"Hey," Lois said. "You're putting way too much pink in your foundation." The bar had just opened and Lois had made a pomegranate martini for one of her regular customer.
Lana shrugged. "Guys seem to like it that way."
"So, you're working today?"
"Yeah. Why don't you do it as well? You're not too bad looking."
Lois shook her head. "Nah, pay and pack ain't my style. I'm old fashioned in that I give it out for free to a select few."
"Suit yourself. You'd make a killing."
"Besides the way you talk about your job, it doesn't sound like you much enjoy it."
"Hey, a Bloody Mary," said another customer.
Lois quickly mixed up the tomato juice-based concoction and gave it to him. "It doesn't pay much but I enjoy this."
Lana took a sip of her martini and said, "The pay makes up for a lot." A lot, she thought, but not all.
"What happened to Adam? I don't see him around anymore."
"That phony bastard. It turns out he was a junkie. He flipped the apartment inside out for my jewelry to pawn. I thought he was different, but he was just a user like all the rest."
"Sorry to hear that."
"Yeah, well, story of my life," she said before throwing back the rest of her martini. "What I wouldn't do for a knight-in-shining armor to save me."
"Heh, you and me both," said Lois.
"Hey," he said, from his wheelchair. He was a good-looking guy, chest cut and arms bulging from wheeling himself all over town and participating in various sport events for wheelchair athletes. He had blond hair and sad eyes, and as far as guys went, he was all right.
"Hey," she said, dressed in a cheerleader outfit complete with pom-poms. As for why she was wearing the cheerleader outfit, he used to be a star quarterback in high school. When going pro didn't pan out, he ended up in the Marines only to get his legs below the knees blown off. He had told her once that it made him remember better times.
He managed to pull himself out of the wheelchair, land on the bed, prop himself on his side and said, "You know what to do."
She did the routine. She sucked at it but he didn't care as long as she smiled, wore the uniform and yelled out that he was the coolest guy ever. "GO! Whitney! Whoo!"
He was pretty much a vanilla person. They'd make out for a while, he'd take off the costume bit by bit and go for a slow fuck. Sometimes, he was on top. Sometimes, she was but he wasn't really interested in anything really out there.
She told him once that he could probably find a girl if he put his mind to it. He had just smiled ruefully.
He was balding, middle-aged and a bit pudgy like most of her customers, guys who wanted certain things that their wives or girlfriends wouldn't do or that they couldn't bring themselves to ask them to do. Being sheriff in that town must have been frustrating because he liked to role-play scenarios where he always came out on top. "Well, you're in a bit of trouble, aren't you, miss thing?" he'd say as he'd slap the handcuffs on her. The handcuffs were hers so she could slip out of them easily.
"I'm sorry, sheriff," she said, batting her eyelashes and trying to look as scared as possible.
"You've been a bad, bad girl. As punishment, I might have to give you a taste of my baton."
He was a bit rough and had a thing for ass but he wasn't a sadist and luckily he didn't last that long. After putting his `weapon' away, he'd actually look a bit self-conscious, put the money on the dresser and once he made sure that nothing was showing, he'd hightail it out of there.
Other times, he'd request that she dress in black leather, and put on some dark eye makeup. He'd ask her to chew him out and literally walk all over him in stilettos. Per his instructions, she'd tell him that he was full of shit, that he'd cross the line one too many times, that he was a phony, that he was a monster, that he was just pretending. She'd cap off the session with tying him up with his arms above his head, spitting on him and slapping him. Only then would he be able to come.
"Marry me," he said after the last session. He had put on his pants and was buttoning up his shirt.
"Marry me. I want to make you safe."
She rolled her eyes. Once in a while, she'd get one of those guys who confused sex with intimacy or love or whatever. "I usually find that mace is cheaper."
"So was I. I'm not interested. Don't ask me that question ever again if you ever want to come here again."
Business had started to slow down. Former customers would just stop calling. Lana had a private investigator from the firm Mars & Sullivan check out why. It turns out that for some reason, a lot of her customers had been scared off by some guy in a cling uniform who could fly, taking them high up in the sky and threatening them with being dropped. Not wanting to become a nasty mess on the sidewalk, a lot of them chose to take their business elsewhere. This seriously pissed her off.
One day, she was walking to "You know," said the spandex-clad man. "You really shouldn't be doing what you're doing."
"Who the hell do you think you are?" she said. "Are you part of some weird Bible-thumping, praise the Lord group trying to save me?"
"Hey, are you bothering her?" said Lois, coming out of the bar with a bat. "Because I've got a Louisville slugger that says you're going to stop."
The guy's eyes flashed red and the bat caught on fire. "Motherfucker," swore Lois as she dropped it in shock.
"Leave the chivalry to the pros," the guy smirked before flying off.
"You suck!" Lois yelled at the guy's disappearing ass. "You freaking dick!" She turned to Lana and said, "Come in for a drink, it's on the house."
Once Lana slugged down a Mai Tai, she said, "What am I going to do? He's chasing off all my customers, stalking me and I'm afraid he's going to kidnap me one day."
Lois drummed her fingers on the bar. "Well, those private investigators I referred you to . . . They work for some mighty big players in this city. Maybe they can hook you up with someone who can help you deal with this guy."
"You think so?"
"Yeah, they've got a whole bunch of corporate accounts."
"So, you've got a problem with a guy wearing a uniform that would get him executed by the fashion police?"
Lana nodded at the blond woman who was all business and bristled with the cynicism and edginess that years of running in some pretty shady circles gave one.
Private Investigator Chloe Sullivan pulled out one of her files, took out a sheet of paper and said, "Is this the guy?"
It was a drawing of the man with all the right details. "That's him."
"Well, I think I know someone who can help solve your problem. Now, I can't say who it is, you know, confidentiality and all . . . But you should be getting help within the next few days."
"Is that it?"
"Don't worry, it's going to be all right," said Chloe as she looked at a snow globe that strangely enough had green snow.
"Dear Ms. Lang,
"The necklace in this case is what will act as your protection. They're not emeralds so I'm just informing you that pawning them for a quick financial fix would be an act in futility. It turns out that your stalker has a strange psychosomatic allergy to them. Once he knows you're wearing them, he'll keep his physical distance. There are other reasons he'll keep his distance but . . . it's a long story and I won't bore you with it.
The letter was left unsigned. She put on the necklace and looked in the mirror. It is a lovely necklace, she thought.
"I see you're wearing his necklace. You're under his protection?"
"What if I am, you freak?" she said. Every since she started wearing it, she hadn't been bothered by him though the creepy feeling hadn't gone away. He had even stopped harassing her customers.
"I think you're making the wrong choice. He's not the one who can save you."
"Trying to save me . . . It's just another fucking kink. I've known guys like you. After they're done `saving me,' they get bored and move on to the next damsel-in-distress that needs saving. Whether you're trying to screw me or save me, in the end, you don't really SEE me. Now fuck off!"
The man hung up without saying anything more. Lana smiled knowing that he was finally gone but then the smile vanished as she realized she was right back where she started.
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