The Concierge

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THE CONCIERGE: by Stefanie Simpson 

At my post in the foyer, filled with expensive couches and paintings, and the scent of money in the air, I smiled politely and nodded at a couple who passed by.

She must have had a million in carbon around her neck.

It's the norm at The CapriLuxe London. It's a five-star exclusive hotel for some of the richest people that pass through the city, which is saying something.

As The Concierge it's my responsibility to see to their every whim. Every whim. However, there's more to my role and my reputation precedes me. I have a secret.

In my uniform — a cream tailored tux, trimmed in maroon, matching high heels and a slim bow tie — I stood out from the other staff as they wore maroon trimmed in cream. My little brass name tag was straight, and I had a new haircut. A short graded bob with the front length to my nose. With it slicked back, and if I had a cigarette, I could have been in a film from the thirties.

A man in a tux approached, fidgety and nervous, he wouldn't look at me. "I heard you're the person to talk to about The Concierge."

My professional measured response never wavered. "Sir, unfortunately, that cannot be arranged, I can put you in touch with an associate of course. She is very discreet."

"You recommend her?"

"I do, she is excellent."

He went to the bar, disappointed, but it can't be helped. There are rules.

First, if a client asks, The Concierge is unavailable. I choose who I give favours to.

I texted my associate. She's part of a group of professionals that run through the hotels of the city, expensive and desired, and of all genders and sexualities. She was available. Perfect.

I respected and envied them, and the mysterious persona I took on brought them a lot of high paying work. I merely played on the side, but occasionally I accepted gifts. Sex is a joy for me, one I often take at my carefully selected whim.

As it was, I had plans already and forgot the man in the tux when my associate arrived and sailed into the bar as if she were born to it. Perhaps she was. Occasionally I wondered if I should make sex my profession, but I liked my job and the game I played for fun.

The piano player in the bar played Chopin, and the sound travelled through the lounge under the reserved chatter of the guests. This was like no other hotel to work for.

In the cool autumn evening, my duties occupied me, but all the while the night to come lingered in my thoughts.

My shift finished at ten, and as I left my post and handed over to Michael, he gave me a knowing look.

He was the only one I openly talked to about what I did and he was my safety net. Always.

We're both bi and had I any inclination of a romantic relationship, it'd be him. But he was my friend before anything else.

Towering over him, six-one in my heels, broad-framed, I wasn't delicate in my femininity, and men feared me.

It always gave me a kick when they knew I could probably take them in a fight and wasn't easily cowed.

Grabbing a tray of champagne and snacks from the kitchens, and ignoring the flurry of chaos and noise, I made my way up to the suite. Soft light over thick carpet elicited the familiar and exciting.

My heart beat hard and with a calming breath, I knocked.

A man who made me feel petite opened the door and I was sure I felt my pupils dilate. Excitement hammered my body.

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