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Almost Doesn't Count: Part 3

Hello, everyone. I know it's been a long time. While I haven't released anything in a year or so (depression is kicking my ass), I am behind the scenes creating. However, until I do release something new, I've decided to release parts of a story I wrote in 2005, long before I became a published author. I'll release a new part, on my website, every week. And it's FREE! Here's the third part:

After missing two days of work, my boss, Mr. Meyers, called me.

“What’s going on, baby girl? Why haven’t I seen you in forty-eight hours?” he asked.

Mr. Meyers’ voice was unreasonably sexy. He looked damn good for his age and he spoke with an air of authority that held one captive.

“I’ve been sick is all,” I lied.

There was silence and then he grunted on the other end of the phone. “You being sick wouldn’t have anything to do with you being escorted to your car the other night would it?”

I wasn’t surprised he knew about it. It was rare that anything went on in his club that he didn’t know about.

I was silent for a moment before I answered. “I’d rather not talk about that.”

“Alright,” he said then took a deep breath. “But just know that if you need any added protection, I got you. If you need anything, I got you.”

“I know, Mr. Meyers…”

“You’re like a daughter to me—”

“Your daughter whom you let dance ass naked for other men?”

“A daughter who chose to do that on her own volition. I believe in allowing women to make their own decisions.”

“As long as it benefits your bottom line.”


“Ah huh.”

He chuckled. I smiled.  

“So, I need a favor. I’ve already talked to the other three girls about it,” he said, smoothly changing the subject.

“Okay,” I said.

“I have some very special friends coming in on Saturday. They’re young, well-to-do brothers. Their father and I were best friends back in the day. They’re also frat brothers and my godsons. Want you and the other three to put on a show for them, you especially.”

It was my turn to chuckle. I got up from my bed and looked at fading bruises on my neck and face. Flashes of Louis’ hands connecting with my face assaulted my memories. The bottom dropped out of my stomach. He had been calling and texting me nonstop. I was half afraid he was going to show up at my apartment. My roommates thought I’d been acting funny as I’d been closed off in my room.
I had barely been going to classes but decided to go on Wednesday. I couldn’t quite describe how it felt being in Dr. West’s presence after he’d witnessed me at what I considered my lowest moment. I couldn’t even bring myself to participate in his class. I’d felt like a fraud. I couldn’t explain it. I just did.

I thought about Mr. Meyer’s request again. I couldn’t stay locked in my room forever. I knew the money would be damn good, and I could always use that. Standing there in the mirror, I felt as if I didn’t know who I was anymore. One man had changed the entire existence of who I was. Never mind the fact that Louis had never lifted his hand to me before that night. Yes, he was a bit possessive and sometimes jealous, but I would have never thought he was abusive. That wasn’t even the point. In that moment, it occurred to me that Louis was still controlling me. Even though I’d left him, he was still calling the shots. No more.

“Isis, you still there?” Mr. Meyers asked.

“Yes. I’m sorry. I’m still here. I’ll do it.”

I heard the smile in my boss’ voice when he said, “That’s my girl.”

“What are the perks?” I asked.

“I want you to do a solo set. You get to keep all the money from your set.”

“My girls, too?”

He laughed jovially and made an “ahhh” sound. I imagined him stroking his thin goatee.

“Always looking out for the other three, huh?” he asked.

“Always,” I said.

“Alright then.”

“Oh, and Mr. Meyers?”

“Yes, Isis?”

“Please talk to the other dancers. I don’t want any shit.”

There had been a lot of tension in the locker room since Mr. Meyers had found out that two of his employees were doing more than he’d hired them to do. They had been making little tips on the side doing things in the closed VIP rooms that they shouldn’t have been. Mr. Meyers had been livid, and I could understand why. A lot of the other popular clubs like ours were being targeted for federal investigation and often being closed down.

Mr. Meyers had let them stay on, but they were placed on probation and could only dance on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays which meant they weren’t able to make the money they once did. Those girls had been the cream of the crop before me and my girls had become the Fantastic Four. For me, it had always been about business and making money. I wasn’t jealous of the other girls and I didn’t block their money. Unfortunately, they didn’t return the same sentiments. They swore up and down me and my crew had had something to do with their downfall. Whatever…Mr. Meyers assured me that he would speak to the other girls to let them know the deal.

That had been on Thursday night. Since that phone call, Louis had not stopped doggedly pursuing me, wanting to know why I wouldn’t talk to him. I had dodged him fairly well until he tracked me down at my apartment. I was walking home from the library when he pulled up right when I was about to go upstairs to my apartment. He was driving his black Range Rover.

The sight of him stopped me dead in my tracks. I hadn’t seen him since that incident at the mall. My breaths came out in spurts as I stared at him. He had parked just outside my apartment, so I had to pass him to get inside. A part of me knew he had done that on purpose.

There he stood next to the driver side door, legs crossed at the ankle, dressed in a cream Italian suit with a sky-blue dress shirt up under the jacket. His square toed shoes were the same color as his shirt, and his shiny cufflinks reflected off the sun. His hair line had been freshly tapered and his face was as smooth as a baby’s bottom. He still looked damn good, I couldn’t deny that. All the female attention he was getting attested to that.

Louis stared me down. Scowled at me like I’d been the one to give him an STD. He had his arms folded across his sculpted chest and his breaths came out slow and even. His brown eyes looked like freshly brewed coffee under the sunlight.

I tried to ignore him as I got my bearings about me and started walking toward my apartment again. My face stung like he had just slapped me again. Those memories were powerful. There was no Dr. West to save me today, and I highly doubted anyone here would rush to my rescue if Louis decided to show his ass.

My breathing became more ragged as I walked past him. I prayed he would take the hint and leave me alone. No such thing happened. As if he had had walked on air, no more than a few seconds after I’d passed him, and halfway to the stairs to get to my apartment’s door, Louis grabbed my arm and turned me to face him.

“Get your hands off me,” I snapped, yanking away from him.

He held his hands up as if he was being robbed. “I just want to talk, and you won’t answer my calls or respond to my texts,” he said.

My eyes darted around to see where I could escape if I needed to run. “We have nothing to talk about, Louis.”

“Please, Isis. I’m sorry, okay? I just snapped,” he said.

I frowned, anger residing in me. “Excuse me? You just snapped?” I repeated, not believing what I’d heard.

“Yes. The thought of you being with another man made me lose it a bit,” he said, and he was as calm as ever.

I couldn’t believe him. Either he was pulling my leg or he really was batshit crazy.

“Louis, you cheated on me. You were the one fucking another bitch raw. A dirty pussy broad at that,” I snapped.

He stepped back, furrowed his brows then thumped his nose. He slid his hands in his pockets then looked down his nose at me. His face reddened as he tilted his head. I took a step back, realizing I was still in his swing range.

“Why do you keep saying that?” he asked me.

“Keep saying what?”

“That I cheated on you? You stand here and expect me to believe the lie you’ve told yourself? Like I don’t know where I’m sticking my dick?” he said coolly. “Isis, I came here to talk to you, to let you know we could work past your little indiscretion, and yet, you still want to insult my intelligence?”

“Louis, are you out of your fucking mind?” I blurted out before I could stop myself.

It was clear that he was, but I just wanted to ask to be certain. It was as if he was trying to Jedi mind trick me into believing his version of things.

Louis made a move. I didn’t know if he was about to grab for me or hit me again. I didn’t stand there to find out. As his left hand left his pocket, I turned and ran for my apartment. I tripped a few times getting up the stairs. Yes, I was that afraid of him. Tears sprang to my eyes as I twisted the doorknob. I was happy as fuck that someone was home and had left the door unlocked. I rushed inside so fast that I slammed the door, locked it and burst into tears. I was so out of it, so afraid that I didn’t even notice there had been a wedding band on his finger.  

Dr. West

Monday rolled around, and I found myself looking for Ms. Jones in class. She wasn’t there. I hoped it was because she needed a bit more time to get herself together and not because she had quit. It was odd that something in me wanted to save her. I couldn’t explain it.

By Wednesday, she’d shown back up to class and that pleased me. She had on glasses and her hair was in a ponytail with a black cap on her head. She was wearing loose fitting black sweats and a black tee-shirt with Angela Davis’ face painted across the front. To my eyes, it was clear that she had taken care in what she’d worn so she could hide the evidence of her abuse. She wasn’t as talkative as she’d been before and that bothered me. Normally when I opened the floor to my students to give me their thoughts on a subject, she was the first one to speak. That wasn’t the case today. Just as quietly as she had come in, Ms. Jones exited my class the same way.

When Friday rolled around, I found myself trying to talk my way out of being pulled into my brother’s shenanigans.

“Bro, all I’m saying is, all you do is work,” Lionel chided. “Why not just take a few hours and relax a bit?”

We were sitting at my dining room table and had just gone over his plans to open a new medical plaza. My brother was big on helping the black community. A year or so ago, he’d come up with an idea to open a medical plaza that served all the needs of the community in one place. He wanted those who were less fortunate to be able to get the medical attention they needed. He also wanted to be able to give them the best healthcare, all around, within their budget.

I chuckled. “I do relax,” I said.

“Negro, staying home to grade papers or read or whatever your nerd-ass does these days isn’t what I call relaxing,” he countered.

I shook my head. “I don’t care what you say, Lionel. I’m not going to any strip club.”

“The hell you’re not. You’re coming with me tomorrow night even if I had to knock you out and drag you in there,” he joked with a laugh. “I don’t care how much ass that white girl has, there is nothing compared to the beautiful black women in Magic City. I’m telling you.”

“What white girl?” I asked, laughing too.

“The one you’re fucking; Tanina. You know who I’m talking about.”

“What does she have to do with anything?” I asked, smiling and shaking my head, confused.

“Sounds like she got your ass in here trying to be faithful and pure and what not. What? You planning to marry her or something?” he said, turning his Guinness Stout up to his lips.

I grunted. “First of all, I’m not in a relationship so there is no need for me to be faithful. Secondly, just because I do not wish to predatorially partake in the visual devourment of the naked black female form does not mean I’m trying to be pure.”

Lionel stopped drinking, swallowed, and then frowned at me. He studied me for a moment like he didn’t know who I was.  “Nigga, say what now?” he said.

We cracked up laughing. I’d always gotten a kick out of the fact that we were considered in the upper echelons of society and could still be down to earth as could be.

“You heard me,” I said.

“Well, once you’re done with your circumlocution, hopefully you’ll get to the point, get over yourself, stop acting like you’re married and get down to Magic City with me.”

“Listen, while one day I do want to get married, it’s not happening soon.”

“Wait, what? You want to get married?” he asked, brows raised like he couldn’t believe it. “After what happened with your ex, you still want to make that mistake?” he asked, shaking his head. “Roger, bruh, sometimes I wonder about you.”

He spent another twenty minutes or so trying his best to convince me that Magic City was where I needed to be. My brother, while very active in the community, had some issues he needed to work on when it came to women.

“On another note,” he said after a while, “I’m working on getting a permit for the plaza I was telling you about. I’ve already spoken to the owner about buying it outright. I’ve no need to rent it monthly.”

I nodded. “Yeah, I think it will be better to outright own it so you can do with it as you please.”

“Yeah. Trying to get it running as soon as possible, too. Eventually want to expand. You know have it like a family clinic all the way around. Dentistry, dermatology, gynecology, obstetrician, pediatric, psychiatry, psychology, and so on. Want to make it a one-stop clinic. I’ve been looking at different doctors and talking to some people to see who would be interested in taking that leap of faith with me.”

“How much is all this going to cost you?” I asked.

“Don’t know right off. Don’t really care. Money is no object,” he said then got up and headed to the restroom.

I glanced over at my laptop to see school notifications had popped up. End of the week meant more assignments needed to be graded. I walked over to the bar to see which students had already turned in their work. I couldn’t say I was surprised to see Ms. Jones’ assignment was the first to pop up. She’d always been first in que when it came to homework. I was happy to see she was at least keeping up with that. I wasn’t sure if I ready to admit that she popped up in my mind at random times during the week. I knew she was younger than I was, at least ten years younger, but there was something about her that called out to me. I was sure it was just the fact that she was my student and I was just concerned with her well-being. At least…that was what I kept telling myself.

“I’m about get up outta here,” I heard Lionel say as he made his way back to the front room. “Got to get some rest. Tired as hell, man. Hospital wearing me out.”

“And yet, you’re talking about hitting the strip club tomorrow,” I said.

Lionel gave a sly fox like grin. “There is no better pick me up than what will be shaking and jiggling in Magic City tomorrow night. Trust me.”
Saturday came, and I let my brother talk me into going to Magic City anyway. He’d been right. It was rare I got out of the house for any real socializing these days. Tanina had called me earlier and the conversation we’d had left a bad taste in my mouth. After that, it didn’t take much convincing on Lionel’s part to get me out of the house.

 After Lionel parked in the VIP section designated for those patrons of importance, we headed into the club. Each of us carried a black duffle bag full of bank sorted cash. The music was so loud, bass so deep that it felt as if the ground quaked as we walked toward the club. We didn’t have to wait in the line that was around the corner. We didn’t get patted down like everybody else. The guard let us through with no issues. Didn’t have to pay to get in like everyone else either.

 We walked into the dimly lit club through a thick iron black door past two big bouncers in black suits. Only a few lights were on, the music was loud, and the stage had two silver poles coming down on each side. Looked like they were coming out of a hole in the ceiling.

The bathrooms were on the left and there was an opening leading down to another level. Girls were coming from down there half ass naked. I had to admit some of them were eye catchers. I did look at a few. The room was already crowded with men and women spending their whole paychecks on a fantasy. Money was scattered on the floor.  People wear standing, naked women in front of them with beautiful backsides jiggling and gyrating to the music. They were either getting a lap dance or at the foot of the stage putting money on one of the four girls who were up there dancing.

The owner of the club walked up and greeted us with handshakes that showed we’d pledged purple and gold. Mr. Meyers was our godfather, an older brother who looked many years younger than he actually was. He had a full head of gray hair that sat in a low fade with light waves. Dressed in a tailored suit that complimented his tall, somewhat lanky but fit frame, he grinned from ear to ear.

“Got damn, Roger, he got you up in here finally, huh?” he asked then laughed.

I nodded with a grin. “You know how my brother is.”

“I do. Listen, it’s one of my busiest nights so pardon me if I move about quickly. It’s no disrespect I promise. But pick a spot in one of the VIP sections. Anywhere you want and take a seat.”

Once we chose that spot, a few of the bouncers blocked the section off and we had bottle girls and a waitress to ourselves.  I looked around and girls had already flocked to my brother. Yeah, he was good looking, but I was quite sure the stacks of money he’d taken from our bags and set on the table had something to do with it as well. We’d taken a seat on the right side of the club behind a wall that sat low.

It had been eleven o’clock when we walked through the door. At twelve-thirty, I was a few grand lighter in the pockets and feeling good off the Cristal my brother had ordered. It had been a while since I had seen this side of fun. It had probably been even longer since I’d hung out with Lionel this way. I was definitely enjoying myself more than I thought I would.

There were two sets of four girls to come out in different intervals. It seemed as if each set were better dancers and more beautiful than the set before them. And that was saying a lot since all of the women had been damn beautiful. I tipped the naked dancer in front of me—she had blonde hair, smooth brown skin, and thick hips. I wasn’t really paying attention to her but knew strip club etiquette dictated I tip her.

After the last set was done, the DJ turned the music down. I turned my eyes toward the DJ booth, wondering what was about to happened.

 The DJ said, “All right, niggas. It’s about that time. I got four of the meanest, baddest, sexiest, feminine beast walking this earth.”

I chuckled when catcalls, hoots and hollers reverberated through the club. Just then, Mr. Meyers walked up and whispered something in the DJ’s ear.

“Oh, my bad,” the DJ said. “We only got three for now. Where the hell Chocolate at?” he asked my godfather, who then whispered something else to him.  “Oh word. That’s what the fuck I’m talkin’ ‘bout. All right Tiger, Bubble Gum, Treasure…Get yo asses to the stage!”

Three girls came from the back. One dressed in a tiger print cat suit that was so tight and so thin she might as well had come out naked. The other— I guessed was Bubble Gum because she had on a g-string set that had bubble gum wrappers printed on them— and the other one had on a bright ass orange thong set. They were dancing to a song by a predatory male who was talking about sticking his key in somebody’s ignition, then to Lil’ Jon telling them to get low. They were doing shit I thought only girls in videos did. Their asses and hips moved in ways that women outside of this kind of establishment had probably never even thought about.

 Men and women flooded the stage to see it firsthand. As the girls danced, the DJ talked more trash than a little bit. He went from bragging on the dancers to joking about the men who could only throw five-dollar bills at the stage.

“Broke niggas need to stay at home or take that shit over to the other club where the flame is blue,” the DJ roared. The crowd laughed and jeered. “We got top notch pussy over here. This here is prime real estate. Those bum-ass five dollars ain’t about to cut it, especially not with who’s about to hit the stage now.”

As he talked, he cut the music and in and out. The three girls on the stage kept dancing. The crowd kept throwing money.

Lionel tapped me on my shoulder then leaned in. “Get ready,” he said, yelling over the music and chatter.

I turned to look at him. His comment was odd. “Get ready for what?” I asked.

“So word on the street is, there’s a motherfucker in here who thinks he wants to get married,” the DJ said then laughed into his mic.

As soon as the words left his mouth, I thought back to the joke my brother had said the night before. I turned to look at Lionel, and the smirk on his face told me all I needed to know.

“Tell me you did not do what I think you did,” I yelled over the music at him.

“Let me tell you something, bruh, any man who can look at what’s about to be set out in front of him and still think getting married is smart…that nigga gay,” the DJ quipped.

Amidst the crowd’s raucous laughter, Lionel bellowed, “Hey, I said it was time for you to have some fun. I didn’t say it would be harmless.” Lionel laughed then turned the Cristal bottle up to his lips.
I forgot I was a college educated professor for as second when I yelled, “Nigga, tell me you didn’t do that shit.”

All my brother did was laugh harder then stood up, cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled, “He’s over here.”

Everyone around us turned to look. I saw Mr. Meyers pointing in my direction. Before I could curse my brother to hell, the three girls who had been on stage— Tiger, Bubble Gum, and Treasure—came over. Tiger and Treasure took each of my hands while Bubble Gum laid a gentle hand on my back. As they escorted me to a spot that was dead center in front of the stage, I thought of a thousand and one ways to kill my brother.

After they had urged me to sit in a chair that had been placed there, Tiger went to wipe down the poles while the other two started picking up the money that had been thrown at them as they danced their set.

“Listen here, my man,” the DJ said. “You about to get some shit you’ll never ever experience in your everyday life. Listen to me. Magic City got the baddest bitches in the land, and the one who’s about to grace your presence is the baddest of the baddest.”

I looked to my left to see Mr. Meyers had walked over. There was a Cheshire like grin on his face.
He laid a hand on my shoulder then said, “Guarantee you love this.”

I couldn’t help but chuckle. The DJ was quiet as music played while Mr. Meyers gestured for the two of the bouncers to bring another chair. Lionel sat next to me a few seconds later.

“All right Chocolate, where you at baby? We fiending. Need yo ass like a crack head need crack. You gotta come save a nigga from making the biggest mistake of his life.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at the DJ’s antics. He was very comical. He dropped a track. I don’t even know what song it was. I was watching the feminine figure in the chocolate brown trench coat with the matching hat making her way to the stage. Wanted to see what, better yet who, had everybody hyped up.

She had designer glasses on to hide her eyes. Her jet-black hair was so straight I thought the hat was going to slide off. It was shiny and very pretty covering her chocolate oval-shaped face. She took her time getting on the stage. Her walk was slow and sexy. It was the kind of an unhurried strut that made men sit up and pay attention.

She slinked her way to the pole to my left and wrapped herself around it. She made it look so easy one had to wonder if she had been born to do it. Once she’d inched her way to the top, she bent backwards and slid down wrapping and unwrapping her legs until she got to the bottom. The way she contorted her lithe body was some wicked exotic kind of shit. I couldn’t stop thinking about how thick and toned she was. Her backside was so round and perfect, it was kind of ridiculous. I could definitely see why men paid top dollar for her to be their fantasy for the night.

Mr. Meyers reached behind him into a black duffle bag that one of the bouncers were holding. He pulled out stacks of money, took the bank wrapper from around them. He walked up to the stage and tossed it. The money rained down on the dancer in waves. He hadn’t been the only one. My brother, along with many other men and women in the club, did the same thing.

“That’s that shit I’m talking about right there,” the DJ yelled.  “Whooo wee girl!”

The woman was a master of the stage, walking to the back of the stage to toy with the men and women over there and then back to where we were seated. I didn’t think I’d ever saw pussy popping up close and personal until now. She hadn’t looked down at me yet. Teasing me. Making me wait. I was in no rush. She turned around to me. Still wasn’t looking at me. Pulled her hat off. Wrapped herself around that pole again and then swung around real nice and slow.

“Take that shit off,” the DJ yelled.

And she did just that. She snatched the trench coat she had on off. Stood in front of me in nothing but a black cat suit with the fabric cut from below the breast to down to where her hairless vagina was. There was only a piece of cloth covering the area. She turned around and gave us a full view of her magnificent, perfectly round chocolate ass.

My brother sat back in his chair and hissed, “Goddamn” before he got up and dropped stacks of money on the stage again.

I didn’t move. Was amazed by the woman on stage who held everyone’s attention as she pulled her left leg all the way up to her head then dropped down to a full split. She took her time easing up from the floor. With her back turned to me, she arched her ass up perfectly and gave me a full view of her heart shaped ass. The thin G-string she had was barely able to cover her plump vaginal lips. Made everybody jump back in their chairs and holler, “Damn” as she moved her ass in a sensual manner that made me wonder if she could do that while in bed.

Money went flying in the air like it was raining again. If a woman had ever deserved it, it was Chocolate. Mama was for damn sure working for her money, providing every man and woman in the place with a memory they wouldn’t soon forget. I reached inside the black duffle bag next to me, grabbed four stacks of money that included twenties and fifties, went to the stage and placed them at the end of the stage just as she was coming up from the front split she had turned into a Chinese split.
Under the stage lights, I could see her clearer. She was perfect. Not a blemish or mark—not even a stretch mark— was anywhere on her skin. She smiled down at me as she stood. Her breasts jiggled ever so slightly as she took her glasses off and sauntered closer to me. Shock stabbed me and sent a jolt through my gut that caused me to stand still.  

When I finally got a good look at the woman who had just caused a chemical reaction in me that made my manhood stand at attention, everything changed.  She looked directly into my eyes and blanched to the point she lost her balance for only a quick second. Only the two of us caught her slip up and she was right back on cue like she had never fumbled. But the cat was out of the bag now. 

Come back Sunday, December 16th at 11:11 p.m. for part 4! 
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Copyright © 2005 by Nikki Michelle
All rights reserved
Singleton’s Press
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.


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