Pawns of passion
Pat Adams, a statuesque brunette of thirty-eight, was backed up against the office wall, staring at her new boss. "You want WHAT?" Pat said incredulously. "I couldn't have heard you correctly, Mr. Spalding."
"Then I'll say it again," Brock Spalding said. "I want you to undress."
Pat couldn't mistake his words that time. Still she couldn't believe he'd ask anything so outrageous. She remained silent a moment, wondering just how she'd gotten herself into such a fix. It was only her first hour on the job, and already she was in trouble.
For five years, ever since her husband died, Pat had worked for long hours and poor wages at a dime store to support herself and her daughter Trish. Finally she'd made the break and taken a better-paying job at the Tango, a new nightclub run by Brock Spalding. But she was nervous about being a cocktail waitress, and Spalding's astonishing request certainly hadn't helped calm her down.
Finally she managed to speak again. "Mr. Spalding, you have my work application, and I think everything is in order. I don't see any reason for me to take off my clothes. I'm only going to wait tables, not do a striptease."
Brock Spalding, a handsome dark-haired man of twenty-eight, sighed impatiently. "Look, baby," he said, "you're not just a waitress. Not at my place. I only hire the best-looking chicks, because I want to attract customers. I have to make sure you've got what it takes. And I have to know how you're gonna look in your costume."
"Costume?" Pat asked. "Isn't an ordinary waitress' uniform good enough?"
"Not at the Tango," Brock replied. "Come on, Mrs. Adams, take it or leave it. I'm a busy man. What's it gonna be?"
Pat felt torn between modesty and greed. She didn't want to undress in front of a stranger, but on the other hand she needed the high wages and good lips this job would bring her. She needed the money for Trish. Now that her daughter was eighteen and thinking about college, Pat wanted to give her everything she might need for her future.
It was the thought of Trish that did it. Pat would do anything for her daughter. "Very well, Mr. Spalding," she sighed. "I want the job."