A/N: Yes, another story I have started without finishing the other! Just to warn you people, this story deals with prostitution. If you don't like this topic, turn your eyes away. For the rest who's willing to stick around, enjoy! :)
Chapter One - White Tulip
Maka Albarn was a lot of things. She was smart, she was brave, she was kind though sometimes easy to irritate, she was compassionate, and she was quite successful for her young age of 25. Her success was due in part to her hard-working personality and her brains. She graduated high school early, worked her ass off in college, and managed to make a number of useful connections resulting in a flourishing career as an architect.
Maka Albarn was a lot of things, but unemotional and stoic was not one of them. Being lucky with men wasn't one of them either.
Sweet Tsubaki Nakatsukasa didn't know what hit her when her best friend slammed her glass full of expensive champagne onto the table forcefully and very close to her very vulnerable and unsuspecting hand. She flinched and smiled apologetically at the several curious and disapproving onlookers their table had gathered due to her outraged friend.
"And then he had the audacity to accuse me of being a total bore in bed!"
"Maka, please...people are watching...you're being too loud."
"Let her be, Tsubaki. It's actually quite funny to see her like this."
Elizabeth Thompson, a fun-loving and snarky engineer, threw the timid girl a sneaky grin before she turned her attention to Maka, her smile widening at the small blonde's flushed face and blazing eyes.
"He has no right to talk like that! I'm not a total bore. If anyone's a total bore it's him! The nerve of that bastard."
"Say, Maka," Liz casually cut in and took a sip from her glass, "why are you getting so worked up over him anyway? It's clear he said all that stuff in a miserable attempt to pick up the shards of his overblown ego and try to put it back together with cheap glue. Don't let his words get to you; you were the one to break up with him, and he couldn't handle that."
Maka fell silent, the anger draining from her face in an instant. She sighed heavily and glanced down, absentmindedly swirling her glass and watching the champagne move and sway.
"Why did you break up with him Maka?" Tsubaki asked tentatively, touching her shoulder lightly. "You never told us why exactly."
"Let me guess. You broke up with him because he didn't know where your clit was."
"Liz!" Tsubaki and Maka gasped in unison, the former aghast and the latter angry at their shameless friend.
"What?" Liz raised her hands defensively in front of her, "You told us that gem of a story. I would seriously consider something like that a reason for breaking up."
"I did not break up with him because of that." Maka rubbed her temple and shot Liz a half-hearted glare. "Although it was pretty pathetic. The reason I broke up with him was because he was jealous that I was more successful than him. He was so fucking immature about it." After a solemn minute of silence, Maka raised her glass and smiled brightly. "Anyway, I think I won't be missing out on anything in life as a single."
Tsubaki and Liz followed suit and raised their glasses at their friend's little toast.
All in all, it was a fun night, something Maka hadn't been able to enjoy for a long time. They drank a lot, getting bolder, more derisive and more talkative as the night went on. This led Liz, who already possessed the subtlety of a sledgehammer, to pose a question that made Maka spit her drink out all over the pristine table-cloth.
"Sssoo...if you're going to stay single forever, what are you going to do about your sex life?"
Maka choked and coughed and the ever so helpful Tsubaki patted her on her back with a tipsy giggle.
"You really have no shame, Liz."
"I'm just worrying about you, my dear."
"You shouldn't be worrying about that part of my life."
"But it's important! Don't tell me that you're going to rely on self-service your entire life," she gasped indignantly, dramatically slapping a hand against her chest.
"Why are you all sobering up now that we're talking about sex?"
Tsubaki agreed with another tipsy giggle of her own, barely functional with the human language when drunk.
"Don't change the subject now."
"No buts! I know how you'll end up. With your demanding job and your workaholic-tendencies, you'll end up as a frustrated shrew. You have to unleash all of these pent up emotions healthily. Don't fret my poor prude friend─I'm going to help you."
"I...I'm not a prude."
Liz snorted derisively and fished her phone out of her purse. "Puh-lease, I know you are in denial but you have to face the truth: you are a prude, missy. Someone who has never tried doggy-style can only qualify as one."
Maka gaped, her mouth opening and shutting dumbly. "That's how I qualify as a prude? On what positions I have used?"
"I know!" Liz looked quite smug at her declaration, although Maka had never meant it as a compliment. Maka banged her head against the table with a heavy sigh.
"I know someone who you can call whenever you need some. He's an old friend."
Maka blinked, her hazy mind not managing to catch up with her unreasonable friend's train of thought. "What are you talking about?"
"What...who I am talking about my dear Maka, is my old friend Soul. You can go to him whenever you feel like you need to let all that anger, frustration and stress out."
She blinked again, uncomprehending and too drunk to try to make any sense out of Liz's words. "Is...is he a psychologist?"
"Nope." Liz grinned brightly, making her shrink back in her seat. It was never a good sign if Liz wore that expression. "He's an escort."
It took her a little before the word and all its implications dawned on her.
"What? Liz are you out of your mind?!" She buried her face in her palms, muffling her shrill and enraged voice. Her cheeks flamed and she was sure it wasn't merely the alcohol in her bloodstream making her all warm and hazy. Her friend was definitely crazy, not that Maka considered this a revelation, but Liz was really climbing higher up the crazy-ladder.
"What's wrong with it? You feel stressed out you simply call Soul, and he will fuck the stress out of you." She laughed deviously, haughtily throwing her head back.
"I am NOT going to see a hooker! I am not that depraved."
"That's a pretty nasty prejudice you have there, Maka. Not everyone who goes to a prostitute is depraved. And he doesn't have to necessarily sleep with you. There are plenty of other ways he can entertain you."
Maka snorted, crossing her arms in front of her defiantly. "Surely you're not suggesting my dad is a healthy human being," she said petulantly, choosing to ignore the last part because Liz's smile had become more perverted and lecherous and there was nothing that made Maka believe she was thinking about anything less than sexual.
"Just because your dad is depraved, doesn't mean everybody else is too."
"I will not stoop to his level. I refuse. You can't make me see some hooker...prostitute...escort or whatever. Besides, sex isn't everything in life."
"But it feels good...if you have a competent partner."
She flushed even more and warily glanced at Tsubaki, who seemed to have already said her goodbyes to the world of the conscious. Oh how she wished Tsubaki could have talked some sense into Liz. But there was no use. A drunk Tsubaki was even more a sign for disaster than a drunk or sober Liz. Cursing the lightweight that was her friend, she spoke again, her voice low and tired, "Listen Liz, I don't need to see a hooker. Please, don't bring it up again."
Liz's amused expression vanished only to be replaced with a scowl. Her lips pressed into a thin, displeased line. "Fine, fine," she eventually said, putting her phone back into her purse. Maka heaved a sigh of relief and smiled slightly to herself and foolishly believing that she had finally managed to talk some sense into her drunk friend.
Her head snapped up and she quickly placed her hand against her temple, trying to make the spinning of her brain less unpleasant. She groaned loudly and glared at Liz with as much fury as she could muster with her befuddled thoughts.
"─call him when you need it, okay?"
Her brow twitched and her teeth clenched. But her head was really pounding, and Liz was drunk enough to be considered mad, and Maka just couldn't bring herself to care so much about modesty and mortification. She let out a defeated breath.
"Argh! screw this!"
Paper ripped, hair gripped between long and deft fingers and a chair kicked over. Maka's room was a mess. Maka was a mess. She groaned and let herself plop onto her bed.
The Hendersons were going to be the death of her. Her new clients were nice but pretty demanding and in the habit of changing their minds constantly. She just destroyed another sketch because they remembered, seconds before she was finished, that they did want their new villa to include a tennis court after all!Maka wanted to kick them both in their well-clothed asses. Who needed a tennis court in their home anyway?
She really didn't want to stand up and start anew or stand up and risk the possibility of catching her reflection in the mirror, knowing that she was going to be far from presentable. Not that she was a vain person or someone who cared much about looks, but if she saw her swollen, red-rimmed eyes and greasy face, along with her wild and unkempt hair and topped by her ratty pajamas, she would be likely to lose it.
A shower would help her calm down. It would also benefit her hygiene, which after several stressful nights had begun to be neglected. At the moment she looked like a hobo. Releasing a hiss, she ran a hand through her tousled hair and squirmed and stretched on her bed.
Months had passed since the girl's-night out and Maka was cursing Liz to hell and back for putting such naughty and utterly crazy thoughts in her head. Yes, she was frustrated, yes, she was stressed and yes, she seriously needed some thanks to Liz feeding her the image of a hunk willing to fuck her thorough and expertly, masturbation had long ago lost its appeal. She sighed and clenched her fists. She shut her eyes and took a deep breath; she needed to clear her mind, she had to get over this phase. If she finished this job, she could take some weeks off and enjoy a quiet and peaceful time with her friends without her job always disrupting it.
But when she opened her eyes, all Maka could think about was the throbbing heat between her legs and how Liz babbled on about her hooker-friend Soul. She turned onto her stomach, buried her face into her pillow and let out a scream.
Maka liked to blame Liz. And the Hendersons. And the alcohol. And her dad for his perverted genes. But mostly Liz and her dad!
The sinking and horrifying realization that she had really dolled herself up to see a hooker made her heavy gait falter and her fingers clench painfully against the purse that had been a present from her mother a few years back. Maka gulped and let her free hand smooth over her skirt, dusting invisible dirt away and drying her sweaty palm. Her teeth dug into her bottom lip, her shoulders tensed and her blood pounded in her ears.
Maybe she should just turn around and leave quietly before she really made a fool of herself and went through with meeting a prostitute or escort or whatever he liked to be called. She should be concentrating solely on her work, on finishing the stupid villa and finally being done with the Hendersons and their indecisive ways. Even if that included multiple sketches being thrown into the trash bin and her hands being raw and cramped from working hours on end.
She brushed a few unruly strands of blond behind her ear and tentatively looked around. It was the perfect location for a date, really. The cafe was cool and cozy, perfect for such a hot summer, and the staff seemed very polite and helpful. Only, it wasn't a date. She was here for the sex and the person she intended to meet was the prostitute who was going to give it to her. Taking a deep breath, she straightened her stance and determinedly scanned the crowded room for Soul Evans. She expertly pushed her embarrassment and propriety away because who needed that when she was about to meet a hooker? And maybe nothing would come out of the 'date' and she could leave without having to worry about it again.
Even if it would take her several rounds of torture involving watching reruns of stupid and brain cell-killing reality TV to admit it, a well-hidden and secret part of Maka was deeply curious. She was about to meet a male hooker! Not something anyone would include as an everyday occurrence. She didn't know what to expect. Well, she supposed she should expect lots of sex, and mind-blowingly good sex at that.
But what else? Were they going to talk a lot? How much would it cost her? From what Liz had giddily told her, he was a high class hooker, whatever that might mean. Liz had described him as totally sexy and hot. Upon further inquiries on her part, she had clarified he was a hunk with white spiky hair and deep red eyes, a well-built body and stylish clothes. And in order to make it easier for poor, confused and prudish Maka, he would hold a white tulip in his hand so that she wouldn't accidentally mix him up with a random stranger.
Inhaling what felt like all the air in the cafe, Maka finally scanned the crowded cafe as her heart hammered wildly in her chest. Where was that guy? He shouldn't be that difficult to find with his features and the white tulip. Maybe it was her nervousness. Maybe it was her propriety, desperately trying to fight to the surface of the sea that was her jumbled emotions and thoughts. Maybe he hadn't come after all! Maybe she should really leave and-
It had to be him. The white tulip! The hair and the clothes fit Liz's description. Maka couldn't discern the colour of his eyes from this distance, but there was no doubt that this was her prostitute.
He sat in the furthest corner of the cafe, which was a relief. He looked sour and tired and maybe a little angry. Maka was startled out of her thoughts when he glanced down at his wrist, eying what was probably his watch. Oh crap! She hurriedly glanced at her cell phone. Shit! She had spent 10 minutes debating on whether or not to see the guy and now she was late. How embarrassing and very unlike her. Her brain hadn't even caught up with her and she was already standing in front of his table, mortified at her tardiness.
Maka Albarn was never late! She had a few seconds to scrutinize his appearance closely. She noted that he was handsome and that it was probably going to be one expensive ride for her. The three to four seconds of blatant starring were interrupted by his voice, which was deep and smooth and would have doubtlessly sent something as cliché as 'shivers down her spine' if it weren't for the content of his words.
"Are you Maka Albarn?" A curt and jittery nod on her part followed. "Glad that you could make it, but never make me wait again. I hate waiting and I have another appointment in 30 minutes. So hurry and sit down, will you?"
Her eyes narrowed into a glare and her teeth gritted painfully together. But Maka was a polite girl and she was late, and even if he was being incredibly impolite about it, she was not going to snap at him. She plastered on a pleasant smile, having perfected the technique over the years of difficult college-life and having to civilly deal with rude people.
"I am very sorry for my tardiness Mr. Evans," she said sheepishly, "I'm usually never late to a...meeting."
His scowl softened and he turned his head to the side with a light scoff. "Whatever. Just make sure it never happens again. I am a very busy person."
Her eyes hardened but her smile did not falter. "So am I, Mr. Evans, and I promise you, it won't ever happen again."
"Good. Now let's get down to business. This is for you, by the way. Here..." He handed her the tulip as if it were a hot potato. Maka was partly inclined to bash him on the head with the novel she had purchased yesterday and partly inclined to make a quick dash out of the stainless glass doors to escape. "Since Liz told me you're not interested in my services beyond the sexual kind, I won't beat around the bush: I charge 400 dollars an hour for penetrative intercourse, which does not include oral sex, except for first-time customers. So Oral usually costs 100 dollars extra, but it will be free for you on our first meeting. You could of course employ me for the whole night, which would cost you 1000 dollars and-" he got out a small notebook and scribbled everything down "-I am also available for other sexual practices, including bondage, tantric sex and kama sutra. I am impartial to role play, although I have my limits: I do not dress up in female clothes for example, so don't even think about asking. If you require an escort for a social gathering, I am available if not previously booked, however, seeing as you are probably smart enough to notice, it will be pricy."
Maka's face was red. And that was an understatement. She fought to keep her mouth shut in order not to have something embarrassing come out of it like a squeak or a scream or expletives at his indifferent tone. How could he talk so casually about it?! She clutched the edge of the table firmly. Just what was she supposed to say? She hadn't thought it was going to be this complicated. She just wanted sex. She should have never come here. Shit. In what had she gotten herself into? Damn Liz! And her dad!
"Have you lost your tongue, Miss Albarn?" Her head snapped up, she was involuntarily met with his smirk and smouldering eyes. She wanted to give him some witty retort, but it died before it could come out of her mouth. "Don't worry. I'm used to it. Most first-time customers are very embarrassed and self-conscious. Of course, I could help you ease in to it slowly if you feel uncomfortable and we could start meeting up without engaging in any sexual intercourse at first." His awaited a response, but she stubbornly remained quiet, if only because she was too embarrassed to talk. "Anyway, since I don't have much time on my hands now, let me continue so we have all the important things covered."
There was more? Oh God.
"I will provide the contraceptives myself. They are of the best quality; I can assure you of that. Here –" He dropped a package of condoms onto the center of the table, making her gasp and splutter at his shamelessness. Maka quickly made a grab for it before someone saw it. No wonder he and Liz were friends! Both were perverted and had no shame. He chuckled lowly at her mortified face and wide eyes and then continued, "You can test their quality yourself. I am always ready to offer the best service to my customers. You are in good hands, Miss Albarn. Do you have any questions?"
She squeaked and stuffed the condoms into her purse, her cheeks flaming. She shook her head in a feeble attempt at human communication.
"Good." He leaned forward. He was suddenly so very close and she could feel his breath against her cheek. She reflexively leaned back, squirming in her seat, feeling lost and helpless. His eyes trailed down from her face to her neck and then her chest and further down until the edge of the table hid anything interesting. The nerve of him! She wanted to hit him so badly... but wasn't he going to see all of her? No, maybe not, if she just made her legs cooperate and leave this damned building. "I am happy to inform you that I accept you as a customer."
Maka blinked. "What?"
He smirked. "Even if you don't have much of a bust, you have a nice face and your legs really do make up for your complete lack of curves. Shall we discuss our further arrangements?"
"What?!" She couldn't believe it! She clenched her fists, ready to punch that insolent guy in his handsome face and preferably break his elegant nose. "You're judging my looks? I'm the one who is going to pay you. If anyone should judge someone, then it should be me judging you!"
He snorted and swatted her accusing finger away from his chest. "Do you honestly thinkI have no standards? Even if I am prostitute, I don't simply offer my services to any woman. I want my clients to be attractive and fit, I'm not looking for some fat, ugly and desperate lady coming onto me."
"You are so rude!" She was seething; her hands were twitching with the intent to strangle this immensely shallow guy. Yet she was still sitting there. Why didn't she just leave? Oh yeah because she was a desperate lady and a very curious and frustrated one at that too. She was pathetic.
"I am not being paid for being polite. And I don't get why you're getting so angry. I just complimented you and you blow up on me like that."
"I'm supposed to take living up to some random guy's standard as a compliment?"
"I'm not some random guy. Now, do you want my services or not?" He leaned very close again, his eyes imploring and serious.
Maka gulped and her shoulders tensed. A bit of sweat trickled down the side of her head.
This was so awkward and he was so blasé about it. For Maka, sex had always been something very intimate and only to be done with a loving partner and now she was supposed to easily consent to getting intimate with a stranger? But then again, if she were to decline, she would go home defeated and having changed nothing. The Hendersons still stressing her, her frustration building up and…and she would feel defeated. Moreover, she had just used her precious time to meet this guy and if she were to leave, it would have been a complete waste.
Licking her dry lips, she spoke. "I...I want to...I mean yes I want your services." She wanted to slap herself for her unsteady voice. She cringed and sighed afterwards.
He grinned in reply, steadying his chin on a palm. He ripped out the paper he had written his notes on from his notebook and handed it to her. "Let us get down to business. What do you want?"
What was one supposed to wear when you were going to be fucked by a prostitute?
Maka stood in front of her large mirror, eying herself critically from head to toe. That guy had standards. She snorted. Did that mean she had to dress in extra-sexy underwear in order not to be sent back the moment he undressed her and saw her in all her glory? It was a mystery to her how she had agreed to his terms and how she was still willing to employ him. She scowled. Maybe she had more of her papa in herself than she had originally let herself believe.
On the topic of sexy underwear: she had none. Maka had always been a practical person and still believed underwear was for covering and nothing more. So why should she waste her money on expensive lace and ribbons and stockings and garters? Some called her stingy but she wasn't. She had to scrape a lot of money from the simplest jobs to be able to pay rent and buy food during college and doing something stupid like buying sexy yet expensive underwear had never been an option. She had always refused her dad's well-meaning but unwelcome offers of help. She might be in debt now because of her stubbornness, but she had enough money to be able to pay it back easily─ something that made her proud.
She ripped her closet open. Hadn't Liz gotten her some lingerie for her 24th birthday (and had embarrassed her mercilessly)? They had to be somewhere! Maka would never throw away a present, no matter its perverted and useless nature. Oh, there! She was relieved and angry at the same time. She had found her only piece of lingerie! Why was she getting so worked up over some hooker? Damn it! She slid down to sit on her butt, holding the black bra and matching thong in her shaky hands. She frowned. The bra was alright. But she was so not going to wear the thong! They were uncomfortable and covered practically nothing. She had to have some black panties lying around in a drawer somewhere. She would simply wear one of them.
She sluggishly stood up and retrieved a pair of cotton panties, scrunching up her nose. Okay, cotton and lace didn't really match but he would get over it.
She quickly dressed herself, much to her horror noticing she would be late again if she wasted anymore time with frightened contemplation and arguments that resulted in nothing but headaches. She struggled a bit with the zipper of her little black dress, which she thought wasn't too exaggerated in style but still chic. She arranged her hair in a messy half-bun and put on her only set of high heels. They usually left her feet suffering from blisters and bruises, but she would manage. She could stand a little pain. Wincing a little as she adjusted her stance to her taller height, she made a few experimental steps towards the mirror, trying not to wobble too much and fall inelegantly down. With a last glance at her mirror, satisfied with her appearance, she made her way out.
The way to the hotel they had agreed to meet was tedious. The traffic was a bitch and Maka was afraid that she was really going to be late. Again. She didn't think she could live down the humiliation if that happened. When she finally pulled down in a nearby parking lot, she almost ran the remaining distance to the hotel, her feet protesting with pain.
She had expected something dingy and old and maybe rundown. She was positively amazed when she was met with a 5-Star hotel, the Grace Grande Hotel. She tried to look as neutral and indifferent as possible at such luxury. Did the owners know of his business in their hotel and tolerate it, or did he keep it a secret from them? What he did wasn't illegal, but it was rare to find a hooker set up in a place this nice. Just how much money did he earn to be able to book a room in such a hotel? Ah yes, he charged 400 dollars an hour. How could she forget? And how could she have agreed to pay such an exorbitant amount for sexual intercourse? Maybe she should have tried her hand at a one-night-stand after all. No. At least this way she was sure she would receive some quality sex and not some drunken and awkward and possibly mediocre, probably awful sex.
The middle-aged man at the reception desk was incredibly polite and quickly called a bellhop to lead her to Soul Evans' room, in spite of her insistence that she was able to find it on her own. Truthfully she was grateful; she probably would have gotten lost in the attempt.
Maka never thought she could spent so much time in an elevator. She tried her best not to gape – it was a very extravagant and a very golden elevator - and instead tried to concentrate on the handsome concierge's idle chatter. When they finally reached the door with the golden numbers 521, she froze in the middle of the long hallway just beneath a chandelier. The nice concierge's confused voice made her move out of her stupor, and she followed him the few metres to the dark wooden door.
"Here we are," he said, smiling charmingly as he looked at her with bright brown inquisitive eyes. "If there's anything you need, you can always use the phone in the room and contact me directly."
Maka nodded slightly, eying the door with growing suspicion and vaguely wishing that the nice and chatty concierge wouldn't leave her alone.
"Alright then, I will take my leave. Have a nice evening, Miss Albarn and I hope you enjoy your stay here."
She didn't know if he was aware of the reason she was here or if she was merely overanalyzing him and his words, but her cheeks flared as she babbled a few words of thank back. Oh, she was going to have a very nice evening.
Before she could collect herself and check her appearance one last time, the door swung open to reveal Soul Evans. She gulped loudly and thought about turning and running as his lips curled into a lazy smirk and his half-lidded eyes scanned her up and down. "Good evening, Miss Albarn." He opened the door fully and stepped aside, "Please, do come in." She couldn't help the light shiver that danced through her body and made the small hairs on her arms stand on end, goose bumps blanketing her skin. Her heels clacked loudly against the wooden floor and she was a bit afraid she might fall down like the clumsy idiot she was, destroying the last shreds of her dignity completely.
She gasped when she got a good look around her. The room was huge! She didn't consider this a room, this was an apartment. Thid guy had to be filthy rich. She couldn't complain much about her financial situation, but even with her success, she could never afford a place like this regularly. Her mouth was open as she gazed around the living-room area where plush and leathery black couches were finely arranged around a round table. Maka didn't dare touch anything here, scared she might break something. Everything in here had to have cost a fortune. The rug underneath her ridiculous heels was a deep red with a random black pattern; it looked so soft... and expensive! And the television! She had only seen such huge flat screens in that large electronic store in the city.
She flinched when she heard the door shut loudly. Gulping thickly, she slowly turned around, only to find him standing right in front of her. Damn him and his constant invasion of her personal space! She took a few steps back, suddenly feeling claustrophobic and self-conscious.
This man was a complete stranger! And she was alone with him. In a room. A room he had booked. A room he knew in and out. What if…what if he was some crazy serial killer?What if pretending to be a prostitute was his modus operandi? What if, after successfully luring a gullible and frustrated lady like herself into his domain, he took his time to kill her in some sadistic way?
What had she gotten herself into?!
"Are you alright? You look pale. Do you need to sit down before we start?"
She jumped and squeaked. He eyed her with a mixture of wariness, confusion and a little worry. He took a small step forward and she automatically took one back. He reached a hand out and before he could touch her, she slapped his hand away. His eyes narrowed into a glare. "What the hell, woman? If you only want to fool around, you can go. Now." He motioned towards the door, "I really hate people who waste my time. I could have met another serious customer and made some money, but instead here I am getting nothing with a flat-chested shrew."
Flat-chested shrew? That bastard. Asshole!
Her newest novel got happily and rather brutally acquainted with his skull.
"AHH! The hell! Ouch...ouch. Ouch! Stop it!You never said anything about BDSM! And spanking wasn't mentioned either. God damn! Put that book away!"
Her cheeks were red and her eyes screamed murder when she hesitantly withdrew her hand. "You're such a jerk! Why did I come here? Damn it!"
"Why? To get some sex because obviously no one else but a prostitute would be willing to do you with your anger-problem and small tits."
"You-you are impossible."
He rolled his eyes and gave her a humourless grin. "I know, I know, Miss Eloquence." His upper lip curled into a disdainful sneer as he stuffed his hands into his pockets and glared down at her. "I don't have the time nor the nerve to deal with you. So tell me: what are you here for?"
She tensed and clenched her fists. She met his hard glare with one of her own.