I thought my life was over, and then I met her . . . and wouldn’t you know it, she’s a hooker.
I figure it’s fate paying me back for every bad thing I’ve ever done, because a prostitute has to be the most inappropriate match a man in my position can make.
Still, I can’t stay away.
One taste and Cate had a grip on me like some illicit drug. I know it’s bad, but it feels so good. She’s a hallucinogenic. She makes me believe it doesn’t matter who she is, what she is, as long as she’s mine, and I know I won’t be able to rest until she is. Mine.
For the story from Cate’s point of view, look for Cat Haus.
The night got more surreal when, some time later, the doorbell of my suite rang. I was so engrossed in work I was surprised I heard it, and actually I didn’t until it rang a second time and the sound finally penetrated my deep haze of tiredness and concentration and dragged me back to the here and now.
I left the desk, which seemed to be strewn with as much clutter as I’d left back in my office, and made my way across the room. I’d never gotten around to getting undressed aside from taking off my suit jacket and opening the top few buttons on my shirt, so I was decent to answer the door. Though, I did wonder who it could be at this hour as I flipped the lock.
It wasn’t time for room service to deliver breakfast. One hand on the doorknob, I checked my watch again just to make sure.
Nope. Still nighttime. Not morning yet. Sometimes in this town it was hard to tell the difference.READ MORE
Pulling the door open, what I saw confused me more as I came face to face with a dark haired woman in a white business suit. I’d been married to Laurel long enough I knew a good suit when I saw one, and judging by the cut and fabric, this one was.
Hotel management, maybe? Thinking this an odd time to visit guests, I waited for her to explain.
She smiled. "Hi. Gus sent me."
“Gus?” I was so busy noticing how green her eyes were and how the reddish highlights in her hair complemented the color perfectly, that the name didn’t register with me.
"Gus Haus. Fat, older guy. Smokes cigars. Owns a whorehouse. Lost me tonight in a poker game against you, apparently." She was enjoying this. I could tell that as her smiled widened.
I couldn’t blame her. If even half of my shock showed in my features, I probably looked like a slack-jawed imbecile. Even so, I still had to ask and make sure, "You're one of Gus's girls?"
"I am. Cate. Nice to meet you." She extended her hand to shake mine and I was forced to reevaluate my reality.
Gus Haus. Bad poker player, by all accounts poor money manager and all around idiot from what I could see, ran a legal sex establishment that employed this woman.
As she stood before me, looking amused, I finally got my head together and remembered to shake her hand.
"Did you want me to come in?" she asked.
"Uh, yeah. Come on in." I took a step back to let her into the suite still not sure what I was going to do with her once she was inside.
I suppose I was expecting a girl in a sequined tube-top and short-shorts with stockings and heels. What I got was a woman who could walk into any boardroom and fit right in.
"I'm sorry I took so long getting here. I know it's late. You were probably about to go to sleep."
"It's all right. I was up working." The evidence of that was behind me but she didn’t look all that interested in seeing the room. Instead, she looked me up and down, like she was sizing me up.
I guess it was only fair. I was doing the same to her. Of course, I was getting the better end of the deal since I probably looked like hell—the result of being in the same clothes for going on eighteen hours. Cate, on the other hand, looked pretty damn good.
"Good. I'd hate to have thought I woke you."
After a long pause, I realized she was watching me as I continued to be baffled. By her. By her presence here. By the entire concept of her association with Gus and the sex worker industry of the state of Nevada. Maybe I was just tired, but it didn’t make sense.
"I’m sorry. It's just—you're not what I was expecting.” I drew in a breath and tried to digest it all. “Just to clarify, you, uh, um—"
"Have sex in exchange for money for a living?"
I’m not one to blush, but I swear her boldness had the blood rushing to my face. I cleared my throat. "Yes. That."COLLAPSE