A Sample of "The Lace Bodysuit"

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Chapter One


I always thought the life of a principal ballet dancer would be glamorous. I imagined I’d be attending fancy parties every Saturday night, and I’d have guys lined up down the block for a chance to get me out of my tights. But being a principal dancer is lonely. Half the guys are jealous, and the other half are starstruck. Even Kai has run off with The Captain to some podunk town in the middle of nowhere. So instead of going to a party on Saturday night, I’m at The Sweet Omegas Strip Club.

I sit at a table by myself with my second vodka tonic and wait. The guy in the firefighter suit doesn’t interest me at all. He’s attractive enough, but his routine with the fire hose is tacky. A guy with thick-rimmed glasses and a book comes on next, and I have to admit that his nervous nerd act is cute, if a little understated. But I stay at my table until I hear I hear the soft vocals of “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish.

Parasol saunters onto the stage in a black lace bodysuit that covers him from head to toe, twirling a white parasol over his shoulder. He’s wearing heels high enough to put my ballet shoes to shame, and pink gloss on his full lips. He doesn’t gyrate like the other guys. He moves across the stage like a cloud--like a fairy with wings. His slight, pale body seems more nymph than human, and all of the alphas in the room are just as transfixed as I am. He stares back at us with light blue eyes cloaked with lashes too thick to be real. Every Saturday night I fool myself into thinking he’s looking at me. And just like every other week, I’m drawn to him like a moth to the flame. Parasol’s set is always short, but sweet. There are dozens of alphas who are here only for him, and the second he crouches, and starts crawling across the floor with a grace that looks more like swimming or flying, the alphas get out their money. He’s wearing a G-string over the lace bodysuit. This one has whimsical tassels that move with each sway of his hips.

Just like the alphas I hold out my money for a chance to tuck it in his underwear. I never stay for more than one set, so I always bring bigger bills. Sometimes tens or twenties, but tonight I have a fifty in my hand. He’s the only stripper I want to see--the only one I want to spend my money on. There’s no need for me to hold back.

I suppose we all have our dirty little secrets. For some, it’s their internet browser history or a cupcake they weren’t supposed to eat. For others it’s an occasional cigarette or looking up an ex on Facebook. For me, it’s a hopeless crush on a stripper.

Those light blue eyes lock on mine, and he crawls toward me, lifting his chest up when he reaches me and pushing his hips forward in a movement more vulgar than what he normally performs. He bites his bottom lip--which is still pink and glossy--and stares down at me. With trembling fingers, I slide my fifty-dollar bill into the side of his G-string.

He smiles, and reaches up to his parasol to pluck something from the center. It looks like a piece of paper somewhere in between the size of a receipt and the message inside a fortune cookie. He hands it out to me.

I take it. Of course I do. There’s no way I’d refuse something from Parasol. But I don’t look at it while I’m sandwiched in the crowd of alphas. I wait until he stands up and walks away with a subtle little wave. The alpha next to me lets out an appreciative whistle.

After he retreats behind the curtain, and the next strippers’s music starts playing, I retreat back to my table. It’s now full of businessmen who smile at me meaningfully. The barely-there tank top and skin-tight jeans I wore tonight clearly give them the impression that I work here. I abandon my drink and head out of the club with the piece of paper clutched in my hand.

Under the neon light of the club’s sign I hold up the paper. There’s a ten digit number with the words. “I get off at 1:30. If you text me your address, we could have a bit of fun.”

A bit of fun? Did I just get a booty call from Parasol?

I get out my phone immediately and send my address to the number on the paper, along with the words, “I’m Sam, by the way.”

My phone buzzes. There’s just one word in his reply.