A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2017 Karen Lockhart
For the next three nights Kevin enjoyed the charms of twenty different young ladies. We got to know his nephew a lot better too. The blossoming relationship between Wendy and Billy lost a little of its heat, but in other ways grew. Having him stay with us nights, meant having supper and breakfast with the three of us. Also Wendy had company when she walked the puppy.
Kevin reported in by phone each morning after picking Billy up at our condo. It seems he was getting friendly with one particular dancer at the Surf. Apparently her shtick was a Bengal tiger body tattoo. It went from her neck stopping at her wrists and ankles. After disrobing, she would lap a bowl of milk.
Kevin became friendly enough that she was aware of me and invited Kevin to bring me along the next time he was there, to see her act.
We made plans for Saturday night, but since Ellen and Pete were seeing a movie it was decided to leave Billy at Kevin's, and Wendy would remain home, alone.
We had no riding lesson on Saturday; Cathy and her husband were visiting her sister in Pittsfield that weekend. I made an early supper for just Wendy and me as I was expecting Kevin at 7PM.
He showed up a little early wearing jeans and a sweater, almost matching my outfit of jeans and a cowl-necked jersey, with short boots with a three inch heel. I grabbed my leather jacket and off we headed for the 'Naked City'.
We got to the club just after the heavy beer drinkers had left and the younger crowd were arriving. I was surprised, expecting a dark, dingy room with sticky tables and floor. Instead it was well lit, reminding me of a dance club. Everything was spotless. Along one wall was a bar with three bartenders, two men and one older woman, but dominating the room was a large stage with two brass poles, like you'd find in an old firestation.
As soon as we sat, a cute waitress asked Kevin for a drink order, saying, “The usual for you honey, and how 'bout your girl?”
After asking for a Bud Light, I looked at Kevin and said. “Honey? Just how many times have you come here?”
Before he could answer, our waitress, Mindy, returned with his Amstel and my Bud. He dropped a twenty on her tray and thanked her.
My eyebrows rose at the ten dollar tip, but I said nothing. Kevin said they also served fries and a very good cheeseburger.
Just then the P.A. system announced the next act, Terri the Tiger.
“This is the girl,” Kevin said, “After her act she walks around the tables, visiting. I know she'll stop when she sees us.”
Well, needless to say this girl was very flexible, bending in ways a normal person could only imagine. She was suggestive, but not over the top. Her routine included climbing one of the poles, and prowling across the stage, flexing and stretching like a big cat, matching her tattoo.
Soon the stage lights dimmed, and Terri left to a round of applause. After a minute the P.A. announced the next act. We could see Terry making her rounds through the tables.
After catching sight of Kevin, she gave a wave and came over. Did I mention she had put a bikini and a short robe on?
Reaching our table, Terri gave Kevin a quick kiss on the cheek, and asked if I was Ginny. After I answered 'Yes', we gave a little handshake and she sat down.
To say I was fascinated with her tattoos was an understatement. Terri noticed this right away and chuckled, “Yes it hurt, and yes, it actually could be removed, but how would I look in the old-age home in a short sleeved blouse?”
That broke the ice, we started gabbing as if we were old friends, Kevin having a hard time getting in a word. I found out she started stripping to pay off her student debts, and to finance her MBA. She actually enjoyed it, and had been dancing for ten years.
Then Terri excused herself, promising to return after her act. Mindy returned with two more beers and left with another twenty bill.
This time I paid more attention to what Terri did, and could see the dance routine she performed. Kevin and I discussed how friendly she seemed, and if she might know a place where Morales might be hiding.
“This is the girl,” Kevin said, “Did you get any vibes from her?”
My jaw dropped open, “No, you don't mean she...”
I watched Terri wiggle her way to our table, this time looking harder. Still nothing. Now how to broach the subject, and not offend her.
“Hi, did you miss me? I'm on a forty-five minute break, mind if I have a burger?”
She waved in Mindy's direction, and soon had a cheeseburger and a diet Coke.
I took a deep breath, and asked, “Doctor Phuket's clinic?”
Terry froze, then gave me a closer look, asking, “You too Ginny? I guess we have a lot in common then sister.”
I stood and gave her a quick hug, peering at Kevin silently asking how he knew. He shrugged saying, “After being around you for so long, I recognize the same signs.”
Terri and I started to compare notes and how long ago we had our Asian “Vacations”. For her it was two years, when I told her it was just 9 months for me, she was very complementary, saying she now knew how Kevin figured her out.
She was due back on stage for her last act. Before going she invited us back to her “dressing” room. All we needed to say to the bouncer was 'Jean invited us'. I guessed Jean was her 'non-stage' name.
After the lights came back up, the P.A. announced the Smith Sisters, and something about if you want them, just cough.
We gave her a few minutes than made our way to the dressing rooms. We thought she must be the headliner, her door had her name and a big star.
After knocking, we received a “It's open” and went inside. She was fully dressed, and just finishing the removal of her heavy make-up.
“Would you guys like a cold soda? If so, open the little 'fridge. Kevin hinted about a 'CD/TG only' club last night. I think I can help, but what's the story on this?”
I made a quick decision to tell her the whole story starting with Gene. She would ask a question every now and then, but was obviously fascinated. Jean was really amazed with my original disguise and Ellen's quick thinking.
When I got to the hit and run that killed that woman in Lynn she cursed out loud. After hearing about Vinny's activities, bar-tending at gay bars, she asked if he ever dressed up. Seeing our confused looks, she laughed and said she knew of a place in Quincy that sounded like the place for Vinny to hide in the open.
“The place is called the Candy Cane Club. There's a chain, but I only know of this one. I think the rest are in Europe.
I started to laugh, “The Candy Cane Club”? That's the name of a club in England in a story by Tanya Allen. Surely she invented the club, it really doesn't exist?”
Jean just looked at me and said the club's name again, and that it was on the other side of a parking lot from Quincy District Court.
“Look, I'm off Monday and Tuesday, why don't we go there and you can see for yourself?”
I knew Vinny would recognize Kevin, but if I went in with Terri, with heavy make-up myself, he wouldn't get suspicious. We agreed to pick her up in the early evening on Monday at her apartment in Nahant. Bet the blue hairs in Nahant didn't know they had a neighbor who took off her clothes for a living!
Sunday came and went with the Patriots winning a close one with the New York Jets. Ellen couldn't believe Kevin found out so much in one stop, and questioned me giving out so much information.
After assuring her Jean was a manufactured girl like me she relaxed a bit.
“Won't everyone know who she is with those tattoos?” Ellen asked.
I just shrugged, saying she told us not to worry, she had it under control.
Ellen and I both drove to work on Monday; I was going to leave early to prepare for my trip to the Candy Cane Club that night. Jean had sent me an email with a suggestion on make-up ideas. She had a sense of humor, this make-up was going to make me look like a man who was trying to look like a woman.
After showering, I was to brush a black foundation where I used to have to shave. Once this was done than I brushed a more transparent blush over the black. Next I was to make my eyebrows thicker and bushier. Then do the rest like usual. I was to make my bust larger using my old 'cutlets'.
This, she said, would make me look like a guy trying to pass, I never looked like this in the old days!
Checking myself out in the full length mirror in my bedroom I didn't recognize myself!
Ellen and Wendy arrived in time to give me a hard time laughing and giggling. Kevin came in and added to my abuse. “Good thing I never met you when you looked like that.”
“Hey” I said, “I never looked like this, buddy boy, and if you keep it up, strip joints will seem like your new home. And forget about Jean too!”
We got in my car and headed for Nahant. Jean was waiting on the sidewalk in front of the Edgehill Inn on the main road.
As soon as she got a good look at me, she whistled, “You could get a job in the movies doing make-up. I would never recognize you, and those hooters, wow!”
She directed me to take the Braintree split, then to downtown. Follow the signs to the District Court and into the big parking lot the Club was the three story building that looked industrial.
“How are we getting in?” I asked, “In Tanya's book only members and employees are allowed inside.”
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