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Sinful Desires Vol. 3

By:M. S. Parker

Chapter 1

It was mid-July in Las Vegas, which meant I actually wanted to be at work. Kind of. The Diamond Club may be one of the sleaziest strip joints in the city, but its air-conditioning was always on full-blast, unlike the ancient unit in the apartment I shared with Rosa, a fellow stripper. We'd been lucky to keep it down to ninety over the Fourth, and it was even worse today.

Now, as I walked through the club to get to the dressing room, I was starting to wonder if the air was even worth it. The heat outside was oppressive and even though it was cool inside, something about the heat made the men behave even worse than usual. It didn't help that some asshole had busted the hinges off of the back exit so that the only way we could keep the door shut was to chain it. That meant we had to come in and leave through the front, giving the men extra time to ogle, comment and try to cop a feel.

“Hey there, pretty thing.” A guy with a thick drawl and a cowboy hat to match pushed himself off of his barstool and into my path.

“I have to get backstage.” I kept my voice professionally polite as I tried to sidestep around his massive bulk.

“Don't be like that.” He grabbed my arm. “Why don't you give me a private dance?” His dark eyes ran over me. “I'd love to see you take it all off.”

“I don't do private dances.” I twisted my arm against his thumb, breaking his grip.

The cowboy grinned at me. “I know the owner. All the girls do private dances for me.”

I glared at him. “Not me.” I'd already compromised myself once by doing a party with Rosa and that turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life. Well, that's not true, I reminded myself, twisting the silver necklace Brock mailed me just the other day. It had led me to him, after all.

The cowboy was laughing as I walked away, calling out that he'd talk to his ‘buddy’ and I'd be bending over for him before the end of the night. I ignored him. If everyone who claimed to know the owner actually did, then no one would have to pay for anything.

I barely missed having a beer spilled on me as I tried to avoid a drunk with wandering hands, so by the time I finally made it backstage my mood was foul, even worse than when I’d first arrived. The only saving grace was the nice cool air. No guy wanted to see a girl sweating on stage because it was too hot. I inhaled a huge breath of cool air, hoping it chill my nerves.

“The cowboy tried to get you to give him a private dance?” Rosa grinned at me as I stripped off my tank top and shorts.

I made a sound of disgust. “Who is that douchebag anyway? I haven't seen him before.”

“Bobby Ray.”

I gave her a look.

“Seriously.” She grinned as she zipped up the rubber suit she used for her number. “Bobby Ray from Texas, a cattleman who comes up every six months or so.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at her attempt at a southern drawl. “That's an awful lot of information to get about some audience member who's here maybe twice a year.” I buttoned up my too-tight white shirt.

Rosa didn't even bat an eyelash. “He tips good during private shows.” She reached for the mask she wore during the opening number. “Better than those Philadelphia boys.”

I scowled as I picked up my mask. I didn't want to think about the bachelor party. That just made me think about Reed and how I'd thought, for a few shining hours that I was going to be able to leave this place behind. Oh, he'd offered me a way out alright, but it was more Pretty Woman than Cinderella, and I had too much self-respect to do that. I know, I know, I rolled my eyes at myself. Most people wouldn't believe it since I took off my clothes to pay the bills, but there were lines I wouldn't cross.

An annoying little voice in the back of my head whispered Brock’s name but I quickly pushed it away. Brock was different. He asked me to move back to Philadelphia to be with him. He took me to a family dinner. He actually wanted to get to know me. Sure, we'd had sex and he'd bought me nice things, but I didn't sleep with him because of that and he never treated me like I had to. Despite what Anastascia said, Brock was the real deal. A sweet, handsome, charming man who liked me for me.

I glanced at my phone.

“Your boy toy ain't called yet?” One of the other strippers, a tall brunette named Charlene, smirked at me.

“He called earlier,” I snapped. Charlene had overheard Rosa and me talking when I'd gotten back from Philadelphia a couple weeks ago and now all the girls knew about the rich boy in Philly who was trying to be my sugar daddy. It hadn't done any good to tell them that things weren't like that between Brock and me. They had their ideas firmly in their minds, and nothing could make them think any different. It didn't help that Rosa believed Brock was not doing anything but stringing me along.

“Did he say when he's coming out?” Rosa asked.

I shook my head. Ever since I told him I'd consider moving back to Philadelphia, the decision had been hanging over my head. It was bad enough being a poor stripper in Vegas. At least here, the only people I was around were others like me. In Philadelphia, with Brock, I'd be among the richest of the rich and I'd probably be scraping by waitressing and having to stay with Anastascia until I could afford a place of my own.

I wouldn’t let myself think about the ten thousand dollars he’d promised me before the wedding. I still wasn’t sure what I thought about that, especially since our relationship had evolved so much.

Brock told me last week that he planned to come out and try to convince me to go back with him. He'd said that since I'd spent time in his world, he was going to spend time in mine.

Rosa wasn’t buying that line either, saying it was what guys like him said to girls like us when they wanted to make sure we know our place. We were good enough to visit for a fuck, but it was always on the man's timetable and we were just expected to sit around and wait, grateful for their interest and attention. I'd told her a million times that Brock wasn't like that, but she kept insisting she knew his type.

Fortunately, I was saved from having to argue with her again when we heard the manager call for us to get into position for the opening number, and it was all business after that. The only thing I liked about my job was that it was at least similar to real dancing. I could either think about other things and let muscle memory carry me through the routine or, like today, lose myself in the music and forget where I was and what I was doing. Inside my head, I would be nowhere and everywhere.

I kept myself lost during my individual routine as well, barely registering the men groping my ass as they stuffed bills into my g-string. Even when the cowboy squeezed my breast, I didn't do anything other than move further back on the stage, so I was out of reach. Part of me wanted to wipe that smug smile off his face, but the rest of me just kept moving to the music and reminding myself to enjoy the cool air and think of the tips I was making.

I couldn't allow myself the luxury of thinking about other things, other paths my life should have taken. No matter what Brock said, I knew he'd eventually get tired of me and I'd be back here. I had to be realistic. This was my life.

Chapter 2

My maudlin mood stuck with me as I made my way home later that night. Rosa wasn't with me as she'd accepted the cowboy's offer of a private dance back in his hotel room. She'd told me not to wait up, which usually meant she'd be back around dawn, fall into bed and get up only before her next shift started. I wanted to confront her and ask how she could act all self-righteous about Brock when she was going to fuck the cowboy, but I didn't because I knew what she'd say. She wasn't deluding herself into thinking that Bobby Ray was a white knight, sweeping in to save her. She thought that's how I viewed Brock.

I frowned as I started up the stairs. That wasn’t how I saw Brock at all. I knew he wasn't Prince Charming and I was definitely no Snow White. I wasn't looking for happily ever after, but I believed that what we did have was real, however long it lasted. I didn't have to pretend to like him touching me, kissing me. My stomach tightened at the memory of our last night in Philadelphia together and how he'd made me come so many times I'd nearly passed out. Sure, there wasn't a deep emotional connection there, but the sex was amazing enough without it.

The apartment was cooler than the hallway, but not by much. It was bearable, nothing more. I pulled off my shirt and shorts as I walked back to my room and tossed the clothes into my hamper. I still wasn't quite comfortable enough to parade around the apartment naked when Rosa was here, but being down to my panties and bra when I was alone wasn't a big deal at all, especially when it was this hot.

I pulled a carton of ice cream out of the fridge and was just getting ready to settle on the couch and marathon a few shows to unwind when my phone buzzed. It was Brock, telling me he wanted to Skype. A few seconds later, the beat-up laptop that Rosa and I shared dinged, saying I had an incoming call. I quickly shoved the ice cream back in the freezer and then answered the video chat. We 'borrowed' our internet from our neighbor's Wi-Fi, but since we worked different hours, he hadn't seemed to notice. I'd appreciated it more over the last couple weeks.

“Who's there with you?” Brock's tone was immediately accusatory.

“What?” I asked as I sat down.

“You're in your underwear. Who's there with you?”

I rolled my eyes. “It's insanely hot here, Brock. I'm alone. Rosa's not even here.”