3 Aug


She could smell herself, the expensive perfume she’d applied earlier seeping through the soft Egyptian cotton of her white blouse. A musk that exuded femininity, Arabian nights, and kiss-and-tell tabloid exclusives. Knowing what the scent did to men she’d sprayed it liberally over her body after the hot shower-and-shave ritual she’d performed prior to slipping into something much more comfortable. Purposely stage setting the scene and window-dressing the occasion to reap the benefits and count the blessings in the tips she’d receive. There was nothing like a buxom-blonde that smelt divine to crowbar cash from men’s wallets. Like her mother had always said, if you’ve got it flaunt it, and Anna was canvasing  distraction. The produce was on show, the Lilly gilded. 

The waft of sexuality that cloaked her was her first line of entrapment; coupled with her confident, overt persona she was a formidable opponent. Armored and squired she was dressed for attack rather than defense. A suit that beguiled the eye, enticed the heart, and stiffened the trousers of every male she encountered. It was a no contest event, her prey more than willing to throw themselves onto her ramparts and sacrifice themselves on her barbican. Married or single, young or old they were defenseless against her. A ready smile, a wink, a brush of her arm, the swish of silk – like putty in her hands she cold mold and meld them into whatever she wanted. Exuding the time-worn wiles of womanhood to seduce and beguile with no thought or pang of conscience she remained aloof of emotion and personal connection.

It was a gift, something that had taken years to perfect. She was no longer giving it away, the years of innocence and naivety left far behind. She wasn’t about to fall for a pretty face and some choice written Hallmark prose. Long gone were the days of being impressed with a bunch of roses, a bottle of wine or romantic weekends for two, holed up in some rat-hole of a bed-and-breakfast at some nondescript seaside resort. It was raw power she processed, a god given ability to pull the wool over men’s eyes and twist them around her little finger. Refined and honed to the point where it had become a sixth sense, an innate ability that made life’s penury a little easier to bear, something that was available when all else fell apart and financial impecuniosity came calling. There was always something left to sell.

She wasn’t a slut, although shed been called one many times. The fact she enjoyed a man’s cock or the taste of a woman said absolutely nothing about her. Sex was natural, to desire was human, to be desired a skill, and tonight she’d dressed to impress.

She’d taken a position as bartender at The Slug and Cabbage, one of the new theme pubs that were opening up all over the country and taking the place of the crusty and comfortable to make way for the brash and crass. A pub run along corporate guide lines; managerial designated decors, preprinted menus and pour-bagged-portions of microwavable slush. Imported faux atmosphere with a catalogued hand-picked décor to lull the senses and trick the punters into believing they really were in a different world. An escape from reality – a chance to release the inner beast. Working stiffs that lived for Friday and Saturday nights, for the excitement of a stranger’s kiss, the possibility of a sticky finger and a scrawled phone number.

Watching the action from the other side of the bar was like viewing a movie. Seeing the punters as players – the young girls at starlets, the handsome lads as Hollywood studs. Once the alcohol began to work its magic it was a case of standing back and watching the action unfold. Quiet demure office girls that suddenly became overdressed sextroverts struggling to escape from summer dresses and restrictive underwear. Average height males turning into super men, ready to take on the world after a few sips of lager. Fascinating yet terrifying at the same time, viewing the world through crystal clear glasses rather than the rosy hued spectacles of the faces that bobbed in front of her.

“Hello darling how about a shag?”

“Fuck off handsome, what do you want to drink?” The boy at the bar colored, muttered an apology, and politely ordered a couple of pints for him and his mates who were stood in the corner. She didn’t blame him, didn’t take offence, it was all part of the job – the sexual innuendo rolling like water off a duck’s back. She couldn’t blame his cheek either. He didn’t see the real her, only that which she wanted presented. Expensively cut quaffed and blonded and poured into a white blouse and black pencil skirt more than explained the lust in the young lad’s eyes. Her boobs were overflowing from her designer lace bra, her skirt just short enough to show the rounding off her arse cheeks. A uniform that declared to the entire world she was gagging for it. Hadn’t she heard the whispered admiration seep across the bar, learnt to lip-read in bars where the decibel level was way above European-Union recommended guidelines. She wasn’t deaf, she knew what they wanted. She wasn’t about to give it away neither, but was more than happy to caricaturize that which they fantasized about before going home to dowdy wives, up-tight girlfriends, or failed last ditch smooth-lined attempts.

“And have one for yourself as well,” said the lad at the bar. She smiled her sweetest, blew him a kiss and winked a mascaraed lid. Lightly brushing his hand as she took his money, allowing her long French tipped nails to scratch at his skin. She saw the smile on his face, knew he’d be back, and chalked him up as another victim.

The girls were just as bad and after a couple of glasses of vino-collapso started to give her the glad eye as well. Slipped telephone numbers written in lipstick on the back of napkins and beer mats, sly winks and pursed lips showing their intent as openly as they were prepared to spread their legs. It was a human zoo, a circus of the human condition where she was the ring master – controlling the action and chorusing the players.

The band came back onto the stage and she saw the ripple pass through the crowd as they reacted to the heavy metal beat. Thank god for that, a couple of moments respite as they concentrated on the band and not on her arse and tits. She looked over to where the boss stood, John the pub landlord. He smiled at her and she winked her best come hither smile. What a nonce! Now there was a target begging to be exploited if she ever saw one. A self-proclaimed married man with a prick he couldn’t keep zipped up if his life depended on it. She had his number and would punch his clock when the time came. Low hanging fruit wasn’t exactly a challenge, although the benefits that came with blackmailing a man with a threatened phone call to his nearest and dearest did wonders to reduce an overdraft. She’d give it a little time; this was her first night after all. She might as well hang around for a while and see what could really be gleaned from the place.

“Scuse me darling.” The other bar tender brushed past. Face first, crotch rather than arse. Nice enough she supposed but a little on the young side his designer shirt and shoes betraying the fact he was broke. She’d met the type before – a shiny shell with a soft center; a mere boy and way out of her league. She’d play him a long however, there was hierarchy to respect and she had to keep the boss sweet. Why screw things up by screwing the hired help?

The band stopped and attention refocused on the bar. The young man had gone. Back to his friends in the corner, chatting to some plump girls who’d probably give them exactly what they wanted for the price of a couple of drinks and a take-away curry. New faces to fill the vacuum, the same but different.

“How you doing gorgeous?” asked a man with a wedding ring and dyed hair.

“What do you want?” she purred.

“What you offering?” She smiled, fingered his collar across the bar, and smiled her most seductive. Her scent spilling over the drink-splashed wood, masking the smell  of cigarettes and stale beer. Hook line and sinker, the punter took the bait and pulled out his wallet more than eager to drop a tip, drink his drink, and return for another encounter. Like sheep to the slaughter, it was too bloody easy. Men were such fucking idiots.


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