Archive for October, 2011

TITILLATING TUESDAY

Posted on: October 25th, 2011 by Madison Lake No Comments
CHAPTER 15 – ACCIDENTS  
        Miguel stood in the doorway, looking toward the small bed. She looked lovely and serene lying there, naked against the darkness. He still didn’t understand how he’d ended up there. He had gone out that night with entirely different motives in mind, and through a series of accidents had ended up there, with her. 
He continued to stare at those rosy cheeks, her smooth pale shoulders peeking out from under white satin sheets, her slender neck that irresistibly called out for him. If he had his way, he’d climb back in beside her, snuggle up to her warm body and make wild, passionate love all morning, all day. She was perfect – perfect for him. Had he paid more attention earlier to her needs, to who she really was, he may have determined her finer qualities much sooner, but he had been too distracted to notice. At least, he thought, he’d figured it out now, which is all that mattered.
  Miguel did not believe in accidents, nor did he believe the story she told him late last night was false. They all knew by now that Dominic Diaz was a good for nothing swindler and thief who had been ripping off The Foxy Lady for years, unbeknownst to its rightful owners Mitch and Fran Del Monte. What’s more, he had wreaked havoc there the previous night, busting the club up to the tune of thousands of dollars that neither Mitch nor anyone else had. Even though they all knew Dom was the culprit, without proof, they could hardly approach him outright. Miguel wasn’t sure why she had blurted out this new information to him, why she trusted him above all else. Not until now. 

Sure, they’d had a few drinks, but he knew what she told him came from the heart, a sort of desperate plea for help. And although he was a newbie to their group, at least she trusted him. Miguel knew she had a good heart, and those who have good hearts easily recognize others with the same. Now, the question was, what to do? He figured he should tell the others, but he needed time to figure out how. He was, after all, a bit of a threat to old Irish, but nonetheless, Liam was a figurehead, the ringleader in their attempt to thwart Dominic’s efforts. Timing would be everything, but he also knew time was not on their side. 
Today he’d leave his lovely lady sleeping and head back to the club to see who was still hanging around. Even a day after the trashing of The Lady, there was a huge mess to be cleaned. They knew the CLOSED sign on the front door couldn’t be there for long. Mitch could not afford to lose another day’s income, or could he afford to lose his dancers who needed their wages, or his clients who kept The Lady afloat. Miguel felt he should be at the club as much as he could to help out. Besides, he could use a drink. Maybe Della would have a minute to talk with him. He liked Della. Everybody liked Della. Then, when the sun rose, he’d walk to Bean There, his regular coffee shop, mull things over with an espresso and his usual, two eggs over easy, bacon and hash browns. Answers would eventually present themselves. They always did.
Before heading out the door, Miguel turned once again toward his sleeping beauty. She took his breath away. The golden curls against the pillow and falling loosely around her face looked like a human halo. Covered by a thin, satin sheet, the outline of her body gave off the hint of a marble sculpture – Venus de Milo or Aphrodite of Cnidus – the same curvaceousness, the same full, round breasts. Miguel felt pulled toward her strength and vulnerability. In the past, he’d avoided getting involved with women who were too strong for him, but now it was a huge attraction. For some reason that he didn’t understand, this woman made his heart throb, made him feel like he would never need anyone else in his world again, but her. She was everything. It didn’t even frighten him that they had come together so quickly and easily. He trusted his intuition, and always had. Why would he falter now?
From his position in the doorway, Miguel continued thinking about how his life had changed since he had walked into Snippets Salon for a haircut that day. Again, he did not believe in accidents. He believed everything that happened in life, happened for a reason. Sometimes he was teased for this way of looking at the world, but again, Miguel had an uncanny sense of things. For instance, Liam Irish, who had become somewhat of an arch rival, was nonetheless a man who Miguel looked up to. There was a lot to be learned from someone like that, and Miguel intended to be open and observant when in his presence. Della was another gem. Her gentle spirit but great inner capacity made her a woman to be respected, and she was. Mitch and Fran, were perhaps minor characters in the greater scheme of things, however, their love and loyalty not only to the club and its employees, but to one another, set them miles above most people he had known in the past. Mitch also came across as a father figure to most of them in the group. Not growing up with a father of his own, Miguel liked that about Mitch. Fran was just the icing on the cake. She kept them all going with that straightforwardness of hers, along with her wicked sense of humor. Then there was Genevieve. What could he possibly say about her other than G was G. She  was special.
Looking over at the bed, his eyes once again came into focus, and reality hit. The early pre-dawn light that filtered through the window was making him anxious. He knew he should make a move, get on with matters at hand. There was so much to be done. But when he saw her, time stood still and another urgency tugged at him. Unable to resist any longer, he shed his clothes and crawled back into bed, wrapping his arms around her warm body. She stirred and turned toward him, eyes still closed. Their lips met and locked in warm, passionate wetness, his desire more than he could control. This love was more than he ever imagined possible, and he could not seem to get enough of it. 
Gently, yet with an animal’s hunger, Miguel rolled her relaxed body over and climbed on top. Her legs spread impulsively, craving to feel his hardness press down on her. But instead, his body rose above hers, teasing with a feather-light touch of his member against her belly, up and down her legs. Her moans increased with each stroke, each brush of skin on skin. Arching, her stomach reached up to meet him. She wanted to feel him, wanted more, suddenly desperate to have all of him like she’d had last night. Impatient as she was, not in the mood for titillating antics, Miguel let the weight of his yearning body come down on her and easily entered. Unlike last night, today their lovemaking was urgent, quick, both of them satisfied with a few deep, intense thrusts. Craning to find each others mouths again, Miguel placed his hand behind her head and helped guide her to him. Their kisses were deliciously sensual, and seemed to last and last. Finally they collapsed into the soft, satin sheets. It didn’t take her long to drift back off to dreamland. 
Miguel climbed quietly out of bed and got dressed. As much as he’d like to stay with her, to spend the day slipping in and out of passionate sex and sleep, there were more pressing matters to tend to. Luckily, she would be there when he returned.
Bending down, he kissed the tender crease of Savannah’s neck. 
“Sleep, sleep, my darling,” he whispered. “Until we meet again.”
…Stay tuned…Chapter 16 will be published next Tuesday, November 1st…


CHAPTER 14 – TURNING TRIX

When Liam arrived at the salon just before ten the next morning, Genevieve had already opened. The smell of freshly brewed coffee swept out from the back room to greet him. He smiled. He felt happier than he’d felt in a long time, even with all the drama going down at the club. He dropped his appointment book at the front desk and walked to the back of the salon. To his surprise, Fran was sitting in the last chair wrapped in foils and draped in a maroon robe. She looked up as he approached. 
      “Hey Irish, how’s it going?”  
Liam did not hide his surprise. 
      “Aren’t you a bit early, Franny? I thought we all agreed to meet at noon.” 
      Genevieve rounded the corner from the staff room, carrying a mixture of bleach for Fran’s hair. She looked so perky and radiant it took Liam’s breath away. He just stood there like a dummy until he was brought out of his stupor by the women’s laughter.
      “What’s with you, Irish? Fran said jovially. “Cat got your tongue?”

Then she continued. “I don’t think         Irish is too happy to see me today? Wonder what that’s about.” Genevieve smiled.

      “We just decided to touch up Fran’s color before our meeting, Irish. Is that okay?”
      “It’s a little late to ask permission, isn’t it?” He laughed, and the two women joined in, Fran’s cackle filling the morning stillness. “No worries ladies, I have plenty to do before the rest of the bunch arrive.”
      Liam disappeared into the staffroom but heard their giggles through the closed door. What is it with women when they get together? He thought, shaking his head. He was just glad to be alone, to gather his thoughts and get a handle on what was going on in his life. And what was  going on? He was suddenly in the throes of undermining one of the city’s most notorious low-life crooks, while at the same time, was falling for his employee, who was dating one of the salon’s clients. Meanwhile, it was business as usual at Snippets, where he had to ensure that through it all, his many customers remained happy. He wondered if things could be any more complicated, but then he remembered his past life and relaxed. This was a piece of cake.
      Still, he didn’t understand the fluttery feeling that had been rumbling around in the pit of his stomach every single day since he and G had connected in a special way. It was with him all the time, but was heightened when he was around her. What was he to do? Even with his first love, Simony Chiavary, he hadn’t felt the way he did now. Perhaps it was because of his and Simony’s youth and vagrancy at that time in their lives. 
      He had met Simony when he was twenty four, living the life of a street-wise thug, teetering on the edge. He was a bad boy, with a reputation that carried a lot of respect back in those days, respect earned by carrying out certain requests by those higher up the food chain, otherwise called misdemeanors. Simony had liked that about him. She didn’t know it at the time, but she was looking for someone cleverer than her, or her father, someone she could feel that common bond with. What she didn’t realize was that Liam was getting tired of being ‘in the business’. Between the street life and prison he’d seen too many things, had done too many things. Since he was a lad of twelve he’d been making his own way, and had hooked up with the only people who gave him a sense of family – street gangs. 
     From there he moved up to working with the big time thugs who ran the streets, and by the time he was eighteen, he was expected to up-the-ante from petty crime to jobs that carried some weight. As the money increased, so did his desire, and before long he’d served his first of two sentences in the Pen, the first for petty theft, the second for robbery. Even to this day he wasn’t sure what happened to make him shift, but one day he simply made the decision to move on. He had turned a corner in his life and there was no going back. This shift was happening right around the time he had met Simony, which, he thought in retrospect, was probably why it didn’t work – couldn’t work. 
      Simony wasn’t any trouble. In fact, she was extremely intelligent, and wanted more out of life just like he did. Her wants and needs were fed to her by the same hand that had fed his, however, Simony had chosen to work that system not just for her survival, but for her strength and benefit. Liam knew she had been taught to go out and do better for herself, and that was what she did. When there was something she wanted, she found a way to get it. What Liam didn’t realize at the time was that she was looking out for number one. He was just a pawn in her plan, their falling in love a mere, and unexpected glitch. That aside, they had fun together, and despite the circumstances, it had been love.
      Liam sat down on a stool, lost in the memories of days gone by. It had been a long time since he’d let his mind take him back to those days. He had left them behind so long ago it seemed, and would just as soon pretend they didn’t happen. But, he thought, whatever this was, stirring between him and G, he knew he would have to look his past demons in the eye to reveal the truth – the whole truth – to her. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
      Liam was jolted back to reality when the door opened and in walked Miguel.
      “Hey, man. I didn’t know you were here.” Miguel seemed uncomfortable. “G asked me to grab her some toner, said it was on the middle shelf on the right.”
      Liam rose, reached around and took down a purple bottle labeled Toner Tonic. Miguel thanked him but didn’t let his eyes stay on Liam’s for long. When he was gone, Liam took a coffee mug from one of the hooks, poured himself a cup of now strong Colombian coffee, and sat back down to wait. Fran, G and Miguel were already there. That just left Mitch and Della. From what she had told him on the phone that morning, it had taken several hours last evening, and several more that morning, for Della to reorganize things at the club. Staff had to be rescheduled to come in later than their usual two o’clock check in time, and deliveries had to be cancelled or changed to another date or time. She had told everyone some electrical work was being done, so the place was off limits until early evening. The six of them were expected to congregate at the salon around noon, where they’d have a short meeting to go over their plans before heading to the club. Any last minute changes or adjustments could be made then. 

          * * * * *

Liam, Genevieve, Miguel, Fran, Mitch, and Della arrived at The Lady around two o’clock, ready to set up their trap for Dom and his goons to walk into later that night. They accessed the club through an entrance in the back alleyway, walked past a string of dressing room doors, and entered through the the backstage doors. It was dark. Since she knew the layout best, Della went first, feeling her way to the main light panel beside the bar. All of a sudden there was a loud crash. 
      “Shit!” Cried Della. “What the hell was that?” The group heard her shuffling around. 
      “Della, what’s going on?” Asked Liam, concerned. He made his way forward, but he too  stumbled on something that was lying across the floor. Able to right himself, and trying to maintain his balance, he crawled over to where he thought the light panel was. He reached it at the same time Della did. They flipped the switches and the place lit up, enlightening them to what had happened. Chairs were toppled over, tables were turned, bottles of booze were broken and strewn across the bar, leaving shards of glass and sticky liquid everywhere. If the place smelled like a bar before, now there was no question about it.
The stage sets were scattered across the stage, and across the partly drawn curtain MiTch’s WHorE HoUsE was emblazoned in orange metallic spray paint. Strobe lights were shattered on the floor, costumes were ripped and randomly tossed around the room. Nothing was left untouched. The place was trashed.

…stay tuned…Chapter 15 will be posted next Tuesday, October 25th…





TITILLATING TUESDAY

Posted on: October 11th, 2011 by Madison Lake No Comments
Chapter 13 – TACTICS
Miguel stepped through the backstage door into the dimly lit club. It was three am but he could hear The Way You Look Tonight sung by Billie Holiday, playing softly in the background while a second rate dancer performed an impromptu pole dance for the few stragglers that remained. It didn’t take much for Miguel to realize this was the time of night for young women vying for a job at The Lady got the opportunity to do their thing. Some made the cut, some didn’t. Judging from what he saw, this girl didn’t have what it took. She was young and beautiful, but had no rhythm, and lacked the moves and finesse that made a good dancer, stripper or otherwise. 
He walked over the bar and ordered a bourbon, neat. As he looked around the near empty room he saw Della, so he grabbed his drink and made his way over to where she was standing. As he approached she looked at him suspiciously, and he realized she was talking to someone in a low whisper. He stopped. Then he saw Liam and Genevieve tucked in the dark corner of the table and he understood Della’s hesitance. He turned to go, but Liam stepped out of the booth and stopped him.

“Hey Miguel, what’s up? We thought you had left. Come on over and join us for a drink.” He made a sweeping gesture and Miguel followed, a bit hesitantly, and sidled in beside Genevieve. Liam climbed in beside her where he had been sitting.
“Weren’t you here earlier, Miguel, when Fran and Mitch were here? Asked Genevieve. “I could have sworn I saw you talking to Savannah and some of the girls.” 
Miguel smiled meekly. “Yeah, I was here, that was me.” He cleared his throat and continued. “I came to see you.” He paused, as if looking for the right words. “And Irish of course.” Miguel stared at Liam. Genevieve couldn’t figure out whether his look was one of spite or understanding.
“So, why’d you go, Miguel?” Genevieve now looked at him, genuinely puzzled. Miguel blushed.
“We need to talk, Genevieve,” he said.
“Okay, that’s fine, Miguel,” she said. But perhaps now’s not the time. There’s a lot going down, if you know what I mean.”
Miguel looked at Della, then Liam, and back to Genevieve, and the lightbulb went on.
“Where are Mitch and Fran now?” He asked? 
“They’ve gone home,” Liam interjected. “Fran heard about as much as she could take for one night.” He went on. “The main things is, the cat’s out of the bag. Fran knows the gist of it, and Mitch will fill her in on a need to know basis. At least they are back on track as a couple, which is the most important thing.” Liam took a deep breath. “Geez, we don’t need that asshole, Dom, ruining another relationship.” He glanced at Genevieve, who looked away. 
Miguel shifted in his seat, trying to decide whether to stick around or leave them to their private discussion, but Liam made the decision for him.
“Della, would you mind bringing us another round, and get something for yourself, will you? Your shift has to be over.” Liam shot a glance to the stage where another girl, who did not look twenty-one, had joined the pole dancer. It looked as if they were free dancing, entertaining all of six hungry eyes staring from the front row. The men were well behaved, too drunk to move their slumped bodies from where they sat. The place was otherwise empty. Della let them be and headed for the bar. They were harmless. They’d be shooed out by Derek, one of two remaining bouncers when he was ready.
“So tell me, what do you know, Miguel? Fill me in on everything G has told you?”
Miguel waited, not sure what to reveal to Liam who, so far, hadn’t proven to be much of a confidant. 
“Well, I know that Dom is a monster, that he’s been messing with everybody here at The Lady for years.” He paused. “I know that he screwed Genevieve out of money, and her life, until she took charge of it again.” He was talking directly to Genevieve now, not taking his eyes off her. She kept her gaze down now, and fidgeted in her seat. Liam put his hand on her leg to still her, or to try to set her at ease, if that were possible when discussing Dominic Diaz around her.
“Dom has to be stopped,” Miguel suddenly said. “Do you know that he truly thinks he owns the girls who work here? Not all of them, but the new ones, the young and vulnerable ones.” With a serious look on his face, he glanced from Genevieve to Liam, searching their faces for any hint that he understood what he was saying. “It starts with him offering to help them out. He gives them a job here at the club, buys them new clothes, wines and dines them at the fancy places in town, makes them feel pretty, like they’re going to have a new lease on life, then he ruins them by pimping them out on the side. He’s a first-rate pimp and he’s using some of the backstage rooms as his brothel. Not only that, he takes all the dough. Every penny those poor girls spread their legs for, or suck dick for, he takes it all.” Miguel was getting worked up with every new piece of information he shared. “Says the club has its rules,” he continued. “And until they bring in enough of a crowd with their show, which of course doesn’t happen overnight, that they owe him their earnings, like dues for him giving them their start. And if one of them questions him, she’ll come in with a black eye or a broken finger the next day and that’ll shut them all up. Meanwhile, Dom just hauls in the cash. What he does with it is anyone’s guess.” 
Miguel stopped talking and downed the bourbon that Della had placed in front of him. She shoved another one over to him, having brought a double round knowing the kind of mood the conversation would elicit. Catching the tail end of Miguel’s rant was enough for her. Liam and Genevieve sat stone still. 
“Is this true, Della?” Liam asked. 
“I don’t really know, Irish,” Della replied, her voice shaking. “Sure, there’s been suspicion, and talk, especially over the past six months or so, but there’s just no proof, and the girls that we have questioned keep tight lips, as you can imagine.”
“Why didn’t you say anything, Della? After all this time, why not tell me?” Liam was upset. “I mean, we all know that some of the girls bring men back to their rooms after the show,” he admitted a little sheepishly. “That’s been going on for years, but it’s their choice. That’s been out in the open and everybody’s fine with it. There have been no problems, nobody gets hurt, at least that I’ve known of, but now to hear this…” His voice trailed off. “Nobody has said a thing to me about this, not even Savan…”
“Savannah?” Miguel interrupted. “Well she told me, tonight. It happened to her, it happened to all of them. It happened to G. Tell him, G. Tell him how he tricked you into working, first at his old club and then here, luring you to a better life, then eventual abuse and betrayal. But hey, these girls won’t tell a soul. They know they have every chance of disappearing, if you know what I mean. No one would notice, no one would miss them. He preys on the vulnerable. It’s disgusting.”
Liam stood up and began to pace in front of their table. He was fuming.
“You’re right, Miguel,” Genevieve said. “He is a monster, and has to be stopped, but it won’t be easy. He’s a loose cannon.” She looked over at Liam, who was getting madder by the minute. “I’ve told my story, or at least the start of it, and I’ve told Dom to his face that I won’t play his game any more,” Genevieve stopped to regain her composure. She was shaking but didn’t realize it. “That doesn’t mean I’m not scared though.”
Liam turned to her and stopped. It was the first time he’d heard her say this, felt her vulnerability, the frailty of the situation. He wanted to go over to her, sweep her into his big, strong arms, and smother her with kisses and love – real love. He would protect her, and he felt she knew that. It took all his power to refrain from telling Miguel, Della, the whole world, how he felt about Genevieve. That he loved her – he adored her, and had since the day she walked into  Snippets Salon to ask for a job. At the time he thought she was adorable, albeit a bit of a flake, but she turned his head around before he knew what hit him. He learned she was as smart as a whip, caught onto new ideas and information quickly, and had that wonderful quality to be clever and edgy so that almost everyone was attracted to her, young and old. He couldn’t help think that somebody did something right in raising her, or maybe it was her ability to make it on her own that made her what she was. What ever it was, he was head over heels in love. 
“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time,” Genevieve said. “But I have a plan. It’ll take all of us, you, Miguel, and you Della, and Savannah and the other girls. We’ll need Mitch and Fran, Harry, and the bouncers – definitely the bouncers. And most of all we’ll need you, Irish.”


…Stay tuned…Chapter 14 will be posted next Tuesday, October 18th…


CHAPTER 12 – SHOWTIME

Posted on: October 4th, 2011 by Madison Lake No Comments

Mitch arrived at the club around eleven, a bit early for him, but by the way he hovered around the bar tossing back shots, Liam figured he must have had some serious business to tend to. Fifteen minutes later Dom arrived. He was dressed to the nines, a maroon silk shirt, unbuttoned to his midriff, where a gold chain hung in among his chest hair. He left his tailored leather jacket hanging open, to show off a gold plated belt buckle the size of Miami. The bottom of his tight black trousers barely fit over his grey and beige snakeskin cowboy boots, which may as well have had spurs on them with the noise they made.

“Gimme a JD, Harry, will ya?” 

“Comin’ right up, boss.”
Harry grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels from the bar shelf and poured a generous amount into a tumbler. He handed it to Dom.
“Bottoms-up.” Dominic raised his glass to Harry and pounded back the whiskey, followed by a vigorous shake of his head. “Gotta keep up with my pal here.” Dominic winked at Mitch, who proceeded to turn away.
“Aw, c’mon now, Mitch. We’re pals, right?” Dominic slapped his hand on Mitch’s back and pulled him in close until he was breathing down his neck. Leaning in, but looking out into the crowd, he whispered, “We’re such good pals that you’re gonna give me a heckava fucking deal for this joint, ain’t that right Mitchy baby?”

Mitch squirmed out of Dom’s embrace, and Dominic laughed heartily. 
“What the fuck’s a matter with you, Mitch? This is how we do business, right? Now, have yourself another drink. Harry, pour Mitch another drink.” He turned to Mitch. “What are ya having, Mitch, Crown? Harry, make that two Crowns.”
“No, Dom, I’m having lighter fluid,” Mitch said with dry sarcasm. “Harry, get Dom some lighter fluid. I’ll have a Crown, neat.” 
Liam chuckled quietly from where he and Genevieve sat in the corner, shielded in shadow.
“You have to admit,” Genevieve said. “That was pretty clever.” 
Just then the side door opened and in walked three of Dom’s goons. They sauntered over to the bar and lingered there, glancing nonchalantly around the room. One of them ordered a water with a twist, leaned against the bar to watch the show. The other two just stood around chewing gum, looking bored. Within a few minutes the door opened again and Fran appeared out from the shadows of the dark alleyway. Smoldering in a fitted gold lame evening dress, with a Tiffany heart around her neck and an ornate gold charm bracelet on her left wrist, she looked the perfect part of the club owners wife. Barely able to walk in her strappy Jimmy Choo’s, she did her best to stay upright while making her way over to the bar where Dominic stood with her husband, Mitch, their tongues hanging out. Liam, who had been watching the men’s jousting match with interest, now turned to Genevieve.
“Is this your solution?” 
Genevieve looked down and smiled coyly, hiding her nervous enthusiasm.
“What are you doing here Franny!” They overheard Mitch remark. “You never come down to the club. It’s late. Shouldn’t you be in bed? You should be in bed.” Mitch knew he was lecturing his wife and making a scene, but he didn’t know what else to do. Everyone at the bar stared as they watched Fran teeter to a halt. 
“I’ll have a whiskey sour, please, Harry. Lots of sour.” Then she looked at her husband and said bluntly. “I came to see you, honey. G said you’d be here. I came to talk.”
Mitch was speechless. This visit was completely unexpected and now he was faced with dealing with Dominic in front of his wife, or vice-versa. Dumbfounded, he didn’t know what to do or where to begin. Start with the truth, he thought, but how? All of a sudden, from the back corner of the upper seats Genevieve appeared in her strapless minidress and brown wedged heels. Her hair was pulled back in a bun, but loose strands fell onto her shoulders and down along her cheekbones, seductively framing her face. Liam was at her side in a flash. It looked like a scene from the Godfather, only with the most oddball cast of characters; Mitch, dressed as always like a used car salesman in plaid trousers, light green shirt, dark green sport jacket, and colorful paisley necktie, Fran, his tarty looking wife, Genevieve, the evocative heroine, and Liam Irish, the burly tattooed hero. The cheap looking con man, Dominic Diaz, of course played the bad guy, along with his band of not so merry men. Around them circled an array of made-for-movie misfits, including Savannah Porsche, Mindy Maverick, Della, and of course Harry the bartender.
“Line em up, Harry. A round.” Dom slammed his shot glass on the bar and looked around  for approval.
“Actually, Dominic,” Genevieve said matter-of-factly. “You’ll have to excuse us. We need a word with Mitch and Fran if you don’t mind. Alone.” Mitch looked at Genevieve with fire in his eyes.
“What the fuck? Who are you all of a sudden, a Prima Donna? Who made you god? This is my…my…”
“What? Your club, Dom?” Genevieve glared at him in satisfaction. Dominic was silent.
“Well, you had me fooled,” said a bewildered looking Fran, drawing first blood. “I could have sworn you bought this place from us five years ago, only to discover via the nightclub grapevine that you didn’t. And now you want to buy it again? What’s wrong with this picture? Mitch, what’s wrong with this picture?”
The cast was spellbound, waiting for someone – anyone – to step up to the plate. Mitch shuffled uncomfortably, picked up his glass and drained what was already gone. The music started and a new act began, which drew the attention of the patrons away from the scene at the bar. Genevieve looked at Dom to remind him that he should take a hike, so Liam took the opportunity to steer Mitch and Fran over the where he and G had been sitting. Dom shot Genevieve another searing look before he walked away.
“You think you’ve got this all figured out, don’t ya bitch? Well, I’ll tell you, you don’t know the half of it.” He paused. “If I were you, miss priss, I’d watch your back.” He spat on the floor. Genevieve was unfazed.
“Shut up Dom. Don’t threaten me. I’m not afraid of you anymore.”
“You outta be.” The backstage door slammed behind him, and he was gone.
By the time a rattled Genevieve reached the others in the back corner seat, Liam had begun to lead the conversation toward resolution. 
“Listen, Mitch. There’s no reason for you to be upset. This is a simple matter of dishonesty – on Dom’s part, not yours.” His eyes didn’t leave Mitch’s but he could feel Fran staring at him, wondering, needing answers, and frankly, so did he. 
“You own this club,” Liam went on, grasping at straws. “You always have. We all know that times are tough, but you don’t have to sell your club to make ends meet. There are other ways.”
Mitch sat for a long time, as if trying to think of what those other ways were. The pitch of the music got louder and more frenetic. Liam tried to keep both Mitch and Fran focussed but it was getting more difficult to do with the show going on. He could see lights and colorful movement from onstage, but hesitated to look so as not to distract them any more than they were already. Della swung by the table with a tray of drinks; one whiskey sour, one Crown, on the rocks this time, one Highball, and one Ginger on ice with a twist of lime. Liam nodded at her and smiled. He wished he could include Della on their conversation. He knew she would be an asset, supporting both Mitch and Fran, as well as giving some insight into the goings on at the club, sharing things that they wouldn’t – couldn’t possibly know. But her time would come, and he knew she understood this. He and Genevieve would catch her up on things later on.  
“Mitch, why didn’t you tell me? We used to talk about everything. What happened? What is it you can’t tell me?” Fran’s boobs were spilling out of her flashy tight lame dress, which made it hard to take her seriously, but she sounded so desperate, almost defeated. Mitch kept his head down, embarrassed that he hadn’t been honest with this wife. He knew better than to mess with Fran, and wondered if this disaster could ever be fixed. Liam made a move to butt-in, to try to help make things right between them, when Genevieve moved her hand under the table and placed it on his thigh in a gesture to ease him off. She squeezed gently. He too, reached his hand down to meet hers and their fingers clasped onto each other eagerly. The excitement rose in each of them, but they were quickly brought back to the table when Fran spoke, almost screamed.
“Mitch! What’s going on? What kind of place has this turned into?” Fran stood up in indignation. As she did, her drink went flying off the table, ice and whiskey everywhere. They all looked at Fran, who was now ashen white, then followed her eyes to where she was looking. Then they saw what she saw. Up on center stage, spotlight beaming, in full view of the entire Foxy Lady Strip Club, was Mindy Maverick, spread eagle, wearing nothing but a grin.
stay tuned…chapter 13 will be posted next Tuesday, Oct 11th…