Authors: Sherri L. King
Tags: #General Fiction
An Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publication
Caress of Flame
ISBN # 1-4199-0709-3
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Caress of Flame Copyright© 2006 Sherri L. King
Edited by Kelli Kwiatkowski.
Cover art by Darrell King.
Electronic book Publication: August 2006
This book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the publisher, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.® 1056 Home Avenue, Akron OH 44310-3502.
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the authors’ imagination and used fictitiously.
The following material contains graphic sexual content meant for mature readers. This story has been rated E–rotic by a minimum of three independent reviewers.
Ellora’s Cave Publishing offers three levels of Romantica™ reading entertainment: S (Sensuous), E (Erotic), and X (X-treme).
love scenes are explicit and leave nothing to the imagination.
love scenes are explicit, leave nothing to the imagination, and are high in volume per the overall word count. In addition, some E-rated titles might contain fantasy material that some readers find objectionable, such as bondage, submission, same sex encounters, forced seductions, and so forth. E-rated titles are the most graphic titles we carry; it is common, for instance, for an author to use words such as
“fucking”, “cock”, “pussy”, and such within their work of literature.
titles differ from E-rated titles only in plot premise and storyline execution. Unlike E-rated titles, stories designated with the letter X tend to contain controversial subject matter not for the faint of heart.
CARESS OF FLAME
Sherri L. King
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
Jagermeister: Mast-Jagermeister Aktiengesellschaft Corporation
Victoria’s Secret: Victoria’s Secret Partnership
Yoo-hoo: Yoo-hoo Beverage Company Corporation
Isis sat before the enormous lighted mirror and sipped from her hot, creamy latté. It was as sweet as a candy bar—she’d put a ton of sugar in it—and it was just the way she liked her coffee. Isis knew that soon she’d be buzzing with energy, which was very good since she was due to go out onto the stage in an hour and she’d need every ounce of energy she could muster to put on a good show.
In her other hand Isis held a crumpled envelope, clutching it tight. She needed to be doing her hair and makeup for the show, but she couldn’t let go of the letter. Her sister’s letter. The sister she hadn’t heard from since she’d set out on the road at seventeen nearly ten years ago. How Maria had found her was a miracle in itself. She had no idea how her sister had done it. Isis had always been so careful, keeping her phone number unlisted, changing it every six months or so. Her address was listed as a P.O. box and she moved around a lot, leaving no clues to her true addresses.
At least, for now, she had the peace of mind to know that Maria and especially her stepfather had no idea where she actually lived. But just in case, she had already decided to move.
Just in case.
Isis set her cup of coffee down and ran her hand through her long red hair. It was tangled and clumped in large, unruly locks—the day had been humid and rainy—and she winced as her fingers passed through the knots. She wished her hair would decide what it wanted to do. Some days it was so straight it was like a silk waterfall down her back and others it was a frizzy mess that could only be tamed with hours of work. Isis crumpled the paper tight in her fist once more before putting it in the front pocket of her jeans and grabbing the nearest hairbrush to begin her preparation for work.
A hundred strokes later—and with a little help from a professional-grade ceramic hair straightener—and her hair was smooth as satin, shining like liquid, falling almost to her waist. Her hair, she knew, was what drew so many of her faithful customers and she was fine with that. Whatever they liked, she liked, because it meant more money for her and less worry about finances.
Not that Isis had had much worry over finances in the past year since she’d begun working at The Pink Pit. She made lots of money each night that she performed—so much it still sometimes surprised her. But it was hard to let go of old habits and she’d worried about money for so many years it seemed almost ingrained in her to keep doing it. She hated that about herself. Among other things.
It was time for her makeup—this part she truly hated the most. She’d never been clever enough to use cosmetics to enhance her features. Most of her life she’d gone natural, without any makeup at all. Picking up her thick kohl pencil, she leaned closer to the mirror and put a dark ring around the edges of her hazel eyes, trying her best to keep a steady hand. This made her eyes look impossibly large—innocent even. Isis knew it was part of her allure…even if it was fake. She finished the effect with a generous application of black mascara that enhanced her already super-long eyelashes.
She put on her favorite lipstick, a burgundy hue so as not to clash with her vivid hair color, and studied her face thoroughly. It looked acceptable enough despite her large nose and overly full lips. Anyway, the customers wouldn’t be looking much at her less-than-beautiful face. And with that thought she went to the large wardrobe at the end of the ample communal powder room. She delved inside it, looking at the various garish and revealing garments until she found exactly what she’d been looking for.
A pair of black PVC Daisy Duke shorts, a purple PVC bra and a short black leather jacket to complete the ensemble. As Isis dressed in her chosen costume for the night ahead, she carefully folded her own jeans so that her sister’s note didn’t fall out and go missing. Isis wanted to hold onto it for a little bit longer yet.
“Girl, you look downright dangerous tonight,” Rebecca, one of the other girls that worked at The Pink Pit, said as she sashayed into the room.
Isis forced a smile. She wasn’t exactly a people person—except when up on the stage performing. Rebecca was nice, she knew, but it was still hard to even engage in small talk with someone else, Isis had become so used to being a loner. “Thanks Becca, it’s the look I was going for,” she managed.
“Well congratulations, you look like you could take on every man out there.”
Rebecca sat before the mirror and began applying her long, dark, fake eyelashes.
Isis ran the brush through her hair one last time. It was now only five minutes before she was due onstage. This was the worst part of the job—the anticipation. What would happen up there? There was the possibility of many things, not all of them pleasant, and Isis wished that she could see into the future, just this once, to be sure of her success—or failure—for the night.
“Don’t look so serious, Isis,” Rebecca told her gently. “I know you’re shy around people—hell, all of us have noticed that about you—but you don’t have a thing to worry about tonight. You’re the shining star of that stage out there. People come here just to see you. You’re so talented I can’t imagine why you would worry before a performance, but I see you do it before each and every show. Now stop it.” She finished with a smile.
Isis smiled again and said nothing. She took a deep, calming breath and made her way out of the powder room and into the backstage area, where two big, muscular guys in skintight black T-shirts and jeans that left nothing to the imagination were waiting.
Isis nodded to them, acknowledging their presence, safe in the knowledge that the two brutish men would do anything to keep her safe. It was their job after all.
“Friends, let me proudly introduce the highlight of tonight, the Great Goddess Isis.”
Isis heard the announcement on the loudspeaker just beyond the curtain and took one last long, soothing breath, steeling herself for what would come next.
“Haunted”, by Evanescence—her choice of music for the night’s performance—
began to play and Isis sashayed out onto the stage with a sexy confidence she did not feel. The lights were bright, obscuring her sight of the audience beyond the stage. She could hear the cheers and jeers plainly, even over the incredibly loud music she had chosen. Playing the part she had almost perfected, she slinked up to the pole that stood in the middle of the stage and began to dance around it.
Isis imagined that she was a pagan from ancient times, dancing for the pleasure of the gods who would ensure good fortune, abundant crops and long life. Perhaps this dance was for the benefit of the true Goddess Isis herself. This kept her mind off what she was really doing as Isis shed her leather jacket and climbed up the pole. Isis swung around, holding the pole between her legs as she fell backward, her long hair reaching to the floor. A loud cheer went up, interrupting her concentration, but she quickly blocked out the sound and instead let the melody of the music entrance her as she continued her dance.
Isis slid down the pole, slowly, sensually. She landed on her feet and walked down the length of the stage where dozens of hands were holding out green bills. She undulated, she twirled, she kicked and shook her hair wildly about her and the crowd’s cheers rose to a roar that echoed in her ears. With a thrust of her hips and a practiced move of her arm, she removed her tight shorts, revealing a black thong that only barely concealed her shaven pussy. She bent close to the men and let them put money in her panties then rose and resumed dancing.
The music rose to a crescendo and Isis shrugged out of her bra, revealing her large, round, rose-crested natural breasts. They shook and bounced as she danced and the crowd, if possible, went even wilder. She took to the pole again, slinking around it, rubbing her body against it like she would a lover. More hands waved at the perimeter of the stage, shaking money back and forth, and after a few seconds more with the pole she danced closer and closer to the edge of the stage, letting dozens of hands shove green slips of paper in her panties.
The music ended and the lights went down on the stage. She grabbed fistfuls of money that were still being waved at her. When her hands were full she gave the crowd a large smile and retreated behind the stage curtain once more. One of the bouncers went onto the stage after her and collected her discarded clothing. Not that it mattered.
Isis made it a point never to wear the same thing twice.
It felt like a long walk back to the powder room. This was only the first of three appearances she would make tonight, but already she felt wiped out. Exhausted. There were three other girls in the room when Isis returned, but she barely paid them any heed. She sat before the mirror, naked but for her black thong, and counted out the money she had collected from the eager men she’d entertained. More than three hundred dollars already. If the trend continued she calculated that she could very well make a thousand dollars tonight. She’d made more before, but this was, after all, a weekday. She was happy with what she’d earned thus far.
It would be another half hour before she was due back onstage. Isis sat back in her chair and stared off into space, imagining she was somewhere else, someone else living somewhere magical where she would have no worries or cares. Isis would sit this way until the last ten minutes before the show, when she would select her next outfit from the wardrobe. No one spoke to her and she kept her own silence, ignoring the conversations taking place around her. It was lonely, probably rude, and she knew the other girls thought she was strange, but she didn’t care.
Loneliness was a welcome companion, as it had been for many years. The pain of it had long since become something of a comfort. Isis knew she was alone—completely alone—and that was just as she liked it.