Dirty Bad Strangers

By: Jade West

 Prologue
 
 
“The last two digits,” the voice on the line said, “what are they?”
 
My eyes darted to my laptop screen, skirting over my instant messaging list. My supervisor was listed as away, but I couldn’t be sure.
 
I held the handset tight, ignoring the trembling in my fingers. “Shh... you know I’m not allowed.”
 
A crackle on the line as he shifted position. “Come on, Lucy... is that even your name? You sound like a Lucy, I think? Are you really in London?”
 
No. It’s not my name. Yes, I’m really in London.
 
“They listen in to the calls...” I said. “I’ll get fired...”
 
“But they aren’t, are they? I can hear it in your voice when they’re around. Can you see them? Do you have a high-tech chatline system that shows that kind of shit? Is that why you make me call so late?”
 
“Let’s talk about fucking...” I purred. “What would you do to me... if you were here right now?”
 
“Last two digits...” he said. “…and I’ll show you.”
 
Shit. Shit. Shit.
 
I should hang up. Return to the script.Wait until the twenty-minute automatic cut-off and log out of my shift. I should report it too, report him… block him from my client list…
 
“You’ve given me the others... don’t think I didn’t know what you were doing... you want this to be real as much as I do...”
 
“I... um... I’m not who you think I am…”
 
“Lucy, whatever your name really is... tell me those two digits, or I swear to God I’ll try all ninety-nine combinations until I reach you, and I don’t give a fuck how many people I wake up at three a.m. to do it.”
 
“Jason... I...”
 
“Last two digits...”
 
My stomach lurched.
 
I looked at the screen again. Sheena RS135 - away.
 
Away. Away. Away.
 
“I know it’s real for you. I’ve called enough of these shitty lines over the years to know... you really want this... you want me... I can give it to you, real life, every fantasy we spoke about... all of it... I can set it up...”
 
“I... I can’t...”
 
“Last two digits.”
 
My chest fluttered, fighting the truth in his words.
 
Yes, I really want this. Yes, I really want him. I don’t even know his name, and I want him. I’ve wanted him for months, just from his voice, his laugh, his words... I want him to fuck me, just like we talk about. I want him to watch other people fuck me, too. Lots of other people…
 
“I shouldn’t...”
 
“Two digits, Lucy, otherwise I’m starting at zero-zero and working my way up until I find you.”
 
Shit.
 
Shit.
 
Shit.
 
I took a breath.
 
This was crazy. Really. Fucking. Crazy.
 
“Zero seven,” I said. “The last two digits are zero seven.”
 
The line went dead in a heartbeat.
 
And my mobile started up.
 
 
 
***
 
 
 
 
 
Chapter One
 
 
 
 
Gemma
 
 
 
The bass is so loud it feels like a heartbeat. It harmonises with the vodka in my veins, and my body comes alive, dancing free amongst the crowd. The alcohol numbs me to the plight of my friends, shifting their dance circle in an attempt to keep me amongst the fold, but I’m long gone. Unfamiliar bodies press against mine only to fall away again. Spinning, whirling, free. I am the music, and the music is me.
 
My body registers him before my brain, grooving to his groove as he negotiates a path across the dance floor. He’s tall. Big. Not clumsy big, though. He dances like he’d know how to fuck, and I dance like I’d enjoy finding out.

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