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The dance club is fun, although I don't do much dancing. Not that I don’t like to dance, but the place is so packed it is difficult to get space out on the floor. I spend most of my time sitting at the bar, drinking a caffeine-free soda.
“Designated driver?” I hear someone ask.
I look up and see some guy smiling down at me. He looks to be around my age, with nice brown eyes and dark hair. I raise my eyebrows. “Birthday girl actually. I just don’t drink.”
“Do you dance?” he asks.
“Sometimes,” I say, but I have no desire to dance with him. It's not that he isn’t good looking, but I love Alex. I’m a one-man woman. What am I doing here, again?
“Any possibility of now being one of those times?” he inquires.
“Not really,” I say, honestly.
“Why is that, Cat? You’re not with Liam anymore.”
I frown. “Do I know you?”
“No, but I know you. I’ve seen you at every game. Liam never deserved someone as devoted as you were to him.”
“You know you're coming off stalkerish, right?” I ask, keeping an eye on the girls from my group, but not feeling too scared as the bar is crowded and the bartender is always walking back and forth, checking on people.
He laughs. “Doug Walters. I’m a teammate of Liam’s. I’ve known of you for four years now Cat. Liam talked about you incessantly and of course, you came to every game, rally, and fundraiser. I’d have to be blind not to see how devoted you were to him. That's why I never bothered to introduce myself, but it drove me a little nuts seeing him at the frat parties…”
I hold up my hand to stop him from talking. “Spare me the deets okay, Dougie. It is my birthday after all.”
He laughs again. “I’m just saying it gave me hope that perhaps one day you’d be free and I’d get a chance to say, ‘Wanna dance?’”
He holds out a hand to me. Although his offer is rather sweet, I still shake my head no.
Doug gives me a rather disappointed look asking, “Liam? Or did I wait too long and someone else has stolen your heart?”
“Not Liam and the other part is for only me to know.”
“You’re tough, Cat Fischer, but I like tough.”
“Is that so? Then have I got the girl for you, but I seriously doubt you’ll be able to keep up with her.” I look over and wave to catch Olivia’s eye.
She comes over immediately inquiring, “Who’s this?”
“Just someone who wants to dance with the sexiest woman in the club.”
“Is that so?” Olivia asks. “She turned you down flat, didn’t she?” Olivia asks Doug.
“Who said she was talking about herself?” Doug answers.
“Oh, you’re smooth.” Olivia laughs.
“Smooth enough to get a dance?” I encourage, winking at Doug.
Olivia gets close to my ear so he can’t hear her next words. “I thought I was supposed to be YOUR wing woman?”
I giggle. “You’re welcome,” I tell her and Olivia takes Doug by the hand and leads him out to the dance floor. I enjoy watching them dance, glad to see they are obviously enjoying one another by the smiles and laughs they exchange, but it just makes me miss Alex all the more.
I so don’t belong here.
Clubs, Dances, Ladies Nites, I’ve outgrown it all in these last few months. I just want to take care of my baby and Alex. I don’t know what the future holds, but I find myself hoping more and more that Alex will be a part of it.
I know that’s a tall order. He’d have to take on my child and me. I know he loves me but I just think that’s a lot to ask of someone. But even if I just get this short time with him, I’ll be happy. Better to have loved and lost and all that…
The night keeps moving on. Olivia gathers the rest of the girls and we move on to the Ladies Club. Olivia is chatting with me about Doug, as it turns out they have a lot in common. She seems genuinely interested, which is a big deal for Olivia, as she tends to just be a love ‘em and leave ‘em like William. They exchanged numbers, so I guess it’s a case of wait and see.
We get to the club but before we go inside Olivia hands out the masks. It’s a tradition. No Chi Omega girl should be caught hanging out in a male strip club, so we hide our identities and never reveal ourselves. They all have pink sequins except mine, which is black.
I slip it on and step inside. We get a good table. I’m no prude, but I’ve never really felt comfortable at these events. I never could quite understand the concept of stripping for money. But here we are, 8 girls around a table supposedly getting ready to see some hot men dance.
A few of the male dancers aren’t half bad, but I can honestly say I am not enjoying myself and long to go home. Then a dancer comes out onto the stage who captures my undivided attention.
He is a pole dancer. He has athletic skills that can rival an Olympian as he spins around the 12-foot pole, slowly unfolding his body a few feet from the ceiling. His form is perfect, he is shirtless, and only wearing a pair of denim cut off shorts. Watching him dance is like watching a ballet, a modern dance, and the gymnastic arts of the circus, all rolled into one.
Olivia leans into me. She whispers, “Cat? Isn’t that Alex?”
I slowly nod my head. Since my brain is on overload, my ability to speak seems to no longer function. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch Jenny looking at me. This is why she wanted me to come here. She knows about Alex and still wants payback for the whole fundraiser thing. God only knows what Liam has told her about Alex and me.