Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness - Suzy Favor Hamilton (2015)

Chapter 16. MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE

When we got back to Madison, we returned to our new habit of staying out of each other’s way. We were basically living in a marriage of convenience. Mark had come to realize that saying anything to me about my trips to Vegas or my behavior at home meant chaos, and chaos was something he did not want. He was considering everything from leaving me to telling someone about my double life, but he could not bring himself to do either. Trapped, he chose to cover, enable, protect Kylie and the business, and hope for the best, praying I’d eventually snap out of it and realize the recklessness of my activities. I stayed with Mark because he was my husband, and it seemed like maybe I really could have everything. We were married for the sake of being married, for the sake of our daughter, our parents, the business, and because we didn’t believe in divorce, except as a very last resort. And so we both resigned ourselves to the reality as it was and realized we could actually live this way.

In a weird way, we were both getting everything we needed to get by. I was happier than I’d maybe ever been. And at that moment, Mark just wanted to work. Plus, he had Kylie. His family. In many ways, I realized, we were like the clients I was seeing. They wanted to stay married, so they stepped out in secret with an escort in order to avoid jeopardizing their marriage. We wanted to stay married, so we made an unspoken agreement to just do our thing.

By this time, I had enough regulars to justify a longer stay in Vegas. Even though spring was finally starting to show itself in Madison, my weeks there in snowy, frigid March had felt endless. And I was instantly ecstatic as soon as I landed in Vegas for my April visit, one of the monthly trips I was making to Vegas by this point. I’d texted my dates to Roger, a high-ranking military officer who was a favorite client now. He was my first for the weekend. He’d made a point to see me twice each of the two weekends I’d been with him before, in February and March, so by our fifth appointment, he really was beginning to seem like an old friend. Only this time, he surprised me, showing me that the life of an escort never exactly becomes routine. I strolled into his suite, kissed him hello, stripped down, and sat on the edge of his bed, always captivated by the view of the Strip, no matter how many times I saw it. Instead of coming over to me, he went to the closet and paused for a moment. I looked at him curiously. The next thing I knew, he pulled out a long light gray fur coat.

“Why don’t you go try it on?” he said.

“Thank you,” I said, rubbing the coat against my bare skin.

I knew exactly what he had in mind, and I removed my bra and panties before sliding on the coat and letting it hang seductively open. I couldn’t help but think of his mother, with her glamorous dresses and fur coats, who he’d told me about during all of our visits. It had become pretty obvious that the escorts he saw were filling some void for him, a void left behind when his mother died. I tried not to think much beyond that—if he was attracted to his mother I didn’t need to know about it. I could tell he was in a lot of pain over her absence, and if this could make him feel better, I was happy to help.

When I modeled the coat for him, he was visibly excited, and he had me wear the coat for the rest of our time together. When I was getting ready to leave, he tried to pull me onto his lap to watch porn. I knew better.

“I’d love to stay, but I have another appointment,” I lied.

“But I don’t want you to go,” he said, sounding like a cranky child.

“I don’t want to go, either,” I said. “But I have to. You know I can’t be late.”

“Can I see you tomorrow?” he asked.

“Of course,” I said. “Just text me.”

I was back in the clothes I’d worn to the appointment, and I turned to go, leaving the coat on the foot of the bed.

“The coat’s for you,” he said.

“Oh, wow, thank you,” I said.

I pulled the coat back on with a dramatic flair, like it was the best gift I’d ever received, and gave him one last kiss before closing the door behind me. Once outside in the hallway, waiting for an elevator, I slid the coat off. I’d never been a big fan of fur, and it was already too hot in Vegas to wear it out on the Strip. But the extravagant gift was all that mattered.

I’d realized that most of the guys didn’t need the incentive of an extra-long session to inspire them to write positive reviews. All I had to do was ask. I soon had my twenty reviews I’d needed to get ranked, and I was number two in Las Vegas. This was a huge thrill, and a sign for me that I’d made the right career choice. As far as I was concerned, this was as good as it could get. I knew number one, a voluptuous blonde in her thirties I’d been hired to do a threesome with. Her claim to fame was that she could come five times (or fake it five times, not that the guys knew the difference). She was gorgeous, incredibly sweet, and a total pro. I understood why all her clients loved her, and I knew I would never exceed her. This wasn’t exactly easy for me to reconcile with my extremely competitive nature, but it helped some when I read my own client reviews like this one: “She is worth every penny. I will go bankrupt before I stop seeing her. I hope no one else goes to see her, because I want her all to myself. I never thought I would find anyone in this hobby like her.” Then I learned that being number two in Vegas meant being number nine in the world. I hadn’t even known they had world rankings. How was that even possible? Perhaps the biggest perk, though, was when Bridget informed me by text that my rate had just gone up to six hundred dollars an hour, of which the service would continue to get twenty percent, a fee I delivered to them every time I visited Vegas.

My trip to Vegas in June that year was just like the rest, and like all the previous trips, I loved every minute of it. From the time spent spray-tanning and getting my nails done, the conversations with bartenders I knew at the bars I frequented, and lunches with the girls who had become friends, I was in my element. I had worked and socialized enough with my fellow escorts to know that some, not the majority of them, could be extremely jealous and catty. But some impressed me with their success and power, much in the same way my clients did. I became friends with one woman who was a successful lawyer but enjoyed escorting so much that she flew into Vegas once a month to see a few exclusive clients. It was so fun to talk shop with these women, as they got the ups and downs of the job better than anyone else. One day in June I sat at the bar at Mandalay Bay, having lunch with my friend Lilly. We’d done a couple threesomes and had become pals.

“Do you live in Vegas?” I asked.

“Yeah, I do,” she said. “You?”

“No, I live with my husband in the Midwest,” I said. “I fly in a few times a month to see my regulars.”

“Oh yeah, like who?” she asked.

I tried to think of my regulars who I knew saw other girls, too.

“Roger,” I said. “He’s in the military. I see him every time.”

“Oh, yeah, I’ve seen him,” she said. “Did he give you a fur coat?”

“Yeah, he did,” I said, laughing.

“Me, too,” she said, laughing as well.

From the beginning, escorting had seemed so normal to me, and it was a relief to talk to someone else who thought the lifestyle was normal, too. We ran through our lists of regulars without coming up with any other matches. And then, for some reason, I mentioned an Asian American guy I’d seen once.

“You saw him?” she exclaimed. “I saw him, too! He was so small, tiny.”

We both cracked up laughing. I felt horrible, but I couldn’t help myself.

“I know, I felt so sorry for him,” I said. “He was so nice. I tried to make sure he had a really nice time even though . . .”

“I know, I felt bad for him, too,” she said.

Not that nothing out of the ordinary happened. It’s just that even the most outrageous behavior was becoming even more the norm for me. Threesomes were common, whether I was hired by a couple or hired with another girl from the same service. Sometimes I was hired with more than one other girl, like the time three of us were called in for a pool party at the adult pool at Mandalay Bay by a businessman who wanted to impress his clients, or the time four of us were brought in for four businessmen who had the suite at the MGM with its own private pool. There was the strip club addict, who took me out with him to watch girls dance and then got a lap dance right in front of me. The veteran who’d been shot in the stomach during the Iraq War and was overjoyed by our session because he hadn’t known if he would be able to have an orgasm. The short Spaniard in town for the Electric Daisy Festival, a rave held at the Motor Speedway, who tripped on ecstasy during our session. The young professional golfer whose girlfriend liked to have threesomes but didn’t know he was having an appointment with me. The even younger poker pro who’d just won his first big Vegas tournament and hired me to teach him about sex because he was being approached by lots of women now that he was rich and he didn’t know what to do.

Even when things got dicey, I wasn’t fazed in the least. I was usually very careful not to leave any of my belongings unattended or behind, especially not anything that could reveal my true identity. These were among the tips I’d learned from the other girls. I didn’t bring my driver’s license with me to appointments because men had been known to go through escorts’ purses when they were in the bathroom. I paid attention to any computers visible in the room and casually threw a piece of clothing over them, just to make sure the guy wasn’t secretly filming. I was a pro now—I had the whole thing down. I couldn’t believe it when I accidentally left my iPad in the room of a client who I had picked up at a bar. Luckily, I was staying at the same hotel as him, and so when I got back to my room and realized what I’d done, I was able to quickly run over and knock on his door. He only had it in his possession for maybe three minutes, at the most. And when he gave it back to me, he acted casual, as if he hadn’t even noticed it was in his room. But sure enough, the next day, he sent a note to my personal e-mail address. This was the third man to have found out who I was. The previous month, a regular who’d also gone to the University of Wisconsin had recognized me. And still, I wasn’t concerned.