Beautiful Beast

By: Georgia Le Carre

One


SHANE

‘My milkshake brings all the girls to the yard.’

I stand at the bar, my hand loosely curled around a bottle of ice-cold beer, and try to imagine a hundred years passing inside these glittering walls. And in a flash I am connected to every sad, twisted fucker inside that cavernous former theater. In a century we’re all going to be nothing but a fistful of dust. But today … Hot blood throbs in my cock and I am still king of my empire of dirt.

I cast my eyes around—and everything is exactly as it should be.

Cool air filters out of vents in the ceiling, loud music beats on my skin like morning rain in the tropics, and roving spotlights pick up waitresses in fluffy white tutus. With their tight little butts on show, they glide around as perky as fucking swans.

Sometimes the spotlights stop to lick one of the scantily clad, insanely glamorous dancers sprinkled around the place like magic dust. They are the candy in my sweet shop. Because … Hidden in the cool shadows of the booths where the spotlights never go, soulless men in dark suits and bulging wallets wait with buckets of champagne and an insatiable taste for pussy. Not that they can actually have any while they’re in here, obviously, but hey, they can jerk off to the memory until their dicks drop off.

Yup, all is well in Eden.

I pick up my beer, bring it to my lips, and notice something that isn’t exactly as it should be.

Martin, my manager, is escorting one of the dancers out of one of the VIP rooms. His lips are compressed into a thin line of fury, and she looks shit-scared as she struggles to keep up in her seven-inch-high transparent, plastic shoes. They have red lights inside the wedges that flash every time she takes a tottering step. Fuck, my four-year-old niece wears trainers that flash. I have never seen her before, so she must be new.

A row of beautiful girls preening by the bar exchanges knowing looks. One or two giggle heartlessly when a discreet, black exit door draped with thick, red velvet curtains swallows the pair. Beyond is Martin’s office where the hiring and firing is done.

I take a sip of cold beer, my eyes swinging back in the direction of the VIP room they have just vacated. In an impressive show of clockwork precision, the housemother, Brianna, is already slipping into it. You can tell by her purposeful air and the veiled expression on her carefully made-up face that she is on a clean-up mission.

She emerges a few minutes later, smiling serenely, and nods to one of the girls loitering by the bar. The girl immediately starts walking toward her. They meet by the mirrored pillars, exchange a few words before the girl makes for the VIP room, and Brianna continues, unruffled, on her journey.

Problem solved.

The music changes and AronChupa’s quirky track ‘I’m an Albatraoz’ fills the charmed air. One of the club’s favorite dancers, Melanie, a sleek black girl in a skin-tight catsuit with geometric patterns, struts energetically onto the stage. The effect of her appearance is instantaneous: the atmosphere in the club becomes electric. The stage lights are switched off, and Melanie disappears. All that remains is the collection of fluorescent patterns on her costume working their way strongly up a pole. It is a marvelous sight and the audience erupts in a collective roar of approval.

I place my drink down and turn back to watch the curtained door. I don’t tend to interfere in the day-to-day running of my club. Why would I? Any fool can see that between Martin and Brianna they run a very tight ship. And yet something about flashing shoes has my interest piqued.

Perhaps it is because I can always tell an innocent with one look, and she is as green as they come. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is her first attempt at strip dancing. But mostly because I can never let an injustice pass. It used to get me into all kinds of trouble when I was a kid, but it’s in my DNA; I just can’t look the other way.

Less than five minutes later she tumbles back into the club. Her ridiculous wedges are still flashing, but tears are streaming down her face. Martin has cracked the whip. She has been fired. She lurches toward a side door that leads to the changing rooms. I walk quickly to the door nearest to me and enter my pass code. The door opens into the passage she has entered.

‘Oh!’ she exclaims when she sees me. In the bright lights of the corridor, her face, under its thick make-up, has a washed out hue, and her eyes are glassy and distraught.

‘Come with me,’ I say, and she silently follows me upstairs to my office. I hold the door open and let her precede me. Closing the door, I then walk toward my liquor cabinet.

‘Would you like a drink?’ I throw over my shoulder.

‘No thank you, Mr. Eden,’ she replies meekly.

I turn my head and meet her eyes. She is actually a stunner. ‘Call me Shane,’ I tell her softly.

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