She tossed the keys of her vintage Ashton Martin DB5 to the valet and waited for the doorman to open the door that would lead to the understated yet expensively and tastefully decorated lounge of the elite apartment complex. The liveried doorman rushed to the door and held it open, touching his cap with his gloved hand as she walked past him.
‘Good morning, Miss Jean,’ he said with a genial smile on his face.
‘Good morning Theo,’ she said, throwing a pearly white smile at him.
Theo watched her retreating back as she headed to the concierge desk and handed the clerk the list of her clients for the day. He wondered how she did it, as he watched her waiting for the lift that would take her to the penthouse suite on the top floor. She was impeccably dressed as always. Very soon, the gentlemen would come calling; sometimes, there were ladies as well. If he had been scandalized by that owing to his rural upbringing, he had been too wise not to show it, or so he thought.
She wasn’t bad looking, but not too good-looking either; she was on the thinner side, and frankly, was too old to be doing this sort of thing. But still, one had to admire her stamina, he thought. Even at her age, she had upwards of four clients every day, with their ages ranging from early twenties to late seventies.
Oh well, he shrugged as he saw her get into the lift. Who was he to judge? Besides, it was really difficult not to like her.
Jean Thompson walked into the bedroom of the penthouse suite and drew the thick velvet curtains over the ceiling-to-floor windows with the touch of a button, shutting out the view of the skyline in the distance. The room was thrown into pitch darkness. With the touch of another button, she turned on the soothing music and the warm lights. Walking to the wardrobe, she quickly undressed, neatly hanging up her skirt suit and changed into clothes that were more suitable for what was to come.
Once she was satisfied with her appearance she went to the living room to wait for the first client of the day. He was a new client, which was always a worry. Still, she had emailed him the detailed list of what she was comfortable doing and where she drew the line. She prayed that he would have showered before coming. There was nothing more disgusting than getting into bed with someone who had body odour. Upon occasion, she had made a few of her regulars take a shower before they got down to business. They grumbled sometimes, claiming that it ate into their hour with her, but most of the times, they obliged her. She was darn good at what she did, even if she did say so herself.
The pandemic had been a really difficult time, with all the self-isolating and the social distancing protocols. Now, business was picking up again, and she was grateful for it, but not because of the money. She could stop working if she wanted; she was comfortably off and had no dependents. But then, what would she do with her time? And most of the time, she enjoyed her work.
The knock on the door signalled that her client had arrived.
He was a young man, could not be more than twenty five, and he looked nervous. She would have to be slow, steady and patient with him. She did not get many young clients as most of them could not afford her fees.
‘Come in darling!’ She said leading him into the living room by his hand with a warm smile on her face. ‘Don’t be nervous, it’s going to be alright!’
She waited on the kerb for the valet to fetch her car. The doorman gave a low whistle as the valet brought her ride around.
‘Sweet ride, Miss Jean,’ he said grinning at her.
‘Thanks!’ She said with a smile as she got into the lovingly restored vintage luxury car, allowing the valet to shut the door. And because she suspected Theo was uncomfortable with what she did for a living, she simply couldn’t resist adding:
‘Business has been good. You are a sweet boy, Theo. Come to me if you ever want my professional services. First session on the house.’
When she winked at him and drove away, she watched his face go pink in the rear view mirror and grinned.
The last session had gone on longer than usual and she was tired. Most people presumed that since she spent most of the day in bed, she would be as fresh as a flower at the end of it. But it was far from the truth. What she did was hard work. It was emotionally taxing, if not physically. There were many who claimed that they had fallen in love with her over the years, forcing her to terminate their professional relationship. There had been several propositions for more, if she was willing, especially when she had been younger and touch therapy or cuddle therapy was almost unknown. The times when her clients had dissolved into tears in her arms were too numerous to count.
It was not easy being a professional cuddler.
About the author
R.S.Bhide is a clinical microbiologist by profession who is in the process of getting acquainted with her writer alter ego. https://www.facebook.com/RSBhide.stories