Chapter 1

Edward POV

Ugh. Emmett just had to drag us here for Jasper's bachelor party. Typical meathead behavior.

I stepped past the bouncer and into the Jack's Gentlemen's Club and I must say, it appeared to be a fine establishment. The stage was toward the back, lined by glowing lights and with a metal pole that extended from ceiling to floor. At the moment, a rather attractive blonde was gyrating to the familiar Timbaland track pounding from the speakers, wearing black fishnet thigh-highs, a lime green thong, clear platform heels, and not much else. Men sitting in low chairs lined the perimeter of the stage, most of them gazing up at the girl on stage, with one dollar bills nestled between their index and middle fingers. Waitresses carrying trays milled about through the tables, serving the drunks who came in on a nightly basis to get their fill of alcohol and female nudity.

"Emmett, what are we doing here?" I grumbled.

"Will you stop being such a sour puss? Tonight is going to be epic."

Epic. Everything was epic to my brother, Emmett. He had the mentality of a three year-old and I swore every day that my parents should have taken him to get diagnosed with ADD.

"Can we at least find seats?" Jasper asked.

"Of course!"

Emmett clapped his hand on the back of Jasper's neck, and led the way to the stage. Of course Emmett would choose ringside seats. The blonde was busy circling the pole in the middle of the stage and winked at Emmett as he sat down. He raised his eyebrows suggestively back at her. I rolled my eyes, and pinched the bridge of my nose in frustration.

I'd only been with two women since high school, and the most recent one, Lauren, took off with my best friend, Mike. I'd begged Emmett to let me skip Jasper's party, but he would have none of it.

I suddenly noticed that the music had changed, and the blonde was gone. The beginning notes of what I recognized as Depeche Mode's "Policy of Truth," a personal favorite of mine, began to play over the sound system. I looked up at the stage and OH MY GOD. A brunette beauty in a pinstripe vest, pinstripe pants, platform heels and a pinstripe fedora strutted out onto the stage. I dropped my jaw, awestruck at this girl's beauty.

"Ladies and gentlemen," began the house announcer. "Please welcome the mafia mistress herself, Miss Bella Donna."

I felt a calloused hand under my chin and turned my head to see Emmett trying to close my mouth. He gave me a knowing look. I returned my vision to the goddess on stage. She placed her back against the pole and slid down, spreading her legs and holding onto the pole with one hand above her head. She swayed her hips to the beat of the music and traced the brim of her hat with her fingers before pulling it off and flinging toward the curtain at the back of the stage.

The brunette goddess latched onto the pole and swung around twice before yanking her pants off and throwing them at the men sitting to her right, revealing a tiny g-string that left very little to the imagination. Bella dropped to all fours and began crawling toward me, her beautiful brown eyes locked on mine. I could not avert my gaze, which immediately traveled to the V of her vest, revealing her creamy white cleavage. I returned my sight to fix on her eyes, and they called out to me. I saw the deepest sadness in them, and it left me salivating to know more.

I decided I couldn't watch any more of this. I felt sick that I was here, treating that beautiful woman as a sex object. I rose from my seat and walked to the bar, taking a seat next to a burly older man who reeked of marijuana. I ordered a Crown Royal on the rocks and toyed with the ice in my glass before taking a sip.

"You okay, man?" I heard the concern in Jasper's voice. I nodded, but said nothing. He took the bar seat on the other side of me and patted my shoulder. "To be honest with you, man, this was all Emmett's idea."

The music changed and I assumed this Bella had finished her dance. "It's not a huge deal, Jas. I just don't think I'm used to all this because I was with Lauren for so long."

"Eddie, my dear brother, I want you," Emmett began, roughly clapping a hand on my shoulder. "To have a private lap dance."

"Emmett, I don't—" He cut me off.

"I insist. I'll even pay for it."

"I told you, I'm not—"

"Excuse me," a soft, angelic voice began. "Would you like a lap dance?"

I turned on my bar stool in the direction of that voice. I found Bella standing before me, clad in a short red dress that dipped into a low V in the front and back, once again, leaving little to my overactive imagination, and silver stiletto heels on her feet. Emmett's booming laugh sounded in my ear at that minute, and I cursed the high heavens that I had such an idiot for a brother.

"Ya know, sweetie, it's funny you should ask, because I was just trying to find the perfect girl for my bro, Eddie, here." He looked Bella up and down like a piece of meat. "I think you're it."

"I'm flattered, really," she replied. "But I won't do it unless your brother consents." She locked her chocolate brown eyes onto mine. "What do you say, Eddie?"

I became dumbfounded the moment my name came off her tongue, even if I did abhor the nickname with every fiber of my body. I could not form words. I just nodded. Jasper and Emmett laughed and practically pushed me off the barstool as Bella took my hand and led me to a closed door with a pink sign on it that read "Champagne Room."

"Are you okay with this?" I asked, seemingly concerned for her.

"This is my job, honey," she said as we walked in. She closed the door behind me. "Make yourself comfortable."

I plopped into a black micro-fiber suede couch, which meshed with the gray walls. Across the room was a mirror, a small stage and yet another pole. Above my head, I noticed a disco ball began to turn. Classy.

"Can I get you a drink? Champagne perhaps?"

Cute. Play on the name of the room. "I'd love some water." She bent over in front of the small refrigerator in the corner of the dimly lit room, but I could see everything. Her skirt hiked up and showed off her perfectly sculpted thighs, calves and round bottom. She was wearing a red thong that left little to be desired. She stood and turned, and I turned red as she noticed I was staring.

"You don't have to get the lap dance if you don't want to," she said as she handed the bottle of water to me.

"No," I began, and took a sip of water. "I want to."

"I do want to ask you one thing." She sat down beside me on the couch. "Why did you run off like that during my performance?"

"To be honest, I've never liked coming to these places. My buddies dragged me here for a bachelor party." My eyes followed her as she got up, and soft music began to play. I recognized the song immediately. She grabbed the pole and lazily began to turn circles around it. "I felt I was contributing to your objectification by watching you."

"What if I want you to watch me?" The sex oozing from her voice almost made me cum in my pants. She placed her back against the pole and slid down, spreading her legs wide, and seductively sliding one hand down her milky white thigh. I gulped. I'd never seen anything so sexy yet so beautiful before in my life. "Edward, is it?" I nodded. "This is my job, Edward." She continued to slowly, seductively sway around the pole. "I love being a fantasy." I gulped hard.

She moved excruciatingly slow, like she was walking through water. Her body swayed languidly. My breathing became shallow. I was in utter shock. No woman had ever made me feel this way before in my entire life. She sauntered toward me as the Garbage song ended, and another slow, gyrating beat began to play. She straddled my legs and caressed my cheeks with her hands.

An electric current raced through my body when our skin touched. Bella gasped and locked eyes with me, ceasing her movements altogether. My breath caught in my throat.

"You feel that?" she said with shaky breath. All I could manage was a nod.

She quickly turned in my lap, pressing her back up against my chest and grinding her perfect ass into my groin. I kept my hands at my sides, but my fingers itched to touch her. I tilted my head back and closed my eyes, just basking in the feeling of her body against mine. I breathed in the smell of her hair, which was sweet like freesia, despite being inside a smoky strip club all night. She ground her ass into me, buried her hands in my hair, and arched against me. She stood up then, and turned to face me, a smile on her face. She must have been admiring her handiwork, because I was sporting a major erection in my khakis. All I could do was stare at her, and drink in her beauty.

Bella came toward me again, and sat on my lap, her knees on either side of me. She looked into my eyes, and cupped my face, then traced my lips with her thumb.

"Your hour is up," she said softly, but she did not move.

"Could I—" I stammered, "—take you on a date?"

She smiled. "I don't date customers."

"I'd like to see you again."

"Then come back." She rose to her feet and turned the lights in the room on. She paused at the door and turned back to me. "I had fun, Edward."

She was gone.