“The escort company said you’d be the most beautiful girl in the room,” Robert said as he sat down next to her. He was dressed in a suit and tie, expensive shoes and a thousand dollar watch.
Marie, a volumptuous 5’9, dressed in a form fitting red dress, turned to look around the empty hotel bar.
“Are you sure you aren’t here to meet someone else?” she asked, turning back to him.
“No, you’re the girl in the bar. I called for you an hour ago. I asked for black hair, red dress.”
Robert motioned at the bartender. The uniformed woman approached drying a shot glass on a soft towel.
Robert, “Vodka Tonic and…”
Marie, after a long moment, added her own order. “Gin and Tonic, no ice.”
As the bartender moved away, Robert smiled. “No ice. You’re hitting the liquor hard-”
Marie smiles a little. “I figure you owe me a stiff drink because, in two minutes, the girl you’re waiting for will arrive and you’ll figure out you’ve just called me a prostitute.”
“Escort. There’s a difference.”
Marie looked at him, “Do tell.”
Robert smiled. “Well, alright. I’ll play along. A prostitute you can take anywhere, but an escort is paid to show you a good time. If you were a prostitute, and I were the kind of person that would hire you, I doubt we’d still be talking. Since you’re an escort, and since I enjoy a good conversation, I’m happy to chat.”
Marie shakes her head, smiles and turns away.
Robert stands, moves to sit on the other side of her just as the drinks arrive.
“I think you’re blushing. That’s charming. I haven’t embarassed a girl for the longest time.”
“Here’s the thing. You can take wives places too. And my husband likes a red dress and high heel shoes as much as the next man. He’s here on business. I tagged along. So…all this talk of prostitutes and escorts is just…Well, I’m just a country mouse in the big city.”
Robert stared at her for a long moment, eyes taking in the cloud of long dark hair, the swell of breast and curve of thigh.
He sat back in his chair.
“I sincerely hope you’re wrong because you’re exactly what I want…”
Marie laughed outloud.
“How on earth could I be wrong?”
Her phone rang and, watching him, she pulled it out of her purse. She held it up to reveal a family photo. Mother, father, two kids. With a click she answered the call, watching Robert all the while.
“Hello?” After a pause, “OK Carey. The thing is, I’m two thousand miles away. I can’t make you chocolate milk or a peanut butter sandwich. You need Aunt Linda for that. Okay? Why don’t you go ask her?” Another pause. “I think she’ll get it for you when the baby is asleep.” Another pause. “Yes, you can call back if she doesn’t.”
She terminated the call.
Robert looked at her for a long moment, then glanced up toward the bar entrance. His expression grew pensive.
“Your date’s here?”
Robert smiles ruefully. “Indeed. And I think your husband just arrived as well. Two ships that passed at four in the afternoon.”
He rose, sliding his chair forward under the bar.
“I’m sorry I’m not who you’re looking for,” she said.
He met her eyes. “The thing is…we both know you are.”
Robert left her then.
Marie had time for a quick breath and moment’s disbelief before Nick’s hand fell on her shoulder. He pressed a kiss into her hair and slid into a chair beside her.
“What’d that guy want?” he asked as he picked up her drink.
“Just passing time,” she said. “He was here to meet someone else.”