Author's Note: This is just a story I thought of on the spot. I really don't write all that much but I thought I'd give it a try. Trying to put a spin on what would have otherwise become a typical cliché. But if anyone has a story similar to this one, let me know! I have never intended to plagiarize but if I have, please let me know. I'd really appreciate it.


The music vibrated against the walls of the club. I let my fingers run over his chest and play with the hem of his shirt. His gaze never left mine and I smiled with satisfaction.

My outfit left little to be desired but that was the point wasn't it? I circled around him, giving him a complete view of what he was paying for. I could almost feel the sexual tension heighten as two other girls strutted out on stage to perform our finale.

With one last glance, I winked at the boy I had been toying with before stepping up on the stage.

By now, I think you can guess what kind of club this is. Personally, I think people get the wrong idea about strip clubs. They really aren't that bad. Well, once you get past the whole stripping part.

I blew a sigh of relief as the lights dimmed and I clamored back stage in my impossibly high heels. The dollar bills in my ass were giving me a rash and I had banged up my right arm on the pole.

"Great job Nicki!" Someone hollered amongst the chaos. I managed a 'thank you' before rushing into my dressing room and removing the last of the dollars. Pole dancing was hard work, much harder than stripping. Luckily for me, I managed to pull of pole dancing without actually having to expose too much of my body. That's me, always looking on the bright side.

I snatched off the gaudy mask that was still hanging on my face and examined the purple patch on my forearm. Oh god, it was sore. I touched it gently and hissed with pain. Just my luck. Now I looked like I was a sexually abused stripper. Way to fall into the stereotype.

Alicia barged through the room, exclaiming with excitement, "Nicki, baby, you were so good tonight! Especially that bit with the audience. We really should have the other girls try that too."

I laughed, glad that my last minute creativity had spiced up the show.

"Thanks. Hey, do you need a ride home tonight? I'll be leaving in like 10, got a history report due tomorrow."

She frowned and shook her head.

"The execs are having a meeting in the next few minutes. It's ridiculous, this club is mine but my dad just has to stick his nose into things." She rolled her eyes.

Alicia was my roommate and the head of this whole operation. She single handedly raised this success of a strip club in the heart of New York. Her father was a hotshot entrepreneur who made it even more infamous than it already was.

"But I'll see you back at the dorms yeah?"

I nodded and turned back to changing out of my racy bikini set and into the comfortable sweats I arrived in. I sighed in pleasure as I snuggled deeper into my sweatshirt. As sexy as that thing may look, it was a pain to actually wear.

I spent the next couple minutes throwing my belongings into a large duffel bag and pulled my hair back into a bun.

The history report kept nagging me in the back of my mind. I groaned. An all nighter was waiting for me. With the dorms in NYU so small, it was hard having a roommate. But luckily for me, she was arriving home late that night.

I waved goodbye to the other girls as I exited from the backdoor. The cold night air filled my lungs and the distant pounding of music seemed to fade as I got closer to my car.

It beeped twice as I unlocked it and grabbed the trunk, chucking my things in.

The sound of crunching gravel reached me before the voice did.

"Excuse me?" the voice was deep, masculine.

I jumped, clearly startled. I nearly turned around to answer but froze. My mask was no longer on my face and my identity was at risk now. I swallowed and pulled on my hood. Oh god, this wasn't going to turn out like some crazy murder/rape plot right?

"Uh… yeah? Can I help you?"

I heard him chuckle.

"Yeah, you can. I was wondering, are you Rashel?"

Rashel was my stage name, something Alicia had cleverly come up with.

"Why? What do you want from her?" I responded tersely.

"I was just wondering if she would like to grab a cup of coffee with me. And maybe she can tell me why my best friend's girlfriend is working as a pole dancer at Fullspeed."

Oh my lord. This was not happening. I was dreaming. I had to be. I actually debated for a minute whether or not to slap myself in the face, but that would make things even more awkward than they already were.

I gritted my teeth. What the hell was Mark doing here? But it hit me moments after. The blue eyes, the black hair. I had foolishly given my boyfriend's best man a lap dance.

The suspended silence fell away when I finally answered.

"Meet in five at the Starbucks down the street."

I tapped my mug nervously as Mark leisurely sipped from his cup. He enjoyed watching me squirm.

"Can we just get on with this? I have a paper due tomorrow." The anxiety for the onslaught of questions was killing me.

He set his cup down and casually leaned back into his chair.

"Okay Nicki, what the hell?"

I frowned.

"What? Surprised? Shocked?" I sneered, surprising myself with my attitude. But I couldn't contain it. Stripping was a last resort to pay for school fees and I knew very well that Mark grew up in a wealthy environment. Who was he to judge me?

"Not everyone can just mooch of their parents you know? Some actually have to work for a living." The look on his face confirmed that I had made light on a touchy subject.

"I wasn't talking about the occupation itself, and mind you I do run my own company, I was talking about why you're working in the first place."

"…Oh." I looked away, "Well, I thought the extra money would be nice and the owner of that club just happened to be my roommate."

His eyebrows knitted together.

"Who exactly are you living with? Some 40- year old pedophile?"

I laughed. He bought my lie so quickly.

"I'm living with my friend Alicia. She runs the place. Well, technically, her dad's in charge but she takes care of all the girls." I tried explaining.

He let out a long whistle, like letting out a sigh.

"I just never pegged you to be interested in… that kind of stuff, you know?"

I snorted. If he only knew.

"Well you know what they say. When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me."

His mouth twitched.

"Come on Nicole, be serious. What will Jason think when he finds out?"

I made a face. He knew I hated being called Nicole.

"He won't think anything because he'll never find out. And quit that Nicole thing. You know I hate that."

He smirked, "What makes you so sure he won't find out? Isn't he coming to visit the two of us in a couple weeks? Maybe I'll persuade him to join me sometime."

He changed his posture and leaned his weight unto the table with his face dangerously near mine.

"So how are you going to make me keep your little secret?"

My jaw dropped to the table. Was this guy serious? Was he seriously going to blackmail me?

He noticed the disbelief in my eyes and hastily added, "Of course, I'd be happy to keep quiet if… you score me a couple of free tickets."

Ahh. It all made sense now. I was relieved that that was all it took but it still made me uneasy.

Mark officially had something over me. And he wasn't about to forget it.

"Alright, fine. You got yourself the tickets. Anything else?" I meant to be sarcastic but I regretted it the moment those last words left my mouth.

His grin couldn't have been wider.

"What else are you willing to offer sweetheart?" His words were coated with innuendos.

Unwillingly, a blush crept over my cheeks and he promptly burst out laughing.

"You can't do that Nicki! You can't be embarrassed when I'm teasing you and then turn right around and act like Ra-"

"SHH." I quickly clamped my hand over his mouth and looked around. The shop was pretty empty though. Even the barista had gone inside the kitchen.

He rolled his eyes and I slowly released them, as if he was going to say something stupid. Again.

"I have to admit though; I'm surprised you didn't realize it was me." He was referring to my… disgrace.

"How could I have? Everyone was wearing masks, the lights were everywhere, and who would've pegged you to be a strippers kind of guy?" I whispered the word, annoyingly paranoid.

To put frankly, Fullspeed was the most expensive strip club in the city. "Prestigious" one could say. They ran background checks on all the customers and you had to be rich as hell just to get in. It could almost pass as a celebrity's club if it weren't so infamously known otherwise.

Masks were a big issue. Everyone wore them. Bartenders and baristas were the exception because it became a hindrance while working but for the sake of keeping everybody's identity a secret, everyone wore a mask. Mark, obviously, was unaffected by the point of these masks.

Mark shrugged, "I figured out it was you didn't I?"

"I always knew you had a habit of stalking me," I joked. He chuckled, sipping from his cup of black coffee.

"Your eyes," he murmured after a moment of silence. My eyebrows furrowed.

"I knew it was you from your eyes," he explained, "They're light hazel, with specks of gold and green…" he trailed off, his own blue orbs cutting into mine.

I let out a conscious cough and laughed.

"They're an ordinary brown but thanks for elaborating you little poet." I tried playing off this moment we just shared. A memory of us flickered in my mind but before I could blush, something else quickly occupied my embarrassment.

"OH MY GOSH MY HISTORY REPORT." I nearly screamed. The moment disintegrated.

"Here, I'll take you home." Mark offered. I shook my head, unable to relieve myself of the sudden wave of panic.

"It's fine, I've got my car parked out back remember?" I leaped towards the door and with a backwards glance, warned, "I'll whoop your ass if anything we just talked about gets leaked."

I caught a glimpse of an amused smile adorning that cocky face.

I eyed her figure as she walked out. So I might've twisted the truth a little when I said that I recognized her from her eyes. In truth, it was definitely that smoking body that gave me my first clue. The eyes just confirmed any doubts I had.

I laughed quietly to myself as I watched her leave in a flurry, panicking over a silly history paper. It was just like her. She hadn't changed a bit since high school.

When was she ever going to get out of my mind? I left high school in hopes that I'd never have to see those adorable dimples again or find myself drowning, crying for help in those beautiful eyes.

From the very beginning, I knew I'd never have a chance with her.

I had met her through my best friend my junior year in high school. She had just come in from middle school, sweet and innocent. Jason fell in love with her immediately and had taken the initiative and asked her to Homecoming. I wasn't in love with her then. She was just the cute little girl my best friend had clearly gone heads over heels for.

But the summer before my senior year, she and I ended up at the same summer camp. It was a camp I had gone to every year since elementary school and I had become a junior counselor, coaching kids in swimming lessons and making rounds at night to make sure no one was sneaking out and the likes.

It sat by a quiet private beach, owned by the camp, and it was a requirement for all junior counselors to be able to swim. Unfortunately for me, Nicky was the only one who couldn't.

Every other day, she was sent to me in the late afternoons, while everyone was out hiking, eating, or doing other camp activities. The beach was relatively quiet, with the exception of a few people playing volleyball or taking a dip.

Nicky was a fast learner but so I was I. I soon realized how much I looked forward to those lazy afternoons where I would have a legitimate excuse to hold her waist, the small of her back, or "adjust" her legs.

She had grown so much in just a year. Both physically and mentally. She didn't giggle obnoxiously like many of the girls her age; she laughed honestly and made you feel like the funniest guy in the world. Her legs went on forever and with all the exercise she got throughout the year from playing basketball, her waist was lean and toned. I knew why Jason had fallen for her so quickly.

By the end of those two short weeks, she was swimming like a pro, carving through the water like she had lived in it her whole life.

I sat close to the shore, watching her practice her strokes. Eventually, she got out. With the sun setting in the background and all that water dripping down her 80% exposed body, I had to look away before my mind could affect my body.

But I focused my attention back to her just in time to catch the thin strands of seaweed wrapped around her ankles and caught her. Well… sort of anyways.

I wasn't there in time so the best I could do was clumsily break her fall.

She fell directly on top of me, every inch of her body touching me somewhere. Before the thought of our suggestive position even ran through my mind, my eyes were already swimming in those crystal clear orbs she owned. You couldn't have blamed for what I did next. There was no doubt in my mind how deep I had fallen and the instincts took over me from within.

I kissed her, hard and sensual. I took it slowly, making sure she knew I wasn't doing this on impulse, but because I had finally come to terms with myself and acknowledged the desire I had for her.

For a second, she didn't move. I was tentative about wrapping my arms around her but when she reciprocated my kiss, all hesitation was swept away.

I rolled her over, switching our positions and without breaking contact with her lips. I propped myself above her but let my body heat mingle with hers. She eagerly closed the slight gap between us by wrapping her legs around my hips, pressing us closer.

I groaned; pleasure racked my body. My hands couldn't get enough of her, roaming her smooth thighs giving soft squeezes now and then. Her breath quickened and my heart raced.

We hardly noticed the tide coming in and out.

Very short chapter, I know. But I'm just getting started here ! Please review so that I can edit or elaborate on any parts that are confusing or anything !