Word of mouth and a notorious reputation kept me flying high yet safely under the radar—a legend whispered between cubicles and stories told at bars.
At the end of the day, people didn’t know my true identity, but I felt good about what I did. I was proud of the number of relationships I’d helped resurrect. I had a skill that every woman needed to possess—and I was damn good at teaching them the ropes.
*Formerly published as Dr. Fellacio.
“I gave her your number. Her name’s Candi. My guess is you’ll hear from her today.” When she flipped her hair over her shoulder, the light caught the streaks of perfectly placed caramel and rich-red undertones.
“Jasmine,” I hissed through my teeth, not wanting to draw the attention of my cube mate. “You know I’m really particular about who I take on. Why would you give out my number to some rank stranger?”
“It’s not like Dr. Fellatio is a secret, Alex. All of greater Atlanta is aware of the good doctor’s reputation. The only secret is how to get on her calendar. Stop worrying so much. No one’s going to find out how you moonlight.” Her blasé attitude would have had me in a verbal uproar if we were in different company. As it stood, any further mention of my second job could be heard by any number of people within spitting distance of my not-so-semi-private desk.
“Shh. Someone might hear you.”
She waved me off and tossed her freshly colored locks over her shoulder again. If I weren’t so irritated, I’d admire the myriad of hues streaking her long hair, but at this point, she was just being obnoxious about showing them off. I got it—her hair looked great…moving on.
Jasmine rolled her eyes. “No one here cares what either of us do, much less what we talk about. Anyway, so I met her the last time I went in for a cut. She moved here with her boyfriend…or for her boyfriend from somewhere out west.” She waved her hand, dismissing the detail. “I don’t know. Not the point. Jose left—which is another story in itself—but no one bothered to call me to let me know the salon had booked me with Candi until I got there—”
“Could you get to the point here? I have a ton of step-and-fetch-it work to do for the team that isn’t getting done while you occupy my time.”
“Relax, Alexia, I’m getting there. As you know, color is a process.” The use of my full name only served to further ruffle my feathers, but I ignored it—along with the continued tossing of her hair—hoping she’d answer me.
“Yes, one you take half a day off to have done. Got it.”
“So, I spent the morning lamenting the fact that Jose no longer works there while getting to know his replacement.”
“Jasmine, you have about two-point-five seconds to tell me why you’re passing out my card.”
“Fine. She moved here and ever since…well, her love life has been on the downward slope.”
“As in it’s not any good?”
“As in it’s non-existent, where I got the impression she’d prefer it be rather prolific.”
“I’m not sure how you managed to learn this about a woman you just met.”
“Alex, I spent four hours with the girl. I can tell you her zodiac sign and social security number at this point if that would make you feel better. Give me five minutes, and I’ll check her credit.”
“Are you going to let me tell you this or keep interrupting?”
My forehead hit my folded arms on top of my desk in exasperation. “Go on…”
“Thank you.” Her voice pepped up with her tiny victory. “So, she told me all about this guy and their life—well, sex life anyway. And she’s a prime candidate for your services. When I mentioned what you do, her eyes went wide with excitement, and I swear she bounced on her toes.”
“Why, Jasmine?” My gaze met hers as I sat back in my chair. Pounding my skull on the desk wasn’t getting me anywhere. Maybe quiet resignation or plotting my best friend’s demise would.
“Because clearly, neither of us are blazing any trails toward gaining a spot on an ad team here, which means you’re still making the same paltry sum I do. Both of us know that means we’re barely over the poverty line. And this girl needs help and has the money to pay your exorbitant fees.”
“They get their money’s worth.” It wasn’t an opinion. At this point, my reputation stood for itself. Women paid me thousands to school them in the art of pleasuring their partners. They also paid for anonymity—mine and theirs.
“Agreed, which is why I told Candi about Dr. Fellatio. If anyone can help her salvage her sex life, it would be you.”
“What exactly did you tell her?”
“That women from seven states seek your expertise, and you’ve never had a single complaint. I also told her your business grew based on word of mouth—no pun intended. Meaning you had nothing but satisfied customers. Very satisfied customers.” She added in that last part with a lazy smile and even lazier eye. If that was what she looked like after an orgasm…well, that thought didn’t need to be finished. Moving on.
“I have no idea how you manage to work these types of things into a discussion with your hairdresser—”
“Done is done. She doesn’t know my connection to you or where you work. Hell, she doesn’t even know your name, Alex. So just say thank you, and talk to the girl when she calls.”
Easy for Jasmine to say; she wasn’t the one providing ethically questionable services in the Bible Belt. She also didn’t risk losing the job she’d been at for five years. It didn’t matter that we’d both been misled or that we were after the same coveted spot every college graduate with a marketing degree on the East Coast wanted. The fact was, we both took jobs at Miriam Pratt as junior account representatives when we got our degrees. And we were both still in the same position—although serving different ad teams—hoping to land a promotion and a job that paid a wage we could live on. Regardless of the fact that we were glorified gophers, being employed at what is now Seneca Marketing held clout—even if it held no dollar signs.
About the Author:
After they became best friends and discovered they shared a brain, their alter ego Stella was born. When you put two romance authors together, you get something “Stella.”