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Waking in the darkened room, she momentarily forgot where she was and the panic set in. She fumbled around for the lamp switch and realized it wasn’t there on the side table, she was in the hotel. Alone. Again. How many did this make this month? Five? She ran through the cities in her head; Chicago, Dallas, tucson, salt lake, Provo, and now here; Santa Fe. At least the food was better than it had been in Provo.

The thread count was high enough she contemplated letting herself doze off until her alarm went off. Instead she kicked the blanket off and shuffled across the plush carpet to the double headed shower, started the Jets and stood under them washing away the stink of cigars and scotch while she listened to the patter of water hitting the surprisingly tasteful blue and green tiles.

She’d had way too much to drink with the clients last night, but it was why she was good at what she did. Filtering information through a haze of expensive scotch and watching rich old men crudely fondle more expensive strippers was her specialty. And although they’d all be passed out in their suites with the latter sprawled across there beds or floors of bodies; she’d be ready to board the next plane to the next town; contract signed and in hand to the courier before the seatbelt sign came on.

She dressed simply in gray slacks and a creamy merino wool sweater. The look was simple but reeked of money; all her clothes  did. Clients didn’t want cheap pantsuits or padded shoulders, they wanted the subtle reminder that she was their equal. Not to blatant though; she still represented an alternative path they’d never intended to take and they didn’t want to think to heavily about that. So nothing that reminded them that her wardrobe came at their expense. It was a delicately fine line, one she expertly walked.

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