I hadn’t been on a date, date in months maybe even a year. After consulting with Latisha on the phone, who was very happy I was going to dinner with ‘A Russian god’ I decided on a fitting red strapless dress, plenty of cleavage and it was tight around my whole body. I looked in the mirror and nodded. Not bad Harper. I put my hair in a high bun and made sure to have my cat eyes done. I grabbed my keys and got a cab to the restaurant. I was right on time and as I got out the cab I saw Dimitri standing by the door. He looked scrumptious, a white shirt and navy trousers with brown shoes. God I wasn’t going to last long. Both of his sleeves were half up and I saw his artwork along both arms. He saw me as I walked over and a grin came across his face.
“Fuck you look amazing,” he kissed my cheek and opened the restaurant door for me. We were seated straight away and both looking at our menus.
“Harper you look good enough to eat,” he whispered as he took my hand and put it to his mouth.
“You don’t look too bad yourself.” The waitress came over and we ordered.
“This place is so fancy, what do you do for work?” I asked taking a gulp of wine the waitress had just put down.
“I work in the Russian embassy” is all he said.
“Doing what?” I couldn’t help but ask, he made it seem like an admin job. But no admin worker I know can afford to tip a stripper a thousand pounds.
“It’s complicated but basically I liaise with the president on current affairs in Britain.”
“The president? I didn’t know they had president’s in embassies.” I looked puzzled. He let out a laugh then started talking after taking his own mouth full of drink.
“No the president”. I still looked baffled.
“Of Russia, Putin? You know the guy?” He was still laughing as I felt my face go bright red.
“Oh duh sorry, super embarrassing.”
“It’s not. It’s refreshing to talk to someone who isn’t obsessed with politics shit,” we looked up as our waitress bought our food. “Thank you,” I said to her as she walked away.
“So how long have you been in the UK?” I took a bite of food looking up at him. Shit this was delicious.
“Oh god years, like since I was 15.”
“How old are you?” I asked him, he definitely looked roughly my age.
“So tell me. As we are getting to know each other how did you get into your line of work?” Dimitri asked me, before continuing to eat his meal.
“Ermm I fell into it really. I was working in recruitment straight from school. It was boring as fuck and one night I met one of the girls in a bar.”
“Your friend I met?” I nodded.
“And we were talking and she told me what she did, I was gobsmacked. She told me I had the body for it and could make big money. I met with the owner like two days later and he gave me a job.”
“You enjoy it?” I was thrown by his question, nobody ever asked me that. It was always ‘have you been attacked?’ or ‘how do you tell your parents?’
“I do. I really enjoy it. The money is great and you can kind of choose your own hours. If you’ve got a lot to pay one month you do more nights if you want a break you can do that too. I’ve met loads of good friends there.”
“Good. I’m glad you enjoy it.”
“It won’t last forever.” I cut over him “like it’s not my end goal.”
“Why not?” He threw me again. I looked up and he was staring into my eyes.
“I don’t know,” and I didn’t.
“You don’t have to say that to me so I like you Harper. Because I already like you a lot. I don’t care that you’re a stripper” I smiled at him, he literally read my mind. If a man ever found out about my job, I would always backtrack and say I would be out soon or it was for a little period of time.
“Thanks, I don’t know why I always say that to people. Like I’m leaving it soon, maybe people won’t judge me.” I carried on eating as he breathed out his hands going to the back of his head.
“Are you ashamed?”
“No.” I shook my head and I wasn’t.
“Then who gives a fuck what people think. Maybe they’ve never seen you at work,” he winked at me and it settled my mind and stomach.
“Maybe,” I giggled.
“Okay,” he finished his food now and took a gulp of drink.
“Quick fire round, my turn first” I giggled, he was taking this getting to know me seriously.
“Go on,” I took a sip of wine.
“One a brother but he isn’t around.”
“A prison sentence will do that to you.” He shook his head.
“Dead ” I said it so plainly that he chuckled. I wasn’t offended. My response to that question usually got that.
“My dad isn’t around and my mum died when I was 20.”
“She had cancer,” I spat out. She wasn’t something I spoke about often, but I missed her every single day.
“I’m sorry.” He looked up at me and he meant it. It wasn’t a normal trope people say.
“It’s okay I’ve worked through it.”
“Favourite colour?” I laughed out loud.
“Erm blue”. He rubbed the back of his head.
“My turn.” I took another sip of wine and he motioned to our waitress, she came over.
“Can we have another glass of wine and a vodka please?”
“Are you trying to get me drunk Dimitri?” He chuckled and finished his drink.
“Never, I can change it?” He said half turning round to find the waitress.
“No, it’s fine, I’m teasing. Right my questions.” He sat up straight ready to go.
“They’re going to be the same,” I giggled, god this wine was going to my head.
“Yep two, a brother and sister both younger”
“Both in Russia.”
“Girlfriend?” He chuckled and took our new drinks off the waitress.
“You’ve never had a girlfriend?” I was shocked so far this man was a fucking
“No, not girlfriend. I’ve been about but never settled down. You?”
“No, one when I was like 20 but we never lasted.”
“Why?” My stomach dropped, did I really need to tell him this?
“He was an arsehole.”
“Why?” God the questions.
“Long story, he cheated on me loads of times. He fucked my friend and I found out. They weren’t particularly good at hiding it. I confronted him and,” I paused unsure if to carry on. His eyes were on mine. Maybe it was his beautiful eyes or the wine but I told him.
“He punched me in the face,” I stopped looking down.
“He did what?” It was like he didn’t hear me but I knew he did. He looked pissed.
“He punched me in the face,” I said slower. God this was getting deep for first date talk.
“Oh god yeah, that night. Blocked his number and never spoke to him again. My mum had just died as well so I was a wreck”. He grabbed my hand and kissed it.
“Harper you’ve been through some shit.” I nodded, taking a gulp of wine.
“Yep pretty much.”
“How are you now?” His voice was soft and it made my heart jump.
“I’m good, I’m really good. I have my own place close to work, a car, a job I love. I’m good.”
“And you have me.” I laughed out loud, god he was so forward.
“Do I?” I said chuckling.
“Yeah you do and on that subject shall we go?” I nodded. Oh yes please. He motioned to the waitress and she brought us the cheque. I went to grab it and he snatched it off me.
“Nope. Not yours,” I giggled again, this man was turning me into a giggling school girl. The waitress came over and he paid by card. As she walked away he stood up and dropped a fifty pound note on the table. “Lets go,” he grabbed my hand and we walked out. “Do you want me to get you home?” The air outside felt nice and it helped me sober up.
“No.” He looked over at me, his hand still in mine.
“Want to come to mine?” He asked and I nodded biting my lip. He waved to a taxi and we got in.
“I don’t live far,” his hand stayed in mine the whole journey using his thumb to rub mine.