“Follow your heart, girl,” she advised. “I nearly lost Jim, when we first started dating, but when I realized what a good guy he was, I went after him. And I’ve been happy ever since.”
I took a deep breath and sighed. It didn’t seem like it was that easy with Leo and me.
Jim and I met at the Humidor: Cigar Bar and Lounge. It was a place where you could enjoy a good cigar and a cognac. As I pulled into the parking lot, I got a text. It was from the escort agency.
I called in. Lidia was the woman who arranged my “dates”.
“Hey, Lidia,” I greeted. “I can’t talk long.”
“I know, you’re on a weekend trip, but I’ve got something big for you,” she explained. “I have a client in Chicago, she wants to hire you for a year.”
“A year? That’s extreme,” I laughed. “How does that date work?”
“You’d be a live in. Room and board totally paid for, plus free clothes and gifts and you get paid,” she explained.
“I don’t know, that sounds like a bit much,” I said.
“It’s not a normal rate. She’ll pay you $150K for the year.”
“Are you serious?” I whispered. “Why would she pay me that kind of money?”
“She wants someone that’s available on a moment’s notice and she’s insanely rich,” Lidia explained. “I know it’s a lot to ask but think about it and get back to me soon. She might end up picking someone else if you don’t jump on this.”
“Yeah, okay,” I found myself saying. “I will think about it.”
I hung up and dropped the phone in my lap. That was a nice chunk of change for just a year. Plus, I wouldn’t have any expenses during that time. It would be like making $200K really.
Monetarily, it was a good plan, but what about Carina? If I left, would she wait for me?
I went inside the Humidor and found Jim already sitting at a table smoking it up.
“Hey, buddy,” he greeted. “What’s your poison? How about some cognac and a Robusto?”
“Sounds good,” I agreed, sliding into the chair next to him.
“What’s wrong? You looked stressed,” he noted.
“I just got this job offer, but I don’t know if I should take it,” I carefully explained. “I really want to be working at a law firm and in law. This would be nothing like that.”
“It’s funny you mention that,” smiled Jim. “It’s part of the reason I wanted to meet. Howell and Howell is expanding and I need you to be a part of it. You can clerk for us, while you’re studying for the bar. If you pass, you could be a real partner after a year or two.”
“Wow, really? That’s just what I wanted,” I said excitedly.
“So, what’s this other job offer? Can we do better?” he asked.
I looked at him a few minutes. Jim was a good guy. I could trust him. If I told him the truth, he could give me advice on what to do about Carina, too.
“It’s actually a little embarrassing,” I said, unsure if I should say. “I don’t know if I should tell you.”
Jim laughed and sat back in his seat. “Buddy, you can tell me anything, I don’t judge,” said Jim. “I had to take crap jobs until I started to rake it in. Whatever it is, I promise I’ll take it to my grave.”
“I’ve actually, well, I’ve been working as an escort.”
Jim laughed and then abruptly stopped. “Wait, you’re serious? Holy shit! That’s amazing!” he laughed.
“You’re not mad?”
“Nah, I don’t judge, but I’m fascinated,” he said. “Do you have sex with all the clients?”
I shook my head. “No, never, until I met Carina.”
Jim’s eyes went wide. “Wait, she hired you?! Holy shit! Oh, wait, that makes perfect sense. Vicky told me Carina was always a wallflower. You were like her hired…reputation I guess you can say.”
“Yeah it was just to impress her old classmates,” I confirmed. “But something happened and now I think we’re a couple or could be.”
“So, what’s the problem?” Jim shrugged.
“The escort service just offered me $150K to live with a woman for a year, all expenses paid.”
He blinked at me. “Shit, really? That’s amazing. Good luck.”
“No, I don’t know if I should do that,” I admitted. “I mean, I have feelings for Carina. She’s really sweet and special. Plus, the sex has been mindblowing.”
Jim nodded. “Well, Leo, there’s not much of a choice there,” he said. “You can only do the escort thing for so long, right? I mean, we all get old. Then where are you going to be? A job at the law firm won’t pay that much at first, but you can build to that easy. Plus, you can’t be with Carina and be an escort, right?”
“No, I wanted out, but this job… I could always come back.”