Trust Comes Easy Ch. 03byRogue Writer©
AUTHOR NOTE: If you like this hilariously grim little tale, read some of my other equally uninspired fiction:
After the Party
Daphne's New Life
How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Carol Hitchcock
A Death, Baked Bob, and the Personal Ad
Screwing My Ex
They came out in that order, and according to one reader I got better as I went along, so do yourself a favor and read them in order to avoid getting disappointed by my early lack of skills. Please send feedback to the address in my profile.
DISCLAIMER: Pay attention! This story is fiction and not meant to do anything more than entertain, don't read this stuff with any intention other than having a good time, don't take life too seriously and don't swim after you've just eaten. Isn't it stupid that I have to write these warnings in case someone goes out and does something bad because of what they read in my story? What's happened in our society to cause this? I know, I know, lawsuit-happy people and the lawyers who run commercials that inspire them. Now you have to put warning labels on everything. And I understand that some things need warning labels. Hydrochloric acid -- big warning label on that one. With letters four feet tall. But I don't need a cup of coffee with a warning label that says it's hot. I know it's hot. I wanted it hot! Well, not that hot. I take it light, actually.
III. First Time, Last Time
Amanda was reading. Even though she should have left the country by now, and despite the fact that every second she spent here was putting her in danger, she was sitting on the bed, reading.
But doing it was important, what she was reading could help her get something she wanted. And with the power Amanda was about to have there was no reason why she shouldn't have Maggie all to herself. The only question was how to get that prize. Maggie had obviously changed, since she was no longer driven by the desire for a goal. It made her less vulnerable to being controlled, which reminded Amanda of one of the many lessons Daddy had taught her -- the most easily manipulated people are those who desire something, while those who are content cannot be forced to do anything.
Yet she had forced Maggie and Kaye to do things. And when she did, that feeling of power had come back, and it was sooo good. At first there was just the taste of it, the moment she mentioned the videotape and what she could do. Then later that day when she toyed and played with Maggie and Kaye, it struck like lightning, a surge that she hadn't felt in years. The broken Amanda, the one who spent four years on the run, was gone. The person she strived to be was back.
Using Maggie and Kaye was like having two slaves, as it was with the Greeks and Romans. Amanda had heard about the modern day version, the "white slave" market as it was called, and the thought of it had always intrigued her. She figured she would find out more once she gained enough power in society, once the real doors of privilege opened for her. Owning a human being, that was true power.
But still, it wasn't the ultimate power. Ultimate power was taking a life. Amanda started to wonder if killing Kaye was the solution to her problem. It would remove Maggie's anchor, the thing that made her content, and also give Amanda a feeling she hadn't experienced in a long time. After she took the life of Dr. Sara Gold, Amanda felt a rush unlike any she'd ever known, including working with millions of dollars in her old job. It was unreal, and as soon as the rush faded she wanted more. Problem was she couldn't indulge without risking the police getting back on her trail.
Through her research, Amanda learned that the investigation in New York had probably gone cold within a year, and her case file would've been shoved in a filing cabinet somewhere to make room for the new ones coming in. The cops would have forgotten her name halfway through their next investigation. But a murder linked to Amanda Gailing, through forensic evidence or fingerprints or both would renew interest in her old case. Then they might think to re-interview Maggie, and maybe, just maybe, the cops or Maggie would look in places they hadn't before. Then they would find her power.
So Amanda forced herself not to kill, not to indulge her need for the feeling of power. She made it a test of her discipline, of her ability to choose the Smart Move over a stupid one. Like Daddy had taught her. From the time she was a little girl, Daddy always explained to Amanda about how the world worked. It was very simple -- there are people who have power and people who don't. Those who have power are business people, company owners and entrepreneurs. They are the people who matter, the ones who control their lives on their own terms. Those who have no power, the servant population as her father called them, are merely paid to perform and live their lives in service of those who have power. From waiters to concierges, truck drivers to senior management personnel, policemen to politicians, firefighters to farmers, all these people were there to serve people with power. People like her.
Which brought Amanda back to Maggie, and how to get what she wanted. While killing Kaye was appealing, taking away the woman who made Maggie happy wasn't going to endear her to the murderer. What Amanda desperately needed was a carrot to dangle. And a few minutes later Amanda found it in what she was reading, something so shocking it made her realize two things -- her Daddy was wrong about content people, and the solution she was looking for didn't actually involve killing at all.
I woke up Sunday morning with Amanda lying next to me, and the very sight of her turned my stomach in knots. Last night the idea of killing her seemed like an obvious solution to my problem, but now the moral and social consequences started to sink in. I was thinking about ending someone's life. Taking it away completely without the chance of ever turning that decision around. Even worse, the ability to live with it wasn't really something I could decide now, but a weight I'd have to deal with over time. And even though I no longer believed in religion, the nasty thought of a possible afterlife spent in an uncomfortably hot place plagued my thoughts.
But the more I thought about my situation, the more convinced I became that killing Amanda was the only answer. We couldn't throw her out, we couldn't call the cops, and asking her nicely sure wasn't going to work. Amanda said she was going to give us the tape when she left, but something deep down told me we were going to get screwed. If she ended Kaye's career it would devastate the woman I love, and that's something I know I couldn't live with. And that reminded me that this was supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life, the day I was going to ask Kaye to marry me. She may not have said yes, but the mere possibility, the hope, was all I needed. Now it felt like that hope was no longer hanging in the balance or teetering on the edge of possibility, it was just plain gone. All thanks to Amanda.
The woman in question woke up. Her eyelids didn't flutter open like she was coming to; they simply opened up like a computer switching on. Then she leaned over and started kissing me, slow and soft, while her fingertips danced on one of my nipples. Here she was threatening to ruin our lives...well, she was threatening to ruin Kaye's, she might have already ruined mine...and she has the audacity to play with me sexually. This was something that hadn't changed about Amanda -- her arrogance. She would take things to their breaking point and then dare to go further, all because she didn't like living by someone else's idea of where to draw the line. That's what made her so good on Wall Street, but then again it's also what put her on the run.
Amanda moved her hand down past my belly button, sliding her fingertips over my bare mound, letting the pads of her digits glide gently on one pass while raking her nails on the next. She knows it is a sensation I enjoy, and she stared intently at my face as she did it. As much as I was getting turned on I tried not to let it show. But when a slight smile glided up the right side of her mouth, I knew she could tell what's going on inside me. At least everything below the neck.
So what if I did kill her? That still left the question of what to do with her body. I've watched enough Law & Order, CSI, and Bill Curtis hosted shows to know that most criminals these days don't get away with anything, thanks to forensic technology and interrogation room tactics that border on psychological warfare. And I certainly wasn't going to be interrogated by anyone as hot as Jill Hennessy. It made me wish we lived in an earlier era, before cops became so savvy. Back then a murderer could commit their crime with a halfway decent chance of getting away with it as long as they didn't leave any fingerprints or obvious clues. These days, you have to wear one of those suits they use in nuclear reactors to keep from leaving any trace evidence. I wonder where they sell those?
My God, listen to me. I'm complaining that it's not so easy for people to kill other people. What's happening to me? Have I become that jaded? No, what happened to me are Kaye and Amanda. One has given me the most happiness I've ever known. The other is threatening to take it all away. But does that give me the right to kill someone?
"Give into it," Amanda whispers, and then she presses her fingers between my legs and against the sensitive folds. We both feel moisture there, and she moves her fingers around until she finds my slit. Her fingers press inside, moving past the slight resistance of some dryness, and my head rolls back as I close my eyes and let out a sigh. Amanda's lips kiss down my exposed neck as her long fingers started to move in and out, reaching up inside of me in a way that Kaye's never could.
My girlfriend's head and thigh were visible just past Amanda's body. I was pretty sure she was still asleep, despite the movements Amanda and I were making. I've watched Kaye snore her way through a heavy metal concert, a fire alarm in the building, a small earthquake, and four marching bands performing a halftime show. This is one time I'm happy she's out cold.
I brought up my leg to give Amanda more access and she started pumping in and out of me hard. She bent her neck and licked all around my left nipple, teasing and taunting and wiping her tongue all over it, until she finally took the sensitive flesh between her lips and sucked on it. I wanted to cry out but I managed to keep the noise in the back of my throat. Amanda moved her other hand so her finger could start flicking my clit, and just as she did that her teeth bit down on my nipple. My jaw dropped and a slightly strangled sound emitted from my mouth. Amanda's fingers were ramming me now, and her mouth moved up as she picked a spot and started sucking on the side of my neck hard. The pain was overridden by my orgasm, and as it happened my hand grabbed a handful of hair on the back of Amanda's head and squeezed.
Soon I was past the high point and my body relaxed, enjoying the slow trip down to post-orgasmic bliss. My body slumped against Amanda's, her naked skin warm and soothing against mine. I was almost comfortable. Then I looked up and I saw Kaye, her eyes open and a tear running down her cheek. I opened my mouth to say something but she turned over and faced away from us. My stomach tightened at the thought of how all this was hurting her.
But then another thought entered my mind -- do I tell her about what I'm planning? About maybe killing Amanda? The first immediate thought that popped into my head was no, don't you dare. She doesn't deserve this. Why would I need to anyway? Well, the answer was that maybe I need the help. I'm worried about whether or not I should do it, and how not to get caught. Kaye is very smart and very detail-oriented. She tends to think of things that I don't. Besides, this has become her problem too.
No, I can't. Even just telling her about this plan will make her an accessory to the crime in the eyes of the law, and forget about what it would do to her moral compass. Kaye is a devoted pacifist. No, if I told her about what I was planning she'd just try to talk me out of it. Then again, Kaye is a bit unpredictable. She exercises and practices yoga to keep her body fit, then goes out and drinks and smokes pot like a teenage celebrity on the rise. And this situation is so extreme that she may just say fuck pacifism, let's off the bitch.
By that point my head was so full of contradicting thoughts I felt dizzy. I've experienced confusion like this once before, in making a decision that I now know had consequences I couldn't have imagined at the time.
Both my roommates were out the night that first call came, and I've always wondered how things would have gone down if they had been home. We lived in a one-room apartment on Morton Street, near the West Side Highway, and to call the place a dump was a joke. If I spread my arms I could touch both walls, and my knees were higher than the refrigerator, which held half a pint of milk, two stalks of celery, and five packets of sugar. Our stove was a hotplate on a small phone table. Underneath my floor supported mattress were two flattened cardboard boxes that kept it from turning into a block of ice during winter. Michelle and Greta shared a similarly insulated mattress across the room. Entertainment came in the form of a window which looked out onto the street five stories below or the apartment building across the way where no one ever heard of curtains.
What made it even worse were the paper-thin materials they had advertised as walls, ceilings and floors. I was trying to concentrate on homework while the idiot below me held band practice at top volume. Just as the phone rang I started laughing about how bad it is when someone downstairs from you is louder than the person above you. My mind was so wrapped up in it that I answered the phone, "Noise Central."
"Is this Maggie?"
The voice of a stranger, but one I recognized. The receptionist in the office I'd visited the other day. After forty minutes in the waiting room, hearing her nasal voice answer the phone a hundred times, I figured either they were the busiest escort service in the city or everyone who has ever said they'd never pay for it is full of shit.
Later, when I finally went in to meet the owners of the agency I was surprised. The Klendiski's looked like a middle-aged working class couple. He was thick and beefy with a jovial face and the body of a dockworker, and she was thin with dyed hair and conservative clothes that made her look like the saleslady at a department store. They asked me a bunch of information about myself, asked to see my driver's license, and then made casual conversation. Mrs. Klendiski asked if I would mind stripping. It was very strange being naked in front of people I didn't know, but then I realized I'd have to get over that quickly if I was going to do this. Later, I found out getting naked was less about seeing if I was attractive and more about making sure that I really was a girl. Welcome to New York City.
I figured they'd take one look at me and know that in a city full of actress and model wanna-be's they could do much better. But Mr. Klendiski said even though I wasn't the knockout beauty the ad called for, I have a pretty face and a natural look that would be attractive to some clients. They said they'd take me on, if I were interested. From the moment I saw the ad I was on the fence about it, but figured I'd gone this far and accepted.
They sent me into another room where I met Dana, a fortyish woman who said she'd been a call girl for many years. She trained me in how to act on a 'date': what to expect and what was expected, how to speak, how to carry myself, what was appropriate and inappropriate behavior on both sides, and how to talk money without incriminating myself. That last lesson included a piece of paper with the names of several bail bondsmen and the statement that if I was caught I was on my own.
"If you do get busted," she said, "keep your spirits up. Usually I try to remember I'm making more money per year than the cops that busted me."
The last part freaked me out, and later I decided that when they called with my first assignment I'd tell them I changed my mind. Chalk it up to an interesting story to tell my kids, if I ever adopted any. "I ever tell you about that time I interviewed to be an escort?" Okay, maybe I shouldn't have kids.
"Yes, sorry. This is Maggie."
"Are you available for a date at seven?"
Suddenly I realized it was this or leaving school. I'd tried to find other work, but nothing paid enough to cover my lost scholarship. And from what Dana had told me about rates, escorting alone could easily help me pay for school once I got established. One job as opposed to the three I already had.
Then I thought, No way, there has to be another option. I could find something else, it would be tough but I could make it work. Yeah, right, and when would I have time to do it? From six to ten in the morning I was a waitress at a coffee shop, from ten to five I had classes, followed by a job at a music store followed by homework. On weekends I worked as a waitress at a restaurant. So a fourth job meant I either gave up homework or sleep.
"Maggie? You there honey?"
Who am I kidding, I finally thought. This is the other option.
"Yes, I'm available."
"Drake Hotel, on Lexington between forty-fourth and forty-fifth. Room five seventeen. Got that?"
"Okay," I said, trying to sound confident. It obviously didn't work because the receptionist said, "Don't be so scared, sweetie. No one gets taken advantage of faster than a nervous call girl."
At six thirty, after a train and a three-block walk, I was sitting in the lobby of the Drake wearing the red dress that Miss Yang had bought for me when I went stag to my prom. It was the first dress I'd ever owned that stopped at the knee. My long, dark hair was in a ponytail, or at least it had been for the past two minutes. I kept taking it out and putting it back up, not sure which way looked better. Finally I went back to the bathroom and took it out, adjusted my dress, and went back out to the couch in the lobby.
I wasn't really nervous about how I looked. I was trying to keep myself calm, but it wasn't easy. Here I was about to take a huge step into an area of life I never thought I'd see, much less be a part of. It's against the law, considered by most people to be morally reprehensible, and almost everyone I've ever known sees hookers as cheap low-life's who sell their body for money. On top of that I had my whole religious upbringing rolling through my head, yelling at me in fifty different ways. The voices of my priest, my parents, my brother, and all of my friends, reading me the riot act while quoting the Bible filled my brain with so much doubt that I was on the verge of tears. At one point I almost got up and walked out.
But I stayed seated on that couch, driven by the pure need to succeed. All I kept thinking was that if I don't do this I'll have to give up college, or at least go to a much less prestigious place part time. I'd worked too hard in high school to throw away what I'd earned, and I wasn't ready to give up yet. Not after I had come so close to achieving my goal, to succeed as I might have if everyone at home had never betrayed me.
And that's when it happened. I realized all the people I was worrying about weren't there. They didn't matter in my life anymore, and it wasn't a choice I had made, either. For all their moralizing and preaching about right and wrong, those people failed me at a time when I needed support the most. Why am I worried about them?