The Right Price

Chapter 5

Collins

Walking into the grey VIP room, I kept replaying Carver’s words in my head. Unlike the other girls who had all come in here together earlier, Carver had sought me out after the VIP guests had arrived to give me a clearer understanding of what was expected of me while serving the room.

You don’t see anything, you don’t hear anything, and you don’t say anything.

While I had a good idea what went on in the rooms from the other girls, I hadn’t expected a direct command to ignore anything that I might see in here. I wasn’t naïve, but life still had the ability to shock me at times. I knew people did drugs, but I’ve never seen anyone do them. I knew that people had sex in places other than their bedrooms, but I’ve never encountered something like that yet. The drunken men in this club were as close to rowdy as I’ve gotten in my life, but we had enough security to make sure that no one ever got out of hand.

So, walking into the room, I did my best not to come off as an innocent convent nun. Glancing around, I could see that Carver had sent his best into this room. I already knew that Carol and Abby were going to service this room, but I quickly noticed Mira Chang, Jess Morales, Susan Wade, and Rachel Horn as the dancers. Jess was already sitting in someone’s lap, and another guy was rubbing his hand all over Rachel’s ass.

Another glance told me why Carver’s earlier conversation with me had been necessary. The coffee table centered in front of the couch had…uh, stuff on it, and it was a good thing that I knew how to mind my own business. It was something that you learned quickly when you lived on the poor side of town. It didn’t do any good to borrow trouble, and while most of my neighbors were decent enough, it was better to be safe than sorry.

Abby came to stand next to me, and these men must be regulars because she introduced me and used their names. “Isaac, Rob, Lorne, Brett, Richard, Evander, this is Collins,” she said. “She’s new to the VIP, so be nice.” I blinked at her because she had that whole flirty vibe down to an art, and I could only hope to be like her one day. “And if there’s anything you guys would like to drink, she’s your girl.”

“Anything else, and you’ve got us,” Carol added, and I thought it was sweet how they were setting the tone for my first time in here. They knew that I wasn’t a dancer, and they also knew that I worked here to support myself and my grandma.

That was the thing about desperation; it bonded people. Every girl here had a story, and we all respected that about one another. Sure, there were a few girls that were here just for the money, but that was okay, too. You couldn’t put in an application to work here and still judge people. As respectable as Carver tried to make this place, it was still a strip club, and more than stripping still went on here. Everyone knew it, but no one said anything about it.

“Just drinks?” Brett-I think-asked.

“Just drinks, sugar,” Abby repeated, but she did it with a wink.

“That’s a shame,” he remarked, a wolfish grin on his face. Any other time or place, and I might have been interested. With that light blonde hair and bright blue eyes combo working for him, he looked like he might have surfed in his younger days.

As for the other men, I couldn’t remember all the names that Abby had recited, but you had another light blonde, but he had brown eyes. Then you had a guy with sandy brown hair and hazel eyes. The fourth guy had dark blonde hair with blue eyes, and his eyes already looked wild and alive. The fifth guy had black hair and hazel eyes, and his eyes also looked like he’s been partying hard already.

However, it was the sixth guy that I knew that I was going to have to keep from staring at. While the other five guys were definitely nothing to sneeze at, the guy who Carol had delivered water to had to be the hottest man that I’ve ever seen. There was just something about dark brown hair paired with dark brown eyes that made my panties melt. It could be the sultriness behind the bedroom eyes, or the warmth of the color combination, I wasn’t sure. The only thing that I did know was that I was going to have to keep from drooling while I was working in here tonight.

Since there were only six men in here, I thought three servers were overkill, but what did I know? I was the rookie in here, so maybe things got busier as the night wore on. I wasn’t sure what was expected of the dancers, but with Jess in that guy’s lap, and Rachel finally in the lap of the handsy guy, I figured that they might be needing drinks soon, too. Again, I kept thinking about what Carver had told me, and it was obvious that the girls were allowed to make extra money while they were in here. Of course, I imagined that the girls did it even when they weren’t in the VIP rooms, but it was sanctioned in here.

It wasn’t until the guy with the black hair reached out and pulled Carol into his lap that I realized why Carver had sent three servers up here. He must have known what the gentlemen preferred, and he almost must have known that Carol was game for whatever went on up here. If these guys were regulars, then it made sense that they might have ‘regular’ girls, too.

Looking around for some empty glasses, my eyes got a full view of the guy with light brown hair pulling Jess’ bikini top down. Then, in front of the entire room, he took her right nipple into his mouth, and Jess just closed her eyes, hopefully enjoying herself.

Determined not to look like a Pollyanna, I quickly began grabbing the empty shot glasses, wondering if I should just bring bottles up here and bartend in the room. While I didn’t mind going back and forth between the room and the bar, it just didn’t make sense. Shots went down fast, so these guys would be left waiting more often than not.

I looked at the only man who didn’t have a woman or drugs draped all over him and decided to ask him what they preferred. “Would you rather I bring some bottles up here?” I hated how hoarse my voice sounded, but I was nervous. I couldn’t afford to screw this up, but Jess having her tits sucked out in the open was distracting.

His full lips twitched, and I wasn’t entirely too sure that he wasn’t laughing at me. “I’m only drinking water,” he answered. “You might want to ask the other guys what they prefer.”

I inwardly cringed.

I should have remembered his drink; that’s what a good waitress did.

“I’m sorry,” I muttered. “I…of course.”

I turned to ask one of the guys-one who didn’t have a nipple in his mouth-what they preferred, and that’s when I felt the bedroom-eyed Adonis grab my arm, halting me.

Looking back at him, he asked, “Are you a dancer?”

Shaking my head, I answered, “No. I’m just a server.”

With his hand still wrapped around my arm, he asked, “Are you prohibited from dancing if you’re just a server?”

“I…” I didn’t know the answer to that. The club took a percentage of the lap dance profits, so I was pretty sure that it’d have to be okayed by Lita or Carver. It was a ten percent rake, but the girls didn’t mind. While the pay was minimum wage and tips, Carver issued quarterly bonuses to all the dancers. If business was good, the bonuses were good, so that was incentive enough to make sure that the girls did their jobs well. The servers didn’t get any bonuses, but Carver considered the bonuses hazard pay for allowing a drunk man to put his hands all over you.

“Yes?” he prompted.

“I’m not sure,” I answered honestly. “The club gets a percentage of the money, so I guess Carver or Lita have to okay it.”

He tilted his head a bit, regarding me. “Are you saying that you’ve never given a lap dance before?”

I shook my head. “I’m a server,” I replied needlessly. I mean, the guy already knew that I was a server. “I’ve never…I don’t know how to dance.” I almost cringed with how pathetic that sounded.

“How much of a rake does the club take for the dances?”

“Ten percent.”

“Name your price,” he said, and I could feel my knees weaken.

“I’m sorry?”

“Name your price,” he repeated. “For a lap dance.”

“I…I just told you,” I stammered. “I don’t…I don’t know how to dance.”

“I’m not asking you to dance on stage for the entire bar,” he stated. “I’m asking you to dance for me. Privately.”

“Jesus Christ,” one of the guys said from behind me, and I turned to look at him. It was the guy that was sucking on Jess’ chest. “Finally.”

“Finally, what?” I asked.

“In the two years that we’ve been coming here, you’re the first sweet thing that Evander’s shown any interest in.” The guy chuckled. “I was beginning to think that he was a eunuch.”

For whatever reason, hearing that sent a chill down my spine. What was it about us women that made us want to feel special all the damn time?

Being this man’s first would definitely make me feel special.

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