Marta eyed the cars driving by, hoping for one to slow down. Preferably a nice Italian sports car, looking for directions…
Yeah, right. Her normal customer drove either a few-years-old sedan, or (fairly common) a truck. Sometimes a new truck. Also common was moderatly new to new mid-size cars bought by parents of the drivers.
If they were alone, she liked those customers. If they were in a group, or drunk, she avoided them if she could. Alone usually meant some shy guy looking to loose his virginity, someone who’d need her to seduce him.
The others… Druken frat boys who wanted something they couldn’t get for free from druken frat girls weren’t the safest of customers. And they occasionally ‘forgot’ to pay.
It wasn’t likely there would be any druken frat boys tonight though. There might be a lone college boy, too far from home, who just wanted someone around. Marta usually got a couple of those over the holidays.
She was glad Christmas was past. Walking the streets with everything lit up for Christmas sales on her income was… well, not as bad as some customers, but still.
Besides, aside from the cold, this time between Chrismas and New Years was a good time for someone in her position: Clients wanted to be cared for, not just pleasured, so they took more time and were more gentle.
Well, aside from those who wanted to take out their anger…
Better parts of town would get better customers, but that took… Well, never mind what that took. She didn’t have it.
A car pulled up, looking out of place: brand new, with the options. Marta walked up as the window rolled down.
He didn’t look at her legs, or down her skimpy tube-top (where the cold was helping her: visibly perky nipples were a great sales attraction). He looked her straight in the eye.
“You need a date?” A simple question. It was best to keep it simple, usually.
He controlled a smirk, worrying Marta. Still… “How much? For the night?”
He’d hesitated just a moment between the two questions. She’d almost started her normal spiel, and had to back up, thinking quickly.
What could he aﬀord? And how much more than that should she ask, so she had room to bargain? She didn’t want to scare him oﬀ.
She didn’t usually go for the night, but then most customers who asked ‘settled’ for less anyway: it was all they really wanted.
Looking over the car she made a quick decision: Go for broke. Might as well; he obviously was in the market, and she could always bargain lower. “$2,000 .”
That wasn’t in the plan. And, frankly, that quick acceptance scared her. Either he had something special he wanted, or he wasn’t planning on paying. One way or the other.
Well, Jeana would get the license plate, and for $2,000 , she was willing to give quite a bit of ‘special’ treatment. Assuming he had it. “I don’t take checks or credit.”
He laughed, and carefully reached into his jacket, pulling out a wad of cash. “I expected nothing less. Get in.”
She hesitated. Someone throwing that amount of money, in this part of town. “I’m not a drug dealer, and I’m not a pimp. You want the cash, get in. Otherwise I’ll ﬁnd someone else.”
It was a lot of cash. She shrugged her shoulders and got in. “You can call me Marta,” she said, with as much seduction as she could, pulling from ages of experience.
He didn’t react. “Nice to meet you. My name is Brian.” He put out a hand to shake hers, which Marta took.
This was not going as expected. Stories ran through her head: The only thing she could think of was that he was a ‘procurer’ for someone a little too visible to pick up someone like her himself. Or herself? Either way, Brian didn’t seem interested in her himself.
“I was just heading to dinner. Care to join me?”
Phrased that way there was no way she could refuse. Besides, he was probably paying, and it was sure to beat what Marta’s budget could normally stretch to. “Dinner sounds divine.”
That got a smile.
Brian pulled away from the curb, and concentrated on driving. Marta wondered if she should start a conversation, but her companion did not appear inclined to wish to talk, and she was ﬁne just getting warmed up in the car. Besides, if he was in no hurry, neither was she. He was paying for enough time, after all. She looked around the car, which screamed ‘rental’ from the inside: to clean, to sterile, no personal touches anywhere.
In short order he pulled in at a decent mid-level restaurant in a nearby section of town. Nice enough they would probably need reservations, not so nice that Marta’s bargain-bin outﬁt would look too out of place.
He had reservations. For two.
They were seated in a quiet corner, away from the rest of the customers. Whether this was because Brian had asked for it, or whether the staﬀ had decided they didn’t want to be known to be seating such as Marta, Marta wasn’t sure.
The waitress handed them their menus, and left them alone.
Brian put his menu down, and reached into his coat pocket. “Before I forget, this is yours.” He took out the cash, and handed it to Marta. She made it disappear without a word.
“Don’t be shy about ordering: it’s on me.” He was looking at the menu again.
Someone appeared to take their drink orders. Brian ordered a ginger ale, Marta considered something stronger, but decided she didn’t want to get too drunk yet.
Brian had decided on his order, and gave it. Marta picked the most expensive thing on the menu without further consideration.
Brian waited until the wait staﬀ had moved out of earshot. “I’m sure you are wondering what I’m going to ask for.”
No point in playing games he wasn’t interested in playing. “The thought had crossed my mind.”
“For $2,000 , I’m going to ask you to… ﬁnish this meal with me — without making a scene — and consider what I have to say.”
“That’s it?” The words were out before Marta could think.
“That’s it.” He waited for a reply.
No way could he do something in a place like this that Marta would consider worth more than $2,000 . “What about the rest of the night?”
“Up to you. Entirely. If you want to leave at the end of the meal, I’ll take you wherever you want to go. Or I am sure the restaurant would be more than willing to call a cab for you.” Or there was a bus station two blocks away. Though with this wad of cash in her purse, a cab might be worth it…
But there was a question that had to be asked. “Why so much just to bring me here? It’s not like it’s hard to ask a woman out to dinner.”
“True. But not many can I be sure that, even if they say no, they won’t mention what I want to talk about to anyone I know. I’m paying for anonymity: You know my ﬁrst name, you’ve seen a rental car, I’m paying cash. You walk away, you’ll never ﬁnd me again.”
That still didn’t answer why her, but she was willing to wait. At the very least this was the easiest $2,000 she’d earned in a while.
He took a sip from his drink, probably waiting for a reaction. Having gotten none, he continued. “I’m also paying so you will know how serious I am about the oﬀer I’m about to make. I’m not rich, but this is important to me, and I want you to understand that, and that I am willing to put eﬀort into it myself.”
Ok, time to cut to the chase. “So, what is this ‘oﬀer’?” Marta had heard enough ‘oﬀers’ to be cynical, but she might as well hear him out. She had the money, after all.
“I have a fetish, and an issue with trust. I do not trust anyone unless I am sure they can not violate that trust. At all. And as for the fetish… I like to be in control.”
“You mean, like whips and chains?” Marta had done that once or twice.
“Not really. I never really saw the point of pain or humiliation for their own sake, and, while physical bindings are fun, I am more interested in restraining the mind.”
“That’s not possible.” At least, not for someone outside of the CIA or something, and Marta was sure if this guy was CIA he wouldn’t be having this conversation.
“In general, you are right. You can’t just take over someone’s mind, or even rewrite it. However, with hypnosis and training you can come fairly close, for a while at least. You have to keep it up though.”
Marta processed that. “So, what does this have to do with me?”
“I want a subject. Someone who I can let this out with. As I said, I am not interested in pain or anything like that: in fact it is more interesting if I can make you like what I ask.”
She had been expecting that, at this point. “I think we can work something out.” It probably wasn’t the worst thing she’d been asked to do. He didn’t want to hurt her after all, and if he was willing to pay… “It would cost a little extra per session…”
Brian closed his eyes and let out a little breath. “No. Not a ‘session.’ If this is to work — at all — it has to be a whole-life commitment, from both of us. I take you in, care for and train you, and we go from there.”
“Whenever you agreed. I am not going to ask you to decide tonight. Here, I have a card,” he pulled it out, just a number and his ﬁrst name printed in block letters. “We discuss it tonight, and you can call if you have any questions, or if you decide you want to. If you never call, I don’t come looking.”
“That’s it. No pressure. I am just asking.”
“Why should I agree?”
“Because I am oﬀering a home. You would never need to worry about where your next meal is coming from, or spend nights walking the streets. Safety, security. Those are worth something. As I said, I’m not into pain or humiliation, or anything like that. Just control. I would not abuse or mistreat you, and I can promise that you would enjoy your life.”
And the important question. “Why me?”
He shrugged. “Because that oﬀer is something you can’t toss away lightly. Beyond that, you look nice, and are fairly close to my physical ‘type.’ And because you walked up to my car.”
“So you are just making this oﬀer at random.”
“Not completely random. I picked a part of town where someone in your position is likely to be having money trouble day to day. I wanted someone who would listen, and who I can legitamately oﬀer at least a slightly better life.”
“So you think I can’t refuse. That I’m so hard up I’ll take anything.”
“No. But I think that you can’t dismiss me out of hand. And that, as oﬀers go, this won’t be the most dangerous one you have heard. Partly, I just wanted to ask someone who wouldn’t run the moment I asked.”
Marta looked at the card in her hand. “How are you sure I won’t go to the police with this number?”
“First oﬀ: Go to the police and tell them what? You tell the police any of this, and it is your word against mine. I will lie, if I need to. Secondly; that’s a prepaid phone, bought with cash, which will only be used for this. I’m a bit of a tech-geek, so the call will still get to me, but I don’t even carry that phone.”
Brian sat back as their food was delievered, and waited for Marta to start up the conversation again.
There was silence for a while, but Marta found herself lingering over dessert as they talked, before ﬁnally allowing Brian to drive her back.
It had been an interesting evening, but Marta wasn’t about to turn her life over just yet.