Chapter 1: Anything Could Happen
A warm zephyr rustled up Rose’s skirt. The soft caress of air felt like hot breath against her legs and thighs. Leaning against the wall, she closed her eyes and savored it. It made her feel alive.
Sophie came walking down the street and greeted Rose with cheek kisses. Sophie’s black leather jacket, long unbrushed hair, and cateye eyeliner gave her an effortless bad girl aesthetic that belied her friendly disposition. “Ça va, Rose?” she said as she leaned next to her friend.
“Oui, et toi?” Rose replied, pulling out her marijuana vape pen.
“It’s so ungodly hot already,” Sophie complained, pulling out a cigarette and lighting it.
“I like the warmth,” Rose mused.
They puffed silently and watched the passers-by go about their business on this vibrant Parisian side street.
“Look at that old couple.” Sophie used her glowing cigarette to gesture toward a gray-haired couple hobbling down the road arm-in-arm. “It’s too sweet.”
“It’s tragic,” Rose noted wistfully.
“Why?” asked Sophie. “I’d kill for someone to love me like that. I bet they’ve been together for decades.”
“I love you like that,” Rose told Sophie, a smile winking across her face. “But I mean, they are literally leaning on each other for every step. And they’re at an age when one of them could die any day. That would leave the other one to fumble around helplessly, hopelessly alone. No one left to lean on. No one left to love.”
“Maybe they have kids,” Sophie suggested. “Or maybe they’re poly. You don’t know, they might have plenty of people to lean on and to love.”
“Look at the way they look into each other’s eyes,” Rose pointed out. “They aren’t even looking down at the uneven road. Their trust in each other is guiding them. That’s not easily replicated, even if you have other people to love. I bet when one of them dies, the other will follow soon after.”
Sophie exhaled. “That’s a very cynical view.”
“Is it?” Rose asked in return. “If I could grant them one wish, it would be for them to die together at the same time. Just as they are now, arm-in-arm.” The couple turned a corner, and they were gone.
Rose and Sophie watched as people strolled by and cars puttered down the cobblestone street. Sophie smoked her cigarette while Rose puffed on her vape. Their shoulders touched as they leaned side by side against the wall outside their workplace, waiting for their shifts to begin. Their bodies obscured the painted sign that read: THEATRE LA CHATTE.
“How much longer do we have?” Sophie asked, drawing on her cigarette.
Rose looked at her phone. “Five more minutes.”
“Putain,” Sophie groaned, putting her free hand over her belly. “I don’t want to perform today. I feel bloated.”
Rose looked her up and down. “I think you look more beautiful than ever.”
“You always say that,” Sophie responded, unable to hide the smile creeping onto her lips.
“It’s always true,” Rose assured. She pulled a long stream from her vape. “I can cover your shift today if you want to go home and rest.”
“Thanks,” said Sophie, “but I’ll power through it. I want to save my days off for when my period actually comes. Plus, I want to try and secure a lot of private dances today. I could use some extra money.”
Rose nodded. “Look at that couple,” she said, pointing to a middle-aged man waving his arms and yelling at a woman standing silent, cross-armed, and distant. “Promise me you’ll kill me before I fall into such a pit of despair as that.”
“I promise,” Sophie confirmed. “He’s probably just mad because she prefers to fuck the mail carrier.”
“Or her hot best friend,” Rose said through a grin as she drew on her vape.
“You bisexuals,” Sophie retorted with a roll of her eyes. “You think everyone is bi.”
“I’m pansexual. Anyway, I don’t think you’re bi,” Rose responded. “I know a lesbian when I see one.”
Sophie chuckled and tossed a tangled strand of hair from her face. “But sometimes I fuck guys.”
“Only when they pay you enough. Or when you’re drunk enough.” Rose bumped Sophie with her shoulder.
Sophie laughed even harder. “But I fuck you for free.”
“That’s what makes you a lesbian.”
“C’est vrai,” Sophie shrugged as she tossed her cigarette down and stomped on it. “I can’t deny my true nature. A lesbian whore.” She cackled at herself.
“Sexy,” Rose commented. “I guess that makes me just a whore.”
Sophie turned toward Rose and took a step closer, inching herself into Rose’s intimate space. “And my hot best friend,” she told her.
“My BFFF,” Rose whispered, adding emphasis to the extra “F.”
Rose then lightly put a finger onto Sophie’s bottom lip and pulled it down, opening up her mouth. Rose blew a puff of vaporized weed into Sophie’s parted lips. Sophie closed her eyes and lips and absorbed the tiny cloud.
The people, the cars, the city around them blurred for just an instant as their lips met. They kissed tenderly, briefly. There wasn’t time for much, they had to get to work. But for a moment, they leaned into each other.
Striptease: Anything Could Happen
Theatre La Chatte did not seem to belong to the 21st century. Once you stepped inside, you felt transported to another era. While modern life buzzed around, the setting and the performers whisked you away into a fantasy.
Instead of the neon lights and sticky surfaces of strip clubs, or the touristy cabarets of Montmartre and Pigalle, the basement Theatre of La Chatte was elegant, intentionally decadent, and eternally an anachronism.
Rose stood atop the dim stairwell that led to the underground showroom. She peered down, waiting for her act to begin.
Everything in the shadowy room was drenched in deeply-saturated red and purple lighting. The metallic embroidery of several large, tasseled pillows thrown about glittered occasionally in the shifting lights.
Delicate scarves and luxurious upholsteries were draped around the small space. This muted the lights and gave the room an intimate, almost claustrophobic feel. It could have been a tiny harem or opium den, but the stage in the back suggested that performers ruled this realm.
The small room could comfortably fit around twenty guests, but not much more. From atop the stairs, Rose couldn’t see the full audience yet, but a tall, gold-framed mirror gave her a glimpse of who was there. A handful of customers sat on velvet sofas and armchairs, eagerly awaiting the next show.
Madame LeClerc—owner, manager, and DJ at Theatre La Chatte—pressed play and the stirring yet ethereal music drifted into the cave-like showroom below. Rose descended, step by step down the carpeted stairs.
A plush, red divan sat at the back of the stage, and Rose began her act there. She wore a dazzling silver dress, adorned with sequins and her own round shoulders peeking out from behind the thin straps.
She lounged languidly, her body stretched out across the length of the divan. She raised her legs so that each strappy high-heel was planted on the cushions.
She spread her knees apart and traced her hands along her exposed legs, up her sequined torso, and through her hair that draped over the edge of the divan. The touch of her own hands on her warm body was immensely pleasurable, and she let her audience in on this secret with a subtle parting of her lips and fluttering of her eyelashes.
Twirling herself upright, she faced the audience. She spotted the flash of a gold watch on a man in the front row. Men wearing gold watches often bought private dances from the performers. Accordingly, she paid him some special attention with her eyes.
Her mirrory dress reflected the reds and purples of the lights as she strode into the audience. The man with the gold watch was sitting on the frontmost sofa of the audience, so it was easy to give him a little extra attention first.
She perched herself on his lap, her back toward him, and reached her arms behind her and around his neck. She writhed in motion with the music, and the fuzz of her cheek just barely grazed the side of his stubbled face.
She could favor the man with the gold watch, but she couldn’t ignore the other clients. She also didn’t want to—it was too boring to focus only on the clients that were likely to buy private dances.
About eighty-percent of the clientele were older men, nice enough but less thrilling than the wildcards in the room. The younger men tended to be cute, with their shyness and eagerness mixed into confusing head clouds. Rose liked to lead them through this melange of emotions.
The womxn and non-binary audience members tended to have a special glint of awe in their eyes, appreciating her talent and eroticism equally. This pleased Rose greatly. She felt a connection to them. Everyone was welcome, of course, as long as they were respectful and kind.
Every now and then, an asshole would invade the audience and behave rudely, make a scene, or not respect the rules, but fortunately this was rare. In the most extreme cases, Madame LeClerc would ban a customer from returning.
Most often, it was a warm and inviting atmosphere at Theatre La Chatte. Rose wanted to ensure that everyone—not just the private dance patrons—had a wondrous, sensual, and exhilarating experience with her during her acts.
She moved to the back of the room and mingled with the rest of the audience. Seductively, she reclined backwards along the soft yet sturdy back of a sofa. The sofas were constructed for this exact purpose. Their backs were wide and flat and lined with red velvet, and dancers used them liberally in their performances.
With her back arched, breasts thrust forward, and head thrown back, Rose closed her eyes and swayed as if under the song’s spell. Eyes from around the room circled in on her, some of which were mere inches away.
Before hopping off the sofa, she fingered the hair of a nearby client. She could touch them, but they could not touch her, unless she guided their hands. That was rule number one at Theatre La Chatte.
She tiptoed around the audience’s realm for a bit, weaving in between chairs and sofas, stroking a knee here and gliding a finger along a chest there, before strutting back to the stage. There, in full view of the audience, she shimmied off her silvery dress to reveal pale-blue lace lingerie.
In long strides, she approached the tall, gilded mirror at the side of the room. She turned to face her reflection and ran her hands over her body. Her skin felt smooth, soft, supple, warm. The blue lace of her lingerie stood out against the red and purple lighting. Rose and her doppelganger in the mirror flickered like delicate flames in the semi-darkness.
In the mirror she also caught the eyes of the gold-watched man. He was watching her intently. She locked eyes with him through the reflection and lingered just a moment too long before shifting her gaze. This added an extra dash of excitement, like getting caught in the act of voyeuring. She smiled to herself—he was hooked. But she wouldn’t show him that she knew, not just yet.
Still facing the mirror, Rose unbuttoned the back of her pale-blue bra and allowed the fabric to dangle while still keeping her breasts covered. She swayed with the rhythm of the song.
Out of the corner of her eye she spotted a new client descending the stairs. It was common for clients to arrive mid-show, and dancers always welcomed additional audience members. She waited for him to find a seat before revealing her tits—a most gracious welcome.
He was handsome, she noticed. Very handsome. Dark hair covered one eye, but this accentuated rather than hid the chiseled, almost gaunt face beneath. He appeared young, but unlike the typical young solo patrons, who were often nervous and unsure, this man carried himself with an unmistakable yet unostentatious confidence.
He chose a corner seat in the very back and crossed his legs and arms. There were no tensed shoulders or anxious leg shaking. He was relaxed, yet sought to be hidden and guarded. His aura of mystery titillated Rose and she decided to indulge a whim.
She took her time getting to the back of the audience, where this new client sat. On her way, she traced a finger along the leg of the man with the gold watch, allowing a naked breast to come tantalizingly close to his cheek.
Her tits bounces lightly as she hopped up the steps to the back row, where at last she made her way to this mysterious new client. Standing wide-legged in front of him, she stretched out the thin straps of her blue panties with her thumbs and teased the motion of removing them.
Her bare tits were at his eyeline and the edges of her pussy were nearly revealed, yet this man’s eyes rested on neither. Instead, his eyes were locked on her visage. He did not look into her eyes, but seemed to focus instead on the lower edges of her face—her mouth, her chin, even her neck. Rose couldn’t decide whether it was sweet or unsettling.
But Rose enjoyed a challenge. She picked up his hands and guided them to the straps of her panties. The feel of his skin startled her, but she didn’t let on. It must be freezing outside, she thought to herself, feeling his icy temperature. With her hands clasped over his, they released her panties down her legs.
Hopping onto the back of the sofa behind her, she kicked off the panties and spread her legs, daring this young man not to lower his gaze and admire her exposed pussy.
But he merely looked away, turning his head. Rose shrugged in her mind and concluded that he was just not into her. So then, she would have some fun with the other audience members—and with herself.
She spun herself around on the sofa back, so that everyone in the room had a good view. Licking two of her fingers, she moved them down, past her torso, to spread the lips of her pussy. This made the tableau even more intimate.
She scanned the room to ensure all eyes were on her spread sex. It turned her on to be so openly on display. Looking down, she lovingly admired her splayed pussy as it breathed and pulsated in the saturated lighting.
When Rose first started dancing she thought she would just close herself off for a few minutes, focus on her technique, keep herself mechanically minded while the clients drooled around her. She had been shocked that, instead, she too found it pleasurable. Not because of the clients, who were often interchangeable and faceless. Instead, strangely, she awoke to the eroticism of her own body.
She became legitimately aroused during performances, and was often desperate to get home and rub her pussy to orgasm after a long day. And sometimes she couldn’t wait that long. Luckily, she didn’t have to—it was one of the perks of the job.
The view of her own pussy, spread wide by the V of her fingers and framed by her tits, excited Rose. The sensation of strangers’ eyes feeding hungrily on her body only enhanced the excitement. She found it incredibly erotic to hold herself just barely out of reach while nearby clients brimmed with desire. It was intoxicating.
Rose felt herself get wet. She allowed her fingers to play with the wetness, to slide in and out and frolic in the silky dampness. The eyes of those around her burned into her, and she savored them like a branding on her skin.
She then coyly snapped her knees shut and inserted her fingers back into her mouth. This was a striptease, after all. The veil of mystique had to be pulled on some things.
Rose had almost forgotten about the mysterious young man, distracted by her own self-pleasure, until she noticed him get up and leave. She watched as he carefully wove past the other audience members and silently climbed the stairs.
Perhaps he was there looking for another dancer, Rose thought. Theatre La Chatte tickets were not cheap, but one benefit of them was that they were good for the whole day—patrons could come and go as they pleased as long as they held onto that day’s ticket. So sometimes clients only stayed for a short time, often returning later in the day. This was especially true if they were hoping to catch a specific dancer’s performance, which was fairly common for the regulars.
Rose tried her best to push the young man out of her mind, though her thoughts lingered on him. Suddenly, the music faded and Rose realized her act was finished. She took a bow.
“Merci, tout le monde! My name is Scarlette,” she announced, giving her stage name so that clients could request private dances with her. She had confidence in the man with the gold watch, who promptly stood up. This usually meant they wanted to hurry and be first in line to secure a private dance.
Rose gathered the clothing items she had scattered around the room and followed him upstairs, pulling on a silk robe at the top.
“I’m sorry,” she heard Madame LeClerc tell the gold-watched man. “You’ll have to wait, this other client has already requested a private dance with Scarlette. May I invite you to watch the next performance while you wait?”
“Other client?” Rose questioned to herself. She peered over and saw that behind the man with the gold watch stood the mysterious younger man. She could barely make him out; only his tall outline was discernible in the shadowy corner.
This was quite surprising! Her pussy had worked her magic after all—much faster than usual, it seemed. Rose was pleased, and intrigued.
“I want to go last.” All heads turned toward the young man. “At the end of the night,” he clarified. “I’ll return just before midnight.” The surprises were compounding and the mystery around this person was waxing.
In the meantime, Madame LeClerc took care of the arrangements and Rose took care of the man with the gold watch, though her mind stayed with the dark young man and his odd behavior. Both her mind and body ached to explore this mysterious stranger further. But she would have to wait till the end of the night.
Table of Contents
Leave a Reply