On the queen-sized bed in my suite at the Radisson, I’m lying face down. My head’s buried in a feather pillow. Mickey’s sitting on my backside. He doesn’t feel heavy. I’m probably not accurate at guessing a man’s weight but I reckon he must be at least ten or eleven stone. He’s about five foot ten or a little under. Though he’s not well built, his body’s toned. Muscle weighs more than fat and he doesn’t have an ounce of fat on him.
He’s rubbing Stix’s mum’s aloe vera gel into my skin. He’s done my front, which cooled the heat and soothed the soreness of the sunburn. Now he’s doing my back, but my back isn’t burnt. I’m not going to stop him though. Being massaged makes a change. I’m always the one giving a massage, for money of course. I like the feeling of his touch on my body. His hands are warm and soft. I don’t feel anxious like I have done when he’s touched me before.
“You’re gonna have to stay out the sun for a few days. Let this heal.” He rubs the gel into my thigh. “Stay away from Lorna. She’s bad news.”
“Yeah, I guess she is.”
“There’s no guessing about it. If this was a little bit worse, you could’ve ended up in hospital.”
Apart from Mickey, Stix, crusty-lips and close-eyes, I don’t know anyone else in Sydney except Lorna. She’s the one I’ve spent most time with. I’ll be lonely without her. Like me, she’s been a hooker. She also had a termination, and she’s had a violent ex-boyfriend. We had stuff in common. She was someone I could talk to. And aside from all that, I’ll have one less connection who can score here.
“Right, that’s you all done.” Mickey climbs off my back and lies down next to me.
“How’s your grandma?” I ask, slipping on my nightdress.
“Looks like she’s going to be okay. She’s out of the coma. My dad’s still there, but.”
So I didn’t dream what I thought he said about his grandma. I wonder if his mother is actually blind. That’s not the kind of thing I can just throw into conversation though.
“I need to get some decent shut-eye tonight. I’ll try not to wake you when I leave.” Mickey flicks the light switches above the bedside table.
I can’t see a thing. We’re in complete darkness. I’m hoping I manage to get some sleep myself. Sharing my bed isn’t something I’m used to. In the dark, it’s worse. I can think it’s another man instead of Mickey lying next to me in this bed. It would better if I could see him. I need to see his face. I turn on the light above the bedside table to the dimmest setting. “Do you mind?” I whisper. “I need a light on.”
“It’s okay, beautiful.” He breathes on my neck.
When he drove me back here and I invited him in, he said there was no expectation of us having sex. He said he was fine with waiting as long as I needed to wait. I felt comfortable with that. It was okay when he was massaging me. I felt relaxed and kind of sleepy. But now he’s lying so close to me in my bed, and feeling his breath on my skin, I’m on edge and more awake. The intensity of how I feel isn’t as powerful as the last time he slept here. But I don’t think I can sleep. I’m a guard on patrol.