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2021-05-20 22:21 - Thursday - Inside The Grindhouse

Meredith Bell's picture


I'm saying all the things that I know you'll like,
Making good conversation.
I gotta handle you just right,
You know what I mean.
I took you to an intimate restaurant,
Then to a suggestive movie.
There's nothing left to talk about,
Unless it's horizontally…

Meredith danced, sliding her hands up and down her body. It was about the only thing she enjoyed about the job. When the music pounded, when the beat got inside her, it was almost like she was someone else. Which was good, because at the Grindhouse she wasn’t Meredith Bell, she was Violet Raine (“Always wet for you“ - as Charlie frequently announced her on stage). She caught a glimpse of herself in one of the many mirrors, tonight she was every inch the smouldering temptress, from her smoky eye make-up and glossy cherry-stained lips to the sheer, barely-there black mini dress and six inch heels. Although ‘dress’ suggested more fabric than there actually was - it was pretty much a bra and a skirt joined with a metal ring. Still it was more clothes than she usually wore and it was always hot in the club… it encouraged the clientele to drink more.

Let's get physical, physical
I wanna get physical
Let's get into physical
Let me hear your body talk, your body talk
Let me hear your body talk

Writhing in time to the music, Meredith pressed her scantily covered tits into the bars of the dance podium, wiggling her hips and shimmying her shoulders. Dancing was like sex… at least, that’s what Gail said, Meredith’s experience had made her a little more jaded to make such a comparison. Still, she understood the basic concept, it was about teasing, giving the client a taste that left him begging for more. Sure, you could shove your cunt in his face - some girls did, just like some clubs encouraged that behaviour. But the Grindhouse was a little different. If you wanted sex, get a prostitute, but a striptease was just that - seductive, tantalising and provocative. ”Who’s gonna pay to see the cow when you’ve already tasted the milk?” - that was Charlie again, and while it was a distasteful comparison he had a point. If you played all your cards in the first hand there was no incentive to return. Meredith always kept something in reserve, and that’s why she had more regular patrons than any other dancer.

I've been patient, I've been good
Tried to keep my hands on the table
It's gettin' hard this holdin' back
You know what I mean
I'm sure you'll understand my point of view
We know each other mentally
You gotta know that you're bringin' out
The animal in me

One of the guys watching held up a ten dollar bill, a goofy grin slowly spreading across his face. Meredith smiled seductively, crouching down to where he sat and hitching up her dress to reveal the elastic of her thong. The guy’s grin widened as he reached through the bars, sliding his finger between the fabric of her panties and her hip, tucking the bill securely in place. Meredith winked and blew him a kiss before rising back to her feet and resuming her dance.

Let's get physical, physical
I wanna get physical
Let's get into physical
Let me hear your body talk, your body talk
Let me hear your body talk

Tipping her head forward, Meredith quickly flicked her hair back, several strands sticking to her lip gloss. She watched the room as she moved, sliding up and down against the bars of her cage. It was then that she saw him, his defined muscles and angles of his jaw unmistakable even in the club’s subdued lighting.

“Oh… fuck,” she muttered beneath her breath. Meredith faltered for a moment, watching the man as he wandered the club. Surely he wasn’t going to stay, he‘d never been here before so why now? Oh god..… no… “fuck, fuck, fuck…”. Flinging open the cage door and ignoring the protests of her adoring clientele, Meredith headed in the opposite direction. Not that she cared what Logan… whatever else his name was, thought of her. Hell no. But the smug smile on his face would haunt her for the rest of her days.

“Hey Violet! Where’s the fire!”

Meredith tried to duck out of the way but her boss caught her arm, fixing her with a stern glare even while his voice remained light and playful. “Whatcha think you doin’? You got another ten minutes in the cage…”

“Charlie, sorry. Um, personal thing, you know?” she chanced a glance back at the doorway. Logan was still there, seemingly looking for someone. Not her. God please, don’t let him be looking for me. “A girl thing? Emergency. I‘ll make it up.”

“Oh I know you will, I pay you to wiggle your ass out there, not haul it to the ladies.”

Shit! Logan’s eyes darted back and forth scanning the room for the blasted demon. He couldn’t have picked a better place to hide – the club was dark and packed, and had enough scantily clad girls to distract any warm blooded guy. “Damnit!” He was out of luck. By now, his target could be anywhere. With a final huff, Logan was about to give up and leave when he noticed something or rather someone looking back at him from the back of the club.

“The Harpee?!” A weird sense of dread and amusement simultaneously filled him. On one hand, the coincidence seemed just too outrageous to be mere chance, which was definitely unnerving. On the other hand, he had just caught the girl… at the Grindhouse… and she definitely wasn’t dressed as one of the patrons. “Un-bloody-believable!”.

Unable to fight the smirk that made it’s way onto his face, Logan could not help himself as he waved.

“Oh Christ,” Meredith groaned, turning away quickly and trying to hide her face with her hand. Maybe he hadn’t really seen her.

“Violet? Are you even listening to me?”

Meredith turned her attention back to her boss. Charlie looked annoyed, waiting for an answer but she couldn’t even think what he’d been talking about. “Er… just forget it, okay? It’s fine… false alarm.” Charlie threw up his hands, muttering something about ‘dames’ as he headed to the bar. Meredith sighed and turned swiftly, just as Logan emerged from the crowd, slamming into her barely covered tits.

“You know, you don’t let it go how I ran into you and yet, here you are slamming right into me,” Logan laughed, enjoying the look of complete and utter horror on the girl’s face…then his eyes trailed down the rest of her, specifically the tiny black see-through number that barely covered her considerable and decidedly perky assets – damn the Harpee was smoking. Still grinning, Logan turned his gaze back to meet Meredith’s. “I’ve got to say, never in a million years would have guessed you worked in a place like this”.

“And what is-” realising they were still rather close, Meredith stepped back a little, planting her hands on her bare hips. “And what is that supposed to mean?” she asked, her voice rising defensively. “All I do is dance, and… actually this happens to be a very respectable business.”

It didn’t take long for the girl’s claws to come out. Did it ever! Logan thought. The competitive side of him loved the fact that the girl was thrown off by his presence, yet, he couldn’t help but feel a bit of empathy for her. He didn’t judge her for dancing, in fact he couldn’t have cared less, but it was obvious a part of her was embarrassed that Logan had caught her in such a vulnerable situation.

“Well I’m sure it is, but don’t you actually have to be nice to work in a place like this? Your attitude doesn’t really scream ‘I love working with the public’ especially when said public is probably trying to oogle your goodies half the time”.

Meredith fixed him with a very fake smile. “Well I see my attitude doesn’t put you off ‘ogling the goodies’,” she flicked her hair back, nonchalantly, raising her chin, “besides, there’s a two drink minimum, plus, if you want me to be nice you have to pay me. You, I notice, haven’t done either. So I think I’m probably free to behave how I like, Logan.”

“You know what’s not fair,” Logan responded, completely disregarding her chilly attitude, “This is what, like our third date and I still don’t know your name”. If he knew the Harpee that would really set her off.

*Date! God, this guy really thought he was Mr Super Fucking Charming didn‘t he!?* Just when she thought she was being too hard on him, he flashed her that smug-ass grin that just made her want to… *Gah!* She considered walking off, then caught Charlie watching her from the bar with a scowl on his face. She’d already lost her temper a couple of times this week, kneeing one guy in the groin when he made a smart remark, and giving another a black eye after his wandering hands wandered too far. Charlie had given her a simple warning, one more strike and she was out. Whether he meant it or not didn’t matter, the last thing she was gonna do was give Logan the satisfaction of seeing her get chewed out by her boss.

“My name is Violet,” she purred softly. Fuck it, if Logan thought he could mess with her, he was gonna be in for a surprise. Tonight she was Violet Raine, playful, flirtatious and accommodating. Not to mention uncompromisingly sexy. When she turned it on full blast most guys - even the ones who thought they were players, didn’t know what hit them.

Sliding a hand up his chest, she rested it on his shoulder, though she’d rather be slapping that smug look off his face. “Welcome to the Grindhouse, if you want to take a seat, I’ll get someone to bring you over a drink.” God this was harder than she’d thought, her jaw was actually aching from keeping her smile in place. “I’d love to stay and chat, but, as you see, I’m working. Enjoy your evening.”

Logan couldn’t deny that the girl was sexy and that he was a little turned on, but something about her act bothered him - Did he really prefer the Harpee to this?

“Well, then if you’re working, how about you have a drink with me?” Logan pulled out a twenty, from his pocket, and held it high so that her boss could see - now she’d have no choice but to stick around.

‘Violet’s’ smile never faltered, but her eyes said it all; he swore he could feel his skin starting to freeze over. Logan surprised himself. He didn’t particularly like the girl yet a part of him wanted to know more about her. It was as if their paths seemed to keep crossing. Could it mean something? Three encounters in one week, seemed more than just coincidence.

“I’ll make you a deal,” Logan said, looking the girl straight in the eyes. “You tell me your real name, and I’ll leave”.

“My real name..” Meredith plucked the twenty from Logan’s fingers with a smile, “…is Violet.” She paused a moment, narrowing her eyes in thought as she looked at him. “…Vodka tonic, right?” With the hand on his shoulder, Meredith directed him back a couple of steps then pushed him down into one of the seats. “Take a load off, have your drink, then you can leave.”

She gestured to one of the other girls at the bar to get their drinks, then sat down too. “So… Logan,” Meredith smiled, genuinely this time, enjoying the look of frustration on his face. “I get the feeling this is your first time. So what are you doing here? Oh wait, lemme guess… you’re working.”

“I was looking for someone actually,” he answered, a bit thrown off. How did that happen? One second ago he had the girl squirming and now she was the one in control of their little back and forth. “You got it wrong by the way”.

Violet blinked, not understanding what he meant.

“The drink. You said Vodka, but it was gin tonic I drink. Don’t worry about it though, I know it’s hard for girls to keep a clear head when I’m around”. Logan could barely keep a straight face as he said it. He figured Violet would be dying to give him a lashing, but the interesting circumstances prevented her from being overtly offensive. like a lioness caged.

“Whatever you have to tell yourself to get outta bed in the morning, playboy.” Meredith rolled her eyes but kept her smile in place. Leaning forward, she laid a hand on Logan’s knee, while absently playing with her hair with the other. “So… this person you’re looking for…? ‘Cause I have to say, seeing you here, after the party last weekend… kinda feels like you might be stalking me.”

The man smirked, enjoying the feeling of Violet’s hand on his leg. He had to give it to her – she had a knack for manipulating men and if he hadn’t had his guard up, he may have fallen for her pouty lips and sexy hips. “Sorry to disappoint, but it’s just coincidence,” as he said it, he wasn’t sure himself if he believed it.

“Coincidence?” she purred back, her hand moving ever so slightly from his knee up to his thigh where he had been stabbed just days before.

Logan winced, drawing in a sharp breath and Meredith cocked her head to one side, frowning slightly as she pulled her hand back. She certainly hadn’t caused that reaction, not directly anyway. *Perhaps he got caught up in the shooting, Cadee said he fancied himself some kind of hero*

Sitting back in her chair, she watched him for a moment. Chit-chat was fine, and in truth, she was kind of curious about Logan… so long as he didn’t turn out to be some kind of crazy stalker man. Plus, though she hated to admit it, he was kinda handsome… in an arrogant ’and doesn’t he know it’ sort of way. If they’d been anywhere else it would have been fine, they could share a drink and pass the time of day. But her boss was watching and if she wasn’t finding ways to part Logan from his hard earned cash, she wasn’t earning him money either.

“So…” she said eventually, “you want me to dance for you, or what?”

The man swirled the ice in his drink, as he met her gaze. The comment was so blunt that any pleasure he was taking out of their repartee instantly vanished. The girl was usually a bitch, but at least the bitchiness was authentic. Her... the conversation… all the fakeness really grated on Logan’s nerves for some reason. Finishing the drink in a single gulp, he turned back to Violet. “I think I prefer the Ice Queen from the park.” With the smile completely gone from his face, Logan got up. “It’s good to see nothing happened to you on Saturday,” he said flatly, as he rose to leave.

Meredith huffed in annoyance. Whenever she thought there was more to this guy than the arrogant, smug asshole he appeared to be, it turned out she’d been absolutely right all along. “You’re leaving,” she actually felt somewhat relieved, she barely knew Logan but he confused the hell out of her every single time. “Without knocking anyone over or setting fire to the place? Must be a first.”

The comment set Logan’s fuse ablaze. This chick really was something else! “You wanna know something, Violet,” he replied, emphasizing the fake name with contempt. “You know why I cringed when you grabbed my thigh before?” Logan’s voice rose as his blood began to pump. “I got stabbed by one of those freaks at the Graveyard Saturday night while doing everything I could to stop them from hurting anyone else, yourself included! Then, after I find you working here, I didn’t even make one little comment because, despite everything, some little voice in my head said ‘don’t be an asshole’. But I guess it’s par for the course eh!? I try to be nice and I get raked over the coals for it. I don’t even know why I bother…I should have walked the other way when I saw you across the room!”

Nice!?” Meredith rose to her feet too, and with her six inch heels she was a good couple taller than he was. Logan’s anger fuelled her own, so much that she forgot where she was completely. “You’ve been fucking stalking me for the past week, then you show up here asking for my name and when I try and keep things professional you act like I’ve grown a second head! And if you did get hurt the other night, well…” her fiery indignation faltered for a moment, “...I’m sorry about that, but you got to admit, Logan, trouble sure as hell follows you around! Or is that just another coincidence too huh? Muggers, arsonists, armed thugs shooting up a night club-”

“Hey, hey, hey!” Charlie held out his hands, separating the pair before they started tearing strips off one another. His face was as red as a beetroot and he glared at Meredith with barely concealed anger. “What’s going on here? Violet?” he lowered his voice, grasping hold of her arm and dragging her off to one side. “What in Sam Hill do you think you’re doing?! I’ve warned you before about shooting your mouth off girl-”

Meredith took a deep breath, brushing her hair back with one hand. “But.. Charlie he-”

“I don’t want to hear it!” Charlie turned back to Logan, straightening his jacket collar. “Sir, I’m terribly sorry, I can assure you I’ll deal with this… situation personally. Violet here… well,” he flashed Logan a conspiratorial grin, “she’s young, feisty… in need of a firm hand, a good… man to break her in, know what I mean? I’m sure…” he turned to give Meredith another fierce glare at all her huffs and snorts of protest, “she would be willing to apologise… profusely.”

Logan’s face was flush, and he took a deep breath to calm down. The conversation had definitely turned heated and he now realized they must have been causing a bit of a scene.

Looking between the stripper and manager, he contemplated the man‘s words: …needs to be broken in The comment was disgusting and degrading and it made Logan realize something. If this was the world Violet lived in, no wonder she had a chip on her shoulder. He wouldn’t even let Balthazar speak that way to him, let alone some loathsome nobody like this guy.

“You know what,” Logan said, locking eyes with the girl as he debated what to do. Man, he couldn’t stand her but… “it was my fault,” he said turning to the manager. “I guess I drank too much and was a bit too forward”.

Meredith’s cheeks flamed and she hated it, hated that she felt indebted to this guy she barely even knew. Better that Charlie had docked her wages, or fired her - not that he would have, he was all mouth around the clientele, but ‘his girls’ were how he made his living and Meredith had too many regulars that might follow her if she suddenly started dancing elsewhere.

Charlie watched them both, clearly not buying the ‘drunk’ card. He was pretty sharp when it came to his club, he probably knew how many drinks most of the guys in here had bought, not to mention how much got tucked into a girl’s g-string, or who paid for a lap dance and all those who hung back trying to get the freebies without flashing the cash. Still he nodded, loosening his hold on Meredith’s arm.

“Well, if you’re sure, sir. If you’ve had enough to drink tonight, how about I get one of my girls to give you a lap dance - on the house, naturally. You’re new tonight, right? I’d hate for your first visit to end on such a sour note.”

He placed a hand around Meredith’s waist, pulling her forward. “Violet here is one of my most popular dancers. These are 100% natural you know?” Charlie gestured to her tits and Meredith grit her teeth against the indignity of being showcased in front of Logan like a piece of steak. “And a great ass too,” he slapped her backside for good measure, chuckling, “or if you prefer blondes, Candy and Angel are both available for your viewing pleasure.”

“It’s cool, but I think I’m going to take off,” Logan said, still looking at the girl. For sure he wouldn’t have minded taking her down a notch, but at that moment, the playing field wasn’t even.

“Suit yourself buddy,” Charlie replied, deciding not to waste anymore time on the guy.

Logan waited until he was out of earshot. “You’re welcome by the way.”

Meredith scowled, folding her arms over her chest even though the gesture in no way provided any kind of cover. This guy was unbelievable! He‘d almost gotten her fired and he wanted thanking!? “Yeah, well… I didn’t ask you to do any of that.”

Logan sighed, Hell’s flames would have a hard time melting the frigidness out of this bitch.

“Was just trying to save you some trouble,” he said, figuring now was a good a time as any to leave. The night had been a complete failure; from losing the demon to running into the Harpee again, it all just…sucked. and if I see her again, it would be too soon.

Having already turned to leave, Logan paused and spun back around. “And Violet,” he said, a smile sneaking it’s way onto his lips. “With a face like this, do you think I’d need to stalk girls?” Before the girl had time to blow a gasket, he flashed the stripper his pearly whites, winked and walked off.

“I’m sure Ted Bundy said the same thing!” Meredith growled after him, holding in a frustrated scream and stamping her foot before turning in the opposite direction and stalking back into the club.

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