Perion went back to the apartment directly from the club. Everyone was home, but she bypassed them and went into the bedroom. Not long after she walked in, Blaine came in as well. She didn’t talk to him, or anyone for that matter. All she wanted was to get into bed and sleep until she couldn’t sleep anymore.
“How’d you do tonight,” he asked.
“Not very good. I made some tips. I just didn’t take them.”
“Damn, Peri, didn’t take them? What are you? Crazy?”
“Blaine, do you mind? I don’t feel like talking. It’s kinda hurting my head right now. I’d like to be alone for a while, okay?”
“Okay, but if you’re sick or something, maybe you ought to see a doctor. Can you do the gig tonight?”
“No, just cancel the damn thing, okay?”
He left her alone, and she was more than grateful. Later, Perion went to the refrigerator and pulled out some stuff to make a sandwich. If Blaine happened to catch her eating, he’d be severely pissed off.
“You can’t make money stripping if you gain weight,” he’d tell her.
So, she usually ate nothing but salads, and she absolutely detested rabbit food. She knew there would be a morning when she looked in the mirror to see her nose wiggling like a bunny. Maybe then, Blaine would be happy. She made herself a juicy sandwich with tons of mayo and honey mustard.
Debi padded into the kitchen. “Hey, do you feel any better?”
Perion began eating her monster sandwich, chewing slowly, savoring the mingled flavors. Oh, exquisite! She’d have to make another quickly considering the way she had begun to wolf that one down. “I’m better now, I guess. I have an appetite at least,” she said between bites.
“What happened at the club tonight,” Debi asked, taking a seat at the table.
Perion stopped in mid-bite. Suddenly, she was no longer hungry. “I had to dance for some people I didn’t want to. Namely, Hard Axe.”
Debi’s eyes grew huge. “You danced for HARD AXE? Oh my God, you fucking saw them in person?”
She nodded. “Yeah, but I didn’t think it was so great. I couldn’t take any tips. I was that embarrassed. I didn’t even want to dance, and I surely didn’t want to take my clothes off. And then I had to do a private dance, and it was Lein Blake. I couldn’t go through with it. I ran out like a stupid little girl.”
“And you stripped for them anyway?”
She nodded, feeling more and more like a tramp. “I did. I stank on wheels.”
“It really bothered you, I see.”
She nodded again. “Boy did it. Do you ever wish we’d never come here? Do you wish we could go home,” she brought up, changing the subject.
“No, I don’t miss home at all.”
Perion sighed and said, “Well, I don’t miss it, either, but I don’t think we’re doing anything here. What’s the point of staying if we’re doing nothing?”
“I think you’d like it better if you would just quit that stupid job. Tell Blaine to fuck off. Tell him to go to hell, tell him anything. Just quit the job, you’ll never be happy until you do.”
She sighed again. “I know, but I have to keep this job. We need the money,” she told Debi.
“I know we do, but your happiness is worth more than the fucking money. Tell Blaine so. He needs to hear this, the greedy fucker.”
“We’ll work it out.”