| WARNING: This includes sexually explicit material.
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Exposed Chapter Three
Several hours later, when the club's doors opened, Kate was extremely
excited. Some unusual muscles were aching a bit but she was eager to
perform. She had been extremely self-conscious at first, but Suki and the
rest of the were encouraging and helped her relax. Suki had found a
lovely costume for her that included a mask to conceal her identity. The
mask had been Steve's idea. After the talk show, there were a couple of
journalists in and a bigger crowd than normal.
Kate was standing in the wings waiting for her turn to go on when Suki
"Kate, I have to tell you something that might change your mind about
performing tonight," she said. "Tom handed out discounted tickets at the
TV studio. Your husband and his floozy are out front. She's not looking
too thrilled, but he's having a fine time. Maybe you shouldn't go out
Kate laughed recklessly. "But that's perfect. No one is going to
recognise me in this mask. At least I'll find out if he really finds me so
"I think it's a bad idea," Suki insisted.
"Too late now," Kate replied as she heard the first few bars of her
music. Steve's voice, with its fake accent, echoed over the loud speaker
"Tonight, we have the privilege of presenting a very special
entertainer, La Incognita."
Moving to the stately beat of the music, Kate stalked forward, her skirt
swishing behind her. Her hair was piled on top of her head and secured
with a couple of ostrich feathers. Her dress was a version of an
old-fashioned ball-gown. She had high heels on her feet, long gloves
buttoned up to her elbows and a parasol resting on her shoulder. The mask
slightly distorted her view, giving a feeling of unreality to everything.
The lights blazing up at her made it difficult to see beyond the stage so
she concentrated on her routine. The parasol was tossed aside and she
struck a pose as the music slowed to a long drawn out note. Slowly she
raised her hands and unbuttoned her gloves, dropping them behind her. The
beat of the music quickened as she plucked the feathers out of her hair and
began unhooking her bodice. She gave a shrug of her shoulders and the
dress slid down to pool at her feet.
Clad only in thigh high stockings, a g-string and a tight bodice she
began to move to the beat as the music segued into an Eurythmics number.
Her mind fractured into pieces. One part was completely freaked out,
unable to believe that she was stripping her clothes off in front of an
audience. Another part was close to hysterics, convinced she was going to
make a fool of herself. Another section was overwhelmed by the reaction of
the audience. But mainly she was concentrating on remembering her routine,
being pushed along by the beat of the music. Gyrating around the perimeter
of the stage she could now catch glimpses of the audience. A feeling of
pure feminine power filled her as she heard the shouting and chanting
as she removed her bodice.
Spreading her legs, she bent from her waist, grasped her ankles and
jiggled, smiling to herself as cheered. She dropped to her knees and
began crawling around the edge of the platform. were reaching out and
tucking notes into her tops and g-string. She was wriggling along
on her back when she spotted Harry. He was leaning forward, eagerly waving
notes in her direction. She rolled over and sat in front of him, arching
her back to thrust her forward. He grinned as he tucked notes into
her top on the inside of her thigh. Kate could just glimpse
Debbie sat behind Harry looking bored. She pouted at him and kicked her
legs apart as she rolled onto her stomach. Debbie leant forward and tried
to say something to Harry, but he just snapped back at her and went back to
gaping at the naked flesh before him. Kate sat up and bent over backwards
away from him and couldn't help smirking to herself as he pushed more notes
into her g-string. The music built to a climax and she danced back into
the centre of the stage, twirling around the pole as the music ended.
The lights died and she gathered up her costume and ran backstage.
Elated, she enfolded first Suki, then Steve, into a hug, before collapsing
breathless into a chair.
"That was amazing!" Kate gasped. "Absolutely unbelievable."
"Well, I'm glad you enjoyed it," Suki said, laughing at her. "Now give
me that costume and get out of here, we've got work to do."
"Come on," Steve said, taking her arm. "Why don't you use the upstairs
bathroom? You're all hot and sweaty." Slightly deflated. Kate trailed up
the stairs behind him. When they got upstairs, Steve disappeared into the
kitchen and came back with a glass of water.
"Here, drink this," he said, giving it to Kate. Suddenly aware how
little she was wearing, Kate tried to keep her arms in front of her as she accepted the drink. Steve noticed her gesture and couldn't help
"Now you're embarrassed?" he asked sardonically. "I thought the whole
point was for to appreciate your naked body." Kate gave him a weak
smile and huddled in a chair. "So did it work? Is your self-esteem sky
"Kind of," Kate replied. "It's a great feeling to have all those paying good money just to see my naked body. Look at all this! Two
hundred of this was from Harry, can you believe that?"
"So now you're happy?" Steve asked.
"Well, happier than I was before," Kate answered. "You don't seem very
"I just find it sad that such a lovely and charming woman can only find
self-respect by stripping her clothes off," he said, shrugging.
"That's a bit strange coming from you, isn't it?" Kate asked.
"Most of the here are working their way through or really
need the money to support their kids. Suki and I provide a safe
environment for them. I'm a failed actor, much as it pains me to admit it.
Suki stripped to pay her way through and then found she couldn't
get a decent job when she finished," Steve explained. "Everyone here knows
exactly why they are here, for the money. It's just a commercial
transaction, pure and simple. But it's completely different for you. I
don't understand why you felt you had to strip tonight or what it
Kate flopped back in her chair and stared fixedly at the ceiling. "Try
to imagine how it feels when the one and only person you've had a
relationship with, who you loved and trusted and were intimate with, tells
the whole world that you are unattractive. That, even naked, no one would
find you sexy. Try to imagine that. The only who's seen me naked
doesn't think it's that great a sight. I needed to know if I'm really so
unsexy. I just needed to know."
"You could have just asked me," Steve said softly. Startled, Kate sat
up and stared at him. "For what it's worth, I think you're one of the
sexiest women I've met in a long time. And I thought that before you took
any clothes off."
Kate blushed. "You did?" she asked, hesitantly.
"Yes, I did. Not that you don't have a lovely body," Steve told her
intently. "But that's not what attracted me. It was the way you laughed
at my accent. The dignity in the way you coped with that talk show. The
way you listened to me. They're the things that made you sexy."
Kate sat forward. "You think I'm sexy?" she whispered.
"Very," he whispered back, leaning forward until their lips met. Kate
lent further forward, losing herself in the kiss. The soft touch of his
mouth and the gentle probing of his tongue sent warm ripples through her
body. Forgetting how she was positioned, she leant too far forward and
tumbled off her chair to land sprawling on top of Steve. The kiss was
broken and she couldn't help laughing at herself. She had forgotten she
was naked until Steve ran his hands across her skin. She bit her lip and
tried not to gasp when his hands found her breasts. When his mouth joined
his hands, she forgot about self-control and gave herself up to the
sensations shimmering along her nerve endings.
Kate closed her eyes, abandoning herself to the feelings churning
through her body. She was considerably startled when Steve suddenly
stopped and pushed her away. She opened her eyes and looked at him,
trembling. He was flushed and breathing hard.
"Let's just stop a moment," he said slowly. "Much as I'd like to
continue with this, it's probably a mistake."
Kate huddled back into her chair, feeling ashamed and humiliated.
"I'm sorry," she whispered, blinking back tears. Steve sighed.
"You've nothing to be sorry for," Steve reassured her. "We both deserve
something better than a quick one night stand. I don't want to be some
guilty memory, something you're ashamed of."
"I wouldn't..." Kate began.
"Oh, you would," Steve interrupted. "Neither do I want to be just
another thing to boost your self-esteem."
"I didn't plan this," Kate murmured.
"I know, sweetheart. In another time and another place there's nothing
I'd like more than to make love to you. I'd like to think that we may meet
up sometime in the future and maybe something would develop."
Kate smiled weakly. "I'd like to think that too. And you're right, we
would have been doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons. I
just feel so lost."
"Want to talk about it?" he asked softly.
She started to say no but somehow she found herself talking and just
couldn't stop. Steve held her and listened as she told him about her life.
She told him everything, the good times and the bad. All the good things
she had done and all the bad. She exposed herself to him in a way she had
never done to anyone, not her husband or her best friend. At the end she
felt drained, but at peace for the first time in years.
Steve reached over to get some tissues and tenderly wiped the tear
traces from her face.
"Thanks Steve," she said.
"You're welcome," he said. "Of course I'll have to send you my
dry-cleaning bill. Salt water and silk don't mix. Hey, I got a smile.
And you do have a wonderful smile."
"Does flattery come naturally to you or did you take a course?" Kate
asked, smiling even more.
"Just a natural talent. So, how are you feeling now?"
"Better, much better. I just don't know where I go from here," Kate
admitted. "For the past ten years I've been Harry's wife. Before that I
was trying to get married. I was approaching thirty, all my friends were
married and I was the only one left. So I was real grateful when Harry
came along and was interested in me. Now I'm wondering if the only reason
I Harry was because I wanted to marry someone, anyone. We didn't
really have that much in common. But all I've done for the last ten years
is be a housewife. If I'm not Harry's wife, I don't know who I am
"You can be whoever you want to be," Steve told her.
"You think?" Kate asked.
"Yep. But you have to think that too," Steve said earnestly. "You
don't need a to define you or male approval to give you self-esteem.
All you need is to believe in yourself."
"You sound like one of those new-age feminists," Kate said.
"Hey, they talk a lot of sense," Steve retorted. "Well, sometimes."
"I suppose so," Kate admitted. "You know, I always wanted to be a
nurse. I've done some St John Ambulance courses and I loved it."
"So go for it," Steve encouraged her. "With the money you get from the
divorce settlement go back and do the necessary training."
"I could, couldn't I," Kate said thoughtfully.
"Of course you can. But save a little of the money for a vacation out
here. I'd really like to see you again.
"I will," Kate said. "I'd like to see you again too. And if I run out
of money, I can always do a bit of stripping on the side."
Copyright Vickie Morgan, June 1999 E-mail email@example.com
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