"Can I help you?"
"Yes, I'm Adam Parks, and I'm looking for one of the students here. Her name is Eve Richards," I said to the woman at the visitor's information desk at Michigan State University.
"One moment while I check our register," she replied, turning away. "I'm sorry, but our records don't show an Eve Richards registered here."
I wasn't sure what to think since I was sure she went to school there.
"What about a Sylvia Masters?"
The woman looked a bit annoyed but checked again.
"Yes, we do have a Sylvia Masters registered here but I'm sorry, I can't give you any personal information on her."
"Can you at least contact her and let her know I'm here. I just drove five hours and would really appreciate it."
The receptionist stared at me before making a call.
"Miss Masters? I'm sorry to bother you but there is a gentleman here at the reception desk who would like to speak with you. He said his name is Adam Parks. Yes, I'll tell him you'll be here in about ten minutes."
Sylvia spoke as soon as she came into the visitor's center. "Adam, what the hell are you doing here? We better step outside and talk privately."
"I came to see Eve. I must have written down her phone number and e-mail address wrong. The lady didn't find her name in the register so I asked her to look for yours. What's going on? Where is Eve?"
"My god Adam, you shouldn't be here. Christ, I don't know what to tell you." She looked shaken up a bit.
"How about the truth? Does Eve go to school here?"
"Yes she does, but her name isn't really Eve. It's Christy. God, she's going to kill me if I tell you anything else."
"Look, I don't know what the hell is going on. I need to see her—I just drove five hours to get here. Where is she? Why did she lie to me?"
"Hell, you might as well know the truth. She's working."
"Where? Can you give me a number to call or something?"
"Sure, let her deal with this mess. I told her not to get involved with you but she didn't listen."
I was confused and had no idea what was going on. Sylvia handed me a card with the number of an escort service written on it.
"I'm sorry, Adam. Maybe a different time and place, the two of you would have made a nice couple."
Sylvia walked away, leaving me standing there with more questions than answers. What did she mean? Did Eve work for this escort service? And if so, what exactly did she do?
I called the number on the card and a woman answered. "Helpful Escort Service, how may I help you?"
"Yes, I'm looking for Eve Richards. Is she available?"
"She's out at the moment but will be free later this evening. Would you like to procure her services?"
Shit! She must be a whore or something. I decided to play along and get an appointment with her. I guess I wanted to surprise her the way she had me.
"There's a dinner party I have to attend tonight and I need an escort for a couple of hours. A friend of mine suggested Eve."
"Are you familiar with our services and prices?"
"Not really since I don't often use an escort service, but tonight I'm in a pinch. It's a reunion party and I need a nice looking woman on my arm."
"Our price is two hundred dollars an hour. If you should want an escort all night it's fifteen hundred dollars. Our minimum is two hours. We do not force them to do anything they don't want to do. Any gratuities are extra."
"Two hours should be plenty of time for dinner."
Damn, four hundred dollars to say 'fuck you' was a hell of a price to pay but would be worth it.
"I need a credit card and the location of where you are taking our escort since you aren't registered with us."
I had to make up a name. I didn't want Eve or whatever her name was to know it was me.
"Mark Adams and it's the Holiday Inn, banquet room."
Most every major motel had a banquet room, but I didn't know what credit card to use since mine all had my name on them. Then I remembered the one for my dad's business and decided to use it. I'd have to explain to him why I charged four hundred dollars to his card, but I'd worry about that later.
"Okay Mr. Adams, please hold while I verify Eve will be available for this evening." After a few minutes she was back on the phone. "Everything is set. Do you want Miss Richards to meet you at the Holiday Inn or will you be picking her up?"
"Umm, just have her meet me there. I'll be in the registration area."
I had really liked her and believed she had feelings for me. To discover she was a whore, or escort, or something, really messed me up. She sure had me fooled; she must be great at her job making people feel like she cared for them.
I went to the Holiday Inn about twenty minutes early and sat down and waited. When I saw a woman coming in through the door I wasn't sure if it was Eve until I saw her face. The blonde wig she wore looked natural and only added to her beauty.
"Adam, what are you doing here? Oh my god, you're the Mark Adams I'm suppose to meet, aren't you. How did you find me?"
A month before, my friend Oz, short for Osborne, asked if I was interested in going on a week-long cruise with him. His parents owned a string of clothing stores and even though he managed one for them, he grew up with money.
On the other hand my parents were hard workers who made a decent living. Dad owned a heating and cooling business, and after I finished taking courses at a tech school, I began working for him. I enjoyed working for my dad, and he always treated me right. Our biggest difference was he pinched pennies and I had no problem spending money.
I was twenty-nine and rented an apartment above my parent's garage but got a lot of free meals since my mom loved to cook.
Anyway, I asked Oz why he wasn't taking his latest girlfriend, Sheila.
"She's getting too serious. Now she's talking about marriage and all that shit. You know me; I like to play the field. I'm not ready to settle down with just one woman—not yet anyway. So, we broke up since I wouldn't commit to her.
"Now I have these tickets for a cruise. I figured you could ask your dad for a week off and we could hit the high seas and get laid every night."
"Wouldn't it look a bit gay with two guys going on a cruise together?"
"Hell no, this is an adult cruise, with a lot of single people and college students on spring break. It did say 'Not a family cruise, ' on the brochure when I made the reservations. I can switch cabins to two double beds instead of the queen size which I asked for.
"Come on Adam, this will be fun. You don't have to pay for the ticket so your dad shouldn't get too pissed."
He laughed after he said that knowing my dad and his spending habits. I talked with my dad and he let me have the time off, counting it toward my yearly allowed vacation time.
I got back with Oz and everything was a go. There was no backing out—I was taking a cruise.
Oz made me laugh how he was watching over me. We were on the plane and he kept telling me what to say.
"Seriously Adam, we will meet a lot of women. I'm telling you to not lay everything out there."
"What do you mean, Oz?"
"Don't let them know where you're really from. Don't give them your real phone numbers or e-mail address. These are one time shots; we'll never see these women again so you don't want to get too involved."
"That's nuts. Who cares where we're from or what we do?"
"Believe me Adam, I've been there. Sometimes you might end up with a stalker or at the very least they will pester the shit out of you. We'll just tell them we're from Iowa or something. Believe me; a lot of these women will do the same thing, especially if they're married."
"Okay, so we'll say we're from Iowa and I won't give them my phone number or e-mail address. I have to admit it seems a bit foolish. Is it all right to give my name or should I make that up too?" I shook my head and laughed but it all seemed to make Oz happy.
"We can give our names since we aren't telling them we're from Ohio. Besides, if we charge anything we'll need our correct ID."
The plane landed and the bus for the cruise ship was waiting for us. Damn, there were some nice looking women getting on the bus. If they were a sample of who might be on the cruise we would be having a hell of a good time.
We found our cabin and I was glad to see there were two beds. Just sleeping in a bed with another guy, even a friend like Oz, didn't appeal to me.
Then we headed down to the meet and greet. It was a send off with free drinks and snacks. There were a fairly equal number of men and women, and many seemed to be couples.
Next we took a tour of the ship. It had two pools, a number of restaurants, a movie theatre, and who knew how many clubs and bars. That's not even mentioning those in the on-board casinos.
There were a lot of young adults on the cruise, many who were on spring break. Because it was supposed to be an over twenty-one cruise and you needed a passport or birth certificate to board, we figured some just looked young for their age.
As the ship left the dock we headed to one of the bars. It wasn't long before we began to feel our drinks and decided to start dancing. Oz had this thing for older women. He always told me they liked younger men and really gave it their all.
We ended up dancing with two women Oz called cougars. They were in their forties and looked pretty damn good. After we tired of dancing we joined them at their table for the rest of the evening. They had rings on all their fingers and I was pretty sure they were married.
.... There is more of this story ...