“What is it, Meta? You seem quiet today,” Sadie <the prostitute> said.
“I’m thinking of Emil. He would love this place.”
“You want to marry this Emil fellow?”
“When the time is right. But I also want to go to college.”
Sadie turned away. “Well, marriage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It cements a woman’s future and her feet to a kitchen floor.”
I wanted to tell her that some men look at prostitutes as mere fodder for their tumescent phalluses. I held my tongue. “Did you not hear what Miss Fisher said at the meeting? How women need—”
“I do know one thing.” Sadie inhaled a deep, scrappy breath. “I don’t think men care for their wives after they’ve poked them a couple of times. That goal’s already been Conquered. Girls like me? We sleep with money the same way wives do, but we get paid without the bossing.”
Excerpt from The Last Bordello, historical novel set in 1901
Mayor Hicks slammed a fist on the table. “This is a damn murder investigation. That woman had her throat slit. The whore sitting here is known to pull out a knife. Plus, she had possession of the deceased’s scarf. Sheriff or not, you can’t just take them out of here. Miss Dubois has a cell waiting with her name on it.”
Sadie shuddered. Van Riper sat motionless, the emotion behind his squinting eyes, unreadable. Anger? Curiosity?
John shot a dogged grin at Hicks. “What murderer would flaunt a scarf belonging to the person they’d killed? What murderer could slit a throat and have no blood on their clothes when they returned home? Now, step aside. We’re leaving.”
Hicks’s face flushed with rage. “So you can go back to your whore madam? Make a sandwich between the sheets? Talk about a conflict of interest!”
In a Blur of motion, John pinned Hicks to the wall, his hands around the mayor’s throat.