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As Luck Would Have It

The demons were dancing

By Tina D'AngeloPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 10 min read
As Luck Would Have It
Photo by Albert Dera on Unsplash

Slender Legs in black silk stockings splayed as I rode the wooden chair, every man anticipating my next move, when I saw him- the only man in the room looking into my eyes. I tried to avoid looking directly back at him as I continued my chair gymnastics. Instead, I glanced in the mirror behind the stage and found that he was doing the same thing. Again, with those eyes on mine reflecting back at me.

As the song ‘Fever’, by Peggy Lee poured out of the speakers, drowning the audience in sizzling heat, I began the stocking routine, wearing only my heels, stockings, and a sequined G-String that barely covered the important parts. From a perfect Chinese split on the chair, I leaned back, pulled my legs together delicately, then extended them over my head, dropping my high heels casually on the stage floor.

Slipping my right toe into the top of my left stocking I smoothly glided it off my leg and dropped it into a puff of black silk next to my heels. I did the same with the other leg, and you could have heard a pin drop in that place. There is something of a little boy in every man that is fascinated by a woman removing her stockings. It was a very popular show.

Despite the crowd’s attention, I kept my eyes on the man who was keeping his eyes on me. Every time I surreptitiously tried to peek over at ‘him’, his eyes bored into me, leaving me breathless and blushing. What the heck was wrong with me? I was supposed to be making them breathless and blushing. It was a train wreck, and I was about to become a casualty, but I could not look away.

After my show, I scooped up the discarded gown, and undergarments then slipped my shoes and robe on before descending into the crowd from the stage. I examined the room for another exit to the hotel that did not take me past ‘his’ table. I wasn’t certain I could walk past ‘him’ without tripping over my own feet.

He could have been an axe murderer, and with my past experiences with men, he probably was.

I tried to look anywhere but at ‘him’ on my way to the hotel door. As I neared ‘his’ table I heard a low rumble aimed my way, “Excuse me, Miss?”

Good Lord, I could have gotten very used to that growl whispering into my ear in the dark. It brought goosebumps out all over me and I shivered in my heels and robe, not from the cold. All of those fleshly demons had crawled out of my curly hair to play, egging me on. ‘You know you want him. Go for it!’

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.” I remarked casually…Liar, liar, liar, pants on fire. He was all I could focus on for the past ten minutes and now I had no idea what to say to him.

Even worse than his beautiful, brown, mesmerizing eyes, which I’d already had the pleasure of meeting, and his deadly charming voice, he had shoulders to die for, hard, muscled arms I could almost feel around me, and lips that made me want to suck them off his face. But I digress.

“Any chance I could talk you into coming back down and having a drink with me?” He asked in his incredibly sexy, baritone voice.

I could tell trouble when I saw it. He would be trouble. I’d had just about enough trouble for one lifetime. I stuttered, “Oh, I’d better not. It was a long day. I should get some sleep, you know, go to bed,” hoping like hell he couldn’t read the rest of that sentence in my mind. Like the where, and with whom.

“Aw, please?” He begged, “I’ve been working in town for six months now and it’s getting pretty lonely. Just a couple of minutes. I promise.”

I could not, in my wildest imagination, believe this guy had ever been lonely. He must have had a good reason to lie to me. I checked his ring finger for indentations left from a hastily pulled-off wedding ring. Nope. Nothing. Dear Lord, here I go again. My only problems in life were the inability to say ‘no’, and my lack of self-control. Other than those, I was almost perfect.

“Okay, I’ll have to change before I sit in the audience though,” I told him, trying to slip away before my shaking knees went out on me.

I changed into the knee-length, peach halter top dress that my agent had chosen for me in Toronto after she found out I wore blue jeans when I sat in the clubs between shows. She had complained, “If you must dress like a farmer in the field, don’t do it while you’re working for me.” Then she took me shopping for proper club attire. Tonight, I was happy she had because I felt very good in my new wardrobe. I had even added a few delicate gold chain necklaces that dripped into my cleavage tauntingly.

When I got back to his table he ordered a 7&7 for me and after the waiter delivered it to our table he said, “So, I’m going to guess you’re American, eh?” He joked, looking away from my cleavage. That was good. He knew I was American. He was a genius. Our children were going to be very smart.

“Yeah, um, and, uh, where are you from? I mean, I know you’re Canadian, but where in Canada are you from?” I stuttered awkwardly. Well, some of our children were going to be smart, anyway.

“I’m from London. I’m working in Guelph on a construction job. Been here way too long.” He complained as he resumed his staring competition with me, “Mike, by the way. And you are?”

“Um, what? I’m sorry.” The roaring in my ears was drowning out the conversation, and my darned nipples were misbehaving. Down, girls, down. What the heck? Stop. Stop. Just stop it. Good grief. How embarrassing. I crossed my arms in front of me to hide their enthusiasm.

“Your name? What’s your real name?” He wanted to know.

“Oh, Tina. That’s my real name.” I kept trying to not look into his eyes. They were going to be the death of me.

I was feeling very deja-vu-like. My ex, Jake, who had ripped my life up from stem to stern had been working on a construction site out of town when we met. I had to assume Mike was married because why not?

The bartenders yelled, “Last call”, and Mike complained, “We hardly got a chance to talk. Just keep me company for breakfast, that’s all. I promise to bring you right back.”

Boom. That’s what happened with Jake. Just a drink. Then just breakfast. Then a year and a half later, poof, it was over, except for the scars. I had only recently gotten back on my emotional feet. I should have walked away. Except there would be no tragic story to write and what’s the fun in that?

“Well, Okay. I’ll go get my jacket and meet you in the hotel lobby.” I squeaked out, trying to stand up on wobbly legs and make it upstairs before I passed out from excitement- or maybe it was from fright.

Things went from bad to worse. Mike also had a blue truck, similar to Jake’s truck, which I had smashed to hell with a crowbar after one of our messy break-ups. Well, at least I had prior revenge experience in case Mike decided to break my heart. I even knew how to unscrew all the lug nuts on the tires. So, there was that.

As we drove to the restaurant I couldn’t stop staring at his big, rough hands on the steering wheel and his perfect profile. Just looking at his hands made me shiver and my demons were laughing at me. They knew they had won already. Even before I knew. I was dumb like that.

After we ordered breakfast Mike told me about his recent past. Or what he said was his recent past. At that point, I had a hard time believing anything a man told me. I expected the worst from them and was seldom disappointed.

“I hope it doesn’t turn you off, but I just got divorced before I went on the road to work. I didn’t want to pretend I don’t have a past, you know, eh?” He said apologetically.

“Turn me off? No. I’m glad you were honest about it. That rarely happens to me. No. That never happens to me. Thank you.” I was sort of in shock and still not convinced he was telling me the whole truth.

“Well, I’d like to get to know you a little, and it’s not good to start with lies, eh? How about you?”

“Um, I just broke up with my ex-boyfriend about six months ago too. He ended up being married. It was pretty ugly.” I admitted.

“Man, I’m sorry. That sucks. Are you over him, or is he kind of holding you back from moving on?” He wanted to know.

“I thought he was. I’m not sure anymore though.” I answered truthfully, “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.” He said between bites of waffles dripping with way too much butter and syrup.

If he was going to live long enough to help me raise our children he'd better change his eating habits, I thought.

“Why weren’t you watching my chair routine like everyone else? No one ever looks at ‘me’ when I’m dancing. Why were you?” I quizzed, staring into his eyes, just like he did with me.

“I don’t know, honestly. I just liked your smile and your eyes. What? Is that weird or something?” He said awkwardly.

“Well, not weird. Just unusual. Most guys are trying to see past my G-String, that’s all.”

“I’m pretty sure that may have been on my mind too. Mostly, though, I just liked you from the first time I saw you onstage, even before you started to strip.”

Good answer. Good answer. All right. I give up. There was no downside to this guy- yet. I’m sure to find it eventually. Tonight was not the night to do investigative work though. If there was bad news it could wait.

We got back into his truck for the ride back to my hotel and when he leaned over to kiss me, I found myself moaning and leaning into his arms, wanting more. My hiatus from men was officially over.

He pulled out onto the highway, keeping one hand on my thigh, driving me out of my mind. I struggled to light a cigarette with shaking fingers, immediately dropping the lit cigarette onto the driver’s side floorboard as we were going 80 miles an hour.

The cigarette landed on the rug and flared up, setting Mike’s pant leg on fire. We both panicked and I undid my seat belt and tried to reach down to pat the flames out with my hands. He tried to carefully pull over but had to over-correct when a semi passed us on the right.

I remembered burning my fingers, then hitting my head on the bottom of the steering wheel before I was thrown sideways into the console like a rag doll, headfirst.

When I woke up there were red and blue lights flashing everywhere and I wasn’t able to sit up. I laid my head back down and heard the metallic clank of a door shutting. The siren was the last thing I heard before I woke up in a hospital room, with someone shining a bright light into my eyes.


About the Creator

Tina D'Angelo

Coming in 2023, G-Is for String. A memoir about life in the dance lane during the 1970s and 80s. By dancing, I'm talking exotic. Romances, running, and surviving. On the way to the publisher!

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Comments (2)

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  • Mark Gagnon3 months ago

    Was that your idea of a hot date?

  • D-Donohoe3 months ago

    Yes??? You can’t stop there!!!

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