Point of Redemption(7)

By: Stacey Lynn

“Come on, Diamond.” James moved against me. His hands were by my head, and I turned my face and closed my eyes so I didn’t have to see him. Not that James was bad to look at. As far as clients went, he was one of the better looking and nicer ones I had.

My hips rocked involuntarily, my body shook, and my arms tightened around his lower back. He released immediately after me.

It was over, and it wasn’t so bad that time. The shame I felt at my inability to control my orgasm surfaced like a small ripple instead of the vast wave that normally hit me. I would not cry in front of James. I would save it for later, if I allowed the emotions to come at all.

We dressed in silence, and once I’d fixed my hair, James turned to me. He pushed his light brown hair back with one hand, his other hand loosely held his black framed glasses at his side.

“Forgive me for asking, but I’ve always been curious,” he spoke slowly, as if he was afraid of hurting me. Ironic, yes?

I raised one eyebrow, waiting for him to finish.

“How did a nice, beautiful girl like you end up as one of Penny’s girls?”

I wanted to say that my mom sold me to pay for her drug habit, but I didn’t. And it was only partly true. The rest was too painful to think about—the life I had before my dad turned on the Nordic Lords. The night before my ex-fiancé, Ryker, killed his dad and took off and out of town without a word to me. One text, dismissing our relationship, was all I got. A relationship where I’d loved him since before I knew what love was. I no longer allowed myself to think about that part of my life.

The truth was… sometimes life gave people lemons, and they made lemonade.

Life gave me a handful of rinds, seeds, and pulp, and I made the most of the crap hand I was dealt.

I shrugged in answer.

“How’d a nice guy like you end up calling for one of Penny’s girls?”

I had never asked a client this question, but James made me wonder. He seemed genuinely nice. He had a preppy haircut and he looked intelligent and handsome with his plastic framed glasses and the fancy suits he always wore when he called on me. He drove from five hours away just for two hours with me.

He blinked once, then twice, debating whether or not to answer.

“My wife had an affair with my best friend and I can’t bring myself to touch her.”

His honesty stunned me. So did the lack of emotion in his voice. “So an eye for an eye sort of thing?” He smiled, but his eyes were sad. I knew that look. It was the same look I saw when I looked at myself in the mirror. “Why don’t you leave her then?”

He was silent for a bit, then turned away as he tucked his tie into his pocket and shrugged on his suit jacket. “I care about my wife and I won’t divorce her. I just… can’t forgive her either.”

I understood how that felt. It felt strange to connect with someone whose life was so different than mine, yet full of similar pain.

“I can find someone else,” he said, turning back to me, “next time.”

I shook my head and smiled. It may have actually been genuine. He was nice and didn’t hurt me. As far as clients went, I could spend time with worse. “It’s okay. You’re not so bad.”

He laughed once. It was deep and rich and full of a lightness that told me even though he was going through a hard time, he had an easy life. I envied him instantly.

“You might not be so good for my ego.” His eyes flickered to me and then to his wallet. He’d already paid one thousand dollars for my two hours. I was a whore, but I didn’t come cheap. He handed me a generous tip with an almost sheepish look on his face. I couldn’t tell if he was ashamed of what he was doing or if it was pity for me.

“So, can I ask what you do after this?”

“Shower.” I regretted the quick response when his already hesitant smile flattened. I could almost see the guilt over what he’d done to me. I didn’t see it on a client’s face very often, and for some reason I didn’t want him to feel so bad. It wasn’t his fault I had the life I did.

He nodded.

I watched James walk down the hallway of the hotel and away from me. He had only come to see me a handful of times, but there was something about him—the lost look in his eyes when he mentioned his wife, the way his shoulders curved inward as he walked away, that told me how defeated he felt. It made me call out his name before he reached the stairwell and disappeared from me. I had a suspicion I wasn’t going to be seeing him again anyway.