When the window opens, she smiles but looks away. The following exchange takes place in less than a minute.
"I haven't seen you around here," I say.
"You just haven't been looking," she says, really cool.
"Would you like to see my apartment?" I ask, flipping the light on inside the back of the limo so she can see my face, the tuxedo I'm wearing. She looks at the limousine, then at me, then back at the limo. I reach into my gazelleskin wallet.
"I'm not supposed to," she says, looking off into a pocket of darkness between two buildings across the street, but when her eyes fall back on me she notices the hundred-dollar bill I'm holding out to her and without asking what I'm doing, without asking what it is I really want of her, without even asking if I'm a cop, she takes the bill and then I'm.allowed to rephrase my question. "Do you want to come up to my apartment or not?" I ask this grinning.
"I'm not supposed to," she says again, but after another glance at the black, long car and at the bill she's now putting into her hip pocket and at the bum, shuffling toward the limousine, a cup jangling with coins held in a scabby outstretched arm, she manages to answer, "But I can make an exception."
"Do you take American Express?" I ask, switching the light off.
She's still gazing out into that wall of darkness, as if looking for a sign from someone invisible. She shifts her stare to meet mine and when I repeat "Do you take American Express?" she looks at me like I'm crazy, but I smile pointlessly anyway while holding the door open and tell her, "I'm joking. Come on, get in." She nods to someone across the street and I guide this girl into the back of the darkened limousine, slamming the door, then locking it.
Back in my apartment, while Christie takes a bath (I don't know her real name, I haven't asked, but I told her to respond only when I call her Christie) I dial the number for Cabana Bi Escort Service and, using my gold American Express card, order a woman, a blond, who services couples. I give the address twice and afterwards, again, stress blond. The guy on the other end of the line, some old dago, assures me that someone blond will be at my door within the hour.
After flossing and changing into a pair of silk Polo boxer shorts and a cotton Bill Blass sleeveless T-shirt, I walk into the bathroom, where Christie lies on her back in the tub, sipping white wine from a thin-stemmed Steuben wineglass. I sit on the tub's marble edge and pour Monique Van Frere herb-scented bath oil into it while inspecting the body lying in the milky water. For a long time my mind races, becomes flooded with impurities - her head is within my reach, is mine to crush; at this very moment my urge to strike out, to insult and punish her, rises then subsides, and afterwards I'm able to point out, "That's a very fine chardonnay you're drinking."
After a long pause, my hand squeezing a small, childlike breast, I say, "I want you to clean your vagina."
She stares up at me with this seventeen-year-old's gaze, then looks down at the length of her body soaking in the tub. With the mildest of shrugs she places the glass on the tub's edge and moves a hand down to the sparse hair, also blond, below her flat porcelain-smooth stomach, and then she spreads her legs slightly.
"No," I say quietly. "From behind. Get on your knees."
She shrugs again.
"I want to watch," I explain. "You have a very nice body," I say, urging her on.
She rolls over, kneeling on all fours, her ass raised up above the water, and I move to the other edge of the tub to get a better view of her cunt, which she fingers with a soapy hand. I move my hand above her moving wrist to her ass**le, which I spread and with a dab of the bath oil finger lightly. It contracts, she sighs. I remove the finger, then slide it into her cunt, which hangs below it, both our fingers moving in, then out, then back into her. She's wet inside and using this wetness I move my index finger back up to her ass**le and slide it in easily, up to the knuckle. She gasps twice and pushes herself back onto it, while still fingering her cunt. This goes on for a while until the doorman rings, announcing that Sabrina has arrived. I tell Christie to get out of the tub and dry off, to choose a robe - but not the Bijan - from the closet and meet me and our guest in the living room for drinks. I move back to the kitchen, where I pour a glass of wine for Sabrina.
Sabrina, however, is not a blond. And standing in the doorway after my initial shock subsides, I finally let her in. Her hair is brownish blond, not real blond, and though this infuriates me I don't say anything because she's also very pretty; not as young as Christie but not too used up either. In short, she looks like she'll be worth whatever it is I'm paying her by the hour. I calm down enough to become totally unangry when she takes off her coat and reveals a hardbody dressed in tight black peg pants and a flower-print halter top, with black pointy-toed high-heeled shoes. Relieved, I lead her into the living room and position her on the white down-filled sofa and, without asking if she wants anything to drink, bring her a glass of white wine and a coaster to place it on from the Mauna Kea Hotel in Hawaii. The Broadway cast recording of Les Miserables is playing on CD from the stereo. When Christie comes in from the bathroom to join us, wearing a Ralph Lauren terry-cloth robe, her blond hair slicked back, looking white now because of the bath, I place her on the couch next to Sabrina - they nod hello - and then I take a seat in the Nordian chrome and teakwood chair across from the couch. I decide it's probably best if we get to know each other before we adjourn to the bedroom and so I break a long, not unpleasant silence by clearing my throat and asking a few questions.