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Private Dancer

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Awkward was the first word that came to mind as Jamie stood in line with her two best friends, waiting to enter “Peter’s Penthouse,” the only strip club that the small town of Bly had to offer. Jamie looked over and watched as Owen leaned into Hannah’s ear and whispered something, before quickly walking away to the entrance. She still couldn’t get over the fact that both of them joined her on a night out to a strip club. That being said, she knew the reason they had practically invited themselves to join her, was on the account that it was her thirtieth birthday - and they refused to let her spend it alone.

The timing with everything was actually incredible. Normally, Hannah wouldn’t have been able to leave the grounds of the manor, seeing as someone had to stay to watch Miles and Flora. With Jamie and Owen both living in town, it was usually Hannah responsible for the children when there was no au pair around to watch them. The last girl had quit nearly a month ago and the children’s uncle Henry was having a real hard time finding someone new to agree to a five month contract, seeing as Miles and Flora would both be going back to school come September.

However, as luck would have it, Henry had agreed to spend the night at the manor for the first time in a year, because he finally found a new au pair that was willing to agree to the terms - she was due to start her first day the following morning.

Jamie could feel the sweat on her back as they continued to stand in line. She started fanning her face with her right hand in an attempt to cool off. “Fuckin’ hell, I’m sweating my arse off in this outfit.” Jamie tugged at the collar of the white dress shirt she was wearing, in an attempt to allow more breathing room. Her hands then started to tug at the black suspenders attached to her black dress pants, she only stopped when she felt Hannah’s hands resting on hers.

“Stop tugging at them, love, unless you want your trousers to come completely off.” Hannah curled a finger around each suspender and lifted them back up to Jamie’s shoulders. “There, good as new.” She took a step back and nodded to herself, her lips had the slightest upward curve as she watched Jamie’s face scrunch in frustration.

“M’not a bloody child,” Jamie crossed her arms and mumbled to herself

“Could’ve fooled me,” Hannah smirked. She then looked behind Jamie and watched as Owen stood at the entrance doors and waved them both over. “Looks like Owen was finally able to get us in,” Hannah nodded in his direction.

“Bout time, it’s never this busy - even on weekends. Knowing that git Quint, he probably thought it would be a brilliant idea to offer half-off lap dances again.” Jamie rolled her eyes. “Bloody disaster, that was, who gives a dance at half-off? If those poor women have to deal with gross sweaty blokes, at least let them charge full price for that shite.”

Hannah and Jamie both reached the front of the line and followed Owen, who gave the large tall bouncer a subtle but strong nod. “What was that about?” Jamie whispered to Hannah.

“You know Owen, he always has a way of winning people over with that nearly perfect charm of his.” Hannah smiled as she watched Owen pull all the chairs out at a table at the front, beside the stage.

“Oh, that same charm that clearly won you over, yeah?” Jamie smirked when she felt Hannah playfully slap her arm.

“Jamie Taylor, I am not above giving you a stern talking to this evening, your birthday or not.” Hannah chuckled. She then sat at the end of the table that was furthest away from the stage.

“Oh no,” Jamie rolled her eyes in response to Hannah, “anything but the stern talkin’ to.” She then sat in the chair that was closest to the stage.

Hannah looked around and made a face of disgust as she took in her surroundings. “God Jamie, I have no idea how you come here as often as you do. I have nothing but respect for the women and this line of work, but this decor? These carpets look like they were pulled straight out of a 70’s magazine, why the hell would anyone want a yellow carpet? And these chairs? Must they be red and velvety? Who is this man, Hugh Hefner?”

Jamie laughed and shook her head. “His name is Peter Quint, and he’s a rightful dickhead. I don’t know him too well, only see him when I have to pay rent or when he happens to be behind the bar. The man definitely considers himself to be Hugh though,” she smirked.

Suddenly, Owen sat in between them and cleared his throat. He watched as a waitress brought three shots to the table and placed one in front of each of them

“Scuse me,” Jamie leaned back and smiled at the waitress. “Just curious, why’s it so busy t’night?”

The waitress smiled and bent over, bringing her mouth close to Jamie’s ear. “New girl just started, men bloody love her.” She then stood back up, and walked away - leaving Jamie curious with questions.

“Ladies, welcome to Jamie’s special birthday night.” Owen clapped and rubbed his hands together in excitement. He grabbed his shot glass and raised it into the air, he looked between the other two and waited for them to do the same.

Both Hannah and Jamie grabbed their own shots and the three of them clinked the glasses together before throwing their heads back and letting the alcohol slowly burn down their throat.

Many drinks later, and Jamie was feeling good - a lot better than she had expected to. She wasn’t feeling quite drunk enough yet to admit that her friends were playing a big part in that feeling, but she was definitely getting there.

“Three more shots?” Owen yelled, much louder than was needed, which in return caused Hannah to jump and rest a hand over her chest.

She chuckled as she watched Owen get up from his chair and bump into other chairs and tables on his way to the bar. “And how about you, love? Enjoying yourself?” Hannah looked over at Jamie, who had her eyes focused on the stage, watching a redhead grind into a pole.

“What’s that?” Jamie kept her eyes on the stage but leaned further into Hannah so she could hear her better.

“Never mind, think I just got my answer,” Hannah smirked as she watched Jamie, watch the girl dancing on stage.

Owen returned minutes later, a tray filled with drinks, and Hannah’s eyes widened in what could only be assumed as fear for them both. “There’s no way the two of you are going to want to wake up early tomorrow to meet the new au pair,” she shook her head.

“Ah that’s alright, that’s for tomorrow’s me to worry about.” Owen beamed as he handed Hannah a drink. “Besides,” he grabbed both a shot and drink off the tray and set them down in front of Jamie. “We don’t get to do outings like this often, the three of us. So I’d like to enjoy tonight by celebrating,” Owen held his drink in the air and nodded for Hannah to follow suit. “To our favourite gardener,” Owen smirked and winked at Hannah. “May she get so drunk tonight that she soils herself.”

“Christ, Owen.” Jamie barked out a laugh and shook her head. “I don’t know if that was the worst or best pun you’ve ever told, but hell, I’ll drink to it.” Jamie raised her shot glass and then with a flick of her wrist, her head shot back and her face scrunched as the contents burned down her throat.

Jamie’s attention was pulled from the conversation as the announcer started to introduce the next dancer.

"Give a warm welcome to our newest babe, new to our stage but not to the trade. She comes all the way from the US of A and she is here tonight to warn you to stay away. Please welcome Skye."

Jamie scrunched her face in confusion as all the lights on the stage turned off and “American Woman” started blaring through the speakers around the inside of the club.

Suddenly the lights turned back on and Jamie’s attention was drawn to the back centre of the stage. A woman Jamie had never seen working at the club stood before everyone, her hands behind her back and her body completely still. She wore light brown cowgirl boots and Jamie watched as her left heel started to tap against the floor to the beginning beat of the song. Jamie’s eyes started at the tip of the black cowgirl hat the woman had her hair tucked inside of, they slowly trailed down appreciating every detail she could, like the aviator sunglasses she was wearing to cover her eyes, along with a black leather jacket to cover her upper body. Jamie noticed immediately that the only thing covering her lower half was a black thong, and she would be lying if she said she didn’t stare at the woman’s toned smooth legs.

Jamie’s eyes slowly grew in excitement as she saw the woman pull a plastic longneck rifle from behind her back and drop her body down low to the floor, placing the closed rifle between her legs as she slowly stood up again, grinding herself against it.

Owen leaned into Jamie’s ear and muttered, “bloody hell, American’s always have to be so extra with their guns.”

Jamie barely acknowledged him as her attention had yet to leave the gorgeous dancer on stage.

Huh, American woman, stay away from me
American woman, mama let me be
Don't come hanging 'round my door
I don't wanna see your face no more
I got more important things to do
Than spend my time growin' old with you

Jamie found herself leaning closer to the stage as this beautiful woman approached the pole at the very edge of the walkway, the pole Jamie happened to be sitting right next to. She felt her face heat up as the dancer got closer, suddenly stopping right beside her. In a flash, she ripped her hat off and aviator sunglasses - Jamie blinked as the most beautiful thick blonde waves poured out. As the blonde’s hair dropped, so did Jamie’s stomach.

Now woman, stay away
American woman, listen what I say
American woman, get away from me
American woman, mama let me be
Don't come knocking 'round my door
I don't wanna see your shadow no more
Coloured lights can hypnotize
Sparkle someone else's eyes

The woman then put the sunglasses inside the cowgirl hat and threw them directly at Jamie, causing her to nearly fall off her chair trying to catch it. The blonde winked at her as she suddenly dropped her knees down low once again, her hands trailed up her legs as she slowly straightened her body back out. Jamie watched in awe as the blonde’s thigh muscles flexed awhile slowly made her way back up.

Jamie had realised her mouth was hanging open when she felt her throat get increasingly dry. She shook her head and grabbed her rum and coke, her focus continued on the gorgeous blonde as she watched her place the rifle between her legs, moving it in a back and forth motion, grinding heavily against it.

Her drink froze at the edge of her lips as she watched the blonde’s hips move while she continued to ride the plastic rifle in the sexiest way that Jamie could have ever imagined. Jamie didn’t really care for guns, if she was being honest. However, she would be lying if she didn’t admit that watching this blonde American grind herself against the rifle was doing things to her that she never imagined could be done.

Now woman, get away
American woman, listen what I say
American woman, I said, get away
American woman, listen what I say
Don't come hanging 'round my door
Don't want to see your face no more
I don't need your war machines
I don't need your ghetto scenes
Colored lights can hypnotize
Sparkle someone else's eyes

Suddenly, the blonde’s eyes were now on Jamie as she continued to rub her pussy up and down the shaft of the fake rifle. Jamie was positive she had died momentarily when she saw the woman’s bottom lip tucked between her teeth, biting down as if she was actually enjoying the sensation - while her eyes remained fixated on Jamie.

The rifle dropped to the floor and the blonde unzipped her black leather jacket, ripping it open quick and smoothly. Jamie swallowed as the blonde’s toned stomach was revealed - she could feel her face on fire and it wasn’t from the alcohol.

The woman walked to the pole and jumped up high, catching the top of the pole with both hands. Her left leg wrapped around the pole and her right leg stuck out as her body twisted around a few times, her bicep muscles flexed as she did so, and Jamie couldn’t take her eyes off of her.

The blonde then lowered herself down the pole and walked to the opposite side of the stage where Jamie was sitting, and as she bent to her knees, she grabbed the tie of a businessman that Jamie had seen around the club before, and pulled him forward, burying his face into her chest.

Owen must have noticed the look of disappointment in Jamie’s facial expression, because the next thing she knew, there was another shot glass sitting in front of her and Owen was nudging her arm to pressure her into taking it.

Before she could comprehend anything else, the blonde then stood in front of her and suddenly dropped to her knees like she had done with the businessman not even ten seconds earlier. She saw the blonde point to the shot glass and wink. Jamie, being smitten and clueless, handed the shot to the woman, expecting her to take it and walk away.

What she did not expect was for the blonde to fully drop her bottom to the floor, and hang her legs off the edge of the stage as she used her free hand's index finger to motion for Jamie to come to her. She then laid her back down on the stage and Jamie could immediately feel the heat between her legs as she watched the blonde pour the contents of the shot glass into her belly button.

Jamie swallowed the lump in her throat as she felt Owen’s hand on her back, shoving her forward in an attempt to get her out of the chair she was sitting in.

Now woman, get away
American woman, listen what I say
American woman, stay away from me
American woman, mama let me be
I gotta go, I gotta get away
Baby, I gotta go, I wanna fly away
I'm gonna leave you, woman
I'm gonna leave you, woman
I'm gonna leave you, woman
I'm gonna leave you, woman
A-bye, bye, a-bye, bye
Bye bye, bye bye

The song, Jamie knew, was coming to an end so with every ounce of confidence she could muster inside her body, she got up from the chair and approached the blonde. She silently thanked Peter, the owner of the strip club, for how low the stage was, because Jamie was positive she would have not been able to lift herself if it was required - not with how weak this random dancer was making her feel.

She approached the blonde, who stared at her with a very confident smile. She then saw the dancer open her legs, which Jamie could only assume meant for her to go in between them to enjoy her shot of whiskey from her belly button.

Jamie obliged, and as soon as she was in between her legs, she felt her own wetness below as her center matched directly up with the blondes. Jamie slowly breathed in as she leaned forward, in an attempt to calm her nerves. She stopped at the woman’s lower abdomen, and slowly exhaled against her skin, and Jamie wanted to come right then and there when she felt the woman’s hips raise and press harder into her.

Not being able to take any more of the torture, Jamie brought her mouth to the blonde’s belly button and slurped up the shot, letting the burning sensation soothe her nerves as it slowly made its way down her very dry throat.

Jamie stepped away and quickly sat back down, her eyes focused on her drink in front of her as she refused to look at Owen, knowing he had a giant smile on his face and was likely flashing a mouth full of teeth knowing full well how flustered Jamie had gotten.

Jamie could see in the corner of her eye, the woman got up from her lying position and grabbed her rifle from the floor as she did so. She approached the pole once again and this time, she reached her hand up and jumped high, once on the pole she used her body to swing around the center of it, lifting her feet completely off the ground.

Jamie wasn’t sure how this beautiful blonde managed to hold herself up with one hand only, but however she did it, she did it with grace. She slowly lowered herself down the bar, the rifle still in her other hand.

You're no good for me and I'm no good for you
(American woman)
I look you right straight in the eye an' tell you what I'm gonna do
I'm gonna leave you, woman, you know I gotta go
(American woman)
I'm gonna leave you, woman, I gotta go
I gotta go, I gotta go, American woman, yeah

The song had come to an end, and Jamie was confident her life had as well. She watched the blonde walk off the stage and disappear behind the curtains, all she felt was complete disappointment - she wondered if she’d get the chance to see the American perform again tonight. Hopefully before she was forced by Hannah to head upstairs to her flat for bed.

 

 


 

 

An hour had passed and Jamie had barely paid any attention to the conversation that was going on beside her. It wasn’t until Owen’s giant fingers were in front of her face, snapping her back into reality that she realised she had been ignoring both of her friends for the past little while.

“Bloody hell,” Jamie gasped. She then looked over at Owen and Hannah, who both had the same cocky smile. “What?” Jamie’s cocked an eyebrow in anticipation for the shit she knew she was going to have to deal with.

“Nothing, you just seem uh-” Owen paused and let out a tiny chuckle “out of it.”

“I’m just a bit drunk and tired-” Jamie regretted the lie the second it left her mouth because Hannah could not have cut her off any quicker if she had tried.

“It is getting quite late, we should probably get you upstairs since we all have an early morning tomorrow, or today I should say.” Hannah furrowed her eyebrows as she checked her phone for the time.

“Not yet,” Jamie pushed her seat back and stood up. “Another uh- drink or two and then we can head out, yeah?” Jamie quickly walked to the bar and left Hannah and Owen alone, whispering to one another.

When Jamie returned a few minutes later, a feeling of dread sat in the pit of her stomach as she noticed Owen was missing. “Where’d the big oaf go? She raised an eyebrow at Hannah, who refused to look at her and instead kept her eyes on the stage, pretending as though she was interested in any of the girls dancing up there.

“Just to the loo, love.” Jamie shook her head and chuckled.

“Worst liar ever,” she sat the glass down in front of Hannah and went back to her seat.

“So, you seem distracted?” Hannah grabbed her drink and slowly slipped from the straw, her eye contact now focused on Jamie.

“Not really, just enjoying myself a little too much I guess.” Jamie shrugged.

“Mhm,” Hannah hummed quietly.

“What?”

“What, what?”

“Why did you “mhm” me?” Jamie rolled her eyes at the other woman’s attempt at playing stupid.

“Nothing, you’ve just been very-” Hannah paused as if she was contemplating the next word to use. “Preoccupied,” she nodded as if she were proud of her discovery. “Ever since a certain - blonde American took the stage.”

Jamie went to reply but was cut off when she felt a hand rest on her shoulder. She looked behind her and immediately dropped further down into her chair when she saw a familiar blonde standing beside her.

The first thing that came to Jamie’s attention now that she was up close and personal with this blonde American was her eyes, she had the most beautiful blue eyes that Jamie had ever seen - they reminded her of the sky on a bright, cloudless day.

The second thing that came to her attention was her smile - her smile was so bright and beautiful, and it nearly took up half the size of her face. Quite charming, really, Jamie never realised how much she was into smiles until she was staring up at this blonde woman, dumbfounded.

The third and final thing that came to her attention was how quickly Jamie’s heartbeat sped up the second this American rested her hand on top of her shoulder. Jamie had been with quite a few women, mostly one-night stands and some of them even coming from the very strip club she sat inside of at the current moment. However, no one had ever made Jamie feel as intoxicated as this beautiful blonde made her feel.

“I hear it’s your birthday?” Jamie melted even further into her chair when the woman’s charming American accent rang through her ears.

Jamie then noticed Owen approaching the table, a not so subtle wink shot in Hannah’s direction as he walked past the American.

“Your friend over here said you might be interested in a private dance?” She spoke again, pulling Jamie’s attention away from Owen.

“Did he now?” Jamie cleared her throat and looked behind her, she rolled her eyes when she saw Owen beaming so hard at her that his mustache had started twitching.

“He did, so are you?” The woman gazed down at Jamie and she could feel herself shrinking under the simple touch of this American’s palm resting on her shoulder.

Of course, she was interested - Jamie was more than interested. In fact, Jamie was positive she had never been more interested in anything else throughout her entire life thus far. However, words were not an option for her, because at the moment, all Jamie could do was focus on not forgetting to breathe as she felt the woman’s grip tighten around her shoulder as if she was urging her to accept her offer. So Jamie opted for a simple head nod and just as she was about to get out of her chair, Owen had tapped on her shoulder once again, causing a very low but audible “fuck sakes” to mutter out of Jamie’s mouth.

And just when Jamie was positive she could not be any more smitten by the charming blonde American, a laugh escaped those perfect lips of hers and Jamie had to close her eyes to keep herself grounded, as she was no longer sitting in her chair and falling to the floor was now a very real possibility for her. But god, that laugh? Jamie was sure that angels had created that laugh specifically for her because nothing had ever sounded so good coming from another person's mouth.

Owen cleared his throat, “it’s just- because it’s my friend’s birthday, I requested a very specific song for her, and I’m not sure when it will come on?” He smiled apologetically at them both.

“We can wait if you want, I just have to go and see if I can assist any other customers in the meantime-” The woman stopped talking when she noticed Jamie quickly shaking her head in disagreement.

“No, don’t listen to him, I’ll be fine with whatever song.” Jamie shrugged, she knew full well Owen had terrible taste in music and she assumed the song he picked was probably something she had never heard before, so she wasn’t concerned about missing out on anything special.

“Suit yourself,” Owen muttered.

The woman smiled and started to walk away, pulling Jamie along with her towards the back of the club, where the private rooms were. When they got to a single room with a closed curtain, the blonde pulled it open and guided Jamie down gently onto the soft red velvety sofa that rested against the back wall. The woman closed the curtains and turned back around to face Jamie.

“So,” she smiled, “have you done these private dances before?”

“Uh,” Jamie swallowed as she watched the half-naked blonde slowly make her way towards her. Her eyes trailed down to her glistening, toned stomach and Jamie quickly blinked and averted her gaze before she could continue to objectify the gorgeous woman in front of her who was worthy of far more respect than the explicit visuals running through her mind suggested. "Yeah, I have."

“Great, then just sit back and relax.” The blonde smiled sweetly as “Call Out My Name” by The Weekend started up. Her hips slowly swayed to the left and right as her right hand slipped down her body, starting at her neck and chest, and then stopping at her lower abdomen.

We found each other
I helped you out of a broken place
You gave me comfort
But falling for you was my mistake
I put you on top, I put you on top
I claimed you so proud and openly
And when times were rough, when times were rough
I made sure I held you close to me

Jamie could feel her heart beating out of her chest as the other woman stood directly above her, in between her legs. She closed her eyes when the blonde turned away from her and bit her bottom lip in an attempt to control any unnecessary noises that threatened to escape from her as she felt the beautiful American lower herself right onto her lap. Her hips moved back and forth against Jamie - giving her a mild jolt of unexpected pleasure, which caught her off guard due to how little contact she was getting to start.

Jamie hated how slow and sensual the song was, it was making everything so much more difficult for her. Lap dances were not something new to Jamie, and she always enjoyed them. But what she was experiencing right now with the enjoyment - also came the torture because as the pressure got more and more intense, so did the pleasure she was feeling.

As though things couldn’t get any worse, Jamie felt her stomach drop when an involuntary moan gently escaped her lips as the blonde’s ass pressed hard up against her - at the exact right moment in the exact right position.

The blonde briefly froze and Jamie wouldn’t have been surprised if the dance had ended right then and there, in fact, she expected it even.

What she didn't expect was for the blonde to continue with moving her ass once again but this time, with more added pressure than before. Jamie threw her head back and closed her eyes, she attempted to focus on anything other than the tiny waves of pleasure that slowly built up between her legs. She clenched her fists and she could have sworn as she did so, more pressure was applied. Her eyes opened when she felt her hands being tugged forward and then placed onto the hips that were currently driving her insane.

So call out my name (call out my name)
Call out my name when I kiss you so gently
I want you to stay (I want you to stay)
I want you to stay, even though you don't want me
Girl, why can't you wait? (Why can't you wait, baby?)
Girl, why can't you wait 'til I fall out of love?
Won't you call out my name? (Call out my name)
Girl, call out my name, and I'll be on my way and
I'll be on my-

Another small wave of pleasure and Jamie couldn’t hold back any longer, “fuck,” she groaned. Her face grew hot as she realised what had just left her lips.

“Something wrong?” The woman continued to grind her ass against Jamie but looked behind her. When she did so, Jamie immediately noticed that the woman’s beautiful ocean-like eyes had become increasingly dark, a lust that Jamie was becoming all too familiar with herself.

“N-no, everything is great.” Jamie cleared her throat and as soon as she saw the woman looking ahead again, she closed her eyes in an attempt to bring herself back down to reality and away from the ecstasy she was currently getting built up towards.

I said I didn't feel nothing baby, but I lied
I almost cut a piece of myself for your life
Guess I was just another pit stop
'Til you made up your mind
You just wasted my time
You're on top, I put you on top
I claimed you so proud and openly, babe
And when times were rough, when times were rough
I made sure I held you close to me

Another small jolt of pleasure and Jamie whimpered, what came out next was not planned and something to the extent of word vomit. “G-god, you’re s- so fucking beautiful.” Jamie stammered.

Whether it was accidental or not, the blonde must have really appreciated the words and used them as encouragement because suddenly, she was moving her hips harder and faster against Jamie, and god Jamie was getting so close.

She had no idea how it was possible, but she was going to combust any moment and she was quite sure that whatever was going on, she and the blonde were playing a cheeky game of cat and mouse. Jamie was trying everything she could think of to hold herself from falling off the cliff's edge, and it seemed that the blonde was doing the opposite and everything she could to get Jamie to fall head first off that very same edge she was trying to avoid.

She refused, she didn’t know who this woman was - and yes she was incredibly attractive - and yes her smile swelled Jamie’s heart in a way she had never experienced before. But Jamie refused to be a horny frat boy in a strip club, she refused to let her libido get the better of her.

Of course though, another solid grind at the right moment in the exact right spot, Jamie’s clit receiving the right amount of pressure - another moan.

Jamie bit down on her bottom lip, withstanding as much pain as she could, as she thought about anything and everything that wasn’t this beautiful blonde rubbing her ass up and down her incredibly soaked pussy.

So call out my name (call out my name, baby)
So call out my name when I kiss you
So gently, I want you to stay (I want you to stay)
I want you to stay even though you don't want me
Girl, why can't you wait? (Girl, why can't you wait 'til I)
Girl, why can't you wait 'til I fall out of loving?
Babe, call out my name (say call out my name, baby)
Girl, call out my name, and I'll be on my way, girl
I'll be on my, on my way

Jamie was positive she was about to slip into cardiac arrest with the way her heart was beating out of her chest. She was positive that if she were to just let go, let this gorgeous American bring her over the edge into a complete bliss, that she may actually need to be rushed to the hospital afterward because now her breath was coming through in short gasps and grunts and god the pleasure was right there - begging to just be released. All Jamie had to do was push herself slightly upward, press herself further into this beautiful blonde’s ass and this could all be over with, this increasingly painfully pleasurable experience would be over with.

Fuck it, Jamie finally claimed defeat and just as her hips moved upward to finally get the release her body was aching and begging for - the song ended and the blonde had removed herself from her lap.

Jamie’s chest heaved as the other woman turned around, the two of them remained absolutely quiet as though both of them were speechless about the events that had just transpired.

Jamie opened her mouth, fully ready to break the silence, but as she did so “Birthday Sex” by Jeremih had started on the speakers in the small private room.

“Ah, sounds like this is the song your friend requested on your behalf.” Jamie immediately noticed the other woman’s voice was no longer soft and innocent, she was breathless and sounded much raspier than what she could remember.

It's your birthday, so I know you want to ride out
Even if we only go to my house
Sip mo-eezy as we sit upon my couch
Feels good, but I know you want to cry out
You say you want passion, I think you found it
Get ready for action, don't be astounded
We switching positions, you feel surrounded
Tell me where you want your gift, girl

“Yeah-” Jamie’s voice could barely be heard. She cleared her throat before continuing on. “Yeah. bloody shame but it was still a great time.” She could still feel the ache between her legs as she watched the other woman smile at her.

Suddenly, the blonde reached behind her and pulled at the string behind her back and then the string behind her neck. Jamie watched as the little bit of fabric fell to the floor. She looked up and was met with beautiful small perky breasts that were sitting right in front of her face. “Well, it is your birthday, this one is on me.” The woman spoke with so much confidence - Jamie almost felt a tiny bit intimidated.

The blonde had situated herself this time by straddling a leg on each side of Jamie’s thigh. Jamie swallowed the lump inside her throat as the woman reached forward and grabbed her by her suspenders, slowly sliding herself up the length of her thigh.

Jamie’s eyes shut in disbelief, then snapped open she heard a soft moan come from the other woman. Eventually the moan was followed by dampness on Jamie’s dress pants, directly under where the other woman had herself seated.

Girl, you know I-I-I
Girl, you know I-I-I
I've been fiendin'
Wake up in the late-night
Dreamin' about your lovin'
Girl, you know I-I-I
Girl, you know I-I-I
Don't need candles or cake
Just need your body to make your
Birthday sex
Birthday sex
(It's the best day of the year girl)
Birthday sex
Birthday sex
It feels like, feels like
Lemme hit that G-spot, G-spot, girl

Jamie felt the dampness expand as the beautiful blonde started grinding herself up and down Jamie’s thigh, bringing their bodies as close together as she could.

The other woman reached out and Jamie was surprised when her arm was being tugged forward. The blonde then rested Jamie’s palm overtop her breast, and bit her bottom lip as though she were trying to encourage Jamie to touch her as she continued to grind herself harder into Jamie’s thigh.

Jamie’s eyes grew dark as she watched the woman breathless in front of her. Her movement would slightly get faster with each grind into Jamie’s leg.

Without hesitations, Jamie’s palm circled slowly against her nipple, causing another soft moan to escape from the other woman.

See you sexy and them jeans got me on tent
One, two, three
Think I got you pinned
Don't tap out, fight until the end
Ring that bell, and we gonna start over again
We grindin' with passion, 'cause it's your birthday
Been at it for hours, I know you thirsty
You kiss me so sweetly, taste just like Hershey's
Just tell me how you want your gift, girl
Girl, you know I-I-I
Girl, you know I-I-I
I've been fiendin'
Wake up in the late-night
Dreamin' about your lovin'
Girl, you know I-I-I
Girl, you know I-I-I
Don't need candles or cake
Just need your body to make your

Jamie could feel her heart pounding out her chest again as the woman slowly leaned in, bringing their faces closer together. For a moment she was sure the woman was leaning in for a kiss, but instead, she only rested her forehead against Jamie’s. Their eyes fixed on one another as the dampness on Jamie’s leg became wetter with every hip jerk and soft grind the woman was doing against her.

Jamie felt hot air against her face as the other woman’s breathing was getting faster and harder. Without thinking twice, Jamie flexed her thigh, which caused another unexpected moan and suddenly Jamie decided she wanted to hear that noise again, as many times as she could before the song ended.

So Jamie for the first time that night approached the current situation with confidence. She brought both hands up to the other woman’s hips and then lowered her head to the blonde’s chest and let her breath linger for a moment on her already erect nipple.

She looked up at the woman, wanting to make sure she was safe to proceed. She was met with a subtle head nod and the image of the other woman biting down on her own bottom lip in anticipation.

Not wanting to get more into her head than she already had that night, Jamie opened her mouth and wrapped her lips around the other woman's nipple, gently sucking and tugging. She smirked when she heard another moan and flexed her thigh once again, causing the woman to press down harder against her, moving her wetness all over the brand new dress pants Hannah had bought for her as an early birthday present.

Birthday sex
Birthday sex
(It's the best day of the year girl)
Birthday sex
Birthday sex
It feels like, feels like
Lemme hit that G-spot, G-spot, girl
First, I'm gonna take a dive into the water
Deep until I know I pleased that body, body
Or girl without a broom I might just sweep you off your feet
And make you wanna tell somebody-body, how I do
Or maybe we can float on top of my water bed
You close your eyes as I improv' between your legs
We work our way from kitchen stoves and tables
Girl, you know I'm more than able to please, yeah
Say you wanted flowers on the bed (On the bed)
But you got me and hours on the bed

The woman’s grip tightened around Jamie’s suspenders, and she could feel her body getting pulled closer as the blonde got more and more desperate for release, the faster and harder her hips jerked against Jamie’s thigh, the rougher and closer she was pulled in.

Jamie’s head started to spin as her breath was also coming out in tiny gasps and groans, her fingers dug deep into the other woman’s hips as she pressed her leg higher against her.

Jamie could feel her panties slipping against her own slickness as she ground her own hips into the chair with purpose but also knowing full well it wouldn’t provide the release she so longed for.

The gasps for air fully replaced all forms of breathing as the woman jerked her hips harder and with more intent, causing the chair to make a noise against the wall with each thrust.

Jamie pulled slightly back, capturing the woman’s nipple between her lips and giving her another slight tug. She then dove forward and buried her face back against her beautiful soft breasts. She opened her mouth and applied pressure with her tongue, massaging her nipple slowly and tenderly.

Jamie’s eyes rolled to the back of her head when she felt the blonde’s hands bury themselves in her long curls, grabbing a fist full of her hair as she stammered out a string of curse words. Jamie knew the other woman had reached the peak of her climax when she felt her pace slow down with each jerk of her hip, eventually coming to a full stop along with the song.

Girl, you know I-I-I
Girl, you know I-I-I
I've been fiendin'
Wake up in the late-night
Dreaming about your lovin'
Girl, you know I-I-I
Girl, you know I-I-I
Don't need candles or cake
Just need your body to make your
Birthday sex
Birthday sex
(It's the best day of the year girl)
Birthday sex
Birthday sex
It feels like, feels like
Lemme hit that G-spot, G-spot, girl

She removed her mouth from the other woman’s nipple and lifted her head up, once again resting their foreheads together. Their breathing matched one another, both rapid and hard. Jamie’s eyes searched the other woman’s, worried when she was refusing to look up at her.

She wondered what was going through her mind, wishing and hoping that she would speak up and say something, anything.

Instead, the woman finally looked up at Jamie like a deer caught in headlights. Her eyes widened in fear and she quickly jumped up from her lap.

“I- I am s- so sorry,” she stammered, grabbing her top off of the floor. “I- I need to go,” she quickly covered her chest back up and opened the curtain. She then turned around and Jamie could see the panic in her eyes. “Again, I’m so sorry, Happy Birthday.”

And before Jamie could respond, she was gone and Jamie was left breathless and confused. She walked out of the room a few minutes later, with the events that had just taken place clouding her mind and cloaking her inability to think of anything else.

When she approached the table, she saw her friends both standing up, getting ready to go. She looked over at Owen and saw a big goofy smile, then she looked over at Hannah who looked back at her with a puzzled expression. “Well, how’d that go?” Owen nudged Jamie as she grabbed her keys and wallet from the table. “That was more than one song,” he winked.

“Went fine, yeah?” Jamie cleared her throat and shrugged, not wanting to give more detail away.

“Love, what happened to your trousers? Did you spill your drink on them? If so, honestly I can take them home with me and some club soda should get rid of that mess without any hassle.” Hannah’s eyebrows furrowed as her focus remained on Jamie’s thigh.

Jamie’s eyes widened in fear and she let out a deep cough. “What? Nothing,” she shot out, earning herself a look from both of her friends.

Owen and Hannah looked between one another and back down at Jamie’s leg. This step repeated about two or three times before Hannah’s face turned bright red, “oh my, I-” Hannah shook her head and looked over at Owen, who still appeared to be deep in thought. “Right, well I’m going to drive Owen home now. We’ll see you tomorrow first thing?”

Jamie gave a quick head nod, “Course. Well, uh... bye,” she muttered, and before either of them could say anything else, she ran out of the door and back upstairs to her flat.

 

 


 

 

The next morning, Jamie arrived at the manor with a splitting headache, already looking forward to the cup of tea that Hannah would likely have ready for her.

As she entered the kitchen, she let out a loud yawn and could see both Owen and Hannah deep in conversation.

“Morning,” Jamie grumbled.

“Oh hi love,” Hannah got up from the chair and quickly walked over to the counter. “Here, figured you’d be needing this.” She grabbed the steaming mug and handed it over to Jamie.

“You’ve no bloody idea,” Jamie rubbed her head. She then accepted the hug and smiled in return, “thanks, how’re you lot feeling?”

“Good,” Owen nodded. “Actually not bad at all,” he looked over at Hannah and smiled.

Jamie looked between the two of them and had a hunch that something had happened after they left the club, she wanted to pry for more information but was interrupted before she could.

“Good morning,” Flora sang as she entered the kitchen, a big smile on her face.

Miles entered right after her, looking equally happy. “Morning everyone,” he pulled out the chair from the table and took a seat.

“Has Miss Clayton arrived yet?” Flora looked around the room, confused.

“Not yet, my sweet. Your uncle says she is due to arrive-” Hannah was cut off by the doorbell at the front door going off. “Now it seems,” she smiled.

“I’ll get it,” Henry’s voice shouted from another room.

“Oh, I can’t wait to meet her. She’s probably so nice and lovely,” Flora beamed.

“I’ll race you,” Miles quickly got up from the chair and ran out of the room.

“Miles, that’s not fair,” Flora whined, following closely behind him.

“Right, well I need to get to work. The flowers aren’t going to water themselves, if they did - I’d still have a job but at least my life would be a hell of a lot easier.” Jamie joked as she got up from her chair. She grabbed her mug, gave Owen and Hannah a subtle nod, and then walked out the kitchen door.

A couple hours passed and Jamie could feel the sweat dripping down her face as she worked on rehoming one of her plants that were getting too big for the current pot it was being housed in.

Jamie’s stomach let out a tiny rumble, giving her a reminder to check the time as she had a tendency to work into her lunch if she didn’t keep track. When she unlocked her phone, her eyebrows furrowed when she saw she had two missed calls from Hannah and four from Owen.

Her heartbeat sped up as she opened her text messages and saw an urgent one from Owen.

From Owen 8:51am
Mate, call me right away when you get this!

From Owen 10:00am
CALL ME YOU PRAT

Jamie shook her head and went to exit the greenhouse, before she could, she felt relief when she opened the door and Flora was blocking her way.

“Hi Jamie,” she smiled. “We were just showing Miss Clayton around the yard and we knew you hadn’t had a chance to meet her yet, so we figured it’d be lovely to show her the greenhouse at the same time.”

Jamie smirked and brushed her gloved hands together, letting the soil fall to the floor. She removed her gloves and winked, “right then, where’s she at?” Jamie stepped outside and she immediately froze when she nearly walked into the same blonde woman from last night, the woman that had nearly gotten her off with a simple lap dance - the same woman who had in fact gotten herself off using Jamie’s thigh.

“Jamie, this is Miss Clayton. She told me that she prefers to be called Dani, but Mrs. Grose insisted that Miles and I call her Miss Clayton. But I think you could call her Dani, right Miss Clayton?" Flora eagerly looked over to her new au pair for confirmation. Dani blinked and remained completely silent.

The words went in one ear and out the other as Jamie’s jaw hung slightly open. The dryness in her mouth followed immediately as she watched Dani’s cheeks turn a dark shade of red.

“Fuckin’ hell,” Jamie stammered.

Chapter Text

“Miss Clayton, are you okay?” Flora tugged gently on the bottom of Dani’s blouse, “you look like you’ve seen a ghost?” She scrunched her face in confusion when she got no reply. She then turned around and looked at Jamie, who continued to stare at the new au pair with her jaw slightly agape. “Jamie?” Flora’s voice was much quieter now.

The concern didn’t go unnoticed by Jamie, who had lost track of time as the air grew thick and heavy despite a cool breeze swaying the tree branches rhythmically around them. She shook herself from the onslaught of thoughts running through her mind and opened her mouth, unsure of what words would stumble out. An outstretched hand cut her off before she had a chance to embarrass herself, and Jamie's eyes followed the length of the arm up to Dani's smiling face and commanding presence.

“Dani Clayton, nice to meet you.” Jamie could hear the slight pitch in Dani’s voice go up, and were she not in such a shocked state, she probably would have found it absolutely adorable.

Jamie took a moment to register that the beautiful blonde from last night did in fact have a name, and much as she suspected, it wasn’t Skye. The exchange, as awkward and tense as it was, had brought some comfort to Jamie and somehow managed to make her feel a little less like a hand-me-down saddle. Jamie accepted Dani’s hand, and immediately upon contact she could feel the warmth radiating from her palm, likely from how hard Dani was just clenching her fists not long ago.

“Jamie Taylor,” she nodded, and as hard as she tried to fight it back - her lips curved slightly upward and immediately Dani pulled her hand away.

“Nice to meet you Jamie,” Dani cleared her throat.

Jamie made it a point to look anywhere but Dani’s beautiful blue eyes, because every time she did flashes of the night before rushed through her mind. The stage, American Woman, the lap dance and Dani - Dani Jamie thought to herself, as if she were imprinting it to memory - grinding herself to climax against Jamie’s thigh.

“Kids,” Dani’s voice had gone from uneasy to authoritarian in a matter of seconds, and Jamie had never felt her knees go weak as quickly as they had when she heard Dani continue. “Why don’t you run ahead and I’ll meet you inside? Lunch should be any minute now, I just have a few questions for Jamie and then I’ll join you.”

Jamie swallowed the lump in her throat as she watched Miles and Flora exchange a look of confusion. Jamie knew the two children like family and she knew they were gearing up for a game of twenty-one questions, so she decided to put a stop to it before it started. “S’alright, yeah? We’ll be in shortly, run along you wee gremlins.” Jamie smirked when she saw Miles shrug and grab Flora’s hand. In the corner of her eye, Jamie could see Dani’s lips pursed - almost as if she was impressed.

Once Miles and Flora were out of earshot, Jamie felt a hand wrap around her wrist and before she knew it, she was being dragged inside of the green house.

“Jesus,” Jamie nearly tripped forward as Dani slammed the door behind her. “Gearin’ up for round two I reckon?” Jamie smirked, “or would it be round three?” When Jamie turned around she immediately understood that making a joke was not the right move.

“Don’t,” Dani jabbed a finger into Jamie's chest and stood perfectly still. The contact burned Jamie's skin and set her lungs on fire at the sensation and just when Jamie felt she might explode from it all, Dani lowered her finger and started to pace back and forth in the greenhouse.

Jamie watched her carefully, an uneasy feeling settling inside the pit of her stomach every time Dani stopped, opened her mouth and then closed it as if she changed her mind only to continue pacing instead. After what Jamie could only assume to be a minute, she cleared her throat to speak but before she could say a word, Dani’s finger was once again pointed in her face.

“Nuh uh, just stay and don't talk.” Dani’s voice was firm and demanding and Jamie decided right then and there she only ever wanted to hear Dani speak to her in that exact tone ever again.

Jamie watched as Dani continued pacing the greenhouse walkway, and she could feel her heart thumping inside of her chest as she waited for the au pair to break the silence. Finally, Dani came to a stop a few feet away from her and she let out an exhausted sigh. “Look,” she closed her eyes and pressed her fingers to her temples. “Last night-” Dani paused with furrowed eyebrows and Jamie immediately understood that the woman in front of her was incredibly nervous, lacking the confidence she carried with her the night before.

As much of an urge as Jamie felt to step in and take control of the situation, she instead bit down on her tongue and patiently waited for Dani to continue. “What happened last night, it was a mistake.” The words were harsh and straight to the point, yet Jamie could hear the slight hint of hesitation when she spoke them.

“Okay…” Jamie waited, unsure if Dani had more to say.

“It’s just-” Dani paused, closed her eyes and let out a frustrated grunt that reminded Jamie exactly of Miles when he didn’t get his way. It was adorable, and Jamie had to do everything in her power to keep her god forsaken smirk that threatened to appear to herself. "It was an accident,” Dani exclaimed unconvincingly and Jamie choked on her own laugh as she tried to cover up her reaction.

“Scuse me?” Jamie raised an eyebrow.

“I didn’t mean-”

Jamie knew she shouldn’t have, she knew it wasn’t the time or place but she really just couldn’t help herself.

“You didn’t mean to get yourself off on my new dress pants?” She took a slight step back when she saw Dani’s eyes widen in anger.

“I- I did not,” she sputtered. Jamie couldn’t contain her laughter as she saw how adorable Dani looked the more flustered she got. Dani placed her hands on her hips and glared at Jamie. “This isn’t funny, stop laughing.”

“I’m sorry,” Jamie cleared her throat, unable to wipe the remnants of a grin from her face. “It’s just, I was there, you realise that yeah?”

“Yes, that is why I’m trying to clear things up.”

“Right, so I was there,” Jamie smirked, “and I dunno if you’ve clued in yet or not - but I’m pretty experienced with female anatomy.” She crossed her arms and waited for her cue to bring her point home.

“So?”

“So-” Jamie clicked her tongue. “I know a thing or two about a female orgasm Dani and-”

“Oh my god,” Dani's face turned deep maroon as she shouted, cutting Jamie off. “Stop, just-” Dani started to pace around the greenhouse again and Jamie had never wanted to go inside for lunch more than she did at that exact moment. “Just- let’s never talk about it again, okay? I work here, I am great with kids and-”

“And lap dances,” Jamie chided in - at this point strictly doing it for the flustered reaction she was getting in return.

“I can’t do this,” Dani shook her head and chuckled in disbelief, her pace growing more frantic and erratic the more embarrassed she got until she was nearly running out the door. “I have to go.”

Before Jamie could reply, Dani left the greenhouse and was speed walking her way back to the manor. She frowned as she watched Dani walk away, immediately regretting how she handled the situation. She threw her garden gloves onto the table and exited the greenhouse, following Dani to the manor while making sure she remained a few strides behind the entire walk.

 


 

As Jamie expected, lunch was very quiet and thankfully uneventful. With Henry deciding to sit down and join the six of them, the conversation was mainly focused around all the work he had waiting for him back at his office later that day.

Jamie couldn’t help but notice Dani’s eyes trailing over to her every so often, particularly in moments when everyone else was deep in conversation and Jamie was silently taking everything in around, especially the beautiful blonde that sat right across from her. It was too easy to ignore Henry’s boring rambles about law, or Hannah’s small talk with the children - even easier to ignore the annoying puns that slipped out of Owen’s mouth every so often. What wasn’t easy to ignore was the way that Dani’s blue eyes shimmered whenever a cloud eventually made its way past the sun in the window behind Jamie, flooding the kitchen with sunlight and illuminating Dani's face revealing freckles and smile lines and all the tiny details Jamie missed last night in the darkness of the strip club.

Like how soft and sultry her lips were whenever they curled into the most charming smile that Jamie had ever seen. She'd noticed Dani's lips the night before, definitely noticed her lips when her mouth parted into a slight o as she rolled her hips into Jamie's thigh, but even that couldn't prepare Jamie for how gloriously enchanting Dani looked when she smiled.

Jamie was entranced as she watched Dani's brow furrow in a brief moment of confusion and then soften with realization as she chuckled at yet another terrible pun from Owen, the sound of her laughter reaching across the table and echoing through Jamie’s mind.

“Are you alright, love?” Jamie jumped back into her chair when she felt a hand suddenly rest on top of hers. She looked up and saw everyone’s eyes on her, looking at her with confusion and concern.

“Hm?” Jamie shook her head and scooped some mashed potatoes onto her fork. She took a bite and looked around the room once again to see everyone still staring.

“Henry asked you a question, love.” Hannah nodded towards Henry, who had preoccupied himself with his cellphone.

“Sorry, zoned out.” Jamie swallowed her food, and grabbed her glass of juice. She looked around the table and noticed everyone except Dani had stopped staring at her. She took a sip of juice and cleared her throat. “What’d you need?” She looked over at Henry, wanting to avoid Dani’s gaze at all costs.

“Right, I was just wondering what your plans are for the garden? I have that party I’m hosting at the end of the month for some of the firm’s clients.” Henry spoke with such little interest, his eyes remained on his phone and Jamie had never felt such an urge to throw food at someone in her entire life.

“Aye, I have some ideas. I can take ya out back if you like and go through em with ya?” Jamie rolled her eyes when Henry waved her off, his eyes still focused on his phone.

“No, I trust your judgement.” Henry finally looked up to acknowledge Jamie, he then got up from his chair and dialed a number into his phone. “Excuse me for a moment, I need to deal with a very upset client. I should be back momentarily.”

“Bloody wanker,” Jamie muttered under her breath.

“Jamie,” Hannah lightly smacked her shoulder and subtly nodded towards the children who were in a deep discussion with Owen, a disapproving glare aimed sharply at Jamie.

“Right, sorry.” Jamie looked over at Miles and Flora, thankful they were distracted and oblivious to what she had just said about their uncle.

“So Dani,” Hannah grabbed her mug and took a small sip.

Jamie could feel her entire body tense as Dani slightly jumped at the sound of her name. She eyed Hannah suspiciously, waiting for her to continue.

“How long have you been in England for?”

“Oh,” Dani cleared her throat. “Not long, uhm about a week.” Jamie could feel her stomach drop as she watched Dani’s eyes drop down to the plate of food in front of her.

“Oh that’s nice dear,” Hannah hummed into her mug, she took another sip and set it back down onto the table.

Jamie, thinking it was safe to proceed, grabbed her glass of juice and started to drink the remaining contents. She tipped her head back to finish off the last few gulps and-

“So have you done anything interesting during your first week in England?” Hannah suddenly asked.

Dani froze, her cheeks instantly turned red and Jamie choked on her drink, causing juice to projectile from both her mouth and her nose, directly in front of her - directly onto Dani.

“Shit,” Jamie hissed. She got up from her chair but was stopped when Dani stuck her hand right in front of her face.

“Don’t,” Dani gritted her teeth. "I’ll be right back, I just need a moment.” She smiled, but Jamie could instantly tell she looked to be on the brink of tears. Before anyone could respond, Dani had quickly walked out of the kitchen and down into the hallway.

“Bloody hell, why would you ask that?” Jamie looked over at Hannah and pushed her chair out. She stood up from the table and walked out of the room before Hannah could reply.

Jamie caught a quick glimpse of Dani running into the laundry room and before she could close and lock the door, Jamie stuck her foot in between the door and the doorframe. “Ouch,” she hissed when Dani attempted to close it on her.

“Oh my god, I’m so-” Dani opened the door and Jamie could see tears sitting in the corner of her eyes, Dani clearly trying to hold them back. “Please go,” she frowned and let out a sigh of defeat.

“Look, I’m sorry. I just- I came to apologise. I didn’t mean to-” Dani shook her head and cut Jamie off.

“It’s fine, just please go.” Dani turned and walked back into the laundry room.

Jamie quickly followed her inside and shut the door behind her. “Look, at least let me help you clean your shirt? Least I can do for getting cranberry juice all over ya,” Jamie frowned.

“I don’t need your help,” Dani grabbed a sponge from the sink beside the washing machine and went to remove her shirt, her arms stopped half way, leaving only her abdomen exposed. “Can you go?” Dani nodded towards the door.

“Look, you’re going to need some stain remover for that to come off, at least let me get it for you - it should be in here last I checked.” Jamie pulled open a set of closet doors tucked behind the doorway and stepped inside, revealing a collection of brooms and mops tilted against the corner of the closet and a set of shelves along the top quarter of the small room. She stood on her tiptoes to look through the cleaning supplies neatly organized on the shelves, straining to find the correct bottle. “I know it’s ‘round here somewhere, I just used it myself not long ago. This stupid shelf is so high and Hannah always insists-” Jamie grunted as she jumped up and tried to push a bottle towards the edge. “On putting things at the very back, makin’ my life a living hell.” Jamie sighed in defeat and lowered her arms.

She turned around and nearly fell back when she saw Dani standing right behind her, in her bra. Jamie’s eyes immediately looked away as she stepped to her right, allowing Dani to also enter the walk in closet. “I’m not much taller, but let me try.” Dani stood on her tiptoes as well and tried reaching for the same bottle that Jamie attempted to get for her. “Wow, this closet is bigger than my bedroom walk-in closet back in America.”

“Yeah, like most closets in this place,” Jamie swallowed, feebly attempting to keep her eyes to herself yet failing miserably. As Dani reached above, Jamie could feel her pulse drumming in her ears, loud and rhythmic as the tempo of her heartbeat marched faster the more she admired Dani’s toned and smooth stomach, unable to tear her gaze away. Her eyes slowly trailed up Dani’s body, committing as many details to memory as Jamie’s brain could process as her focus fixated on the way Dani’s bicep muscles flexed every time she grabbed a bottle, read it and then placed it to the side.

“Are you sure it’s here?” Dani’s throat made faint, almost imperceptible grunting noises as she tried to reach for the very last bottle that sat in the corner of the closet directly above where Jamie stood.

Jamie pressed herself into the wall and slouched down as Dani’s body got closer to her, praying that if she became one with the wall maybe she’d survive this encounter without self-imploding. The smell of Dani’s perfume filled the closet as she continued to reach right above Jamie, and Jamie could feel herself drowning in sensory overload as she focused on her breathing in an attempt to ground herself. Dani shifted closer to Jamie as she reached further into the shelf and Jamie’s chest tightened as she froze mid-breath, trying to concentrate on anything else other than Dani Clayton’s bare stomach dangerously close to her face, taut muscles and smooth skin daring her not to look.

“Got it,” Dani breathed and dropped back down to her heels. She went to exit the closet but just as she did, the laundry room door opened behind them, forcing the closet door shut. Dani stumbled backward and Jamie instinctively wrapped her arm around Dani’s waist to brace the woman from falling. As the momentum from the door forced her body forward into Dani’s, her arm pulled Dani’s waist toward her own and their bodies collided together, nearly knocking Jamie unconscious from the feeling of Dani’s nipples poking through the sheer material of her bra against Jamie’s chest. Their faces lingered inches apart and Jamie swore time felt as though it’d stopped altogether as they blinked but said nothing and yet everything all at once, their eyes communicating more than words could express.

Jamie shuddered as she felt Dani’s hot and steady breath against her own lips, tingling with every exhale. She turned her head to the closed closet door, determined to keep her attention away from the fact that Dani was topless and fully pressed tight against her, completely still as Hannah loaded up the washing machine. She suddenly regretted turning her face away from Dani’s when she felt Dani’s breath exhale slowly and softly against the crook of her neck, setting her skin ablaze as she swallowed a shudder and closed her eyes as she tried to regain control over her own breath. Jamie immediately felt her thighs tense and press together subconsciously as she felt a warmth pool between her legs at the sensation.

With her eyes still closed and her lower lip caught between her teeth in concentration, Jamie turned her neck to face Dani again, silently willing the time to pass faster. When she opened her eyes and finally looked at Dani, for a split moment she caught Dani’s eyes staring down at her lips. Jamie’s breath hitched in her throat as she felt Dani exhale mere inches away from her mouth, her heart pounding against her chest so forcefully she was positive that Dani, whose body was still flush against her own, could feel it too.

Jamie nearly squeaked as she felt Dani press further into her to peek around Jamie’s shoulder through the crack between the door, attempting to get a better view of outside the closet. Jamie forced her back as far into the wall as she could manage as Dani’s hair fell into her face, the remainder of Jamie’s resolve crumbling as the smell of Dani’s honeydew shampoo enveloped the air surrounding them. Jamie’s mind spiraled into delirium and her chest heaved as she fought to remember how breathing worked, almost giving up as her lungs tightened and her vision began to blur.

Jamie didn’t realise she was holding her breath in until she heard the sound of the door closing through the closet as Hannah left the laundry room. She slowly exhaled then took a long, deep breath, taking extra care to remain as still as possible while Dani continued to stare at her, frozen and unmoving.

A few seconds passed before Jamie cleared her throat, unable to tolerate the tension and borderline torture any further. “I, uh, think the coast is clear?” The words came out low and raspy, far more hoarse than Jamie had intended and she swore Dani’s eyes grew wide at the sound, sending another wave of warmth to Jamie’s core.

“Right,” Dani whispered, her eyes focused again on Jamie’s lips.

Jamie watched as Dani remained still, making no attempt toward opening the closet door. “You alright?”

“Yeah, it’s just-” Dani closed her eyes and Jamie watched as the new au pair silently fought against herself in her mind. She opened her eyes and found Jamie staring at her hypnotically as if entirely entranced by Dani as Jamie’s breath continued to come out at a slow and steady pace, the calming rhythm both soothing and electrifying all at once. Dani scrunched her eyes and shook her head softly before glancing away toward Jamie’s shoulder as she stepped back from her, shivering slightly from the lost contact. She moved without thought toward the door, forcing it open as though the walls were closing in, threatening to swallow her whole as she stumbled out of the closet into the laundry room.

“Just curious-” Jamie cleared her throat and followed Dani out of the closet, trying to shake the hazy warmth that clouded her mind. “What was the point of all that? It’s not like we were actually up to no good, so why hide?”

“I had my shirt off, Jamie. After last night, I’m pretty sure Hannah would find it suspicious if she caught us in here alone with me topless.” Dani’s cheeks flushed pink as her eyes pointed at the floor to avoid Jamie’s gaze.

“Right,” Jamie nodded and scratched the back of her neck as she eyeballed the door to the hallway, eager to get back to the greenhouse and escape the pressure chamber the laundry room had suddenly become. “Well then, I’ll uh, leave you to it yeah?”

“Thanks,” Dani spoke the words toward Jamie but refused to look at her. She sat against the laundry room sink and fixated her eyes on her feet, waiting until she heard the laundry room door open and close to let out a shaky breath before turning the tap on, silently imploring the water to distract her from the aching sensation between her legs before she had no choice but to rejoin the children and act as though nothing had happened at all.

 


 

It was half past nine by the time Dani made it to the club, rushing through the doors and keeping her head ducked to avoid attracting attention while she walked as quickly as her legs would move toward the backstage area, slowing only to wave at the bartender loading her serving tray with rainbow-coloured shots. As soon as she made it past the dressing room doors, she peeled her clothes off hastily and began to put on her outfit and makeup, each flick of eyeliner and swipe of lipstick placed carefully like armor as she braced herself for an evening of too-long gazes and creepy smiles, wandering hands and the sticky smell of sweat inescapable until the night ends and her shift is over.

Dani jumped at the sound of the dressing room door creaking open, relieved at the sight of the bartender she’d greeted on her way in moments earlier and not some random pervert looking for backstage access. “Y’alright Dani?”

“Yeah, my other job just ran a bit later than expected,” Dani said in as cheerful a tone as she could muster, flashing her teeth in a too-wide smile to really sell the act.

“Okay, just wanted to make sure. You looked a bit flustered when you came in is all.” The woman smiled and turned to leave before Dani stopped her, gently tugging her wrist as she moved toward the door.

“Wait, Rebecca.” Dani’s voice was quiet as she looked around the dressing room and then at the door leading to the club before leaning into the bartender, her voice soft as a whisper. “How is he tonight?” She looked at Rebecca with a mix of nervousness and fear as she prepared herself for the worst.

Rebecca’s smile disappeared as she let out a tiny sigh. “He’s in a mood, just try to avoid him if you can, love.”

“Did he say anything-” Dani’s eyes turned toward the floor for a moment, then focused back on Rebecca. “Did he mention me being late?”

Rebecca shook her head with a slight smirk on her face. “He hasn’t noticed, you’re safe.”

“Oh good,” Dani sighed in relief.

“Dani,” Rebecca took a step forward but stopped, uncertain and careful as though she were attempting to navigate a field of landmines as she thought over her next words. “What are you doing here? I know we don’t know each other that well, but it’s pretty clear this isn’t something you want to be doing, and with the way Peter is towards you-” Rebecca didn’t have a chance to finish her sentence before she was cut off by Dani.

“N- no, not at all.” Dani flashed another too-wide grin and willed herself to believe the lies spilling from her lips long enough to convince Rebecca it’s the truth. “I want to be here. I mean, it’s like Peter said, I followed him here all the way from California, only a determined person would do something like that, right?” Dani cleared her throat. “I just get...nervous sometimes. To perform on stage, you know? I've always had a bit of stage fright. My performance of Alice in Wonderland in elementary school was just awful." Dani laughed nervously as she combed her hand through her hair, tugging at the strands on the nape of her neck and slowly pulling her fingers through causing her spine to tingle at the sensation.

“Doesn’t mean you enjoy doing it,” Rebecca shrugged. “I’ve seen the dread in your eyes before getting on stage some nights, it’s just made me wonder is all.”

“Oh, I was probably just having a rough night. The time difference and move has been pretty tiring is all.” Dani’s eyes quickly dropped back to the floor and then looked back up toward Rebecca.

“Look,” Rebecca sighed. A small smile reappeared as she watched Dani carefully. “I know you’re new here, and you probably don’t know anyone yet. If you want to grab a drink this week, or maybe a cup of coffee, just let me know, yeah? Here, give me your phone so I can give you my number.” Rebecca held her hand out and waited for Dani to make the next move.

Dani smiled at the kind words and grabbed her phone from her purse, she unlocked it and handed it to Rebecca.

Rebecca started entering her number into the phone. “Just text me or call me if you need anything, or even if you just want to talk. I don’t have many friends, and you seem like someone I could get along with. So,” Rebecca locked Dani’s phone and handed it back to her. “Don’t be shy, call me. But I should get back out, before he notices I’m gone.” Rebeca nodded towards the door. She gave Dani one last smile and turned around, and opened the door to exit.

Dani bit her bottom lip and nodded as she watched Rebecca walk out the room. She sighed and fell back onto the sofa that was in the change room, burying her face into her hands.

 


 

Jamie entered the strip club just past ten that evening, a big smile on her face as she approached the beautiful bartender in the middle of mixing a drink.

“Hey Becs,” Jamie sat on the stool and folded her hands onto the bar-top.

“What the bloody hell are you wearing?” Rebecca chucked as she looked up from the drink she was mixing and saw Jamie sitting in front of her with a black cowgirl hat and aviator sunglasses on.

“Oh, just a little prize I won yesterday,” Jamie smirked.

“Right, well what can I get for you this evening?”

“A scotch on the rocks, thanks.” Jamie turned her head and searched the room, her eyes immediately stopping when she saw a familiar blonde standing at a table chatting up a group of guys.

She lost track of time as she watched Dani interact with the random men, resting her hand on some good looking bloke's shoulder and laughing at what was probably a stupid, sexist joke. Jamie had been at the club plenty enough times to know what making tips looked like, yet for some reason Dani's interactions with the clientele seemed so natural and real that Jamie couldn't tell if it was an act or if Dani genuinely enjoyed her job.

“Here you are, that’ll be five quid.” Rebecca placed the drink down in front of Jamie, snapping her back to reality.

Jamie nodded and grabbed a bill from her wallet, sliding it to the bartender with a sly wink. “Change is yours.”

“Cheers,” Rebecca smiled as she swiped the bill off the table and brought it to her forehead in a mock salute before ringing the drink up.

“So,” Jamie cleared her throat before taking a slow sip of her scotch, rolling her tongue behind her teeth as the amber liquid hit her throat. “What’s the story of this new girl?”

“Hm?” Rebecca looked back at Jamie from the register and tilted her head to the side.

“I didn’t realise Mary Poppins was moonlighting as a stripper,” Jamie chuckled.

“Mary...Poppins, wh- what?” Rebecca laughed, shaking her head. “Moonlighting? I don’t get your bloody jokes, we’ve talked about this before Jamie.” Rebecca waved her hand at Jamie and started collecting empty glasses off the bar-top.

“Never mind,” Jamie muttered. “The American, what’s her deal?”

“Oh, Skye? She moved here about a week ago, worked at one of Peter’s clubs in the States and followed him back here. Don't know much about her yet, but she’s really nice and seems like a decent person so far.” Rebecca saw a man waving her down at the other end of the bar and nodded at him. “Right, I need to get back to work. Let me know when you need a refill,” she smiled.

Jamie raised her glass in acknowledgment and took another sip. She spun around on her stool to watch the current dancer on stage but once again found her eyes on Dani, who was now talking to a man at a table directly across from her, only this time she was frowning instead of laughing.

Jamie found herself standing from her stool and walking toward the stage, closer to where Dani was standing. She brought her glass back up to her lips as she focused her hearing on the conversation taking place beside her.

“Look, I don’t know what else to tell you sir. Peter doesn’t allow us to drink on the job, so thank you but I have to decline.” Dani’s voice came through strained and decidedly stressed and Jamie found her lips turning downward while her knuckles turned white around her scotch as she squeezed the glass in her hand, listening on as the man towering over Dani persisted, unable to take no for an answer.

“Aye, but Peter is nowhere to be found right now and a beautiful girl like you deserves a break, if you ask me. One drink, he’ll never know. We can take it to one of the back rooms and you can show me why all these men around here are sayin’ you’re the best.” The man had a deep cockney accent and Jamie could hear the disrespect dripping from his mouth as he continued to speak. “No one has to know!" He laughed loudly and rubbed his hand across Dani's shoulder and down her arm, sending chills down Jamie's spine as she watched Dani's face contort with discomfort.

“I can only bring you back there if you want a lap dance, are you wanting a lap dance?” Dani’s voice sounded hesitant and guarded and Jamie could feel her blood boiling in her veins, increasingly bothered by how clearly uncomfortable this man was making Dani feel.

“What if I want more than a lap dance, what’ll a lass like you charge me for that?”

Before Dani could reply, Jamie spun around and approached the two of them, forcing her way between the man and Dani unapologetically.

“Just wonderin’ when I’m due for that lap dance you promised me earlier?” She watched Dani’s eyebrows raise at the sight of Jamie standing in front of her, cowgirl hat and aviators both still on. Jamie cleared her throat and nodded at Dani in an attempt to clue into her plan.

“Right, I’m so sorry, it’s just been so busy tonight. I can fit you in right now,” Dani smiled, seeming relieved at the exit strategy being offered to her.

“Perfect, lead the way.” Jamie moved back, allowing Dani to pass by her. She felt her skin catch fire when Dani grabbed her by the hand and tugged her along with her. They walked hand in hand until they reached the back room and Jamie entered first followed by Dani, who immediately threw the curtains closed behind her.

“What made you think showing up here would be a good idea after the last twenty-four hours?” Dani spun around and placed her hands on her hips, eyes wide as she glared at Jamie through her own aviators.

“I just wanted to talk,” Jamie shrugged and held her hands near her shoulders defensively before sitting on the red velvet sofa. “Here, have a seat.” Jamie patted her hand on the cushion beside her.

“You-” Dani stared at Jamie as though she'd grown two heads. “You don’t want a lap dance?” She spoke the words slowly, unsure of what Jamie was playing at.

Jamie shook her head. “No, only wanted to get you away from the creepy bloke.” Jamie removed Dani’s aviator sunglasses from her face and rested them beside her on the couch.

“Oh,” Dani eyed Jamie silently for a moment and to Jamie, it felt like the longest moment in her life. She felt so vulnerable with the way Dani was looking at her. “Well, thanks, I guess.”

Jamie raised an eyebrow, attempting to seem unphased by the reply. “You guess?”

“I just mean-” Dani pursed her lips as she thought of how to proceed. “I had it under control, I didn’t need rescuing.”

Jamie blinked and remained silent as her eyes searched Dani’s, puzzled by the woman in front of her. “Gotcha, you don’t need rescuing, totally understood.” Jamie threw her right arm behind the couch and relaxed into the cushion, resting her left foot on top of her right knee and pulling it into her body. “How about next time we just call it a friendly hand then, yeah?”

“Yeah, sure.” Dani’s hands dropped from her hips and dangled at her sides.

“Here,” Jamie patted the cushion beside her once again. “Seriously, Poppins, you should sit. I bet your feet are killing you in those heels," Jamie smiled softly.

Dani raised an eyebrow, “Poppins?” She then walked over to the couch and sat as far away from Jamie as the cushion allowed her to.

“Yeah, like Mary Poppins. You know, a beautiful and perfect nanny with some mystery to her? Just like you, my gut tells me.” Jamie winked, her smile turned slightly upward at the left corner of her lips.

“Nope, no mystery to me,” Dani was quick to reply. “I’m just...me.”

“Alright then,” Jamie nodded. “Why England? What brought you here, all the way from America?” Jamie’s hand started to pick at the cushion as her arm remained stretched across the top of the sofa.

Dani shrugged, “I wanted a change, I suppose.” Her eyes darted to the top of her own knees and avoided Jamie completely.

“I see, and what did you do in America, before you decided you wanted a change?” Jamie watched Dani’s shoulders slightly tense. “You don’t have to answer, if you don’t want to. I just figured if we’re going to be coworkers, I’d like to get to know ya at least a little bit.”

“We’re not anymore,” Dani finally looked up and over towards Jamie. “Coworkers, I mean. I’m uh, I’m going to let Henry know this arrangement won’t work out first thing tomorrow, I’ll give him a couple of weeks to replace me but-” Jamie cut Dani off, shaking her head.

“What do you mean, you’re going to quit?” Jamie moved her arm from behind the cushion,and placed her hand on the ankle of her foot draped over her other leg.

“Well yes,” Dani tilted her head to the side. “Obviously, I mean how am I supposed to work with the same people who just saw me strip twenty-four hours ago?”

“I mean, don’t you work with people who see you strip every night over here?” Jamie shrugged.

Dani scoffed, her eyebrows furrowed. “I hope that I don’t have to explain to you how different those two things are?”

“I’m just sayin’ is all,” Jamie mumbled.

“Okay, well it’s very different.” Dani rolled her eyes. “Beside, when Henry finds out-” Jamie cut her off again.

If he finds out.”

Dani cocked an eyebrow and shook her head. “Jamie, you can’t expect me to think that Neither you, Hannah or Owen will say anything to Henry. No one wants their children to be looked after by a stripper.”

“Hey,” Jamie shifted away from the couch cushion and placed her foot back onto the ground. She turned her body towards Dani and leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees as her hands hung clasped between her legs. “I have nothing but respect for the women in your line of work.”

Dani chuckled and rolled her eyes. “Right, I’m sure you do.”

“I’m serious, Dani. I have nothing but respect, Hannah and Owen are the same. We aren’t judging you one bit, and I already spoke to them, we’re all in agreement that Henry doesn’t need to know about what you do with your time away from the children.”

Dani blinked, her jaw opened slightly. “Are you-” She cleared her throat and bit her bottom lip and Jamie could immediately tell she was trying to hold back a smile. “Are you serious?”

“As a heart attack.”

“I’m serious Jamie.”

“So are heart attacks.”

“Jamie…” Dani lowered her voice.

“Yes, Poppins, I’m serious. You don’t have to quit, your secret is safe with us.” Jamie smiled. “That’s why I came here tonight, coz I had a feelin’ you might be thinking of leaving us, and well, you’re sort of part of the family now so that just isn’t an option.”

“Wow, I uh-” Dani’s eyes darted down to her feet. “I don’t know what to say?”

“Don’t gotta say anything, just take your hat and sunglasses back, and go out there and kill it tonight.” Jamie removed the cowgirl hat and dropped it onto the couch beside the sunglasses, right next to Dani. She stood up and headed towards the closed curtain.

“You’re not going to stay for the show?” Dani grabbed the hat and sunglasses and got up from the couch. She walked towards Jamie and opened the curtain.

“Same show as last night, innit?”

Dani smiled and shrugged, then exited the room and turned back around to face Jamie. “Guess you’ll have to stick around to wait and see. Just make sure you uh, get a front row seat.” She winked.

Before Jamie could reply Dani was hurrying away, headed back to where the stage was. Jamie watched as Dani walked away, mesmerized by the confidence.

 


 

Jamie sat in the same seat she was in the night before. Her eyes focused on the remaining scotch in her hand, swirling it against the sides of her glass as she waited for the next dancer to perform. She hoped it'd be Dani walking on stage next as she had already watched two other women perform since she and Dani had gone their separate ways, and given how hungover she'd felt all day, she wasn’t sure how much longer she could handle staying awake.

Jamie felt her phone vibrate and grabbed it from the side pocket of her jeans. She squinted with tired eyes and unlocked the screen, seeing a new message from Owen.

From Owen 10:22pm
Well, how did the talk go with Dani? Think she’ll stick around?

She went to reply but before she could, the lights at the front of the stage went off as “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard began to blast through the club.

Step inside
Walk this way
You and me babe
Hey hey

A blue spotlight suddenly focused on the middle of the stage, and Jamie immediately recognized Dani. Her heart stopped as she drank in the image in front of her, the sight of Dani sitting center-stage in a velvety red chair wearing a black fedora with a black blazer covering a white dress shirt and a tie completely entrancing Jamie as she watched. Her eyes slowly trailed down the length of Dani’s body as Dani stood from the chair, practically feeding Jamie with the electricity of her every move. Jamie's face felt burning hot as she took in the entirety of Dani’s outfit, appreciating the way the black skirt she was wearing fitted perfectly against the curves of her hips.

The beat to the song started and Dani started strutting slowly down the length of the stage, her foot sliding in front with every step she took, swinging her hip with each step.

Jamie could see an unlit cigarette in Dani's mouth and something about the way the entire ensemble was put together entirely overwhelmed her senses. The beat from the music pounded through her chest as Dani tossed the unlit cigarette out into the crowd and put one foot in front of the other, thrusting her hips hips forward before completely spinning her body around. She bent her knees, dropping her body low and running her hands up her legs as she slowly stood back up.

Love is like a bomb, baby, c'mon get it on
Livin' like a lover with a radar phone
Lookin' like a tramp, like a video vamp
Demolition woman, can I be your man? (your man)
Razzle 'n' a dazzle 'n' a flash a little light
Television lover, baby, go all night
Sometime, anytime, sugar me sweet
Little miss innocent sugar me, yeah, yeah
Now c'mon, take a bottle, shake it up
Break the bubble, break it up

Dani walked over to the pole and looked down at Jamie and as their eyes met for a brief moment, Dani shot her a wink right before reaching her hands high up onto the pole, and spinning around it, with her legs hanging low. Jamie melted into her seat at the sight of it all, mouth slightly opened as she kept her eyes locked on the woman on stage in front of her.

Dani let go of the pole and stood tall in front of the crowd, smirking as she undid her blazer one button at a time in a slow, steady manner. Once the buttons were undone she ripped open the blazer, completely revealing the white dress shirt and black tie. She left the blazer on slightly covering her arms and slipped her hands slowly down her abdomen, trailing down to her black skirt as her hands made swift work of the zipper.

She moved her hips to the beat, slowly rotating in circles a few times before she wrapped both hands around the edges of her skirt and dropped to her knees, pulling the skirt down her legs as she did so. She dragged her hands back up her legs as she stood up before kicking one leg out of the skirt and using the other leg to kick the discarded material across the room. Jamie watched in awe as Dani's skirt flew across the club, landing on a random guy’s lap.

Dani walked back to the pole and jumped up, wrapping her hands at the top once again. This time she kicked her leg out and wrapped her other leg around the bar as she twirled herself around a few times. Jamie watched as her calves flexed, showing off the muscle Dani had built up from all her past performances.

She slid back down the pole and took her hat off before walking toward the front of the stage where Jamie sat watching. Dani looked directly into Jamie’s eyes and smirked before tossing the hat at her, nearly causing Jamie to spill her drink as she caught it in mid air.

Pour some sugar on me
Ooh, in the name of love
Pour some sugar on me
C'mon, fire me up
Pour your sugar on me
I can't get enough
I'm hot, sticky sweet
From my head to my feet, yeah
I'm hot, sticky sweet
From my head to my feet, yeah
Listen, red light, yellow light, green-a-light go
Crazy little woman in a one man show
Mirror queen, mannequin, rhythm of love
Sweet dream, saccharine, loosen up (loosen up)
Loosen up

Dani then slid the blazer down her shoulders and pulled it away from her arms. She held it in the air and twirled l it around above her head as her body spun and her hips swayed left to right. She tossed the blazer out into the crowd and wrapped one hand in her hair as she slowly loosened the tie around her neck with the other.

Dani ripped the tie off and swung it around a few times in the air before dropping her knees low and whipping the tie between her legs - catching the other end with her free hand. Her arms moved back and forth as she rubbed the tie deep between her thighs, back and forth over top of her pussy.

Dani stood straight up and moved her hips in a circular motion as the tie continued to move back and forth between her legs. Jamie caught her eyes and could feel the warmth pooling below as Dani bit her bottom lip. One of her hands let go of one end of the tie, and she walked towards Jamie and used her finger to motion for Jamie to come forward. Without thinking twice, Jamie did as she was asked and the second she reached the edge of the stage, Dani dropped her knees low once again, this time spreading her legs wide open. She threw the tie around Jamie's neck and grabbed the other end, pulling Jamie's face forward and shoving it in between her thighs.

Jamie’s heart felt as though it were bursting out of her chest as her lips pressed tightly against Dani’s panties, the sensation of Dani’s hips swaying left to right, grinding herself further into her mouth sending Jamie into another dimension. Jamie swallowed her nerves and felt total dryness in her throat, utterly unsure of what to do in the situation. Before she could think too long, Dani pushed Jamie’s head away as she stood back up. She then walked away, sliding her heels along the stage as she danced and rocked her hips back and forth, making her way back to the pole.

You gotta squeeze a little, squeeze a little
Tease a little more
Easy operator come a knockin' on my door
Sometime, anytime, sugar me sweet
Little miss innocent sugar me, yeah, yeah
Give a little more
Take a bottle, shake it up
Break the bubble, break it up
Pour some sugar on me
Ooh, in the name of love
Pour some sugar on me
C'mon, fire me up
Pour your sugar on me
Oh, I can't get enough
I'm hot, sticky sweet
From my head to my feet, yeah

Dani wrapped her hand around the pole and quickly walked circles around it before she let go of the bar and let her body spin, dropping down onto the floor with her legs spread wide open as she did the splits. She laid her back onto the stage and quickly closed her legs, using the momentum to spin her body around multiple times. Each time her body spun around, her thighs spread themselves further and further apart until her legs were completely open again.

Dani flipped onto her stomach and pushed her chest high up off the floor. She held herself up using her arms, as though she did a push up and stopped half way. She began thrusting her hips against the floor, bumping and grinding and sending Jamie’s head spinning. Jamie licked her bottom lip as she felt herself leaning closer to the stage, her eyes glued and completely engrossed in the way Dani’s hips moved so freely with each thrust, wishing she could feel that same movement against her thigh once more.

Dani lowered her body back to the floor and turned back around onto her back before her hand grabbed the pole and she gracefully pulled herself up from the ground and to her feet.

Jamie grabbed her scotch and downed it as she watched Dani rip her dress shirt open, causing the muscles in her forearms to tighten as she gripped the fabric tightly. Buttons flew across the floor, and Jamie was sure one whizzed past her head, but all she could focus on was Dani’s smooth, tight abs flexing in the spotlight, the sweat glistening down her chest as she swung the dress shirt in the air and around her head a few times before throwing it into the crowd.

You got the peaches, I got the cream
Sweet to taste, saccharine
'Cause I'm hot (hot), say what, sticky sweet
From my head (head), my head, to my feet
Do you take sugar? One lump or two?
Take a bottle (take a bottle), shake it up (shake it up)
Break the bubble (break it up), break it up
Pour some sugar on me
Ooh, in the name of love
Pour some sugar on me
C'mon fire me up
Pour your sugar on me
Oh, I can't get enough

Dani then ran around the pole twice before lifting herself completely off the ground, sticking her chest out toward the crowd as she wrapped her leg around the pole behind her with one hand outstretched to the audience as the other gripped tightly around the cool metal.

Jamie’s eyes focused solely on the way Dani’s abs moved each time she curved her back towards the pole, causing her flushed chest to stick further and further out towards the crowd - towards Jamie.

Dani let her body slide back down the pole, landing back onto her feet. Her hips moved in a circular motion to the music as she wrapped a hand around the pole and circled around it once again. She let go and walked towards the back of the stage, back to where the chair was. She dragged the chair forward closer to the center, facing the seat towards the crowd. She then walked behind the chair and quickly bent over, sticking her ass out and giving it a rough slap to match the beat in the song. Jamie’s eyes snapped wide as Dani stood up straight and flipped herself forward over the back of the chair, her legs spread wide as they flew into the air and landed in front of her on the floor as she sat in the seat cushion.

Pour some sugar on me
Oh, in the name of love
Pour some sugar on me
Get it, come get it
Pour your sugar on me (oh-ooh)
Pour some sugar on me
Yeah, sugar me

Dani stood up and faced the crowd as she pulled the chair from behind her and placed it in front of her, the seat facing towards her this time. She lifted her leg and rested her foot on top of the cushion. Jamie watched intently as Dani’s hands moved up and down her sides, dancing her fingers across her own skin. She swallowed as she visualized her own hands running slowly against Dani’s soft, flushed skin, taking her sweet time to memorize every freckle and dimple, running her finger tips into the curve of her body - listening to Dani gasp as she hit a sensitive spot.

Jamie shook her head as the song came to an end and Dani kicked the chair forward, causing it to flip onto its side on top of the stage.

Jamie brought her hand up to her chest and her eyes widened as she felt her heart racing against her fingertips. She got up from her chair and headed back to the bar for another drink, needing to feel a different type of burning inside her chest to distract her from the heat she could feel building inside herself simply from watching a beautiful blonde perform onstage.

A few minutes passed and she realized she'd downed her scotch faster than she intended to. She grabbed her phone from her pocket to check the time and rolled her eyes when she saw a missed call from Owen on the screen. She shoved the phone back into her pocket and turned away from the bar to leave, nearly bumping into Dani as she did so.

“Shit, sorry.” Jamie gasped.

Dani chuckled and shook her head. “It’s okay, in your defence I did sneak up on you.”

“Can’t deny that,” Jamie mumbled.

“So,” Dani cleared her throat. Her eyes dropped to the floor and then back up to Jamie again, the beauty of them piercing into Jamie’s soul. “Did you uh, enjoy the show?” Jamie could see a light pink blush creep up Dani’s cheeks as she nervously bit on her bottom lip.

She found herself intrigued, wanting nothing more in that moment but to know how the clearly nervous woman standing in front of her was the same brave woman on stage just minutes ago, boldly shoving Jamie’s face between her thighs.

“Yeah, I mean definitely.” Jamie nodded. “You give one hell of a performance, Poppins.”

“So you’re really going to make that a thing then, huh?” Dani chuckled, tucking a strand of hair behind her ears.

“Aye, it suits you.”Jamie smirked. “Anyways, I better head out. It’s already late, and I spent most of the day feeling hungover, so I’m pretty exhausted.”

“Right, of course.” Dani smiled. “I’ll uh, see you tomorrow then, bright and early.”

“Bright and early,” Jamie smiled then sighed as Dani walked away, wondering how she was going to get any sleep tonight.

 


 

The next day, Jamie started her morning out the same way as the day before. She walked into the kitchen, drank her cup of tea as she watched Hannah watch over Owen while he prepared breakfast.

Jamie’s attention was pulled towards the kitchen entry as she heard footsteps quickly approaching. She smiled as Dani walked in and started to lift her hand in a small wave, lowering it awkwardly when she realised Dani had no intention of looking her way.

“Morning guys,” Dani smiled as she looked between Owen and Hannah. “Wow, what smells good?”

“That would be the cinnamon buns baking inside the oven,” Owen beamed.

“Morning dear, how did you sleep?” Hannah watched as Dani grabbed a mug from the cupboard and poured herself some tea.

“Oh, not the greatest actually.” Dani shrugged and brought the mug up to her lips, softly blowing on it.

“Yeah, seems to be a lot of that going around here actually.” Hannah smirked as she looked over at Jamie, who shot her a glare through the dark bags under her eyes.

“Yeah, anyways I have to get the children up and ready for breakfast, I just wanted to grab something to help wake me up first.” Dani cleared her throat, her eyes still clearly avoiding Jamie. “I’ll be back down with them shortly,” Dani smiled. She then walked out of the kitchen, back towards the foyer.

Jamie placed her mug down and ignoring the looks from both Hannah and Owen, she followed after Dani.

“Alright?” Jamie caught up to her and matched Dani's pace, walking side by side with her.

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?” Dani looked at Jamie conspicuously and raised an eyebrow.

“Well uh, you sort of seemed like you were avoiding me back there in the kitchen?” Jamie rubbed the back of her neck, entirely confused by Dani's behavior after last night.

“I mean, I was.” Dani’s reply sounded so simple and matter of factly that Jamie nearly missed what was actually said.

“Wait, why?” Jamie grabbed Dani’s hand and stopped her before she could run up the stairs.

Dani sighed and turned to face Jamie. “I just- I want to keep things professional while I’m at the manor. I appreciate the three of you agreeing to keep my secret, and I just think that out of respect, not just for you but Hannah and Owen as well - we should keep things simple and professional.”

“Sure seemed like you didn’t mind last night when you had my face between your legs on stage,” Jamie quipped, rubbing her temples as she shook her head. “I guess I’m just kind of confused, Dani. Getting some mixed signals here.”

“That’s just my job at the club, it’s how I perform. I figured you’d know that from how often I hear you’re at the club?”

“Yeah but it just-” Jamie bit her bottom lip and clenched her hands as she felt her ears turn red with embarrassment. “I dunno, it felt different with you, I guess?”

“Oh, well then I must be doing my job right.” Dani shrugged as she replied bluntly. “Look, I can’t really stop what happens at the club, you’re a paying customer. But here at the manor, I’d really just rather keep it professional, that’s all, no funny business. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I should go make sure the kids are up - breakfast will be ready soon.”

Before Jamie could reply, Dani ran up the stairs and disappeared into the hallway. Her jaw hung slightly agape as she processed everything that was just said, unable to make sense of Dani’s behaviour yet finding herself more and more curious about the new au pair. Jamie made the decision on her way back to the kitchen, if Dani was going to close herself off while at the manor and act like this completely different person, then Jamie was left with no choice. It was exactly as Dani said, at the club Jamie was a paying customer - Dani couldn’t refuse her services.

Dani walked out of Miles and Flora’s split room and headed towards her own bedroom, across the hall. Before she could enter the room, she felt her phone go off. She pulled it from her pocket and frowned when she saw the name on the screen.

“Hello?”

“Dani, where are you?”

“I’ve told you before, I’m at my second job at the manor during the day.”

“Well I’m going to need you to work late again tonight.”

“Peter, I’m exhausted. I need a night off, isn’t there anyone else who can do it?”

“No, Kara called in with a sprained ankle, you’re the only decent girl I have to replace her.”

“Peter…” Dani begged.

“You don’t have to if you don’t want to, I just figured you’d want the extra money whenever the opportunity arose. You know, to pay me back for everything I’ve done.”

Dani sighed and leaned her back against the doorway, letting her head thud against the wooden frame as she did so.

“Hello?”

“Yeah, alright, I’ll see you tonight.” She hung up the phone before Peter could reply and closed her eyes, fighting back tears as she heard little footsteps running toward her ready to run her ragged for the entire day before her last minute shift at the club tonight. Dani steeled herself as she pushed away from the door frame and put on the teacher face she'd perfected over the years, willing away thoughts of the club and Peter and Jamie long enough to survive the day.

Chapter Text

Jamie walked into the club that evening with one thing on her mind. She hadn’t stopped thinking about Dani Clayton all day, and even when she made it home to her flat she found herself drawn to the gravity of the establishment below her, the thought of Dani’s magnifying presence pulling Jamie from her couch and through the doors of the stripclub like a satellite in orbit.

She immediately walked over to the bar and saw Rebecca shaking a martini while she appeared to be in a heated conversation with Peter. Jamie rolled her eyes when she saw the way Peter looked at Rebecca with disgust on his face. Nothing new to how he normally treated her, Jamie knew this, but this time he looked to almost be yelling and for all the things Jamie knew Peter to be a rightful cunt about, raising his voice wasn’t one of them.

“Oi,” Jamie sat down on the stool directly in front of them. “Busy night, yeah?” Jamie could see Peter’s jaw slightly loosen as he turned his head to face her. She counted it as a win in Rebecca’s favour, but knew it would only keep him distracted for so long.

“Jamie, nice to see you again.” Peter gave her a tight-lipped smile and a subtle nod.

“Oh, you know me. Can’t keep me away,” Jamie looked at Rebecca and winked as she fiddled with the leather suspenders slung loosely around her shoulders. I’m not dressing up tonight, she’d tried convincing herself earlier as she slipped on flared black pants and tucked in a slim white dress shirt before attaching the finishing touches to her outfit, I’m wearing these suspenders because I like them, not for her.

Rebecca shook her head and laughed as she poured the alcohol she was shaking into a frosted martini glass before plopping an olive speared on a toothpick into the finished drink. “Be right back,” she said, walking to the other end of the bar to deliver the drink she just made.

“So Pete, what’s new?” Jamie intertwined her fingers and rested her hands on the bartop as she eyed Peter, who was watching Rebecca carefully.

Peter slowly peeled his eyes away from Rebecca’s backside and turned to Jamie. “I’ve been busy trying to open up a new location in Liverpool, the hoops they’re making me jump through is absurd.” Peter grabbed his phone, looking over it quickly before roughly shoving it back into his pants pocket. “Where the bloody hell is she,” he muttered as his eyes started to search the room.

“Lookin’ for anyone in particular?” Jamie cocked an eyebrow and attempted to follow Peter's gaze.

“Just the new girl, she’s always late.” Peter grumbled as he pushed himself off the edge of the bar. “Anyways, I’ve got to get going.” Peter grabbed his beer and downed the remaining contents. “See you around soon, I’m sure,” he nodded at Jamie.

“Right, see you later.” Jamie watched as Peter walked away, then looked at Rebecca walking back towards her on the other side of the bar and rolled her eyes. “Fuckin’ wanker.”

Rebecca chuckled and grabbed a clean glass from the tray resting on the bartop. “He’s definitely something. So what’ll it be then, the usual?”

“Aye,” Jamie nodded. “So how’ve you been, Becs?”

“Just working all the time, you know how it is.” Rebecca grabbed the bottle of scotch from behind her and poured three fingers into the glass. She pushed the glass in front of Jamie and shook her head when she saw Jamie lay a bill onto the bartop.

“What’s this for?” Jamie raised an eyebrow.

“That one is on me, you know why.” Rebecca smiled and nodded to the back corner of the club. Jamie turned around and saw Peter talking with a group of men dressed in what appeared to be expensive suits.

“Right, you don’t have to thank me for that. I hate how that dickhead treats the lot of you,” Jamie frowned.

“Yeah, he truly is a bloody nightmare. Poor new girl gets it worse than the rest of us, no idea why she wanted to follow him here.” Rebecca lifted a tray of multi-coloured shot glasses from under the bar and placed it on the bartop in front of her and Jamie. “He never cuts her any slack, pisses me right off ‘cause she’s too nice to say anything about it.” She grabbed a bottle of vodka and started to fill up the shot glasses.

Jamie’s eyebrows shot up at the mention of the new girl. She grabbed her glass and slowly took a long sip, letting the alcohol burn down her throat and settle into a slight flame in her chest. She swirled the amber liquid around inside her glass and cleared her throat. “Why d’you reckon that is?”

“Hm?” Rebecca looked up from the shot glasses for a brief moment and tilted her head. “What do you mean?”

“Peter and the new girl, why does he treat her worse than the rest of the girls?” Jamie’s tone was cool and casual, a shockingly successful attempt at appearing nonchalant in making conversation about the au pair despite Jamie’s mind racing, desperate to learn anything she could about Dani.

“Dunno,” Rebecca shrugged. “But I do know this new girl is incredibly shy.” She grabbed a bottle of tequila off the shelf behind her and started filling the remaining shot glasses. “Too shy for it to make any sense why she works a job like this.”

“What d’you think it means then?”

“No idea, your guess is as good as mine.” Rebecca looked up at Jamie and shrugged. She moved the tray of shots to the service counter as she glanced over her shoulder to the other side of the bar, her attention focused on a man waving her down. “Gotta get back to it, let me know if you need a refill.”

“Thanks Becs,” Jamie nodded and watched as Rebecca walked over to the other customer. Immediately her eyes landed on Dani, who was standing closely beside him, talking with another customer nearby.

Jamie grabbed her drink as she got up from the barstool. She made her way over to Dani and smirked when she saw the blonde immediately roll her eyes upon Jamie’s arrival.

“What do you want?” Dani’s voice was impatient as she walked away from the customer she was just talking to, refusing to make eye contact while Jamie followed closely behind.

“What, a girl can’t enjoy a night out?”

“Sure, if that night out doesn’t involve harassing the staff.” Dani snarked as she made her way over to a nearby table surrounded by men, leaving Jamie standing alone in the middle of the club.

Jamie sighed and walked to a random nearby table, drink still in hand. She sat down and tilted her glass to her lips as she focused her attention to the stage, desperate for the distraction even though she was entirely sure that the current dancer on stage couldn’t - wouldn’t compare to Dani. She fixated her eyes on the metal rod commanding center stage anyway, watching as the woman dancing spun her body expertly down the pole.

As the night dragged on, Jamie lost track of Dani’s whereabouts as she forced herself to keep her focus on the stage and off the distracting au pair that had already occupied her mind for most of the day. She found her eyes wandering as she finished her scotch four or five dancers later, exactly how long she’d been watching the show remained a complete mystery to Jamie after the first song had ended. She let her eyes travel to different areas of the club, getting a better sense of everything going on around her as she got up from her seat to refresh her drink.

By chance, Jamie happened to spot Peter in the corner of the club. He appeared to be yelling at someone that Jamie couldn’t quite see, so she assumed it must be Rebecca. But when she reached the bar to order another drink and was greeted by Rebecca, her eyebrows knitted in confusion at her error.

“Back for another?” Rebecca smiled.

Jamie’s eyes drifted back to the corner of the club as she felt a knot in her stomach, certain now it was Dani in the corner enduring Peter’s unending wrath.

“Jamie?” Rebecca waved her hand in front of her, causing Jamie to step back in surprise.

“What, sorry?” Jamie shook her head and looked at Rebecca, who had an eyebrow raised.

“Something, or someone got you distracted?”

“No, just have a lot of, uhm, work stuff on my mind.” Jamie shrugged.

“Right, well are you wanting the same drink?” If Rebecca was unconvinced, she deliberately chose not to show it as she grabbed the bottle of alcohol from behind her, already prepared for Jamie’s response.

“Yeah, that’d be great.”

Rebecca poured another double scotch neat into a new glass for Jamie and slid it across the bartop for her. “That’ll be eight quid.”

“Keep the change,” Jamie placed a bill onto the bar and nodded. She then walked away without another word towards the back corner of the club. As she approached Peter, she was able to get a better look and confirm the person he was yelling at was indeed Dani. She moved closer until she could eventually make out some of the sentences coming from the muffled voices.

“I just don’t understand what the problem is?” Jamie watched as Dani placed her hands on her hips.

“How do you expect to ever get out of…” Jamie cursed as the music in the club dropped a loud beat and cut Peter’s words off. “If you keep spending money on all these ridiculous outfits?” Peter threw his hands in the air. “Honestly…” Jamie attempted to lean in closer as his words became harder to understand, once again getting lost in the music.

“As long as you continue to receive…” Dani’s voice was now lost in the sound and Jamie could feel herself growing increasingly annoyed. She knew eavesdropping was wrong, but curiosity continued to get the better of her when it came to Dani Clayton.

“We’ll see how the numbers look at the end of the week.” Peter pointed a finger directly in Dani’s face, and Jamie had never wanted to punch him more than she did right then and there. He turned his body and walked away, leaving a visibly upset Dani standing alone in the corner.

Jamie sighed and turned her head up to the ceiling in contemplation. She knew she should walk away and pretend like she didn’t just overhear something that wasn’t meant for her ears. But when she turned her head to look at Dani, sulking and slouched in the corner, Jamie couldn’t help herself.

Dani saw Jamie approaching and immediately rolled her eyes, shaking her head dejectedly. “What do you want Jamie? I’m really not in the mood.” Dani’s voice had a slight quiver to it.

“Saw Peter yelling at you, thought maybe you’d want someone to talk to?” Jamie shrugged, her eyes darting away from Dani’s gaze as the other woman eyed her suspiciously.

“That’s - that’s nice of you,” Dani raised an eyebrow. Jamie could clearly tell the other woman did not trust her intent and wasn’t going to make this easy for her. “I can’t really take breaks, so I’ll have to pass. Plus, like I said, it’s better if we keep things profes-” Dani cut herself off when Jamie pulled out her wallet from her jeans pocket, pulling a few bills from the tattered leather bifold.

“I’d like to buy a lap dance,” Jamie held the money out and waited for Dani to accept.

“You can’t be serious right now,” Dani scoffed. “I’m trying to tell you I want to keep things professional and-”

“Aye, but you also told me you can’t help what happens at the club because I’m a paying customer. So you don’t really have a say in the matter,” Jamie smirked lightly as she cut Dani off, insistently extending the money towards her.

Dani stood silent and still for what seemed like forever as she glared at Jamie, her eyes squinting with suspicion. As her resolve crumbled, she shook her head in disbelief and grabbed the money from Jamie’s grasp. “Well, follow me then. You know the drill,” Dani mumbled as she walked toward the private rooms.

Jamie followed closely behind, lightly brushing a suspender loose from her shoulder against Dani’s back as she squeezed past her at the threshold and waited for Dani to close the curtain. Once Dani had turned around, Jamie immediately stepped to the side and held an arm out, pointing her index finger towards the sofa. “Sit,” Jamie nodded her head in the same direction.

“This again, really?” Dani crossed her arms and glared at Jamie.

“Yes, really. You look exhausted and after the way Peter was just yellin’ at you back there, you seem like you could use a few minutes.” Jamie’s arm and finger continued to point at the sofa, waiting for Dani to make a move.

“Jamie, this is a waste of time. I could be making actual money right now, I don’t need a break and-”

“I paid you full price for a dance, yeah?”

Dani froze for a moment and slowly nodded her head, acknowledging that Jamie did indeed pay her for a full priced lap dance.

“Well then,” Jamie took a step towards Dani and placed her arm on her lower back, gently guiding her towards the sofa. “You’re not missing out on making money that you already made, right?”Jamie raised an eyebrow as she turned her head knowingly toward her shoulder and the corners of her lips turned upward into a slight smile.

Dani let out a loud puff of air as she sat on the couch, letting her body fall back into the cushions. “Why?” She looked over at Jamie, her eyes searching for any indication as to what Jamie’s intentions truly were.

“Just wanted to talk, make sure you’re alright?”Jamie shrugged.

“But why?” Dani’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion, “why pay forty pounds just to give me a ten minute break? We’re not friends, you don’t even know me. Plus you heard what I said about keeping things professional, so...what’s the plan here Jamie? Why’d you do it?”

Jamie brought her hand up to her chest as her jaw dropped ever so slightly. “Ouch Poppins, you out to break my heart? Here I was, thinking we were best mates.” Jamie smirked as she took a seat beside Dani. She rested her left ankle on top of her right leg as she turned to face the other woman. “Honestly though Dani, I’m just trying to help. I saw the way Peter was talking to you, and I just didn’t want you to have to go right back to putting on a show for other people. Figured you’d want to take a load off is all.” Jamie’s eyes dropped to the ground as she realised how ridiculous the gesture was and started to regret getting involved at all.

“Oh,” Dani’s face softened as she bit her bottom lip before rolling her tongue against the slight bruise forming where her teeth had been. She stared at Jamie for a moment, studying the woman in front of her before letting out a tiny sigh. “Well, thank you then. That’s, uhm - that’s very kind of you.”

“Yeah, don’t mention it.” Jamie cleared her throat and looked back up at Dani. “So what’s Pecker Pete’s problem with ya?” Jamie tilted her head to the side and nodded toward the main area. Dani let out a soft chuckle and Jamie felt her heart skip a beat as she watched Dani’s face glow with the hint of a small smile.

“He’s just an ass to everyone,” Dani’s eyes flickered to the closed curtains and back to Jamie.

Jamie furrowed her eyebrows and leaned across the couch towards the other woman. “Dani,” she whispered, just loud enough so that she could be heard over the music playing. “He doesn’t make you do, I dunno, things for him, does he?” Jamie watched Dani squirm against the sofa, her eyes avoiding Jamie’s concerned gaze.

“What do you mean?” Dani chewed on the corner of her mouth nervously, noticing the worry in Jamie’s face. “No he’s just being Peter, why would you ask something like that?” She shook her head and crossed her arms across her chest, leaning away from Jamie on the couch in the process.

“It’s just, Rebecca mentioned that Peter is a lot harder on you than the other women, said he’s always yellin’ at you and expecting more from you.”

Jamie swung her foot from its resting spot on her leg to the floor, squaring her shoulders with her knees as she leaned forward and rested her elbows on her thighs, hands clasped loosely in front of her legs.

“He doesn’t ever make you, uh, do anything sexual towards him, does he?” Jamie could feel her blood turn cold, just thinking about him touching Dani was too much for her to handle.

Dani’s eyes widened at the realisation and much to Jamie’s relief, she was quickly shaking her head. “Oh god no,” Dani cringed. “Gross, ew.” Dani’s body shuddered as she shook the thought of Peter from her mind, entirely disgusted by the mere suggestion.

“Okay good,” Jamie let out a breath she had no idea she was holding in. Her and Dani sat silently, looking at one another for a good twenty seconds.

Just as if they both had the exact same thought running through their mind, they both burst out into a tiny fit of laughter. Dani shook her head in disbelief again, “Peter? You honestly think I would ever let that walking greasy combover come anywhere near me?” Dani let out a breathless laugh.

“I figured as much,” Jamie smirked. “Just wanted to check and see if I needed to sort him out for you.” She winked and for a quick moment, she could’ve sworn she saw Dani’s thighs flex as she pressed them tightly together.

Dani swallowed and raised a curious eyebrow as she looked Jamie up and down. “I see,” she cleared her throat. “And how does one, uhm, sort out Peter?”

“Oh, you see,” Jamie leaned back into the couch and once again rested her left ankle on top of her right leg. “I would clearly seduce him.”

“You,” Dani snorted and shook her head. “You would seduce him?”

“Aye,” Jamie took a sip of her drink and let the alcohol burn its way slowly down her throat, the fire in her chest a steady blaze fueled by scotch and Dani sitting next to her on the couch.

“The woman who self-proclaims to be “pretty experienced with the female anatomy” is going to seduce Peter Quint?” Dani’s eyes were wide in playful disbelief, her body leaning in slightly towards Jamie.

“Yes. Now as I was saying,” Jamie raised an eyebrow at Dani and smiled when she saw Dani’s bright blue eyes light up with laughter. “I would clearly seduce him and when I have him alone, I’d convince him to get completely naked and let me tie him up. Then, I’d introduce him to Lucy Liu,” Jamie finished matter-of-factly, smirking when she saw Dani’s puzzled face.

“Wait, like the actress from Charlie’s Angels? Dani laughed again. “What? Do you like, know her personally?”

“While I’m a big fan of that movie for obvious reasons, no, I don’t know her. Just what I call my strap on,” Jamie quirked her eyebrow suggestively and took another slow sip from her drink, watching with pride as Dani’s cheeks turned a bright pink.

“Oh,” Dani’s eyes widened as she grew flustered and felt her face flush red with embarrassment. “That’s...that’s - wow. A bit personal, no?”

Jamie laughed and leaned forward, the corner of her mouth cocked to the side. “What Poppins, do sex toys make you nervous or something? Never seen one?”

Dani’s breath hitched and she sat silently. Jamie waited patiently, fully aware Dani was mentally debating how to respond. Feeling guilty for possibly taking things too far once again, Jamie opened her mouth to change the subject but was quickly interrupted.

“I have - I have a vibrator.” Dani bit her bottom lip as she nervously looked up at Jamie. “I don’t really have a name for it though.” Her cheeks felt warm from the admission as she held her gaze with Jamie’s.

Jamie sat silently, her lips falling slightly open at Dani’s response. She swallowed as she felt a lump form in the back of her throat, the air in the too-small room suddenly feeling thick and hazy. “Well then,” Jamie blinked. “I suppose you should get right on that.”

“Maybe I should,” Dani lifted her eyebrow suggestively with a turn of her head, refusing to look away from Jamie as she parted her lips with her tongue, running the muscle along the length of her mouth before sucking her bottom lip in with her teeth. She moved towards the curtains as she got up from the couch and looked down at Jamie innocently with a soft smile, as though she hadn’t just scarred Jamie’s brain with thoughts of sex toys and moist lips.

“Thanks for the break, I should get back to work though before Peter comes looking for me. Are you going to stay and watch the show?” Dani played with her fingers as she rocked back and forth on her heels, waiting for Jamie’s response.

“Depends,” Jamie stood up and surprised herself with her own boldness as she took a step towards Dani. “D’you want me to stay?” The question came out in a soft whisper and Jamie watched as Dani’s eyelashes fluttered together.

“I want you-” Dani paused and Jamie took another step closer to Dani. They both stood inches apart and Jamie watched as Dani’s eyes dropped down to her lips briefly before glancing up to her eyes again. Jamie’s breathing was ragged and uneven as she resisted the urge to lean in and close the space between them. “I want,” Dani cleared her throat, “you to do whatever you’d like.” She smiled and pulled away, grabbing a fistful of curtains as she started to leave. “Maybe I’ll see you out there, then?”

Jamie watched as Dani turned on her heels and walked back into the main area. Her forehead creased in confusion as her thoughts twisted and raced around her mind, all centered on one thing.

What the fuck is this...thing going on between her and Dani?

 


 

A few minutes later, Jamie walked with a fresh drink in hand to her regular table right beside the end of the stage. It was the closest spot to the pole, Jamie knew this from her time living above the club and popping in for a nightcap. She spent the first months of her tenancy watching the dancers carefully from the bar, absorbing the layout of the seats encircling the stage until one night just over a year ago. It was a quieter evening comprised mostly of regulars when she decidedly walked over to the table she now stood in front of and sat down, an unspoken agreement with the other patrons present that evening that she claimed the spot as hers, that she’d earned her place at the club.

She sat down at her table and watched as the dancers made their rounds in the surrounding area, going over to each table and flirting with a bunch of men, either being sent away with a flick of a wrist or pulled down on top of some random degenerate’s knee. She sipped on her scotch, the fire in her chest strong and steady as the liquid hit her throat, and stretched back in her chair as she made herself comfortable and waited for Dani to take the stage.

Her attention was brought back to the stage as the announcer started up with his usual welcome, and Jamie couldn’t help the tiny smile sneaking across her face as she heard the name Skye ring through the speakers.

The lights went off and Jamie leaned forward in her chair with anticipation. She cringed at the sound of a single guitar strum blaring through the speakers, followed by a loud male screaming “Alright!” She rolled her eyes as the beat to “Crazy Bitch” by Buckcherry started up.

“Fuck me, Buckcherry? Really, Dani?” Jamie muttered to herself, wondering why the hell Dani would choose this song of all songs for her performance.

Suddenly the multicoloured lights came on, a spotlight centered upstage revealing Dani. Jamie blinked as she watched the blonde make her way down the stage with purpose to match the mood of the melody. Her eyes drank in the outfit Dani had on, which Jamie could only assume was meant to be a female pimp. She wore a long black and white zebra print robe-like jacket, done up with one button in the middle to reveal nothing but a bikini top and bottom underneath. A large pink fuzzy top hat sat on her head as she carried a long black black cane with an obviously fake diamond at the end to complete the outfit.

Dani reached the front of the stage and stood the cane directly in front of her, both hands gripped the diamond tightly as she looked to her right and saw Jamie staring with her jaw dropped low. She started to move her hips to back and forth, left to right with the beat of the song.

Break me down, you got a lovely face
We're going to your place
And now you got to freak me out
Scream so loud, getting fuckin' laid
You want me to stay, but I got to make my way

Hey
You're a crazy bitch
But you fuck so good, I'm on top of it
When I dream, I'm doing you all night
Scratches all down my back to keep me right on

Hey
You're a crazy bitch
But you fuck so good, I'm on top of it
When I dream, I'm doing you all night
Scratches all down my back to keep me right on

Take it off, the paper is your game
You jump in bed with fame
Another one night paid in full
You're so fine, it won't be a loss
Cashing in the rocks, just to get you face to face

Dani lifted her cane into the air and pushed up on the rim of her top hat, which caused the hat to fall off her head. She caught it with her left hand and immediately looked at Jamie, then winked and tossed both the hat and cane directly onto her lap.

Jamie laughed and shook her head, this time putting the hat on as she leaned back into her seat to enjoy the rest of the performance. Jamie watched as Dani undid the single button of her coat and immediately shrugged it off. She lifted it above her head and spun it around as she turned her body in sync with the piece of clothing, then flung the coat into the crowd. Jamie looked behind her and rolled her eyes when she saw two young men tugging on the sleeves in a pathetic show of tug-o-war.

Dani walked over to the pole and grasped it lightly as she walked around it a few times. She swung her leg behind her and grasped the middle of the pole with both hands, slightly lifting herself up and wrapping the back of her leg around cold metal. Her body continued to circle the pole before she landed on her feet and bent herself backwards, lifting one leg into the air and revealing the tight muscles in her thighs. Jamie’s mouth went dry as she watched with dark eyes, thumbs looped through her suspenders near her waist and legs slightly parted as she sat dumbstruck.

Dani grasped the pole once again and this time pressed her body closer as she twirled around a few times, grinding her hips into the metal as she rotated midway down the pole. In one swift motion she lifted her leg, hooking it around the pole with the back of her thigh. She threw herself backwards, sticking her chest out as she continued to hold onto the pole with one hand. She then lifted herself back up and spun around the pole a few more times until she reached the floor and dismounted, slowly walking around the pole.

Hey
You're a crazy bitch
But you fuck so good, I'm on top of it
When I dream, I'm doing you all night
Scratches all down my back to keep me right on

Hey
You're a crazy bitch
But you fuck so good, I'm on top of it
When I dream, I'm doing you all night
Scratches all down my back to keep me right on

Get the video
Fuck you so good
Get the video
Fuck you so good

Crazy bitch
Crazy bitch
Crazy bitch

Hey
You're a crazy bitch
But you fuck so good, I'm on top of it
When I dream, I'm doing you all night
Scratches all down my back to keep me right on

At the start of the chorus, Dani jumped up and grabbed the top of the pole, kicking her legs up towards her head in one fluid motion. She quickly positioned herself upside down with her legs wrapped tightly above and her arms grabbing the pole below as her body swung around with her chest and stomach facing out towards the crowd.

Jamie’s eyes focused on how tightly Dani’s hands were holding onto the pole, watching the muscles in her forearm flex as she continued to hold herself up, grasping for dear life. Her eyes slowly drifted upward to Dani’s chest and she felt her own heart beating inside of her as if she were standing in the middle of a stampede, her chest burning and swelling with the sound of the music blaring through the speakers. Jamie watched the muscles around Dani’s neck tense the harder her hands held onto the pole, twisting her body around and around. As Jamie’s eyes lowered to her stomach, she bit her bottom lip and watched the way Dani’s slightly visible abs would stretch and then tighten with each spin she completed - each time her hands gripping tighter and making Jamie feel a slight panic for the other woman.

Dani then lifted her body up towards her feet, grabbing back onto the pole as her feet lowered back down to the ground, landing safely against the wooden floor, causing Jamie to let out a breath of relief. Dani then turned her back against the pole and dropped to her knees. She gently bit onto the tip of her index finger as she slowly raised herself back up, grinding her ass against the metal rod as she moved.

She turned back around so she was face to face with the pole and jumped back up one more time, swinging her legs around in the air as she did so. After two swings around the pole, Dani’s leg wrapped around as she used her arms to lift herself further up the pole. Once she was at the top, she opened her legs wide and spun around as her hands slowly lowered her body back down to the floor, causing her to do the splits as she hit the ground.

Dani laid on her back and closed her legs around the pole, crossing them around the bar as she arched her back off the floor, towards the pole. She grabbed the cold metal and lifted herself back up, slowly reaching her arms out and climbing up the pole towards the top. She kicked her left leg outward again, causing her body to spin around the pole. She let go with her left hand but continued to hold on with her right as she lightly ran her fingers up and down the left side of her body, continuing to spin. She placed her left hand back up to the pole and this time she brought both her legs up in the air and over her head, bringing her upside down on the pole once again with her chest out to the crowd. As she began to inch down the pole, she slowly and sensually extended her left leg out towards the audience before bringing it back up to the pole, and then repeated the same action with her right leg. She slid a few more inches down the pole before she kicked both legs out to the side, her legs spread open towards the ceiling in a wide V. Jamie watched as Dani’s biceps tensed while her hands expertly lowered her towards the floor, her legs still spread apart in the air.

Dani wrapped her right leg around the metal and let go of the pole with her right hand, lowering it to the ground and placing her palm down. She then let go with her left hand and did the same thing, lowered it to the ground palm first so she was now doing a handstand against the pole. She slowly unwrapped her right leg from the pole and steadily opened her legs wide, doing the splits into the air, all while facing Jamie.

Jamie’s hand shook as she grabbed her drink from the table and took a deep sip, trying to distract herself from the warmth she felt between her legs as she watched Dani’s thighs tighten and flex the further her legs spread apart until they were fully opened. The scotch no longer burned as it hit her throat, but the fire in her chest was starting to engulf her entire body, flames licking through her bloodstream as the alcohol pounded through her system.

Hey
You're a crazy bitch
But you fuck so good, I'm on top of it
When I dream, I'm doing you all night
Scratches all down my back, come on

Baby girl
You want it all
To be a star
You'll have to go down
Take it off
No need to talk
You're crazy
But I like the way you fuck me

Hey
You're a crazy bitch
But you fuck so good, I'm on top of it
When I dream, I'm doing you all night
Scratches all down my back to keep me right on

Dani then used her ass to gently push herself off and forward away from the pole with her legs still spread open. Her legs dropped forward with her high heels hitting the floor first. Her ass was prominently displayed as she was bent over, her palms still pressed to the floor as she slowly lowered herself back down onto the wood, again positioning her legs into splits.

She laid flat on her back and kicked her legs back and forth, side to side while moving them slowly and sensually. As she brought her legs back down, she turned herself onto her stomach and did half a push up, lifting her chest high off the ground while slowly moving her hips back and forth against the floor. Jamie found herself yet again fighting back bittersweet flashbacks of Dani’s hips moving the exact same way against her thigh a few nights back as she watched Dani thrust into the stage.

Jamie let out a breathy sigh and shut her eyes before she threw her head back and downed the rest of her scotch, her entire body ablaze and consumed by the flicker of a flame she’d started with at the beginning of the night before drowning herself in alcohol and sexual tension, a perfect powder keg just waiting to be lit.

Dani lifted herself up onto her knees and pushed her chest out as she twisted and rocked her hips to the music, her hands pulling and messing with her long flowy hair. She then threw her arms in the air and swung them above her head to the rhythm of the song.

Dani reached out and grabbed the pole, lifting herself up off the floor so that she was standing up straight. She dragged her right hand up the cold metal of the bar and grasped at the top of the pole, while her left hand dropped down the pole near the bottom. She jumped up and lifted both legs off the ground holding her body up sideways, slowly spreading her legs wide into another V shape. She continued spreading her legs until her right heel rested against the bar at the very top near her hand and her other heel rested against the floor with her left hand, forming perfect splits parallel to the pole.

Jamie blinked as her heart continued to beat out of her chest. She grabbed her drink from the table and brought it back to her lips, cursing when she realised she had already finished it off. As though it were timed perfectly, the song came to an end and Dani lowered her right leg from the top of the pole back onto the floor and stood up straight. Once her feet hit the floor, Dani immediately looked over at Jamie and winked, then flashed her a quick, cheeky smile before making her way to the back of the stage.

Hey
You're a crazy bitch
But you fuck so good, I'm on top of it
When I dream, I'm doing you all night
Scratches all down my back to keep me right on
You keep me right on

You're crazy
But I like the way you fuck me

Jamie got up from the table and quickly made her way back over to the bar, desperate for another drink to help her accept the fact that she’d just become a big fan of a song she once hated with a passion. She sat down at the stool and nodded toward Rebecca to get her attention, a lazy smile painted across her face. Rebecca raised an eyebrow as she walked to the end of the bar where Jamie was seated.

“Another hat then?” Rebecca reached over and grabbed the hat off Jamie’s head when she saw the puzzled look on her face. She dropped it in front of Jamie on the bartop and smiled. “She must really like you.”

“Who?” Jamie shifted on the stool awkwardly. She knew full well who Rebecca was referring to but with all the mixed signals she was constantly getting from Dani, the thought of the other woman liking her seemed almost foreign.

“Skye,” Rebecca smirked.

“What makes you say that?”

“Well, she’s given you three of those bloody hats now and those things aren’t free, let alone cheap. She must like you if she isn’t finding you after the show to get them back,” Rebecca shrugged.

Jamie blinked as her fingers ran over the fuzzy fabric of the top hat that now sat in front of her. While Dani had never technically asked for the hats back, Jamie did make it a point the two other times it happened to return them to her. Jamie wondered if Dani just assumed she would continue giving the hats back to her, which is why she never bothered asking Jamie outright. However, thanks to Rebecca, Jamie now found herself curious. So with a smile, she put the hat back on her head, pulled a bill from her wallet and looked up at Rebecca with a cheeky grin. “Another scotch, please.”

A few drinks and a couple hours later and Jamie was feeling good. The flames that engulfed her from the inside out earlier in the night sat deep in her belly now, tamed and warm as she talked animatedly with one of the regulars beside her. She didn’t register at first when a body approached her from the other side, too distracted by conversation and the warmth of alcohol to sense their presence. She finally clued in when she felt a hand rest on her shoulder and when she turned around, Dani was standing directly behind her, a bright smile on her face.

“Poppins!” Jamie yelled excitedly, far louder than she meant to.

Dani laughed and shook her head. “Someone seems to be having fun.”

“Yeah, Gary and I over here were just discussing watering techniques-” Jamie paused and scrunched her face in confusion, “gardening techniques, I meant gardening. Not sure why I said watering?” Jamie chuckled.

“Because you were just telling me how you keep all your fuckin’ plants watered,” Gary slurred as he leaned forward on the bartop.

“Right,” Jamie nodded. “Do you like gardening?” Jamie looked over at Dani and nearly fell backwards off her stool when Dani looked down at her, her smile reaching up to her ears. “Bloody hell, Poppins, you have one hell of a smile. Has anyone ever told you how pretty you are?” Jamie yelled out.

Dani blushed and bit her bottom lip. “How drunk are you?”

“Drunker than I care to admit if I’m being honest,” Jamie winked.

Dani laughed and wrapped her hand around Jamie’s arm. “I think you should probably go home and sleep, you have work in six hours and at this rate, you’re going to have one hell of a hangover.” Dani’s grip on Jamie’s bicep was light yet commanding as she helped her from the stool.

“Right, that makes sense.” Jamie nodded as she stood up straight, her eyes turned toward the ground as she steadied herself. Suddenly she looked back up at Dani and cocked her head to the side, one eye squeezed shut as though she were trying to focus her vision. “Has anyone ever told you how brilliant you are?”

Dani snorted and shook her head. “I have to go, but there are some cabs outside - you really should take one home,” she smiled softly. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Jamie.” Dani released her hand from Jamie’s arm and she found herself missing the tiny bit of contact from the other woman.

Jamie opened her mouth to correct her assumption, to tell her she’d be perfectly fine getting home seeing as home was just up a flight of stairs above the club. But she decided against it, knowing there’d really be no point to it. Instead, she finished what little was left of her scotch and made her way out of the club and up to her flat.

 


 

Jamie arrived at the manor the next day with a pounding headache and black bags under her eyes. Still, even with a horrible hangover, she worked tirelessly around the garden the entire morning. Trimming bushes, watering her plants and just as she was about to move onto her least favourite task of pulling weeds - a light knock at the greenhouse door interrupted her before she could get started.

Jamie opened the door and raised her eyebrow at the sight of Miles and Flora standing in front of her, hands behind their backs as they both looked between one another.

“What’s this then?” Jamie crossed her arms, her mouth slightly crooked upwards.

“We were instructed by Miss Clayton to see if you needed any help in the gardens today,” Miles kicked his foot against the ground and shoved his hands into his pocket.

“Wait, what d’you mean?” Jamie gave a quick look of confusion and tilted her head to the side, amused by how clearly irritated Miles was.

Flora let out a tiny sigh and brought her hands to her front, linking her fingers together. “Miles was acting out, so Miss Clayton sent us here so you could put him to work.”

“And what about you, little miss?”

“I offered to come help, so that Miles wasn’t all alone.” Flora shuffled her foot against the ground nervously.

“And where is Dan- Miss Clayton?” Jamie shook her head as the name nearly slipped out of her mouth.

“She said she’s making drinks and will be out here shortly,” Miles shrugged.

“Right, well I do have some weeds that need to be pulled - was just on my way to start. Let me find you some gloves and I’ll meet you by the garden, yeah?” Jamie watched as both children looked between one another once again, nodded and ran off towards the middle of the yard without another word.

A few minutes later, Jamie emerged from the greenhouse with some spare gloves and two small gardening spades. She walked towards the children who stood patiently at the garden, waiting for further instructions.

“Alright you two,” Jamie tossed a pair of gloves at Miles and then another pair at Flora. “These are gardening spades, they may not look like much but can still do a good amount of damage if you gremlins decide to start whipping them at each other’s heads.” Jamie handed a spade to Mile and then kneeled down onto the grass with the extra one. “So any weeds you see like this, you can try to pull them out, but if they don’t come easy,” Jamie took the spade and dug into the grass around the weed. “You can use this for assistance,” she grunted as she pulled the weed from the dirt.

She stood back up and smiled at Flora, “Here, you both try.” She handed Flora the extra spade and watched as they both raced to the area filled with weeds.

Jamie observed as Miles and Flora slowly got the hang of what to do, bending to help Flora a couple of times with a few particularly stubborn weeds. Eventually she stood back and supervised as she waited for Dani. It didn’t take long before the au pair emerged from the manor, walking casually with a tray holding four glasses in one hand and a pitcher full of juice in the other.

“Alright, I have some freshly squeezed lemonade, compliments of Owen.” Dani smiled. She walked over to the patio table and placed the tray and pitcher down. She then turned around and faced Jamie with a shy smile. “Got any spare gloves?”

“Wh- what, for you too?” Jamie shook her head in confusion.

“Yeah, figured you could use the break.” Dani shrugged. “With the state you were in last night, I can’t believe you’re wanting to do any sort of hard labour out in this heat.” Dani covered her eyes from the bright sun and held her other hand out expectantly.

“No offence, Poppins, but this isn’t your job,” Jamie spoke cautiously. “How come you’re offering to help?”

“It’s the least I could do, for last night.” Dani bit her bottom lip, her eyes squinting at Jamie.

“Dani, you don’t have to do that.” Jamie’s lips slightly curved as she held her gaze with Dani, her eyes soft with what Dani could only describe as affection.

“I know, but I want to,” Dani pushed her hand even more forward, an indication she wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

“Alright, there’s another pair in the greenhouse, let me go grab them.” Jamie turned on her heels and headed back to the heated greenhouse.

“So how are you really feeling?” Dani jogged over to Jamie and walked with her the short distance.

“M’alright, just a bit of a headache really.” Jamie smirked. “Was quite a night,” she laughed, shaking her head. “Can barely remember anything after the show.” Jamie opened the door to the greenhouse and stepped in.

“Oh yeah?” Dani frowned as she followed closely behind, slightly disappointed Jamie couldn’t remember calling her pretty and brilliant the night before.

“Yeah, but I do remember the show at least.” Jamie turned to face Dani with a smirk. She winked and Dani’s eyes quickly darted to the ground.

“I see,” Dani spoke slowly.

“Which reminds me actually, I have your hat at my flat. I can drop it by if you need it tonight?”

Dani shook her head and brought her eyes back up to Jamie’s, “No I should be fine. Nothing special planned tonight, you can just bring it tomorrow if you didn’t plan on coming to the club already.”

“Alright, sounds good.” Jamie nodded. “Figured you might be needing it, those costumes can’t be cheap.”

“Yeah, definitely not.” Dani chuckled.

“Especially with all the little props you use. Like the uh,” Jamie laughed quietly at the fond memory. “Like that uh, plastic assault rifle.”

“Oh god, please don’t remind me about that.” Dani covered her face with both hands and shook her head laughing.

“Wait, was that not your idea?” Jamie raised an eyebrow in amusement.

“Oh my god, not at all.” Dani rolled her eyes.

“So why do it? I mean, not going to lie, it left an impression on me.” Jamie crossed her arms. “But also, on a scale from one to American, it was very American of you.” Jamie beamed as she heard Dani snort with more laughter.

“Please, Peter made me do that. He thought it would be a great way to introduce me, super scandalous and scarily sexy were his exact words.” Dani closed her eyes and licked her lips.

“God, that man is so daft.” Jamie shook her head and moved over to her workbench, looking for another pair of gardening gloves. “Here we are,” she said as she leaned down and pulled a pair from the bottom drawer.

“Perfect,” Dani smiled.

A moment passed where the two of them stood silently, gazing into each other’s eyes. “I do have to admit Poppins, while we’re on the topic that is. That was, uh, quite a performance last night. Can’t get that outfit out of my head.”

“Thanks,” Dani blushed and bit her bottom lip. She quickly looked down at the ground, not wanting Jamie to see the effect her compliment had.

“You must really love working with those wee gremlins,” Jamie quipped.

“Sorry?” Dani brought her eyes up to Jamie, her face twisting in confusion.

“I mean, surely you’re well aware you could be making way more money if you worked at a place more respectable than Peter's, you’re too good for his dingy nightclub.”

Dani’s face dropped as she registered Jamie’s words, her heart sinking to her stomach as she felt shame flood her mind. "Wh- why would you say something like that?" Dani quickly crossed her arms as if she were trying to cover a part of her that was exposed.

"What d'you mean?" Jamie tilted her head, unaware of what she’d done. She frowned when she saw Dani take a few steps back.

"That's just so-" Dani shook her head, tears pricking the corners of her eyes as she clenched her fist, "like why do you have to do that?"

"Do what?" Jamie looked around the greenhouse, as if she were expecting to find the answer hidden somewhere inside.

"We were getting along just fine, and then you just had to go and ruin it."

"Dani, I didn't-"

Dani quickly cut her off. "No, you know what? You're so predictable. I thought maybe after last night, that thing with Peter- I thought you might be different. But you're just like every other perverted man that walks into that club every night."

Jamie opened her mouth to protest but Dani continued on. "You're worse, actually. I've done this job for two years now and I've never seen someone work as desperately as you have just to bang one of the hot strippers," Dani scoffed. "Grow up, Jamie. You think I'm some airhead chasing after clients with deep pockets?” Dani took a few steps towards Jamie and pointed a finger in front of her face. “Well, guess what, I have dreams and goals that extend far beyond giving lap dances for the rest of my life. Contrary to what you might think, looking after Miles and Flora isn't just a quick buck for me.” Her eyes were ablaze as she stared at Jamie, looking deeply offended as she breathed heavily, her chest falling up and down noticeably.

“Dani-” Jamie paused in disbelief, unsure how their conversation had spiraled so quickly out of control.

“Forget about it, I’m going to go help the kids finish up in the garden.” Dani’s voice was low as she made her way back to the greenhouse door. She opened the door and paused, “It’s no wonder you’re alone. You’re a real piece of work.” Dani muttered before walking out the door, letting it slam behind her.

Jamie blinked, her heart thumping out of her chest as she watched the au pair through the window of the greenhouse, stomping her way back to the garden. She shook her head out of frustration and slammed her fist against the workbench, the stinging sensation throbbing through her hand as she winced, knowing she’d feel it even more tomorrow. She had no clue what she’d said to set Dani off the way she did, and Jamie’s head spun as she tried to work out what the hell just happened. It didn’t matter though, the words that came from Dani were far from appreciated and after the long day and lack of sleep she was already dealing with, Jamie decided she’d had enough. “Fuck this,” she mumbled as she threw her own gloves down onto the table, grabbed her phone and sent a quick text off to Owen.

 


 

Dani entered the manor a couple of hours later exhausted and covered in dirt and grass as sweat dripped down her face and chest from the heat and work combined, a towel loosely held in her hand near her waist.

“You two need to go and wash up before anything else,” Dani yelled after Miles and Flora as they raced each other up the stairs.

She shook her head laughing and smiled in surprise when she saw Hannah coming down the stairs towards her.

“Hi dear,” Hannah greeted as she reached the bottom step.

“Hey, how was your day today?” Dani beamed, lifting the towel to her face and wiping away dirt and sweat before moving the fabric around the back of her neck.

“Oh you know, better than yours it appears.” Hannah smiled with soft eyes. “Hard day’s work I see?”

“Could say that again,” Dani smiled and gestured towards the stains covering her outfit.

Hannah chuckled and rubbed the back of her neck, “Well I know Jamie will certainly appreciate it. Poor thing left early today, apparently feeling quite unwell.”

“Oh,” Dani blinked as she eyed the crease in Hannah’s forehead.

“Though-” Hannah paused. She opened her mouth and quickly shut it, as though she changed her mind on what she was going to say. A quick moment passed before she finally spoke up again. “Did you talk to her at all today?”

“Y- yeah,” Dani stammered. Her stomach sank as she grew worried that maybe Jamie had spoken to Hannah about their quarrel from earlier in the day.

“Did she mention anything to you, anything that might be upsetting her?” Hannah frowned.

“No,” Dani shook her head and a pang of guilt hit her ribs like a punch, nearly taking the air out of her lungs as she thought about their conversation in the greenhouse.

“Oh, I see.” Hannah sighed, “I worry about her, you know? Can’t help myself.” Hannah walked towards the kitchen, Dani following right beside her. “She’s had a rough go at it, that one. Was forced to grow up way too fast.” Hannah frowned and then shook her head. “ Sorry dear, I don’t mean to bother you with all of this. I just haven’t seen her look so upset before, just has me a bit concerned but curious too as to what set her off. She’s not normally one to be bothered easily, I’m honestly not sure what could’ve done it.”

Dani bit her bottom lip, nearly drawing blood as she let Hannah’s words hang inside her chest, feeling more and more culpable as Hannah worried over Jamie.

“Which reminds me, love.” Hannah stopped and held her hand out beside her, causing Dani to also come to a complete halt.

Dani looked over at Hannah as she chewed on the inside of her cheek, nervous to hear what the other woman had to say next.

“I just want you to know-” Hannah turned to the side, her lips pursed as her soft eyes watched over Dani, somehow easing Dani’s nerves. “I know there’s more to you than you’re probably willing to share with any of us right now, and that’s alright. I’ve been meaning to talk to you the last few days, but haven’t really found the right moment.” Hannah gave a half smile.

“If you ever need someone to talk to, I’ve been told I’m quite the good listener. I know we don’t really know one another too well, but I do hope we can be friends.” She rested a hand on Dani’s left shoulder and gave her a gentle squeeze. “I noticed that you’ve been having to work at the club late every night since you’ve gotten here and, well, I can only imagine how exhausted you must be. I just wanted you to know that any nights you have to go to the club after watching the children, I’d be more than happy to help with tucking them in and taking over the nighttime routine. Lord knows I’ve only been doing it their entire lives, so it’s truly no bother to me. Maybe then you can sneak in a quick nap before work, or even arrive at the club earlier and not have to stay so late?”

Dani blinked in complete shock before speaking. “Oh no,” she rushed, quickly shaking her head. “You’ve all done so much for me already, I couldn’t possibly ask-”

Hannah quickly cut her off, “Nonsense - I’m offering. I like to think I’m fairly perceptive towards people, and I can already tell you’re one of the decent ones in the world.” Hannah smiled. “So please, feel free to head out whenever, I can make sure the kids are fed and put to bed tonight.”

“Hannah…” Dani’s jaw was slightly agape as she searched for words of gratitude to express how thankful she was for Hannah’s kindness. “I really don’t know what to say?”

“No need to say anything, like I said, if you ever want to open up or just vent - I’ll be happy to listen.” Hannah smiled before continuing her way into the kitchen. Hannah stuck her nose in the air as she began to noticeably sniff around her. “What smells so lovely?” She approached Owen, who was stirring a giant pot that sat on top of the stove.

He looked behind him as he continued to stir, a wide grin on his face. “Tomato soup, Jamie’s favourite. Was going to bring her some after work later on, hopefully it will make her feel better.”

“Well aren’t you just the sweetest,” Hannah patted Owen’s back and Dani could see the way Owen’s shoulders relaxed upon her touch.

“Well, I do what I can. Figured it’d be better to bring it to her even if it’s later tonight, rather than waiting until tomato,” Owen smirked at the cleverness of the rhyme in his pun.

“I can do it,” Dani piped up.

Both Owen and Hannah looked at her in unison before glancing at each other with uncertainty. “That’s alright Dani, I don’t mind. I’ll probably be out of here around eight tonight anyways. She’s not too far out of my way.” Owen smiled at Dani with a shrug of his shoulders.

“Well, I just mean - I have to go into town soon anyways. I could drop it off before work?” Dani persisted, trying to hide the guilt she felt for the accusations she’d leveled at Jamie earlier. “Where does she live anyways?” Dani watched as Hannah and Owen shared a knowing look.

“Well,” Hannah cleared her throat. “You actually know the place quite well.”

“Oh?” Dani tilted her head to the side expectantly.

“You see, she actually lives right above your place of work. So it actually would make far more sense for you to drop a container off to her,” Hannah looked over at Owen knowingly, suppressing a slight grin.

“Yeah, I suppose you’re right,” Owen nodded, cluing in to Hannah’s antics. “I should have this done in twenty minutes, not sure when you plan on leaving but I’ll leave the container on the counter for you.”

Dani stood still as she processed Hannah’s revelation, a million thoughts invading her mind as she mulled over the new information.

Of course Jamie lived above the strip club.

Chapter Text

Dani made her way to the club, thoughts of her conversation with Jamie clouding her mind as she drove. Whatever good intentions Jamie had earlier when she made a comment about working at a better club, Dani realized she completely ignored them and instead reacted impulsively and very aggressively. She knew it was wrong, she knew she hadn't given Jamie any sort of opportunity to get to know her. How could she expect Jamie to know how much she detested the life she was currently living? Jamie knew nothing about her - Dani made sure of that from the start.

She was intrigued by Jamie, fascinated by the magnetic attraction that filled the air every time they locked eyes at the club or across the grounds at the Manor. Part of her wanted to let Jamie in, give in to the unspoken attraction that’s followed them since the first night they met. The more rational, guarded part of Dani refused to allow this - how could she even consider letting in a complete stranger like Jamie when she can’t even tell her family, let alone her best friend Eddie, what’s really going on? What gave her the right to be so selfish? She’d already let her selfishness ruin lives before, was she really going to do it again?

Dani pulled into the parking lot of Peter’s Penthouse and parked in her usual spot closest to the street, a habit she’d engrained early on to avoid having to walk a far distance alone late at night after she leaves. She glanced behind her shoulder at the two doors behind the club - she’d always been aware of the second door next to the back entrance of the club but never once clued in to the fact that the door was meant for a flat above - meant for Jamie.

As Dani made her way to the door that led her up to the flat entrance, she quickly decided inside her head how she wanted to approach the situation. Hannah had made it clear that Jamie was upset, more upset than she had ever seen her, in fact. Dani knew she had to rectify her behavior, at the very least she owed Jamie an apology.

Dani breathed in slowly and held her breath for a moment before gently tapping her knuckles to the flat door as she exhaled. She stood tall and straight, both hands wrapped tightly around the container of soup as she heard footsteps approaching.

When the door opened, Dani could immediately see the regret in Jamie’s eyes as they both stared at each other in an awkward silence.

After a short moment, Dani cleared her throat and swallowed. “Hey,” she said, her lips pursed together in a tight smile. She could feel her stomach twist in knots as Jamie looked at her, eyebrows pulled down together.

“What’re you doin’ here?” Jamie took her hand off the doorknob and crossed her arms as she carefully watched the blonde in front of her.

“Owen,” Dani held the container out in front of her. “He made you soup, said you weren’t feeling well.”

“Aye, he’s right. You should probably leave before you catch whatever I've got,” Jamie forcefully coughed into her arm as she continued to glare at Dani.

“Look-” Dani sighed and paused for a moment, hoping the words would come easy to her. “I was a real jerk earlier and I owe you an apology.” Dani pushed the soup container a little further out and smiled when Jamie finally accepted the tupperware. “Can I come in?”

“What, now?” Jamie raised an eyebrow.

“Well yeah, I left the manor a bit early so I have some time to kill before work.” Dani smiled awkwardly as she silently prayed for Jamie to move to the side and not make this any harder for her than it already was.

After a brief moment, Jamie nodded and gestured for Dani to follow her as she walked away. “Just close the door and leave your shoes on, have to clean the place anyway.”

Dani’s eyes searched the large room as she entered. The first thing that caught her attention was a plethora of plants surrounding the flat, some suspended from the ceiling and others situated carefully on nearly every available surface, even the floor in the corners of the room. To the right was a large dark green sofa, with a decently sized TV sitting on top of a TV stand directly in front. To the left was a slightly cramped but quaint kitchen, with a small kitchen table sitting in the corner.

Jamie gestured towards the couch. “You can have a seat. Want anything to drink? I have tea, water or beer, s’not much but it’ll have to do,” Jamie shrugged, and for a quick moment Dani swore she could see a flash of shame hiding behind Jamie’s smokey green eyes.

“A beer actually wouldn’t hurt.”

Jamie nodded in return and Dani watched as she walked over to the fridge, which stood directly across the small kitchen table. Jamie pulled out two Carlsbergs, twisted both lids off and walked back over to her. She handed her one as she sat down on the other end of the couch, letting out a tiny sigh as she sank into the cushions.

Dani smiled and held her beer out as she waited for Jamie to do the same. With a nod, Jamie tapped her beer bottle against Dani’s. “Cheers,” she mumbled.

Dani watched closely as Jamie brought the bottle up to her lips and took a few swigs from the bottle, her throat bobbing as the alcohol made its way down. Before she could look away, Jamie’s eyes flicked over to her and she lowered her beer, a small crooked smile appearing as she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “See somethin’ you like?”

“What?” Dani shifted further into the chair and immediately took a sip from her beer, trying to ignore how her entire face felt as though it’d just caught fire.

Jamie didn’t reply, instead her eyes searched Dani’s as if she was trying to work out a puzzle or complicated math problem in her head.

“So,” Jamie cleared her throat. “Gonna just sit here silently, or-”

“No, sorry,” Dani cut her off as she shook her head and took another small sip from her beer, hoping it would numb the nerves she felt when sitting beside Jamie alone in her flat. “Like I said, I want to apologise.”

“Okay…” Jamie shifted further back into the sofa and lifted her foot onto the couch, pulling her knee to her chest so as to allow her to rest her beer on top of her knee.

“I’m uh- I’m not great with this,” Dani gestured with her hand between the two of them.

“Apologising?”

“No,” Dani shook her head. “Friendships, or whatever the heck this is.” Dani mumbled before taking another sip from her beer.

“You don’t say?” Jamie quipped.

Dani rolled her eyes, “Can you not make this harder than it already is?”

“Not sure about that, m’not the kind of girl who makes promises she can’t keep.” Jamie was aloof and Dani couldn't figure out what the hell was going on in her head. Was Jamie flirting with her now, daring Dani to press further until she breaks through Jamie's defenses? Or was this just a game for her, and Dani just a pawn to be toyed with?

“I don’t really know how to let people in,” Dani decided she needed to stop beating around the bush and rip the bandaid off. “I usually try to keep my distance from strangers for that exact reason.” Dani took another sip and wiped the corner of her mouth with the back of her hand. “But with what I said earlier, it wasn’t right for me to make assumptions or judgements when I don’t actually know anything about you.”

Jamie’s eyes focused on Dani and something about the way she was watching her made Dani’s entire body shiver. Dani could tell there was still anger there as she watched Jamie’s lips purse tightly together before finally speaking up.

“No, it wasn’t right. Someone such as yourself oughta know that already though, yeah?”

“Someone such as myself?” Dani repeated the words back to herself slowly and unsurely.

“Yeah,” Jamie took a sip from her beer. “Someone who clearly doesn’t want people judgin’ a book by its cover.”

Dani took a moment to register the words and as much as they stung, she knew Jamie wasn't wrong. All Dani wanted was for someone to look past her current situation and want to get to know her - the real her.

“I was engaged up until a couple of years ago,” Dani’s eyes focused on her beer bottle as she slowly peeled away at the sticker. “He was my best friend - is my best friend.” Her eyes shot up to Jamie, who was now watching her with softness, waiting for her to continue. Dani knew she wasn’t ready to give her everything - not yet at least. She owed her something though, that much she was sure of. “As any childhood friends to sweethearts' story goes, we started dating young. Back when I didn’t know-” Dani paused and took a sip from her beer.

“S’alright, take your time.” Jamie gave her a subtle nod and as much as she hated opening herself up to other people - something about the woman in front of her made it different. It was easier for her now than it had ever been in the past. However, Dani could detect a hint of disappointment in Jamie’s voice and she couldn’t help but wonder if it had anything to do with her mention of being engaged to a man - so she decided she had to at least clear that up for her.

“I just knew something never felt right, but I thought maybe it was because he was my best friend for so long. Maybe I was just having trouble making the adjustment from friends to lovers, you know?” Dani could see Jamie nodding as her eyes went back to focusing on the sticker that was stuck to the beer bottle, her hands continuing to pick and peel. “Anyway, eventually I figured out why things never felt right - but I was so scared of hurting him and his mother that I kept it to myself for years. Thought I was doing them a favour, thought it would be better for everyone if I just learned to live with it.” Dani took another sip from her beer, her eyes finding Jamie’s once again. “Turns out keeping it to myself just about cost me everything anyway.” Dani shrugged as she finished off the rest of her beer.

She could feel Jamie’s gaze burning her as she placed her bottle onto the table. When she finally looked over at her, Jamie wore a blank expression on her face. Dani immediately felt her stomach drop with regret, maybe she opened up to Jamie too soon. Maybe she read the connection between them wrong, maybe Jamie didn’t have any interest in her apart from her moves at the strip club.

“Anyways, I should get going. Would be kind of silly for me to be late when I’m right above.” Dani feigned a smile as she stood up from the couch.

“Right,” Jamie cleared her throat, “makes sense.” She stood up and followed Dani to the door.

“I’ll see you tomorrow I guess, if you’re feeling better?” Dani’s hand rested on the doorknob as she turned to face Jamie, lingering while she waited for an answer. Hoping she wouldn’t have to wait long before seeing Jamie again.

“Yeah, I’m sure you will.” Jamie nodded.

“Right.” Dani bit her bottom lip. She could feel her nerves twisting inside, could feel her throat tighten as Jamie stared right through her. For some reason, standing close to Jamie had the exact same effect on her every time and she had no idea what it was about the other woman that elicited that type of reaction from her, except that it terrified her. “Well, see you later then,” Dani opened the door and walked out.

“See ya later,” Jamie nodded.

As Dani made her way down the hall and towards the stairs, she could see her own reflection in the glass cabinet housing the fire extinguisher - behind her, Jamie stood just outside her door and watched as Dani walked away.

 


 

A few hours had passed since Dani left, leaving Jamie alone with her thoughts. While reflecting on everything Dani had told her, Jamie felt unsure of where the conversation left her and the other woman. She had always been sure there was some invisible magnetic force of sexual tension pulling them together, but now she was starting to question if maybe she was the only one feeling it. Which also made her question if all the advances she had made in the past towards Dani were actually wanted or if Jamie had been harassing her more than she intended to all along.

When she got to the club, she took her usual route to the bar first to numb her nerves. She decided she was going to pay for one last lap dance to speak with Dani and at least return the favour of opening herself up and then from there on out, she would leave the ball in Dani’s court, not wanting to be like the typical men that cycled in and out of the club forcing unwanted advances on the women.

“Alright?” Rebecca’s voice came from a distance as Jamie sat down at the bar.

Jamie looked over to her right and could see Rebecca standing a few feet down the bar, polishing some empty glasses as the chairs surrounding the bartop sat empty.

“Yeah, what about you Becs? Slow night?” Jamie looked around and could immediately see the club was much emptier than their usual weekend crowd, not entirely unexpected for a Wednesday evening but quiet nonetheless.

“Yeah, it’s been incredibly slow tonight but I’m not complaining. It’s nice to have a rest every once in a while from all the craziness.” Rebecca sighed. “Plus, slow night means no Peter and that-” Rebecca threw her rag onto the bar-top, "is something I will never complain about.” She smiled. “The usual?”

“Yeah, that’d be great.” Jamie smiled with a nod. Rebecca grabbed a glass and placed it onto the bartop in front of Jamie. She grabbed the scotch from behind her and poured a double shot into it.

When Jamie pulled out her wallet, Rebecca shook her head. “Skye told me the next time you came in, drinks were on her. Not sure what you did to have that girl so smitten but the free hats and drinks can’t be all that bad,” Rebecca winked.

“Wait,” Jamie shook her head. “When did Dani tell you that?”

“Dani?” Rebecca took a step back and watched Jamie with narrow eyes. “So you guys are on a first name basis? Well that explains it.”

“No,” Jamie mentally kicked herself for the slip up. “I just heard Pete use her name once and not sure why it slipped out like that, but now I feel like a creep.” Jamie chuckled as Rebecca continued to glare at her.

“Right, well Skye actually just told me to do it today when she came in for her shift a couple of hours ago.”

“I see,” Jamie turned around on the barstool and looked around the club. She almost immediately spotted Dani in the back corner. She got up and turned to face Rebecca, who now stood watching her with a sly smile. “I’m gonna-” Jamie gestured towards Dani and rolled her eyes when Rebecca started to laugh. “Shut up,” she mumbled before quickly walking away.

Jamie slowly approached Dani and could feel her nerves kick in as she saw Dani watching her with a confused smile on her face. “I didn’t think I’d see you tonight,” Dani walked away from the table she was talking to and towards Jamie.

“Yeah, thought we could have at least one more lap dance. Figured I owe you with you stopping by earlier and all.” Jamie cleared her throat and nodded towards the back room. “If that’s alright with you?”

Dani tilted her head to the side and Jamie swallowed her nerves as thoughts about how beautiful the other woman was swarmed inside her head.

“Uh sure, follow me.” Dani walked away and grabbed Jamie’s hand as she did so. Jamie couldn’t help but notice how much tighter her grip was and part of her wondered if Dani felt just as nervous as she did. Once they entered the room, Dani continued to hold onto Jamie’s hand as she closed the curtain and turned around to face her. Jamie’s heart pounded in her chest as she felt Dani’s thumb lightly swipe across her knuckles before letting go.

Jamie cleared her throat and gestured towards the red velvety sofa. “Have a seat, Poppins.”

Dani smiled as she sat down on the opposite side of the sofa and waited for Jamie to follow. Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion as Jamie paced around the room instead.

“Everything okay?” Dani frowned.

“Yeah, I just-” Jamie paused and turned to face Dani. She felt her breath catch in her throat when she saw Dani’s bright blue eyes blinking expectantly at her and found herself getting lost for a brief moment, wondering how it was possible for someone to be as beautiful as Dani was and yet have no clue about it. Jamie shook her head and cleared her throat, “I just don’t usually do this but-” Jamie paused as she searched for the right words. She still felt a tiny amount of anger and resentment towards Dani, even though she'd already apologised.

Dani, who was so quick to preach about not wanting to be judged based on what others see on the outside.

Dani, who was always so hot and cold towards her. One day, she gets herself off on Jamie’s leg, or throws her clothes at Jamie while she’s performing. The next day she’s waving her finger in Jamie’s face telling her to keep things professional.

Dani, who yells at Jamie because she knows nothing about her, but then refuses to open up, refuses to let anyone in.

Until today.

She wasn’t given a lot, but she was given something - and she can work with something. To Jamie, something was far better than nothing at all. Maybe it was the start of a friendship, or even just a mutual understanding. But she owed Dani the same, even if she was still upset.

“You’re not the only one with an awful past, you know?” The words were harsh, but Jamie’s patience for Dani’s attitude towards her had run out.

Yes Dani apologised, but that didn't give her a pass to act like things were simply back to normal with a few purchased drinks and some onstage flirting, whatever the hell their "normal" even was. Being around Dani was hard as it was, she didn’t need the added stress of trying to figure out what kind of mood Dani was in each day before proceeding to talk to her. And yet here she was, gearing up to return the same vulnerability Dani showed her earlier in her flat, desperate to understand and be understood by the woman in front of her.

 

“I never said I was,” Dani frowned.

“No, I know that.” Jamie ran a hand through her loose curls and started pacing again. She hated how much she wanted Dani’s attention. She hated how with every other girl it was easy - get in with a few sly words and suggestive glances and get out the same night, no need for goodbyes or formalities, no need for boundaries when a single night is all she’s ever been willing to offer. With every other girl it was simple, uncomplicated, emotionless. A moment of release to fulfill a need before moving on with her life. She couldn’t explain it, would be hard-pressed to admit it even, but Dani wasn’t just any other girl - Jamie was certain of that.

“I just mean-” She stopped walking and breathed slowly, forcing herself to feel the air flowing through her lungs and calming her nerves ever so slightly. “It doesn’t give you a pass to treat everyone like shit. And what you said earlier, it was uncalled for and-”

Dani cut Jamie off. “I know,” she nodded. “Again, I am so sorry and-”

“No, I know. You mentioned that already, no need to apologise again. I’m just not used to caring, I guess.” Jamie let out a breathless laugh at the absurdity of caring what Dani Clayton had to think.

“Caring about what?” Dani raised an eyebrow.

“What other people think about me,” Jamie twirled her hand, gesturing as though the answer should have been obvious.

“And- and you care...what I think?” Dani stumbled with the words, surprised by the revelation.

Jamie groaned and took a seat beside Dani on the sofa. “I had a rough past, not many people know about it so they make assumptions about me,” Jamie looked at Dani with a raised eyebrow.

“Sorry,” Dani mumbled.

Jamie shook her head, not wanting to continue guilting the other woman. “I left home when I was 18 because-” Jamie closed her eyes and swallowed, then reopened her eyes and cleared her throat. “Shit got bad at home, I had no choice but to leave. Was forced to, if I’m being completely honest.”

Dani stayed quiet but nodded at the words, a silent invitation to continue which Jamie appreciated.

“I grew up in Leeds, but moved to London when I left. It was tough, being a kid fresh outta secondary school in a new city, not knowing anyone and not having a single quid to my name.” Jamie frowned. “I had to do whatever I could to survive. It started small, just a bit of fresh bread from a bakery, a sandwich from the grocery store. Eventually it led to pickpocketing for some change to feed myself, to stealing wallets so I’d have a bed to sleep on for the night. The streets scared me, I was 18 but I was still a kid.” Jamie swallowed, her eyes drifted to the floor as she let out a shaky breath. “Being a kid also means I wasn’t exactly smart, and one of the wallets I picked didn’t have cash but the guy did have a credit card and…” Jamie laughed silently to herself, no amusement or humour evident anywhere on her face.

She looked back at Dani and sighed. “When they tracked the purchase to the motel, they found me and the five other wallets I had picked earlier. Ended up getting arrested and doin’ some time, found my way into gardening while locked up. I knew I never wanted to live that kind of life again once I was out, had to do something with my time to make sure that wouldn't happen. That when my sentence was served and I got out I’d have somewhere to start, a career to maybe lead me in the right direction for once in my life. Plus, plants are bloody easy to understand, unlike people," Jamie smirked when she saw Dani shy away from the words.

“Anyway, I ended up meeting Dominic, Miles and Flora’s dad. He was actually the lawyer of the guy who brought me to court, apparently something about me made him want to check in every once in a while and - well, when I got released he had a job ready and waiting for me. Pure luck, but I’ll be forever grateful to the Wingraves ‘cause without them, who knows where I’d be. I owe 'em everything.” Jamie grabbed her drink and downed the rest of it, letting the burn of the scotch soften the edge of vulnerability she now found herself hanging from.

“Jamie, I had no idea.”

“Wasn’t tellin’ you for your pity,” Jamie shook her head. “I made my peace with it, no need to worry about me. I’m telling you ‘cause you need to understand that we all have things going on in our lives, Dani. Everyone’s got baggage. You don’t have to let your past define your present and future, it's your choice how you want it to end up.” Jamie leaned back into the sofa and watched as Dani sat silently, clearly thinking about something.

“What happened at home that made you leave?” Dani spoke after a moment of silence, a frown on her face as she watched Jamie.

“That, Poppins, is an even longer story. One that I don’t share with just anyone - much like you with your fiancé, I reckon.”

“Right, of course. I’m sorry, that was rude of me to ask.” Dani shook her head.

“Don’t worry about it, can’t say I didn’t find myself intrigued with your story as well.” Jamie offered a small smile.

Jamie swallowed as Dani’s eyes fixed on hers, something new inside of them that she couldn’t quite place, something elusive. She felt her throat tighten as Dani shifted on the couch ever so slightly, her eyes dropping to Jamie’s lips for a quick moment as she did so.

“I should-” Dani paused, her eyes once again dropping back down to Jamie’s lips. She watched as Dani licked her own bottom lip - an intentional attempt at being evocative, Jamie knew this, yet it was driving her wild all the same. Jamie could feel her mouth part at the sight as Dani pushed up from the couch and angled toward her, hazel-green eyes tracing Dani’s chest and the smooth expanse of her stomach as she hovered in front of Jamie.

“I should get back to work,” Dani pulled herself up fully from the couch and away from Jamie as she started to walk towards the curtain.

Refusing to be outmaneuvered, Jamie cleared her throat and with all the confidence she could muster, she quickly stood up as well. “I do believe I paid for three songs, Poppins - and this is only the second one.” Jamie looked above her head at the speakers, eyebrow cocked boldly as “Sex With Me” by Rihanna came to end. Her eyes focused on Dani the entire time, both of them refusing to break eye contact or blink. She wasn’t sure what else there was left to say, but she wasn’t ready to say goodbye just yet. Opening up to Dani felt euphoric, felt free and light and it left her wanting more. More time, more conversation, more anything so long as it involved Dani. “You could stay, if that’s alright with you?”

“Oh, right.” Dani froze and an awkward silence floated around the room like thick fog as “Body Say” by Demi Lovato started up. “Peter though,” Dani cleared her throat and looked behind her shoulder at the curtain.

“What about him?” Jamie raised an eyebrow.

“He uh, he’s been really picky lately. I was meaning to talk to you about it, but I wasn’t sure if you would be coming tonight. He’s kind of been on my ass since I got here, so…” Dani bit her bottom lip as she trailed off.

Jamie swallowed, her mouth felt dry as sandpaper as she watched Dani take a step towards her. ”So what?” The question was barely audible, nearly lost in the sound of Demi’s voice echoing through the club, but Dani managed to hear it regardless.

“I have to start dancing for you again, at least on the nights where Peter is here,” Dani inched closer once again. “Like tonight.”

“Tonight?” Jamie’s heart raced as she recalled her conversation with Rebecca, distinctly remembering that Peter was not at the club tonight.

“Yeah, if that’s something you’re okay with?”

Jamie managed a nod as Dani reached forward and slid her hands around Jamie’s, guiding them onto her hips as she moved their bodies down onto the couch. Jamie bounced slightly as her body sank into the sofa, Dani’s body following Jamie’s as she straddled herself on Jamie’s lap with her knees resting on the couch cushions as the chorus started up.

You can touch me with slow hands
Speed it up, baby, make me sweat
Dreamland, take me there 'cause I want your sex
If my body had a say, I wouldn't turn away
Touch, make love, taste you
If my body told the truth, baby I would do
Just what I want to

If I had it my way, I would take the lead
And if I had it my way, I would take you deep
If my body had a say, I'd get it off my chest
Show you all the red lace underneath this dress

Dani wrapped her arms around Jamie’s neck as she pressed her body against her, grinding her ass down into her lap, against her already throbbing heat. “This okay?” She whispered against Jamie’s ear, causing a noise of agreement to escape from Jamie’s throat as she felt Dani’s hips press further into her.

Jamie could feel herself falling into a dazed state, intoxicated by the smell of Dani’s flowery perfume as she rested her forehead against her shoulder, her breathing erratic and heavy as Dani grinded against her with purpose. It reminded Jamie of their first lap dance, except this time they knew one another. This time there was more.

“Here, I’m just going to turn around, why don’t you lean back?” Dani used her hand to gently push against the center of Jamie’s chest, pressing her back deeper into the cushions. Jamie was confident that even with the brief moment of contact, Dani could probably feel her heart beating out of her chest.

Dani lifted her right knee from the sofa and swung her leg on the other side of Jamie’s hips as she turned her body around, her back now facing Jamie’s front. She remained seated on Jamie’s lap with her thighs still straddling Jamie’s as she pushed up to her knees on the seat of the couch and grinded herself down into Jamie, slowly but with enough pressure to cause another quiet moan of approval from Jamie.

And our eyes are crossing paths across the room
There's only one thing left for us to do

You can touch me with slow hands
Speed it up, baby, make me sweat
Dreamland, take me there 'cause I want your sex
If my body had a say, I wouldn't turn away
Touch, make love, taste you
If my body told the truth, baby I would do
Just what I want to

My minds is getting in the way
Can't feel what my body say
I'mma tell you anyway
I'mma tell you anyway
My minds is getting in the way
Can't feel what my body say
I'mma show you anyway
I'mma show you anyway

Jamie closed her eyes as she suddenly felt Dani’s palms rest against her chest. Dani pushed herself down from Jamie’s lap and slid onto the floor, now kneeling on the ground with her body between Jamie’s legs. Dani looked up at Jamie as she ran her hands up and down her thighs.

Jamie felt her arousal pool as Dani’s eyes focused on hers. She knew this was all part of the lap dance, but she still couldn’t stop the thoughts running through her mind of Dani’s face between her thighs, lips swollen against her clit, bringing her to the edge of ecstasy and sending her beyond. Jamie cleared her throat and pushed herself even further back into the cushions in a desperate attempt for some space between her and Dani’s face, which continued inching closer and closer into Jamie’s lap.

Dani stood back up once again and suddenly dropped her ass back into Jamie’s lap, her back pressed against Jamie’s front as she grinded deep into her lap putting pressure in just the right area. Jamie closed her eyes and tried to focus on anything but how good it felt every time Dani moved her hips into her.

Dani slightly twisted her neck so that she could watch Jamie through the corner of her eyes and when she pushed her hips deep into her yet again, Dani couldn’t help but bite her lip at the sight of Jamie’s eyes rolling back into her head at the sensation.

Jamie could feel her pleasure threatening to spill over as Dani pressed harder into her, friction mounting and building as Dani’s hips moved in time with the song. Dani reached both arms behind her and grabbed Jamie’s hands, pulling them around her stomach and settling them just below her navel as she started rotating her hips in her lap, causing Jamie’s heart to skip a beat as she felt Dani’s waist moving beneath her palms. On alternating rolls of her hips, Dani pressed her ass into Jamie’s center, making Jamie’s hands tighten around her reflexively and pull Dani closer into her.

There's only one thing left for us to do
Oh, you can

You can touch me with slow hands
Speed it up, baby, make me sweat
Dreamland, take me there 'cause I want your sex
If my body had a say, I wouldn't turn away
Touch, make love, taste you
If my body told the truth, baby I would do
Just what I want to
You can touch me with slow hands
Dreamland
If my body had a say, I wouldn't turn away
Touch, make love, taste you
If my body told the truth, baby I would do
Just what I want to

The song was coming to an end, and Jamie bit down hard on her lip as she desperately tried to hold it together for the final thirty seconds while Dani fully moved her attention to purely grinding against her, pressing her ass hard against Jamie’s slick heat.

A low moan escaped Jamie’s lips as Dani leaned into her, pressing her back into Jamie’s chest, her head resting on her shoulder. Jamie tried to keep her eyes focused ahead as she saw Dani’s head turn to face her, bringing her lips just close enough to her jawline that Jamie could feel hot breath along her neck.

Another roll of the hips and Jamie closed her eyes as the pressure building up inside started to overwhelm her. The way the smooth skin of Dani’s abdomen felt against Jamie’s hands, her abs flexing with each grind into her lap, was nearly enough to send Jamie over the edge.

But Jamie refused to let it happen, Dani was so much more than a lap dance or strip tease. Something about her had Jamie intrigued from their first night together at the strip club, and all she’d been able to think about since meeting Dani was the insatiable, inexplicable desire to get to know this enigmatic woman that she couldn’t seem to shake. With every other woman in Jamie’s life it was all about the physical aspect but not Dani, Dani was different. No one had intrigued her the way Dani did - not since Viola, a foolish childhood fantasy she’d sooner prefer to forget. She knew better than to fuck up whatever this...thing they had going on for one decent climax, even though with the way she was feeling right now and how close Dani had her with barely any effort, Jamie knew it’d probably be the best orgasm she ever had.

The song came to an end and Dani removed herself from Jamie’s lap. She turned to face her and Jamie could see pure darkness in Dani’s eyes as she took a moment to catch her breath.

Jamie watched as Dani’s bottom lip tucked in slightly between her teeth, her eyes moving down to the ground as she addressed her. “Well, I guess I should get back to it.” Dani looked up at Jamie and offered a small smile.

“Yeah,” Jamie cleared her throat. “I’m gonna head back upstairs anyways, I have some tomato soup I’ve been looking forward to eating so...” Jamie joked, attempting to cut through the sudden awkwardness in the room.

Dani laughed and nodded, “You definitely don’t want to miss out on it. It was some really great soup.”

“Can’t wait,” Jamie smirked.

Dani turned on her heels and went to walk out of the room when she stopped abruptly and looked back over her shoulder, “Oh, before I forget. Are you coming this Friday for country night?”

“Country music isn’t really my thing Poppins, might actually have to skip this time.” Jamie chuckled as she shoved her hands in her back pockets.

“Oh, well it’s not just going to be country music. You should still come,” Dani bit her bottom lip. “I would hate for you to miss the show, it’ll be special.” She winked and turned back around, leaving Jamie alone in the back room wondering what could be so special about country night at a strip club.

 


 

The next day, Dani went to lay down in her bed after putting the kids to sleep. It was her first night off from the strip club and she planned on taking full advantage of a good night's rest, well aware that she’d been narrowly surviving off of four or five hours a night for the past week.

She grabbed her phone off the nightstand and saw she had a notification for a text message on her screen. When she unlocked the phone she smiled as she read over the message.

From Rebecca 7:55pm

Hey! I saw you have the night off, and I’m actually off as well. Was wondering if maybe you’d want to meet at the pub across the street from the club? Have a drink and maybe get to know one another?

Dani looked at the time, it was only eight at night and as tired as she was, she really didn’t have any friends at Bly yet. Rebecca had always been so nice to her, so the idea of missing a chance to get to know her a bit better didn’t sit well with her. She typed out a quick reply and hit send before heading into the bathroom to get ready.

A half hour later, Dani walked into the pub and looked around for Rebecca. She’d never been inside before, but Dani found herself appreciating how homey and quaint it was. The bar was to the left, extending out far enough to seat at least ten people. To her right were two pool tables, both looking a bit ancient and ragged but it fit naturally with the atmosphere. Dani’s eyes searched across all the tables and booths in front of her, finally spotting Rebecca sitting in the back corner and waving her over.

“Hey, I got us two beers to start. Hope you don’t mind?” Rebecca got up from the table and gave Dani a quick hug.

“No, this is great.” Dani smiled as she sat down in the booth across from Rebecca. “This place is actually pretty nice, I love the old-timey feel it has to it.” Dani grabbed her beer and took a small sip, licking the foam from her top lip as she placed the glass back on the table.

“Yeah, it’s one of my favourite places to be if I’m meeting up with friends. The owner is really great, such a nice guy compared to Peter.” Rebecca chuckled as she grabbed her own beer off the coaster and took a sip.

“You can say that again.” Dani sighed, her eyes slightly rolling at the thought of her asshole boss across the street.

A couple hours later, Dani was already finishing her fourth beer. She enjoyed Rebecca’s company far more than she’d expected to, she was charming and funny and remarkably easy to talk to and it was refreshing, albeit foreign, for Dani to feel a sense of camaraderie growing between her and Rebecca. Dani’s chest swelled with unspoken gratitude and for the first time in what seemed like forever, she felt like someone genuinely wanted to know her, wanted to actually be her friend. Ever since she started working at the stripclub two years back, she'd gotten used to people faking nice at her, saying and doing whatever it took for a chance to shoot their shot with her. It was different now sitting next to Rebecca and simply enjoying her company, nice to just simply be Dani for once and not some object for the taking.

“I have to admit,” Dani watched as Rebecca returned to the table with two more beers. “I didn’t really know how to feel about you when we first met.” The words slurred from Dani’s mouth as she leaned back into the booth.

“What do you mean?” Rebecca chuckled.

“I always sort of thought you and Peter were a thing? I hope that doesn’t come across any way, I’ve just seen him around you and-” Dani stopped talking as soon as Rebecca shook her head, her laughter echoing throughout the pub.

“No, not at all. But I totally understand why you’d think that.” She smiled before taking another sip. “We uh, we actually used to date once upon a time.” Rebecca’s shoulders shook as she shuddered and made a face of disgust.

“Oh really, what changed?” Dani held a tight lipped smile as a memory of Peter resurfaced. She recalled him getting drunk and complaining to her and Eddie about his bitch of an ex girlfriend that broke his heart when she refused to follow him to America because she wanted to finish school first.

“He moved to America and I was still in school. I didn’t want to drop out for him, my dream has always been to become a lawyer and I wasn’t going to let a good looking guy who’s mediocre at best in bed ruin it for me.” Rebecca smiled as she took another drink from her beer.

“Wow, that’s great.” Dani nodded and forced a smile, which did not go unnoticed by Rebecca.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, I just-” Dani let out a light chuckle and shook her head. “It’s stupid, I guess I'm just jealous.”

“Jealous, why jealous?” Rebecca turned her head to the side in confusion.

“I just, I was in a similar situation like you were. Only I wasn’t brave enough to put my own wants or needs first and it ended up causing a lot of problems in the end for me and my uh, my ex.” Dani kept her eyes focused on her pint of beer as she twirled the glass around on the coaster.

“Your dreams are never to blame for someone else’s problems, Dani.” Rebecca reached forward and rested her hand on Dani’s arm. “Wanna talk about it?”

Dani could feel her chest tighten at the words. All she wanted was to talk about it with someone. She had been holding so much in for so long that she constantly felt like she was endlessly treading in deep water, barely holding her head above the surface to breathe. But she was drowning, exhausted and ready to give up any moment and just let the waves swallow her whole.

She didn’t know who Rebecca was, and because of her history with Peter, Dani was already on edge. But Dani was also lonely in a new country with no one to talk to outside the manor, especially not about the strip club, and Rebecca had always been nothing but kind to her. Dani told herself it was just the alcohol but a small part of her knew she could confide in Rebecca, lower her walls and let someone in for the first time since everything turned upside down - since Eddie.

“I met Peter through my ex fiancé, Eddie. He was Peter’s accountant, but they ended up becoming close friends, mostly because Eddie wanted to be more like Peter.” Dani laughed but her face was stoic and unamused.

Rebecca made a face of disgust before taking a drink from her beer. “Good god, why would anyone want to be more like Peter?”

“Eddie always considered himself to be a dork, he was never really popular in school. So here comes Peter with all these women chasing after him, nice cars and strip clubs all around the world. Eddie just thought he was living the life,” Dani frowned before taking a drink from her beer. “Eddie was always such a nice guy before Peter though, it’s why he was my best friend and why I dated him for as long as I did. I never understood why he wanted to be like Peter, but like the good girlfriend I was or tried to be, at least, I did my best to support him.”

“Oh no, did Eddie start treating you like shit because of Peter?”

“No,” Dani quickly shook her head. “First he started caring more about his clothes and looks, which never used to matter to him before. Then he started going out and drinking more which turned into spending more money on date nights, bringing me to these expensive places that he knew I never cared for in the past, all for the status and image. Peter said they were the best, is what he would tell me. Didn’t matter what I thought, let alone what I wanted.”

“I see,” Rebecca hummed as she took another drink from her beer. “I can’t help but notice you said ex-fiancé, I’m guessing the change got to be too much?”

“Yes and no,” Dani sighed. “It’s more because I-” Dani paused as the words sat on the tip of her tongue, waiting to be freed and let out into the open. ”Well, I’m-” Dani paused again, unable to get the words out. Choking on them as they lingered inside of her lungs like cigarette smoke.

“It’s okay, love.” Rebecca gently squeezed Dani’s arm still gripped in her hand. “No judgement from me, I promise.” She smiled. Dani watched her carefully and something about the way that Rebecca was looking at her told Dani that she already knew the next words that were going to come out of her mouth.

Dani smiled softly and let out a slow and shaky breath, “I’m gay.” It wasn’t Dani’s first time telling someone about her sexual orientation but after holding it in for as many years as she had, she still hadn’t told nearly enough people to make up for all the lost time she missed out on while she was still with Eddie.

“Oh, that’s just lovely.” Rebecca smiled. “So you told Eddie then, and things ended?”

“Not quite,” Dani frowned. She shifted around on the booth and took another sip of her beer to calm her nerves. “He uh- he got into a really bad car accident the night I planned on telling him.”

Rebecca let go of Dani’s arm and brought her hand up to her mouth as she stared at Dani in shock. “You’re bloody joking,” she whispered.

Dani shook her head and took another sip of her beer. “He almost died, but luckily with a blood transfusion they were able to stabilize him enough for surgery and he pulled through.”

“Wow Dani, that’s- I’m so sorry. I can’t even imagine - that must have been so hard.” Rebecca frowned.

“Yeah, it was a long recovery process. I couldn’t leave him during that time, I felt too guilty about it all and if it wasn’t for Peter-” Dani cut herself off and looked at Rebecca with widened eyes.

“Peter, what did he do?” Rebecca raised an eyebrow.

Dani sat silently staring at her beer as she spun the bottom of the glass on the coaster. She grabbed the pint and took a larger drink from it, nearly finishing the glass off. “We’d just put most of our savings into planning for the wedding, so money was tight for us. Peter offered to lend us money for the medical expenses so that Eddie could get the best care possible.”

“Peter?” Rebecca nearly shouted, her face scrunched in disbelief. She then looked around the room before leaning closer towards Dani. “Like Peter Quint?”

“Yep, the one and only.”

“Wait, is that why you came here with him?” Rebecca’s jaw hung slightly opened as the revelation hit her.

“Yeah, I’ve been working off the debt.” Dani felt her hands shake as they rested against the table. She had never told anyone about her and Peter’s arrangement, fearful of what he might do if word ever got back to him. Dani would never risk sharing the full story of what had happened that night, but it was a nice reprieve getting some of it out in the open.

“Wait, but why are you working off a debt for your ex? How does that make any sense if you two are no longer together, did he just fuck off and leave?” Rebecca raised an eyebrow.

“No, I just feel so guilty about everything that I didn’t want to leave it for him to pay it off,” Dani shrugged as she felt herself shrink into the booth cushion, eager to move the conversation on from her to anything else.

“Dani, you didn’t do anything wrong. What on earth could you feel guilty for? He got into an accident that had nothing to do with you. The fact you stuck around for a couple of years after, even though you knew you were gay says so much about how wonderful you are. This isn’t your debt to pay off.” Rebecca’s jaw clenched as her grip tightened around her pint of beer.

Dani could tell the other woman was agitated and she didn't want to draw any attention to them, so she came up with a quick lie. “No, I know. But we spent all our savings to have this big wedding, and it was never going to happen anyways because of me. Eddie really is a nice guy, he deserved better than what I gave him.”

“And what about you, you didn’t deserve better? You can’t help who you love, Dani. Wanting to leave someone because you’re unhappy and unable to love them due to their gender does not make what happened your fault, whatsoever.” Rebecca’s tone was firm as her eyes met with Dani’s.

Dani’s eyes dropped to the table as Peter’s words replayed through her head.

Poor Eddie, he was such a smart guy. Best accountant I ever had. Such a shame he tied up all his money in planning a wedding for an unfaithful slut.

“No, I don’t.” Dani whispered.

“So what, now you just work for Peter to pay off your ex’s debt? Do you even like stripping, Dani?” The words came from Rebecca as a gentle whisper but they hit Dani like a ton of bricks.

“I- I should probably get going.” Dani forced a smile as she spoke to Rebecca. “This was such a great evening, but it’s getting late and I’m actually quite drunk.”

“Oh Dani, I didn’t mean to-”

Dani cut Rebecca off, “No it’s okay, I promise. I just feel drunk, and talking about this type of stuff is never a good idea when you’ve had too many drinks.” Dani’s smile softened, appearing more sincere.

“Right, but how are you going to get home?” Rebecca frowned.

“I have a friend who lives nearby, she said it was fine for me to stay at her place if I needed to,” Dani cleared her throat. “Don’t worry, I won’t drive.”

“Where does this friend live, can I walk you over at least?”

“No, no need. She lives across the street, I’ll be completely safe.” Dani’s smile remained and she attempted to keep herself calm and cool as the lie left her mouth, knowing full well she hadn’t talked to anyone about staying the night.

“Okay, if you insist.” Rebecca raised an eyebrow as Dani stood up from the booth, immediately bumping into the table beside them.

“I’ll text you tomorrow before work. This was so much fun, I hope we can do it again sometime!” Dani shouted as she backed away, still stumbling into random chairs and tables.

 

As Dani hurried across the street, Peter’s voice continued to ring inside of her head. It taunted her, the echoes of her mistake that nearly cost Eddie his life stuck on an endless loop in her mind.

Was it worth it, Danielle? Do you feel like a brand new woman now?

“It was just one kiss,” Dani mumbled to herself as she made her way up the set of stairs that led to Jamie's flat.

Yeah, well that one kiss nearly cost Eddie his life, now didn't it? Doesn't seem so insignificant to me.

Dani pounded on Jamie’s door as Peter’s words continued, reminding her of her mistakes - reminding her she wasn’t the person everyone always made her out to be.

Everyone but Jamie. Jamie - who somehow always looked at her like she knew exactly what was going on but never dared to judge her.

Dani continued to knock as she heard cursing and footsteps approaching the door.

“Bloody hell, I’m coming.” Jamie’s voice was muffled but loud as she got closer.

When the door swung open, Jamie stood in front of Dani in the same jeans and tight black t-shirt she was wearing earlier at the manor. Her hair was pulled back and she had absolutely no makeup on, which Dani found incredibly attractive.

Jamie’s eyes widened when she saw Dani leaning against her door frame, standing in front of her. “Poppins, what are you-”

Her words were cut off when Dani leaped forward and crashed their lips together, finally deafening the voice of Peter Quint inside her head.

Dani could hear Jamie mumbling against her lips as she backed them both towards the couch, somehow managing to use her foot to close the door behind her.

As Jamie fell back onto the cushion, Dani straddled herself on top of Jamie’s lap, her legs pressing into the cushion as her fingers got lost in her brown curls, grasping at whatever part of Jamie she could lay claim to. Dani felt Jamie’s hands glide down her sides and land on her waist, moving back to her ass and then pushing Dani in closer to her.

Jamie slightly moaned as she felt Dani’s tongue brush against her bottom lip and she swore she could feel herself projecting out of her body at the sensation, silently begging for a distraction to bring her back to solid ground.

Instead of allowing Dani to deepen the kiss, Jamie removed her hands and gently placed them on Dani’s arms, pushing her back as she pulled away.

“Wh- why’d you stop?” Dani was breathless as her eyes searched Jamie’s for answers.

“Because, Dani, I can taste the alcohol on your lips. How much have you had to drink?” Jamie frowned when Dani’s eyes dropped down to her lap.

“Not that much,” Dani mumbled. Suddenly her body jolted as a loud and aggressive hiccup escaped her lips.

Jamie snorted and shook her head. “Right, see what happened there?”

“What?”

“That’s your body being your own personal lie detector for ya,” she smirked.

“Oh shut up,” Dani pouted, another hiccup escaping her lips.

A brief moment passed and both women went completely silent as Dani continued to sit on top of Jamie, their lips inches apart.

Dani slowly started to lean in again and she could feel her heart racing as Jamie let out a shaky breath against her lips. Before she could close the distance or even be pushed away, another hiccup escaped causing her to jump back.

“Right,” Jamie cleared her throat. “As much as I want this to happen, you’re clearly too drunk,” Jamie paused as she felt Dani’s hips roll into her lap, grinding against her. She closed her eyes and attempted to steady her breathing, trying to regain control. “Look, Poppins. I know we haven’t always gotten along but-” Jamie froze once again as she felt another grind of Dani’s hips deep into her lap. “Fuck,” Jamie groaned breathlessly.

“You were saying?” Dani bit her bottom lip as her hips started moving faster and more frequent.

A moment passed where Dani felt like she had won. Jamie was silent and her eyes were shut tight, her lips were pulled into a thin line as though she were concentrating on something.

Suddenly, Dani was being gently pushed to the side as Jamie quickly removed herself from the couch and Dani’s hold. “Not happenin’,” Jamie shook her head. “Not like this.”

“What, why?” Dani hiccuped.

“Because you’re clearly off your trolley,” Jamie scoffed, “and when I pictured being with you, it wasn’t because you were drunk and looking for a quick hook up.” Jamie’s eyes widened as the words slipped out.

“You pictured being with me?” Dani stumbled, struggling as she got up from the couch and taking a moment to find her footing.

“That didn’t come out right,” Jamie shook her head.

“You said you thought about being with me,” Dani smiled. She slowly walked towards Jamie, grabbing both her hands before she could back away. “If that’s true, why does it matter if I’ve been drinking?” Dani let go of Jamie’s hands and slowly bumped her own against Jamie’s center. She then slightly brought her hands up, brushing them against Jamie’s belt as she reached for the loops.

Another hiccup escaped her lips and Jamie burst out into laughter. “Hang on, let me get you some water,” Jamie shook her head as she made her way to the kitchen.

She returned almost immediately with a bottle and opened it before handing it to Dani. “Here, drink and hold your breath. Hopefully it will help.”

Dani held the bottle and slightly bit her bottom lip as she looked at Jamie with mischievous eyes. “You know what else will make me hold my breath?”

“Drink,” Jamie shook her head and walked over to her flat door. She locked it and turned back around to face Dani, a hint of a smile on her face as she watched her down the entire water bottle.

Dani finished the bottle and held her breath for twenty seconds before finally letting out a large exhale. “Wow, holding your breath is hard when you’re drunk.”

Jamie snorted and grabbed the empty bottle from Dani. “Alright, so I take it you’re needing to stay here tonight?”

“Probably, it’s not like I can drunk Jamie.”

“You mean drive?” Jamie chuckled.

Dani scrunched her face, “Yeah that, what you said.”

“Right, well I have some spare sweatpants you can wear and you can sleep in my bed, sheets are clean.” Jamie started walking down the hall to her room.

“What about you?” Dani quickly followed behind her.

“What about me?” Jamie entered a room to the left and turned the light on.

Dani scanned the large bedroom and her eyes were immediately drawn to the double sized bed centered against the back wall, with a single nightstand tucked between the left side of the bed and the wall. A small lamp sat in the middle of the night stand, and black alarm clock with bright red numbers that read 12:48 AM was pulled to the edge nearest the bed. Across the room on the opposite end of the bed was Jamie’s dresser, with a large mirror hovering above it and two smaller plants on top of the dresser. Dani had no experience with plants or horticulture but if she were to take a guess, they looked like aloe vera.

“Where are you going to sleep?” Dani watched as Jamie opened the dresser, grabbing a blue tank top and a pair of grey sweatpants out of the drawers.

“I’ll sleep on the couch, s’not a big deal.” Jamie handed her the sleepwear and then grabbed a black pair of sweatpants for herself. “There’s water in the fridge if you want more.” Jamie headed towards the bedroom door but was stopped when Dani grabbed her hand.

“You don’t have - you can sleep in here, you know. The bed is big enough for us both.” Dani frowned.

Jamie shook her head with a soft smile, “S’alright Poppins. I don’t mind the couch. Plus it’s better that we keep our distance tonight anyway.” Dani watched as Jamie’s eyes dropped down to her lips before quickly flicking back up again.

“Right,” Dani nodded.

“Goodnight, Dani.” Jamie smirked as she pulled her hand away and exited the room, closing the door behind her.

Dani slipped into the clothes Jamie gave her to sleep in and turned off the light. She made her way back to the bed and crawled under the covers, resting her head onto the pillow and breathing in the smell of detergent and Jamie’s cologne from the sheets as the realization of how she’d managed to get into Jamie’s bed hit her all at once. She closed her eyes and smiled as she welcomed the memory of Jamie’s lips against her, trying hard to focus on the kiss and only the kiss.

The warm, fuzzy feeling didn’t last long as Dani remembered her exact reason for keeping people at arm's length. Peter’s voice once again snuck its way back inside of Dani’s mind, a stark reminder of why she doesn’t drink anymore.

You, Danielle, are undeserving of love and happiness. Look at Eddie, and tell me otherwise.

Dani squeezed her eyes impossibly tight as she tried to think about anything else, finding comfort only once Jamie popped into her head. She fixated on Jamie’s laugh, Jamie’s eyes, her infectious smile. Focused on her Northern accent that Dani could spend all day listening to.

Jamie, not Peter and Eddie. Anything but Peter and Eddie.

Jamie’s arms, the freckle near the end of her nose, the way her cheeks dimpled slightly when she tried to hold back a smile, the curve of her lips. Jamie’s lips and the kiss and-

I won’t tell Eddie what I saw tonight, Danielle. But you will work for me to pay off this debt, it’s the least you can do. Besides, with your body and a face like yours, you’ll bring in so much money, you’ll have the debt paid off in no time.

“It was only one kiss,” Dani mumbled as she burrowed herself into Jamie’s sheets, slowly drifting off to sleep.

Chapter Text

The sun had just begun to rise when Dani woke the next morning, her brain pounding against her skull and eyes blurry as she slowly blinked and took a moment to fully come to consciousness. She looked around the unfamiliar room, the shapes and shadows turning into Jamie’s dresser, Jamie’s plants, Jamie’s bed as her vision sharpened and realization of where she’d ended up after a night of drinking with the only real friend she’d managed to make so far in Bly. She grabbed Jamie’s pillow and covered her head as she groaned, the memory from the night before hitting her like a freight train both literally and figuratively as her headache pounded and raged in anger at last night’s decisions. So much for a night off.

Dani tossed the pillow to her side then sat up and ran her hands through her hair, embarrassment flooding her veins as she replayed the events from mere hours ago. A drunken kiss, a disastrous attempt at a half assed lap dance and feelings inadvertently slipping out - but not hers.

Jamie’s.

Dani’s headache dulled instantly, replaced by pure joy at the thought of Jamie’s admission of thinking about her, of thinking about sex with her and not the drunk kind. Not like this, she’d said, and a smile as bright as the morning sunlight that now fully filled Jamie's room eclipsed Dani’s face as she slowly removed herself from Jamie’s bed.

Dani paced around the room, unsure of the best way to proceed. She knew she wanted Jamie and while everything she had done wasn’t best to do while drunk, it did mirror her true feelings while sober as well. But Dani wasn’t used to things moving this quickly for her, she wasn’t used to letting herself falling hard and fast for someone she barely knew, and she definitely wasn’t used to being seen as a person worthy of respect and consideration rather than a prop, molded and placed however Eddie or Peter saw fit. She wasn’t used to showing vulnerability or drunken confessions, wasn’t used to showing up uninvited and throwing herself into Jamie and all the confusing feelings that twisted inside her mind to escape the demons that followed her from California. It felt reckless, the way she found herself aching and wanting a woman she hadn’t even known a full week, and yet Jamie was scaling each wall Dani had built up so carefully with ease as though she had no idea she was even climbing.

Jamie was different - Jamie was unexpected, Jamie didn’t use Dani when given the chance. Jamie was nothing like Dani accused her of being, wasn’t just another entitled prick taking whatever they pleased without asking, without an ounce of respect for Dani because she’s Skye and being the newest and hottest commodity comes with a price. Dani was used to paying the cost every night, shedding her true self at the door of the club and becoming the hollow character she’s learned to play too well, letting hands grab and touch and linger in places Dani would never allow anyone to take so freely were she not Skye instead. But Jamie didn’t see Skye, she saw Dani, and she refused to take what wasn’t willingly, soberly, offered.

Dani’s smile disappeared as what she needed to do dawned on her. Jamie deserved far better than Dani could ever give, than the burdens and sins she brought upon herself. Jamie deserved honesty, deserved simple and uncomplicated. She deserved someone whole, someone who could give all of herself and Dani wasn’t her, Dani was broken and chasing a distant dream. She let out a quiet sigh as she got dressed into her clothes from the previous night, then folded and left Jamie’s clothes sitting on the edge of the bed.

Dani quietly opened the bedroom door and slowly tiptoed down the hallway toward the front door. She saw the shape of a body under a blanket and breathed a tiny sigh of relief that she wouldn’t have to face Jamie just yet. She needed time to determine how she wanted to handle the situation, there was a lot to unpack and Dani wasn’t sure where to begin.

Dani slowly slipped her shoes on, making it a point to hold in her breath, afraid that even the slightest noise would wake Jamie up - and she was right. As she unlocked the door and slowly pulled it open, a creak echoed through the apartment.

“Poppins?” Jamie’s groggy voice came out of nowhere, causing Dani to jump in surprise. She let go of the door handle and the door swung shut with a loud bang. “What're you doing?” Jamie sat up and rubbed her face, squinting as she looked at Dani.

“Nothing, I was just heading back to the manor to make sure I would be home in time to get the kids up,” Dani whispered.

“Why are you whisperin’ when you’ve already woken me up?” Jamie mocked in a hushed tone. A lopsided smile appeared on her face as she stretched her arms above her head and swung her feet off the couch and onto the floor.

“I, well - good point,” Dani sighed.

Jamie grabbed her phone and her eyes widened. “Blimey, what’s the rush? The kids don’t get up until seven thirty, you could have slept a bit longer.”

“I uh, I couldn’t fall back asleep once I had woken up.” Dani stood awkwardly at the front door, playing with the zipper on her jacket.

“Too hungover?” Jamie got up from the couch and walked over to the front door, stopping in front of Dani.

“Something like that,” Dani mumbled.

“Look Dani, about last night-”

Dani quickly cut Jamie off, unable to face the pity or embarrassment that was surely about to follow. “Yeah, I actually don't remember anything that happened.” She dropped her eyes to the floor and forced out a laugh, her stomach sinking with guilt when she looked back up and saw Jamie’s clear disappointment.

“Oh.”

Dani cleared her throat. “Well I should probably get going. I didn’t mean to put you out last night but I really appreciate you letting me stay, clearly I was too drunk to drive.”

“Yeah no, wasn’t about to let you leave in the state you were in.” Jamie chuckled as she rubbed the back of her neck.

“Right,” Dani cleared her throat, “makes sense. It was very chivalrous of you,” she smiled.

Jamie nodded and for a quick moment, Dani noticed the way Jamie’s eyes flickered from her eyes down to her lips, and then back up again. She sucked in a breath as Jamie took a step forward, positioning herself in front of Dani as she lightly pressed up against her. Dani could feel her heart pounding in her chest as she watched Jamie lean forward toward her, mouth turned upward in a lazy grin that Dani couldn’t take her eyes off of. Dani swallowed and without taking a moment to think things through, she closed her eyes expectantly and leaned in toward Jamie. It wasn’t until she felt Jamie’s body move away from hers and heard a loud click that she registered exactly what Jamie was doing. Dani opened her eyes and felt her cheeks grow warm when Jamie pulled the door open from behind her.

“I’ll see you in a few hours then, yeah?” Jamie smirked.

“Yeah,” Dani bit her bottom lip and nodded. She spun on her heels and whisked herself out of Jamie’s flat before quickly running down the stairs, desperate to save any shred of dignity she had left.

As Dani drove back to the manor, events from the prior night played on repeat in her mind. What was she thinking showing up unannounced and flinging herself at Jamie, drunk no less? Was she really going to screw up the only good thing she had going for her with her au pair position at the manor by trying to fuck the gardener? What was it about Jamie that was so intoxicating, convincing her to abandon her rules and proclivities for the touch of Jamie’s hands on her body? Would it really be the worst thing in the world for her to finally go after something she wanted, something she desired? Would Jamie give in if Dani gave her the chance? Her head swam as the questions ricocheted against her skull, uncertain of all but two guaranteed facts.

The first was obvious - Jamie knew how Dani felt. She had gotten drunk and carefree enough to let all her feelings out there, and it was more than obvious at this point how attracted she felt towards her. That made Dani feel vulnerable. There was one thing that Dani did not like feeling - and that was vulnerable.

Peter Quint made her feel vulnerable every time he sent her hushed reminders of her debt and past mistakes she had made. Subtly pointing out how much of a “slag” she was and informing her how she would never find anyone as good as Eddie, how she made her bed years ago the night she kissed Trish, the night Eddie’s life changed forever with the accident.

Eddie, who always made her feel vulnerable even if he didn’t mean to. With his puppy dog eyes and the gloomy look he shared whenever he felt like she was pulling too far away from him. Those moments when he knew, yet refused to see or believe what was right in front of him. Dani’s eyes lingering far too long on the waitress at their favourite restaurant. Dani falling silent when Trish, her childhood best friend and the first woman she’d ever loved, walked through the door of her and Eddie’s old high school during their ten year reunion. Dani could feel the butterflies from her youth return as her eyes found Trish from across the gym as though they were back at senior prom, staring at each other like they were the only people in the room, and Dani imagined everything that could have been had Eddie not claimed her as his, had he not noticed and swooped in, deciding for the both of them what was enough, what he deemed acceptable.

So many signs she’d left for him to see, so many signals and hints that Dani dropped, begging him silently to release her from the prison she’d locked herself in for him when she was too young to know better, too young to know how to take what she wanted and not just what was forced upon her. Eddie played the part too well, fit the script too perfectly, believed his lines so deeply he became the character they invented when they were kids and pretended to be married and play house. It wasn’t a game anymore for him, though, for Eddie it wasn’t a childhood fantasy. It was inevitable and destined and it was easy for Eddie, to want what Dani couldn’t want, would never want with him.

Mom is so excited, Danielle. She hasn’t stopped telling all her friends how she finally gets the daughter she always wished she had, and how absolutely perfect you are to fill that role. Can’t even think about what she would do if it were any girl other than you.

I don’t know what I would ever do without you in my life, Danielle. It’s like I’m Tony Stark and you’re my suit of iron. Without you, I’m just an average guy. But with you, I can soar through the sky and take on anything in the world.

The worst was her mom and the constant reminders of how she was nothing without Eddie. How Eddie had the real career out of the two of them, how she couldn’t do anything right in her life ever since she was a kid and honestly Danielle, you should be grateful that Eddie’s always around to save you and give you a reason for being.

Fuck feeling vulnerable.

The second thing Dani knew was that Jamie liked her back. Jamie admitted to thinking about being with her. Jamie cared enough to not take advantage of Dani’s drunken state and instead insisted that she sleep the alcohol off, likely with the assumption that they would continue the conversation the next morning with clearer minds.

She thought about how disappointed Jamie looked when Dani lied about not remembering anything from last night. Part of her felt guilty and wanted to admit to Jamie that she did in fact remember everything, that she wanted her so badly she'd even dreamed about being with her the night before while she slept in Jamie's bed. But Dani realised something when she walked out of Jamie's bedroom earlier - she realised that she never had people in her life care for her the way that Hannah, Owen, Rebecca and Jamie did. Dani wasn’t sure she wanted to jeopardize those friendships by attaching emotions and feelings to whatever was going on between her and Jamie, she wasn’t brave enough for that.

But the part of her that wanted Jamie burned loud in the back of her mind, desperate to be stoked and fanned and tended to. She'd spent her entire life doing what others wanted, never indulging in her own desires, what was the harm if she let herself have a little fun, flirt a little, tease a little, when Jamie was around? So long as Jamie was a willing participant, she wasn’t hurting anyone, right?

So as Dani pulled into the driveway of the manor and made her way up to her bedroom, she thought about how to redeem herself for the previous night. Allowing someone she barely knew to see her acting so vulnerable was something Dani had never intended to happen, and she was going to have to show Jamie just how unaffected she really was by it all. She took a long, hot shower in hopes of washing away all the embarrassment from the previous night. As she stood in front of the mirror in her room, her shorts and top carefully selected, she couldn't help but think to herself how today was a perfectly beautiful day to have class outside.

 


 

Jamie arrived at the manor and hopped out of her truck with a sigh, expecting a long day ahead. The conversation she had with Dani before she left had stuck with her, and she couldn’t help but feel like something wasn’t right.

When Dani arrived at Jamie’s flat not even eight hours ago, it certainly caught her by surprise. But when Dani sprung herself towards Jamie and kissed her like it was the only thing she’d ever wanted to do in the world, that was a completely different surprise - one she was not prepared to deal with in the slightest.

Pulling herself away from Dani’s warm touch and her soft lips was one of the hardest things to do, but Jamie wasn’t interested in taking advantage of Dani. Not when Dani made her feel things she hadn’t felt in years, things she hadn’t felt since the last time she allowed herself to care for someone else. Jamie couldn’t explain why she was so enraptured by Dani, but she knew better than to rush into a drunken mistake, she knew Dani was worth more than a night she might regret.

If Jamie were being honest with herself, it scared the shit out of her, feeling attracted to Dani in ways she hadn’t felt since Viola. But Dani wasn’t Viola, and yet Jamie still couldn’t shake the feeling that Dani was holding back, keeping Jamie at arm’s length, close enough to touch but not enough to feel, to connect.

So when she left Dani in her room with her clothing - and god how Jamie wanted to see Dani in her clothing - she did it with the expectation that everything would finally be addressed in the morning. However, Dani appeared to have other plans and pulled away instead. The way her eyes darted and she stammered out the words, Jamie couldn’t help but find it hard to believe that Dani didn’t remember anything about what happened.

It didn’t make sense, didn’t quite add up. Why didn’t Dani ask how she got to Jamie’s flat if she had no memory of the night before? Surely she’d been curious if anything happened between them when she woke up in Jamie’s bed. Did she seem embarrassed when she interrupted and said she didn’t remember? If anyone ought to be embarrassed it’s me, Jamie cringed silently at herself, recalling her own confession and the way Dani’s face had softened at the revelation.

Jamie sighed as she entered the manor and headed straight to the kitchen. “Morning,” she quickly nodded to Owen and Hannah, both sitting at the table sipping on their tea.

“And how are we this fine, beautiful morning?” Owen turned in his chair and smiled at Jamie.

“I’m alright,” Jamie walked over to a pair of mugs with steam flowing out of them. She looked back at Hannah and pointed to the one on the left.

“That one’s yours, love.” Hannah smiled.

“Cheers,” Jamie grabbed the mug and held it out. “How are you lot?”

“Not too bad, we’ve just been discussing how beautiful of a morning it is.” Hannah took a sip from her tea.

“Yes, it appears it’s going to be a hot one today.” Owen smiled. Just as Jamie grabbed her phone to check the temperature for the day, her attention was immediately drawn to a new presence entering the kitchen.

“You don’t say,” Jamie muttered. Her jaw hung slightly open as Dani walked towards her wearing a white, ribbed tank top tucked into a pair of high-waisted jean shorts.

“Good morning, how is everyone feeling today?” Dani smiled as she looked around the kitchen.

“Oh can’t complain dear, there's tea on the counter for you.” Hannah nodded towards the mug on the counter next to Jamie. Dani walked over to the mug and picked it up, brushing her arm against Jamie’s shoulder as she reached for her tea. “How are you feeling, did you get an alright sleep? I didn’t hear you come in last night, I was quite worried about you.” Hannah frowned.

“Oh I’m so sorry,” Dani lightly smacked her hand to her forehead as she turned back toward Hannah. “I meant to call you. I ended up staying at my friend Rebecca’s place.” Dani pursed her lips, watching from the corner of her eye as Jamie looked at her with a raised eyebrow.

“I see,” Hannah paused as she looked between Dani and Jamie. “Well it’s quite alright, love. I’m just glad you seemed to enjoy your night off,” Hannah smiled, sipping her tea.

The kitchen was filled with an awkward silence as the four of them all drank their tea, Dani’s presence nearly searing Jamie’s skin from how close they stood beside each other against the counter. She couldn’t help her eyes shifting over to Dani every few moments, as if she might be able to decipher Dani’s thoughts the more she looked at her. The oven timer beeped and snapped Jamie’s attention away from Dani and the previous night’s events - a welcomed distraction, Jamie thought.

“Ah, it appears my frittata is finally finished.” Owen got up from his chair and walked over to the oven.

“Oh, that sounds delicious. What kind of frittata?” Dani smiled as Owen slipped the pan out of the oven with a folded dish towel and placed it on top of another towel sitting on the counter.

“Bacon and mushroom,” Owen replied, throwing the towel over his shoulder and walking back to the table. “Just need to let it cool for ten minutes and it will be all set.”

“Perfect, I’ll go get the kids up and ready to eat.” Dani sipped her tea then placed it beside Jamie on the countertop before pushing herself off the edge of the formica.

As Dani started to head out of the kitchen, Owen called out to her. “Oh and Dani-” Dani turned around, an eyebrow cocked expectantly. “I’m bacon you, please don't take too long,” he smirked.

Dani laughed and rolled her eyes. “That one was weak, I knew it was coming before you even said it.”

Owen grabbed his chest and scrunched his face. “You’re bacon my heart, Clayton.” He laughed as Jamie quickly walked over to him and smacked the back of his head.

“You can’t use the same word twice, that defeats the element of surprise you muppet.” Jamie drank from her mug as she continued walking towards the kitchen door. “Alright, I’ll be out in the greenhouse if anyone needs me.” Jamie yelled back as she opened the door and walked outside, anxious to reclaim her morning to herself and distract her thoughts with the latest batch of seedlings waiting for her in the greenhouse - anything to get her mind off Dani.

 


 

A couple of hours had passed and sweat was dripping down both sides of Jamie’s face as she shoved her hands deeper into a pot of soil. It was unseasonably warm for early May and the air in the greenhouse felt even more humid than usual, tendrils of hair sticking to the back of her neck as Jamie worked through the late morning heat. Her attention pulled away from the plant she was rehoming at the sounds of Miles and Flora giggling and screaming, likely from a game they were playing.

Jamie decided a break couldn't hurt, she could use the fresh air and cool off a bit and if she happened to catch a glimpse of what Dani and the kids were up to, there was no harm in that. She grabbed a bucket and put her gardening spade inside. As she walked outside into the bright sunlight, she used the back of her glove to wipe her forehead.

Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Flora darting across the yard, as she laughed with joy. Jamie’s heart swelled as she watched Mile chasing after her, hose in hand and water spraying in every direction.

Jamie smiled as she heard Dani yelling out to the children in an attempt to get them to hydrate.

“Miles, take a quick break and make sure you have some water. It’s hot today, I don’t want you getting sick.”

“But I’m not thirsty,” Miles whined loudly. Jamie rolled her eyes as she watched him stomp his way towards Dani.

“Well water won’t hurt you, will it?” Jamie smirked as she watched Dani place her hands on her hips.

Jamie watched the chaos unfold as if time were moving in slow motion. Miles raised the hose towards Dani and with that familiar know-it-all voice that Jamie had come to hate with his age, he mockingly shouted out, “I don’t know, will it?” Jamie’s eyes widened as a blast of water shot from the hose, taking Dani by surprise and causing her to stumble back into the lawn chair and fall onto the grass with a thump loud enough that Jamie could hear it from across the lawn.

Jamie dropped her bucket and ran over to Dani, nearly tripping over the same lawnchair herself to get to her.

“Poppins-” Jamie quickly got onto her knees and brought her hand up to Dani’s shoulder. “Hey, are you okay?”

“I didn’t mean to-” Jamie could hear Miles panicking from behind her.

“Dani?” Jamie panicked as her eyes searched Dani’s for any signs of pain or discomfort.

“I’m alive,” Dani groaned with a soft chuckle.

Jamie blinked as she watched Dani’s face break into a grin. “You alright? Did you hit your head or-” Jamie stopped talking when she saw Dani shaking her head with laughter.

“No it’s fine, I'm okay honestly,” Dani started to lift her back off the ground and stopped when Jamie’s hand appeared in front of her face. “Thanks,” she smiled. She grabbed Jamie’s hand and allowed herself to be pulled back up to her feet.

“All good?” Jamie frowned. Her eyes searched the length of Dani’s body looking for any cuts or scrapes. As her eyes landed on Dani’s torso, she swallowed and did her best to ignore her incredibly soaked, see-through white tank top. Jamie’s eyes then traveled back up to Dani’s face, feeling her cheeks heat up as Dani eyed at her with a knowing look, a smirk playing on the corner of her lips.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Dani bit her bottom lip, continuing to keep her eyes fixed on Jamie.

“Miss Clayton,” Miles tapped on Dani’s shoulder. “I am very sorry, it was only meant to be a joke. Are you okay?”

Dani’s eye flicked away from Jamie’s piercing stare and she turned around to face him, crossing her arms over her chest. “I’m fine, thank you for asking. But you know that was wrong to do, even if it was a joke.”

Jamie melted as Dani spoke with such firmness in her voice, and she couldn’t help but picture what it would sound like if she were to use that same voice on her while Jamie’s lips were-

“Jamie?” Dani’s voice broke her away from her very inappropriate thought. “Would you mind?”

“Hm?” Jamie looked between Dani and Miles, who were both looking at her as if she was the one who had just fallen.

“Would you mind going inside and grabbing me a towel? I would hate to get Hannah’s floors all wet,” Dani replied with a raised eyebrow.

“Right,” Jamie cleared her throat. “No, of course. I’ll uh, I’ll be right back.”

“Great, and Miles...Flora,” Dani looked behind at both children who were already wrapped in their towels. “Why don’t you both head inside and get changed? Lunch will probably be ready shortly.” Dani smiled as both children muttered their agreement and followed behind Jamie towards the manor.

A few minutes later, Jamie exited the front door of the manor and immediately saw Dani leaning against a large planter box to the right of the doorway. “Here you are,” Jamie approached Dani from the side and held the towel out for her.

“Thanks,” Dani flashed a shy smile.

Jamie nodded and took a step back as Dani bent forward and ran the towel through her hair. As she stood back up, Dani tossed her head back, causing a rush of thick wavy blonde hair to flip behind her back. Jamie blinked as Dani stood straight up and leaned her head to the left, letting her hair hang off her shoulder as she dabbed it dry.

Jamie could feel a heat rush through her body and down to her core as her eyes landed on Dani's chest, immediately spotting her pink bra showing through the wet shirt. Her eyes continued to travel downward in an attempt to avoid staring inappropriately, but she didn’t get far before her eyes stopped again. She swallowed thickly as she tried to not admire the way that Dani’s very wet tank top hugged tightly against her body, revealing her toned and muscular abdomen that Jamie had become all too familiar with seeing on a nightly basis at this point,

“Is there something wrong?” Dani’s voice pulled Jamie back to reality. She quickly looked up and could see the amusement flashing all over Dani’s face as her lips slightly curled upward.

“What?” Jamie cleared her throat. “N-no, uhm everything is perfect.” She shoved her hands into the pockets of her large overalls and looked down at the ground.

“Good to know,” Dani hummed.

Jamie looked up at Dani and swallowed when she saw a suggestive smirk and dark eyes staring back at her. “Is there-” Jamie paused as Dani lifted the bottom of her tank top up to wipe the sweat off her forehead. She could feel her own heart beating out of her chest as Dani’s wet skin was revealed.

“Is there what?” Dani let go of the bottom of her tank top, letting it fully cover her back up.

“Is there anything else I can do for you?” Jamie breathed out, having to force the words as images of Dani’s body imprinted into her memory.

Dani quirked an eyebrow, her smirk growing in size as she watched Jamie squirm. “What do you have in mind?”

Thoughts of Dani pinned up against the wall in her flat flashed through Jamie’s mind. Dani’s mouth running the length of her jaw, breathing heavily into Jamie’s ear as Jamie’s hands run the length of her body, warming every inch of her skin with her touch.

She boldly opened her mouth, ready to spill the words let me take you upstairs and show you, but the sight of Dani staring at her in a playful and knowing manner made her quickly change her mind. “Did you need another towel, or dry clothes?”

“I think I should be okay getting dry clothes, were you wanting to accompany me to my room?” Dani threw the towel over her shoulder and tilted her head to the side.

“What?” Jamie took a step back in confusion. “Are you serious?” She swallowed, her mouth going dry at the thought of Dani’s suggestion.

“No, Jamie,” Dani chuckled. “I should be fine to get myself dressed.”

“Right. Yeah, no, of course,” Jamie rubbed the back of her neck in embarrassment.

“We should probably get back inside.” Dani nodded behind her towards the entrance.

“Yeah, dinner is probably just about ready.”

Dani and Jamie both stood silently, neither of them moving or breaking eye contact as the tension clouded around them like a thick haze.

“Right, well I’ll see you inside,” Dani shook her head, causing Jamie to wonder what exactly was going through her mind in that moment.

She watched as Dani walked away and disappeared through the front door. Dani knew what she was doing just then, she had to know, Jamie thought. Dani enjoyed how flushed she’d made Jamie, she enjoyed working Jamie up just to pull her back down. If Jamie had doubts before, she knew for certain now. Dani definitely remembers everything from last night, including everything I said.

 


 

Jamie entered the club that night the way she used to before meeting Dani, full of swagger and confidence as she walked through the door like the club belonged to her. She had only one goal in mind tonight involving a certain American - she was going to make Dani as hot and bothered as Dani had made her earlier at the manor, no matter how many lap dances it took. She looked around and immediately noticed the tables and chairs that normally occupied the right hand side of the stage were replaced with a large mechanical bull. The bull was surrounded by a handful of people watching a drunk man wearing jeans and a cowboy vest hang on for dear life as the bull bounced up and down in an unpredicted manner.

Jamie shook her head at the ridiculousness of a strip club having a mechanical bull, not surprised in the least that Peter would come up with such a thing. Her face scrunched in disgust as country music blared through the club’s speakers, "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" by Big & Rich echoing through the crowded space. She approached the bar and smiled widely as Rebecca made her way over to her.

“Well, well, look who the cat dragged in,” Rebecca smiled.

“I think you mean bull,” Jamie nodded beside her towards the crowd of people.

Rebecca laughed and shook her head. “Saw that, did you? Pretty wild, right?”

“Pretty and wild are not the first words that came to mind when I saw that thing.” Jamie smirked.

“So does that mean you’re not going to take a crack at it then?” Rebecca wiped the bar-top with a rag in front of where Jamie took a seat.

“Definitely not. The only crack you’d be seeing is the one in my bloody skull if I got on that thing.” Jamie shouted as the beat of the song playing over the speakers swelled and pulsed through the club. “Requires some major leg muscle to stay on that thing, I'll be flat on my arse in no time.”

“Can’t say I’d be any different,” Rebecca replied, throwing the rag over her shoulder.

“Anyone crazy enough to try that shit deserves a proper crack, I’ll tell you that much. Knock some sense into them,” Jamie playfully shook her head.

“Something tells me you’ll be singing a much different tune not too long from now,” Rebecca winked.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jamie raised an eyebrow.

“Nothing,” she grinned. “You’ll see soon enough. Until then, d’you want the usual?”

“That’d be great, thanks Becs.” Jamie pulled her wallet out and placed a bill onto the bar-top.

Rebecca grabbed the scotch from the shelf behind her and poured Jamie a double before sliding the glass in front of her. “There you are.”

“Great, change is yours.” Jamie grabbed the glass and took a small sip from it. “I’ll see you in a bit.” She raised her glass in thanks and then walked towards the bull, begging for any distraction to pull her away from the country music playing throughout the club.

Jamie laughed as she watched guy after guy get on the mechanical bull, all approaching it with the same disastrous arrogance as the drunken meatheads before them. It always ended the same way - the bull would start up, a few kicks to the left and a few to the right and then a complete turn. Jamie could see the same horror in the eyes of the rider every single time - always right after the first set of turns when another turn would start and stop midway, then change direction with a large kick. It never failed at taking the rider by surprise - and often ended with them flat on their ass and a slew of curse words flying out of their mouth.

It didn’t take long before Jamie was on her second drink of the night. She’d just returned from the bar when nearly all of the lights in the club turned off and the announcer began to speak for the first time that evening.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we’d like to start by welcoming you to country night and we hope you enjoy yourselves. Our first dancer has chosen to do things a bit differently tonight, so saddle up for a wild ride, partner. Please welcome, Skye!

Suddenly, the lights turned on right above the stage and Jamie blinked as Dani walked toward the pole, a rock cover of “Pony” by Far started up over the speakers. Jamie felt her mouth go dry as her sight finally registered the outfit Dani had on, starting with the white cowgirl hat she was wearing. Her eyes slowly traveled down to the white cut off vest she had on with fringed strips of white suede fabric dangling from the sides, the vest unbuttoned and pulled apart enough to reveal a white bikini top and Dani's distractingly toned stomach that Jamie always found incredibly hard to take her eyes off of.

She managed to do the impossible and her eyes continued their exploration down, admiring the matching white suede chaps Dani had on, also decorated with fringed strips of white suede fabric dangling from the sides down to her white heels. The chaps cut low around Dani’s mid-thigh, revealing a white thong with suede tassels and sending Jamie’s mind reeling as she silently praised the inventor of assless chaps for the gift she was bearing witness to.

I'm just a bachelor
I'm looking for a partner
Someone who knows how to ride
Without even falling off
Gotta be compatible
Takes me to my limits
Girl when I break you off
I promise that you won't want to get off

If you're horny let's do it
Ride it, my pony
My saddle's waiting
Come and jump on it
If you're horny let's do it
Ride it, my pony
My saddle's waiting
Come and jump on it

Dani approached the pole and reached up high, wrapping her hand around the cold metal. She held on as she kicked her feet off the ground and her body swung around a few times before stopping right in front of the crowd - in front of Jamie.

Jamie walked over to the left of the stage, watching as Dani’s back pressed up against the pole. She arched her back as she pushed her hips forward, her hands slowly running up and down the metal behind her. She then turned around and started swaying her hips left to right to the beat of the song.

Dani once again reached high and grabbed the metal rod, lifting her feet off the ground and tucking her legs into her stomach as she rotated around. Jamie watched in amazement as Dani’s biceps flexed, her hands gripped firmly to the metal to hold herself up with every spin around the pole. Dani straightened her legs as she stretched her body out, maintaining her grip near the top. She pushed her chest away from the pole as she continued to rotate herself around, shaking and flipping her hair in different directions.

Her hands and body slid down the cold metal until she landed on the floor, legs slightly parted before she dipped backwards and laid against the stage on her back. She thrust her hips into the air as she used her feet to push off and slide her body down the stage and away from the pole.

Dani lifted her hips high and pushed her legs up into the air before bending towards her head, rolling herself back and onto her knees. Once she was on all fours, she crawled her way back to the pole and reached her hand up, grabbing halfway up the metal bar and pulling herself up from the ground.

Sitting here flossing
Peepin' your steelo
Just once if I have the chance
The things I would do to you
You and your body
Every single portion
Send chills up and down your spine
Juices flowing down your thigh

Dani once again turned around away from the rod and faced the audience. She pressed her shoulder against the unforgiving metal and reached her hands up high, squaring her back parallel to the floor as she thrust her hips outwards to the audience. She slowly ran her hands and body down the shaft as her hips continued thrusting in the air until she was laying down.

Once her back was resting on the ground, she kicked her legs up and wrapped them around the pole, pushing her ass into the air before she lifted her upper body up its length. She reached just above her head and started climbing, pulling herself upwards using only her arms. Jamie watched the muscles in Dani’s shoulders tighten and bulge as she lifted herself, the look on Dani’s face seemingly effortless Once her hands reached the top, she unwrapped her legs and let them loosely hang as she slid her way back down and landed on her feet. She let go and walked to the end of the stage, her lips curled upward as her eyes met with Jamie’s for a brief moment.

Jamie took a drink from her scotch to distract herself from the heat radiating from her core. Dani bent forward, running her hands down the front of her legs as she did so. Suddenly, she grabbed the bottom of her chaps and as she went to stand straight again, she tore away at the fabric, ripping the chaps in two and throwing one to the left of her and the other to the right. Jamie watched as the suede flew above and past her to an older gentleman sitting behind her, smiling and waving it in the air as he caught it.

Dani smiled and walked to the edge of the stage. She reached out and grabbed the hand of a tall, burly-looking security guard who helped her jump off. Jamie scrunched her face in confusion as Dani approached the mechanical bull. She shook her head in disbelief, there was no way Dani would be crazy enough to attempt riding that thing in the middle of her strip tease, not with Peter lurking nearby.

Suddenly, she proved Jamie wrong as she jumped on the bull and got herself properly situated. Dani looked in her direction and winked as the bull started up.

If you're horny let's do it
Ride it, my pony
My saddle's waiting
Come and jump on it

If you're horny let's do it
Ride it, my pony
My saddle's waiting
Come and jump on it

If we're gonna get nasty baby
First we'll show and tell
'Till I reach your pony tail
Oh

Lurk all over and through you baby
Until we reach the stream
You'll be on my jockey team
Oh

Jamie made her way over to the metal bars that surrounded the mechanical bull and blocked the audience off from the rider, leaving the inside free for a soft landing if the rider flew off. Her mouth hung slightly open as she watched the bull start off with kicking left, and then right. Dani’s hands tangled in her hair as her hips motioned with the kicks, holding onto the bull with only her thighs.

Jamie wondered if there was any way Dani would survive passed the spin of death, where everyone she’d watched until now eventually flew off. The bull turned fast once, then twice, finishing with a kick in the air. Dani smiled as she thrust her hips into the saddle of the bull, her thighs continuing to grasp tightly on each side of the saddle.

The bull started to turn once again, but stopped halfway through and kicked to the right twice, which Dani met both times expectantly with another thrust of her hips.

The bull started to turn to the left suddenly, stopping again halfway and kicking twice once again to the left, and Dani’s hips grinded deep into the saddle with each kick like it was absolutely nothing for her. Jamie looked around and could see multiple jaws of previous riders hanging low as they watched her succeed where they couldn’t.

Suddenly, the bull started twisting and turning in different directions, kicking every few seconds. Jamie bit her bottom lip in fear that Dani would go flying off and possibly hurt herself, but each time the bull kicked, Dani proved Jamie wrong. Eventually, Jamie’s shoulders relaxed and she started to enjoy the performance as she realised Dani was far better at riding the mechanical bull than she could have ever imagined. Her thighs flexed and tensed as she held on, pulling Jamie’s attention to the muscles stretched taut against the saddle of the mechanical bull.

If you're horny let's do it
Ride it, my pony
My saddle's waiting
Come and jump on it

If you're horny let's do it
Ride it, my pony
My saddle's waiting
Come and jump on it

Dani’s hips continued to move with the bull’s every kick, and Jamie watched as her hands ran through her hair as she grinded forward against the saddle. She then tossed her head back and forth, causing her hair to flip around in the air. Dani looked over at Jamie and for a brief moment they held eye contact until Dani smiled and waved at Jamie, as though it took no effort keeping herself upright on the bull while it kicked left and right.

The bull came to a complete stop for a brief second and Jamie shook her head in disbelief as she watched Dani push her hips off the bull with her hands and swing her legs around, causing her entire body to turn and face the backend of the bull.

Jamie downed the rest of her scotch as she felt her heart pounding against her ribs. Her face felt hot, and Jamie convinced herself it must’ve been the excessively warm day she had endured earlier causing her face to flush, certainly not the sight of Dani grinding her hips against the bull she was riding in front of her.

She licked the remaining alcohol from her lips and caught Dani’s eye as she did so. Dani bit her bottom lip as the bull kicked into the air, and her hips thrust against the back end with it.

The bull then once again started to spin around in circles as it continued kicking left and right. Dani lifted her arms above her head, as she swung her hair around, causing her blonde waves to cover her face completely. Jamie could not remove her eyes from Dani’s thighs, admiring how much muscle and strength they had as they were the only things holding onto the angry mechanical bull.

Suddenly, for the second time that day, Jamie watched with wide eyes as Dani lost control and flew to ground - landing with a thump. Her body twitched as she went to jump over the bars blocking her off but before she could move, Dani quickly jumped up onto her feet, laughing.

The song came to an end and Dani took a playful bow before exiting out of the mechanical bull pit. Jamie watched as Dani walked towards her and felt her nerves tighten in her chest. The effect Dani’s performance had on her, watching the way her hips moved against the saddle as her thighs clenched against the bull to keep herself secure, sent waves of arousal crashing low between her legs.

“Enjoy the show?” Dani smiled.

Jamie’s mouth felt like a dried up lake in the middle of a drought as she dumbly nodded at Dani’s playful greeting. She threw her head back and downed the rest of her scotch in a quick attempt for a boost of liquid courage. “Yeah,” Jamie’s voice rasped. “Bloody impressive I’d say.” Jamie placed her empty glass down on the table to her left and smiled at Dani.

“Heading out for the night?” Dani looked at the empty glass and back up at Jamie.

Jamie shook her head. "Not yet. Was hoping to get a lap dance before I left.” Jamie could feel her heart race as she watched Dani raise an eyebrow. She knew Peter was here, and she knew in Dani’s world that meant she would actually have to get a lap dance. Jamie also remembered how the last time Dani brought up that very same point, Peter was actually absent from the strip club. Normally Jamie wasn’t one to speculate, but she couldn’t help but draw her own conclusions based off of the past few interactions they’d had together at the club, solidified even more by Dani’s impromptu visit last night. If nothing else, it certainly appeared that Dani enjoyed giving lap dances as much as Jamie enjoyed receiving them.

“You know Peter is here tonight, right?” Dani crossed her arms.

“Aye, I’m aware.”

“So I’ll actually have to dance for you?”

“Also aware, thank you.”

“And you’re okay with that?”

“Wouldn’t be asking if I wasn’t, would I?” Jamie smirked.

They both stood in front of each other in silence, Jamie watching silently as Dani’s eyes searched hers. She could feel her heart racing as she waited for Dani to reply, wondering if maybe asking for a lap dance was the wrong move, maybe she misunderstood the situation after all.

“Okay,” Dani’s voice came out as a soft breeze. “Follow me then.” She grabbed Jamie’s hand and led her towards the back of the club.

As they entered the back private room hand in hand, Jamie could feel Dani’s grip tighten as she closed the curtain behind them. Jamie wondered if maybe Dani felt as nervous as her, while also allowing herself to toy with the idea that the small gesture was done out of pure excitement over anything else - the thought alone caused Jamie’s heart to pound out of her chest.

Dani dropped Jamie’s hand and gestured towards the red sofa against the wall. “Go get comfortable,” she smiled.

Jamie nodded as she walked to the loveseat and sat down. The beat to “Give It” by Betta Lemme started up and Jamie watched as Dani slowly made her way over to her lap, her hips swaying left to right to the beat of the song.

I ask myself the same questions
I tell myself the same lies
The silver on your skin tastes like
The movie in my minds eye

I ask myself the same questions
I tell myself the same lies
The silver on your skin tastes like
The movie in my minds eye

Les nuits ne changeras pas
Les soirs quand tes plus la
Même si ca fait mal
Sois mon animals
Sentiments brutal
Les nuits ne changeras pas

Give it
Give it
Give it
Give it

Dani sank down in front of Jamie before pushing Jamie’s knees open and sliding into the space, closing what little distance remained between them. She slowly dragged the palms of her hands up and down Jamie’s thighs, moving them inward as she did so. Jamie swallowed as she looked down at Dani, eyes dark with want.

Dani arched her back as she stood and turned around, then sat herself into Jamie’s lap, her back pressed against Jamie’s chest as she pushed her hips down rough and slow. Dani started to move her ass in circular motions to the beat of the song against Jamie, resting the back of her head on Jamie’s shoulder. She turned her head so that her mouth was pressed against Jamie’s ear, her voice a whisper against the music pounding through the speakers. “You can touch if you want.”

She swallowed as Dani reached behind her and grabbed both of her arms, resting Jamie’s hands on her bare abdomen as her hips continued to grind into Jamie’s center. Jamie could feel her stomach tighten, waves of pleasure building as Dani’s ass pressed hard into her, moving and grinding to the beat of the song.

Jamie let out a shaky breath as her hands travelled across Dani’s skin, feeling the firmness of her abs as Dani rolled her hips down again and again. She closed her eyes as she felt Dani’s warm breath against her neck as Dani continued to grind into Jamie, applying more pressure. She could feel herself losing her grip on her own self control, she’d had dozens of lap dances before this and none of them felt the way Dani was making her feel because Dani wasn’t just any dancer in the club, wasn’t just Skye.

Dani was Dani, and Dani had been flirting with Jamie ever since she first danced for her. Dani had shown up at Jamie’s flat the night before, drunk and throwing herself at her. Jamie wanted Dani, and she hoped that Dani wanted her too. So with all the confidence Jamie could muster, she raised her hips as Dani pressed down again, and ground into her. A more intense wave of pleasure shot through Jamie’s core this time, causing a loud moan to escape. Jamie raked her fingers across Dani’s stomach and down her sides, towards her legs as she rested her head back onto the couch and enjoyed the sensation that Dani was providing her.

I ask myself the same questions
I tell myself the same lies
The silver on your skin tastes like
The movie in my minds eye

I ask myself the same questions
I tell myself the same lies
The silver on your skin tastes like
The movie in my minds eye

Les nuits ne changeras pas
Les soirs quand tes plus la
Même si ca fait mal
Sois mon animals
Sentiments brutal
Les nuits ne changeras pas

Give it
Give it
Give it
Give it

Dani grabbed Jamie’s hands and gently brushed them off her body as she got up from her lap and turned around to face her. She situated herself back onto the sofa while straddling Jamie’s hips, her knees pressing into the cushion. Dani’s hands rested against Jamie’s shoulders as she gently pushed her back into the sofa, her breasts grazing against Jamie’s face as she sat up tall.

Dani then reached behind her own back and undid the string to her bikini top, doing the same with the string around her neck. Jamie watched as the fabric fell onto her lap and swallowed as Dani once again leaned forward and grazed her chest against Jamie’s face.

“Christ,” Jamie breathed out.

Dani lowered her ass on top of Jamie's lap, bringing them face to face. She ground herself deep into Jamie as she wrapped her arms around Jamie’s shoulders, pulling her in closer to her. Dani bit her bottom lip as she rolled her hips in a constant and steady motion, with purpose as she did so. Jamie’s hands found purchase against Dani’s thighs, slowly rubbing her palms up and down the sides of them. She dug her fingertips into Dani’s hips and as she pulled Dani further down into her, raising her own hips as she did so. Another moan escaped as Jamie ground herself once more against Dani, feeling the right amount of pressure applied against her clit.

“Dani,” Jamie breathed freely. She bit back a groan at the sight of Dani’s bright blue eyes turned dark and clouded with lust. Dani continued to rotate her hips, her ass pressing hard into Jamie.

Just as the lyrics to the song started back up, Dani leaned forward and pressed her lips up against the side of Jamie’s face. Jamie closed her eyes and focused on Dani’s warm and steady breath lingering against her ear as she sang along in French, the sound of Dani’s voice against her skin burning red hot as Jamie sat frozen and fixated.

Les nuits ne changeras pas
Les soirs quand tes plus la
Même si ca fait mal
Sois mon animals
Sentiments brutal
Les nuits ne changeras pas

Dani pulled back, her eyes refusing to break contact with Jamie’s. The song was coming to an end and with every beat, Dani’s face would inch closer and closer to Jamie.

Give it
Give it
Give it
Give it

Même si ca fait mal
Sois mon animals
Même si ca fait mal
Sois mon animals

Même si ca fait mal
Sois mon animals
Sentiments brutal

By the end of the song, Dani’s forehead was pressed up against Jamie’s, Dani had ceased all movement and both women were breathing heavily as their eyes searched one another for approval. As much as Jamie wanted Dani, she refused to make the first move, not with how hot and cold Dani had been in the past.

But then the beat to “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande started up and Dani toyed with her bottom lip between her teeth - and all sense of right and wrong went out the window. Jamie’s hands slid down to Dani’s ass, grabbing and pulling her in closer as the verse began.

Don't need permission
Made my decision to test my limits
Cause it's my business, God as my witness
Start what I finished
Don't need no hold up
Taking control of this kind of moment
I'm locked and loaded
Completely focused, my mind is open

“Jamie-” Dani whispered a soft plea that, if not for how close Jamie was, could have easily been lost in the music blaring over the speakers. Jamie could feel Dani’s heavy breathing against her lips as their mouths remained an inch apart, so close yet Jamie was sure Dani had never felt so far away.

“Yeah?” Jamie swallowed, an attempt to clear the raspiness that had overpowered her voice - a dead giveaway to how flustered Dani had her in that very moment.

Dani’s ass started to rotate in Jamie’s lap once again, somehow harder and more direct than before. “Do you want-” Dani’s whisper was cut off by a soft moan that flowed through Jamie’s pursed lips.

All that you got, skin to skin, oh my God
Don't ya stop, boy

Jamie sucked in a deep breath in an attempt to regain her self control. She exhaled slowly and blinked as Dani licked her bottom lip. “Do I want what?” Jamie rolled her forehead against Dani’s, nudging herself closer.

“Should I stop?” Dani ground harder into Jamie, causing another wave of pleasure as her arousal continued to pool. Jamie bit her bottom lip and lightly shook her head. Her fingertips traced Dani’s bare back as she begged for the moment to never end.

Somethin' 'bout you makes me feel like a dangerous woman
Somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout you
Makes me wanna do things that I shouldn't
Somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout

Jamie closed her eyes as she felt the pleasure slowly building. She only opened her eyes when she felt Dani’s nose nudging against hers. Jamie’s head spun as their lips grazed ever so slightly. She sucked in a breath and before Dani could say or do anything else, she wrapped her left hand around the back of Dani’s neck and pulled her in. Jamie’s lips crashed into Dani’s like a magnet pulling them together.

Jamie ran her hand up from Dani’s neck and grabbed a fist full of hair as they desperately tasted each other. Soft lips pressed together frantically seeking for more as they moved in a rhythm like they were made for each other. Dani’s tongue slickly ran along Jamie’s bottom lip before sucking it into her own mouth, gently biting down as she pulled back.

Nothing to prove and I'm bulletproof and
Know what I'm doing
The way we're movin' like introducing
Us to a new thing
I wanna savor, save it for later
The taste of flavor, cause I'm a taker
Cause I'm a giver, it's only nature
I live for danger

Jamie’s eyes darkened as Dani continued pressing and grinding against her slick heat, intentionally seeking a reaction. The back of Jamie’s hand slowly ghosted along Dani’s skin and down her inner thigh. The tips of her fingers grazed against Dani’s soaked panties and stopped along the edge of the waistband as she watched Dani bite down on her own bottom lip. Desire-filled eyes searched her own as Jamie’s fingers toyed with the fabric.

“Jamie-” Dani rasped.

All that you got, skin to skin, oh my God
Don't ya stop, boy

Jamie swallowed as she moved her panties to the side, revealing her in a way she had only ever dreamed of. Her hand steadied, her fingers so close to Dani’s arousal that she could feel the heat radiating on the tips of them.

Somethin' 'bout you makes me feel like a dangerous woman
Somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout you
Makes me wanna do things that I shouldn't
Somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout you

Jamie waited for a signal or a sign. Any indication that Dani wanted this; that Dani needed this. And as though Dani wasn’t already doing enough to drive Jamie over the edge as it was, she removed her arm from Jamie’s shoulder and lowered it to her own heat. Jamie moaned in approval as Dani grabbed the back of her hand and pressed her palm against her, allowing her to feel just exactly how much of an effect she had on Dani.

Jamie leaned forward once again and pressed her lips against Dani’s, memorizing how perfect they felt. “You’re sure?” Jamie whispered as she pulled away, keeping their foreheads pressed against each other.

All girls wanna be like that
Bad girls underneath, like that
You know how I'm feeling inside
Somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout

“I want-” Dani moved up Jamie’s lap, pressing herself into Jamie’s palm and moaning quietly at the applied pressure.

“Say it,” Jamie whispered. “I wanna hear-” She swallowed in an attempt to soothe the dryness that overtook her throat, making it hard for her to speak. “I wanna hear you say it.”

“I wanna feel you inside of me,” Dani husked.

Without another word, Jamie’s palm slid against Dani’s wetness as she pushed two fingers inside.

All girls wanna be like that
Bad girls underneath, like that
You know how I'm feeling inside
Somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout

Dani’s eyes rolled to the back of her head as she felt Jamie press deep into her, then pulling her fingers out before pumping in again. Jamie watched Dani’s expression as she moved inside of her and felt her own wetness pool as Dani gasped in awe, like she had never been touched in such a way in her entire life. She memorized every detail, finding it difficult to pull her eyes away from the way Dani’s jaw hung slightly open as her tongue pressed on her bottom lip - only disappearing when Jamie curled her fingers in a particular way. She noted the way Dani’s eyes twisted shut and her head dipped every time Jamie pressed her palm against her clit, adding pressure that, based off the way Dani’s hips were grinding against her, seemed to be something Dani not only enjoyed but craved.

“God-” Dani moaned as Jamie slightly pulled her fingers out, only to push them deep inside again. “That- that feels good,” Dani stammered. “You feel good.”

Somethin' 'bout you makes me feel like a dangerous woman
Somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout you
Makes me wanna do things that I shouldn't
Somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout you

Jamie’s fingers picked up the pace as the palm of her hand worked against Dani’s clit. “Just wanna feel you,” Jamie’s grasp tightened around Dani’s hair. She pulled her head back to expose the crook of her neck. Jamie’s lips brushed along Dani’s collarbone before she started kissing her way along Dani’s neck. “Just wanna make you feel good,” Jamie mumbled against her skin. “Fuck, I’m gonna make you feel so good.” She gently bit down on Dani’s neck before sucking on her skin.

“You do,” Dani moaned. “Feels so good.” Her hips rocked to the rhythm of Jamie’s fingers, shocks of pleasure rippling through her body as she felt herself ache and crest closer to release, something she wasn’t used to. “Oh god, y-yes.” Dani gasped as Jamie’s palm pressed against her clit, massaging it ever so slightly.

“Gonna make you forget everything you ever knew about feelin’ good.” Jamie continued to pepper kisses against Dani’s neck.

All girls wanna be like that
Bad girls underneath like that
You know how I'm feeling inside
Somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout

“Can you-” Dani’s words were cut off as she felt Jamie push and curl deep inside, drawing another moan from her.

“Can I what?” Jamie’s eyes fixated on Dani’s as she lowered her head towards Dani’s chest, taking her nipple between her lips and flicking it lightly with the tip of her tongue.

“Faster,” Dani breathed out at the sensation of Jamie’s tongue pressing against her nipple as she took it into her mouth and gently sucked.

Jamie’s fingers started moving in and out of Dani’s folds faster and harder. Jamie pulled away from Dani’s chest and watched as her blue eyes shut tightly.

“Look at me,” Jamie husked. “I wanna see you when you-” Jamie’s words were cut off when Dani’s eyes snapped open and a loud moan filled the room.

All girls wanna be like that
Bad girls underneath like that
You know how I'm feeling inside
Somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout

“I- I think I’m get-getting close.” Dani wrapped her arms around Jamie’s shoulders once again. She raked her hands through brown curls, grabbing a handful as the waves of pleasure started hitting more frequently. “Kiss me,” Dani choked out.

She leaned forward and captured Dani’s lips into a heated and messy kiss. Dani gasped as Jamie’s fingers pushed in and out faster, working towards one purpose only.

“J- Jamie,” Dani whined. She pulled back and rested her forehead on Jamie’s shoulder as she started moving her hips against Jamie’s lap.

Jamie closed her eyes with a low groan as she felt Dani’s slick heat sliding up and down, coating Jamie’s palm in her arousal. “God-” Jamie’s words were cut off as Dani bit down into her shoulder, muffling her own moan.

Dani continued to move against Jamie’s fingers with quiet gasps. Jamie could tell how close she was getting with how frantic she had become, her rapid yet solid thrusts that carried no rhythm - only desperation.

Yeah, there's somethin' 'bout you boy
Yeah, there's somethin' 'bout you boy
Yeah, there's somethin' 'bout you boy
Yeah, there's somethin' 'bout you boy
(Somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout you)

Jamie could feel Dani lifting her hips, causing Jamie’s fingers to move in and out of her slick heat at a much faster pace. “So good.” Dani cried out breathlessly as she ran her hands down Jamie’s back, dragging her nails against her shirt - feeling the sweat radiating from Jamie’s body.

“Fuck, how are you even real?” Jamie sucked in a deep breath as she felt Dani’s nails scratching against her, clawing down her spine. Dani’s hips continued to grind into Jamie’s hand, begging for release. Jamie wanted nothing more than to oblige, wanting to grant every wish and fantasy Dani had. She did her best to match the rhythm of Dani’s movement, pulling her coated fingers out, only to drive them back in as Dani’s hips thrusted forward.

Yeah, there's somethin' 'bout you boy
Yeah, there's somethin' 'bout you boy
Yeah, there's somethin' 'bout you boy
Yeah, there's somethin' 'bout you boy
(Somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout, somethin' 'bout you)

“God, I’m gonna-” Dani’s cries were muffled by Jamie’s lips pressed firmly against hers, needing to feel the connection one last time before the moment ended - before Dani had the chance to pretend and avoid. Something Jamie hoped would not happen, but given the last few days felt inevitable.

“I got you,” Jamie pulled back and started kissing along Dani’s neck once again. Jamie thrust into Dani once more, and Dani was done for. Jamie could feel Dani tighten around her and Dani’s hips pushed into Jamie’s hand erratically, body frantic as she rode Jamie’s fingers to completion, her orgasm crashing into her and rippling into cresting waves of pleasure.

“Oh my-” Dani’s mouth opened with a silent moan hanging off her lips. Jamie watched awestruck as Dani cried out, her nails dug deep into her back like it was her first time ever succumbing to the sensation - and Jamie thought for a quick moment that perhaps it was.

After a moment, Dani’s shoulders relaxed and Jamie slowly pulled her fingers out, subtly wiping them on her pants. Jamie watched Dani closely, curious about what her reaction would be like this time.

“Wow,” Dani laughed breathlessly, her eyes remained shut for a brief moment before she finally opened them to look at Jamie.

“Yeah, that was…” Incredible, Jamie thought, the word hanging on the tip of her tongue and threatening to spill from her lips.

“Fun,” Dani replied nonchalantly.

Jamie scrunched her face as Dani slid herself off her lap and stood back up to fix her panties. “Uh, yeah. Fun.” She followed Dani’s actions and stood up as well. She looked between the exit of the room and Dani, almost expecting Dani to turn and run without looking back. “Loads of fun.”

“So much fun,” Dani smiled with a slight nod. The two of them watched each other closely and Jamie watched as Dani chewed on her bottom lip. She wondered if Dani expected her to be the one to make a run for it, if Dani expected her to bolt upstairs to her flat without another word.

“Should we maybe...” Jamie paused and rubbed the back of her neck. “Talk about it?” She asked slowly, afraid that anything she could say would cause Dani to slip away.

“Oh,” Dani replied. Jamie immediately noticed the hint of hesitation and prepared for impact. “I, uh, I don’t think I can right now.” Dani took a step back. “I should probably get back to work.”

“Right, no of course.” Jamie nodded. “But are we going to talk about it some other time then?”

“Uh, okay,” Dani replied and Jamie scoffed, shaking her head. “I mean of course, I just don’t know when right now. But yeah, some other time.” Dani took another step back. “I should go though. That was-” Dani paused as she took another step back. “Fun.”

“Yeah no, you mentioned that thank you.”

“No I know, I just mean it was a lot of-”

“Fun?” Jamie finished the sentence for Dani, a slight smirk now playing on her lips.

“Yeah,” Dani breathed out laughter.

“Would you say it was fun enough to do again sometime?” Jamie took a step towards Dani, her arm reached forward and she grazed her fingertips along the back of Dani’s hand.

Dani drew her bottom lip between her teeth for a quick moment. “Well-”

Suddenly both Jamie and Dani looked towards the exit as the curtain quickly drew open. “Christ,” Peter appeared in front of them. “Been looking for you everywhere, the song ended two minutes ago.” Peter looked at Dani, and then at Jamie. “Jamie,” he nodded. “Nice to see you.” He then looked back at Dani, and Jamie noticed his jaw tightened as though he was preparing to say something unpleasant to Dani.

“Yeah mate, nice to see you too.” Jamie forced a smile. “Sorry about that, I was talking Skye’s ear off and she mentioned she had to get back to work but I wouldn’t shut up. Feel free to charge me for another song if ya need to.”

Jamie was relieved to see Peter’s jaw loosen as his lips curled upward. “Nonsense, Jamie. You’re one of my best customers, I don’t mind letting it slide this time.” Jamie wanted to laugh at how condescending Peter was.

“Right, appreciate that. I’ll uh, catch you both later.” Jamie nodded. She then left the private rooms and quickly headed towards the exit of the club, her mind clouded with confusion at Dani’s strange behaviour. She was desperate to figure out Dani, to get more than three words in and actually talk about what they were doing, but the desperation to get away from Peter before she could make things worse for Dani won out as she slipped out the side door and climbed the steps to her flat.

 


 

Dani walked out of the club at the end of the night, eyes already heavy with exhaustion. She couldn’t wait to get back to the manor and lay down on the oversized comfy bed that her room had to offer.

She checked her surroundings before closing the back door behind her and jogged to where her car was parked, quickly unlocking it and then locking it once she was situated inside. She turned her key in the ignition and groaned as her car stuttered while trying to start. Dani closed her eyes in frustration as she tried again and again, but had no luck in getting it to work.

She rested her head on the steering wheel and closed her eyes, nearly drifting to sleep as she sat and contemplated what to do next. She knew the answer was simple, and probably in bed by now upstairs in the building behind her. She was exhausted as it was, and hated waiting alone in the parking lot when the club closed as she had too many experiences in California with creepy drunk men sticking around after hours. But with what had just happened between her and Jamie earlier, Dani wasn’t sure she wanted to deal with the awkward tension that would likely follow if she knocked on her door at one thirty in the morning.

She opened the car door and quickly locked it before jogging over to the upstairs entrance for Jamie’s flat. As she approached the door, she could feel her stomach knotting with nerves. She took a deep breath before knocking.

Dani’s eyes fixed on the bottom of the door as she waited for Jamie. She noticed it was dark, it was likely that Jamie was asleep, as most normal people who have to work in the morning should be. Dani grabbed her phone from her pocket and was ready to order an Uber when she saw the bottom of the door light up. She sighed in relief as she heard footsteps approaching.

The footsteps stopped and Dani could hear a soft mutter as locks were being adjusted on the door. When the door opened, Jamie stood in front of her wearing a white tank top and grey sweatpants. “Poppins, everything alright?” Jamie squinted. “This isn’t another one of your drunken adventures is it?”

Dani shook her head. “No, it’s my car. It won’t start and I didn’t want to be alone outside while I figured out what to do next.”

Jamie blinked with a sad smile. “Course, I wouldn't want you doin’ that. Come on in,” Jamie stepped to the side.

“Thanks,” Dani smiled. She walked inside, stopping just past the door to slip off her coat and shoes.

“So,” Jamie locked the door and turned to face Dani, “what happened with your car?”

“I think it’s a dead battery, pretty sure it just needs a jump. I was going to call a taxi and see if they could do it for me-”

“Nonsense,” Jamie cut Dani off. “I can get that jump started for you no problem, a taxi will charge you up the arse for doin’ it.”

“Really?” Dani beamed.

“Sure, but Owen borrowed my jumper cables a few weeks back so I’ll need to run and grab ‘em in the morning.”

“Oh, don’t worry about it then. I can just take an Uber or something, it’s no probl-”

“Dani,” Jamie cut her off and rolled her eyes at Dani’s stubbornness. “It’s nearly two in the morning and you have to get the kids up in five and a half hours. Just stay here tonight and I can get it all sorted for you in the morning. Owen lives only a few minutes down the road. S’not a big deal, yeah?”

Dani chewed on the inside of her cheek, the thought of spending the night with Jamie right after everything that happened causing her chest to tighten. “Yeah, that uh, that works.” Dani pushed down her nerves and forced a smile.

“Great,” Jamie nodded, “you can take the bed again and I’ll-”

“Jamie,” Dani’s stern tone cut her off. “I’m not putting you out two nights in a row. I’ll take the couch and you can keep your bed.”

“Absolutely not, my couch is shite and you barely get sleep as it is,” Jamie shook her head. “You’ll take the bed and I’ll-”

“Sleep with me,” Dani once again cut her off before she could finish.

Jamie quickly coughed to cover up the surprised laugh that escaped with Dani’s words as the memory from a few hours earlier lingered inside of her mind.

“That’s-” Dani’s eyes widened as she realised the effect her words had. “That’s not what I meant,” Dani covered her face with both hands and shook her head. “I really should just go,” she muffled through her fingers.

“Nonsense,” Jamie grabbed both of Dani’s hands and lowered them from her face. “It’s fine Poppins, I know what you meant and if you’re sure you’re okay with it then we can share the bed, it’s a double anyways,” Jamie smirked. She released Dani’s hands and gestured down the hallway towards her bedroom. “Dunno about you but I’m bloody exhausted, so shall we?”

Dani nodded and watched as Jamie turned the light off, following her down the hall and to her bedroom. “I can just wear the same thing as last night, if you still have it?”

“Already in the hamper, but s’not a problem.” Jamie opened her dresser and pulled out a dark blue pair of sweatpants and grey t-shirt. “Here, the bathroom is just outside the door and to the right if you wanna use it.”

Dani nodded as she accepted the change of clothes from Jamie. She walked out of the room and went to the bathroom. Once she was changed, she looked in the mirror and let out a shaky breath as she ran her hands through her hair.

She entered the bedroom and Jamie was already lying on her back on the right side of the bed. The covers were pulled up to her chest and her hands were folded and resting overtop of the blanket against her stomach.

“All good?” Jamie smiled.

“Yep,” Dani placed her folded clothes on Jamie’s dresser. She walked over to the left side of the bed and got under the covers, making sure she kept as much space between herself and Jamie as possible.

The room went quiet as the two of them laid on their backs and stared at the ceiling. Dani could see Jamie’s fingers drumming against her stomach and was expecting her to bring up what happened between them earlier in the night. Instead-

“Well, goodnight Poppins.” Jamie turned off the lamp beside her and Dani watched as the room went dark.

‘Night,” Dani sighed softly. She then turned to the left, facing herself away from Jamie.

Five minutes passed and the room was filled with silence. Dani’s eyes were wide open as she let thoughts of Jamie run marathons inside, keeping her awake and all too aware of her surroundings. The knowledge of how close Jamie was, mere inches under the sheets, if Dani really wanted to reach over and finish what they started was almost too much to bear.

“Dani,” Jamie’s voice was quiet and Dani assumed this was because she was unsure if she was awake or not. It would have been easy to close her eyes and pretend she was sleeping, she was exhausted enough that it would have been believable. But her curiosity got the better of her.

Dani turned around on her other side so she was now facing Jamie, who was still laying on her back. “Yeah?” Dani whispered.

“What happened earlier-” Jamie paused, and Dani watched in the darkness as she laid perfectly still. “What was that?”

Dani swallowed and closed her eyes to think of an appropriate answer, because that was the big question wasn’t it? What was it? Dani was so hellbent on keeping her distance from Jamie, knowing the way she made her feel - but at the same time could not ignore the invisible hold Jamie somehow already had on her.

She knew she wasn’t ready for anything serious, maybe ever again after what happened with Eddie. But she also was tired of denying herself from things she enjoyed or wanted, and right now she both enjoyed and wanted Jamie.

“Fun?” Dani winced at her own words as she recalled the awkwardness from earlier when that was all she could reply with.

“Not this again,” Jamie groaned.

“Well, I don’t know what you want me to say.”

“Anything but fun at this point,” Jamie finally turned on her side to face Dani.

“Look, Jamie.” Dani sighed. “Can we just agree that-” Dani bit her bottom lip as she reasoned with herself to just say the words, to just give herself something she wanted - something she craved, “that there is clearly something here and if sometimes things happen then they just...happen?”

“Is that what you want?” Jamie’s voice was low.

Dani wondered if she felt just as nervous as she did. “Hm?” She was grateful for the darkness as she felt her cheeks grow warm.

“For things to maybe keep happening?”

“That depends,” Dani swallowed.

“On what?” Jamie husked.

“Does it always feel like that?” Dani could feel Jamie shift in the bed and immediately regretted the question, feeling exposed as though she had just given herself away.

“Gonna have to be a bit more specific than “that”, Poppins."

"I mean," Dani sighed, "does it always feel that good.” Dani bit her bottom lip at the memory of the effect that Jamie's fingers had on her earlier in the night.

“It can, yeah.” Jamie cleared her throat. “I mean it should, shouldn’t it?”

“Yeah, it should,” Dani frowned and thought back to all the times with Eddie where it didn’t feel like that, even though he had done the same things to her that Jamie had done earlier. “What do you think it means if it doesn’t?”

“If it doesn’t what?”

“Always feel like that.” Dani shifted closer towards Jamie.

“Why do you ask?” Jamie’s voice lowered.

“Well it’s just-” Dani pursed her lips and closed her eyes. She exhaled before reopening them, her eyesight adjusting to the dark until she was able to see Jamie staring at her, waiting patiently. “With my ex. He was never, uh...able to-”

“Ah.” Dani could hear the pity in Jamie’s voice and silently berated herself for her own honesty, hating that Jamie might look at her any differently. “Do you mind if I ask you somethin’ personal? You don’t have to answer of course.”

“Yes- I mean no, I don’t mind.”

“Did you want your fiancée?”

Dani slowly inhaled as her heart pounded inside her chest. She had never admitted the truth to anyone other than Rebecca and yet, for some reason, she wanted Jamie to know. “No, never.”

“Then that’s why it’s never felt like that before.” Jamie cleared her throat.

“I wonder-” Dani paused. She wondered lots of things while laying in Jamie’s bedroom in the dark alone with her. She wondered if Jamie’s heart was racing like hers was, fast and steady and pounding against her chest like a stampede. She wondered if Jamie’s mouth was dry like hers, as if she was stuck in the middle of the Sahara desert. And as Dani shifted even closer to Jamie, she wondered if Jamie minded when her foot slowly grazed up against her leg.

“Dani-” Jamie’s voice quavered.

“I wonder if it would feel the same for you, as it felt for me?” Dani cut Jamie off.

Jamie breathed in a sharp breath as Dani’s foot continued to rub against her leg. “I reckon it would, yeah.”

“I’ve never-”

“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to,” Jamie reached forward and grabbed Dani’s hand. “I mean it, I’m fine with just sleepin', I never expected anything from you and never will.”

“I know, “ Dani swallowed. “But I want to, I just don’t know what I’m doing and I want it to feel good for you. Can you show me?” Dani’s thumb ran across Jamie’s knuckles and she smiled as she felt Jamie’s grip tighten. “Teach me what you like.”

“Christ,” Jamie laughed breathlessly. “You’re gunning to kill me, aren’t ya?”

“No,” Dani shook her head. She moved impossibly closer, pressing herself into Jamie as the smell of Jamie’s perfume overwhelmed her senses and set her nerves on edge. “Just wanna make you feel as good as you made me feel,” Dani whispered.

She leaned forward and slowly nudged their noses together before pressing her lips softly against Jamie’s. The kiss started out slow but heated within seconds as Dani reached behind Jamie and placed her hand on her lower back, pushing her hips closer into her. Dani ran the tip of her tongue against Jamie’s bottom lip and smiled as Jamie wasted no time in meeting her tongue with her own.

Dani could feel her arousal build as Jamie massaged her tongue against hers, their kiss growing faster and more desperate.

“Show me,” Dani pulled back and ran the tips of her fingers against the hem of Jamie’s sweatpants.

“Yeah, we’ll take it slow though,” Jamie breathed out. "And if you want it to stop at any point, you tell me. Okay?"

"Okay," Dani nodded.

Dani felt the bed shake as Jamie lifted her hips from the mattress to pull her sweatpants and underwear off.

“Talk me through it?” Dani leaned forward and slowly kissed along Jamie’s jaw, down to her neck. Her hand snaked its way up Jamie’s shirt and ran over her breast, grazing her hardened nipple with her palm.

“Fuck,” Jamie groaned. “Well, you seem to have gotten that part down.” Dani pulled back and watched as Jamie’s eyes shut when her fingers started to rub against her nipple, pinching it softly and massaging her thumb gently over it.

Dani’s hand slowly traveled back down Jamie’s stomach and stopped when she felt wet heat against her hand, her fingers ghosting along Jamie’s folds.

“Guide my hand to start.” Dani whispered against Jamie’s ear.

“Yeah, okay,” Jamie’s voice was a soft whisper. Dani felt Jamie’s hand rest on top of hers, gently holding it and guiding it against her wet folds. “First, you wanna make sure you gather some wetness.” Jamie moaned as she moved Dani’s fingers and slightly pushed them inside, dragging them up to her clit afterwards.

“Now start moving your fingers against my clit- yeah like that,” Jamie moaned again, “right there.” Dani bit her bottom lip as she felt Jamie’s fingers resting on top of her own, pressing them against her swollen bud. “You wanna start slow- fuck, Dani,” Jamie moaned again as Dani moved her fingers on her own accord back into Jamie’s folds to gather more wetness.

Dani felt Jamie’s hand drop beside her onto the mattress as her fingers started circling Jamie’s clit again, applying more pressure. “Is that okay?” Dani kissed along Jamie’s jaw.

“More than,” Jamie nodded with another low moan. “Y- you can go faster,” Jamie stammed as her hips started grinding into Dani’s hand.

Dani nodded as she circled faster, using her fingers to apply more wetness every so often. “Shit, you feel good.” Jamie moved her hand to Dani’s thigh and gripped her sweatpants. “Don’t stop, y- you have me s- so close.” Jamie closed her eyes as her moans started getting louder and more frequent.

“Yeah, fuck- just like that,” Jamie nodded when Dani applied more pressure.

Dani watched as Jamie’s eyes snapped open and a loud moan filled the room with her name. She continued moving her fingers in the motion Jamie showed her, until she felt Jamie’s hand on top of hers once again ceasing her actions. Jamie’s hips thrusted into the air as her grip tightened around Dani.

“Fuck,” Jamie breathed out. She looked over at Dani and smiled, “that was pretty fuckin’ great for your first time.”

“Thanks,” Dani smiled and bit her bottom lip. “You're a great teacher. I wouldn't mind learning like that again sometime.” She shifted away from Jamie and laid back onto her side.

“Good to hear then,” Jamie smirked. “It’s really all about practice anyways.” Jamie turned onto her back and looked up at the ceiling. “Though practice only does so much.”

“What do you mean?” Dani pulled the covers up to her chin and squinted, swearing she saw Jamie frowning.

“It’s just really about getting to know someone at the end of the day.” Jamie whispered. “Just being with someone enough times that you learn what they like. What particular areas make them weak and what keeps them on the edge. What makes ‘em come fast and hard and what drags it out, builds it slow and makes it last. One night stands, you don’t really get to experience that. So they’re okay, they get you by. But they’re nothing compared to the real thing.”

Dani watched as the frown remained and wondered if there was more to what Jamie was saying. “So is that your preference then?”

“Is what my preference?” Jamie turned her head to the side to face Dani.

“Commitment over one night stands?”

Jamie blinked as she looked at Dani, silence lingering in the air. “Once upon a time it used to be, yeah.” Jamie whispered.

“What happened, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“Should probably get some sleep, Poppins, that’s a bit of a long story. One meant for another time, another lifetime, even.” Jamie smiled softly.

"Right, of course," Dani flushed as she realised she'd thrown Jamie's night time routine off enough by showing up on her doorstep unexpectedly and then practically insisting that she learn how to get her off. Trying to pry into her past was certainly a bridge too far. "Goodnight, Jamie. Thanks again for...everything."

Jamie smiled and let out a tired chuckle. "Happy to help," she murmured as she shifted around to face the opposite side. "Night, Dani."

As Dani turned to face the other wall she couldn't help but reflect on Jamie's last comment. She wondered if the 'happy to help' was referring to helping Dani with her car troubles and giving her a place to stay for the night, or if Jamie truly was happy to be giving as well as receiving. While Dani wasn’t quite looking for a proper friends with benefits arrangement, she wasn’t opposed to having a friend that she could practice with every so often if the situation were ever to arise again. Our situation would be different, she thought to herself as she closed her eyes, it doesn’t have to mean anything if it’s just physical.

Dani brushed aside the unsettling feeling of Jamie not wanting to fully open up to her; there was clearly something in her past, something she wasn't willing to talk about yet. Or ever. They were friends, nothing more. And Dani didn't want anything more, didn't deserve anything more. She let out a sigh as she settled further under the covers. What they had - whatever it was they had, it was enough.

Chapter Text

After the night spent at Jamie’s, time seemed to slip away from Dani. Allowing herself to give in and be selfish for once had given her the best feeling and allowed for her to have fun for the first time in years - and as the saying goes - time flies when you’re having fun.

Dani never thought she’d look forward to lap dances, up until she’d met Jamie it was her least favourite part of the job. She should have known she was in trouble from that alone. She should have known when she felt immediate attraction to her that she was treading into dangerous territory. She should have known after that first night meeting her, laying awake and alone in a cheap motel bed with the image of Jamie’s gray-green eyes piercing through her brain, fingers ghosting across her own skin at the memory of Jamie beneath her, beckoning her towards release as she chased the high Jamie gave her earlier that night - each attempt nowhere near the ecstasy Jamie made her feel. She knew Jamie Taylor was trouble by the time she came into the club that next night and paid for a dance, insisting she wanted just to talk instead, and yet Dani let it happen without protest, without complaint, without any desire for Jamie to stop.

Dani should’ve known better than to give in to Jamie’s tactics and schemes - Jamie was a distraction, an addiction she didn’t have time for. She was at Bly for one reason and one reason only - work off her debt to Peter Quint.

But the memory of coming undone from the mere smell of Jamie’s perfume, the way Jamie’s clouded eyes drank in the sight of her as her hips moved back and forth, grinding deep and long against her leg until she reached the peak of her orgasm, was just far too powerful to forget. Before she knew it, Dani told a little lie, something to give her a taste of what she wanted but couldn’t allow herself to have. A taste of Jamie without ever having to put her mouth on her.

I have to start dancing for you again, at least on the nights where Peter is here.

A lie and one dance was all it took - and Dani wasn’t sure she could resist giving in to temptation. The next time she found herself on Jamie’s lap, she was determined to make her feel good. However, as hands slid down her arms and between her legs, Dani lost all sense of self control. Having Jamie inside of her - hitting all the right areas that Dani didn’t even know existed - was an entirely new feeling.

So when her car wouldn’t start and she was left stranded at Jamie’s for the night, Dani knew she was playing with fire. Being in Jamie’s bed alone was one thing, but being with Jamie and having to sleep next to her after Jamie had just been inside of her - that was dangerous. Jamie was unbridled heat, wild embers crackling in the night sky as Dani danced around the flames with reckless abandon, blissfully oblivious as the fire grew and raged, controlled for now but only barely.

Teach me what you like.

After the night spent at Jamie’s, Dani knew it would be a risky move to allow herself to go back to her flat. Being at Jamie’s meant being a part of Jamie’s world, and Dani needed to keep things casual between them. Having fun was one thing, but Dani knew having fun always came with a price - kissing before sex, post-orgasm cuddles, “miss you” and “thinking of you” scattered over secret texts, tender moments swallowing them up and spitting them out with completely different expectations. Relationship things that Dani just couldn’t handle, couldn’t grant herself.

The second time it happened was the next night. It started at the manor, with Jamie pulling Dani into the laundry room and whispering into her ear about how good it felt when Dani came undone on her fingers. Dani clenched her thighs, the combination of words and the sensation of Jamie’s hot breath on her neck sending waves of heat through her core as Jamie dragged her lips across Dani’s skin.

“I’m working tonight,” Dani moaned as Jamie found her pulse and gently sucked.

“Is that an invite?” Dani could feel the smirk against her skin, and it took everything inside of her to not tear Jamie’s clothes off and take her right then and there.

“Yes, but you have to behave,” Dani gasped as Jamie’s teeth nibbled her shoulder.

“I can behave,” Jamie mumbled into her neck. “You just make it bloody hard is all.” Dani bit back a quiet whine at the loss of contact as Jamie pulled away from her and fixed her own shirt.

“Tonight,” Dani whispered, grabbing Jamie’s hand and giving a gentle squeeze.

That night led to the next, and before Dani knew it, three days passed and Jamie had been inside of her every single one.

“I want to make you feel good again,” Dani shuddered as Jamie removed her fingers from wet heat. She watched as Jamie wiped her hand casually against her jeans, a crooked smile on her face.

“It’d be bloody difficult to do here, not sure I could explain to Peter why my trousers are off if he ever decided to walk in.”

“I know,” Dani bit her bottom lip as she thought to herself. She knew the easiest way was to go back to Jamie’s place, but she wasn’t sure she could trust herself in that type of environment. She wasn’t sure things wouldn't go to her head and cause her to make rash decisions.

“My place is always an option.” Jamie shrugged.

“Yeah, I know. It’s just-” Dani paused, taking a moment to think of the perfect excuse. “I barely get to sleep as it is, and then I have to drive home from your place after we’re done…” Dani formed a circle with her thumb and index finger and then pushed her other index finger in and out of the circle.

Jamie laughed and shook her head. “Christ, it’s just sex. You can say it, you know?”

“No, I know.” Dani sighed. “It’s just...I’d be more exhausted than I am now.”

“So just spend the night.” Jamie replied with ease, like the answer had been right there all along. Like Dani hadn’t thought about that every single night in the last five days. “On the nights you have to work late, or you want to…” Jamie mocked Dani’s prior action with her fingers. “Just spend the night, s’no big deal to me.”

Dani laughed and took a moment to think about Jamie’s solution. Maybe she was overthinking it, maybe Dani could spend the night at Jamie’s while continuing to keep things casual. Maybe nothing would change and they could continue having fun exactly the way they are now.

“Alright, but only if you continue to teach me.”

And boy, did Jamie teach her. She taught Dani how to take things slow, how to tease her properly until just the right moment, how to make her come undone.

“Like dipping a toe in water,” Jamie had said with a smirk. “Just tease my clit.” Dani could hear a soft moan sneak past Jamie’s lips as she pressed her fingers against the swollen bud. “Get me so worked up that I’m beggin’ to feel you inside of me.” Dani closed her eyes as Jamie’s hips rocked against her hand. “Good girl, just like that,” Jamie moaned, grabbing a fistful of Dani’s hair. “Now start with one, see how wet you’ve gotten me. Yeah - fuck,” Jamie hissed, eyes rolling back in her head as Dani followed her instructions, pushed a single finger in. “Just like that.” Dani clenched her thighs as Jamie continued coaxing her step by step. “You can add a second finger- God, yeah, that’s good. Go as deep as you can and-” Jamie words cut off with another moan, much louder than before.

After a few nights spent at Jamie’s, Dani found herself wondering what had her so worried in the first place. Everything had remained perfectly casual between them. Work at the manor had stayed the way it had always been, and Dani found herself getting more sleep in those three nights at Jamie's than she had gotten since arriving in Bly.

On the seventh night, Dani rolled off of Jamie breathlessly with a smile on her face. “That was - wow.” She ran her hands through her hair.

“Yeah,” Jamie folded her arms behind head and looked at Dani lying beside her. “You’re a quick learner.”

“I have a pretty great teacher.” Dani bit her bottom lip. “Maybe I’ll start calling you Poppins.”

Jamie laughed and shook her head. “I reckon that wouldn’t exactly be appropriate given what I’m teachin’ ya.”

“That’s true,” Dani replied. She got up from the bed and grabbed her overnight bag, frowning as she rummaged through it.

“What’s wrong?” Jamie asked, sitting up on her elbows.

“I think I forgot my toothbrush,” Dani sighed.

“Oh, s’not a problem.” Jamie sat fully up. “I actually picked one up from the store for you today. Was gonna give it to you earlier but, y’know, was a bit hard when you were pushin’ me up against the wall the second you entered my flat,” Jamie smirked.

Dani blinked and watched as Jamie got up from the bed and walked over to her dresser. She pulled a plastic bag off the top and grabbed a packaged toothbrush from inside.

“You-” Dani paused when Jamie handed it to her. She stared at the toothbrush and looked up at Jamie smiling softly, “didn’t have to do this.” Her eyes dropped back down to the toothbrush.

“Figured it’d make more sense to just leave one here if you’re going to be spending a few nights a week.” Jamie shrugged. “That’s alright I hope? I’m not trying to scare you or suggest anything, I just wanted to make things as easy as possible for you.”

Dani slowly nodded as she continued to stare at the toothbrush. “Yeah, of course. It’s just- no one has ever been this thoughtful.” Dani whispered with a smile, looking back up at Jamie.

“It’s just a toothbrush, Poppins. S’not a big deal, yeah?” Jamie blushed.

It wasn’t a big deal, not at first. But as time went on and more nights were spent with Jamie, the tender moments and innocent gestures began to add up, impossible to ignore.

On the tenth day, Dani woke up at six-thirty in the morning to the smell of bacon. She turned onto her side, looking around the bedroom when she noticed Jamie was no longer in bed with her. She got out of bed and glanced around the floor for her clothes. When she realized the floor had been cleared, she walked to Jamie’s dresser and grabbed a black T-shirt from it. The size took Dani by surprise as she pulled the shirt over her body, the fabric hanging loosely around her hips. She noticed the words “Blondie” etched across the front of the shirt and smiled.

Dani stepped out into the hallway and made her way into the kitchen, biting her bottom lip at the sight of Jamie humming a tune and moving her hips.

“Morning,” Dani giggled as Jamie jumped.

“Christ, you scared the shite out of me,” Jamie laughed, resting her hand on her chest as she turned to face Dani. Her smile immediately faded when she looked at her.

“Sorry,” Dani blushed when she saw Jamie’s eyes drop to the T-shirt. “I didn’t want to come out here naked and I couldn’t find my clothes.”

“Oh yeah,” Jamie cleared her throat. “I put them in the wash for ya.” Jamie continued to stare at the shirt Dani was wearing.

“I can take it off if you’d like?” Dani chewed the inside of her cheek, slightly confused and a bit concerned by the glazed look in Jamie’s eyes.

“No, no that’s okay.” Jamie turned around and grabbed the kettle from the oven. “Just an old shirt my ex gave me years ago, they ran out of sizes at the concert so we had to get a men’s extra large.”

Dani felt her stomach drop when she noticed a hint of a smile on Jamie's face as she poured water into a mug. She knew it was silly to feel excluded, she hadn’t even known Jamie for a full month yet. But seeing her smile over a distant memory from a past relationship stung, a cruel reminder of everything she couldn't allow herself to have.

“Here,” Jamie’s voice pulled Dani from her thoughts. “Made you a coffee.” She handed Dani a mug.

Dani looked at the counter and noticed a large tin of coffee. “Did you go out and buy instant coffee just for me?”

“Well, yes and no. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have some around here just in case, plus I know how much you prefer coffee over tea.” Jamie grabbed her own mug and took a slow sip.

“Jamie,” Dani whispered. “You didn’t have to do that. How much did that cost you? I’ll give you money for it.”

Jamie shook her head and grabbed a plate from the counter. “Nonsense, I needed some anyway.”

“Why, because of all the American girls you have coming around here?” Dani raised an eyebrow.

“S’only you Poppins.” Jamie averted her eyes and started scooping eggs and bacon from the frying pan onto the plate. “Now here, I made you something to eat since I know you’re working until close tonight. You’ll need a hearty breakfast for the kind of day you have ahead of you.” Jamie placed the plate onto the table and cleared her throat. “I’m gonna go shower while you eat.” She walked towards her bedroom door and turned back around “By the way, the shirt looks good on you.” She smiled and turned back around, entering her bedroom.

As Dani drank from her coffee she let her mind get lost in all things Jamie. How thoughtful and kind she was, how attentive and nurturing - all of the things Dani lacked growing up. It reminded her of Judy, a steady anchor in the midst of the chaos of her childhood, and Dani couldn’t help but notice how similar it all felt, how she’d moored herself to Jamie unaware and unexpected.

Dani could feel herself falling further and further into the perfect bubble wrapped around her and Jamie, impossible to avoid the magnetic pull of Jamie’s unconditional kindness no matter how hard she’d tried to keep her distance. By the thirteenth day, Dani was completely oblivious as she walked carefully towards the greenhouse, a wide grin on her face.

“Knock, knock.” Dani announced herself as she opened the door.

Jamie looked up from the plant she was watering and squinted. “Poppins, not looking for a quickie in the middle of the day are you?”

“No,” Dani laughed. “I just know it’s hotter than usual today and wanted to bring you some cold lemonade to drink. I made it from scratch,” she said, handing the glass to Jamie.

“Oh wow, thanks a million. I’ve been sweating buckets in here, so this is great.” Jamie raised her glass in thanks before taking a drink. “It’s delicious,” she smiled.

“Thanks, it’s probably the only drink I’m capable of making.” Dani winked.

“Noted,” Jamie smirked. “So, kids keepin’ you busy?”

“Not really, they’re actually helping Owen bake blueberry muffins right now so that’s why I thought I’d come say hi.”

“Ah, he make that stupid pun yet?” Jamie took another drink.

“These blueberries ain’t got muffin on me? Yeah, the second he pulled the blueberries out of the fridge.” Dani chuckled.

“Fuckin’ wanker,” Jamie laughed.

“It’s cute, at least Hannah thinks so.”

“Ah, you’ve noticed that, did ya?” Jamie placed her drink onto the table and picked up her watering can. “Those two have been making googly eyes at each other ever since he started a few years back.” Jamie walked to the other end of the table and started watering another plant.

“We’ve what now?” Hannah’s voice suddenly chimed in. Jamie looked up to see Hannah standing at the entrance of the greenhouse, hand on her hips and a playful smile present.

“You heard me,” Jamie quipped.

“Sorry to interrupt, my dear.” Hannah looked over at Dani. “I’ve just come to get you because the minute you left, the kids had gotten flour all over themselves so I think they’re about done with muffin baking.”

“Oh boy, I’m on it. Thanks for letting me know, I’ll catch you both later.” Dani nodded and quickly ran out the door, jogging all the way back to the manor.

“Speaking of googly eyes,” Hannah nodded towards the lemonade, “seems like someone is quite smitten with the new au pair.” Hannah hummed as she started inspecting the plant in front of her.

“Oh bugger off,” Jamie rolled her eyes. “S’not like that. We’re just friends.”

“Oh that’s interesting, because there can be-” Hannah cleared her throat, “so many benefits to friendship.”

“No benefits to this friendship,” Jamie mumbled.

“Ah, so fresh cold lemonade on a hot day is nothing?” Hannah smirked. “She specifically made it for you, love. She’s been going on all morning about how sorry she feels for you, to be out in the greenhouse in this heat.”

“That’s very thoughtful of her.” Jamie continued to the next plant on the table and started watering.”Doesn’t mean we’re shagging.”

“Heavens no, of course not.” Hannah gave Jamie a knowing smile. “Bringing you lemonade is not suspicious at all.” Hannah continued to walk and play with the leaves on the different plants as if she were keeping herself busy. “Now showing up every day five minutes apart for the last week is a bit, as the kids might say-” Hannah walked back towards the greenhouse door and stopped at the exit. She turned around smiling at Jamie, “-sus.” She winked before walking out.

“You really need to stay away from that stupid Tik Tok,” Jamie yelled after her. “Well that’s not bloody good,” she muttered to herself as she walked over to the final plant. “Not good at all.”

 


 

It was Sunday night by the time Jamie entered the strip club again, over a week since she’d last stepped foot in the establishment since Dani’s evening visits began occupying her time instead.

Two weeks of pleasure had come and gone so quickly, Jamie almost wondered if she dreamed it instead. Two weeks of getting to know Dani, getting to feel her and taste her, learning exactly what makes her tick - if it was a dream, Jamie didn’t want to wake up.

Jamie nodded at the bouncer as she walked through the entrance. She scanned the room, noticing immediately how empty the club was. Only a few tables were occupied by regulars, a single patron standing by the bar holding Rebecca’s attention as he ordered a drink. Jamie’s eyes continued around the room in search of Peter, relief flooding her body when she came up empty. Her shoulders relaxed as she made her way over to the bar and nodded at Rebecca, who sent back a smile and a wink as she settled the man’s tab.

Jamie took her usual seat in the middle of the bar and folded her hands on the bar top as she waited for Rebecca to make her way over. The smell of sweet mango body lotion lingered in the air, sending chills down Jamie’s spine as she recognized the familiar scent. A half crooked smile crept across her mouth as she felt a hand rest softly on her lower back.

“You showed,” Dani whispered with amusement.

Jamie shuddered at the warm tingling sensation of Dani’s breath against her jaw as Dani’s mouth hovered closely against her skin. “Said I would, didn’t I?” Jamie chuckled breathlessly. She slightly turned her head to the left and swallowed when she realised her lips were now inches apart from Dani’s. Jamie watched as Dani’s eyes dropped down to her mouth and lingered before flicking back up again.

“Yeah, but with how much you’ve complained this last week over how exhausted I’ve left you, I figured you’d want to take advantage of catching up on some sleep when the opportunity arose.” Dani took a step back from the close proximity she and Jamie were in and leaned her back against the bar.

“You make me sound like I’m out of shape or somethin’, Poppins.” Jamie bit back a teasing grin as she watched Dani’s cheeks flush with a light pink tinge. “I may not be as fit as you, but I’d say I’ve been able to hold my own.”

“Oh absolutely,” Dani nodded with a cheeky grin. “You’ll hear no arguments coming from me.”

“Good. Because dare I say-” Jamie paused as her eyes searched the length of Dani’s body, “there are more important things I like to hear coming from you.”

“Oh yeah?” Dani toyed with her bottom lip and took a step closer to Jamie. “What kind of things?”

Jamie opened her mouth to reply but was cut off by Rebecca approaching. “And how are we this evening, ladies?” She grabbed the bottle of scotch and smirked as she looked between Dani and Jamie, who quickly looked away from each other. She slid over an empty glass and pulled the cork from the bottle of scotch. “Usual, I presume?” Rebecca’s eyes finally landed on Jamie as she waited for confirmation.

“That’d be great, thanks.” Jamie cleared her throat and smiled.

“On the house.” Rebecca poured Jamie a double and nodded towards Dani. “Can thank that one,” she smirked. She put the cork top back into the neck of the bottle and walked to the left end of the bar to assist someone.

“Buying me drinks tonight as well? Jamie quirked an eyebrow. “How ever will I thank you, Poppins?” Jamie grabbed her glass and winked at Dani before taking a sip.

Dani leaned closer in and pressed her lips against Jamie’s ear. “You can find me after my show and let me dance for you in the back?” she whispered and gently nipped on Jamie’s earlobe.

Jamie swallowed and nodded. “No Peter tonight then?”

Dani pulled back and pursed her lips, shaking her head with a smile. “Nope, lucky for you it’s his night off.”

“Lucky for me?” Jamie gave Dani a half crooked smile. “Who knew Dani Clayton had so much confidence.”

Skye has a lot of confidence.” Dani replied softly, her eyes dropping to the floor.

“Ah right, shit.” Jamie brought the palm of her hand up to her forehead and sighed. “You’re at work, sorry.”

“Right, well, I should go get ready because I’m up soon.” Dani pushed a hand through her hair, stopping at her neck and squeezing her fingers into muscle as she glanced over her shoulder at the pole illuminated in the center of the stage. “But I’ll see you after the show,” She turned back to Jamie, a crooked smile on her face before she turned around again and walked towards the back of the stage, stopping briefly for one final look. “Oh, make sure you’re at your usual table,” she winked before walking off again.

Jamie found it nearly impossible to take her eyes off of Dani as she sauntered off, hips swaying with confidence as if she knew Jamie was fixated on each step she took.

“Like what you see?” Rebecca’s voice suddenly pulled her out of the trance she found herself in.

“Huh?” Jamie looked up at Rebecca who was smirking.

“You always have this look about you when you’re watching her.”

“A look?” Jamie tilted her head to the side.

“Yeah, it’s actually quite adorable but also incredibly obvious.” Rebecca started wiping the bar top around Jamie.

“Oh no, it’s not like that.” Jamie shook her head and brought her glass back up to her lips, hoping the alcohol would burn away the uncomfortable feeling that settled in the pit of her stomach.

“You should ask her out.” Rebecca replied, catching Jamie off guard.

Jamie choked on her scotch as she was swallowing and winced at the actual burning sensation in her throat. “Blimey,” she coughed out.

“Shit, sorry.” Rebecca chuckled as she grabbed an empty glass and filled it with water. “Here, hopefully this helps. Let me get you another drink, on me this time.” Rebecca grabbed the bottle from behind her and refilled Jamie’s glass, an amused smile playing on the curve of her lips. “You must really like her.”

“What’ve I said to make you think that?” Jamie raised an eyebrow.

Rebecca shrugged and slid Jamie’s glass back over to her. “Not so much what you’ve said, if I’m being honest.” She looked to the other side of the bar and nodded at an older gentleman who was waving her down. “Anyways, I have to get back to it. Let me know when you need another.”

“Cheers,” Jamie raised her glass and took another sip. She slid out of her seat, pausing for a moment as she thought about Rebecca’s admission before continuing on to her spot next to the stage.

A few dances passed before Jamie’s attention was pulled back to the stage by the announcer’s voice echoing Dani’s pseudonym through the speakers, “...please welcome, Skye!” The lights on the stage cut to black and the opening riff to “Cherry Pie” by Warrant pulsed through the club.

Dirty, rotten, filthy, stinkin'

The lights came back on and Dani stood in the center of the stage wearing a basic yet stunning pair of red lacy underwear, and while her special outfits had grown on Jamie to the point of anticipation, the sight of Dani in such a simple set of lingerie felt stripped down and intimate in a way she never expected. Stepping in time with the beat of the song, Dani marched her way downstage towards the pole.

She's my cherry pie
Cool drink of water, such a sweet surprise
Tastes so good, makes a grown man cry
Sweet Cherry Pie, yeah

Well, swingin' on the front porch, swingin' on the lawn
Swingin' where we want 'cause there ain't nobody home
Swingin' to the left and swingin' to the right
If I think about baseball, I'll swing all night, yeah
Yeah, yeah

Swingin' in the living room, swingin' in the kitchen
Most folks don't 'cause they're too busy bitchin'
Swingin' in there 'cause she wanted me to feed her
So I mixed up the batter and she licked the beater

Dani gripped both hands high up on the bar and flipped her hair from left to right. Her hips followed the motion as they moved back and forth to the beat of the song. She jumped up off the ground, fanning her legs through the air as she rotated her hips around the pole.Once her feet landed back on the ground, Dani continued to hold onto the pole with one hand as she danced and swung her hair around. She bent down and dragged her free hand up the front of her leg as she slowly stood up tall. She continued to hold on while she walked around the pole twice, then slowly kicked one foot forward while her other leg wrapped around metal and spun her body around as she lowered herself to the ground in a sitting position. Once she was seated, she kicked her legs open wide and dropped her body forward as she laid down flat on her stomach. She thrust her hips against the floor, then pushed her chest off the ground as she propped herself back onto her knees.

Dani placed one hand higher up the pole, the other in the middle. She held herself up as she kicked her feet off the ground behind her and then swung them forward, wrapping them around as she once again slid down, lowering herself to the stage.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for her
Don't even try 'cause you can't ignore her

She's my cherry pie
Cool drink of water, such a sweet surprise
Tastes so good, make a grown man cry
Sweet cherry pie, oh yeah
She's my cherry pie
Put a smile on your face, ten miles wide
Looks so good, bring a tear to your eye
Sweet cherry pie, yeah

Swingin' to the drums, swingin' to guitar
Swingin' to the bass in the back of my car
Ain't got money, ain't got no gas
But we'll get where we're goin' if we swing real fast

Jamie swallowed as Dani laid on her back again on the stage and opened her legs wide, closing them as she kicked back and forth in the air. She flipped over her shoulder onto her stomach and pushed her chest off the ground, then sat up on her knees facing the pole. Dani slid back to the metal rod and reached up high as she pulled herself up slightly and pushed her ass back, her body angled from the pole to the floor as she swung her hips back and then thrust forward, pulling her body flush against the cold steel.

She reached even further up and lifted her legs forward off the ground, swinging a full circle around. Dani clenched her thighs to the cold metal as she used her arms to pull herself further up, her legs firmly wrapped to hold herself in place as she continued twirling around. Jamie’s mouth was slightly agape as she took notice of Dani’s tight muscles flexing every time she shifted her body further up the pole. Once she was at the top, Dani hugged her chest against the metal and loosened the grip her legs had. She swung her legs out towards the audience and opened them wide into a V shape as she rotated around again two more times. Her left leg swung around the pole and she hooked her ankle against the metal, her left hand holding tight to the bar as she pulled her right leg behind to her back and grabbed a hold of her foot. Her body spun around the pole as she pressed her back against the rod, dropping her left hand from its position above her head on the pole to just near her hips as she rotated herself back down to the ground.

Once her feet touched the stage, she gripped both hands around, spreading her legs and bending her knees. She bounced her feet off the ground and quickly snapped her legs together around the pole, dropping to her knees. Jamie watched as Dani thrust her hips forward and back, pressing herself against the metal. She could see Dani watching her with a tilted smile as though she knew the exact effect she had on Jamie, as though she could feel the heat between Jamie’s legs from the stage.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for her
Don't even try 'cause you can't ignore her

She's my cherry pie
Cool drink of water, such a sweet surprise
Tastes so good, make a grown man cry
Sweet cherry pie, oh yeah
She's my cherry pie
Put a smile on your face, ten miles wide
Looks so good, bring a tear to your eye
Sweet cherry pie, yeah, pie, yeah

Yeah (swing it!)
All night long
(Swing it!)
Like a trained professional

Dani stood back up and reached as high as she could, grabbing on tightly with both hands. She jumped into the air and swung her legs out and as her body twirled around, she loosened her grip to slowly lower herself back onto the floor, dropping to her knees once again. She laid flat on her back and stretched her legs straight, kicking her left out and towards the stage, followed by her right leg, then snapping both legs together. She rolled over onto her front, laying down with her chest pressed to the floor. Her hips raised in the air and she slowly thrust herself into the stage before pushing her chest off the ground with her arms. As she lowered herself into a sitting position, she spread her legs wide into splits. Jamie swallowed the lump forming in her throat, aware of how suddenly dry her mouth felt as she took a swig of her scotch. The way Dani’s inner thigh muscles outlined against the smooth expanse of her skin sent her mind spiraling, vivid memories flooding her mind as she felt her heart pound against her ribs.

Dani crossed her legs around the pole and reached high up, grabbing onto the cool metal as she shimmied her body up the shaft. Jamie tensed her thighs, squeezing them together as she watched Dani pull herself up, legs wrapping tightly around metal and flexing every time she shimmied herself further up. Jamie bit her bottom lip as the memory of her face between Dani’s legs flooded her mind. She remembered the way her tongue felt deep inside of Dani, tasting and praising her with every flick and swirl. She remembered the way Dani moaned her name - Dani’s hand tangled in brown curls as she pulled Jamie’s face closer and closer until she reached the peak of her pleasure. Jamie could feel wetness pooling between her legs as she recalled how those same thighs felt as they flexed and closed around her head, squeezing her tightly as Dani came undone chanting her name like a prayer not even twenty-four hours ago.

Jamie’s thoughts were disrupted by a glass filled with maraschino cherries placed right in front of her, followed by a bottle of whipped cream. Jamie looked beside her and saw Rebecca hovering above, watching her with a devious smile.

“What’s this for then?” Jamie yelled over the music, her hand gestured towards the table.

Rebecca leaned down and brought her lips close to Jamie’s ear. “You’ll have to wait and see.” She pulled back and winked before walking away.

Jamie looked back at the stage, half expecting Dani to be watching her but instead Dani’s focus was on the pole as she reached the top. She uncrossed her legs and let them hang loosely below as she hitched them forward, causing her body to spin around as she slowly lowered her feet back onto the stage.

Swingin the bathroom, swingin' on the floor
Swingin' so hard, we forgot to lock the door
In walks her daddy standin' 6 foot 4
He said, "You ain't gonna swing with my daughter no more"

Dani smiled and made her way towards the end of the stage where Jamie was sitting. Jamie felt her stomach clench and a lump form in her throat as Dani stepped down from the stage. She chewed on the inside of her cheek as Dani reached over her table and grabbed a single cherry from the glass in front of her, as well as the can of whipped cream. Dani put the cherry in her mouth with the stem hanging out, her free hand motioning for Jamie to come forward as she shook the can of whipped cream in her other hand. She sat down onto the stage and laid on her back with her legs hanging off the edge. Jamie stood up much faster than she intended, confused but excited for whatever Dani had planned for her.

Dani removed the lid from the can and Jamie’s eyes widened as she watched her spray a thin strip of cream up her body, starting from the top of her red panties all the way to her neck. She propped herself up on her elbows with a smile and looked at Jamie devilishly before hooking her index finger and curling it towards her, encouraging Jamie to come forward. Jamie could hear cheering all around her as she took two small steps towards Dani, swallowing down her nerves as Dani watched her expectantly.

Jamie cleared her throat and bent over Dani’s body. Her mouth lingered at the start of Dani’s panties and Jamie couldn’t help but smile as she vaguely felt Dani’s hips raise into the air toward her mouth. Jamie opened her mouth and stuck out her tongue as she slowly licked the line of whipped cream up Dani’s body, all the way to her neck. She swallowed the cream she managed to lick off and brought her mouth to Dani’s, using her teeth to grab the stem sticking out.

Jamie pulled back and could once again hear cheering around her. She used her tongue to flip the cherry in her mouth and pulled the stem off before eating it and winking at Dani, who was watching her with dark eyes.

She's my cherry pie
Cool drink of water, such a sweet surprise
Tastes so good, make a grown man cry
Sweet cherry pie, oh yeah
She's my cherry pie
Put a smile on your face, ten miles wide
Looks so good, bring a tear to your eye
Sweet cherry pie
Sweet cherry pie, yeah, huh
Swing it!

Jamie took a step back from her table and watched as Dani stood back up on the stage and walked to the back as the song came to an end.

She grabbed her empty glass and walked back over to the bar, shaking her head as Rebecca laughed.

“Couldn't give me more of a warning?” Jamie smirked as she slid the glass on the bar top towards Rebecca and took a seat, folding her hands on top of the surface.

“Where would the fun be in that?” Rebecca winked. Jamie laughed and once again shook her head in amusement.

“Spose you’re right, it was quite fun.” Jamie bit her bottom lip with a slight smile as thoughts of her mouth all over Dani’s body took over.

Rebecca shot her a suggestive look, eyebrows raised accusingly as she rolled her eyes and laughed. “Right, well what can I get you? Another refill?”

“Nah, I’m just returning my empty glass. I’m good for the night, thanks.” Jamie shifted in her stool as she noticed the blank stare Rebecca was watching her with.

Suddenly, she shook her head and cleared her throat. “Okay, this is getting strange,” Rebecca raised an eyebrow.

“What is?” Jamie tilted her head. She watched as Rebecca looked her over with soft eyes.

“I usually don’t see you stopping after one, let alone avoiding this place for more than a couple days at a time. Are you feeling alright?” Rebecca’s eyes were narrowed and focused on Jamie, a mischievous smirk betraying her intentions.

“Yeah,” Jamie chuckled. “Never better.”

“Good,” Rebecca smiled. “Well, I’ll be here if you change your mind.” She nodded at Jamie and then walked away towards the other end of the bar.

Jamie turned away from the bar and looked around the club for Dani. She spotted her after a moment in the back corner of the room, deep in conversation with Peter - a very heated conversation by the look on Dani’s face. Jamie frowned as she watched Peter wave his hands in the air and felt her stomach twist with anger. Just as Jamie got up from her stool, fully prepared to tell Peter off, he stomped away towards the back of the stage.

She turned to walk over to Dani, who was already moving in her direction. When they reached each other they stopped inches apart, so close Jamie could see faint freckles on the bridge of Dani's nose.

“Everything okay, Poppins?” Jamie frowned as she searched Dani’s eyes.

“Yeah,” Dani sighed, “it’s just-” She paused and her eyes dropped to the floor for a brief moment before focusing on Jamie once more. “Peter's supposed to be off tonight. I don't know why he's here but he's in one of his moods - probably not a good idea for me to dance for you.” Dani bit her bottom lip as she stared at Jamie.

“You know,” Jamie chuckled, “you can still dance for me and not do anything beyond dancing.” Jamie took a step forward and brushed Dani’s fingers with her own. “Or-” she hummed softly and grabbed Dani’s hand, running her thumb across her knuckles. “You can always come up to my place after you’re done here.”

“That-” Dani sighed in relief, “sounds like a great idea.” As Dani smiled, Jamie could see desire cloud her eyes, and she knew she was in for a treat later. "I get off at midnight, so I’ll see you then.”

“Great, see you in a couple of hours then.” Jamie smirked, gently squeezing Dani’s hand before releasing it. As she walked to the exit of the club, she could feel the warmth on her hand lingering from Dani’s touch. She looked behind her and smiled when she saw that Dani hadn’t moved yet. She shot Dani a quick wink before walking out the exit towards her apartment.

 

 

Dani shook her head with laughter and as she turned to walk away, she bumped into someone tall.

“Well that’s new.”

Dani sighed as she looked up and saw Peter looking down at her, an eyebrow raised. She took a step back and ran her hands through her hair. “That,” Dani gritted her teeth, “is none of your business.”

“I’m not so sure about that.” Peter crossed his arms. “You see, I consider Jamie to be one of my best customers, so that makes her a good friend - and considering the state you left my other good friend in-” Peter took a step forward and grabbed Dani’s wrist, “well what kind of person would I be if I gave you the opportunity to do that again?”

“Since when-” Dani quickly pulled her hand away, “do you care about Jamie?” She clenched her fists as she stared at Peter.

“Since the possibility of me losing one of my best customers when you inevitably fuck things up is on the table-” Peter snapped loudly. He looked around the club and then leaned into Dani’s ear. “I care very much,” he whispered, pulling back and looking around once more. He turned his focus back to Dani, venom in his eyes. “So keep your fuckin’ legs shut for once.”

Dani’s heart pounded against her chest as she watched Peter walk away. She could feel her cheeks flush with anger as his words replayed inside her head. She knew they weren’t true, knew that Peter would say anything to get under her skin, but they stung all the same. Eddie and Jamie were different people with different situations, and it was ludicrous to even think she could possibly hurt Jamie the same way she’d hurt Eddie. He was well aware of the reason behind why Dani ended her engagement with Eddie - he was, in fact, the only person who knew the real reason. She shouldn’t have been surprised that he would use it to blackmail her to stay away from Jamie, but she clenched her fists around her anger and silently cursed him anyway, fucking bastard muttered just under her breath. She’d sacrificed the last two years of her life to Peter with no end in sight, she’d be damned if she sacrificed her time with Jamie too.

 


 

Jamie sat on her couch flipping through channels on the television as she waited for Dani to arrive, expecting a knock on her door at any moment. She grabbed her phone and checked the time, 12:20 AM lighting up across the screen.

She got up from the couch and walked over to the bathroom mirror, inspecting her reflection. She looked down at her thin grey sweat pants and white t-shirt and frowned, forgetting she had dressed down into relaxing attire.

She made her way over to her bedroom to change her outfit, freezing in the doorway when she heard a soft knock on her door. She sighed and made her way through the hallway and back to the living room, stopping at the front door.

When she opened it, she couldn’t stop the smile that spread across her mouth as she saw Dani standing in front of her, an absolute sight in a light pink blouse and jeans that clung generously to the toned legs Jamie had come to worship. “Poppins,” Jamie grinned. She stood to the side and waved her hand for Dani to come in. “How was the rest of your shift?”

“You know, the usual. Long,” Dani smiled as she entered the apartment.

Jamie frowned. “Everything alright?” It was almost imperceptible, just nearly subtle enough to miss, but she noticed that Dani’s smile wasn’t quite reaching up to her ears.

“Yeah, I’m just a bit tired.” Dani replied. She removed her shoes and walked towards the couch.

“We can go right to bed?” Jamie suggested. “I don’t mind at all, been feeling a bit worn out myself so-”

“No-” Dani quickly cut Jamie off, “I’ve been looking forward to this all night,” she grabbed Jamie’s hand and pulled her forward.

“Have you now?” Jamie smirked. She grabbed Dani’s waist and just as she started to pull her in, Dani pushed her back onto the couch. “Blimey,” Jamie landed back onto the cushion and laughed. “Guess we’re skipping the pleasantries then?” She swallowed, watching as Dani slowly approached her while undoing the buttons on her blouse.

“No need to waste time for pleasantries when we’ve already seen each other tonight.” Dani insisted, a faint smile resided as she lightly rested her bottom lip between her teeth. Dani undid the last button and Jamie watched with dark eyes as her blouse fell open, revealing a light pink bra. “Do you have a stereo with an auxiliary cord?”

Dani’s voice snapped Jamie from her thoughts. “Sure,” Jamie murmured. “Just underneath the tele, in the middle of the stand.” She nodded towards her television.

Dani hummed in response and walked over to the TV, and as she bent over to plug her phone in, she looked back at Jamie. “I heard this at the club the other night and something about it just really made me want to dance for you.”

Jamie watched as Dani stood back up and scrolled through her phone. After a moment, the beat to “Candy” By Doja Cat started blaring through Jamie’s speakers. Jamie could feel her heart race as Dani slowly approached her, pulling the blouse fully off and throwing it into the cushion beside Jamie. Dani’s fingers worked at the button of her jeans and as she slid them down her legs, Jamie’s eyes immediately landed on the matching pink laced panties she had on.

She could feel her mouth hang open slightly, awestruck as Dani stood between her legs and looked down at her. Something about getting a personal lap dance in her own apartment was sending chills down her spine, and she could already feel a wetness pool between her legs as Dani sat straddling her lap, both of her knees pressing against the cushion of Jamie’s couch.

I can name a couple ways, baby, this shit might go
You just might forget that this was what you're gettin' hyped for
Late at night, do the things to him, mean that guy who
Need someone who's sweet enough, who'll shoot to make that high note

And it's such a typical thing
Runnin' over a billion men, ooh
Runnin' through a difficult place
You gon' meet a billion hands, ooh

She's just like candy, she's so sweet
But you know that it ain't real cherry
Know that it ain't real cherry
She's just like candy, she's so sweet
But you know that it ain't real
Know that it ain't real

As the lyrics to the song started, Dani slowly ran her hands up Jamie’s arms, grabbing onto her shoulders as she started moving her hips to the music, pressing her ass into Jamie and sending an immediate spark through her core.

“Fuck,” Jamie groaned as the pressure from Dani grinding against her thin sweat pants made her feel more than she had ever felt before - more than she was prepared to feel.

Dani leaned back and Jamie felt herself melt as Dani watched her with intent, separated merely by the flimsy fabric of Jamie’s sweats as she rocked her hips and ass into Jamie’s lap to the rhythm of the song.

Dani dropped her hands from Jamie’s shoulders and reached behind her own back. Jamie watched with wide eyes as Dani slid her straps down her arms and dropped her bra beside her. She stood up from Jamie’s lap and turned around so that her back was now facing Jamie instead. She lowered her back, pressing into Jamie’s chest and rolling her hips as she positioned herself once again in Jamie’s lap.

I can be your sugar when you're fiendin' for that sweet spot
Put me in your mouth, baby, and eat it 'til your teeth rot
I can be your cherry, apple, pecan, or your key lime
Baby, I got everything and so much more than she's got

And it's such a typical thing
Runnin' over a billion men, ooh
Runnin' through a difficult place
You gon' meet a billion hands, ooh

She's just like candy, she's so sweet
But you know that it ain't real cherry
Know that it ain't real cherry
She's just like candy, she's so sweet
But you know that it ain't real
Know that it ain't real

Dani leaned back so that her head rested on Jamie’s shoulder and as she got a whiff of Dani’s sweet peach lotion, she lost track of all sense. Jamie had to remind herself to breathe as she felt Dani’s hot breath against her neck, Dani’s ass grinding down into her heat.

“Touch me,” Dani whispered against her ear. “I need to feel your hands on me.”

Jamie closed her eyes and gasped as she thrust her hips up and pushed herself into Dani, feeling a quick but intense moment of pleasure building between her legs.

Jamie slowly ran her fingers up and down Dani’s arms, softly tracing them against her skin. She moved her hands to Dani’s stomach and ghosted the pads of her fingers across the faint outline of Dani’s abs, her touch feather-like against firm muscles and soft skin. As she reached Dani’s breasts, she ran her palms over top of them, letting Dani’s erect nipples slip and roll between her fingers. Jamie bit her bottom lip, nearly drawing blood as she felt Dani grind roughly against her, rotating her hips to the beat of the song.

She's just like candy, she's so sweet
But you know that it ain't real cherry
Know that it ain't real cherry
She's just like candy, she's so sweet
But you know that it ain't real
Know that it ain't real

Sugar coated, lies unfolded
You still lick the wrapper
It's addictive, you know this
But you still lick the wrapper
Sugar coated, lies unfolded
You still lick the wrapper
It's addictive, you know this
But you still lick the wrapper

Dani continued to grind herself against Jamie, her ass moving with purpose as she pressed deeper into her lap. Jamie could feel the pleasure coming in waves as she thrust her own hips up to meet Dani’s movements.

Jamie gently nibbled Dani’s shoulder before slowly peppering kisses to her neck. Her lips vibrated against Dani’s soft skin as another moan escaped, which seemed to encourage Dani to work even harder. Jamie’s fingers ghosted Dani’s nipples as her hands ran back down her stomach. She guided them along Dani’s sides, down to her legs and slowly dragged them inwards. Jamie grabbed the inside of Dani’s thighs and pulled her in closer, aching to feel as much as possible.

Jamie bit her bottom lip as the waves of pleasure started coming more frequently, her own hips thrusting up, pressing into Dani’s ass to meet every push she grinded out. “God Dani,” Jamie moaned.

She's just like candy, she's so sweet
But you know that it ain't real cherry
Know that it ain't real cherry
She's just like candy, she's so sweet
But you know that it ain't real
Know that it ain't real

She's just like candy, she's so sweet
But you know that it ain't real cherry
Know that it ain't real cherry
She's just like candy, she's so sweet
But you know that it ain't real
Know that it ain't real

Dani’s hips started to work faster as Jamie wrapped her arms around Dani’s abdomen and moved against her with more and more excitement, drawing out grunts of pleasure from Jamie. As Jamie felt herself getting closer to release, she pressed her lips against Dani’s back in an attempt to muffle the noises she was making.

“Fuck, you feel so fuckin’ good,” Jamie choked out. “Getting so close-” She closed her eyes as Dani moved her hips with more purpose. Jamie’s hand started searching Dani’s skin for purchase, needing something to keep her grounded as she started frantically pushing herself against Dani, right at the brink of climax.

Just as Jamie could feel her orgasm tipping over the edge, Dani lifted herself from Jamie’s lap and turned around to face her. Jamie groaned in protest, watching as Dani lowered herself onto her knees between Jamie’s legs.

Dani ran her hands up and down Jamie’s thighs before sliding her hands up to the hem of Jamie’s sweatpants.

“Poppins,” Jamie breathed out. “What are you do-”

“I wanna taste you.” Dani tugged gently on her sweatpants, eyes black with desire.

“Are you sure because-”

“Yes, I’m sure,” Dani’s voice was more certain than Jamie had ever heard, and Jamie could feel her entire body flush at the confidence in her tone. “I’ve been thinking about it all night, so may I?” She tugged again on Jamie’s sweatpants, less gentle and more urgent as she tucked her fingers around the waistband and began to pull. Jamie swallowed, nodding dumbly as she raised her hips to allow Dani to take everything off completely.

Dani threw Jamie’s clothes to the side of the living room and pulled Jamie’s legs forward, causing her to slide further off the couch. She started kissing her way up her inner thigh, all the way up to Jamie’s wetness. “Christ.” Jamie closed her eyes as she felt Dani’s breath slow and steady against her. Dani teasingly dragged her tongue slowly up her slit and Jamie’s eyes snapped open as she immediately anchored her hips, reaching out and weaving her hands into Dani’s hair.

Jamie could feel the vibrations from Dani’s hum of approval before she felt Dani’s tongue slipping deep inside of her. She tangled her hands inside thick blonde waves and bit her bottom lip as she felt the tip of Dani’s tongue press against her clit.

“Oh fuck, yeah just like that.” She threw her head back onto the couch and closed her eyes as she felt Dani’s mouth bury into her. Jamie choked on her own laughter, in complete shock over how incredible Dani felt deep inside of her, licking up all the arousal, claiming it as her own. Jamie moaned Dani’s name over and over, cresting higher and higher toward her release.

“Don’t stop, fuck- please don-” Jamie’s words were cut off as she gasped, the feeling of Dani slipping two fingers inside setting her entire being alight as her hips chased the sensation of Dani's touch.

Dani’s tongue worked insistently and steadily, massaging her clit before sucking it into her mouth and applying the perfect amount of pressure, fingers thrusting deep into her at a matched pace. Dani could feel Jamie tightening around her, quickly approaching the peak of her pleasure and she curled her fingers as her tongue danced across Jamie's sex, pushing faster and deeper as Jamie's hips bucked into her mouth.

Jamie’s grip tightened in Dani’s hair as the pleasure threatened to break, waves of bliss mere moments from spilling over. Dani's fingers filled her with one final thrust and she was coming undone, her legs shaking and closing around Dani’s face as her climax pulsated through her entire body.

Dani continued to lick and suck, guiding Jamie through the aftershocks until Jamie gently tugged on her hair to pull her face away.

“That was incredible,” Jamie sighed, looking to her right as Dani got up from the floor and sat down beside her.

“Wow,” Dani blushed. “That was a lot more fun than I expected.” She looked at Jamie as she wiped around her mouth with the back of her hand. “So it wasn’t bad then?” Jamie raised her eyebrows in surprise at the question and Dani quickly continued her ramble. "It's my first time and I know I have a lot to learn, I just want to make sure it wasn't....bad."

“Bad?” Jamie scoffed. “Did you hear how loud I was? Think you’re about the first person to get me to sing praises like that, Poppins.” Jamie smirked.

“True,” Dani giggled. “You did get pretty loud at the end there.”

Jamie hummed in approval, her hand moving across the cushion of the couch and resting on top of Dani’s leg. She dragged her fingers up Dani’s thigh and ran the tips overtop of Dani’s soaked panties, watching Dani’s eyes shut as she moved the fabric to the side. She rubbed her index finger up and down Dani’s slit. “God, you’re so fucking wet,” Jamie hummed. “C’mere,” she grunted, nodding to the left of her and watching as Dani shifted on the cushion. She swung her leg around Jamie’s lap and sat up so that she was straddling her once again. Dani pressed her forehead against Jamie’s as she wrapped her arms behind her shoulders. She moaned as she felt fingers ghosting along her folds and started rocking her hips against Jamie’s touch, inhaling sharply when Jamie pushed two fingers just past her entrance.

Jamie kissed along Dani’s neck as her fingers played against Dani’s core, gathering up wetness as she moved up to Dani’s clit, pressing and slowly circling against it. Dani hugged Jamie’s shoulders tightly, pressing Jamie’s face closer against her chest.

“Gotta make this quick, we both need sleep.” Dani moaned as Jamie continued to work her fingertips against her clit.

“As you wish,” Jamie whispered, thrusting her fingers fully inside of her.

"Oh, fuck," Dani gasped, hips moving to meet Jamie's pace. It hadn't taken long to learn what Dani liked, what worked her up and what pushed her over the edge, and Jamie grinned as she elicited another moan.

Jamie listened to Dani’s rapid breathing as she pressed into her, feeling proud as Dani rocked her hips against her hand. Dani’s fingertips dug into her back as Jamie wasted no time with her movement, hitting all the right spots, thrusting deep inside as Dani begged for more.

Minutes later and Dani was coming undone, a chorus of Jamie, Jamie, Jamie spilling from her lips against Jamie's shoulder as the world seemed to shatter around them. Dani removed her mouth from Jamie’s shoulder and rested her forehead in its place as Jamie removed her fingers and wiped them against her shirt. She smiled as Dani lifted her head to meet her gaze - and without thinking Jamie did something completely out of the ordinary from the last two weeks. She slowly leaned in and pressed her lips against Dani’s - soft as a feather - and their lips moved slowly together, synchronized like they were made for each other.

Although there had been many kisses exchanged before and during their previous hook ups, there seemed to be an unspoken rule between them - after sex was always off limits. Too intimate. Jamie knew this; she knew intimacy wasn’t part of the contract, part of whatever this was they were doing. But something about the way Dani looked - stray blonde strands of hair sticking to her forehead as the sweat glistened in the living room light, her bright blue eyes piercing through Jamie’s soul, leaving its mark. She couldn’t help herself, it was impossible not to.

After a moment Dani pulled back, softly biting her bottom lip as though she were trying to conceal her smile. “We should probably get some sleep,” Dani murmured. She dropped her arms from Jamie’s shoulders but before she could stand up-

“Have dinner with me.” Jamie blurted out, taking herself and, judging by the way her eyes widened, Dani by surprise.

“Dinner?” Dani repeated slowly with a raised eyebrow.

“Yeah, like food in the evenin’,” Jamie shrugged.

“I know what dinner is,” Dani snorted and rolled her eyes.

“Alright, so have it with me.”

“When?”

“When's your next day off from the club?” Jamie asked.

“Wednesday,” Dani smiled softly.

“Have dinner with me Wednesday then,” Jamie smiled. She grabbed Dani’s hands that were hanging loosely by her side and squeezed them reassuringly, feeling her throat tighten as Dani remained silent and stared at her blankly. A moment of silence passed and Jamie feared she'd made things awkward between the two of them, certain she'd misread the signs and made a fool of herself. She opened her mouth to try to undo the damage but before she could speak, Dani cut in.

“Sure,” Dani whispered. Another moment passed and she was nodding her head. “Yeah, okay.”

“Perfect,” Jamie beamed. “Wednesday it is then.”

“Wednesday,” Dani repeated, getting up from Jamie’s lap.

“So, bedtime?” Jamie stood up from the couch and gestured down the hall. As she followed behind Dani, Jamie could feel her heart racing as she thought about what had just occurred.

She had just asked Dani out on a date.

Even better, she had asked Dani out on a date and Dani said yes.

Relief settled inside upon realization that Dani wasn’t anything like Viola, and that what they were doing - and what they had been doing for the last two weeks was different in every way.

 


 

The next two days flew by and while Dani found herself exhausted, she could barely contain her excitement for her dinner plans with Jamie. She'd spent most of her morning chasing after Miles and Flora and their endless shenanigans, and by the time lunch rolled around, Dani could feel her shoulders slouch as she sighed in relief. Tonight can't come fast enough, she thought to herself.

“Don’t forget to wash your hands,” Dani reminded them both as the three of them entered the kitchen. Miles and Flora both raced to the sink, fighting over who would get to go first.

“Feeling alright today, love?” Hannah stood at the counter, grabbing plates from the cupboard. She looked back at Dani and smiled. “I’ve heard lots of commotion all morning.”

“Yeah,” Dani laughed breathlessly. “The kids have just been an extra-” Dani paused when the kitchen door opened, smiling as she watched Jamie strut in, “handful.”

“Kids giving you a hard time?” Jamie looked over at Dani, winked, and then looked towards Miles and Flora. “Because I’ll sort them out for you if you’d like? Could always use more help picking weeds in the back.”

Dani laughed when both Miles and Flora gasped and started arguing with a synchronized protest. “No, they’ve been great. Just more hyper than usual,” she smiled.

Hannah nodded and handed the plates to Dani. “Would you mind setting these down on the table, dear? I need to grab the cutlery.”

“Not at all.” Dani smiled as she grabbed the plates and walked over to the large table in the dining room.

“You seem tired,” Jamie playfully nudged Dani with her elbow. “Did you want to postpone tonight?” She whispered.

“No,” Dani quickly shook her head. “I’ve been looking forward to it all day.”

“Yeah?” Jamie blushed. “Same here, Poppins. Not gonna lie-” Jamie leaned in even closer to Dani, pressing her lips against her ears, “been wanting to touch you all morning. Can’t stop thinking about it if I’m being honest.”

Dani’s breath hitched as she felt Jamie’s hand rest on her lower back. “Later,” she murmured. Dani could see Jamie smirk as she got ready to reply, but was cut off by a loud ringing that echoed through the kitchen.

Owen looked towards the wall where the phone hung from and raised an eyebrow. “That’s odd, don’t really get calls on the old landline anymore,” he muttered as he walked over to the wall. He grabbed the phone off the adaptor and smiled when he placed it against his ear.

“Hello?” Owen paused for a moment, “Yep, she’s right here.” He looked over at Dani, who was taking a drink from her bottle of water. “It’s for you Dani, a woman named Judy.” Owen held the phone out as his hand covered the bottom.

Dani froze and grasped the bottle tightly in her hand, causing it to make a loud crackling noise. She looked around the room, for some odd reason specifically searching for Jamie.

Jamie’s eyes furrowed as she took a step forward. “Everything alright Poppins?”

Dani swallowed as she felt her throat tighten. She nodded and walked towards Owen, who was watching her with soft eyes as she grabbed the phone from him. “I got it, thanks.” Dani whispered. She grasped the bottom of the phone and cleared her throat, taking a deep breath before putting it up to her ear.

“Judy?” Dani bit her bottom lip.

“Honey, how are you? It feels like it’s been so long.” A soft female voice greeted Dani and suddenly Dani’s shoulders tensed.

“I’m okay, I’ve just been keeping busy. How are you?” Dani could feel her heart race as she watched Jamie take a seat at the kitchen table, her eyes maintaining focus on Dani as she dug her fork into her plate of food.

“Oh we’ve been doing okay over here, we just really miss you. It’s going on a month since we’ve talked and I’ve been so worried about you, sweetie. Last time we spoke, you were settling in and mentioned you hadn’t had a chance to really meet any new people, I hope that’s changed since?” Dani could hear the sincerity in Judy’s voice but felt her stomach swirl with guilt at Judy’s words.

“Yeah, no it’s much better now.” Dani forced a smile. “I’ve actually made a few friends and it’s just been a really great experience so far, just like I said it would be.”

“Oh that’s so good, I’m really glad to hear that. To be honest though, I can’t help but feel like you’ve been avoiding my calls and texts? I don’t mean to be an overbearing mother to you, but I’ve been so worried and it’s not like you to not reply to me, or even call. Are you sure everything is okay?” Dani felt her stomach drop and closed her eyes as she registered Judy’s words.

“Yeah, I’m so sorry. Everything is fine, I promise. I don’t mean to worry you, I’ve just been so busy and life has gotten hectic-”

“But you’re eating and sleeping enough, right?” Judy asked, cutting Dani off.

Dani held in laughter as the thought back to the nights of four hour sleeps she had been getting before spending her evenings at Jamie’s. “Yeah, absolutely.” She hated how naturally lying came to her now, a skill perfected when she still lived in California.

“Okay good, otherwise I’d have to come over to England myself and bring you back home with me,” Judy insisted, and as much as Dani knew it was a joke, she couldn’t help but shudder at the thought of living back home again. “Which reminds me, you’re still coming home next week right?”

And there it was, the reason for the call. Dani knew it deep inside, she knew the date was coming up and had even booked a plane ticket home the same day she booked her flight to London. She had even made the plans for her absence with Henry when she first got hired. But reality had slipped so far away as she spent the last two weeks in the comfort of Jamie - and she found herself forgetting.

Forgetting her debt to Peter.

Forgetting her promises to Judy of keeping in touch.

And most of all, forgetting the anniversary of Eddie’s accident.

The accident that nearly killed him, but didn’t. Instead it left him with the inability to retain most new memories - and a caretaker that visited once a day to help look after all of his needs that could not be dealt with under his own accord otherwise.

How could she allow herself to forget when it was her fault? How could she allow herself to be selfish enough to feel even a moment of undeserved happiness when Eddie could barely remember to feed himself every day? What kind of friend could she call herself if she allowed herself to forget?

Jamie was the answer to it all. Jamie, who Dani had once hoped was the solution but instead was clearly a complication. If the last two weeks had taught Dani anything, it was no matter how much she intended on keeping things casual and fun, something about Jamie made her want more than that. She clearly couldn’t allow herself more than that, because more was causing her to forget.

And Dani wasn’t allowed to forget.

“Yeah, of course.” Dani forced a smile as she watched Jamie roughing up Miles’ hair from her peripherals. “I’ll text you the details later, but I should really get back to the kids.”

“Of course honey, I don’t mean to keep you from your job. It was so nice talking to you, and both Eddie and I are so excited to see you. I love you, sweetie.”

“I’m excited as well, love you too.” Dani nodded and hung up the phone. Her eyes dropped to the floor as she thought of a reason to excuse herself.

“Everything alright?” Owen shouted from the table.

“Yeah,” Dani looked up and saw everyone staring at her. “Just my moth-” Dani paused and shook her head. “Just a close family friend.”

“Good,” Owen smiled. “Well, come on then; food is getting cold.”

“Actually, I need to run out and grab some things for arts and crafts later. Miles and Flora want to make something for Henry since he’ll be here in a couple of weeks for the party.” Dani avoided looking at Jamie as she felt green eyes peering into her soul, igniting a blaze inside of her stomach. She needed to get away; she needed time to think.

“Of course love, but are you sure you’re alright?” Hannah frowned.

“Yeah, I just remembered it while I was on the phone. It shouldn't be longer than an hour.”

“Okay,” Hannah nodded slowly.

Dani continued to avoid looking at Jamie as she grabbed her keys hanging beside the kitchen door. She smiled at everyone else before opening the door and exiting outside.

“Poppins,” Jamie called out as she ran up behind her. Dani reached the red beat-down sedan she’d purchased when she moved to Bly. She closed her eyes for a brief moment before she turned around to meet Jamie’s furrowed eyes. “Are you sure everything is okay?”

“Yeah Jamie, I’m fine.” Dani sighed. Feeling her chest tighten when the words came out much harsher than intended.

“Okay, sorry.” Jamie mumbled and took a step back. “You just looked like you’ve seen a ghost, wanted to make sure.”

“I know, I didn’t mean for it to come out like that.” Dani apologised.

“S’all good,” Jamie shrugged. “But I’m here if you need to talk to anyone, you know that yeah?”

“I know,” Dani’s eyes dropped to the ground. “I appreciate it.”

“Good,” Jamie shoved her hands into her pockets. “Well, I guess I’ll head back in then. I’ll see you later tonight,” Jamie smiled. “I’d offer to pick you up but Hannah is getting extremely suspicious, so did you just want to meet at my place and I’ll drive us over?”

“Actually,” Dani winced at her own words. “I thought about what you said and I think it’ll be better to postpone.”

“Oh?” Jamie raised an eyebrow.

“Yeah, I am pretty tired. I work until close tomorrow so I’ll need to make sure I get enough sleep tonight.” Even though I only ever get a decent sleep when I’m with you, she thought, not daring to speak the words out loud no matter how much she wanted to.

“I see,” Jamie cleared her throat. “And there’s nothing in particular that caused you to change your mind in the last five minutes?” Dani could hear the hint of agitation in Jamie’s tone, and she couldn’t blame her. Jamie had been so patient with Dani’s erratic temperament that it was only a matter of time before she got to this point.

“No, I’m really sorry. It’s just the lack of sleep I’ve been experiencing. I felt tired when you asked me a few minutes ago, but I was too excited and stubborn to say no. The more I think about it though, the more responsible it is to stay in tonight, ensure I get a full night's rest and all.” Dani looked down as she played with the keys in her hands. “But I really should get going, or else I won’t be back before the children are done eating.”

“Right, understood,” Jamie nodded. “I’ll leave you to it.” Jamie turned on her heels but stopped when Dani grabbed her by the arm.

“Jamie, I’m sorry.” Dani frowned.

“No need to be sorry, Poppins. You’ve made it pretty clear that you aren’t up for this,” Jamie sighed and gestured her hand back and forth between them. She started heading back towards the manor and stopped, looking back with a soft smile. “Another night, maybe; another time, maybe.” She shrugged.

The words were harsh, but deserved. They repeated over and over again inside of Dani’s head as she opened her car door and entered calmly, turning the key in the ignition before snapping her seatbelt into place. Another night, maybe. She suddenly smacked her hand against the top of the steering wheel - she blew her chance and she knew it. There was no way Jamie had any patience left for her, certainly she’d had enough of Dani’s sporadic behaviour by now. Who could blame her?

Even if Jamie meant what she'd said, even if she did have another chance, Dani knew her time had run out. There was no more time for wishful thinking, distracting fantasies that engulfed what little free time she had - she'd indulged her selfish desires long enough. No more Jamie, just the manor and the nightclub.

 


 

Jamie entered the club that night with exactly one goal in mind: get drunk enough to forget the look of pity on Dani's face when she cancelled their date.

Rebecca had already made a couple of attempts at talking to her and any other night, Jamie would have appreciated the endeavor, the dedication to right what's been wronged without so much as a hint to the problem. But tonight, she just wanted to be left alone with her thoughts and her scotch.

“Another please, Becs.” Jamie slid her glass forward and grabbed her phone out of her pocket, reading 12:03am on the screen.

“Jamie, this is your seventh one. Are you sure you don’t want to talk about it?” Rebecca rested her elbows on the bar top and positioned her chin in the palm of her hands.

“I’m sure, this’ll be my last one anyway,” Jamie sighed.

“It’s not about wanting to cut you off, it’s about being your friend and having a bit of concern for the obviously shit day you’ve had.”

Jamie opened her mouth to reply but stopped when she felt a large hand rest on her shoulder. “Rebecca, stop hassling poor Jamie over here. If the girl wants another drink, do as she asks.” Peter’s voice came from behind her, and Jamie didn’t need to look back to know he was scowling as he watched Rebecca. She looked up and gave Rebecca a soft smile, apologising for being the cause of any grief she’d have to deal with from Peter.

“It’s all right, mate. She was just being friendly, wanting to make sure I was good, yeah?” Jamie looked beside her as Peter sat down on the free stool.

“Well, it’s not her job to take note of how many drinks you’ve had. You come here not to be judged, but to be free instead,” Peter grinned.

“Technically it is my job, but again I wasn’t-”

“That’ll be all, Rebecca,” Peter snapped, cutting her off. “Why don’t you go see if there are other customers you can tend to?” He waved Rebecca away and smiled as she walked to the other end of the bar.

“Quite the catch, isn’t she?” Peter elbowed Jamie and pointed his thumb out beside him, towards Rebecca.

“Yeah, she’s great,” Jamie mumbled.

“But not who you’re interested in, that much is obvious,” Peter hummed.

“What are you on about?” Jamie raised an eyebrow.

“I’ve seen you with Skye, seems you’ve taken quite a liking to her.” He drank from the beer he held tightly in his hand.

“Not sure what you're trying to insinuate, but I don’t like her any more than any of the other dancers here.”

“Right, so why is it none of the other strippers have given you a dance in weeks since Skye showed up?” Peter smirked, taking another drink.

“That’s not true. M’not sure where you heard that from, but you have your facts all wrong, mate.” Jamie lied, the fear of getting Dani in trouble with Peter, who clearly had it out for her, weighing heavily in her chest.

“Right, whatever you say,” Peter winked. “But a bit of advice with that one, you might want to watch yourself with her. She’s not one to keep her legs shut, can’t exactly be sure of where she’s been.”

Jamie felt her heart race as her grip tightened around her glass of scotch. She bit the inside of her cheek as it took everything in her to not yell and curse at him, to not sock him right where he sat with that smug look on his face. “Should have more respect for the women that work for you, mate. They work bloody hard, and have to deal with pervy men hitting on them all night long.”

“And women,” Peter looked Jamie up and down. “Not you, per say, but others that come in and out of here.”

“Right,” Jamie rolled her eyes. “Either way, show a little respect for them.”

“I do have respect for them,” Peter sighed and drank from his beer. “But Skye, she’s different. She’s been with me awhile, followed me here all the way from the United States. I know her better than I know Rebecca here. That woman will only use you and then toss you away with the rest of her exes when she’s done with you. Can’t commit to a goddamn thing.” Peter tossed his head back as he downed the rest of his beer. “Anyways, I should get back to making my rounds. Always a pleasure, Jamie.” He stood up and nodded.

Jamie scoffed as he walked away. What Peter had said was absolutely ludicrous, he clearly didn’t know Dani at all.

But the more Jamie sat and thought about it, the more Peter’s words got to her. The last two and a half weeks they had spent together were incredible, but even with all the time spent exploring, they still never really got to know one another. Dani still seemed like she was holding something back - and if her behaviour today was anything to go by, maybe Jamie didn’t know Dani as well as she had hoped. Maybe Peter was right - and Jamie was just seeing what she wanted to see.

Maybe Jamie had convinced herself so hard of all the ways Dani wasn’t like Viola, that she completely missed all the ways that she was.