Virginia City, Nevada

September 1869

The raucous sounds of B Street and C Street dulled behind Honor Quinn—Born Honora O’Cuinn of County Wexford, Ireland—as she led the rotund man uphill across A street and into an alley that led past the Harris Mansion. A loud groan interrupted his labored breathing as he followed her up the slope.

“You’d better have the best cunny in the whole damned Comstock to make me climb this fucking hill,” Carlton Stokes slurred between shallow breaths.

Honor glanced back at him, noting the wobble of the drunk man’s bulk. She also saw his long, dark coat flap open in the wind, revealing a pistol on his belt. The saloon girl shivered but not from the cold, although the wind coming over the mountain blasted her with the chill of the late September night. She debated signaling Gus to call it all off. Doing so would mean fully servicing the bulky man, but she could live with that. She was not as sure about living if he pulled that gun.

When they emerged out of the alley onto Howard Street, Honor stopped to ponder what to do next. But quicker than she expected, Stokes caught up with her and settled his meaty hand on her shoulder, using her for support while he gasped the cold mountain air. His hot breath, reeking of alcohol, flowed around her face. The impulse to push him away and scream flashed through her mind. Instead, she kissed him, her hand guiding his off her shoulder and to the satin bodice of her low-cut dress. His meaty paw rested on the swell of her left breast before his fingers tightened, squeezing and twisting. The pain from her abused bosom both repulsed and warmed Honor as she plunged her tongue past his rough lips.

“We’re doing it here, in the street?” he asked a several seconds later, fat fingers pinching her rigid nipple where it tented the thin material of her dress.

“Too much wind, lover,” the dancer purred, kissing the reddening flesh of his jowly face. “There’s a nice, sheltered place right past that house across the street. A woodshed. The owner lets me use it for patrons when the saloon is full.”

“You mean when you want to cheat the saloonkeeper out of his share,” Stokes chortled, twisting her now overly sensitive nub, his free hand thrusting under her skirts and probing between her legs.

“I wouldn’t do that,” the young woman pouted, pushing the wandering hand away while pressing the one groping her chest tighter against her now aching breast. “I mean, how could I with a name like ‘Honor’?”

“Because you’re a whore,” the man scoffed, the hand she had tried to redirect sliding back under her skirts.

“And you’ll get to enjoy that fact as soon as we’re in the…”

“Then get going, harlot. I want to ram my cockstand into that wet little tulip you got betwixt your legs. Don’t think I can’t feel your juices running.”

Stokes freed her breast, withdrew his hand from under her dress, spun her around with unnerving strength, and landed a sharp smack on her rear. Honor yelped and started across the street, acutely aware of her stinging bottom and how much worse it would have been if two layers of material had not protected her. This one warranted care, of that she was sure, although she had not suspected so when he was slobbering over her powered cleavage in the saloon.

Hurrying her step, the dancer strode up a path between houses toward a small building behind the house on the left. And although the woodshed’s east-facing entrance provided shelter from most of the wind, it would still be cold inside. But Honor knew that not much warmed a room faster than sex.

He won’t be dipping his wick in me, she remembered as she entered the shed. Gus would arrive before that could happen. Just using her mouth on the mark would ensure he remained distracted enough that he would not notice Gus.

“In here,” she told the bulky shadow behind her, and then she was falling, pain radiating from her derriere where his hand had hit her with another force to drive her to hands and knees.

“What are you…?” she began to ask, but the question died on her lips as he pushed her silk skirt and lace underskirt up to her waist, her exposed bottom breaking out in goose-pimples as a shudder ran through her frame.

“A little skinnier than I might like,” the man grumbled while slamming what felt like at least two fingers deep inside of her, eliciting a gasp then a moan. “I mean with those teats, I’d thought you’d have a bit more meat on your bones.”

“You didn’t pay for a rough ride,” the redheaded woman snapped, climbing to her feet and pulling away from his invading digits. “You paid for a dickie lick, nothing more.”

“I paid for everything, whore,” Stokes growled, and she could feel his glare even though the shed was too dark to make out his features. “But if you want to start out with your mouth, then by all means, go ahead.”

“Let me light the lamp first,” Honor said, moving toward the pole on which it hung. Relief that his groping had ended, at least for the moment, mixed with worry that Gus might wait too long.

“Why? Won’t the folks in the house see the light?”

“The house to the north can’t see it, and the owner of the southern house knows I use the shed,” the dancer explained. She did not add that the owner of the southern house, a widower named Tanner, enjoyed Honor’s charms at least twice a month in return for the use of the shed, sometimes more often if she and Gus needed other services from the man, who worked as an undertaker.

The lamp’s light spread through the small space, and Honor turned toward Stokes, a broad smile on her face. She needed all his attention focused on her, so with trembling fingers, this time mostly on account of the cold, she unlaced the front of her green satin dress and let it fall off her shoulders and breasts. Stokes leered at her, his small, dark, porcine eyes fixed on her bared breasts.

The smile still on her full lips, the saloon girl ran her hands up her silvery corset, starting where her dress had settled around her waist and moving to the spill of her breasts over the supporting wire. The corset had been a gift from Gus, something to give her bosom the lift it needed for maxim cleavage while allowing men access to her smooth, rounded breasts and thick, firm nipples. It was beautiful, and Gust told her it had come all the way from Paris. So, she endured the discomfort of wearing it because Gus had bought it for her, and because her patrons seemed to enjoy what it did for her figure.

“God, those teats make up for the skinny ass and hips,” Stokes told her as his cold fingers squeezed her pale flesh. The young woman nodded, her fingers running through his greasy hair. The moment his lips dropped to one firm nipple, she forced out an exaggerated moan. She did not believe her hips and derriere to be thin—she knew many men, Gus and the undertaker Tanner among them, who she thought would agree with her. But she did not tell Stokes that. Instead, she increased the volume of her not entirely faked vocalizations and dropped her hands to the fly of his trousers.

“This feels ready to suck,” she murmured in her ear as her fingers traced the outline of his rigid shaft.

“Ready for your whore lips,” he grunted, nibbling on her tender flesh with more force than would have been her choice.

A low, throaty moan escaped Honor’s red-painted lips, the authenticity of the noise taking her by surprise. Actually entertaining the thought of letting this man ride her, she grasped the girth of his swollen manhood through his pants. With an unexpected flutter of lust in her belly, she imagined what his meaty organ would feel like violating her soaked loins.

Stick to the plan, whore, she chastised herself. Gus will see to your pathetic needs.

But while Gus’s shaft stood long and proud and had always pleased her, she knew it could not compare in thickness to what she felt beneath Stokes’s pants. On the other hand, Gus might be angry if she went off script and let the big man couple with her. And it had been Gus who had pulled her from the gutter in San Francisco a few months after her brother’s death. She owed him her loyalty, and her life.

“Let down your trousers,” she instructed Stokes, pushing his face off her now slick and heaving chest.

The portly man grunted and fumbled at the suspenders that held up his pants. While he did so, Honor dropped to her knees, fingers deftly unbuttoning Stokes’ fly. Within seconds, she pulled his substantial shaft through the opening, her small hand stroking the veiny length as its owner gave up trying to undo his suspenders.

After moistening her lips, the dancer slid them over the purple, bulbous head of the circumcised penis. She had been with other circumcised men, but they had all been Jews, at least she assumed that was the case, and Stokes did not look Jewish to her. But those thoughts were gone in an instant as the man grasped her hair and forced half his length into her mouth. Eyes closed, Honor did her best to ignore the slightly sour taste and fetid smell of the man, her tongue moving against the hot, fleshy underside of his penis as the man pumped it between her lips.

“Oh, now that’s sure sweet, my pretty little whore,” Stokes groaned, his hold on her head slackening and his thrusting ceasing. “You know what you’re doing, alright.”

Honor, her blue eyes fixed on the man’s darker ones, nodded and slid her lips down until the head gagged her. The man groaned again as the dancer ignored her own response and forced herself to take more of him.

“Holy fuck,” Stokes moaned, and the redhead felt his knees wobble. She had him, sure he would not notice Gus coming up behind him.

But where was that man? If he waited too much longer, she would have to let the mark finish in her mouth. Not that it would be a problem for her—she sucked men to completion often enough, and she always swallowed to avoid a mess—but she knew Gus did not like her to do so with these men. He wanted them focused on her, not on anything around them, and that meant keeping them on edge so they would be fully distracted when her partner arrived.

“Play with your cunny while you suck me, pretty little whore,” Stokes said after maybe a minute of silence, eliciting a groan and a shiver from Honor. She had already considered doing what the fat man just told her to do but rejected it because she did not think Gus would approve. Despite her misgivings, the big man’s words shaped her actions. She dropped her right hand off his manhood, slipped it under her skirts, and found her slick labia. The wetness cooled her index and middle fingers as she ran them up and down her slit, but the inner core of her heated.

Quivers, first deep inside but then traveling up her abdomen, distracted her from her task, and the man began to thrust in and out of her mouth again. Honor groaned, an animalistic, guttural sound escaping around his thick, veined shaft as it violated her willing mouth over and over, all while her probing digits found and attacked her throbbing clitoris. All sense of time, of cold, of place, of the plan, slipped away, and her everything sunk to the twinges deep inside her sex, the jolts of pleasure coursing through her loins, and the relentless thrusting of Stokes’s erection down her throat.

The dancer’s left hand, which had been against the man’s thigh as insurance against him becoming too eager in his use of her mouth, forgot its job and sought her own breasts, squeezing the cool flesh, pinching and twisting almost painfully hard nipples, driving herself closer and closer to ecstasy, losing herself in the intoxicating mix of pleasure and pain, of submission and use.

A loud grunt from her patron pulled her out of her own growing bliss enough for her to focus on his actions. Thick fingers grasped her hair painfully tight, moving her head so her lips slid up and down the first couple of inches of his length in a driving rhythm. Soon, his penis twitched and pulsated. Knowing the signs, Honor readied herself while still torturing the cold, aching nubs on her breasts and rubbing the warm, needful one between her legs.

Within seconds, he flooded her mouth with hot, thick fluid, the accustomed taste tinged with the bitterness she associated with hard-living men. Honor closed her eyes, sucking his shaft and swallowing. But at that same moment, her own climax took her. Vibrations in her most sensitive spot turned to spasms deep inside her vagina then became shudders that ran through her frame, mixing with shivers from the suddenly unbearable cold. Without conscious thought, she arched her back, riding the rush of pleasure, not thinking about the still ejaculating penis even as it slipped out of her lips.

Warm, thick fluid splashed across her upper lip and nose, against her chin, and down her neck. Honor’s left hand abandoned her breasts and sought Stokes’s manhood, but something pushed it away. Opening her eyes, she saw Stokes towering over her, stroking his thick shaft. Disdain mixed with lust on his jowly face as he squirted three more times, all on her breasts.

“Clean me,” he growled, pulling her face toward the glistening head of his penis, which still oozed semen.

Honor pushed her tongue between her lips, ready to do as commanded, when a shadow appeared behind Stokes and a sharp thwack filled the shed. The large man’s eyes bulged and rolled up as he fell forward. The dancer put out her hands to stop him from crushing her, even though she knew such an attempt would be futile, given the mark’s bulk. But before his body could fall on her, it went spinning to the side, landing in a heap with a thud that shook the ground. Gus, face red, eyes burning with anger, stood above her, fingers gripping an iron poker with enough force to turn them white.

“What are you doing, Honor?” he scowled, gray eyes boring into her.

“Distracting him,” she whispered, trying her best to ignore the rapidly cooling semen sliding down her face, neck, and bosom and hoping Gus would too. “I thought you’d be here sooner…”

“Don’t lie, whore,” her husband and benefactor spat, and for a terrible, long heartbeat, she thought he would raise the poker and strike her. “I saw you pleasure yourself like a wanton bitch in heat.”

“Please, Gus…”

“Just shut the up and find his wallet.”

The redhead climbed to her feet, tears mixing with the fat man’s spunk on her face. She started to pull up her dress, but Gus’s cold glare made her leave it be as she moved toward the prone Stokes. A rivulet of blood trickled from his head where Gus had struck him, but that man lay still. Honor tried her best not to touch him as she felt for his wallet, and her fingers found it just as Stokes opened his eyes.

“Run, you fucking cunt,” he rasped, his body rolling away with surprising speed.

Honor leaped up and turned. Gus, wide-eyed, stared past her. Green satin dress still bunched around her waist, the young woman pushed past her partner. A gunshot, impossibly loud, reverberated in the tiny woodshed, and sudden pain in her ears caused her to stumble. She looked behind her and saw Gus fall back against a pile of logs, red blooming around the hole in his chest. Then the barrel of the gun caught her eye as it swung toward her. Hatred and pain etched on his fleshy face, their would-be victim glared at her. Honor screamed, a feral noise that tore out of her throat with the force of banshee’s wail yet seemed far away, drowned out by the incessant ringing in her ears.

Drawing in a shuddering breath, the frightened girl darted toward the door. Another boom shook her at the same instant that a sharp, fiery agony engulfed her back and chest. Dropping to her knees, Honor struggled to draw breath, the wet, gurgling sound bubbling up out of her throat felt as much as heard. In the moment before darkness took her, she glanced down and saw the gaping wound where seconds before her left breast had been.

Roseville, California

October 12, 2019

“Come on, Jer,” Emily pouted, her large brown eyes almost but not quite hiding the calculated nature of both her words and her expression.

“You know I don’t like that shit,” Jeremy grumbled, waving his hand in the direction of his TV where one of his ex’s favorite ghost hunting shows played.

“But it’d be fun. And Mandy and I don’t want to go by ourselves…”

“That’s the real issue, isn’t it Em? You’re afraid your car won’t make it over the mountains. You just want me as a driver.”

“No, we want you to go with us. In case we get scared.”

That’s bullshit, Jeremy warned himself, but he knew he would fall for it anyway. Emily always had a way of getting him to do exactly what she wanted, even though a few years had passed since they last dated; moreover, she had made it quite clear they would not be doing so in the future.

Jeremy met Emily in grade school, and he had loved the fair complected, sandy-haired girl for almost all that time. Yet, it was not until senior prom, after her intended date flaked, that they started dating. That night, she became his first, but he suspected she could not say the same of him. But such trivialities did not matter. He was ecstatic that she was finally his. But their relationship only lasted until they left for their respective colleges. She informed him she did not want to be tied down, breaking his heart for the first time.

The second time she broke his heart was half-way through their junior year of college. They both returned home for the summer after their sophomore years, and after a somewhat drunken hookup, a new relationship bloomed, this one filled with sexual exploits that sometimes pushed his limits but left him exhilarated and in love with Emily again. Then he visited her over Thanksgiving break, the two of them electing to spend the holiday together rather than going home. And it all went well until he suggested a threesome with a friend of hers who had also stayed over the holiday. Her angry response, and the subsequent termination of their relationship, baffled him at first. Several times over the prior summer, they discussed the fantasy of involving another girl, so he did not expect such an extreme result from trying to make that fantasy reality. Once he learned that the friend in question had slept with Emily’s most recent ex both before and after they had been together, he thought he understood. But it still hurt.

And that pain had rekindled when she moved back to the Sacramento area and into his post-college life. Emily graciously forgave him, but when he asked her out, she polity declined. And she had continued to decline every suggestion he made that they try again, until after two years he quit suggesting it. In the six months or so since then, their friendship grew closer and closer, to the point he even watched her stupid paranormal shows with her. But he wanted to the draw the line at going over the Sierras to Virginia City, Nevada for a Halloween ghost hunting workshop in the old mining town, an ‘adventure’ that would cost each of them $300, not counting travel costs.

“It’s a lot of money to learn how to find something that doesn’t even exist,” he sighed, knowing he would give in eventually and hating himself for it.