The Sex Surrogate(7)By: Jessica Gadziala
“You're a very beautiful woman,” he said, shocking through my internal stream of thought.
“I'm sorry?” I asked, sure I misheard him.
“I said you are a very beautiful woman.”
Oh, for Christ's sake.
I felt the flutter in my belly, followed immediately by a strange rolling, my eyes dropping to my lap as my cheeks started to blush. I was shit at taking compliments. For as long as I remembered.
“Compliments make you uncomfortable?” he asked and I knew he was watching me. Always freaking watching me.
“Why?” Now, that was a loaded question. “Because you don't believe them?” he asked, hitting the nail on the head.
“Ava,” he said, that same firm, yet pleading sound that I was learning to take for look at me. I sighed, looking up. “I don't feed women compliments for fun. If I tell you something, I mean it. It is an observation. You are a beautiful woman. Case closed.”
“Right,” I said, hoping it sounded like agreement.
His lips quirked up, turning into what I could only call a smirk. “Ava, what do you think the main reason men compliment women is?” He paused, like he was going to let me answer, but I didn't. “To get women into bed,” he finished for me. He leaned forward, that smirk etching wider, almost devilish. “You are here to go to bed with me. Eventually. Do you really think I need to give you compliments?”
He had a point. “I guess not.”
“Exactly. So, you're beautiful. It's a biological fact.” Right. So it didn't really mean anything. Everyone finds different people attractive. For all I knew, he hated blondes. And brown eyes and lack of seen-from-the-front-buttage. “And,” he cut into my little insecure tirade, “I find you incredibly attractive.”
Feeling like I needed to find something to say, I mumbled, “Thanks.”
To which, he chuckled.
“Do you find me attractive?”
“I think the entire continental US would find you attractive,” I said, hedging the question. It was a skill I had learned early on, to answer, but not to include myself in the answer.
“That's wonderful,” he said, leaning toward me, “but I wasn't asking the entire continental US, I was asking you.”
I averted my eyes slightly, looking at the edge of his ear, “Yes.”
“Good,” he said, getting up from his chair suddenly, moving away from the alcove and making the air feel a lot thinner, easier to breathe. “So, I will see you... Tuesday for your first session.”
It was a question, but also a statement. Like there was no doubt in his mind I would agree.
And, hell, I was in this deep. I might as well keep going.
“Okay,” he said, opening the door to the waiting room and standing there, waiting for me to pass through. “Seven at night work for you?”
Odd hours. But I guess it wasn't easy to get in the mood to pay a stranger to touch you at eight-forty in the morning.
“Yes,” I agreed, moving into the doorway.
His hand pressed hard into my lower back, guiding me through, then dropping as he walked to stand next to the reception desk.
“See you then, Ava.”
He needed to stop saying my name.
I couldn't freaking think straight.
“Okay,” I said, walking numbly toward the door.
After the Session
Okay. So, maybe I ran to my car. Literally. Ran. In heels. Then threw myself into the seat and turned it over and started my way home. Because, well, I could use something to focus on.
That wasn't what I had expected.
Well, I mean it was. It was sufficiently embarrassing and awkward. But there was also that weird 'I find you attractive, do you find me attractive?' thing. What was that about? If he didn't find me attractive, would that make a difference? I couldn't imagine all of his clients were good looking. Which must make for a lot of time rolling around the highlight reel in his head to get the, ah, juices flowing.