remained taut, coiled, and agitated.
I cupped her cunt, and the swell of it wet my fingers. They slipped up inside her. I held her, just like that – pinned to the door, impaled on my hand, my nose touching hers.
“So, this is pleasure?” I breathed in the scent of her – pussy and honey, bee-stung flowers and nitro.
She didn’t beat around the bush. I liked that. My cock liked it too – it oozed a pearl-sized droplet of pre-cum, and she smoothed it over my glans, swirling her palm, making it wet too.
I spread her wide with my thumbs, cock poised at her pink gate. Then I remembered – she was a whore, and I didn’t have a condom. Fuck.
She laughed, and reached into her corset top, pulling out a foil packet. “This the problem, Mister?”
She tore the packet open with her teeth and, with expert fingers, rolled the latex sheath over my cock, winking as she snapped the tight ring at the base. It stung. I liked that too.
“Now, fuck me. Fuck me hard, fuck me fast, and shut the fuck up.”
I did it. I slammed into her, wanting to hurt her and love her and somehow make her remember me as something more than a cock. I stopped asking myself why, and just went with it, sinking into her over and over again, reaching down to fiddle with her clit until she writhed and moaned and became just a girl, just a girl who wanted what I was giving her.
I didn’t say another word. I was quiet, purposeful, hard like she wanted it – hard as concrete, hard as my heart, hard as her life. I fucked her. She fucked me. It wasn’t pretty, or romantic. It wasn’t the sort of thing you see in movies or read about in books – it was real.
We almost fell as we came, shattered and clinging, panting and grunting. My knees shook. I laid my head against the door, tucking it next to hers, and closed my eyes.
Jesus fucking Christ. This girl knew what I needed, and somehow, in the middle of it all, I knew what she needed too – I lifted her from the floor and let her wind herself around me. I held her and soothed her, petted her and kissed her. I loved her.
When it was all over, she gently unrolled the filled condom – tossing it in the trash – zipped up my pants, and smoothed down her skirt. Her hair had fallen away from her forehead, and those huge violet eyes looked right into mine as she reached around to finger the gun I had strapped to my side.
“So, you going to tell me the real deal about why you came here, and just who the fuck you are?”
It was like ice water in my face – her tone, her look. It was true; I’d come to do a job, but somehow I’d gotten here, to a place where the job didn’t matter anymore for the first time in my sorry life. Some time between the money changing hands and coming, I’d seen inside this girl and didn’t want to hurt her. Trouble was, somebody else did, somebody a lot meaner than me. I couldn’t tell her that though, no fucking way.
So, I shook my head and took her hand from my gun, kissing her fingers as she wrapped them around mine. “No can do Sky. Just believe me when I tell you, that meant something to me.”
She jerked open the door before I could say anything else. “Fuck you and your something, Mister.”
She walked away, hips rolling, her finger forming the universal punctuation to her statement.
She didn’t even look back.
I didn’t make it home. The dog went hungry and the steak rotted in my fridge.
I checked into one of the fancy hotels on the strip. I poured myself a whiskey, spilling some on my trousers. My hands were shaking. Once upon a time, I’d have ordered an expensive call girl for the night – to ease my tensions – but tonight I sat alone.
I drank, unseen behind a wall of glass. Garish lights in rainbow colors flashed up and down the street, as I thought about my newest problem – Sky.
I rummaged in my bag, pulling out the letters and pictures, putting everything else in the file aside.
The first letter was yellow with age, handwritten, in an old woman’s shaky hand:
Dear Dr. Jonathan Soames,
My girl Tashia bore you a child. I tried, but had to give her up. She got eyes like yours. It’s my time, and I thought you should know. You all she got now.
Sky’s grandmother had tried to do the right thing, letting Dr. Soames know about his illegitimate offspring. Probably just heard ‘Doctor’ and pictured Marcus-fucking-Welby. I guessed Sky’s mom hadn’t wanted her mama to know the truth, about her life or her sugar daddy.
The second letter was a couple of years old, on fancy letterhead, the kind of stuff I couldn’t afford:
Dear Dr. Soames,
I’ve enclosed the full report on your daughter. As we discussed on the phone, she supports herself by prostitution. She goes by the name Sky Harlow, and works the strip in Las Vegas by the Suncoast Motel. I’ve enclosed pictures and directions.
Her mother, Tashia Hughes, died shortly after giving birth to her (see enclosed death certificate and burial information).
As far as I have been able to trace, you are her only living relative.
I wish you luck, whatever you decide to do.
Dick Jones, PI
I knew Dick. He was a straight-up shamus. He’d done his part, cashed his paycheck and probably forgotten all about the good Doctor and his hooker daughter.
As for me, well, I didn’t have any paper trail. Guys like me never do – that’s why the Doc ended up in my office. Offered me $2,500 to find out who’d miss Sky when she was gone, and a lot more to tie up all the loose ends.
Now I worried about what would happen when I got back to LA, about the next hatchet man the Doc would hire to do the job if I just dropped the dime on her for the change. How they’d do it. When.
I worried over Sky, and why not? Nobody else would, not even the cops – not that types like us would ever knock on their door.
But, what could I do?
I’d done some checking and knew the Doc had an heiress wife and twin girls almost the same age as Sky. He had a Bel Air mansion, memberships to country clubs; he golfed with the Mayor and lunched with the famous – he had a lot to protect.
I imagined what would happen if I came back totally empty-handed – what would happen to me, and to Sky. I spun different yarns in my head, trying them on for size, all night long. The endings were mostly the same – dead people, sorry people.
I thought about going to Sky, spilling it all to her. Would it be better for her if she knew the score, knew what was coming? Would she hate me? Could we make a clean sneak? Would she want to?
I was tired. I slept when the sun rose.
Late the next day I drove down that long, flashy strip, watching floods of humanity mingle in the heat and insanity that is Las Vegas. Some smiled, some looked pissed off – other than the shimmering lights, gaudy in the bright daylight, it could have been anywhere. Same faces. Same shit. Different day.
Most days, I do what I do because every day does bring something new – a new set of problems, a new puzzle, a new reason to exist. Every time my door opens, it’s an adventure. Sometimes it’s as simple as helping an old lady catch the neighbor trying to poison her cat. Sometimes it’s a lot more complicated.
This was one of those times.
I came to that place at the end of Las Vegas Boulevard where the lights fade to desert emptiness, and the street splits – left to the City of Angels on-ramp, right to the bad side of town.
I’d thought it over all night and, in the end, turned down the only road I could.
Copyright © 2006 by Michael Michele. All rights reserved.
Michael Michele explores many facets of human sexuality in erotic tales that range from the horrific to the romantic – if someone is turned on, Michael writes about it. A full-time writer, Michael’s work has been published online, in magazines, and in erotica collections – most recently in Garden of the Perverse: Fairy Tales for Twisted Adults and Cream: The Best of the Erotica Readers and Writers Association (coming August 2006).
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