Something different

Hello. I felt like sharing something else today. Here’s a full chapter of a finished work that still needs edits. I’m not even going to share the title of the book.

Chapter Four

Adrian watched the couple through the mirror behind the bar. The taller liquor bottles and the usual Saturday night crowd mostly obscured them, but Adrian could see them well enough. They were dressed more elaborately then they had been in a long time. Usually when he saw them here, she was in a simple black dress and he was in khaki’s and a black cotton shirt. Adrian had been watching them for about a year now, and he had only seen them not dress conservatively twice.

The first time was last Halloween, about six months ago. She dressed in a very short, very tight, black vinyl skirt and equally tight vinyl top that tied in front with thick red string, and two tiny red rubber horns on her forehead. It left little to the imagination. Her man had been dressed in a deep red suit with a pointed tail and rubber horns on the top of his head. He wore his shirt open to the middle of his chest. He looked exceedingly uncomfortable, trying to button his shirt most of the night. She looked utterly desirable, especially when impeding her boyfriend’s attempt to close his shirt. Almost every male hit on her that night, including Adrian. It was the first night he had been truly interested in her.

He learned their names that night; hers was Christy, his was Michael. Adrian spoke with her for about fifteen minutes while Michael used the bathroom and bought drinks at the main bar. The main bar, the largest in the place, was the only one that accepted tabs. Christy told Adrian that she and Michael had been together for five years but were not married. They came to The HH Club almost every Saturday, and never missed the first Saturday of every month, when the club held the fetish ball. They liked to check things out and have a little fun, but Christy admitted to almost never being able to convince Michael to go downstairs, where the real fun was.

There were two levels to the HH Club. The main room, the street level, was bathed in blue lighting, low music, mostly jazz, and had overstuffed white cotton couches interspersed throughout the rooms. There were three rooms, and each held a bar. The entrance room waiting area was more alcove then room but had a small bar that only sold draft beer. People usually hung out there when waiting for their friends. The second room was the largest. It held a dance floor, tables for sitting and a large, well-stocked bar with two bartenders. The third room was mostly couches, a couple of tables and a smaller bar, which had the more popular drinks and mixers and one bartender. The bartenders and waitresses on the first floor were dressed in white, had little halo head bands, and the specialty drinks were given quaint names like Cloud Nine and the Pearly Gates. It amused Adrian that this level was open to the public and the basement was not.

There was only one entrance to the basement. Near the back of the club was a maze of mirrors with a series of stairs that eventually wound downstairs. At the entrance to the maze was a bouncer, who didn’t let a customer in unless they had a membership card and ID to prove the card was theirs. There were no exceptions. Members could not bring guests, and it was not easy to get a membership. There was a waiting list for membership, about a month long. It gave the owners a chance to get to know the applicant. The applicant could not apply for the waiting list without having been a patron for about two months. It was ultra-exclusive because the owners didn’t want to be shut down because their guests were doing something fun.

The owners learned early on that if they wanted their patrons to have as much fun as possible and not get shut down, membership was the key. Nothing overt was allowed upstairs. Downstairs, almost anything was allowed. Drugs and weapons were prohibited, but sex between consenting adults was not. The members were padded down for their own protection. The members knew this though, and it had been a long time since someone tried to sneak in a weapon or drugs.

The downstairs was one large main room with various smaller rooms off to the sides. There was one bar along the main wall, fully stocked. The specialty drinks had names like Brimstone and Hellfire. The bartenders and waitresses wore reds and blacks, and horns on their foreheads. Adrian had tasted Hellfire once: Bloody Maria made with extra Tabasco sauce. It was rather tame.

The smaller rooms held various pieces of furniture that the adventurous adults could try out. One had a leather sex swing with instructions; one had various padded wooden ramps that could be stacked in various positions, and instructions. Two or three had whips and chains, and instructions, should they be needed. One room, which Adrian greatly enjoyed, was low lit and had another smaller room in the center, which was pitch black. Up to three people could stand in the smaller room, which had holes in the wall for questing hands. He had been in there with one of his conquests; he had enjoyed listening to her moan with unsure pleasure as unknown hands touched her as they had sex.

Adrian sat back in his bar stool and turned his attention back to the couple. Christy shifted on the couch, slipping her hand between Michael’s legs. She leaned toward him and started whispering in his ear. From his vantage point, Adrian could see up her short, short dress. She wasn’t wearing underwear. As he slowly sipped his vodka tonic, he wondered where the hell Michael’s sex drive was. If he were Michael, he’d be downstairs with the tasty strumpet banging away at her in the tactile room, while random men and women touched and caressed them.

He shuddered as the vision passed before his eyes. He sighed heavily, closed his eyes, and downed his drink.

“Buy you another?” The voice was seductive, but also oddly familiar.

Adrian turned to the black-haired beauty taking the seat next to him. She had a twinkle in her over bright blue eyes: probably contacts. “Do I know you?”

She cocked her head as she smiled. “Of course, you do, but the last time you saw me, I looked very different. You didn’t appreciate me too much then.”

Adrian frowned. She could be anyone. Hopefully friendly. He hadn’t found a woman for the evening yet. “Buy me that drink while you remind me.”

“Come now, Theo. You remember me. Last time we were together was in Vietnam, during the war. We had a lot of fun, changed a lot of minds. Spilled a lot of blood.”

“Zia. Friend. It has been a long time. And I do prefer this look.” As he recognized her, he turned in his stool and took the woman in his arms. He held her tight, enjoying the feel of her body against his.

“So, does this mean I have a place to sleep tonight?”

“You always have a place with me.” He let her go and smiled at her. It had been a long time since he last saw Zia, longer still since they had been different genders.

“I like the look. What do they call you?” She spoke low as the bartender came closer. She admired her friend, who was tall and thin. His brown eyes sparkled with humor. He was clean-shaven, which showed off his almost chiseled features and square jaw. He was dressed in a simple deep purple suit, which was nicely tailored, but not professional. Probably off the rack and then taken in to fit better. It suited him well.

“Adrian. Yours?”

“Michelle.” She turned to the bartender. “Two of whatever he was drinking.”

The bartender nodded and walked to the other side of the bar. Michelle reached into her purse, pulled out a twenty and laid it on the bar. She and Adrian sat on their stools as others around them gave them a wide berth. When they were together, people tended to become uncomfortable.

“What brings you here?”

“I’ve missed you. I also had a feeling you were up to something interesting.” She turned her head slightly and started at Christy and Michael, who had gotten up to stop Christy’s questing hand. He was walking toward a recently vacated table. Christy was following closely behind, looked angry, frustrated and dejected. “Who is she?”

“An interest.” He took a slow sip of the newly arrived drink. It was stronger than his first two. Such an intriguing relationship: a beautiful woman with money and a bartender. He noticed the bartender charged her the membership price and raised an eyebrow at Michelle.

“You just never noticed her before because she didn’t want you too.” Adrian laughed once and drank another sip. She indicated the couple at the table with her head. “Does she know you’re interested?”

“I’ve approached her, but not overtly. I’ve spoken with her and her boyfriend at least once each time I’ve seen them. He’s into his work. She’s into art.”

“Is he a jealous man?”

“Not so much jealous as, well, look at them.” His face grew slightly contemptuous. “He doesn’t seem to notice how she looks.”

“They’re like that though, aren’t they? Never see what’s right in front of their face.” She very obviously looked to Michael, catching his eye and smiling politely as Christy stood and headed toward the bathroom. She turned back to Adrian. “What’s his work?”

“He’s a senior vice-president in a fairly large Milwaukee bank.”

Michelle smiled triumphantly. “So’s Michelle. Shall we play?”

“She’s mine.” He downed the rest of his drink as Michelle stood.

“Of course. I wouldn’t dream of touching her, unless she wants me too.” Michelle turned and flounced away toward the bathroom. Adrian turned back to the bartender and ordered two more drinks; paying with the rest of the twenty Michelle left behind.

                                                            *****

Christy stood in front of the full-length bathroom lounge mirror wondering what the hell she was doing dressed in this particular dress. She had seen it online and thought Michael would appreciate it. It was their 5-year anniversary. She thought the short, tight deep green velvet dress would turn him on. She decided not to wear underwear to entice him into going downstairs. They were members because the drinks cost less, and you could only have a tab if you were a member. It was easier to track someone down if the card was left behind. They used their membership privileges to go downstairs once. Michael had been hit on by a guy and freaked. He’d practically run out of the basement.

Christy smoothed out the deep green dress, then brushed her mousy brown straight hair out of her green eyes. She sighed as the thought of another wasted Saturday wafted through her head. Beside her, a taller woman with dark hair in a black silk evening dress turned to regard her.

“That’s a beautiful dress. I love the heels, very sexy.”

Christy glanced down at herself in the mirror, admiring the tall stilettos that laced with delicate string up to her knees. Another item Michael had completely ignored. “Thanks.” She glanced up at the raven-haired beauty. Christy wasn’t short, even without heels, but this woman was still a full head taller. “Ever get the feeling you’re too dressed up for an occasion?”

“Never.” Michelle turned back to the mirror and applied some very red lipstick. “And besides, you’re not too dressed up. Why do you ask? Not meeting anyone?”

Christy blushed slightly and looked down, pretending to pull lint off her dress. “No.” She gave an embarrassed laugh. “I’m here with my boyfriend. It’s our first date anniversary. Five years. I want to go downstairs. He’s not inclined to do so.”

“Hence the risky dress.” Michelle continued to apply the perfect lipstick to her perfect lips. Christy looked up at the gorgeous woman with near envy. “Why don’t you go down yourself?”

“Um…well,” she blushed fiercely, gave the beautiful woman an almost suggestive look. “It’s…more fun with a friend.”

Michelle caught the look and understood the woman’s blush. She realized why Adrian wanted to play with her. He had called her his, but if Christy decided, Adrian couldn’t get mad. She smiled down at the pretty woman. “I haven’t been down yet tonight. I could go with you.”

Christy watched as the tall woman screwed the lipstick back down and capped it. Her nails were as red as the lipstick. Christy tore her eyes away and lifted her head to look into the stranger’s eyes. “Sure.” She shook her head and briefly closed her eyes. “I don’t even know your name.”

“Michelle.” She held out her hand.

“Christy.” She took Michelle’s hand and gave an appreciative nod when Michelle gave her a firm grip.

“I’m with a friend. Let me tell him I’m going downstairs. Shall we meet at the entrance?”

“Sounds good.” Christy was grinning from ear to ear. With another nod she turned and waltzed out of the lounge.

Michelle turned back to the mirror to allow Christy a few minutes with her man. As she carefully wiped away some smudged lipstick with her ring finger, she wondered, not for the first time in her life, at the obliviousness of humans. She and Christy had had the lounge to themselves the whole time they were preening. The lounge was connected to the bathroom hallway but was not part of the bathroom. There were two small couches and various free necessities, such as lotion, pads, tampons and condoms. One wall was pure mirror. It was usually packed and impossible to talk over the chattering of catty women. Christy hadn’t even noticed the lull.

Michelle smiled to herself and took a step back. Christy had come in here first and Michelle stepped in some seconds later, uttering an incantation. As usual, most of the women parted within the first minute; all but Christy left by the end of the second. Michelle wondered about that; her ability to clear the room was rarely discriminatory. She usually just cleared everyone out. She had learned over the years, that those who did not clear out were either too stupid to feel it, or too interested. Michelle had a feeling Christy wasn’t stupid.

Feeling she had given the woman enough time to start an argument with her boyfriend, Michelle turned and left the lounge. Three women entered it as she left. She went to Adrian first, smiling as she downed the drink he had ordered for her, while ordering two vodka cranberries. She wasn’t sure Christy drank, but she liked the drink enough to have both if the woman didn’t.

“What did you just accomplish?”

“I’m going downstairs with Christy. Stay here until we leave. Then try and get him to come downstairs with you.” She winked as she took the vodka cranberries. She left ten on the bar, leaving a hefty tip. Drink prices for members were simple: domestic beers, $1; imported, $2; mixed drinks $2 and straight drinks or shots, $3. Michelle’s bill came to $4. She left a six-dollar tip.

Adrian shook his head at the money and wondered what his friend was into.

Michelle smiled as she approached Christy and Michael.  “Christy! Thought that was you. I bought you a drink.” She handed the nervous woman a glass. “Vodka cranberry. You like?”

Christy reached out and took the glass, nodding as she did so. She downed half the drink quickly, possibly for courage. One glance to Michael revealed all. He had never told Christy about Michelle. He was keeping the fact that they knew each other to himself. She would play along. The handsome man had his legs and arms crossed tightly, and he was scowling.

“I’m Michelle. And you are?”

He gave her a hard look. “Michael.”

Michelle held her hand out. Michael ignored it. Michelle gave him a cold look. “So I suppose it’ll just be Christy and myself going downstairs.”

“She’s not going downstairs. We’re going home.”

Christy ducked her head, looking angry, hurt and disappointed. Michelle placed her glass on the table, bent over the table, placed her hands on the small table, eyes level with Michael’s brown eyes.

“Christy wants to go downstairs. You do not run her life. She will go with me if she pleases.” The two locked eyes. Her look turned decidedly seductive as she lifted one hand off the table and traced one finger along his jaw line. “Do you really have any objection to your woman going down on another woman?”

Christy did not hear Michelle’s words correctly. She seemed lost in her own thoughts. Michael’s scowl broke as Michelle pulled away. He grabbed hastily for his beer and drank it down quickly. Michelle turned to Christy, smiled, and held out her hand. Christy looked at her longtime boyfriend, looked to Michelle, looked back at Michael, who was pointedly ignoring her, downed the rest of her drink and took Michelle’s hand. Christy stood and smiled.

“Let’s go.”

Michael watched the women walk away, scowling. When the women were out of sight in the maze, someone pulled out a chair and sat down at the table. Michael looked to his left and nodded to Adrian, who held out his hand. Michael took it and shook it.

“You alone tonight?”

“No. Christy just went downstairs with a woman.”

Adrian smiled lecherously. “Sounds interesting.”

Michael grunted.

“Not interested in seeing that?”

“It’s not right for her to do this.”

Adrian gave the man a look wondering again if the man had a sex drive. “So go downstairs and stop them.”

Michael finally turned to him and acknowledged him. “That’s the first intelligent thing I’ve heard you say.”

Adrian held his tongue, stood and indicated the maze. Michael stood and gave him a quizzical look.

“Never asked you. What is it you do for a living?”

“Spend my inheritance.”

Michael gave Adrian a hateful envious look. “Lucky bastard.”

Adrian simply smiled.

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