I hated the VIP room. My pockets weighed me down at the end of the night, sure, and being one of the dancers that everyone wanted always ensured an invitation, but I hated it. Lil Vinny and his entourage had decided to come to the Midnight Cabaret after their show, and the boss was ecstatic. They picked three of us as soon as they entered—a finger flicking casually to each, then a thumb jabbed towards the VIP entrance, a lazy smirk on their faces. I wore my fishnet getup, which is always a crowd pleaser, and happened to be onstage when they entered.
He pointed to me, Vanessa, and the new girl, Valerie.
We entered the room and the smell of testosterone and alcohol seemed to slap us, saturating the air. Lil Vinny sat at the corner table snorting coke from the surface, jerking his head up and slapping his cheeks once finished.
“Come here, girl! Come here!” he said to me, waving me over.
“Hey big daddy,” I said with a smile, sitting in his lap. I could feel him through his pants. I rolled my eyes when he wasn’t looking.
Same damn thing every time.
Vanessa jumped on the VIP stage, and Valorie sat at another table, crossing her legs and wrapping her arms around her stomach.
“Whas wrong wit’chyo friend?” Vinny asked me. His breath smelled like stale cognac.
“Take it easy on her, big daddy.” I said, sliding to his side. “New girl.”
“Ay yo bitch!” he yelled. “Get up on this table, huh?”
Talking like that to the dancers usually bought a ticket out of the building, but celebrities got what they wanted. Valorie climbed up on the table, her legs shaking. Her brow started to sweat as she jumped into her only routine.
Vinny stopped paying attention to her and draped an arm around my shoulder. The liquor mixed with his body odor and I held my breath, turning my head. His stubble scraped my neck, and clammy palms gripped my thigh.
“Ain’t got no VIP VIP room, know what I’m sayin’?”
“You’re in VIP, baby.” I made my voice purr in his ear. He shivered; I knew just how to work these types of guys. He ran his hands up my legs, and I shot a glance at the door, hoping one of the bouncers would see. They didn’t.
Maybe they weren’t even watching.
“You ain’t never had no real man, huh?” His golden teeth hanging on by a K9, I hid my smirk.
He’d started on my neck again when Valerie slipped on her high heel, falling down to her knees. Her hair fell across her face, forcing her to stumble up and push it from her eyes.
“Stupid bitch!” Vinny said laughing, echoed by his group of look-alikes. “Here!” He reached in his pocket and threw a one-dollar bill on the table. “Thas all you worth—get outta here!”
Ignoring the dollar, Valerie slipped off of the table and fled the room, covering her face with her hands.
“Why don’t you get up there, bitch,” he said. I gritted my teeth, throwing one leg over his lap and straddling him.
“I think I’m good right here.” I whispered in his ear, letting my long hair graze his chest and neck. He looked into the ceiling and breathed deeply as I brought myself closer, reaching into his fur coat pocket.
God, I hated the VIP Room.
Lil Vinny and his group did end up getting kicked out that night. He insulted the manager and within minutes the bouncers were escorting them off the premises. I found Valerie in the locker room at the end of the night, her make up smeared down her face. All night she didn’t work—no tips in her jar.
I squeezed her shoulder and placed a rolled-up wad of bills on the counter in front of her. I had made $900 that night in my own tips.
“Complements of Vinny,” I told her, before walking off.
Damn new girls. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose, and sometimes it’s both.