If he hates me for what happened 8 years ago, just imagine how he feels now…
Do I feel bad for accidentally hooking up with the one who broke my heart?
Should I feel bad for extorting him for a job that I need?
But like I said, I need the job.
Life’s kind to some people.
Exhibit A: Devon Leo
Hot, brooding loner in high school → hot, brooding billionaire tech tycoon who’s an international mans!ut.
Exhibit Me: Skylar Kay
Your everyday average nobody → college dropout, moonlighting stripper nobody who’s drowning in debt.
The least he can do for breaking my heart is give me a job.
Yeah, the one I blackmailed him for.
I just didn’t think the job was for a position under him.
I’ll have to be careful not to get under him. Again.
Because this time, his reputation isn’t just on the line.
My heart is.
A slow, synth beat starts to thump, muted, from the speakers all around the dim room. I was hoping for something a little more upbeat since I’m running on three hours of sleep, and the velvety couches lining the walls of the VIP Room are starting to look like plush black clouds at this point of the night. If I strain my ears, I can hear the enthused and muffled whomp-whomp-whomp in the main room where everyone’s hunting — for money or attention.
The VIP Room is just quiet enough for the patrons sparsely spread throughout the area to converse with the dancers whose time they’re procuring hourly. Of course, some of them aren’t really looking for conversation.
The pudgy, leering man sitting in front of me looks up hungrily as I lean forward to fill his vision with my heavy breasts. Even though they’re taped down securely, I’m still paranoid that the thin, elastic straps of my black, lacy bikini are going to snap, leaving me with no more than black, lacy pasties with sad, dangly tentacles.
I say ‘bikini,’ but it’s the kind you’d never wear in public unless you want to scandalize parents at the public pool and become a budding teenage boy’s first wet dream. The kind that would never survive a cannonball, and the one that makes your nightmare of seeing your bikini pieces floating up right next to you come true. More like a skinny dip-kini.
Bill holds out a few Andrew Jacksons, and I push my hip toward him so he can slip it into the side string of my thong. He takes his time, his dry fingers grazing roughly against my skin, taking advantage of the one opportunity during our time together that I let him touch me. After all, he’s more generous with his tips when I let him brush a feel or two during our hour.
Lowering my voice to a sultry hum, I purr, “Stay for a little longer, Bill.”
He chuckles in that not smooth way — the sound gutturally choked by his bubbling lust.
“Can’t tonight, baby.” He lowers his voice, trying to sound seductive. “Unless you want to come home with me.”
He arches his brow with a cheesy smile as his fingers touch his wallet.
It makes me feel dirty. Very, very dirty. And not in the sexy way.
For eight hours a night, a few nights a week, my sensitive bitties of skin are slapped on with cash like I’m a papier-mache project. I’m basically rolling around in money, and if you mix in a little paste, you can make a cash cast out of me. But let me tell you, the whole ‘rolling in dough’ thing is an idea that’s only appealing to be entertained theoretically.
I mean, money’s pretty gross if you think about it. You never know where it’s been. Stuffed in wallets, forgotten in pockets, hidden in shoes or bras, dropped in gasoline-laden puddles on the street, handled by greasy, pizza-oiled hands, rolled to snort coke, slid into a stripper’s asscrack.
The first time I went home with a huge stack of tips, I did it. I spread out a bed of green and laid down on it. It’s really not that exciting. But go ahead and try. And if you’re more like me than you are Ebenezer Scrooge, you’ll find out that carpeting your floor with money doesn’t make it any softer.
It’s still cold, hard cash. In a cold, hard world.
I fight the urge to scrunch my nose, instead lowering them to watch my manicured fingers walk up his white dress shirt, his suit jacket lying forgotten next to him to minimize the layers between us. “You know I can’t go home with customers.”
Can’t, won’t, don’t want to. What’s the difference? In the end, it’s not going to happen.
Some of my clients are sweethearts. Just lonely ones. But some men, like Bill, wave around their money using the carrot-and-stick approach. The cash being the carrot, and the stick being… well, their stick. When I say I don’t provide those services, they don’t back down.
They raise their offer.
Bill’s eyes travel over me as he continues fingering his bulge. The wallet, of course. It’s not the only thing bulging in his pants, but at least he knows which of the two I’m interested in, period.
The lines in his shoulders relax as he gives up for the night and leans back against the couch. His doughy cheeks pull back into a smile.
“Shame,” he drawls pointedly, hinting at how much I’m missing out.
Considering that chipmunk sized tent he’s pitching, I’m pretty confident I’m not missing out on much.
But I hood my eyes seductively and pout a little bit. “You can always stick around for a little longer. You know how much I love spending time with you.”
Ten months ago, I would’ve never imagined I could make a man empty his wallet just by changing where and how I look at him.
I still remember my first day at Starlette when Sage, the strip club’s house mom, pulled me back from making my awkward rounds waddling around the floor. It was my first wearing six-inch fuck-me heels when I’ve only ever worn two-inch-high Mary Janes for church.
She pursed her lips and said, “Honey, if these men wanted to look at a woman who looks as miserable as you do out there, they’d go home to their wives.”
She made a science out of flirtation and laughed when I whipped out my trusty pen and paper. Gave me a big “mhm, you do that” when I said I’d go research all about ‘the art of seduction.’
Even now, Sage likes to joke that her greatest accomplishment to date is turning “Sunday School Skye” turn into “Devilishly Dazzling Destiny.”
Flashing a toothy, hopeful smile, Bill changes tactic. “Then how about dinner? Tomorrow night?”
I’m obviously not going to get him to stay another hour tonight. Lowering my voice huskily, I brush back his hair with the lightest of touches. “Dating is against the rules. But you’ll be the first to know if that ever changes.”
My own rules. Nothing against the other dancers who do date their customers. Believe me, I heard some of the cute love stories shared in the back, and even I’ve dreamed about a sexy, respectful millionaire who can’t resist me after a crotch grind, a motorboat, or an hour of very fulfilling conversation in the half-nude who wants to get to know the real me. And then I remember my clientele includes… well… Bill and his ilk.
No offense. Bill behaves (most of the time), and some of my regulars are nice. But even if I were interested in any of them (which, spoiler alert, I’m not), my stomach doesn’t get all fluttery with butterflies when they’re talking about their wives and kids. A club isn’t exactly ideal breeding grounds for a relationship… or breeding.
That doesn’t mean I don’t pretend I want them. I do. I pretend hard.
Winking at Bill, I peel myself off the couch and straighten as I turn around, looking at him cutely over my shoulder. “Besides, I wouldn’t be able to handle a heartbreaker like you.”
He chuckles low in the back of his throat. “Baby, I’d never break your heart.”
I feel a little bitter on behalf of his wife. She’s probably sitting home right now on a Wednesday night, helping their six-year-old son with his alphabets or maths or coloring homework, while he’s here, dishing out his paycheck for a few boob shimmies and butt rolls.
But I shouldn’t complain. After all, Bill is a platinum donor to the Skylar Kay Survival Foundation.
“You break my heart every time you leave.” I wink before walking away, swaying my hips and letting my ass shake.
A couple of wandering eyes flit over to me as I sashay through the room. This is about as private as it gets for those who don’t have enough dough to cough up for some actual one-on-one time in one of the Champagne Rooms.
Nothing sketchy happens back there, of course. At least, it’s not supposed to. But it’s not unusual for a dancer to take off her bikini top for the several extra hundreds she’s getting for the same hour-long session.
I’ve never, and I won’t ever. Not because I think I’m better than any of the other women (God knows I’m in just as much of a shithole, if not in a worse one, as some of them). But I’m just not that comfortable with exposing my nips to strangers who don’t even know my real name. Only my ex-boyfriend has ever seen my bare nipples, and that’s not going to change for any amount of money.
I envy the girls who dance here because they love flaunting their gorgeous bodies and basking in the spotlight. But I’m not one of them.
I love dancing — heck, I wanted to be a professional dancer — but I’d rather dance with clothes on and not on a stage with a pole on it. I’m a statistical cliche working here out of desperation.
“You can always come home with me,” Bill says optimistically, trying one last time as we head toward the exit. “You know I’ll take real good care of you.”
It does make me wonder whether men’s bedroom skills improve if they pay for sex. Do they try to make the most of their money? Or is it an easy done deal since the sex is an expectation?
I’d assume the latter.
Is it terrible that I assume they’re mediocre at sex? Maybe even bad at it? Horrible? The lose-faith-in-mankind’s-manhood kind of sex?
Either way, I wouldn’t know. I’ve only been around one and a half naked guys. The second one was a Tinder date that finished with a handjob that lasted twenty seconds. We took a longer time taking our pants off. Not our clothes. Just our pants. Like I said, he didn’t even see my nipples.
Tinder Dude definitely made me lose faith in Tinder, and I haven’t even tried hooking up with anyone since. Why bother if I’m just a heated, fleshy replacement for some Kleenex?
At the door, the bouncer stands menacingly with his thick, meaty arms crossed, glaring at the pasty, Pillsbury Doughboy-esque businessman.
Bill knows the drill. He pulls his wallet out so fast, I would’ve missed it if I blinked.
I brush my fingers along his elbow as I press my boobs against his arm, drawing his attention to my cleavage.
“Come see me again, Bill,” I coo. “You know I’m here from Wednesday to Saturday, eight to four.”
Maybe I should become a camgirl instead. I got the script down pat.
Thanks for watching my strip show! Don’t forget to click on that Subscribe button to watch me fiddle my channel!
Bill doesn’t bother hiding his disappointment when I pull away, but the tease is what keeps him coming back every week.
“Destiny,” he murmurs, his eyes still glued to my tits. He raises them to wink at me. “You’ll warm up to me one day.”
Internally, I cringe. I really, really doubt it.
But winking with a perfectly practiced, sugary sweet smile, I croon, “See you next week, Bill.”
About Vic Tyler:
Vic Tyler is a new author of contemporary romance novels. She has a tinkering sense of wanderlust and loves to travel to new places, explore new cultures, and most importantly, eat delicious new food (yummm). Her dreams include finally having nice handwriting, owning a collection of onesies, and making a croquembouche.
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