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Eden Bradley Erotica

Sunday, April 12, 2009
Excerpt Monday! (R-Rated!)

It's Excerpt Monday at Romance Divas and this week I'm playing along! Here's an excerpt from my latest novel, A 21ST CENTURY COURTESAN:
I learned about something called suspension of disbelief a number of years ago in one of my English Lit classes. This is when a writer must make their reader suspend their disbelief in the unusual long enough to be drawn in and believe in the world the writer has created.
It’s something like that with my line of work. Our clients must suspend their disbelief long enough to believe the girl likes it. My particular ‘talent’, if you want to call it that-my particular perversion, really-is that they don’t have to do that with me. The truth is, I love it.
This is my dirty little secret. Because this is supposed to be taboo among the professionals of my world. Call girls. Prostitutes. Hookers. It doesn’t matter what you call us. The fact is, I get paid for sex. And it’s the only kind of sex I can get off on.
Who knew a nice Jewish girl from the Valley could end up here? Well, half Jewish, anyway, my father being a lapsed Catholic. And maybe I’ve never been all that nice.
I grew up in Van Nuys. Van Nuys is possibly the most generic, boring place on earth. Middle class, cardboard box houses that all look the same, block after block. The entire area looks as though a dull film has settled over it.
My family was at the lower end of the middle class. Not that we were poor. We always had a roof over our heads, food on the table. My father, a construction foreman, worked a lot, but he spent his money anywhere but at home. My mother never did much other than drink. Strange that he wasn’t the drinker. Jews don’t tend to be drinkers. Not that it ever stopped my mother. But my life has been a combination of the utterly dull and the most perverse, in every way, on every level. Classic hard life story, I know, but that’s my life. Or it was. Too f**king bad.
I make a lot of money. Enough to keep me very comfortable in my Hollywood Hills home. Enough to pay for the expensive clothes I buy at Barney’s and Kitson, my weekly facials and massage at the spa. Enough to pay for the breezy little Mercedes I drive, if it hadn’t been a gift from a happy client. This is why I do it.
Actually, that’s a lie. It’s what I tell myself when I’m not in the mood for the kind of deep, soul-searching honesty that keeps me up at night. How I justify it in the most basic, simple terms.
The truth, or part of it, anyway, is that I began in this business because I needed to distance myself from what I was before. From that lower middle class Jewish girl from the Valley whose mother was always passed out on the couch, surrounded by a sticky puddle of whatever she was drinking on the floor, the overflowing ashtrays. Repulsive. I won’t even allow my clients to smoke around me. If they don’t like it, they can find another girl. I’m at a point in my career where I can make a few demands of my own, and I do.
I am someone else entirely now.
I look different. I am different. No one from my old life would even recognize me. And truly, I wouldn’t care if they did. My life before this is almost in another dimension, in my mind. I like it that way.
I don’t look like the average girl from the Valley. My one gift from my mother is a fine-featured, beautiful face. I don’t mean to be vain; I am beautiful. People who pretend not to know these things are full of crap. I have long legs, a great body, hard and tight, even this close to thirty. My brown hair, highlighted in gold and caramel, hangs in layers almost to my waist. Most men prefer long hair on a woman, so I rarely cut it. My eyes are green, without the colored contacts the other girls wear. High cheekbones, a full, lush mouth. My ass is superb. I’ve been told so often enough. But what really gets them is that I love what I do. I love sex. I don’t care who I’m doing it with. I just like to f**k. I like to suck c**k. I love the anonymity of these men not knowing who I really am. I get off on it.
But there’s one catch. I have to get paid.
I have never had an orgasm with a man unless he’s paying to have sex with me. My first trick was like an epiphany. The moment he handed that wad of cash over into my greedy little hand, my body started to heat up, my legs began to shake, and I was coming almost as soon as he touched me. That’s when it became magic for me.
Which brings me to Enzo Alighieri.
He was one of my first clients. Enzo found me at this cheap call girl outfit where I got my start. And he knew right away I was different from the other girls there. He told me I was too beautiful, in his lovely Italian accent. I adored him on the spot. Not the way a normal woman might adore a lover. It was never that complicated. I liked him the moment he walked into the room. So sophisticated. Elegant. And he’s sexy. He really is, even at nearly seventy now. He has that commanding air about him; I’m sure everyone else in his life kowtows to him. Everyone but me. He lets me get away with anything.
I understand perfectly well that I’m nothing more than a sort of pet to him. A project. And a priceless piece of ass. He often tells me so. But it was Enzo who took me under his wing, got me out of that dump of a whorehouse in Hollywood and made me go to school.
Yes, school. Because if you’re going to be what amounts to a modern day American geisha, a 21st century courtesan, you must be well-educated, just as the geishas are. Just as the old Venetian courtesans were.
In addition to having studied history, literature, business and political science, I now know how to play golf and tennis, although not too well. Men prefer to win, don’t they? I read the Wall Street Journal and Forbes. I’ve studied massage therapy, I know wine. I’ve learned to speak German, a little French and Spanish, and even a few words of Japanese and Arabic, both of which are a necessity in my line of work.
The Middle Eastern rich have tons of money. More than the usual wealthy do, and they aren’t at all shy about spending it on whatever brings them pleasure. I admire that in a person. They’re the ones who fly the girls to Miami for a week, to Europe, even. Give us entire wardrobes of designer clothes. They like to have a lot of girls at once. I don’t mind. We all get paid, regardless, and it makes the workload a little easier. And the food is always superb. Unfortunately, I’m thinner than most of them like, so I don’t get those dates the way some of my friends do. But once a man is with me, he’ll always come back for more.
They can always tell, my clients. Even the most selfish, the most dense. They know right away that I’m into it, that my orgasms are the real thing. And these men are the sexual sophisticates of the world. They’ve had first-class ass in every corner of the planet: the pros in Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin.
I know I sound crude when I talk about these things, but this is a crude world. But I’m not bitter, I swear it. I see the beauty in the world, too. I’ve spent far too much time around the rich and privileged to be blind to beauty, not to appreciate it. I love the ballet, could watch it for hours. I could wander every museum on earth and never get enough. My current obsession is art history, and I’ve been taking classes off and on for the last few years, soaking it all up. This is something I do purely for me. I may be a classless kid from the Valley, but I’ve learned about the rest of the world, have seen enough to develop a real appetite for the finer things in life. And for me, art has become a necessity.
There is the gritty side to my lifestyle, of course. Even the girls at the top of this food chain can get into trouble. There was Trina, a gorgeous girl, new to the business, who was kidnapped and taken to some Godforsaken place in Southeast Asia and never heard from again. These things happen, and when they do, when we working girls hear about it, it scares us, even if we pretend it doesn’t. This job, as luxurious as it is, is not entirely without risk. But we keep doing it, anyway, don’t we? Some sick part of me gets off a little on the cheap thrill, I’ll admit to that.
I don’t like fast cars, in particular, and you’ll never catch me climbing a mountain. My thrills are all of a sexual nature. Which makes me the perfect woman for this job. Oh yes, I’m very good at what I do. I am embedded in this life for the long haul. It suits me to a ‘T’. It makes having a ‘real’ relationship entirely impossible. But the circumstances of my life since childhood have made that impossible for me anyway, so I’ve never minded. What other sort of life would I have? What would I even want? No, I’m perfectly fine right where I am.

Links to other Divas participating:
Maureen McCarrie
Vivienne Westlake
Jeannie Lin
Kinsey Holley
Becca Sheridan-Furrow
Kirsten Saell
M. Berthier
Ella Drake
Evie Byrne
Gina Ardito
Kate Willoughby
R.F. Long
Bria Quinlan
Stephanie Adkins
Lynn Chandler
B.E. Sanderson
Babette James
Amber Gilchrist
Just added! T. Sue Versteeg
posted by Eden Bradley-Eve Berlin at 10:48 PM -
  • At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Jeannie Lin said…

    Eden, you always take me some place entirely different and so deep into a character's head that I think, oh my gosh, I'm really there, living this life that's so different from mine.

    I NEED to have this book.

  • At 9:10 AM, Blogger Kate Willoughby said…

    Looks like an excellent read. I love courtesans!

  • At 11:20 AM, Blogger Chrissy said…

    Man, I keep trying to be constructive as I surf these experts and just end up being agog.

    I'm dying to get my hands on this, Eden!!!

  • At 11:59 AM, Blogger Eden Bradley said…

    Aw! I *heart* you guys!
    I'll be signing this book at the Encino Barnes & Noble after the LARA meeting on the 19th!

  • At 12:42 PM, Blogger Gina Ardito said…

    Dang, girl! You've got some major talent in those fingers. Sucked me right in and I could actually see this vividly. Mondo congrats!

  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger R F Long said…

    Such an amazingly deep and sensuous point of view character, Eden. Just wonderful reading.

  • At 3:17 PM, Blogger kirsten saell said…

    Really nice--I love the idea of a rent-girl who can only get off when she's paid, and you have me wanting to get to know her even better. :)

  • At 3:27 PM, Blogger Mel said…

    OMG you have a great voice to your writing. It's really intimate and fresh. I'd so read more.

  • At 4:59 PM, Blogger Crista said…

    Wow! what a very complex character you've created. You make me want to get to know her and definitely make me want to read more about her.

  • At 5:20 PM, Blogger Becca Sheridan-Furrow said…

    The character really pulled me in, like we were sitting together over coffee, natural.

  • At 5:53 PM, Blogger Evie Byrne said…

    It's wonderful. I love first person, and I liked her voice right off, but I really fell for her when she said about being beautiful,"People who pretend not to know these things are full of crap."

  • At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Stephanie Adkins said…

    Wow ... this is just ... WOW. You have such an amazing voice behind your words. I really admire your talent. Great excerpt!

  • At 6:35 PM, Blogger Ella Drake said…

    Amazing. I don't usually like first person because I never quite get pulled in, but this was perfect.

    Have fun at your signing!

  • At 8:01 PM, Blogger Vivienne Westlake said…

    What Jeannie said. You always suck me in to a place, a person, a perspective that is wholly different from what I know and have experienced. This was very vivid and rich (just as all of your stories are). I enjoyed it.

    I've been looking forward to reading this book and I'm glad it's out now!!

  • At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Kinsey Holley said…

    I'm gonna have to read this because, to be perfectly honest, I think I miss a lot of good books when I assume I won't be able to relate the heroine - and hookers and strippers are two categories I assume I can't relate to - I haven't read the latest Loretta Chase, even though I love her, because the MFC is a courtesan and I have this immediate, instinctive resistance. It's such a totally different life experience, life view from mine that I assume I won't be able to get into the story.

    But reading this excerpt makes me want to read more, so I think it's time to expand the old horizons.

    Oh, and by the way - I LOVE the photos at Smutketeers.

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Eden Bradley-Eve Berlin
Los Angeles, CA, United States

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