Filthy Beautiful Lies Page 2

I might be more covered than the other women, but somehow I feel more exposed. Completely ripped open for the world to see. I’m dressed as me, not some sexified version of myself that I can portray to the men waiting on the other side of that door. Suddenly I don’t want them to see the real me. I wanted to be caked in makeup with perhaps a long blonde wig and tassels hanging from my nipples. I could be whoever they wanted me to be. Instead I’m just Sophie and that seems much more dangerous to me. I can’t let my new owner get inside my head. He might be buying the rights to my body, but he’ll certainly never have the real me. I need to remember that.

When we stop outside a steel door, panic courses through my veins and my throat constricts, my gag reflex threatening to send bile shooting up my throat. I draw a deep breath through my nose and open my mouth to tell Bill I’ve changed my mind when his hand suddenly reaches out and twists the doorknob.

The door swings open to reveal a large, dimly lit room. The only light comes from a bare bulb that hangs directly above a platform-like stage in the center of the room. Men sit in lounge chairs facing the small round stage, their faces completely hidden in the shadows. I’m unable to distinguish a single feature, which I know is the point. The nature of tonight’s activities means they want their anonymity. And the kind of money that would be spent tonight bought you that right.

Bill gives me a gentle shove forward and whispers something of encouragement, but the blood pounding in my ears garbles the message.

My feet move across the room, my arms still crossed in a death grip across my breasts. The faint smell of cigar smoke assaults my senses as I move toward the platform. I keep my eyes trained on the floor, letting the swath of light from the single bulb hanging overhead draw me forward. My knees shake as I walk the final few steps.

Finally I step onto the raised platform and face the small group of men. Keeping my eyes downcast, I know in this moment I would have never been brave enough to strip for a whole audience. I can barely stand here without my knees knocking together and just remembering to pull air into my lungs and release it again seems beyond my abilities. But a spike of determination rips through me. I am here to save Becca.

A man standing in the shadows at the side of the room clears his throat. "I give you the ninth and final girl of the evening. And trust me when I tell you, gentlemen, that we’ve saved the best for last. She’s as pure and untouched as they come. She comes to us as a virgin, willing and fully in agreement with the six-month terms. Now, who’d like to start the bidding?"

It’s quiet for just a heartbeat and I wait for something to happen.

"Move your hands off your tits, angel," a man in the crowd says.

I raise my eyes toward the sound of the voice, but my hands stay where they are. A streak of defiance I didn’t know I had rears its head. No one owns me yet. Not a single bid had been placed. I still control my destiny.

I shift my weight, feeling that tingling sensation that means my foot is falling asleep and clutch my chest tighter as though I’m hanging on for dear life. My heart races in my chest and little beads of sweat form under my arms despite the cool temperature in the room. I can do this. I have to do this.

"Two hundred." The man’s voice who’d ordered me to uncover myself places the first bid. I hope that’s two hundred thousand and not two hundred dollars. It never occurred to me that I needed to have a minimum established before this began. I was not sleeping with some weird old man for two hundred dollars. But then I recalled Bill saying something about six figure minimums, and I relax the tiniest bit.

"Two fifty," another voice says. He sounds younger and has a slight Spanish accent.

"Three hundred," a third voice croaks.

Soon the price is up to five-seventy five and I feel dizzy listening to the whole exchange. I need to get off this stage before I pass out or throw up, or do something equally as terrifying, like go home with one of these sick men.

Be strong, Soph.

"Six hundred thousand," my tit-loving admirer counters. I don’t want to go to the man who I’ve already defied by refusing to show my chest. Knowing my luck, his first order of business will be to punish me for that act of disobedience.

"Greedy tonight. He already has one and now he wants a second," the announcer chuckles.

The man who is currently driving up my price has apparently already purchased one girl tonight and now he wants me too. Call me old fashioned, but I always assumed I’d be the only slave in this type of arrangement. I thought I was signing up for the typical one man–one woman experience. This wasn’t how I imagined losing my virginity, but I certainly never pictured being part of an orgy, or whatever he had planned. It disturbs me to think that he could buy us like cattle and force us to do things to each other and him. This whole process is going from bad to worse.

I look up and to the center of the room – to the one man who’s remained completely silent so far. He crosses his ankle over his knee and leans back further in his chair, concealing his face entirely in the shadows. His casual, aloof behavior strikes something in me. I have a roomful of men bidding on my virginity, but somehow I don’t like the idea that this one man isn’t interested. Is there something wrong with me? It’s self-conscious and stupid, but something about being mostly nude in a roomful of strangers puts bizarre thoughts in your head.

No one has countered the man to my left – the one who’d called me angel and wanted to see my breasts and my stomach churns in knots. He’s offered five hundred and seventy five thousand dollars – more than enough to pay for my sister’s medical treatment, give Bill his ten percent and the money he spent on me at the salon. I should feel happy and relieved. This is what I wanted, right? But the idea of actually leaving with him and the other girl he’s bought tonight sets off a gnawing feeling inside my chest.

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