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Inside My Love.

<a href=>I</a> pulled up in front of the large building, adorned with dark LED lights. The parking lot was being swept by a young boy in Jordan's. He couldn't have been much older than me. I tightened the strap on my purse and walked towards the door apprehensively. It had come down to this. I didn't have another option. I knocked softly on the door at first... only for it not to be answered. The boy that was sweeping approached and hit the door loudly with his hand flat. I jumped, startled and looked at him. He tossed me a smirk and went back to sweeping. The door opened and <a href=>he</a> stood there, looking me up and down.

"...Who referred you?" He asked.

I put my hair behind my ear and parted my lips to say something but nothing came out. I shrugged. He studied me once more and looked me dead in the eye.

"Name?" He asked.

"Veronica... I go by Ronnie." I said softly.

He opened the door wider for me to come in, so I did. I hadn't ever been to one of these places, I'd only heard about them... saw them in movies. I looked around wondrously, and heard the giggles of females arriving and leaving, all of them carrying gym bags. I studied their curves and looked down at myself.

"What you here for..." He asked, dismissively. His eyes didn't dance in my direction, as he strolled casually beside me, checking out everything on the floor - making sure nothing was out of place.

He stopped suddenly and I did too.

"...I need a job," I said, searching his face.

He snickered. "So go to the mall and fill out applications, sweetheart. This isn't something for your resume,"

"I understand that," I said, shaking my head. "I wouldn't be here if I didn't need to be. I need a job," I said, pleading with my eyes.

He scratched his face, as he ruminated. He pointed to the bar. "You start there," He said, before he began to walk.

"I was hoping to dance!" I called after him.

He shook his head, "We'll see,"

I exhaled, and dropped my bag on the floor before the DJ put on some music. I looked around and sat down on one of the bar stools. Well... at least I had a job.


.....I don't like the idea of her keeping her money in a shoe box. Anything could happen to it, it could get missing or something. She needs to move it to a bank ASAP! Cayden is so precious tho.

Aw. Drake understood, that was sweet of him to not pressure her into anything. It's quite amazing how he noticed she didn't belong there either--he won't even trippin' on the dance, Im guessing he just wanted some alone time to talk to her. I see them being close friends, he instantly read her story and knew she was uncomfortable. He's a gentlemen, I like that about him. I agree, she shouldn't stay there much longer.

Run this!
So glad your back Carmen! I loved all your past stories, & I miss them!
Especially Collisions!

<a href=>Ronnie</a>

I put up the wrong picture of Ronnie! That picture that I put up is Maliah.

This is Ronnie's picture, <a href=>

I kept all of the money in a shoe box. I planned to move it slowly to the bank. I was in my room when Cayden ran in and hopped on the bed. She noticed the money that I was putting under the bed.

"Where did you get that?" She asked.

I looked at her and parted my lips, "I just got paid." I said quickly. "Wanna help me with my homework?"

She nodded and lied down on her stomach, kicking her feet up. I sat down on the bed and opened my laptop. Whenever Cayden watched me do homework, she was always quiet. She ran and grabbed a book before she came back and began to read alongside me. I looked over at her finally.

"Will you sleep with mommy tonight?" I asked.

She nodded and hugged me, "You don't have to work?" She asked, looking up at me.

"Not for a few days," I said, kissing her forehead.

"Okay! Can I stay up and watch TV with you?" She asked, her squeaky voice filling the room.

"Of course," I said.

She smiled widely and looked down at her book. I continued to catch up on my work before I stopped, saving the rest for tomorrow. I closed my laptop and put it on my nightstand. I cuddled up with Cayden who had already fallen asleep. I turned the TV off and didn't let her go the entire night. The next morning, I woke up to a knock at the door. I pulled the door open to see Deann there. She came in and looked me up and down.

"Don't look at me like that. I showered." I responded, shutting the door.

"You done yet?" She asked. "You've made enough money."

"I just wanna make sure. About another month and we'll be straight for a long time." I said.

"You can't be making that much, Ronnie." Deann said.

I went into my room and grabbed the shoe box before I came back and dropped the money on the living room table. Deann's eyes got big, "This is from bartending?"

I parted my lips to tell her the truth but I simply nodded, "Yeah it's all-star weekend. A lot of important people."

Deann nodded, "Well I guess a few more weeks won't be so bad. I just want you home again."

Cayden woke up, her hair everywhere and came and sat down on my lap. I hugged her and kissed her cheek repeatedly. She smiled at Deann and put her hand up.

"Hi D." She said, before she started to play with the money.

I took it from her and put it in the shoe box. I didn't want her sacred hands to even touch it.

CARMEN! Glad you're back, hun :)
So many questions burn in my mind, but I know
I'll have to read on to find out. I commend Ronnie for taking this job to support her daughter ; some moms have too much pride to do things like this..
I think Ronnie's smile disappeared because one of the other strippers left a mean message written in red lipstick on her mirror.
Ronnie will be asked to dance again
Malikah will lose $$ because of it
The tension between the girls will come to a head.

Run it :)

I changed into some jeans and a v-neck before I headed back to the bar. I left the locker room and Drake's eyes followed me back to the bar. He scribbled something on a napkin and handed it to one of his boys. He got up, carrying the napkin to me at the bar. I smiled a little at him as he approached.

"Hey what can I get you?" I asked, grabbing a glass.

He slid the napkin toward me and I unfolded it, thinking it was a complicated order. Scribbled there I could barely make out, <strong>Private dance.</strong> I looked up at him, and then over his shoulder at Drake's table, where he was looking back at me, his face serious. I shook my head and slid him the napkin back.

"No thank you," I said quickly, my cheeks flushed.

"You do know how much you'll get, right?" He responded, in disbelief.

Lauren grabbed my arm and pulled me toward the opposite side of the bar. "Do it. Do it and get out of here. A few more nights here and you'll be done. This will help you reach your goal."

I looked her in the face before I shut my eyes, hoping that Cayden never had to do this. I turned around and nodded at the guy.

"15 minutes." I responded.

He nodded and walked back to the table. I looked at Lauren and her back at me. I left the bar and went to get changed. Rick was ecstatic when he found out and he followed me to the locker room to tell me which outfit to put on. He went and got Drake settled in a room. When Maliah found out that I had gotten chosen, she came into the locker room clapping.

"Star of the night, huh, newbie?" She said.

She walked close to me and looked at me through the mirror.

"Don't f*** him. That's my job." She whispered.

She turned and walked away. I left the locker room and Rick led me to the room. Drake had chosen "Downtown" by Wale. I entered the room and jumped when Rick shut the door. Drake fell out into laughter.

"You're so new." He said.

" does this work?" I asked softly.

He shrugged, "Just do whatever you feel comfortable with,"

I walked towards him and started to dance. He was respectful, keeping his hands to himself. The song changed to "Jupiter Love" and I sat down on his lap and began to grind on him. He put his hands on my hips, leading me.

"Is that okay?" He asked softly.

I nodded and continued, before I turned around, straddling him now. He placed a kiss on my neck and I looked away. He put his hands on the back of the couch and smirked.

"You're so uncomfortable," He said.

I stopped and laughed, "Is it obvious?" I asked.

He nodded, "How did you end up here?" He asked. "I always see you around...but you seem so out of place. I was shocked as hell when I saw you up there tonight..."

"How did I do?" I asked.

He smiled, "You did okay... the other girls dance for everyone else, it seemed like you were dancing for you."

Straddling him still, I nodded and looked at the clock, "Am I wasting the time?"

He shook his head, "You'll get paid regardless."

"I feel like a dirty whore." I said.

"You're far from it. Some of these girls do anything for money. Taking off their clothes isn't even the half of it," He said. "I noticed that too... you didn't take anything off."

I shook my head, "I couldn't..."

"Rick might make you eventually. You know that, right?" He asked, searching my face.

I nodded, "Yeah... Hopefully I'm gone before then." I said.

"Gone where?" He asked.

"Just outta here," I said, looking him in the eye.

We looked into each other's eyes before the door opened and I got off of him. He stood up, dapped up Rick and left the room. Rick smiled at me.

"Get outta here, I'll see you Monday." He said.

I left the room and scurried to the locker room to change, and then home to Cayden. I slept in her room that night.

The first time that I was asked to dance, I had come in to bartend. I walked through the doors and noticed immediately the different atmosphere in the room. I gripped my bag and walked to the bar where Lauren was slammed. She looked over at <a href=>me</a>.

"What's going on in here?" I asked, scurrying around the bar and grabbing a towel.

I took a few orders and began to mix. Lauren turned around and grabbed a new bottle of tequila.

"All-Star weekend. Everyone's here. Kevin Hart, Chris Brown, Drake. Rick Ross is here with Wale. It's a mad house in here," She said.

I smiled a little, hoping to get tipped a lot tonight. It's been a month and... I don't wanna be here much longer. I turned back around and handed the guys their drinks, both of them leaving money on the counter. I smiled and slid it into my pocket before I wiped the bar off. Rick walked up and from the look on his face, I knew that he needed something.

"Want a drink?" I asked, grabbing a glass.

"...I need you to dance," He said.

"Tonight?!" I shrieked. "In front of everyone? Rick you've never even let me practice."

"Just do what you can.. You'll be straight. One of my girls dropped tonight and I need you to fill in. I left you some stuff in the locker room at the third vanity," He said, turning to leave.

I looked at Lauren, "Lauren..." I said.

Lauren smiled and glanced at me, "Just make it work for you. You'll probably do terrible... but I'll be here to cushion the fall."

"That didn't help," I said, terror stricken as I headed to the locker room.

I walked past Drake's table, where he always sat and into the locker room. There were some different outfits on the third vanity like Rick had stated. I was disgusted by all of them. I looked around the locker room to see that I had the floor. Everyone was looking back at me.

"Oh, hey, I'm Ronnie." I said, waving awkwardly.

A few of them smirked and looked away. One came forward and shook my hand, "I'm Jewel. Go with the turquoise one... It'll look pretty on you." She said.

I smiled, "Thank you."

I turned around and looked down at the pieces and then around before I started to change, covering my parts. I could hear Maliah talking behind me with another stripper.

"Girl he put me up in an apartment. I don't ask for anything," She said.

I glanced at her through the mirror and wondered if she was talking about Drake, but I let the thought disappear. It wasn't my business. The girls progressively left the locker room to dance, and network with the crowd. For them, one lap dance with the right celebrity was two month's rent. I peaked my head out of the locker room and watched as Maliah worked the room. Drake looked over his shoulder every once in a while - tracking her. He turned around and shook his head before he typed away angrily on his phone. The music changed to "Stress Reliever" by Ne-Yo and Rick pointed to the stage. My eyes got big. Drake looked up from his phone just as I took the stage. I was shivering with nerves. I stood there awkwardly for a moment before the hook hit. I bent over and pretended like I was dancing on someone. I walked to the pole and moved my hips to the beat. I looked up to see Rick smiling. I didn't even notice the money on the stage. I turned my back to the pole and slid down before I hit a split. The song ended and I popped up, grabbed the money and ran off of the stage. When I got to the locker room, "Loveee Song" by Rihanna came on. I sat down and counted the money. I had $550... on top of what I'd make at the bar. I exhaled and a small smile fell on my face, but it disappeared immediately.

Carmen, your back yay. Okay Im diggin this story. Ronnie seems like a smart girl, definatly doesnt belong in a strip club tho. Aww Cayden is adorable. But whats the story there? Who's her dad and why isnt he around? Where the rest of Veronicas family? Hmmm. Loved the add. Liking it so far tho. RUN IT!!

This is a really good story I'm liking the story line run it

Wow this story is getting me hyped up already:)))
Also where is Cayden dad??? Is he dead or just a deadbeat???
&& Since your back are you going to continue/end your other stories like Collisions, Clouds Over Brooklyn, Move Love, Bad Religion, && this one cause your one of my favorite readers on this site:)))

Ahhh! Carmen, I love your stories... Hopefully Drake gets the girl in this one...

Ronnie doesnt belong there... Cayden is adorable...

I wonder where her dad is.. And how old they both are..

I think Ronnie should just stick to the bar...

I think this is going to be a great story.
I don't approve of her stripping, but I do approve of her reasons to.
Run it


Wow, this seems interesting. I don't want her stripping either lol.

Ooh! I agree, she doesn't belong there at all.
Whoa. Cayden is precious tho, where is her dad?
This seems interesting... Run it!

I'll stop here! Comments, thoughts?

I sat on the side of Cayden's bed and watched her as she slept, gripping her teddy bear. Deann came to the door drinking tea. I looked over at her and stood up, grabbing my bag.

"It won't be long tonight... I promise." I said, kissing Deann's cheek and leaving the room.

Deann shut the door and followed behind me. "What happens if she wakes up again... crying for you?"

I searched the floor looking for an answer that I didn't have, "Just tell her to go back to sleep, that I had to go to work."

D hugged me tightly and pulled away quickly, shutting the door. I let the silence surround me, before I broke through it with my footsteps. When I got to the club, Rick was at the door, letting people in. He followed me with his eyes before he stood up and followed me.

"Ronnie," He called.

I stopped and looked at him.

"You've been putting in work at the bar... Just wanna say thanks." He said.

I nodded, "Sure." I said, turning to leave when he grabbed my hand.

"Shadow tonight... that's if you still wanna be a dancer." He said.

I nodded my head and looked towards the locker room. Lauren watched closely from behind the bar.

"I'll have one of the girls show you the ropes." He said.

I smiled a little, "Thanks Rick."

He nodded and walked off. I looked at Lauren and walked towards her. She looked down and cleaned off the bar.

"What are you burning to say?" I asked.

She looked over at me, "Maybe I'm judging you wrong but... You don't belong in here, Ronnie." She said. "You should be home with your baby girl."

"This isn't forever. Just until I get enough money to hold us over for a while," I said.

"Where's her father? He doesn't give you child-" She asked.

"He's not in her life." I said cutting her off. "I'm her father."

I snatched my bag and walked towards the locker room. Rick introduced me to Maliah and headed back onto the floor. I stood back and waited for her to change, trying to make conversation.

"How long have you been dancing?" I asked.

"About 8 years," She said, turning around and examining her reflection.

She looked over at me and laughed, "You look terrified. It's nothing to be afraid of. It's harmless...really."

I remembered her from that night with Drake. He came in often to see her dance.

"So are you friends with Drake? I see you two interacting a lot," I said.

"You're very inquisitive... A little too much for me." She said, looking at me through the mirror. "If you don't learn anything else about the industry, it should be this: Don't ask questions."

She glanced at me once more before she headed to the stage. I walked towards the door and watched her from there. I scanned the audience to find Drake there, looking back at me.

I dozed off during my psychology class, only to be woken up by <a href=>Deann</a>.

"If you're gonna graduate on time, you've gotta stay awake." She whispered.

I nodded and took another sip of my coffee. I was finding it hard to juggle school and my job, but I didn't want to compromise my education... I'd come too far. Deann and I left class and started walking down the hall to the exit. She sipped her coffee quietly. I looked over at her.

"Spit it out," I said softly.

She stopped walking and looked at me, concern all over her face.

"...I don't like you working there, Ronnie." She said.

I nodded and looked away from her, "I know... it's just getting really tough right now." I said. "I'm in a bind financially and I need a way out."

"You could've come to me! I can help you. There are other ways, Veronica." She said.

"I don't want a hand-out! From anyone! Especially not you. We'll be fine... I'll be fine." I said. "I've gotta go get her from school. Come over for dinner."

Deann didn't object any further. She simply nodded and let me pass her as I ran outside to my car and rushed over to pick up <a href=>Cayden</a>. She came running out of the school with her classmates when she stopped briefly, scanning for me. I smiled and kneeled down before she ran towards me and fell into my embrace. I picked her up and kissed her repeatedly on the lips.

"Fun fact of the day." I said.

"Mommy, did you know that Elephants can swim?!" She shrieked in my ear.

"I didn't know that!" I said, gasping and walking towards the car. "Did you enjoy your lunch today?" I asked.

She nodded, "I shared my cupcake with Katie. She's having a pool party for her birthday. Can I have a pool party one day?"

"Sure! As soon as we get a house and have our own backyard," I said, putting her in the car. "Buckle your seatbelt."

I watched as her little hands gripped the seatbelt and she went to buckle it. She smiled at me and puckered her lips. I pecked her lips and shut the door before I went and got in. We drove out of the school parking lot and she pulled out one of her books from her backpack.

"Did your class like the book that you brought in?" I asked.

She nodded, "Yeah. I had the best one. And I didn't need no help 'cause Deann helped me read it yesterday."

I smiled a little, "That's good! You're getting so good with your books, baby."

Cayden smiled proudly and started to read one of them aloud, and I listened closely, smiling at the end of every completed sentence.

Seem very interesting run it

The first night on the job was hard. I'd only had a 15 minute mixology lesson during the day... and mixing drinks didn't come naturally to me. I worked with Lauren. She was a retired dancer that decided to become a bartender. She knew a lot and helped me when I got stuck... which seemed like 95% of the time. <a href=>Rick</a> came to check on me every once in a while, but he wouldn't ask me directly. He'd always go to Lauren and point in my direction. Once the drinks slowed down, I walked to Lauren, my hand on my hip.

"I haven't gotten any tips... What am I doing wrong? You've gotten like a $20 tip from everyone." I said, searching her face.

She turned and grabbed a glass before she started to pour some Vodka into a cup.

"Pull your shirt down, reveal some cleavage. Take that ponytail out," She said, still pouring. She began to mix and pointed across the club to a table positioned right in front of the stage. "Take this over there. Smile. Flirt. You'll get a tip."

The lights faded and another dancer stepped out onto the stage as "Bandz A Make Her Dance" began to play. Whistles filled the air and I looked enviously at the girl on stage, the object of everyone's attention. I did as Lauren said and grabbed the drinks, placing them on a tray. I walked through the club toward the table. As I neared the table, I recognized Drake. He was already drinking something, laughing with his friends and occasionally tossing the girl money on stage. She kneeled down and he stood up to whisper something in her ear. He sat back down and glanced in my direction as I approached. I smiled sheepishly, a little starstruck and handed them their drinks. Drake looked at me through the smoke of his cigar, and then back at the stage. One of his friends slipped a $20 in my back pocket and I walked away quickly. Lauren smiled.

"Should've gotten a big tip, right?" She asked.

I shook my head, "...$20?" I asked.

She narrowed her eyes, "Rick's never gonna let you on stage," She said, walking to attend to a customer.