Authors: Olivia Hawthorne,Olivia Long
Table of Contents
Copyright © Three Way, 2016
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
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**Originally published as a six part serial, this contains all parts plus several chapters of added story starting at the Epilogue!
“Come on, just a little cuddle,” the old man at a corner table pleaded with me as I rolled my eyes and walked on by.
The night was winding down and it was getting close to last call. Men got desperate and didn’t want to go home alone, so they started hitting on girls like me.
I wasn’t on stage, would never be on stage, had never been on stage in front of a crowd, but somehow the horniest and most desperate believed that somehow working in strip club would wear off on me and I would jump at the chance to give them a blowjob in the parking lot after the club closed.
“Bitch,” he spat as I kept walking.
Old bastard, not worth my time but still it stung when people treated me that bad. I only took the job out of desperation. I’d just moved to the city and knew nobody. My resume was kind of spotty, and as a recent college drop out I didn’t exactly want to admit that on paper.
The Hen House hired me in an instant though. The owner, Mel, had sized me up and asked me to dance. She’d laughed when I refused and started to walk out and offered me the waitress job instead.
I tugged at the low cut blouse and tried to pull it over to cover my cleavage. It was much more revealing than I was used to and I felt highly uncomfortable in it. I couldn’t imagine facing my parents in this outfit…then again I’d lied and told them I had found work in a pancake house. I just had to keep them from flying out to visit me.
Nebraska felt a million miles away from Seattle, but it wasn’t that far on a plane. I had to keep them at bay.
“Hey, sugar tits!” a college type asshole called to me as I walked by. I forced myself to apply a big fake smile and walked towards him and his table of buddies. “Why aren’t you up there on stage? We want to shove a few bills in your panties.”
“I’m not that talented,” I smiled, holding in the disgust that was building in the back of my throat. “Now what would you boys like to drink?”
They broke into laughter and one of them said, “Tequila shots all around and another pitcher of beer!”
“Coming right up,” I said with that fake smile still plastered to my face.
I sauntered to the bar, put their order in and leaned against the railing to watch the show on the stage.
The girls were amazing. I’d always looked down on strippers and thought they must be crack heads from broken homes, but I’d learned a thing or two since working here. Most of the dancers were incredibly athletic and took excellent care of their health. Most of them made more than my monthly salary every night they danced too.
I’d watched them practice before too and even tried the pole myself. They’d been polite when I’d crashed to the stage floor on my first attempt. Only a couple of them had laughed.
The music stopped and the DJ announced last call as the crowd groaned their displeasure.
Moments later they started to scream and holler. This meant my recent roommate, Tawny, was going to do her grand finale. She was amazing, about six feet tall, blonde and willowy and an incredible dancer, but kind of a bitch to be around. I might call her a friend, but she was only friendly when she needed something.
Besides, I felt like a hobbit around her at my five and a half feet, curvy with dark out of control hair to my waist and dark blue eyes. She claimed I was pretty enough to dance, but we all know how skilled I was on the pole.
In case you forgot, not very.
Jake the bartender whistled behind me letting me know the drink order was ready. I balanced the seven shots of tequila and the pitcher of beer on the little round tray and made my way back to the table with the smart ass guys.
It was easier going this time, each man in the club was firmly planted in his seat with his mouth hanging open watching my roommate. I didn’t have to wind in and out of people moving around and none of them noticed me as I passed.
I set the shot glasses on the table, added the pitcher of beer and said, “That’ll be thirty eight fifty.”
The loudmouth didn’t even look at me, he handed me a fifty and said, “Keep the change.”
“Thanks,” I replied without bothering to fake a smile, but I was pleased. Maybe I should be nicer to the college types that came in here, they might be decent tippers after all.
I busied myself as Tawny finished up. I wiped the countertop of the bar, stacked the dirty glasses in dishwasher crates, and helped Jake by taking out the garbage.
I wandered through the club, down the long back hall to the doorway to the dumpster. I swung the door open and carefully held it that way with one of my feet as I tossed the two bags into the dumpster. I turned around to go inside and heard somebody behind me scuffling quickly up the alley.
“Hey,” he said, “wait, I need to ask you something.”
I sighed heavily, kept the door propped open with my foot and said, “What do you want.”
He was rangy, one of those tall wiry guys who looked like a real life version of an old stretch Armstrong toys from childhood. His army jacket was filthy and his shaggy hair was greasy and unkempt. He had beady eyes and instantly gave me a feeling of unease. We had a lot of homeless people living in this area, but they generally left us alone. Not this guy though, he was different.
He stopped in front of me, smiled wide so I could see his crooked broken and yellowed teeth. “I wanted to ask you if I could borrow five bucks.”
“I don’t have anything on me,” I told him and turned to go back inside. I was grateful I’d already emptied my apron into my tip jar behind the bar.
“I knew you were going to say that,” he replied in a cold tone that chilled my blood. He grabbed my upper arm in one claw like hand and yanked me backwards.
I tried to grab the door but it slipped shut leaving me alone in the alleyway with him. I screamed again, felt the heel of my shoe get caught on a broken edge of pavement and fell backwards towards the pavement, his yellowed teeth and crazy eyes the last thing I saw before I hit the ground, landing on my butt and twisting my ankle badly.
Bright sparks of pain shot up my leg and I cried out.
“Hey, get off her!” a harsh growl came from the entrance to the alley.
“Help me!” I managed to scream before the homeless guy pulled me back to my feet and wrapped his disgusting greasy hand around my face, covering my mouth.
“Just a lover’s quarrel, sir,” the homeless man said. “No need for intervention.”
“I said get off her,” the man’s voice came again. It was a deep voice that throbbed with power. The homeless man hesitated; I could feel it in the way he tensed up.
“Just let us be,” the homeless man said. He dragged me backwards a little towards the dumpster. My ankle was humming with pain but I took the chance and elbowed him as hard as I could. Adrenaline kicked in and I darted forward as he grunted in shock and grabbed for my hair.
He caught a handful and jerked my head back. The guy with the deep voice took his chance to haul off and punch the homeless man in the face. I heard a crunch of bone and the homeless guy cried out as he dropped to the ground.
I scrambled away and landed right in the arms of the man who had saved me.
“Oh my god, thank you,” I babbled as the reality of my situation kicked in. “I thought he was going too…”
I couldn’t even give voice to what might have happened.
“Is he your boyfriend?” the guy asked and helped steady me.
“Are you fucking kidding me? What kind of stupid question is that?” I exclaimed in a huff and looked up at him, tears starting to roll down my cheeks.
“I am kidding actually,” he grinned. “Shit, I thought it might snap you out of it before you became a hysterical mess. I was right, by the way. You have claws, kitten.”
I mentally checked myself over and found he was right. The anger that had flared had almost burned out the terror that had been building. I still wasn’t a hundred percent, my knees and hands were trembling and my ankle still hurt, but I hadn’t given into the hysteria that had almost taken root.
“Oh, thank you, it did work,” I said and looked up again.
He was stunning.
And I meant utterly stunning. Well over six feet with huge shoulders and arms with beautiful tattoos covering them and his chest from what I could see through his white tee shirt. He was wearing tight jeans that clung to his muscled thighs like a drowning man to a raft, and heavy black leather boots.
His eyes were gentle for a man who oozed danger, and his lips were full and kissable even when turned up into a smug smile. His hair was thick and dark and shaggy but pulled back into a tie. He had a few days growth on his angled cheeks and his eyes practically had a light of their own, they sparkled green even in the dim alleyway.
I was still too stunned to say a damn thing when he chuckled and said, “Any time. You should be careful though, what the hell were you doin out here alone anyhow? Especially dressed like that. This is behind a strip club, you know.”
“I know,” I retorted, finally finding my voice. Yes, he was stunning but also bloody irritating, like I just hung out in seedy areas dressed like this for fun. “What do you think I was doing out here? Selling my ass on the street? I work at The Hen House.” I frowned and tried to look away from his gorgeous face just so I could focus on being annoyed and not aroused.
“You’re a dancer?” he asked incredulously and leaned back with his arm still wrapped around my waist and looked me up and down.
“No, but is it that impossible that I would be?” I snapped and tried to wiggle out of his grasp.
“No, kitten,” he chuckled and held me tighter, “I was just thinkin it was a damn shame I hadn’t seen ya up on stage is all.”
I bristled at that and pulled out of his arms, spun on my stupidly high heel – part of the uniform – and made to march angrily down the alleyway back to the street so I could go in the front of the club since the door had slammed shut in the scuffle.
And promptly fell flat on my face as my ankle gave way.
“Fuck,” I huffed under my breath and braced myself with my hands on the filthy cold cement. I’d completely forgotten about that ankle in the heat of my anger.
Without a word he bent over and scooped me into his arms. Behind us the homeless man groaned and my stunning hero turned slightly to say, “Stay down if you know what’s good for you. I’m gonna walk away now, if you get up I will fucking kill you. Understand?”
His voice vibrated with the promise of his threat and the homeless guy dropped back to the cement and said, “Yes sir,” in a quiet whisper.
“Good,” my annoying hero growled and strode down the alley with me in his thick powerful arms.
“You can put me down,” I protested as we reached the sidewalk in front of the club.
“I ain’t putting you anywhere until we can find somebody to take a look at your ankle. You can’t walk on it, kitten,” he told me and I couldn’t find it in me to disagree.
How could I argue with the biggest, hottest man I’d ever seen as he carried me like a princess back to safety?
“Where the hell have you been?” Jake yelled over the crowd as my hot hero walked towards the bar. “And what the hell are you doing with Ryker?”