Its undermining, embarrassing, scary…terrifying actually but it's really only about the money, it's the easiest way I can get it and I need it. I want to be successful and I want to make something of myself and it takes an education to get somewhere, but I guess it makes a better story if there is a struggle along the way right?
"AND NOW WELCOME TO THE STAGE CHERRY VELVET!" the booming overhead voice called me onto the stage, the fear burnt deep in my chest and the shakes set in, I took a tight grasp onto the black curtain as if it were a safety blanket and strode onto the stage as sexy as I could manage, which as a single 19 year old college student is not very.
Wolf whistles and howls of approval were thrown my way, I'm not sure if it should be taken as a compliment or as just plain disgusting because that is usually my take on things. Now let the money making begin.
I always hate walking home at the dead of night, especially with this much money in my pocket, but I don't really think I know many people that do especially not when it's raining. Just a few simple rules to follow and I'll make it home nice and safe. 1. Head down, hood up. 2. Both hands holding the strap of your bag onto your shoulder. 3. Comfortable running shoes. It may not be fool proof but it makes me feel more invisible on the lowly streets of Ohio. Before I could make it home i walked right into something and fell to my ass with a healthy thud.
"Oh my God are you ok?" the someone said and extended his hand to help me up.
"Lords name in vain" a boy with glasses mumbled looking around. I stood up and dusted myself off. I guess the whole hood thing isn't exactly that practical.
"I'm so sorry and yes I'm absolutely fine" I apologised. "So um…I'm gonna go now" i waved slightly and made my way between them.
"Hey! Wait up," the curly haired one yelled running after me, he grabbed my arm and said. "My name Rusty and this is Dale, what your name?"
"Oh hi Rusty, Dale I'm Layla" I said nodding in their direction.
"Well hello there Layla, have you heard the good word?" the Dale asked me. I looked at him confused, is this a surfin' bird joke?
"Umm…I don't know, is it bird?" I asked genuine confusion written all over my face. Rusty laughed but Dale shook his head and began to talk to me about God, of all people. "I'm not a believer; sorry but there is too much going on in the world to believe in that kind of stuff." I interrupted him.
"Give it up Dale, I don't think you can convert this one" Rusty said smiling and looking slightly apologetic at me. "So Layla, you're a student here?"
"Yeah, do you?" I asked.
"Yeah, I don't think I've seen you around, Dale and I are both science majors, what are you majoring in?"
"I am majoring in English, but I'm also studying renaissance art, what science do you specialise?" I asked him.
"Polymer science, trust me it's a lot more interesting than it sounds" he told me smiling. He seems so nice. "Hey, you wanna get outta the rain and go to a party? There is a party at my Fraternity, and you should come." He told me. A party sounds fun, although I am not dressed for a party, which is what I told him. "It's not really a dress up party I'm in Kappa Tau Gamma" well then jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt it is, classy.
"Well, okay that sounds awesome, will my bag be safe?" I asked.
"Perfectly fine, you can throw it in my big brothers room" I guess that settles it.
"And that is my cue to go, but you go and sin yourselves into hell" and then Dale left with a simple wave.
We made our way to the Kappa Tau house. I could hear the music from a few blocks away. I could feel the stress literally melting away as we walked up the steps.
The door opened and a multitude of yells came at us like "SPITTER!" and "RUSTY!" I pretty much jumped out of my skin. We walked into the party and it was unbelievable, there was a live band, plenty of beer and dancing bodies. It was super packed.
"I have to go and do some pledge stuff but I'll be back ok" Rusty told me and then ran off to go do stuff. I let pout a sigh and moved further into the party, still holding onto my bag. I leant against a wall to wait for Rusty.
"So, your Rusty's friend right?" a tall guy with blonde hair asked. He had his hand by my head and was hovering over me, it was kind of intimidating.
"Umm…yeah that's me, I'm Layla what's your name?" I asked, he didn't seem too bad.
"I'm Beaver, so how do you know Rusty?" he asked.
"I don't really I literally bumped into him on my way home from work and he invited me over." I told him.
"Seriously?" he asked. I nodded. "Way to go Spitter two girls in two days" I frowned and asked him to explain. "Just yesterday he told me he had a girlfriend. And now he's inviting random girls of the streets."
"Okay two things Beaver 1. I'm not just some random chick off the street like I said my name is Layla and 2. It's not like that between me and Rusty strictly platonic especially since he has a girlfriend." I told him laughing slightly near the end.
"Platonic?" he asked me with a blank expression on his face.
"It means like no romantic feelings and stuff" I explained.
"Oh right" he had this goofy smile on his face he was super adorable. "So, you're single?" I nodded. "Well then I'm Beaver" he smirked at me and wiggled his eyebrows.
"Yeah I know Beaver, so what's it like living here? I hear you guys throw the best parties, and now I see that's true" he smiled and nodded.
"It awesome living here, and we definitely throw the best parties. KAPPA TAU RULES!" he yelled throwing his hands in the air and everyone yelled back in appreciation. I giggled…yes giggled. He looked down at me and offered to get me a drink and I graciously accepted.
"Pledge Drink!" he ordered. I looked at him confused, until Rusty came over with a tray of red cups. Beaver took two cups from the tray and handed me one. "Thank you Spitter" he said to Rusty.
"Spitter?" I asked.
"Yeah it's his nickname, huh Spitter?"
"Yeah, I spit tequila all over a girl because it was my first time." He said looking kind of embarrassed.
"You'd never had tequila?" I asked shocked, I was practically birthed on that stuff. "What did you do in high school?"
"I studied, how do you think I got into polymer science?" he said laughing. "I'm gonna go see what's up with Cappie, I'll see you later" he walked over to some guy who didn't look to be in the party mood. Although girls were still throwing themselves at him.
"Who's Cappie?" I asked looking over at Rusty and I'm assuming Cappie talking on the stairs.
"Cappie is Kappa Tau president and Rusty's big brother" Beaver told me. Big brother? Rusty said I could put my bag in his room, is it rude to just ask?
"Would you mind if I spoke to him for a second?" I asked Beaver checking to make sure I wasn't being impolite.
"No that's fine" he said kind of sad. I felt bad.
"I'll be back though" I said hopefully making him feel better and it seemed to work.
"Cool" he smiled a big goofy grin. So sweet. I made my way over to Rusty.
"Hey Rusty, I don't mean to interrupt but you said I could put my bag somewhere, is that still ok?" I asked feeling slightly awkward in front of the stranger.
"Oh right yeah, Cappie is it ok if Layla puts her stuff in your room?" Cappie looked up at me and smiled.
"Of course any friend of Rusty's is a friend of mine, and what a mighty fine friend she is too." He stood up and out stretched his hands. "I'm Cappie, and you are beautiful." He said smugly, I blushed slightly then looked down at myself; this guy must be extremely desperate. I have straight boring brown hair tied into a pony, I'm thin in an I can't afford food kind of way and my clothes aren't exactly high end fashion.
"Umm…you too" I looked down feeling seriously stupid. "Where's your room?" i asked trying to change the subject. He looked at me confused and then laughed.
"I'll take you, c'mon." he offered his hand again and I took it, he lead me down a hallway towards his room. "So, Layla how did you meet Spitter?" he asked on the way.
"Oh, I met him on his way here, I crashed into him on my way home from work and he invited me over" I told him while looking around. "I'm not just some random street walker or something though" I babbled. He cut me off with a laugh.
"I didn't say you were, the more the merrier here at KT and we can't say no to a pretty lady." Compliments…not my thing. "So you said you were coming from work, where do you work?" my head shot up, I stared at him wide eyed. I can't tell him I'm stripper, he would probably rip his hand from mine and tell everybody and I like his hand it's all nice and warm.
"Oh just some boring place off campus. What about you do you have a job?" I asked, hopefully diverting the conversation.
"Job? No, free man that's me." He said smiling; it was a really pretty smile.
"That sounds nice. Your house is really nice by the way." I complimented. It was huge.
"Well thank you" we came to a stop in front of a door. "So this is my room" he said opening the door and leading me in. "you can put your stuff in my closet that way it's safe in case someone pukes in here." I laughed and went to move away but I was still holding his hand. "Oh sorry, here is your hand back" he said laughing, he let go of my hand and the warmth promptly left. I went over to the closet and threw my bags inside.
"Thanks for this." I looked up at him.
"You wanna go back to the party?" he asked. I nodded my head and he walked me down the stairs. "So, do you wanna hang…" he was cut off by the sound of the doorbell. "Hold that thought." He told me and went to the door. A figure wearing all leather and a helmet hiding their face was standing in the doorway; she took her helmet off and shook out her waves.
"My Harley popped a flat down the road…can I come in?" she looked Cappie up and down appreciatively.
"Dear God yes!" was Cappie's reply. For some reason I felt a little jealous, but that's stupid because I've only just met the guy. He led her into the living room and was followed by Beaver and Rusty. I took the hint and went to get another drink.
"Can I have a beer?" I asked a guy with a tray of drinks. He looked up and offered me the tray. I took a cup and looked around for a seat.
"Hey, Layla!" I turned to see Beaver.
"Oh hey Beave, what's up?" he looked down at me and smiled.
"Nothing, just saying hi." He is like a giant teddy bear. "You wanna go somewhere a little quieter?" I know what that means, that's code for lets go get dirty or something along those lines, but like I said he is adorable. I nodded my head; he grabbed my hand and pulled me towards a corner in the room. He lightly pushed me further into it. He wrapped his arms around my waist and bobbed his head. Before our lips could meet the room was plunged into darkness and the music stopped.
"I think the storm knocked the power out." Some guy near us said.
"I'll be back in a second" Beaver walked away and disappeared. I squinted my eyes closed and looked around the lights from outside made it so we could see a little inside. A few minutes later Beaver and a few other guys came in with a bunch of candles and spread them around the room lighting them up, the room was lit up by candle light it looked really cosy. I grabbed one and went in search of Rusty. I found him standing by Cappie and the leather girl.
"Hey Rusty" I walked over to him and he looked freaked out.
"Cap can I borrow a candle I'm on the look for some flashlights" he asked Cappie. He was staring deeply into the girls eyes and she was looking right back. Without looking away he handed Rusty his candle and touched the girl's hand. I looked over at Rusty and he jerked his head for me to follow him.
"What's up Rusty?" I asked, he still looked kinda freaked out.
"There's something fishy going on with Destiny." He said looking for a flashlight.
"What's weird about Destiny?" I asked confusedly, is there something wrong in his life or something?
"I don't know but I'm going figure it out." He looked down at her stuff and picked up a piece of paper from her coat.
"Rusty maybe you shouldn't look at her stuff." I suggested.
"Wait, this is our address, she came here on purpose. She said she had a flat tire." I furrowed my eyebrows again in confusion.
"Okay, well that is a little weird. Is that the leather girl's name? Destiny?" what a cliché stranger name, there's a Destiny where I work, it's a stripper name who names there kid Destiny?
I looked over to Rusty but he had already gone. I picked up another candle and went looking for him but ran into Cappie instead.
"Oh hey Cappie" he looked over at me and smiled.
"Hey Layla, sorry about before. How are you enjoying the power out?" he asked, he looks nice in candle light.
"Oh you know drunken frat guys and horny couples, what more could a girl wish for?" I said sarcastically and shrugged playfully. He gave a breathy laugh and walked closer to me. "So you and Destiny look chummy" I said as nonchalantly as I could. He looked down at me and smirked.
"Is that jealousy that I detect?" my eyes snapped open wide and I laughed it off.
"No, she just seems a little weird." He looked at me sceptically.
"Well here is my little weirdo now" he said playfully. "Talk later right?" I nodded and moved away. Destiny walked past me and glared. It was super creepy. The lead singer from the band was playing acoustically and singing so I decided to sit on the floor and listen. It was really nice. Until Rusty came over and asked me if I'd seen Cappie. I pointed over to where I last saw him and Destiny but they weren't there. I stretched my hand towards Rusty and he pulled me up.
"What's going on Rusty? You look frantic." He shook his head and mentioned something about Destiny being crazy and ran towards the stairs.
"Hey Layla have you seen Rusty or Destiny?" I looked up to see Cappie.
"Yeah he went upstairs looking for you and he looked really worried." Before I could ask what was going on Cappie had already ran off. I sighed in defeat and found a space on the couch. Finally the lights came back on and the band went back over to their set to begin playing again and the party slowly started up again.
Rusty came over and began pacing behind the couch with the radio flashlight pressed to his ear listening intently; I decided to leave him to it. He sat on the back of the couch and Cappie came over and sat on the other end of the couch.
"Could I be a bad kisser? I mean it's like having a dangling booger someone would tell me right?" I looked at him really confused, what had been going on upstairs.
"Cap you can't listen to what she said she was crazy after all" Rusty attempted to reassure Cappie with a smile on his face.
"She wasn't crazy she was in love it's a fine line between the two." He retorted.
"She drove up here from West Virginia to find you." I guess she was crazier than I thought.
"She went after what she wants, you have to admire that." Cappie defending her was probably a little crazier, but I guess I could see that side of the story.
"But what did it get her." Rusty asked.
"Closure, now she can move on." That makes sense.
"That's really sweet Cappie." I told him, it was nice that he saw her side. He smiled at me cocked his head to the side in a really cocky manner, which made me giggle.
"GUYS! Look who I found outside" Beaver came in with a giant snake wrapped around his neck.
A chorus of "TIMMY" broke out from the crowd. And Beaver spoke to Timmy like a baby and then kissed him.
"Rusty I think I'm gonna head home, I have and paper to write." I got moved my feet off of the couch and stood up. "But thanks for inviting me, it's been…eventful." I let out a breathy laugh. Cappie jumped up and offered to help me get my stuff from his room.
"So you had a good time?" he asked me one the way to his room. We passed multiple couples on the stairs and in the hallway.
"Yeah, it was my first real college party and it was good. I'm glad I met you and Rusty and the Beaver too." I told him, I really like it here.
"I enjoyed meeting you too, you should come to the next party, and I assure you it will be much better than this one."
"I'm taking that as an invitation" I told him. He opened his door a let me in.
"I hope you do" he smiled. I went over to his closet to grab my bags when an unholy stench attacked my nose.
"Oh crap! I think somebody relieved themselves in your closet…and all over my bag and coat." I moved away from the closet and Cappie went over to check it out.
"Beaver! It wasn't like this when I check earlier." He told me. "You can borrow a Jacket." He walked over to his bed and grabbed me a big thick hoodie. "Here."
"You don't have to do that"
"I insist." He opened up the jacket and held it for me to put on. I slipped my arms through; it smelt musky and like aftershave and it was really comfortable. I thanked him. "I could walk you home, do you live far?" he asked, how chivalrous.
"It's okay I don't live far I can make it." I looked over at my bag and realised that my 'work' clothes are in there, along with my make-up bag and all my other work necessities. Cappie looked over to my bag.
"I have a bag you could borrow to put your stuff in." he had already moved over to my bag. Before I could stop him he had unzipped the bag and saw the lingerie and my costume. My cheeks burned scarlet "Well, well, well what do we have here?" he looked at my with a happy smile only a boy that had just seen naughty underwear could have.
"It's my…laundry, I was gonna do it on my way home from work." He rushed the words out before he could make assumptions.
"If you ever need help doing your laundry I would be happy to help." He is really cocky, but in a good way. "Oh and I'm not letting you walk to your dorm in the dead of night when it pouring outside." He handed me some rubber gloves from his desk. "I'll get you a bag you can unload your stuff into that and we'll get going." I guess he had pretty much made up his mind as he went to the side of his bed to find a bag. I put the gloves on and waited for the bag so he would see what was in mine. "Here you go." He handed me a black back pack.
"Thanks this is really sweet of you." I told him. I quickly stuffed the contents of my gym bag into the backpack and stood up. "Okay let's go."
When we got to the bottom of the stairs I found Rusty and hugged him goodbye. He was shocked for a second by relaxed into it and hugged me back.
"I'll see you later Rus." I released him and made my way to the door.
"Later Layla." He waved and then looked to Cappie. "Hey Cap where are you going?" he asked looking confused.
"Oh I'm gonna walk Layla home considering it's the middle of the night and all. Monsters, ghosts, things that go bump and all that. I'll see you later ok." He waved too Rusty and rest his hand on my back walking me out the door. The rain was coming down hard. We pulled our hoods up and walked out into the rain.