Fractured Breaths(4)

By: Zoey Derrick

I pull myself from the memories of Heather and the bad tabloid headlines as I take in the sight of two rather large men standing on either side of the roped off entry of the obviously improvised VIP area of the club.

Strip clubs used to be a tradition for me and Liam. My concerts always ran late into the night but being amped up on adrenaline from the show made settling down impossible. So, we did the only thing open, we hit the strip clubs. In each new city we’d check out the local flavor. Eventually it grew tiresome and boring. It was a great escape from the crazy that is my life, but eventually it became redundant and boring. I will admit that some places were better than others, but Phoenix has never been one of my favorites. Plastic has always been a popular choice amongst Phoenix strippers and I don’t like the plastic ones.

I should have stayed in my hotel room, but after months of being on the road, confined to a bus and a schedule not my own, I’m ready to wrap up this business so that I can take a few months off and get back into the studio. That’s why I’m here in Phoenix. We arrived this morning and by the afternoon I was already going stir crazy, but like most things, I should have waited until tomorrow to come into town. My meeting isn’t until then and we could have easily flown in right before and right back out after to avoid going stir-crazy in a hotel room.

Liam and I take our seats and he smiles at me. I give him a small smile back. I’m not too sure about tonight, but I give him the best I can manage and remind myself that this is going to be better than bad hotel TV.

The club is dark, typical for strip clubs, and the décor is mostly black chairs, tables and nearly black carpeting. There are purple accents and the accent lighting is neon pink. Reminds me more of a dance club than a strip club.

Being a ‘VIP’ has its advantages. It doesn’t take more than a minute before the two bouncers let a petite blonde with overdone makeup past the ropes. She’s carrying a tray in her hand, wearing pasties over the nipples of her tiny tits and a pair of barely there shorts and fuck me heels. She leans over between me and Liam, showing off her lack of cleavage. “What can I do you for, boys?” she purrs.

“Crown, neat,” Liam orders then looks at me.

“The same,” I tell her.

“Perfect, I’m Mary and I’ll be your server tonight. Can I get you anyone else?” She winks at Liam. I snort softly before taking in his relaxed form. He’s attractive as hell, of course. He’s Scottish for crying out loud. Most girls usually live for the accent, but the coppery red hair helps accentuate his attractiveness, and that’s all before he opens his mouth to talk.

“You’ll do,” he smirks. His accent is purposefully thicker than normal. He’s working himself tonight and I just shake my head. If he wanted to pick up women, we could have done that in a bar. At least there he would have a better chance of picking up something he could take home with him.

Mary giggles with fake enthusiasm and she gives him a little shimmy before sauntering out of the area.

“You know, mate,” I say leaning forward and mocking his accent, “You might have better luck getting laid in a bar than a strip club.”

He chuckles, “Right, but this way I can flirt with anything and know they’re not going to beg to come home with me.”

I laugh at his logic. His accent is softer now. I’ve heard the man talk in a normal American accent on several occasions, well, until he gets enough liquor in him.

Woman are always drawn to him, always have been. I’m pretty sure I owe half the woman I’ve ever been with to having him around. Sharing women is something we’ve done frequently, and while I’m not at all into men, he’s definitely open about who and what he is.

The music in the club shifts.

I roll my eyes.

“Who the hell dances to this shit?” I snort.

Liam turns his eyes toward the stage. “Apparently she does.”

I follow his line of sight to a drop dead gorgeous, leggy blonde wearing a cowboy hat, flannel crop top and shorter than should be legal daisy-duke shorts. My jaw falls slack as a remix of my song ‘Somebody’s Cowgirl’ starts to play. It’s been a Top 50 hit for the last fourteen weeks. The longest I’ve ever had a song on the charts.