Royal Aademy of Bards Halloween Invitational 2007. The Black Pussy Cat
Kim Pritekel


Ashton King stood at the threshold of the club, The Black Pussy Cat club, to be exact. She found the humor in the irony, considering it was Halloween night, a childish holiday she hadn’t observed in far too many years. Bart had good taste, she had to admit. The Black Pussy Cat was an upscale club in the heart of downtown Denver. It was a swanky place, lots of wood and leather, and cigar smoke.

Ashton’s leather trench was taken for her at the door, and she was given a leather mask to wear, which looked more like something Zorro would wear than one of the top investment brokers in the city. She slid the mask in place, willing to go along with the charade. Anything for a client. Bart Kaplan had been one of Ashton’s best clients, earning her more than eight hundred thousand the year before, all on his own.

Men in various types of suits sat around the plush establishment- tuxedos, business attire, or slacks, a button up shirt and suit jacket over it. Ashton wore her customary black slacks, tailored to fit her long legs perfectly, as well as a dark gray silk blouse, again, cut to fit her body like a lover’s caress. Intense blue eyes looked around the busy club, looking for her friend. She heard the soft music filtering through the air, along with murmurings of male voices, peppered by the women who wandered from table to table, most dressed in evening gowns.

Bart spotted the statuesque brunette, raising his hand to wave her over to his table. He saw her making her way through the crowd, most heads turning to take in her confident stride, her amazing body, and striking blue eyes. Even wearing the mask, Ashton was breathtaking.

“Good evening!” he exclaimed, standing to hold out Ashton’s seat for her, which she quickly took with a polite smile. Resuming his own seat, Bart smiled at the woman he’d been doing business with for more than five years. She’d made him even more wealthy, and he’d added to her personal wealth, not that she needed it, her family’s money behind her big house and big cars in the richest neighborhoods in Littleton, complete with live-in staff. “And, what do you think of my little playground?” he asked, indicating the club around them.

“It’s very nice, though Bart, I must admit,” Ashton said, leaning forward and speaking softly, “I never took you for a man to buy his fun.”

Bart chuckled. “Ashton, I can buy a two-bit whore on the Wadsworth, or I can buy a gem.” To prove his point, he snagged a passing woman with an arm around her waist, tugging her onto his lap. The woman giggled, running a painted fingernail over his cheek. “How are you tonight, my sweet?” he asked the woman.

“I’m doing well, Bartholomew,” she said, voice low and seductive. She lifted his mask playfully, placing a quick peck on his cheek, then sliding the mask back into place.

Ashton watched this, feeling somewhat disgusted. But, as she watched, her gave began to take in the woman. Her long, blonde hair was piled on top of her head, alluring wisps framing her face and dipping down to tickle the back of her neck. Her black halter top dress left her back bare, showing tanned, smooth skin. How does one have such a tan at the end of October? Ashton rolled her eyes, but continued her perusal. The dress was very fitted, showing off a beautiful body with curves in all the right places.

“Ashton, I’d like you to meet my friend, Pearl.” He patted the blonde’s bottom. “Pearl, my very good friend, and a good friend to know.”

“Oh?” Pearl said, turning to look at Ashton.

Ashton’s breath caught as the emerald gaze met her own. Pearl was definitely beautiful. She had a sweet face, though her makeup was smoky and dangerous- a good girl gone bad. Her eyes were clear and very intelligent.

“It’s a pleasure, Ashton,” Pearl said, reaching a well-manicured hand across the small, round table. A delicate bracelet around a delicate wrist caught Ashton’s attention. She took the hand politely, noting the firm grip, yet very soft skin.

“Indeed,” Ashton said, quickly releasing the hand. She saw the twinkle in Pearl’s eyes, quickly looking away, the green eyes far too intense for her liking. She made the mistake of looking down, noticing the abundant cleavage revealed by the beautiful dress. Ashton gave up, flagging down a waiter, dressed in tie and tails. She didn’t miss Pearl’s soft chuckle.

Ashton ordered herself a brandy, then sat back and watched the interaction between her friend and the beautiful blonde. Their manner was teasing and very flirtatious. For some reason, she felt herself becoming irritated. “Bart, why don’t you and the pretty lady get yourselves a room?” she quipped, grateful when her drink arrived.

Bart smirked, amused at his friend’s attitude, not that it was unusual. He leaned in to Pearl, whispering something to her. Ashton’s gaze never left the blonde as she stood from Bart’s lap, giving him another quick kiss to the cheek. Ashton thought for sure the little vixen would leave them in peace, but to her shock, Pearl walked over to her, gently pushing Ashton’s chair back from the table, and climbing onto her lap sideways, one gorgeous leg crossing over the other as she made herself comfortable.

Ashton was shocked, and nearly pushed the woman from her, but the blonde wrapped a hand around the back of her neck, underneath thick, dark hair. Her other hand was brought up to Ashton’s face, a soft fingertip running along a strong jaw.

“I think you’re entirely too uptight,” Pearl whispered softly.

Ashton could smell the blonde’s subtle perfume, and very much felt herself reacting to it. “And I think you should get off my lap,” she said, just as sweetly, though her eyes were hard.

Pearl smiled, leaning toward Ashton’s ear. “Why don’t you go in the back with me?” she murmured, lips nearly touching Ashton’s ear.

Ashton tried to not allow her body to react to this very capable, and beautiful seductress. “I don’t think so,” she said, though her voice had lost some of its edge. She felt angry at herself when she felt her fingertips brush against Pearl’s naked back.

“Why not?” Pearl asked, running the tip of her fingernail down into the small amount of cleavage that was visible in the unbuttoned neckline of Ashton’s blouse. “I can help you relax, Ashton.” Green eyes met her gaze. “if you’ll let me.”

The soft words reached inside Ashton, caressing her, stoking a long-dormant fire. She took a drink of her brandy, allowing the expensive liquid to burn a trail down her throat. “What did you have in mind?” she asked, finally meeting the demanding green eyes.

Pearl smiled, her nail now running along Ashton’s cheek. “I’m sure we can figure something out, don’t you?”

Ashton hardened herself, all business now. “How much?”

Pearl pouted, making her absolutely adorable. “Such a nasty little dose of reality, isn’t it?” she purred, leaning in close again. Their lips were no more than a couple inches apart. “Two hundred for thirty minutes, baby,” she whispered.

Ashton was on fire, and against her better judgment, she nodded. With a sexy little smile, Pearl got to her feet, taking Ashton by the hand and leading her away from the table. The brunette couldn’t make herself meet Bart’s amused eyes as she followed Pearl through the club and finally back into a small, dimly lit room. There was a large, plush rug in the middle of the wood floor, and a couch along one wall.

Ashton stood in the middle of the small space, Pearl softly closing the door, blocking out all the sound from the other room. “Sit down, baby,” Pearl said.

Ashton did as requested, though pulled out a money clip from her pocket first. She quickly counted out two hundred dollars, reserving the tip for how satisfied she was.

“Thank you, baby,” Pearl said, taking the money and tucking it into the tiny clutch she had with her. Once Ashton had herself seated, she watched as the blonde stepped out of her very high heels, then reached behind herself, unzipping the dress, which swiftly fell to her feet.

Ashton’s eyes were hungry as they feasted on the petit, yet very muscular body. There was not an ounce of fat on Pearl’s body, her breasts firm and well-proportioned for her frame. She made her way to Ashton, climbing up on her lap, straddling her hips. Ashton met her gaze, seeing a well-practiced fire in the depths of her green eyes. She couldn’t help but wish it were real, and this gorgeous woman actually did desire her.

“You really are quite beautiful,” Pearl said softly, taking Ashton’s hands, which lay limply on the couch at her sides, and rested them on her naked breasts. Ashton did her best to reserve any reactions.

“Thank you,” she said politely. She could already feel the wetness gathering, and was growing quite uncomfortable. Her gaze fell to the breasts, and suddenly she very much wanted her mouth on them. She began to lean forward, but felt soft, yet firm hands on her shoulders, keeping her in place. Once against meeting Pearl’s gaze, she saw the concentration in them as nimble fingers began to slowly unbutton the gray silk blouse.

Pearl grinned when she realized the black, lacy bra clasped in front. “How fortunate for us,” she said, fingers expertly opening the garment.

Ashton’s lap felt cold as Pearl climbed off, but within a few moments her eyes were closed, head resting back against the couch. Pearl’s tongue flicked across one nipple then the other, then back to the first, suckling it inside a hot mouth. Ashton’s hand cupped a warm neck, holding Pearl to her. Her eyes remained closed as wave after wave of pleasure seeped through her, the blonde’s mouth the source.

She was just about to totally get lost in a lustful haze when Ashton felt deft fingers on the buttons of her slacks. “Lift for me, baby,” Pearl murmured, tugging the slacks over Ashton’s hips as they were lifted, followed by her panties. Ashton’s head fell back against the couch again as soft lips kissed their way up the inside of her thigh until finally she was nearly scorched by the hot tongue running through her saturated sex. There was no preamble, no teasing, just straight for the goal.

“Oh, fuck,” she groaned, her hips rising from the couch as Pearl took her clit between her lips and suckled hard, her tongue batting across the nub, filling the brunette with a pleasure/pain that was almost too intense to handle. Finally her body gave, her orgasm crashing down over her, stealing her breath in the process.

As Ashton came back to the land of the living, she realized she felt cold, her body completely devoid of Pearl’s touch. She blinked her eyes open several times, watching as the blonde began to get dressed, expert fingers finding the zipper of her dress and sliding it back up into place.

Pearl held her arms out slightly as she stepped into first one high heel, then the other, teetering slightly as she began to lose her balance. Ashton shot off the couch, placing her hands on the blonde’s waist to help steady her. She was surprised to see wide, green eyes look at her, Pearl seeming to shrink back from her touch.

“I was just trying to prevent you from falling,” she explained softly.

“I’m fine. Thank you.”

Ashton dropped her hands, quickly tugging her pants and underwear up, feeling foolish with them puddle around her ankles. She reached into her pocket for her money clip, peeling off a hundred dollar bill. “Here.”

Pearl took the bill, muttering a quiet thank you, then reached for the door. Without a second look, she was gone, leaving Ashton alone. The brunette was amazed at how the actual temperature in the room seemed to have cool significantly in the last couple minutes. With a shrug and a long sigh, she began to re-button her shirt, snapping her bra closed, first. Faint hints of Pearl’s perfume lingered on her clothing.

“What the hell did I just do?” she muttered, looking back at the couch she’d just been sitting on. She had to wonder how many other people Pearl had pleasured on that very piece of furniture. She shivered, not really wanting to think about it. “Happy Halloween to me,” she muttered, then left the room, in search of Bart.


The huge house was dark, save for the few lights Arnold had so thoughtfully left on for his employer. The limousine pulled up in the circular drive, right in front of the double doors. Ashton didn’t wait for Cliff to open her door, wanting desperately to get inside and into a hot bath. Distantly she heard the long car drive off as she let herself in.

Her booted heels clicked loudly on the highly polished marble floor of the entryway. Ashton immediately headed up the long, winding staircase, shuffling through the pieces of mail that had been collected and set on the large swirl of a banister at the bottom step.

Once she’d entered her bedroom, Ashton flipped on the light, hopping on one foot as she removed first one boot then the other, groaning at the relief. She’d been in heels all day for work, then the heeled boots for the club. Sometimes she was amazed her feet didn’t simply rebel and stop working altogether.

She tossed the mail on her desk, closing the heavy drapes on the huge, floor to ceiling windows. The large house was hard to heat during the winters, and the large windows didn’t help. Ashton stripped out of her clothes, tossing them into the laundry bin, then padded into the bathroom, which was the size of a small bedroom, immediately running herself a hot shower. She felt dirty, and strangely hollow. Though quite pleasurable, Ashton had found her experience with Pearl to be quite empty and… cold.

The hot water felt wonderful on Ashton’s skin, her hands gliding over the smooth surface, quickly washing, trying to wash away the encounter.

Ashton lay in bed, finding a new sleeping position. Again. Her eyes opened, haunted by green eyes, filled with desire. “Jesus,” she muttered, burying her face in her pillow, praying for sleep to come.


The offices that Ashton King used were expensive, somewhat opulent, and totally not her style. Her father had them decorated before his retirement, and she hadn’t bothered to change them. Why? She was rarely ever there, anyway, preferring to either work from home or from her private plane, which she used to fly all over the world, just for the weekend.

“Good morning, Miss King,” Rachelle, Ashton’s ever-devoted secretary chirped, handing the brunette a stack of messages. Ashton grumbled something that sounded like gratitude, and unlocked her office door. “Mr. Kaplan stepped in early this morning, but said he’d come back when you weren’t here,” Rachelle continued, quickly getting Ashton’s coffee ready- two creams, three sugars- and followed her into the huge, corner office.

“What did he want?” Ashton asked absently, getting settled behind the large desk. Her laptop whirred to life as she accepted the coffee from the redhead, sipping it with a sigh.

“He didn’t say. He said he’ll be back early afternoon.”

“Goody,” Ashton muttered, setting the cup aside as she logged onto her company account. “Anything else?” she asked, quickly eyeing her secretary, who was about to leave the office.

“Nope. That’s it.” With that, Rachelle turned and left, closing the double door behind her.

Ashton read through the messages, tossing them all in Kevin’s box. Kevin Reynolds was her assistant, and basically took care of everything. She met face to face with the clients, but as far as any follow up or report writing, he was her man.

She began to read her email when there was a loud, pronounced knock on her office door. A moment later, Bart stepped through, fixing himself a drink at the wet bar tucked into the corner of the office, then flopped down in front of Ashton’s desk.

“And how are we this morning?” he asked, chipper as ever.

Ashton turned in her chair, facing him. “We are fine.”

Bart chuckled. “You were awful quiet walking to the car last night,” he observed, sipping from his drink, never taking his eyes off her. “Was Pearl not to your liking?”

Ashton sighed, sitting back in the rich, leather chair. Under the desk she shoved her heels off. “Pearl is beautiful, Bart. What more do you want me to say?”

“Tell me if you enjoyed yourself?” He leaned forward in his chair, eyes twinkling. “I’ve not seen your eyes sparkle like that in some time, my friend.” He sat back, hand running down the front of his pristine suit, glass of bourbon resting on the knee that cross his other one.

“You tell me? Do you enjoy yourself when you’re with Pearl?” Ashton was irritated by the boisterous laughter that bubbled up from that comment.

“Ashton, I’ve never been with Pearl. She’s a lovely girl, but she’s a bit too young for me. I believe she’s closer to your generation. But, I do enjoy her company. She’s lovely and incredibly intelligent.”

Ashton absorbed what he had said. Yes, the blonde was drop dead gorgeous, and Ashton had noted the intelligent eyes, herself. But, something about that night continued to niggle at her. “Bart,” she began, sipping from her coffee. “When you do that, have one of those women for… company, don’t you feel cold afterward?”

“Cold?” Bart stood, refilling his drink before settling in front of Ashton’s desk again. “I don’t quite understand what you mean by ‘cold’.”

“Nothing, never mind.” Ashton sighed, turning back to her computer, scrolling and deleting as she went.

“No, no, I truly wish to understand,” Bart said, leaning forward and resting his drink on the edge of Ashton’s desk. “Were you left unsatisfied? I’m sure if I said something-“

“No, no, that’s not it.” Ashton laughed off his offer, waving a graceful hand. “She was wonderful and very good at what she does. It’s just,” she rocked her chair slightly, staring off into space as once again those green eyes crept into her mind.

Bart felt he was beginning to get the picture. “You felt it was impersonal?” he ventured. By the slight blush on Ashton’s cheeks, he knew he’d hit the bull’s-eye. “It’s a business, Ashton. She gave you a product, which you paid for.”

“Yes, Bart, thank you for clarifying that for me.” Ashton glared.

Bart cleared his throat, able to read in the beautiful blue eyes that Ashton was mildly bothered. “Listen, it’s a job for her, Ashton. I imagine she can’t make it too personal, or suddenly you become a person whom she can’t afford to respond to.”

Ashton felt completely stupid as Bart had read her mind. She laughed it off. “Bart, I don’t care about this woman, nor her business. It’s her own, as is how she handles it. She’s good at what she does. Enough said.”

“Alright,” Bart slapped his knees. “Enough said.” He stood, grabbing his empty glass and taking it to the bar, rinsing it out in the small sink before leaving it there. “I’m heading back there tonight, if you’re interested.”

“Ah,” Ashton hid her slight excitement well. “I don’t know, Bart. I’ll think about it.”

Left alone again, Ashton sat back in her chair, turning it until she was looking out over the Mile High City, rocking gently, fingers steepled under her chin. She thought back more about the previous night and the beautiful blonde who had made her body feel so many wonderful things, yet had made her soul incredibly sad and feel very alone. She thought about the cold demeanor Pearl had taken on after their encounter, as well as her seemingly skittish nature when Ashton had tried to stop her from falling. She wondered what had brought the younger woman to the career path she’d chosen.

Deciding it didn’t really matter, as she had no desire or intention of ever seeing Pearl again, or her like, she got to work.


Ashton sat behind the wheel of her Ferrari F430, midnight black, the car still sitting in her five-car garage. She chewed on her lower lip nervously, trying to decide what to do. The clock on the dash told her it was after nine at night. She wasn’t tired at all, and in fact, was restless as hell.

The car purred patiently beneath her until finally she backed out of the space and buzzed off into the night, headed toward The Black Pussy Cat. There was a part of herself that tried to be convinced she was merely going to surprise Bart and have a drink with him. After all, he was basically her only friend, and friends did things like that, like hanging out. Then the other part of herself, the part that didn’t believe in bullshit, knew exactly why she was headed there, and her name was Pearl.

The club was as it had been the night before, minus the sparse Halloween festivities. Ashton made quite an impression in black leather, leaving nothing to the imagination of her sleek form.

She scanned the room, finding her friend who was sitting with a beautiful woman- not Pearl- and drinking from a large snifter of brandy. She moved into the room with her usual fluid grace and confident stride, knowing full well how good she looked in leather pants and boots. Her black, cotton button down shirt was unbuttoned to an almost inappropriate level.

“Ashton!” Bart exclaimed, waving his friend over. He was shocked to see her there, figuring she’d had enough of The Black Pussy Cat. “I saw your friend awhile ago,” he commented, pulling out a chair for Ashton to sit.

“She’s hardly my friend, Bart,” Ashton waved off the waiter, turning her attention back to her friend.

“Perhaps not, but I still saw her.” Bart accepted the small kiss from the woman he’d been speaking with, smacking her playful on the behind as she wandered across the room, both Bart and Ashton’s eyes following the attractive woman. Ashton’s eyes returned to her friend at his next words. “Pearl disappeared with an older gentlemen in that room,” he said, nodding toward a room at the back, two doors down from the room Pearl had taken Ashton to.

Ashton waved off the information, but she admitted, only to the deepest part of her heart, that she was jealous. And, as she watched, that very door opened, and sure enough, Pearl exited, followed quickly by a short, fat man who had an ear-to-ear grin on his face. Ashton didn’t want to think about him, so she returned her gaze to Pearl. Tonight’s dress was just as fitted, but it was emerald green. Pearl’s golden hair was fixed in an elaborate braid down her back. What caught the wealthy woman’s gaze, however, was the slight look of pain on Pearl’s face.

“Off to save the day,” Bart murmured to himself, amused, as his friend made her way over to the beautiful young women with long purposeful strides.

Ashton had Pearl in her sights, and the young woman was beginning to work her way around the room once more, to mingle, and stir up company. “Pearl,” Ashton said, stopping the young woman with a soft touch to a bare shoulder. The blonde started, turning to see who had spoken to her. It wasn’t often that it would be the voice of a woman.

Recognition immediately twinkled in the green eyes. “Hello, Ashton.”

“Good evening.” Ashton really wasn’t sure what to say or do. She wasn’t even entirely positive why she had come to the club. Her confusion must have shown as Pearl grinned.

“Would you like a drink?” the younger woman asked, already turning toward the bar.

“No,” Ashton finally managed to say, getting her bearings back. On impulse, she asked, “Do you make personal appearances?”

Pearl kept her eyes and expression carefully guarded. “Personal appearances? I’m afraid I don’t understand.”

“Outside of here. At someone’s home.”

The shock of the request managed to seep through the impassive mask. “I don’t know what you’re game is, lady, but I’m sor-“

“Listen,” Ashton said, holding up a hand to forestall Pearl’s protests. “I enjoyed your company last night, however, I don’t feel comfortable spending time with you in this establishment.”

Pearl studied her, head cocked slightly to the side. “I’m no Vivian Ward, Miss…?”

“King. And I’m not Edward Lewis,” Ashton retorted, recognizing the characters from the hit film Pretty Woman. “I’m not asking you to spend a week with me in a posh suite at a Beverly Hills hotel. I’m simply asking for your company for a few hours at my home.”

Pearl looked down, slightly amused that Ashton had known what she meant. Finally green eyes met sparkling blue. “It’s going to be very expensive, Miss King.”

“I’d prefer you call me Ashton, and I have no doubt. Name your price. You charge two hundred for thirty minutes here,” she continued, “so am I to assume that three hours at four hundred dollars, which of course is twelve hundred dollars, is incorrect?”

Pearl smirked, then quickly sobered. “Yes. That would be incorrect.”

“Alright. How about two thousand, then?” Ashton grinned, a rare expression for her. “Plus tip, if I feel you’re deserving.”

Pearl managed to hide her shock. That was more than double what she’d earn on a really good night working at The Black Pussy Cat. She mentally warred with herself: was the money worth the risk of going to a private home? Could she risk it?

“Good evening, Pearl,” Bart said, placing an appreciative hand on her backside.

The blonde glanced at the friendly man. “Hello, Bart. I saw you come in, but I was busy, so couldn’t come over and say a proper hello.”

“Quite alright, my dear. I decided to come over and give you one, instead.” Bart smiled winningly, then glanced over at Ashton, noting the irritation in her eyes, and it was aimed at him. “Oh!” Realization dawned on him. “Am I interrupting?” He looked back and forth between the two, eyes settling on Ashton, though his attention was drawn to the younger woman.

“Ashton and I were just in talks about a possible visit from me,” Pearl explained, draping an arm through his.

“Oh?” Bart sent raised brows to Ashton. “If you take her up on it, you’ll have a wonderful time,” Bart said, smiling at the young woman at his side. “Her house is beautiful and a wonderful place to pass time.”

Ashton smirked. “Is that why you seem to spend more time at my house than your own?” she asked, brow quirked.


The three laughed at Bart’s answer. Finally green eyes locked onto Ashton again. “Alright, Ashton. It’s a deal.”


Pearl sat in the back of the limousine that had been sent to the club to pick her up. She wasn’t about to give this strange woman her home address. Also, she would add mentally, she really didn’t want Ashton King to know just exactly she was living in.

The long, sleek car made its way through the night, finally entering a gated community that Pearl had never even heard of, let alone been to. She was plastered to the window, taking in the gorgeous old homes. Most looked like something that should be in Boston or Philadelphia, or one of the other older cities in America.

“My god,” she murmured, suddenly wondering if the limousine actually belonged to Ashton, and wasn’t just a nice gesture, as she’d originally thought. Thought. Pearl smirked silently at that word. She wasn’t entirely sure what to think where Ashton King was concerned. She’d never done this before, never left the safety of the club to service a client. She’d had offers, sure, but always turned them down. Somehow keeping her ‘services’ within the walls of the club made it less real to her. Now, heading off into the night to the home of a complete stranger, she felt concern niggle at her.

She wanted to tell herself that her agreeing to the situation was simply because Ashton was a woman, and no doubt safer than some man, but Pearl knew she’d be lying to herself. She had accepted because it was Ashton who offered. Bart tossing in his own unwitting stamp of approval to Ashton hadn’t hurt, either. She liked Bart. He’d never tried to hire her, seeming to simply enjoy the feel of her body on his lap, and her conversation.

Pearl’s thoughts were abruptly ended when the lavish car pulled through a wrought iron gate, which slowly opened. She noticed the letter K was mixed into the bars in an ornate design. Her attention was brought back around to the house, which was at the end of a long drive, the car pulling up in front. Pearl looked up at the brick monstrosity. She figured about fifty of her apartment buildings could fit within the King house.

The door Pearl sat near was suddenly opened, the kind man waiting patiently for her to exit, his gloved hand held out to assist her. She took it, not wanting to slide on the snow in her heels. She gave him a weak smile, which he returned.

“When you’re ready to leave, Miss, I’ll be waiting here for you,” he said, voice soft.

“Oh. Okay.” She began to walk toward the house, but stopped, glancing at him. “Um, thanks for the ride.”

Cliff smiled with a nod, then walked around to the driver’s door and tucked himself back into the car. He set the alarm on his phone, as Ashton had told him their visitor would be leaving in three hours of her arrival.

Pearl took a deep breath, hugging her jacket closer to her, the early November chill biting at her bare legs, and up her dress. She mounted the stairs, heading toward the intimidating house, one side of the double doors opening.

“Good evening, Miss,” a kindly older man said, holding out his arm for her coat.

Pearl shook off the heavy garment, whispering a word of gratitude as he took it from her.

“Miss Ashton awaits you in the library, third door to the left down the hall. My name is Arnold, and if you need anything, please do not hesitate to ask.” He smiled with a slight bow, and walked away.

Pearl watched him go, then turned to study the entryway, lit by a small, but beautiful chandelier that hung high overhead. She ran her hands down the front of her deep red dress, another halter design. She had left her hair down, at Ashton’s request, and headed in the direction Arnold had pointed her. Her heels clicked loudly on the marble floors.

Just ahead she saw a wide arch of a doorway, double doors open, and the sound of a crackling fire within. Stopping just outside the door, Pearl took one last deep breath, and slid easily into her persona. Her ‘Pearl’ persona.

Pearl’s breath was nearly stolen as she stepped inside the room. Books lined shelves from floors to twenty foot high ceilings. The massive fireplace at the center of one wall could easily accommodate three grown men standing side by side, the flames leaping high and brilliant. Beautifully carved furniture was scattered along the plush, Oriental rugs that covered the hard, marble floor. The flames reflected beautiful against the stone.

Near the fireplace was a comfortable-looking leather chair, a small wooden table sitting next to it, with a crystal tumbler on it, filled with amber liquid. The chair was turned so it’s occupant was unseen behind the wide expanse of its back, but just then a graceful hand reached out from behind the massive chair, fingers gingerly grasping the glass until it too disappeared behind the chair.

Pearl wasn’t sure what to do, so she stood there, feeling quite inadequate and extremely out of place.

“Welcome to my home, Pearl,” Ashton said, rising from her curled up spot on the chair. She turned to face her guest, blue eyes roaming down over the blonde’s incredible body. Her dress tonight was sleek and showed off her curves to perfection, making Ashton’s stomach clench in nervous anticipation. She, herself had chosen to wear a silk robe, the oversized sleeves nearly hiding her hands when her arms were at rest. The belt was synched around her trim waist, just a hint of cleavage at the ‘v’ of the garment.

“Thank you. From what I’ve seen, it’s beautiful,” Pearl said, her gaze trailing over what was offered. She felt some of her normal confidence coming back, as after all, Ashton had called her there for pleasure, and that was one thing Pearl knew how to provide well. She was anxious to unwrap the dark beauty from the silk trappings of the beautiful robe.

“I’m glad you think so.” Ashton looked around the room, almost as though taking it all in for the first time. “I grew up in these rooms, so I guess to me it’s just one, big shell.” Finally her gaze met Pearl’s again, a somewhat sad smile gracing her lips. “Sadly I fail to see the beauty others talk about.” She absently sipped from her drink, her eyes never leaving Pearl’s. “Care for some brandy?” she asked. “Or anything you like, if you’d prefer something else.”

“Grape juice?” Pearl asked, a honey-colored brow raised.

“Grape juice?” Ashton said, slightly bemused.

Pearl grinned. “I don’t drink alcohol.”

“Ah. I see. Well then,” she set her drink down and headed toward the double doors. “Wait here and I’ll see what I can do.”

Pearl did as she was asked, walking around the room now that she was unobserved. She ran her fingertips over some of the leather-bound volumes, tracing their golden titles before making her way back toward the fire, allowing her still-chilled skin to be warmed. She heard the soft closing of the double doors, and then someone padding up behind her. A crystal goblet of grape juice appeared over her shoulder.

Amused, and very impressed, she took the glass and sipped, turning to face her hostess. The juice was cool and sweet. “Very good,” she said, voice soft. She watched the sun come out from behind the clouds with Ashton’s beautiful smile.

“I’m glad.”

Pearl lowered the glass, cupping both hands around it, though mainly to keep them from shaking. “So, you have me for three hours. What would you like to do?”

“Well, I think the more appropriate question is what will you do?”

Pearl studied the gorgeous woman before her for a moment, contemplating her answer. There were a hundred things she was willing to do, and only a handful she wasn’t. She considered breaking a few of her rules for Ashton, but decided against it. “I don’t kiss. On the mouth, anyway.”

Ashton wasn’t terribly surprised, as she remembered that only during their teasing flirtation had Pearl come anywhere near her mouth. Once they’d slipped into the back room, there hadn’t been even a hint of that closeness. “Alright,” she said, though did slip a regretful gaze to Pearl’s full lips. “I wish to touch you. Will you allow it?”

Pearl felt a small shiver run through her. “Alright. To what degree?”

The smile that graced Ashton’s lips could only be described as devilish. “To the nth degree.” She decided negotiations were over, and took the goblet from Pearl’s hands, setting it gently on the table next to her own glass. Pearl’s eyes never left her own. Ashton studied the blonde’s body, taking in the muscular, though very feminine legs, her flat stomach, and the breasts that were cupped lovingly in the material and cut of the dress. “The only thing I ask,” Ashton murmured, meeting green eyes, “is that you don’t fake your time with me. I understand you’re here for a service, and a business, but I have no wish for you to try and make me believe I’m a modern day Casanova. If it feels good, let it. If it doesn’t, do not pretend with me.” She looked hard into Pearl’s eyes. “I won’t tolerate it.”

Pearl was shocked by Ashton’s words, most of her clients loving the fact that she made them feel like they were the greatest lovers since the invention of sex. She merely nodded at the softly spoken request.

Ashton stepped closer, their bodies six inches a part. She reached out, running her fingertips over the exposed shoulders, beautifully defined and soft. “You know, from the moment I saw you pulled into Bart’s lap, I truly thought you were the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,” she said absently, fingers running down strong arms, the muscle visible through the skin.

Pearl tried to hold in the slight shivers the brunette’s words and touch caused. “Thank you,” she murmured, her own hands reaching out toward the knot that held Ashton’s robe together. Her hands were caught in one warm one.

“Not yet,” Ashton said, turning the blond around so she was again facing the fire, her back to the almost warmer body behind her. Ashton pulled the zipper on the dress, a slight spasm quaking her sex when she saw Pearl wasn’t wearing any underwear. She had never wanted anyone so much in her life. She gently lifted the halter from over the blonde head, allowing the dress to drop.

Pearl’s body was definitely made for sin- the skin smooth and soft, pure and unblemished. Her hips flared out achingly from a narrow waist. Her back was as defined as her shoulders, spine straight and backside firm.

Ashton brushed long, blonde hair aside, placing delicate kisses along Pearl’s neck, nipping gently where the shoulder and neck met. Pearl’s head fell to the side, allowing her more access to her. Ashton’s hands ran down the planes of her back until she reached Pearl’s hips, then her fingers spread out, moving across her flat stomach, the skin heated from the fire.

Pearl’s eyes fell closed. She was surprised that Ashton was touching her this way, figuring it would very much be the other way around. She couldn’t help but enjoy the touch; so rarely was she touched because she wanted to be touched. Her hands came up and covered those of the woman behind her, slowly sliding them up along her stomach, over her ribs, and finally resting Ashton’s hands on her breasts. Both sighed at the contact, Pearl’s hands leaving the brunette’s to reach back with one hand, burying it in the thick, dark hair.

Ashton continued to work on Pearl’s neck, licking a hot trail up to her earlobe, which she suckled before whispering, “I’m going to have you screaming my name before our time is through.”

Pearl shivered, unable to hold it in. She felt, more than heard, the soft, satisfied chuckle at that reaction. Pearl felt the need to retaliate, so she reached back with her free hand, wiggling between their bodies as she felt her way through the opening of the silk robe, and easily found the wetness between Ashton’s legs. Jesus, she’s soaked!

Ashton gasped at the touch, her hips instinctually bucking toward the fingers. She heard Pearl’s soft gasp of surprise when she bit down on the muscle of her shoulder, leaving a small mark that would fade within moments. Ashton didn’t dare turn Pearl around, as she knew she’d devour her mouth if she did. Instead, she brought her down to the large, thick rug in front of the roaring fire, dropping her own robe as she did.

Pearl lay on her back, staring up at the goddess that was Ashton King in all her naked glory. The flames liked golden trails over her perfect body, kissing pockets and curves with shadow. She sat up partially, just enough to grab one of Ashton’s hands and pull her down.

Ashton groaned as their skin touched, her hands automatically running down the smooth sides of the blonde until finally she rested on one forearm, her mouth finding Pearl’s neck, kissing and sucking her way down until she had a rigid nipple in her mouth.

Pearl’s legs fell open, feeling searching fingers as Ashton slipped into her wetness. The blonde honestly couldn’t remember being so wet, and certainly not while on the job. She typically had to use a product with her male clients, as their erect penises did nothing for her other than pay the bills. But this woman, this woman had her on fire, had her body begging for more, and had Pearl almost forgetting she was being paid. Almost.

Ashton was delighted to feel the saturation that covered her fingers, her touch easily finding a distended clit and adding pressure there. Pearl’s hips rocked against her, a hand in dark hair, urging Ashton’s mouth on her breast. She greedily suckled what was offered, her fingers moving swiftly through Pearl’s wetness, wanting so badly to hear the blonde’s cries of pleasure.

Pearl whimpered in disappointment when the hot mouth left her breast, but then groaned long and deep when that same mouth was between her thighs. She rested one leg over Ashton’s shoulder, opening herself up more to the brunette. Her hands reached down, tangling in long hair, pushing Ashton deeper into her.

Ashton slid her fingers inside Pearl’s body, her tongue taking it’s place on the rock-hard clit.

“Oh, fuck,” Pearl moaned, hips rising to meet her touch.

Ashton grinned into her activity, sliding easily in and out of the excited woman, loving the taste and feel of her. She could tell Pearl was getting close, her cries and breathing heavy and coming closer together. The hands in her hair tightened as Pearl came with a loud groan, her back arching off the rug beneath her.

Ashton wasn’t ready to stop, nor relinquish her treasure. She removed her fingers from Pearl’s depths, instead using them to open the blonde up to her fully. Her tongue continued to work, licking mercilessly at Pearl’s clit before sucking it between her lips.

Pearl gasped, her hands once again clutching Ashton’s hair, breath stolen as another orgasm crashed over her, her sex pulsing with her racing heartbeat. “Oh, baby,” she panted, a soft chuckle escaping, moaning softly as Ashton kissed and licked her way back up the blonde’s body. “I’m here to work you over, not the other way around.”

Ashton grinned, nipping playfully at one of Pearl’s nipples before she hovered over the blonde. “And I told you that I wanted to touch you.” She nuzzled Pearl’s neck, wishing for more than anything that she could kiss her. “You taste soooo good.” She smiled into soft flesh when she felt Pearl shiver at her words.

“Mmm,” Pearl hummed, eyes closed as she enjoyed the feel of Ashton’s body against her own. “I’m glad you approve. However,” with a feat of strength that left Ashton gasping in surprise, she traded their positions. She pinned the brunette down with hands on her wrists, Pearl’s body resting between long thighs. She looked down into Ashton’s eyes, studying her face. “It’s truly a crime, just how gorgeous you are.” Pearl was pleased to see the shy blush those sincere words earned her. “Now,’ she said, voice low and extremely sensuous. “It’s my turn.”

Ashton’s eyes slid closed as her body was worshipped by a knowing tongue, teeth nipping at her skin, soft hands touching every inch of her. She allowed herself to go, just reveling in the contact and pleasure. She gasped softly when she was entered by two fingers, a hot tongue tracing down the center line of her stomach. Ashton’s legs fell fully open, offering all that Pearl wanted to her, which the blonde happily took.

Ashton groaned long and languid when a thumb reached up, stroking her clit in lazy circles as Pearl continued to thrust, adding a third finger on the next entry, stretching Ashton beyond a point that she’d been stretched in recent times. Her hips bucked at the intrusion, her body quickly adjusting to the fullness.

“Yes, baby,” she moaned, head flopping uselessly back and forth as she lost herself in a lustful haze.

Pearl hummed against Ashton’s breast, suckling her harder as she used more pressure with her thumb against the brunette’s clit. The resulting cry made her smile into the flesh. “Come for me, baby,” she encouraged, moving so she was sucking on Ashton’s neck, coming dangerously close to breaking her own rules.

Ashton’s heart was racing, her body throbbing with impending release. “Oh, fuck,” she said through gritted teeth, heart nearly stopping as her orgasm torn through her, making her cry out as her thighs slapped closed on Pearl’s hand.

After long moments of making her way back to the land of the living, Ashton grabbed Pearl, resting the smaller body atop her own and wrapping her arms around the blonde.

Pearl wasn’t sure what to make of the extremely intimate position, and truly part of her just wanted to go home. This seemed far too much beyond a client situation. She loved the feel of Ashton against her, loved the warmth and safety she felt. She closed her eyes as she listened to the heartbeat beneath her ear that was starting to slow to a normal cadence.

They stayed put, both staring into the flames, Pearl’s cheek resting against Ashton’s upper chest, the brunette’s hands gliding aimlessly over the smooth expanse of Pearl’s back. The sexual tension in the air had been quieted, but they both knew it was only for a short respite.

“How is it that you ended up in your childhood home as an adult?” Pearl asked at length, not giving up her most comfortable pillow.

“Well, this house has been in the King family for about a hundred and fifty years. My grandfather grew up, as did my father, and then I did. When my father retired, he decided he no longer wished to live here. I inherited it shortly after.”

“Do you like living here?” Pearl’s gaze looked around the room as much as she could by just moving her eyes. “It’s so big. Seems like it would get lonely.”

Ashton was quiet for a long time, her guest wondering if maybe she’d asked the wrong question. Ashton’s fingers trailed down Pearl’s spine. “It does get lonely,” she finally said, voice no more than a whisper.

Pearl raised her head, resting against her upturned palm as she studied the woman lying beneath her. Calm blue eyes returned her gaze, and Pearl slowly traced Ashton’s features. “You seem lonely. I remember thinking that the first night you came in.”

Ashton wasn’t comfortable with the direction the conversation was taking. She decided to change it. “What did Bart whisper to you that made you leave his lap and climb into mine?”

Pearl thought for a moment, then grinned. “He told me to go give you some company.”

Ashton rolled her eyes. “I’m not about to slit my wrists or anything,” she protested, making Pearl laugh.

“Well, I certainly hope not!” the blonde exclaimed. “I mean, what will I do if my favorite client were to do something that stupid?”

“Favorite client?” Ashton said, incredulous.

“Yeah,” Pearl grinned. “I mean, your library beats the couches at the club any day.”

Pearl yelped as she found herself flat on her back, a grinning Ashton over her. “Oh, so glad to see you have some use for me.”

“Yeah. A little,” Pearl teased, bringing up her hand, a half an inch of space between her thumb and forefinger.

“I’ll show you use,” Ashton growled, her fingers beginning to dig into the tender skin of Pearl’s sides. The blonde cried out, trying to pry Ashton’s fingers loose, but the brunette was determined, and very strong. So, she decided to turn the tables.

“Shit!” Ashton said, finding an evilly grinning blond suddenly on top of her, Pearl’s own fingers beginning to find all of her sensitive places.

“You think you can get me, do ya?” Pearl growled playfully, having to use all of her body weight to keep Ashton down. She was straddling her, trying to hold off Ashton’s hands with one of her own as she used the other to attack.

Ashton loved the playful nature of Pearl, but suddenly she was very aware of hot wetness on her stomach. One glance down told her that her little blonde was enjoying their play on a few different levels.

Pearl was nearly knocked off of Ashton’s body by a sudden move from the brunette, and braced herself with a palm on either side of Ashton’s head, their nipples grazing slightly. She was looking into Ashton’s eyes, scant inches from her lips. Her gaze fell to Ashton’s mouth, full and panting from the exertion, then found intense blue eyes, filled with desire. Pearl moaned as Ashton lifted her hips, her stomach pressing into the blonde’s heated core.

Warm hands rested on her hips, gently encouraging her to move. Pearl pushed herself up to a sitting position, and out of temptation’s grasp. She was so wet, gliding easily over Ashton’s stomach.

“I want you to grab something for me, baby,” Ashton said, her voice husky with desire.

“What?” Pearl moaned, her hips still working.

“On that table,” she pointed over by the couch near the wall. A long, wooden box sat atop it. “Bring it here.”

Pearl pushed off Ashton, her body still pulsing, hurrying over to the box and bringing it back to their rug in front of the fire. Ashton sat up, opening it and revealing one of the most realistic-looking dildos Pearl had ever seen, including a leather harness.

Ashton quickly buckled herself in, putting the cyberskin dildo in place, then lay back down on the rug. She reached for the blonde who quickly tossed a knee over Ashton’s torso once more. “I want you to ride me, baby,” Ashton said, her hands once again finding Pearl’s hips.

The blonde was nearly trembling with excitement, her slickness beginning to lick her inner thighs. She looked at the dildo, ready when she was, noting that it wasn’t too big, wasn’t too small. It looked most inviting. A glance at the still-opened box revealed a few packets of condoms. Reaching for one, she held it up. “Do you mind?”

“No. I’m sorry, I forgot. Please.”

Pearl made a show of biting off the corner of the square packet, spitting the bit of plastic into the flames, then removing the latex, slowly unrolling it over Ashton’s dildo. The brunette groaned slightly at the sight. Pearl gave her a dark grin before tossing the rest of the packaging aside, and moving up toward the dildo, which she held in her hand. She lifted herself to her knees, moving forward, allowing the latex-covered phallus to run along her seam, collecting thick lubrication.

Ashton lay on her back, hands tucked behind her head, watching. As Pearl’s gaze held her own, she truly thought it was the most erotic thing she’d ever seen. With torturously slow movements, Pearl raised herself a bit, she brought the tip of the dildo to her entrance, the latex obviously slick with her need.

Pearl’s eyes almost slid closed as she lowered herself until she was flush with Ashton’s body, but she wanted to look into hooded blue eyes and see the brunette’s reaction. She felt warm hands rest on her hips again, wrapping slightly around until they cupped her ass.

“How does that feel, baby?” Ashton murmured, her hips beginning to move slightly, pushing into Pearl.

“Feels wonderful,” Pearl gasped, planting her hands on Ashton’s stomach as she began to move with her.

Ashton let out a long sigh of pleasure, her hands leaving Pearl’s hips, as the blonde was doing fine all on her own, and instead concentrated on the gorgeous breasts that swayed gently with the rocking of Pearl’s body. Pearl let out a long moan as her breasts were cupped, the nipples pressed against seeking palms.

“Yesssss,” she hissed, her hips moving a bit faster with the added stimulation. She had never enjoyed penetration sex with one of her male clients like she was with Ashton. “You’re so deep, baby,” she moaned, feeling a low burn inside, Ashton wrapped tightly within her body.

“Mm,” Ashton answered, lost in bliss. She sat up, wanting to taste Pearl’s skin. Suddenly they were breast to breast, Pearl surprised by the sudden move, but she continued to move with Ashton, head arching back as a wet tongue found her throat. “You taste so good,” she murmured into an ear before licking the lobe. She wrapped a steadying arm around Pearl’s back, urging her to lean back just enough so she could wrap her lips around a hard nipple.

Pearl rested back on her hands, her hips still moving, groaning as her body was on sensation overload.

“Lie back for me, baby,” Ashton whispered, moving up from tantalizing breasts. She helped the blonde lower herself, never leaving Pearl’s body, until she rested between spread thighs, hands planted on the rug on either side of the blonde’s head. She continued to thrust her hips, groaning as Pearl reached down, grabbing her ass in greedy hands.

“Oh, fuck, yeah,” Pearl whimpered, her eyes closed as she raised her knees, wanting Ashton as deep as possible.

Ashton braced herself as she thrust her hips harder, her skin slapping against Pearl’s as she quickened her pace. She felt nails digging into the skin of her ass, urging her on. She forced her eyes to stay open, even as her orgasm was building, wanting to see Pearl’s face as she came. The blonde threw her head back, throat gracefully arched, eyes closed. Her whimpers were nearly nonstop now. Finally her brows drew together in deep concentration, then a loud cry erupted from her lips, her hands turning into a vice, holding Ashton to her. The brunette complied grinding the end of the dildo against her own clit as she buried it inside Pearl’s body, which made the blonde cry out again, followed quickly by Ashton.


Pearl woke up, blinking a few times before she realized they’d fallen asleep. She was curled up against Ashton, head resting on her breast. A glance at the clock in the corner told her that it was after one. Exhausted and in need of a soft bed, she slowly removed herself from Ashton’s embrace, getting to shaky legs. She was slightly sore from their time together, but deeply satisfied.

The blonde began to look for her clothes, not much to find, really- just her dress and her shoes. Running a hand through her hair, she tried to get it into some semblance of order, then slipped her dress on, grabbing her shoes by the heels, choosing to go barefoot until she hit the front stoop. She walked over to the table where she’d left her grape juice, intending to sooth her dry throat when she saw an envelope resting against the glass, her name written across the front in beautiful letters. She glanced at the still-very asleep Ashton, and then peeked inside the white envelope. Her heart hitched when she counted twenty-five hundred dollars in crisp one hundred dollar bills.

“My god,” she whispered. She downed the rest of the juice then turned back to her hostess. Ashton looked so beautiful, so peaceful, head resting on a pillow pulled from one of the couches, her body gorgeous and at rest.

Pearl knelt down, using a gentle touch to brush dark bangs away from the closed eyes. She leaned down, stopping herself once before leaning down again, and placing a soft kiss on Ashton’s lips.

“Goodbye,” she whispered, then quickly, and as quietly as she could, left the room. Pearl was surprised to find her jacket and purse waiting for her, laid over the back of a chair near the front door, and the entryway light left on. Outside, just as promised, the limousine waited. She felt bad, as her three hour engagement had ended nearly two hours ago.

Almost like clockwork, the driver’s side door opened, and the man hurried around the car to the back door. “I hope you enjoyed your evening, Miss,” he said, a cheerful smile on his lips. The chauffeur’s slightly-askew tie was the only indication that he’d been napping while he waited.

“I did, thank you.” She allowed herself to be helped into the car, the door closed soundly behind her. She couldn’t help but stare up at the huge old house, thinking of the beautiful brunette inside, and wish she were still there with her.


Ashton sat listlessly in her office, not really wanting to be there, and considering leaving for the day and working from her home office. It had been nine days since her encounter with Pearl. It had been four days since the most amazing night of her life. It had been four days since the blonde had walked out of her life. Yes, she’d been temped to go to the club and see Pearl, speak to her and touch her. Something stopped her, however, and she knew that something was that she did not want to have to pay for Pearl’s company.

The brunette sipped from her coffee, turning her chair so she looked out over the downtown area that her building held court over. Actually, she owned many of the buildings surrounding her, each company or corporation paying a nice, tidy little fee to rent space in her building.

Ashton’s thoughts returned to Pearl. Though she was likely kidding herself, it had seemed that there was something… special, perhaps, between them that night. A certain spark or attraction that went beyond the two thousand dollars Ashton had lined Pearl’s bank account with. Truth be told, she would’ve paid ten to spend that time in the blonde’s arms, touching her, being touched by her.

It had taken some bit of restraint to stay away, especially with Bart’s almost nightly invitations to join him. Her will was waning. Ashton wasn’t one to be controlled, and certainly never let anyone have such power over her, but Pearl… “Damn,” she muttered with a heavy sigh.


Pearl laughed politely, her fingers playing with the silk tie covered by the starched flaps of his collar. The man whose lap she sat in was making his intentions more than clear as his thick fingers roamed over her back, wrapping around her side under her arm. She felt the barest, but firm, touch against the outside of her breast. It took all she had not to shiver in reaction.

‘Duke’ as he was called, was a semi-regular, and always insisted on seeing her when he came into the club. In fact, the man with graying hair and tickling beard, insisted on dominating her entire night with his caresses, keeping her on his lap like some sort of hood ornament while he shared a cigar and business talk with colleagues. Usually about one out of every three nights with Duke, she was taken to the back room for fifteen minutes of his grunting, sweating body, which quite simply repulsed her.

Her musings were broken when suddenly Bart arrived at their table. She smiled up at him with genuine affection.

“Good evening, lovely lady,” Bart said, placing a kiss on her cheek. “I hope you won’t be too angry with me, but I need to steal your paramour,” Bart smiled and nodded at Duke.

“Oh, I think I can manage,” she replied coyly, inside wanting to kiss Bart with tongue in gratitude. She was surprised to see the twinkle in his eyes, and the wink he sent her way.

“Don’t go too far, lover,” Duke said into her ear, making her want to grimace. Instead she gracefully stood from his lap, and kissing him on the forehead.

Pearl began to wander the club, trying her best to keep to Duke’s request of staying near, but suddenly Pearl was standing face-to-face with a most unexpected distraction.

Ashton had been searching the dark club with her eyes, heading further in to look for Pearl, when the woman was suddenly headed straight for her, seeming to be lost in her own thoughts. She was ready to grab the blonde so she didn’t bowl her over when suddenly green eyes flashed up, meeting her own gaze. For just a moment she saw warm recognition, but it was just as quickly gone.

“Ashton,” she said, voice strong and calm, ‘Pearl’ firmly in place. Pearl wasn’t sure how she’d react if Ashton were to wander into the club, but after more than a week’s absence, she was beginning to think that it might not be an issue. Standing there, looking the beautiful women over, dressed in tailored pants and white button-down shirt, casually unbuttoned to the third button, Pearl was left breathless, though she hid it well. She had been well taught. “How are you this evening?”

“I’m well. And yourself?” Ashton asked, trying to reconcile the cool tones and professional mask that the blonde wore with the warm, passionate woman who had made love to her for hours on end.

“I’m well, thank you. Seems my date has business,” she said regretfully, glancing over at Duke, who was in deep conversation with Bart and another man.

“Good. I’d like to buy you a drink,” Ashton said, resting her hand on an empty chair next to her. “Maybe talk for a bit.”

Pearl grinned, though it was more like a smirk. “I don’t drink, Miss King, and I’m otherwise involved.” Again, she hitched her head toward Duke.

“I’m sure we could get you some grape juice, and it looks like Duke is busy,” Ashton said, her voice lowering to an intimate level that turned Pearl’s stomach into knots. Ashton withdrew two hundred dollars from her pocket, waving it in front of the blonde. “I want some time with you.”

Pearl looked at her, and for a moment felt a twinge of anger. She didn’t want Ashton to see her that way, that with the flick of a couple greenbacks, she was hers for the taking. A crazy thought for what amounted to nothing but a high-priced whore.

“And you think you can just buy me, is that it?” Pearl asked, a brow raised.

Ashton was slightly taken aback by the hard tone and stinging words. “Well, isn’t that how it works?” she asked, her own anger beginning to bubble. She wanted to see Pearl, to talk to her, to spend an evening eating dinner with her, talking and laughing. She wanted to get to know Pearl’s mind, to understand her.

“I’m not your private whore, Ashton,” she murmured quietly, eyes burning into the blue, which for a moment registered shock, then quickly clouded to unreadable.

“No? Well, I don’t know,’ Ashton crossed her arms over her chest, rising to her full height and looking down at the blonde with hooded eyes. “It seems like for the right price, you’re anyone’s whore.”

The slap came so swiftly, they both could just stare at each other in mute shock. Pearl recovered first, standing taller, and about to turn and walk back to Duke, as unappealing as that option was. Even so, it was far more appealing than seeing the hurt in Ashton’s blue eyes. She was caught by the arm as she tried to make her escape, a warm body moving up behind her own.

“I want to see you again,” Ashton whispered in her ear. The sting of the slap was still felt, but she knew she had deserved it.

Pearl’s eyes slipped closed for a moment, a quiet sigh escaping. She was torn between what she knew was simply business, and what she really wanted. “Why?” She turned and faced the brunette. “What do you want from me, Ashton?”

“I want to spend time with you. I want to get to know you,” Ashton gestured at the club around them. “Outside of here. I want to get to know the real you.”

Pearl was stunned, never expecting that answer. She figured it would be more along the lines of, I want to fuck your brains out again. She was shaken out of her stupor when she heard her name called. She held up a hand in Duke’s general direction, acknowledging his request, even as she was unable to look away from Ashton’s beseeching gaze. “Alright,” she said softly. “You want to know the real me, do you?” At Ashton’s nod, she made a decision. “I’ll pick you up at your house Thursday morning, early.”

“How early?” Ashton asked, completely bewildered by the very sudden change in conversation.


“In the morning?!”

Pearl couldn’t keep the amusement from her voice. “Yes. In the morning. Clear your schedule for the entire morning.” She turned to go, but stopped, glancing at the brunette over her shoulder. “Oh, and Ashton? Dress casual.” With those cryptic words, she was gone.


Part 2


Back to the Halloween Invitational

Back to the Academy