My father is mad, again.
“Kennedy, I’m not mad, it just upsets me,” he says in a whisper, looking down at Jackie as if the little boy tugging at my hand cannot understand what he is saying if he lowers his voice into a serious tone. Jackie is an intelligent boy though. He can understand much more than a four year old should be able to, including the tension between two adults that he loves. He looks up at us with those sad blue eyes, just like his father’s, and I wanted nothing more than to turn around, take him home, and spend the evening watching cartoons with him.
“You don’t have to do this, you know? Your mother and I are here for you, so that you don’t have to make the choices other girls in your position would make!” my father continued.
I sighed. Every favor was like this. They were a loving family, willing to help me, but making sure that they held their assistance over my every decision.
“Look, if it upsets you that much I can try to reschedule for a night when Cara is free and can watch him.”
“No, no,” he said, scooping my son into his arms, “Look, I am taking the little terror, aren’t I? It wouldn’t help to reschedule, just to cancel, forever.”
I glared at my father and kissed Jackie on his smooth cheek, “I’ll be home early,” I promised him, “I wont leave you with mean old grandpa for any longer than I have to.”
I ruffled Jackie’s hair and turned to leave. The door clicked shut behind me and I sighed so deeply that the tears almost came again. My father had a way of doing that to me. All week I felt like a successful businesswoman, working hard and raising a brilliant son on my own, and then five minutes with my father and I felt as if my entire life was a mistake. I wondered when it had gotten like that. Of course, I didn’t have to wonder long. I knew the exact moment that everything had changed. I made one mistake and I went from being daddy’s little girl, a prized princess, to being an outcast who could do nothing right.
He was right to worry, I guess, considering my situation. My chosen profession was unconventional at best, and only going to school half-time meant that my college degree was still a long way off when my parents would have gladly allowed me to continue attending university full-time. My mother thought that being an exotic dancer and a single mother was completely cliché and refused to tell her friends what I did. Of course, she didn’t fully understand what I did. I wasn’t exactly an exotic dancer, most of the time. Most of the time I ran a fitness studio downtown. I had a few other instructors working underneath me, and my business was doing well. I, personally, taught a few sessions of yoga each week, and our main money-making class, “Pole-dancing for fitness.”
I had one girl’s only class that met twice a week, and a co-ed class that also met twice a week. My students varied in age and background, from young women who wanted to work at the local clubs to older wives who wanted to impress their husbands with a few new tricks and a slimmer, toned body. Some men came to leer at cute young ladies in spandex, but they usually only stayed for a single lesson and then realized that they would get a lot more for their money at the strip clubs. The few who returned were actually serious about their bodies and understood the art and commitment needed for pole dancing. My classes were well liked and generally full, and I wanted to keep them that way.
Every successful business owner knows that there are two key components to keeping customers. The first is a great product, which I had, and the second is targeted, innovative advertising. So, twice a month I went to different nightclubs and strip bars to show off my skills and make sure that I had a steady influx of cliental. I would go up on stage for a three-song set, have the dj make an announcement about my studio, and leave some business cards with the bouncers. Inevitable I would see one or two new faces in my class during the following weeks. Struggling dancers saw how much the crowd loved me and came in for some pointers. Girls who went to the club with their boyfriends realized that a “normal” girl could dance and decided to take lessons themselves. It was a great way to advertise.
“A great way to advertise,” I reminded myself as I finished lacing up my patent leather knee-high boots. I didn’t exactly enjoy the nightclubs. They felt a bit sleazy to me. I felt exposed in the thong and short skirt that I wore, and even though I never took my bikini top off, it still felt as if I was exposing too much of myself. I missed my black bootie shorts and full pink sports top that I wore for class. I missed the tightness of my demure bun. My hair falling all around my face felt very unprofessional, even though the crowd seemed to like it better.
I heard the dj announce me and saw the girl before me collect her tips and leave the stage. I couldn’t imagine being her every night.
“Tough crowd,” I commented, nodding towards the few dollars that she canlı bahis held. She just rolled her eyes and walked past me, bumping my shoulder harder than necessary. Not all of the dancers liked me. As I mounted the stairs to the stage I could understand why.
I stepped into the light and was greeted by a room filled with catcalls and hollering. My reception was much warmer than most of the other girls’. The regulars knew me, and every time I came in they plied me with adoration and tips, trying desperately to get me to flash a breast or give them a private dance. They knew that I never would; it was just a game that we played.
My music started and I began my routine. I could afford to be much more energetic than the usual dancers. I didn’t have to conserve my energy for eight routines four nights a week, and lap dances in between. This was a one-shot deal, and because of that I was able to give it everything that I had. My face beamed, my muscles tensed, and my body slowly lit on fire.
I teased a little first, dancing to a corner of the stage and then the other, knowing full well what the audience expected, and what I was there for. I walked back to the mirror, held on to the ballet bar, and fell gracefully into a split. I tumbled forward out of them, up onto my front foot, continuing onto my hands, and allowed my ankles to finally fall against the pole in the center of the stage. The crowd cheered and dollars flew and I remembered that I actually did like the attention a little bit, even if I rarely admitted it.
I continued my ascent onto the pole, prepared to work it solidly for the next two songs. I wondered what men thought when they saw a beautiful woman on a pole. Did they imagine the softness of her entire body wrapping and folding, wiggling and squirming, around their erect penis? Or were they admiring her athleticism and endurance and thinking of all the ways that they could bend and flip her in bed? I had never asked. Perhaps one day I would.
My feet touched the ceiling and my head hung down and I let myself descend back towards the floor. My hands reached out to stop my descent and my legs opened into another split, the crack of my ass opening behind the pole. It was there, stalled in that awkward position, that I first felt it.
Someone was staring at me.
It was an absurd thing to feel when there was an entire room staring at me, but I felt it nonetheless. Someone was staring at me, quite differently than they usually did. Someone was staring at me and seeing not a beautiful dancer, but me. I felt myself blushing. I hadn’t done that on stage in over a year. I curled my knee around the pole, lifted myself up to a standing position, and tried to see who it was. They had turned the stage lights on bright, a common request of mine, and I could not see very easily into the audience. My face fell for just a second, and my body slid to a brief pause. I squinted out into the darkness but could only make out shapes of bodies, not faces.
I continued dancing, knowing that there was someone who knew me very well in the audience. I could feel their eyes on me, appreciating every spin and caressing every curve of mine. I couldn’t help but play to their eyes, just a bit. My dance turned slower and sultrier. I usually showcased my athleticism and tricks, not the sexiness of my young, hard body. This dance was different though. I slipped down from the pole, onto the floor, and found myself briefly opening my legs to whoever was watching me. My nipples grew hard until they were standing at attention beneath the thin fabric that held them. My pussy grew damp and began to throb. I eased its ache by allowing it to brush, unnecessarily, against the pole as I mounted it. I ground against the pole, floating up and down it, basking in this strange sense of exhibitionism, and then, just as suddenly as it had started, the sensation was gone.
My eyes snapped open, wide and aware once again, and energy sprang back into my dance. I gave a few final flourishing moves as my song ended and the crowd erupted with whistles. I didn’t bother to pick up any of their money as I left the stage. It was my habit to leave it for whatever poor dancer had to follow me and actually work that evening.
I changed quickly in the dressing room, wiped the caked make-up from my face, and put my hair up into a familiar ponytail. On the way out of the club I stopped at the bar to talk with the manager.
“That was fantastic Kennedy,” he said, giving me a brief hug, “I think we still might make a dancer out of you yet.”
“In your dreams, Michael,” I said, kissing him briefly on the cheek.
“Oh come on, give in. That was way sexier than usual and you enjoyed it. I could tell.”
“Then I’ll see you again next month?”
“Unless I can convince you to come out with me before then,” he teased. Michael was a lovely manager, not nearly as sleazy as most of the club managers. He was younger and very fit. He always wore a sharp suit and his eyes actually sparkled bahis siteleri when he saw me. Part of me always wanted to give in to his requests for a date, but I knew I never could.
“You know all the girls say that you’re a dog, right?” I teased back. He knew it wasn’t true. He treated his girls with respect and so kept some of the best dancers in town.
“It’s a shame, my reputation precedes me,” he sighed with mock disappointment, “Alas. Maybe you can make this guy’s night.” He handed me a napkin with a phone number on it.
I laughed, “Who is this?”
Michael shrugged, “Just some guy. He came in and saw you and couldn’t take his eyes off of you. He asked me if you did private dances and when I said you didn’t he just gave me this and left, no explanation. It was like he forgot how to talk. I think you might have melted the poor guy’s brain.”
I frowned a bit. My heart jumped. I took the napkin, pretending not to care, but as I touched the soft paper my skin sparked and I knew that the number must belong to the man who had been watching me.
I said my goodbyes to Michael and the bartender. I took my cd back from the dj. I didn’t look at the napkin until I got into my car. I locked my door, put my keys in the ignition, and unfolded the crumpled thing. There were ten digits. I didn’t recognize the area code. There was no name. But somehow I knew that I knew the man who had written this message, which said so much more than just, “Call me.” The strokes of the pen were as familiar as the breath of a lover. My eyes moistened with tears and I quickly pushed the napkin away, telling myself not to hope with silliness.
I went to my parent’s house, picked up a tired Jackie from his irritated grandparents, and went home. I had to carry Jackie up the steps to the door and he rubbed his sleepy eyes.
“Aw, honey,” I crooned, “Why didn’t you just go to sleep at grandma and grandpa’s?”
“Because I want you to put me to sleep, every night momma,” he said, and my heart melted.
The next day I woke up early, fed my son, and dropped him off at daycare. I went in early to the studio and began warming up for classes. I tried not to think about the napkin still stuffed in my purse. However, just before lunch the receptionist called me out from my office. She kept her voice lowered because one of the other instructors was leading a class and had not yet started their music.
“Kennedy,” she told me, ” These came for you.”
She nodded towards a vase of red roses. In the middle of the arrangement was a white card. I crinkled my eyebrows at the girl and she just shrugged. I took the card from its stand and opened it. It simply said my name. I exhaled, realizing that I had been holding my breath.
“Cara, is the studio free this afternoon?” I asked, not commenting on the roses.
She checked the books, “Yeah. Chris has a class at 6:00, but this is the last class until then.”
“Great. I need some alone time. Why don’t you take the afternoon off after this class finishes?”
Cara shrugged again. She had a habit of being noncommittal that way. “Nice flowers, Kennedy.”
“Thanks.” I scooped them up and took them back into the office, shutting my door behind me. It was rare for me to do that, but I needed time to think, time to breathe, and a little bit of privacy.
I took the napkin out of my purse and held it once again. I opened it. I closed it. I had already memorized the number. I picked up my phone, and I dialed.
“Hello,” a deep, familiar voice answered on the first ring, “Kennedy?”
“Yes,” I faltered, and then cleared my throat and tried to sound strong, “Who is this?”
“I know that you don’t have to ask, just like I didn’t have to look twice to know it was you last night. I couldn’t believe it, but I knew it, and you know it now.”
I swallowed. I knew, but I didn’t want to admit it, not yet. I had known the night before, as soon as I felt his eyes on me.
“Can I see you?” that deep, rumbling voice asked. I could deny him nothing. I wanted to say no, but I wanted to say yes more.
“Come by my studio, this afternoon, if you are free.”
“For you I would make myself free anytime,” he said. But I didn’t believe it. He hadn’t made himself free for too long for me to believe such a thing. I let the receiver slip slowly from my ear and back onto the hook. I missed and in the distance I could hear a dull beeping but the sound did not bother me.
After a while I left the office. I tried to keep myself distracted. I went into the studio, put on a cd, and began to dance. My mind floated away and I found myself back in my body. It felt good and I stretched against the brass. I was hanging upside down, my eyes closed, when I heard the door to the studio open. I opened my eyes and saw him for the first time in nearly five years. He had the same bright blue eyes that I remembered, that I was reminded of in his son every day.
He made his way slowly across the room bahis şirketleri and stood at the bottom of the pole that I was on, staring up at me with a drawn, confused face. I let my ankles loose and slipped down the pole, my hands caught his shoulders and his hands reached effortlessly to hold my waist and lower me to the ground without incident.
I didn’t know anything else to say. Apparently he didn’t either, because he said nothing. Then, a moment later, he was kissing me. His lips were soft but fierce on mine, hungry, trying to devour the past five years. I melted against his pressure, seeking out his tongue with my own.
He pushed me back against the pole, raised my hands above my head and pinned them there with one of his hands. With the other he caressed my hips, the curve of my stomach, up to my sports bra. He unzipped the tight fabric and released my breasts, kneading them softly with his fingertips. He leaned in to kiss me harder and his palm fell against my nipple and I moaned at the warmth.
Craig scooped me up into his arms and laid me on the spring floor of my studio, kissing me the entire time. I moaned again as his lips finally left mine, nipping at my neck, down my throat, to my nipple. He sucked my hard nipple in and swirled it against his tongue, flicking it sharply before leaving it to the cool air and continuing his way down. He kissed my belly; his lips brushed my belly button, making my body shiver. With one motion he removed my black shorts and the underwear beneath, and my legs fell open for him.
He stared up at me with those gorgeous blue eyes, asking permission, asking forgiveness, asking many more things. I reached my hand down, between my open legs, brushed his soft hair, his rough cheek, and tender lips. They kissed my fingertips before I removed them, started once again at the back of his head, and slowly pressed his mouth down against me, giving him permission, forgiveness, and anything else that he could want.
His soft tongue lapped slowly at my wet pussy. It played around my lips, darting in and out of me, working its way slowly up to my waiting clit. I ached for him to reach my pleasure zone but he teased around it, making certain that I was completely ready for him. When my hips began twitching, trying to force his mouth to my clit, he surrendered and sucked it gently into the warmth of his lips. He sunk a finger into my pussy and I sunk against it, letting it fill me fully as his tongue danced slow circles over my clit.
Eventually he picked up speed with his tongue, and inserted another finger. Matching their steady rhythm with my breath, which was becoming more and more shallow. His tongue eventually had to stop circling and was flicking back and forth with heavy strokes over my clit, his spit mingling with the dripping juices of my pussy, making the whole adventure slick and satisfying. I could take no more pleasure and exploded into a sparkling moment of fizz. My body tensed, pressing hard against his mouth, and then fell to the floor without grace.
I could feel his content smile as he softly, tenderly kissed my sex and then my belly, and then between breasts, making his way back up to my mouth.
“Mmmm, Kennedy,” he whispered, “I missed you. Did you miss me?”
“Every day,” I admitted.
“Then come back to Detroit with me,” he suggested as he lazily played with my hair, letting his fingertips trace along my skin.
“I can’t,” I sighed, “I have obligations here.”
“Obligations?” he asked, not understanding, “Like your studio? You can start one there. You will be just as successful wherever you go.”
“No,” I admitted softly, “Obligations like my son.”
“Your son?” Craig stiffened and backed away from me. “Your son. And obligations like your husband?”
His voice changed. It was no longer that smooth caress. It was hurt and so bit back with mocking anger.
“No,” I reassured him, “No husband.”
“Oh,” he relaxed just a bit, “Your boyfriend then?”
“No, no boyfriend.”
I expected him to fall against me again. I wanted to continue our melting. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t. Then I realized that it was because he was looking around the room, at all of the poles in the studio, and remembering my body on the stage the night before. Surely he was thinking of all the men that I had danced in front of, and all the men that I must have fucked. I had no choice but to be honest with him. I pressed against his shoulder, rolling him onto his back. I threw my leg up over him, straddling him, and felt his semi-hard cock between my legs.
I stared into his hard eyes as I unbuttoned his shirt. I kissed his chest. Although his face was cool his heart was pounding and I knew that I still had a chance.
“Craig, there is no husband, and there is no boyfriend for one very simple reason. A long time ago I made love to the man who was meant to be my soul mate. He left me spoiled. I tried to find another man who could satisfy me, but with a single kiss I always knew that they never would. So I never bothered to even try having sex with them. There aren’t many men who will stick around for very long if a woman who has a kid wont put out.”