Advertisements of one kind or another were all Lance could see wherever he looked around him. They dominated the supermarket aisles, were suspended above the shelves and plastered all over the store's windows. But how could it ever be different? A man needed help when he went shopping. And at the moment, he was browsing in the pharmaceuticals section where the dominant ads paraded images of infeasibly muscular men and seductively desirable naked women,
What Lance was looking for wasn't really a performance enhancing drug as used by the world's best sportsmen whose stamina, strength and endurance improved every year, if at some expense to their future health (as explained in detail in the small print). What state would international sporting records be without the open and public consumption of steroids, growth hormones, Beta-2 Agonists and Corticotrophins? The world would surely be a poorer place. There'd be no three-minute mile, no one and a half hour marathon and no 850 pound weight lift.
Neither was Lance looking for narcotics, although he dropped a packet of cocaine wraps and ready-rolled reefers into his shopping basket. He'd once tried harder stuff, like the heroin and LSD on full display on the top shelf, but he decided that a packet of MDMA was what suited him best at the moment.
The pharmaceuticals Lance had primarily driven across town to buy were primarily for the enhancement of sexual pleasure. Those were what he needed tonight. But as always he walked out of the store with considerably more in his shopping basket than he'd originally intended. He'd filled his shopping basket with goodies from the shelves, fully aware that many would be thrown away without him even tackling the fiendishly difficult packaging. Into the basket went fizzy drinks, sweets, cigarettes, processed meat snacks, a penis stimulator, a pornographic DVD (promising bizarre and extreme erotica), a luxury car magazine, chocolate biscuits, ear-warmers (even though it was summer) and a tabloid newspaper whose headlines, as usual, highlighted the threat to civilised life from open immigration, radical extremism and depravity (but mostly the last).
Lance hesitated by the gun counter which was adjacent to the check-out tills and prominently displayed an alluring selection of the latest semi-automatics, lady's pistols and hand guns. Although Lance already had a good arsenal at home, as so often he was tempted to buy more. A man could always do with the latest fast-loading, repeat-action piece. Even so, Lance held firm against temptation. There was still a week or so until his next pay cheque, so all he bought were cartons of bullets for the high velocity semi-automatic pistol he was carrying. Safety was of paramount concern for Lance, as it was for all men, women and children. It was wise to be properly armed at all times. Gun fights and massacres were such common events these days, especially in malls, cinemas, high schools and, of course, supermarkets.
Even at such a reputable chain as SteinMart.
Lance flashed his credit card at the automatic check-out reader under the watchful eye of a battery of security cameras that would detect whether he tried to walk off with something he hadn't paid for. Lance didn't want to be frisked by one of the heavily armed security guards, who were trained to sort out even the bloodiest of supermarket shoot-outs. As always, Lance had only himself to blame when he realised that a shopping trip ostensibly to buy only a few dollars' worth of aphrodisiacs and performance enhancers had resulted in a bill of nearly a hundred bucks for stuff he didn't really need.
But that was the power of advertising for you.
Lance waddled across the supermarket car-park to his SUV where he tipped the security guard who'd kept it secure from vandalism and theft and then loaded the boot with countless free plastic bags bulging with sugary snacks and trinkets. He squeezed his considerable bulk into the driving seat and drove out the supermarket car park to the first of many toll-booths between the Retail Park and home. Even though he'd bought an annual pass which allowed him almost unlimited access to the country's roads, there were enough drivers who paid for every individual car trip to slow his progress. As it was, the four mile journey across town took nearly an hour, as Lance crawled along congested suburban streets where it was too dangerous to wind down the windows. Thank goodness for bullet-proof glass and air-conditioning. It might burn off gasoline that in turn blackened pedestrians' lungs, but it kept Lance safe and sound.
And so it should. His car hadn't come cheap. The in-car entertainment, the military-grade chassis, the navigation aids and climate control all cost a pretty penny, but they were of the highest quality. Lance could survive a World War in relative comfort, as long as he didn't have to wind down the windows or refuel the engine.
Today, Lance was in a state of excited anticipation, which was reflected by his choice of loud electronic swing music on the car radio, interspersed every two minutes or so by an ad for loan companies, insurance firms, realtors and pharmaceuticals. And these were often louder and more intense than even the heaviest brass and organ rhythms.
And this eagerness was because, waiting for him at home, was Lance's latest high value procurement: an indentured sex worker he'd purchased online at GirlsULike.
Although such women were informally known as sex slaves, she wasn't really a slave as such. The institution of slavery had been outlawed long ago when the weight of lawsuits and civil actions overwhelmed the arguments in its legal defence. For once, the law had triumphed over the freedom of commerce and the result was a more carefully circumscribed trade in human traffic which benefited all concerned. Very stringent legal restrictions had to be observed, primarily with respect to the inheritance of indentured status and the terms by which indenture was bound by mutual agreement. And, so, in this much more agreeable environment, the trade of sex workers was protected by consumer rights and quality control. To be on the safe side, Lance had taken out Liability Insurance that protected him if, in the pursuit of sexual satisfaction, he should accidentally damage the goods he'd purchased. So, if he should accidentally impregnate her, pass on a venereal disease or break any of her limbs, Lance was fully covered for his first million dollars of liability.
Lance's home was a four bedroomed detached house in a gated community which had been on the edge of town when he'd bought it with his ex-wife ten years earlier, but was now surrounded on all sides by a mix of other gated communities and squalid high-rise apartments. The house which had cost so much when Lance had bought it, but now worth several multiples of its original cost, seemed rather too large these days for just one man. But when Betty left him, taking with her as much as her solicitor could squeeze out of him, Lance became the sole owner of a house with three more bedrooms than he could sleep in at one time.
But now, in one of them, almost certainly watching television, was Candy, the indentured sex worker for whom Lance had paid almost as much as the price of an estate car or a time-share in a beach apartment in the subtropical south.
Candy was Lance's treat for himself. And by heck he deserved it after all those years in middle management at Rothberg Utilities. No longer did he need to invest in VR porn or the occasional visit to the flop house. From now on, it was pussy every night and exclusively for himself. No more sharing with strangers.
Candy was unlikely to be the girl's real name. Judging from the hue of her skin, the girl came from a southern country—possibly one of those where Lance's colleagues bought time-shares—so her name was probably something like Juanita or Fatima or Francesca.
She wasn't quite the best flesh that money could buy. She wasn't exactly slim, although no one could describe her as fat. She was just above five foot tall. One eye was slightly squinted. Her bosom was no better than B-cup and the thickness of her waist was a natural complement to her womanly thighs. Her long black hair wasn't quite straight and it wasn't really curly, but there was a lot of it, which she liked to tie back but Lance preferred she let hang loose.
So, she wasn't perfect. But at the price Lance paid for her, what girl could be?
But what was most important of all was that Candy belonged to Lance. And what's more Lance could do with the girl whatever the heck he liked.
And what could be more perfect than that?
Lance drove through the gates of the community, up the driveway of his house and into his garage. A series of security locks later, he was able to carry the many plastic bags into the kitchen where he emptied the contents and arranged them in the cupboards where they belonged. Lance felt a need to keep his house tidy now a woman was living there. He'd recently extended the hours that the maids would service his house each month and thrown out some of the more shabby items of furniture. He'd also, perhaps reluctantly, disposed of the last few remaining signs that he'd once shared the house with Betty.
Lance knew it didn't really matter what he did to make life comfortable for Candy. She would serve his sexual needs in whatever state he kept the house or whatever opinion of him she might privately hold. But it was into a life of sexual service that either she'd sold herself or, more likely, her indebted family had sold her, and Lance had no intention of not taking full advantage of what was on offer. But it was surely best to treat the girl with some respect.
.... There is more of this story ...