Unmasked by Linda Penn

Tanya is a recently divorced woman used to having money, loses everything and has an urgent need to earn money in order to survive. Her previous work experience centred round pleasing her husband and organising his life in the frenetic world of the media. She realised that there was a market for the kinds of things she was good at and it was legal, just. Naughty yes. Sexually orientated, definitely. Tanya knew from personal experience that helping people to unmask was a good thing.

Tanya’s big idea would allow her to meet people like her who secretly didn’t fit into the world for some reason, using what she called Therapeutic Respite, providing personal assistance to clients, in whatever form they needed, provided it was legal. The instinct to survive, to cope with whatever life throws at us is strong, and when she was dumped by her minor celebrity husband, the arrogant, ex professional footballer Danny Armstrong, Tanya needed to dig deep into her reserves and fend for herself.

Old contacts from the world of media assist her with her ‘big idea’ – turn a spare room into a theme room and offer bespoke services. Paying clients unleash their real selves to ‘ Delith’. Delith earned the money for services rendered and Tanya managed the business. Therapeutic Respite offered a safe place where everyday masks were removed and they could be themselves.

Targeted Audience: adults

Author Bio:
Not your average author. I write in several genres but all my books concentrate as much on the characters as the story.

What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Everyone has problems and some can only be helped in a very special way. Unmasked tells the story of Therapeutic Respite and why Tanya decided she could make her bespoke sexual service work. Everyone needs to unmask sometimes.

Read more, including a sample from the book
Sample from Book:

The studio trailer used by the production team for outside broadcasts reflected the ratings and status of the football pundits. It was big, sleek and shiny. For the rubbernecking fans that intuitively seemed to know where it would turn up next, the double gull winged studio facility with individual personal prep bays and green room was the dogs’ bollocks. To Danny Armstrong, it provided mood lighting a sound system and a degree of privacy. The screening around the bays had been cleverly designed. Privacy guaranteed. But the walls allowed anyone using the main entrance to see shadowy outlines of the occupants and their activities, leaving nothing to the imagination in this case. This knowledge only served to increase the thrill Danny felt as he roughly pulled the young makeup artist onto his lap, having first pulled the protective gown to one side. No need for formalities. No playing around inside her mouth with his inquisitive tongue. No licking the side of her face. He just needed sex and he needed it now. By the look on the girls’ face and the lack of resistance to his earlier attempts to manoeuvre her hand to his crotch area and massage his balls, he know there would be no resistance. He never had to pretend. He prided himself on not hiding behind a mask of decency. He was far too experienced at recognising who would cooperate with his needs and give him the satisfaction he craved. And he knew he was onto a winner with whatever her name was.
Walking his long tapered fingers down the side of the chair, he engaged the lever that fixed the chair into a slightly reclining position, causing the girl to jolt pleasantly against his crotch. Without any prompting, she expertly straddled the lap of the man whose face she was removing the shine from minutes earlier, in readiness for his TV appearance, and unzipped his trousers. Danny’s response was to roughly pull up her little skirt, drag down her tights and force her G-string to one side, almost ripping the fabric in the process. There was no pretence now of petting games, no affection involved whatsoever. As his fingers opened her up and probed inside her, she deftly grabbed his cock and began masturbating him so hard he didn’t think that he would have time to shove himself right into her fanny before he’d explode hot love juice over both of them.
Fortunately for him, Jenna, the makeup assistant appeared to be quite the little expert in ensuring both she and her partner got the most out of quick sex sessions. With one swift sticky movement she made sure Danny’s cock hit the target pumping up and down on top of him for all of two minutes, her wetness soaking his trousers and the back of her skirt, moaning and pushing her breasts into his face. Her enthusiastic thrusting completely took him by surprise. Danny was in seventh heaven. As he bit down onto her breast, Jenna squeezed her vaginal muscles hard and twisted slightly. With a low groan, almost screwing herself onto him, she leaned back and relaxed. What a result. A quick ride, spurting obvious sexual relief, with very little effort on his part, he had given Jenna the privilege of shagging a TV personality just before he was called to the studio. Now he needed to make himself presentable for his imminent appearance on the panel. As he left the trailer, he had almost forgotten the name of his latest conquest. Afterwards, in the green room he would ignore her. She was a pleasant sticky interlude and she should be pleased that he had even bothered with her. It was just sex after all.
Tanya had been proud of the way Danny had pulled himself together following almost a whole season on the bench and the extra training and physiotherapy sessions that inevitably had to follow to gain his rightful place back in the first team. His knee injuries had healed, but his speed and goal scoring abilities never quite returned to the level that had seen him feted by the fans. Eventually, he reluctantly accepted a package from club which was not in the same league as the boys at the top by any means, but which was enough to give them some breathing space and allowed them to plan the next chapter of Danny’s career. It was always his career, not Tanya’s. Something they never voiced, but which sat between them, a huge immoveable object that Tanya felt she had little option but to support. She was after all, by this stage his wife. Not a WAG, but a ‘someone’, associated with a personality from the beautiful game.
She recalled the kind of work she had done over the past and how she was well rewarded for it too. Listening patiently for hours on end as Danny moaned and whined about his injuries and how he was being ‘turned’ over by the manager, choosing his clothes for him, washing his underwear and socks, organising his work schedule, massaging both his ego and his tense muscles when necessary; and so much more besides. Not paid a wage exactly, but rewarded materially all the same. There would certainly be skills involved in everything she did, but as for a career or qualifications to back them up – there were none. She only had the satisfaction of being good at her job and keeping Danny in paid work. And her working life; pre Danny Armstrong? Well, three years at university, then having to take completely unrelated but paid work in a photographers back office and doing the odd glamour shot on the side to earn extra money didn’t count. Neither did security tagging the spirit bottles in the local supermarket warehouse count for much either.
All that was over fifteen years ago. Danny may have paid for the small anonymous house, but that was it. All she left the marital home with were her personal possessions. No allowance, no help with the bills, not even any furniture. He had given her a rod over her head and fulfilled his obligations, a smart lawyer had seen to that. She was on her own.
In the early days she would turn the TV on to keep her company during the day, but too often Danny’s smug face would seem to leer out at her and she swore blind that she knew when he’d been shagging some little production girl before the camera was turned on him. The satisfaction almost seemed to make him glow and his smile was unnecessarily broad. Showing his perfect veneers off to his public. It made her feel sick knowing his mouth had probably been all over another woman minutes earlier. He could probably still taste her. Eventually, the radio became her friend filling up the emptiness.
As things settled down and she resolved not to clear out her nice clothes, shoes and bags. Not just now anyway. They were still far better than most women had, and besides, she had no idea if and when she would be able to afford to replace them. That little bit of positivity made her feel better about herself. Cause and effect, she remembered hearing something about that on the radio perhaps. Maybe the key to lifting her sprits was to remember who she was and realise that she could be that person again. And use that to her advantage, for her benefit this time, not the miserable sod of a husband who had been so taken with Shanice, a backroom girl from one of the many football pundit panels that she’d worked so hard to win a regular slot on, that he’d abandoned their marriage.
Out of the blue, something hit home with Tanya. Not the bit about re thinking her strategy when looking for work. No. It was that fact that Tanya knew she had useful and transferable skills. People skills you might call them. She considered utilising those skills for her own benefit, perhaps even setting up a small business, representing other clients maybe. Tanya still had her contacts safely filed away. Although in truth, Tanya knew very few of them had bothered to text or email her in the wake of Danny’s final indiscretion. They had probably latched onto the airhead instead. Shanice would undoubtedly now become Danny’s main contact, the person in the know, Danny’s confidant and lover.
Tanya wasn’t going to be beaten down this time. In the past she had been the one to secure work for Danny at the right price and she could do it again. She knew the personal foibles of the media celebrities she’d met while working for Danny. People talked to Tanya. Opened up about their dirty little secrets to her, stepped out from behind their masked feelings. And that alone was definitely worth something. Something she could use to her own advantage in the future. She had a feeling that finding a backer for her big idea wouldn’t be easy. The small business adviser of her local bank wouldn’t be interested helping her work through setting up the kind of ‘personal requirement’ service that she was considering offering. Her embryonic idea required further thought, some meat on the bones as it were, as right now, she’d nothing to lose.
Back at home that afternoon in her plain kitchen, Tanya stared at the empty sheet of paper in front of her and doodled a heart, then an arrow, then another heart in the corner. She gave some consideration to shading in the centres of the hearts but thought better of it and put the pencil down sharply on the table. This was silly. She was a grown woman. OK, so she was a woman who had been let down by her pig of a husband in a very public way and she hadn’t seen it coming. But now, well now she needed to take control of her life again, make her own way in the world, and the first thing she needed to do was to sketch out in black and white exactly what it was what she was good at. And what she could offer to others, for a price. It was clear that Danny Armstrong’s moral compass never matched her own personal settings, but what she was considering doing was perfectly legal. Morally questionable yes. On the other hand, most definitely legal.
Tanya admitted the fact that what she considered to be a form of people management slightly shocked her. Was she serious about taking the next step? The bottle of white wine beckoned enticingly from the worktop. These days she didn’t even bother to put it in the fridge to chill before opening, and it didn’t seem to matter. It tasted very much the same to her anyway. Not so very long ago she would never have admitted it to the sort of people she and Danny mixed with. She smiled to herself as she remembered saying something like, ‘such sharp fruity notes, and a hint of vanilla, and is that oak I can detect?’ Absolute rubbish. Now she bought what she could afford and generally, most of it tasted just fine. At least, she didn’t have to keep pretending to herself that she knew what she was talking about and as for champagne; she’d tasted sparkling wine that was just as nice in her opinion. Tanya began to feel a little better, there was life after a dirty divorce and as if to prove it, she picked up the pencil and began to list what she saw as her plus points.
It had been years since she had to sit down and list her skills, the last time would have been at school. The result had been a Saturday job working in the drinks industry, attaching bulky security tags to expensive bottles of booze. An eight-hour shift in an anonymous warehouse. And she liked collecting the little brown packet with the crinkly blue printout tucked inside at the end of her shift.
Tanya took a deep breath and quickly scribbled down what she considered to be necessary tools of the trade she’d needed in order to make Danny Armstrong into a marketable brand for sports fans and television viewers alike. She also took particular care to ensure she included being able to intuitively work out just what is was that people – and in this case, she meant men – actually wanted, and how to provide it, at a cost of course. The whole exercise felt uncomfortable like she was blowing her own trumpet. And there was nothing obvious yet on the list that jumped out as a potential money maker for a start up business. A second glass of wine gave her the encouragement that she needed to continue. If she was serious about wanting to be independent again and somehow move towards getting her life back on track them she had to take this initial part seriously. The whole thing very much felt as though she was baring her soul, exposing her inner most thoughts on a sheet of paper, but a healthy dose of realism soon kicked in and her big idea began to take shape.
Glancing down at her efforts, a pattern was beginning to emerge. Organisational skills. Negotiating fees for Danny’s appearances on TV panel. Lucrative product endorsements. The ability to use information technology – OK, well a phone and computer, there had been no formal training mind you, but that had never stopped her from booking flights, emailing contacts and of course shopping on the internet. And last but not least, her constant use of persuasion and general schmoozing of the ‘right’ people. The people who managed the purse strings. The photographers. The P.R. people. Frequenting the places to be seen in all over town. And never forget the endless hours of listening to people who just wanted to talk about themselves and their problems. As though they were the only people of interest on the planet.
Tanya understood and worked the people in the know. People who were only ever just a list of useful contacts to her. People, who could pull strings, people who knew people. Never friends. Their tightly closeted little word had been the key to her success back then. So surely, all of that hard work hadn’t been for nothing. True, she would have to climb back onto the hamster wheel again and do the rounds and offer them something if she were ever to utilise them again, work her magic, wearing her fully made up face and exuding sympathy. But she’d managed it before, from scratch. This time, she had the advantage of prior knowledge, of knowing some of their little secrets, where they liked to hang out, who was getting off with who, their particular, and very personal needs, whether it involved food, drink drugs or sex. It was fair to say that maybe the kind of intimate information she hadn’t written down on the list could prove to be every bit as important and useful to her for any future people business plan she might create. It was time for something to eat, or supper as Danny told her to call it.
Stirring the dried concoction with a fork in an attempt to force some life into it, she calmly made up her mind to take the first step of her plan tomorrow and test the water. A little temperature check if you like, just to see what kind of reception she would get from an initial enquiring phone call. She felt instantly better, and did her own temperature check on the pot of steaming gloop in front of her. The woman she envisaged speaking to was notoriously acid tongued and took no prisoners. And then of course, there were the threatening red bills which were forever destined to be a regular part of her monotonous, strapped for cash, post-Danny life. She refused to accept that her salad days were well and truly over. She was going to make a go of things, her own way.

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