Need to catch up? Here are Chapters 1, 2, and 3!
Cass was standing in the doorway of his building when Terrin approached, his muscular arms crossed against his broad chest. As soon as he saw her, he stepped down into the street and drew her into a hug. Terrin, quite tall herself, tucked her head under his chin and returned the hug.
“I heard you almost died,” he said, pulling back and studying Terrin closely.
“How’s Yumi? Are they ok?”
“They’ll pull through. It was close though.”
Cass nodded, looking thoughtful, before turning and stepping back up onto the porch. Terrin followed him inside the building, which was well lit and comfortably warm.
Cass owned the building, which housed the resident attendants of Wy-dess. They paid rent for rooms and were able to provide whatever service they were skilled in, whether that was massage, spiritual services, or, more likely, sex. Cass kept the house in order and employed an in-house doctor, but outside of that his interests remained firmly in the area of real estate. Most of the attendants lived elsewhere in town, allowing themselves a comfortable distance between work and home.
“How are the dennies?,” Terrin asked as they moved through the foyer. There were several coats hanging on the rack, as well as a fair number of hats. Terrin wondered if their owners were actually here or if people tended to forget and leave them behind. Depending on what service the attendant provided, she wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few things got left behind.
“Everyone’s doing really well, thank you,” Cass replied, waiting while Terrin shed her own coat and hat. “We even have someone named Denny. He’s new.”
They entered the parlor, where several attendants were vetting customers or simply enjoying the evening amongst themselves. Cass led Terrin up to a young man who was standing in the corner, talking to another dennie Terrin thought looked vaguely familiar.
He was thin, waif-like, standing a few inches shorter than Terrin. His curly chestnut hair sat atop his head like a crown, and his blue eyes were lined in black. He smiled as they approached, and Terrin thought he was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.
“Terrin, this is Denny. He recently joined us from So-mars, and is our newest sex attendant.”
The young man tilted his head, his smile deepening, and said, “I also give singing lessons.”
His voice was certainly musical. It was a light tenor, and colored with an accent Terrin didn’t recognize. It was rare to meet someone with an accent, especially out here. The continent was small, although she knew there were some settlements that still spoke old languages amongst themselves. But she had never met anyone who spoke anything other than Standard.
“Terrin is my oldest friend from Ne-riv,” Cass explained, while Terrin and Denny continued to examine each other. “She’s just stopping by for a drink tonight.”
Denny nodded and reached out to touch Terrin’s sleeve. His nails were painted a dark green.
“It’s very nice to meet you, Terrin,” he said, his voice gentle and lovely. “I hope to see you again sometime.”
Terrin nodded, afraid to speak for fear the rough cadence of her voice would spoil the moment. Denny seemed to understand and laughed lightly. He turned back to the other attendant and Cass and Terrin moved away.
“Quite taken, are we?” Cass laughed as Terrin ducked her head and blushed. “You’re not the only one. He just got here and already his appointments are booked for six weeks.”
Terrin cleared her throat.
“Why’d he move out here?”
“Why does anyone? New blood. New prospects. Boredom.”
They rounded the corner and entered the dining room, the biggest room on the ground floor. Several attendants were dining with customers, and someone was lightly playing the piano. Terrin saw a familiar face, and strode away from Cass to greet her.
Selena sat placing cards out on the table, reading them idly. She looked up as Terrin approached, and immediately broke out into a bright smile. She wheeled her chair out from the table so Terrin could bend to kiss her cheek. She was dressed in a red satin gown, the hem resting just above her knees, exposing her soft caramel skin. Selena caught Terrin looking and laughed.
“Reddy!,” she called. She was the only one who called Cass by his surname, and only because he allowed it.
“Get us a drink,” she said sweetly, and Cass rolled his eyes but walked off to oblige. She smiled at Terrin, rolling her chair back to the table while Terrin settled herself next to her.
“I’m glad you came,” Selena said softly, reaching out and placing a hand on Terrin’s for a moment, before sweeping the cards into a pile in front of her.
“Did you hear what happened?”
Selena nodded, shuffling the cards and placing them in a neat stack at the edge of the table. Terrin watched her nimble fingers.
“Are you surprised?”
Selena gave Terrin a sharp look but chose not to answer her question. Instead she picked up the top card from the stack and looked at it, her expression blank. Terrin started to lean over to look at the card but Selena pulled it toward her chest, smirking. Terrin raised her hands in surrender and settled back into her seat.
“So why did you move out here?” Selena had been the most popular attendant in Ne-riv. Her appointments were booked months in advance, and she had the means to do anything and go anywhere she wanted. Selena shrugged.
“I’m always up for a challenge,” she winked.