Authors: Leila Haven
By: Leila Haven
Copyright 2015 All Rights reserved
Other books by Leila
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It was not a place I’d ever been before. The aisles were darkened and the seductive sounds of a saxophone played from the speakers. The music barely covered the ecstatic sounds of a woman about to climax.
I kept my eyes focused ahead and didn’t let them stray to the racks of dildos around me. I didn’t realize they came in so many colors, sizes and shapes.
There was a black velvet curtain in front of the area I was headed toward. My clean mind could only imagine what the owners thought was so erotic that it had be sectioned off and hidden from those who didn’t dare enter. Judging from what was on the racks in the store, I could only imagine the wild and naughty material.
The sex store was definitely not a place I thought I would end up. But when you were desperate for a job, I guessed there were plenty of standards you were ready to lower.
If my mama could see me now, she would all but have a hysteric fit. The good thing was she would never know about this excursion or the job, if I got it. My pristine and conservative skirt and suit jacket didn’t exactly make me look like an ideal candidate for the shop assistant position.
I’d wanted an adventure, and I guessed I was getting it. Living my whole life in a town with only two hundred and fifteen people didn’t exactly equip me for the big city, but it was all part of the experience. I had to keep reminding myself that this was what I’d wanted.
I caught a glimpse of a television screen and instantly wished I hadn’t. A woman was on all fours, her face twisted in desperate, wanton need while a man with a huge penis pumped into her from behind. There were some images that burned themselves into the brain and that was one of them.
I approached the desk and tried to look fearless and willing to do whatever it took to make the boss happy. I had been on twenty-two interviews in the past three weeks and I was desperate for a job. My savings were running out fast. The adult sex shop was my last hope. I could not run home with my tail between my legs and admit I had been wrong to leave.
I would never go home under those circumstances. I would rather be homeless than have to hear everyone telling me ‘I told you so’.
The shop assistant was wearing a corset with her huge breasts spilling over the top. All she would have to do was lean over a little too much and she would fall right out of the cups.
God, I hadn’t even thought about what the uniforms here would be. What if they made me wear something that revealing? I couldn’t see below her waist while she was behind the counter, but I was willing to bet there wasn’t much material down there either.
I swallowed down the fear and conjured up the smug look on Billy’s face when he’d told me I’d never make it in the city. It was enough to make me more determined than ever to get the job.
No matter what.
“He’s out back,” she finally said, nodding toward a door marked ‘Office’. “Go on through, I’m sure he’ll be expecting you.”
Her smile was a little more amused than I wanted to see. The woman was like all the people back home. I would prove all of them wrong.
I knocked on the door and heard a gruff response before I opened it. A man in his fifties swiveled around in his office chair and gave me the once-over.
My hand shot out to shake his. “Hello, Mr. Parker. I’m Emily. We spoke on the phone about the vacant position you have here?” It wasn’t meant to sound like a question, but that’s exactly what happened.
“I remember. Have a seat.” He gestured to a white leather lounge, and I reluctantly sat down on the edge of the seat. It didn’t seem like a place that would be too sanitary.
“Thank you for the opportunity.”
“Let’s cut to the chase. Have you ever worked in retail before?”
“No, but I’m very keen to learn. I pick things up quickly and I’m a very hard worker.”
“Look, I’m sure you’re a nice girl and all, but I need someone with experience. I don’t have time to muck around and train. We’re too busy.”
I was losing him. He wasn’t even going to give me a chance. There was no way I could walk out of there without a job. “Please, Mr. Parker, just give me a chance. I’ll work here for a day for free and you can see how dedicated I can be.”
He pursed his lips. They had a sheen of sweat beading on the skin which I tried not to look at. I pleaded with him silently, hating that I’d resorted to begging.
Finally, he leaned forward and stood. “Come with me.”
I followed him diligently and obediently, hoping he wasn’t just showing me the door. We stopped in the handcuff aisle. “See that man over there?” He pointed to a tall man who seemed to be in the leather section. I nodded. “You sell him one hundred dollars’ worth of merchandise and you’ve got the job.”
A hundred dollars? In a sex store? Who would spend that much money in an adult store? But I didn’t really have much of a choice.
“Okay, I’ll do it.”
Mr. Parker shrugged his shoulders and gestured for me to get moving. I went warily, trying to conjure up some of the selling techniques I’d seen on late-night television. I’d seen enough infomercials to get some idea of how best to make people buy.
The man was dressed impeccably in a gray suit with a light blue shirt underneath. He wasn’t wearing a tie, the top few buttons open instead. My gaze traveled upwards until I found his face.
My steps faltered. He was breathtakingly gorgeous with the light stubble of a five-o’clock shadow along his strong jawline. His face was chiseled and strong but I forgot all about it when I saw his eyes. They were as green as emeralds, surrounded by dark eyelashes that would make any woman jealous.
His pink lips quirked into a smile as he saw me standing as still as a statue. I could barely talk to the man, let alone make him cough up a hundred bucks for sex toys. My one shot at getting the job seemed extremely likely to fail.
But failure wasn’t an option. I shook myself into life and approached so that we were standing side by side and looking at the items on the shelves. He smelled like expensive cologne up close, a fragrance that was making me heady.
My eyes focused on the merchandise in front of us. My face instantly blushed red. There were whips and crops, not to mention a bunch of other toys. I had no idea what many of them were for or what they were named.
I swallowed, trying to put some moisture into my mouth. “Are you finding everything alright?”
“I think so,” he said, his voice husky and deep. It matched his outside perfectly.
“Can I assist you with anything?” I silently willed him to give me something to do, some indication of how to sell him a hundred bucks’ worth of stock.
“What has Don got you doing?” he asked, taking me by surprise. For a moment I had to think who Don was. I guessed Mr. Parker.
“Nothing, sir. I’m just here to help.”
“Tell me the truth.”
His eyes drilled into me, piercing me with his intense emerald stare. I found the truth pouring out of me like water. “I have to sell you one hundred dollars’ worth of items, and then he’ll give me a job. And I really need this position—you have no idea how much.” I clamped my jaw together before I could say any more.
The man looked at me for a long time before he tore his eyes away. “A hundred dollars, huh? That’s a lot of money.”
“You don’t have to tell me that. But don’t worry, it’s silly. I would probably be all wrong for this job anyway. I can barely look at the goods, let alone try to sell them.”
“You’re not a big fan of… toys?” He quirked one eyebrow and I swear I almost swooned. He was
“I’ve never used them before,” I replied, my face burning. The number of men I’d been with was a grand total of one. There were slim pickings in my hometown, and I’d thought I would be with Billy forever. I couldn’t imagine a time without him, once.
“They’re fun. Maybe you should give them a try one day,” he said. Amusement flickered in his devastatingly beautiful eyes. If he kept looking at me I would be mesmerized before too long.
He leaned over me and picked up a whip, a dozen pieces of leather hanging off the edge. He flicked it my way and then headed for the cash register. I eagerly checked the price on the rack – thirty dollars.
I wasn’t going to get the job.
The girl on the register rang up his purchase and he left happily. I slunk back to Mr. Parker. “I’m guessing I don’t get the job, right?”
“Better luck next time.” He disappeared back into his office and closed the door with a thud that seemed final. Another job interview down with nothing to show for it except a bus ticket stub.
A sex shop, what had I been thinking?
The moment I stepped onto the gravel of the parking lot, a black vehicle pulled up and almost ran me over. The driver’s-side window slid down.
It was the guy from inside. Obviously he was ready for a little gloating before leaving. “You’re too good to be working at an adult store,” he said. With dark sunglasses on, he looked even more mysterious and handsome.
“Apparently Don thinks I’m not good enough,” I replied.
“What do you think about grabbing a coffee?”
Just the thought of having a coffee made my mouth water. The guy had an expensive-looking car, and he was very well dressed—surely he couldn’t be a serial killer. It was time I threw caution to the wind. “Sure.”
I skirted around the vehicle and sank into the leather seat. Instantly I felt the luxury of the car. It didn’t roar, it purred. It was also very far from the trucks all the boys drove at home.
We didn’t say a word during the drive, which lasted for only a block before he pulled into the nearest café. We ordered and he insisted on paying, for ‘making me lose the job opportunity of a lifetime’. He whipped out a black Amex card, the kind with absolutely no limit on it. I guessed a few bucks for the coffee wasn’t going to break him.
But it also meant he could easily afford a hundred dollars’ worth of goods in the adult store. I wasn’t going to get all warm and fuzzy over him yet.
We sat down at a table in the sun, coffee cups warming our hands. “We should probably introduce ourselves, considering we’re sharing a beverage. I’m Cooper.”
“It’s nice to meet you.”
I hated the silent moments in conversations. They always made me think I was boring the other person to tears. I shifted uncomfortably, trying to think of something to say.
Cooper beat me to it. “I was going to buy a lot more at the store before you told me about Don’s quest.”
Okay, so he
a jerk. A rich jerk. Great. “Why didn’t you? Was it more fun making my life more difficult? Because I really needed that job.”
“You weren’t right for the position.” When I arched one eyebrow at him, he continued. “I have a counteroffer for you. It would be far more suitable for a woman with your skills.”
“I seriously doubt that.”