Twelve – Opal
The number of times I’d had men ejaculate on me had to be in the thousands. Perhaps tens of thousands. I’d been hustling since I was seventeen. It was part of the job, like painters glopping paint on their pants or pizza bakers slopping pizza sauce on their shoes. Tonight though, it was different. It had been different since everything had gone to hell and Ian had been banned.
At first, I’d thought he’d dumped me and had spent two days crying in my bed. Then Garnet had overheard a discreet conversation between Kennedy and a new security duo where Kennedy was explaining there had been nighty disturbances at the front door from a bidder, big redhead with a Scottish name, who kept demanding entrance to see a certain gem. I went from being despondent to irate in seconds. How dare that bastard bar Ian from me? For one simple infraction of the rules? It made no sense to turn away a regular bidder like that. Wasn’t Kennedy all about the money? The whole thing had left me sad, confused, angry, lonely, and disgusted with the men who now came to my suite.
I glanced down at my foot, the one under the warm running water, and watched the semen my current bidder had worked between my toes sliding down the drain. I lathered up my hands and scrubbed again with antibacterial soap, and worked the suds between my toes with a vengeance. As I lathered, I looked at myself in the small oval mirror over the sink. I was a mess. Even with makeup, I had dark rings under my eyes and no amount of foundation could cover the scabby gash on my cheek which I feared would scar, or the bruising under it.
Then there was the terrible mess that was my hair. I reached up to touch it with soapy fingers. Onyx had tried to fix it the day after the incident, but it still looked like someone had hacked at my hair with a saw. It was too short to do much with. I should have buzzed it off but there was a rule about that, as well. Bidders liked hair they could grab or run their fingers through. Like Ian had done to mine. I moaned in loss. God, I missed him. He’d become a daily part of my life, the best part, and having that snatched away was giving me severe withdrawal.
“Opal, are you going to be done in there soon? I’m ready to go again, but this time I want to have you come on me while I suck your toes.”
Mr. Sandal, or so he asked to be referred to – fuck knew his real name – called as he tapped on the bathroom door. He was married, probably to a woman, who had no clue his kink was feet and coming over the toes of Asian men while he rubbed his cheek against said Asian man’s other foot. A person could remove their wedding band but the super white skin under it remained. Whatever.
It wasn’t him committing adultery that was making the window look better and better, it was just the fact that he wasn’t Ian. You didn’t have my job and make morality calls. No, what was giving me the snakes was that I’d fallen in love and this man, or any other, simply wasn’t the man who held my heart. Which was why Kennedy advised against serious relationships while under contract. Kennedy ran our lives and I suddenly found myself hating that. Before, it had felt comforting, like he was a parent who kept us safe and coddled, fed us, looked out for us. Now his control felt like a noose around my neck. I wanted Ian, not this gangly ass dude scratching on the door like a lonely cat.
The decision was made, right there and then, despite all its flaws, with my foot in the sink and my robe dangling off my shoulder. I didn’t want to do this anymore. If I refused this man another round of foot fun, who knew what Kennedy would do to me. He’d acted surly and disgusted with me since that night. No, no more. I was done. There had to be a better way to exist. I knew there was. I’d touched it for a night. I’d slept in its arms. I’d felt its breath on the nape of my neck. I’d glimpsed a possibility of something else…
A rush of adrenaline raced through me. I cranked off the taps, dried my foot, and threw open the window. Cold air rushed in, chilling me as I stripped off the red satin robe and threw it to the corner. My after work change of clothes sat tidily folded, hidden in the cabinet under the sink. Another scratch at the door.
“I’m freshening up. Give me ten minutes please?” I called, as placating as possible.
“Sure, yes, I’m happy to wait.”
You’ll be waiting a long time, motherfucker.
I wiggled into clean briefs, a hoodie with a tiny rainbow bunny on the front, and jogging pants. I had no sneakers, only the tiny slippers that I wore around my suite and those had cum stains on them, but they’d have to do. I climbed onto the back of the toilet, got a knee onto the window ledge, and looked down. Three floors to the sidewalk, but the dumpster sat directly under my window. If I hung off the window frame, I could drop to the dumpster. A heady rush of fear mixed in with the excitement.
You have no money, no phone, no coat. What the fuck, Shin?
Shaking the doubts from my mind, I threw one leg over the window, then the other. This would either work wonderfully and I’d be free to make my run to Ian over on the west side or I’d end up lying in the alley with two broken ankles. I couldn’t dwell on what might go wrong. I had ten minutes before my bidder began calling for me again. I could make it a good distance in ten minutes. I drew in a steady breath through my nose, exhaled, stared at my breath clouded before me for a second, and then wiggled around until I was lying on my belly. With a silent prayer, I pushed off, my fingertips catching the window casing.
My feet dangled in the cold night air; my toes already chilly. Then I let go. I hit the lid of the trash bin with a thud. I slithered off the lid of the dumpster and ran, as fast as I could, down the alley and out onto the street behind the brothel. I kept running, splashing through puddles of half-melted snow and ice, bouncing off pedestrians, heading west. Always west. I ran for over ten blocks before I had to stop to ease the ache in my side. Most of the stores were closed, the iron grating locked into place. Holding my ribs, I pattered along, breathing slowing, and ducked into a bus stop shelter. My feet were soaked and icy cold, my cheeks red, and my journey far from over.
I sat down beside some guy wearing a thick coat and a stupid hat that had a bouncy hot dog on top. He was talking on a cell phone about his shift at the Super Wiener, how he hated his boss, the public, and hot dogs in general. I hugged myself tightly, rubbed my arms, tapped my feet, anything to try to stay warm. When he was done, I lifted my eyes from my ruined satin slippers to find him staring at me.
“Can I use your phone?” I asked, the first shudder racking my body.
“Give me ten bucks and you can make one call.”
“Dude, really, don’t play it that way. It’s a local call.”
“Yeah, and it will eat my data. Give me ten bucks.” His gaze ran over me. “Or give me a blowjob.”
Sometimes I hated people. “If you let me use your phone to call my…” What was Ian to me? Bidder? Benefactor? Lover? Boyfriend? Surely not my boyfriend. “My friend I’ll make sure he brings a hundred bucks for you, just for letting me make one thirty second call. That’s decent, right?”
“Yeah, no. The bus will be here in three minutes. Ten bucks or you suck me off. Pick.”
The asshole flipped me the bird. The bus came, he got on, the bus left, and I shivered harder. Doubts crept in. What kind of dickhead runs away and doesn’t bring his phone or wallet? What kind of loser doesn’t know what to call the man he’s running to? What kind of stupid plan was this? Maybe I should just turn around and go back to Gems. Tell Kennedy I had a manic break or something. He’d slap me around, maybe dock my pay, but I’d be warm and among my friends. He’d never kick me out. I was too valuable. And he had a contract with my signature on it. Would he sue me over that stupid contract if I stopped working for him? Probably. Shit, this had been a stupid decision. So what if some old man comes on my feet? Could be worse. I could be standing on a street corner trying to turn a trick, weighing how dangerous each car that pulled up and rolled down its window really was…
I stood and began trudging back to Gems, defeated before I’d gotten ten blocks away. A black SUV pulled up beside me as I slipped and slewed on the icy sidewalks. Eyes on the ground, I ignored it creeping along beside me. I heard the window buzz as it went down. Did I have a sign on my back announcing I fucked for cash? How did they always know?
“Kind of shit weather to be taking a stroll.” I stopped dead, my gaze flying to the brand new Land Rover idling at the curb. Butch stared at me, his dislike evident. “You look froze. Can I give you a lift back to the whorehouse?”
“Can you take me to Ian?” Thirty fucking seconds passed as he gnawed that request over. I walked over to the car. The heat flowing out of the window touched my face. It felt so good. My toes had gone numb ten minutes ago. “I know he’s coming to Gems every night.”
“Not tonight. I think he may have finally given up.” He didn’t look sad about that. I was kind of devastated. “He sent me to try to get in solo. They shut that shit down.”
“If he ever finds out I asked you to take me to him and you refused, it’s going to cost you your friendship.” It was a shit move but I was dangling off a frayed rope here.
“Yeah, I know, and that’s the only reason that I’m doing this.”
He popped the locks.