Into The Fire(9)

By: E. L. Todd

“Tall or short?”

I was six foot three so I doubted a girl would be taller than me. “Don’t care.”

“What about—”

“Sweetheart, let me save you some time. I don’t care.”

“You’re easy…” She kept working on her computer before she printed something out. “Payment is due up front and there are no refunds. You’ll meet with Alessandra on Friday at the coffee shop just on the corner.”


“She will be your escort.”

“Is that her real name?” I asked. “Because that’s hot.”

She grinned. “You can ask her yourself.” She handed the papers over. “I just need you to sign here and here.”

I grabbed the pen and added my signatures.

“The meeting at the coffee shop is complimentary so don’t worry about that.”

“A coffee date with a hot chick named Alessandra? Sweet deal.”

She chuckled. “Have a good time. I can promise you’ll like her.”

I bet I would.



I got to the coffee shop early and sipped my coffee. I had so many of these meetings that they blurred together. It was easy to forget names and faces. I knew this guy’s name was Ash, and apparently he was hot.

Lucky me.

My clients were hardly ever cute. If they were, what would they need my services for? But I did enjoy my job because it was fulfilling. I helped people get through difficult times. I was even friends with some of them.

The door opened and a tall man walked inside. He wore dark jeans that hung low on his hips and a dark green t-shirt. He had wide shoulders that reminded me of a soldier, and his chest looked broad and powerful. He was more than just fit. He looked extremely athletic, like a marine or something.

He had dark brown hair and fair skin. His eyes were blue like the ocean, and they were endless in their depth.

Damn, he was hot.

His arms were covered in sleeves of tattoos. Instead of being all black ink, there were various colors. Green, orange, and blue were prominent colors, and they were highlighted under the fluorescent lights.

There was no way he was my client. That would be a dream come true.

He looked around the shop like he was searching for something—or someone.

I opened the folder and flipped through the pages until I found a copy of his driver’s license.

Shit, it was him.

There was no way he was straight. He must need me to pose as his girlfriend to his family or something. I’d done gigs like that before.

I stood up and gave him a quick wave. “Ash?”

His gaze focused on me, and those blue eyes seemed even brighter. Approval was in his look as he approached me. He carried himself like he owned the room and everyone in it. His appearance was intimidating. I’d never seen someone so beautiful in my life. The tattoos just made him a million times sexier.

Get a grip.

He approached me and extended his hand. “Ash.”

“Alessandra.” I took it, and my hand felt petite in comparison to his. The skin was warm but calloused like he used his hands all the time.

“That’s a hot name.”

“Thanks…” I’d never gotten a compliment like that so I was a little flustered. “Ash is cool too.” God, why did I say that?

He sat down, and his torso completely blocked the chair.

I was normally the confident one but now I was a little shaky. This guy was too beautiful to be true. He had to be gay. The hot ones were always gay. “So…how can I help you?”

He shrugged. “I need a girlfriend so my parents will get off my ass. That’s where you come in.”

“Are you gay?” Ugh, why did I ask it like that? It was so abrupt and harsh.

“No…” He narrowed his eyes on my face. “How the hell did I give you that impression? I checked out your rack the second I walked in the door. And when you turn around, I’m going to check out your ass.”

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