“This is fucking bullshit,” I muttered, my anger directed more at my own stupidity than anything else.
JC raised a questioning brow.
Hell if I was going to explain myself to him. “What is it you do anyway?”
“This and that. Invest in projects sometimes. Hang out and do what I want the rest of the time.”
So not the charmer, but one of those guys. A trust fund baby that kept up his lifestyle by giving money to other people who did the work while he partied it up and collected.
I couldn’t help myself. I rolled my eyes.
“I could also help you with that stick up your ass.” JC’s tone was serious, but his expression held a glimmer of something more playful. Teasing.
I narrowed my glare. “By what, replacing it with your stick up my ass?”
“Ha ha. Funny. I mean, if you wanted to…” He paused as if giving me a chance to jump in and agree. Fat fucking chance. “But that’s not where I was going with that. I was offering something else. Not was—am. I am offering something else.”
Sure. Something else. Right. “Is that one of the things you do? One of your side jobs?”
“I don’t take money for it, if that’s what you’re implying. No. It’s not a job. I just see that you’re pretty tense. I think I could help you with that.” He was matter-of-fact where I’d been sarcastic. Genuine where I’d been caustic.
It left me speechless, and I couldn’t even begin to say why. Because he had the upper hand? Because I’d been thrown off my managerial pedestal? Because the way he looked at me was the most appreciatively I’d been looked at in who knows how long? Like he wanted to eat me up, but also like he wanted to savor me.
Like he knew that there was a very small but very persistent part of me that wanted just that.
“He helped me out,” Natalie said. “Honestly, you can’t hang out with JC without learning how to chill a bit.”
He didn’t glance up at her, his eyes still glued to me. I wondered what exactly he’d taught her. What method was used to educate her? Surely it was as shameless and vulgar as I suspected.
“Yeah, no thank you.” Not that I was a prude. I was just uninterested in the freeness of character that seemed to be present. I preferred control. I preferred restraint.
I looked around the room again. There was a couple making out on the loveseat and a threesome half-dancing, half-dry-sexing on one of the tables. The woman straddling the guy’s lap was now gyrating over his crotch as he bit his lip, lust marked heavily in his expression.
My disgust must have been apparent because JC said, “Hey, don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.” He studied me for a second. Then he stood and started toward me. “You haven’t, have you? Tried it, I mean. Haven’t had a good lap dance. Haven’t had any lap dance.”
He was taller than I’d thought he’d be, his height reaching a good six or seven inches above my standing height, putting him around six feet. And the way he pierced me with his eyes, the way he goaded me with his libidinous undertones, I felt smaller than usual.
Smaller and hornier.
The hairs on my arms stood up and my heart fluttered at his nearness and his hypnotic voice. I stumbled on my response. “I hav-v’nt.”
He nodded to Natalie. “Wanna show her?”
“Um, no thanks,” I said, standing up before Natalie could answer. Did he really think I’d let her give me a lap dance? No way. I shivered at the thought, though, not entirely sure it was in disgust.
JC shook his head. “Not for you, babydoll. You’d freak. The girls here will show you.”
Normally I’d correct him for calling me babydoll. And I’d definitely walk out before the insane scene went farther. But I was glued for some reason, my feet planted to their spot as JC pulled the chair I’d abandoned out in front of me. He didn’t have to ask anyone to sit there—the girl wearing the French lingerie silently sank into the seat. She braced her arms behind her and spread her legs. Wide.
Natalie took three sultry steps and stopped between the seated woman’s knees. She turned to face out and began her dance. Her movements were subtle at first, a slow tilt of her hip to one side, a sensuous slide of her pelvis to the other. Soon she rested her hands on the other’s legs and bent her own knees as she twisted down—her ass practically sitting in the lap behind her—then twisted back up.
There was a palpable tension that spread throughout the room, but JC’s guests remained in line. I’d expected whoops and cheers to erupt, but none did. The only sounds besides the faint thump of the club music on the other side of the wall were the soft brush of Natalie’s thighs as they slid back and forth against each other, the swish of her ponytail, and the ragged breaths of both the girls in front of me.
My own breathing had become jagged and I had to concentrate to keep it quiet. It wasn’t easy. Natalie’s dance was hypnotic. Her body moved to a definitive beat that no one but her could hear, yet it could be felt. It was seductive. It was foreplay. Watching made my thighs quiver. Made my nipples pebble. Made my panties wet.
A shiver ran down my spine as I let desire spread throughout me. It wasn’t just the sexual aspect that had me so turned on. Nor was it the artistic beauty of her movements. It was something else, something I couldn’t name, something I didn’t quite recognize.
“It’s extremely sensual, isn’t it?”
I startled, not realizing JC was so close behind me. Or maybe I did know and that was the real cause of my body’s simmering arousal. But I didn’t know how to answer his question.
It was sensual.
And that pissed me off because I wanted it to be porn and not whatever odd thing it was in actuality. I definitely didn’t want it to be this thing that flooded me so entirely.
So I didn’t answer.
JC seemed to take my silence as an invitation to say more. “You know what makes it so hot? Besides the beautiful naked women and the fluidity of Natalie’s movements, it’s hot because of what it is. A transfer of power.”
He must have leaned closer toward me because now I could feel his breath skate across my shoulder as he spoke. “When you get a lap dance, you can’t touch. You want to—God, you want to—but you have to let the pleasure tease you and take over while you remain helpless. It seems at first that it may be easy, doesn’t it? That it’s just about keeping control. Something I’m sure you excel at. But it’s really exactly the opposite. It’s about giving up the control. The control belongs to Natalie. Lena has given her the power. She’s promised to abide by her rules—rules she might not like or agree with. And in return, Natalie gives her the pleasure she’s looking for.”