“This is unbelievable,” chirped Zoe as Spark walked up and gave Lyssa a high-five after the show.
“It’s a meat market, for sure. A man buffet for the taking,” Serene snapped back, watching the many submissives behaving so perfectly for their pleasures.
“So, what’s your story, Buttercup?” Serene inquired, eying Iris. Before Iris could respond, the entire cabaret felt a wave of silence engulf them as someone rivaling Sal stood by the entryway by Mullins.
“Who is that?” Serene whispered to Zoe.
“That is buffet delivery,” Kate announced as she rose up, striding intently towards Mullins and Mitch.
Engrossed in Kate’s next move, Serene focused her attention to Iris. “Who does it for you?”
Your hot Italian boy.
“I don’t know. I married my husband at eighteen. I never knew anything else.”
Serene brushed her arm against Iris. “Stop being so curious. And go find your truth, Buttercup. Be an active participant in your life.”
A shiver went down her spine as Serene stayed in her space long enough to make her uncomfortable. “You just want to spank me,” Iris contemptuously retorted.
Cackling softly, Serene lifted a brow, “Oh you are alive! And no.” She caught her eyes and countered, “I prefer whips… long, painful ones.”
Serene’s flirtatious words dripped like sex off the tip of her tongue onto Iris. “Sal is coming home with me tonight. If you want to come, here is my number. Send me a text at eleven. No one will know. The offer is good for tonight only.”
Zoe blinked at Iris subtly acquiescing that Serene inviting initiates home broke protocol. Initiates were to be seen and not touched, but she was Mistress Serene and always found a way to break, bend, contort, or render helpless the rules. An invitation from Serene—with or without Sal—proved to be a highly coveted piece in the Juliet puzzle.
The lights dimmed again, and a pulsing, gyrating beat came on as Kate returned to the table. Serene snapped, “What the hell did you just do?”
“Just taking care of business,” Kate quipped. “Knocking the head off the King, I suppose.”
“You have no clue what you have done,” Serene fumed.
The sexy young man appeared on stage, in his ripped jeans, t-shirt, and well-worn work boots. He stood stoic, deer in the headlights. The undulating roar soared to the stage from the rowdy crowd of women. Serene couldn’t believe Kate convinced Mitch to get up on stage. She whispered to Zoe, “This place is about to get insane if he does it.”
“Oh, he’s gonna do it,” Kate spouted off confident of her new toy.
“I don’t know. He’s been still at least thirty-seconds,” Serene egged on with fighting words.
“He’ll do it,” Kate challenged. The music stopped abruptly and the lights fell dark again, leaving the audience full of boo’s. The blaring music of came on with the spotlight on his back. Shirtless, Mitch displayed several large tattoos and some scars.
“He’s terrified, Kate,” Serene warned. “He’s shaking for fucks sake.”
“He may be, but he has this. Trust me. You don’t do three tours in Afghanistan and not be able to do this,” Kate argued.
At the bar, Sal scoped out the women conspiring his future. He didn’t believe things could get any worse. He and Kate were done which also meant he and Serene were done. There was no relationship. There was no Mistress/slave. There was not even a sandwich over the evening news. So anywhere he could end up would not be any more abominable than his current situation.
Sal noticed Iris sitting with Serene, and he couldn’t help remembering how close he had come to making love to her. While he couldn’t understand why, Sal knew Iris was his game changer, but even she didn’t want to play with him.
Slamming his fifth whiskey, Sal couldn’t believe how the women, his legion of his fanatical followers, flirted with Mitch Daniels. The front-rowers drooled, going crazy over a spot that should be his. Sal couldn’t take being one-upped, so he did the only thing his bad boy knew he could get away with. Sprinting through the audience, Sal hopped up onto the stage.
Sal yelled, “I want to dance!”
“Oh god,” Kate mumbled, flabbergasted.
“You brought this on. He’s lives off the fuel of the crowd. Let him burn off the energy,” Serene admonished, stomping off to the bar with Zoe following. Torn between what she wanted to do, follow Zoe or stay with Kate, Iris upheld her obligation to friendship. Choosing the former, Iris glared condescendingly at Kate as she strutted off.
“Where are you going?” Kate pleaded, grasping Serene’s arm.
She jerked back quick, yanking Kate. Her ice blue eyes menacing, Serene sassed, “I’m going to clean up your fucking mess yet again. And while I am at it, you should stop playing head games with Sal. Let him go, Kate. Final and last warning. Because if you fuck with him one more time, I swear to God it will be the last thing you do at Juliet.”
Shaking his ass, Sal spun at the screaming women. He mouthed the words to the song at them, touching their fingertips all along the front row. Blowing kisses to them, they were clinging to Sal like horny groupies.
“Looks like the prize stallion broke out of his stall,” Zoe snickered to Iris.
Before Serene could get over to stop him, Sal made his way back to the DJ and changed the music to his standard Nine Inch Nails. And that could only mean one thing. The rowdy boy was about to tank the entire Quad-F.
“Fuck!” Serene roared.
To say a dance battle ensued would be incorrect, more of an up-the-ante-strip-a-thon. As soon as Sal got on stage he ripped his shirt off, tossing it at the groupies. He wasn’t scheduled to perform tonight, but his competitive nature took hold at whatever price he would have to endure.
Sal Raniero was.