DAY ONE IS always f**king exasperating.
The tears. The glassy-eyed looks of confusion as they try to piece together where their vapid relationships went wrong. The stupid, incessant questions on how I could possibly live up to my word and earn every cent of the small fortunes their husbands have paid to send them here.
Sit there and shut up, honey. One of us is a professional. Now, if I need help making a f**king sandwich or getting red wine out of a linen tablecloth, I’ll ask for your opinion. Otherwise, shut those powder-pink lips and look pretty.
That’s all they’re good for—looking pretty. Cooking. Cleaning. Taking care of disgusting, snotty-nosed spawn.
Stepford wives. Trophies. High-class, well-bred prostitutes.
They seem perfect in every way. Beautiful, intelligent, graceful. The perfect accessory for the man who has it all.
Except one thing.
They’re as dull as lukewarm dishwater once you get them on their perfectly postured backs.
As they say, looks can be deceiving. Sexy does not equate good sex. More often than not, this theory holds true. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t be in business. And let me tell you, business is good. Very good.
I take a sip of water as I scan the varied faces of shock and horror that typically follows my usual, first day speech. This class is larger than the last, but I’m not surprised. It’s the end of the summer—a season when wearing less clothing than socially appropriate is acceptable. Husbands’ eyes have strayed, and so have their dicks. And in an effort to save their picture-fucking-perfect marriages, they’ve come to me, hoping by some miracle, I can make their husbands look at them like they see more than a well-groomed melee of coifed hair, veneers and filler.
A slender hand goes up, and I nod towards the young, waif-thin brunette who’s shaking like a leaf in her Prada floral frock. It’s ugly as shit, and makes her look like a middle-aged bag lady. She reminds me of one of those half-twit wives from Mad Men. Not the hot secretary, the one that just sat her ass at home, eating bon-bons in front of her black-and-white television set, while her husband screwed everything that moved.
“So…what exactly do you do? Are you, like, a teacher or something?” she asks, just above a whisper.
“More like a consultant. You all share a very serious issue and I hope to…guide you towards some suggestions that may rectify your situation.”
Holy fuck. Testing, testing. Is this thing on or has Botox already begun to corrode her brain cells?
I smile tightly through the aggravation. Patience is key in my profession. Most days, I feel more like an overworked, underpaid daycare provider than a…lifestyle…coach. Same, same.
“I thought I explained the situation, Mrs.-” I squint at the file in front of me, matching her face to the name. “Cosgrove.”
Lorinda Cosgrove. As in Cos-Mart, the place where you can go shopping for Honey Buns, cheap lingerie and a 9-millimeter at 3 a.m. while wearing cut-off booty shorts and Crocs. No lie, there are websites dedicated to these trainwrecks. Google that shit.
“Yes, I am aware of your assessment, as crude as it is. However, what do you expect to achieve?”
I shake my head marginally. There’s always one in every class. One that doesn’t want to accept the ugly truth staring her in the face. Even though she’s read the manual, signed the contracts, and undergone all the necessary briefings before arriving, she still can’t grasp her reality—flashing bright, neon arrows toward her dried-up vagina. Good thing I have no qualms about reminding her.
“You suck at sex,” I deadpan, my expression blank. Audible gasps escape from almost every collagen-plumped lip, yet I continue to drive my point home. “You don’t satisfy your husband sexually, which is why he wants to cheat on you, if he hasn’t already. You may be a fantastic wife, mother, homemaker, whatever, but you are a lousy lover. And that trumps all.”
Lorinda clutches her chest with a shaky, manicured hand. The woman sitting next to her, a heavier-set, 40-something housewife—whose husband’s mid-life crisis, and love of barely legal debutantes have turned their marriage into a media circus—steadies her with a motherly squeeze on the shoulder. Aw, how sweet.
“And that goes for all of you,” I say, casting my glance around the room. “You’re here because you know you’re about to lose the one thing you’ve worked your pretty little ass off for—your man. You love the lifestyle you live, and instead of licking your wounds and moving on, you’d rather fix your broken marriage. And I’m here to help you.”
A slow, sardonic smile unfurls across my face. “I’m going to teach you how to f**k your husband.”
More gasps. More pearl clutching. Even a few shrieks of My word!
“But that’s not…” Lorinda screeches above the flurry of discontent. “Not proper. Not dignified.”
And there it is.
It’s the reason why her husband, Lane Cosgrove, likes to bend his pretty blonde secretary over his desk and f**k her senseless while she calls him “Daddy.” He has a thing for anal—giving and taking it. His secretary keeps a strap-on in the locked filing cabinet beside her desk for Thursday nights. Lane always works late on Thursdays, leaving Lorinda to her usual book club meeting, Women’s Bible Study, wine tasting, etcetera, etcetera. Nothing Lane does on Thursdays is proper. Letting his secretary probe him with a 10-inch dildo while his mouth is stuffed with her panties to muffle his cries, is anything but dignified. And he knows it. That’s why Lorinda can’t satisfy his needs. And letting your very rich and powerful husband leave home sexually unsatisfied is like giving him a loaded gun. Sooner or later, he’s going to pop off a few rounds.
On cue, my head of concierge, Diane, enters, followed by several members of my staff. Time to move this little welcoming party right along before any more tears are shed.
“Ladies, if you feel that you do not need this program and have ended up here by some mistake, please feel free to leave. Our drivers are prepared to take you straight to the airport, and you will be given a full refund. We just ask that you honor the Non-disclosure agreements you and your spouses have signed.”
No one makes a move to stand, so I continue. “If you would like to stay and learn how to improve your sex lives and, ultimately, your relationships, our staff will show you to your rooms. You will find that they are fully equipped with en suite facilities and amenities, plus we have a twenty-four hour chef and staff at your disposal. The property also houses a state-of-the-art fitness center, spa and salon for all your personal needs. Comfort is key here. Welcome to Oasis, ladies. We want you to consider this your home for the next six weeks of instruction.”
Eleven sets of eyes stare back at me, waiting for the first command. No one wants to be the first to jump out of their seat, arms flailing as they scream, Pick me! Pick me! Teach me, I want to learn! They all want this; they all want the secrets of marital bliss. And they know everything I’ve said is true.
Each and every one of these women know that someone else is f**king their husbands because they don’t know how to.
And deep down, I feel for them. Hell, I even sympathize with them. They’ve made it their life’s goal to meet and marry someone that will catapult them from their mediocre upbringing, and nestle them within the comforts of wealth and luxury.
It’s a regular Pretty Woman syndrome. They go from lying on their backs for free, or for some inconsequential promise of commitment in the form of a cheap, dime-store diamond ring, to more jewels than they even have limbs to wear them on. But what these ladies fail to realize is that whatever they had to do to nab their Richard Gere, they have to do that—and more—to keep him.
The staff ushers the women up to their private rooms, leaving me alone in the great room just as the Arizona sun begins to melt, slowly sliding down the azure sky. It morphs into a life-size canvas of ombre oranges, pinks, blues and purples, the breathtaking view not sullied by towering buildings or jigsaw highways. Oasis is tucked far away from civilization, away from paparazzi, designer bullshit, and reality television.
This is my favorite part of the day—when gravity pulls that scorching, desert sun above, coaxing it into the outstretched, jagged arms of mountains and cacti. Even the most arduous souls seek comfort and solitude.
I make my way across the courtyard towards the guesthouse. I own all the property, but I don’t sleep in the main house. There’s a level of privacy and professionalism that I must uphold, and being locked in a secluded mansion with eleven other women can be…difficult. My business is sex. I instruct sex. I live and breathe sex. And I need it, just like their duplicitous husbands.
So thanks to my “don’t shit where you eat” policy, I endure six, sexless weeks during instruction, only sating my sexual appetite between the four courses I host per year. Even then, I’m discreet. Being any other way just isn’t profitable in my line of work.
After letting the shower rinse away the day’s aggravation, I dress and head to the dining room for dinner. The ladies trickle in one by one, quietly taking seats around the grand table. They’re all still here. Eleven women desperate to reconnect with the men they hope to be tied to until death. The men that promised to move heaven and earth in exchange for their promise of commitment. The men who have broken their vows to sate sexual deviances and feed their egos.
The women are silent as we’re served the first course. Hardly anyone touches the starter of foie gras, elaborately dressed with poached apple in a fig reduction. Not even the scrape of silver against china echoes through the vast space.
I chew slowly, surveying the eleven, perfectly poised women from the head of the table. All are determined to avoid eye contact, as they pretend to nibble their salads and numb their nerves with wine.
“So…” I start, drawing their reluctant eyes. “When was the last time any of you masturbated?”
A symphony of coughs and gasps coax my mouth into a satisfied grin. This group should be fun.
“Excuse me?” one sneers, after downing her red wine. A server moves to grace her with a refill of velvety courage, knowing she’ll need it.
“Did I stutter? Or do you not know what it means to masturbate?”
“What? I know what…” she cringes, flustered, and shakes her head in embarrassment. “…masturbating is. Why do you feel the need to ask such crude, inappropriate questions?”
I examine the striking redhead still glaring at me, her cherry lips tight with irritation. Her too large, almost animated, eyes narrow in abhorrence, burning right through me with unspoken judgment. Even with her face twisted into a scowl, she’s stunning. Not overly done up or glamorous. She’s old Hollywood beautiful, yet there’s something fresh and simple about her.
I frown, because that type of beauty is too much for this place. Yet, it’s not enough for the world that she lives in.
Allison Elliot-Carr. Daughter of Richard Elliot, owner and CEO of one of the largest investment banks in the world. Her husband, Evan Carr, is a trust fund baby from an influential, political family, and her father’s golden boy. He’s also a pretty boy, philandering bastard with no qualms about f**king anything in Manolos from Miami to Manhattan. Of course, that tidbit of information is not publicized. It’s my job to know these things. To get inside their heads. To expose their darkest secrets and make them confront them with unrelenting honesty.
Allison purses her lips and shakes her head, her mouth curling into a sardonic smile. “You like this, don’t you? Humiliating us? Making us feel flawed and defective? As if we are the cause of our less-than-perfect marriages? We’re responsible for the way the tabloids rip us to shreds? You don’t know me. You don’t know any of us. Yet, you think you can help us? Please. I call bullshit.”
I set down my silverware and dab my mouth with a linen napkin before giving her a knowing smirk. “Bullshit?”
“Yeah, complete bullshit. I mean, who the hell do you think you are?”
A smile slowly spreads my lips. I imagine licking my chops as a lion would before devouring a graceful, delicate gazelle. “I am Justice Drake,” I state smugly without apology. It’s a promise and an omen, gift-wrapped in two little words.
“Well, Justice Drake... you, my friend, are a bullshit artist. You know nothing about our situations. There’s no magic, cure-all remedy for our marriages. But you wouldn’t know that because you don’t know a damn thing about us. You’re not a part of our world. Hell, you probably do your research on Page Six or TMZ.” With a wave of thoroughbred arrogance, she settles back into her chair and sips her red wine, her blue, doe eyes trained on my impassive guise.
Mimicking her actions, I ease back into my own seat and steeple my fingers in front of my chin, elbows propped on the arms of the high-back chair. A beat passes as my gaze delves into hers, unearthing traces of pain, embarrassment and anger– feelings she’s been taught to hide in the face of the public. Still, no amount of MAC or Maybelline can mask the undeniable hell etched into her ivory skin.
“Allison Elliot-Carr, wife of Evan Winston Carr and daughter to Richard and Melinda Elliot. Graduated from Columbia with a degree in Business and Finance in 2009, though your true passion is Philanthropy, and you spend your free time working with various charities and non-profits. You pledged Kappa Delta Nu sophomore year, where you met Evan, a senior, legacy member and president of your brother fraternity. You were exclusive to Evan throughout college, and during Christmas of 2008, he proposed in front of both your families at your parents’ winter estate in Aspen. You were wed the following summer in New York City and honeymooned in the Caribbean. You hate spiders, scary movies and think sweater vests should be outlawed. You can’t function without Starbucks, have a borderline unhealthy addiction to Friends reruns, and you eat ice cream daily. Mint Chocolate Chip is your current drug of choice, I believe. And according to the tabloids, your husband is sleeping with your best friend, and charming the panties off half of the Upper East Side. Plus you two haven’t f**ked in months. But that’s just a little something I didn’t pick up from Page Six.” I lift an amused brow and lean forward, taking in her horrified expression. “Shall I go on?”