“When love walks in the room, everybody stand up.”
– The Pretenders
“Hello?” spoke a feminine voice over the line, rich, throaty and tentative.
“Now I know for sure that you are out of your mind.” Was Gwen’s reply as she stared at the three looming roses across the highway, “This, latest, bouquet; a bit extravagant, don’t you think?”
The voice sighed, laughed.
“Not at all.” She said, “It was cheaper than going digital, actually. But, please, don’t judge me solely by my billboard. I can assure you that I am sane; sane enough for you anyway. But why not meet me and find out for yourself?”
“What about Domenique?”
“You can’t make a determination for yourself, and then; inform her choice? Come on now Gwen. Meet me.”
Gwen paused, and then turned to look at Tina. They sat together in Gwen’s car, parked in Tina’s driveway. Gwen realized that when Tina still wouldn’t get out of the car that she wasn’t going to make a move until her curiosity, or something else, was satisfied. Tina’s cool. I could tell her, Gwen thought. I can tell her everything; about when Nique hit me, about Nique’s past or about this mystery rose’s other call. Of course Tina knew, and Jules knew, that there was a mystery rose. It was why and how they were pursued in the first place. She’s afraid, she thought. She doesn’t want to be replaced. Or is it that we; don’t want to be replaced?
“Bull shit!” answered the voice in her phone; smooth yet husky, “Meet me in an hour and a half from now: 639 Main Street, East of the river. Find big Manny. Tell him your name and he’ll bring you to the hot seat. See you then.”
A faint click, a short buzz of static, and the voice was gone. Gwen stared at her phone for a moment, and then shot a glance at Tina before finally plotting the address into her GPS.
“She wants to meet.” Said Tina.
“Yep.” Gwen answered.
Gwen’s brow furrowed as the address data filled her cell’s screen. Taking a deep breath and turning to look once more at the three great white roses that surveyed the highway, she handed her phone to Tina. Tina took it, read the screen, and then let a tiny shriek die inside her throat.
“We’re meeting her at a freaking strip joint?” said Tina through a mischievous smile.
Gwen, her face stern, jaw set, stared at Tina. I shouldn’t have called. Nique will… I need; I can’t, I don’t… What the fuck!
“We?” answered Gwen finally, snatching back her phone; her words uttered through clenched teeth, her eyes glaring, “I’m sorry Love, but that’s not happening. I’ll explain. I’ll explain later.”
Tina, stunned, sat motionless. Gwen reached past her and opened the passenger door. Wide eyed with anger and hurt, Tina stared. Feeling shamed, stupid, Gwen looked away. Strangely, she thought about how burning back forests was a healthy practice. I don’t need this now Tina. Gwen reached tentative fingers. She touched Tina’s right hand, felt them pull away, looked up and watched as the young blonde quickly slid out of the car, and then slam the door.
The place was less a strip bar and more a gentlemen’s club. It’s interior, a space of fourteen hundred or so square feet, was decorated in glossy black and clean gleaming chrome. This included the chairs, tables, the bar and its stools, though these were flat black rather than glossed. The stage, a raised semi-circular platform at the back center of the room, was edged with a row of small but very bright lights that switched from white to red, yellow, orange, green, purple, pink or blue. Its surface was a sheet of some kind of reinforced Plexiglas, through which shown a floor of lights that ranged from solid to swirls of color . At its center, stood a thick chrome pole. Backstage, against the wall was a single mirror, as long as the stage and nine feet high, and framed with more lights. The dancers entry points were far stage right and left; three black steps that led round to behind the stage’s great mirror, and partially obscured by two platinum hued curtains.
It took Gwen a huge amount of effort to seem casual as she made her way through the crowd as a tall red head, slightly more buxom than Jules, was about to fling herself around the pole. The floor vibrated with some glam band’s exultations of her cherry pie as the dancer’s ample creamy, green light tinged tits hung in the air. Gwen, now a jumble of nerves, was following the enormous boy-faced, six foot nine, bouncer to the “hot seat.” She’d peeled out of Tina’s driveway, and then sped back home to find that Domenique had left. Gwen texted once and left two voice mails, never mentioning the billboard, the call she’d made or her intention to meet a complete stranger at a strip club. Gwen changed outfits, paced, snacked on cold Chinese, watched twenty minutes of House Of Cards, unmade the bed –purely out of spite- her primary lover had made before she’d left, brushed, flossed and brushed again; while Domenique never once returned her calls. Then, unwilling to stop by Domenique’s apartment, With a half hour escort bayan ataköy driving time to spare, Gwen left to make her rendezvous.
Big Manny led her to a tall cocktail table, around which were set two chairs. Gwen took the seat that faced the stage, and in setting her purse beneath it, noticed that the table was bolted to the floor. Then, feeling it’s two and a half foot diameter surface, Gwen realized that it was coated with a rigid suede like material. She sat back, and gazed from her front and center view of the stage, the foot of which was no further than twelve or so feet away.
The red head had somersaulted to near the stage’s edge, and then crawled to the foot lights. There, waiting with bills in their hands as she made her taunting approach, were gathered a dozen or so men. Gwen sensed a presence cross into the space beside her. Unnerved, on edge, she turned quickly, and met the professionally feigned warmth of a small breasted, brown haired waitress. Gwen thought the safest bet was to limit herself to club soda, but thought again and ordered a Tequila Sunrise. This is fucking crazy, she mouthed to herself as the waitress left her table. I’m out of my mind.
Gwen returned her attention to the red maned dancer and watched as she spider sidled along the semi circle edge of the stage, each patron tucking bill after bill into her green velvet thong. Once arriving at the other end, she stood up, turned her back to the audience, and then deftly removed and cradled her tips inside her thong as she drew it down to her ankles. The crowd hooted and cheered. Gwen scanned the assembled collective; tables of beer addled, smiling, staring men and boys, the occasional table of straight couples or the even more refreshing sight of a gaggle of boisterous butches and their fem friends. The red head worked her way back along the gaping faces of her patrons; her moves suggesting some union between ballet and break dance, giving each customer alternating views of her land strip trimmed pussy and little pink asshole.
Gwen scanned the crowd, searching faces for familiar strangers or likely suspects. For all I know, she thought, Nique is somewhere out there, and she’ll watch this mystery woman approach me, and… . Lost in thought, Gwen barely noticed the olive skin and red painted nails reach in before her and set a drink down. Absently, Gwen tugged a bill from her pocket, a ten, and handed it over. Her gaze fell on one particular guy. In an instant, startled, her gut churning, she realized it wasn’t Billy. But, the sight of the guy was enough to let the filth memories of him seep up through the cracks. There she was, seventeen, Billy: twenty-one; their momentary everlasting love painted in purple bruises across her back and thighs. Gwen watched Billy’s face morph into Domenique’s. She shut her eyes, winced and took a deep slug of her drink. The red head, now dressed in lemon yellow sequined bikini beach scanty, stepped from behind the curtain stage right and entered the crowd. A moment later, Gwen watched as she met her first lap dance partner of the night.
Gwen took her second sip. She thought of the billboard; wondering how long it had been there. Her stomach roiled slightly from the tequila, from the certainty that Domenique had seen it. Seeing it is one thing. Making the call; is another. She imagined Domenique and her exact twin locked in a hot session of sixty-nine. Would it surprise you if they found each other first? Jealousy burned in the pit of Gwen’s stomach. She took her Tequila Sunrise, stirred, and then downed the rest.
. She scanned the stage. It was empty. The red head was brushing the chest of a man in his late forties with her sweet round ass. Another dancer had made her way into the crowd, a curvy ruler of a brunette cow girl, fringed vest, leather thong and chapped boots. Gwen got the attention of the bar maid and ordered another sunrise. Waiting, watching, she realized that the music, now a top 40 beat , was turned down low. She noticed the DJ, his table opposite the bar, black suit, black shirt, platinum tie, close cropped bright orange hair. The crowd had quieted. They were murmuring, like a theatre of movie goers that had just seen the trailers and are waiting for the feature. If two’s company, she thought, and three’s a crowd, and four’s a… Four’s what? Four was fun. So why not push our banging gang to five. Gwen felt the tequila suddenly working just as the bar maid returned with a fresh drink. Hell, why not six, she thought next. No; seven! A good number, seven; stronger than three, but nine was even stronger than seven. Although, nine was venturing into having to bridge greater distances between personalities. Well, we’d establish an interview process in addition to our requirement of a clean bill of health. Then there was twelve, a very popular number: the tribes of Atlantis, of Israel, the Apostles, the Zodiac, clock, months. Whoa, we could beat the world record for most pussies eaten in a single sitting or most women to be in menstrual sync. And then thirteen; no, let’s not bayan escort istanbul go there. Goddess, I wish I wasn’t alone in this.
Then it happened. The music changed, a familiar jungle beat, and the crowd was up. She stared around, perplexed, stunned by the enthusiasm, the cheers, the screams. Slowly, Gwen got to her feet. Dry ice billowed languorously from the back of the stage. Gwen recognized the song then, Van Halen’s Everybody Wants Some, though its opening drum beat was dubbed more than a few measures longer than originally recorded. A vague shadowed figure seemed to be slinking low to the floor from stage right. The crowd went wild, and Gwen saw that the butch and fem persuasion of customer had gathered the stage’s faintly foot lit edge.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” shouted the DJ above the din, “Spellbound’s proudly gives you; Love.”
Gwen listened as the song’s guitar roared and whined and the crowd shouted together in one ear piercing scream of exaltation. Her eyes riveted to the stage, to the gleaming jack knife form that cut through the dry ice, now illumined red from the stage floor lighting. And there she was, Love; standing no more than five foot four, long subtlely muscular legs, taught body, perfect C breasts, delicately sinuous arms and a magnificent face: universal, ageless, as one might be privileged to see all over the world, in museums or among the ancient ruins of Rome, Greece, Egypt or even Mesopotamia.
Gwen’s mouth dropped as she watched Love beguile the crowd, her moves practiced, artful, confidence in every step, from mere pacing to some of the most astonishing acrobatics Gwen had ever witnessed outside of summer Olympics broadcasts. The dancer was dressed in only as much as a set of polished steel colored bikini bottom, chrome cupped chain mail bra and some strategically placed purple feathers would allow. She reminded Gwen of the heroines she used to follow in those rated underground comics: space aged skimpy, all wirery and muscled and curvaceous in all the right places, kicking ass without a single hair straying out of place. Her dancing was incredible, gymnastic, a feat of frenzied control; spirals, twists, summersaults and pirouettes executed in bare feet. The crowd cheered, screaming and boisterous like the audience of some heavy metal band: Love, Love, we want Love! Everybody wants some. How about you?
“She’s… black.” Gwen spoke aloud, the din snuffing every word, “Did you see that coming? Nope. Not me. I, uh, black, huh? Maybe she’s not the one?”
Gwen’s eyes wandered through the crowd once more. She thought of the black rose Domenique had sculpted around her pussy’s lips, and then re-fixed her gaze onto Love. Our roses are white. Yours is black. If I bring you to Nique, she’ll have a heart attack. Gwen thought of the clichés, the stereotypes. She knew she would not otherwise discriminate. Nique though… Could she, herself, desire Love? Gwen stared.
“It can’t be anyone else but her.” Said Gwen aloud.
She slowly lowered herself back down to her seat, reached for her second drink and gulped more than half of it. Most of the crowd eventually sat back down as well. Gwen continued to watch Love’s performance between a few people that remained standing. Multiple layers of bills and what appeared to be 4 by 6 inch red envelopes were spread along the foot of the stage. Love’s top was gone. Her breasts, firm and just as richly hued as the rest of her exposed skin, barely jiggled with the force of her dancing. In spite of her rigorous routine, the woman had yet to break a sweat. Her fans screamed as Love swept long arms and legs, sending the money and cards in a tornado that whirled to a pair of shadowed figures that gathered the gifts up in black velvet covered baskets. Gwen, mesmerized, thought of the ancient temples of sacred prostitution. This is a mistake, she thought. I need to get up and leave so that at least one of us is safe.
But, Gwen could not leave. The tequila was warming her, relaxing her, keeping her thoughts within the moment. The performance, the performer, had her immobilized. Love stared over the heads of her fans as she turned her firm ass toward them, and then slowly tugged her bikini bottom to her ankles, revealing a silver glittered thong. Suddenly, she went into a hand stand, worked the bottom from her ankles, let it dangle between the tapered toes of her right foot, and then flung it into the audience. Women screamed. Men shouted. Heads turned. Dozens of pairs of eyes followed the shining brief’s trajectory. They watched it land, two tables from the stage, around the wrist of a buzz cut frat boy who was about to drink from the beer bottle that was gripped in the hand of that wrist. A cascade of laughter followed as he drew in a deep breath of the crotch of Love’s thong.
Gwen found herself laughing as well; fascinated, immersed: which is exactly why she didn’t notice Manny’s having moved in beside her nor was she aware that the waitress had stepped in to take her drink away, though it still had a few sips left in bayan escort şişli it. Gwen, solidly entranced, registered none of it: Manny’s proximity, her missing drink or the fact that Love, as her song was reaching its climax, started at a run, jumped off the edge of the stage, tucked herself up into a flying fetal cannon ball of gleaming brown splendor, spun forward thrice in a high arc to land suddenly, square atop Gwen’s table on all fours, her long and thick relaxed hair bouncing to a stop, her smile vacillating between relief and satisfaction.
Gwen, her reaction dulled by her being hypnotized and fairly soused, was equally poised to jump from her seat and yet rendered powerless by the potential of her nearly full bladder’s burst. She felt wholly embarrassed in the brilliance of Love’s spot light. The crowd, of course was still watching and cheering madly. Cooling in her hot seat, the urgency in her bladder leveling off, Gwen peered from spectator to spectator. Gwen could avoid Love’s hungry gaze no longer. She stared pointedly, interest, expectation and reservation infused, at the exotic dancer. Love leaned in to speak into Gwen’s left ear, and then an odd thing happened. A sudden burst of static charge, forced from some strange invisible friction between them and across the crossed tendrils of their hair, shocked the two women leaving them both quite surprised, flustered and embarrassed. Gwen shouted an apology above the din, smiled, and then reached a hand to make contact with one of the metal legs of her chair, grounding herself so as to prevent another shock. Love observed Gwen with her clear, almond shaped eyes, understood, and then leaned in again.
“Hi Gwen.” she shouted; easing in, “It’s nice to finally meet you.”
Still stunned, red faced, Gwen nodded and smiled nervously. Before Love leaned back, she made sure to graze her nose against Gwen’s cheek. Gwen, unable to help herself, also drew in a breath of Love. She recognized Prada’s Candy on her as well as an unfamiliar yet pleasant feminine musk, a smell of hot sand, salt and lemon grass. Love suddenly leaned back, sat on the edge of the table, and then went into a split; the backs of her knees riding the edge of the table, lower legs dangling. The exotic dancer leaned back on one arm and gestured to Gwen with the other to unfasten the buttons at the top left and right edges of her thong. Gwen looked at her squarely, holding her gaze. The audience was still in an uproar. Gwen scanned the eager, rapt faces around her, a nervous smile creeping around her lips. You’re part of the show now, she thought. Walk away, and you’ll have a mob to answer to; never mind Nique. Meanwhile, the DJ was merging a soft piano and acoustic guitar piece out of the Van Halen song’s fading end. You’re so beautiful, sang the new song’s singer: sweetly melodious, lost in his subject’s heavenly bounty. Gwen returned her attention to the waiting Love. Then she reached finally, with both hands, watching her own fingers as they unfastened the snaps of Love’s thong and let it drop open to the table. Gwen’s eyes, the audience’s eyes, lingered on Love’s holy venus mount. Gwen saw that a pair of women’s eyes, were deftly shaved into Love’s pubis, making her mound a seemingly all knowing vertically mouthed face. Transfixed and tequila addled, Gwen stared into those eyes and saw Domenique staring back at first, but realized that they were in deed Love’s eyes; black masked and rose lipped, Love’s smooth milk chocolate frosted pussy, a creamy pink filling gleaming from inside.
Abruptly, Love pushed the thong onto Gwen’s lap, gripped the edge of the table, and got into a hand stand. Her back facing Gwen, Love parted her legs into a steady split. The crowd was perfectly silent as Love then lowered her ass toward Gwen’s own befuddled, slack, face. Love slowly rolled her shoulders so that her neck rode the table, her open ass clef gradually nearing Gwen’s face. In the next instant, the backs of Love’s knees were around Gwen’s shoulders, the all knowing gaze of Love’s pussy hair staring at Gwen eye to eye. As loud as the crowd became in response to the latest spectacle, Gwen suddenly couldn’t hear a thing. She was possessed by her own eagerness to breathe Love in. Aren’t these guys supposed to be healthy and clean to work in this business? Oh my Goddess, that pussy’s mighty close. Smells good; like a vacation inside a vacation. I’m supposed to keep my distance here, she being an exotic dancer and this being a den of depravity. I hear men keep coming back to the right dancer.
The audience clamored for Love. Suddenly, she pulled back, rolled into a ball, spun one hundred and eighty degrees and got back on her hands. Then down again, flipping once, twice, the third time spiraling, switching hands over and under and over and under, then her back on the table, still spinning, roulette wheel round and round until once again Love’s implacable, wise eyed pussy stare stopped to face Gwen. Love then sat up, meeting Gwen’s stupefied gaze, smiled and reached a hand. Gwen took it. Love gently gripped Gwen’s fingers, examined her slender fingers, neatly manicured nails, and then kissed her open palm. Gwen tingled with the softness of her lips, wanting to feel them more in spite of other feelings; the staring crowd, strangers in the audience, in her bed, in her head or laid out before her.