Ugh, the hardest part of this story was finding the right title! Anyway, I decided to choose this story to write after much thoughts on it. And I really mean much thoughts while I was watching over thirteen hours of 'True Blood' marathon over the weekend!
First set, Lady GaGa's Judas. Second set, H.I.M.'s Wing of a Butterfly. You can listen to these while reading if you want.
Red Light Escape by Boogermeister
Chapter 1- Sweet Berry
She let out a deep huff of breath and frowned behind the thick satin-like curtains as she waited for her turn to get on stage. She shifted in discomfort though she should have been used to it after several months. Fiddling at her costume, consisted of a cross between a goth and a virginal schoolgirl, her chocolate eyes blinked up at soft purple lights seeping from the main stage.
She closed them, gun-metal eyeshadows coated her eyelids, as she bit her pink-glossed lips. As she opened them, the music from the main stage was finally over with cheers and whoops from the 'perverted bastards' as she called them. ". . . . All right, gentlemen, let's hear it from one of our pretty girls, Princess Angel!" announced the DJ, along with more cheering, as 'Princess Angel' hastily jogged to the backstage. Her tired grey eyes met the other, anyone might have assumed that they were sisters with their long orange hair but they were different as the former was more voluptuous.
"You did good, Orihime . . . .?" the other girl smiled lightly at the half-naked dancer, who shrugged with her costume in her arms to cover her large bust.
"I hope so, I saw some old guy throwing more singles than the others," sighed Orihime. "Good luck, hope you get enough for next week's rent."
"Thanks . . . ." she nodded as she stepped forward from the curtain. She really needed the money, at least for the next few nights, as she took a deep breath.
"Calm down, boys . . . . there's another sexy girl who wants your attentions as well as your hard-earned cash!" called out the DJ just as the dark beats of techno music was starting. "If you're good, then she'll give you what you want . . . .! All right, here comes . . . . Sweet Berry!" The girl frowned lightly but didn't miss a beat as she strolled in tune with the music as she went to the stage. The men surrounding the stage cheered and clapped as she reached for the pole and immediately wrapped her fishnet stocking-clad leg on it. Within seconds, crumpled balls of dollar bills bounced onto the stage.
Tch, so much disgusting perverts, she thought as she wrapped her other leg to hang upside down, the black-plaid micro skirt flipped down to reveal her silk thong. She wanted to tune out the raunchy cat-calls or rather kick them down but swallowed her pride and did a frontover, her finger slipped underneath the knot of her black blouse that was purposely too tight and loosened it to reveal the silver gothic cross over her B-cupped cleavage.
She didn't take off her clothing yet, but she could see that more dollar bills were flying. "Hey, got a hundred right here, Sweet Berry!" leered a pot-bellied patron, waving a crisp note between his fingers. The girl nearly scowled, she could smell the cigarette and the whiskey on him but didn't lose her stature as she crawled towards him. The man purposely held the money back for a moment until she was gripping onto the edge, she glared at him with a soft growl before he decided to slip it under the strap of her bra. "Think about who gave you that big tip, cutie . . . ." he smirked with yellowed teeth.
She scoffed but kneeled back to shrug off her blouse and tossed it somewhere. She then stood up to grasp at the pole and hooked her leg around it once again to spin a little. Her part was nearly over, and she knew that she would get more money if she bares more. Sliding down to one knee, She reached behind her back to swiftly unhook her top, and soon the whistling resonated as well as more crumpled bills. Glaring away from their hungry stares, she climbed back onto the pole to finish the last of her routine.
She hated this. She didn't wish to do this even though it was easy to get money.
If she didn't have to deal with her dramas involving the father of her 20-month-old son, then she wouldn't have chosen stripping as a last resort for income.
Paying entrance fee was pennies to Grimmjow Jaegerjaques when he went to his old friend's establishment. It had been some years since they last saw each other, when the businessman was busy managing a division of his budding magazine publishing company called Grind, and had heard stories of his friend's business across the country. His friend, Starrk, owned a popular bar/strip club named Lilynette's, after his first dog who died after living a good 15 years. An odd way of naming a club, but that's his friend when it came to loving dogs.
Still, he frowned a little when he had to pay the entrance fee after moving back to the city and meeting his lazy-ass friend. As soon as he stepped in, the throbbing dark beats of techno music assaulted his ears as he glared around through the cigarette smokes and lights filtered by pink and purple colors. He could see that the patrons here were in casual clothing compared to his dark grey suits, though he grimaced when he tried to avoid their drunken staggering as he walked through the crowd. Good thing most of them were too drunk to notice his sky-blue hair ruffled to his desire to mess with him, he had enough of that during childhood until high school.
His cyan eyes scanned the area for any sign of his friend when he caught sight of a topless stripper hanging onto the pole with just one leg. He smirked and pushed through the distracted men to get a better look. Under the white and lavender lights, he saw that the stripper had long tangerine hair swaying in her swing before falling onto her knees one last time. "Aw shit, I missed it . . . ." he smirked to himself when he realized that the song was done. The men cheered as she glanced up, and Grimmjow saw the defiance in her chocolate eyes caked with eyeshadows before she made a grab for her blouse before standing up.
"Ooh, what feistiness . . . .! Let's hear it for Sweet Berry, everyone!" the DJ proclaimed over the cheering. Grimmjow smirked in interest, as the stripper named 'Sweet Berry' stalked to the backstage while someone, probably working as a security, collected the tips into a small box and followed after her. Grimmjow clicked his tongue, he had never seen a girl looking so pissed while dancing for men. Then again, dancing for men to get money was degrading enough.
"Ah, you're finally here, Grimmjow . . . .?" The blunet blinked at the lazy tone behind him, now that the music quieted down, and glanced over his shoulder.
"You lazy fucker," he sneered playfully as he turned around to pat at the other man on the shoulder. "About three, four years, and you got that same goatee, Starrk?"
"I know but it beats the hassle of shaving . . . ." smiled the man with brown hair wavy at the shoulder, he was an inch taller than Grimmjow but lacked the abilities to act like a social person. As of how or even why he opened up a place like a strip club was a bit complex, other than the fact that he wanted to make 'easy money' so he can sleep off during the day. "Anyway, saw what you like here . . . .? I renovated much of it two years back show I can get more workers . . . ."
"Just like Sweet Berry I just saw a minute ago?" he asked as they moved for the bar. Starrk merely shrugged, they sat on the stalls as the owner waved off the bartender.
"Ah, she's still new," he sighed. "Got her last Summer . . . . as usual, she was one of those young girls who came here as a last resort. But she's good and very versatile . . . . if she doesn't kick a customer in the face for touching her."
"Ouch," he chuckled.
"It's their fault, they always ignore the 'no touching' rule," he sighed. "Of course, I don't have the heart for letting her go."
"Meaning that you're too damn lazy to fire her," smirked Grimmjow.
"Well, it's a bit complicated . . . ." sighed Starrk as his slate eyes glanced away.
"One of those 'daddy issues' kind of girls, right?"
"Nope . . . ."
"Hey, is there any chance that she'll get on stage again tonight, Starrk?" he asked with a small smirk.
"Nah, her shift's already done . . . . but she will be back tomorrow night, though," Starrk muttered but smiled lightly. "Just don't try anything funny, last time her stiletto nearly stabbed a guy when he grabbed at her ankle."
"Ah, that's what I like . . . ." he smirked, looking behind his shoulder at the empty stage. "A girl that can kick ass, that's my type."
Plopping onto the chair in the dressing room, the stripper named Sweet Berry huffed deeply before closing her eyes. Mentally, she counted down from ten slowly down to one before opening her eyes. That helped her calm down every night after her shift, it helped her from feeling disgusted from being leered at by those men like she was a piece of meat. Breathing deeply, she glanced up to see the door opened slightly for a darkly tanned hand to stick out with a box full of tips. "Ichigo . . . . here's your pay for the night," muttered the man behind the door.
Ichigo smiled lightly as she stood up to take the box. "Thanks, Chad," she sighed, she knew that her friend was such a gentleman. Despite working as a security guard, he always glanced away at the sight of nude women especially her. Meaning that he was one of the few men at work, aside from her lazy boss, that she could trust.
"I'll escort you out of the club if you want to," he suggested.
"I don't mind, give me five minutes," she said. The door closed and Ichigo moved to her area, her everyday clothing were packed in a worn out backpack as she fluidly counted her pay on the small table. "Shit . . . . shit . . . ." she frowned a little before tucking it away into her purse. "Barely 250 bucks tonight . . . . Bunch of fucking cheapskates, that's what they are." Quickly, she wiped the make-ups off her face with baby wipes before reaching inside her bag to take out her clothes.
Putting on her jeans and T-shirts, Ichigo's mind wandered back as of why she was doing this, as it always occured almost every time. Then the answer came around as soon as she questioned herself. Her only baby, since nobody else wished to support the both of them. She couldn't blame them, as she made the bad decisions all by herself. Pregnant at 18, baby at 19, stripper at 20. Just one bad choice after another. She switched her heels for the more comfortable canvas sneakers before stuffing her costume into her bag before grabbing for her jacket for the cool late Winter night.
"Chad . . . .?" she called out when she opened the dressing room door to glance out. She saw the giant half-Mexican waiting dutifully for her, his shaggy brown air covered his eyes though he glanced to see her. "I'm ready to go now." He simply nodded as she opened the door fully.
"Bye, Ichigo! See you tomorrow!" Orihime chirped up, as other strippers bid farewell more or less.
"Later, guys . . . ." smiled Ichigo before she walked for the secret exit in the back, with her friend in tow. It was unseasonally warm but it was still chilly as she zipped up her thick jacket. Chad led her to the front of the establishment, the intricate scrawl of the sign Lilynette's glowed above them in an eerie blue. She felt like shuddering when few of them men wandering around took a glance at her, fearing that she would be noticed outside of work.
"How's your son doing . . . .?" muttered Chad, as they walked down the street.
"Oh . . . . he's talking more and more by the day," Ichigo smiled a little. "He figured out how to use the TV to see his shows, too. That kid's getting too smart."
"Hmm . . . ." her friend nodded. "You know, you could accept Starrk's offer to give you some days off-"
"I can't and you know that, Chad," she sighed with a sad smile. "I owed the landlord next week's rent plus parts of the last month's rent. I just need a bit more then I can rest, you know?"
"All right, just looking out for a friend," he sighed as he patted at her shoulder. ". . . . This should be far enough," he noted, seeing that they were at the end of the block. "I'll see you tomorrow . . . ."
"Thanks, Chad," smiled Ichigo before going the rest of the way. She knew that the bus would be slow based on the time but as soon as she reach the bus stop the empty contraption slowed to a stop for her. She frowned at the emptiness after paying her fare and sitting on a seat closest to the driver but was too tired to think much about it. The downside of being a stripper and getting easy money was that it wasn't enough to get an apartment in a better neighborhood. Instead, she was only able to get a somewhat decent one in the 'Hanging Dog' district, though it was just as dangerous at night as it is in the day.
After several minutes, the bus stopped and she got off. The moment she stepped out into the littered streets, she jogged down the block to her apartment building, red bricks cracked around the front door as she unlocked it and went inside. Dull lighting hung over her head as she trailed upstairs to the third floor and towards the door at the end of the hallway peeling with old paint. She sighed, internally cursing herself for trying to come home as early as she could, as she unlocked the door and stepped in.
". . . . Rukia," she called out quietly into her dark living room. "Rukia, I came back." She reached for the light switch on the wall and flicked it on; her living room was awfully small, only big enough for a love sofa and a TV with a small circular coffee table in the center. And on the sofa was her small friend, her black hair frayed a little in her awkward position since she was sleeping. "Rukia . . . ." she sighed as she stepped forward and shook her lightly.
"Hhmm . . . ." Rukia sighed in her sleep before slowly blinking her blue-violet eyes open. "Oh . . . . Ichigo, what took you so long?" she yawned softly.
"I'm so sorry, I tried to leave as early as I can-" Ichigo frowned sadly.
"Don't worry," she tiredly shook her head. "It would just give me an excuse to my brother that I'm staying over, again."
"I'm sorry . . . ."
"It's all right . . . . your baby went to bed a couple of hours ago if you wanna know," Rukia smiled as she closed her eyes.
"All right, thank you so much," she smiled sadly before moving to her bedroom. It was even smaller than the living room, but she could see her child in the crib next to her twin-sized bed, cramped side by side since she couldn't afford a new bed for her son. Dropping her backpack onto her bed, Ichigo stepped up to the crib and glanced down at the sleeping toddler. His wavy chestnut hair stuck to his chubby cheeks due to drool, as he wiggled a little in his slumber.
Ichigo smiled a little at the sight, but then frowned sadly as she glanced away. "Shit . . . . Tensa looks just like you . . . ." she frowned as she took off her shoes before crawling onto her bed. She grabbed at the only pillow and curled around it, trying not to let the emotions bubbling out of her throat. "I fucking hate you . . . . for leaving me like this . . . ."
It was a bit unusual to come back to Lilynette's at five-thirty in the evening, but Grimmjow entered the place to notice the patrons were collecting around the main stage. He strolled up and sat down front and center; from what Starrk had told him, 'Sweet Berry' preferred to work in two early shifts, working between stripping and serving drinks. Often, she would work the former first. He mentally smirked and crossed his arms, it was the second night since he moved back to Seireitei after so long.
Living in the center of the city in a high-rise penthouse was fun but a bit empty since he was the only one there. Having his cousin Nel around doesn't help, since she was too annoying and clingy. But Nel was the only family around for him since his parents died separately, his mother when he was a kid and father when he was still in high school, and her parents were living on the other side of the country. He glanced down at his watch and frowned, the first show was supposed to start at six and it was five minutes left.
"You're acting like an impatient child, Grimmjow," sighed Starrk, as he came up to him and sat down. "I saw her a moment ago and she just came . . . . she's not going anywhere, you know."
"I know but she seems more interesting than the other girls," shrugged Grimmjow, he saw the rest of the show and was a bit tuned out by the strippers with hypnotized eyes. Not the one named 'Sweet Berry', who appeared to wanting to punch out anyone who would try to touch her. Actually, he didn't waste his money on them until he saw her again.
"Well, she'll come on soon, and don't piss her off," he muttered. "Just toss the money and that's it. Got it, Grimmjow?"
"Duh," Grimmjow scoffed with a smirk. "Now go away, don't you got boss stuff to do?" Starrk simply shrugged and walked away, it was unusual that his friend was interested in one specific stripper but he didn't think much of it as he decided to hide out in his office for a short nap.
Meanwhile, Ichigo hoisted up a see-through dark purple petticoat that barely passed her behind while Orihime fixed the black and purple butterfly wings on her back. She was late to come here, when she thought that Tensa was catching a cold as he had been lately due to the drafty condition of her home. Every time, she had told Rukia to wrap him in blankets when putting him to sleep but it still wasn't enough. "Tch, if only that retard had fixed the heater then I wouldn't be worrying," she frowned, drabbing on the same eyeshadow from light night before. "I should've asked if she can take Tensa for the night so he can get better."
"No worries, I heard that boys should be more immuned to sickness than girls," Orihime smiled in reassurance. "Although . . . . I've never gotten sick before myself."
"Well that's you, Orihime," she sighed deeply just before the dressing room door knocked.
"Ichigo, you're needed now . . . ." muttered a disgruntled voice.
"Just give me a sec, Renji," she scoffed as the other girl quickly braided down her long hair.
"Come on, Shuu's already announcing your name-"
"I said a fucking second, goddamn it!" she practically yelled, though the other co-workers were already used to her outburts. It would happen once or twice a week, they would be surprised if she didn't yell or fight at all. "All right, I'm ready," she scowled as she opened the door and rushed out. "You're happy now?"
"Uh, a little," the red-headed security guard frowned a little before she moved past him for the backstage. Renji sighed as he shook his head,his spikey ponytail sway a little, as he watched her stepping out into the main stage the moment a guitar riff started her number. Ever since Ichigo had started working her, he tried to act nice to her only to get heated comments from her, knowing that she didn't wish to get into a relationship. They would only be friends and nothing else.
". . . . Hello gentlemen, are you ready for the first performance?" smiled the DJ. Grimmjow nearly grimaced at the guttural sounds of the men's cheering by his ears, it was always the same type of customers. Outshapen, ugly, fugly, fat, smelly, drunk, any of those words plus more. He seemed like the only 'normal' one out of the crowd. "Get ready for our saucy vixen with the smoldering glare! The one and only, Sweet Berry . . . .!" The men whooped as soon as the guitar riff of an alternative metal song started, though Grimmjow put on a wide grin, as soon as the stripper came into view.
'Sweet Berry' were decked out in only in her bra accompanied with a black leather corset and a dark purple petticoat. On her back were butterfly wings that sparkled and glimmered under the lights, and her long legs were covered with knee-high stocking striped with black and violet. The DJ was right, her eyes were smoldering as she glared at the men before stalking up to the pole to grab on. Grimmjow smirked, pulling out several tens and twenties from underneath his suit jacket, and caught eyes with her.
The stripper frowned lightly though she effortlessly hooked her leg around the pole to spin, she had never seen that man before. Sure, she often ignored the faceless hound dogs but he was easy to pick out due to his business suit, the wild blue hair, and those predatory cyan eyes. She noticed the crumpled balls of the usual singles but knew that they would toss out more as she reached behind to unhook the corset. Seeing her flat and flawless stomach caused the patrons cheered and tossed in more crumpled money.
She caught the man's eyes once again as she slid down to her knees before seeing that he was holding bills other than singles. Dozens of tens and twenties clamped in his hand. Grimmjow noticed her gaze on his money and his grin widened, he waved the money to beckon her. "Perfect . . . ." he smirked when she scowled a little but made a sultry crawl towards him. "Hey, I'm new here," he muttered huskily. "Care to show me around after you're done here . . . .?"
His only answer was a heated glare from her before she glanced away to kneel back. Grimmjow shrugged and flicked the twenties first onto the stage, they both knew that his eyes were roaming down to her cleavage then to her stomach. "I wonder . . . ." he muttered to himself, folding a ten horizontally before attempting to tuck in into the waistband of her skirt. He barely had a chance to react when a stiletto-clad foot wooshed for his face, missing him by a millimeter, before the stripper crawled back to the pole.
He had to laugh, so what Starrk said was true about this feisty girl, who glared back at him before climbing onto the pole to hang upside down. Still holding onto the ten, Grimmjow simply tossed it onto the stage and watched as 'Sweet Berry' came back up to unhook her bra. The second she bared her chest, rain of singles fell onto the stage. She glanced at the new man, whose grin was still plastered on his face as he tossed the last of the bigger bills, and frowned before finishing her routine.
Whoever he was, it seemed that she would get more than enough to pay for the rent because of him.
Okay, before you say anything . . . . it's that interesting, huh? What a shocker there when I used my OC Tensa and not the other Tensa! Guess that means you know who's the daddy is . . . .!
Read and review.
I'll update ASAP!