But as the night went on, the crowd grew louder and drunker.
Adam found me and told me to get backstage so I could do some dancing to give some of the other girls a break.
“Don’t freak out,” Roxie told me over the music and the crowd.
I pulled out a pink bustier, one that laced up the front with black satin ribbons. Then I put on a tiny pair of black boy shorts with pink skulls on them. The purple stripe was already in my hair and I decided just to leave it down around my shoulders. Then I slipped on the black stilettos and added some pink lipstick and some extra eye makeup.
“That outfit is hot,” Roxie said, looking me over.
“I hope so,” I muttered.
I went to my place behind the curtain as my heart pounded and my palms sweated. The crowd was so loud that I had to strain to hear the DJ announce me.
The music started up (another classic rock song), and I started moving, stepping out and strutting down the stage toward the pole. I’d avoided the pole so far, but I didn’t know what else to do.
As I strutted, my shoe caught on something (likely thin air) and I stumbled. Thankfully, I didn’t fall, but one of the guys pushed up to the edge of the stage reached out and grabbed my waist. “Whoa there, sweetheart,” he said, pushing me back up and slapping me on the butt.
I glanced toward the back of the club where Ty stood glaring in the direction of mister grabby hands. I gave him a slight shake of my head and he relaxed. Then I turned back to the man who touched me and put the toe of my heel on his shoulder. The crowd liked that so I did a little move and then shoved off the guy, making him fall backward.
He deserved it.
Hands reached for me as I turned myself around the pole, and I wanted to gag. I did not want just anyone’s hands on me. I only wanted one set of hands on me.
Just thinking his name was a mistake because it halted my movements, and I turned in the direction of the bar, my eyes automatically seeking him out.
He was handing someone a beer when he seemed to sense I was looking and he glanced up. Our eyes met.
He nodded his head ever so slightly, telling me I could do this.
I started moving.
I pretended he was the only guy in the room.
In that moment, he was.
I stuck a finger in my mouth, wet it, and then trailed it down my chest. My fingers scraped all the way down my thighs and then back up, right into the center of my legs. Cam’s eyes never left me as he leaned forward on the bar, still watching.
I spun around, spreading my legs and then grabbing my butt with both hands. I stopped and looked over my shoulder, directly at him.
And then I strutted to the end of the stage where two men were standing, watching. “Give a girl a hand, boys?” I said, holding out my hands.
They were only too happy to oblige and then both lifted me down.
The crowd parted as I moved; the spotlight followed the path I took. My eyes never strayed from my target, from my destination.
When I got to the bar, I grabbed a man by the back of his shirt (frankly, I was offended he wasn’t looking at me to begin with) and tugged, yanking him away from the bar.
“Hey!” he yelled until he got an eyeful.
I smiled, grabbed his bottle of beer, and took a long pull. The crowd cheered. Then I handed it to him and he held it up like he won some award. Placing both palms on the top of the bar, I hoisted myself up (I only slipped a little) and sat on the bar, my legs dangling over the side.
Cam was a little farther down so I crawled, my movements long and drawn out, down the bar toward him. I felt the boy shorts ride up my butt, but I didn’t fix them… I didn’t care.
He stood up straighter, making room as I got closer. Beside him there was a little holder full of plastic test tubes that were half full of electric-blue shots. I had no clue what kind of alcohol was in them. It didn’t matter.
I hoped, I prayed that Cam played into this because he was about to become part of my routine. If he didn’t cooperate, I was pretty sure I would have to hide in the bathroom the rest of the night.
I stood directly over him, giving him a full-on view of my backside, and then leaned down and picked up one of the test tubes. I lifted it high so everyone could see.
Then I slid the tube right down between my breasts.
I heard the whistling, the catcalls, but I blocked them out. I looked at Cam and sank to my knees right there on the bar, sticking my chest near his face.
I curled my hand around the nape of his neck, just below the black fedora perched on his head, and drew him closer. I felt a laugh rumble through him and I had a momentary freak-out thinking he was going to pull away.
But he didn’t.
His lips went searching for the tube. The spotlight was hot as it highlighted us and his lips were cool as they slid over my cleavage and found the tube. He yanked it up with his teeth, then tipped his head back and drained the liquid.
The crowd was in a good frenzy now as I stood and strutted down the bar. I crooked my finger at Cam, hoping he would follow, and thankfully, he did.
I reached for the black silk ribbon lacing up the corset and I pulled, slowly untying the garment. I started low near my belly button and pulled the ribbon until the corset was completely open all the way up to just beneath my breasts.
I glanced at Cam.
I was out of ideas.
But he wasn’t.
He grabbed an empty shot glass off the bar and held it up. The men cheered (I had no idea why) and then he flung it up, flipping it in midair, and caught it. Then he slammed it down on the bar in between my legs and pointed.
I had no idea what that meant.
“Lay down,” he mouthed.
I took my time, making a production out of it as I draped myself across the top of the bar. By now my first song was over and the DJ had started another, but the one he picked went perfectly with the mood so I went with it.
When I was lying on the bar with my back arched in a way I prayed was provocative and not stupid, Cam poured a shot of honey-colored liquor into the glass. Then he parted the opening of my corset, completely exposing my midsection.
I wasn’t prepared for what he did next.
He licked across my stomach, just above my belly button. His tongue was like a fire blazing a scorching trail across my skin. I didn’t have to pretend I liked it.
Because I did.
I liked it so much my back arched even farther off the bar. Then he sprinkled something across the wet path he left on my skin. It was gritty and white. Salt.
Then he held up a wedge of lime and tucked it between my breasts, right where the ribbon was coming loose.
The shot glass was cold when he set it in the center of my stomach. I held my breath, praying I wouldn’t move and cause it to spill.