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Destined for the Dom(3)

By:Jan Bowles

Karen swiveled in her seat, and looked at her. Caring, soft brown eyes studied her more closely. “I can lend you some money, Zoë. You’re the only real friend I’ve got in this stinking world.”

Zoë shook her head. “Thanks, but I can’t allow you to do that. I still owe you fifty bucks from last month. You’ve already done more than enough. If I don’t start getting more attention from the guys out there, I’m gonna have to look elsewhere for work. I’m gonna give it till the end of the month before I finally hang up my G-string for good.” She forced an unconvincing smile.

“That bad, huh?”

“Yeah, I’m not getting any younger, Karen, and in this business we’re not allowed to grow old and lose our looks.”

“Tell me about it, doll. It’s a fucking crying shame that men cast us aside as soon as our tits and ass start to sag.”

Zoë put her head back and roared with laughter. “Honey, believe me they cast women aside at any age.” As a young teenager, a kid of just sixteen, she’d been let down by a man. Men just couldn’t be trusted, not a single one of them.

“I know exactly how you feel, Zoë. I’m five years younger than you are, and I can already sense a lack of interest in some of the guys. At least there’s some fresh faces out there tonight.”

Zoë squeezed her friend’s shoulder. “Hey, you’re such a beautiful girl, Karen. You’ve still got plenty of time left to make good money here at the club, and at least you’ve got your kids and Dale. I don’t have a man to care for me like you do.”

Her friend’s brows drew together. “What about Mike?”

“I threw him out a week ago. Just look what the animal did to me when he’d had too much to drink.” Zoë unclasped a large leather bracelet from around her wrist to reveal the dark, ugly bruise beneath.

“Holy shit, Zoë. I’d never have thought Mike was like that. He always seemed such a nice guy.”

“Yeah, well, when he used to pick me up, let’s just say he was on his best behavior.” Zoë had grown tired of defending Mike’s drunken rages. Enough was enough. While he was out at work one day, she changed all the locks, packed his belongings, and threw it all in the street. He hadn’t been happy, but then neither was she. He was frustrated by life the same as she was, but she was tired of being his punch bag. Let him find someone else to vent his anger on.

Looping a band around her beautiful golden locks, Karen put the finishing touches to her hair. After drawing it into a ponytail, she stood up. “Well truth be told, I’m glad the bastard’s gone. I never liked him anyway. I never thought he was good enough for you, doll.”

“But I thought you liked Mike?”

“Zoë, he was your man, and I respected that, so I’d never do him down to you, or any of the other girls at Les Belles. But now he’s history, I can tell you I never trusted the creep.”

“Well that makes two of us now, Karen.” She laughed.

They made their way out front where the action was, squeezing each other’s hands as they parted company. The heady music throbbed and pulsated, easing away Zoë’s worries and insecurities. She switched off her emotions. Nothing could hurt her when she was in the zone. Here at Les Belles she was no more than a mannequin, a doll to be studied and observed. Men never wanted to know the true Zoë Leighton. They were quite happy to accept the facsimile of the woman she presented to them. At Les Belles she could be anything she wanted to be. Tonight, she’d imagine she was a beautiful young girl waiting to dance naked for her sexy man. It was her defense mechanism, a way of surviving the soul-destroying business she found herself in. Zoë’s coping strategy had served her well these past twelve years.

As she scanned the faceless men before her, she wanted more than anything else for her time at Les Belles to become just a distant memory.

She watched Karen climb onto the stage, before placing her bottle of mineral water on the floor. She then began dancing to the beat, whirling her sexy body around the chrome pole.

Zoë moved to the bar, and ordered herself a drink. “An orange juice please, Frank.”

“Coming right up, Zoë. How’s life treating you, honey?” He shook the bottle, then tipped the contents into a glass.

“Fine, Frank. Getting by in the shitty world we find ourselves in.”

“That’s all we can do, honey. Ice as usual?”


He topped her drink with crushed ice, then added a sparkle and handed it to her. “You’re the prettiest girl out there, honey.”