Ophelia liked her job. And so far she hadn't been sold, trafficked, forced to dance, strip, or do anything in appropriate.
It was twenty dollars an hour, and she liked it so far.
"Now we'll talk about what constitutes sketchy behavior." Rena instructed, while flipping through her magazine.
"Anyone getting handsy. With the staff or other customer. If anyone on the wanted list, which is kept here," she pointed to the book on the dresser, "Shows up. Cops or any other federal agents. Anyone with a camera. Or, a civilian."
Ophelia nodded. "So is the business happening here...illegal?"
Rena looked up. "It's sensitive. It's private. And most importantly, it's none of your damn business. You just sing okay?"
Ophelia looked away. So yes.
"Could I be arrested for working here?" She tried again.
"No. And if cops do come, there are protective measures set in place in case anything unsavory maybe happening. This is just a safe place for rich folks to do business. He doesn't condone illegal behavior, but he's not exactly hinting it down either."
Ophelia looked into the mirror. So it was risky. But...it wasn't illegal.
"Do you know another language?"
She nodded. "French."
"Whenever you sound that warning, you switch to whatever language you desire that nots English. It just has to be a song. It should have nothing to do with danger, just a song."
"Okay. We'll practice the way you should segue way. Today will be your first live performance. You're expected to have a song selected and at least semi practiced." Rena waved her hand nonchalantly.
• • •
She stood on the stage once again. Her eyes searched for him. He wasn't there. She sang a soft song, sifting this time, her eyes on the crowd like Rena taught her.
She looked over the men and woman, who were talking, conducting business.
He wasn't here.
She continued her song, still a little nervous. Maybe someone was doing something shady right now.
How the hell would she know?
She ended her song, taking a sip of the water she was given. Her break would be a few minutes.
The elevator rang quietly. Her eyes went up.
He walked in, silently, long dark hair framing his face, as he looked up at her.
She swallowed her water getting back to the mic.
He was here.
She wanted...to sing. With him here. She...needed to. But she didn't know why.
She cleared her throat.
"I see you watching me eyes on your target,
Mix drinks and smoke rings
It's already started
It won't be too long before me and you
Are doing what lovers do,"
His eyes drifted up to hers. That gaze.
Did he have to look at her like that?
"Clothes on the floor
We're exploring our bodies
Getting you off is my new favorite hobby
Lipstick on your neck brands like a tattoo
Cause that just how lovers do,"
His eyes narrowed as he took his seat in the middle of the room, watching her intently.
His watch glinted in the low light as he conversed with the person next to him, eyes focused on her.
"Oh, love is just another four letter word
But that never stopped nobody
Oh, either way we lose
Just like lovers, just like lovers do,"
Her skin tingled. She finished up the song, going on her break.
She drink her water. She needed to go easier on the vocals.
Footsteps docked the dressing room, making her look back.
"May I come in?" He asked deeply, his eyes on hers.
She adjusted her dress, nodding. "Please."
He smiled smally, stepping into the room. It dwarfed in his presence.
She shifted, looking up at him. She wanted to ask him what he thought. Of her performance. Of her singing.
"You sing...very beautifully," He didn't disappoint. "Little Songbird."
She smiled. "Thank you, Mr. Hades."
He looked around the dressing room. "You finding everything alright? I trust Rena trained you properly."
Ophelia nodded, looking at her hands. "Yes. She's...very nice."
"No. No she's really not," he chuckled. "But she should have told you what you needed to know?"
"Yes, sir." She looked up at him with a soft smile.
He looked at her hands. "They look softer. It feels good to perch, doesn't it?"
She put her hands behind her back, making him look up at her face.
She decided not to answer that question. "I..."
"Are you sleeping well?" He asked, turning around.
"Why do you ask sir?"
"I noticed you looked a little tired. I do prefer your songs, but if you need time, Rena can—"
He...preferred her songs?
"I'm fine," she smiled, her cheeks heated.
He turned back around. "You provide a very important service to me and my clients. And such beautiful music. If you need time off, do let me know."
His eyes pierced hers with an intensity. She couldn't snap herself away from it.
Her alarm broke the silent moment. "I'm back on stage," she stood, collecting herself.
He watched her silently.
She stepped past him, pausing. "Is there...anything in particular you'd like me to sing, Mr. Hades?"
His lips quirked up. "Not yet. But maybe on day, I will."