This place just feels like its crawling with germs. I can only hope a steaming hot shower and enough disinfectant to kill a horse will be enough to clean myself. My suit, shirt, and tie will need to be discarded.

No sense in keeping clothing with this kind of… filth on it.

Sitting down at the table, I look up at Meredith as she stares at me. Daggers are in her eyes again as she looks from me to her chair then back at me again.

“Yes, Meredith, you may sit at my table,” I say just loud enough to be heard over the throbbing music that’s being pumped over the speakers.

“Are you always such an asshole, Simon? Do you have no manners?” she hisses as she removes her coat and hangs it over the back of her chair.

“No, Meredith, it seems you bring out the best of me,” I reply.

“Simon!” a feminine voice rings out.

I can literally feel my skin crawl hearing the way my name is said.

A woman with bright red hair who is wearing barely more than the strippers around us walks over to our table, trying to strut her…goods.

Meredith’s head whips around to look at the woman who’s approaching us, and at first she seems taken aback.

Then she sneers. “A friend of yours?”

Ignoring Meredith, I stand from my chair and nod my head slightly at the redhead. “Cherry.”

Cherry is thankfully smart enough to know my rules of personal contact. She stops close enough to touch me, but doesn’t do so.

I really do believe if she tried I might cut her hand off, and then remove any body part of mine she touched.

I simply could not handle being touched by her.

“Who’s this?” she asks as she looks down at Meredith.

“A friend,” I say coolly. She has no need to know who Meredith is or why she’s here.

“I’ve never seen you with a… well… um,” she says before asking Meredith. “You here for a job?”

“Why the fuck does everyone keep asking me that?” Meredith asks with some heat in her voice.

“Nope, not that then.” Smirking, Cherry looks over to me and asks, “You need Peter?”

“No, not right now,” I say, and I suddenly feel a small amount of fondness for the red-haired woman.

“Well, Spiderman, what can I get you two to drink?”

And now I’m right back to wanting to slit her throat with the stiletto I carry in my pocket.

“Nothing for me,” I say.

I have no clue when they last washed the glasses they serve their drinks in, and I don’t want to know either.

“What about you, honey?” Cherry asks Meredith with one of those smiles that seems to be so popular. It’s a mixture of nasty lemon mixed with honey.

“Vodka cranberry. If you can remember that, sweetie,” Meredith says back with a growl.

“Sure, whiskey sour. Be right back,” Cherry says before turning to me. “I could make a pretty good dollar on her if she were to dance. With that bleached blonde hair, men would go for her being tan like that. She’s a total bimbo barbie doll.”

Meredith’s eyes widen further. “Bimbo!“

“I’ll have your cosmopolitan sent right over, girl,” Cherry grins before turning to me one more time. “Her hips are probably too narrow and rigid to be a dancer though.”

Flouncing away from us, I watch as she heads towards the bar.

Turning back to Meredith, I see those daggers staring right into the back of Cherry.

Whatever. I hate these social interplays. They’re almost as bad as trying to read social cues.

Sitting back down at the table, I try to make sure none of my exposed skin touches anything here.

Snapping my fingers in front of Meredith, I say, “What is it you wish to do while we’re here? I can arrange for you to have a dance—”

“Nothing like that!” Meredith hisses.

I didn’t think so, she never put out the leanings towards women, but one never knows.

The music dies down after a moment and we both sit here, stewing in our own thoughts. I can feel the scabies crawling up my damn pants leg.

This is not the night I would like to be having right now.

Being with Meredith is a slow, tortuous affair.

I would rather be spending time exploring every single inch of her body with my hands while I listen to her moan in ecstasy, I think to myself.

Stop it. Thoughts like that will lead to nowhere but trouble… and perhaps hell. Fuck it all. The road to hell is always paved with a lack of self-control. I may end up there because of what I do, but I will not let her break me.

“I have to use the ladie’s room,” Meredith says, looking around the floor.

Hmm. Lady. That’s a good euphuism, Meredith, I mentally chide her.

She keeps looking at me expectantly, so much so I have to ask, “What? Do you need help with removing those skin-tight clothes? Perhaps you should have worn a more sensible…”