The excessively small black print on the book she strained to read mixed with the fumes which rose from her lit cigarette made Holly's eyes water. She quickly wiped the tears away with her palm. Settling down and tossing the book away, she then let her right hand drift down to adjust the holdups which clung to her thighs. The contact of cold hand upon flesh made the short blonde hairs rise all over her legs. She blinked hard, openly fluttering heavily made-up eyelids and slowly caressing her bright white front teeth with her tongue.

She was ready.

She stood up, dragging herself off the small black stool while her eyes were still admiring her reflection in the full length mirror. She slipped one hand down to tighten the lacing on her black corset to better display her perfectly tiny figure. Once she felt she was totally ready in the usual tight black attire with matching black garters and knee-high stiletto boots, Holly took one last gulp of wine and puff of cigarette before discarding both and strutting out towards the stage.

Of course, on the stage she wasn't 'Holly'. Jazz girls like her needed no names. They were mysterious, enticing, exotic creatures and though many said they were easily read and could be bought with the simplest liquor and cigars, it just wasn't true. Holly was a wild cat with a short blonde bob. And no wild cat could be won over so easily. She was a creature of fantasy and a goddess of most men's desires. Not some cheap brothel chick. She was the boss, men bowed down to her and she was the very symbol of modern female power. Or so she thought anyway. And who was going to stop her thinking these thoughts?

Out on the stage, she danced like a real doll. Eyes fluttering and bright red lips pouting, she strutted before the mostly male audience with a hip wiggle and a shoulder shimmy that could bring you to your knees. The audience watched with widened eyes as she fell into the splits, following this move swiftly by throwing herself into several acrobatic back flips, then she crawled across the top of a piano and lay like a leopard across the it with a mischievous grin on her face. She bombed the audience and played with an attractive long haired Spanish man, whom she chose randomly from the audience, by allowing herself to dance around him sexily and dust his cheeks with her thin cold fingers.

By the time that night was over, not a single man or woman left the tightly packed hall without beads of sweat dripping off the nose and forehead or without hoarse voices from the hollering and shouting. The bar had sold out and the patrons had got their money's worth. Not a single member of the audience could argue with that.

Except perhaps Mathew Klein, Holly's manager. For all through the admittedly amazing jazz show, he had been lying backstage, his matted black hair clinging to his pale grey face... and in a small pool of his own blood. When his wife Shandra came to find him later, she knew instantly who had committed such a crime. And she knew why. She had removed the knife from her husband's throat and trotted out to the dressing room to call the police and put a stop to this all before more people got hurt.

All the while, one name rang through her brain like the clear chiming of a bell and every time she thought about that woman, it made her blood curdle. Holly Jay. The jazz dancer and singer that Mathew had described as his 'little phoenix'. With her short blonde hair and her seductive smile which she had flattered her husband with so many times. And she had never complained when she walked in on the two of them having a 'quiet word'.

Now though, she halfway to kicked herself. She should have done something sooner. Well, she consoled herself, she would never have to see Holly's smug face or her husband's blushing 'I'm sorry' smile again. Not when she would be serving such a long time in the County jail. And he would be serving even longer in hell.

Right, R&R for me yeah? THANKS!
xxx