Stripe Tease(6)By: Milly Taiden
He waited what felt like an eternity before the guard came back. The look on the guy’s face told him he’d get nowhere. Instead, Cash headed for the bar. He motioned the bartender over and hoped for luck.
“The tigress on stage,” he said.
The bartender smiled. “Wasn’t she great? She’s was fan-fucking-tastic up there, looking all sexy,” the guy said with enthusiasm. Cash frowned. He’d seen how great she’d been on the stage. He wasn’t sure he liked anyone else mentioning how good she was. “I’m amazed at how good she did.”
“Do you know where I can find her?”
The bartender glanced at his watch. “She should be headed to the parking lot by now. She’s never here this late.”
He rushed off and left the guy talking, no longer interested in hearing how much he liked the tigress’s dancing.
When he got out to the back lot, he saw the tigress, no longer in costume but with her face still painted. She wore a trench coat and tried to get past a group of guys.
“I said let me by,” she ordered.
“Come on, baby,” one guy said. “You were so sexy up onstage. Let us take you out for some drinks.”
She moved away before the guys could grab her. “I said no. Now get the fuck away from my car before I kick your ass.”
Cash tried to rein in the tiger, but his animal wanted to hurt the men harassing what he saw as his. His mate. For the first time in his life, Cash lost control of the animal and shifted. The tiger dashed off around the cars so he wouldn’t be seen.
“You? You’re going to kick our asses?” One guy laughed. “I’d like to see you try.”
Vanessa readied to punch the skinny guy with the face of a goat when she heard a loud growl. She glanced around the lot, but didn’t see anything.
“What are you waiting for? You think you can take me?” asked Goat-face.
She moved fast, curling a hand into a tight fist and slamming it into the side of his face. He’d been busy trying to grab her and staring into the neckline of her trench and didn’t see it coming.
He screamed in pain and shoved her away from him and into another car. She stumbled back, tripping on her own feet and hitting the side of the other car hard. His two friends lost the smiles on their faces as they realized what she’d done. They went from happy to glaringly furious in two seconds. She tried to stand but slipped again. Then, before she had a chance to blink, a massive golden tiger jumped from the roof of a car onto the two men. The animal was huge, easily eight feet long. He slammed one of the guys on the ground, holding him down with a paw, and bit the other.
Both men screamed. She glanced around, looking for the crowd of people that should surely gather from all the screaming. The sports bar across the lot had the doors open, blasting loud music. The sounds of patrons laughing and singing along diverted all attention from what was happening in the back lot of Charlie’s.
Vanessa struggled to her feet, her knees shaking hard. She almost fell on her ass for a second time. She leaned into the car for support and continued staring at the large tiger in awe.
He scratched one of the guys with his large claws and bit down hard enough on the other that she heard bone-crunching sounds. She made a face of disgust and searched her pockets for her keys. The ones she’d had in her hand just a few minutes ago. The tiger glanced over his shoulder at her, his big, golden eyes staring deep into hers.
“Nice...ah...kitty. You’re a big kitty.”
The tiger lifted his paw and turned from the two men toward her. They scrambled to their feet, one guy holding the other.
“You should go,” she said to the big cat. “I know you’re one of those shifters.”
She’d never been this close to one shifted, but she’d had a few friends date the wolf kind. Never the tigers. She had a feeling these were a lot more difficult to tame.
The tiger didn’t pay her any mind. Instead he stared at her, licking his massive jaws. Before she could say anything else, the animal darted off into the woods of a large park filled with trees. Dammit. Shifters were a brand new problem she didn’t need in her life. Why did she have to have a damn soft spot for trouble?