"Show me your tits!" hollered the greasy-haired jackass ogling my chest from his bar stool. If a slight breeze came through the club, he'd surely tip over and land flat on his drunken face.
"Keep dreaming," I said, waving daintily and forced a smile, pretending I was dumb and didn't recognize the sleaze he was made of. After driving halfway across the country with Grandma in tow, then spending my Friday night explaining my predicament to the nice officers, and finally being sent on my way after I'd paid a hefty fine with what was left of my gas money, I wasn't in the mood for any more drama.
This was a true test of my ability to stand on my own. It was as if every person I'd known and loved had vanished from my life in a matter of weeks. I was on my own. Well, I did have my uptight and out-of reach mother, but she'd basically washed her hands of me with husband number five and joined the high society lifestyle. I had to make it on my own.
At least the casino management had been nice enough to give me a voucher to a restaurant of my choice, which meant I wasn't going to sleep hungry. I picked the pub because it was quieter than the other options, plus the dress coded seemed lax. All I wanted was some comfort food, a large Coke, and a safe parking space for the night.
"Come on, toots." The jackass's pudgy hand dove under the counter and he did a fantastic impression of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. How he managed to remain on the stool was a total mystery. "I gots money."
"You can't afford me."
"Five Benjamins say I could," he insisted, pulling the rolled hundred dollar bills from his pocket and waving them in the air. "Come on, spread the joy."
"You want me to spread the joy by showing you my boobs? I don't think so." But in truth, that money was mocking me bad. Real bad. Whatever.
That's right, sweetie. No reason to compromise your principles for my last request. If I'd of known it would have put you out so much, I never would have said a thing. Forget about the silly Eiffel Tower.
Groaning, I dropped my head into my hands and pressed my fingers against my temples. I couldn't handle the fact that my grandma's voice had replaced my conscience--not while I sat in a pub, and not after the mess I'd made. How was I to know that they had the observation deck screened in? All I'd wanted to do was fulfill Grandma's wish of being 'sprinkled' in the wind off the Eiffel Tower. And, yes, I realized I wasn't in Paris, but I was sure she would have liked Vegas too.
"Playing hard to get." Sleazebag stood and staggered around the bar. Standing only a few feet in front of me and fumigating my personal space with his potent breath, he placed five bills on the counter. He shrugged and slowly, as if to build expectation, added an extra one. "I never paid six hundred buckaroos to see a broad's tits before. You should be honored."
At that point, the pub's noise level dropped a few decibels. I could feel the gazes glued on my chest. The air stilled and engulfed us in its vacuum. I reached for the golden urn on the bar and pulled it into my lap, rounding my back over my precious possession.
"Stanley, you're spooking the lady. Leave her alone," the waitress said, waving him away with the flick of her wrist. "Can't you see she's not interested?"
But I was. The crisp bills, arranged neatly across the bar, were calling my name. I wasn't dumb; I was a wiz at statistics, so if those babies made it to the blackjack table, I'd find a way to grow my loot and to take Grandma to France. France and the original Eiffel Tower.
"The trick is to know when to walk away," I whispered, lost in thought and ignoring the growing crowd.
Mr. Sleaze oozed even closer, reclaiming my attention. "So what'da ya'think?" he slurred.
"Make it ten, and I'll even pose for your camera."
He coughed, or perhaps he gagged, in surprise. I leaned forward in feigned concern and gave him a peak of what he had coming, lest he thought a grand was too much for only a look.
Judging his interest from the sweat beading his forehead, I was pretty sure he'd come up with the rest of the cash. So, I jiggled just a little, bending lower and pretending to check if he was okay. Just when he looked up again, I straightened my back and raised my breasts to his eye level. He continued to cough, so I handed him my glass of water and granted him a come hither smile. "Well?"
"Can I be in the picture?" Smirking like a jackass, Stanley licked his lips.
"Sure. But wouldn't you like to look?"
"I'll give you twelve if you give me enough time for both," Stanley offered.
I wasn't sure how much further I could push the issue, so I nodded in agreement.
Sucking down what was left of my Coke, as if the sugar-filled drink would give me any courage, I placed the glass on the bar, returned the urn to the counter, moved it in by six inches or so, then hopped off the stool.
"Um, guess so--yup," Stanley stammered, motioning for the bartender to take his camera and turn it on. "First, you show me those bazookas. Then, we pose."
"'Kay," I said, crossing my hands and closing my fingers on the hem of my t-shirt. Inching the cotton up my belly, I felt goose bumps rise on my skin. With a slight tug, I pulled the worn material over my chest and my tits bounced free. Covering my face, but not pulling the shirt over my head, I paused. "Good?"
"Oh, baby," Stanley crooned.
"C'mere." Hot, strong, and authoritative palms covered my nipples and thick long fingers closed on the soft flesh. "Drop your shirt. I'll double it, Angel," a deep brogue demanded.