Lust of the Flesh

LUST OF THE FLESH

LUST OF THE FLESH

By Sisan McNeil

(A Novella)

This book is dedicated to NIGEL, KENNY & OSCAR Youll never know how much I love you.

CHAPTER ONE

(New York – 1922)

DECEMBER

He glanced down at the address scribbled on the piece of paper he held, looking deeply unsure as he gazed up at the dark foreboding alley that stood before him. He looked around very apprehensive, there was no one in sight. He was in a rundown part of town; everything around him was rank and decrepit. Smelly trashcans stood on either side of him. Covering his nose with the collar of his thick coat, he proceeded down the alley way with caution. The snow on the ground was black with dirt.

He turned a corner and a large dingy building came into view. It looked dilapidated and completely abandoned. He looked around once more, doubting that this could be right place. But the address said it was the right place so he gingerly walked to the front door and knocked four times: wrap, wrap-wrap-wrap, wrap-wrap-wrap-wrap, wrap-wrap, as the paper indicated.

He felt a wave of nausea as he waited, fidgeting anxiously. The peep hole slid open, an eye regarded him.

”Are you a police officer or in any way associated with the law or law enforcement? ”

”No. ”

”Legally, you have to tell me. ”

”I know. Im not. ”

”Code? ”

”Death to all fascist souls. ”

”The rule? ”

”Never speak of this place. If caught, serve your time in peace. ”

The peep door shut with finality. His fidgeting increased. Nothing happened for a while, and then the door opened slightly. Through the crack, the end of a rifle protruded, pointing at him. He gasped and raised both hands in the air; the paper in his hand fell to the ground.

”Who told you about this place? ”

”My friend, Steve. He said itd be all right, ” he said, his voice shaky.

”Who else have you told about this place?! ”

”Nobody, I swear! Please don shoot me, please! ” He whimpered.

”Aw, don piss your pants, kid. ” The rifle lowered and the door opened wider to reveal a middle aged man, gruff in appearance.

”Im not a kid, ” he said, embarrassed.

”Credentials? ” He fished out his employee identification card from his pocket and handed it to the man. ”Jim Calloway, ” the man muttered to himself, ”Jamestown Press! ” He exclaimed. ”You better not be writing a story for the papers… ”

”Im not. ”

”Good, ” he continued to scan Jims ID. ”Twenty two, ” the man scoffed. ”Ha! You are a kid. ” He stepped aside for Jim to enter.

Jim stopped short. The inside was far from what he had been expecting. It was brightly lit and full of people, mostly men, older than him. There was a large stage with a long pole, at the center of it that went all the way up into the ceiling. Jim barely noticed the door lock behind him, wrapped in all that he was seeing.

”Close your mouth, son. Ill pour you a drink. ”

Only then did he notice the large bar. His mouth watered at the prospect of alcohol. Since the prohibition, he thought he would never again experience the sweet burn of pure, hard liquor going down his throat. He took off his hat and coat and followed the man to the bar.

”First ones on the house. ” The man handed him a glass of… he did not even care as he gulped it down in one mouthful. His head fell back involuntarily and a wide grin spread over his face as he felt the burn. The gruff man laughed. ”You
e gonna love it here. ”

Suddenly the lights dimmed and the stage lights flared to life forcing everyones attention to the stage. An ominous voice expounded unseen, like the perfect host about to reveal the most exciting thing youve ever seen.

”Presenting, the crème of the crop, the belle of the ball, the woman youve all been waiting for, Give it up for our headliner… CANDY! ”

A ceiling tile shifted and Candy slid sexily down the pole to the rhythm of sensual music. Candy was by far the hottest woman Jim had ever seen. Her lustrous mane of curly black hair crowned her head like a goddess, it bounced with every movement, toppling down her back to her behind. Her tight black body suit left little to the imagination. It hugged every part of her voluptuous breasts, making her hard nipples very evident. The outfit enhanced the shape of her nether regions and her rounded butt cheeks.

The men in the audience went crazy with excitement and the few women present clung tighter to their men whose desperate eyes were glued on Candy as she seductively swung her hips, displaying just how flexible she was. Jim had never seen anything like it; his mouth dangled open once more.

Her back to the audience, Candy slowly bent over and peeled the slick strip of black cloth off her legs to her mid-thighs, unveiling long, cleanly shaven and toned legs that seemed to go on for miles. It was then that Jim realized that her entire outfit was made up of strips of leather, easy to peel off. He felt himself physically get excited.

Candy danced with the pole as though it were alive and human, thrusting her hips into it seductively and touching herself suggestively as she danced. Sliding her hands over her butt cheeks, she peeled off two more strips to reveal assless chaps.

The crowd took in an orgasmic breath and quieted down, completely drawn in. Jim noticed some of the men casually touch their fronts.

Candy ripped a strip off her entire back leaving it bare. ”Shes not wearing a bra! ” Jim couldn help thinking excitedly as Candy peeled another strip over her belly, to reveal flat, toned abs. ”Oh boy! Oh boy! ”

Candys movements became even more erotic as the music swelled. She climbed up the pole, skillfully wrapping her strong legs around it, she let go of her hands and hung upside down, dancing coquettishly as she slid, lower and lower, to the floor. When her head was just inches above the floor, Candy used both her hands to peel the strips off her cleavage, revealing everything but the nipple.

The men practically lost it. But for the security guards, two boulders of men standing at each end of the stage, they would have rushed up the stage to Candy.

Candy placed her palms flat on the floor and released her legs. Upside down, she walked on her hands to the edge of the stage, spreading her legs wide into a complete split. She then lowered her spread legs to the floor until she was seated in a low split. She leaned forward to the crowd, alluring and hot. A coy smile played on her blood red lips as her sultry eyes scanned the crowd.

The men desperately vied her attention, enthusiastically waving dollar bills in her direction. Some even waved hundred dollar bills, calling out, ”Candy! Candy! ” But her eyes continued to scan the crowd, until they landed on Jim, at the very back of the crowd, near the bar.

Jim abruptly shut his mouth, completely shocked that Candy would take an interest in him of all people. He wasn rich or even well dressed, and he did not consider himself handsome or attractive in any way, yet Candy lavished him with all of her attention. She beckoned him with a sexy finger, long red nails he couldn help noticing.

The forces of gravity could not have stopped Jim even if they wanted to. Her piercing gaze pulled him to her like magnetic energy. He could not stop his legs from walking towards her, the crowd parting before him, until he stood right in front of her, at the bottom of the stage.

Candy smiled with her eyes. Still in that position with her legs spread wide, she put her hands on him. Jim suddenly felt very self-conscious about his body, and wondered if it was to her liking. He had never noticed such things about himself before. Candy didn seem to mind though, as she ran her hands down his torso to his crotch area. She squeezed lightly. Jim swallowed hard.

Candy straightened and pulled Jim up the stage. A man from backstage brought a chair to the stage. Candy pushed Jim down on the chair and began a seductive dance.

Jim was completely lost in her anima; she was even more beautiful up close, despite the heavy makeup over her eyes and her lustrous mane of black hair that fanned out all over her. She smelled incredible too, and was beyond hot and sexy; Jim was frozen in place. He made no attempt to touch her and she seemed to like that.

She climbed onto his lap, facing him, holding his gaze as she moved on top of him. Jim blushed as he felt himself get hard. He looked at her apologetically but that just made her smile. Her face was warm as she regarded him and her expression soft. Jim liked her immediately and felt a strong desire to get to know her, personally. She seemed to like him too, though he was unsure as to what capacity.

Candy leaned forward and kissed his cheek, whispering in his ear, ”I hope I see you again soon, stranger. ” Even her voice was sultry. She slid off him and cat-walked to the exit of the stage, wearing almost nothing at this point but a garter belt holding up what was left of her panty, and two strips of cloth covering the lower half of her breasts and nipples.

Jim, along with everyone in the room, watched her. Candy spun around once more, blew a sultry kiss at the audience with both hands. It was obvious, she owned them. They were her play things now. Candy disappeared behind the curtain to a standing ovation. Only then did Jim notice that the floor of the stage was covered with money, like confetti.

”Give it up for Curvaceous Candy! ” The applause went on for several minutes afterwards.

Backstage, Leslie took off the wig and persona of Candy and leaned against the wall, panting. All the confidence and sexy exuberance, the mask that was Candy, was off as well. Leslie closed her eyes and exhaled. For a brief moment her true self was revealed; young, lost and utterly alone.

Joseph, the clubs janitor, sauntered up to her. ”You did good tonight as usual, Miss Leslie. ”

Her eyes met his. ”I need you. ”

Leslies bedroom was furnished with a large glamorous bed, covered with silk sheets and pillows. A huge closet occupied the opposite wall from the bed, stuffed with countless clothes, shoes and accessories, most of which belonged to Candy. A large full length mirror stood beside the closet. And, beside the mirror was a wash sink.

Leslie was pinned against the wall and Joseph was behind her, pounding her ass. Her assless chaps had been moved to one side so he could enter her. He moaned loudly. Leslie stifled her moans.

”Shh, ” she said to Joseph.

”Sorry, Miss Leslie, ” he whispered. ”I know, ” he said in a sing-song voice, ”nobody can find out, ” he said before she could. He tried to stifle his grunts as well. ”You think I can enter you the proper way tonight, Miss Leslie? ” he asked shyly after a while.

”No, anal is fine, ” she said flatly.

”Can we lie down at least? ” he asked after another while. ”I want to hold you tonight, Miss Leslie. ”

”You
e holding me right now. ”

Josephs pace increased and Leslie clamped both hands over her mouth to stifle her moans.

”Can I at least touch you? ”

”You know the rules, Joseph, ” she snapped. ”Ugh, you
e ruining this for me! ” She pushed him away from her.

”Im sorry, Miss Leslie, ” he said huskily, putting his dick away, still erect. ”I have never questioned your rules before; its just that, its getting hard you know. ” He met her eyes. ”You are the most beautiful woman in the world, and I watch you on that stage, week after week, and I feel so lucky that Im the one that gets to… Well, not really, since weve never actually… ”

”Youve cum in my ass more times than I can count. ”

”I know, and I appreciate it, Miss Leslie but… ”

”I don want to get pregnant, Ive told you before. ”

”Yes, but I won cum if we… ”

”My rules, Joseph! If they
e no longer good enough for you then we can stop. ” Joseph looked hurt. Leslie exhaled, frustrated. ”Please leave. ”

Joseph walked to the door and stopped. He spoke gently, stuttering a little. ”I have never seen you fully naked, Miss Leslie. I do not know what your body feels like because you won let me touch you. You never let me enter your lady parts… ” he took a breath. ”Weve been going at this for over a year and still… ” he turned his head slightly to look at her.

Leslies eyes were hard. ”What? ”

Joseph turned around fully to face her. ”I want to make love to you the proper way, Miss Leslie. I dream about it every day. I want to touch and kiss every part of you. I want to… ”

”Oh, but Joseph, that is never going to happen, ” there was amusement on Leslies face. ”You think we
e in a relationship? ”

Joseph cowered involuntarily. ”I know we
e not in a relationship… ”

”You think this is love, between us? ” Joseph looked confused. ”Oh you poor simpleton. ”

”You promised never to call me that, Miss Leslie, ” he stuttered.

”Joseph, get it into your head, ” she spoke slowly, ”you
e nothing but a hard dick to me. ”

Tears filled Josephs eyes. ”Is that right, Miss Leslie? ” Leslies face remained hard and unreadable. ”Okay then, ” Joseph struggled to push back his tears. ”Don come calling for me anymore then. ” He left without another word.

Once alone, her armor came off and Leslie crumpled to the bed in utter defeat and cried her heart out.

* * *

Jim drained another pint of beer, his third that night. ”Bartender, ” he called sluggishly.

The bartender, a handsome young man, not much older than Jim, regarded him. ”No, Im cutting you off. We can keep this place a secret if drunks like you lead the police back to us. ”

”Fine, ” Jim spat in annoyance.

Candy. He looked back to where she had exited from, desperately wishing shed come back out. He knew he would never be able to forget her. Those dark brown eyes, her beautiful face… Jim was drifting off to sleep.

”Hey! ” The bartender snapped. He waved one of the security guards over. It was the same man who had opened the door for Jim.

”Is she coming back out? ” Jim asked groggily.

”Not tonight, son. But shell be back tomorrow night, and I have a sneaky suspicion I will see you then. ”

Jim grinned, you betcha.

CHAPTER TWO

She heard the bang in the room next to hers and Sybils high pitched laughter. Leslie opened her eyes, realizing she must have dosed off after Joseph left her room. She also could hear the man Sybil had with her, laughing gruffly along with her as they began their lovers play.

Leslie sat up and touched the wall beside her bed. She fiddled with it and pulled away a tiny piece of it to reveal a perfectly rounded peep hole. Through the peep hole, Leslie watched Sybil and the man laugh and caress each other. The man laid a trail of wet kisses all over Sybils neck. Leslie watched her shiver from the kisses.

Sybil was beautiful, curly blonde hair and clear blue eyes. Her small frame was soft, plump and lush. The man pulled down one of the sleeves of Sybils yellow dress, exposing a large breast. He attached his mouth to her nipple and began sucking almost hungrily. Sybil wrapped her arms around the man as he fumbled with her other breast.

Leslie squeezed her legs tightly together as she watched the man slowly pull down Sybils dress; she was completely naked underneath. Sybil plopped down on the bed and spread her legs as the man dropped to his knees and went down on her.

Leslie fumbled with her outfit and reached under her breast to play with a nipple below.

Sybil moaned, reveling in the pleasure that the man was giving to her. The man yanked down his pants and Sybil gave a pleasure cry as he slid into her. The man moved on top of her, slowly at first but rapidly increasing his pace. Sybils pleasure cries increased with his pace, unabashed.

Leslie couldn take it anymore. She reached into her panty and pulled away the tape that firmly pinned down her manhood, freeing her dick, already hard with an erection. She ran a hand knowingly over the shaft, closing her eyes.

Leslie pleasured herself to the sounds of Sybils moans, rubbing harder on her dick as Sybils cries increased. Leslie climaxed with Sybil and the strange man, cumming all over her hand.

She heard Sybil and the man exchange sweet pleasantries as they kissed and caressed each other softly. Leslie was all alone. She was always alone because who would ever accept her the way that she was? Leslie put a hand over her mouth and wept bitterly.

* * *

Ten year old Lester parades in his parents bedroom, in his mothers favorite covered shoes. One of her pretty pink scarves adorns his neck. He puts on her church hat, the one with red roses on it. Lester gazes at himself in the mirror, he is beautiful. He reaches into his mothers dresser and runs his fingers over her many lipsticks. He selects a luscious red one, almost the color of blood. Lester leans closer to the mirror and applies it. Hes taken aback by his appearance. Hes stunning.

”Lester! ”

He jumps back from the mirror and spins around to see his fathers large frame in the door way. He hadn heard him coming in. His fathers face is a dark mask of fury. Lester hurriedly wipes off the lipstick and takes off the accessories.

”Its all a joke, father, ” he speaks rapidly. ”Im rehearsing for a role Im auditioning for, for the school play. You know, I want to be an actor. ”

His father is already taking off his belt.

”I was just playing, father; imitating mom. Its nothing serious. ”

His fathers voice is dark. ”No son of mine shall be a transvestite, even in a play. ” He raises the belt high over his head and brings it down, again and again and again. All Lester can do is protect his face.

* * *

Leslie opened her eyes to the morning light. She was still mostly naked from the night before and gasped at her carelessness. She quickly wrapped a sheet around herself and hurried to her bedroom door to lock it. Leslie leaned against the door, chastising herself for not getting up earlier to shower in the communal female bathroom. A whores bath will have to do for today.

Leslie opened the hot water tap and let it run. She took off her padded strapless bra, filled with stuffing. Leslie then pulled off the soft breastplate with artificial breasts and nipples on it, away from her chest. Leslie had fashioned the contraption from clay. She had then melted rubber over it to give it a more natural feel when caressed over clothes. Then she had painted it the same color as her skin.

Leslie ran a hand over the breasts. They were the most real thing to her in the world. She held them to her chest as she stood before the full mirror, longing in her eyes. Leslie set them aside gently then slowly pulled down her panty, still attached to the gather belt. Her naked body is completely male.

Welts, marks, and bruises covered up a lot of her skin but Leslies eyes remained on her situation, as she often referred to it in her head. She often forgot it was there except on nights like the one before, and on mornings like this, when she is forced to confront her reality, a reality that filled her with disgust and hatred for herself. She conjured up images of Sybils body from the night before and couldn stop the tears from filling her eyes at the sight of her own body.

”I hate you. ” Leslie said to her reflection in the mirror. ”I hate you! ” She hit herself in the groin area and doubled over, groaning deeply in pain, adding one more bruise to her body.

Tears poured down Leslies eyes as she set her shaving razor on the sink. She dipped a small towel into the hot water and ran it over her body. She turned the mirror away from her as she cried profusely.

Leslie, fully dressed, with her hair and makeup fabulously done, breezed down into the staff lounge. ”Good morning, ” she greeted cheerily.

”Its about time! ” Billie cried, already smoking a long cigarette even though it was only 8am in the morning. ”Im starving. ”

”You should have started without me. ”

”Indeed! ” Billie scoffed. Albert, the club owner and manager would never allow it. He ran his staff like a family. Leslie loved that most.

”Sit down, ” Albert said gently. Leslie took her seat beside Sybil, as usual, at the dining table as Albert walked around to each person, scooping scrambled eggs onto their plates. As they ate, Leslie gazed at her family. It still felt surreal to her even though she had lived with them for almost two years.

Sybil a.k.a Sweetie Pie was one of the dancers at the club. She was Leslies closest friend and confidant, though to some extent. Sybil didn know about Leslies situation, no one did. Leslie knew she would not be accepted if anyone found out and she loved her family too much to risk losing it.

Leslies eyes met Billies sharp blue ones, from where she sat opposite her; Billie flipped her dark pixie cut with a flare of entitled arrogance, and rolled her eyes away. Leslie just shook her head. She would never understand Billies incessant need to hate and antagonize her. Billie a.k.a Cutie, was the third and final dancer at the club, and the resident house bitch. And she wore that title proudly. Leslie knew Billie was just mad that she had over thrown her as the best dancer when she moved in two years ago.

Stan and Rusty were the stage security guards. Cal manned the door. Tanner was the gorgeous bartender. He winked at Billie who was seated beside him; Billie ignored him, making Tanner laugh to himself. Billie loved pretending like they weren an item. Leslie didn know whether she was deluding herself or if she really didn realize that they all knew. That made Leslie panic momentarily about Joseph, did the others know as well?

She risked glancing at Joseph, the lowly cleaner. Joseph was actively trying not to meet her eyes. She felt bad about what she had said to him the night before, but she couldn see another way to resolve the situation.

Miss Gladys, an older lady, cooked their meals and helped the girls create their costumes and their look, though Leslie had insisted on designing Candys outfit herself. Then there was Albert. He was the proud owner and manager of the club; ”For Saints and Sinners, ” thats what the club was called, even though there was no sign on the building. Albert was the resident father figure for everyone, and he ran things very well. Leslie could not imagine the club or any of them surviving a day without him. He was the only positive father figure she had ever known. Albert had let her join his family even though Leslie could barely dance. Here she had learned to become who she currently was, her true self.

CHAPTER THREE

Leslie was seated at her dressing table, painting Candy to life. There was a knock at her door.

”Come in, ” Leslie said, applying a glittery purple eye liner to her eyes. Joseph entered, holding a large bouquet of red roses. His face reflected how he felt on the inside; dead.

”For you. From some man. ” He laid the bouquet on the table, not meeting her eyes.

”Joseph… ” He walked out the door without a backward glance. Leslie was surprised; she had never received flowers before. She had received several donations of money along with lewd propositions attached to it, but never roses. She read the hand written card that came with it.

Even if I travelled to the ends of the earth

And got lost at sea for most of my years

I could never forget the magnificence of your exuberance

And would strive to return to the light of your jubilance,

Even if to catch the dying glimpse of your opulent eyes

Aye, knowing you would be the greatest honor.

The card wasn signed. Leslie tossed the card and roses into her waste basket and returned to doing her makeup.

* * *

At breakfast the next day they discussed their acts. Albert gave them pointers on attracting more crowds and making more money.

”Anyone but me finds it strange that in two years none of us has ever seen Leslie naked? ”

Leslies heart skipped a beat at Billies statement but she forced herself to remain calm as she lifted a spoon of porridge into her mouth.

”I think Leslies act is classy, ” Sybil said to her defense, in her high pitched baby voice. Billie scoffed.

”You want to see me naked, Billie? ” Leslie asked pointedly. ”All you have to do is ask, ” she gave a bright smile making Billies scowl deepen.

”It wouldn hurt to show a little more skin, Leslie, ” Albert said.

”My act, my decisions, ” Leslie said without looking at him. ”You promised me that. ”

”I know, I know. It just still baffles me that you turn down hundred dollar bills for comely guys… ”

”Just because they wouldn ** her, ” Billie interjected. ”Thats Leslies type, men with no balls. ” She took a long draw from her cigarette and turned to Tanner. ”Ill bet you a thousand dollars Leslie is still a virgin. ”

Tanner grinned. ”You
e on. ” He turned to Leslie. ”Are you still a virgin? ”

Leslie wanted to say yes just to watch Billie lose a thousand dollars, but she knew it was best not to let them bait her.

”Thats for me to know and for you to keep wondering, ” she said instead, making Tanner laugh and Billie scoff.

”Im just saying, change your act a bit, ” Albert insisted.

”I changed it not too long ago… ”

”I know, but you know what I mean. ” She knew. He meant more skin, revealing more of her female parts. She would have to find a way to work around her situation. Leslie sighed inwardly.

”Im thinking of increasing the amount of shows we have per week, ” Albert said, ”instead of just being open Wednesdays to Saturdays nights, well be open Mondays to Saturdays. ” As soon as he said that a cacophony of voices rose as everyone had something to say about that.

”… Six nights of dancing! When will we have time to recover? ” Sybil whined.

”…Are you sure thats a good idea? Doesn it increase our chances of getting caught? ” Billie said.

”…Will we be able to get enough booze that fast? ” Tanner said.

”…Its certainly a security risk, keeping up with the amount of foot traffic that will go through this place… ” Stan piped in.

”…Which could ultimately lead the police directly to us, ” Cal chipped in.

”Enough! ” Albert yelled loud enough to make them jump. He rose to his feet in anger. ”I wasn asking for any of your opinions on the matter, all I know is, if I continue to run things the way they are, I will go bankrupt! ” The others suddenly looked afraid. ”Ive already taken a second mortgage on my house… ”

Miss Gladys gasped, ”Does Janet know? ”

”I haven had the heart to tell her. ” He ran a hand through his scanty hair. ”This place isn making the revenue I had hoped. We have our regulars, yes, but that is still not enough. We can exactly advertize and we have to be extremely careful whom we let know about this place and that weeds out potential customers. ” He glared at them. ”Not to mention, you all live here rent free, using the utilities that I pay for, gorging yourselves on food… ” he indicated to the array of breakfast before them, ”that I buy, all in the building that I spent my life savings to purchase! ”

Albert was breathing hard. They all felt bad but couldn muster more to say than ”Im sorry, Albert. ”

Albert took a breath. ”Ive already put the livelihood of my family in jeopardy, risking my childrens future in the process. If I continue to run at a loss, I will lose everything and will have to shut down this place. And where will that leave all of you, huh? Where? ” The others were practically cowering with their heads down. ”Thats right, back to the slums and the dumps where I found you in the first place. ”

Albert sat back down and was quiet a moment to let all he had said sink in. He watched each one of them process the information, remembering just where they were in life before Albert had found them and given them a new life and livelihood. Albert had given them hope, love, and a family.

Leslie shuddered at the thought of returning to her father, of being anything other than the exotic dancer she was. Death would be kinder a fate to her than facing that kind of humiliation and repression.

Albert leaned forward in his seat, holding each and every one of their gazes. ”We need to start making more money, now. ” The others nodded eagerly; their faces told him theyd do anything. ”Good. From Monday, we
e open six nights a week. We are also now on a very tight budget; our only objective being, make more money. Cal, see if you can find cheaper stuff on the black market. Tanner, less booze in a pint for more pay. ”

Tanner looked deeply unsure but nodded.

”Stan, Rusty, gather your boys and spread our message farther, and get more men in here! ” They nodded. ”Im considering charging an entrance fee, ” Albert said to Cal, who grimaced but said nothing. ”Well see, ” Albert said.

”Gladys, go much tighter on the food budget, and on the girls clothes… in fact, nothing at all on their clothes, they
e just gonna take most of it off anyway. ” The girls looked uncomfortable, not used to this side of Albert.

Miss Gladys sensed that. ”Ill see what I can do, ” she said to Albert.

”Girls, ” he addressed them fully. ”You are the main reasons men pour in here, make them pine for even more, make them never want to leave. Take all you can from them, and make them want to give you even more. No more turning down large bills, ” his eyes were on Leslie for this one, ”and do whatever you must to suck out all the green you can get from them. Am I clear? ” The girls nodded slightly. ”Good. All your acts still need work. Make them better! ”

Albert rose, already feeling in a much better mood now that he could see the wheels turning in all their heads. ”Get to work everybody! ” They all hurried to their feet to exhibit all he had said.

* * *

The girls were out in the town for their usual Sunday walk, enjoying their only day of freedom before they plunged into the busy week ahead of them. They went shopping, got their hair and nails done, and just enjoyed the day being girls.

They had their arms linked in each others as they walked; Sybil was in the middle. Rusty was out with them as well, for their safety. He was a few feet away from them, looking very disinterested. They preferred it when Rusty went out with them as opposed to Stan because Stan took the body guard thing a little bit too seriously; he wouldn let men come within spitting distance of them, even though the whole point of a girls day out was to have a little fun.

”Candy? ” All three girls turned abruptly. It was the first time, ever, any of them had been recognized outside of work because their costumes usually did a great job of keeping their identities a secret.

”Shh, ” Billie chided harshly. ”You want to bring the cops down on us?! ” The girls involuntarily pulled their hats lower to cover more of their faces.

”Im sorry, I didn know your real name, ” Jim said apologetically.

”And you ain gonna, ” Sybil said with a little bit of an attitude. ”We keep that information to ourselves, thank you very much. ”

”Im very sorry, ladies, I didn mean to offend anybody. ” His eyes were on Leslie, the tallest of the three. Leslie was truly surprised he recognized her without all of Candys regalia. She regarded him as well, already regretting calling him up to the stage.

”It was you who sent me the flowers? ”

Jim blushed making Billie laugh. ”Barking at the wrong girl, Mister, you ain getting sex from this one. ”

”Its not what Im after, ” Jim said, shocked at her insinuation.

”Are you following me? ” Leslie asked.

”No… err… no… ”

”What? You want to make an honest woman out of me? ” Leslie said with a mocking edge to her voice. ”You some Christian trying to save my soul? ”

”No, maam. I was just hoping to… to get to know you. ”

Rusty approached. ”This boy bothering you? ”

”No, we
e just leaving, ” Leslie gave him one last stern glance then led the girls away.

”Im Jim, ” he called after her but they kept on walking.

CHAPTER FOUR

Leslie watched Billie dance on the stage, from backstage. Billie was stunning; Leslie couldn help thinking so despite herself. Even though she hated Billie most of the time because Billie was such a bitch and was constantly god-awful to her, Leslie found that she could not hate Billie while she danced. Billie was fierce and fiery on the stage, and knew how to capture an audience, and keep their attention on her, both males and females. She always had the ability to stir a crowd into frenzy; to make everyone in the room want to ** her.

Billie ended her dance and brushed past Leslie backstage, ensuring to bump her in the shoulder.

”Good luck, ” her voice dripped with sarcasm. Billie was practically naked; two tiny gold stars covered her nipples and a larger one, her vagina. ”No one is going to want your virgin act tonight after this, ” her sardonic eyes ran over Leslies black body suit.

”Mind your own damn business, ” Leslie snapped, infuriated.

”Either show pussy tonight or don bother climbing that stage, ” Billie laughed and walked away, her ample ass cheeks bouncing with her walk. Leslie stared after her, jealous and enraged. She took in a deep breath and Candy walked onto the stage when her name was announced.

She tried to ignore all that Billie had said as she danced, but Billie had been right about the crowd wanting real skin tonight. She couldn help noticing just how much harder Stan and Rusty had to work tonight, to keep the men off the stage. Even Albert had to step in and throw three men out of the club.

Suddenly, a hand closed around her ankle and Candy was swept off her feet. She felt rough hands reach out to her and she screamed; thrashing and kicking everyone in her reach. Stan and Rusty tried to get to her but too many men were in their way.

Leslie saw all the faces surrounding her and was instantly thrown back to the eighth grade.

Lester left P.E class early to the locker room, as he did every single day. So he could quickly change before the other boys came in. But he wasn so lucky today. The boys burst into the locker room and stopped short; Lester was naked except for the bright pink skimpy panty he had fashioned for himself.

The boys stared for a while as Lester scrambled to cover himself. But his hands were trembling so much, he couldn get dressed fast enough.

”Fag! ” someone shouted and then they all rushed him. They surrounded him pushing him between themselves, teasing and laughing at him. Lester screamed and tried to break free but too many hands were on him rough handling him. He was so terrified…

Leslie screamed, still thrashing. Suddenly, she felt two strong hands pull her up. Soft brown eyes shielded her as the man pushed and punched everyone who tried to touch her. He led her out through a side door, into the cold night.

Leslie was very shaken, overwhelmed with Lesters thoughts.

”Are you all right? ” He had to ask three times before she snapped back to reality. At once she was furious with him and threw his hand off of her.

”Don touch me! ” she growled.

He raised both hands in the air, as though surrendering to her will. ”Im sorry, I… ” Leslie was already walking away from him. He ran after her. ”Wait, where are you going? ”

”Leave me alone! ”

”Its not safe. There are many rough men around these parts. ”

She spun around and growled at him. ”Rough men I can handle. What I can stand are gallant men who think they now deserve my pussy. ”

He looked hurt. ”Im not… I wasn after that. I just wanted to see if you were… ”

Leslie was walking away from him once more. ”Im fine! I don need you. Don follow me! ”

Lester came home, bleeding from the many cuts and bruises inflicted on him. His father was reading the paper when he entered the living room.

”Dad, ” Lester called, absolutely devastated, tears streaming down his face.

His father glanced up at him once, then returned his attention to the paper in his hands. The school had called to inform him about what had happened.

”Your classmates found out you
e a faggot? ” He made a disgusted sound. ”Serves you right, maybe this time youll learn to be a man. ”

Leslie stumbled through the thick snow, blind with the tears pouring from her eyes; she had no idea where she was going. Even though she was freezing, she had no intension of going back, yet.

She heard a twig snap. ”I told you not to follow me! ”

”Im sorry but I can risk anything bad happening to you. ” Leslie spun around to challenge him, but all Jim saw was absolute devastation on her face. His voice became even softer. ”Even if you want to hurt yourself, I can risk letting you do that. ”

”You don know me! You have no idea what I am. ”

”Then let me get to know you. ”

”You don know what you
e talking about! Just leave me alone! ” Dark memories from her past haunted her, and her present predicament of being utterly alone in the world crippled her, making thoughts of the future, being forever trapped in this body and life that she hated so much, made her want to die. She needed to be free. She needed it more than she needed the very air in her lungs.

Jim took a step closer to her. ”Allow me to help, please. ”

Leslie was going to say more but realized Jims face was no longer in focus. Overwhelmed, she passed out. Jim caught her before her head hit the ground.

* * *

Leslie opened her eyes the next morning and immediately flinched at her surroundings. Jim was sleeping on the floor beside the bed. He woke up the moment she did.

”Where the hell am I? ” Leslie looked around in fear and confusion.

Jim sat up. ”Its all right; we
e in a motel… ”

”What?! ”

”You passed out last night. My first instinct was to take you back to the club… ”

”You should have! ”

”But after seeing what happened there last night, I knew you needed a break. ”

”I didn ask for… ”

”I know, but I did it anyway. ”

”There you go, being all gallant again, ” sarcasm filled her voice.

”A hank you never hurt, ” he muttered.

”Thank you?! What did you do to me last night? ” She glanced at her body. Her clothes were still intact, even her high heels hadn been taken off her feet. The only change to her person was that a blanket had been thrown over her.

”I didn touch you last night. Im a gentleman; I would never do that to a lady. ” He looked appalled by the thought.

Leslie could see he was telling the truth. Her tone softened. ”Thank you… but I need to leave, ” she made an attempt to get up.

”Or, you could stay and rest, ” he suggested. ”You were crying in your sleep last night, ” he whispered solemnly. ”It was miserable not being able to comfort you. ”

Tears glinted in Leslies eyes but she hardened up. ”Well I don need a savior. ”

”Im no ones savior! Im just a nice guy trying to help. ”

”Well if you
e such a nice guy, how come you go to a place like For Saints and Sinners? ” Leslie heard the irony in the name.

Jim made a face. ”So by your logic, good people can be found at that club? ”

Leslie shrugged. She hadn seen any since she started working there. All she saw were horny men, regarding her body with lust, desperately trying all they could to ** her.

”By that logic it means you aren a good person yourself, ” he said with a playful sardonic edge to his voice.

”That would be accurate, ” she said matter-of-factly.

He was shocked at her raw honesty. ”Don say that. ”

”Because its true? You can handle a girl telling the truth? ”

”Its not that, ” he shifted closer to her involuntarily. ”Im not going to pretend that I know a thing about you, but you are not a bad person. ”

Leslie pushed back the lump in her throat. Her mouth was still set. ”How do you figure that? ”

”I see it in your eyes. ”

”Hes a soul reader now, ladies and gentlemen. ”

”Your sarcasm, your angst; its just a shell you use to hide your true feelings. ”

Leslies face became a mask of anger. She opened her mouth to spew acid on him but he spoke first.

”My mother was like that. She was an exotic dancer too, ” his eyes met hers. Leslie closed her mouth. Jim was quiet for a while; thoughtful. ”Why Im back in a place like For Saints and Sinners, I don know. Its partly the alcohol, of course, prohibition is god-awful. But maybe its because I grew up in a place like that. My mother lived in a club too, I never knew my father. She had many lovers… ” Jim grimaced, hating to be speaking like this. Hating not knowing what Leslie was thinking, he didn want to mess this up, but he felt like everything he said only made matters worse.

”Im sorry, ” Jim said. ”When I saw them grab at you like that, instinct kicked in, dark memories. I was too young to save my mom… And I swear to God, Im not projecting on you, I… ” he sighed and was quiet for another time. Leslie didn know what to say. She watched him wrestling with his emotions.

Jim let his shoulders fall, as though in defeat. ”No matter what conclusion you arrive at about me, Im glad I was in the club last night. ”

She said nothing for a while. ”Yeah, me too, ” she meant it. ”So, if I do spend the day here… ” Jim brightened. ”And Im not saying that I would, what did you have in mind? ”

Jims smile remained. ”Well, first, well grab breakfast. ”

”Oh that sounds amazing, ” Leslie felt her stomach rumble. ”But, ” she glanced at her outfit; her body-fitting leather suit, with some of the strips missing from it. ”I can go out like this. Ill be arrested on the spot ”

He stood up. ”Ill see if Marge can help. ”

”Whos Marge? ”

”The owner of this place. ”

”Great, theres nothing like an early morning dish of condemnation. ”

”Please, she owns this dump, Im pretty sure shes seen worse, ” he said playfully making her smile.

All Marge had for Leslie was a loose fitting blouse and a long skirt. Great. The only blessing was that the motel had a private bathroom she could use. Leslie was apprehensive about washing off all her makeup; she had never shown her true face to anyone before, not even the people she lived with at the club. Even on their casual Sunday walks, she wore some makeup. Leslie was always terrified that if she didn , people would know. But her makeup was all smudged up from all the crying, she had no choice but to wash it off. She considered using some of Marges heavy, old lady make up but decided a fresh face beats that of a clown any day.

The wig didn make sense without the makeup so Leslie took off the mane of thick black hair, releasing her long auburn hair which toppled to her shoulders and fanned out. She ran her fingers through it to comb out the knots.

Leslie decided shed rather die than stick her feet in any of Marges old maid shoes so her heels remained. She already felt so ugly in the long, plain and shapeless number she was wearing. She gathered Candys regalia into a small tote bag.

Jim was seated at the edge of the bed, clean and fresh, he had taken a shower as well. When Leslie came in, he gasped. Leslie flushed in embarrassment.

”Im hideous. He probably knows. He can see through me. He probably can see that Im… ”

”You
e stunning, ” Jim said just above a whisper.

”What? ” Leslie looked at him in shock. She regarded her outfit but could not see what Jim saw. She could not see how fresh faced and young she looked; she could not see her natural beauty. She could not see how her auburn hair framed her face perfectly, accentuating her beauty.

Jim felt his throat close up. He had to fight everything in him that wanted to walk up to her and plant his lips on hers.

”Whats your name? ” he forced himself to ask instead.

Leslie held his gaze, his eyes were so beautiful. ”Leslie, ” she said.

”Leslie, ” he smiled. Even her name fit perfectly.

Leslie couldn remember a time she had more fun, not even on her weekly outings with Sybil and Billie. And most of what they did was walk, talk and laugh. Jim was such a natural conversationalist and he was incredibly funny too.

”What do you do when you
e not boozing and watching strippers dance? ” Leslie asked.

Jim laughed. He could see that being direct was just in her nature. And strangely enough, it was already growing on him.

”I work at a printing press. ”

”Really? ” Leslie was intrigued.

”Yes, ” he smiled slightly, looking ahead. ”Its my passion. I love documenting things… and just seeing the lives of others, on paper. ”

She was fascinated by him, completely enthralled when he spoke. The way she was looking at him made him blush further.

”So, you
e not married and you don have a girlfriend, whats wrong with you? ” she asked.

Jim laughed. ”I just haven found the right girl, ” he was looking at her. Leslie felt a lump in her throat but laughed it off.

”Im a stripper. ”

”Don sell yourself short; theres more to you than that. ”

”Don be so sure. ”

”Oh come on, ” he pushed her playfully. She was almost his height with her heels on. ”So, what do you do when you are not dancing and titillating men with your sexy ass? ” Leslies eyes widened in surprise and amusement, Jim blus

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