For me the word is exactly what Lilith feels about herself ... it's more than her profession, it's her lack of self-worth, her shame, and her weariness with the lot she's been given. It's the word that's been stamped across her chest and what she's carried her whole life. The word that I've never liked just felt right, but I get how people who can't see inside my head might not appreciate being blasted with the word. There's only one other title I can accept and that is ... Lilith. Because really, it's always been about her and I want to keep it that way.
Not your typical prostitute ... this is a story of unconditional love.
“I need a reason to exist.”
Beautiful, intelligent, independent, strong-willed, wealthy—Lilith Fontenot seems by all appearances, to have it all. But that’s not how the highest paid prostitute in New Orleans sees herself.
A stain on society. A scourge. A waste. Outsider. Prisoner…
Any idyllic dream of the normal life she may have once imagined, Lilith buried long ago. Her only plan now is survival.
But mob boss Nico Santelli and community center owner Soti Christos have not given up on Lilith. Each has his own very specific, very opposing, plans for her, and neither will rest until it becomes a reality.
LILITH is a singularly bracing take on an ancient tale of tireless love, betrayal, and the possibility of redemption.
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I take a sudden deep breath and my breasts brush against his chest. The contact surprises us both. I do it again, intentionally this time, trying to gain control in the only way I know how. His neck flushes and he takes a step back. I enjoy the rush it gives me, knowing that I affect him too. “Hey, would you like to come around the corner with me to—” I swallow my surprise and shake my head, holding my hand up before he says anything else. “Please,” he says louder. “What’s your name?” “I am Sotirios … Soti.” “Soti, what makes you think you know anything about me?” He tries to make eye contact, but I focus on a spot just past his left ear. “I just want to help you…” His words trail off. The wind blows my hair forward, a sheet of black coming between us until I smooth the long strands down on either side. I gaze down the street and see a blurry little girl with black hair down to her waist in middle school, standing shy and hopeful in front of a group of girls. “We know what you are,” they said. They hurled spit and names on her and she stood there, taking it, until the teacher came and helped her. Help only got me so far. “You listen to me, okay?” I say so softly he leans in to hear me. “I was born for this.” When my eyes finally land on his again, I know his face will haunt me forever. He looks as bleak as I feel. I clear my throat. “Now, if you’ll excuse us.” With that, I loop my hand through the arm of my next income source, calculating how I can get the most money out of him for the least amount of time. It takes every ounce of willpower I own to not look Soti’s way one more time. Once we round the corner and I know he’s out of sight, all the adrenaline leaves my body, and I’m actually glad to have someone to hold onto. I avoid my reflection as we walk back to the house. I don’t want to know what the rest of the world sees when they look at me.
Willow Aster is the author of True Love Story, In the Fields, Maybe Maby, Fade to Red, and the upcoming release, Whore. Willow loves nothing more than writing the day away—anywhere will do. Her husband and two children graciously put up with her endless daydreaming and make fun of her for reading while cooking.