“You’re really fucking tight!” I say, sliding through her wetness, feeling her wrap tight around one finger. “How long has it been?” I ask her, while biting down on her earlobe; damn, I love the sound she makes.
“Never,” she whimpers, raising her hips up to meet my hand.
Jolting awake, I look at the time, seeing that it’s just after two in the morning. “This shit is getting ridiculous,” I say, scrubbing my hands down my face. Ever since the night I had my hand down Liz’s pants, this shit’s been plaguing me. The second the word “never” came out of her gorgeous mouth, everything stopped. I couldn’t fuck a virgin, especially one that’s as sweet as Liz.
“You’re awake?” Anna…or Amber—maybe it’s Angie—says from the other side of the bed.
“Yeah, time for you to go, sugar,” I say, sitting up and wondering why the fuck I keep doing this to myself. Fucking these other women is like walking with a bottle of saltwater through a desert. You know it might look the same, but it still won’t fulfill the need you have.
“Can’t I stay?” She whines, running her fingers down my back.
“Nope,” I say, standing and pulling up a pair of my grey AE sweats.
“So you’re just going to kick me out?”
“Nope, I'm telling you it’s time for you to go. Kicking you out would be bad manners. ”
“When can we meet up again?” She asks, putting back on her tight blue dress, wondering how the hell she slipped out of it so damn fast last night.
“I’ll call you; just leave your number,” I say, walking into the bathroom, knowing by the time I get out, she will be nothing but a memory.
“Yo, T!” Cash says, sliding into the booth across from me. I smirk; he uses that word at least a hundred times a day. “What are you doing here?”
I raise an eyebrow, shoving another piece of French toast into my mouth, and answering without speaking.
“You’re going to Mom and Dad’s this weekend? Asher is finally lifting the ban on access to July, so Mom’s having a big party,” he says, looking excited.
“Does he know that Mom’s having a party?” I ask, thinking that if he doesn’t know anything about this, he’s going to flip the fuck out. Yep. I’ve only seen my niece twice, and only held her once, after November forced Asher to give her over.
Cash shrugs, looking over my shoulder. “Yo!” he calls, waving his hand. I look back and see Liz standing near the front door. Her long blonde hair is over one shoulder in some kind of messy braid; her strapless summer dress is fitted around her perfect breasts and reaches the floor. She waves, her cheeks turning a pretty pink; then I see red when some guy pulls her in for a hug.
“And who the fuck is that?” I growl, knowing that my brothers are used to my Liz issues.
Cash shrugs again. “Don’t know,” he mumbles, watching them. “Yo, Liz. Come here for a second,” he calls her over. The guy she’s with walks to a different booth and sits facing us.
“Hi, guys,” she says, her voice as soft as the curves of her body; and with me knowing what she feels like and smells like, it still fucks with my head.
“You’re going to Mom and Dad’s for the party this weekend, right?” Cash asks.
She looks at me, her face closing off before she answers, “I'm, um, not sure. ”
“Who’s the guy?” I ask. She looks startled by the question for a second.
“Just a friend,” she says, wringing her hands together.
“What’s his name?” I ask, looking over at the guy, who has his eyes pointed right at her ass. He’s younger than me by a few years. His dark blonde hair is a mess, and he looks like a fucking bank teller in his cheap-ass suit.
“Bill,” she says, looking at Cash. “I'm going to go now; I might see you guys this weekend. I’ll, um, let your Mom know. ” She turns, walking back over towards cheap-ass suit Bill, who’s watching each step she takes. I have to hold myself back from going over and smashing his face into the wooden table.
“When are you going to stop fucking around?” Cash asks.
‘She’s fucking innocent, man,” I mumble, shoving my plate away.
“So what, T? Because she’s not a fucking slut bag like the bitches you normally fuck, you aren’t interested?” he asks, and deep down I know he’s right. She was mine from the first time I laid eyes on her at my parents’ house. She was sitting outside, laughing with my mom; right then and there, I knew that she was mine. Then we became somewhat friends; one thing led to another the night of my niece’s birth. I finally had her under me, and she rocked my world with the news that she’s a virgin. Ever since that day, I try to avoid her.
“Gotta go,” I say; getting up, I throw some money on the table, and look at Liz one last time. Great! The guy is reaching across the table, putting her hair behind her ear. My blood boils. I know I need to get over it, or step up to the plate; but either way, I need to make a move. The guy looks over in my direction; his chin lifts in warning. “Game on, motherfucker,” I say under my breath, heading out the door.
I get to the front door of the club and shove it open; my stomach is full of butterflies. In all the time I’ve lived here, I have never been inside this club. I never thought I would even visit, let alone come seeking employment here. The inside is dark, with the only light coming from the bar.
“Can I help you?” a very pretty older lady asks. She’s standing behind the bar, wiping out a glass.
“I, um, need to see Mike,” I say, taking another small step inside.
“Sure, honey. Come with me,” she says, walking me down a long hall. She opens the last door.
“Shannon, give me a minute,” Mike says, without looking up from his computer. “November added some new program on this damn thing, and now I can’t find my e-mail,” he grumbles. I smile and walk around the desk, take the mouse from him, and click on the e-mail icon. He chuckles, “Hey, darlin’. How are you?” He asks in the fatherly tone that I’ve come to love. Mike and my dad had been best friends until my dad passed away ten years ago. After his passing, Mike had helped my mom out with my brother and me whenever she needed an extra hand. I used to pray that Mike and my mom would get married, but they were never anything more than friends.
“Could be better,” I say, feeling the tears start to climb up my throat again.
“What’s wrong?” Mike asks, standing from the desk, pulling me over to the couch.
“Well, I need a job. ”
“Okay,” he says, and I can tell he doesn’t know what to think. “What’s going on with the store?” he asks, and I can no longer control the tears.
“Tim stole all of our money, and I can’t tell my mom,” I cry, doing a face plant into his chest. I don’t know what happened to the brother that I used to know, the one who would come home at night to check in on me after our father passed away. We used to be close; then he moved away to school and everything changed. When I graduated from high school, I worked at a local factory for eight years, before it closed down due to the economy. Every week, when I got paid, I would put money away for savings. I have always loved to shop, and there were never any stores in town that carried anything that I would buy; so I made a plan, saved my money, and finally, my dreams were realized. “Temptations” was opened.
I sat up, looking over Mike’s shoulder. “Three months ago, when Tim came to visit, he asked if he could help me out in the store. I had been working so many hours and was exhausted, so I agreed. I didn’t know that the real reason he wanted to help me was so that he could rob me blind. Now he’s gone, and so is all of the store’s money…and mine. I can’t te
“Shhhhh, darlin’, it’s okay, everything will be alright. November is not using her apartment anymore, so you can stay there; and I can give you the money. ”
I shake my head back and forth. “I can’t take the money; it wouldn’t feel right. ”
“I can’t have you work for me, Liz,” he says, as he places his right hand on my cheek. I feel bad pulling out the big guns, but I know I need money, and I can’t take it without earning it.
“Can you recommend another club?” I ask pulling out my cell phone, looking like I'm going to take down whatever phone number he gives me.
“You’re not going to work at another club,” he says, running his hands down his face. “Jesus, I don’t know what the fuck I'm thinking about doing this shit. ” When his eyes come back to me, I can tell that he’s really torn. “Look, you can serve drinks, but you can’t work on stage. ”
“Okay. ” I agree immediately. I never wanted to work on stage. I would if I had to, but the idea of taking off my clothes and trying to appear sexy just seems like a lot of work. “What’s Trevor going to say about this?” Mike asks, and I looked away. Trevor likes to scare away any man who shows the least bit of interest in me. I’m pretty sure that I’m halfway in love with him already, but I know for a fact those feelings are not mutual. For a while, I thought of him as one of my best friends, until the day July was born. We ended up at his house, celebrating over a bottle of vodka. Things ended up getting hot and heavy. He had his hand down my pants, and I was so caught up in the moment that when he asked me how long it had been, I told him “never”. I didn’t mean I’ve never had sex; I meant that I had never felt that kind of fire, like my whole body was lit from the inside out. As soon as I said the word “never”, he stopped immediately. I tried to tell him that I didn’t mean it like he took it, but he completely ignored me. He then handed me my shirt from the floor and left the room. He has been avoiding me ever since. Which is a good thing, because I had never been more humiliated in my life.
“Trevor has no say in what I do. We don’t even talk anymore,” I say, hearing the sadness in my own voice.
“Yeah, alright. ” Mike says, running his hand through his hair. “You can start tomorrow; just ask Shannon to get you a uniform. ”
“Thanks a lot. ” I say quietly, looking at the hands in my lap.
“Don’t thank me yet, honey. ”
“This means a lot. I know that this isn’t easy for you. ”
“Okay, darlin’. ” He sighs, pulling me in for another hug. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Your shift starts at nine, but come around eight; I’ll have one of the girls show you where everything is, and what you need to do. ” He stands, taking a set of keys out of his pocket. “These are for the apartment. You can get in through the basement door that’s around the back of the house. Just let yourself in. Tomorrow, I’ll help you get your stuff from storage, and get you moved in. ” I swallow hard, trying to control the emotions that are running rampant inside me. “Everything is going to be okay, Liz,” Mike says again, pulling me in for another hug. “Now, go get your uniform, and I’ll see you tomorrow. ”