Beauty and the Beast

My born name is Roman Horst. But Donatella has never called me anything but Beast, and what she says, goes.

At least when I'm staying in one of her villas. And they are well worth staying in.

You know Donatella, everyone does, and you know enough about her cadre of escorts. Maybe we all look the same to you. And you have doubtless heard rumours that cannot be substantiated about what we do in, and out of, polite company.

Everyone has.

But we're each good at what we do, and as discreet (or not) as she likes. And there are rewards for that.

The last time I thought about what I did, it came down to sometime soldier of fortune, sometime gigolo, sometime thug, in her not-quite-pay when I was between other jobs. It's a sweet arrangement; I end up in rooms like this one, shucking my battered leather and sweaty denim to change into a monkey suit that cost more than my last car.

Something's up this evening. I'd showered, and was about to shave, when she came in and laughed her whiskey cabaret laugh and told me not to. She stroked perfect lacquered nails along my stubble and told me I was a beast, and no amount of strategic shaving could change it. I let the towel around my hips fall to the floor in agreement. But that wasn't what she was there for. She placed an envelope on the sidebar, tapped it with those nails, and slunk out.

There are plenty of 28-year-olds who'd agree to be 48, if they could do it looking the way she did. Especially from behind.

So I finished drying, and went for the envelope. Interesting. I pocketed half of its contents, safed the other half behind our favorite of the etchings on the south wall, and got into the tux. I never forget extra clips for the shoulder holster. Tonight I had a backup and blades, too. Interesting.

Two scotches later, and we were all climbing into the Mercedes that would tail her Royce. That fingernail again, tapping. "Not you, Beast. You ride with me."