When was the first time I knew?
Three months back. She made eye contact and smiled, sliding up to my table in six-inch stiletto heels. Then, in that sweet tea accent of hers, she drawled, “How’re ya tonight, baby?”
Trying to be casual was the worst. The rush of blood to my cock tightened my jeans as I looked her over.
She embodied that poppy country song. How did it go? Something about backroads and going slow as quickly as possible. Dumbass song, but—damn—it could have been written about her.
Thirty-four, twenty-four, thirty-four or so; petite—maybe breaking five-foot-four, maybe; athletic and lean; hair the color of dark brown sugar in two thick braids. Wondered how sweet she tasted at that moment. Maybe that song had a good point. I wanted to close my eyes and drive my tongue all along her curves, being the asshole driving fifteen miles an hour in a thirty zone.
The new girl wasn’t an anomaly at Kali’s Cabaret by any means. Unlike some clubs, the dancers all looked like they walked off a photoshoot someplace. That dancer who owned the place—Morgan Starr—was picky as hell (and probably a bitch to work for. What kind of woman owns a strip club, anyway?). The ugly, fat, and drug-addicted knew not to even bother stopping by for jobs.
Not that I was one of those weird regulars who hung out there—or any other club—every weekend all weekend and thought spending enough money on a stripper would guarantee her leaving with me. No, those fuckers are just sad. The dancers at Kali’s knew my name, stopped by for a quick “How you doing?”, then moved on to hustle unsuspecting idiots. Everyone knew I liked the place for the drinks. It’s hard to find decent drink prices in Vegas.
Everyone knew that… except for this new girl.
“I’m Shelby. Mind if I join ya?”
As nonchalantly as I could, I waved to the empty chair, and she slid in. “Jared,” I told her, extending my hand. “You a student at UNLV?”
“Nah. I was going to Alabama, but not anymore. Just… didn’t work out. I came here for a fresh start.” Shelby shrugged, her mouth pouting slightly.
I didn’t push—it wasn’t the time—but waved to the waitress and ordered us both drinks.
In the hour we talked, I learned she was from Georgia, she’d been the head cheerleader in high school, and her parents had died “in an accident”—the reason for her fresh start.
“It just seemed right, ya know? Leaving it all behind. College wasn’t going to work out for me after that.” She glanced up at the stage. “Oh, I gotta go. I’m up next. Don’t want to mess up on my first night! Will ya come up and watch?”
The way her honey-brown eyes begged… hell, I would’ve slapped my mother to be in the front row to see her naked. “Absolutely.” It sounded more desperate than I would have liked. Shelby shot me a grin as she headed backstage.
Drink in hand, I wandered up to the rail, willing my blood to stay in my brain and not migrate down to embarrass me. How I managed the best seat, I’ll never know. Center front, right in front of a shiny chrome pole.
The DJ’s voice boomed over the background music: “Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for our newest dancer, the sweetest Georgia peach you’ll ever meet, Shelby!”
And—like the DJ knew exactly what it’d do to me—on came that song about backroads and curves… and Shelby glided up in front of me like she was on air. She winked when her gaze met mine, then she pirouetted around the pole, the sexiest ballerina anyone’s ever set eyes on. With a half turn, she leaned her back against the chrome, facing me.
Friends of mine have gone on about time slowing when they knew a woman was meant to be theirs. It happened to me the moment she untied her bikini top and those perfect breasts spilled out. I squirmed as I lost the fight with my body. Fifty ones flew out of my hand as I stood and left, trying to ignore the bouncer’s knowing smile as I exited the club.
Fuck him, I thought, pulling myself out of my jeans once I was in my car. My hand worked up and down as I remembered Shelby’s curves. It didn’t take long—I figured it wouldn’t—before I relaxed back in the seat. I’d worry about the mess later.
But, at that moment, I knew. She was meant for me…