Eric hires children. If we are of legal age, then we are just barely that. There are times when a prodigy comes to him. Someone who is beyond the acceptable “start” age, like me―I’m twenty-two but can easily pass for seventeen. And then it is like a gift lands at his door because it will take only a matter of weeks to train me. Not the months and years required for his other girls to learn the subtle tricks of being the highest-paid escorts in San Francisco. It’s matter-of-fact for him. All top-end madams think in terms of numbers. How many are in his stable? How old are they? How far-fetched, how sane, how pretty, how many clients does he have waiting to pay for her stunning attributes? It’s a matter of percentages and commissions, tedious accounting work.

He catches a telescopic glimpse of me as soon as I get out of my car. Even in the gray suit I’ve been instructed to wear, along with black heels, pearls, and minimal makeup, he can make out the long pair of legs cradled into my five-foot-seven-inch body unfolding onto the asphalt. I step, I walk like an athlete. “Tomboy,” he scribbles onto his legal pad. My bones are all structured and lined up with just enough flesh to build the shape of a nubile teenager. It’s like bottled perfume―every woman’s body―and Eric never releases the scent until she’s ripe. In his world of instant demand, he serves not only as madam but also as the mentor of sex as religion and is deviously and insanely patient. Every client will eventually pay in cash for each savored moment when he withholds a girl from the clutching eyes of the market. The product he offers bears his indelible mark. From this day forward, my sex is stamped. I become one of “Eric’s girls.”

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