"Money doesn't make a fool out of a girl as often as a girl makes money out of a fool."
- Anonymous quote
* * * * *
Fuller started his search in the morning.
The Las Vegas casinos were open all night, but he wanted fresh meat. He spotted her by the slot machines doing a poor job of feigning an interest in gambling. Her simple white dress caught his eyes like a beacon of purity. She was a young, healthy looking girl who might have been a college coed.
"Hi," said Fuller. "Got change for a dollar?" he smiled.
It was a terrible pick-up line, but Fuller put his best efforts into the end game. Besides, there was no need to waste good pick-up lines on hookers.
She returned his smile, raising a paper cup filled with quarters to her chin, as if she were toasting him. For a minute, Fuller imagined she might tip the quarters into her mouth and drink them down like a bionic whore. Her body was a money machine just like the slots.
"I'm bored," she answered.
"I'm Fuller," he smiled.
She smiled back.
"Hi Fuller, I'm Lori."
"If gambling bores you, why come to Las Vegas?
Fuller poised the question already knowing the answer. She was a working girl. But he enjoyed making them squirm.
"It's not my idea of fun. I'm here with my parents."
Fuller nodded and got back on track. "So what do you do for fun?"
"I'm an Anthropology student at Arizona State University."
Fuller had not been expecting this type of answer. She must be one of those new wave hookers who made up an entire legend for the enjoyment of the John. Fuller had seen this before with high priced call girls. Even after the sex, they would persist in pretending to be the daughter of a priest, an airline stewardess, or a nurse. He played along.
"Anthropology. Isn't that the study of people?"
"Why, yes. I'm surprised you knew."
"I know lots of things."
"Oh, you do, do you?"
"I know you'd like me to rescue you from boredom."
"How would you do that?"
"You'll have to come with me to find out."
Fuller offered her his hand. Her hesitation was charming. She did a quick little curtsey-type movement, slipping her purse off her shoulder and dumping the cup of quarters inside before taking Fuller's hand. Hand-in-hand, the picture of innocence, they walked out of the casino together.
On the way to his hotel room, Fuller pulled Lori into Walgreen's Pharmacy. She looked at him.
"I've got protection," she said.
Fuller gave her a look of alarm thinking she was talking about carrying a gun. But how could she know about his scam already? What had tipped her? Then it hit him. She meant condoms.
"Oh, no," said Fuller, raising one hand like a little boy in school who knew the right answer, "I just need to check some lottery tickets."
In the far corner of the pharmacy, by the pay telephone, was a Lottery ATM. It sold tickets and confirmed winning tickets. Fuller took an envelope out of the breast pocket of his jacket and inserted his first ticket. He followed this by four more tickets. They were all losers. The fifth ticket was different. The display window flashed in red that it was a winning ticket followed by the amount of $5 million dollars.
Fuller shouted in mock surprise. "Whoa baby! This is my lucky day!"
He palmed the ticket as it came out of the Lottery ATM, quickly turning it over so Lori could see the other side.
"I need to sign this." He looked at Lori. "But first, I'm going to spend some time with my lucky lady."
He smiled at Lori, and returned the unsigned ticket to the envelope. She grabbed his hand firmly in hers, and they set off again for his hotel room. They both smiled like co-conspirators.
Fuller's plan was foolproof. Show her the winning ticket, enjoy the sex, and pretend to fall asleep. Then, let her steal the ticket. This was how he planned to get free sex. If the hooker insisted on pre-payment, he would balk. If she continued insisting, she would loose out on her opportunity to steal $5 million dollars.
That was the hard part.
The easy part was getting a winning ticket. The winning numbers were posted in the Las Vegas Times right next to the long range weather forecast. He simply cut out the winning numbers from losing tickets and pasted them onto a lottery ticket. It was a cheap counterfeit. It would never fool anyone, but it could fool the Lottery ATM Machine.
These machines did not have sophisticated scanners. He could never redeem the ticket for any money. But Fuller was after sex, not money.
As Fuller expected, Lori did not ask for pre-payment for her services. The sex was stupendous. Fuller did not have to pretend to fall asleep. He was exhausted after a continuous 2 hour romp in which Lori had revived him twice with her magic mouth. He heard her slip out of bed and tiptoe over to his jacket. A door clicked lightly before he fell asleep.
When Fuller woke up he felt good. He felt wonderful. He now had a foolproof plan to get free sex. He felt fantastic until he heard her voice.
"Good Afternoon, sleepy head," Lori greeted him.
Fuller was speechless. Had she discovered his con? Why had she stayed? What had gone wrong? He needed a way to handle this situation.
He faked a yawn, and decided to try honesty. "Why didn't you steal the Lottery Ticket?" Fuller asked.
"I thought about it," Lori admitted.
"Well?" Fuller insisted, disappointed that his plan had failed.
"I just couldn't," Lori said.
"I guess I owe you," said Fuller.
"I guess you do," Lori agreed shaking her head.
Of all the hookers, in the entire world, Fuller had picked the last honest whore. He shook his head in disbelief. He took out four fifty dollar bills and laid them out on the bed.
"What's that for?" asked Lori.
"What do you think I am, a whore?" Lori spat out the words.
Fuller backpedaled. "Uh, no, of course not."
"Yes, you do."
"I, well," Fuller stammered before finally saying, "I mean, you were so good."
"It was love, buster."
Fuller sank back onto the bed. He was stunned. Lori started crying.
"You mean everything you told me about your parents, Anthropology, and attending college was the truth?"
"That's right. Nothing but the truth."
Fuller put the money away, and held Lori in his arms. He told her that he loved her to make her stop crying. He agreed to buy her dinner. They parted as friends.
After dinner, they had sex again. It was even better the second time. Lori kept telling Fuller she loved him and wanted to get married. In the middle of climaxing, Fuller agreed. He would have agreed to just about anything at that time. When he woke up, Lori was snuggled up against him. She was smiling.
"You said you'd marry me," she reminded him.
"I did?" Fuller answered.
"Yes, you did."
"Would you love me if I weren't rich?" asked Fuller.
"I'd love you if you were penniless."
"Are you sure?" Fuller asked.
"Absolutely, but don't worry with $5 million dollars you'll never go broke."
"I suppose not." Fuller agreed.
"Besides . . ."
"I could have stolen the lottery ticket while you were asleep, but I didn't."
"Do you know why?"
"Because you're honest?" Fuller said.
"No, silly. Because I wanted you, not the money."
Fuller appeared to think this over and agreed to meet her the next morning for breakfast. It flattered him that a woman would prefer him to $5 million dollars. It sounded crazy. It was not logical, but Fuller's ego accepted the explanation as making perfect sense.
Lori planned for a quick marriage ceremony after breakfast.
That night, Fuller had trouble sleeping. Lori had refused to sleep with him. She said it was bad luck for them to sleep together the night before she got married. Unable to sleep, Fuller phoned his sister for advice. She could give him a woman's viewpoint. Later, Fuller would regret phoning her for the rest of his life.
"For a minute, forget about the girl," his sister said.
"OK," said Fuller
"Imagine it was you in her place."
"Now, what would you have done?"
"Do you mean would I marry myself?"
"No dummy. Would you have taken the Lottery Ticket or the girl?"
Fuller pretended to consider the question.
"I'd take the money and run."
"That's it, then."
"What?" asked Fuller not following her thinking.
"That's the answer."
"Are you saying she's too good for me?"
"No, I'm saying, you love money more than her."
"That's true," Fuller said soberly.
"Well, you want a marriage based on love not money."
"Yes. Think about how you met her."
"I already admitted that. I was trying to get free sex."
"Right, but were you honest about it?"
"Of course not," Fuller sounded indignant.
"You can't get free sex out of a hooker by being honest."
"But you said she wasn't a hooker."
"At first, I thought she was . . ."
"So you started your love affair based on lies."
"I guess you could say that."
"A marriage based on lies will never work." A few minutes later, his sister said, "No whore has a heart of gold."
Fuller hung up on his sister after she continued spouting old bromides.
The next morning, Fuller made a full confession. He told Lori that she was too good for him. He told her that she deserved better. Her eyes filled with tears.
"So you see," Fuller continued "the lottery ticket was a scam."
"You mean you're not rich?" Lori asked.
"I still want to marry you," Lori insisted.
Fuller's heart swelled with love. His sister had been right. He had told the truth, all of it. But Lori still wanted him. She would make a rare catch. A woman who loved him more than $5 million dollars. Could any man ask for more?
"Before we get married, do you have anything to confess?" Fuller asked, enjoying his wave of honesty.
"Me?" said Lori, looking innocent.
"Why, no. I can't think of anything."
"Then I have a question for you."
"If you wanted me and not the money, why did you tiptoe over to my jacket?"
"You weren't asleep were you?"
"No, I wasn't."
"I peeked at the lottery ticket."
"Yes. I put it right back."
"You knew it was a counterfeit ticket?"
Fuller was making himself uncomfortable. The questions were not going the way he expected. Something was wrong.
"You lied to me," Fuller accused Lori.
"You pretended not to know about the scam."
"Because I love you," protested Lori.
"How could you love someone who was trying to cheat you?"
"Well, I . . ." Lori's voice faltered.
"Yes," said Fuller, not wanting to know the answer.
"I was cheating you too."
"How?" Fuller was genuinely intrigued.
"I am a hooker."
This confession changed everything. Fuller needed to re-evaluate. Nothing made sense. If she was a hooker, his plan should have worked. Fuller's world turned upside down.
"You're a hooker?"
"Then why didn't you take the $200 dollars?"
"After I saw the bogus ticket, I decided to pretend not to be a hooker."
"Before I knew the ticket was bogus, I knocked myself out giving you the best sex of my career."
"It was the best," Fuller agreed.
"That kind of all-out sex was worth a lot more than $200."
"So, I decided to make you my ticket out of hooking."
"By reversing your con game."
"You turned my own con against me?"
"Yes, and your guilt."
"I made you feel bad for thinking I was a hooker and worse for trying to cheat me."
"So you wanted to trap me into marrying you?"
"But why me?"
"You may not be rich, but your damn good looking, and you're a hustler. We'd make a good couple."
Fuller nodded his head in agreement. Everything Lori told him was the truth. He was extremely grateful, but he could never marry her. Lori was a hooker. What would his sister say?
Fuller still thinks of Lori every time he seals the counterfeit Lottery Ticket inside an envelope. No one peeks. Tearing the envelope open would make too much noise. It would be too risky. By looking into the unsealed envelope, Lori managed to touch Fuller's heart. All of the women Fuller scammed made him feel good, but only Lori tricked him into feeling loved.
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