For Hire

Lola and Anastasia are in “the game.” Both are “working girls.” Nice euphemisms, eh?

Las Vegas lures a lot of good-looking women with negligible abilities. Taking honest stock of themselves, and deciding what they can offer shouldn’t be wasted behind a counter for minimum wages, or making babies from the jump, these entrepreneurs have decided that marketing their sensual commodities the most viable route to happiness and fulfillment.

Well, the pursuit generally starts out with that intent. But doesn’t life invariably derail dreams?

Fortunately for them, Lola and Anastasia are leaps and bounds above the streetwalkers tourists gawk at, the bait for chumps and busters. Neither woman is common or larcenous.

Has there yet been a simpleminded piece of street trim who didn’t imagine herself sly?

Say this for a pavement princess, though, that woman size up a chump or a buster, and 9 times out of 10, she’ll be skedaddling with his cash or cards while he’s still anticipating the throes of some kind of low down and dirty ecstasy from a filthy girl.

Over five years here in Sin City and witnessing some sport fuming after realizing he’s been left high, dry, and horny retains its power to amuse. More laughable yet is when the poor sucker seeks sympathy.

Lola and Anastasia occupy both ends of their profession.

Although quite fit at 30 or so, the years have worn on Lola’s face. Despite keeping vampire hours, the Mojave has taken Lola’s measure. Pale as she is as well as conscious of limiting her time under the sun, this desert environment’s dryness conspires against her precautions.

Daylight ages Lola unfairly. Seen without a stitch, below her neckline one gazed upon an unblemished and firm body waiting to render or prepared to receive sensual diversions mundane or superb.

Drenching herself in moisturizer as Lola does, the alkali in the Mojave air nevertheless dries out her skin. Particularly her face. She stay in this desert much longer and the light character lines upon her face will become fissures that’ll crack into crevices deep enough to store winter water runoff.

Among light-complexioned Las Vegas women that facial condition wantonly takes its toll.

A natural blonde, Lola’s blue eyes are steely. Thin as her lips are, they could be mistaken for bitter if it weren’t for the smiles that change first impressions.

If one presumes Lola coarse it would be an error. Despite the demands of her job, she retains plenty of her small town Idaho Mormon deference. Soft-spoken, Lola is unfailingly polite.

When she’s on the beat, hers is a demure presence. Attire nor makeup betrays Lola. She can enter high-end properties and their swank clubs without arousing security personnel suspicions. Needless to add Lola’s a circumspect businesswoman.

Nervy ways Poe ought have approved deflect attention from her. Unlike a great many working girls, Lola carries identification. Hookers seldom have ID on them. Perhaps they think its absence might dissuade cops from going through the whole drill of identifying the subject before them.

Nothing to verify who one claims being seems just the sort of thing which should make minions of the law dig deeper rather than frustrate them, no? The twisted logic of the demi-monde is unsuited for Square Johns like me.

In this respect Anastasia disarmed so simply, her dodge was either brilliant or crazy. Poe, as well as poetic. Whichever, didn’t it throw authority off her scent?

Of the pair, Lola also spends quality time being bathed in the glow of the slots. What casino loyalty card doesn’t she possess? She gambles to divert, yes, but she also hopes her wagers pay out. Again, it’s another measure to throw security off her scent.

Naturally some addresses produce steadier clientele than others. Nonetheless Lola circulates among Strip properties. All to avoid becoming too memorable.

We first met three years ago. In the summer of 2015, wasn’t it? Some chance crossing developed into an opportunity to sate my curiosity. Afterwards I thought we’d diverge and that would be it for us. Hadn’t I even “lost” her number?

Time for more semantics. I “misplaced” her information. Lola, on the other hand, held onto my card. Said she even stored it in a safe place. Lola wasn’t a pack rat. Instead, and uncommon for a woman plying her trade, she wasn’t just meticulous but had a post-flatbacking plan of sorts.

Like her, I’m also for hire. Although my skills don’t arouse a host of conflicts involving morality and abandonment, propriety and freedom, scorn and grudging admiration. Lola engaged me to perfume her online presence.

The site I entered offered the same as every other pleasure provider’s. Therefore, hers was indistinguishable. It presented just another come-hither blonde barely wearing sheer expensive dessous promising some exquisite gratification. One who also accepted major credit cards.

Aware that Lola wasn’t a bim, that indeed she could engage the horny male mind before, during, and after congress, we decided to hype a full-on sensuous joyride rather than merely play up the usual subservient sex role. After all, most guys seeking strange trim look for something different. Why shell out if an hourly woman ultimately reminded of a wife or girlfriend?

The new pitch emphasized her inner intriguer. Hey. A new depth for a guy to try and reach and tickle.

Luckily for Lola she operated in Las Vegas. In Cleveland, let’s say, such claims might’ve been read with skepticism. However, Sin City’s lights, atmosphere, the individuals there to intentionally lose themselves among the roaming mob intending the same, nourish the assertions.

Towards the ends of months we’ve scheduled lunches at one or the other’s favorite Mexican restaurant. Our receptions seldom vary.

The grinning hostess leads us to our table. All the esses chowing there eyeball the natural blonde I escort. None of those guys bothers hiding their lust.

The waitresses serving us can’t decide which disturbs them more – the negro whose English reminds them of their own accented weaknesses in the language or the gringa whose simple presence imposes inferiority upon the Latinas.

Lola and I have reached awareness where we acknowledge the arousal and discomfort we create among the Mexicans through arched eyebrows and knowing smirks. Our amusement wouldn’t be the same if we ate Chinese instead.

She’s instigated our luncheons. Like me, Lola’s discovered Las Vegas is not conducive to establishing deep associations. She’s made plenty of facile connections. I’m one of the few with whom she can converse plainly. No bowdlerizing subjects. No mincing around topics in order to make them palatable.

Of late after clearing the usual sex and meeting odd people in strange occurrences – in Sin City the two conditions aren’t often mutually exclusive – we find ourselves discussing investments. More like I’m an eager student and she uses me as a sounding board.

We both invest. Let me readily grant her greater familiarity with shares and trading. I can generalize. Lola can focus and specify.

She does so with me because let’s face it few in her field can think beyond her next “date,” much less divine market movement. Both of us depend of financial advisors, yes. However, I know I fail to take full advantage of mine; whereas Lola exploits hers similar to the men – and few women – who hire her for their purposes

So far I’ve refrained from asking Lola whether “her man” is aware how she accrues principal. Anyway she’s pleased with her portfolio’s performance. Under duress I might admit the same.

She started investing young. I entered the game late.

Rather than fit the common image of dissolute whore wasting away youth and allure on partying, stupidly extravagant conspicuous consumption, and other dumb life choices, Lola lives within her means, considers her post-game future, as well as religiously grills any johns in the financial sector.

Egos as they have, those guys must love sharing post-coital pillow talk with her. Not only do they get to brag about their acumen, they also get to puff up themselves. Furthermore, who among them doesn’t appreciate the novelty of offering sound money advice to a hooker they just screwed?

Doubtlessly gangs back on the trading desks loved those stories.

Two blondes whose attitudes and outlooks differed, I couldn’t see Anastasia eventually following Lola’s lead. Not because the former was younger and just beginning. Who knew? Maybe 10 years earlier Lola shared Anastasia’s current flightiness. Unlikely.

Somehow one saw a younger Lola just as deliberative and as careful as today. Maybe not as reserved as now, though nowhere near as footloose as her counterpart.

A Las Vegas circumstance introduced me to Anastasia.

One spring evening, the stranger phoned. She needed a ride. Giving me no time to clarify us, she’d recited her location then hung up. Yeah. I could’ve phoned back, explained she’d dialed a wrong number, and have the matter take its proper course. But the insistence and sureness emanating from the caller piqued me.

So off I went.

Her instructions guided me into a new money part of town in the Northwest. A planned community, naturally it was gated. Empty acreage served as neighbors, though only temporarily. Billboards heralded the next new shiny residences. Dirt had already been turned and one saw the marking stakes.

The address Anastasia exited didn’t offend outright. Then again it was dark. Maybe under daylight one saw a more complete architectural mishmash.

She strode confidently to my car. Lean, her long loose legs ate up the runway from front door to the curb. Exaggerating the length of her stems, a barely-there plaid skirt and knee-high white socks. What further accentuated her girlishness? The dark uniform jacket with an indistinct coat of arms stitched on its breast pocket? The barrettes clamping her blunted blonde in rigid place? Or her saddle shoes? All she needed was to have been clutching schoolbooks against her chest. All she lacked was J. Geils Band serenading her with Centerfold.

Anastasia alighted onto the passenger cushions of my car. Shouldn’t the strange driver have given her a pause? While she did award me a double-take, it was more pro forma glance than a thorough once over. Of course she wouldn’t have expressed heightened concerns. After all, wasn’t a good deal of her job getting into situations, much less vehicles, with unknown men?

One name settled my confusion and started solving a minor puzzle. She asked if Steve had sent me in his place.

Steve drove a Las Vegas cab. By chance I’d ridden with him several times over my years here. A long-time driver, he’d observed a lot. Better, he could tell a story. We’d exchanged cards. I guessed Anastasia had misplaced Steve’s and asked for another. Maybe fumbling in a dim car he’d errantly handed her mine.

Before pushing off, I straightened out the apparent confusions. None of them bothered her. That the ride appeared on schedule, that I didn’t resemble some meth-monster ogre additionally pleased her. She asked whether I wanted cash or took credit cards.

Car in gear, us moving, she commandeered the audio then scrawled through leads.

A creature of the current generation, Anastasia spent this portion of the drive steadily gazing into her handheld device. Our destination changed per her orders as dictated by leads, possibilities, and teases off the handheld’s screen. Summerlin reversed into some address near the prominent eastside Mormon temple then dropped into Huntridge before finally settling on an almost sure “date” at some property on a street parallel to the Strip.

Augmented by streetlamps, passing headlights, and glowing neon, dashboard lights presented a boldly young woman. Slight effort and maybe she could’ve been beautiful. Yet maybe attractive served better. Less intimidating that way. Makeup and attire subtracted years, yes, but without these my passenger still strongly resembled a juvenile. One who worked to look older.

Hadn’t Steve mentioned her? He probably had but there’s only so much lingering interest in working girl stories. Skip any finding empowerment through providing pleasure and receiving equal measures through it. Even if it’s true, that’s the male gaze having been imposed until acceptance. Instead show those who’ve made conscious choices being degraded, suffering through coercion. That’s preferable for our times. Especially now with women’s pushback against female objectification.

As we approached the presumed sale point, two actions transpired simultaneously. Anastasia learned she’d been declined, regrettably. Then we saw the tall naked man scooting more than running across the nighttime street.

Well, not stark naked. Just butt naked.

In one hand, he held a shirt with which he covered his privates; in the other, his wallet and phone. He only wore black socks. Navigating among lighted sidewalks shoals of darkness, he hoped staying concealed in as much shadow as possible. In vain. That fellow was too obvious a specimen.

Whoever he was, he’d spent inordinate amounts of time grunting in weight rooms. Incalculable hours of reps and isolations had left him wide-shouldered, broad-chested, and his limbs thickly corded. Aside from so much hard cut flesh, what truly distinguished him was a tattooed motto splashed in black Gothic letters along his expansive back:

Fortune favors the beast.

Why did Anastasia even bother throwing me a knowing glance? Also unnecessary, telling me to curb the car and collect him. The offer was a formality. Startling as his situation was, although what led to it a mystery, his taking relief in that car a foregone conclusion.

Only surprising our new rider, Anastasia hurriedly vacated the front and joined him on the backseat. It amazed how her light heft squeezed his bulk across the bench.

Stationary now, appearing considerably relieved, it was easier to peruse our sudden guest’s features in the rearview mirror. On the lam, classic stress signs tightened his face. Inside, concealed, and at ease, he reminded of a far less cartoony L’il Abner. Even had the Dawgpatch character’s black shock crowning his head.

Belated introductions had Freddy sitting amongst us. Back in New York, one would’ve been getting ready for Freddy. This one must’ve missed that memo because he was unready.

Settled and relaxing, he tried eyeballing Anastasia inconspicuously. She skipped returning any subtlety. Anastasia’s eyes spread condiments on Freddy before devouring him.

Which came first? The particulars behind Freddy’s dishabille? Where he planned going undetected if we hadn’t been fortuitous Samaritans? His asking whether Anastasia was legal in any state, much less Nevada? Or further inquiring if “Anastasia” was an alias or not?

She answered the last succinctly.

“‘Anastasia’ adds something to the experience Judy just doesn’t.”

I bet Freddy and I agreed upon the same conclusion. She sure didn’t look like a “Judy.”

As for her age, she placed it in the “18-19, um, 20 range.” But if a gentleman insisted, Anastasia could pass for and play a 16 or even 14 year old. She added that some gentlemen, “usually the way older ones in their 40s like providers who remind them of their daughters at those ages.”

And that explained her evening’s ersatz parochial school uniform. Clearly, though, her labors consisted of a harder version of a more heavenly communion.

From where or how had she developed her marketing skills? Nevertheless she’d assessed what she offered and its presentation absolutely correct. Labeling and packaging doubtlessly allowed her to command better prices. And if the confidence she expressed with us any indication, it also let her fetch them.

To lessen hotel security and local constabulary suspicions, Anastasia possessed a dubiously sourced expired US passport bearing the name “Becky Sunnebrooke,” born 1995. Given the intellect of the average inked, shaven-headed, no-neck guarding hotels and cops preoccupied by the countdown to their pensions, an ID that would’ve alerted any awake community college student had let her skate.

That sparked me to ask Lola sometime whether hers a working girl name or had her parents been unduly influenced by Damn Yankees.

A series of presumptions funneled Freddy into the car. In Las Vegas for a convention, he saw an opportunity to indulge in an aspect of carnal conduct that disgusted his wife.

Funny. If he’d been a woman I would’ve seen his wedding ring. With guys, though, it’s auto-editing.

Having inquired casually among his lodging’s male staff, he ascertained the name and address of a joss house allegedly catering to his curiosity. Off the beaten path? Yes. A block or two east of the Strip. But Freddy had been guaranteed inside there his kink could be fulfilled by a Chinese or Korean girl.

Something about him plugging a Chinese girl appealed to Freddy better than a Korean. So even if she’d been the latter, he was going to claim her one of the former.

Initially the short-statured, ceaselessly grinning, celestial staff appeared pleased to see him. He imagined their Chinese banter something along the lines of which delicate flower among them would be honored to accept his massive girth and godly length.

Say this for Freddy: almost naked among strangers he still turned out to be a comical guy. Either that or “the beast” was completely blinded by his own magnificence.

Alone and unclothed with the maiden selected, he skipped a lot of what others might term foreplay. After all, he reasoned, she was a whore; he’d paid to be her daddy. It’s one thing to enter the process with that conceptualization. It’s another to actually operate on its basis.

Since Freddy forwent any increments towards the ultimate goal, preferring to achieve his point almost right off the bat – jamming his No. 1 up her six in order to attain a Top 10 experience – his provider naturally balked. To her that orifice was solely an exit. This created conflict. Noisy Chinese conflict.

Her alarms brought the manager through the door into the bedroom.

The rapid Chinese between boss and worker excluded Freddy’s input. Without consulting him, it was decided he should leave. Naturally the round eyes forfeited his fee.

Frustration Freddy could handle. Being gypped offended him. He beefed. Loudly. Profanely. Loudly and profanely.

In the premises she managed, the boss was unaccustomed to being contradicted. She hissed something in Chinese. One of the celestials behind her momentarily vanished.

While Freddy bitched about the forfeiture, that associate returned quickly. Two gleaming implements now filled the manager’s fists. These halted the customer’s complaint. In one hand, the manager held a hatchet; in her other, a kitchen knife. From thereon all communication became non-verbal.

Freddy heaved his non-compliant prostitute off the bed at the manager. Her impact knocked the boss and whoever stood behind her backwards. He snatched what he could – his wallet, phone, and shirt.

He still wore his socks because, well, who knew how dirty the floors might’ve been.

Freddy bolted over tangled yelling bodies on the hallway floor and out the building. Caterwauling Chinese quickly chased him onto the sidewalk. After what seemed a marathon, noise abated and pursuit ended.

Of course that left Freddy bare-assed in the open on a strange city’s streets.

His lodging loomed brightly past the Strip, west of the Interstate. Both lighting and law enforcement concentrated on each north-south axis. Exactly how did he propose dodging detection crossing them in order to reach refuge?

Never heard if Freddy had a Plan B. Unknown until peeking in the rearview mirror, Anastasia had crowded against him. She played with his nipples. In what must’ve been a throwaway question, she asked whether he’d ever considered having his nipples pierced.

If Freddy hadn’t before, he looked like her raising the possibility let him ponder it then.

In another throwaway that banged the bulls-eye, Anastasia stated she didn’t speak Greek. Deliberately adding, “But I understand and like it.”

Has a connection ever been established so deftly? Forget flabbergast and every other silly pop culture reaction Americans are to show regarding improvised, spur-of-the-moment carnality. Freddy had been seeking. Freddy found. He simply asked Anastasia if she took credit cards.

Pulling up in the hotel’s valet, Freddy thanked me profusely. Far more than Anastasia did. Although as a sop the playacting child promised to keep me in mind next time she needed a ride and the night slow.

Oh, sure. Like I run across nearly naked guys hunting for deviant sex frequently. Okay. Excise the “nearly naked” part …

Anastasia stepped out of the car first. My last words to Freddy before he followed her and exposed himself under the hotel’s porch?

“If they ask at the desk, tell ‘em it’s part of the initiation.”

Who knew what the doorman thought as he held the portal open and greeted that pair. Because usually in Las Vegas it’s commonly the female of the two or more in such parties who leave little to the imagination.

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