Here we go with installment #3. I hope you enjoy finding more out the person behind the gloss and glitter! Enter our heroine!
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Hustle Into Love
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Ignoring the screams and shouts of her fans, Chantal Montgomery carefully creamed off the heavy stage makeup she wore. It had been a decent evening. The spotlight hadn’t faltered, and the music had been cued up correctly. No one had tried to jump onstage, and she hadn’t been cornered by the club owner trying to force her into a date. She’d been ready to punch him again if he even tried.
In her head, she added this night’s work to her savings. A smile curved her lips. Another few months and she’d have enough to leave this dive and look for a better venue. She had plans and they didn’t include working in a place where most of the patrons expected her to do lap dances in addition to the ones she executed on stage.
She knew she had talent, but she also knew it would be up to her to make sure the world knew about it. No talent scout was going to venture through the doors of the Pink Panda Dance Club to find her.
Yawning, Chantal stretched her tired body. No matter where she performed, she always gave one hundred percent to her act. President, prince or pervert, she really didn’t care. It was the the dance that counted.
“Hey there, girl.” The sound of a woman’s smoker-husky voice made her jump. “You got a visitor.”
Chantal rolled her eyes as she grabbed up a bottle of moisturizer. “For God’s sake, Melanie. You know I don’t see any of the audience after a show. It’s…verboten. Yeah… That’s right. Verboten. My word of the day. It means—”
“—forbidden…prohibited.” A man’s musical voice made her go still. “From the German, if I remember correctly.”
Whipping around defensively, Chantal could only blink. Instead of the big, smelly, randy drunk she was expecting, she was confronted with a short, elegant man in a perfectly pressed gray suit, the cost of which, could have put her through college.
He was obviously Asian, very slender, with compact neat features and coal black hair which he wore slicked back on his head. His tilted eyes were the same dark black as his hair, and he looked to be about a generation older than Chantal’s nineteen years. After sketching a short bow, he smiled at her. “My apologies if I startled you.”
Chantal shook her head in bemusement. For some reason she couldn’t fathom, he made her want to smile back. He definitely wasn’t like any of the other guys who’d tried to bully their way backstage. No, this guy was a gentleman. Any fears she may have had drifted away. “No one gets back here after my act. Melanie must have liked the look of you.”
“More likely,” he said, his eyes twinkling, “she liked the look of my wallet.”
Knowing how avaricious Melanie could be, Chantal snorted out a laugh. “How much did it cost you?”
“I would have paid much more for a moment of your time.”
“Do tell.” Chantal’s neck prickled in sudden concern. “And just why did you bribe your way backstage? What do you want, exactly?”
“I want you, Chantal Montgomery.”
“And here I was just beginning to like you.” Disappointment filled her and she turned her back on him. He’d seemed like a nice guy, but... “Can you find your way out or do I need to call security?”
“No. No.” He held up his hands in a non-threatening manner. “I am not being clear with you. Forgive me.”
Wary now, she swiveled her chair back to face him. “So be clear. Why are you here?”
“I have a proposition for you, Ms. Montgomery. I believe we can be of benefit to each other.”
“You can fancy up the word any way you like, but I’m still calling security.”
He looked briefly disconcerted then his face cleared. “Ahhh, you believe… No, my dear, still you misunderstand me. While I think you a very attractive and sexy young woman, that is not what I want from you.” He glanced at her robe-clad body and shrugged politely. “I am not interested in you in that way.”
“You’re not?” Chantal eyed the older man with renewed interest as he shrugged again, almost apologetically. The light dawned as his face took on a ruddy hue, and she found herself relaxing. “Oh. Got it. Not interested. Well, good.”
“May we start again, perhaps?”
Leaning back, she eyed him speculatively. “Sure. Now that my virtue is secure, I’m listening. So what’s the proposition?”
In answer, he handed her a card. Frowning, she took and read it.
If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person
Her head snapped up. “Forever Young? You mean that cosmetic line? You work for them?”
He smiled, obviously pleased. “You know of us. Good. And it is a full body care line, not only cosmetics. We use only the purest and most wholesome ingredients and make sure our products are completely natural. We want women to experience a total difference in skin care when using our line. We believe in being beautiful from the inside out.”
Chantal stared at him. He sounded like one of the company’s brochures. “All I know is it’s supposed to be the hottest thing ever to come out of Asia. And it’s hideously expensive.”
“Unfortunately, that is so.” He nodded sadly. “We are a new company and while we are receiving high praise for the products, we are still relatively unknown to the general public. Once we get more customers we hope to be able to drop the cost so more women can benefit from it.”
“Okay, that’s all great, but what does it have to do with me? If you’re looking for a spokesperson, you’ve come to the wrong place. I don’t speak in public, I dance. And I don’t think your clients would appreciate someone like me anyway.”
He beetled his brows at her. “You will explain that remark.”
Chantal sighed. “Look.” She glanced down at the card. “Lee, is it?”
“Lì, but Lee will do.”
She shrugged. “Lì. I’m no model, and I’m definitely from the wrong side of the Las Vegas strip. The people you want to impress all stay at Caesar’s Palace, the Mirage or the Bellagio. I’m more the Motel 6 type, if you know what I mean. I don’t belong with your product.”
“What is this fascination you people have with Caesar’s and the Mirage,” Lì muttered. “I do not care about this. It makes no difference.”
Chantal didn’t know what he was grousing about, but he was too nice of a guy to lead on. She had to make him understand. “Hey. Thanks for the offer. It’s really sweet of you to be interested in me, but I’m a dancer. I don’t even want to be some spokesperson, even for a product that is supposed to be as wonderful as yours. All I want to do is dance.”
“And that, my dear is just what I want to talk to you about.”
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Hugs to all,
Follow Your Dreams