Daniel stepped out of the men’s room but lingered beside the door, hugging the wall and avoiding looking at the beautiful, half-naked women writhing on the stage in front of him.
Blue lights bounced off the dark wood booths and bar, where a stuffed rhinoceros head watched as more scantily clad women poured and delivered shots of premium alcohol to the crowds of cheering, jeering men.
A woman with the face of a forty-five year old and the body of a twenty-five year old sauntered passed Daniel dressed in a florescent green bikini and three inch heels. She carried a bottle of vodka and three shot glasses on a tray, which she delivered to a table right next to the stage. A table where Pastor Sebastian and Reverend Fake Elvis were sitting.
Sebastian stood up and gestured wildly for Daniel to join them.
With a sigh, Daniel pushed himself off the wall and headed towards the table. It wasn’t easy to navigate through all the people without taking his eyes off the floor, but every time he looked up, all he saw were boobs so he kept his gaze downwards and offered muttered apologies as he went.
He finally sat down at the table and Pastor Sebastian pushed a shot of vodka to him.
“That’s Wichita,” Sebastian shouted and pointed to a girl dressed in a blue and white checked bikini. She was hanging upside down on a pole and her braided pigtails trailed on the floor.
As Daniel watched, Wichita pulled herself upright and removed her top in one sweeping move.
The bikini top landed on the table. Sebastian picked it up and swung it over his head like a lasso, yodeling as loudly as he could.
When Sebastian sat back down, Daniel leaned over to him. “Pastor, don’t you think we should call it a night?”
Sebastian downed another shot and shook his head, his eyes never leaving the stage.
“Please, Pastor. Let’s get out of here.”
Sebastian put his arm around Daniel’s shoulder. “If you want to leave Daniel, then just leave. But I’m staying put.”
Daniel looked over at Reverend Fake Elvis who simply shrugged.
Wichita’s song ended and she climbed down the stairs, still only wearing her thong. She walked over to their table to retrieve her top.
Sebastian held it out to her, but when she reached out to take it, he tossed at Daniel. “You can have it back if you give my friend a lap dance.”
Wichita plucked the top off Daniel’s leg and put it on. “A lap dance is $250. $500 for a VIP.” She smiled at Sebastian, then turned her back on him, put her foot on Daniel’s chair between his knees and bent over to adjust the strap on her ruby red platform heels. The ends of her braids swung back and forth in front of her impressive breasts, just inches from Daniel’s face.
Sebastian pulled a poker chip out of his pockets and tucked it into the strap of Wichita’s thong.
She straightened up and examined the chip to see how much it was worth.
“It’s your lucky day, darlin’. Your friend is generous.” She showed him the $500 chip and then stuck it between her breasts.
“Where did you get that,” Daniel wheezed at the pastor, his face beet red.
Sebastian laughed. “You didn’t really think I’d let you take all my chips, did you?”
Wichita grabbed Daniel’s hand and led him toward the private rooms. He could still hear Sebastian laughing as they weaved through the crowd.
The private rooms were really just curtained off cubicles with two leather chairs and a small table.
Wichita gestured for Daniel to sit as she closed the curtain. “First rule,” she said as she turned back to him. “I do all the touching. Don’t touch back. There are big men right outside that will hurt you if you try anything.”
Daniel was perched on the edge of one of the chairs. “I appreciate this, ma’am, I really do. But I don’t want a lap dance. I mean, you’re really pretty and everything, but I don’t want you to dance for me. Or touch me or anything.”
Wichita put her hand on her hip. “Are you gay? You’d be surprised how many gay guys we get in here. I don’t know if they’re trying to learn how to be straight or just want to see what they’re missing.”
“I’m not gay. I have a girlfriend.”
The stripper threw her head back and laughed. “Darlin’, every guy out there has a wife or a girlfriend. That doesn’t stop them.”
Daniel studied his shoes.
Wichita sighed. “There are no refunds so what do you want to do for five minutes?”
When Daniel didn’t respond, she sat down on the other chair. “What brings you to Vegas?”
“I came to find Pastor Sebastian. That’s the man who paid you. He’s my minister.”
Wichita laughed again. “He’s a minister? Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had clergymen in here before. Plenty of them. But he’s got to be about the drunkest one I’ve ever seen.”
“He came to play poker with the church’s savings,” Daniel admitted.
“That doesn’t sound very religious to me.”
Daniel finally looked up at the stripper. She had very pretty eyes, he decided. “He wasn’t stealing the money. He said he just wanted to make enough to build us a church. And he used to play poker professionally, so he’s probably pretty good at it.”
Daniel’s hand unconsciously moved his pocket, making sure the chips were still there.
“Sweetie, I don’t know how good a poker player he is, but I don’t think I would trust a minster who bought me a lap dance.”
Wichita stood up and adjusted her thong as the song blaring on the other side of the curtain came to an end.
“Well that’s it. Have a nice stay in Vegas.” She gave Daniel a little wave and pulled the curtain open.
Mindy was standing on the other side.