The Diva's Dilemma - "Aliyah"
The Grind! They‘d taken me to the freakin‘ Grind for my birthday!
"Welcome to The Grind, ladies." The host, a Greek god brought to life wearing nothing more than a pair of skintight shorts and a smile, met us at the door. Considered the hottest nightclub in town, virtually every single, single-woman with a pulse under the age of ninety had been there from the day the doors opened almost a year ago. Six months after it opened, "Ballers" closed its doors.
I never planned on setting foot inside The Grind, but privately, I celebrated Ballers demise. The all-male staff represented their daily "grind" by dressing accordingly…only with a mucho sexy twist.
I sat back, folded my arms, silently staring them down. Destiny returned my stare, upping it with an accompanying brow-lift and swivel of her neck.
"Why did you guys bring me here?"
"We just want you to think about what you’re giving up ‘liyah." Dani lightly touched my arm. Her gentle touch belaying her need to scream over Kool and the Gang’s Ladies Night.
"But you know I’m not about this type of thing." I slashed my hand through the air emphasizing my point.
"We know that. But before you go any further down that path, we want to make sure that you’re sure about your newfound vow to swear off men completely." Diamond yelled back.
"Besides," Dani reached into her clutch pulling out a flyer and waved it around, "I got this flyer for two for one!"
"I’m here because of a flyer? You know, you could have at least given me the illusion that you guys were paying full price."
"You know we broke for real. I’m going to be paying off student loans for the next thousand years. But think of it this way, we get to spend twice as much on your gift."
"Where’s my gift Dani?"
"Uhhh…Penney’s has this HUGE sale starting tomorrow…."
Shaking my head, I closed my eyes in disbelief. "I give up….again."
"Consider it a walk down memory lane for when you get old and nobody wants your dried up butt." Destiny laughed at her own quip. "But seriously though, we thought this would be a cool place to celebrate your b-day and see some hot guys who knows the rules before the game starts. Besides," she leaned back as the waiter dressed as a super-sexy postal carrier sat her drink before her. "…I don’t want to have to slap anyone over their man tonight. It’s open season on every man in here and they’re not only willing to be caught, they’ll slow down for you to catch them."
"You know, most people just take their friends out to dinner and maybe a movie."
"Their wings are banging," Dani supplied.
I smirked in her direction and continued. "The very last thing anyone thinks of when coming here is food."
Destiny smiled brightly, "Lucky for you, we’re not most friends. Now, will you just sit back and enjoy your daiquiri." At my hesitation to pick up the drink, Destiny rolled her eyes. "Unlike you, it’s virgin."
"Oh, it’s like that?"
"All day long."
"I’ve reclaimed my virtue."
"I’m going to reclaim that daiquiri if you don’t pick it up," she finished with a smirk.
I took a sip of the aforementioned drink and watched a newly single Dani visually take in all the men in various stages of undress around us. "This is like going to a banquet the day you come off a diet." Her voice began to trail off as two men, identical in everything from head to toe wearing shiny leather pants and vests that zipped up the front stopped at our table. As one flashed his tongue ring and winked at her, she finished, "You just don’t know where to start."
"I’d know where to start," Mr. Tongue-ring commented with a nod of his head.
"I just bet you would." I sneered, eyeing him doubtfully, hoping to encourage him to move on. They both ignored the frost in my voice as his twin spoke. "Aliyah Montgomery?"
Tilting my head I began to wonder if someone’s placed a "Hello" badge on me without my knowledge. "Yes?"
"We’d like to welcome you to The Grind." Their smiles were big and bright and almost as mesmerizing as their tattooed biceps. "According to your friends," his words suddenly seemed to echo throughout the room. "Not only are you here to celebrate your birthday, but you’re an amazing dancer!" Women all over the building began to scream and clap. Including my three former friends. I started shaking my head no. I barely wanted to be here, never mind point out my presence to everyone. It was bad enough they announced my name and that I was celebrating my birthday.
"Let’s give her a hand ladies!"
As he hyped up the crowd, his double-mint twin took my hand, pulling me to the stage as he whispered in my ear, "Relax. It’s going to be super easy and super quick." He led me to a spot on center stage where a large, plush ottoman sat. "Tonight’s featured dancer is The Punisher," he said close to my ear. When I straightened and stepped back, his hand on my back stopped me. "He’s a super nice guy and wouldn’t swat a fly if it perched on his sandwich. When he comes out, look nervous, but brave. When he gives chase, fake like you’re going to run and let him catch you and dance." He held his hand out indicating that I should sit which I did immediately. My knees were beginning to knock together. Taking a single ballroom dance course almost three years ago hadn’t trained me for anything they could have had in mind. Besides, I’d done well up to this point with the whole yield not to temptation and look but don’t touch thing and unless the dance they decided to do was the electric slide, touching was a guaranteed event. I looked to my girls seated at the foot of the stage and shrugged as if to ask what to do next. They were hooting and whistling as loud as the rest of the fools in the building. Diamond even gave me a thumbs up.
"You’ve been a bad girl, Aliyah."
Desperately, I looked around attempting to locate the source of the voice overwhelming me. "Bad girl…girl…girl…." I looked towards my girls in the hope that they could clue me in only to notice equally confused looks on their faces. "I’m gonna have to teach you…teach you…teach you…." Every other woman in the place was screaming with delight as fog slowly started to curl around my feet. "It’s time you were punished!"
My heart hammered in my chest as a trap door approximately ten feet away slid open exposing first a head of midnight black curls cascading forward obscuring most of his face. I love men with long hair. Fact is, it was Xavier’s hair that first caught my attention. But I refuse to think about him. Thinking about him would only tick me off and ruin the rest of my night.
Maybe my love of long hair went back to my childhood of doing my dolly’s hair. Even without seeing all of him, I wanted to run my fingers through this man‘s hair. Test its springy texture. Feel the weight of it in my hands. A leather harness wrapped about his massive torso drawing attention to the nipple rings screaming touch me, tease me…. PULL ME! Washboard abs proceeded tree trunks moonlighting as thighs encased in zippered black rubber with locks. A pair of nunchaku hung loosely in his hand. Slowing I pushed the ottoman back with my feet.
"Want to try some new things with me, Aliyah?"
It couldn’t be him. God was not that cruel and my friends were not that crazy. This couldn’t be happening. But as he lifted his head and his eyes met mine, I knew that it was. I distinctly heard Prince ricochet through the air singing about screaming like a white lady as the Punisher’s lips curled into a panty-melting smile and heat like I hadn’t felt in more than a year pooled in my belly and spread out.
"I don’t want to hurt you----much." He lifted the nunchaku to his mouth licking them boldly. I would have sighed had I not found myself searching for a less than obvious way to make a mad dash from the stage.