Disclaimer: I don't own Heroes or any of its characters. Nor do I own Cory Lee's song "The Naughty Song".
"Blah... Blah... Blah..."—Talking
Summary: She was a shy, quiet student by day and an exotic dancer by night. He was a cold hearted highclass businessman. Their lives were complete opposites, but when their paths crossed, they would come to realize that they needed each other more than they could've ever imagined.
Chapter 1: Drawn
"Dear Lord, why am I doing this again?" She muttered to her image in the mirror as she began securing the red wig to her scalp.
Oh, that's right. I'm trying to change my image, so no one will recognize me. God, I hope none of my classmates come here. Or worse, recognize me. What would they say if they knew that the sweet girl in their class was really a–a stripper? Grimacing at her thoughts, Claire brushed them away as she fluffed out her red bangs and picked up a comb from the vanity mirror.
Brushing the wispy strands of fake hair away from her face, she placed the comb down and stood up to inspect herself in the full length mirror. Dark green eyes that were framed by thick, long lashes stared back at her and blush coated her cheeks, making them appear more rosier than they actually were. Her straight, fiery tresses caressed the top of her bosom and highlighted the tight red and black corset she wore.
Tilting her head to the side speculatively, Claire decided to adjust the black, satin shorts—
Shorts? Please, these shorts could be mistaken for lingerie, her conscience mocked; Claire immediately dismissed the notion, too tired to argue with herself.
—she wore, not quite liking the way they looked. Satisfied with the way the shorts looked, she ran her slender digits over the red and black garters wrapped around her thighs and decided that she was ready for the evening's show. Unable to stand looking at the girl in the mirror any longer, Claire turned away and looked at the other girls in the dressing room, rushing to get their appearances together.
"Claire, are you all right?" A soft voice asked.
The first thing she noticed was the concern lacing the person's words and turning to her left, Claire's eyes met the warm green eyes of her friend, Niki.
"I'm fine, Niki. But... what's the big deal? Why is everyone rushing to get ready for tonight's show?" Claire asked, cocking her head to the side curiously.
Niki's slender eyebrows rose in surprise and her eyes took on a distant glaze, "You don't know? Huh. That's strange. I thought everyone knew."
"Knew what?" Claire snapped irately.
Oh, no. Niki's rubbing off on me, she thought with a silent groan.
"Peter Petrelli, of Petrelli Designs, is coming here tonight. His assistant called earlier and informed the boss he expected one hell of a show," Niki muttered thoughtfully, tapping a painted fingernail against the side of her cheek.
"If you ask me, the guy sounds conceited as hell if he has to send his assitant to do his dirty work," Niki spat, her cherry coated lips twisting into a frown.
"Peter Petrelli of Pe–Petrelli Designs? Are you serious?" Claire groaned aloud, her eyes wide with worry.
"Yeah, why?" Niki asked, shooting Claire a concerned look.
"Petrelli Designs is the place where I want the position of an intern. Now, I'm never going to get it," Claire muttered, feeling distraught.
Niki laughed softly and Claire shot her a sour look, momentarily forgetting the butterflies fluttering in her stomach, "Claire, you really should relax. Have you looked in a mirror lately? I mean, you're wearing a wig, so you're not recognizable and your name is Kyra. Kyra and Claire sound nothing alike. How will they realize that you're, well, you?"
Realizing Niki had a point, Claire nodded her head, "Yeah, I guess you're right."
"Always am," Niki answered, grinning wickedly and the grin managed to lift Claire's spirits a bit.
"Which reminds me, why is your name Kyra? Doesn't Kyra mean ladylike?" Niki asked speculatively.
"No offense, Claire, but when you get on stage, you are anything but ladylike," Niki teased with a short laugh; Claire frowned.
"Which is why you're so popular with the men," Niki grinned. "I'll see you in a bit. That's my cue."
She stepped away from Claire when she heard Sylar introducing the first act.
"Go get 'em, Tiger," Claire cheered, grinning widely; she immediately hated the fakeness of the gesture.
"Always do," Niki called, disappearing behind a curtain.
Distantly, Claire was aware of people clapping and loud music beginning to play, but guilt slowly worked its way into her heart. She took a seat near the vanity mirror, feeling faint.
Why am I still here? Claire thought wearily. I mean, yeah, the money's good—actually, it's great, but I feel crummy for doing this sort of work. God, if my mother could see me now...
Slanting a look at herself in the mirror once more, she captured her bottom lip between her teeth, If my father ever found out what I was doing, he'd kill me. Or worse, disown me! But the money here is way better than the money I make at Doublemeat Palace and it helps pay for my tuition and the bills at home, but still...
With a sigh, Claire allowed her forehead to fall onto the vanity dresser with a solid thump.
This is going to be a long night, she inwardly stressed. I just know it.
A gentle hand curling around her shoulder pulled her away from her brooding thoughts and she lifted her head; she saw her boss' eyes staring back at her through the vanity mirror.
"Are you all right?" His tone was incredibly soft and sincere and Claire couldn't help shivering as goosebumps broke out onto her skin.
A smile touched her glossy lips as she gently teased, "Gabriel Sylar, is that concern I hear in your voice? I'm so touched."
She laughed when she saw a faint blush dusting his cheeks and stood up to face him, "I'm fine. Really. It's just, well, stress with school."
"Oh... Well, I'm here for you if you need me," Sylar managed to get out, flushing when Claire smiled at him warmly.
"I know. Is there anything else you want to say?" She inquired politely.
"Wha–I–Oh, yes. Since Petrelli's assitant called today and stated he expected a good show, I decided that you'll be entertaining him as soon as he gets here. After all, you are my best dancer," Sylar's eyes grew hungry as his eyes found their way to her apparel appreciatively.
Claire feigned a smile, but was inwardly stressing, Me? His best dancer? Is he crazy?! Now, I'll never get the position as an intern.
"I–uh–thanks, I guess," she mumbled, unsure of what to say.
Shifting awkwardly, she said, "Well, I'd better get ready. I'll be going on soon, won't I?"
"Oh–yes. Yes, you will. I'll come and get you personally."
With that, Sylar walked past her and Claire inwardly let out a sigh of relief, Thank God. He was making me feel uncomfortable.
Turning towards the mirror once again, she whispered, "No one will recognize me, will they? After all, I'm Kyra. I can be whoever I want to be. Even a–a tramp."
Swallowing bitterly, Claire decided to stop talking to herself and mentally began to prepare for her routine. After all, she had to impress Peter Petrelli... in—and out—of the club.
I was right, she mused wistfully. This is going to be a long night.
Peter Petrelli stared out of his office suite towards the setting sun. From his position on the twentieth floor, he could see the nine to fivers—who had called it a day—making their way home. He brought the mug—that was currently being held in his right hand—to his lips and took a long sip of the warm tea inside. No matter how many times he stood in front of the glossy window, he couldn't manage to shake the feeling of surrealness that surrounded him.
Nothing more than a common street thug, he'd managed to climb out of the pits of despair and take ahold of his dream. According to the rules that governed society, he had gone from a nobody to a somebody. But, nothing came without a price and he paid a hefty fee to transcend from a teenage kid—unsure of where his next meal would come from—to a millionaire with three homes, five cars and a bounty of women to meet his every wanton desire.
He could have—and often did have—whatever he wanted, with the exception of one thing. Peter walked over to his swivel chair and took a seat. He stared at the picture of the dark-haired beauty that sat on his desk and his heart constricted—as it always did—whenever he looked at her photo. After nearly five years, she still had an effect over him, but he wasn't surprised. Simone had been the love of his life—his angel of mercy. She'd seen beyond the raggedy, foul mouthed street brawler he'd been; she'd seen that he was just a hurt little boy, trying to desperately survive from day to day.
She took him in, taught him how to read and write, but most importantly, she'd taught him that there was life beyond his fists; it started with his brain and would end where ever he wanted it to. Before he'd realized it, a lump had formed in his throat; Peter rose to his feet and walked towards the window once more.
You're being foolish again, he silently scolded. The life you had with Simone is lost to you now. Nothing can change that fact. You need to move on.
A feeling of nostalgia swept over him, but his minute of reminiscing would have to wait as the telephone suddenly rang, pulling him out of his thoughts. Peter glanced at his watch—it read 5:15 p.m.—then made a move towards his desk; he had a pretty good idea who was on the other end.
"Peter Petrelli," he stated professionally.
"I was hoping I'd catch you, Peter," the familiar male voice said; it was followed by laughter.
"You're lucky you called when you did. I was just about to call it a night, Mohinder," Peter replied, sitting down. "Please tell me that this time around, you're not going to send me another group of rejects."
"They're not rejects, as you'd like to call them, Peter. Actually, I think they're a rather impressive group," Mohinder said defensively.
"Impressive group or not, I only agreed to take on one of your brats," Peter scoffed, feeling bored already.
"That's what the interview process is for. You choose who stays," Mohinder answered, as if he were explaining something to a child.
"That sounds simple enough. Any suggestions?" Peter asked curiously.
"Not in particular. Although, there is one outstanding student this year," Mohinder praised.
Peter smirked, This is interesting. Mohinder's actually praising someone other than himself. I guess miracles do happen.
"Oh, yeah? What's his name?" He inquired.
"Her name is Claire Bennet," Mohinder sounded annoyed; Peter laughed mockingly.
"Claire?" Peter snorted. "What's so interesting about a girl named Claire? Her name alone bores me to death."
Peter feigned a yawn.
"Her name may not be all that interesting, but she's... gifted and I'm quite certain you're going to be amazed when you see her work. She reminds me of you, you know. She's quite driven," Mohinder stated, sniffing in distaste when Peter yawned.
"That's what you said when you sent me that–that girl last year. I gave her my honest opinion of her work and she locked herself in my bathroom for four hours. Four hours, Mohinder! I don't want any sniveling babies! I need someone who understands we're here to work. I need someone who's ready and willing to do just that," Peter stressed, emphasizing his point.
"I recall that incident," Mohinder said with a short chuckle. "Her name was Jackie and she never recovered from your scathing review. She actually dropped out of the program a week after her internship with you ended."
"Her quitting wasn't my fault," Peter defended, immediately squashing the guilt seeping into his heart. "Criticism is a part of this business. If she couldn't cope with someone telling her–her faults, then she did the right thing by quitting."
"Someone's grouchy," Mohinder noted.
"I'm not grouchy. I'm just tired of kids who are afraid of work. You can't get anywhere by standing still," Peter sneered.
"You would know, wouldn't you, Peter?" Mohinder taunted cruelly; he was met with silence on the other end of the phone. "Just remember to take it easy on my kids, all right? And for heavens sake, try not to wound their precious egos too much."
"I'm not making any promises," Peter warned.
"Whatever you say, Peter. And since you're so grouchy, I have a gift for you. Call it an early birthday present," Mohinder started, choosing his words carefully; Peter could practically feel Mohinder's smirk without having to see it.
"No," Peter warned, knowing his friend was up to something.
"But, I haven't even said what it was," Mohinder whined childishly.
"Well, whatever it is, the answer is no. You always manage to get me into ridiculous situations," Peter said, clicking his tongue angrily; his cheeks were flushed.
"I treat you like royalty, Peter," Mohinder answered defensively.
"You're such a liar," Peter sneered.
"All right, all right, I may have left you in... uncomfortable situations before, but—" Mohinder started, but was immediately cut off.
"Uncomfortable situations?!" Peter echoed angrily. "It was more than uncomfortable, Mohinder, and you know it!"
"All right, all right. Point taken. But, I want to show you a good time tonight, Peter. If you don't have a good time, then I'll–I'll give you anything you want."
"Anything?" Peter asked, grinning wickedly.
Mohinder gulped, immediately regretting his choice of words, but decided to go through with them, "Yes, anything."
"Deal," Peter practically purred, his brown eyes gleaming. "Where do you want to meet?"
For a moment, Mohinder forgot his promise as he said, "That's my boy."
With a smirk, Mohinder thought, Hook, line and sinker. This will be a night neither of us will forget.
With a sigh full of resignation, Claire followed Sylar to her designated position behind the curtain. Her frame of mind shifted out of the brooding demeanor she wore all night, so that she could focus on the task at hand.
During the first couple of weeks of being employed as an exotic dancer, Claire had learned that the key to blocking out the lustful, hungry gazes of the audience—the hoots and hollers that made her feel self-conscious, the flood of humiliation that attacked her conscience and the uncomfortableness at dancing virtually naked in front of strangers—was to distance herself from it all.
She would immerse herself in the attitude and mindset of her character, Kyra; a young woman who practically oozed of the word sex. Taking a deep breath to calm her frazzled nerves, Claire ran her fingers down her apparel once more, smoothing out the wrinkles that weren't even there.
This is it. This is my time to shine, With a playful smile that dimpled her cheeks, Claire waited for Sylar to announce her name.
The moment he'd arrived at the place where Mohinder had wanted to show him a good time, Peter had hesitated. After all, what was so interesting about a club named Diamond Dolls? But, then he'd seen the smirk on Mohinder's face and the gleam in his dark eyes, daring him to turn around and go home and Peter—and his pride—had relented.
The instant he'd stepped inside of the club, he was immediately taken aback by the atmosphere and the enormity of the place. The entire nightclub was constructed in a fashion akin to an arena set in gladiator times and in the center of it all was the dance floor, which was encircled by three different levels of floors that all held candlelit tables and booths for those who weren't into the dance scene.
It was a perfect blend of both modern and ancient eras that only added to the dynamism of the nightclub. Exotic strobe lights bathed the interior in various hues of color that were constantly rotating along the floors, the ceiling and the walls, causing Peter's vision to become momentarily distorted; it took him more than a few seconds for his eyes to adjust.
The boisterous atmosphere blared with deafening music; the air was heavy and reeked of lust-ridden people on and off of the dance floor. Mohinder motioned for Peter to follow him since words were not necessary—or audible—with the ear splitting music pumping out of the amps that stood at either side of the stage. In the center of the stage, black curtains were drawn, so that it was impossible to tell what was going on behind them.
Peter trailed after Mohinder and past a sizable bar that was big enough to house every liquor known to man. A scantily clad bartender was pouring men drinks, while they openly observed her half-covered breasts without shame. They weaved in and out of people until they came to a rather large table that had an excellent view of the club. No sooner did they sit down did the black curtains open to reveal a young man with a microphone in hand.
"Good evening ladies and gentlemen," he started.
Peter bristled with shock and cursed himself for being so stupid.
He turned towards Mohinder, his dark eyes accusing, "You brought me to a strip club?!"
Mohinder shushed him, his eyes bright with barely concealed excitement as the young man continued, "Without further ado, here's the one and only Kyra!"
Hoots of appreciation flooded the club and anger welled within Peter. He opened his mouth to speak, but all words suddenly left him as the thick, black curtains opened to reveal a young woman stretching on the floor of the stage. Soft fluorescent light focused on her as she languidly rose from her position on the floor to the tempo of the music.
I know that you're down by the way you're watching me,
You take my words away and I can hardly speak,
There's just room for two in my fantasy,
So, baby, lose your crew and come away with me
Peter breathed in sharply as Kyra's face came into his view. His eyes widened slightly and his blood ignited into flames of desire as Kyra arched upward to the rhythm of the music and came to her feet gracefully.
He tried to stare at something else other than her attractive facial features and the fullness of her breasts, but his eyes refused to budge and remained glued to the dancer named Kyra, who'd somehow entranced him with her beauty and graceful movements.
Turn down the lights and light up the party,
I got the ride and you got the naughty,
Leave your boys with my girls tonight,
Come home with me
Every thought he had disappeared, leaving his jaw lax and his mind empty. Skin that looked as if it had been coated in honey, piercing green eyes and fiery colored hair all came together to create one glorious orgasm.
Then, her eyes met his heated ones and the intensity and animalistic hunger stirred something within Claire. Her knees suddenly became weak as she realized who she was staring at—she'd seen his face in the tabloids and on television enough to know exactly who he was; Peter Petrelli.