“This is freaking delicious.” I lick the rim of my lemon drop martini again.
Tiffany lets out a snort and it somehow comes out sexy, just like everything she does. Hell, she’s one of the main attractions here at the Snake Eyes; her burlesque show sells out every night there's a show. “I'm pretty sure you said the first one tasted like ass.”
“Well, they must have gotten a new bartender, because this one tastes like sweet heaven.” I prove my point by gulping down the rest of the drink, enjoying the sour burn at the back of my throat.
“Hmm, it could be that. Or the fact that it’s your fourth one, but we can go with the bartender thing if you like.” Smiling at me over her own martini, she kills hers too. Tossing her perfectly manicured hand in the air, she signals for two more drinks. The young pretty-boy waiter with short blond curls hops to, hoping to get any of Tiffany’s attention that he can.
I glance down at my outfit. Maybe I’d get more male attention if I dressed the part. It wasn’t something I’d wanted before. A long time ago I caught the wrong man’s attention, but that had been years ago. Since the two men who kind of took me under their wing and raised me fell in love with the woman of their dreams, I found myself feeling envious. Seeing what they have makes me long for something more, only no one seems to notice me.
I’m still wearing what I wore to work today, having just met Tiffany down in one of the casino bars for a drink. I’m celebrating my final day here, and Tiff said we had to have one last hurrah. Looking over at Tiff, I see her watching me.
“I look out of place next to you.” I can feel myself scrunching my nose as I compare the two of us.
“No, you just need to loosen up.” Hopping down from her chair, she straightens her short dress before standing in front of me. The lights of the bar bounce off her blonde wavy hair. “May I?” she asks, but before I can agree, she does what she wants anyway.
She pulls my dark hair down from my ponytail, letting it cascade down my back. She runs her fingers through it before giving it a nice fluff. “Wow, your hair is so long and gorgeous. Why do you keep it up all the time?”
“So it’s not in my way.”
I’m all about function, and a ponytail just makes sense to me. It’s out of the way, and I like things to be efficient and practical. Not only that, but when I do my job I like to blend into the background. Sometimes when people forget you’re there, you can get the upper hand on them in the future. The Cortez brothers taught me to always let other people do the talking. They’ll dig their own grave and you’ll get what you want in the end without getting your hands dirty.
Reaching into her purse, she hands me her lipstick, and then starts unbuttoning my shirt. “What are you doing?” I make a move to stop her, but she pushes my hands out of the way.
“Letting the girls out to breathe a little. Oh, nice, a red bra. It matches the lipstick perfectly.” She pops a few more buttons, and I should stop her, but I can't seem to find the will to care. The four lemon drops are making me feel a bit braver. If she thinks it looks hot, then why the hell not?
“All right, stand up.”
I hop down from my own chair and straighten my wobbly legs. She peers up at me, giving me a wicked look. “You and those heels. You have incredible legs.”
I live for heels. They’re my one indulgence. I don’t care that I’m already a tall girl; I still wear them. They make me feel sexy, and I’d probably sleep in them if I didn’t think I’d shred my sheets. Tiffany eyes my legs as the waiter makes his way back to us, setting down the next round of drinks.
“Hey, pretty boy. Got some scissors around here?”
“Sure thing, Miss Foxy.”
“How do you wrap them around your finger like that?” I ask, watching the waiter retreat quickly to do as Tiffany asked. He’s probably hoping for just a sliver of her attention.
She rolls her eyes at my question. “They’re in love with Foxy Bow, a person I play on stage, not me.” I can hear the irritation in her words, but she smiles as she talks. I can see through what she’s saying since I’ve gotten to know her the past thirty days. I’ve been here serving out my contract and we’ve slowly become good friends in that time.
All kinds of men flock to her, promising her a world of riches and everything she could ever want. She always turns them down, not wanting any of it. I had been a little envious of how easy it was for her to get a man’s attention, but now I can see it’s not so sweet on the other side. Most people want the fantasy of her, but no one knows who she really is. The first mistake most men make is promising her money. She has the top-selling show on the strip; Tiff is not in need of anything.
“I’m sorry.” I try to offer her comfort, but don’t want to push it. If she wants to talk about it she will. I know better than anyone that sometimes you don’t want to talk about things from your past that haunt you. It’s best to leave them there, and maybe they’ll finally go away.
“I don’t need to be someone’s trophy,” is all she says.
Quickly, the waiter returns, scissors in hand. Dropping in front of me, Tiff goes to work on my pencil skirt, taking several inches off the bottom and adding a slit up my thigh on both sides.
“Damn, Mandy. You look crazy hot now.”
I feel my face warm at her words, but maybe it’s the alcohol coursing through my system. Glancing down at myself again, I can’t help but smile.