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Authors: Tara Brown writing as Sophie Starr

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BOOK: The Club
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Chapter Three

A week later

 

“I swear, I’ve
not gotten anything.” I pause, waiting for her disbelief to filter through in
her tone.

“Just tell me
you didn't delete it, I’ll be so mad.” Even over Facetime I can see she is
completely convinced I deleted it.

“Honestly, no
text, no one ringing my doorbell, nothing. I swear!” I grit my teeth, hating
that I actually feel let down by the fact I wasn't invited for an orgy with
singles from the city. I just pray she doesn't see the disappointment on me.

“Really? Well,
this sucks, Han. I was really hoping you would hear something by now. I wanna
know about the all-night orgies the swingers have. It felt like being part of a
naughty secret.” She sighs, clearly frustrated. I don't want her to know I am.

“I’m going to
just throw the card in the garbage unless you want to give it back to Jenny and
tell her thanks for trying.”

She shakes her
head. “I’m coming over. We’re going out.” Her sentence is almost cut off
because she hangs up so quickly. I don't change or even attempt getting ready.
I don't even want her to come over if I’m being honest but that would hurt her
feelings. She is the antichrist of my wallowing.

The moment the
door opens, I hold the card out to her, waiting for her to take it but she looks
at it like it’s a poisoned apple and I’m a decrepit old bag lady. “What?”

I shake it at
her. “Take it.”

“I can’t take
it back. That is what Jenny said—once Jenny has given it to a person she
deems worthy, she can’t get it back. She has had her chance with it and now
it’s your turn.”

I cock an
eyebrow. “What does that even mean, she can’t take it back?”

She shrugs.
“One of the rules, I guess.” She seems nonchalant about the fact there are
rules.

“Rules? What
kind of orgy has rules? I don't want to do this. This is crazy.”

“Should I play
your wedding song again and braid your hair like Daisy’s surely is?” She
narrows her gaze, giving me a hateful stare.

“That was
mean,” I point out, but when she doesn't relent on her hatefulness, I lift my
hands in the air. “Okay fine. It can stay in my purse and rot. Maybe I’ll find
some poor girl who has had the same shitty experience I have but maybe they’ll
actually call her.”

“Don’t be so
bitter and cynical, Hannah.” She takes my hand and drags me from the apartment.
We end up at the pub she likes, mainly because she likes to ogle the wait
staff. I don't even realize she’s nattering on as I’m staring out the window
until she pinches me. “Eat your wrap! You’re looking hungry these days, all
skinny and wasting away to nothing.”

I sneer back.
“I am working a lot right now.” I take the wrap and shove it in my mouth,
making sure she sees me chomp on every bite like a savage. She turns her nose
up when pieces start to fall from my lips. I wash it down with my beer, moving
my head like a snake to get it all down.

“You’re an
animal.”

I nod. “I
know.”

When lunch is
over and I’m walking back home, I realize I’m more depressed with her being
gone than I was before. I was fine wallowing before she made me stop and look.
Now I feel like shit and I know part of it is that I hate that the stupid
swinger club hasn't called me. I have a terrible feeling I’m too old or I am
not their type.

I walk in the
door, startled by the greeting from George, my doorman, “Evening Ms. Edwards.”
He smiles softly as he opens the door for me.

I try hard to
smile back, realizing he’s called me ms. He is aware I am divorced. He used to
call me mrs. “Thank you, George.” I walk through the door like I am in a haze
but he taps my arm gently. “Ms. Edwards, I almost forgot, there’s a package
that arrived for you today while you were out.”

“What kind of
package?” I ask as he walks to the desk to grab it for me. It must be my
divorce papers. I don't actually want those for anything other than to burn.

“A man in a
suit came and dropped it off. I didn't recognize him as any of the other
couriers and his suit was awfully fine.” He shrugs.

“It’s probably
just some paperwork.” I walk to his desk, taking what appears to be more of a
dress box than anything else. It doesn't look like paperwork at all and smells
of expensive perfume. The white box is wrapped with expensive ribbon. I shake
my head, trailing my fingers along it. “Hmm . . .” I truly don't
have anything else to add to the mystery of the box.

“Looks awfully
expensive. Maybe it’s a gift from Mr. Markson. Perhaps he wants to reconcile.
Only high-end shops wrap this way.”

The idea that
Evan wants to reconcile is almost amusing. “Thank you and have a good evening,
George.” I nod, turning and practically running for the elevator.

When I get
inside, I glance down at the white box as ideas and thoughts run through my
head. Who would send me a dress box?

“Shit!”

The idea of
who starts to make me nervous. What if this is from the orgy people and they
want me to orgy tonight? Is that a verb? What if they want me to swing with
them? Maybe I am worthy, they just didn't have an event planned out until
tonight.

“Oh my God.”

My stomach
drops a little as the elevator door finally opens to my floor. Gripping to the
pretty box too tightly, I make a beeline for my apartment, basically kicking my
door open and slamming it shut behind me.

The box
becomes bigger there, with just the two of us in the room. Suddenly it is
linked to hopes and dreams inside of me, this strange little box. I don't even
know why I want it but I do. Maybe it’s because someone might want me.

I take gulping
breaths, still pinning my back against the door but slowly sliding down it as I
place the box on the floor and stare at it. The smell of the perfume is
intoxicating.

Carefully,
taciturnly, I open it up—pulling the lilac tissue paper away to find an
envelope and a pink mask embellished with jewels and sequins. The black lace
trimming the edges blends into whatever is in the bottom of the box. I place
the mask and envelope on the lid of the box and start pulling more paper away
revealing a dress.

I lift it up
and hold it in the air, gazing at the beautiful dark-pink fabric and noticing
there isn’t much to it. It couldn't be shorter. It’s not dress—it’s
something hookers wear and not the thirty-five-year-old ones.

I set it down
and open the envelope, reading it carefully.

 

Dear Ms. Edwards,

Please join us for an evening you will
never forget, one where your dreams will come true and all your fantasies will
be fulfilled.

There will a lady to pick you up at 9:00
pm sharp, no later. Be ready for her when she comes. She will explain
everything to you.

 

Sincerely,

LB

 

Who is LB?
Could it be a woman or a man? Would that make it better?

Nerves eat at
me as my brain mutters softly from the recesses of its darkest parts. “How bad
can it be?”

I know there
is a level of bad I can imagine but if Jenny went, it can’t be THAT bad. My
brain’s rationale instantly goes for the human trafficking and sex slavery, but
Jenny is crazy vanilla and it is just one night. What if it isn’t even an orgy;
what if it’s just some people who want to mingle without pressure and look
sexy, and if you hook up, you hook up. It’s just a night.

There are a
thousand screaming voices inside of my head telling me no, but I listen to the
one little one that is struggling to get over the noise. The one little voice
that says why not?

There is no
way I can think about it anymore, I just need to do it, after I shave and pluck
every part of my body. A year of no sex means a year of not really trying.

I shower,
shave, pluck, and hot wax every part of my body that needs it. And I swear
there is more hair everywhere. The year of hibernation hasn't been good for the
weeds.

The thong I
pick out is sheer black lace with a matching bra. It’s perfect for what I need.
I rub lotion everywhere, ensuring I’m soft and silky before having one more
look at myself in the mirror. I do look a tad bit thin and a little depressed.
You can see it in the eyes, the windows to my bleeding soul.

But all in
all, I still look pretty good. I drag on the dress and shudder. It’s hideously
short. When I turn around my ass is almost peeking out. If I bent over, you
would see my vagina. I drag on a huge trench coat and tie it up, just in case.

I look sexy
and mysterious. Actually, in the right light I look beautiful and I feel
amazingly rejuvenated and the night hasn't even started.

I take one
last look and ponder how they knew my dress size.

The clock
strikes nine just as I walk out to the living room, and just as someone knocks
on my door.

I hold my
breath in my chest, frightened and excited all at once as I walk to the door. A
woman in a beautiful black pantsuit and a mask that's as red as her lipstick is
standing at my door. Her silky raven hair is pulled up in a tight bun; the sort
that makes your head hurt just looking at it. She’s nearly my height in her
black stilettoes.

“Good evening,
Ms. Edwards,” she bows with a sly grin. It all makes my heart race a little.
She holds a hand out to the elevator. “Shall we?”

I nod and
follow her silently to the elevator to wait. We stand still and silent,
awaiting the ding of the doors. She reaches a milky hand toward mine, squeezing
like mother used to do. “Please relax, Ms. Edwards.”

“Sorry, this
is new to me, not something I do all the time, and it is a bit weird wearing a
mask and going to some strange place.” I shake my head at my candid confession
and shaking voice. We enter the elevator and I swear the tension thickens from
being in the small space.

She bows her
head softly, toying with a smirk. “You will be fine. The evening will be
everything you need it to be.”

The comment is
meant to soothe, but honestly I feel even more nervous.

“So can you
tell me where I am going?” I ask, peeking through my mask at her. From what I
can see, she is beautiful, with high cheekbones, a perfect nose, and plump
natural lips. She could be a model.

“We can
discuss the details in the car, Ms. Edwards,” she says firmly and
professionally, shutting down any more conversation. Her eyes draw to the
camera in the corner of the elevator.

The doors open
and I take long strides to keep up with her quick pace. We hurry out to the
black tinted Mercedes that is waiting for us. When we arrive, a man opens the
door. She slides into the back, making room for me as well.

There is a
divider between us and the driver, taking at least some of the discomfort away.

She hands me a
pile of documents for me to read and sign—confidentiality disclosures and
other agreements. My hand shakes as I glance over them, reading as quickly as I
can. They seem very standard, something you sign if you dated a celebrity.
“Where am I going?” I ask her as I reread the documents, making sure I didn’t
miss anything.

“To a private
residence out of the city. It is a house that is used as the club. But that is
all I can tell you.” She smiles, relaxing her back against the seat.

“Is it safe?”
I bite my lip as I ask that question, not wanting to hear the answer.

“Of course.
It’s very safe. It’s a place where you can dance and socialize with peers
without the worry of recognition or anything else. It’s a way for people in
your financial and social situation to meet and greet anonymously. Would you
care for a drink?” She reaches into a compartment that has chilled champagne stored
in it.

“Yes, that
would be lovely, thank you.” I take the flute she offers and sip it slowly as
we drive down the road to the undisclosed house of mystery.

The road winds
and the woods thicken, making it hard to recognize. I can’t help but relax,
even though I am on edge, or rather was on edge. The motion of the car somehow
hypnotizes me. After a moment, or perhaps twenty moments, I glance at her,
grinning. “I feel amazing.” I sigh, looking up through the large moonroof,
watching the stars dance in the sky, turning from shades of blue to purple. “Oh
my God, did you just see that star? It just shot purple dust across the sky!” I
point at the moonroof.

“Yes, I saw
it, Ms. Edwards.” She giggles at my outburst, something I would consider out of
character for her. “It was lovely.”

We sit there,
staring up at the sky in a moment of silence, which she breaks with a soft
sigh. “I have a question for you now.” She leans close to me, almost touching
my face with her lips.

“Okay.” I
attempt to lean back but my hands lift to touch her face, trying to see if she
is real.

“What is your
fantasy? What do you desire the most?” Her breath tickles my lips as she leans
forward more, brushing her soft red lips against mine. Our masks rub as she
bites at my lower lip.

BOOK: The Club
9.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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