Chapter 18

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)

        We did another show the next night. There were more women, but the tips were not as big, since most had been there the night before. But, they got their hug and kiss, even if they only laid out a dollar. And, they didn't all stand back and tap me one at a time, either. There were three on the floor at one time, one kissing my left cheek, the other my right and the third very close to my mouth.

        "Ooo, girlfriend," Loudmouth sang out. "You's hot tonight."

        This distracted me so that I did not feel the robe move apart. I did, however, feel the bill that slid into my underwear. I realized then and there that I was going to have to find something different to come out in. This was too intimate.

        They moved away and another was waiting. "Ooo chil' cover yourself," Loudmouth cried. "They's ladies present."

        I looked down, as did the young auburn haired woman in front of me. The money was sticking out of my underwear and the robe was caught on it, being held back.

        Since my hands were on her shoulders, she reached out and straightened the robe. "Thank you," I said.

        "You're very... good," the young woman stammered and then kissed me on the neck. "God, you smell good," she added, then pulled away so quickly she forgot to give me the money. She quickly realized this and held it out to me, looking embarrassed. I could see her face flushing red, as I moved towards her.

        I reached out for the money with one hand and touched her face with the other. "Thank you." I kissed her cheek.

        "Uh-Ooh," Loudmouth cried out. "Where's the lover, tonight?"

        I smiled and turned around to the next one. She was a very large woman, who didn't want a hug. She merely handed me the money and stared at my leg as she backed away. Feeling brave, I pushed the robe back for a second, revealing more.

        "Oh-oh-oh, now I know she's not here!" He cooed.

        The woman merely looked up at me and nearly stumbled over her own feet. I couldn't help but smile.

        Smiling time was over, however, when I wheeled around. Barbara was back. This time, though she merely put her hands lightly on my waist, as she leaned forward, slowly.

        "I'm sorry, Darby," she whispered, sounding sad and sincere. "I really want you, badly. My bed's so-o empty." She kissed me lightly on the neck, yet one of her hands had already made it's way underneath the front of my robe and was now tucking something inside my underwear. And I do mean inside.

        I flinched at the contact. She kissed me on the cheek, then held up a folded bill and put it in my pocket. Obviously no one, including Loudmouth, had noticed what she'd done. But I knew!

        Barbara turned around and nearly ran all over Anna. The eye contact was instantaneous. She was moving by Anna and watching her carefully, when I was tapped again. I hugged some woman, though I hardly knew she was there. My mind was on the two of them. I glanced over at Anna and she was watching Barbara make her way through the crowd. There was unmistakable anger in her eyes.

        Anna did the number with the twenty in the underwear again, but quickly realized she had not been the only one there. She shot me one hell of an angry look, made a move as if to leave, then quickly spun around and wrapped her arms around my neck. She laid one on me, a moment later.

        "Ooo-wee... get it girlfriend!" Loudmouth cheered. This seemed to urge her on and she prolonged it. "Ooo, tongues, Yes. Better than cable!" The crowd burst into laughter. Without him, things could have gotten a bit out of hand.

         When she let go, I detained her a moment, while I reached inside my pocket, brought out a folded bill and tucked it inside her blouse. More laughter erupted.

        Anna, the born showman, removed the bill and unfolded it. It was a five. She stared at it, then hurried back over to me and kissed me again. When she pulled back this time, she held her hand out for more money.

        The place seemed to explode with laughter. And she was laughing with them now, but I knew she wouldn't be later on.

        "Listen Anna, before you even light into me, you started this underwear thing," I said removing the robe. "And yes, I am gonna remedy it."

        She took the robe from me. "Good," she said, "You handle it. I won't say a word."

        She fell silent as she began removing the money from the pockets.

        "Are you mad at me?" I asked, digging the money out of my underwear with my back turned to her.

        "No, why should I be mad? She only put her hand in your panties. That's nothin' to be mad about."

        "Oh," I said, knowing she was going to give me hell differently this time. I crumpled the money up in my hand. Damn Barbara to hell! I thought.

        "If you want her, Darby... be my guest. I damn sure won't stand in your way."

        I sighed heavily, putting the money aside. "Do you really, seriously believe that I want her?" I turned around.

        She shrugged.

        "Get real, Anna. If you can believe that, then you believe I want every woman out there." I pulled up my pants.

        "There's nothin' to stop you."

        "Oh no, well... hell I guess I'll just... go out there and get me one of'em... head on out to Dora's and... have myself a fuckin' ball." I pulled my new V-neck sweater over my head.

        "You do that!" she fumed. "There's the money for it!" She tossed it on the floor at my feet, then exited the stage.

        I didn't follow or even call out. It was futile, as was the argument. I was tired of fighting with her. If she trusted me so little, then let her go. Maybe she'd cool off and come to her senses.

        The rest of the night was busy. There was no way I could make the drinks and serve them, too. And Pepper had already relieved me of the latter, for which I was extremely grateful.

        By closing time, I had expected to see Anna already, but she was nowhere in sight. I assumed she was more pissed off than I'd realized. My mind considered the possibility of quitting the shows. I was tired of all the jealousy and fear of loss. If I had not proven to her by now that I loved her, she never would believe it. And if not, then she never would trust me.

        I waved goodnight to Pepper on my way out the door. Although everyone had not left yet, my job was finished. "Blue Laws" prohibited them from selling alcohol on Sunday, although they did give them until 2 am.

        I was near my motorcycle, when car lights came on across from me. I shielded my eyes and proceeded on. Then the car pulled out and screeched to a halt behind me.

        "Need a ride," A familiar voice asked.

        "No thanks. I have one."

        "You're not about to forgive me, are you?"

        "You shoulda thought of that when you were playin' your little mind games on me. And tryin' to come on to me like a man. I don't go for that shit."

        "How about a second chance?"

        "Barbara, listen..." I turned around to face her. "I love Anna. And I'm very, very happy with her. End of story."

        "Looks like you could use a car," she said.

        I'd already noticed that hers was a white Mercedes convertible.

        "I'll get one... one day. Not like yours perhaps, but..." I turned back to the motorcycle.

        "You want this one?"

        "Wh-what?" I asked incredulously.

        She chuckled, as she opened the door and got out. "You were always mentionin' propositions, so... I got one for you," she said, propping herself up beside her car. "I'll buy you a car, any color, style, whatever... under say 15,000, of course, if... you'll leave Anna and come live with me."

        My mouth dropped open. "You're nuts," I said, grabbing up my helmet. "You've really lost it, haven't you?"

        "No, I think I've found it. And it's you."

        "Bullshit! You're just havin' fun pullin' my chain and chasin' me around. Well, you can go right on chasin', just do it with someone else, cause I ain't playin' your game anymore. I've had it."

        "No, you haven't had it yet, but you could." She jingled her keys. "You could have anything you wanted."

        "Lady, you're touched!" I shook my head and put my helmet on. Then I threw my leg over the seat and put the key in the ignition.

I felt the bike give, as hands were planted near my waist. "Yes, I am. You've touched me and now I can't live without you," she said.

        "Oh please! Tell it to somebody who believes this shit, cause... frankly, my dear Barbara, I don't give a damn!"

        I heard the roar of an engine, but did not recognize it beneath the helmet. Yet, I did see the black blazer when it slid to a halt behind Barbara's Mercedes.

        "Ah shit!" she hissed behind me, then quickly got off the bike and headed for her car.

        Anna leaped out of the truck and caught up with her at the door. Barbara spun around. "Don't you lay a hand on me, bitch! I'll have you put under the jailhouse."

        "Do that!" Anna flared and then belted her in the gut. Barbara doubled over and Anna turned to me. "Let's go home, now."

        "An..." I didn't have time to get the words out before Barbara tackled her from behind.

        They both went down on the dirt parking lot; Anna taking the worst of it. I quickly snatched off my helmet and rushed over to them. I didn't notice the big red headed woman until she grabbed me from behind.

        "Uh-uh. Let'em fight it out. Barbara's been wantin' a piece of her ass for a long time. And you ain't gonna screw that up."

        I struggled against the woman, but she was just too big and too damn strong. And my mind was preoccupied with Anna. Barbara had her down on the ground, but Anna was struggling for all she was worth. Barbara outweighed her by a good 20 lbs and had height on her to boot. It wasn't going to be easy.

        Barbara grabbed Anna's hair and slammed her head to the ground. "Don't you ever do that to me again!" she screamed.

        I'd seen enough. I jammed my boot heel into Red's foot. She cursed me vehemently and loosened her grip. I stomped hell out of the other one and was free. I was headed for Barbara, when Anna suddenly drove a knee into her backside, then grabbed her by the hair and hit her in the face with her own head. Barbara wavered and Anna took advantage. Before I could do anything, Anna was already on top. She slammed her fist into Barbara's nose and blood shot out.

        She drew back for another punch and I grabbed her arm. "NO!! ENOUGH!!!"

        Red grabbed me from behind again and Anna was up and on her ass, now. She kicked the shit out of her leg with her boot, then drove a fist into the big redhead's ribs. It sounded like a tire had suddenly deflated somewhere inside that woman. She let go of me and stumbled backwards, Anna following her, delivering blows like the woman was a punching bag.

        "Anna!!!!" I wrapped my arms around her. "Please!!" I pulled her away from the woman, who looked as if she was about to fall flat on her ass at any moment.

        "Let go of me, Darby!"

        "No more, Anna!! No more!!"

        "Goddammit! Let go of me!" she shouted, breaking away. She was turning around, when Barbara came by me like a bat out of hell and grabbed her, driving her into the side of the truck.

        I ran towards them again and caught an elbow from Barbara in the nose, as she drew back to hit Anna. There was an instantaneous sharp pain that nearly drove me to my knees. And the world around me grew very fuzzy.

        "Deb, Geri, grab Barbara," someone shouted. "Stop her 'fore she kills that woman."

        "Looks like the broad's holdin' her own to me," someone near me said. "But, you don't look so good." She came around in front of me. "Oh shit! You're bleeding like crazy. Who broke your nose?"

        "Fuckin' bitch!!!" Anna's voice rang out. And I knew she was alright.

        "Hey, somebody get me somethin' over here," my benefactor called out. "I got a broke nose that's bleedin' sump 'um awful."

        A white piece of cloth was suddenly in front of my eyes. "Hold your head back just a little, honey, let's see if it won't stop some."

        "DARBY!!!" Anna cried out. "Let me go goddamn you! DARBY!!!"

        "Trish," Pepper's voice called out. "Put Darby in that blazer over there. Anna take her home!"

        My benefactor, who must have been named Trish, helped me to the Blazer. "My... bike," I mumbled.

        "I'll see if I can put it inside, honey. Get on in now. You need a doctor."

        "Darby!" Anna exclaimed, scrambling into the other side of the truck.

        "Take her to the hospital," said Trish. "She's bleedin' pretty bad. I believe it's bro..." She was shoved out of the way.

        "Who the hell hit you?" Barbara's voice asked. I glanced over to see blood dripping from her nose.

        "GODDAMMIT!!" Anna screamed. "Get your fuckin' hands off her!!!" She grabbed me by the arm and pulled me into the truck.

        "Darby, I'm sorry you got hurt I didn't mean for..." Barbara stopped in mid-sentence and took a step backwards.

        Anna had flipped open the arm rest on the console, which housed a small glove box, and had produced a nine millimeter hand gun, which she was aiming at Barbara. "Get your fuckin' ass outta my way or I'll blow your brains out!"

        "Anna, please! Put the gun away!" I wailed.

        I heard the truck door beside me slam. Then the engine roared and we lunged forward.

        The bleeding stopped before we reached the hospital and they x-rayed my nose. It wasn't broken. But I was told that it had been fractured once before. I could put a face to that injury and it was my father's.

        Once back in the truck, Anna was fuming again. "Who the hell hit you?"

        "Does it matter?"

        "Hell yes. Did that red head..."

        "No. No one hit me. Not really. I ran into it, while you were fighting. Barbara drew back to hit you and caught me with her elbow."

        Anna fell silent.

        "You like to fight, don'cha?" I asked, looking her over.

        She was a mess. Her hair was in disarray and smeared with dirt, as were her face and clothes. She had blood caked in the corners of her mouth and in the creases around her nose. It was evident that she had cleaned herself up somewhat and also just as evident that she was going to have bruises on her face again. The injured eye was red and already swelling.

        "I've... had my share," she finally answered, a bit defensively.

        "It flatters me to no end, sweetheart, but... I don't like seein' ya get hurt." I reached over and touched her shoulder, then scooted over closer. "I thought you were gonna let me handle it?"

        "Didn't seem like you were doing such a hot job to me." She suddenly whipped into a closed gas station, stopped the truck, then threw it in park. She turned to me. "I couldn't stand seein' her hands on you, Darby. All my life I've had no one, not one damn person who was special to me. Friends, lovers... they all came and went like my front door was... one of those damn revolvin' things. And I always let'em go, 'cause I never really let'em get close, ya know. But... I can't do that with you, Darby. The best of me is you.

        "I know, I know, I'm overly protective and horribly jealous, but... I can't help it. I've finally found someone that's real and... pure... someone who means somethin' to me. Baby, you've touched me so deep inside that... I can't bear the thought of losin' you, much less lettin' you walk away." There were tears trickling down her cheeks.

        "Anna, baby..." I pulled her close, pressing her head to my shoulder. "What does it take to convince you that I feel the same way, huh? Perhaps I don't beat people up over you, but I do get ragingly jealous. And maybe I didn't handle Barbara the way you would have or... maybe not even the right way, but... I'm just not a physically violent person. I had enough of that growin' up. But baby... I love you and only you. I don't want anyone else in my life, but you. I don't know how else to show you this other than just... being here with you, ya know. I... I don't have anything I can give you that..."

        "Ssh... I know you love me." She straightened up. "How else could you put up with me, if you didn't?" She reached up and framed my face between her hands. "I'm... I'm just afraid that someone will... steal your heart away. I know that's what Barbara really wants. She's seen that... pureness of heart in you and... she wants it for herself." She stroked the side of my cheek.

        I put my hands over hers. "Well, she'll just have to find it somewhere else, because my heart belongs to you. And you alone." I drew one hand to my mouth and kissed her palm. "But... sweetheart, no more fightin', hmm?" I asked, looking at her knuckles which were very red and scratched up.

        "I don't want her hands on you, Darby!" she stated, squeezing my hands in hers.

        "I know, I know. So, we quit doin' shows there."

        "And you quit that place altogether. Now... right this minute. Work for Rachael, that'll be more than enough."

        "What about workin' for you? The show and all?"

        "No, I don't want you out there anymore. I don't want you anywhere that she can..."

        "Anna, you can't protect me from her or others like her, for the rest of my life. And I'm not gonna live in fear of her. Let me handle it, okay? I don't think she gets the message when you get involved. Hell, she may even like it. Old Red back there said she'd been wantin' a piece of your ass for a long time. What's that all about, hmm?"

        "We... went to school together... eons ago," she answered a bit hesitantly. "But, I don't know what that has to do with now. Maybe she meant since she started putting the moves on you, hmm."

        "Maybe. She's definitely got it in for you for some reason. And she may very well be doin' this just to get you mad. Or just to see if she can drive a wedge between us. I don't think she sees anything pure in me, she just sees something that her money can't buy."

        She stared at me, seemingly considering this. "Okay, what are you gonna do about her, then?"

        "I don't know, right now. Seems that sayin' no to her is like... I don't know... tellin' a spoiled child that he can't have somethin'... and therefore he wants it that much more, ya know."

        "Well, you sure as hell better not say yes."

        "No, but... I bet she'd drop me like a hot potato if I did."


        "Don't worry. Let me think about it, okay? I'll figure out somethin'. But, I can tell ya one thing... I don't want ya doin' that show with anyone but me. And... well, to drum up some business maybe we oughta work out somethin' new, ya know."

        "Yeah, I've been thinking about that myself." She glanced down at her hands, then back up at me. "I love you, Darby."

        "I love you, too, sweetheart. More than I can ever put into words."

        She was sore the next day. She'd taken a bit of a beating. Her face and ribs were bruised, though the eye did not swell up too bad this time. But I was sure that Barbara was in the same shape if not worse. I knew Anna had done a number on her nose. My only worry was that there might be retribution, especially over Anna pulling the gun on her. What form that retribution might take, I couldn't even begin to foresee.

        I called Pepper at home. She agreed to meet us at the bar, so I could get my motorcycle. Once there, I explained the situation. She seemed understanding, but did ask if we would consider continuing to do the shows. Anna was adamant about it and she understood. We parted, friends, I hoped.

        I went to work for Rachael on Monday. It felt good to be back in sane territory.

        Anna went to work Tuesday night. Business was still off. Dora called again and I told her I already had a job and suggested she ask Anna to be her manager. She didn't mouth off about it, she merely said goodbye and hung up. I assumed she was considering it.

        Wednesday, while I was at work, Dora called back, this time for Anna. She wanted to put the past behind them and cut a deal. She'd give Anna the manager's job, if she would allow her girls to work both clubs. Thinking of her own girls, not just herself, Anna turned her down. But, she proposed that if Dora would offer her a percentage of the take or the score from her girls, so that she could pay her own girls more per set, she'd take it. It was dirty dealing on both parts, but business was business.

        Friday night, Anna was manager of both clubs. She reopened Country Nights, after Dora ran an ad in the paper. Business was still light and we did only one set to a sparse crowd.

        Saturday night, business picked up at Dora's. But, still we did only one set. And Anna was still struggling to make ends meet.

        The next week, while I was at work, Anna worked on a new routine with Candy. When I came home each day, we'd go over it together. This one required me to be a mere body for her to act around. I was to be a man all the time, because she didn't think we should repeat the same theme.

        I wasn't too thrilled with it, but I agreed to do it. Friday night, we opened with the new act. The crowd was not big, but the men there seemed to like that we weren't doing the same act. Yet, they kept calling out for us to come out and do the show without the screen. Anna was in a quandary.

        Saturday night, the place began filling up around ten. But these were not regular customers. I noticed several familiar faces in the audience. These were from the Curiosity Pub. Men and women were sitting at tables as if they were couples, which I knew some were, but not the "normal" kind they were pretending to be. Why are they here? I wondered. Did they like the show so much they would come here to see it? Surely not. Or were they merely checking out how another half lived.

        We did the original show that night to the old familiar hoots and howls. Yet, when Anna went out to get the money, she reported back that those familiar faces from the Curiosity were all standing around the stage to hand her money; they had asked us to return. "Come back to the family," one of the men reportedly told her. Anna was touched, but not enough to return.

        The next set we did was the new one. Only the men from that group came up this time.

        During the next week, she received several phone calls concerning us returning to do our show. One man even asked if she'd do the new act with a revision, we'd both be dressed as men. If not for Barbara, I think she would have considered it.

        Business picked up even more the next weekend, especially at Dora's. And Anna began spending a good deal of time there, taking care of the little things that cropped up. There was more money coming in to cover expenses and she was now a little less tense. We made love the following Sunday for the first time since right after she knocked me down the stairs.

        On Tuesday of the next week, one of my employees called in sick and I was stuck at the store for the remainder of the evening shift. Anna didn't like it, but she understood.

        I worked three 16-hour shifts that week and was worn out by Friday night. Yet, we did the show. The familiar faces were back again and asking for our return. Anna regretted telling them no, once more. It was not their fault that we would not return; it was not even the smaller amount of money that it had generated; it was all Barbara.

        Yet, here or there, we could not escape her, she showed up Saturday night.

        "At least she can't get her hands on you," Anna remarked. "And don't you dare wait on her table."

        I knew that whether I waited on her table or not, if Barbara wanted to say something to me, she'd find a way to do so. And she did just that. She must have waited until she saw me go to the bathroom, because that's where I met her.

        She was propped up against one of the sinks, when I walked out of the stall. She was wearing a very nice beige outfit, short-waisted jacket, tight fitting pants, with a white blouse and a pair of tan snakeskin boots. Her hair was pulled back in the same way she had worn it in the store that day. I hesitated a second before proceeding to wash my hands.

        "You look lovely tonight," she said, walking up behind me. I was wearing the black outfit that had once been Anna's.

        I didn't even reply. I merely continued washing my hands.

        She moved forward and put her hands on my waist. "I'm sorry about your nose. I never meant for you to get hurt in anyway."

        I wrung my hands off, still ignoring her, then moved away from her, over to the dryer.

        "I see," she said, crossing her arms. "The old silent treatment, huh?"

        Still I said nothing. When I got through, I moved towards the door. She was there before me and put her hand upside it, holding it closed. Instead of getting mad and blowing off, I merely stood there, staring down at her snakeskin boots.

        "You like these?" she asked, obviously noticing the direction of my gaze.

        "They're nice." And they were. I was wishing I could afford to buy Anna a pair. As well as buy her outfits like Barbara's. I knew she'd look wonderful in them.

        "They're a size nine, think you can wear 'em?"

        "Thanks, but no thanks. I need to get out on the floor, if you'll excuse me."

        "You can have'em, if you give me one night. No, make that one... two, yeah two hours with you. Two hours and I'll either give you the boots or the money to get a pair. Sound good?"

        I looked her dead in the eyes and shook my head. "Barbara..." I sighed heavily. "I'm not for sale. Please... stop this ridiculous display. You cheapen yourself with it," I added, keeping my voice very calm. "You're a very attractive, very rich lady and you don't need to do this. Find you somebody to love. That's what you're searchin' for, not all this... spend one hour with me bullshit."

        She put her back to the door. "Then how do I win you, Darby? How do I make you see that I can offer you so much more than Anna? I know you're not one of these dumb airheads that work out here. You're an intelligent girl. And I know you want more than this." She waved her arm, indicating the club and the atmosphere, I assumed. "And I can give you more. I can take you out of this. Show you a world like you never dreamed existed." She took a step forward. "The song in your act talks about Rome, Paris, cross country trains... I can give you all that and more. Much more, Darby." She reached out and touched the side of my face gently.

        I took a step back.

        "Don't run from me, love." She moved forward. "Look at me." She cupped my chin in her hand.

        "Barbara, please." I removed her hand, but she grasped mine and pulled it to her lips.

        She kissed the back of it lightly, then put it upside her face and kissed the palm. "Just give me a chance. I know I can make you happy."

        I pulled my hand away. "I am happy. Very happy. But, you're making me unhappy at the moment."

        She dropped her eyes. "I know, I can see it in your eyes."

        "Then why do you do this? I don't understand."

        She looked up. "I want you, plain and simple. I never meant to hurt you or make you unhappy. Quite the opposite, really."

        "Then why do you come on like gangbusters, overwhelming a person, treatin'em like a piece of... merchandise or worse, a piece of meat? I expect that from a man, Barbara, but not from a woman."

        She glanced down momentarily and then back up again. "You get nowhere in this world by sitting in the background watching. You've got to be forceful and aggressive or... you'll just get left in the dust."

        "Maybe, in the business world that's so. But, when it comes to this... Barbara, you can't buy people and make them love you. It doesn't work that way. How many women have you bought and... how many gave a hoot and a holler about you, hmm?"

        Her eyes darted back and forth searching mine. "Don't you see that's why I want you?" She moved forward. "I see how you look at Anna. I see how the two of you move together up there." She reached out and I backed up. She followed. "I want that, Darby." I backpedaled even more. "I want that more than anything I've ever wanted in my life." My back bumped against the stall and still she moved closer. Her eyes darted back and forth, as she put her hands on my waist.

"Barbara, no." I grabbed her hands to remove them. "This has gone far enough..."

        She pinned my arms to the stall and kissed me. It was hard and forceful at first, pressing my head against the stall. Then she eased up. I turned my head away.

        "I want you, Darby," she whispered in my ear. "I won't try to buy you anymore. No more money, no more propositions. I just want you to be my lover. And one day... you will be. You'll come to me, because you want to. And I'll be waiting." She kissed my neck, then let go of me and backed away. "One day... you'll want me," she added, then turned and exited the bathroom.

        I went over to the sink and immediately washed my mouth off. I felt dirty and humiliated. I had tried and failed once again. I could not deal with this manipulative woman. I'd fall for her soft and gentle routine, every time. And the thing was, she knew I would. She knew that if she got me alone, I wouldn't do a thing about it. And I hated myself for proving her right.

        "Shit!" I turned and rammed my fist into the stall. "Goddamn that hurt," I told an empty bathroom.

        We did the set and when I hit the floor again, Barbara was gone; for that I was grateful, but her words haunted me. "One day you'll want me." Like hell, I thought.

        Anna was tired that night and I offered to drive. She took me up on it, though time we reached the car and both saw the white paper underneath the wipers, she regretted the decision. I rushed over and snatched up the napkin, before she could, tearing one end of it off.

        "Darby, don't read it," she said, as I got in the truck. "It's nothin'."

        "If it's nothin', then it won't hurt for me to read it, will it?" I left the door open so the light would stay on and then unfolded the napkin.

        She crawled in the passenger seat. "But, you always get so wound up over... Whatsamatta?"

        I realized I was sitting there with my mouth open. On the napkin was a drawing of Anna. There was no mistaking it. The long hair, the shapely hips and the round breasts with the charm between them. Underneath the drawing was written, "Soon you will be mine."

        "It... is... him," I stammered.

        "Who?" she asked, reaching for the napkin; she snatched it out of my hand.

        "Holy shit!" she said, aghast. "But... this can't be. The private dick I hired said... there was no way it could be him."

        "Obviously he was wrong. Or his information was wrong."

        "Shit! You can't trust anyone these days." She shook her head and stared at the note. "Oh well... guess he decided to reveal himself, huh?"

        "And he may be planning more than that."

        She looked up. "Get real, Darby. He may be a little warped, but I doubt he'd let on who he is, then come after me after all this time." She returned her gaze to the note. "He just doesn't seem the type."

        "And did the mayor seem the type?"

        She quickly glanced up. "Who...?"

        "Fletcher. Said he even warned you about him. Why didn't you listen?"

        She shrugged. "I... didn't believe him, obviously. Fletcher is always trying to warn me about someone. He... thinks he's in love with me."

        "I know, he told me. Why didn't you tell me all this?"

        "There seemed little use. What can you do to the mayor, hmm? Who will the cops believe me or him?"

        "You could at least log a complaint, so that if it happens again, they could..."

        "Please, Darby... I... to tell the truth, I... never saw his face, ya know. I..."


        She leaned back against the seat and turned her head towards the window. "Okay. Whole story, if you don't interrupt, hmm?"


        She tossed the napkin over in the seat. "Alright. There was a note slipped under the door of the club one day when I got here."

        "Addressed to you?" She looked up at me rather quickly. "Sorry, I won't interrupt again."

        "It had my name on the front and listed a phone number," she continued, "Said there was good money involved, okay. So, I finally called. I got an answering service. I left my name and number at the club. About three days later, I get another note. It says that Fletcher has recommended me, okay. And gives the time and place. I arrive at the Days Inn out on the interstate and go up to room 24. I knock and the door opens, but he stays behind it. No real mystery there or anything; lotta johns don't want to be seen. So, I walk in and he quickly shuts the door. He's got on this Halloween mask of some kind and is dressed up as Cinderella or her fairy godmother or something, I don't know.

        "Anyway, I'm so caught up in his weird appearance, big round beer gut and skinny legs in this tight costume, that when he raises this wand thing and points at the bed, I can't help but laugh, ya know. Guess I shouldn'a done that. Anyway, I turn towards the bed and he's all over me. Next thing I know, wham, bam, he's beating the shit outta me." She sighed heavily. "I don't even know if he... Well, at least I didn't feel it." She reached into her jacket pocket and removed her cigarettes and a lighter. "Wanna close that door now. It's getting a bit chilly in here and I feel like you got me under a spotlight." She lit the cigarette.

        "So, you never saw his face, right? You don't know if it might have been this guy," I said, pointing to the note.

        "Oh get real, Darby. The man had a beer gut and dark hair on his arms. And you think this retard would have an answering service?" She exhaled a stream of smoke. "Besides, when I thanked Fletcher for the recommendation, he knew exactly who had contacted me and yes, he did warn me off. But Fletcher didn't like Rick; he doesn't even like Tiny. He's always calling me aside saying, he's ripping you off Anna. I seen him watering down the drinks or I've seen him with his hand in the till, again. Shit, like that.

        "Hell, Fletcher even warns me about my girls. Jasmine is getting free drinks. Phil was taking money. Umm... Leena was bad mouthing me. Fletcher just... when he gets mad at someone, his mouth is his weapon against'em, ya know. Lord knows what he says about me sometimes, when I don't follow his advice."

        "So, we do nothing about any of this, is that what you're sayin'?"

        "Exactly. Now, let's go home. I'm tired. If it'll make you feel any better though, I'll tell the waitresses not to give this guy anymore napkins to draw on, hmm?" She took a drag off her cigarette, exhaled a stream of smoke, then turned to me. "Did you see him there, tonight?"

        I racked my brain trying to remember. "No, I don't..." I glanced down at the drawing. "But, I don't think he did this tonight anyway. You didn't strip. So, he probably had this with him. You know, maybe that's part of the reason you never connected him with it."

        "What do you mean?"

        "Maybe he left right after you finished dancing. And maybe tonight, he didn't even come in at all. He just knew you were gonna be doing that set with me. Think maybe our little show is what brought him out in the open, hmm?"

        She shrugged. "I... I don't even want to think about this anymore. I'm too tired and... What difference does it make, anyway? He's been leaving notes for over five years now. If he was gonna do anything, don't you think he would have done it by now? Come on, let's go."

        I didn't argue with her. After all, she had a point. Yet, why reveal himself now? This nagged at me.

        On Wednesday of the next week, it turned off rather cool. Candy showed up for work in a black leather jacket. She came over to me immediately and explained.

        "I returned the one Barbara sent to your house," she said, watching for my reaction. "The one you bought Anna is still at my place. I... I didn't know what else to do with it. I... I thought maybe one day, you... might want it."

        "Her money bought it, Candy, not mine."

        "Yeah, but it was just money you had made for the show. I mean... it wasn't like you did anything especially for her, to get it. And Darby, I can't take it back, I had only one receipt. And besides these things went like hotcakes. I went down there the next week and they had one black one left and no tans."

        "Anna would never wear it, Candy. Not knowin' she had anything to do with it. I'll... find her one, one day."

        She shrugged and lowered her eyes. "Okay. Well, I wanted you to know."

        She had never mentioned the show I had witnessed and I hadn't offered to, either. What Candy did in her off time was her business. Yet, every time she looked at me, I could tell she felt a bit embarrassed.

        "Thanks," I offered, as she glanced up.

        She nodded, turned around and found Anna standing behind her. "Oh... I... I exchanged it... for a larger size," she explained.

        "Uh-huh," Anna said. "They let you do that without a receipt?"

        "Umm... no, I... I had the one from the... one Darby really bought you."

        Anna looked over at me. She bit her lower lip. "You really wanted me to have that jacket, didn't you?"

        "Yeah, but..."

        "Where is it now?"

        "I've still got it," Candy answered.

        Anna glanced over at her. "You can't wear it?" Candy shook her head. "How much did it cost?"

        "A... hundred twenty-three," Candy answered.

        "I'll give you fifty bucks for it. Bring it in tomorrow." She stared at me. "You wanted me to have it, didn't ya?"

        "Uh... yeah, I just didn't think..."

        "Then don't think about it and I won't either, hmm? No sense letting a damn good jacket go to waste." She glanced over at Candy. "And a pretty one at that. Think I might like the tan better," she added, brushing lint off Candy's shoulder.

        Saturday night Anna had to postpone our set. She had trouble over at Dora's. The electronic cash register was on the blink and the drawer wouldn't open. She had to bring out her small calculator for the bartender and round up something to put the money in, as well as jostle change from the door-take and Tiny's register, so that the bartender could make change. This required keeping track of where she got what, so that she could make the books come out on both sides.

        By the time we started the set, I could tell she was stressed out. While we were in the middle of the set, I don't know why, but I decided not to pretend. I knew they'd never know the difference. I kissed her neck and left a trail down to her breast.

        "God, Darby, don't get me turned on," she said, when I came back up.

        "I'm just glad to know I still can."

        "It hasn't been that long."

        "Feels like it."

        When it ended, I waited until the lights went out, then pressed my face against her crotch and blew just as hard as I could.

        "Oh shit, Darby. Quit!"

        I held onto her leg. "I want you tonight, in this chair. Sound good to you?"

        "I'll let you know later."

        Later came at two-thirty, after she finished straightening things out, money-wise, between the two clubs. When she went into the bathroom, I followed. When she came out of the stall, I had a wet paper towel in my hand.

        She glanced from it to me and grinned. "Who pulled your string tonight?"

        I motioned towards her, looking her up and down. She was wearing the tan outfit she had worn the first day we met. Her grin widened. She said that she'd meet me at the allotted place.

        I'd just set the chair down when she walked onto the stage. To my surprise she was wearing one of her skimpy costumes: a light blue sheer chiffon cloak, which she held closed in front.

        "Well, I won't have to take off much, but I'm sure I'll have fun doing it," I commented.

        "I wanna dance for you," she said, walking up to me.

        "My own private show, hmm?" I questioned, noticing she had obviously put on more eyeliner.

        She smiled. "Yep. What'cha say?" she asked, proceeding by me.

        "I say..." I paused, turning and watching her walk toward the middle of the stage. "let the show begin."

        She assumed a waiting pose, hands in front of her, holding the cloak closed. A few seconds later, the music started. It was a song I'd never heard before.

        Slowly she raised her arms out and above her head, the flimsy sides of the cloak fanning outwards revealing her naked upper torso and a skimpy silver G-string. With graceful strides she began moving from one side of the stage to the other, the sheer blue chiffon flowing outward around her like velvet wings. Stopping in the middle of the stage, she performed a series of elegant pirouettes, the diaphanous material encircling her, spinning like a vortex of blue mist, and offering intermittent glimpses of the smooth unblemished flesh of her buttocks.

        She appeared supernal, spectral, a dream from which I dared not wish to be roused. Unable to pry my eyes from this most sensual and erotic display, yet feeling overwhelmed and teetering on trembling legs, I ventured to retrieve the chair behind me for support. Groping with hands that longed to touch the vision of soft flesh moving so felicitously before me, I leisurely turned the chair around and eased into the seat.

        She made her way towards me, performing a series of short twirls, while allowing me glimpses of her shapely form. She halted in front of me, both arms outstretched before her, the cloak held together, obscuring what lay beneath. The corners of her mouth twitched, as she slowly raised her arms overhead again, throwing her head back and offering up an intimate view of her voluptuous body, while her perfume wafted around me, tantalizing and inviting.

        Slowly she went down on one knee, easing into a split position, as she ran her right hand down the side of her right breast. The soft, sensitive flesh responded to the stimulation, growing taunt and erect. The mere sight of the turgid peaks beckoning and arousing in me the desire to feel their hardness beneath my fingertips; to taste their sweetness upon my tongue. Yet, before I lost myself totally in this imagery, she shielded her body from view by bringing the sides of the cloak towards her face, as she leaned over nearly touching her knee with her forehead. Dexterity was the word that shot through my mind as she abruptly raised up, spun around on her behind, laid down on her right side, then brought her left leg up with her hand, holding it mere inches from her face. I was totally aghast.

        Agility was the next descriptive thought that leaped to mind as she gracefully and deftly regained her footing once again, only to begin another series of pirouettes, the open cloak revealing her delectable body with each graceful, skillfully executed turn.

        I'd assumed that I would have a hard time trying to keep my mind off the fact that she had done this for a group of men. But her moves were so smooth, so fluid that I found myself enthralled by her. And I reveled in the knowledge that she was performing strictly for me. Which was what kept the other undesirable thoughts at bay.

        Before I knew it she was in front of me again, holding the cloak on her shoulders now, instead of wearing it. I was stunned, for I hadn't even noticed her come out of it. She moved closer and fanned the sides of the cloak outwards, the diaphanous material lightly engulfing, then trailing over my head and face, leaving in its wake the alluring aroma of her perfume, as she stepped back. Dark eyes, intense and focused, stared down at me as she spread her arms, then raised them, the cloak slipping back into place on her shoulders in one smooth movement. The corners of her mouth twitched ever so slightly. I was mesmerized and she knew it.

        She swirled the cloak around my head again. I reached out to quench the desire of my eager hands, which were longing to touch the smooth skin my eyes were feasting upon. To my dismay, however she twirled away from me, back to the middle of the stage, where she went into another series of spins; the diaphanous material fanning out and then slowly encircling her body like a swirling veil of blue smoke.

        A few moments later, she came to a graceful stop and removed the cloak, unfurling and laying it out before her like a red carpet intended for royalty. With picturesque ease she lowered herself onto the cloak, her full breasts bobbing ever so slightly, as her knees made contact with the floor. Tawny arms reached out languidly before her, as she elegantly stretched out on the cloak. With smooth legs bent at the knees, dark eyes intense and focused, and a hint of a smile teasing the corners of her mouth, she used the slick, flimsy cloak to slowly propel herself backwards, then forwards in a very seductive manner. It was all I could do to stay in the chair and not join her at that point. But, I knew I shouldn't. I had to let her finish.

        I watched her raise up on her knees and begin making fluidly suggestive and provocative movements with her hands, in front of her body and around her face. When she moved her right hand down the front of her chest and over her left breast, I gripped the chair to keep myself seated, knowing full well how it felt to touch her like this. A smile formed at the corners of her mouth and began spreading across her face; she'd obviously noticed my reaction.

        She was soon on her feet again, picking up the cloak, then swirling it around her, as she moved closer. I stood up, unable to take this sitting down anymore. She smiled slyly and brought the cloak over her head, placing it around my shoulders, as I reached out for her. When my arms went around her, she bent backwards, tossing her hair to one side and offering me her neck. I eagerly took her up on it.

        When the music ended, I knew she was mine to do with as I wished. And I did.

        "Where'd you learn to dance like that?" I inquired, as I came up behind her in the dressing room, where she was putting on her clothes.

        "I... took a few dancing lessons when I was young."

        "You never told me that," I said, staring at her reflection in the mirror.

        "I don't tell you everything," she responded.

        "Why not?" I asked, my face contorting into a frown.

        "There'd be no mystery, then. You'd know everything and there'd be nothing new for us to talk about. You'd get bored."


        "Have you told me everything about yourself?" she questioned, buttoning up her blouse.

        "Everything worth... tellin'. So, does that mean that you're bored with me?" I took a step back.

        "Far from it. I still don't know those other little things that you feel aren't worth tellin'." She turned around and smiled. "One day, you'll know all there is to know about me, don't worry."

        "The way you hold things back, I could be too old to care by the time I find out."

        "That's the general idea," she remarked, moving closer. "I don't ever want you to get bored with me." She lightly put her hands on my shoulders. "I intend to keep you intrigued." She roughly turned me around, then shoved me upside the vanity table. "Always keep you guessin'." She pressed her lips to mine, her hands moving up the outside of my thighs, pushing up the skirt, I had just put on.

        A few moments later, those same hands were roaming over my backside, then slipping underneath my underwear. Suddenly, to my utter surprise, she snatched my underwear down, then grabbed hold of both cheeks and started lifting me up.

        "Anna, you can't..."

        "Watch me," she groaned, as she hefted me up on the vanity table.

        As soon as she set me down, her right hand was pulling at my underwear, while her left was pushing the skirt higher. I could feel the cold vanity against my bare backside, which sent delicious chills over my lower body.

        "Dammit," she growled, when my underwear hung on the tops of my boots.

        I giggled, since this was one time, she had not been so smooth. She glared at me and pinched my leg.

        "Ouch... you didn't have to..."        Suddenly, a pair of scissors appeared in her left hand, which she deftly handed off to her right. "Anna, don't... these are new..." It was too late, she had cut the side seams into. She then moved up between my legs, her eyes wide and staring. Cold steel traced down one side of the V at the juncture of my thighs. "You're... scarin' me," I protested, as she started up the other side.

        A smile formed at the corners of her mouth, then spread across her face, as the scissors clattered against the Formica vanity top behind me. I breathed a sigh of relief that was short-lived. A wicked snicker rumbled in her throat, as she quickly grasped the front of my blouse in both hands. She stared at me, her eyes growing even darker and wider, as she snatched the blouse apart. Several buttons popped off and danced around on the floor, before coming to rest. She roughly cupped both breasts in her hands, squeezing the nipples between forefinger and thumb, creating a painful, yet somewhat exhilarating sensation. Then, without undoing the bra in back, she grasped it and yanked it up over my breasts.

        "Awh, Anna, that... Oooh..." Before I could finish she had attacked my right breast with her hot mouth and the other with her hand. "Oh shit," I breathed, as her right hand shot between my legs.

        Even though we'd just finished making love a little while before, I was still unable to resist her, for she knew just how to manipulate me. Her lips were covering mine again, her hand behind my head, holding me tightly. Rough, probing, even slightly painful kisses were coming from this woman who had always been so very gentle with me.

        "Ouch!" I cried out, as she scratched me with her fingernail, while being rough with me in that most sensitive of areas.

        She tensed up. "I... I'm sorry, baby." She kissed on my neck, but did not offer to remove her hand. "I... just... you make me so damn hot. I... just wanna take you..."

        "Anna... oh-h... that..." She sank her teeth in my neck. "Stop! You're hurtin'..." She pulled away abruptly and quickly turned her back to me.

        "I... didn't... Shit!" she hissed, running her fingers through her hair. She took several steps forward, then turned back around, rather quickly, coming towards me.

        "Anna, no. You were hurting me before. I don't want to do this when you're in this kind of mood." She grabbed hold of my hands, as I reached out to keep her at bay.

        "I'll... make it up to you," she said softly. "I... promise." She dropped down on one knee and pressed her face against me.

        "Oh, shit!" I cried out, my back arching involuntarily and my head bumping against the mirror behind me.

        "At least you won't get bored, hmm?" she questioned, as she straightened up.

        "You... don't have to do stuff like this just so I won't get bored."

        "I... didn't mean to hurt you. It's... I don't know what came over me, really. But... damn, I still want you." She caressed my breasts. "Let me do you again," she whispered, leaning over to kiss me. "Please, baby," she mumbled, her hands moving down to my inner thighs, her tongue probing ever so gently.

        I ran my fingers through her hair, then with my right hand, grabbed a hand full of dark strands. She winced slightly, as I pushed her downwards.

        "Ah... yes," she mumbled, as I pressed her face against me.

        I felt naughty and decadent, yet she was right, I would not soon get bored with her. And neither would I let her get bored with me.

Continued in Chapter 19

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