(This short story was originally published on my blog in February, under the title, A Broken Dream. I have re-worked the story with the help of Developmental Editor, Adrea Kore. I hope you think it has been improved. I hope you also like the hot, new picture.)
Henry visited the Sugarland Club at least once a week; more if he had some spare cash. But he felt truly short-changed whenever he paid up, only to discover she wasn’t working that night. The grim expression on the face of one of the bouncers, as well as his muscular shoulders, made it clear that the matter wasn’t open for discussion.
“Should have asked before you paid your money, mate. No refunds. Club policy.”
So, over several nights he did his research, and meticulously constructed a timetable of when she worked and when she didn’t. It was normally accurate, but it pissed him off when he turned up and found she had swapped her night off with another girl.
The other girls were okay, but nothing like Candy. He doubted that was her real name, but he didn’t care what she was called. He only knew that she was his dream girl and the others did not compare. She didn’t look very old. In fact he would be surprised if she was over eighteen, although the club insisted that all girls on the premises were over twenty.
The nightly routine was that three girls were up on stage, dancing very suggestively around a ten-foot chrome pole, while the other three girls circulated around the club, trying to entice the punters to part with more of their money for a lap-dance. Henry didn’t like the idea of Candy wiggling her arse around on some geezer’s dick, but he had constructed a story around her that would put the plight of Cinderella to shame. He was convinced that she was working at the club because she was destitute and had no other way of earning a living. She probably had an evil step-dad who forced her into a job like this, and in his dream he was Sir Galahad, coming to rescue her on his white charger. When she found out that he was the man to take her away from all this, he was sure she would fall into his arms in gratitude.
What would the lads at work have to say when they saw his woman? They wouldn’t be laughing at him then. No longer would he be teased about the fact that he’d never had a girlfriend.
“Hey, Henry, don’t you know what your dick is for? I bet he thinks its only for wanking with.” They loved to torment him.
He longed to take a photo of her on his mobile phone to show them what she looked like, to show them that she was a girl in a million. But the club had a strict policy on taking pictures, and he didn’t want to run the risk of being thrown out before he had the chance of at least talking to her.
Tonight, Henry was glad to get inside and out of the bitterly cold wind. Spotting Candy onstage, he breathed a sigh of relief that she hadn’t changed shifts, and he chose an empty table where he could easily view her. And what a picture she was, wearing a skimpy outfit that didn’t just reveal parts of her body, but accentuated the curve of her hips, her luscious breasts and what he considered to be the finest arse in the club. In fact her outfit was so tight it looked as though it had been spray-painted on.
Candy swivelled on that pole as though it was a lover. When she turned on it, sticking her backside out, he thought he was going to embarrass himself in the middle of the club by coming in his pants. God, that arse, what he wouldn’t give to grab a handful in each hand and squeeze the life out of it. It resembled a ripe peach, and probably tasted as sweet.
The lighting overhead dimmed, the music slowed and became very sensual. This was the signal for the girls to get even more down and dirty with their movements. Some of the men at the front were getting excited and began tucking twenty-pound notes into the waistband of Candy’s thong. The rules of the club forbade the punters from touching the girls, but where money was concerned the staff looked the other way – for a cut of the tips of course. Some of the girls bent forward so that the notes could be tucked between their breasts.
He was starting to sweat, and it wasn’t because of the temperature of the club. His cock was straining against the zipper of his trousers, and he tried to re-arrange it under the cover of the table. Not that it mattered if anyone saw him. Several men were stroking the front of their trousers, and the security staff were keeping their eyes out for any men openly displaying themselves, for that would mean instant ejection from the club. The cops often had undercover people coming around, and the management had been warned more than once to clean up their act, or lose their licence.
Candy was by far the most popular of the three girls on the stage, and it was easy to see the reason why. Her body was curvy in all the right places. Her skin was smooth and lightly tanned, and her hair was like a slightly windswept mane that tumbled onto her shoulders and down her back in large curls. She was a goddess, he had decided; a perfect, beautiful, sensual goddess, far too good to be paraded in a slimy place like this. He would talk to her tonight when she finished work. It was time he made his move. Henry didn’t have a lot of money, but he had a bit put aside, left to him by his grandmother. He would buy her nice clothes and jewels and all the things a pretty young girl like her desired, and take her away from all this.
The music stopped and the girls left the stage. He knew that in a few minutes they would be lap dancing for the men in the bar, while three other girls would take their place on the poles. Considering the length of time he’d been a regular, he knew the routine by heart. He ordered another shot, his sixth. It was Saturday tomorrow and he could sleep off his hangover and not get up till noon.
The girls came back out, and his eyes immediately went to Candy. She had changed into a hot pink top, just as tight as the white one before, and leaving very little to the imaginations of the over-excited men, who by now were spending a fortune on drinks. As the evening stretched on, the prices of the drinks increased; the customers had ceased to care how much they were spending.
A middle-aged, swarthy man waved his money at Candy, signalling his wish for a lap dance. Waiting until he had tucked the money under the garter on her thigh, she began her routine, gyrating slowly to the sensual music. The man smirked slyly at his two companions, who were clearly impressed and nearly as excited as he was about their friend’s choice of private dancer.
“I bet you’d like to meet this one down a dark alley later, Jack. She looks like she could keep your cock happy for a bit.”
He gave a belly laugh, as though overcome by his own sparkling wit. Jack, pumped up by the desire to impress his mates, began to gyrate beneath Candy’s bottom until she was in danger of being bounced off his knee, and in an attempt to hold her steady he broke the cardinal rule of the club by placing both hands on her thighs, then slipping one hand down between them.
“Hey, what the fuck...”
Instinctively, Henry jumped up to defend his woman, and took hold of Candy’s arm, trying to pull her from the other man’s sweaty hands.
“Get the fuck off her, you fucking pig,” he spat at the man they called Jack.
It was at that moment that the club bouncers saw what was going on and two of them were across within seconds, grabbing Henry and dragging him away from Cindy. They completely misread the scenario, and before anyone had the chance to offer an explanation, Henry was dragged across the club to the fire escape exit at the back, which led out on to the alley.
He didn’t go quietly – the alcohol and his concern for Cindy saw to that. The bouncers were rough as they manhandled him into the street and threw him down on to the filthy, wet concrete. Staggering to his feet he took a swing at one – the broad-shouldered brute who had denied his refund of a few weeks ago. He was much practised at ejecting troublemakers, and, despite his size, light on his feet. He bent and punched Henry squarely in the jaw, and the other drew back his size ten boot and kicked him brutally in his gut. Henry struggled to breathe, desperately sucking air as he instinctively rolled into a ball to try and shield himself from further damage. But the two men had finished their work and went back into the club, slamming the door to prevent Henry getting back on to the premises.
He wasn’t sure how long he lay there in the alley; probably only a few minutes, but it seemed much longer. He heard voices as three women approached him. They were three of the dancers from the club, on their way home. He looked up, straight into the gaze of Candy, who called to the other two.
“Look, it’s that jerk who tried to grab me in the club. Moron! I hope the guys duffed you up properly.”
He tried to talk, to explain, but his jaw was swollen and bruised and he couldn’t get the words out. The three women walked past, laughing at the pitiable sight beneath them. A moment later they were gone, and he was alone. Henry couldn’t believe what had happened. The love of his life had just ridiculed him and walked away. Didn’t she understand that he loved her? Surely she must have realised that he had only been trying to protect her. Tears flowed down his face and mingled with the blood and the dirt, and he wished he were dead.
As he lay there in a pool of his own pain and misery, he couldn’t even stir himself to try and rise, despite the bitter cold, until, a few minutes later, he felt a hand touch his shoulder. A young woman was speaking to him.
“Are you alright? Are you badly hurt? Should I call for an ambulance?”
He looked up at the face of a woman who looked vaguely familiar, and it was a moment before he recognized that it was the woman who worked at the entrance; the one who took his money every week. He’d never bothered to look at her much because the only thought in his brain every time he came to the club was ‘Is Candy here tonight?’ Also, as the only female member of the team, she normally dressed in black, like the men, and her long, brown hair was tied up in a ponytail. Now, however, she had changed into jeans and a sweater, and her hair was hanging down on to her shoulders.
She reached into her bag and brought out some tissues to dab the wound on his face and stop the bleeding. She looked concerned, and he couldn’t understand why she should care whether he was injured or not. It was not as though she was his friend. Her voice was soothing, and Henry felt rather comforted by her demeanour.
“Do you think you can sit up? Look, I’ll help you. Prop yourself up against the wall and let’s look at your face.”
Henry groaned for an answer, as he tried to lift himself up on his elbows, only to collapse again.
“It might not be bad enough for an ambulance, but I don’t want to go until I’m sure you can manage by yourself. Besides, it’s much too cold to stay here in the alley. You’ll get hypothermia.”
He allowed her to help him prop himself up and she crouched down to look more closely at his wound under the streetlight.
“It needs cleaning. If you’re not careful it could get infected. I only live a couple of streets away. Come back with me and I’ll clean it up. You can rest up until you feel ready to go home.”
She helped him to stand, slinging his arm around her shoulder as they staggered away from the club. It was painful with each step that he took, but he didn’t complain, just gritted his teeth.
Back at her place, a small, rather shabby, rented bedsit, she made him sit at the table while she cleaned his wound and put some antiseptic cream on it. He lifted up his shirt and saw a large black bruise in the shape of a foot.
“Wow, he kicked you pretty hard, didn’t he? I think you should stretch out on the couch ‘till the morning. And perhaps you should see a doctor when you get home, y’know, just in case – “
She fetched him a blanket and a pillow and he lay down gratefully. As she switched off the light and lay down on her bed he turned to look at the young woman who had rescued him, and wondered why he hadn’t noticed her before at Sugarland. Okay, she wasn’t as pretty as Candy, but she had a sweet face, and a lovely smile.
“Why are you helping me? You hardly know me.”
“Because I saw what happened in the club, and you didn’t deserve being treated like that, either by Candy or the guys.”
He hadn’t thought of Candy since leaving the alley, until just now. The woman of his dreams turned out to be not worthy of his love. She had been his obsession for so long, but now he didn’t even want to think about her; he wanted to wipe her from his memory. Candy was not so sweet after all. He felt so sleepy, but just before he drifted off, he heard his rescuer ask, in a soft voice, “What’s your name?”
“It’s Henry. What’s yours?”
“I’m Rose. It’s nice to meet you, Henry.”
“It’s nice to meet you too, Rose.”
He smiled to himself as his eyes closed.
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