"Le Club du Mal" Chapter 4. Available in print and digital formats.
By the time I turned fifteen-years-old, the allure of money and independence had already taken hold. Papa Gene had always been an industrious man, good with finances, and he had taught Maddy and I how to be responsible with money. We earned a weekly allowance by doing chores, and he encouraged us to seek out creative ways to earn even more. Whatever we earned was ours to do with as we pleased, of course, but Papa Gene offered us a powerful incentive not to waste it.
The deal: Whatever we had managed to save by the time we turned sixteen, he would match it and put it toward a car. Not brand new, but whatever we could find in our price range.
Well, that was all the motivation I needed.
Weekend mornings would find Maddy and I out collecting cans, bright and early. And I started advertising around the neighborhood for babysitting jobs on weekend nights. It all helped, and Papa Gene was so impressed that he actually gave me fewer chores and a small increase on my allowance.
Angelique noticed the new girl the moment she walked through the door. Barefoot, still in her workout gear, The Mistress stood with her arms folded, staring out her private window like a general surveying a battlefield…warring with her own instincts.
Angelique’s business-minded brain wanted to hurry through the interview so she could deal with Estella, but her heart urged her to give this girl a fair chance. Or, at least, the same consideration all potential new-hires received.
Just take your time, she kept telling herself. You got all night…the party will take care of itself.
Smirking, remembering the first time she’d ever walked onto a porn set, the first time she’d sat down with McFeely’s’ ultra-sleazy manager, Angelique watched as the new girl took a hesitant look around, then turned to Scott, who remained his usual helpful self. Without even needing to read their lips, she could hear the conversation in her mind.
Huh. Seems young. A little sheltered, maybe. Pretty, though…
From Angelique’s vantage point the girl looked skinny, with a smaller-than-average bust. A-cups; had to be. Light blonde hair, thin and straight as raw spaghetti, down to her narrow shoulders. She wore a black halter-top, a jean skirt, and flip-flops. Seemed very animated, too. Moved her head a lot as she spoke. Maybe just flirting with the hunky security guard.
Wonder if she’s nervous.
Now Angelique observed Scott signaling to Kerry. Smiling, Kerry got up from the table of frat-boys and sashayed to the podium. The two girls exchanged a very businesslike handshake, then began walking toward the private stairwell. Kerry led the way, escorting her through the tables and around the bar.
With a small sigh, Angelique returned to her desk.
The first real job I ever had was at Wendy’s. I can still remember how nervous I was when I went in for the interview. Luckily, Papa Gene had coached me on how to dress and how to present myself. He also helped me put a basic resume together, and write a convincing cover letter. Not that I really needed all of that for a fast food job, but Papa Gene just wanted me to start off on the right foot. He did the same for Maddy, too, and I can honestly say we’re both better off because of his influence.
The door opened. In walked Kerry with a very timid-looking young woman behind her. Smiling, Angelique rose, gestured to the chairs in front of her desk.
“Hi, ladies. Have a seat.”
“Hey, Angie,” Kerry said. “This is Crystal. Crystal, this is Angelique du Mal.”
“Hello, Ms. du Mal.”
Angelique extended her right hand. “Nice to meet you, Miss, uh…?”
“Warner. Crystal Warner.”
“Warner. That’s it. You’ll have to excuse me. I just got back from a long trip and I’m a little behind on everything around here.”
“Oh, no problem,” Crystal said. “I’m sure you stay hella busy running this place.”
You have no idea…
Angelique snickered, sank into her big leather chair. Both of her young guests followed suit; Kerry on her left, Crystal on her right. Crystal sat with her ankles crossed and her hands resting on her weathered pink vinyl purse. Without realizing it, she began to chew on her bottom lip. Grinning, Kerry leant forward; a rapt schoolgirl, eager for her lesson.
Clearing her throat, Angelique rustled some loose paper on her laptop. “I did, however, manage to find your resume and cover letter just before you got here. You originally spoke with my sister, Madelyn, while I was outta town.”
Crystal nodded. “That’s right.”
“Well, I really liked the enthusiasm in your cover letter.”
“So for starters, why don’t you tell me a little about yourself?”
“Sure,” Crystal replied, straightening. “Uh…I’m originally from Castle Dale, Utah, but I moved here with my family when I was sixteen. I just turned twenty-one in September. I’m in my second year at SCU, and I’m planning to major in English.”
Angelique had been watching Crystal since she walked through the door. Now she looked closer, gauging her sincerity, trying to see past whatever façade the young woman might’ve brought into her office. “So tell me why you wanna work here. What makes you wanna take your clothes off in front of total strangers for money?”
The bluntness of Angelique’s question blindsided Crystal. Her bright perma-grin faltered, her hands clenched on top of her purse. Beside her, Kerry blushed, remembering how Angelique had subjected her to the same line of inquiry not so long ago.
“Well, uh, I…I need a job I can work nights, and I know that dancing is a good way to make money…”
“So, you’re just doing it for the money.”
Crystal’s jaw dropped. “No, I didn’t mean that!”
“No?” Angelique shrugged. “What else then?”
“I mean, uh, sure, ya know, I’d also be doing it for the fun, and, uh, the excitement. But, uh, it’s not, ya know, my life’s ambition to be a stripper…”
Good answer, Kerry thought. But I’ll bet she thinks she’s blowing it right now.
Nodding, Angelique folded her hands over her laptop. Over Crystal’s resume and cover letter; the dainty summation of Crystal’s entire life, thus far. “And what is your life’s ambition?”
“Oh, well, I think I’d like to get into editing one day. Maybe teaching.”
“Ever think of doing any writing yourself?”
“You mean, like you?” Crystal smiled. “Sure.”
“Really? What genre?”
“Oh, probably romance. Of course. I’ve actually written a couple short stories, and I might try a novel once I’m done with school.”
“Very good,” Angelique said, smirking at Crystal’s struggle to stay calm and not say the wrong thing. A sadistic impulse, she supposed, but the experience would benefit Crystal in the long run.
Pressure makes diamonds, honey.
“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your honesty. You seem like a very pleasant and genuine girl. Now, lemme ask you another question…”
“You know about my career in the adult entertainment industry, right?”
“Um, yeah.” Crystal glanced around the office. Pictures of naked porn stars decorated the walls. Of course, she knew! “Heh. I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but since you brought it up…my, uh, my boyfriend’s a really big fan of yours.”
“Hey, that’s always nice to hear. Tell him I’m flattered. But my point is, I make enough that I don’t really need a second career. I don’t need the headache of running this place, too. So, do you have any idea why I do it?”
Eyes wide, Crystal turned to Kerry. But Kerry just grinned, gave her a wink. No help there.
“No. I guess I don’t.”
“Well, allow me to explain myself,” Angelique said, eyebrows arched for emphasis. “Stripping is a damned good way for girls to make money. You’re absolutely right about that. The problem is, most strip clubs are incredibly grungy places, run by dirty old men who don’t care about their employees. But here at Club du Mal it’s the complete opposite. I care about all of my employees, and I’m not real interested in hiring girls who wanna make a career outta dancing naked. I want motivated workers who need the money so they can move on to bigger and better things. For instance, the girl whose position you’re applying for just graduated from nursing school. You see what I’m getting at here?”
Crystal nodded. “I sure do.”
“Good. So in exchange for working in a safe and professional environment, there’s a few rules you’ll have to follow. One, you show up for every scheduled shift on time, looking good, smelling good, and stone-cold sober. Two, you treat every guest in this club like a V.I.P. Three, no drinking while you’re on the clock. I know most clubs aren’t so stringent about that but those clubs aren’t run by me. If a guest offers to buy you a drink, you politely inform him or her that you can get all the soda and juice from the bar you want. Four, absolutely no controlled substances on premises. What you do on your own time is your business, just don’t bring it here. Think you can live with that?
“Sure,” Crystal replied, flashing Kerry a brief, triumphant grin.
Expressionless, Angelique reclined again. “So,” she sighed, steepling her fingers beneath her chin. “From your resume I gather that this would be your first dancing job. Is that right?”
Again, the grin faltered. “Yeah, that’s right.
“Well, what makes you think you can do this? How will you exude sexiness up there?”
“Aw, jeez.” Crystal’s grin disappeared as worry lines crept into her cherubic face. “I, uh, I’ve been working out to stripper aerobics tapes for the past few months, so I know some moves. I’m real flexible, too. Guys love that. And the rest of it, I suppose, is just bringing a sexy attitude to work, whether you feel that way or not.”
Fantastic! Kerry thought, restraining herself from high-fiving Crystal right there.
“Okay. So how are you gonna handle some drunk who keeps trying to grab your boobs during a lap-dance?”
“Uh, be firm. Just keep telling him it’s against the rules.”
“And if that doesn’t work?”
“If that doesn’t work, I’ll get away from the guy and find security.”
Angelique nodded. “Okay. And are you sure you wanna have to deal with rubbing yourself all over strange men on a nightly basis?”
“Yeah, I think I can handle it.”
“Okay. Well, that’s about all at this point. Do you have any questions for me?”
Crystal shook her head. “Uh-uh.”
“Okay. Well, here’s the deal. I have an opening for second shift. That’s nine p.m. to three a.m. It’s a three-hundred dollar buy-in for second shift, and whatever you make in those six hours are yours. It’s optional but customary to tip out security at the end of your shift. You also get one half-hour break and one fifteen minute break. How’s that sound?”
“Wow. Sounds really great.”
“Good to hear. Uh, what about your body? Any tattoos?”
“ Just my navel.”
“Okay. I just need to know what I’m working with. Piercings and jewelry are fine as long as they don’t pose some kind of hazard. Tattoos are fine, too, as long as they’re not something that could be considered offensive.”
“Oh. Like what?”
“Well, like gang symbols or swastikas. Anything racial.”
“Oh. Nope. Not for me.”
“Okay then,” Angelique concluded. “Now we just need to see you dance.”
About to stand, Crystal did a quick double-take. “Pardon?”
“Gotta see the goods, Crystal. Go ahead and do a little dance right over there.” Leaning forward, Angelique pointed to the center of the room.
“Uh…you mean do a full-on striptease right here?”
Again, the nerve-racked girl turned to Kerry. Again, no help there.
“Exactly,” Angelique replied.
“Hey, don’t worry,” Kerry offered, still grinning. “I had to do it, too. We all had to.”
A look of doubt crawled across Crystal’s face. “Well, okay,” she said, turning back to Angelique. “You asked for it.”
“Yes, I did. Tell you what, though. Kerry, why don’tcha tell Crystal a little about the psychology of dancing first.”
“Yeah, that might help,” Crystal said. “A lot.”
Kerry shrugged. “Sure, Angie.” Assuming a businesslike expression, the seasoned dancer met Crystal’s grateful gaze. “So, my dancer name is Avery, okay? As plain ol’ Kerry, I’m kinda down-to-earth, laid back, and sweet. But as soon as I walk into the club, I become Avery. And Avery is a naughty girl. She likes to seduce men, and she likes to make money doing it. Avery is my…whaddya call it again, Angie?”
“Right! My alter-ego. Like, um, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! You see?”
Crystal nodded. “Yeah, I get it.”
“So it’s you up there, but a different part of yourself. You gotta tap into the deepest layers of your sexuality. Right, Angie?”
Angelique smirked, gestured with her hands. “Couldn’t have said it better myself.”
“Alright,” Crystal said, uncrossing her ankles. “That makes a lotta sense…”
“Good. It’ll make even more sense the more you get into it.”
“Yep,” Angelique and Kerry replied in unison.
Self-conscious, giggling, Crystal set her purse down and rose to her feet. An unsure moment passed, then the nervous young woman turned and walked to her spot. Angelique watched the sway of her narrow hips with cold detachment. Kerry adjusted her chair so she could face the action.
“By the way,” Angelique called, “do you have a stage-name you’d like to go by?”
“Um…no. Either of you ladies have any ideas?”
“Not me,” Kerry said, glancing at her boss.
Another unsure moment passed as Angelique thought it over. Crystal, she told herself. Under pressure…
The Mistress’s lips widened in a smile of genuine pleasure.
So I got hired at Wendy’s. Part time, Saturdays and Sundays. Sometimes Friday nights when a girl called in sick so she could go out and party. I didn’t fall in love with the job, but having a regular paycheck and my own vehicle was pretty nice for a wet behind the ears sixteen-year-old girl. I still babysat as often as I could, too, and the money really started to add up.
“Diamond, huh? Hey, I like that!”
“Good,” Angelique replied. “Now, I realize you can’t hear the music too well in here, and there’s no pole, but just pretend you’re at a club and you’re trying to turn some guy on, okay?”
“Sure. I understand.”
“And don’t be shy about showing skin. The sooner the clothes come off, the sooner the evaluation’s over.”
“Got it. Okay.”
Kicking off her flip-flops, Crystal steeled herself with a deep sigh. She looked at the wooden floor for several moments, as if contemplating her toes…then began to sway to the phantom music inside her head.
Narrow hips sliding back and forth.
Narrow shoulders rocking to and fro.
Spaghetti-thin hair dancing around her face.
Not bad, Kerry thought as Crystal threw her head back and began caressing some imaginary lover with her hands.
Aw, please don’t drag this out, Angelique thought. Let’s get this over with…
Then, perhaps sensing Angelique’s growing impatience, Crystal threw herself into the next part of her act. Eyes closed, lips pressed into a thin line, and with a savage motion, the enraptured girl peeled off her halter-top, revealing a bright pink bra--
And there, before two pairs of very interested eyes, Crystal indeed became Diamond.
Fabulous, Angelique decided, suppressing a grin. Maybe she’s not so sheltered after all.
Still swaying, still gyrating, Diamond slipped her hands behind her back. She came forward; one step, two steps. Her pink bra straps loosened, slipped down her thin arms. Then, without breaking stride or rhythm, Diamond’s hands slid to her waist. She unzipped her jean skirt, and with the next step it dropped to her ankles, revealing pink thong underwear.
“WHOO!” Kerry urged, raising her arms and swaying in time with the prancing interviewee. “Take it off, baby!”
Diamond, blushing as she turned to Kerry, shimmied out of her bra, revealing petite-but-perky breasts, tiny-yet-hard pink nipples.
Small chest, Angelique noted. But she has the kinda torso that makes certain guys drool like idiots.
Diamond then stilled her drool-worthy torso, going stiff-legged and rigid as if about to salute. Instead of any such gesture, though, she bent forward, keeping her legs arrow-straight, hooked her thumbs into her panties, and slid them to her feet. Holding this somewhat precarious position, Diamond arched her slender back, wiggling her pale but succulent backside.
“Nice little move!” Angelique remarked, allowing her grin to shine. She’d seen that done many times before, of course--even used it herself on occasion--but on little miss Diamond it didn’t seem at all forced or fake. Quite natural, in fact. Quite in tune with her coquettish nature.
Enjoying the show, Kerry now began to clap her hands above her head. “Oh, yeah! Sexy mama!” she called, still swaying to Diamond’s imaginary soundtrack.
Yeah, I may look innocent, the young woman thought, raising her head just enough to flash a sultry look at her soon-to-be-co-worker, but when I’m Diamond, anything goes--
So watch this!
With a slow, deliberate pace, the now naked Diamond straightened, revealing a well-manicured vagina. Not bare, but framed by a thin patch of blonde hair, two shades darker than her head. All of her exposed flesh glimmered beneath the overhead lights. Her pert nipples stood out from her breasts. Her cheeks darkened with the sudden rush of standing nude before two strange yet gorgeous women.
A sensation which spurred her ever onward.
“Great performance, so far,” Angelique said, growing impatient again. “Now give us the finale and you’re done…”
But Angelique needn’t have said anything. The naked interviewee already knew how she wanted to end her performance. Maintaining eye contact with the ever-enthusiastic Kerry, Diamond strutted toward her, took her by the wrists, and planted Kerry’s hands upon her milky-white hips. Kerry, consumed with lustful glee, responded by sliding her palms up Diamond’s slinky, undulating torso. With a soft groan, Diamond threw her head back, eyes closed, arms raised, and pumped her groin at the seated, giggling girl before her. Never had she tingled so from a woman’s touch! But now, with her libido unleashed and her inhibitions freed, Diamond found herself on the verge of orgasm from sheer excitement, sheer pleasure, and knew in that frantic moment that she’d enjoy this job more than she ever would’ve believed…
But, honestly, the money didn’t change my life. It’s never that simple. What changed my life was two chance encounters with people I never would have met if I hadn’t applied for that job at Wendy’s.
Just two random events.
That’s what changed the course of my life forever.
“Okay. Well, based on your interview and demo, I’m definitely interested in giving you a tryout.”
“Really? That’s awesome, Angelique! Thank you so much!”
Crystal, clothed again and standing where her stark naked alter-ego had just performed, gave her new boss a look of genuine affection. Awash with the afterglow of genuine accomplishment.
“Hey, you earned it. Just like all my girls,” Angelique said, slipping on her sneakers. “Give yourself a pat on the back.”
“Hell yeah!” Kerry added, still seated next to Crystal. “You kicked ass!”
Blushing, Crystal turned to Kerry. “Thanks, gorgeous!”
Both girls grinned and laughed. Angelique thought for a moment, gazing skyward.
“How’s tonight for you, Crystal? Could you make it back here by nine?”
“Sure!” Crystal replied, turning back to her new boss. “That’d be great!”
“Good. Now, remember, tonight’s just a trial run. You’re not officially hired ’til I see your stuff onstage and out on the floor.”
“Sure. I understand.”
“I might also get feedback from the other girls.”
Crystal nodded. “Yeah, that makes sense.”
“Let’s see. What else? Uh, employee parking’s around back. You’ll see the private entrance when you’re there. The code for the door is six-nine-six-six.”
“Okay, got it.”
“Oh, and I’ll need to make a copy of your I.D. just to have on file.”
“Alright. That’s it, then. See ya tonight.”
“Aw, I’m so excited!”
Angelique stood, turned to Kerry with a playful snicker. “Well, Kerr, should we see Miss Warner to the door?”
“Sure,” Kerry replied, rising to her feet. “I don’t see why not…”
(Author's note: "Le Club du Mal" is available for download @ https://www.books2read.com/u/4AgdoN)