All I wanted was a date for my stupid asshole brother’s wedding.
Not a girlfriend. Not a relationship. A date.
No strings. No ties. No games.
So when I called Elena at the escort service, I was very clear.
“I want someone beautiful. Who can function at high-society events,” I said. “She needs to be able to use her silverware properly and to be discreet. I can’t have someone who gets drunk and falls down in public. Also, no one who looks cheap. I don’t want a lot of makeup and big, fake boobs.”
“I don’t have any cheap-looking girls, Mr. Preston,” Elena said. “Unless the client is into that. Then I have plenty.” She laughed.
I waited for her to finish. “I need her to be available for two weeks. I have cocktail parties, lunches, brunches, the rehearsal dinner, then the wedding. And then for some ungodly reason, my brother wants us all to go on his honeymoon to the Caribbean with him. It’s going to be the wedding from hell.”
I sighed and rubbed my temples; two weeks with my family was going to be bad enough. And now I was going to have to babysit a hooker the whole time.
But it was better than going alone. I hoped.
“She’ll need a passport. And a drug test. I don’t want any users.” I winced, remembering the last time I’d hired an escort. It had been over ten years ago, but I still clearly remembered waking up and finding her in the bathroom, shooting up in between her toes.
I went on a penicillin and no-whore diet after that.
“All my girls are drug tested,” Elena said smoothly, “and they all have passports. They have to travel frequently. It’s not a problem.” She paused for a beat. “Speaking of tests, you’re going to have to be screened for STDs. I’ll need those results emailed to me before we make the final arrangements.”
“I’m not planning on actually sleeping with her—” I said.
“Excuse me?” Elena asked.
“I don’t want to sleep with her,” I insisted. “I need her as a buffer from my family.”
“Whatever you like,” Elena said sweetly. “But she will be young and gorgeous. And completely at your disposal.”
I exhaled and stalked around my living room, my footsteps bouncing off the hardwood floors. I was dressed in a suit and ready for work. I looked out at the sun rising over Los Angeles, the light flooding my house. I didn’t want to leave here. I had everything I needed, including my favorite leather couch and an enormous flatscreen television, and nothing I didn’t, including a prostitute and my family.
I didn’t argue with the madam. Still, I had no plans to sleep with the girl I was hiring—I wanted to keep her at arm’s length, just like everyone else. I didn’t want any messy emotional entanglements. I just needed a fake relationship to keep my family at bay. No more questions about why I was alone, no more wondering or whispers. The whispers that I was gay. Or worse, that I was lonely.
The truth was that I preferred to be alone, left to my own devices. And it was nobody’s damn business.
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