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Friday, March 25, 2011

Meet Angel Starr: A WIP sample

Meet Angel Starr, the top girl in Miss Maxine's "gentleman's club" and my protagonist of Frontier Courtesan, my WIP.

Modesty wasn’t Angel Starr’s strong suit. Hadn’t been for years. She sat against the headboard, the covers bunched around her waist, leaving her ample breasts bare. Scratching a match on the base of the tableside lamp, Angel lit a short cheroot and exhaled a stream of blue smoke.
“I surely hope you enjoyed yourself, Mr. Harkins,” she said, dropping the blackened match into a cast iron ashtray.
Alexander Harkins was buttoning his vest. “Oh, I definitely enjoyed myself, Miss Angel,” he replied. “I always enjoy myself when I’m with you. You certainly are an amazing woman.”
“Why, thank you, sir,” said Angel, trying to sound a bit girlish. “And you certainly are able to show a girl a good time.”
She took another drag from the cheroot. Make the customer feel like the biggest stud in the herd, she told herself. It makes their pockets deeper.
As he slipped into his coat, Mr. Harkins walked over beside Angel. “I swear, if I’d known you before I met my wife, …” he started.
“Now, now, let’s not bring her in here,” said Angel, smiling.
Mr. Harkins smiled, too. He pulled a wallet from an inner pocket in his coat. “I’ve taken care of things with Miss Maxine, but I want you to have a little something extra.”
He laid a two bills on the night table. “Until next time, my dear.”
“Until next time.” Angel smiled at Mr. Harkins as he crossed the room and left.
Her smile quickly disappeared as she put the cheroot in the ashtray and swung her naked legs off the bed. She grabbed up the money and walked to her dresser. From one of the drawers she pulled a carved wooden box and opened it. Angel folded the two bills and put them atop the stack of money in the box. Her “seed money.”
“One of these days,” said Angel as she returned the wooden box to the drawer.
At a table near the window, Angel poured water from a porcelain pitcher into a bowl. Wetting a sponge, she began to wash herself. From her window, Angel could see the steam boats at the docks on the Arkansas River. Someday, she thought, she was going to hop aboard one of those boats and head downstream, all the way to the Mississippi, then to New Orleans. She’d heard New Orleans was quite a city, just the kind of place for her.
But for now, Fort Smith was home. More specifically, Miss Maxine’s “gentleman’s club” was Angel’s home. She dried herself with a soft towel, then pulled on a pair of silky pantaloons, black with red lace trim. From a chair near the bed, Angel retrieved a corset and slipped into it. She sat at the small dressing table and looked in the mirror.
Angel was blessed with shiny red hair, a the legacy of an Irish father whose own hair had been brilliant as a sunrise. Her emerald eyes were the gift of her mother, whom Angel remembered as a beautiful woman with a bright smile and a lilting voice. She pulled a silver-plated brush through her long locks and a melancholy look crossed her face.
It had been a while since Angel had thought of her parents, and how she sometimes missed them. They’d raised her right, she told herself, even if they wouldn’t have approved of her chosen line of work. They had taught her to stand up for herself, to be strong, and to keep moving ahead even when life threw roadblocks in front of you. Those lessons kept Angel going.
When she finished brushing her hair, Angel inspected herself in the mirror. She adjusted the corset to push her breasts higher, and a bit closer together, creating a narrow but prominent crevasse between them. The gentlemen liked that. Angel found it amusing that whenever they talked with her they couldn’t direct their attention any higher than her chest.
From the foot of the bed, Angel took a sheer wisp of a robe and slide into it, tying a quick-loosening knot to pull it together. She retrieved the cheroot, flicked a match into flame and puffed the small cigar back to life. It was time to head back downstairs and see if she had any more gentlemen callers for the night.

66 comments:

Melodee Aaron said...

Very nice! I like it!

Only thing I can think of is that right up to the point where you said she looked out on the Arkansas River, I had myself convinced that she was in New Orleans. The revelation left me a little off-balance.

Not that this is a bad thing, mind you.

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