Liam Irish settled into his usual seat in the back corner of The Foxy Lady strip club. He didn’t like being up close. There were too many loud mouths and creeps pounding back Jack Daniel’s and yelling profanities at the dancers, for his liking. Besides, Liam preferred to be alone with his thoughts.
Savannah Porsche was just finishing her show. Liam liked Savannah. Using ribbons as her dance prop, she slowly unwrapped herself, like a package, creating an elegant frenzy of color around her curvy, near naked body. The grace in which she unraveled herself, then the final flutter of ribbons around the stage, made Liam think of the tails of kites flying freely in the breeze. There was a spacious field near a lake, where, as a boy, he used to fly kites with his grandfather. He remembered the freedom he felt when the kite finally got picked up by the air current and was carried away. How it made his heart lift, like he was the kite itself. The colorful ribbons caught in the sunlight, quivered and swirled in the wind. Liam thought it was beautiful, then and now. Then he remembered having to return home to his hard-drinking father and prostitute mother, the poverty and misery. His grandfather had been his only mentor, his only friend, and then he had died.
The house lights dimmed to almost black as the music stopped, and Savannah Porsche disappeared into the darkness. Without a break, another song started. It was soft and sensual, an R&B piece, not the usual raunchy songs most of the strippers played. First he only saw a leg, long and lanky, move with the music. The dancer was in shadow at the very back of the stage. Whoever was attached to that leg had to be gorgeous, Liam thought to himself. He wasn’t familiar with this piece, or, he thought, with this dancer.
The leg was stockinged in black fishnets and on her foot was a very sexy, strappy heel with metallic rhinestones that caught the light when her foot moved. Her ankles were slim, and her leg seemed to go on forever. Liam wasn’t sure if the dancer was sitting on a stool while producing this tantalizing leg of hers, or whether she was standing up, but the lighting kept the rest of her body, which appeared to be dressed in black, well hidden. The audience could not see her even if they tried. Liam was riveted.
As the music lulled its melodic rhythm, the dancer kept her leg twirling and bending with the beat. Her flexibility was beyond what he’d seen before, and he’d seen a lot of dancers in his day. As much as he anticipated, with growing urgency, for the dancer to reveal herself, he was thoroughly enjoying being strung along. The crowd gathered around the stage at the front did not share his point of view, however. They were growing impatient. With every circling tease of her lifted or twisted leg, the men called for more. Finally, another leg appeared to loud applause. Now, thinking they were going to be offered a real show, the men started to hustle, tossing bills onto the stage, whistling and cat-calling their vulgar remarks.
“Show us some pussy with them legs of yours,” cried one young man who was getting so worked up he was visibly perspiring.
“Give us a taste of it, sugar,” demanded another.
“Don’t bore me. Gimme some action.” To this the men started hooting and hollering. A few even tried to clamber onstage and had to be dragged off by a burly tattooed bouncer who Liam didn’t recognize, and who he thought was young enough to be his son. Liam also thought, for a Tuesday night, the house was rowdier than usual, especially this early in the evening. He wondered if there was a stag going on, or a private party. Otherwise, it was particularly unruly behavior for a weeknight.
The dancer continued working the crowd with two legs swinging and pumping with the beats. Her moves were seductive and alluring but Liam knew that it didn’t appeal to the other men in the bar. He looked around. Most of them there were young, which explained the attention span and level of boisterousness. By the number of Grey Goose and Jack Daniel’s bottles beginning to pile up on the tables that surrounded the stage, they were drinking hard, getting shit-faced as their ultimate goal. A couple of guys were already flashing wads of green for lap dances or private rooms. Liam shifted in his chair. Just then his barmaid approached.
“How ya doing sweetheart. Care for another?” She leaned over to place a clean cocktail napkin down on the small, round table, in preparation for a positive reply. Her ample bosoms were close enough for Liam to nuzzle his nose into, had he wanted, and she probably would have only expected an additional ten spot, at least for starters. Since he didn’t bite, she tried another angle.
“You here alone tonight?”
“Yeah, I’m here alone. I’m always here alone, you know that.” Liam winked. “But no Johnnie Walker Blue for me tonight.”
“Oh, bein’ a wise guy, are ya?” Della smiled.
“Actually, no. I’m chillin’, with the booze, that is. Only temporarily,” he added. “I’m testing my will power. How do ya like them apples?”
“Wow. And ya came in for a visit anyway? I’m impressed. Okay, hon. I’ll bring ya a Ginger on the rocks. Will that do ya?”
“That’d be great. So, what’s with the fraternity boys tonight, Della?” Liam asked, looking around warily.
“Oh, shit, them? It’s some sorta high school reunion or somethin. We’re all told to watch our backs. Got extra strong-arms on duty too. And it’s only eleven. Geez. Just tryin to keep cool, is all, tryin to keep cool.” Della gave Liam a wink. “Be right back with your Ginger, baby.”
He watched her walk over to the bar, warding off a couple of hustles along the way. Della was a pro. She could handle herself in almost any situation. Still, Liam didn’t like where this night was going. He figured he’d finish his Ginger Ale and head home, but he couldn’t take his eyes off the show. Not till she was finished.
While Liam had been distracted, the stripper had added arms to her performance, taunting the audience with hand gestures to the area where her legs parted, or by running her gloved fingers up her legs. She was removing her stockings now. He watched in rapt attention. The music was hypnotizing, as were her moves. As she ran her graceful fingers from the tip of her toes to the darkness that was between her thighs, Liam realized he was getting very turned on. His pants began to bulge at the crotch and he desperately wanted to get laid – now. But he was so entertained by the performance that he couldn’t – wouldn’t tear himself away. He had to see who this mystery woman behind the shadows was.
“Here ya go, hon. Ginger, on the rocks.”
“And here you go, Della.” He handed her a twenty. “Pretend it’s my usual and keep the change.”
Della noticed Liam didn’t take his eyes off the stage during their exchange. “She’s good, isn’t she?” Della asked him, with an interest.
“Who is she?”
“A newbie. Came in a couple weeks ago and boy can she dance. Hired on the spot.” Della glanced at the stage. “Alotta the guys don’t like that she doesn’t ‘show all’ but I think she’s damn good. That’s what ya outta be – a tease. That’s why they call it striptease for crissake.” Della laughed. “Listen hon, I gotta run. Nice seein ya. Take it easy, huh? Next week?”
Liam nodded. “Yeah, probably. Take care yourself, Della.”
He settled back in to watch the end of the show. Suddenly there was a skirmish at the bar. A bottle of Bacardi went crashing down on a nearby table and before anyone had a chance to see what was going on, a full on brawl broke out. Guys that were sitting around the dance floor leapt up to join in, thinking it was a good time to show off their muscles. Bouncers came out of the back rooms. The front door was bolted shut. Liam looked around frantically. He wanted nothing to do with this, but he couldn’t escape now. He burrowed into his dark corner and tried to remain incognito. This wasn’t his thing, not anymore. His days of bar fights and drunken disorderliness were over. He’d seen enough of the seedy side of life, had lived enough of it, to understand he was far better off to walk away. Walk away from the poverty, the booze, the eking out some life from those horrible choices. He knew now that he would never drink again, and it occurred to him that it was okay. Like a light bulb had just gone on, Liam Irish laughed out loud at this new discovery about himself. He wanted to jump for joy, to go over and sweep Della off her feet and hug her. He felt great. But he could see Della being pushed into one of the private rooms by a bouncer who was trying to keep her from getting hurt. Beer bottles were breaking and fists were flying. While Liam was having his revelation, The Foxy Lady was erupting into mayhem.
Liam turned away from the fight scene and looked back up at the stage. The dancer was gone. Legs, arms, graceful hands, all had disappeared from view. At least she’s been taken out of harm’s way, Liam thought, but where was she? He looked around, wanting desperately to find her, to know she was safe, to see her one last time. Then, in the shadows of the drawn curtain he spotted the lovely figure of a woman silhouetted against the dim backstage lights. The same long legs, the same graceful arms hung at her sides. She was watching the scene at the bar, in fear, or fascination. Her features were perfect, her stance familiar. Genevieve.
…stay tuned…Chapter 5 will be posted next Tuesday, August 9th…