[...] Richard complied quickly, giving the woman a disarming smile. She blushed. The man was an attractive brute, she thought. If she weren’t happily married, she’d make sure to discover the wonders of the Riviera very intimately with this man. Feeling suddenly embarrassed, she thanked him and scurried away quickly.
Richard watched her retreating form, his lip curled in a bored, cynical smirk. Always the same, he thought. It was getting tiresome, however useful it was in his line of work.
Ever since he’d turned sixteen and his aunt’s neighbor had willingly enlightened him about his sensual magnetism, it had always been so. He remembered that the interludes with the woman had been a pleasant andwelcome distraction during those first months of living within the sterile walls of his new home. […]
It was then that he had met Grace, a practical, pretty woman in her late forties, whose sexual appetites matched her husband’s workaholism. She had pointed out the unexploited power Richard wielded, her squeaky voice saying, “You have the eyes of a faun and the body of Adonis. You’ll get anything you want from any woman if you play your cards right, my boy.”
Slapping his naked butt, she would continue babbling. “And don’t worry about being unscrupulous, honey. We’re all users, one way or another. No woman, or man for that matter, sacrifices anything for anyone unless it’s to his advantage. We’re all mercenaries and you won’t break anyone’s heart, believe you me. The women who were claiming undying love for you the week before will be wetting their panties for someone else the week after. It’s just a matter of who offers the most.”
Givers and takers, Richard thought. He had learned early in life to be the user, discarding the unnecessary or burdensome.