Little Jill arrives in Lizard Creek intent on finding out what happened to her husband. Despite the town being bankrupt, George and the owner of the hotel and saloon struggle for control. Somehow husband Dave was involved and now Jill uses her smarts and her body to unravel the secrets of the town.
In the process, she firmly lays claim to her new life as a western whore.
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
The next morning, I went to the bank and met Otto. He was a small man with a nervous pinched face that made him look judgmental, but as I talked to him, I realized it was just uncertainty. He listened as I told him the story of my mythical friend who asked me to check on her husband.
I don't know if he bought it, but he pretended to be sympathetic. "What can I tell you?"
"I need your help. I have no idea where to start looking," I said. "It's a big territory."
He nodded. "Finding one claim... there are many, many claims to sort through."
"I don't mind going through them."
He looked shocked. "I can't let you have access to county records. The most I could do is offer to do a title search." He looked up. "I'd have to do that on my own time, you understand."
"I'd be grateful if you could," I said.
A light glimmered in his eye. "I am a very busy man."
I took out a piece of paper and showed it to him. I'd written down Dave's name and the approximate date when he would have filed his claim. "This is what I know. I'd be glad to compensate you for your time if you could locate any information."
"Are you offering a county official a bribe?"
"Of course not. I was offering you compensation for your time... your free time."
He shook his head. "A county official can't take money for a personal service."
I walked around his desk, moving closer and smiling at him. Karla had told me he was a widower with a son, but he never came to the saloon. "I'm not sure what that man does to get satisfaction," she said.
Now, I sat on his desk and smiled my most charming smile. "I really gave my word to this woman that I would do whatever I could to find her husband, and I seem to be at a dead end."
"I'm sorry," he said, unable to take his eyes off my breasts.
"Perhaps you have an idea. I'm not worldly the way you are, sir, and your advice would mean so much to me. Seeing as you could do this task, as a favor to a friend I know it is a lot to ask." I pretended to wrack my brain. "Well, is it possible, do you think an exchange of favors might be more appropriate?"
He swallowed. "It could be."
"We could arrange to be very discreet about the exchange."
"It would have to be... discreet."
I let my dangling leg brush his. "And I understand a man in your position, well, I imagine that people must constantly be trying to take advantage of you."
"Yes. They think they can demand anything. Anything at all, as if my time is not my own."
"If you agreed to do me this favor, I would hate to think of that worry in your mind, troubling. I mean, you don't know me, and have no guarantee that I'd provide the kind of favor that your effort would be worth."
I put the paper in his vest pocket and stroked his face. "If you have a back room where we could have some privacy, I'd be delighted to give you a little taste of what I am willing to provide you in return for this great favor."