~ 9 ~
“Um Ash, I can’t.” I say and my palms begin to feel sweaty.
“Why not? This guy requested you. We don’t turn them down unless you’re not here or your name is on the no private list. I checked and yours isn’t.”
“Ash, please I just can't.” I plead with my boss.
“He didn’t hurt you, did he?!” she asks, looking alarmed.
“No. Of course not. It’s just, I know him.”
“Right, well I’m sorry babe, there’s no one else I can get to go in.” she tells me, and I begin to freak out. I can’t go in there. He will know who I am. There’s no mask hiding my face tonight. Wait, that gives me an idea.
“Ok, I’ll do it. But I’m wearing a costume.”
“Fine. Just a mask. That corset is smoking on you! He’s in room 4 again. He paid a fairly large amount Bee, so that means don’t keep track of the clock.”
“Yep, gotcha.” I say as she walks out of the bathroom. I am shitting myself. I am shaking and my palms are still sweaty. I hid myself the first time, but I’m not so sure I can do it again. Before I go up to the private rooms, I pick up a black mask that goes around my eyes and covers most of my nose. I glance in the mirror once I have it on and pray this will be enough, along with the dimly lit room. Hang on, my hair! I hastily pull it into a pony tail and take a deep breath before walking out.
As I approach the door to room number 4 I will myself to keep it together. Behind this door is my dad’s best friend. I cannot let myself get carried away like last time. I knock twice and then enter a few seconds later. Miles is standing in the same spot he was the first time. His back to me. His hands in his pocket and his gaze sweeping the people down below. My heart skips a beat as I see his muscles in his back twitch through his blue linen shirt. I don’t speak and I don’t move closer to him. I stay by the chair in the middle of the room and admire his athletic form. I mentally tell myself to stop checking him out, but my eyes are not obeying. He is wearing black slacks this time instead of jeans, his legs are so long and for a millisecond I wonder what they would look like if he wasn’t wearing any pants. Come on Bethany, remember who it is you are looking at!
Miles breaks the silence when he clears his throat and without turning around, he says “Do you ever get nervous?”
“Excuse me?” I seek clarification on what it is I might get nervous about.
“Doing what you do. In front of so many people.” He adds.
“Oh, yeah I do actually. But it doesn’t take long to get over it. It’s quite liberating having people think I am sexy.”
“Are you now?”
“Am I what now?”
“Truthfully, a little.” Mostly because I don’t want you to find out who I am.
“Me too.” he says as he finally turns around to face me. “You’re wearing a mask.” he says this as a statement.
“Ah yeah, it adds to the excitement, don’t you think?”
“Don’t get me wrong, I like it a lot. I was just hoping that I could see your face.”
“In due time, Miles.” I hope he doesn’t see that as odd; I just know that if I take off this mask he will know who I am.
“Fair enough.” He chuckles.
“So, what would Miles like from me tonight?” I ask in a sultry voice.
“Honestly Bee, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you since I walked out of here last week. And I mean that in the most non creepy way!”
I can’t help the giggle that escapes my mouth. “I’m glad that we could give you some pleasure here at Ashley’s.”
“Can I ask you a question?”
“If you don’t mind me sitting down on the couch? My feet are killing me.”
“Please, take a seat. You can take your shoes off if you want.” I gratefully oblige and verbally sigh at the feeling of freeing my feet from these four inch heels and again listen to Miles chuckle.
“Ask away.” I urge him.
“How old are you.” He asks, taking a seat on the sofa next to me.
“That’s an easy question!” I breathe out. “24.”
“Not what you were expecting?”
“It just makes me feel like a sleazy man.”
“I can tell you that you are far from being a sleazy man Miles.”
“Are you sure? Because I came here tonight to seek you out. I’ve thought nonstop about our last session. There’s just something about you that makes me want to get to know you.” He says rather uncertain.
“I’m sure. You are not sleazy. And if I’m being honest with you, I’ve also thought a lot about what happened in here last week.” I say quietly.
“I got the impression that it doesn’t happen often. The ah… well you know.”
I can feel my cheeks redden at his words. Instead of replying to him I just shake my head no.
“Are you ok? You can leave at any time.”
“It’s okay, I like being here with you.” As I say this, Miles takes my hand and wraps his own large hand around my own delicate one. I’m not sure why this movement is responsible for my heart rate suddenly beating very fast. Is it nerves or arousal I can feel in my tummy? I seem to be forgetting that I am sitting with my dad’s best friend in a private room at a strip club. He has no idea it’s me and I aim to keep it that way, so maybe it’s okay if I enjoy myself. We sit in comfortable silence together for a few minutes longer and I feel relaxed as Miles uses his thumb to draw circles on my hand.
“How long have you been working here?”
“Five years. I love it.”
“That must be hard on your relationships?”
“It is. Which is why I don’t have relationships. I learnt the hard way that my line of work requires a very trusting partner. Jealousy is not a good thing in a relationship.”
“Sorry to hear that.”
“Don’t be. It’s my choice. I love this job.”
We spend the next few minutes just chatting comfortably about world events and silly things. I find myself laughing and really relaxing in Miles’ company. We discover we both have an intense love for Mexican food and neither of us can stand mushrooms.
In a lull from our conversations I can suddenly feel the tension in the room become thicker and the mood changing. Miles stops his artwork on my hand and I look up at him only to find him staring at me. He looks down at my lips and I swallow harshly to try and hide my nervousness. I know he wants to kiss me, do I want that to happen? I think I do, if I look past the fact that he is such a close family friend and think of him as a client I wouldn’t hesitate to kiss him.
Which is why when he brings his lips down to meet mine I don’t pull away, instead I lean further into him and place one of my hands on his chest. I can feel how strong he is through his shirt. Our kiss is slow and sensual and it stirred up feelings that I had long buried. When he puts his hand in my hair, I begin to freak out. I think I am so afraid that he would know who I am and I don’t want that to happen. There is something about him (well actually a lot of somethings) that I really like and I know that he wouldn’t be too happy if he knew it was me he was kissing.
I pull away from our kiss and stand up abruptly muttering something along the lines of “I’ve got to go.” But I’m not sure he even heard me. I all but run out of the room and straight to the dressing room, ripping the mask off on my way. Holy shit.
“What’s got you all spooked?” asks Sammy who is changing out of her dancing clothes.
“Ah.” Is all I manage to get out as my breathing tries to slow down after running here.
“Shit, are you okay?” Sammy walks towards me with a worried expression. “Has someone done something to you, Bee?”
I shake my head and swallow to gain some composure. “No, nothing like that.”
“Then why did you come in here so fast and why do you look like you’re about to be sick?” she asks me, now standing in front of me. What she just said gives me an idea.
“Actually, I am feeling like shit and I’m not so sure I can finish my shift.”
“Yeah, I’m not so sure you would really make any tips looking like you’re about to hurl everywhere. You go and I’ll stay and finish for you. I could use the extra tips.”
“No, you don’t have to do that. I’m sure Ash would still let you go home.” I shake my head.
“Honestly, I’ve got my eye on a very expensive rug that would look amazing in my new living room. You go. I’ll let Ash know.” She throws me a long black jacket and offers me a sympathetic smile.
“Now go, before you have me sympathy vomiting with you!” she laughs.
I put the jacket on over my outfit and button it up. “Thanks so much Sammy. I’ll owe you one!”