+ Guilty Pleasures +

-.-.-


In contrast to the clear and cool night air outside, upon entering the club all of Alfred's senses were stimulated. It was hard to see at first through the thick waves of machine generated smoke drifting in the room, colored by the lights spinning about on the dance floor and the stages. The dense crowd of people swarming together and swaying to the heavy metal beat of the D.J made it hard even to hear yourself think. The smell that attacked him the moment he stepped into the building was that of sweat, perfume, a sickeningly sweet aroma and something slightly... sinister. Dirty.

Blinking in surprise, Alfred turned to the trio he had accompanied from work to the club. "Francis... are you sure this is the right place? I mean, when you said you guys were going to 'eat out', I thought you meant a diner or something...?"

The Frenchman chuckled in response, exchanging a knowing look with the Albino beside them. "Don't worry Alfred- there will be plenty of eating tonight." Gilbert sniggered, leaning forward and brushing his lips against the American's ear, "just don't forget to swallow."

Rightly confused, Alfred simply nodded, laughing along nervously to whatever joke Gilbert seemed to have told. But truly- why were they in a dance club? The only food they'd be able to get would be some beer or cocktail, and Alfred wasn't particularly thirsty. Besides, those were drinks, so they couldn't be food. Then again, soup was also a liquid, but you 'eat' soup-

Alfred's train of thought was cut off when his hand was grabbed by his Spanish co-worker, smiling at him and pulling him forward, into the crowds. They pushed through the swarm of bodies, colliding with others and stepping on a lot of toes. But Antonio didn't seem worried or the least sorry about it, and when Alfred would cast small smiles of apology at whoever he had bumped into, the only response he would get would be a lewd smile and a wink. Bewildered, Alfred kept on following the other, pausing for a moment to look around him. But before he could make a proper statement, his hand was yanked forward and he was forced to continue after Antonio.

"Hey, why are everyone here guys?" he yelled loudly over the music, earning him a few curious glances and snickers from the people he passed. Antonio either didn't hear him or simply chose not to answer- he never did get a proper reply.

Suddenly, Antonio changed their direction drastically and hurried forward, pulling Alfred through a thicker crowd, literally pushing people aside to make way to wherever he was aiming for. This time, Alfred's apologetic smiled didn't have the same effect- the victims of the other's rudeness either glared at him and yelled a stream of curses after them, or just ignored the duo.

After the last man was shoved aside, Alfred's hand was let go. They seemed to have stopped in front of a big wooden stage, the American observed, elevated a bit higher than his head so that he had to look up to see whatever was happening on top of it. Three long metallic poles were installed at different points on the stage, and big crowds gathered on the closest spot near the poles, apparently waiting for something. The pole Antonio had dragged him to was on the farthest to the left, and it seemed as if there were more people waiting at that spot than at others.

"What are we waiting for?" Alfred turned to the Frenchman who had magically appeared at his side, appearing unscathed by the crowds. Francis simply smiled at him, winking secretively. "All in good time, mon ami. We promised you an exciting experience, oui? Rest assured, this will be... a night to remember."

Francis's words were soon drowned out by the sound of applause and whistling when the dancing music suddenly changed into a steadier beat, with instruments other than the usual beat-box pack. A faint female voice began to sing out bits of sentences, cut off by the music every other word. It seemed that whoever had mixed the music did a good job at it, since the crowd obviously loved it.

But a quick glance onstage soon told the truth of the catcalls and grins on the men's faces. At every other beat of the song, with what Alfred could have sworn was 'romance', a man stepped onto the wooden stage, smirking and winking at particulars in the audience while assuming their positions at the poles.

What stunned Alfred the most and for once left him speechless were the outfits the performers sported. He quietly watched with a deep flush heavily made up young men with lean bodies shake their hips in tight leather shorts, corsets around their torso and balancing heeled boots. The only thought that passed his mind was the question of where the hell his co-workers had brought him to.

Suddenly the men nearest to him yelled out loudly, excitement written all across their faces as the last 'romance' of the stanza was heard and a young man appeared behind the curtains and headed their way, his lips sporting a lewd and haughty smirk.

Alfred's flush only deepened with every step the man took towards them. So this is why Antonio wanted to stand in the front row, he finally realized with a start. His chest practically pressed against the wood of the stage from the other men pushing against him, Alfred had an excellent view of what, or rather who, was on the stage.

And look he did. Alfred had never seen a man who looked so feminine, yet lacked all the innocence of a girl his age. The man's choppy blond hair was tucked under a felt police hat, which was tilted just so on the side of his head with his hand holding onto the hood. Bejeweled green eyes shone in the dim light, black eyeliner which was applied with a skilled hand and thick mascara accenting them in an attractive and dark manner, granting them a sexy allure. A diamond stud flashed in acceptance of the club's spotlights whenever they fell on it.

A white dress-shirt with the collar ripped tightly clung to the performer's chest, revealing his wiry shape to the public. On top of it hung a firmly-tied black tie, much unlike the shirt in its order and propriety. Whoever had tied it certainly knew how to tie business ties, much like the one Alfred himself was wearing at that moment. He hadn't had a chance to go home and change his clothes, and hence he painfully stood out in the crowd of scantly dressed teens and young men.

What made the American's eyes widen and his heart quicken was the raven- black leather corset tightly fastened in a crisscross design behind his back on top of the dress-shirt. It took Alfred's breath away to see the other man's waist emphasized so. Slim, curvy and just begging to be grasped, the shirt tucked into tight fitting shorts and a garter belt hanging by the performer's hips just bellow... he couldn't help but swallow thickly and lean in slightly closer.

Garter strings snaked down the man's thighs and connected the black see-through nylon stalkings to the belt. And to complete the look, what other than long slim and high heeled riding boots would suffice? Perhaps the black leather gloves that covered him up to his forearms.

The blood rushed violently through Alfred's veins to his cheeks, and for some reason his body heat spiked to unbearable in a matter of a few seconds. He pulled uncomfortably at his own tie for some relief from the warmth, not noticing the knowing looks passed between his friends over his shoulders. "Enjoying the show?" Francis whispered in his ear, practically making the American jump. His concentration had been focused on the performer, and he would have much rather leave it that way. But he managed to smile guiltily at the other, feeling as if he had just been caught in a forbidden act.

The song had finally began, the female voice loud and clear, not challenged by the music any longer. As the first words were sung, the performers latched themselves to the pole they were nearest to and began to dance.

...I want your ugly, I want your disease...

Alfred's mouth dried as he watched with rapt attention and slight wonder at the blond moving, not too far away for him not to see the muscles moving and the faint flush from the physical effort rise in the dancer's cheeks.

At first, he turned his back to the metal pole, grabbing it over his head and taking a step towards it, back gracefully arched. The leg went forward, resuming its original place and immediately went back again, barely touching the wooden surface before flinging it up into the air in front of him, his whole body flying upwards from the force of the kick. With quick agility, he wrapped his thigh around the pole above his head, his other leg flexed in the air while his skinny arms managed to hold his weight.

After a few moments, he swiftly wrapped the second leg to the pole and raised his torso, slipping halfway down the pole with his body now upright. His hands clutched the metal once more, and he began swirling around slowly, straightening his left thigh and raising it to his forehead, granting a generous view to the eager onlookers. His hands kept going up and down the pole, pumping it with his lips opened ajar, revealing pearly white teeth.

...I want your everything as long as it's free...

Finally he fell to the floor, reaching the wooden platform with his legs spread, performing a perfect split with his body turned to the audience. Smiling in self satisfaction at his stunt, green eyes ran over the heads in the crowd until they met a pair of blue, unlike the other irises with the uncertainty and shyness in them. A new customer, it seemed. He kept the man's gaze as he stood up, smiling down seductively. New blood was always refreshing.

Alfred's cheeks flared as his eyes made contact with the dancer's, yet too entranced to tear them away. He continued to watch the other intently as the blond broke the contact with a sly wink and straightened up, turning sideways to face the pole. His arms gripped the metal in front of him as he walked towards it, pressing his body against the pole so that his almost bare thighs wrapped themselves around it.

The beat changed into something quicker, louder, and the dancer's moves became harsher and more forceful. He arched against the pole, bucking his hips forward in a fluid motion. Repeatedly, he moved his pelvis in languid thrusts into the small space between him and the pole, his body moving like a wave and clenching his fists around it whenever his crotch brushed against the cold metal.

Once, he pressed against it too hard. His head snapped back with a silent moan and his eyes searched for blue once more. When he found them, he smirked dirtily at him and licked his lips, loving the way his moves had such an apparent affect on the customer.

...I want your love...

Alfred took a step back from the edge of the stage, almost not believing that he was in such a situation. Not believing that a man was making him so uncomfortable. Not understanding how he seemed to be the only one who wanted to head for the bathroom.

But the mass of the bodies didn't let him move. And, looking back up at the dancer, his will to leave seemed to have vanished just as fast as the smile slipped on and off the other's lips.

He saw Gilbert glance sideways at him and grin, sharing with him a knowing look. But the American wasn't sure what it was he was supposed to know. Whatever it was, it prompted Gilbert to stuff his hand into his pocket and take out a bundle of dollars that seemed pre- prepared just for this, and waved it over his head for the dancer to notice.

And notice he did. With a lazy look, the performer looked the Albino up and down as far as he could from his height and raised an uninterested brow, reading the numbers on the bills. When Gilbert scowled up at him and dug his hand once more, taking out some more dollars, the dancer pried himself off of the pole and reluctantly walked towards his waiting customer.

He studied the bills and nodded in consent, dropping to his stomach and leaning over the stage, propping his head on his arms with a playful expression. "And what would you like, love?" he purred sultry in a heavy British accent, tilting his head.

Gilbert smirked in response, leaning forward and, to his American companion's shock, pressed his lips against the Brit's. And to Alfred's surprise, the man didn't pull away. While they were kissing, the Albino's hand with the cash took hold of the performer's corset and tucked the bills beneath it, leaving the green dollars to show a bit over the rim of the black material.

For some reason, the sight made Alfred's chest tighten and his brows furrow in a frown. He didn't like the thought of the performer kissing Gilbert. Or anyone else, for that matter.

The dancer seemed to have deemed the time slot the Albino had received over and pulled away, licking his lips and winking at Alfred. Said man simply stared back- how did he know he was watching?

"Would you like to buy me a drink, boy? I'm quite thirsty..."

Alfred started, looking around for the man the Brit had addressed. But when no one moved, and the other's gaze was fixed intently on his face, he realized that perhaps he was the one being talked to. "Me?" he asked softly, wondering why his voice cracked.

The performer seemed to anticipate his answer and grabbed his new costumer's tie, undoing it with a smirk. "Yes, you. You'll be a love and buy me a drink, won't you?" Quite taken with the intimacy and the jealous looks, Alfred simply nodded mutely and took a few steps back to allow the other to jump off the stage.

And so the man did. From his stomach, he straightened up and slung his feet over the edge of the stage, landing nimbly on his feet with a smile. That was the fun with newbies- they'd buy you drinks without you having to do much for them. The regulars already knew how to barter and get exactly what they were paying for. He took the customer's hand and blatantly ignored the crowd around him as he pulled him towards the bar.

Alfred found himself pulled for the second time that night, smiling apologetically at the men he had to push through. But this time, the looks he got were varied- some smiled knowingly at him while other shot him jealous glares. There was no pleasing everyone, was there?

After a short while, the blond stopped and let go of his hand, leaving him in favor of a plush bar stool and a conversation with the bartender. He rightly ignored Alfred who was left standing next to him, slightly embarrassed.

"So I see you found one early," the bartender addressed the dancer in a heavy German accent, nodding his head at Alfred while preparing the other's drink. The performer simply smiled back and accepted his drink, gulping it down while leaning his chest against the bar. "I suppose," he drawled in a bored tone, glancing at his benefactor. "Won't you like something to drink, love? The night doesn't start until you've got some in your system."

Alfred's cheeks reddened at finally being addressed directly, shaking his head. "N-no, I don't think so. I'm driving, and..."

The dancer seemed to have lost all interest at that, cutting into his excuse. "I see. Well, if you ever want anything, just call for me." He delved his hand into his back-pocket (that Alfred didn't even notice before) and pulled out a gleaming business card. With a seductive smile, he leaned forward and stuck it inside Alfred's breast pocket, patting it through the material once it was securely placed. "See you around, cougar."

And with a wink, he jumped off his seat and headed back towards the stage.

Left gaping, Alfred looked after the man, watching how his hips were gripped by another as soon as he had left him. It seemed like the dancer really was in high demand. He took out the card carefully and glanced down , raising a brow at the garish design. "Peridot- let me entertain you...?" he read out, blinking at the neat penmanship.

Shrugging, he tucked the card into his pocket and turned around, deciding that he had had enough for the night. But the gruff German voice behind him stopped him on his tracks. "Twenty dollars for the Cherry Hooker, please."

Alfred turned around, surprised. "Twenty dollars for what?"

The bartender, seemingly used to the surprise, simply repeated his demand. "Twenty dollars for the drink you bought Peridot."

The American stared for a moment, not sure how to respond. Who charged twenty dollars for a mere drink? But the barman looked like he knew what he was talking about, and the bulging muscles under his shirt were showing all too clearly. Not that Alfred couldn't take him on- he was just tired from a day of work and slightly confused by his surroundings. So with a reluctant sigh, he dug his hand into his pocket and fished out a twenty dollar bill, handing it over to the man with a scowl.

Fuming, he turned around once more and headed out towards the exit, not bothering to try to find his co-workers, who seemed to have vanished. They would have to find a different way back home, he thought sourly as he passed by the guard and walked up to his car, unlocking it and stepping inside onto the driver's seat.

Guilty Pleasures was an experience he'd rather forget.

But when he reached his home and prepared himself for bed, he felt an extra weight in his breast pocket. Sitting on his bed, he pulled the card out and peered at it, wondering what it was about that blond called Peridot that enticed him so.

Perhaps he could afford another trip.


Hanna Chan's Blah-Blah Corner;

Ahaha. Yes. I know. I haven't posted something in ages. But now that I'm on vacation, you should be expecting more from me ;D In any case, the story...

If you haven't guessed, Peridot is our beloved Arthur. Thank you DestinyShiva for coming up with the befiting name *hearts* And that aside, I'd like to ask a question. This was intended as a oneshot, but if there are enough people that request more, then I have a perfect plot full of all the right things- sex, danger, love, guns and whatnot? I mean, this is a stripper club XD Poor Alfred doesn't know what he got himself...

This is the first time I've written something like this, so please forgive me if I make any mistakes or someone doesn't sound in character ^^; I'm doing my best.

So please don't forget to review? :D

-Hanna