Georgina Evans POV ~
Jake had looked pretty heartbroken when he'd come back from Layla's house on Saturday. AJ and I had spent the rest of the evening cuddled up with him, eating cookie dough ice cream and watching trashy movies. Well, okay, me and Jake cuddled up while AJ pouted over the fact I was giving all my attention to Jake.
I had promised Margo I'd go in to man the studio on Sunday as she had a family thing to go to, so I'd left AJ strict instructions to look after Jake. My day had gone quickly. The studio's were nearly all empty, and the phone only rang once all day, so I used my spare time to do all of the assignments for the coming week.
I'd chosen in the end to do accounting, thinking it would be a real asset to my dad's business. Jake was doing business management, just like his dad wanted, and AJ had finally settled on sports science. I had teased him about this, saying he only chose it so he could massage his teammates without getting funny looks. Yeah, that joke did not go down too well. But the making up had been fun!
Apparently AJ's idea of looking after Jake had been to go out day drinking. I'm not even sure how they'd managed to get served in a bar, but from the looks of them when I'd finally tracked them down they'd been there for a good long while.
I had absolutely no sympathy for either of them Monday morning. Neither of them had managed to crawl upstairs, and the two football players were too fucking heavy for me to move, so I'd left them in a tangle of drunken limbs on the living room floor. I will admit I was slightly cruel in dragging Jake to the 8:00am lecture with me, his snap back pulled low and his sunglasses on, it was obvious to everyone that he was hung over.
By the time Wednesday had rolled around, I was super excited about my first pole dancing lesson. As predicted AJ had immediately asked for a private show when I said I was taking lessons, and Jake had spent all week making up stripper names for me. Terrible, terrible stripper names. His current favorite was G-String Gina.
I finish tidying up the front desk, and make my way to the changing rooms. I didn't really know what to expect, or how to dress, so I'd just bought my tight yoga pants and a sports bra. Making my way through to the Studio D, the one with the poles installed, my stomach flutters with nervous excitement. After breaking my ankle last year and missing so much cheer practice, not to mention the huge falling out with Macy, I hadn't done any kind of dancing or gymnastics in nearly a year. I still did a bit of yoga in the mornings, but that was more like gentle stretching than anything.
There are nine poles in here for us students, and one positioned at the front for the teacher. I follow the other students and position myself next to a pole. The teacher leads us through a series of stretches on the floor before we start some basic maneuvers on the pole. I'm so glad my core strength is still good or I would have ended up on the floor as much as the girl in front of me.
Half way through the lesson, the studio door bangs open, and a scary looking girl strides in, dropping her bag down noisily before making her way over to the only empty pole, which happens to be next to mine. She's got black hair, cut into a chin length bob complete with blunt bangs. Her ears are stretched with gauges larger than the ones Jake had gotten up to, and there's a ring through her septum too. Up both arms are dozens of tattoos, and her eyes are dark with make up.
She flashes me a grin when she notices me staring, and I although feel embarrassment crawl up my cheeks, I am unable to tear my eyes away as she expertly grabs onto the pole and flips upside down, supporting her weight just with her legs. Whilst in this position, she peels off her t-shirt to reveal a toned body dotted with more tattoos.
I try to concentrate properly on the teachers instructions for the rest of the class, but keep finding my attention drawn over to my neighbor. The way she climbs the pole, and the way she moves her body around it, I don't know why she's in a beginners class.
After class I gather up my things, deciding to go home and grab a shower instead of taking one here.
"Hey." I stop at the sound of a slightly husky voice, and turn towards the girl. "You're pretty fucking good for a first timer."
"Thanks. Same back at 'cha." Internally I cringe at my dorky reply. Luckily she just chuckles.
"I'm Abi." She offers her hand with a grin.
She slings her bag over her shoulder, shoving her shirt inside. "You wanna go grab a drink?"
"Um....I'm only nineteen."
"That's no problem. My friend runs the bar." She flashes me another grin and starts walking.
"I, uh, I just need to close down the studio." Abi quirks her brow at me. "I work here. On reception." I don't know why this girl is making me feel so nervous.
Abi waves her arm in a go for it motion, and I quickly go through the end of day routine. Five minutes later I find her scrolling through her phone sitting on the front desk.
"Ready?" I nod my head, yes.
The bar she takes me to is not like anywhere I would normally go. There are Harley Davidson's parked outside, and heavy rock music violates the otherwise quiet street. Inside I'm pleasantly surprised by how clean it is. Abi's bartender friend is even scarier to look at than Abi, all burly muscle, leather and tattoos, but is actually really sweet and down to earth.
"So what's a good girl like you doing talking pole dancing lessons?" Abi narrows her eyes slightly as she takes a mouthful of her whiskey.
"I was a cheerleader in high school..." Abi rolls her eyes and snorts.
I frown slightly. "I just thought it would be fun, and keep me flexible. So why are you there? From the looks of it you don't need lessons."
"I work at Garden of Eden."
"The strip club?!" I feel my mouth fall open, and she laughs at my reaction.
"Yeah, although we prefer to call it a gentleman's club. I'm only a drinks girl right now, but I'm hoping to get up on stage one day soon." She tilts her head to the side. "You'd probably do well there. There's not many red heads working the scene."
"Oh my god, no! My dad, not to mention my boyfriend, would fucking kill me!" I shake my head vehemently and Abi roars with laughter at my reaction.
"Chill, chill. I know a good girl like you wouldn't do that kinda thing." She smiles good naturedly at me.
When my phone rings, I'm surprise to see I'd been sat with Abi just chatting for nearly two hours.
"Gina, where the fuck are you? Your class finished hours ago. Me and Jake are stood outside the dance studio but it's all locked up."
"I'm sorry. I made a new friend and we've just been hanging out. You guys came looking for me? That's so sweet."
"Of course we came looking for you! Now where the fuck are you, we'll come pick you up."
"No, stay there. I'll be back in like two minutes." I hear Jake in the background whining about being cold, and AJ reluctantly agrees before hanging up. "Fuck. My boyfriend's pissed at me."
Abi laughs. "And that, my dear, is why I steer clear of all that shit."
She'd regaled me with stories of her weirdo ex-boyfriend earlier on. I didn't blame her for being wary of relationships after what she'd told me about him.
She walks me to the door, and gives me a quick hug.
"This has been fun. We should hang out again." I bite my lip hoping she agrees. Abi had turned out to be the most down to earth, relaxed person I'd met, besides Jake. I think in part that was what made me want to become her friend. She was as close to a female Jake as I'd come across.
"Defo. Here," she takes my phone off me and taps in her number. "Call me whenever."
I walk up to a grumpy looking AJ and Jake not able to suppress the huge grin on my face.
"Looks like someone got fucking lucky tonight." Jake smirks, and AJ's frown deepens. I roll my eyes, pressing a quick kiss to his lips.
"I met a really cool girl in class and we hung out. I lost track of time, I'm sorry."
AJ sighs, and pulls me in for another kiss, this time slipping a little bit of tongue in. "Just don't let it happen again, okay?" He leans his forehead against mine, and I nod.
As we walk back to the house, my arms linked through both of theirs, I tell them all about my new friend.
Jake snorts at my obvious excitement. "Sounds like someone has a new girl crush."
Maybe I do.