"No! No, I was—am with Hunter because I like him. I slept with patrons and guest acts because I wanted to, to enjoy myself. And those men deserved to know that. They should've known that, Myra. There's no shame in making sex our work, but you've muddled it all up, for them and for us. I don't want the money. I never did."
"Then you never needed it, not the way some of us do," she whispered, looking away, wrapping her arms around her stomach. "Fine. It's done."
I nodded, not certain if I could believe her now. I would talk to Evie. She was usually very welcoming of patrons and probably had helped Myra save a good deal of money without realizing.
"If you change your mind about the orc, I can still help you," Myra said, walking toward my door.
Maybe Myra was right. Maybe a rich monster's pocket book was our only way out of the theater. Maybe all my time spent considering a future with Hunter was just the same thing as accepting money from him for sex. But I wouldn't be just fed and warm and housed and taken care of with Hunter, I would be happy too. Because Hunter was kind and sweet and passionate, he had a good sense of humor, a wicked hunger for sex that matched mine, and a desire to know me, just as I wanted to know him.
"Reddy loves you," I said, watching Myra walk away.
She shrugged. "For now. For years to come still. But not as much as he loves the theater. He takes care of the company first. I take care of myself first. It's how we work. I'm sorry, lovey. I meant well."
She slipped out of my dressing room, the curtain fluttering shut behind her.