“You’re not gonna take another shot?” One of my best friends, and my step-brother, Michael asked while handing me another shot of vodka.
I stared at it, contemplating on whether or not to take another shot. One part of my brain, I guess the more angelic part, told me to stop making a fool out of myself. The other part was saying ‘fuck this shit’ and take advantage of the fact my step-brother was getting married next week.
Just the reminder alone had me grabbing the shot glass and chug it back. Johnny, my other friend, slapped my back as another round of cheers rung through my ears. I coughed when the vodka went down the wrong pipe and those cheers morphed into laughter. My eyes burned and tears burned my vision and I turned away from them both to continue my coughing fit.
“Shit, nigga can’t hold his own,” I recognised Johnny’s voice and his cackles. Rubbing the stray tears from my eyes, I turned to him and glared.
“All I fucking know is I’m sober than you,” I said and pointed at him. “Mr Lightweight.”
Michael laughed out loud and Johnny glared at me. I, being the bastard I was, grinned at him.
We were at a strip club – Golden Ivy. Nah, strip club was an understatement. Everywhere I turned had class, sophistication and money written on the walls. Every motherfucker that walked in had a ‘trust-fund baby’ halo on top of their heads and, of course, the women flocked to them. I was no trust fund nigga but I had a lot of money to burn and so did my guys. I worked too hard to even afford this type of luxury. Fuck, I deserved this and I was gonna enjoy it.
“Dude, relax,” Michael said, his blue eyes shifting between me and Johnny. “If you can’t take the heat, maybe you should keep your mouth shut.”
Johnny grumbled under his breath and took the last shot on the tray. We all glanced around but for some reason, there were no waitress nearby.
“We’re in the VIP section, where the fuck are the ladies?” Johnny asked, his face forming into a scowl.
Collecting the tray, I announced. “I’ll go find someone.”
“Malik,” Michael said but I cut him off.
“Two seconds,” I said, drumming my fingers against the metal tray and sauntered through the dimly lit area. I took my time, knowing I wasn’t in any particular rush, and took my time to take in my surroundings.
I sensed a Victorian vibe coming from this place. Whoever the interior designer was did well ’cause I felt like I was in Victorian England instead of New York. Some women were walking around but they weren’t the waitress, more of the entertainers. Glancing around the room, seeing women give some of the men a lap dance whilst other were on a stage, embodying the art of pole dancing while combining sensuality and strength into their routine.
Leaning one shoulder against the wall, I folded my arms and watched one of the entertainers. A few were sitting around the stage, some watching the dancers while others had the pleasure of having a woman on their laps. I watched the dancer on stage, fascinated, not hiding the fact I did enjoy viewing the stage. I was pretty content standing here watching the entire routine until a feminine voice called out from behind.
“Can I help you?”
I raised my brows when I recognised a British accent. What I wasn’t expecting was for the voice to belong to a bombshell. The second I turned around, I was struck by something. I didn’t know if it was god telling me to get my shit together or my natural instincts as a red blooded African American man when noticing an attractive woman but fuck...
This girl, this woman, was a goddess.
I stared longer than necessary only to make sure the image of her in that tight little black dress was seared into my synapses. The material hugged her tits so perfectly, I could only imagine them served on a platter for me and my pleasure only. Wide hips, slim waist and plump lips I could kiss for days...
I winced when the front of my jeans grew stiff. Thank fuck for the dim lighting or she’d be getting a different view other than the stage behind me.
“What are you doing with that tray?” She said but before I could respond she strutted my way. Taking the tray from my grasp, she let out a frustrated huff.
“I apologise, you shouldn’t have to get your own drinks,” she said but her eyes didn’t meet mine. She was looking around the room, probably trying to look for the waitresses I failed to find. Realising there were none in sight, her frustration grew.
“Fucking hell,” she muttered under her breath. Only Brits could sound classy while swearing like a sailor. Only she could turn me on when she did so. “What do you want? I’ll get them for you.”
“Do you come on the menu?” I asked before I could stop myself. In an instant, her gaze snapped to mine and I heard her small intake of breath as her lips parted.
I couldn’t keep my eyes off her lips but I couldn’t stray from her eyes either. I was in a battle I couldn’t keep up, whether it was to watch her lips – and imagine the things she could do with them – or watch her eyes, knowing she was affected by me.
I wasn’t ugly. I took full advantage of my looks whether it was getting pussy or getting myself out of trouble. Most of my troublemaker days were behind me but that didn’t mean I didn’t cause a little trouble every once in a while.
Especially when it came to this beauty.
“No,” she said, her chocolate brown eyes, the same shade as her complexion, narrowed a fraction. “I can’t be bought.”
Well, shit. I smirked, liking her sassiness shooting my way. Keep it coming, baby. I ain’t going nowhere.
“That’s a shame,”
“For you,” she sighed and shifted on her heels. “What do you want?”
“Will you bring it to me?”
My smirk widened into a grin. “Whiskey this time.”
“Where are you located?”
Closing the distance between us, I leaned close until our chests were inches apart. I pointed to the door behind us and she shifted to the side to follow my gaze.
“VIP,” I whispered against her ear and she tensed. If I wasn’t trying to act cool, I would’ve rejoiced knowing I had an effect on her.
“Your drinks will be with you soon,” she said, her voicing raspy but then she cleared her throat. “Excuse me.”
She disappeared around the corner and I waited a few seconds ’til I forced myself back to the VIP section. I grinned like a fool and my friends noticed.
“Why’re you smiling like that?” Johnny asked. “And where are our drinks?”
“Got someone to get it for us,” I said, hiding my grin behind my fist as I scratched the tip of my nose.
I sat between the two, talking about the wedding and Michael’s soon to be wife, Rebecca, before waitresses entered the VIP section. Apologies came our way but I didn’t care about the women in front of me. I only cared about one.
When I didn’t find the woman I really wanted, I grew annoyed. Gritting my teeth, I leaned forward and downed three shots of whiskey.
“What crawled up your ass?” Michael said, his blonde brows pinching into a frown. I shook my head and took a forth.
I was pissed; Michael knew me well enough to recognise my anger. I was more annoyed with myself than to her. Her... I didn’t even know her name. I didn’t know if she was a dancer or a waitress. How the fuck was I supposed to identify her? I couldn’t stop thinking about her the rest of the night and was disappointed at the thought of never seeing her again.