Cam waited with a tray full of drinks. I smiled when I saw him and my heart skipped a beat. I couldn’t help but wonder if he liked my dance, if he thought it was sexy.
I grabbed for the tray as he leaned way over the bar and reached out his hand. Using his thumb, he swiped along my lower lip. “Lipstick,” he said only loud enough for me to hear.
His touch sent little delicious shivers racing down my back. “Thanks.”
After that, the bar got really busy, really fast. I didn’t have time to talk to anyone, including Roxie. I was so busy laughing and smiling and serving drinks that the hours went by without me even thinking about my next dance.
Each one was similar to the first one, but all my outfits changed, the music changed, and I tried to move around to different tables and places. One time I even sat in a man’s lap. The whole time I did it, though, my mind screamed for me to find the hand sanitizer when I got up.
For my final dance, I repeated the one from the night before, with the cut-offs and the white tank top. Except this time I didn’t spill a pitcher of beer; I only poured water over myself.
I made six hundred dollars just from dancing. I made another two hundred from serving drinks. I was practically giddy with the fact I made eight hundred dollars in one night.
I barely made that in an entire month at the snow cone cart.
Did I like this job?
Would I admit to anyone that I was a stripper?
Probably not even at gunpoint.
Was I going to keep doing it?
Once my shift was over, I changed into my cotton shorts and baby tee, finally slipping off the stilettos (my feet were officially dead) and getting comfy with my flip-flops. I used a face wipe to take off most of my makeup and then pulled my hair back in a high ponytail. It made me feel more like me and less like Violet.
I was beginning to think I was creating some sort of alter ego for myself with Violet, the more outgoing, crazy me. Or maybe I was just trying to find a way to deal with the fact I was a stripper.
On my way out, I stopped in the bathroom to wash my hands, and Roxie was in there, on her cell, and she was saying, “Why should I be the one to move out when you’re the man-whore!”
The line was silent for a second and then she snorted. “Fine! I don’t want to live there anyway. The whole place is probably infested with herpes!”
She hit a button on the screen and made a sound, then spun, her eyes going wide when she saw me.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know that anyone was in here,” I stuttered, trying to cover the fact I pretty much just eavesdropped on her conversation.
I moved to the sink and washed my hands. When I grabbed a couple paper towels, she said, “I caught my boyfriend in bed with some nasty skank and now he wants me to move out.”
“He wants you to move out?”
“He says because I’m the one who broke it off, I should be the one to leave.”
“What a douche bag.”
“Right?” She half-smiled. “This isn’t the first time I caught him cheating, but it’s going to be the last. He thinks because I’m a stripper he doesn’t have to be faithful or something. He thinks he doesn’t have to respect me.”
“You’re so much better than that,” I told her.
“Yeah. I know.” She gave me a watery smile. “I haven’t even loved him for a long time. He’s just really good at getting me to stay.”
“Well, if you keep staying, then you might miss a really great guy when he comes along.”
“You think there are any good guys left out there?”
“I sure as hell hope so.”
“Hey, why don’t you move in with me?”
She looked up. “Really?”
I nodded, getting excited. “It would be perfect. I used to have a roommate, but she graduated in the spring and left. Starting next month, I was going to have to pay all the rent and everything by myself. Which means I was going to have to move, but if you move in, I wouldn’t have to.”
“How much is rent?”
“It would be five hundred a month for each of us. We can split the cable, but all the other utilities are included.”
“Are you sure you don’t mind?”
“Are you a big partier?”
“Gross. But I do drink occasionally.”
“Are you a morning person?” I asked, inwardly groaning at having a roommate who wakes up at the crack of dawn to bang around in the kitchen.
“Are you kidding? I work ‘til three a.m. every night. My idea of morning is noon.”
“When can you move in?” I asked.
She squealed. “Is tomorrow too soon?”
“Nope. If you want to come by tonight just to see the place before we make it official, you can. If you like it, I’ll be sure to tell the landlord and you can drop by and sign the lease and get some keys tomorrow.”
“Let me just make sure it’s okay if I leave too and then I’ll follow you to your place.”
At the bar, Cam had a water with ice and a straw waiting for me. “Do I owe you for this too?” I asked as I reached for the drink.
“Nah, this one’s on the house.” He winked. “Hey, I seem to have lost the napkin with your address on it. I probably accidentally threw it away. Will you write it down again for me?”
“I don’t know. Seems to me if you had really wanted it, you wouldn’t have lost it.”
His eyes narrowed. “Maybe I wouldn’t have been so distracted if someone hadn’t been strutting around half naked all night.”
“If the sight of a half-naked woman distracts you, I think you are in the wrong line of work.”
“Harlow,” he growled.
“Cam,” I growled back.
He leapt over the bar… like right over it. I made a little squeal and a couple of the people still lingering inside glanced our way. But we must not have been exciting enough (or maybe it was because I was overdressed now) because they looked away in seconds.
Cam backed me up so my shoulders were pinned against the bar and his arms rested on either side of my head, creating a cage. He was no longer wearing the motorcycle jacket—only that bowtie and trousers—and I stared at the way the muscles in his shoulders bunched with his movements.
A deep craving slammed into me and it wasn’t for a cheeseburger or a donut. It was for him. Was it possible to crave another human being? I looked at his lips and the way they moved as he spoke. But I didn’t hear a word that came out of his mouth.