The Right Price

the-right-price-by-m-e-clayton

Prologue

I was a whore.

It didn’t matter how many times I tried to justify what I’d just done; those justifications didn’t change the facts.

By definition, I was officially a whore.

Sure, I could argue the altruistic reasons behind my choices, but those reasons didn’t make me any less of a whore. A man could sell street drugs to finance his wife’s cancer treatments, but that still didn’t make him any less of a drug dealer than your average street thug. The state laws didn’t have clauses for ‘good reasons’. You didn’t get less jail time for selling a pound of cocaine than the next guy so long as you had a good reason for doing it, a noble reason.

Besides, everyone had good reasons for doing the things that they did. It was just a matter of perspective. Someone with a perfect life might think that my reasons weren’t good enough, but a person with a crappy life might understand completely and even sympathize with me a bit.

At the end of it all, life was about what we could live with, and looking in the mirror, I wasn’t sure that this was something that I could live with.

In fact, I was sure of it.

My hands were still shaking, and it wasn’t from everything that I’d just experienced. My hands were shaking because they’d never held an envelope full of one-hundred-dollar bills before, and they didn’t want to. At least, not like this.

With dead blue eyes looking back at me, I wondered if the shaking was just a side effect of hitting rock bottom. Did your body experience actual physical reactions to the loss of hope? Was despair a physical feeling in addition to an emotional and mental one? Was shame really that crippling? Was I always going to struggle like this every time that I passed a mirror from now on?

Worse than the money, the fact that I had enjoyed every second of what just happened was the real shameful part to all of this. I was here as a whore-bought and paid for-but up until the point when I had seen the envelope stuff with cash, it hadn’t felt that way. In fact, passed out on the bed, without a care in the world, that man had no idea that he’d been the best sex of my life.

I hadn’t faked anything.

My moans had been real. My whimpers had been genuine. My orgasms had been mind-blowing. Everything about tonight had been the stuff of fantasies. He’d said and done all the right things, and I’d actually forgotten what I was doing here. For a few hours, I had fallen into the fantasy of this being a real date between two people that had found themselves liking each other.

Then he had mentioned the envelope.

I let out a choked laugh as I realized that I wasn’t even a good whore. A good, smart, savvy, experienced whore would have gotten the money upfront. She would have counted the bills, then handled it all like the business transaction that it was. She wouldn’t have let him take her over, and over, and over again, lost in all the false pleasure, before getting her hands on that promised money.

After splashing some water on my face, I knew that I needed to get out of here. I needed to come to terms with what I’d just done, and I couldn’t do it locked in a hotel suite bathroom. I couldn’t do it with him sleeping on the other side of the wall.

Covering my mouth, I pushed down a hysterical laugh when I realized that he was no better at this than I was. He should know better than to fall asleep in the presence of a whore. What was stopping me from going through his wallet and stealing his money or taking pictures of his personal information with my cellphone?

Straightening to my full five-foot-three, I did my best to smooth my dress down, and look half-ass decent. Sure, it was almost five in the morning, and everyone was going to know what I’d been up to as I walked out of the hotel lobby, but considering where this expensive hotel was located, I seriously doubted that I’d ever see any of these strangers again.

As silent as a jungle cat, I left the bathroom, gathered my purse and shoes, then stared at the envelope on the table for a full minute before I reached for it. However, as soon as my fingertips touched the padded envelope, I drew my shaky hand back. Once I placed it in my purse and left, there’d be no going back, not that there really was. I’d already sold myself; the rest was just about collecting payment.

Ten-thousand freakin’ dollars.

That’s how much my soul had been worth.