Babette the Burlesque Dancer
Babette walked through the Montmartre district of Paris one morning. Rain poured down in sheets, but Babette did not care. Exhausted, she was on her way home after a night at the burlesque club where she worked. Her hair, once curled and piled in a classy up-do, fell in wet clumps down her back, heavy with water, her coal-painted eyes ran black down her glistening cheeks. The damp cold was evident in the dark, hardened nipples that poked out from her drenched white blouse, her coat left hanging on the hook in her dressing room due to a hurried exit.
Babette filled her lungs with the fresh, spring air. Despite the unpleasant ending to what had otherwise been a good evening, with a responsive crowd and good tips, she felt good, relieved even. She was so done with the petulant Jean Claude, bartender/bouncer at Tres Burlesque, and now, finally, her ex-boyfriend. Done.
She picked up her step, almost skipping along the puddled sidewalk, the weight of love gone wrong lifted from her narrow shoulders. A car splashed by, then another, throwing water against her bare legs and onto her skimpy clothing. She wrapped her shivering arms around her torso, hugging warmth into herself. Home was not far now.
Just then a car pulled up close to the curb, driving slowly beside her as she walked. It was a police car. She looked through the rain splattered window and stared directly into the electrifying eyes of a male police officer, the woman officer driving, hidden behind him. The male officer was wearing his uniform jacket but not a formal hat, and his dark hair fell tousled around his handsome, roguish face. The car stopped and slowly the window came down, emitting heat that hit her even from the eight feet distance that separated them.
“Are you Mademoiselle Babette Rousseau?” The handsome officer asked, his voice pleasantly deep.
“Yes, that is me,” replied Babette, shivering now that she had stopped walking. The gentleman officer looked her up and down. Babette was not sure if he felt sorry for her, standing there all wet and cold, or if he was trying to seduce her with his eyes. If it was the latter, it was working because a flush of warmth ran through her body. The female driver kept her gaze on the road ahead, even though the car was not moving.
“I’m afraid you’ll have to come with us, Mademoiselle Rousseau,” the officer said flatly.
“But why?” Babette asked, confused by his request. Her mind raced through the events of the past twenty-four hours.
“Do you work at the Tres Burlesque club, Mademoiselle?” he asked. Babette nodded, rain falling from her hair down the front of her, adding to the puddle in her black patent heels.
“There’s been an incident. We need to ask you a few questions.” He paused. “Please…get in.” The officer twisted around and, reaching his long arms behind him, opened the door for her. She shook herself like a wet puppy before climbing into the heated vehicle. The female officer took off, sirens blaring. The male officer turned to his partner.
“Is that necessary?” She ignored him, pressing her foot onto the gas pedal as they forged their way through the rain swept streets toward Police Headquarters in the Montmartre district of gay Paris.
* * * *
Inside headquarters, the police chief had been kind enough to provide Babette with dry clothes. He gave her a uniform shirt that hung down to her knees, and a warm, dry blanket to dry her hair with, and wrap around her chilled body. Her shoes were ruined from the rain, so she abandoned them in the change room, along with her dripping clothes, and walked back out into the main room of the building.
Offices lined one wall, most of which had their doors closed and blinds drawn. What went on behind those closed doors? she asked herself, wondering if she would end up in one of those. Uniformed men and woman came and went, phones rang incessantly, and a few deadbeats were dragged in, handcuffed and in no mood to behave.
Babette looked around but didn’t see her escorts anywhere, the driver or the handsome officer. No one seemed to pay much attention to her, so she wandered over to an empty bench beside a water cooler, and sat down. There was a small table with magazines on it, so she found one and began to leaf through the glossy pages, glancing up now and then to see if anybody made eye contact with her, or gave her some signal that she was to be called upon for questioning. Tired and hungry, she wanted to get this silly business over with so she could climb into a hot bath and go sleep for at least a few hours before her next shift.
Across the room a door opened, and out walked the female driver of the cruiser that had picked her up. Following behind was the attractive male officer. He glanced her way and she noticed a slight smile cross his face. His long strides caught up with the woman, who had already reached the bench where Babette sat, magazine open in her lap.
“You’re up, Rousseau,” the young woman said sharply, glaring at her. Seeing her for the first time, Babette took note of her exquisitely fine facial features, although they were hidden under a mask of a stern demeanor. Her hair, loosely tied back in a hairband, fell in golden waves just past her shoulders. Dark eyes, slightly inset, seemed automatically wary, and her mouth, although full-lipped, was pursed, which created wrinkles in the corners that were not the friendly sort. Her arms folded across her flat chest suggested she was guarded and shut-off. Babette felt sorry for this woman, and although she was likely working at a job that suited her disposition, Babette thought how she might be different given another profession. She watched her turn and walk away, and wondered if they could ever be friends.
“My name is Officer Benoit,” the handsome officer suddenly piped in. “I will be taking you in for questioning now, Mademoiselle Rousseau. Please come with me.”
Babette followed Officer Benoit down a long corridor away from the rest of the precinct chaos. The interrogation room was classic cop show drama; dimly lit, a table in the middle of an otherwise empty room, with only a lamp, notepad and pencil on it, with two folding chairs facing one another. Not saying a word, Babette sat across from where the notepad and pencil were, and Officer Benoit took the other seat. He smiled at her. She noticed a large blank window behind him, which she supposed was the ‘observatory’, where the other officers and guards would be watching the interrogation.
“Shall we begin, Mademoiselle?” Officer Benoit’s voice was smooth and calming.
“Yes, that is fine,” Babette said. “But I do feel it is my right to know what the hell is going on, don’t you, officer?” Officer Benoit held her gaze, and the corners of his full lips turned up into a slight smirk.
“I don’t see what’s so funny about that,” Babette said, with a snippy tone. She pulled the blanket around her shoulders more securely, as if that would give her strength – strength not to be seduced by this mans charm. Benoit suppressed smiling with a cough.
“Yes, you are absolutely correct, Mademoiselle. Let me tell you that, I know you are not guilty, however, we must interview everyone who last saw Mr. Jean Claude Perrot before they found his slaughtered body beside the dumpster in the alleyway outside Tres Burlesque.” He looked at his watch, then wrote on the blank sheet of paper in the notepad in front of him. “I believe you would fit into that category, no?” He looked up at her again, this time stone-faced. Babette’s mouth dropped. Blood rushed from her cheeks to her feet in a matter of seconds. She felt dizzy, and her mouth suddenly went dry as cotton. She closed her eyes, grabbing onto the edge of the table to brace herself from keeling over right there on the spot.
“Are you alright, Mademoiselle Rousseau? Can I get you some water?” Babette’s eyes opened slightly.
“Water? Yes, water would be nice, thank you.” She closed her eyes again, and rested her head on her arms on the desk. Within minutes the door opened and in walked an older gentleman in street clothes, carrying a glass of water. He set it down on the table in front of her, then left the room. Not a word was exchanged. After a minute or two, Officer Benoit continued.
“So, I take it from your reaction that either, A) this is the first you’ve heard this news, or B) you had something to do with his death?” Very slowly Babette raised her weary head. The dizziness had subsided a little, but she felt woozy, partly from shock, and partly from not having eaten.
“You were his girl, were you not?” the officer queried.
“I was his girl.” She waited, trying to formulate the right words. “It was an on again, off again relationship – very dysfunctional.” She looked at her hands, now resting in her lap. “I had just left him for good, I had just walked out on him, just this very morning, when you stopped me. I had just left him.” She stopped. Officer Benoit kept his gaze steady.
“I see. That must have been difficult, no?” She looked at him.
“No, not difficult. I…I hated Jean Claude. I’d tried to leave him so many times but…” she broke off. “I was afraid of him, afraid of what he might do to me. He was a monster, Officer Benoit. I despised the man.” She sat back in her chair and sighed. “There, I said it. Now, are you going to implicate me?”
“Do I have reason to, Mademoiselle?” Benoit asked, somewhat playfully.
“No. None at all. But you must know, Jean Claude and I were over long ago. It just wasn’t easy to extricate myself from him, until now, that is.”
“So, why now? Did something happen to help you, or should I say did someone help you?”
“Officer Benoit,” she said, laughing out loud.
“Call me Denis.” Babette looked slightly surprised, but continued.
“Denis, there were many people who wanted Jean Claude dead, but nobody I know would actually do anything about it. Seriously, Tres Burlesque may seem to you to be a ‘house of ill repute’ so to speak, but it’s a classy club, and everybody that works there, or frequents the place, is decent. I mean it.” Babette was pleading with her eyes for his approval.
“I believe you, Babette. May I call you, Babette?” Surprised again, she nodded.
“I don’t know what happened, Officer…I mean, Denis,” she corrected. “I’m not sure I want to know. The last time I saw that creep he was about to hit me over the head with an iron pipe. I ran.” She looked down at the blanket wrapped around her near naked body. “That’s why you found me walking home in the state I was in. I ran,” she said, her voice almost a whisper.
Denis stood up, motioned to the blank window and mimed a few words that Babette could not figure out. Then he walked over to a switch on the wall by the door and flipped it down.
“There,” he said, pleased with himself as he sauntered back to his seat. “Now we can talk, completely unencumbered. They have what they need,” he said, motioning to the blank window. “If they have any more questions, you can be sure they will contact you. Meanwhile,” he stared at her with his deep, dark eyes. “Meanwhile, now we can talk.”
Babette looked stunned, not entirely sure what he was getting at.
“You said the clientele at Tres Burlesque are decent. You know why I believe you?”
“No,” she stuttered. “Why?”
“Because I’m one of them.” His dreamy eyes pooled of softness and seduction, and Babette didn’t know what to make of it. Was this a ruse, to catch her in the act, or was he for real? She had no way of knowing.
“You don’t have to worry, Babette. You are safe with me. I promise.” Denis nodded again toward the vacant window behind him. “They are gone, or if anyone is still there, they can’t hear a word we are saying, so don’t worry. I flipped the switch.” Babette glanced over to the door, putting two and two together.
“So, why are you holding me then?” she asked.
“I wish I was holding you,” Denis said, eyes smoldering. Babette quivered as warmth encompassed her body.
“What are you talking about, Off…I mean, Denis. What are you doing?” Denis shifted in his seat.
“Listen, you may think I’m some sort of shady cop, but I’m not. It’s just that when I heard they were after you as a prime suspect in the killing of that creep, I not only had to get on the task force to investigate, but I had to see you, to meet you.”
“Meet me, but why?” Denis reached out to her with his gaze, and she blushed, feeling his imaginary touch on her. Her skin suddenly prickled, her groin awakened.
“Eh, hem,” she cleared her throat so she could speak. “Denis, what do you want? If you know I’m innocent, what more do you want from me?”
“Everything,” he answered bluntly. “I want to touch you. Right now. If I could, I’d rip…” He thought for a moment and retracted his phrasing. “I’d gently peel off the blanket that covers your sleek, bare shoulders until it fell away, leaving you searingly naked.”
“I have a uniform shirt on,” she said, a twinkle in her eye. He laughed.
“Ooh, I love a girl in uniform.”
“So, is that why your partner is so jealous of me? Because you love her?” Denis bit his lip and turned crimson.
“Lara? No, but she’s in love with me.”
“I see.” Babette looked down.
“We’ve been partners for years, and she’s been in love with me for years. What can I say?”
“I guess not much,” Babette said, smiling.
“While I’ve been in love with you,” he said off the cuff. Now he was smiling. “I remember the first time I saw you. You had just started at the club. I knew all the burlesque dancers there, and suddenly one night the stage lit up. Literally, it lit up with your exotic, sexy presence. That hair, the way it falls down your back, and flips in your eyes when you toss your head, giving you that mysterious allure. Your big, brown eyes, those red, pouty lips, and then…the way your body sways and shimmies and moves. Your strip tease is by far the best the place offers. No wonder it’s packed Wednesday through Sunday from ten till midnight.” Denis beamed. Babette was in shock.
“Wow, I’m speechless.”
“Well, maybe that’s even better, because then I can do all the talking and you can listen. Do you want to know why?”
She shook her head. “Why?”
“Because I’m going to continue to undress you right here in this room, then make passionate, erotic love to you, right here in this room, and I won’t even lay a finger on you. When we’re finished, we’ll walk out of here, I’ll offer to take you home, and then we’ll finish what we started.” He grinned at her teasingly. She sat silent.
“So, I’m now removing that big bulky blanket.” His eyes began to peel the blanket off her shoulders. “You’re shivering, but you are not cold, because I’m caressing your silky skin, and my touch sends shivers up and down your spine, making you warm and wet.” Babette shuddered with excitement, and a flush of warmth ran through her. “Now I’m unbuttoning the uniform shirt, exposing first your lovely collarbones, then your voluptuous breasts.” His eyes were riveted to her. “I’ve seen those breasts from afar, during your burlesque show, and I’ve always wanted to touch them, fondle them, put them in my mouth and play with your firm erect nipples, suck your soft, fullness.” Babette noticed his mouth was soft, and his tongue was pretending to lick something ever so gently. She found herself getting very aroused. Seeing her shift in her seat made his eyes glisten with enjoyment.
Just then the door opened and in walked Constable Germain from crime division.
“You done yet, Benoit?” he asked, looking over at Babette rather lewdly. “I’ve got a few questions for her myself.” He tossed his notebook onto the table and took out his pen, waiting. Denis looked over and Babette, who seemed a bit flustered.
“Actually, Germain, I’ve got this covered. Michele, down at Precinct Two gave me this one. Besides, haven’t you heard?” Constable Germain looked confused. “You should head on over to Precinct Four. They’ve got a live one over there. I think they can use some help.” Germain scooped up his notebook and was gone before he could be missed.
“So, where were we?”
“I think you were licking my breasts,” answered Babette, playing along with Benoit.
“I was, wasn’t I? And they are delicious too.” He smiled coyly. “Now down I go. Mmm, your skin is so smooth,” he says as if he’s really feeling it. “And you smell so good, like,” he pauses. “L’eau d’Issey. That is your scent, isn’t it?” Her eyes gleaned approval. “I’m running my tongue along your legs now, kissing and tasting your salty goodness. The backs of your knees are the best – so soft and tender. I might have to bite – oops, sorry – that might have been a little hard.” His eyes laughed. “Now to your feet, ah, delicious. Each toe has its own sensual flavor. You may find it difficult to tear me away from your toes, Mademoiselle,” he said with a wink. “Now, the time has come where I must find the pot of gold. Mmm, I know it’s around here somewhere, I can smell it, I can almost taste it.” He closed his eyes, and for a fleeting moment, Babette looked up to the blank window, feeling eyes on them, other eyes. “A ha, I have found you,” he said, opening his eyes, licking his lips fervently, and her moment of fear dissipated.
“Oh my god, you are exquisite. Better than all these years of fantasizing about you,” he said. “But now, Mademoiselle, we must go. I am eager, hard and oozing with expectation, and if I’m not mistaken, you too, are anxious to get home, no?”
“I am, Officer Benoit. I need a bath and I am suddenly ravenous. I’d hoped that you could give me a lift home, if it’s not too much trouble. I am so wet,” she said, emphasizing the word with a moan.“With this rain and all, and I haven’t eaten in ages.” She reached her hand up, as if adjusting the blanket around her neck, but instead, rubbed her breasts seductively, letting out a pleasurable sigh. “Don’t you know my skin is crawling,” she continued as she lowered her hands to her lap. “And nothing but a hot bath and a little rub can help me,” she said, pretending to rub herself.
Denis’ face was flushed with excitement. He hadn’t known what to expect when he concocted this plan of his. He knew he could easily be fired for this, even worse, prosecuted and put in jail for behavior unbefitting an officer of the force. Yet, somehow he had a feeling Babette would be responsive.
“Ooh, I think we are speaking the same language, here,” Benoit said. “I want you so badly. If I could, I would take you right here on the table. To hell with anyone watching. In fact, the more eyes, perhaps the more pleasure, no? But not now, not today, and certainly not here.” He stood up. “Come, we must go now. Let me take you to get your things. I will get a car and take you home.”
Babette stood, feeling a little shaky on her feet, partly from being so cold, tired, and hungry, and partly from being unnerved by this man, from this supposed interrogation.
Benoit politely opened the door for her and led her down the corridor to the main hall. It was difficult suddenly being thrown into a bustling room full of ringing telephones, loud conversation, and people coming and going. Benoit guided her through the din, keeping a gentle hand on the lower part of her back. It felt good to Babette, to have someone touch her like that. She felt safe, and she felt aroused. When they arrived at the room, Benoit let her in, then stepped in behind her and closed the door. Before she had time to realize what was happening, her blanket was off, and the uniform shirt was being unbuttoned, his deft hands cupping her ample breasts, then sliding down to the wetness between her legs. His hungry mouth found hers and soon they were locked in a dizzying tangle of fondling that was making them drunk with pleasure. He pushed her against the wall passionately and, unzipping his fly, found her warmth. Her legs spread wider for him as he scooted her up the wall. Continuing their rhythmical motion, he plunged deeper, feeling the fullness of her swell around him, throbbing, throbbing, until they collapsed in a moment of ecstasy.
He leaned in on her, pressing his hot body to hers as she slid down the wall, landing in his arms. He nuzzled into her neck, licked behind her ears, and found her full lips, coming down on them with his own until she could barely catch breath.
“Well, Mademoiselle Rousseau,” he mumbled in a sexy, hoarse voice as he nibbled her ear. “I suppose you will be wanting that ride home now?”
“That would be very helpful, Officer Benoit. I hope you can spare the time. It might take longer than you think.”