Chapter 14

By Anj (A.k.a. Azurenon)

Introduction: At the age of seventeen, Darby Jennings is once again running away from a very abusive home life. This time, however, she's dressed as a boy. Along her rather short journey she meets up with a "call girl" or "lady of the evening". This story follows the early trials and tribulations of their rather unique relationship, as well as, their struggles with the malevolent human forces attempting to tear them apart. It is part romance, part drama, with an attempt at suspense and/or mystery. This is NOT an Uber story. Although I love the daring duo (and written fan fiction with a partner, under the pseudonyms "Azurenon and Savanna Mac" posted on this very site) you won't find them here.

DISCLAIMERS: No copyright infringement is intended by the use of titles, artist's names and/or lyrics of the songs contained herein. These have merely been used for entertainment value and possible storyline continuity. All the characters are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or deceased is purely coincidental.


Violence: This story contains scenes and/or references to physical, emotional and sexual violence.

Sex: It centers on an explicit sexual relationship between two women. It is intended for MATURE AUDIENCES. So if you're under age 18, this is illegal where you are or this just isn't your cup of tea, then you have been forewarned, please exit stage left. If you are mature enough and I've captured your attention, then moving right along here...

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Be it known the author has no firsthand knowledge concerning physical or sexual violence. Nor does she even pretend to know anything about "call girls" or "ladies of the evening". Therefore, I ask that the reader please forgive any mistakes and/or oversights. Especially so in the area of giving the healing process of such aforementioned experiences the in-depth attention they so richly deserve. This story is complete fiction, written merely for entertainment. In its entirety, it contains 23 chapters: at around 10 pgs per chapter.

Thanks go to all my friends for their support and encouragement over the years.

(Written 1993. Revised 2001)

        The next day, she was so sore she could hardly get out of bed. And I kept her in it for the better part of the day. Candy came over to give us a status report about how the show went over. Seems Rick had spent a good deal of time wandering around asking the patrons how they felt about it. His report was very favorable, yet we already knew that. Only question was, should we continue to do it?

        Candy brought up the question of what happens if they demand it? Anna said she'd handle it. Candy disagreed; I could see it written all over her face.

        "Anna," she began, her voice soft and low, "don't you think somebody else oughta know the routine besides just you and Darby?"

        Anna shook her head. "No need. If we do it again, it won't be until I feel up to it."

        "But, still... I mean, if somethin' should prevent you... or Darby from goin' on... and they're expectin' this particular set... I mean, some of'em might be askin' for their money back."

        "You know the routine, you've seen it a dozen different times."

        "Yeah, but I've never done it. I think somebody should know both parts, don't you?"

        I wasn't sure what Candy was hinting at, but I had a good idea she was looking to get her hands on the money from the set, as well as the recognition. I was well aware that the girls got to keep 70% of their tips, as well as being paid a certain amount per set.

        "Oh, so you think you should practice with Darby, while I'm laid up, just in case I ain't well enough... sometime in the future?"

        "I think I should know both parts so I can fill in, don't you think, Darby?"

        I shrugged. I wanted no part of this.

        Anna glanced over at me. "Keep your clothes on, hmm?"

        "Oh, she will." Candy assured her. "I just need to get the moves down."

        "Good." Anna flashed a quick smile. Silence fell over the room. "Well, what the hell are you waitin' for? Get out of here so I can get some rest. I'm beat to hell and back."

        Candy already had the CD containing the song with her. We went down in the den, closed the door, so as not to disturb Anna and started rehearsing.

        Candy knew most of the moves, but she executed them, differently. Right off the bat, I had a hard time keeping up with her timing and her writhing movements. At one point, we were all out of sync.

        "Here honey, put your hands right here." She pulled my arms around her and placed my hands on the front of her thighs. "Okay, now just close your eyes and feel the rhythm against you, then... go with it."

        How could I not go with it, I thought, I'm almost ridin' your butt.

        "That's right. That's better, isn't it?"

        "Yeah," I agreed. But I was thinking, Sure and if Anna saw us she'd slap the shit out of me. Of course, Candy was answering a long wondered about question, which was: Am I really attracted to other women? And the answer was: yes.

        We made our way through the rest of the routine, mimicking removing clothes, kisses and caresses, but our movements were less than in sync and far from smooth. Then when we got to the end, she surprised me by grabbing me by the hair and coming damn near to shoving my face in her crotch. I was actually little more than an inch from her, when I looked up.

        She was smiling down at me, her blue eyes focused on mine, as the tip of her tongue eased out and wet her lips. "I think you better get up, sweetie."

        I hadn't realized that she no longer had a hold of my hair. I cleared my throat and sat back on my haunches.

        "That needs work," she said. "You were able to get in tune with Anna's movements real quick? Is that 'cause you're... lovers?"

        "I don't know. Maybe... maybe we're going about this wrong."

        "How so?"

        "Well, no matter who you have to fill in for, you're still gonna run into the problem of the different rhythm, right?"

        "Yeah, I guess."

        "Okay, so instead of me followin' yours, you follow mine."

        "Oh... yeah... yeah, that might work. Then, you'll do Anna's role, right?"

        "No, I think I should stick to my own, but on the dancin', you follow me."

        We started again. This time, I led. It was much smoother and flowed well, but still not like with Anna. There was that little something missing. And that little something was the love that ignited the fire between us.

        "That was good," Candy said, "but I still think my timing's off. Once more... with fe-eling?" She chuckled.

        We did it again, but she suggested once more.

        We were in the middle of the routine, where she leaned back and I pretended to work my way down her neck, while she rubbed her leg against my thigh, when she suddenly said, "Rick asked me to marry him."

        I was so shocked, I straightened up and blew the timing all to hell. "Really? And what did you say?"

        She giggled. "Well, I said... yes, honey I'd marry you in a minute," she said, loudly, seeming extremely happy.

        "That's great."

        "I know, isn't it though." She pulled me close and squeezed.

        "Looks like I got here just in time," said a familiar voice.

        We both looked up. "Oh Anna, did ya hear Candy and...." I stopped cold. The look on her face was devastating.

        "Oh, I heard alright."

        We let go of each other. She walked over to the stereo remote and picked it up, then silenced the music.

        "Only thing I wanna know is just how goddamn long this little... romance has been goin' on?"

        "What are you talkin' about?" asked Candy. "Rick and I..."

        "Shut up, bitch! I'll deal with you later. I'm talkin' to you!" She pointed the remote at me.

        "Anna, what are you so mad about?" I asked.

        "Oh honey, I'd marry you in a minute," she said, giving a poor imitation of Candy's voice. "So how goddamn long you been fuckin' her behind my back, hmm?"

        It was so far off base, I wanted to laugh, but knew I shouldn't. "Anna, there's nothin' between us, you should know that."

        "Oh god no," Candy added.

        Anna pointed the remote at her. "I told you to shut the fuck up! Now get the hell out of my house! And take your new... lover with you!"

        "You got it all wrong," Candy responded.

        Anna threw the remote at her. Candy ducked out of the way.

        "Goddammit, Anna this has gone far enough!" Candy shouted. "I ain't fuckin' Darby. And what you overheard was me tellin' her what I said to Rick when he asked me to marry him!"

        Anna's mouth gaped open. "Wh-what?"

        "Rick asked her to marry him," I told her, moving over beside her. "And she said yes. That's what you heard. There's nothin' between us."

        "But... you were huggin' and...."

        "Yeah, Candy was happy. And I was happy for her."

        Anna hung her head. Candy went over to the stereo and removed her CD. Then she got her purse.

        "I think you owe Candy an apology," I suggested.

        "I'm... I'm sorry, Candy. I thought...."

        "Yeah, well, she's cute, Anna. But... she ain't my type. I thought you knew that. And... knew me better than to think I'd try to steal anyone away from you. We been together too long for that."

        "Can you... forgive me?" Anna asked.

        "I might not, if you'd hit me with that remote, but... seein' that your aim is as bad as your hearin', I guess so. But, Anna... everybody's not out to stab you in the back, ya know. Least ways, I ain't." She walked by her, then on out the door.

        "Damn!" Anna hissed. "I made a fool outta myself, didn't I?"

        "Well... yeah, you did. But,..." I walked up behind her. "It flattered the hell outta me." I put my arms around her waist, resting my chin on her shoulder. "What'cha doin' out of bed anyway?"

        "I... hell, I guess I came down here, half expectin' to find you two in each other's arms and... when I did... it just blew my fuckin' mind."

        "I love you," I whispered. "How come you doubted that, hmm?"

        She shrugged. "She's pretty, she's blonde, she's young and... I'm the only one you've ever had. I thought you might want to find out if... well, what some other woman might be like. Someone who could take care of your needs right now, 'cause I sure as hell haven't been doin' a good job, here lately."

        "Have I complained? Hmm? I don't want no other woman. I want you. Hell, Anna, I couldn't even dance with her. I couldn't follow her worth shit, 'cause... I'm just so tuned into you that... nobody else will do."

        "Better stay that way, too," she said, turning around to face me. "'Cause I... I don't know what I'd do if I lost you."

        "You just told Candy to take me with..."

        She grabbed me by the collar of my shirt. "Shut up, Darby, you talk too much." Then she laid one on me.

        We stayed that way for quite awhile, merely exchanging long, lingering probing kisses.

        "It's been a long time," she said, her fingers working on the buttons of my shirt.

        "Yeah. And it'll be a while longer, too, before we do that," I added, stilling her hands. "I want you well. I don't wanna be wonderin' if I'm hurtin' you or not."

        "You... can't stand to touch me, now... can you?" she asked, pulling away.

        I held on to her. "Did I say that? No-o-o. I said, I don't wanna hurt you. Because, baby, when I get a hold of you, and I do mean when... I definitely intend to put you through your paces, so you better be in tip top shape."

        "You talk big," she commented.

        "It's a big subject, sweetheart."

        I tried to keep her in bed all day Monday. I promised a back rub and gave it, which hardly satisfied. She wanted warm oil rubbed on her sore spots, so I did that, too. Yet, this turned into an all over body rub; for she had sore spots EVERYWHERE, even the bottom of her feet. As long as it kept her in bed, though, I didn't mind. Besides it was stimulating for me, as well. It was like a promise of things to come.

        Tuesday, it was a lost cause. She was tired of lying around and she wanted to go over the books. The waitress ad I'd put in the paper Monday came out and her first applicant called. She went down to the club.

        Tuesday night, I was back, waiting tables. Only this time, I was wearing one of her outfits. Low cut blouse, short, black spandex skirt that fit me like a glove, and black boots. I felt like an Anna clone and there were a few remarks made. I had a feeling that if I was gonna keep this up, I would need my own look. And that was denim, not spandex.

        The crowd that night was heavy for a Tuesday and most were asking about "Anna's Show". Some had already seen it and had brought friends. Others were leftovers from Dora's on Saturday night, who had subsequently found out what had been going on.

        There was even a lone woman in the group, a blonde, who sat at a table by herself. The men kept looking over at her so much, however, that she left after only an hour. I had waited her table and had my suspicions as to her preferences, myself. She'd asked about "the show", while her eyes drifted downwards, lingering here and there. She was well dressed in a silky blouse, tight fitting pants and low heel pumps, her sandy blonde tresses pulled up in a neat fold at the back of her head. She was devoid of makeup, however and wore only a gold necklace, Seiko watch and a gold band on her pinky finger.

        I kind of hated to tell her that Anna was delegating "the show" to only weekends, but I did. She nodded, without a word and reached for her bourbon on the rocks. I walked away, feeling her eyes all over me. But, I had to turn around and make sure. I stole a quick glance over one shoulder and found my sixth sense had been right.

        When she left an hour later, Anna walked up to me. "That... is one thing I don't like about our show."


        She cut her eyes over at me. "'Cause she was damn near undressin' you with her eyes. And not just you, either. I could swear Candy was walkin' around her naked, too."

        "And you?" I inquired. She shook her head. "But, isn't that how men look at us all?" I queried.

        "Yeah, but you always know that upfront. This is... different. And besides, I saw you waitin' on her. You like the look of money." She then walked off, seemingly in a huff.

        After a few more "you look like Anna" comments on Wednesday night, I knew I had to find different clothes. We went shopping, but all I'd buy was a short denim skirt, which I wore Thursday.

        On Friday, Candy, hearing of my plight, offered two outfits that she had outgrown. One was black suede; identical to the one Anna had been wearing the day we met. And turns out it had been hers. She had given it to Candy when the latter mentioned how smitten she was with it. Now it had come full circle and hardly the worse for wear.

        The other, was a black dress whose V shaped neckline dipped beyond my cleavage, exposing the charm to full view. It was nearly backless, except for the crisscrossing laces, which attached to the sides and helped to hide most of the scars. Seeing this, I thought it might be alright, even though it struck me just above the small of my back.

        Anna was in her office at the time, going over a few things while I tried on clothes. When I walked in, she took one look at me in the black dress and said bluntly, "You look like a whore. Take it off."

        I turned on my heel, knowing that she was right. It was not the dress for me.

        "Hey... wait," she called. I glanced over my shoulder to find her staring at my butt. "Don't... give it back... just don't wear it in public."

        "Oh... then you do like?"

        "Uh-huh, I like, alright. I just don't want everybody else to." She winked. "That's my ass you're about to show, ya know."

        "It is? I thought I was wearing mine tonight."

        "Get out of here and put on somethin'... halfway descent. Ramble through what Phil and Leena left. Maybe Candy can alter somethin'."

        Because it was nearly an hour before time to open and we were basically alone, except for Candy, who was practicing, I slipped on a g-string, a skimpy top and pulled a robe over top.

        I stopped in her doorway. She glanced up from her paperwork and I untied the robe, then held it open.

        I saw her Adam's apple bob, as she swallowed. "I... see those things all the time, but... damn everything looks different on you."

        "Like this?" I asked, gathering up the back of the robe and swinging around.

        I knew my butt was not scarred to grotesqueness or even ugly for that matter. It merely had fine scar lines here and there. And those were growing lighter and lighter, since she insisted I start using Vitamin E oil and another type of cream on my body. This was helping with the cigarette burns on my back, too, but not as well.

        I heard her chair move backwards. "Cum'mere."

        "Nope, you're not well enough to order a meal, yet," I objected. "But, I suppose you can look at the menu. What'cha think?"

        "I think... you got the cutest ass I've ever seen," she replied, singing a line from a song. "Now sashay it on over here." She made a "come here" motion with her finger.

        The first night I'd worked at Dora's flashed through my mind, obliterating my apprehensions about her physical wellness. I walked in, pushed the door shut and locked it, then dropped the robe in the chair on my way by. She moved farther away from her desk, her arms crossed, watching me. I sashayed over to her. She reached out, pulled me closer and I straddled her.

        "God, sometimes I wish I was a man," she said, squeezing my behind.


        "So I could take you just like this. I think I shoulda been one. I just didn't know it all this time."

        "If you were, you wouldn't have me."

        "How come?"

        "'Cause I like women, remember."

        "Yeah, me, too. One special one, sittin' on my lap, makin' me horny as hell."

        "Oh no!" I said, aghast. "Am I doing that? You mean little old me?"

        "Oh yeah," she answered, untying the bikini like top. "Umm, baby," she added, as I stood up to meet her eager mouth. "It's been... too long," she mumbled.

        "I know. God... that feels so good."

        She moved over to the other one and administered to its needs for a while. Then suddenly, her hand was between my legs. There was very little to stop her. "No, Anna... not here... ummm, god."

        "Oh baby, you're so-o ho-t and... we-et!"

        I moved away from her, despite how good it felt.

        "Where you goin'?"

        "To take this off and... find somethin' halfway descent," I replied, picking the robe up off the chair.

        "Ummm," she uttered. I glanced over my shoulder. "Finger lickin' good," she added, running one over her bottom lip. She then did a little suggestive number with it, while lowering her chin and watching me from beneath long, dark lashes.

        She knew exactly what she was doing and any other time, I would have jumped at it. But, I knew, she was still not well. I would tease the hell out of her, but when it started to get serious, it was time for me to go.

        Among Phil's clothes, I found a brown suede skirt and vest in the back of the closet. These didn't look like a costume, they were more street clothes. The silky off-white blouse hanging with it, looked expensive. I pulled the ensemble out and held it up to me. To my utter surprise, there were tags still hanging from the sleeve of the blouse and from the skirt and vest, as well.

        "Jesus, Phil, you must've been bringin' in the dough," I said, aloud.

        "She was."

        My knees went weak and I spun around to see Anna standing at the door.

        "She was my best draw back then. She had a talent for this. She knew how to tease and taunt. Sometimes, she took it too far, though." She moved towards me. "Nice outfit. Where'd you find that?"

        "In the very back. Look, it still has the tags. Holy-moly, look at that price." The tag hanging from the skirt read $150.00. I assumed this was for it and the vest, as well.

        "Phil had expensive tastes. But, she worked her butt off for it, too."

        "Anna, why... why would she leave such an expensive outfit? I mean... a hundred and fifty dollar outfit and... you just leave it behind?"

        "Does sound odd, but... you had to know Phil. She was... flighty sometimes. She'd get an idea in her head and... boom, she did it. And she was very pretty. Turned tricks like one, two, three. I've seen her take out four guys within an hour and not have a hair out of place, when she came back in. Hell, she did a gang bang one night, right there in the bathroom. Everybody else knew about it, but me 'cause I'd told 'em not to do that shit in here, but.... when I went to the bathroom, what did I see."

        "What?" I asked, not sure what a gang-bang was, but having a good idea.

        "What do you think? She had one john in her mouth, the other up her twat and the third was riding the Hershey highway, know what I mean?"

        "Ooh, gro-oss!"

        "Yeah. I ain't never been one for that road, myself. Crawled her ass about that one, let me tell ya." She paused. "Hold that back up there. Looks good on you."

        "Yeah, but... it was hers," I said, feeling disgusted, knowing what she'd done.

        "Ah hell, Darby, she never wore the thing. Ain't nothin' gonna rub off on you. And rest assured if I catch you doing shit like that I'll ... I'll sew you up."

        "Sew me up. Ooo sounds painful."

        "Oh... S & M turns you on, does it?"

        "What's S & M?"

        "It's where I tie you up to the bed posts and... beat the shit outta you, or... make you come so many times, you're beggin' me to stop."

        "Which part of that is the S and... which is the M?"

        She started laughing. The first time I'd seen her have a real good belly laugh in a long time. Then she explained what S & M really was. I hadn't been aware that some people enjoyed pain.

        "You'd be surprised what they'll ask for," she remarked, while snapping the skirt on the side. "Umm... I like this outfit. Put the vest on." I did. "Yeah, that looks real nice."

        "But it looks like pure shit with these black boots."

        She glanced down. "Wait right here."

        She came back a few moments later, with money in her hand. "Go get you some boots. We can afford to splurge a little. Besides you need a new pair."


        "Take the money, Darby and hurry back. Get a tan pair. That oughta go with most anything. Wait... let me get these tags off, can't have you walkin' 'round lookin' like Minnie Pearl, now can we? Where's those scissors?"

        "Where you goin'?" asked Candy, who had just joined us. "Give you the money, you get me some Trojans... ribbed?"

        I nodded.

        "Don't she look good?" Anna commented, rambling through one of the vanity drawers.

        "Yeah. When'd you get that, today?"

        "No. Found it in the very back with Phil's stuff," Anna answered. "Never even had the tags off it. You know where those scissors are?"

        "Jasmine had'em last. Look in that drawer." Candy pointed with one hand as she handed me the money with the other. "I didn't know you could wear Phil's stuff." She looked me up and down. "Ya know, I got a shit load of her things over at my place. Too small for me. You're welcome to 'em. Don't know why I didn't think of that before."

        "What are you doing with Phil's clothes?" Anna inquired. "You tellin' me she didn't take any of her things?"

        "I don't know, but she left a lot."

        "How'd you get'em?" she further inquired, as she came towards me with the scissors.

        "Remember, I told you her landlord found my number at her place and called me. Asked me to come clean her stuff out, 'cause he was gonna rent the place again. So, I got'em, in case she came back for'em, ya know. After a year, though, I started dolin' it out here and there, figured she didn't want it. She musta really hooked up with a live one with moocho moo-la. 'Member that time she went off with that guy from Birmingham? Flew to Vegas with him. Ooo-la-la."

        "Yeah, she's probably in Vegas right now, where he left her, broke and... too damn ashamed to call any of us for help," Anna commented. "Okay... now go get those boots."

        "Boots? What size do you wear?" Candy questioned.

        "Eight and a half."

        "Hey, there's some boots in her stuff. Why don't I go with ya and we can stop by my place, 'fore you shell out your hard earned dough, hmm?" She put her arm around my shoulders, then quickly removed it. "I mean, if Anna don't mind."

        Anna was standing beside me with the scissors still in her hand. "Don't rub it in," she grumbled, opening and closing the scissors. "Get out of here. Just... don't get lost in playin' dress up. Save the other shit for later."

        Candy's apartment was very small compared to Anna's house, but it too was neat. She attributed this to Rick coming in the next day. I nosily asked about their future arrangements and she informed me that he would be moving in with her. Seems he had found a good job hauling from Birmingham to Atlanta. He'd be home during the evenings, and was off on weekends. She would be giving up the "other life" because "she never cared for it anyway" and was "glad to".

        She did indeed have a shit load of stuff piled in her extra bedroom. Only a small portion of it had been Phil's, however. Most of it was Rick's. He was bringing down a load at a time. They'd be married on the Dec. 24th. "That way he'll never forget our anniversary," she commented.

        The word anniversary sent my mind reeling. Anna and I had an anniversary of sorts coming up very soon. What could I possibly get her? I wondered.

        Candy brought out a large cardboard box from her closet and started rambling through it. "Let's see... these pumps are eights, hmm... Maybe I was wrong. Oh wait, here's a pair of boots." She dragged out a pair of high top black boots.

        "Candy those..."

        "Eight and half. Bet the others are, too. Can't go by size these days. Let's see..."

         She started jerking out different colored pumps. I found it hard to believe anyone would just run off and leave all this. Yet, hadn't I left all my stuff? What little I had, that is.

        "There they are. Still in the box." She laid a shoe box top aside. "Oh, Darby, these are nice. Look..." She snatched a boot out of the box. "Ooo... fancy."

        The boot was a creamy tan color and had leather fringes around the top and down the sides. But, the heel was much higher than I was used to. They looked more like Anna's.

        Candy reached inside the top and read the tag. "Oh, they're... a nine... shit."

        "Let me see it anyway."

        I jerked off my right boot and pulled the other one on. I found out quickly why they were nines. The narrow pointed toes would have cramped my own if they had been any shorter, because the high heel forced my foot forward. Phil had obviously inserted the proper pads to lessen this to a degree.

        "Not bad," I said, taking a step.

        She handed me the other one. "Looks good with that outfit, too. But, there's one thing we're gonna have to work on, sweetie."

        "What's that?" I asked, pulling the other boot on.

        "You need a tan.... badly."

        "Haven't had time to lay out this summer."

        "Lay out? Nobody lays out anymore. Tanning beds, honey. Tans the whole thing, no strap marks. I know the girl that runs The Sunset over at Brinkley Plaza. You tell her I sent ya and she'll give you a discount.

        "How come?"

        She smiled. "We... well, we do a... sorta show, ya know. She arranges the trick and I... supply the other body."

        "You mean you... I didn't know..."

        "I don't." She shook her head. "She does all the work, ya know what I mean? She... swings both ways, I guess. And, she's... good. Pays good, too. That's one trick I'll kinda miss. But, you didn't hear me say that, did ya?" She waved the question away. "Just don't you let her go puttin' the moves on you, if you go over there. Anna'll kill me."

        "Get real, Candy. There's no danger of that," I said, walking around in the boots to get accustomed to the high heel.

        "I wouldn't be so sure of that. She was at the club Tuesday. You waited on her."

        I stopped dead still. "Not the blonde?"

        "Um-hum. Rich bitch. Parents died and left her a shit load of money. And I do mean shit load. She don't need that tanning salon or the tricks. She just does it for kicks, ya know. Matter of fact, I think she's the one pays for it." She paused. "How do they feel?"

        "Great." I glanced over at the closet, where several outfits caught my eye.

        "Come over anytime, sweetie," she said, getting to her feet. "Just call first and make sure I'm here."

        "What... did she look like?" I asked, referring to Phil, since no one had ever really told me and I'd never seen a picture of her.

        "Kinda pretty."

        "I mean... what color hair and all?"

        "Oh... well, let me see." She turned around and waded through two cardboard boxes, then bent over one. She rambled around inside, then came up with a picture frame. She turned it around. "Here she is."

        Anna had been right, Phil was very pretty. She had long dark shoulder length hair, big green eyes, a heart shaped face and Cupid's bow lips. I wondered if Anna had found her attractive. Surely she had. But, then there was her personality to consider. "Flighty", she had said. "Never knew when she was serious." Then an image of this woman and three men in a bathroom flitted through my mind. I turned away.

        "Whatzamatta?" Candy asked.

        "Nothin', I... just wondered what she looked like. I mean... I'm wearin' her clothes and all..." I picked up my old boots.

        Candy grunted, then replaced the picture in the box. "I'm gonna have to get rid of this stuff, real soon. So, you come on over and get whatever you want, hmm? No need in it going to waste." She walked over to me. "Come on, we still have to stop by the store." She put her arm around my shoulders and I tensed up. "Relax Darby. I like you as a friend, nothin' more, sweetie. You're cute, but... I'm into the hard stuff, know what I mean?"

        I nodded and relaxed. "I like mine... soft," I said, thinking of Anna and feeling quite comfortable with Candy, now.

        "Yeah, I know you do." She ruffled my hair. "Hard to believe sometimes that you're that same blue-eyed kid in Dora's that day. I don't blame Anna one bit, I'da took you on in a minute. I mean, when I thought you was a boy."

        "You mean she had a choice?"

        "Sure, sweetie. We were watchin' you from her truck before Rick got there. He called her and she called me. She said it depended on what impression Dora got of you. So, she called her to ask about ya."

        "Is that why he told me to tell her that he sent me?"

        "Uh-huh. Dora was sizin' you up for her. Anna don't like takin' chances. Dora said you was pure-T virgin from head to toe."

        "She likes young boys," I said, remembering what Anna had said to me that day.

        "Honey, that was a come on. She did flip over your baby face and blue eyes though."

        "She saw all that from her truck?"

        "Oh no, sweetie, she told me that afterwards. But, I don't think that's all she flipped over, hmm?"

        I blushed. "We... have an anniversary of sorts, comin' up," I said, sheepishly, as she opened the front door, then closed it behind us, locking it with her key.

        "You gonna get her somethin'?" she inquired, as we walked towards the truck.

        "Yeah, but... I don't know what," I answered, getting into the Blazer.

        When she got in, she said, "There's one thing I've been wonderin' about, sweetie and... feel free to tell me to mind my own business, but... had you ever done that before?"

        "Sex, you mean?"

        She nodded.

        "No. I mean, not with a woman. My old man..."

        "Say no more. But... you went with her. I mean... you knew you were attracted to... girls?"

        I shook my head. "I had a crush on a teacher, but... I never thought about her... that way. I didn't even... like sex until... Anna." I backed the truck out and started out of the parking lot. Once on the street, I added, "I... I don't know why I didn't run away that day. I've thought about that a lot. I mean I coulda left before we even got to the room, but... I don't know. I really hadn't been around that many women. I mean... not close. So... I suppose I was that way and didn't know it. All I really know is... when she kissed me.... Oh God, I'd never felt anything like that before in my life. It was like... Woosh! It went all over me.

        "And she was so... gentle," I continued, "Especially after she found out I was a girl. I... never felt threatened by her, ya know. I guess I knew she couldn't hurt me like him. Or at least, I didn't think she would. I knew I could leave if I wanted to. And I almost did, when she first found out I was a girl, but... she suggested I go ahead and use the room. Take a shower. Jesus... when she got in the shower with me... God, I was a goner. She touched me and.... I've never been the same. And thank god for that." I was on a roll now. I'd never been able to express this to anyone before and it felt good to do so now.

        "I never knew sex could actually feel good, ya know," I continued, "She didn't make me feel dirty. I felt... loved. Or at least like she cared. I mean, she didn't ask me for a thing. Wouldn't let me do anything, actually. Then she... just laid there and... touched me... kissed me.... God, she kisses good."

        Candy waited a moment before she broke into my blissful memories.

        "Kissin's dangerous," she commented. "I never let my tricks do that."

        "Why?" I asked, remembering Anna had mentioned this once.

        "Too intimate. I know, I know... you think how much more intimate can you get than sex, but... without kissin', you can... or at least I can, distance myself from the person, ya know. They touch your body, but unless they touch your lips with theirs, they can't touch you... inside." She took a drag off the cigarette she had already lit a while back.

        "I made that mistake with Barbara," she continued, glancing over at me, as she exhaled a stream of smoke. "The rich blonde?" I nodded. "She tells the tricks, no kissin', but... first time I did this with her, it was just us, ya know and..." She took another drag and exhaled again with a heavy sigh. "She does this whole seduction scene; real gentle and non-threatenin'. Had me thinkin' I wasn't there turnin' a trick, ya know. She gets me all worked up and... next thing I know, I've broke my own rule."

        She leaned over towards the ashtray and tapped her ashes into it, then continued, "After that, she always had me come early. Pampers the hell out of me, man... bath, oil rubdown, the works. And all the while she's like... seducin' me, ya know. Then she leaves me in the bedroom... sorta stewin' in my own juices, until she gets back. He gets there, they come back together and... she does me, ya know." She took another drag and stared out the window.

        "By then, he's more than ready and... she gets underneath us, ya know what I mean, and... watches. And all the time, man, she's kissin' me, playin' with me and everything. Then when he gets his, she sees him out, then comes back and gets me off, ya know, using her hand.

        "First time we did this, I was getting dressed when she came back. And she says, What you think you're doin'? and I says: We're finished, right? She says, Did I say that? Then she comes over and starts takin' my clothes off. Next thing I know we're back on the bed and she's all over me. She says to me, I know you didn't come and I don't let my women leave here wearin' a frown, ya know." She sighed heavily. "I think it's kinda true what they say about, 'who knows a woman better than another woman?'" She cleared her throat and took another drag off her cigarette.

        "I don't get it," I spoke up, not horrified by the scene she had just painted for me. It was almost like the "he" was nonexistent. "If he only does you, then... what does she get out of it?"

        "I don't know. I guess, she gets off on the whole scene, ya know. Trippin' on some fantasy in her head. Maybe she's got a lover and goes over to his place and fucks his brains out afterwards, I don't know." She stabbed out her cigarette in the ashtray. "All I know is... turn in here." She pointed to the right, at a supermarket. I pulled in.

        "I know, she's one trick I'm gonna miss. I seldom come... with... Well, put it this way, she knows what the hell she's doin'." She looked over at me, when I pulled the truck into a parking place. "Why'd I tell you all that?" she questioned. "Why'd you let me tell you all that? Jesus, Darby, I never told a livin' soul about her. And don't you tell anybody, either, promise?"

        "Scouts honor."

        "You weren't a boy scout, Darby."

        "Wanted to be, doesn't that count for somethin'?"

        She chuckled. "Yeah, I guess it does. Be back in a sec."

        I watched her walk away, wondering why she had told me all that. Was it "open up and spill your guts day" or what? I'd done some of that myself and didn't know why. But, I did know that the two of us had just become closer through the sharing. It wasn't the closeness that Anna and I had. It was the closeness of friendship; that bond of trust that develops when you share part of yourself with someone else.

        I'd only known this feeling a few times during my life. Friends for me, were a luxury, because, if my father ever found out, he'd find a way to shoot it all to hell. Once, he had told a girl's father that his daughter should not be playing with me, because I had a mental disorder. Told him he wouldn't be responsible for what happened to his kid.

        And that had killed almost all friendships I might have had in the future. But those days were over. He no longer ruled my life. Haunted my dreams, perhaps, but that was happening very infrequently of late. And he always vanished in the morning light, or when Anna reached over and woke me up with a comforting word or embrace.

Continued in Chapter 15

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