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Spade drove us in the black Escalade to a nightclub in midtown Manhattan. She’d told me about the various nightclubs her grandfather owned. I assumed this was one. It was packed, even on a Wednesday, with bodies on top of bodies, gyrating against one another to rich, pounding, base-filled hip-hop music. I couldn’t really see anything because it was dark. The walls were covered in some type of thick, silky, black fabric, the floor was tiled in a black and red jigsaw pattern and there were three massive bars located in different parts of the huge room. There were people piled up around the bars, waiting for the bartenders to recognize them, and people thrashing about on the spacious dance floors. Tae ignored all of this, making her way to a flight of stairs at the back of the club. Spade, Jari and I followed.
And as soon as we climbed the stairs and the door opened, I wished I’d stayed outside in the noise and chaos that was at least a little more familiar. Inside the office, that surprisingly muted most of the noise once the door was closed, there were three people hovering around a sofa. I was so busy watching them, I didn’t really take in the upscale decorations in the office or the bevy of televisions against one wall. Someone was lying on the sofa. As I moved closer I saw…red…dark red…lots of it…blood? Was that blood? I froze, stunned. A man was dressing the many cuts on the face of a woman sitting on the sofa. Her face was swollen, distorted, and covered in blood, from cuts and bruises…tons of them. She was blonde, petite, rather attractive, dressed in a slip of a silver dress that was stained with blood, raised around her hips, barely covering her breast…what the hell?
I started to move forward, but was grabbed by Spade who kept me from interfering.
What the hell was going on here? That silent question was quickly followed in my mind by ‘who the hell had hurt this woman’? I turned to Tae who was simply watching the people work with what appeared to be a surprising level of detachment.
“What the hell?” I demanded, unable to hold my tongue any longer.
Tae turned to me but didn’t answer, instead shifting her gaze to Jari who was watching the group. I turned to my bodyguard/friend.
“Jari?” I asked, still trying to take it all in.
“Someone is hurting our girls. Probably Marcos.”
“Our girls?” I repeated.
No one responded, so I addressed Jari again.
“Uh, you need to elaborate.”
I saw a quick look pass between Jari and Tae. Jari asking for permission to tell me more and Tae nodding to let her know it was okay.
“We inherited a few girls from her grandfather.”
Okay…uh…huh? My wife had ‘inherited some girls’…inherited some prostitutes? Was this a fucking joke?
Now I turned to Tae.
“If I interpreted that correctly, you’re a pimp now?”
Tae smirked. She fucking smirked, like this was some type of joke, but she didn’t answer.
I sat down. I was feeling a little light headed, so I sat down in the nearest chair I could find. My eyes were fixed on the group still trying to attend the wounded woman. The entire experience, the blood, the very red, very swollen face, the gaping wounds on what had certainly been a pretty young woman, and my wife’s words…all of it was making me nauseous.
My wife was a pimp. My wife pimped women. The former State Trooper and Federal Marshal now pimped women. Seriously? Was this really happening? And she’d confirmed it as if it was no big deal. Like this was common practice. And like this wasn’t illegal as all hell. What the fuck?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I was pro prostitution. In other words, I thought it should be legal. If a woman wanted to make money by selling her body, and a man, or woman, wanted to purchase that body…as long as they were consenting adults, I thought the government should stay out of it. But it’s one thing to feel that way politically. It’s another to be married to someone who was a fucking pimp. I mean…really?
“Tae. Can I speak to you in private?” I asked as calmly as I could.
She finally looked at me again and then pointed toward a closed door. I led the way. It was a spacious, nicely decorated bathroom. She closed the door behind us.
“Baby, tell me you’re a pimp again in that very calm way while you’re looking at me,” I invited shakily.
No smirk this time. Thank goodness. She could see I was upset. I watched as she removed a leather case from the back pocket of her jeans and lit a cigarette. I stared at her with even more shock on my face. When the hell had she started smoking cigarettes regularly enough that she carried them around with her? Realizing this was also new for me, she sighed.
“Baby, what is it you think my grandfather does?”
The question threw me. To be honest, since he had a damn private plane, I’d been making a real effort not to think about it. But if I was forced to…
“Drugs. I assumed he was seriously bahis şirketleri into drugs.”
She nodded, “true. He’s hip deep in that shit. But that’s not all, baby. He owns residential properties all over the city, nightclubs, restaurants, car dealerships, a private security firm, health clubs, a small airport upstate. He has a team handling his investments and another team of lawyers and computer experts that just sit around on retainer. I think he even owns a few fucking day care centers and bakeries. He’s into so much shit I don’t know if I’ll ever know about everything. So, did you really think prostitution was off limits? Did you think anything was off limits?”
The words washed over me…and silenced me. I hadn’t thought about it. I hadn’t thought about what it meant to own a private plane, a fleet of cars, a number of ‘security personnel.’ I hadn’t thought about what gangs were into…I mean, I was still thinking petty criminal antics committed by juveniles, violent rivalries, and some drugs…not a damn conglomerate. I shook my head, what else was her grandfather into? Cybercrimes? Counterfeiting? Human trafficking? And did I really want to know?
When I didn’t say anything, she sighed again.
“Baby, you know me. I’m not a pimp. I don’t use violence to control the girls. They’re all over 18, they work when they want, if they want, and they keep 75% of their earnings. I get a fee for vetting their dates, setting up the meet, and providing protection. It’s a business, that’s all.”
I stared at her, not sure what to say. When someone knocked on the door, she looked at me for another moment and then opened the door, leaving me standing in the bathroom alone. I was…dazed. I mean…Jesus. Talk about out of the frying pan and into a huge, blazing, out of control fire.
I was still standing in the bathroom, dazed, when Jari joined me. I turned to her, now quite angry.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
Jari didn’t say a word. It was at these moments that I had to remember that while she was my friend, she worked for my wife. She couldn’t tell me if Tae hadn’t authorized it. Finally I asked, “will she be okay?”
Jari nodded, “the ambulance just picked her up. She’ll be okay.”
“Did they ask her anything? Do they know who is doing this?”
She shrugged, “Tae knows who’s doing this.”
Marcos. I closed my eyes, trying to digest everything I’d just learned. I stepped past her and was just in time to watch them wheeling the woman out on a gurney. I turned away, shaken, still reeling from what I’d learned tonight, and left the posh office. I needed air. God, I needed…a drink. When I left the nightclub, I noticed Jari was right behind me. My permanent, paid shadow.
I spent that night at a hotel, not willing to face Tae and needing to just…pause. But I didn’t get much sleep. Instead, I spent the night wondering…what the fuck? What the fuck was going on? What…every time I closed my eyes…all that blood…Jesus…so much blood…I shook my head. Like with Dylan, I had to bury that image.
Jesus what the fuck had I gotten myself into? And I couldn’t help but remember Tae had done all of this for me. To protect me, to keep me safe…to stop Marcos. So what had I done? What type of world had I asked her to become a part of? And…it was changing her. I mean, how could it not? Who could explain ‘managing girls’ with such detachment unless they had changed? She had been enforcing the law just a little more than a year ago. She was paying my way through graduate school so I could be a social worker and make a contribution to the world in a healthy, valuable way. And yet…she was covered in shit. Her life had become shit, her choices were shitty…and it was all eating away at the woman I’d fallen in love with. God, how stupid was I? How self-absorbed? How naïve? Jesus…
That next day, I went to class and participated in my study group, but I skipped dinner with Tae, doing my best, for the most part, to avoid her for a little longer. I needed time to process all of this…I needed time to think.
A part of me wondered how deep a hole I had dug for us. Would she be willing to walk away if I asked her to? Would she be able to? And what would she do afterwards? She couldn’t go back to her career in law enforcement. I had taken that away from her. So, if I asked her to walk away, to run away with me, what would she do for the next 30 or 40 years?
The alternative? Could I really be part of this world?
And then a part of me just laughed. Laughed at my ‘holier than thou’ attitude. I’d helped traffic dozens of kilos of cocaine, stolen $10,000, lied about my identity, was an accessory to grand theft auto and murder…and let’s not forget my walk on the wild side with breaking and entering. I mean…who the hell was I to raise a brow at Tae and her grandfather? Since I’d met Dylan, my life had been nothing but crime after crime. And now I wanted to poo-poo Tae bahis firmaları and her grandfather?
And yet…large-scale distribution of drugs, prostitution, and God only knew what else. It was different…somehow. I’d done things to please my man and to save my own ass…but this? This was…this was…business. It was just…business. That made it different…that made it dangerous…didn’t it?
I glanced at the huge diamond on my left hand…didn’t it?
“Hey Spade. Where is she?”
“Same place as last night. Check in with Jari.”
He disconnected the call and I grabbed my jacket. Hours later, after skipping our sared dinner time, I’d finally caved in a called her bodyguard, knowing he would know where Tae was. He always knew. Another testimony of the huge change in our lives. Wearing a casual skirt and cute tee, I wasn’t really dressed for the nightclub, but I didn’t care. After all, my wife owned it. Who was going to kick me out? Besides, I needed to see her…
I texted Jari and she met me downstairs in our lobby 15 minutes later. She already had a cab waiting. The ride to the club took no time at all, which was good because I wasn’t talking to Jari yet. We breezed by the people waiting in line, a delightful feeling I hoped I would never get used to (smile), and made our way to the stairway in back. I asked Jari to wait downstairs.
She was on the phone when I knocked and entered. Spade and a few other guys were there, the blood had been cleaned up…and it looked like a regular, upscale office, dark, heavy, plush furniture, nicely placed paintings and all. I still saw images of blood and that poor woman’s face, but I forced them from my mind. Spade made everyone clear out when he saw it was me and, once I was alone, I walked around the office, taking in the paintings and knickknacks, the twelve or so monitors mounted on a wall showing different angles of the club, as I waited for her to complete her phone call. When she was done with her phone call, she didn’t say a word, just watched as I continued to peruse the office, slowly making my way to her. I walked around her desk, standing beside her chair, waiting until she turned to face me. Then I climbed onto her lap, straddling her, and kissed her.
She was slow to respond, perhaps not sure what was going on, perhaps a little pissed I’d missed our dinner, perhaps a little annoyed it had taken me so long to come to her. But she felt about me the way I felt about her, so it didn’t take long for her lips to soften, inviting me in, her tongue seeking mine, exploring, stroking, her hands at my waist, settling me over the package she wore, our breathing growing short and ragged quickly.
But before we went any further, she lifted her head, those intense, stormy gray eyes taking me in.
“You okay?” She asked quietly.
I nodded, not sure I was 100% okay, especially considering I could not get the image of that bloodied face out of my head, but not wanting to talk about it right now. Instead, I curved my arms around her neck, settling in for what was sure to be quite a pleasant ride.
I felt her release a breath, felt her body relax just a bit…and then my brain fuzzed over as she covered my lips, the kiss deep, quickly taking us to a different level. I sighed, enjoying the feel of those powerful hands at my waist, relishing the taste of her, wiggling on that package that promised joy. She smirked, standing, bringing me around to the front of the desk, lifting me up, quickly removing my panties, and kneeling before me. I felt soft lips on my inner thighs, those same lips caressing the sensitive skin covering my pelvic bone…gentle kisses…teasing…enticing…driving me a little crazy…then she dove in as if starved. I closed my eyes, biting my lip. She was good, so very good, she always had been. I could feel my body heating quickly, my hands grabbing the edge of the desk as her tongue laved…explored…swirled…slashed. Soon I was squirming, panting, desperate as I felt that familiar steep climb. She was holding onto my hips so brutally I knew I would have bruises. I didn’t care. My body was already tensing, preparing to go over…then she stopped suddenly. She stood, having already undone her jeans…and she slid into me, smoothly…deeply…I moaned, my eyes squeezed tighter, my fingers digging into her shoulders. She had a thicker, longer one on today…and damn it felt good. She began to move her hips, her fingers parting me wide, her thumb manipulating my center, her lips covering a hardened nipple… I was whimpering…begging…God…God.
She fucked me…keeping me on the precipice…working me over…stringing me out with deep, long strokes…my eyes were still shut tight, colors dancing behind the lids…my nails digging into her back, marking her…my head thrown back…I couldn’t think, I could only feel…her…between my thighs…fucking me…slowly…intently…licking me…biting me…savoring me…setting me kaçak bahis siteleri on fire. When she finally, finally, let me come, I thought I would die from the intensity of it. It consumed me, my nerves poised at an exquisite point of absolute, utter, pleasure…totally at her mercy…totally hers…I would do anything for her in that moment and she probably knew it.
“Love you, Vic.”
That’s what she said, in that throaty, deep voice as she continued to thrust into me, deeply, her movements less smooth…she was close. I gathered my senses, reached out to her, taking a very hard nipple into my mouth, my fingers finding their way beneath her strap to manipulate her. She groaned my name as she came. I smiled, loving the sound.
She was sweating, breathing hard, we both were, and it took a few minutes for us to pull ourselves together. She kissed me gently, helping me down from the desk, waiting until I’d slipped on my discarded panties and fixed my clothes, before kissing me on the forehead, patting me gently on the ass, and then watching me leave her office. I smiled. I knew she didn’t want me to leave, but she had work to do. I descended the stairs, finding Jari at the closest bar. She grinned at me and I blushed furiously, happy my skin was too dark to show it. I’d been loud. They’d heard. Tae’s guys were professional enough not to show it. Jari, being the jerk she was, was happy to embarrass me.
“All good now?” She asked sweetly.
“Fuck you. I need a drink.”
She ordered a Screaming Orgasm for me and handed it to me with a huge grin. I wondered if Tae would let me fire her.
We weren’t there very long when a second round of drinks appeared before us. We hadn’t ordered again, so we looked up at the attractive, female bartender who indicated a woman sitting at the other end of the bar. She was cute, petite, caramel colored, her hair long and silky, brushing her shoulders, her make-up tasteful. And she clearly had eyes for Jari. Jari downed her drink and raised a brow at me. I.e. did I need her for anything? I shook my head and told her to “go for it.”
Not long after Jari and the woman left to find some privacy, another Screaming Orgasm appeared before me. I raised another brow at the bartender and she smiled, now indicating a rather tall, well-built, Puerto Rican man standing at the other end of the bar. He nodded in my direction. I didn’t even like the Screaming Orgasm Jari bought me that much, but I raised my glass in a ‘thank you’ and sipped, closing my eyes as I felt that third drink start to warm me in places typically reserved for Tae.
“Can’t believe you’re sitting here alone, a woman as attractive as you are.”
I opened my eyes and looked up at him. He was tall, had broad shoulders, a massive chest, dark, thick wavy hair that hung a little far down on his forehead in a way where you just wanted to reach out and brush it back, a thin mustache and nicely groomed goatee, dimples when he smiled, a long, square, strong jaw, creamy, coffee with a lot of cream complexion…he was very, very attractive. I smiled, my insides buzzing a little from the three drinks.
“Sit,” I directed him, indicating the chair beside me.
We sat there, chatting, flirting, as I asked him tons of questions. His name was Benjamin, or Ben. He told me about going to a prestigious college, earning an MBA, the private organization he worked for now, managing their finances. He told me he’d been married twice, and divorced twice, and about his two kids, each living with their respective mothers out on the Island (“the island” for New Yorkers meant Long Island). He seemed sweet, well spoken…and downright normal. I could use a little normal, even if only briefly.
“What about you? What’s your story,” he finally asked. A question I was dreading. What did I say? ‘Oh, I was pretty normal, until I started fucking a drug dealer. Now I’ve committed a bunch of crimes, been in witness protection…oh, and I married a woman who is being groomed to be one of the most powerful criminals in the City?’ No, that wouldn’t be awkward at all.
I, of course, didn’t say any of that. I told him about college and graduate school. I told him about teaching and running a day care center in New Mexico. I didn’t mention Tae, but when I saw him glance at the rings on my left hand, I mentioned I was married.
“Married? Yea, been there, done that,” he offered jokingly, his smile warm.
He was sweet, charming, and sooooo good looking…God, where had he been before I met Dylan?
I was relaxed, enjoying myself…we were laughing and considering ordering another round of drinks…except that a minute later there was a huge man standing behind him, tapping him on the shoulder. Benjamin turned to him with surprise.
“Sir, you to leave the club. Now.”
My brows probably rose as high with surprise as Ben’s did.
“Excuse me?” Benjamin asked.
“With our apologies, of course. We’ll cover the cost of your drinks and refund the cover charge.”
I didn’t understand what was happening. I stood and moved beside Benjamin.
“It’s okay,” I offered, unable to remember if I’d met this bouncer before, “he’s with me.”
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