A/N: Well, hello and Happy New Year. Here is brand spanking new story. If you aren't on Facebook this is a story by Cullenlvr83 and jgaff. We're really excited about this story and hope that you enjoy it. This chapter has both EPOV and BPOV but after this the POV's will alternate. This story has violence, sexual situations, language, etc…not for children, ok? We have a LOT of people who helped us to this point. The amazing Lizzie Paige made the banner, she is amazing. Thank you to Sunshine 1220 for stepping in for emergency prereading. Thank you to Maplestyle, sassynoles, and 2brown-eyes for preareading the rest. These ladies are amazing. Thank you to Alices white rabbit for the beta skills. We heart you so much. I promise the AN's in the future won't be so long. So, without further ado, welcome to DarkStrip.
I sighed and closed the refrigerator door. There wasn't anything there yesterday, and today would be no different. I had been in Seattle for two weeks, and I was getting extremely low on extra cash. I had enough money for a deposit, first month's rent, a tank of gas, and a full cupboard and fridge when I first arrived in Seattle from my savings, and right now, all I had was enough for half of next month's rent.
I put in applications every day and tried to find a job, but no one wanted to hire a twenty-one-year-old with no experience or references. I had a degree, but I had to complete it online, so I had never met any teachers face to face. I had talked to my friend Jessica last night, and while I'm sure she was joking, I couldn't help but contemplate her suggestion of getting a job in a strip club. I was young, attractive, and had no qualms about taking my clothes off in front of strangers. I grabbed my phone and googled strip clubs in Seattle.
I grew up in Forks, Washington, but I had been to Seattle as often as I could, and when I moved here two weeks ago, I drove around to get a lay of the land. The only club that wasn't in a dive part of town was a club called DarkStrip, and when I clicked on the link, it said they were hiring. I sighed. I went to my dresser and pulled out the raciest bra and underwear set I had. It was a blood red color and made entirely of lace.
I put on a white button-up shirt and a skirt that hit just below my knee. The slit opened so far that the red lace of my underwear peeked out from underneath, leaving nothing to the imagination. Before I could overthink it, I grabbed a pair of high heels, my keys, and made my way to the club. It was the middle of the day, so I hoped someone was around to talk to.
When I arrived at DarkStrip, I was surprised by the simple look of the exterior. It was midday, but even so, the dark red neon lights of the name on the front of the building were burning bright. The paint was a simple black stucco, and the parking lot looked like it had been recently repaved. There were several cars dotting the large space. Even though it was a strip club, it looked like one of those upscale ones, so I could only hope there wasn't a bunch of bullshit and drugs being peddled through it.
My attention was drawn to two girls standing outside talking. One was short with long, light brown hair, and the other was tall with fiery red hair. The difference between the two women was almost comical. The brunette was petite and pixie like while the redhead was curvy and intimidating. Before I got out of the truck, I strapped on the heels of death, tottered over to them, and asked if they knew who I could talk to about a job.
The short one turned, and I noticed her stunning blue eyes. She smiled and gestured for me to follow her. While she was leading me inside, she asked, "What kind of job are you looking for?"
"I saw an ad online that you were hiring for entertainers."
She nodded and called out, "Rose!"
A tall, lean blonde-haired girl came out from one of the back rooms. She was stunning and had eyes that were so blue they were almost purple. "What's up, Ali?"
"What was your name?" she asked me.
"Um, Isabella, but everyone calls me Bella."
"Isabella here wants to apply for the stripper position."
The woman named Rose gave me an appraising look and smiled. She seemed amused. "Have you ever stripped before?"
"No, but I'm in shape. I took gymnastics and dance classes most of my life."
"Okay, so show me what you got. There's the stage, and I'll have Jazz play something over the sound system. You need a minute?"
"Yeah," I said, already scanning through choreography that I knew and could transform into a strip dance.
I took a deep breath, shook the nerves out, stretched a little, and told Rose I was ready. I shoved the anxiety down and focused on the moves. It started out kinda awkward because I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I used some ingenious moves while removing my top and skirt.
I grabbed the pole and spun around before hooking one of my legs around it. I used my leg and arms to spin while flipping myself upside down. I hung there for a minute before pulling myself out of it. That was pretty much the only trick I had in my arsenal, and my muscles were screaming at me for it. I finished my routine with a little more awkwardness.
Alice clapped for me excitedly, and Rose smiled. "Well, some of that was a little awkward, but you have a nice body and a cute face. Alice, can you help her get ready for tonight?"
The short woman nodded.
"I'm gonna give you a shot, Bella, but all final decisions are up to the boss," Rose explained. "I'm sure you'll meet him tonight. Be here at five so Alice can get you ready." She then turned around to go talk to the guy she had called Jazz earlier.
Alice helped me get down from the stage without breaking something. I put my clothes back on while she talked. "Okay, I need sizes from you. It's time to go shopping. While it sure is cute, you can't wear this stuff tonight."
I smiled at her and was mildly offended, mostly because of the way she said cute, like it really wasn't. I gave her all the sizes she asked for and saw her appraising me. I braced myself for what she may ask next.
"How do you feel about wigs? I have a look in mind, but you would need a wig to pull it off."
"I've never worn one, so I really couldn't tell you."
She hummed, and then nodded her head. "Okay, see you at five, Bella."
I headed toward the door and waved to Rose and Jazz on the way out. I was a little nervous about the fact that I would meet the owner tonight, and he'd make the final decision. She said it was a "him", so I knew it was a guy, but knowing that didn't comfort me at all. Granted, this job was getting topless for strangers, but to have to audition for a male alone made me uneasy. I got home and decided I should probably take a nap. If I was going to work at a strip club, I needed to change my sleeping habits. I put on comfortable lounge clothes, set my alarm, and fell asleep surprisingly fast.
I arrived at the club at five as requested, freshly showered and in comfortable clothes. I found Alice shortly after I got there. There were quite a few more people there I hadn't seen earlier, and while Alice was shoving me in my outfit and playing Bella Barbie doll, several other girls came in and started getting ready. Most of them were nice and curious about who I was, and a few just completely ignored that I was even there. Alice told me not to pay them any mind because they were bitches anyway.
When Alice was finished with my makeup, I was finally able to look in the mirror. I was surprised by what I saw. My eyes were dark and lined expertly with a perfect winged look. Paired with petal pink lips, it gave me a sexy and innocent look. She had made my hair sleek and shiny, curled it at the ends, and then pulled into a high ponytail with a pearl-decorated tie. She dressed me in a black and white pinstriped corset with a front zipper and what could only be described as booty shorts. They were more like underwear, but the G-string she made me wear under told me they weren't. I had never worn a G-string before, and I was wearing a strapless bra. This was a whole new world for me, and I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed. Then she pulled out the shoes she wanted me to wear. They were some gladiator-type monstrosity. I had to have her help getting into them because you had to wrap the ribbons up and around your legs. The whole look was topped off with a pinstriped fedora and a matching short tie.
"So, I don't know if you thought about it, but you need a stage name. We don't use our real names here often. You can call me Alice when we're closed, but when the club opens, my name is Nightingale. Rose is Glitter," she explained.
"Um … I didn't prepare for this," I said, trying to think of something good. "How about Belladonna?"
She hummed. "I like it. It works for this whole dark vibe I gave you, and something tells me there is a bad girl hiding in there," she said, giving me a wink.
I laughed as I followed her out to find Rose, or rather Glitter.
"Rose, look what I got," Alice said, pulling me in front of her so Rose could see me.
"Damn, Bella, you look hot as hell," she said. "Edward just got here, and I have a feeling he's gonna want to meet you."
Alice was already out of the room, and I followed close to Rose. We made it to the hallway, and I was stunned for a minute by how utterly gorgeous the man was that she was talking to. He couldn't see me, but I could see him over Rose's shoulder. He was taller than Rose, and you could tell he had an awesome body under his fitted suit. He had the greenest eyes I had ever seen, and his lips looked like they would be soft and divine to kiss. To top it all off, he had just a little bit of scruff and a mess of bronze hair that looked like he had just been thoroughly fucked. This man was my boss, and I felt my thighs and stomach clench at the thought of this guy in bed. It was a really bad time for my blush to show itself, but I felt my face heating up.
I noticed Rose flip her hair over her shoulder, and she turned to me. "The boss wants to meet you … Probably would like a private show." She pushed me in front of her.
His cold voice reached me. "Meet me in my office. Let's see if you'll cut it." I met his hard stare. I hesitated a minute, and a growl left his lips. I wanted to tell him to chill, but somehow, I thought that wouldn't be smart. "Days wastin'. Be there in five, or don't you have the stomach for it?" he asked, the challenge clear in his voice.
Well, shit, I thought, his goading making the hairs rise on my arms.
I stepped from the black SUV, staring at the trailer in front of me. My guess was Jonathan McPhee was crapping his pants about now. A thrill shot through my normally chilled chest as I screwed the silencer on the Beretta M9. There was simply something about my effect on people that always inspired this … this excitement.
Shit, nothing better than making a person wet themselves just by merely stepping into a room. That was the effect I had on most people. Why? Because when I came calling, the conversation only went one way—my way. Once I was paid to do a job, there were no second chances, and Jonathan McPhee had used up all his chances.
The crunch of gravel captured my attention, and I looked over to see Emmett step from the passenger side. He was my right-hand man. Typically, I fucking trusted no one, but if I had to pick one person on this earth to put any type of faith at all in, it would be Emmett.
With a tilt of my head, I gestured for him to approach the tin can on wheels. The putrid smell emanating from the hovel already made me wish I'd brought something to cover my nose. Who the fuck knew what diseased mutation contaminated the air? The rancid scent of stale alcohol curdled my gut as I moved closer.
Every once in a while, I would glance down at the nine-hundred-dollar Guccis on my feet to make sure they weren't being scuffed by the gravel I was walking through. If one scratch marred the expensive leather loafers, the motherfucker would pay for it before I put the bullet in Jonny's fucking skull.
With purpose dictating my stride, I reached the grated stairs, Emmett's gaze darting to my hand as he waited for my signal. Flicking my fingers toward the door, his booted foot slammed into the metal, and the weak lock broke. As the door collided with the adjacent wall, the sound of scurrying feet reached my ears.
Emmett stepped through the entrance, and with a tip of his head, he indicated the living space was clear. "Come the fuck out, scumwad. You're only prolonging the inevitable … Jonnnny … Jonnnny … come out, come out wherever you are," Emmett singsonged.
The inside of the shack was immersed in complete darkness. The fucking rat was hiding in the worst possible hole. Where did Jonny really think he had to go? The place looked like it'd already been ransacked and only consisted of a living space, kitchen, one narrow ass hallway, and maybe two rooms, tops.
I felt the corner of my lips lift, slightly amused by Emmett's instigating. When a thump echoed from the narrow hallway, I turned in that direction without hesitation, and ever so slowly moved forward. "Is he trying to barricade himself in this hell hole?"
Emmett, always a step ahead of me, cleared the path of a knocked-over shelving unit. "Looks like it to me," Emmett confirmed, a wink of light shining from his ebony eyes. "Boss, just hang back a minute. Don't want ol' Jonny boy getting any bright ideas about trying to defend himself. Might have to cut out his tongue for the fucking fun of it."
My finger rested on the trigger, holding the gun to my side in a firm grip as I calmly followed Emmett. This place made my fucking skin crawl, and I had the distinct feeling I'd have to throw these brand-new shoes away. Fucking pissed me off; I just bought 'em yesterday, for fuck's sake. Playing with the gold cufflink in my sleeve, my brow lifted as Emmett came to the back of the trailer, and a squeak reached my ears.
"Sounded like a box spring, Em," I noted, lingering next to him as he instantly reached for the frame of the bed. "If he's under that bed, punch him in the fucking mouth for creating all this unnecessary work."
"Now you're speaking my language." A gloating grin passed over Em's face as he cast me a fleeting glance. "I might just take a jab at him for myself as well. 'Cause, you know, lifting this bed is a real damn inconvenience."
Effortlessly, Em flipped the bed to find Jonny scrunched up against the wall, his eyes closed tightly.
It ratcheted up my annoyance. He was being such a pussy. "Doesn't matter how tight you close your eyes, Jon, we're here, and after tonight … all of your misery will be over. So, we can do this one of two ways. You can pretend you're a man and come out of there. Or … or Em, here, can pull you the fuck out and beat your ass. What's it going to be, Jonny?"
Light from a streetlamp lit the room in a heavy gray hue. Even though thick shadows outlined the furniture, I could see the man shivering, and Jon's cheeks were damp, evidence of his tears. "You know what time it is, right, Jon?"
He gulped in a few swallows of air as sobs shook his form. "I h-had the money … that dirty fucking cop came by last night … took it all. S-said if I didn't give it to him, he'd shoot me himself … What the fuck was I supposed to do?"
Annoyed with his excuse, I flicked my fingers once again, and Emmett's fist knotted in his shirt. In one fluent movement, Emmett lifted Jon from his hole and stood him upright on wobbly legs. As soon as Jon was capable of standing on his own, Emmett planted a massive, balled fist into Jon's gut. "That's for making me walk through this pig sty. Why would you even do this to yourself? Could've just taken the bullet like a fucking man, but hell, no, had to go and waste my fucking time."
I held the gun up to Jonny's temple. The way he fidgeted didn't faze me one bit; it was actually kind of funny, if I thought about it too long. "You know you brought this consequence on yourself? Just could've resisted the urge to gamble … could have turned off the fucking TV and ignored the ponies, Jon. You borrowed an awful lot of money from the Celtics. They're so pissed they sent you a gift. I even put your name on it, Jon."
"Please, you aren't listening to me … it's that cop, fucking, Swatty—Shamen—no, no, Swan. His name was Swan. He rolled up here last night and took the Celtics' money," Jon pleaded as he looked up at me.
I wasn't the type of person to be dissuaded from my mission. When that briefcase hit my desk, all negotiations were over. "Jon, they didn't pay me to come talk to you. They paid me to, you know, plant one in your brain. Kind of like the second option better. You see, this way there is one less shitface in the world."
"I can help you get your money back. Just … just … I'm not sure where he is, but…but if you find him, then I can prove it to you."
Emmett yanked him by his collar, shaking him hard enough to make his head flop on his shoulders. "You hearin' this, boss? Wants us to do his work for him to get back the money he lost."
"I di—didn't lose it … that dirty ass cop took it, maaan." Jon's voice broke off as sobs racked his chest. "I—I swear …"
"Put him on his knees, Em."
The second Em pushed him toward the floor, Jon crumbled into a ball, his hands coming up to block his temples.
"As an honor to the old Irish, I will give you five seconds to make your peace with God. Start praying."
I assumed there were a few words spoken followed by several whimpers. "Goodnight, Jon, see you in hell."
That was the last thing Jon heard before I pulled the trigger. Without a backward glance, Em and I exited the trailer and climbed back into the SUV.
Less than twenty minutes later, I walked into my club, only to be stopped by a few of my dancers. I own DarkStrip—kind of a cover for my main occupation. Running hits paid pretty fucking well, especially when the Celtics were involved. For 500K, I'd pretty much off anyone of their choosing.
Why? Because I quit giving a shit about human life when I watched my mother and father be executed. Sometimes if I let myself think about it too long—which I didn't— I could feel the bits of my dad's bone and brain matter sliding down my cheek. Why had my family been executed? Because my dad had been a drunken no-good gambler. Even so, having your entire family assassinated right before your fucking eyes, had a way of killing the spirit in a person. Why was I left alive? See the Irish mafia had a thing about not killing children, so since I was all alone, I was brought into the fold.
"What's going on, Nightingale?" I asked the short woman in front of me.
She smiled sweetly up at me. "We hired a new dancer. Thought you might wanna check her out before we put her on the stage."
My gaze flickered behind Nightingale to find an empty hallway. I raised my brows with impatience. "And where would our new dancer be?"
"Glitter," Nightingale called to the tall blonde as she stepped from the dressing room. "Edward, I'd like you to meet Belladonna."
Glitter flipped her long hair over her shoulder as she turned her attention to the woman tucked close behind her. "The boss wants to meet you … Probably would like a private show."
"Meet me in my office. Let's see if you'll cut it." The new girl's emerald gaze flinched as she met my hard stare. When she looked like she might hesitate, a growl left my lips. "Days wastin'. Be there in five, or don't you have the stomach for it?"
A/N: So, what do y'all think. Leave a review and let us know. This story will probably update every week. Only this first chapter will be on our individual accounts. If you liked it find us at Cullen Gaff. Here is the playlist. Songs will be added as chapters are. Here's the link youtube playlist? list= PLtVMBWuFpiOrF3VJYAK0zDgQpIrQC- ip1. Love you guys!