“Nine thousand!” Pari had cried when Tanner gave her the news about finishing off her education. “Dollars?”
“No Pari, pesos,” Tanner quipped sarcastically and stormed in her bedroom.
The puckered look on Pari’s face clearly said she sympathized for her friend and couldn’t believe nine thousand was keeping Tanner from getting her degree.
Nine thousand needed by tomorrow afternoon. Pari was barely making ends meet with her private hustles and Tanner was so caught up with two internships, working a steady job, going to school to keep her 4.0 G.P.A., and paying bills that were not hers accrued by her now dead crack addicted mother; Even the little hustle Tanner opt to do every once in a while for her ex-pimp, Donetello, didn’t really make ends meet around Tanner’s life with the cost of school, books and payments she needed to make on everything else.
The pounding on the door in the middle of the night made Pari sprint from her bed, barely dress and not even check to see who it was. Her room was closest to the front of their upper two family flat apartment on the Westside of Detroit. Sadly, she was use to these knocks in the middle of the night.
“Get out the fucking way!” a deep voice boomed as he was helping someone smaller into the room.
“Lay her on the couch!” Pari ordered and then ran to the back of the house to knock on her roommate’s door. “Tanner! Tanner! You got a client.”
Several locks clicked before the door opened and Tanner, a thirty-year old light coffee skinned woman with all seeing eyes came out the room. Her corn-rolled hair was wrapped in a black silk scarf and it didn’t look like she had been sleep.
Pari followed Tanner in the front room where a skinny black crackhead was gasping for air. It was a knife wound to the right side Pari didn’t know much medicinal stuff, but she could see the lacerations as Tanner went into work, cleaning the wound and dressing it. The big man that had brought the woman in paced back and forth. When he lit up a cigarette, Tanner barked, “Put that shit out!”
He did and when it was all over, Tanner stood and looked at the large burly man. “Who told you about me?”
“Donetello. He said to bring the bitch here. He lost his cool when the bitch only pulled in about twenty bucks tonight.”
“What the fuck does he expect? It feels like ten below!” Tanner sneered.
The man looked past Tanner at the crackhead, who had fallen to sleep.
“Will she make it?”
“Yes, but tell your boss she’s out of commission. She probably won’t be working much because she’s got a chest infection. I gave her some antibiotics, but if she works for the next couple of days, it’ll tear her stitches.”
“No can do. Donetello’s got a private party tonight and she’s on the list. His other girls are off on other things.”
“Then he shouldn’t have lost his temper,” Tanner spat angrily, wiping the rest of the blood off her hands.
“Donetello said if she’s out of commission, he knows you know someone that can take her place.” The large man gave a wink at Pari, who gasped at the thought of doing what he implied.
“Go in your room, Pari,” Tanner ordered.
Pari protested, “I’m not—”
Tanner turned around sharply at Pari and screamed. “Go in your mother fucking room, NOW!”
Pari gave her roommate a hurt expression, but understood Tanner knew more about what was really going on than she did, so she enclosed herself up in her room, but pressed her ear against the door to listen.
Tanner must have known this and ordered the large man to step outside to speak.
Damn! Tanner, what are you going to do?
A few minutes later, Tanner and the man entered and Pari could hear a lot of movement. Another door closed and then it was quiet. When Pari’s ear hurt like hell pressing up against the door, she gave up and just went to the front room. There was no one there.
Tanner had left along with the large man and the injured woman on the couch. On the tabletop was a note from Tanner saying simply, “I’ll be back.”
* * *
With not much time to change, Tanner basically had just found a summer dress, but it was cold and January. In Detroit, outside was no joke in the middle of the night. The long black ankle length coat and knee high black boots adequately kept her warm because there had been no snow, but the wind chill could freeze a sistah where she stood.
Jamiroquai had convinced her on the steps of what should be done. Nina, the whore Tanner had stitched up, was due to be at a motel for some rich cat that had called on the fly in less than thirty minutes. Donetello must have assumed that he had not hurt Nina as much as she had been hurt. This was why he told Jamiroquai to just get Tanner to patch Nina up before she was to be shipped over to this John.
“It’s a new bit,” Jamiroquai explained. “Donetello will send her over there like this if he has to. And it looks like you know him well enough to know I ain’t lying.”
Why did Tanner give in? Because Jamiroquai looked like if he returned empty handed it was going to kill him to tell that asshole Donetello that Nina wasn’t going to have to work this John.
“Most likely he don’t want nothing but a few licks and a touch. Donetello said he requested and paid good for a clean girl. And right now, Nina’s bout the only clean one he can guarantee cause she just had a baby and a full check up.”
Jamiroquai looked uncomfortable at Tanner’s direct question. If Tanner was a whore, then Jamiroquai could impose that it was none of her business, but he was unfamiliar with dealing with a woman and having no control over her. He needed her and he didn’t like being put in that position at all. “You know I don’t know Donetello’s accounting shit. All I know is that he’ll be willing to pay nicely if you can find someone who can take Nina’s place.”
Tanner saw the roll of money Jamiroquai had pulled out from Donetello, which had been given as an enticement. Donetello knew Tanner wouldn’t be able to resist. He knew Tanner needed some money bad and he knew how he could make her get back into the life of prostitution.
“The john ain’t a regular and he’s checked out real good so all you gotta do is fifteen to thirty minutes top,” Jamiroquai said as Tanner agreed to take Nina’s place.
“So why is the john paying so much?”
“Don said he probably got some fetish and shit, but the john said there would be no entry and if there is you just make a little extra.”
“S and M?”
“No. The john just said he wants a chick that’s clean and will give him oral. Most likely he wants some weird freaky oral action.”
Her back was against the wall and now as Jamiroquai finished dropping off Nina at her home, Tanner tried her best not to show her fear as she fingered the roll of money in her pocket. Just this once. Just this once and then that’s it.
You’ll pay for school till the end of the term and then you’ll be finished. The roll in her pocket didn’t come close to the nine thousand she needed by three p.m. tomorrow in the school’s business office, but it was five thousand. Two to stitch up Nina and three to entice. Enough for over half of what she needed. Now the other four would have to come from this john unless Donetello was still in a bad mood and would send some more her way by morning, but she doubt it. This was a rare exception and if he did send anything, it wouldn’t amount to enough.
Even if she stayed up all night, she knew the most she would get were small things. It was rare she let people know about her medical skills. And she knew if she continued this, she had a good chance of not getting her medical degree. Unfortunately, she had to do what she had to do in order to get the money she needed and Donetello needed someone that could fix his girls up without tracing it back to him.
Jamiroquai drove her without another word to the motel on the east side of Detroit and passed her a cell phone. “He’s in room two-forty. I’ll be out here waiting. That asshole tries something you don’t like just chirp me and I’m coming in.”
And probably not in a good mood, Tanner said to herself pulling down the mirror to look into her chocolate brown slanted eyes. Long light brown lashes that matched her almost red brownish hair coloring made her almond colored light skin attractive.
She knew she didn’t break mirrors and was often complimented when she decided to comb her hair, but of late could care less about her appearance.
Reaching in her coat pocket, she pulled out the eyeliner and lip-gloss to bring out something and then popped a mint in her mouth.
Hopefully the bath she had taken before going to bed would be enough to suffice.
Jamiroquai also handed her some condoms and winked at her for luck.
She snatched them away and got out the car.
Tanner walked up the stairs to the room Jamiroquai had told her and knocked softly. Her knocking made the door open. The creepy squeal of the door opening increased the bad feeling in her stomach. The light in the bathroom and a candle on the table by the bed only lit the room.
“Put your coat on the chair,” a deep voice ordered from behind her as soon as she closed the door.
Gasping in fright, she turned and glared up at the man, but found she had to careen her head way up. SEVEN FUCKING FEET?
No, not exactly! He had to be a good six and a half though because her spine was killing her to look up that high. He was big like a linebacker with light skin and a cap on, so she couldn’t determine if he was white with a tan or a black guy that was really light-skinned. He had medium dark pink lips and a slightly pinched nose, but even these features made it difficult to determine his race with that damn black cap on.
He wore a black wife beater and tight blue jeans that definitely showed he didn’t miss one hour of weight training. His biceps looked about as thick as her thigh and Tanner gulped as she wanted to desperately push the chirp button on the phone, which she clutched in her coat pocket.
Play it cool, Dummy! She ordered herself.
Tanner was just five feet three and was usually never attracted to men over six feet, but this big ass man was…Awesome? Could she really say that?
“Why are you hiding behind the door?” she questioned.
“I told him I wanted a woman who didn’t ask any questions,” the man said sharply, locking the hotel door.
She took off her coat, but kept the cell phone and condoms in her hand behind her.
He moved up to her with a suspicious look in his eyes. She couldn’t tell the color of them, because of the cap, but they were well defined.
Tanner became very aware that her neck was starting to hurt from looking up so high and this man’s shoulder width was twice the size of her full frame. Did he eat iron for breakfast? Stepping back, so her neck wouldn’t hurt anymore, she gasped as he stepped to her again increasing his closeness this time and making her very uncomfortable.
So consumed with looking in his face, she flinched nervously as his hands came to her waist. Tanner didn’t move, much less breath as he felt the front, back, and side of her. This was no caress he was frisking her.
“What are you doing?” she asked confused, feeling the strangest tingles move up her legs and an arousing sensation tickle her below her belly.
He had knelt to inspect both thighs and her question made him stop what he was doing, leaving his large hand high on her right thigh in the front and back. “What did I tell you about that talking?”
Tanner bit the sarcastic remark back and just waited while he moved to the other thigh all the way down to her ankle and then stood back up – closer.
This time Tanner didn’t bother to try to look up in his face and she wasn’t about to step back because she had a feeling he wanted to make her feel uncomfortable.
“Take off your clothes.”
Would that mean this cornbread fed giant take off his? And if he did would he look just as magnificent without his clothes as he did with clothes?
Using this opportunity to move away from him and catch her own breath, she walked over to the bed to place the cell phone and condoms there. He hadn’t followed her and Tanner looked down at the candle to gather her own thoughts together. He’s just some weird perv john probably from the boondocks Michigan trying to get a taste of city life before he goes back to Pinkie, Michigan.
That had been a running joke when she had been out in the life doing this all the time. Pinkie, Michigan was actually nowhere, but it was a terminology used occasionally to say that since Michigan was shaped by a glove this was where this john was from – where no one black in their right mind would be, so they came down here to Detroit to taste life by requesting a black girl to their room.
Concentrating on the candlelight, she pushed off the peach summer dress along with her underwear over her boots and kicked them off.
She started to unzip her boots, but he barked, “Leave’em.”
His hands came behind her and firmly gripped her waist. “Lay on the bed on your stomach,” he ordered.
She did as she was told and forced her rapidly beating heart to relax.
Usually she wasn’t so jumpy and sex had never really been like, ‘oh yeah, say my name.’ She had personal lovers – Donetello being one of her past lovers, but Tanner had always done it just for the money or what she could get out of it.
Knowing she could get her own without a man by becoming a nurse practitioner, she had decided to do just that and in four years, she had scored high on her M-CATS and was now hours away from completing Wayne State Medical School to finish off her education. Her prior medical knowledge from her mother, Sissy, had given her a lot of things too.
Sissy Tanner was a street doctor. She had read the medical books and was not only making her money running the streets, but fixing up whores and hustlers who couldn’t leave a paper trail.
She even gave birth to Tanner at home and took her to the hospital after it was all over – three years later. Sissy had never given Tanner a real name and most people called her Sissy’s daughter so when faced with actually naming her daughter, Sissy told the hospital to name the child Tanner Tanner. It was a stupid joke on Tanner, but she dealt with it.
Tanner was a quick learner though because Sissy only liked to say things one time. On top of that, Sissy taught Tanner everything she knew because Sissy hated hospitals and she knew there would be times when she would need medical attention.
Tanner wanted to change her path in life. Knowing that her mother, grandmother, and even great-grandmother had come from medicinal knowledge without a degree made her want to really go legit. She wanted to get her nurse practitioner degree and really help out people without the worry of authorities coming down and taking it all away.
So sacrificing one night to a stranger to get where she wanted to be would be well worth it. It wasn’t as if this was Tanner’s first time. Her mother had been a whore when she wasn’t pulling enough money in, and Tanner had followed in her footsteps by the time she was twelve and fully developed. But at thirty, Tanner had gotten out of whoring to Donetello’s disappointment – who also use to be her pimp.
Going through and getting certified medically was Tanner’s dream and tonight she was only four thousand dollars away from it. Now she would just see how much she could get out of this weirdo and never have to step foot in the arena of selling her body ever again.
The most arousing scent hit her nose and Tanner only needed her peripheral vision to see he was standing behind her about a foot from the bed removing his clothes.
Knowing she was splayed open for him, freshly cut and washed from her evening’s bath, Tanner’s body became aroused. Something her body had not done in a very long while to the scent of a man. Why should this simple John do this and how the hell had he managed to smell like dark roasted hazelnuts and sweet mangoes. Was it cologne? It had to be. This couldn’t be his natural scent.
She was strangely tempted to turn around and bury her face in his groin just to find out. Her mouth salivated at the thought of knowing he was paying for her to taste.
Concentrate dummy! This is just a job!
“Entry is extra,” she said abruptly, keeping her eyes straight and not looking at him.
“Are you trying to read my mind?”
Why did that sound like a wicked thing to do? Licking her lips, she said, “Did I?”
He sighed as if bored. “How much?”
“Five hundred.” She had deliberately called off a high figure. This usually deterred a guy.
After a second, she thought for sure he was going to forgo it until he dropped five bills on the bed.
“Anything else so we can get this talking shit out the way?”
‘What was his aversion to a woman’s voice?’ she wondered. “That depends on what you desire, Mistah. You’ve already paid for touching, licking and normal entry. If you’re paying, we’re playing.”
There was no sound behind her and Tanner strained to hear where he was. Suddenly his warm hands gripped her thighs and moved slowly up her butt over her back and to her shoulders.
She had not even felt his big body get on the bed. It was like he was frisking her again, but he was taking his time as he moved back down her body before coming back up to her shoulders. This time she felt his body lie on top of hers and Tanner forced herself to take long deep breaths to not become affected by his touch.
“How much will it cost to get your silence? I don’t want a peep, moan, or whimper.” His fingers entwined aggressively in her hair unloosing it from her braided ponytail she had just swept it in.
Yes, he was angry about something, but not angry enough to hurt her – just enough to make her apprehensive. Tanner closed her eyes to concentrate.
“Two thousand,” she said in an unsteady breath. He was affecting her in more ways than physically. There was just something about him that she couldn’t explain.
He moved away slightly and Tanner saw about two grand get tossed on the pile at the corner of the bed. “Is that enough?” he asked, coming back to lie on top of her and speaking right by her ear. His breath made the hair on the back of her neck stand up and goose bumps come to her arms.
To prove it was, she only nodded and he chuckled sensuously.
Tanner felt him move away again not believing how he carefully made sure his weight didn’t bother her. Was he used to women being afraid of his size?
“Turn over,” he ordered.
She obeyed and gasped as there was no denying he was naked nor that she could safely say this man had not one inch of fat on his entire body.
Her eyes traveled down his body, visually caressing the tightness of his frame. His manhood had yet to rise, but flaccid she guessed it was eight now and would grow to three more magnificent inches when hardened. He was cut and naturally darkened from base to tip.
He still had yet to take off the cap and she almost reached up to knock it off herself just so she could get a good look at him. Quelling this urge, she told herself that this was his dime and his opportunity to be curious, not hers. ‘Keep your eyes on the prize, Tanner.’
This gorgeous man seemed furious, yet his touch was gentle as he palmed her neck and then descended down to her breast. There was a look of pain and hurt on his face, but as the nipple hardened from his ministration he seemed in awe of it. He quickly hid his wonderment as if he did not want her to know his emotions.
He moved to the side and with one palm, stroked down her belly, but stopped at the soft hairs covering her pubis. With a delicate touch, she watched as he weaved his fingers studying the hairs part between his fingers. He seemed to marvel at the feel of it and with his other hand parted her thighs wider.
Tanner closed her eyes to stop herself from becoming enthralled by him. Pushing her emotional wall down again, she tried not to even care what he did.
His fingers slid down over her clitoris and spread her feminine lips to rest in the softness of her womanhood. She winced as he inserted a finger inside of her mild moistness. Immediately, he removed his hand away from her.
Opening her eyes, she saw he was frowning down at her. Frowning back, she really wondered why he was suddenly peeved at her when she was obeying him by just lying there and not saying a thing.
He placed his finger back inside of her and she winced once again because she had become even drier than before.
“Do you require lubricant?” he suddenly asked.
Tanner blushed at his consideration and he chuckled as her wetness surrounded his finger. Knowing that her body had done this, Tanner crimsoned two shades of dark red all over her light coffee skin and was glad he might be able to see just a little flush her face made and nothing else. Yet he seemed so aware of her body that she was sure he had picked up on how his words had affected her immediately.
A bravura smile came to his lips to prove her point and took her breath away. “I do prefer when your body talks, woman.”
She suppressed a giggle and rolled her eyes heavenwards as his finger moved deeper inside of her making her body even more aroused.
He began to increase, but Tanner knew her stimulation would go away if he went too quickly, so she reached down and slowed his movements and grinded her hips against his hand to demonstrate how to properly arouse her. He was a fast learner – too fast and concentrated on watching her body movements to determine how tender, fast or hard he should go. When she moved his hand to manipulate her clitoris, it was so hard not to scream in ecstasy as he learned how to manipulate her body and bring her to orgasm.
She thrashed and arched so hard, she could feel her toes go numb, but it was all worth it and Tanner had not climaxed like that in so long her body convulsed even afterwards in shock. Tears had streamed from her eyes in bliss as she almost chewed her bottom lip raw, trying not to make any noise during the earth-shattering pinnacle.
When she was able to think straight again, she looked at him. He was still watching her with a curious stare.