Nicole French sat in front of the long vanity mirror in the dressing room of Club Delacroix, trying to summon the courage for her next routine. Many of the dancers carried on conversations as they primped and changed, but their words didn’t register. The whole thing was surreal and—
Kade’s voice boomed, cutting through the din. “Nikki, darling, I have a customer who would like a private dance. He asked for you specifically. You must have made quite an impression.”
Nicole jumped back in her seat. Her heart stammered, her breath catching in her chest. Hesitantly, she turned to face her boss.
Tall and fit, but not overly muscular, he emanated power. He was an alpha male if she’d ever seen one. People normally cowered when he came near, and now she had the urge to do so herself.
His Gothic appearance had freaked her out from day one…which was only last week. With that long black hair and goatee, not to mention those glowing amber eyes and pale skin, he could pass for a vampire.
She trembled, but somehow held it together. “Yes, Mr. Delacroix. Is there anything in particular he asked for?”
“Do you remember what I told you during training, that sometimes customers from Nocturnal Surrender may come here and want special services?”
Swallowing hard, she forced herself to speak. “Yes, but—” She bit back the hesitation. This was her job. If she refused, if she had to find another place to work, she might end up in the seedier side of town, doing even worse things to make ends meet. For what she was paid, she could let someone bite her and drink her blood, couldn’t she? A shudder tore through her, still she smiled. “Okay, I’ll escort him to a room and…entertain him.”
“Good. If you have any questions beforehand, just ask one of the more experienced girls. Oh, and don’t forget to take a break afterward if you feel lightheaded at all.” Kade smiled wide then walked away.
She was dizzy already, and she faced a pale version of herself in the mirror—almost as light as her boss. No way could she follow through with this. Worst case scenario, she’d be fired and have to beg her parents to let her move back home. She winced at the thought, especially at her age, but it was better than the alternative of selling her body to make money.
Ginger, one of the other strippers, sauntered over as she pulled on her robe, face flushed slightly from coming off stage. “The first time’s always the hardest. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it soon enough. You might even enjoy it a little. Those sanguinarians are pretty damn hot most of the time, and they usually tip well.”
Nicole took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I…I don’t think I can do this. A lap dance is one thing, but to… Isn’t it creepy that these guys do this?”
“Guys and girls.” Ginger ran her slender fingers through her long red locks and winked as if she liked the idea. “Sure I thought it was weird at first, but you’ll see. They’re just like the rest of us, only with the kink of getting off by drinking blood.”
Nicole would have laughed if that statement hadn’t scared the hell out of her. Maybe she should have stayed on the farm, went to nursing school, and settled down with Lucas Simmons—and had lots of babies—like her parents wanted. But no, she had to move to the opposite side of Pennsylvania so she could go to the best law school in the state.
Yeah, as if she’d ever make it as a lawyer when she hated arguing any point, no matter how important. Better get used to letting strange men—and women—drink her blood.
She forced a smile and thanked Ginger for the advice, then went to retrieve her first bloodsucking customer.
© Lorraine Pearl
For more information on the book and the series, and for the Amazon link, please visit The Nocturnal Surrender Series website.