“What’s your deal, Leo?” I asked. “I mean, seriously. Why did you start doing this escort thing?”
“Like I said, it was for the money,” he replied, looking away. “It’s easy money for a night’s work. I’ve had a hard time finding a job. Rent on my apartment is still killing me. I need to move out of Santa Barbara, but I can’t until I find a job.”
“Manhattan’s not cheap either,” I sympathized. “It’s why I commute from Jersey City. What’s rent like in California these days?”
“Three grand for a small place,” he confessed. “Unless you want to hear bullets all night. My place is only two blocks from the beach. I wanted to be near the water, but I rarely get to see it. Gotta constantly work just to keep a place I just sleep in.”
“Sounds like what you need is an apartment in the cheap area and a bullet proof vest,” I teased.
“You like Jersey City?” he asked.
“It’s all right. I really like New York,” I admitted. “It’s just that, well, I’m always working or commuting. I hardly get to see it. I might as well be working in the middle of the country, ya know?”
“Or here,” he pointed out. “I’ve read the Los Angeles school system is pretty desperate for good teachers. It seems they always have problems.”
Was he trying to sell me on moving back?
Could Leo really be interested in me?
I had to be careful. I had paid him, and he was an escort. This could all be an act to make sure I’d hire him again.
Quite frankly, the thought had already passed my mind. The sex was incredible, but I hoped that was outside our arrangement. I would hate to think that beautiful moment was created just for a “client”.
Finishing our drinks, I was feeling more relaxed and a little bit woozy. Quite frankly, after our bathroom encounter, I needed a shower.
Leo was a bit of an enigma now. Was he putting on an act or was he really into me?
“Thanks for the drink,” I said. “I should probably head up to my room now.”
“I’ll carry your bag,” he offered.
As we left the bar, I silently wondered if he was going to make another move on me. On the one hand, the sex had been great. But on the other hand, maybe I should slow things down. I mean, how much did I really know about this guy?
“Leo, what’s your family like?” I suddenly asked in the elevator.
“Typical Irish family,” he smiled. “Loud. Sunday dinner is a big thing.”
“But your last name is Johnson,” I noted. “Not very Irish.”
“On my mother’s side,” he explained. “My mother’s from Dublin. Dad’s actually half-Italian and Irish, so that makes me three quarters.”
He leaned against the wall of the elevator and gave me an easy smile, one that made me feel weak in the knees.
“Any brothers or sisters?”
“One brother. Younger. He’s an engineer. Helps build those ships that carry the containers,” he explained.
The elevators door opened, and we started to walk down the hall to my room. Was that enough information? Then again, I already did have sex with him. What was the point of being coy about it now? I should just invite him in or was that too crazy?
“Well, here’s your bag,” Leo said, handing me my bag. “Thanks for a great night. I hope you had fun.” He looked down, looking shy all of a sudden.
There was an awkward pause. Neither one of us wanted to make a move, apparently. My body started to tremble with my nerves. I was just being stupid. There was no way he was interested in me.
“Well, good night,” he said it like a sigh and turned away.
“Good night,” I said.
He walked down the hall toward the elevators, and I watched him for a minute. Then I shut the door behind me.
That was probably for the best. I didn’t know whether or not he was interested in me. I should process this more.
Yes, that was the sensible thing to do.
I got back in the elevator and started to press the button for my floor, but I didn’t want to leave. I wanted Carina, but I knew that was stupid. I shouldn’t press.
She was a client. I had to keep that in mind. Having sex with her was probably a bad idea. It was a rule I had always abided by: Never sleep with the clients.
But Carina was beautiful and sweet. I was genuinely attracted to her and I meant it when I said I would’ve asked her out under different circumstances.
Maybe it wasn’t too late to make that transition. If someone could meet a waitress and end up on a date with her, then why couldn’t an escort? It’s not like what I did for a living was that sleazy.
I started to press the button in the elevator again but stopped. I couldn’t get myself to leave.