Gage:A Bad Boy Military Romance(4)

By: Cordelia Blanc

As soon as the major left, the girls started to get ready for the “big show.”

They wanted us to put on a show, a strip-tease. It wasn’t until we boarded the helicopter that morning that we knew about any “big show.” There was no rehearsal, no protocol, nothing. Just, “Go out there and do what you do best!”

“Why aren’t you getting changed?” Barbie asked me.

“Because we don’t go out for, like, four more hours,” I said.

Barbara Reynolds, aka Barbie Reynolds, was the runner-up to be Miss March. A shame too, because she was way prettier than Kelsey Greene, the girl chosen to be Miss March. Barbie was prettier than half of the Playmates, but I guess she just wasn’t Heff’s type—strange, because she was petite, blonde, and dumb, exactly what he liked in a woman. I think Heff was finally losing his mind in his old age.

I was shocked when I found out I’d been picked for the April issue. I was going to be Miss April. I wasn’t blonde, petite, and as far as I’m considered, I wasn’t dumb either. My hair was dark, my skin was pale, my tits were real—B-cups on a good day. But still, they liked me, and they picked me over a whole mess of blonde bimbos.

I wasn’t complaining. The money was good and the exposure was incredible. And as of January, Playboy stopped putting nudity in their magazines. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise.

When the other girls started talking about which men they wanted to fuck, I stood up to leave.

“Where are you going?” Barbie asked me.

“I’m going out for a smoke.”

Nancy Goodwin, our chaperone—the lone woman in charge of all twenty-four Playmates—grabbed my arm as I started towards the door.

She was an older woman, appearing to be somewhere in her fifties thanks to a great deal of plastic surgery. But her lips appeared to be well into their nineties, thanks to a great deal of chain-smoking cigarettes. “You can smoke in here, darling,” she said, already smoking a cigarette herself.

“I need the fresh air,” I said.

She peered around the room and then nodded her head slowly, as if she understood completely that I just needed to get away from the malignant idiocy of the other girls. Already the fireworks were beginning. One of the girls, runner-up Miss September, was getting worked up over one of the soldiers. “I already said that I wanted him!” she said to Miss May.

Miss May just rolled her eyes, and like school children, the other girls began to part the room, taking sides to defend their favourite month. September or May? Neither months were anything special.

Nancy followed me outside. I hadn’t met Nancy until a few days before we shipped out, when we all met to discuss the details of the Iraq promo tour. I liked her right away. She was bitter and grumpy. She would grumble after every idiotic statement that seeped out of every idiotic girl’s mouth. It was strangely comforting knowing I wasn’t the only one bitter about the whole situation.

Before I could light a cigarette, Nancy handed me one, freshly lit. “Thanks,” I said.

“You know, you don’t have to sleep with any of the guys,” she said to me.

“Trust me, I won’t.”

“Don’t think you have to,” she repeated, ignoring my response.

“I really don’t think I have to.”

She took a deep breath in, enjoying the hell out of every little carcinogen in that plume of smoke. “They’ll want you to. They’re going to try and guilt you into it. Just say no.”

“I figured as much.”

“You know I was Miss February once,” Nancy said to me. “1968.” She looked me up and down with a combination of disgust and resentment. Then she turned to the window and checked herself out in the reflection, making a similar look. The resentment was for me, but the disgust was probably for herself. She wasn’t exactly in Miss September form anymore. “We did a similar thing. They sent us to an outpost in Ho Chi Minh City. We were there for two weeks. I slept with more men than a Bargain Bin Prostitute.”

“Jesus, Nancy. They sent you to Vietnam?” If she was my age during ‘Nam, then she must have been at least sixty-five years old.

“It was scary. We were there right when the Tet Offensive started up. We were rushed out. All the guys I fucked died.” She flicked the ash off the tip of her smoke. She didn’t seem to be bothered by what she was telling me, or she was really good at hiding it.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said. “But why’d you sleep with all those guys?”

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