Excerpt: Pleasure

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   It was exactly midnight when the cab pulled up. I know because I’d just looked at the clock on the central trust tower, missing its arrival. Orange, lined in white with black lettering, it was the only car I’d seen in the last hour, other than the police. In this City, those were always on the roads. Late January was a bad time for any business, let alone mine.

   The window slid down to reveal an average taxi and an even more average driver. Vinyl seats, used but not dirty, sandy blond ponytail hanging behind a dark colored shirt. The smell of smoke wafted out, both kinds, and I smiled at his boldness. Most Cabbie’s in this uptight town at least sprayed something after they lit up.

“You should get in. We’ll talk.” His voice was smooth, like the kind that should be singing backup for great bands, and I didn’t hesitate, sliding into the warm car. It was roughly freezing and I hadn’t had a single client all night.

“So where we goin?” I used my southern accent, almost sure it had been my very long hair that had drawn him, and he looked at me in the mirror, smiling politely.

“Somewhere we can be alone.” I nodded and leaned back as the Taxi pulled smoothly away from the corner I always worked.

“You guys busy tonight?” He shook his head, made a gentle turn as he waved a hand at the lit up but silent cab radio.

“Not any more than you, I would think.” I studied him now, his total uncaring that we’d already broken laws and were about to blow through a few more, catching my interest. 

He wasn’t ashamed, liked living on the edge, I thought, spying the beginnings of gray, of real age, creeping into his hairline. Ah. Fear of death. I couldn’t have been more wrong and it wasn’t the pleasure that drove him either. Almost the opposite was true.

His eyes met mine in the mirror and I recognized the need in them.

“I’d like to hire you.” I grinned sexily.

“You already have. Price matter right now?” His eyes never left mine as he gently braked for a yellow light.

“There’s a credit card on the seat next to you. Do you want to stop and get it first?” I fingered the mastercard. Johnathan Harker. Age, 37. Musician’s animation on the logo.

“After’s fine.” He nodded politely and I caught a whiff of aftershave that sent a jolt thru my system. Sexy!

“What’s your name?”

“Amy. Yours?” He grinned at my joke and I didn’t bother to ask before lighting a slightly crushed Winston. His neat turns had quickly taken us to a more expensive neighborhood than I’d been expecting. Surely not his home?

   We pulled onto a long gravel driveway surrounded by thick trees and utter darkness and when I looked up, I saw he’d been watching me.

“We can go somewhere else?” He slowed as he made the offer, letting me have control, and I shrugged, relaxing.

“I’m fine with this.”

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