Read An Excerpt
Contemporary Erotic Romance, Erotic Romance
The regulars in the crowd chanted the dancer’s first name. The curtain remained down, but Marilyn Manson’s “I Put a Spell on You,” began to play. As the low pounding, eerie first beats filled the room, the curtain slid back to reveal two wooden chairs and a small table with a crystal ball. Bette Noir was crouched in a chair, a towering black witch hat obscuring her face.
Mallory had heard the song long ago in a David Lynch film and loved it. It had an unforgettable early crescendo and when it reached that initial peak, the dancer pulled off her black dress to reveal her perfect body in only a bullet bra, black lace panties, black seamed stockings, garter belt, and six-inch patent leather stilettos. As she faced the audience, moody and defiant, she held out a shiny black wand.
And then – and at first Mallory thought she was imagining this – she pointed the wand at Mallory and gestured for her to come on stage.
Mallory looked away, pretended not to see. But the crowd was cheering her on, and Mr. Rodeo appeared to assist her. Damn Billy Barton and his front row seats! She looked back at Alec, but he was laughing and waving her on.
The exact mechanics of how she got on stage were details she would never quite grasp. But somehow she found herself seated in one of the wooden chairs, Bette Noir dancing around her. And then Bette sat in the chair opposite her, back to Mallory, and gestured for her to undo her bra.
Hands shaking, she somehow managed the metal clasp. Her fingertips brushed the woman’s pale skin, as remarkably soft as it was fair. And when Bette turned to face her, bare breasted, Mallory felt she was an audience of one. She did not hear the crowd or the music. She did not know if she even heard Bette speaking to her – but it felt like she was. And Bette was telling her to remove her sweater. The only reason she did it was because she couldn’t be responsible for ruining this gorgeous spectacle. She hesitated for maybe twenty seconds, and then, with a rush of adrenaline, Mallory slowly pulled off her sweater.
Bette did not smile, did not even bat her fake eyelashes. She calmly took the turtleneck from her, walked to the edge of the stage, and tossed it to the seat Mallory had vacated. The crowd was roaring – yes, she heard it now, like a television set that had become unmuted. Mallory, now wearing only her Anne Taylor skirt and white Victoria’s Secret bra, felt her heart pounding. She wondered how much longer she would have to be on stage, but at the same time didn’t want to leave. It was like she was hyper-alive – everything felt louder, brighter, and bigger than life off of stage. It was dizzying, and to ground herself she looked out at the audience to find Alec. She could see that he was clapping, and when he caught her eye, he winked at her. She took a deep breath and stood still as Bette worked the stage around her, wearing only a bejeweled thong and impossibly high heels and still holding the wand and the dancing – all the while dancing, moving in the most deliberate and perfectly choreographed way.
And then the curtain came down.