Chapter 1 – It’s just another Day
Raven heard the phone ringing as she was brushing her hair.
“This is Raven Simone” she answered as she took another drag off her cigarette, flicking the ashes in an ashtray walking towards her closet to pick out an outfit for the night.
“Raven? It’s Jerry. Are you available around 7pm tonight?”
“It’ll have to be a quickie honey”
“Okay, at our usual place?”
“Yeah and don’t be late or you be in the room by yourself” said Raven as she quickly hung up on him. “Sorry little idiot” she murmured to herself slipping into a one piece low back black little tight dress that slightly cupped her butt. She took one last long drag of her cigarette and slipped on a matching black pair of Manolo Blahniks, picked up her keys and small clutch purse and headed to the private elevator from her penthouse suite. Bobby her private driver and body guard was waiting out in front of the Mansion Towers New Yorker, an upscale all penthouse suites building where the super wealthy lived.
“Hello Bobby” said Raven slipping into the back seat of her executive town car.
“Good evening Miss Simone” replied Bobby who stood 6’9”, 325lbs of solid muscle with dark shades on.
“Biltmore please. I’ll only be there a half an hour, so go get us a couple of Starbuck Latte’s and meet me back out front”
“Yes Miss Simone” replied Bobby looking at her in the rear view mirror then pulling away from the curb.
Raven looked out at the passing street lights and taxi cabs as they drove downtown to the New York Central hotel. She was reflecting on how she got started in the business of gentlemen pleasure. It was two years ago this week that Cody, her long time boyfriend dumped her on New Years Eve after midnight.
“Raven, we need to talk” said Cody kissing her after the midnight countdown and fireworks started.
Raven swallowed hard. She new what was coming. She could see it in his eyes and felt it in his kiss. It was over, over for good this time. He had cheated on her before but she forgave him every time he asked her back thinking that her love was enough to keep them going.
“Raven” he continued. “There is someone else and it’s different this time. I’ve been seeing her for the past three months and we want to move on. I know you’re hurt and I’ve hurt you before with others, but she’s different. She understands me and wants us to move in together.”
“You son of a bitch!” Raven screamed in deep pain. “You son of a bitch. I gave you everything. I forgave your sorry ass when you cheated on me and asked me back. Remember that! Do you?” She screamed with tears streaming down her face.
“Raven, it’s not what you think. She’s not like the others.” Cody replied trying to reach for her.
“Don’t’ you touch me!!!! You don’t know what hell I’m thinking or feeling. Three years. Three years you jerk I never cheated on you once. You want to know why? I’ll tell your sorry ass why, because I loved you. I gave you space when you wanted it. I waited for you to come back to me after those other sluts wouldn’t treat you like I do. Remember that?! Yeah, it was me that took you back when you said it wouldn’t happen again. And now you’re all in love? What happened to -- it will never happen again?!
“Raven? Please.” Said Cody beginning to cry realizing how broken up she was. He thought she was at the same place in her life as he was and feeling that they were going no where.
“No, No!!!! You don’t get to leave me. Because I’m leaving you, yeah that’s right I am doing the leaving this time and for good. I hate you—I hate you for loving me!” Said Raven pulling her jet black hair out of face wiping away the tears pointing her finger at him.
“Don’t ever call me again because she’s going to dump your ass just like all the others. The only difference is I won’t be here when you come asking me back. I hate you for what you’ve done to me”
After that night Raven never trusted any man again vowing that Cody would be the last in her life she would trust her love and feelings with. She called her best friend Lori Milligan the next morning. Lori invited her over for breakfast at her place.
“Not good, thanks for having me over”
“Hey girl” said Lori greeting Raven with hug “Come on in. How you been?”
“Cody problems again?”
“Yeah, but it’s over for good this time. I really mean over”
“I understand. He’s really been a shit to you. He deserves everything that’s coming to him, coffee or tea?
“I’ll have coffee no cream”
“So, let me guess, he’s all in love again but it’s the real thing this time speech”
“Yeah. How’d you know?”
“Honey I here that same song and dance over and over again every day with every appointment. I usually get the “my wife/girlfriend just doesn’t understand my needs or I wish she could be like you… blah, blah, blah”
“You’re right. Cody said the same thing, she’s different, she understands me…”
“Of course they are all different until he wants a change and she doesn’t agree. But, if it were not for that “need” I wouldn’t be where I am today living the good life and having them pay for it.”
“Yeah, have them pay for the privilege the sorry SOB’s. You give and give and this is what you get, dumped on”
“Well, like I’ve always told you, if ever want in on the business I have more than I can handle. You are drop dead gorgeous and got what it takes. I’ll teach you everything you need to know.”
“What the hell. It’s crossed my mind every time he left me to go be with someone else then come back begging. Screw that. It’s pay back time.
“That’s the spirit. I’ll start you out slow with a couple of soft appointments. But first you’ll need protection and I have just the gentle giant for you. His name is Bobby Preston. He is loyal and doesn’t take any shit from anybody and I mean anybody. I’ll introduce you two tomorrow. For now let’s have a little bite to eat and we’ll get the ball rolling.”
“Miss Simone, we’re here” said Bobby in his deep voice interrupting her gaze.
“Thank you Bobby, I’ll be in 1232.” Said Raven touching up the small tears in her eyes.|
“Yes Miss Simone, room 1232. You have your panic button earrings turned on?”
“Yes Bobby. I’ll be back in thirty. Take care of you”
“Take care of you Miss Simone” said Bobby as he opened her door and escorted her into the lobby.
Chapter 2 – “It’s Spa Day, they can wait”
It had been a long week but a profitable one. Raven decided to have a spa day to erase the week of men promising her the world and all the things they could give her. She picked up the phone and called her favorite spa, Silk & Satin.
“Hello Elizabeth? It’s Raven, do you have an opening say in about thirty minutes?”
“Yes Miss Simone, we always have an opening for our Platinum members. We’ll see you in about thirty minutes. Thank you for calling”
“Thank you Liz”
“That’s the good thing about having your own money; you get what you want, when you want it.” Said Raven zipping up her plush warm up turning around looking at herself in the mirror. She took her espresso and bagel and went over to her computer to check email. All the usual “are you available baby” string of request. “Sorry boys, it’s my time today” she said highlighting them all and moving them into the “Later Appointments” folder.
Then she stopped at the one from her sister Kristen. She clicked and opened it.
Just a quick email to let you know Peter, I and the kids are having a get together next weekend and would love for you to come out. Please say you’ll come. We miss you! So do the kids! They want to see their favorite auntie. Please, please. Okay, love you!
She replied that she would be their. Kristen and her kids were the love of her life. Throughout all the bad times and good times, Kristen was there no matter the hour, tears and all. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for her. Raven lavished over Kristen’s kids at Christmas, birthdays and good report cards.
“Hello Bobby, in five minutes pleases. I am going to the spa. Thank you” said Raven as she walked out the door.
“Good morning Miss Simone” said Bobby in his usual upbeat deep voice
“Good morning Bobby. Silk and Satin please. And Bobby, take the rest of the day off after you drop me back off.”
“The day off Miss Simone?” asked Bobby with a confused expression on his face as he started the car.
“Yes Bobby. Today is about you and me. We are taking the day off. I wont take no for an answer, you hear me?”
“Yes Miss Simone. But wont you need me?”
“No Bobby. No company today. I’ll drive myself the rest of the day”
“I’ll make sure your Mercedes is filled up, washed, waxed and ready” said Bobby feeling protective
“That’s why I have you in my life Bobby, to look after me. You’re the best!” she said patting him on the shoulder and dropping five one hundred dollar bills and tickets to the Yankees baseball game on the front seat.
“It’s a bonus and don’t you dare give it back. You go have fun at the game.”
“Yes Miss Simone. Thank you very much!”
They pulled up to the spa. Before the valet could get to the car Bobby was already opening her door and escorting her out. “Take care of you Bobby” said Raven stepping out.
“Take care of you Miss Simone” said Bobby waving his tickets like a kid waiting to rush off to play.
“Good morning Miss Simone” said Liz with a big smile
“Good morning Liz. Is Mitchell on staff today? I want my usual hair treatment, but only if Mitchell is here”
“Yes he is Miss Simone. He said to let him know the moment you arrive”
“Excellent! I have had a tough week and I need tons of pampering”
“Of course Miss Simone. We are here for to see to your every need”
“Thank you Liz”
She tipped her a fifty dollar bill after signing in and set off to her treatment with a mimosa in hand and while nibbling on a brie and caviar tea sandwich. There is nothing like Silk and Satin in all of New York she thought to herself. Spare no expense and the world is yours. Who needs a man? Well, except Mitchell.
“Hello Mitchell!” Raven said bursting into a devilish spoil me today smile
“Raven darling, how are you? You look like you are in needs of me” Michelle responded kissing each of her cheeks
“I need a make over Mitch. Look at this hair and face. I need you to work your magic darling” she gasped
“Come, come now Raven. My chair is waiting for you. Brandon will give you a pedicure while I wash your hair.
How does that sound honey?” said Mitchell looping his arm in hers walking her to his private parlor
“God, if you weren’t gay I’d be your slave” laughed Raven as she squeezed his hand
“Raven, you know I’m your pampering slave” he shot back.
They both laughed as she they approached the French doors that lead to his private salon suite. “Simply marvelous! I like the new décor and touches. You just keep getting better.” Said Raven as she sat down in the supple soft tan leather message chair and slipped her feet into the warm mint water bubble bath.
“I try to keep things fresh around here. I must admit it, I just love to shop and decorate!” said Mitchell closing the doors. “Now, let me spoil you for a few hours darlin’”.
“Let the spoiling began” said Raven closing her eyes, setteling for a few hours timeless bliss of pampering.
Chapter 3 – “If you want all night, it’s gonna cost ya”
It’s 4pm on a stormy Monday afternoon. The rain was tapping on the patio window as Raven stood looking out at Central Park sipping on a Cosmo before her six o’clock dinner appointment. The phone rang interrupting her thoughts.
“This is Raven” she said sipping on her Cosmo.
“Raven, this is David a friend of my mine Terry Blackman referred you, he said I could call.”
“Yeah, Terry, go head honey, what’s on your mind?”
“I’ll be in town tomorrow for a couple of days and wanted to know if you were available?
“I am checking now, give me a minute”
“Well, Terry you’re in luck. I had a cancellation this morning and Wednesday is good for me.” She said sipping her Cosmo. “What time is good for you?”
“All day honey? Well that’s gonna cost ya, but if you’re a friend of Terry’s then it shouldn’t be a problem for you.”
“Not a problem.”
“Okay, I’ll email you the details for the deposit. What time do you want your “day” to start?”
“10 am, breakfast at the Court of Two Sisters?”
“I know where it is. Sounds good, 10 am, see you then.”
“See you then”
“O’ and Terry, don’t be late, I don’t like to waste my time.”
She hung up the phone and put the appointment into her Black Berry. “All day… I haven’t had one of those in a while” she said to herself lighting a cigarette and taking a long slow drag. “This is shaping up to be a good week”. Raven grabbed her purse and keys and headed down stairs to meet Bobby who was waiting outside with an umbrella.
“Good afternoon Miss Simone” said Bobby holding the umbrella over her head as she slipped into the back seat.
“Hello Bobby, how you doin’”
“Very well Miss Simone, The Ritz Carlton?”
“Yeah Bobby, just for a couple of hours, room 1133. You come in for dinner and I’ll meet you afterwards okay?”
“Yes Miss Simone, room 1133.”
The Ritz was unusually full of people for a Monday afternoon. She was wondering what was happening in town as she strolled through the lobby. The business men were starring her up and down. “Yeah boys, you wish” she said as she stood waiting for the elevator watching the floors count down over the door. A couple of hours later Raven met Bobby in the restaurant.
“You miss me?” she asked him giving him a hug.
“I always worry Miss Simone. I’d die if anything were to happen to you” said Bobby looking up at her with worried eyes.
“Now Bobby, I know you’re moments away if I ever need you. Besides, I always make sure that my appointments see you and know who you are. Hell, you scare the crap out of half of them.” She laughed hugging him again.
“They better be.” Said Bobby smiling.
“Trust me, they are. You finish your meal, I’ll be at the bar across the hall, okay teddy bear.”
“Yes Miss Simone”
The bar was full of business men huddle up at the bar watching the ball game on the screens and checking her out as she walked in. Jimmy the bartender saw her come in and immediately started making her a Cosmo.
“Good afternoon Miss Simone” said Jimmy handing her a chilled Cosmo.
“Hello Jimmy, thank you, leave the tab open. It’s just me a Bobby”
“Yes Miss Simone”
She took her drink and went over to a small booth in the corner. The table was softly lit with three candles. A piano player was playing a soft Chopin melody in the background. She let down her long hair and brushed it out. She was touching up her lipstick when Jimmy brought over another Cosmo.
“From the gentleman at the bar” said Jimmy knowing that Raven hates “free drinks” but the guy tipped him a fifty to make sure he took it over.
“Send it back Jimmy. I know it’s not your fault, I am sure you explained the rules to him but he probably made you an offer you couldn’t refuse and hey, if the sucker still wants to spend the money let ‘em and I’ll keep sending them back” she said as she kept looking into her compact mirror pursing her lips. Jimmy brought the Cosmo back and set it in front of the gentleman. He picked up the Cosmo and went over to Raven’s table.
“Did I order you the wrong drink?” the business man asked
“No. I am sure Terry explained that I don’t take free offers” Raven snapped back
“Come one, I am a nice guy” he said
Raven reached for left earring and pressed it. Within seconds Bobby was in the bar standing behind the business man squeezing his right arm with just enough pressure to get his undivided attention.
“I don’t know who you are and I don’t have a need to know” said Bobby looking the terrified business man in the face.
“Hello Bobby, it seems as though that this idiot is having a hard time understanding that No means No” said Raven looking at the business man with a partial smile knowing that Bobby was ready to tear the guy apart on her command.
“No problem, I’ll handle it from here.” Said Bobby
“Just a warning Bobby, I believe that’ll get the point across” said Raven.
Bobby looked the guy in the eyes like King Kong about to go ballistic.
“Look, she doesn’t want to be bothered, I am here to make sure that, that doesn’t happen, so I’m only going to say this to you once, take you and your drink and go about your business. Trust me, you wont want to see me again, am I making myself clear?” said Bobby squeezing the guys arm until he began to buckle slightly.
“Yeah, perfectly clear, I’ll just go back over to the bar and watch the game.”
“Good. I’ll be keeping my eye on you. Remember, you don’t want to see me again.” said Bobby releasing his arm.
“Are you okay Miss Simone?” Asked Bobby with big eyes looking back at the bar then back at Raven
“As long as I have you in my life Bobby, I will always be okay” she said with a smile and went back to sipping her Cosmo as Bobby stood by her table making sure that everyone knew that if you come over table, you’ll leave with a limp.
Chapter 4 "Can I buy you a drink"
Its late Wednesday night (10:30pm) at the Drake Hotel. Bobby is waiting in the lobby for Raven to come down. She called him twenty minutes ago to let him know to have the car ready.
“Hello teddy bear you miss me?” she asked greeting him with a smile and hug to assure him that she was okay.
“Yes Miss Simone. I’ve been on stand by the entire time and at every location”
“I saw you. You’ve had a long day. Drop me off at the Tonic Bar and I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon”
“But how will you get home?”
“I’ll take a cab. I’ll be okay. I’m just going to go have a little girl fun for a few hours. Really, I’ll be okay.”
“Are you sure Miss Simone, I can go on stand by and see you home safely, really I don’t mind.”
“You are my knight in shinning armor Bobby. Really it’s okay. See, I have my earrings on” she smiled pointing at each ear to put him at ease
“Okay. Call me if you want to let me know you got home safely.”
“Okay, if it will help sleep.”
They pulled up to the Tonic Bar. Bobby walked her to the front door greeting Paulie the club bouncer.
“Hey Bobby what’s up man” said Paulie as they both locked hands greeting each other with man hugs. Paulie is just as big as Bobby. The both look like two King Kong’s surrounding Raven.
“Doin’ good Paulie. You look after Miss Simone tonight ya here and don’t let her out of her of your sight” said Bobby tipping him a hundred dollar bill.
“You got it Bobby. No money needed man.”
“I know, just keep it anyway. Talk to ya later”.
“Take care of you Miss Simone.”
“Take care of you Bobby”
Paulie had one of his assistant bouncers watch the door while he followed Raven in. He escorted her over to the VIP reserve section.
“Thank you Paulie” she said tipping him and taking a seat at a private table.
“Good evening Miss Simone, your usual” asked the waitress placing down two napkins, an ash tray and a pack of Virginia Slims.
“Yes and I’ll have the Tai wrap appetizer too please, thank you”
The VIP lounge has the usual crowd of who’s who chatting up each other. The music is pulsing with a mix of hip hop, house beat and retro disco. The waitress brought her order along with a business card.
“From the gentleman four tables over.” Said the waitress knowing Raven’s rule
“Thanks Molly” said Raven looking the card over
“I told him you don’t accept drink offers Miss Simone, really I did” she said fearing she would be angry and tell her boss.
“Don’t worry about it Molly its okay. Keep my tab open and let Paulie know”
“Yes Miss Simone” said the waitress heading straight to the front door to give Paulie her message.
‘Hope you don’t mind’ was written on the back of his card as she flipped it over then sat it down on the table. She picked up her Cosmo, took a sip then looked over at his table. He was tall dark and handsome with jet black well groomed hair, a goatee, blue eyes, golden tan with a black suit no tie open collar. She smiled and toasted her drink at him. He signaled with his drink if he could come over. She nodded yes. He picked up his drink and headed over to her table.
“Hi, I’m Marc” he said standing at her table
“Hello Marc” smiled Raven
“Mind if I…” Before he could finish Paulie had a tight grip on his arm squeezing tighter as he quietly and firmly spoke to him.
“Hey, back off or I’ll rip your off and shove it down your throat” said Paulie staring Marc in the eyes talking through his gritting teeth looking like a Doberman Pincher ready to attack.
“It’s okay Paulie, he’s permitted to stay” Raven said holding up her hand waving Paulie off.
“Yes Miss Simone. I’ll be close by in case you need me”
“Thank you Paulie”
“Gees, I can go back to my table if you’re expecting someone” said Marc rubbing his arm
“No, please sit down. I just have very protective friends that’s all”
“Boy, I guess so. With friends like that you sure don’t have anything to worry about”
“That’s the point. So Marc, what’s on your mind?”
“Well, there’s no denying it you’re drop dead gorgeous and I felt an attraction towards you.”
“Okay, so now tell me something I don’t know”
“Well if you’re looking for absolute honesty, I don’t know you but would like to get to know you. We’re here now just the two of us and I don’t know, let’s see how it goes”
“Good answer. I’m impressed. Normally I get the usual male BS response, but I’m liking what I’m what I’m hearing so far. Please have one” she said moving the Tai wraps towards his hand.
“Thanks. So, what brings you out tonight if you don’t mind me asking”
“Just out for a drink before I call it night and you?”
“Same reason, closed a big deal this afternoon, dinner with a client and now it’s me time” he smiled looking at her lips then down at her plunging cleavage then back up at her eyes.
“Eyes up here if you want to stay longer” she said catching his glance
“Pardon me” he blushed and smiled taking a sip of drink.
A slow song came on. It’s Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye. Raven re-crossed her legs brushing his leg slightly.
“Can I have this dance?” he asked holding out his hand
“Sure, I haven’t had a slow danced in a long time. Hope I don’t step on your shoes” she said finishing off her drink taking his hand as he lead off to the dance floor.
Her body folded into his with the slow pulsing beat of the song. She felt like a woman on a real date for a change. He smelled good as she inhaled his cologne (Kevin Cline Black) she recalled from her memory. His hand softly held hers while he slowly guided her around the dance floor.
“I am impressed, a man that can dance” she said pulling back enough to look up at his face.
“Well besides cooking I like to dance. I particularly like ball room dancing.”
“Ball room dancing? I would have never picked you for ball room dancing.” She giggled
“Have you ever been ball room dancing?”
“God no, I wouldn’t began to know how to start”
“Well you’re in luck, I take dancing lessons on Tuesdays and Fridays and my partner had to cancel the rest of her lessons due to a Broadway cast call she got. Want to be my partner?”
“I don’t’ know. You’re much more advanced. I would be slowing you down”
“Well you’re following along pretty good now for not ever meeting me before. Just try it once and if you don’t like it, then nothing loss, what’ll you say?”
“Great it’s a date”
Wow, it’s a date Raven repeated to herself. It’s been a while since she has been on a “real date”. How would it feel to be on a “no sex” date she thought holding him close in her arms listening to his heartbeat. She closed her eyes and smiled imagining being on a real date…
Be sure to read about how the date and things evolve in my next continuing story “Just between Us” Raven Simone ~ The Series Part 2.
Be sure to read about how the date and things evolve in my next continuing story “Just between Us” Raven Simone ~ The Series Part 2.