Dance for the BillionaireBy: Jewel Moore
Chantelle’s hopes plummeted at his words. She’d expected him to let her choose her own song. She’d come prepared, but not for this.
“I had planned to dance to Rihanna’s Rude Boy,” she told him, desperately. She had learned the song by heart and perfected her routine. “I have it here on my brother’s iPod in case you don’t—”
“No, no! I want something a little classier for you.”
Chantelle folded her arms around her midriff and watched helplessly as he hurried across the room to the DJ booth. She didn’t know any Grace Jones songs. This wasn’t what she’d expected. Why was he insisting on her dancing to music of his choice when he usually let the dancers choose their own? This wasn’t going to work out, she acknowledged with resignation, but it was probably for the best.
Pull Up To The Bumper started playing as Colin hurried back to her side and Chantelle almost laughed in relief. The Grace Jones’ hit had become popular again when Patra had released a cover version. A lifetime ago when her mother had been a happy-go-lucky young wife she used to put on music and dance along with her children to the Reggae and dancehall music she’d grown up with in Jamaica.
“I’ve put it on repeat. Get up on the stage and let me see you move,” Colin instructed once he was close enough to be heard over the music.
Dancing came naturally to Chantelle. Even as a child when she’d attended parties, grown-ups soon notice that she wasn’t simply mimicking the moves she had seen in music videos as most of the other children were going, but actually moving to the beat of songs and even making up her own little dance moves as she went along.
She paused when she got to the middle of the stage and took a deep breath. She was unaccountably nervous—there was so much riding on her getting this job. Closing her eyes, she raised her arms above her head and started to gyrate her waist and hips.
“Wow!” Colin said after a couple of minutes and she opened her eyes to find that he had moved closer to the front of the stage. He watched her for another minute or so and then enthused, “You can dance, girl!”
“Shall I stop, then?” she asked hopefully. There would be more traffic heading towards the city as she would be on her way back. It would take her twice as long, if she was lucky.
“Yes, get dressed again and we’ll go to my office to talk business,” Colin instructed, turning once again to walk towards the DJ booth.
Chantelle hurriedly slipped her clothes back on, almost as nervous about the request she needed to make as she had been about the audition.
Colin was waiting for her just outside the door.
“I’ve seen hundreds of women dance since I opened the club twelve years ago, but you’re something special.”
Please God! As Colin led the way to his office, Chantelle surreptitiously crossed her fingers behind her back.
“Sit down,” he invited, indicating a dark brown leather swivel chair in front of a solid desk of a slightly darker hue. The office was as immaculate as the man, but rather more conventional in styling. To Chantelle’s relief, he got straight down to business. “The pay is five hundred pounds a night, but you can make as much as five or six times that amount by giving private lap—”
“I’m not interested in giving lap dances,” Chantelle interrupted.
“Then I guess that I won’t have to tell you that sex with clients is strictly forbidden.”
“Mr. Armstrong, all I want to do is perform my routine and leave the club as soon as I’m done.”
“Are you sure that you want to work here?” He looked at her quizzically. “You’re a great mover, but you don’t seem the type.”
“I need the money,” she explained simply.
“I suspected as much.” He nodded his head as if she had confirmed his suspicion. “But I’m a little surprised that you won’t take lap dance requests and make more of it.”
“No thanks. And I would like to be paid cash in hand.”
“I run a legit business here, young lady.” Colin bristled as if she’d accused him of running a brothel. He lost all traces of the American accent as he continued, “Each employee has to pay tax and National Insurance.”
“I’m not saying that you shouldn’t deduct the appropriate amounts from my pay,” Chantelle explained hastily. “I just don’t want to appear on your books.”
Chantelle held her breath as she waited for him to make a decision. Finally he smiled and said, “Alright. You told me on the phone that you’re twenty-two. You look younger, but call me an old fool, I’ll take your word for it. I know what it’s like to have life kick you in the teeth, so I’m willing to give you a chance. I’ve been looking for a dancer to bring a little sophistication to the club. I think you could be that girl, but let me down, girl, and I’ll fire you on the spot!”