Impersonating Brianne Ch. 02byHLD©
This was going to be one night Marissa would never forget.
Alan set his camera down and helped Marissa out of her dress. Then lovingly, he put it in the travel bag and zipped it up for the return trip home.
Marissa stripped down and slipped into a bathrobe. Very carefully, she pulled all the pins out of her hair and set the baby's breath on the counter in the bathroom. She found a chilled bottle of champagne next to the bed and poured a couple of glasses.
After their big night, Marissa found that she was crashing. So was Alan.
He changed into a pair of boxer shorts and a t-shirt. They cuddled on the couch for a while, sipping champagne and holding each other. Neither said a word, fearing that the spell would be broken.
Finally, Marissa found herself nodding off. Between the dancing and the alcohol, she was almost done for the night.
She struggled to her feet and then pulled Alan into the bedroom with her.
The sheets were turned down and they fell into the bed. Alan's arms were around her and he kissed her forehead.
Marissa nuzzled up against him, her lips biting his neck softly. He moaned and pulled her close.
She reached for him, but he brushed her hands away.
"No," he whispered. "Not tonight."
"What—?" she was confused.
"I just want you to hold me," Alan said softly.
Marissa shifted, uncomfortable for the first time that night. She didn't know what to say.
She lay against him, her head on his shoulder.
"Thank you for tonight." Alan's voice was gentle.
"I had a wonderful time," Marissa said.
"Me, too." Alan kissed the top of her head. "I—"
"You what, Alan?"
There was a long pause.
"I'm sorry I wanted you to be Brianne," he managed to say. Even in the darkness, Marissa could tell his eyes were full of tears. "You can't be. No one can. And that's okay. That was the wrong reason to bring you with me."
Marissa smiled tenderly, even though she knew Alan couldn't see her in the darkness.
"If you hadn't wanted that, I wouldn't be here," she reminded him. The next words were out of her mouth before she could stop them. "I'm glad I came with you, Alan."
"I'm glad I didn't have to spend another anniversary alone," he said, running his hand through her hair.
"I can think of a better way for someone to spend his anniversary," Marissa purred and pressed her naked body against him. Her lips sought his and they kissed eagerly.
When her hands tried to push his boxers down, she found Alan holding her wrists.
"No." His voice was hoarse. "Not tonight. I can't make love to you tonight."
"Why not?" Marissa was confused.
Alan took a deep breath. "Because if I do . . . if I do, it will be like I was making love with Brianne. And I don't want to be having her, Marissa. I—"
She knew what he was going to say next and she inhaled sharply.
"I . . . I want you."
Her eyes welled up. It was all she could do to keep her breathing steady. To hear those words sent Marissa into an emotional tailspin. Some of her other clients enjoyed her company and told her the same thing. But she never felt for them like she did for Alan. Her feelings had never been the issue. Until now.
Alan was the first man she had been with since college that she didn't care how deep his bank account was. He was the first person to make her blood boil with desire.
She struggled to keep her voice steady. "I want you, too, Alan."
There it was. With five simple words, Marissa set her heart up to be broken.
Alan lifted her chin up and kissed her. It was soft and tender. She lost herself to him.
Wrapped in his embrace, she felt safe and warm and wanted. They drifted off to sleep together, their bodies pressed against one another.
Her mouth fell open in a wide yawn. Marissa stretched out her arms and arched her back. Her back popped in a couple of places. The top sheet fell away.
Lazily, she opened her eyes and found Alan in bed next to her. He was on his side, one arm under the pillows.
As her vision came into focus, she saw that he was watching her. A faint smile was on his lips.
She smiled back.
"Good morning, sleepyhead," he said softly. Alan was still wearing the t-shirt and shorts he had fallen asleep in.
"Good morning, yourself," Marissa replied. She was lying on her back, naked. Her breasts had fallen to the sides, their nipples pointing straight up. Still, Alan was looking into her eyes, not at her chest. "What are you doing?"
"Nothing," he said softly.
"You're a lousy liar," she giggled. "Don't tell me you were waiting for me to wake up to make your move."
Alan didn't reply. His eyes seemed to bore right into her.
"You were beautiful last night," he said.
That made Marissa's smile bigger.
"And you're beautiful this morning," Alan continued.
That made Marissa want him even more. The night before, she was ready to jump him. Everything about their date had been perfect. It was an evening of pure romance. Yet Alan didn't want to sleep with her. Or rather, he really wanted to sleep with her, but he didn't want think that he was only using her as a surrogate for Brianne.
"Flattery will get you everywhere, mister." Marissa smiled seductively.
Alan propped himself up on one arm and Marissa pulled him close to her.
They shared a good morning kiss. She pulled the t-shirt over his head and pushed his boxer shorts down. His cock sprang to attention.
Marissa rolled on to her back and pulled Alan on top of her. She felt the head of his cock pressing against her belly. He kissed his way down her neck.
Alan cupped one of her breasts. Marissa moaned with pleasure.
His lips began moving down to her shoulder.
"Stop teasing me, Alan!" she gasped.
"Teasing you?" he replied. "I thought you girls liked all the kissey-feely stuff before getting down and dirty."
"You can't lead a girl on all night and then not give it to her." Marissa let out an exasperated sigh. She was already wet.
"What do you mean?" Alan said with a grin.
"You know exactly what I mean," she replied with a mock huff. "Flowers. Spa. Dinner. Dancing. Champagne. There was a lot of romance promised last night, but no lovin'. You owe me, mister."
Alan smiled perniciously. "I should—"
"Shut up and fuck me." Marissa couldn't take it any longer. She needed to have Alan inside her. She reached for him and brought his lips to hers. Their kiss was hungry.
"You heard me, Alan. Shut up and fuck me." Her voice was desperate. "Make me scream."
Sure enough, he did.
When they finally stumbled out of bed, Alan and Marissa took a shower together and got dressed. It was spring, and while the sun was going to be out all day, the heat wasn't stifling. She put on shorts and a sleeveless polo shirt. She found a hat in her suitcase and dug out her sunglasses. Alan was wearing a pair of cargo shorts and a nice t-shirt.
They got in the car and drove first to Hoover Dam. They met the dam guide, took the dam tour, saw the dam generators, watched some of the dam fish and bought a few dam souvenirs. By late morning, the temperature was up in the mid-70s and they were riding around with the top down on the convertible. Alan had thought far enough ahead that there was a bottle of SPF 30 in the glovebox so they greased each other up and then drove west to the other side of Las Vegas.
While in the car, Marissa and Alan held hands. Several times, Marissa looked in one of the mirrors and found that she had a goofy grin on her face. It was almost a mirror image of the one Alan had.
She and Alan talked, mostly about what else they wanted to do in Las Vegas.
After leaving Hoover Dam, they stopped by Sergio's Italian Gardens Ristorante, a charming Italian restaurant that was off the strip. It came highly recommended from the TGR salesmen.
They sat outdoors and in the shade and shared a light lunch. The staff was friendly and professional and the food was excellent. Marissa only had a salad, but helped herself to some of Alan's pasta.
With the sun still out, they headed west and drove through Red Rock Canyon, stopping at the visitor's center and at a couple of other places to take some pictures.
Marissa watched Alan playing with his new camera and it made her feel good that she had found something for him that he really liked. After a zillion pictures and a couple of chincy t-shirts from the gift shop, they went back to the hotel.
They took a quick shower, washed off the oily suntan lotion and cleaned up for dinner. Marissa put on a yellow sundress while Alan dug out a pressed pair of khakis and a short-sleeve button-down shirt.
Heading downstairs again, they picked the car up from the valet and drove over to the Venetian. Alan had made reservations at the Canaletto restaurant. They got an outdoor table overlooking the Grand Canal, a man-made body of water that runs through the casino property, complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers.
Several times she noticed Alan staring admiringly at her legs or her chest, but when he'd talk, he always looked her in the eyes.
After a couple glasses of wine, both were loosened up a little. She ordered the lamb shank with polenta and Alan had a variety of shellfish in a red sauce over a bed of linguini.
"Can I ask you something?" Marissa said.
"What did you want to be when you grew up?"
Alan shrugged. "Mostly the usual. Doctor. Astronaut. President."
"How did you get into academia?"
"Dad was a professor and wrote a couple of books," Alan replied. "He was always around the house either writing his next article or grading term papers. The hours are really good, and since there really isn't a large job market for people with PhDs in history, university gigs are the best thing out there. What about you? What did you want to be when you grew up?"
"A pediatrician," Marissa replied. "I got my undergraduate degree from Guilford in biology and spent a year trying to get into medical school."
"Why didn't you go?" Alan asked. "You don't have to answer that."
"No, it's okay," she said with a slight smile. "I actually got admitted to the program at Wake Forest, but I couldn't get a financial aid package that wasn't loaded up with student loans. So I put it on hold and haven't gone back."
"Would you?" Alan said. "Go back, I mean."
"I don't know," Marissa shrugged. "I've got a little bit in savings and I could probably get some additional financial aid since the government doesn't think I've made any money for the past five years."
Has it really been that long? she thought to herself.
"What do your parents think you do?" Alan asked. "You don't have to answer that either."
"They think I'm a personal trainer," Marissa flashed him a sardonic smile. "Let me ask you something else . . . why do you want to open this restaurant?"
Alan's gaze became distant for just a second. He took a sip of his wine. "When Brianne and I met, we were in college at Davidson. She graduated a year ahead of me and we got engaged. She was a fabulous cook and when we moved to New York while I was at Columbia, she worked two jobs so I could go to school. After I graduated, we got married and moved back closer to home. Her degree was in business so she got her MBA and wanted to open her own restaurant. We kept putting it off because we each had loans to pay off and then she got pregnant. Her face would light up whenever we talked about the restaurant, though."
The far-off look in his eyes returned. "She knew what she wanted everything to look like. How the kitchen would be set up. She was so excited about it, that she got me to want it to happen, too."
A flash of sadness came across Alan's face. "When Brianne died, my one regret was that she never got her dream to come true. She gave up so much for me—for us—that I want to make it work. I guess it's my way of holding on to her."
Marissa reached across the table and took Alan's hand in hers. They didn't speak for a long time.
They finished their meal and skipped dessert. They walked around the Venetian, holding hands while working off dinner.
"Let's take a gondola ride," Marissa said.
They headed back to the Grand Canal and found a gondolier bringing his boat in. There was no line. Another couple got out. He saw Alan and Marissa standing there.
"Care for a ride?" he asked in a fairly good faux-Italian accent.
Alan helped her in the boat. They sat down in the plush seats. Marissa sat close to her lover.
The gondolier was funny and engaging. He sang in Italian.
All the while, Marissa felt Alan's hands on her bare shoulders and arms. His touch gave her chills.
When she looked at him, all she could think was, How can I do this? To him. To me.
And then another part of her thought, How can I not?
The gondola slipped back into its berth and Alan helped her out. He gave the gondolier a tip and they headed back to their car.
He started to drive and soon Marissa found that they were off the strip, headed out of town. She didn't think Alan knew where he was going, but she didn't say anything. The top was down and the wind blew their hair around.
Soon, they were well west of town, on a newly paved road.
He pulled into what would soon be a new home development. It was stuck out in the middle of nowhere, but there were streets paved with curbs and sidewalks. They were on a small rise and had a wonderful view of the city down in the valley, but were about five or ten miles away from anything and there was not a soul to be seen.
Las Vegas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and in a year or so, this would probably be just another suburban neighbourhood. But right now, it was just a street and a bunch of empty lots. They were all alone.
Alan parked the car on one of the new streets facing west. The sun was just setting over the mountains.
The sky was streaked with reds and yellows. The few clouds in the sky were brilliant.
They sat in silence. Alan's hand was on her knee, Marissa's fingers wrapped around his.
It was starting to cool off, but the temperature was still comfortable.
"Can I ask you something?" Alan said tentatively.
"Do you have any fantasies?"
Marissa looked at him blankly for a second.
"You know," he said quietly. "Sexual fantasies. Is there anything I can do for you? After all, this is our last night in Vegas."
She stifled a bitter chuckle. "No. I don't have any fantasies. Not anymore."
"Done it all, huh?"
"Not quite," she replied, uncomfortable. Marissa never talked to clients about her other jobs. It wasn't anyone's business. Of course, none of her other clients ever asked about the others. She always pretended that whoever she was with was the best she ever had or that she had never taken a cock up her ass before.
Alan sat there for a little while longer. Marissa could tell he wanted to ask her something else, but didn't know quite what to say.
She waited expectantly.
Finally, he looked her in the eyes. "What about other fantasies? Dreams? If you could do anything with your life, what would it be?"
That gave her pause to think.
"I don't know," Marissa replied after a moment. "I'd have to work for myself or in a job that wasn't nine to five. I'd still like to go to med school. Or just be a mommy."
For the past several years, she lived day to day. One job to the next. Marissa owned a house that was now paid for. She had some money saved up. She could quit being a call girl and start a second career. But what? What was Alan getting at?
The truth of the matter is that she liked the money and she liked the predictability of her life. She was good in bed, pretty and knew how to conduct herself among the highbrow clientele she entertained. That made her very valuable to Laurie and enabled her to command a greater price than some of the other girls she knew. Still, it wasn't going to last forever, and she knew that.
"How did you get into . . . um, the business?" Alan blurted out. He glanced over at her apologetically. "You don't have to answer that."
Marissa smiled outwardly, but inside, it was like Alan had struck her. In her line of work, this was one question no one ever asked.
Part of it was that her reasons were none of his damn business. A bigger part was that she didn't really want to confront those reasons. She didn't want to acknowledge that she was selling herself for a few dollars. While she called herself a call girl or an escort or even a courtesan, the truth is that she was nothing more than a prostitute. A whore.
"Look . . . I was out of—" Alan said and reached for the ignition to start he car.
"No," she patted his hand reassuringly. "It's okay. No one has ever asked me that before."
After a deep breath, she started to speak. "After I graduated from college and was waiting to hear back from Wake, I took a job at a temp agency. The pay was lousy, but it made the rent and the bills."
Now it was her turn to have a distant look in her eyes. "I took an assignment at an insurance agency. After a couple of weeks, I got to know the other folks there and once night, the regional manager was going to a company function and needed a date. He offered me two hundred dollars to go to the dinner with him. I was already late with my car payment and that would cover it. So I went with him. He was young and good looking and after the dinner, he asked if I wanted to go back to his place for a drink."
She stopped to take another deep breath. "I didn't want to at first, so he gave me the two hundred. Then he showed me another five hundred dollars and said if I'd follow him home, he'd give that to me, too."
Marissa's mouth turned into a bitter smile. "Seven hundred dollars in a night. I didn't make that much in two weeks as a temp after taxes. I would be caught up on my rent and my car payments."
Alan didn't interrupt her. Instead he just took her hand, a gesture she appreciated. She had never told anyone about this before.
"So I followed him back to his house. We had some wine and then he stripped me down and fucked me." Marissa shuddered at the memory. "It was a hate fuck. He has some issues with women and did me hard and fast. No, he didn't hit me and he didn't rape me. I let him do it because I thought I needed the money. When it was over, I got dressed and left. But I had another five hundred dollars."
It took a minute for Marissa to compose herself. She stared off as sun's last rays streaked across the skies.
"The next Monday, I didn't go back to work there. I requested another assignment through the temp agency. I was ashamed of what I had done. But the money . . . it was so easy." Alan squeezed her hand. It felt good to tell someone about her experience. And it scared her, confronting the stark reality of the profession she had chosen. "He called me again the next month. It wasn't a date. He just wanted to fuck. At first I said no, but then he offered me more money."
Tears began to run down her cheeks.
"And I took it," Marissa whispered, wiping her eyes. "He called me once a month for almost a year. He paid cash and the money was good. Then one day I got a message that he couldn't see me any more. Apparently I wasn't the only girl he was doing this with. As a regional manager he traveled a lot and his wife found out about one of his other 'girlfriends' and made him quit his job so he would be closer to her."
Alan continued to sit next to her in silence. Just as this week was cathartic for him, it was turning out to be the same for Marissa, too.
"At first I was relieved. I didn't feel so cheap. But then . . ." Marissa paused. "Then I started to miss the money. The extra eight hundred dollars every month was a hefty supplement to what I was making as a temp, and I had gotten use to having it. After a month of being behind on my bills again, I got a call from Laurie. She called herself an 'associate' of the guy from the insurance company."