|Posted by kirstymoseley on January 27, 2016 at 4:45 AM||comments (0)|
I'm thrilled to announce that NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE is part of iBooks amazing New Adult Romance promotion.
It will therefore be on SALE for 99c for a limited time! If you've not met Anna and Ashton yet, now is your chance.
Check out Nothing Left to Lose, and lots of other fabulous books at a reduced price, on iBooks today.
(NOTE - Amazon have price matched, so it is also available at the sale price there too!)
|Posted by kirstymoseley on September 30, 2015 at 4:40 AM||comments (0)|
So, I’ve been keeping a secret for the last couple of months, but finally I’m allowed to let the cat out of the bag!!! So, wait for it…..
I’m extremely thrilled to announce that I’ve just signed a two book deal with Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hachette!!!!! Eeeeeeeeek!! *insert dorky happy dancing*
This will be my first time going with a traditional publisher and I’m so beyond excited about it. Although I’ve been publishing for three years now, being an indie author means I’ve never seen one of my books on a shelf in a bookstore… well, this deal that will change that. It’s kind of like a dream come true. Both books will be published in 2016.
Book one is already written - it took me almost two years to write and get it exactly how I wanted it. Jamie and Ellie are two of my most favourite characters I’ve ever created and I can’t wait for you guys to meet them!! Writing it left me an emotional mess, so I feel I put my all into it. I’m currently working on the sequel and just love being back in their world.
I’ll keep you posted on pre-orders and stuff, but it’s a little bit too early for that kind of thing yet.
So there you have it… Jamie Cole is coming to a bookshop near you!! Squee!!!!!!!!!!!
|Posted by kirstymoseley on August 3, 2015 at 1:40 PM||comments (0)|
***CALLING ALL IBOOKS USERS***
iBooks have an amazing exclusive box set feature going on at the moment for a limited time. I have an exclusive box set in there containing three of my stand alone novels (Nothing Left to Lose, Poles Apart and The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window), it's called A TOUCH OF ROMANCE. Mine is priced at just $3.99 which is almost five dollars cheaper than buying them separately. Make sure you check it out (and the other fab box sets in there) before the promo ends!
|Posted by kirstymoseley on July 31, 2015 at 6:00 AM||comments (0)|
*** New Covers revealed PLUS SURPRISE SALE!!! ***
So here are the beautiful new covers for ALWAYS YOU and FREE FALLING, my 'Best Friend Series'. The gorgeous new covers were made by Hilda at Dalliance Design. I hope you all love them as much as I do!!!
ALSO, SURPRISE SALE!!!
To celebrate the new covers both of these books are on SALE for limited time! They're just 99c each! #GrabYours #OneClick #HaveYouMetClayAndRiley?? #Sale
:: Buy Links::
|Posted by kirstymoseley on June 8, 2015 at 11:20 AM||comments (0)|
I'm so thrilled to be a part of this anthology with the nine other authors. The cause is amazing, and ten books for the price of one is a bargain so grab yours. Only available for a limited time!!! <3
The Bleeding Hearts Anthology.
Amazon US http://amzn.to/1QgMVPA
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/1dpHtYK
Ten authors. Ten stories. One in ten with Endometriosis.
Ten bestselling author have come together to help raise awareness of the chronic disease, Endometriosis. The disease doesn't have a cure and many of those suffering have many day to day struggles just to get by.
The Bleeding Hearts Anthology is available from June 8th - July 8th with all proceeds going to the charity, Endometriosis UK.
Please help us raise awareness of this chronic disease, one that effects one in ten women in the UK alone, but purchasing your copy today.
The charity - Endometriosis UK
Endometriosis devastates the lives of women and their families. We help them take back control.
One in ten women endure unrelenting pain that affects every aspect of their lives each day. That's over 1.5 million women who desperately need support and information to help them understand this chronic condition.
Endometriosis UK is here to provide vital support services, reliable information and a community for those affected by Endometriosis.
We're a small organisation, striving for big results.
#OneClick #GetYours #BargainBooks #Charity
|Posted by kirstymoseley on January 6, 2015 at 4:50 AM||comments (0)|
Subscribe to my monthly newsletter and never miss a sale, announcement, or new release again! Plus, as a subscriber, you will have access to exclusive giveaways and sometimes bonus content or teasers.
Sign up here and I promise not to spam! http://eepurl.com/YSc9r
|Posted by kirstymoseley on December 18, 2014 at 4:45 AM||comments (0)|
*** FREEBIE ALERT ***
Ooooooh so guess what???? NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE is in a promotion at the moment and it's currently..... FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you haven't met Anna and Ashton yet then now is your chance!
:: BUY LINKS::
|Posted by kirstymoseley on December 15, 2014 at 5:50 AM||comments (0)|
Here is a BONUS CHAPTER from my new book Poles Apart. It's the main characters' first meeting. It's written from Carson's point of view!! I hope you enjoy it **please note, it contains some swear words!!
The first meeting
“Come on. Live a little. It’s your eighteenth! We have to go to a strip club! Now you’re actually legal to drink, so we have to abuse that fact!” Gary persuaded, wrapping his arm around my neck and rubbing his knuckles in my hair.
Laughing, I pushed it off me and quickly ran a hand through my hair to style it again. “Damn it, Gary! That took me ages to get my hair to look right,” I joked.
He grinned, nodding towards the entrance to the club again. My other friend, Michael, was right there next to Gary, shooting me the begging eyes too as they both waited for me to make up my mind. I let out a groan. Was it absolutely necessary that we went in here? Surely, for my birthday, we could do something that I wanted to do? All I wanted was some food and a sports bar! Michael gestured to the club, his expression pleading.
Outnumbered. Great. Just fucking great!
“Fine! We’ll go to the damn strip club, but just know that I hate you for making me look at half-naked, beautiful girls. What the hell kind of birthday is this anyway?” I joked, roughly shoving Gary in the direction of the door.
The sexy, thumping music drifted down the stairs as we made our way up to the concessions booth. I sighed, already wishing this night was over. These kinds of places had never interested me at all. These girls just didn’t do it for me in the slightest. To top it all off, it was a members-only club, so we each had to fork out twenty quid for a one-night membership. I tried not to glare at my two best friends. There was not a chance in hell that we could afford to drink in this place.
“Guys, easy on the drinks in here, okay? I bet it’s really expensive, and I don’t want to get caught short or anything,” I muttered quietly.
They barely paid attention to me, though, because the blonde behind the counter was wearing a white, barely there, skintight vest top with Angels Gentleman’s Club emblazoned across one breast. I dug my finger into Gary’s ribs to get his attention off the cloakroom attendant.
“You’re practically fucking dribbling,” I muttered, shaking my head.
He laughed, and the blonde smiled at him sweetly before taking our coats and handing Gary a ticket for them. As we headed into the room, I took a seat at the nearest available table. It was quite far away from the stage, but that was actually a good thing. I didn’t want to be too close. At the edge of a stage, a load of well-dressed but seedy-looking men were grouped, all pushing money into the thong of a dancing girl.
Sitting back in my chair, I let my eyes drift down the dancer’s body. Though she wasn’t my type at all, even I had to admit that she was hot—well, in a plastic type of way.
“Wow! Look at the rack and arse on that!” Michael hissed, his eyes glued to her behind as she shook it to the beat of the song.
There was movement at my side, so I glanced up, putting on a fake smile so that no one would know that I would rather be anywhere other than here. And that was when it happened. That was the exact moment that my world seemed to tilt on its axis. I met…her. The angel on legs. The sexiest, most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in my life.
Her long, blonde hair hung in loose curls down to her shoulders, and the way the light caught it seemed to make it shine different shades. Her chocolate-brown eyes were wide and a little bewildered as she looked down at me. A beautiful smile graced her full, pink lips. She was stunning, breath-taking, and this was the best birthday ever.
“Hi, guys. I’m Emma and I’ll be your waitress for the night. There’s a drinks menu on the table, so have a little look through it and I’ll be back in a couple of minutes to take your order.” Her voice shook slightly as she spoke. She actually seemed a little flustered and nervous. She certainly didn’t look like she belonged in a place like this.
I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out so I closed it again and just nodded like a complete and utter moron. Just say hi, dickhead. Two little letters. One syllable. Say it! I mentally willed myself.
Before I could even force out what was sure to be something embarrassing and inappropriate, she flashed another one of those little smiles and turned to walk off. That was when I clocked her body.
I grunted in appreciation. She was wearing a little, white vest top that clung to her small but perfect-looking breasts. The top didn’t quite meet the material of her black booty shorts, so it exposed a strip of her flat stomach. The shorts barely covered her arse, so I could see the bottom of her bum cheek just poking from the material. It was so perfect and peachy looking that I had the strong urge to cup it. Her long, toned legs just seemed to go on forever. She was perfect, flawless, beautiful, and fuck, I wanted her so much that I was sure it would kill me by the end of the night.
Oh, she is definitely going in the wank-bank. Straight to the fucking top of late-night, lonely fantasies.
I gulped and turned back to Michael and Gary, expecting them to be staring after her the same as I was, but they were still watching the girl on stage.
“Did you see our waitress? Shit, I’m gonna have to ask her out,” I said, nudging Gary to get his attention.
He frowned, his eyes not leaving the dancing girl that was hanging upside down on a metal pole. “You can’t ask out a dancer. It’s not allowed.”
Not allowed? Seriously? That can’t be right, can it? “How do you know that?”
He shrugged. “A lap dancer, dude? Really? As if you stand a chance with a freaking lap dancer!” he mocked, laughing and shaking his head.
I frowned, knowing he was right. I wasn’t even in this girl’s league. She was so hot that it was insane and no doubt had guys falling over her all the time, too. Why would she be interested in a stupid, just-turned eighteen-year-old who had no real skills or education?
I sighed dejectedly and flicked my eyes over to her. She was leaning on the bar, talking to a guy with brown hair. She laughed, and a rather inappropriate amount of jealousy built in the base of my stomach. I hadn’t even managed to say hello to her, yet that guy had already made her laugh. I was being irrational, I knew this, but that didn’t diminish the jealous feeling at all.
“Yeah, I guess,” I muttered in defeat, forcing my eyes away from her bum and legs.
Gary slapped me on the shoulder. “Seriously? What would your mum think if you brought home a lap dancer to meet her?” He laughed again.
I couldn’t help but frown. My mother would be pissed—that was for sure—but she’d get over it. This girl seemed cute and so damn beautiful that I couldn’t help but want to get to know her a little more, find out what made her laugh and smile. A job was just a job, after all. It didn’t define a person.
I shrugged in response, and he rolled his eyes. “Dude, trust me. Dancers aren’t allowed to date customers. It’s probably in their contract. It’s their job to look pretty and flirt with the customers, not date them. You’d make yourself look like a complete and utter prick if you asked her out. Trust me. She won’t be interested in you,” he said, looking at me apologetically. “Though maybe you should just so I can watch the car crash of her having to reject your arse,” he added playfully.
I frowned but nodded, deep down knowing he was right.
“Look, let’s celebrate your birthday in style. Just watch the show. We’ll have a few drinks, and maybe you can get your little waitress to shake her thing for you. Then you can wank yourself to sleep thinking about her,” Michael suggested, waggling his eyebrows.
I snorted a laugh. “Already had that planned. Don’t worry,” I confirmed.
The lights in the club dimmed and another dancer slinked onto the stage, shaking her assets, swinging around the pole, and grinding on it provocatively. Even though it was a sexy sight, it couldn’t hold my attention and my eyes wandered off to the waitress again as I wondered if she ever danced like that on stage. Now that would hold my attention!
Emma smiled over at me as she picked up her order pad from the bar and then started heading over to us. I swallowed around the lump in my throat.
Oh, fuck. Act cool. Don’t make a twat of yourself for once, Carson. Just play it safe and stick to friendly conversation. Do not attempt to flirt with her because it’ll end in disaster!
“Hey, so, have you guys decided?” she asked in her sexy, throaty little voice.
I stared at her, deciding that her big, brown eyes looked a little worried and her posture was a little too tense for her to be comfortable. Maybe she didn’t like working here… Maybe she had no choice. I silently wondered what possible reason a beautiful girl could have for working in a place like this. It had to be for money.
My gaze raked over her fresh, innocent-looking face. She was young. She had to be at least eighteen to work here at the club though—which meant that I, having turned eighteen today, would be her toy-boy. I smiled at the thought.
Something flat and light hit me in the face. I flinched, instantly turning to glare at Michael, who was laughing hysterically because he’d just hit me in the face with the drinks menu and made me look like a complete prick in front of the hottest girl I’d ever seen.
“You gonna order or what, Carson? I’m betting she doesn’t have all night to stand there while you check her out,” he teased, laughing.
Emma giggled, chewing on her lip as she dropped her eyes down to her order pad.
Squirming in my seat, I tried hard not to let my embarrassment show. “Er, yeah, sorry. I was just thinking about something. Um, I’ll have a vodka and Coke?” I replied, making it sound more like a question.
She smiled and scribbled on her pad as the other two ordered their drinks, too, before she headed off back to the bar again with a sexy little sashay of her arse that made my dick shift in my trousers.
I gulped and looked back at Michael. “You stupid shit! Did you have to make me look like a wanker in front of her?” I asked, closing my eyes and mentally counting to ten.
He laughed wickedly. “Oh, come on. It was plain to see you were practically eye-shagging her! Jeez, get a grip. You don’t stand a chance with a lap dancer. Let’s just get wasted!” He shrugged and looked back to the girl on stage.
I groaned and nodded. He was right. I had no chance with this girl at all; after all, I couldn’t even speak to her without making myself sound like a loser. I would never get a girl like that in my life.
Gary’s elbow nudged my ribs. “Score the woman on stage—ten being the most, one to the least,” he instructed, obviously trying to change the subject.
“Eight,” Michael answered immediately. The girl slid down the pole and landed doing the splits at the bottom before lowering her head and tracing her tongue across her own shin. “Shit, better make that a nine. She gets extra for flexibility,” he added quickly.
Gary laughed. “I’d say eight. What about you, Carson?”
I shrugged noncommittally. “Five?” I offered. She had fiery-red hair and obvious larger-than-needed fake breasts. In my opinion, that just wasn’t sexy.
They both turned to me, sheer shock on their faces.
“Five? Are you blind?” Gary gasped.
I shrugged in response.
“What about your waitress?” he probed, nodding over my shoulder.
I turned back and looked at Emma again. Instantly, my dick got a little harder. I groaned. She really had some talent. Most girls had to at least work for it. I’d never got an erection without a heavy make-out session, yet this girl had earned one and I hadn’t even touched her.
Both of my friends laughed wickedly, and then Emma was walking back towards us carrying a tray of drinks and wobbling a little in her classless, white high-heel shoes. She looked so out of place here. She would probably be more at home in a pair of jeans and a hoodie; it would probably suit her better, too. As she set the tray down on our table, her toned leg accidentally brushed against mine. My breath caught in my throat because of how close she was.
So close, yet nowhere near close enough!
“Right, guys. It was a Captain Morgan and Coke, a bottle of Bud, and a vodka and orange, right?” she asked, passing the drinks out. Suddenly, she winced as she looked at me. “Rubbish. You said vodka and Coke. Damn it! Sorry. I’ll just go change it. I’m so sorry. My writing sucks. I guess the C looked like an O to the barman,” she apologised. As she went to pick up my drink, I took her hand, shaking my head.
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll just drink that. It’s fine.” I smiled, trying not to rape her with my eyes like I had done last time she was stood there.
With my hand over hers, I couldn’t help but notice how soft her skin was. She didn’t try to rip her hand away from mine, so I got to feel what it would be like to hold her hand. I liked it. I liked it a lot.
She smiled apologetically. “I’m really sorry. I’m just learning the codes and stuff they write on the orders. Are you sure? I can change it.”
I shook my head and reluctantly let go of her hand. I felt the loss immediately and wanted to grab her again, pull her onto my lap, and talk to her all night. Well, that wasn’t the only thing I wanted to do to her all night…
“It’s fine, Emma.”
She sighed and looked at me gratefully. “Thanks. I get charged for mistakes. I think I’m going to be making a lot of them in the next few days.” She frowned uncomfortably.
“Oh, yeah? How come?” I asked, watching as her hair fell around her face. She was obviously growing out a fringe because the front was just below her eyes and she kept tucking it behind her ear.
“It’s my first night tonight. I have no idea what I’m doing,” she replied, laughing. “Maybe you should have chosen another section to sit in, because I’m liable to get everything wrong for a couple of hours until I find my feet.”
This is her first night? No wonder she looks so out of place and vulnerable! “It’s your first night? Kind of a busy night to start on a Saturday though. Couldn’t they have eased you in on a different night?” I asked, sipping my drink and trying not to gag. I hated orange juice.
She shrugged. “I guess I have to get used to it. I’ll only be working weekends, so…” she trailed off, twirling the little tray around in her hands.
“Oh, really? Maybe I’ll see you a lot then. I’m a member here,” I stated. Holy shit. Why did I say that? I can’t afford to be a member here! Damn it, I shouldn’t be allowed to talk to girls!
She smiled warmly. “Yeah? That’s good. At least I’ll have one friendly face then. Some of these other guys seem a little scary. It’s a little gross the way they look at me, like they want to eat me or something.” She looked around and shuddered a little.
I recoiled. Was I looking at her like that? Because I definitely wanted to eat her! “Yeah. It’s gross,” I confirmed, trying to keep my tone light even though my heart was hammering so loudly in my chest that it could probably rival the club’s awesome bass system. “So, have you done any dances yet then? This being your first night and all?” I questioned, biting my lip.
I had no idea why I was so interested in this girl. She was a lap dancer, and my mother would hate her, but I just couldn’t stop talking to her. All around me, there were half-naked girls, yet, in that moment, I would have rather been anywhere with her instead of here.
Emma’s cheeks turned an adorable shade of pink as she shook her head timidly. “They taught me how. I had to take a class on it, but I haven’t done one yet.”
I groaned internally. I couldn’t help but be relieved that she hadn’t shaken her sexy arse for anyone else. I wanted a dance. Not just any dance though—I wanted to be her first. Actually, I wanted to be her only. The thought of her giving other guys dances made me feel a little sick with jealousy—which wasn’t a good sign considering I’d only known her for less than fifteen minutes.
“I could be your first if you want. You know, give you a test run,” I offered. I racked my brain for the price. I’d looked at the board outside when we walked in but hadn’t paid much attention to it. In the back of my mind, I remembered reading £50. I gritted my teeth, praying that I had fifty in my wallet, because otherwise, that would be embarrassing as hell.
Emma’s blush deepened as she squirmed a little on her feet. “You really want one? I mean, it might suck. Maybe you should get one of the other girls to do it for you.”
I shook my head. “I want you to do it. I want to be your first.” I struggled not to add, and only on the end.
She laughed uncomfortably and nervously nibbled on her lip. She was definitely too good for a place like this. “Okay. I’m really sorry if this is bad. If you don’t like it, then don’t pay, okay?”
I nodded and held my breath. Oh shit. Is this really happening? Am I really sitting in a club with the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen, who’s about to dance for me in a sexy little outfit?
A new song started as she pushed the tray onto the table and stepped closer to me. I gulped noisily.
And then it started. The most painfully erotic thing that had ever happened to me.
She began swaying her hips, gripping her hair, grinding her little arse on my crotch—which was, of course, already standing to full attention. I moaned at the feel of it and clenched my jaw tight, trying to stay in control, when all I wanted to do was grab her and rip her clothes off. I gripped my hands in my hair. My body trembled with desire as I let my eyes wander over her perfectly formed frame, taking in every delicious inch of her.
She turned around to face me, putting one knee on the little sofa next to me, gripping my shirt, and rubbing her chest up against mine.
Fuck this is hot! Fuck. Fuck. Fuck!
The three and a half minutes seemed to take forever to pass. Yet, at the same time, they felt like they went in the blink of an eye. I wanted more—definitely more of that—but I couldn’t afford it. My mind was whirling. I needed to work my arse off now to get signed to a race team. If I was going to be getting a membership to this bloody expensive club and paying for dances every week, then I needed to make sure I got signed to a good team so I could afford a high-maintenance lap dancer!
She smiled when the song finished, her eyes almost appearing apologetic. “That was bad, wasn’t it? You don’t have to pay me. Sorry. That was bad… Oh, man, I should have asked for more lessons,” she rambled, shaking her head, blushing harder.
Holy crap. Can I actually speak? I could almost taste the arousal in my mouth; I wanted her so much that it was actually painful. I was so hot for her that, with one more touch, I would probably blow my load inside my clothes. I had a feeling that a little trip to the bathroom to crack one off was the only thing that was going to get rid of my boner.
“Emma, that was incredible. If I could afford another one, then I would be asking for it right now,” I said honestly, my voice husky and thick with lust.
She smiled and her whole face lit up. “Really?” she asked.
I nodded in confirmation. That was the best thing that had ever happened to me.
She bit her lip, making my already hard dick ever harder. “Well, seeing as you were kind of an experiment, how about I call that one a free sample and you pay for next one?” she offered.
Holy fuck yeah!
“Er, if you want to…then yeah, sure.” If you want to? Smooth, Carson. Real smooth!
She didn’t answer, just turned her back on me and launched into another dance, grinding her arse dangerously close to my poorly concealed erection. I groaned and watched her do her thing, praying that this night would never end.
Hope you enjoyed it - it was written purely as a little thank you to everyone that's bought the book and wanted just that little bit more. I hope you enjoyed getting into Carson's head for a while!!
If you haven't read Poles Apart yet, here are the links where you can grab your copy.
iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/poles-apart/id903410043?mt=11&uo=4&at=1l3vog9
Amazon US - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MURM0HM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00MURM0HM&linkCode=as2&tag=kirmosaut-20&linkId=UCEUWBYYRV72QEQL
Amazon UK - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00MURM0HM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B00MURM0HM&linkCode=as2&tag=kirmosaut-21
Kobo - http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/poles-apart-6
B&N - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poles-apart-kirsty-moseley/1120020088?ean=2940045662420
Google Play - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kirsty_Moseley_Poles_Apart?id=Aa8VBAAAQBAJ
|Posted by kirstymoseley on November 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM||comments (0)|
Poles Apart is now LIVE on iBooks!!!!! (For everywhere else it will be live on Tuesday 18th November).
I woke to news this morning that it went straight in at number 1 in the overall paid chart in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Canada and Ireland, and number 10 in the US! That's so amazing, thank you SO MUCH to anyone that has purchased it!
Links if you want to buy it:
|Posted by kirstymoseley on November 10, 2014 at 5:20 AM||comments (0)|
Want to read the first chapter of Poles Apart??? Can't see the sample on your ereader?? Well then.... here you go!!!! (apologies, the italics seem to have dissapeared when I copied and pasted...) xx
Copyight 2014 Kirsty Moseley. All rights reserved.
By Kirsty Moseley
Tired did not begin to explain how I felt as I stood at the bar waiting for my order to be filled. My feet were hurting in the stupid ‘uniform’ they provided for me – the cheap, white plastic shoes with the four-inch heels. The tiny, black booty-shorts, which barely covered to the bottom of my butt cheeks, were slowly creeping higher and higher, making me shift on my feet uncomfortably. I glanced at my watch. 10:24p.m.
Great, only another three and a half hours to go!
The only good thing about today: tomorrow was Sunday, and I had the night off for a change.
The door opened and a cool breeze blew through from the foyer, moving around some of the stuffy air in the club. A group of lads stepped in, and I felt the smile creep onto my lips.
Scratch that, there were two good things about today now. Carson Matthews was here.
Without my permission, my eyes dragged down his body as he laughed with one of his friends. He looked so incredibly hot tonight in nicely fitted blue jeans and a white short-sleeve shirt, undone teasingly low. It exposed his throat and part of the incredible chest I knew was hidden under the material. Forcing my gaze back to his face, I swallowed the desire rising in my throat. His light-brown hair was styled to perfection, as usual. His face was flawless, his deliciously full lips made my finger long to reach out and trace them. The air left my body in one long, breathy, needy sigh.
When his head turned in the direction of the bar where I was standing, a sexy little smile tugged at the corners of his mouth.
“Lover boy’s here,” the bar manager, Jason, teased, pushing the tray of drinks toward me. “Table five.”
I nodded but didn’t say anything. What was there to say? He knew how I felt about Carson so there was no point in denying it; it was clear on my face, I’d bet. I picked up the tray of drinks and turned to deliver them to the waiting clients, attempting to look sexy as I strutted across the room in my four-inch plastic stilettos. The music started up, the lights went down and the next ‘performer’ stuck her leg out of the curtain. She began teasingly running her hand up the bare skin as the men all started howling and crowding around the stage, waiting for the big reveal.
That’s right. I work in a strip club. Of course, probably like everyone who did this job, I didn’t want to do it. It was more like I had to. There are things people have to do to avoid sleeping on the streets. Waiting tables in cheap shoes, booty shorts and a figure-hugging vest top is one of those things for me. My job included nightly lap dances to clients and the occasional pole dance on stage, but thankfully, that didn’t happen particularly often. We had proper performers for stage shows. Not many people would request me over someone who looked like a glamour model. Not that I had a horrible figure. In fact, I was happy with my body, but I was real, and most guys didn’t like real. They also didn’t like average size. Instead, the men who came to this club usually abide by the rule ‘the bigger the better’ – hence me waiting tables and barely bringing in enough money to pay the rent, pay for my university fees, and feed the two other people I was responsible for.
The group of middle-aged, desperate men all rushed toward the stage as ‘Precious’ stepped into the spotlight in her little black, corseted burlesque outfit. She started to shake her booty to the beat of the music, hypnotising the dirty men with ease.
Hoisting the heavy tray above my head with both hands, I wove through the crowd, trying not to spill the five beers and two whisky shots. I couldn’t afford to spill anything; I had a lot to pay out for this month. Whatever I dropped, spilt, smashed, or even had stolen from my tray was docked from my wages, and let me tell you, drinks were freaking expensive in this place. The order I was carrying probably came close to fifty quid.
‘Precious’ dropped to her knees, arse in the air, and started whipping her head around, flicking her hair. In his excitement, one guy surged forward and crashed into me, sending me sprawling to the floor, drinks smashing all over the place. I closed my eyes and yelped as the cheap carpet burnt my hands where I’d put them out to protect myself.
People jeered around me, laughing and clapping at my stupidity.
Cringing, I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees, my cheeks flaming with embarrassment. This was a typical moment for me: a sexy girl on stage shaking her thing, and what do I do? I fall and make a complete idiot of myself. I had a sudden urge to pat myself on the back and award myself the medal for being the biggest loser.
Oh, you are so awesome, Emma!
Not one person offered to help me up. The balding, beady-eyed man who’d bumped me had skulked off into the crowd – probably so he didn’t have to pay for damages – leaving me to clear up the mess. I sniffed, swallowing my sob as I grabbed the tray and started picking up the bigger bits of broken glass from the floor. Crestfallen, I silently wondered how I was going to pay for the drinks. I needed to pay for my little brother’s school trip this month, £365 to go to freaking Scotland for some weeklong field trip.
Stupid, stupid Emma!
Sometimes, I hated my life. I was almost nineteen and had been responsible for my fifteen-year-old brother, Rory, for the past year. As if my life wasn’t already hard enough without having to look after him, too, but in truth, I wouldn’t be able to get through the day without his help, so I couldn’t exactly complain. Rory was a godsend, just a freaking expensive godsend.
I reached out for a smashed bottle, tossing the glass onto the tray angrily. Just as my hand closed around another piece, someone grabbed my waist, hoisting me up. I squeaked in surprise, panic rising in my chest as I frantically looked around for a bouncer to come and help me; they usually milled around to take care of the girls. The warm hands lifted me to my feet, and a hard chest pressed against my back. Sweet, hot breath blew down my neck, brushing across my almost-exposed chest in my stupid uniform.
“Tut tut, Em. You should be more careful,” the voice whispered in my ear, sending a little shiver through my body.
My face grew hotter as his hand brushed across my stomach, straightening my top for me before he rested his hands on my hips, still standing dangerously close to my back. I could barely breathe. He always caused this reaction in me; he had since the first time I laid eyes on him when I was sixteen. That was on my first shift here at the club, a night which changed my life forever, yet it was just another Saturday night for him.
I gulped, willing my voice not to betray me. Turning to look at him over my shoulder, I attempted to look seductive even though I had just fallen to the floor like a moron. His pale-blue eyes locked on mine. The sexy little smirk on his lips made my heart flutter erratically.
So. Damn. Handsome.
“Thanks for the concern, Mr Matthews. I’m fine, by the way; thanks for asking,” I teased.
“That you are, Emma. That you are.” He slapped my bum and laughed as I gasped at the slight stinging pain. “Come on, you’re waiting on us tonight.” Grabbing my hand, he lifted it up high, guiding me to do a graceful little turn to face him. His smell filled my lungs – the unmistakeable scent of orange blossom and chocolate, mixed with dirt and car grease.
So hot! Why does he have to be so hot?
Wait a second, what did he say? Waiting on him?
I flicked my eyes over to his six friends; they weren’t sitting in my section tonight. Their waitress was Charlotte, not me. Resisting the urge to pout, I shook my head. “You’re not in my section tonight, baby.”
He frowned, looking over at the table, clearly bewildered. “I thought you worked tables eighteen to twenty-four?”
I smiled because he would recall something like that. That was when I noticed he and his friends had sat themselves firmly on twenty, a table which, up until two weeks ago, would have been mine. “We had a little move around. I’m one to six now.” I bit my lip, looking at him apologetically, but he’d probably prefer Charlotte anyway; she was much prettier and flirtier than me.
“Shit,” he muttered, frowning. Then he gave me a mischievous grin. “Well, just for the night, you can swap back.” He bent down quickly, gripped hold of my waist tightly and threw me over his muscular shoulder, making me whimper in surprise. Laughing, he slapped my bum again, a little lower this time so his hand actually made contact with the skin rather than the material of the ridiculously short shorts. There was a loud smacking sound and a couple of guys near us cheered again, causing me to blush harder and press my face into Carson’s toned back.
“Put me down!” I ordered breathlessly as he carried me effortlessly across the room toward his table. Catching sight of the tray of broken glass I had just left lying in the middle of the floor, I groaned. “Carson, I need to sort out that mess!”
Gently shifting me on his shoulder, he altered his course and strutted to the bar instead. “Emma had an accident. Get someone to clear that up, would ya?” he said to Jason, tossing two crisp fifty-pound notes down before turning away, not waiting for an answer. Behind me, Jason laughed as I struggled to get down. Well, struggled wasn’t exactly the right word. Of course, I really didn’t try very hard because this was Carson Matthews, the guy I had been totally and utterly in love with for almost three years. Carson Matthews, the world famous Grand Prix Motorcycle driver and most eligible bachelor in England. No girl in her right mind would seriously want this experience to end.
As we got to his table, he tugged on my legs, making me slide down his hard body. His arms tightened around my waist, crushing my body against his, our faces were level so my feet dangled a little way off the floor. He smiled his nice smile, the one which made him get the adorable little dimples in his cheeks, and I couldn’t help but smile back at him.
“Now then, champagne, I think…” he trailed off, setting me gently onto my feet, straightening my top again because it had risen up from being thrown around so much.
I rolled my eyes and did a little curtsy, forcing a sweet smile. “Anything your heart desires, Mr Matthews,” I replied sarcastically.
He laughed and reached out, brushing the hair away from my face, pushing it behind my ear. “You’ve had your hair cut since I last saw you,” he mused, playing with my dirty-blonde hair, which now hung in natural, loose curls down to my bra strap instead of my bum. I winced, thinking it probably looked like I’d been dragged through a hedge backwards because of being upside-down.
I smiled and nodded in confirmation. “Yeah.” My heart sped because he’d noticed even though I hadn’t seen him for close to three weeks. He’d been off being the big-shot celebrity, doing a modelling shoot in LA before kicking butt in all of his races in a bid to get to number one on the leader board. Carson was the hottest driver around at the moment, winning everything. At only twenty-one, he had the whole world watching, captivated, just waiting for the ‘young rookie English driver’ to become this year’s MotoGP champion.
“It looks good, Em. You look good.” He smiled softly.
I needed to go; I couldn’t keep standing here having this conversation with him. It was hard when I hadn’t seen him for a while. My resistance to his charm faded the longer I was away from him, and then when I did see him, I could barely control my emotions as everything threatened to burst out of me.
“Thanks. You do, too.” Wow, that’s the understatement of the century right there! “I’d better go get you some drinks then.” My skin was blazing under the layers of make-up I was wearing as I turned back to the table of his friends. “Right then, boys, what can I get you?” I asked, forcing my work-smile onto my face.
Carson traced his hand across the small of my back as he slid into an empty seat.
The boys wanted three bottles of champagne – easy enough to remember. I just prayed I didn’t drop this order, especially not at two hundred quid a bottle.
I walked to the bar quickly and looked at Jason apologetically. “Sorry. Did someone clear it up, or do you want me to do it?”
He waved a hand dismissively. “Don’t worry about it, it’s done. Lover boy even covered the cost, so don’t stress about Rory’s trip, okay?” He smiled kindly and I sighed in relief. Jason was a nice guy; he was the son of the owner and someone who I could talk to. We’d always got along well.
Charlotte trotted over, scowling at me as I went to pick up the tray containing the expensive fizz. “What are you doing? That’s my table!” she growled possessively, grabbing my wrist to stop me from picking up the tray.
I sighed and instantly released my grip. It was her table and, to be honest, I didn’t really want to see Carson too much tonight. The damn boy literally drove me crazy, and I knew I would be crying myself to sleep tonight because of him.
She huffed and threw her long, silky brown hair over her shoulder, tugging her top down more than necessary as she plumped up her cleavage. I tried not to roll my eyes. Weren’t girls supposed to have a slight air of mystery about them? She obviously didn’t understand that you didn’t need to show everything to get attention. Wordlessly, she grabbed the tray and slinked her way over to Carson’s table.
I tried not to watch. I tried really hard not to watch… but I just couldn’t help myself.
Carson frowned as she put the tray down on his table and threw him a seductive smile. His eyes flicked to me and one eyebrow rose, silently asking why I wasn’t working his table tonight. I shrugged, chewing on my lip. It really wasn’t my call, so he’d just have to do without me for one night.
I turned back to Jason thinking maybe I could ask to leave early tonight, pretend I was sick or something. I loved seeing Carson, I really did, but it was pure agony most of the time.
Suddenly, two muscular arms rested on either side of my body, trapping me against the bar as his smell surrounded me, making my scalp prickle. I didn’t move, didn’t speak, just stood there like a statue as he pressed against my back almost possessively.
“Jason, I want Emma to work my table. Tell the other girl to take a break or something,” Carson insisted, as if he just got to make demands like this. Well, in total honesty, he did. He was one of the most prestigious members of the club, and they did a lot to keep him happy. We had different rules for high-paying celebrities, and they got special treatment.
Jason shrugged, his eyes darting to me for a split-second. “That’s Charlotte’s section, Mr Matthews. I can’t take a table away from her, she’ll be losing out…” he trailed off, clearly uncomfortable.
One of Carson’s arms moved off the bar; there was a fumbling near my hip and then he threw a wad of cash. I gulped as I looked at it; it was more money than I earned in a couple weeks. Crisp fifty-pound notes, easily about three hundred pounds’ worth, dismissed, just like that, as if it were nothing. Well, in all honesty, it probably was nothing to him. It must be a great feeling to never have to worry about money. I silently wondered what it was like to never go hungry because you could only afford to buy enough food for two people instead of three or to not have to scrape pennies from the back of the sofa because you were thirty-seven pence short for the electricity bill. I just couldn’t imagine having enough money to throw it away like that. My eyes prickled with tears because it just reminded me how hard my life was. I looked away, willing the tears not to fall. I couldn’t cry here; instead, I’d cry when I was in bed tonight.
“Now she won’t be losing out,” Carson stated, taking my hand and pulling me toward his table. “I want Emma exclusively tonight. I don’t want to share her with other tables, so take her off the floor, too, okay?” he called to Jason over his shoulder.
Two hours later, they were getting pretty rowdy. They didn’t watch the show at all; only a couple of them even glanced in the direction of the stage. They came here for the privacy, the selective clientele, the expensive champagne, and the ambiance of being in a high-class establishment. Angels Gentlemen’s Club was the best of its type in London.
After nine bottles of champagne between six of them, they were more than a little tipsy. The more they drank, the flirtier they became. I had always liked waiting on them, though, because none of them ever touched me – unlike some of the drunken clients I had to deal with.
I’d had two glasses of champagne, so I was a little merry myself. Carson had insisted I sit and have a drink with him. The whole time I had sat there blushing like crazy while he played with my hair, telling me time and time again he liked the cut, that it suited me, how good I looked, and how it felt like he hadn’t seen me in forever. It had felt like forever for me, too. Especially when he was plastered all over the papers, celebrating his victories with beautiful celebrities in LA, sunning himself on a beach with swimwear models, or the worst one, him on a billboard right outside my crappy little flat. Oh, and did I mention it was for Calvin Klein and he was only wearing a pair of white boxers in the photo? Every day, I opened my curtains and was greeted by a ten-foot picture of the guy I was in love with – not good for the soul, that one.
Carson came to the club once a week at the very least, more if he could. He came every Saturday night for almost three years, missing only when he was out of town. These last three weeks had been like torture.
He leant in closer to me, his breath blowing down my neck, and I knew what he was going to say before he even opened his mouth. My body was already on high alert waiting for it. As soon as he’d walked through the door tonight I knew this would happen.
“How about a dance, Em?” he purred.
I gulped, swallowing my nervousness; I should have been used to doing this by now. In all honesty, I was used to it. Clients weren’t allowed to touch me. I’d done this hundreds of times, to hundreds of guys, and it had never bothered me. It was just business, a job, something I had to do for money. But for some reason, when I did it for Carson, my whole body vibrated with excitement. It wasn’t a job for me because I liked it way too much.
I nodded and stood, looking down at his handsome face as my heart started to thump wildly in my chest. He smiled and sat back on the black-velvet seat, spreading his arms along the top of the little sofa. He tipped his head back slightly, just watching me with his full lips parted fractionally.
I did my usual routine, doing everything he liked, grinding against him, making his breathing accelerate. I traced my hands up my body as I danced in front of him, swaying my hips seductively to the beat of the song, looking at him through my eyelashes. He was clearly enjoying it. His eyes were raking down my body, his hands in tight fists, his hips moving in time with mine, grinding back against me. I could feel how much he was enjoying it – maybe even as much as I was.
When the song finished I smiled and stopped, but he shook his head. “No, I have three weeks to make up for. Don’t stop. Keep ’em coming,” he instructed, his voice so husky and thick with lust I could barely breathe.
Smiling, I went in for another song, this time actually straddling him and gripping the front of his shirt as I pressed my forehead to his. My hair fell around our faces like a thick, silky curtain. His head tipped back and his lips brushed mine softly. The familiar feeling of lust sparked inside me at the gentle touch of his mouth on mine.
I wasn’t allowed to kiss him; it was against the rules for the main room. There were backrooms for that, for girls who wanted to take it that bit further with a client. I’d been in those rooms out the back numerous times over the last three years, at least once a week – well, when he was in town, that is. Only one man got behind my defences. Only one man was allowed to touch me. Only one man was allowed to make me feel like I was in Heaven.
His lips found mine again, this time kissing me almost desperately. I kissed him back for a split-second before pulling away. I needed my job and this was against the rules; I couldn’t afford to get the sack. Wordlessly, I motioned my head toward the backrooms, keeping my eyes locked on his. With his breathing ragged, he nodded in agreement. His expression was pure want, pure need, and it made my mouth water.
Pushing myself off him, I took his hand, tugging him to his feet before leading him through the crowd to the back of the club and the private rooms which awaited us. As soon as the door was closed, his arms wrapped tightly around me, pushing me against the wall as his lips pressed against mine. The kiss was so sweet, so passionate, so tender it made me want to cry.
His lips travelled down my neck, making me gasp and tip my head back. I hadn’t had sex in three weeks and my goodness, the feelings had been building up inside me. Until that moment, I hadn’t realised how much I needed this to happen.
“I missed you, Em,” he whispered against my skin.
I tightened my hand in his light-brown hair. “I missed you, too, Carson.”
“How have you been? You need anything?” he asked, gently nibbling on my collarbone.
I gulped, not really knowing how to answer that question. I never wanted anything from him; I never expected anything from him. He had already given me the best thing he could have ever given me… but he didn’t know anything about that.
“I’m good,” I lied, gasping as his hands slowly roamed my body. He made a muffled reply as he kissed up my neck again, his fingers winding into my hair. “I saw you on TV,” I breathed.
Oh, God, why am I talking right now? Why can’t I just be quiet and enjoy it?
He pulled back a little and smiled his cute, dimpled smile. “You did?”
I nodded and pulled him closer to me again, not wanting any space between us. His hands slipped down to my bum, lifting me gently. Instinctively, my legs wrapped around his waist, clamping myself to him as tightly as I could, locking my ankles behind his back.
“You won your race in Spain. I saw you on the podium, spraying champagne,” I mumbled, unsure as to why I was still talking to him when all I wanted to do was throw him on the chair and ravage him to within an inch of his life.
He nodded and brushed my hair off my flushed face, his thumb tracing over my burning cheek. “Yeah. Did you watch the race?”
I gulped and shook my head. In total honesty, I couldn’t watch it. I hated to see him race; just the thought of him going 200mph and leaning so close to the ground made my blood turn to ice in my veins. I’d tried to watch once, but I was literally screaming at the TV and in the end, I had to turn it off before it gave me a heart attack.
“I don’t like it,” I admitted.
He laughed and kissed the tip of my nose, still pressing me against the wall tightly. “You’re so funny sometimes, Em. You could at least take an interest in what I do.” He pouted, faking hurt.
“Hey, I take an interest! I just don’t like the thought of you driving so freaking fast. And the corners… damn it, Carson, you almost touch the ground you lean over so far. It’s awful. I can’t watch it, baby, I can’t.”
One of his eyebrows rose. “So, it’s not that you’re bored by it, just that you’re worried about me?” he teased, his hands kneading my thighs as his nose rubbed against mine in a little Eskimo kiss.
“I’m definitely not bored by the leather jumpsuit you wear.” I giggled sheepishly.
“Pervert,” he chuckled.
“Says the guy who’s pinning a lap dancer against the wall,” I shot back, smirking at him. He grinned wickedly and pushed us away from the wall, getting on his knees and laying me on my back on the coffee table instead, pushing the dirty magazines onto the floor. Grabbing my wrists, he held them down either side of my head, pressing his toned body to mine, making my stomach quiver with excitement.
“Not anymore. Now I’m pinning a lap dancer to the table.” He waggled his eyebrows playfully before bending and touching his lips against mine softly again. His hands slid from their restraining positions on my wrists to my hands instead. He interlaced our fingers, just kissing me passionately. He was always like this: tender, adoring, gentle. It didn’t feel like sex, it felt like he was making love to me. It had always felt the same, like we were connected: one person, one soul, one entity.
By the time we were done, I was totally breathless and ready for sleep. I closed my eyes and held his sweaty body close to mine, trailing my fingers over the tattoo on his upper back. The guardian angel with its wings spread across his shoulder blades. I loved the design and always prayed it kept him a little safer having that permanently etched onto his skin.
He was breathing deeply, his face pressed into the crook of my neck, every inch of his body pressed against mine as we lay in a tangled mess of limbs on the floor. He pulled back slightly, kissing my neck just once before sitting up, tugging the condom off and throwing it in the plastic bin. He looked back at me, just staring at my face as if I were the most interesting thing in the world. Reaching out, I traced my finger over the tattoo he had running up the side of his chest in fancy script.
‘Don’t drive faster than your guardian angel can fly’
I smiled at the words; they were so appropriate for Carson. “Are you gonna get more tattoos?” I asked curiously, tracing each one with my finger before moving to the next. He wasn’t covered in them, but he had a few. I touched my favourite one of his, the one on the base of his stomach, well below his navel; you could only see it when he was naked. It was a black and white butterfly, but the outline of the wings was made of beautifully scripted lettering. The intricacy of it awed me every time I saw it. ‘You give me wings and make me fly’ made up the outline of each wing. He also had a poem in Latin written down the inside of his right forearm. His body was breathtaking and incredible, and the art on him just seemed to add to his beauty.
He shrugged, his eyes not leaving my face. “Maybe, if I think of something I want to get. Why, are they a turn-off or something?” he asked, settling down against my side again, wrapping his arm around me and scooting closer so there wasn’t an inch of space between us.
I hid my smile and nodded. “Yeah, they’re getting to be a little off-putting,” I lied.
He laughed. “Then no, I won’t get anymore. Just for you, Em.” Letting out a deep sigh, he kissed my forehead before pushing himself off the floor. He reached down a hand to me and I slipped mine in his, letting him help me to my feet. His eyes wandered my body and suddenly his forehead crinkled with a frown. “Did you lose weight?”
I gulped. Crap, what am I supposed to say to that? I had lost a little in the last couple weeks. The club had been slow; I couldn’t afford to eat properly for the last few weeks what with my rent going up and now Rory’s trip. I didn’t think anyone would notice four or five pounds, but obviously I was wrong.
I shrugged, trying to play it cool. “Maybe. I don’t know.”
His frown deepened as he gripped my hips, turning me to the side as he looked me over, making me cringe under his intense scrutiny. “You did,” he confirmed. “You know, you shouldn’t lose too much. There’s barely anything to you as it is.”
I smiled at his concern. “Okay, baby, whatever you say.”
Rolling his eyes, he pulled away from me, gathering up my almost non-existent uniform and passing it to me. I smiled gratefully and shrugged it on, watching as he did the same, pulling on his designer clothes, which probably cost enough to pay my rent for a month.
Once dressed, he grabbed my shoes and inspected them, wincing. “Don’t these hurt you? They don’t look very comfortable.”
I laughed and rolled my eyes, taking them from his hands and sitting on the table to put them on. “They’re okay. It’s only a couple of nights a week,” I answered, trying not to show him that, yes, they did in fact feel like they were lined with razorblades as I pushed my feet in.
“How many days do you work now?”
I shrugged; I worked as many shifts as I needed to. I didn’t want to do more than just the weekends, but sometimes, if I was having a tough month, then I worked more than that. This week I had worked every night. “Just weekends still,” I lied.
“How’s uni going?” he asked, crouching down at my feet so he could look at my face as I buckled my shoes.
“All right, I guess. I’ve got a lot of work at the moment. It’s coming up to end of term, so I get a couple of weeks off which will be good.”
He nodded, smiling. “Cool.”
When I was done with my shoes, he pulled me to my feet, grabbing his wallet and counting out a load of notes. I looked away; this was the bit I hated. The payment. When it was happening, I fooled myself into thinking Carson was actually making love to me. I didn’t want payment for it; I wanted him to want me, for me, not just for my body. I would happily give my body to him for free, but if he wanted to give me money then I wasn’t in a position to turn it down. The money I got from Carson went on something else – the most important thing in the world.
He held out a handful of cash, and I didn’t bother to count it; he knew the prices. He’d had two lap dances and a backroom – for a normal girl they would be charging £200 for that, £50 for each lap dance and then £100 for backroom action. I slid the money into my pocket without looking at him. This was the part which made me feel dirty and a little used. This was the part which broke my heart every time.
He stepped closer to me, wrapping his arms around my waist, bending his head so I would meet his eyes. “I won’t see you next week; I’m going away again tomorrow. But I’ll see you in two weeks, okay?” he said softly. I nodded, not knowing what else to say. “I’m racing again next Saturday; maybe you could watch me on TV. I’ll wave to you in my leather jumpsuit if you want,” he teased, grinning.
I giggled despite the pain I was feeling inside. “I might flick the TV on as it finishes, just to see you in the outfit.”
He smiled and nodded. “Okay, here’s what I’m gonna do. When I win my race they’re gonna interview me after. You tell me a word or phrase and I’ll work it into the interview, just so you know I’m thinking about you.”
We’d done this once before and I had made it too easy for him last time – he was so in for it now. “How about you have to say two things?” I bartered.
He rolled his eyes. “You’re getting so demanding, Emma!” he scolded playfully. “What are the two things? It had better not be something like ‘I sleep with little boys’…” He trailed off, clearly worried.
“No, I’ll make it easier than that. Although, the ‘sleeping with little boys’ one is pretty awesome,” I joked, pretending to consider it. He dug me in the ribs with one finger, making me giggle and pull away from him. “Okay, okay, fine. You have to say Zip-a-dee-do-da, and fried chicken.” I shrugged. That was the best I could come up with at short notice. I was pretty sure I would come up with way better things than that while I was crying in bed tonight.
He laughed and nodded. “Done and done.” Dipping his head he kissed me softly, pulling me closer to him with one hand gripping the back of my neck, his fingers tangling into my hair as the kiss deepened. He pulled away when I was a little breathless and our eyes locked. Everything seemed to disappear when he looked at me like this; all I could see was him.
“I’d better get going; it’s almost closing time,” he murmured.
I nodded, feeling my heart sink because my night with him was over. He turned, opening the door before taking my hand and pulling me close to his back as we walked back to his friends. The club was starting to empty, and I was definitely more than ready to go home now.
Bradley, one of Carson’s friends, smirked at us as we reached them. “Wow, you two took your sweet time. Making up for three weeks’ worth of pent-up sexual frustration, Carson?”
Carson frowned, throwing him a death glare before slapping him on the back of the head. “Shut it, dipshit!”
Pent-up sexual frustration? What was that about? How could he be frustrated? I’d seen him in the newspapers lying on a yacht with a Playboy Bunny and two other girls who were wearing bikinis so small there was barely enough material for you to be able to name the colour of them. There was no way Carson Matthews had been frustrated about anything! I hated to see those pictures of him like that: coming out of a club with a girl draped all over him, him fooling around with girls on a beach, the stupid ‘MotoGP cheer squad’ strutting their little outfits in front of him while he smiles. Those pictures broke my heart a little, but he wasn’t mine to be jealous of. I had no right to feel like this about him. To him, I was just a lap dancer at a club who he liked to screw when he was in town. However, I’d never let myself think about him like that. He would always be my first love.
“No fighting, boys. You take it outside, or I’ll be forced to kick all your arses,” I joked, collecting their empty glasses and bottles.
“Em, I’m gonna take off. I’ll see you in a couple of weeks and I’ll make sure to sit in your section next time. Tables one to six, right?” Carson called as I headed to the bar with the empties.
“Yep. See you then, Mr Matthews,” I confirmed.
He winked at me and then turned to leave with his friends. Sighing, I watched his back until he was out of sight. Just 2 weeks. 14 days. 336 hours, and then I’ll see him again. It felt like an eternity.
When the last client left, I pulled on jeans and a hoodie over the top of my uniform, slipped on a pair of worn-out trainers, and then headed out of the club. It was almost two-thirty in the morning now; I had just a fifteen-minute walk to make and then I could crawl into bed and sleep.
As I walked toward the block of flats I called home, I gripped my pepper spray in my hand, keeping it hidden in my pocket. I was always careful. This wasn’t the nicest part of London, after all. It was stupid for me to be walking the streets at this time of night, but I didn’t have the money for a taxi, so I had no choice.
Thankfully, the journey was uneventful. By the time I made it up the seven flights of stairs and stopped outside my front door, I was exhausted.
I sighed and headed inside, making sure to secure the three locks we had on our door. When we were safely locked in, I sighed and immediately headed to the fridge to see if there was anything in there for me to eat. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and my stomach hurt. I knew I hadn’t bought anything, but I was hoping something would magically appear in there to make my hunger pains subside.
Just like I thought, though, the fridge was almost empty. There was a little milk, which would be enough for two bowls of cereal in the morning, a little cheese and about four eggs, which would do for lunch. I spotted half a loaf of bread on the side, and I swore under my breath when I noticed Rory had left the bag open so it would have gone a little stale. I shoved my hand in, squeezing it to see if it could be saved. It was a little firmer than I would have liked, but it was still edible. Sighing, I wrapped it back up before quietly heading into Rory’s room. He was sprawled out on his bed, fully clothed, one arm hanging off onto the floor, snoring, TV still on. I smiled and threw the quilt over him to keep him warm and turned his TV off. Rory was a good kid, a little troubled what with our parents’ strict and mostly-harsh upbringing, but he was still a good kid. As little brothers went, he was the best.
I snuck out, closing the door silently, heading to my room next. After slipping out of my clothes and pulling on a worn old nightshirt, I shoved my hand into the pocket of my work shorts and pulled out the wad of cash from Carson. It was thick; he’d overpaid.
I counted it out onto the bedside cabinet. £400. I smiled and closed my eyes, a tear falling down my cheek as relief washed over my body. That would pay for Rory’s trip and would leave some left over, too. Now I could stop worrying so much.
After taking out forty pounds, I shoved the rest down the back of my chest of drawers, pushing it into the little envelope I’d taped there for cash. I pushed the forty back into my jeans pocket. I could eat tomorrow now, too, thanks to Carson.
I smiled and headed over to the little cot at the foot of my bed. Leaning my arms on the rails, I looked over the side to see my little girl sleeping peacefully, exactly where I left her before going to work tonight. I smiled when I saw her perfect, angelic face. She was so beautiful, just like her daddy. Her mess of curly, light-brown hair was all strewn out on the pillow; she was hugging her teddy bear tightly in her sleep. Her features were so perfect, just like Carson’s. She had his cute little nose and the same shape to her pretty face. If she opened her eyes it would be like looking into the eyes I had stared into tonight.
I reached out a hand and, being careful not to wake her, stroked the side of her face. “I love you, Sasha,” I whispered.
She was my reason for living, my motivation for getting up in the morning, my incentive for going on with each day when all I wanted to do was break down and sob. Sasha and Rory were my reasons for working in that horrible place, for wearing that nasty uniform, for almost crippling myself in those cheap shoes. Both of them were so totally worth it, though.
I sighed and decided to go to bed. Sadness started to build inside me, and I knew it wouldn’t be long before I broke down. Grabbing the pillow from the empty side, I hugged it tightly as the tears I knew would come started flowing silently down my face. Climbing into the bed, I pulled the quilt over my head to muffle the sound, and then I did what I did every night after seeing Carson: I sobbed until I fell asleep.
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