Sold at the Auction(3)

By: Cassandra Dee

But my friend was already halfway down the hall.

“Come on, last one in the elevator is a rotten egg!” she sang. And I had to laugh at that. We were still kids, even though it was our senior year in high school, even though we were in Vegas on our first unsupervised trip, without parents, siblings, or any type of chaperone. It was our last vacation before school applications started, the whole college race that was going to suck up every last minute of free time.

So this was my last opportunity to have fun, to let my hair down before the grind started, making me dutiful Ellie Danes once more. I straightened my shoulders and lifted my chin, forcing myself to walk confidently into the hall, hips swinging, sashaying like a princess.

“There you go,” nodded my friend approvingly, finger jamming the elevator button. “You’re a new you, Ellie, just for tonight. Remember.”

And I grinned as the elevator doors opened.

“Who’s the rotten egg now?” I asked, rushing into the lift.

Rachel just laughed.

“No seriously, Ellie. Just for tonight, you’re going to be a new you. Flirtatious, sassy, outgoing. You’re going to charm Miles’s friends and make them all fall in love with you. Every single one.”

And I giggled. I wasn’t into Miles friends, the guys by the pool today hadn’t been my type for lots of reasons, but Rachel was right. I wanted to dance, laugh, and live up a storm tonight. This was it. It was time for a new Ellie, a new me, because girls can have fun … and I didn’t want to miss out.



“Hi there!” sang Rachel out the window as the car pulled up to the curb. We’d gotten an Uber to this undisclosed location and I looked out onto the dark street skeptically. There were a couple street lamps casting pools of isolated light, and it looked like we’d pulled up in front of non-descript warehouses, shuttered and empty, no one else around.

“Are you sure this is it?” I said, biting my lip, a little nervous. I knew the club was supposed to be discreet, but I’d expected at least a few people hanging out front smoking, maybe a small sign tucked away somewhere. Or music. Surely there’d be music, what kind of club didn’t play music?

But it was silent on the darkened street, the Uber grinding to a halt at the curb.

“This is it,” said the cabbie, “This is the address.”

I moved to thank him but was cut off by Rachel again.

“Of course this is the right address,” she said breezily. “There’s Miles over there!” she said, her entire head out the window now, long blonde hair fluttering as she gestured furiously to the men. “Helll-oo!”

And I sighed, getting out of the car. I had a bad feeling about this, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe once the big warehouse door opened, there’d be an amazing party inside filled with gorgeous people milling about, the ladies dressed to the nines, the guys coolly casual.

But ugh, Miles wasn’t my idea of a good-looking dude. His features were okay, but his clothing was beyond bizarre. The man had a blue velvet jacket with blue ribbon trim around the lapels that made him look like a carnival barker. I didn’t even know they made men’s clothes like this, that anyone would buy stuff so gaudy. But thinking back to Rachel’s multi-colored, LSD-inspired dress, maybe these two were perfect together. They could work in a high-end circus together as one of the curiosities, people could pay five dollars to see the zany pair. So yeah, maybe they were a match made in heaven, and Rachel was skipping over to Miles now, throwing herself into his arms, twirling in his arms, a flirtatious female to the max.

“Miles!” she exclaimed, leaning forward to give him a kiss. And kiss they did. Instead of the peck on the cheek appropriate for people who’d just met this afternoon, the two of them smooched full-on, mouth to mouth, liplocking without an inch between them. Stop it, I scolded myself, stop being judgmental and uptight! It’s a new you, remember?

So I made myself smile prettily and greet the small group of men just getting out at the curb. Our Uber zoomed off and I had a sinking feeling that my last means of escape had just disappeared as well. But that couldn’t be, I reminded myself sternly. I had my cell, and could summon Uber or Lyft with a swipe of my keypad, it was that easy. So I made myself buck up and pasted a cheery smile on my face.

“Hi,” I said throatily, hoping I sounded like a femme fatale. Haha, nice try. Immediately my throat locked and I let out a small cough.

“Oh this is Ellie from today, remember?” chattered Rachel, gesturing my way. “From the pool.” Maybe they didn’t remember me that well, my friend was like a ray of light, chatting and fun, whereas I’d been quiet at the cabana, listening while sipping my drink quietly.