This is the first part of my new short story The Woman in the Red Lingerie Please leave a commend and let me know what you think!
I took a drag off my cigarette; the tip flared white in the darkness then went dim. I looked out to the stage where the girls danced. It was empty now. The show wouldn’t start for another half hour.
I had already been at the strip club for an hour, but nobody cared. I’ve been coming here so long I have my own table. The owner said he owed me after all.
Crystal tottered up to me on 4 inch spiked heels, wearing a black lace corset and thong. The latter showing off her perfect ass. She put the whiskey down in front of me before leaning over and giving me a kiss.
I looked up into her gray eyes, holding her gaze for two seconds that felt like an eternity. I broke contact first, I usually did. Staring down at my whiskey, I watched the clear-gray liquid swirl around the clear ice cubes.
Crystal squeezed my hand in hers and then walked away, balancing precariously on her heels. I started at her back as she walked away. The spot where her corset met her thong left a 1 inch gap of white skin showing. I could barely see the scar that teased its way out from under the corset like a tramp stamp.
I closed my eyes and remembered the night she got the scar. It had been a busy night busting heads at the club. One of the regular troublemakers, Shane Lawson, showed up with a couple buddies. It had taken less than an hour before they had started harassing Crystal. I busted all three heads together and tossed them out. The two buddies got the hint and split, but the troublemaker didn’t. That sonofabitch waited for Crystal for three hours until she left the club.
He attacked her from behind, stabbing her in the back with a broken beer bottle and giving her the scar. Her scream drew me like a shark to blood. I burst out of the club and saw Shane trying to force Crystal into his Jeep. I grabbed him by the back of the pants shirt and dragged him off her. He spun and drove the broken bottle at my face.
I woke up in the hospital three weeks later. I found out later that Shane and I had fought while Crystal had crawled back into the club and had the boss call the police. When they arrived, Shane had nearly beaten me to death. According to the police report, Shane had been riding high on a methamphetamine cocktail mixed with a fifth of vodka. He broke nearly every bone in his hands on my face and left me a bloody pulp.
Shane is a guest of Reeves County Detention Complex in Pecos, Texas serving a life sentence. Crystal got to spend three months recovering from nerve damage. And me? Well, I got to spend the rest of my life in shadow. According to the doctors, the damage to my optic nerves has resulted in complete achromatopsia, the complete loss of the ability to distinguish colors.
I opened my eyes again, I let out the breath I didn’t realize I was holding when I saw that Crystal had gone back behind the stage. I blamed myself for Crystal’s injury. I was the bouncer at Assets, it was my job to protect the girls. I should have walked Crystal to her car, but I didn’t. I failed.
Crystal and I had dated for six months before the attack, she had dumped me two days before. I had still been pissed at her that night, so I hadn’t walked her out to the car. If I had swallowed my pride and been with her, none of this would have happened.
Crystal came to see me in the hospital. She said she was sorry and that it was her fault that I had gotten attacked. I tried to tell her it wasn’t her fault, that it was mine, but she wouldn’t listen. Two years later, we still both blamed ourselves.
The spotlights lit up the stage, I had been lost in thought longer than I had realized, and the show was about to begin. I’m no longer a bouncer at Assets but I’m still here almost every night, open to close to watch over the girls. The new bouncer, a young kid named Chuck, says I’m his good luck. Everyone in town knows what happened here two years ago and nobody starts any problems when I’m here.
Daisy was the first on stage. Her long red hair twirled around her like silk as she spun around the pole. At 19 she was nubile and fit, but her small firm breasts didn’t draw the crowds like some of the other girls. So she usually went on earlier in the evening. I watched as she moved, graceful as a ballet dancer as she removed her small lace bra. It had little dots on it, white on blue I thought, but it was all just shades of gray to me. Her thong joined the bra on the stage floor before Daisy began to climb the pole. She wrapped her legs around it and spun, letting her long hair trail along the floor. After her run, I whistled and clapped, trying to fill the silence of the mostly empty club. Daisy was one of the sweetest girls I knew, and I hated that she didn’t get to perform for more people. I made a mental note to talk to Adam, the owner about giving her a better time to perform.
Crystal was next. Adam adjusted the lights as she approached the pole. After Crystal had insisted that she wanted to come back and strip, Adam had spent weeks adjusting the lights for her performance. The lights shone off her blonde hair, making her look like an angel on stage. While Daisy had the body of a track runner, Crystal had a body made for stripping. Large plumb breasts, a small waist, and an ass that never quit. I watched as she slowly untied the corset, starting from her navel and working her way up, teasing the audience as she did. The shadows falling across her chest accentuated the tease as she gyrated around. When the corset finally fell to the ground, the place cheered. As Crystal cupped her perfect 34 DD breasts, men threw money on stage. She slowly slid her hands down teasing the tops of her breasts. Her tease ended with her pinching her nipples and tugging them before dropping her hands, allowing the audience to see them in all their glory.
Tonight, she had dusted glitter over her body. White and gray sparkles glinted off her white skin as the lights continued to shift, leaving half her body in shadows. As Crystal began to tease her thong down her legs, a regular, Eddie, threw a fifty on the stage. Crystal smiled at him as the thong fell, she stepped out of it and picked it up with the toes of one foot. She teased the thong over Eddie’s face with her foot, giving him an up-close view of her smooth pussy. The crowd hooted as Eddie kissed Crystal’s toes and took the thong from her with his teeth. This foot play was common between Eddie and Crystal, he had a box of Crystal’s underwear, and she had a new car thanks to his generosity. I laughed as Eddie tucked his latest trophy into his pocked, then leaned back to enjoy the show.
Crystal continued to dance for three songs, her breasts bouncing as she gyrated and spun on the pole. As her last song began, Daisy joined Crystal on stage. Still naked, Daisy joined Crystal on the pole, together they spun around the pole as the now-full club cheered. When Crystal took Daisy’s hand, pulled her close and kissed her, the crowd went wild. Ones and Fives rained onto the stage as Daisy returned the kiss, slipping her tongue into Crystal’s mouth as Crystal’s hands grabbed Daisy’s ass. As the music stopped, the women broke their embrace and bowed.
As more girls danced, Daisy ran up to me. She was barefoot and wore nothing but the thong she had removed earlier. Daisy loved her body and loved showing it off. “Did you like the show? Crystal and I came up with the idea last weekend and have been practicing all week!” Her enthusiasm was palpable, I smiled and told her that she was amazing, as always. I tried to slip her a twenty for her performance, but she refused. All the girls refused to take my money, and all my drinks were free. If I had wanted private shows, they would be free too. They all thought I was a hero. Their admiration was like pouring vodka on an open wound.
Daisy kissed me on the cheek, ignoring the scars, then pranced off, her latest routine had suddenly made her popular, men were chasing her to have private sessions. I figured Daisy would make a week’s worth of tips tonight. I smiled as I watched her take a pretty college boy by the hand lead him to a back room. Daisy always liked the pretty boys, and despite her small breasts, the usually liked her too.
Crystal walked up to me, a whiskey in each hand. She had replaced the corset and thong with a t-shirt and cut-off jeans. The words I’m up here stretched comically across her breasts as Crystal had chosen a t-shirt at least two sizes too small for her.
“You leaving early?” I asked as she took the seat next to me, sipping on one whiskey as she handed me the other. I took a sip as Crystal sat there for a moment in silence.
“Yeah… that was actually my last performance.”
I studied her, shocked into silence. Crystal took another sip of her whiskey before continuing.
“I’m pregnant. Me and Jason are gonna have a baby!”
I choked on my whiskey, spitting a mouth full across the table before I was able to catch my breath. I reached over and grabbed Crystal in a fierce hug. Crystal had been trying for the last ten months to get pregnant. Jason had been her physical therapists. They fell in love while he helped her heal, but he had refused to date a patient. He proposed five minutes after he had discharged her as a patient. She had said yes under the condition that she could continue stripping as it was a good way to pay off a house. Jason had agreed with the understanding that if Crystal was pregnant, she would walk away.
“That’s great Crystal! I can’t believe you’re gonna have a baby!”
Tears of joy fell down Crystal’s face as she returned my embrace. “I know you blame yourself for what happened to me, but it all happens for a reason. If Shane hadn’t attacked me, I never would have met Jason, he’s not the type to visit strip clubs.” Crystal took my chin and held my head, forcing me to look her in the eyes. “You stop blaming yourself. I don’t, Jason doesn’t, nobody else does. You think it’s your fault because I went out alone, but I told you I didn’t wait for you because I was pissed at you too. It just happened, it’s nobody’s fault.
“Now, you are going to stop blaming yourself, and you are gonna start living again. You haven’t had so much as a lap dance since you got out of the hospital. Any girl here would be happy to help you with that, or anything else you wanted. But you sit here, drinking and smoking, blaming yourself for my stupidity.”
Crystal leaned in and kissed me on the lips, holding the kiss for a second before breaking off. “Go live your life, stop living in the past.”
With those parting words, she left. I didn’t see Crystal again for six months. I sat there, thinking about what she said as the music began to play. Lost in my own thoughts, I vaguely heard the DJ mention a new dancer. It made me mad to think that they had replaced Crystal already. But then she walked on stage.
The woman on stage was a vision. Her pale skin was as white as alabaster, her lips were a light gray that I knew was actually soft pink lipstick. Her brown hair held up in a ponytail, looked gray to me, but I had the urge to run my fingers through it. But what caught my breath wasn’t what she looked like, but what she wore. She walked out on stage, nearly nude. The only thing she wore… was red lingerie.
I stared as she started to dance. Her hips rocked seductively as she walked around the pole. The red thong seemed to burn my eyes as I stared. She grabbed the pole and spun once, twice around then stopped. My head began to spin. The last color I remembered seeing was the red of Crystal’s blood on the broken beer bottle that Shane had used to attack me. Now this unknown woman, who still appeared to me in shades of gray, was wearing red lingerie.
I was mesmerized as she finished her routine. She never removed her thong, as if she knew that it had cast some sort of spell over me. My heart ached as she walked behind the curtains. I glimpsed one last burst of red, as a lace covered thigh slipped between the curtains and vanished.