Chapter 13

By Anj (A.k.a. Azurenon)

Introduction: At the age of seventeen, Darby Jennings is once again running away from a very abusive home life. This time, however, she's dressed as a boy. Along her rather short journey she meets up with a "call girl" or "lady of the evening". This story follows the early trials and tribulations of their rather unique relationship, as well as, their struggles with the malevolent human forces attempting to tear them apart. It is part romance, part drama, with an attempt at suspense and/or mystery. This is NOT an Uber story. Although I love the daring duo (and written fan fiction with a partner, under the pseudonyms "Azurenon and Savanna Mac" posted on this very site) you won't find them here.

DISCLAIMERS: No copyright infringement is intended by the use of titles, artist's names and/or lyrics of the songs contained herein. These have merely been used for entertainment value and possible storyline continuity. All the characters are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or deceased is purely coincidental.


Violence: This story contains scenes and/or references to physical, emotional and sexual violence.

Sex: It centers on an explicit sexual relationship between two women. It is intended for MATURE AUDIENCES. So if you're under age 18, this is illegal where you are or this just isn't your cup of tea, then you have been forewarned, please exit stage left. If you are mature enough and I've captured your attention, then moving right along here...

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Be it known the author has no firsthand knowledge concerning physical or sexual violence. Nor does she even pretend to know anything about "call girls" or "ladies of the evening". Therefore, I ask that the reader please forgive any mistakes and/or oversights. Especially so in the area of giving the healing process of such aforementioned experiences the in-depth attention they so richly deserve. This story is complete fiction, written merely for entertainment. In its entirety, it contains 23 chapters: at around 10 pgs per chapter.

Thanks go to all my friends for their support and encouragement over the years.

(Written 1993. Revised 2001)

        When I got to the club, the screen was already in place and backlit. Shadowed upon it were two people, one with short hair, sitting in a chair, the other with long hair, behind the chair, moving around it slowly, while the song "Justify My Love" blared from the speakers.

        "Darby!" Candy called from the hall doorway, and then motioned for me to join her.

        Once close enough, I asked, "Who's up there?"

        "Rick and Anna."


        "Oh get real, Darby, that's been over for a long time. And I assure you he has his clothes on. She just needs him to work out some moves. Come on, I need you to try on some pants."

        "Pants? What's wrong with my jeans?"

        "Darby, sweetie..." she said, shaking her head. "She can't get those jeans off you in a hurry. These pants she can rip off at a moment's notice. They got Velcro down the side seams."


        I tried on three different pair before Candy was satisfied with the way a certain pair fit my butt. "Yeah, that'll look like a nice tight guy's ass from the side. Now, let's get you a shirt."

        "Where'd you get these pants?" I inquired, watching her fold the other two pair up very neatly.

        She smiled. "You meet a lot of people in our business. You scratch their backs and..."

        "They'll scratch yours," I finished for her, thinking there was an awful lot of back scratching and back stabbing going on in their "business".

        "Okay," she said, a while later, looking me over. "I think we got everything in place. I'm not sure whether you should have a hat or not. We'll wait on that. Well, look at yourself."

        I turned towards the mirror. I looked like a woman in drag. I had on a black jacket and tie, a white shirt and black pants. "No shoes?" I inquired.

        "No. They probably can't see your feet anyway. At least they shouldn't be looking at your feet. If they do, we're in trouble."


        "'Cause it means they ain't lookin' at you." She chuckled. "Come on. Let's go see what Anna's got worked out."

        Anna had her arms around Rick's neck, her head thrown back and he was about to kiss her neck, as we walked from behind the curtain. My heart jumped up in my throat. Would this small scenario put them back together again? I breathed a sigh of relief, when his lips never touched her, as he pretended to move down her neck to her chest.

        I cleared my throat.

        "Oh, Darby," he said, letting go of her. "I think this is your role."

        "Uh-huh," I agreed.

        "Thanks for helpin', Rick," Anna offered, as she reached back for my hand. "Now I just have to show you what we've worked out."

        My jealous mind jumped on the "we've", but I didn't say anything.

        "Candy, how 'bout startin' that song over for us, hmm? Not right away, though, I need to talk to Darby. I'll let ya know when." She turned to me and looked me over. "My, don't you look nice. This should be interestin', hmm?" She smiled broadly. "Okay, let's get to work shall we? Listen, baby, first thing I want you to do is stand back there, beyond that light. Then when I signal with my hand behind my back, I want you to walk up to me, okay. And you're gonna put your arms around me, like this." She backed up to me and slowly pulled my arms around her. "Then we're gonna move... like this." She started swaying back and forth as she had the night we danced.

        She went on, going through the routine step by step. At least the part she had worked out, already.

        "This wasn't as easy with Rick," she whispered in my ear. "He's not a good dancer. Okay, now when I bend back like this, you.... oh, you saw that, hmm? Oh... but you shouldn't do it for real, baby." I pulled back, pretending. "That's better. How's that look out there, Rick?"

        "Good. Real good."

        "Okay, now work your way back up. Yeah, that's right. The rest you and I will work out, okay. Or... if there's anything that don't feel right about this so far, you tell me, while we're workin' on it, okay?"

        I looked away and shrugged. "Maybe you should work the rest out with him and then..."

        She put her fingers to my lips. "You listen here, you're a natural, Darby. I need your help, not his. All he did was what I told him to."

        "You said 'we' worked it out."

        "Oh shit, Darby, what the hell did you expect me to say? Please baby, don't be childish." She put her hand upside my face. "We've got work to do. You can get jealous when we get home, okay, baby. But, I'm flattered as hell." She smiled. "Come on. Show me what you can do, hmm?" She turned her head away. "Candy... hit it."

        We spent an hour on the routine then took a break for supper, which Rick brought us. While we ate, we discussed different moves to incorporate. There were a few spots that needed some filling in. Candy supplied a few ideas, but Rick merely listened. I realized that he wasn't much on inspiration, other than being able to say, "Yeah that looks good" or "Oh yeah man, that'll turn'em on." So, he was our guinea pig, who sat in the audience and got turned on.

        "Okay, let's run through the whole thing," said Anna. "I think we got it down, hmm?"

        I nodded halfheartedly. She glanced down at her watch. "We only got another hour, baby."

        "Then, let's do it."

        "This time the clothes come off, alright?"

        "Yeah... okay."

        The song began and we went into the routine. Her white blouse and skirt came off first, then the bra, which was worn over another tight fitting, see through one, that left little to the imagination. By the time we reached the point where my shirt came off, my hands were sweaty. When Madonna said, "I'm not afraid of who you are", Anna ripped the shirt off.

        Rick whistled. Anna smiled and went on. "Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another." She snatched the pants off. Rick whistled again and clapped. We went through the rest of the routine, where she pretended to take her underwear off, but had on a G-string underneath. Then she sat down in the chair and spread her legs. "I'm open... and ready."

        We had rehearsed ending it with me on my knees in front of her, her hand on my shoulder. But this time, at the words, "I'm open... to justify my love", she grabbed me by the hair, shoving my face into her crotch.

        Rick yelled out. "Yeah! Go-oddamn! Woo-wee! Shit fire, Anna!"

        "Jesus, Anna," I breathed against her skin.

        She stroked my hair, holdin' me there. "God, you're breath is so hot," she commented, staring down at me.

        Then suddenly she moved away and went around the screen. "How was that?" she asked Rick.

        "Goddamn, Anna! That was H-O-T, hot, babe!" His voice changed suddenly. "Ooo, shit, he really done a number on you, didn't he?"

        "Anna," I called, realizing she had just strolled out there in the see through bra and G-string. I knew Rick had seen her before, with much less on, but still I didn't like it, one damn bit.

        "Yeah, baby," she answered, coming back towards me.

        "How would you like me to step out there in front of him, right now?" I asked.

        She glanced down at herself. "Oh," was all she said.

        "Are you gonna shove my face in your crotch during the show?" I inquired.

        She put her hand to my face. "I'm sorry. That... just happened. I mean... I saw you... lookin' and... I suddenly wanted you. Guess, I got turned on, huh?"

        I leaned over and kissed her. Not one of the pecks and light goodnight kisses I had been giving or receiving, lately. This was a full-blown passionate kiss that said, "I want you, too."

        She broke away. "Hold that thought," she said. "And... let's go through this one more time, hmm? But first, let's get dressed and get somethin' to drink."

        "Anna, where's the cast?"

        She glanced down at her finger. "I took it off. I can't have my finger stuck out there like that. Don't worry about it, baby. I'll put it back on after we're through, okay? Promise."

        We were sitting at the bar drinking a beer, when she suddenly said, "I hope to hell this doesn't get me busted."

        "Who's gonna squeal?" Rick asked.

        "Oh come on, word gets around."

        "Just... try it," he said. "If you get busted, so what?"

        "They close me down that's what."

        "Then sell out," suggested Candy. "I mean, you own the building, right. Sell it."

        "And how do I make a livin' after that?"

        "We'll... find a way," I answered.

        She saved our show until ten, when the crowd would be bigger. I could tell she was nervous and so was I. After Candy's set, Jasmine and Lucky, another dancer who didn't care for me much, set up the screen on a darkened stage, then brought in a chair. There were a few murmurs from the men, who seemed to sense something was up. I was nearly shaking on my bare feet by the time Jasmine announced our act as "somethin' a bit out of the ord'nary that we cooked up for your entertainment." She never said who "we" were.

        "Good luck, baby," Anna said and kissed me lightly.

        "Relax, Darby," Candy whispered from behind me. "Just focus on Anna and... pretend it's for real."

        The music started, the back lighting came up and Anna began moving. I knew my cue and came out, walking up behind her. The men responded with a few "Oohs". They seemed unsure of what was going on. One obnoxious fellow shouted, "How come he gets to have all the fun?"

        "You're doing fine, baby," Anna said.

        We moved seductively together. "I wanna kiss you in Paris," Madonna sang, and I pretended to kiss her neck. "I wanna hold your hand in Rome." Anna took my hands in hers and brought them up near her chest. "I wanna run naked in rain storm." She writhed against me. "I wanna make love in a train, cross-country." She pulled me around beside her, so that my back was to the chair.

        When Madonna sang: "You put this on me... so now what? So now what?" Anna pushed me back into the chair. Then began slowly moving around behind me, teasing with her hands, running them through my hair, over my shoulders and down to my chest, as if I were a man. She slowly eased around in front of me and began dancing seductively, while touching her body, as if she were giving me a private show.

        Moving forward, between my legs, she leaned over me, placing her hands on the back of the chair. "You're doing great, baby," she whispered in my ear, then moved back and straightened up.

        "Okay." She reached out and grabbed the tie, pulling me to my feet. Then she slowly moved closer, her hands going to my behind, where she pretended to squeeze my buns in a way that could easily be seen, while Madonna sang, "I wanna know you." She eased back. "Umm, like that." She cupped my crotch.

        Several hoots and howls rang out.

        Anna moved back and started removing her blouse. "I don't wanna be your mother." The blouse fell to the floor. "I don't wanna be your sister, either." The skirt dropped to the floor. "I just wanna be your lover." She removed the top bra. "I wanna have your baby." She grabbed the tie and pulled me towards her. "Kiss me, that's right, kiss me." I did so.

        I slowly pretended to move down her neck, then her chest, as she leaned her head back and caressed my thigh with one raised leg. When she straightened up, I came back up to meet her gaze. We moved seductively together.

        "What are you gonna do?" She pushed me back with one finger. "What are gonna do?" She grabbed the tie and began undoing it. "Talk to me. Tell me your dreams, am I them?" The tie fell to the floor and she started removing the jacket. "Tell me your fears, are you scared?" The jacket fell to the floor. "Tell me your stories. I'm not afraid of who you are." She stripped off the shirt in one swift movement. And there was an uproar.

        "It's a goddamn woman!" someone cried out.

        "Stay with me, baby," Anna said, her hands moving to the pants.

        "Poor is the man whose pleasures depend... on the permission of another." She stripped the pants off, with the same sure movement and there was another uproar.

        "Love me, that's right, love me." She put her hand behind my head and pulled me to her, pressing my face to her neck. I put my arms around her and pretended to very slowly work my way back down her neck to her chest, while she writhed against me. Then she pulled my head up and held me there, so close to her lips I could have kissed her easily.

        She broke away, moving around me, slowly. I turned to follow. She faced me and did an undulating dance, as she pulled off the top underwear, then backed into the chair. "I'm open... and ready." She spread her legs in an exaggerated fashion.

        There were several howls.

        I moved slowly towards her and she put her foot out, against my leg, holding me back. She writhed in the chair, her hands moving over her own body. She arched her back then extended her hand to me. I pulled her up out of the chair in front of me. She put her head on my shoulder, her hands on my behind, as I started working my way down her neck and body again. After I had reached her chest and pretended to kiss each breast, she placed her hand on my shoulder and pushed me to my knees. Then she grabbed the back of my head, making me look up at her.

        When the song ended with: "I'm open... to justify my love", she pushed my face towards her crotch and it sounded like pandemonium had erupted out there.

        She held the pose until the stage went dark. "Quick, get your clothes and get to the dressing room!" she shouted. She gathered up her own, as well and we fled the stage like thieves in the night.

        "Oh hell, Candy!" she exclaimed, when we entered the dressing room. "Sounds like they're gonna tear the fuckin' place apart." She threw her clothes into a chair. "Why'd I ever think that this was a good idea, huh? Jesus Christ, they're mad as hell out...."

        Rick burst into the dressing room. I clutched the wadded up clothes to my semi-nude body.

        "You got a hit!" he exclaimed, excitedly.

        "What?" Anna asked. "No, they're mad, aren't they?"

        "Hell no. Get somethin' on and come out here."

        Jasmine tossed her a robe and she walked out with Rick.

        I put the clothes on the sofa and was about to drop down there myself, when Jasmine came over to me with a robe. "Here, honey chil', put this on." She draped the robe across my shoulders. "Oh, honey you's shakin'." She put one arm around me and gave me a hug.

        Lucky, a small built, short, brunette with rather large breasts and a faint moustache over her upper lip, looked me up and down. "Not a bad body. You oughta be a dancer."

        I shook my head, as Jasmine let go.

        Lucky shrugged. "Don't 'xactly look like a dyke now." She flashed a quick smile then turned away, checking her makeup in the mirror.

        There was a chant growing outside that sounded like "Again, again, again".

        Anna came back in the room a few moments later, her eyes wide. She closed the door with her behind. "Get your clothes on, Darby. There's money all over the stage and... they want us to do it again."

        "Anna," Candy spoke up. "Should they see Darby?"

        She glanced over at her, then me.

        "Might add some... mystery, if they didn't," added Jasmine.

        "Yeah. You show'em that dyke and they'll turn on ya, for sure," Lucky commented.

        "So... what'll I do? One of you want to pretend to be..." They were all shaking their heads.

        "Go alone," Candy suggested.

        "Leave the mystery, honey," Jasmine added.

        "And don't tell anybody the mystery woman is your lover," Lucky further added.

        Jasmine turned to me, then her. "Lucky, you better not go tell..."

        "Ah, get off my case. I need this fuckin' job. I don't wanna go back on the streets. And I sure as hell don't wanna work for that redheaded whore over yonder. The secrets safe with me."

        "Go, Anna," Candy urged her. "Get the money and... tell'em to give you time to get dressed."

        "Hey," spoke up Lucky. "My set's next."

        "She's right," Anna agreed. "I'll tell'em we'll do another set later." She started towards me. "Darby," she said aloud then mouthed, "I love you."

        "Ah hell, say it out loud, why don'cha," Lucky grumbled, as Anna walked out. "Darby... she loves ya. Don't understand it myself, but... whatever rings your bell, ya know."

        There was an uproar, I assume, when Anna went out on stage. "Anna, Anna, Anna," they began chanting. A while later, they quieted down. I couldn't hear what she said, but I heard the applause.

        A few moments later she was back. "Damn, they loved it," she announced. "Hell, there's more men out there now, than when we started."

        "Come on Jasmine," said Candy, "let's go take the screen down."

        "Yeah, the main event's over," Lucky added. "Routine shake ass time. Think they got any money left?" She walked by me and looked me up and down in my outfit. "Now you look like a natural bull-dyke. Suits you," she called over her shoulder.

        "Never mind her, baby," Anna said, approaching me. "You look great and you were... ter-rific. Just look at this..." She produced a handful of wadded up bills from one pocket of her robe. "And that's not all. This one's stuffed, too. And... that's just the first show."

        "Why'd they throw money for us? We weren't taking anything off in front of them."

        "To do it again, baby. And because they liked it. Rick told me that a few men came in from Dora's during the show. Now there's half a dozen or more and they're still wanderin' over to see what the hell's going on. I bet this is... just a drop in the bucket." She flopped down on the sofa then winced, her hand going to her sore ribs.

        "You alright?"

        "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine." She waved my concern away. "I gotta be fine." She glanced down at the money in her hand. "If we could keep this up... two nights a week, maybe... we could really make some dough," she said excitedly.

        I was glad that she was happy. Yet, this was the money hungry side of her that I hadn't wanted to see. I'd only seen the "we need money" side, not the "look at all this and... we can make lots more".

        "Anna, were your parents... rich?" I asked, watching her straightening out and counting the money.

        "No. Maybe... well-off, but... not rich, why? Thirteen, fourteen," she added, softly, not even looking up.

        "You wanna be rich though, don't ya?"

        "Well, yeah, doesn't... everybody. Twenty... twenty-one... twenty-six... twenty-seven. Remember that. Twenty seven in that pile," she added, reaching into her other pocket. "Why do you ask that?"

        "You... just seem so happy... over the money that..."

        "Well, they say money can't buy happiness, but... it sure as hell makes the livin' a lot easier," she interrupted. "Did I say twenty seven? Twenty- eight... thirty-three... thirty-eight..." her voice trailed off, as did my mind.

        I felt cheap, knowing that I had performed semi-nude in front of an audience of men for the crumpled stack of green in front of her. In the beginning it had just been a great idea to save the show. But, just like being told that she took her clothes off for men and seeing it were two different things, talking about doing a show and performing it were, as well.

        "Forty two bucks. Pre-ety damn good, wouldn't ya say? Especially for a first show. Damn, that musta really hardened some cocks, hmm?"

        "Yeah, sure. I bet I coulda made us two... three hundred bucks last week when I waitressed." She glanced up at me, a look of confusion on her face. "Want me to take this off and put on a skirt and blouse, go out there and hustle up some cash?"

        She glared at me, realization dawning all over her face. "Don't you dare tell me you'd..."

        "We need the money. And I can see it really makes you happy. I haven't seen you this happy in... months. It'd be a cinch. Ten minutes in the back of his car and..."

        She swept the money off the sofa with one swipe. "Go home, Darby!"

        "It's... a long way to Mississippi."

        She looked up at me. "Cash a check and take the fuckin' bus, if you're so goddamn eager to leave me!" she shouted. "And take the fuckin' money with you!" She threw a handful at me, then jumped to her feet, heading for the door.

        I caught her by the arm. "Anna... I'm... I'm sorry. I... all this... I don't know how to take... it all feels so... dirty."

        She grabbed me and pulled me to her. "Listen to me, baby, we... we don't make the rules, we just... play the game, as best we can, ya know. And... uh... life's playin' field... well, it ain't Astroturf, us'lly... it's dirt. And... while we're playin', we're bound to get a little dirt on us, ya know? But, we survive... somehow."

        "I feel... used, Anna," I blubbered.

        "Yeah, I know, baby. But, I learned a long time ago not to think of this, that way. 'Cause up there... you got control. Anytime you want to, you can walk off that stage. And... well, baby, we ain't the fools payin' for somethin' that we could get for free, now are we?" She paused. "Look at it this way, sweetie... all businesses cater to a need, ya know? Take that store you worked at. Now... we both know that their prices are higher than a grocery store, right? 'Cause they stay open later, people have to pay extra for that, right? Ain't that sorta dirty in a way?"

        I straightened up and nodded.

        "You ain't dirty and cheap, baby. You know that, don'cha? But, if you don't then... I'll get someone else to do this with me, okay?" Her eyes darted back and forth searching mine. "You don't need to be involved. It was stupid of me to put you up there to begin with." She wiped a tear from my cheek, with her thumb. "Alright, let me go talk to Candy, she kinda knows the routine and..."

        "No... No Candy." I wiped at my eyes. "I'm... I'm just being childish and... immature. I'll do it," I added, regaining some semblance of composure. "I started it, I'll finish it. Besides, I don't wan'cha out there seducin' anyone but me."

        She smiled. "I understand what you're feelin', ya know? I went through the same thing, my first show."

        "Even though, you'd already been... hookin'?"

        "Well... about that now... I was kinda numb, ya know. I... still am. It's just... business. I know that's hard to understand, but... when I do that, I... I go somewhere else, up here." She tapped her head. "My body will do whatever they want and my mouth will say whatever they want to hear, but... I take my heart and... remove it from their grasp, ya know. Just... crawl back there somewhere in my head and..." She looked up at me, with eyes that appeared dull and lifeless. "I think I become that little girl I used to be. Scared, frightened... and there's no one to turn to. So, I put that part of myself to sleep." She looked away. "Kids deserve better than that."

        "When did the abortion happen?" I asked, sensing that I had her in the frame of mind to reveal a great deal, when she'd usually say, "I don't wanna talk about that, now".

        "Before I left home, didn't I tell you?"

        I shook my head. "You've told me very little," I said.

        She wandered over to the sofa and I joined her.

        "He... knocked me up, ya know and... I tried to get rid of it. Fifteen, what the hell did I know about doctors? The bastard botched the job, roy'lly. They put me in the hospital where they patched me up. Old man, he made her believe I was whorin' around, and... Well, time I got back out he started in on me again. The doctor had said I couldn't have any kids or... get pregnant, but... I didn't believe him and... I didn't wanna go through that again. So... I ran." She looked up at me, with that same dull cast to her eyes. "Life sucks, huh?" She stared at me. "That's why I don't talk about my past. I don't like to be reminded of all that, ya know."

        I reached out and took her hand. "I love you." I stroked her fingers. "Do you... go away in your head, while you're with me?" I had to ask.

        "Huh?" She cleared her throat and shook her head, as if removing the cobwebs of old memories. "No, Darby. I don't need to go away when I'm with you. You... never were a trick like that, ya know. I knew I could've left that day, nobody was payin' me. And,... I don't know why, but... I wanted to be with you." She touched my face. "I don't know if it was your innocence, your baby blue eyes, or... your sweet kisses." She paused and smiled. "I don't... usually kiss my... tricks ya know, but... I don't know... you were different. So innocent and scared lookin' and, well... I could tell you were attracted to me, by the way you responded, and... you damn sure had me feelin' somethin', so... I thought it would be alright, ya know. Turned out much better than alright. It's the smartest thing I ever did.

        "And no baby, I don't go anywhere when I'm with you. I never have and... I never will. I enjoy you too much." The life was back in her eyes and they were twinkling. She kissed me lightly and then pulled back. "Think I better get movin', hmm? We've got a show to do."

        She bent down picking up some of the money. "I'll do that," I said, brushing her hands aside. "Forty two bucks, hmm? How much do you think we'll make next show?"

        "Hopefully... 'bout that much. We'll just have to wait and see."

        We did another set after Candy's and I could tell by the amount of hoots and howls that there were a lot more men out there now. And a lot of them were ready for this one, after having seen the first.

        This time, Anna didn't grab up her clothes, she went to the curtains, where Candy handed her a robe. She put it on and went out on the stage after the money. I gathered up my clothes and headed to the dressing room.

        "Where's the other gal?" One voice yelled out.

        "Yeah!" Chimed another. "We wanna see the other one."

        "Who was behind there with ya, Anna? A new girl?"

        "Yeah, Anna, bring her out!"

        "Bring her out!" A chorus of voices yelled.

        "We wanna see what she looks like!"

        "Hey!" Anna's voice rang out. "Hey, listen up, guys! Did Clairabell ever take off her makeup?"

        "What?" a few asked, sounding confused.

        "How about the Lone Ranger, huh? Disappoint any of you, when you found out what he really looked like?"

        There were mumbles and grumbles.

        "Well, hell, she must be one real ugly bitch, then!" A voice rang out. And the place erupted into laughter.

        "You know my girls better than that!" she shot back at him, when things calmed down.

        "Then bring her out!" Another shouted.

        I didn't hear her give a reply if she did, but she was back in the dressing room in a few moments, her pockets stuffed with money again. She tossed her clothes in a chair on the way by, then came over to me, where I was putting on my jeans. All the girls were standing around, but she ignored them. She wrapped her arms around my neck and laid one on me, nearly taking my breath away.

        When she finally broke away, I was breathing heavy.

        "You're the best damn thing that's ever happened to me," she said, softly against my cheek. "When you get your clothes on, slip over to Dora's and go out that door. I'll meet you in the parking lot."

        "Anna," Candy spoke up. "We need a waitress. You two... can't leave yet."

        Anna sighed heavily.

        "Besides, it might even be good if Darby were seen waitressin'. I've had several ask me about her. I told'em she didn't come in because you didn't need her. If she goes out there now, they may think you called her in."

        "Yeah, and they may fuckin' recognize her," Lucky objected. "Then you're gonna be up shit creek without a paddle."

        "They ain't dumb," added Jasmine.

        Anna leaned her head against my shoulder. "So what if they recognize her, huh?" She turned around to face them. "I ain't ashamed that she's my lover."

        "Well, if you send her out there, she better look like one of us, you know what I mean?" said Lucky. "She didn't wear the regular kind of waitress outfit, 'least not the times I seen her. And I had several ask me what a dyke like her was doin' workin' here."

        "Lucky!" scolded Candy. "They did not. They only asked how come she wasn't dressed like the others. I heard'em." Candy made a take that face at her.

        Lucky spun around to the mirror. "Well, all I'm sayin' is, you better have her lookin'... available, know what I mean? 'Cause if they find out she's yo' lover, they will tear the damn place apart, I guar'ntee it."

        Anna glanced around at the other two. Jasmine nodded and so did Candy. "Shit!" Anna hissed.

        There was a knock on the door. "Anna," Rick's voice yelled out. "Tiny needs some help out here!"

        "I'll go," offered Candy as she removed her robe, revealing the costume she had performed in. "Find her a costume, Anna. Then send her out on the floor. It's as simple as that."

        "Shit!" Anna hissed again.

        "Well, hell, Anna, she ain't no fuckin', baby," said Lucky. "You done pulled her into this, now let the dyke stand on her own two feet."

        "Lucky... you call her a dyke one more time..." Anna warned.

        "Okay, okay." She threw up her hands. "But, she still ain't no baby. She's gotta grow up sometime. And seems to me, you ain't been usin' your assets to their full potential. She's got an ass on her that won't wait and not a bad set of tits, neither. You could use that out on the..."

        "Thanks for the suggestion," Anna growled. "And I have noticed. I just wasn't aware you had."

        "Fuck you, Anna. I see tits and asses everyday, but I don't wanna touch'em. Your precious baby's safe with me, now get off my case. I'm just tellin' you my opinion."

        "Well, keep the commentary to yourself."

        Lucky huffed, then began applying her lipstick, making red lips, even redder.

        Anna turned to me. "Come on over here and let's... see what we can find to fit ya."

        "They's some of Phil's still in there near the back," Jasmine offered, checking her look in the mirror. "They's probably about the same size."

        Anna began rummaging in the long closet of costumes. On most of the plastic hangers were written the names of the four remaining dancers. Anna quickly brushed by those with her name on them. I knew I could wear her bras, but there was no way I could fit my behind in her underwear. Yet, I did wonder how one of the skimpy g-strings would look on my butt.

        She groped back to another set of clothes with Phil's name on them, while passing Leena's few.

        "They left their clothes?" I questioned, sensing that most of the girls bought the costumes and left with them, since Brandi's wasn't there, nor was Samantha's.

        "Yeah," she answered, seeming more interested in picking out something for me. "They just... never came back for'em. Never said a word to anybody, either." She held one of the costumes up to me. It was a red backless dress. "Here, try this on."

        "I... you mean I can wear this?"

        "What did you think you were gonna wear?"

        "One of those." I pointed to the g-string.

        "You think I've lost my mind? We'll just put you in something tight and... formfittin', hmm? Show off your... curves." She ran her hand over my hips.

        I stared at the backless dress then shook my head. "Anna, this... won't work. The scars."

        She looked at me, frowned and took the dress back. Then she produced a slinky black one that had a low cut oval neckline and a very short hem.

        She held it up to me. "Try this, then."

        In less than five minutes, I hit the floor in Phil's black dress, which struck me just below my behind and was so tight, I felt like I couldn't move. I had to wear my own black cowboy boots, since I couldn't stand up in pumps, much less walk. It wasn't the best ensemble in the world, but it would have to do.

        I came in the front door of Anna's as if I'd just arrived, after sneakin' out through the storeroom into Dora's and out her door. Her place had been rather quiet for a Saturday night. There were mainly women there. Her girls, I assumed.

        Tiny called me over first thing and handed me a tray of drinks. "Damn, Darby," he said, looking me over. "I didn't know you looked like that."

        His eyes were on my chest, where the low cut neckline revealed what appeared to be a swelling bosom. This came about because Anna had put me in a torturous under wire bra. At one point, however, I wasn't sure whether she was fixin' me up to look good for them or for her own enjoyment.

        "Where does this go, Tiny?"

        "Huh? Umm... oh... table over there. See those women?"


        "Oh, hell yeah," he responded, "they started comin' in here with their husbands, boyfriends... whatever, before ya'll's second set began."

        "You knew?"

        He smiled. "Hell Darby, who else would she be up there with, hmm? And let me tell you. Shoo-wee," He shook his hand, as if he'd burned it. "That was hot stuff." He grinned from ear to ear.

        "Thanks Tiny," I called over my shoulder.

        I weaved my way around the tables to my destination. "Who has the Miller Lite?" I asked. A blonde looked up and nodded. "Vodka Collins?" This belonged to the guy with the red head, who was staring at my butt.

        The red head punched him. "I'm the Pina Colada, sweetie. Can you tell me, are they gonna do that... that other show again. I missed it."

        "Umm.. I don't know, ma'am," I answered. To cover my tracks, since I knew one of the guys at the table, I added. "What show are you referrin' to." I handed her the Pina Colada.

        "Hell, honey," the guy I recognized spoke up. "how could you miss it?"

        "I just got here," I explained. "They called me in, said they needed help waitin' tables. Black Russian?" The guy nodded. "Slow gin fizz?" I looked at the remaining woman at the table. She was staring at my cleavage, where the charm was tucked nearly out of sight. "Ma'am?" I prodded. She glanced up then dropped her eyes looking embarrassed, as she nodded and reached for the drink.

        As I made my way back to the bar, I felt two hands graze my butt. I was used to this, but not in a short dress.

        Tiny put another set of drinks on my tray. "This one belongs over there. Group of men."

        "Oh shit," I said, recognizing Stan the man.

        "Want Sissy to deliver that one?"

        "Yeah, would you please. Stan and I have... well, he ain't my favorite person."

        "Sure, here... go take the order at that table over there. They been motionin' a good while. Can't get to'em all."

        I went over to take their order. There were two men and two women. They all recognized me.

        "Hey, didn't you used to work over there?" The blonde haired man with the moustache asked. I nodded. He looked me up and down. "You look a damn sight better off here than you did.... ouch!" His wife had jabbed him in the ribs.

        "Good to see ya'll," I said, trying to ignore this. "What can I get you."

        "You can ask 'em when they gonna do another one them shows," the guy with the thinning hair answered.

        "Which one?" I asked, keeping up the pretense. "Each girl does two to three sets."

        "I'm talkin' 'bout that one with the two behind that there... whatchamacallit thing up there."

        "Blind," his wife offered, staring at me.

        "I'm sorry, I... just got here," I explained. "But, I'll ask if you want me to."

        "Oh yeah, do," his wife said.

        He cut his eyes over at her. "Listen at you."

        "Well, I didn't like it," spoke up the blonde's wife. "It was... disgustin'."

        The other woman merely looked away and shrugged. Finally, they ordered.

        I went back to the bar and gave the order. "Tiny, they're all askin' if we're gonna do another set."

        "I know. I done sent word to Anna."

        "What'd she say?"

        He shrugged. "Don't know, but... here she comes."

        Time she walked out of the hallway, someone called her name and they started in on her, right in the middle of Jasmine's set.

        "You gonna do another, Anna?"

        "We wanna see it again."

        "I didn't see it!"

        "You gonna do it without that thing this time?"

        Anna stood there, looking around at them, then up at Jasmine. She quickly turned and went back down the hall.

        I waited on several more tables, and at every one was asked the same question. We had definitely started something, but was it good? It seemed to be tainting the rest of the show. The place was packed, but they weren't paying attention to Lucky nor Jasmine. And both, I could tell, were pissed when they left the stage. And each time, there were calls for Anna. "Do it again, Anna!" "Let's see it again!"

        After I waited on the sixth table, Tiny motioned me aside. "Anna sent word that you was to sneak back there. You're gonna do another set."

        "But... the tables..."

        "Girls are comin' out to take care of that. When you see Jasmine on the floor, you go back there, ya here."

        Candy hit the stage to do her set a little while later. Then I noticed Jasmine. I walked calmly back to the bar with my order, then headed down the hallway towards the bathroom. I looked behind me, saw few watching and ducked into the dressing room.

        Anna was waiting. "Hurry up. We gotta be ready to set up and go on time Candy comes off. Cum'mere, let's get you out of this dress."

        She stripped me down then helped me get into costume.

        "I don't know whether this is good or bad," she said, brushing lint off the jacket. "It's overshadowin' everybody else. And the girls won't put up with that for long."

        "Maybe we shouldn't do it again."

        "Oh, we'll do it again, tonight. But, it may be the last time. Come on, let's get the stuff ready. Oh, grab me a robe."

        We did the set again. She collected the money. And there were more inquiries as to my identity. She didn't answer them.

        When she came back to the dressing room, she flopped down on the sofa and said, "Jesus H. Christ, I can't believe it."

        "What? That they like it so much."

        "Hell no, that there's women in that audience. One of'em handed me this. She opened her hand which held a wadded up twenty dollar bill.

        "A woman handed you that?"

        "Hell yeah. Big tall red head walked right up to the stage bold as you fuckin' please and said, 'I never seen anythin' like it, honey.' Then handed me this."

        "Who was she?"

        "Hell, I don't know. Never seen her in my life. I mean, I don't get many women over here, ya know. But, there's a shit load of'em out there with their husbands or whatever."

        "There ain't that many," I countered.

        "Well, there's more than has ever set foot in this club, I guarantee you that." She winced, as she started to get up.

        "Anna..." I rushed over to her.

        "Goddamn, I'm sore," she said, grunting with the effort.

        "Let's go home, sweetheart," I suggested, as she laid her head on my shoulder.

        As we approached the truck, I noticed something white underneath the wipers on the driver's side. It looked like another note. She obviously hadn't noticed, since I was driving tonight. Before getting in, I grabbed it and opened the folded napkin. The words, "Death to the witch" stared back at me. Another chill ran up my spine, as it had when I'd seen the first one. Yet, this one was far more threatening.

        "Just throw it away, Darby," she said, as I got in.

        "Anna, this is a threat and I know it. Death to the witch."

        A concerned look came over her face, then vanished rather quickly. "It's nothin', Darby. Just someone's idea of a sick joke, I've told you that, already."

        "I'll say, real sick."

        "Baby, please, just... get rid of it. He probably just wants to see if it will scare me, that's all."

        "He's succeeded in scarin' hell out of me."

        "See what I mean. But believe me, baby, don't worry about it. I get'em every time I dance."

        "Every time?"

        "Well... almost."

        "Then you must have some idea of who's doing it. He has to be a regular because you don't dance that often. So, he'd have to be here a..."

        "Please, baby, I don't wanna discuss this now. I've been all through it before when they first started. I've never been able to figure it out and... after five years, it doesn't seem to matter anymore. Like I said, nothin' has ever happened. And I'm not gonna let this put a damper on my happiness, tonight." She paused snatching the napkin out of my hand and stuffing it in her jacket pocket. "We made damn good tonight, hmm? You know, I never thought that this would go over so well. Did you hear them when I came out? They weren't payin' a bit of attention to the other girls. I'm not sure that's good, ya know."

        I knew the subject was closed, as far as she was concerned, but it still bugged me, nonetheless. Who would threaten her like this and why? What did he get out of it? Unless... he was watching us right now? The thought chilled me to the bone. I quickly glanced around us, while putting the key in the ignition. The parking lot was deserted, but I still wanted to get out of there and fast.

Continued in Chapter 14

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