Look Don't TouchBy: Tess Oliver
Jack's attention was temporarily diverted as Dorothy of Oz walked past the table. He reached up and stuck some money in her g-string. He dropped back down in his chair. "How is your dad anyway?"
"The doctors give him four months. He's down to about a hundred fifty pounds, which on his frame makes him look like a skeleton."
"Guess that 'laser focus' chant doesn't do you much good when you're facing the big C," Jack said with a shake of his head that landed his bangs in his eyes. Recently, he'd decided to let his hair grow long, thinking it gave him an edgy vibe. Mostly, it just made him look like he was trying to be a teen again. "Death," Jack continued. "It's the one thing that makes us all equal. You can have a bank account worth more than a major city, but when the grim reaper comes around, he doesn't accept bribes."
The music started back up. "You are full of all kinds of philosophical bullshit tonight."
"Yep." He drummed the table for a second to go along with the beat of the song and to add to the clamor of idiots at the next table, yelling and drooling as they waited for the next dancer. "Speaking of your dad, did you tell him that you lost your job? Shit, that might just put him in his grave faster than the cancer."
Jack knew enough about me and my unorthodox upbringing to talk casually and coarsely about my dying dad. I probably wouldn't take it from anyone else, but Jack was different. He was my sounding board, the person who occasionally kept me grounded. But only when I wanted to be grounded. Which was rare.
"My life is none of his damn business anymore. Besides, he's pretty buzzed on morphine most of the time. I think he's finally coming to grips with the fact that he's not invincible." I refilled my glass. "Guess that's the lesson I learned today too."
"You haven't told me exactly what happened."
The lights on stage dimmed, then lit back up. "Introducing the newest addition to Fantasm's hot entertainment line-up—Shay Starling. And you asshole's up front," Rocky continued, "behave or else."
I sat forward to respond to Jack. "Let's just say my cock got in the way of business. I've been—" A flicker of movement pulled my attention to the stage.
The new dancer strutted out to an old Bon Jovi classic. She had a black top hat pulled down over her shiny hair. Her long white blonde bangs were pushed into a fringe over her big eyes, eyes that could only be topped by the full, lush lips beneath her tiny nose. She moved like smooth cream as she gracefully flowed across the stage on incredibly long legs. She was wearing a black tail coat over a blue sequined vest. I caught a glimpse of a matching blue g-string as the panels of her coat fluttered apart.
Jack kicked my foot under the table to grab back my attention. "She's something, eh?"
It took me a second to drag my gaze away from the woman on stage. "Huh? Yeah. Shit. She's in the wrong place."
"So what the hell are you going to do now?" Jack asked, without taking his eyes off the dancer.
I returned my attention to the stage as well. "I've got to get my life back in control."
A short laugh shot from Jack's mouth. "Maybe you need to apply some of your dad's militant, draconian methods of self-denial. Didn't you tell me once that he caught you masturbating and he went full dictator on you?"
I nodded and thought about how crazy that story sounded in my head whenever I replayed it. "I was fifteen."
"Yep, that's the age I remember jacking off every fucking chance I got. My mom thought I was having digestion problems because I spent so much time in the bathroom. She made me eat stewed prunes for a week."
"Stewed prunes would have been a treat compared to what I went through." I stopped for a second and rolled my fists as one of the goobers at the next table climbed halfway onto the stage. Rocky, a big, brutish guy with a lot of skull tattoos was there in a split second, yanking the fool off the stage.
I sat back and stretched my legs out. "I was in the shower, doing my thing, when Dad just barged into the bathroom. He told me masturbating was the reason I was bringing home Bs instead of As in math."
Jack laughed. "Well that explains me failing geometry."
I took a drink of beer and watched as the black tail coat dropped off the dancer's slim, white shoulders. Her skin looked smooth as silk. My cock tightened as I envisioned myself trailing hot kisses down the center of her back.