It was nice, being able to buy herself things she'd always wanted—bags with big logos and red-soled shoes and sunglasses and so much cashmere she was probably keeping the local dry cleaners in business single-handed. And Dorothy didn't have to go to consignment stores or even Century 21 for any of her shit, because she could walk into the fanciest of places now and the sales assistants would fall all over themselves to yes, ma'am, of course, ma'am her.
But it wasn't like Dorothy was stupid. She could see the way they looked at her out of the corner of their eyes when they rung her up, the way you could tell they were repressing a sneer. She could also see that they took her money anyway, because you could pay for your Versace in dollar bills gilded with body glitter, so long as you had enough of them.
"It's business, baby," Ramona always said: sometimes grinning, sometimes serious. "Nothing wrong with letting them see that you got yours, because they'll never be slow to show you they got theirs."
So Destiny danced, and Dorothy got, and maybe that was the problem. Destiny smiled and smiled and was wide-eyed and grateful for whatever a customer gave her, but her grandma always said that Dorothy had eyes too big for her stomach. She liked customers giving her cash and jewellery and laptops. She liked things that were shiny and sleek and expensive. She wanted them. She wanted more.
And that meant she wanted Ramona.
Boys had always liked Dorothy and Dorothy had always liked boys, so it wasn't like that—or at least she didn't think it was like that. She'd made out with probably a dozen of the other girls at one time or the other, felt up their tits in front of a customer, teased at their bra straps for the promise of another fifty. It never turned her on or whatever. It just was what it was, part of the job, and Dorothy had worked way too hard to get good at it to be anything other than a fucking professional.
But then there was Ramona. Ramona, who was so good at what she did: every move around the pole calculated to make men open their eyes wide and their wallets wider. Ramona, who understood all the rules to a game Dorothy hadn't even known she was playing the first time she walked into a club. Even once Dorothy figured out how things worked, she sometimes found herself staring at Ramona: caught by her hair and her hips and her swagger.
"Doesn't money make you horny?" Ramona had asked Dorothy once. It didn't. Having money didn't make her horny; it made her happy. It made her feel safe. But sometimes watching Ramona—watching her own things—made Dorothy wet.
When Ramona gave her the fur coat—real chinchilla, and Dorothy knew that even if Ramona had gone to that one dealer she knew in Midtown, she hadn't got much change out of ten grand for it—Dorothy was overwhelmed. She hadn't expected something like this—so extravagant, so generous, something that looked just like Ramona's own fur.
In the cab home late that night, Manhattan at Christmastime twinkling all around them, Dorothy had buried her hands in the fur and kneaded it like a cat. Just the feel of it made her shiver. When they got home, she hustled the others—Lily sleepy and her grandma even more so—off to bed and then went to her own bedroom, where she stripped down to her underwear and pulled on the coat.
Standing in front of the mirror, fingers twining in the shining silver fur, Dorothy tried to remember everything about that first night when she'd met Ramona. The sudden shock of want, the way she'd felt compelled to follow Ramona up onto that roof. Shivering in the night air, and then feeling a different kind of shiver underneath Ramona's fur, at the smell of cigarette smoke and expensive perfume and the way Ramona always seemed to know just what to do. She ran her hands over the fur, over her belly, down her thighs—all the tricks she'd do if she was in the club, but the only person in front of her was her own reflection. She bit her lip.
Dorothy took a few stumbling steps backwards and toppled onto her bed. She pushed one hand underneath the waistband of her panties, down to where she was already wet, and buried the fingers of the other in the deep plush of the fur. It felt so good her back arched from it. She worked at her clit and imagined she was feeling Ramona's fingers; twisted to rub her cheek against the coat and pretended it was Ramona wrapped around her, her thighs holding her down.
That's it, baby, she imagined Ramona telling her, smiling down at her, knowing what was best, come for me, that's right, such a quick learner, you show me what you got. When she came hard around her fingers, Dorothy had to bury her hot face in the fur to muffle her moans.
Afterwards, she lay curled up: surrounded by the fur, surrounding the aftershocks which still pulsed through her. It was nice, Dorothy thought, wanting things. It was nice to be able to buy them; to be able to show people what you were worth. But maybe, she thought—eyes drifting closed, grinding down against the heel of her hand—maybe it could be just as nice to be possessed.