I come crashing back into reality as Laila, my best friend, and partner in crime, slings a bare, slender arm over my shoulder and tucks me into her side. A move she’s done since we both had a crush on the growly Beast before he became a common prince back in second grade.
My swaying skirt and tight halter top clash with her daisy dukes and motorcycle boots. Frilly and quiet meets tomboy rowdy. Our parents never saw our friendship lasting. As teens, we would joke about my love of kohl eyeliner over her obsession with falsies. But that is where our differences end. She knows my sordid past and I know hers. We love the same mascara and have similar tastes in boys– the bad boy ones that never seem to last. Only she’s good at catching and releasing them back into the wild while I prefer to keep them at arm’s length like the beasts they are.
I’ve seen what they can do to a woman’s life. Nogracias.
I point to the billboard glittering high above us. If desire were ever featured in the flesh my Godthatis what it would look like. “Them.”
Head back, eyes wide, she purses her lips into a tight pucker telling me the gears in her head are spinning with horrible ideas. Which normally lands us into trouble hip deep and me playing the sane thinker of our duo. Her next words prove me right.
She sucks air through her teeth and says, “Oh, kinky shit. Club Sin does sound fun. Do you see what they offer?” Mischievous eyes meet mine. “Wanna?”
Mierda. This girl never met an idea she didn’t want to see through till the end. I’m almost sorry I stopped to marvel at the sensual display.
Laila wraps her arms around my middle. “You know you wanna. Look at all that man meat. The fuck-me-now vibes are off the charts! I could lick all those mountain ridges and pierced nipples for a day and a night when they look like that.”
“You have a serious problem, you know that?”
With a throat moan, she admits what we both know. “I just like dick.”
Laila wiggles her brows at me and I laugh knowing all too well what usually happens next. And you know what? It’s on the tip of my tongue to say yes. But I’m Little Miss Reality tonight and we’ve already spent way too much on touristy things.
I grab her hand and point us toward the opposite side of the street in the direction of our cheap hotel by the time she slips into ticking off why we should.
Raising her voice over the clanking sound of a passing streetcar she counts out, “One, we wanted to get lost and have an adventure for once which leads me to number two, there are so many rooms to pick from and you know I like some kinky shit…”
I tune her out because while I might be realistic I’m also human and I have needs. Much more and I’ll be hopping us both on the next streetcar heading toward Club Sin.
Sweat trickles down the center of my back. I could use a really cold beer. And another shower wouldn’t be a bad idea. “Fun, kinky yes, but what I think you meant to say is crazy expensive, right? Last I checked we have enough for a few drinks tonight, breakfast, and just enough gas to get us back to Seattle.”
She taps the front of her teeth with a freshly painted nail the color of midnight. “Right. New plan. Maybe next girls-only road trip we can explore the finer sites. But for now, what if we get some sexy men to pay for our drinks instead?”
I hike the hem of my long skirt up and tie the ends off in knots as we dodge around leftover water puddles. I thought the nice early afternoon shower would make the night cooler, but the humidity seems to have thickened instead. “What men?”
Maracas and the tap of fingers over taut bongos carry out into the streets. Mixed scents of old wood and cigar smoke drift in the humid air as we make our way back to our little hotel. And my waiting cold shower.
I practically see Laila’s ears prick up and the look of excitement on my friend’s face sends an unexpected thrill through me.
“Okay, you need to trust me right now.”
Pleading eyes turn on me. “Err…okaayyy.” I did and I dobutwe also spent a night in county jail two summers ago following one of hertrust memoments.
She checks the street signs. “Yeah, this is the spot. A friend told me about a busy Latin club and I want to see you work your moves on the dance floor before we have to head back to reality.”
Laila changes our trajectory and pulls me down a dark alley before spinning us out a block over into a busy street. Locals mill around and the sound of salsa music spills into the street from a line of clubs. Seriously, you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins. Which explains the source of the bongos and cigar smoke. Wide terraces extend out from the clubs and on the balconies are tens of partygoers out enjoying a humid New Orleans Saturday night.
Glittery dresses and nicely dressed men are all over the place. I look down at myself and wrinkle my nose. I look more prepared for a day of sightseeing than a night out.
“None of that. Here. Take my lipstick.” Using my darkened phone screen I slide on kiss-me-red before slipping them both into my handbag. Paired with the touch of bronze and a brush of mascara it will just have to do. The deep dip of my halter top and tight cling of my silky skirt over my ass gives a hint of dirty sexy fun.
Dark brown eyes turn on me and the look of a woman on a mission pulls over the soft lines of my friend’s expression. “Beautiful! Now, thismamacitaneeds a drink and a hot guy. And so do you. Just for tonight, stop thinking and just feel. Tomorrow we both can go back to the real world, okay?”
The pleading in her eyes is hard to resist. Our fingers link and for the first time in so long I relax. I just don’t have it in me to burst her bubble. “Okay, what the hell. Why not!”
There probably won’t be any jail time, right?