The Naked Truth by Lacey Wolfe - Romance>ContemporaryIt’s amazing what one can find in strip clubs…
Josh Carter gets the shock of a lifetime when he shows up at a place of ill repute for a business meeting and sees the one that got away gyrating on the stage. Abigail Reese—the girl with so much potential, the girl that took his heart along with his body one night long ago—what brought her to this level?
Though stripping is not what Abigail set out to do, it’s putting food on the table and a roof over her daughter’s head. But just how much can she reveal to Josh without risking it all?
When Josh causes Abigail to lose her job, she has two choices: come clean about her past and her situation or push him out of her life as quick as he came into it. It’s up to her…only she has to think of her little girl too.
Reader Rating: 3.0 (1 Ratings)
Abigail cringed as her hands met the cool metal. She did her best not to look out at the crowd of men, holding dollars in their hands, waiting for that moment they got a shot at the parts she’d been raised to hide.
With her fingers wrapped lightly on the pole, Abigail walked a full circle around it before bending over, her legs straight, giving the greedy gazes a sight of her bottom clad in a dark green g-string. The men hollered and groaned in pleasure, but she knew what she had to do next—wrap her legs around the object of her income and spin. Not many of the women here could do it as well as her, so whenever she came out here, the boss wanted her to perform on it. Though, she supposed it was better than the women who grinded their bodies on the floor.
As her legs wrapped around the object the men so desired to see her on, she closed her eyes and did what she always did while she performed: imagined she was on a tropical island, with a martini in hand, and life was perfect.
By the time her performance was over, she walked topless toward the stage curtain, her tiny g-string filled with dollars. She entered the dressing room and stood in the corner, pulling each of the grubby bills from her body, flattening them in her palm. She laid the pile on her dressing table.
“Great performance,” Jenna, one of the other dancers said as she put on the finishing touches of her make-up.
“Thanks.” It wasn’t hard to have a great performance with horny men who simply wanted to see boobs.
“Don’t be so down. You’re a natural out there.”
Abigail laughed. She couldn’t help it. Oh, the joys of knowing she was a natural stripper. Just what every girl wanted to be raised to do. “The crowd’s really wanting a show tonight. The men I just danced for booed when it took me too long to get my bra off. They’re greedy this evening. But whoever they are, they’re big spenders.”
“Good. I’m up next.” Jenna shook her big round ass, which she was known for, and walked toward the stage door.
Abigail finished counting her money and placed it in her wallet. She pulled out her hand sanitizer. Once she felt somewhat sterile, she went to the bathroom to put on clothes that covered her from head to toe. She always slipped into a pair of sweatpants and hoodie. The soft cotton made her feel safe and hid much of her curves.
Once her station was cleaned up, she grabbed her purse and decided to get the hell out of this place. The exit door was within sight, but then her boss called her name.
“Abby, there’s a man out front requesting you.”
“But, sir, I’m off, remember? My babysitter can’t stay late.”
Mr. Regan smirked. “As much as it shames me to say this, I don’t think he’s looking for a lap dance or any other special treat. He says he knows you and wants to talk to you.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Did he give his name?”
“Just get out there. He’s in room one. He paid for the time, thankfully, so just in case, go in your stage outfit.” He turned and left.
Abigail groaned and then went back to her dressing table. She locked her bag up in her drawer after she stripped out of the comfortable sweats she’d had on. The dancers were never allowed to go out front in regular clothes.
After she gazed at herself in the mirror for a few moments and fluffed her blond curls, she knew she couldn’t put off her visitor any longer. As she walked through the club to the private rooms, she saw Jenna on stage, shaking her ass, the men practically drooling over her. She noted Mr. Regan in a corner talking to a few of the regulars.
She stood in front of room one, took a deep breath, and lightly knocked before opening the door. Her nerves were on edge as she wondered who waited inside. The room was dimly lit with yet another pole in the middle for those customers who wanted private shows. The man’s head was slightly turned to where she couldn’t see who it was. But something in her gut told her she knew him. While she didn’t recognize him from this angle, she had a feeling things were about to change. Abigail wasn’t really sure what to say, so she leaned against the pole and asked in a sultry tone, “What can I do for you?”
He turned and looked at her. Abigail froze. Her mouth dropped open. She knew exactly who it was. She hadn’t seen him in years and he was slightly older now. But it was a face she’d recognize anywhere. In fact, she looked at a replica of it almost every day.
“Josh Carter.” It came out an almost whisper.
He nodded. His expression was cold, not like the last time she’d seen him over four years ago. His hair was a light brown with a few streaks of gray and his dark green eyes bore into her.
“What are you doing here? Did you come looking for me?” she asked, needing to know if his being here was a mere coincidence.
“I’m here on business and when you came on stage, I recognized you. Years ago you were getting your degree to be a lawyer. You were doing so well and I have to say I was quite surprised to see you. So when I came in here, I certainly wasn’t looking for you. What happened? Anything I can do to help?” He patted the seat next to him. “Please sit. You’re making me uncomfortable.”
Abigail did as he requested, but she didn’t answer his questions. Just him being there scared her. She wasn’t sure how much he knew about her and decided it was best to keep quiet. He was a rich man and held a lot of power.
“Did you finish your degree?” he asked.
Because I got pregnant and school doesn’t work with a crying newborn. “Life.”
“You’ve got to give me more than that. I’d like to help you. Obviously if you’re working here, you’ve hit a rough patch.” His gaze locked on hers. “I’ve thought about you many times the last few years. I never intended for our evening together to be a one-time thing.” Josh reached out and pushed a strand of hair behind her ear. A shiver shot down her spine.
Abigail thought back to that evening. It had been hot and perfect. He’d pleasured her more than anyone else ever had and they connected on so many levels. She’d known he’d wanted more than that one night—he’d been honest about the direction his thoughts were taking—but it had scared her and the next day, she’d left a fake phone number when they’d parted ways. By the time she realized the mistake she’d made, it had been too late, or so, she thought.
“I got scared.”
Josh removed his suit jacket and draped it around her shoulders. “As much as I enjoy the view, I’m not here for that.”
She suppressed the grin she wanted to give him and asked, “Why are you here if you didn’t come to see me?”
Josh was older than her by at least ten years. His life was already established when she’d met him and hers had just begun. She’d kept up with him throughout the years from different news reports and tabloids. It was almost hard not to. Josh Carter was a billionaire. It was one of the reasons why she’d never sought him out. Abigail wasn’t a gold digger and didn’t want to be accused of being one.
“Business, of course. I think that’s my life. The guys I was meeting with are younger and this was the place they wanted to come and for one particular act. The amazing girl on the pole.” He leaned in closer to her ear. “I must say, I was impressed by your act.”
Her heart raced, the result of him being so close. Even after all these years, he still had an effect on her. Biting her bottom lip, she pushed those feelings away and remembered that if he knew her secret, he could take everything from her.
“How about you get dressed and we’ll get out of here? I’d like to catch up,” he suggested.
Hailey crossed her mind and the babysitter who was waiting with her. “I can’t. I have to get home.”
“I understand.” Josh reached into his pocket and took out a card, handing it to her. “Call me. I’ll be in town for the next week and I’d like to chat. Maybe we can meet up for dinner and if you’ll let me, I’d like to help you get back on your feet.”
“Okay, I will.” She stood and began to remove his jacket.
“Keep it. It’s the only way I can ensure I’ll see you while I’m in town.”
“Thank you.” She gazed down at him. “I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I’m doing well and happy, even though this wasn’t the life I initially set out to have.” Abigail didn’t say another word, but left room one and high-tailed it back to the dressing room to change and get home. Josh Carter being in town was either going to be a good thing or a bad. Or maybe it was time she faced the truth and did what was right by Hailey. After all, her daughter deserved better then she had it now.