She’s right. The time has come, and I do feel a little faint. Part of me wants to flee the room, but I’m not sure I can move my feet right now. I take the glass from her hand and drink it in three big gulps. It’s crisp and extra cold, making my eyes water for a second. I take a breath, and I do feel a little better by the time the drink hits my stomach.
“Let’s go.” Samantha’s assistant takes my wrist and pulls me down the short hallway with Samantha leading the way.
I look back over my shoulder, and see Kim mouth ‘good luck’ at me, and I turn back around, trying to keep my feet from tripping over nothing. We stop short of a thick black curtain, and I suddenly feel like I’m in The Wizard of Oz, wondering what’s sitting on the other side of the curtain. I’m definitely not in Kansas anymore.
Red places me dead center in front of the curtain, and then backs herself off to the side. Samantha walks over and pulls some of my dark curls over one shoulder, but makes sure they’re not covering my breasts. The white nightie hides nothing at all, sheer fabric from my breasts down to my mons. Red tried to get me to put a thong on, but I told her it wouldn't look too hot if I was picking my ass the whole time I was on stage. The compromise was no underwear, so I’m sure whoever is on the other side of the curtain is about to see all of me. I feel a chill, and the cold champagne I drank so fast has turned my nipples rock hard, making them easy to see through the thin fabric.
Samantha straightens my appearance, and makes a tutting sound when she looks down at my feet. It’s then I notice I don’t even have any shoes on. Shit, I forgot the stupid heels. Probably for the best anyway, I would likely fall off the stage in them.
“Remember, Stella, this is all for the money. Don’t let them see your fear.”
I nod, and she walks to the side of the stage. A male voice fills my ears, and I know the time has come. “Let’s begin, gentlemen. The girls are ready, and tonight we are starting off with a rare treat. Normally we’d save something like this for last, but I thought we’d give each of you an opportunity to bid before you made other purchases. This rare gem has something you all want.” There’s a pause, and I hear a lot of mumbling. “Tonight I offer you Stella, the twenty-year-old virgin.”
The curtains part.
Leaning against the back wall, Justin and I wait impatiently for the auction to start. He looks over and smiles at me. He’s so excited, and I can’t help but smile back. This is a moment we’ve been waiting for, and it can’t come soon enough. I start to think about everything it took to get to this point, and how lucky we are.
Getting into the casino business is tough. It’s even tougher when you’re young. People don’t want to take you seriously, but if you’ve got money, suddenly everyone’s your friend. My brother Justin and I have been in the business since we were old enough to work, bussing tables for Antonio Cortez aka Don.
Justin and I were foster kids bouncing all around Nevada. We had a knack for hustling as kids, and it turned out to be useful as we got older. Justin is younger than I am, but only by eleven months. Most people called us Irish twins, though we weren’t related by blood. We were closer than brothers, and being thrown into foster care made us the same in a lot of ways. Neither of us had a family so we became each other’s.
We sometimes ended up in the same grade, but that depended on what school system we were in. After we graduated together and got our high school diplomas, we made our way to Vegas. We knew a guy in our old neighborhood who had connections and got us jobs as busboys at the Gold Peacock casino, right on the strip. It was owned by Don. We got a dirt cheap apartment a few blocks away, and ate ramen noodles for months at a time. We didn’t start out with much, but we knew if we worked hard and met the right people, luck would find us, and we could go places. Justin and I dreamed big, and money motivated our every move.
After about six months at the Gold Peacock, we got our first break. One night six whales flew in for a private poker game. Not a normal private game where they’re roped off in the back and people can still see. No, this was full-on discreet. Nobody in or out, unless completely vetted by Don. Lowly busboys like us wouldn’t have ever known about this event if it wasn’t for a certain whale getting some fresh air.