Clare Edwards isn't daddy's little girl anymore. As a stripper at Toronto's hottest strip club, Exit 69, everyman her name, except the one man she has been hiding from for the past four years. When Elijah Goldsworthy walks into the club one cool March night it takes everything Clare has not to run the moment she sees him, instead she gets up on that stage and bares all to the man that left her behind.

A/N: I am hoping for an adorable image for this story, preferably of Eli, Clare and Cole, so the next contest has officially begun and involves photoshoping together an image for this story; use your imagination and have fun.

previously seen:

$20,000 for Cole. $20,000.

I couldn't do it, couldn't go through with it. It was time to make better decisions and ask someone who had real money.

Fiona Coyne.

Clare's Point of View

It was late when I came home. Later than I expected. I had money in my pocket ana check in my wallet and for the first time since Cole had been diagnosed I was at ease. Or at least as at ease as any mother could be in this situation.

Fiona and Adam had been very accommodating, inviting me in for a late night drink and listening to all of my thoughts before making any rash decisions.

They of course immediately said yes to any help I asked for, monetarily or emotionally, though I think they realize that Eli fills that vast emotional void that used to be called my heart. Adam had offered their babysitting services, hinting at possible future dates with Eli and making me blush profusely.

I hadn't been inside the door to my apartment for more than a moment before noticing that Eli wasn't on the couch.

I could hear snores coming from Cole's bedroom and knew where my two boy's were.

I slipped into my nightgown and crept slowly into the room and watched my shaddow dance accross their faces, my son was curled against Eli's side, his face pressed against his chest.

Eli's Point of View

I fell asleep as soon as Cole stopped wailing beside me, and dreamt of Clare. Sexy Clare, cute Clare, beautiful Clare, sleepy Clare...flashes of every moment I had ever spent with her filled my my mind. I woke to a slight breeze, a curvacious shaddow and the soft hum of Clare's siging voice.

She was dressed in a dark green silky nightdress that fell to mid-thigh and was watching me with sparkling blue eyes.

"Hey," She whispered, smiling softly, her hair curling delicately around her face. "You wanna talk?"

"Yeah," I nodded, my voice thick with sleep.

I removed Cole from my chest as gently as possible, placing his little arms around Raffe's long neck. I followed Clare down the hall into her bedroom.

"Sound doesn't carry into his room from here." I nodded my head, she sat down on her bed. Looked up at me with her large eyes and said something that nearly killed me.

"I almost had sex for money tonight."

My mouth fell open immediately, I was in shock, my beautiful Clare was prostituting herself.

Clare's Point of View

He sat down beside me on the bed and took my hands in his.

"Clare, you know I have some money, I care so much about you and Cole, please let me help."

I smiled softly.

"There's nothing to worry about. I decided against it. I went to Adam and Fiona instead, and they are helping me out."

He pulled me into a tight hug and laughed against my neck. I could feel my hair move with each breath he took. I turned in his arms, causing him to lean away and look down at me.

"Eli," my eyes moved across his face from his eyes to his lips, flickering back and forth between the two."I'm so-"

His lips pressed against mine urgently, and I knew I was falling for Eli, head-over-heels, butterflies-in-my-stomach, heart-on-my-sleeve, all over again.

A/N: Short but necessary.

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