By: Michelle Fox

Chapter One

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“What is it that interests you in becoming a courtesan to vampires?” Madame Rouge watched me, assessing. She had the beauty most women would kill for; tall, slender and an oval face with lush, red lips and crystal blue eyes topped off with impossibly long lashes. Her caramel brown hair was pulled up in a bun with long curls spilling down to her shoulders. She was younger than I’d expected with a somewhat archaic manner of speaking. And now she wanted me to explain what it was that made selling my body to vampires my number one career choice.

Why would a girl from the backwoods of New York state travel to its glittering capital, New York City, just to sell her body?

I shifted in my chair and tugged the hem of my skirt down to make sure it covered my knees. Her oxblood lips curled in amusement at the movement and I froze, realizing it was a mistake.

Job hunting tip number one: When applying for a job as a courtesan, demure modesty was not an asset.

A long silence ensued because I didn’t know how to tell her what she wanted to hear. This job was my one shot to get the expensive not-covered-by-insurance medical care that could cure my mom and keep my childhood home. I was a classic sob story who needed a large amount of cash fast, but I didn’t want pity. I was pretty sure it wasn’t a turn-on in the world I sought to join.

“Miss Danson?” she prompted. Her body language disengaged from our interview. She no longer leaned forward and she dropped my resume on her desk. A resume that said nothing much about me beyond I was a college student who’d held a string of low paying part-time gigs as I worked my way through school.

“Call me Myra,” I said uncomfortable with her formal address. “I need the money. And, I, uh, like sex.” It’s not a lie if you really do like something you’ve never done, right? The theory sounded great to me, I just had no idea how things worked in on a practical level. I hadn’t dated a lot, dividing my attention between college and tending to my mother left little time to socialize.

She put her hand back on my application. “Clara said you were experienced, which is why I even agreed to meet with you. I need girls who aren’t afraid of sex and know how to enjoy themselves. The vampires demand it.”

I bit back a laugh at the mention of my old high school ‘frenemy’. She hated me. If I hadn’t known it before, I knew it now because she was lying, purposely setting me up for a fall. I’d told her nothing about my alleged ‘experience’ only asked her how to get in touch with Madame Rouge. Anything else she made up just to screw with me.

Focusing back on Madame Rouge, I smiled brightly. “I love sex, sex loves me.” Fake it until you make it, right?

She nodded. “Good. Shrinking violets don’t taste good and vampires don’t want hysterical girls who run screaming to the police.” She looked at my application again. “You’ve never slept with a vampire?”

I shook my head.

This pleased Madame and she smiled. “That raises your price.” At my confused look, she explained, “No scarring at the neck. You’re fresh meat.”

I flushed at her phrasing and she laughed. “They find blushing sexy. You’ll be very popular with that fair skin of yours showing every emotion.” She quickly scanned through my application one last time before saying, “I think you’ll do. When can you start?”

“As soon as possible.” I was on a deadline. I’d given myself a week to do this, figuring I could miss that much class and still pass. I just hoped it was enough time to raise the money I needed.

She smiled at me again, pleased. “Excellent. How does tonight sound?”

“Tonight?” I repeated, my voice squeaking. “I don’t have any clothes.” Or time to find someone to deflower me quick so I didn’t lose my virginity and get the blood sucked out of me on the same night.

“We have an extensive closet here for just such an occasion.” She pushed a button on her phone. “Jacques, please bring three outfits with Kristos in mind to my office.”

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