By Kassandra Cox
“Let’s give it up for…Miss Candy Cane,” the booming voice of the announcer rang out and Stephie stepped from behind the curtain, her red and white striped costume flowing as she strode boldly across the platform. Making a beeline toward center stage, she tried her best to focus on putting one foot in front of the other and the pole in front of her that stretched from stage to ceiling. A cold sweat broke out on her body and she trembled as she took the stage for the first time. She steadfastly avoided eye contact of any kind with the men hooting and hollering in the audience. She could do this; she had to. She’d always loved music and loved to dance so how hard could it be? After having practiced a dozen times today before the club opened, she was as ready as she’d ever be.
Focus, Stephie, she told herself as her hand closed around the rubber grips on the shiny metal pole, still warm from the last dancer’s body. Without the extra money from her taking this part time job for the next few weeks, they wouldn’t have any kind of Christmas at all. They’d never had much, but this year they’d hit rock bottom.
Bobby was the light of her life and all she had in this world. Just three years, old, his light blond hair and emerald green eyes along with his sunny disposition charmed all of the ladies, but none more than her. Which brought her to center stage tonight. Collecting herself, she let her body sway to the music, her lithe frame beginning to gyrate to the beat of the song.
Stephie’s arms slid up the pole, reaching above her head and she rocked her hips in perfect synchronicity with the racy tune. She’d selected Santa Baby as her song, knowing that she’d be stripping here only for the week leading up to the holidays. Well, at least that was the plan. She would give her son a lovely Christmas filled with happy memories, gifts and good food. The tall, dark and handsome Santa on her personal wish list would take a back burner. She’d broken off her relationship with Paul, once she made the decision to strip. She knew he would have wanted to step in and fix things, but her independence wouldn’t allow it. Her heart still ached at having pushed him away and she wondered if maybe once the holiday was over he’d take her back.
Wrapping one leg around the pole, she rocked her hips forward, matching the beat of the music as the catcalls rang out from the spectators. Tossing her hair with the flip of her head, she shrugged out a shoulder, then the other. Dropping the long striped jacket to the floor showcased her tiny red break away shorts and the skimpy white tank top. One hand on the pole, she spun around it, still rocking to the beat, her hips swaying and her shoulders shimmying. Letting her eyes roam the eager faces of the leering men, she quickly lowered them but not before catching a glimpse of a red suit standing off to the side. What the hell was a Santa doing in a Gentleman’s Club?
Her long chestnut hair whipped around as she lifted herself from the floor, one leg and arm secured to the pole as she arched her back, bending way over backward. With a little swing, she was back on the ground. Kicking the jacket back behind the curtain, she hooked her thumbs in the tiny shorts, teasing as her hip swayed to the beat. Gripping the waistband, she tugged separating the little snaps holding the cloth secure before tossing it aside, leaving only a candy cane striped G-string, Next, she peeled off the tank, revealing a miniscule matching push up bra. Panic set in at the thought of giving up the bra and her face was already warming in embarrassment. Continuing the dance routine, she spun around the pole, gyrating to the catcalls. Wrapping her legs tightly around the pole, she shimmied up like she did in rehearsal, shifting her body so that she was upside down and clinging with the thighs, her arms free. Slowly she reached around to the clasp on her bra remembering why she was here. Eyes shut tight, she unfastened the tiny garment and threw it aside. Now topless, she set herself back down and shimmied along barely able to breathe or look.
Money waved at the perimeter of the raised stage and she knew she had to go over there. Still swaying, she made her way to the horde of men waiting and began to shift her body this way and that, the feel of their fingers on her as they stuffed the money into her tiny panties caused a swell of mild panic which she forced aside. Doing as she was taught, she moved swiftly to the next group, never staying still too long and doing her best to keep her eyes roving over the group and never settling onto any one person. Thankfully, no one was getting too grabby.
Raising her head, she peered out into the audience to see how many man still crowded the stage. She’d been instructed to allow all of the clients who wished to tip to get a turn, but to exit quickly the second they were done. The music pulsed in her veins and the bright lights heated her flesh, causing sweat to glisten on her skin. It looked as though the group was thinning and she began to pull back slightly when she saw a Santa figure off to the side with very familiar eyes. She knew that shape, that face. Without a word, he leapt onto the stage and swung her into his arms, kissing her soundly on the mouth. It was a stamp of ownership and left her in no doubt that her Christmas Wish was about to come true.