Another one-two-three whiskey slam, and Reba retired to her room. The house quiet, I poured another shot, placed the poker chips back in their slots, and settled my weary bones in the parlor.
I flicked off the chandelier and closed the curtains, indications the bordello was closed for business. Now, only a small flame flickered from the lantern beside my settee. A beautiful house, a beautiful room. The thought of being forced out terrified me and left me queasy. Perhaps the whiskey was talking, making me somber and heavy-hearted. What if city officials dropped my grand establishment from the city’s Blue Book, and Madam Volvino’s House of Disgust remained open?
The room, empty of anyone with predetermined Expectations of me, I slouched on the red velvet settee and took another sip. I remembered that one perfect night with John and then dismissed the memory. Years ago, others saved me. This time, I’d do it on my own.
Excerpt from The Last Bordello