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by Miss Shannon

Tim was the sort of good-looking guy that attracted attention wherever he went. Whether he was shopping for groceries, washing his car or enjoying lunch, he was eyed with a fair share of interest by every female person he encountered. And Tim didn't mind. In fact, it was what had first made him realize that you didn't need rich parents to pay for a college education.

One fine morning in October he had left his dorm room in college, leaving his books well behind and had donned a tight pair of jeans and a black shirt that made his dark-blue eyes come out. He had brushed his dark hair to give it that carelessly tousled look and had gone to find work.

He wasn't quite sure how or why, but then he had ended up a call boy. Not a cheap hooker by the side of the street, mind you. He was signed on with one of the most distinguished escort agencies in the U.S. which was based in a huge light-filled office that gave the air of everything you would not associate with paid-for sex.

In all honesty, his job was mostly to accompany women to dinners or calm down middle-aged divorcees whose "surprise" he had been, paid for by well-meaning girlfriends. But sex was part of the bargain. More often than not, actually. He wasn't even sure while he was still doing it. He had long since finished college, and at almost 30 years, had decided for himself that he could give up his double-life now and find himself a girl. A girlfriend, he had never had, since he was convinced his job didn't allow for it. His boss, Sarah, had been disappointed enough when he had told her he would resign, but she had also understood, being the wise 60-year old beauty that she was and had kissed his cheeks, wishing him well.

And now here he stood, on a cold February evening, walking up just another driveway to his last job. He felt oddly nostalgic and had to smile despite himself. Why would he be? This wasn't the kind of job you committed yourself to with all your heart. Or was it? He pushed his thoughts aside and dropped his spearmint gum into a trash can. Here it was, his final curtain.

The door was opened by a tall brunette with shiny hair and piercing blue eyes.

"Hi, I'm Tim." He gave her his broadest smile and she stepped aside to let him enter.

"Would you like a drink?"

"Yes, actually. Whatever you're having."

Women were common to have at least a drink or two while he was around. Especially when they had never done this before. He wondered whether she had, but came up with no conclusion. She moved with a lot of natural grace that didn't allow for nervousness. Her hands weren't shaking while she poured them each a glass of champagne and when she came back to the couch, she even smiled. Tim, experienced as he was, still noticed a bit of unease in her.

There was one thing that was truly unusual, though. Usually, having seen his picture beforehand, his clients were always carefully made-up, wearing their sexiest clothes. She was not, however. Dressed in elegant, yet not even slightly revealing silk pajamas with no make-up to speak of, she was far from dressed-up. Tim liked it, though. She came across completely natural and unpretentious which put him very much at ease.

They were sipping their champagne in comfortable silence and he was wondering what topic of conversation to bring up. He wasn't a fan of cheap, quick sex and instead had always made sure his clients felt appreciated. He found that there was something beautiful in every woman even if sometimes it was only vulnerability. Expensive as an evening with him was, he usually met rich women, business-women, often. She looked like one, too, because her whole demeanor suggested a certain amount of power and professionalism.

In the end it was her who started talking.

"This is going to sound extremely pathetic," she said matter-of-factly, sipping her champagne, savoring the taste and he imitated her, finding the champagne to be very fine. He remained while she paused, conscious that nothing he could have said would have been appropriate.

"It's my birthday today."

She looked at him and smiled. Her smile was sad, yet beautiful but completely free of self-pity or bitterness.


"I don't celebrate."

"Well, obviously you do." He smiled and clicked his glass against hers. He liked how open and honest she was. In addition her good looks, she had a certain appeal that he couldn't place. He could only guess why a woman of her would be all alone on her birthday.

She chuckled very slightly and drank some more champagne.

"Is this the first time you are doing this kind of thing?" Tim asked, breaking his own rule of not invading personal space by bringing up topics that might hit a weak spot.

"What? Drink champagne? Hardly. And it's not my first birthday either."

"Yeah, but you can't have had many birthdays, can you?" He gave her a mischievous grin that was meant to take the cheesiness out of the compliment.

"I like you." They shared a companionable laugh, then she put her glass aside.

"Let's go up to my bedroom."

He held the door for her then let her walk past him and inhaled her heavy, alluring scent. Up in her room, she sat on the side of bed and beckoned him closer. He sat next to her and placed his hand on her back, right between her shoulder blades. The gesture was more comfortable than he had expected and it surprised him.

"There's something…" she began.

"There's no need to be nervous," Tim assured her, but realized mid-sentence that it was not what she had meant.

She shook her head slightly, then, without taking her eyes off his, lifted the covers and climbed underneath.

"There is only one thing I want from you tonight."

She mentioned for him to join her and he did, feeling the cold sheets on the skin between his trousers and his socks when they rode up in the process.

Slowly and carefully, now almost shy, she nestled against his chest. Instinctively, simply because it was so appropriate, he slid his arm around her and placed his other hand on her forehead, stroking her hairline slightly with his thumb.

She looked up at him and then closed her eyes. A relaxed look settled on her face and he realized only now, that she had been tense before.

"Just hold me."

And that was what he did. He held her all night while not another word was spoken.

The End

Chapter End Notes:
I know this might have been quite unusual, but I hope you liked it anyway. :-)

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