Alexia stormed out of the house, slamming the door as she went. Her mother had once again proven why people who had closed minds should never open their mouths. The woman didn't understand. Probably never would.
She'd been written up and suspended from school for two days for dislocating the running back of the football team's thumb. It was only because he grabbed Max's ass. Of course, Alexia's mom didn't care. She was under the misguided impression that if Max had informed a teacher that something would have been done about it.
She walked along, replaying the argument in her head.
"You can't just lash out like that, Alexia!" Her mother shouted. "You're going to get into real trouble. You seriously hurt that boy!"
"Good," Alexia said angrily. "Maybe now the son of a bitch will learn to keep his hands to himself."
"It isn't your place to mete out punishment like that, Alexia." Edith snapped.
Alexia raised an eyebrow. "Who else is gonna do it?"
"That's what your school has adults and grownups for." The older woman said, trying to stay calm.
"Really? Come on, mom. I know you ain't that dumb. None of the so-called authority figures gives a shit." She crossed her arms. "It's always us against them."
"Alexia, watch your language. No one's against you." Edith said.
"Bullshit!" Alexia shouted. "Whether you like it or not, me and other kids like me are the direct byproduct of the world you made. All we see, all we hear, all we know is what you and the adults like you have given us. It's a little late to be pissed off about it now."
"So you're saying that you breaking that poor boy's hand was my fault?" Edith asked, crossing her arms to mimic her daughter. "Come on, Alexia. You aren't that dumb." She said, throwing her daughter's words back at her.
The teenager smirked. "Well, if I am, we know where I got it, don't we?"
Edith shook her head and threw her hands up in the air in frustration. "I can't talk to you." She paced around the room. "Why can't you be more like Ashley?"
Alexia had to snicker at that one. "Because I don't care if I get caught."
Edith narrowed her eyes. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"The things I could tell you about Ashley would turn your hair gray quicker than cheap dye." The girl said, the smirk never leaving her face.
"I'm not diming on her. If I did that, you'd never be able to trust me." Alexia offered.
"So keeping secrets from me is supposed to make me trust you?" Edith didn't get that logic one bit.
"Exactly. If I drop the dime on Ashley, then you won't be able to trust me with any of your secrets. And trust me - you have some whoppers."
Edith raised her eyebrows. "What are you talking about?"
The girl gave a smug superior little smile. "Let's just say, that with what I know about you, I could make Penthouse Forum a New York best seller."
Edith blanched at the statement. She'd had a bit of wild streak when she was younger. She'd done a lot of things that she wasn't proud of. But she couldn't believe her daughter would say such a thing to her. In her anger, she lashed out, with the intent to slap Alexia's face.
Her hand never got close.
The fifteen year old girl caught her arm around the wrist. Edith stared into the tiny girl's eyes.
Alexia held her arm and glared at her mother. "Don't EVER try to hit me again." She growled. She gave her mother's arm a sharp squeeze. The bones in the woman's arm creaked.
Edith grimaced as she pulled her hand back. "How did you get so strong?"
"I hang from buildings by my fingers, what did you expect?"
The woman looked at her daughter. "What happened to you, Alexia?" Her eyes were sad. "You used to be such a sweet little girl. Now you're so angry." Her eyes were rimmed with unshed tears.
"Do you know why, mom? Because I'm tired of idiots calling the shots. I'm tired of the fucking hypocrisy. I'm tired of having to respect people who don't deserve it. And I'm pissed off because there's nothing I can do about it." Alexia took a deep breath to steady herself.
"I understand that things are difficult when you're young. Agreeably, more so now then when I was your age. But you can't react like this." Edith said. She placed her hands on Alexia's shoulders and looked at the girl's downturned face. "I know you're strong, Alexia." The woman said to her daughter. "But you can't go on fighting everyone like this."
Alexia snarled and slapped her mother's hands away. "Wanna bet?" She pushed past her mother and threw the front door open, slamming it behind her.
Edith watched her angry daughter storm away. She shook her head as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
She walked along, her blood burning. She'd felt amped up ever since she awoke this morning. It was her birthday. And it was turning out to be one of the worst days of her life. She dug into her pocket and pulled out her cell phone. She dialed up Tyler.
"Hoi hoi!" He answered.
"Hey Ty. It's Lex." She said as she hopped up and balanced on a chain link fence. "Come pick me up. I'll tank you up and we can hit the old Pinecrest dump."
"Hell yeah." He said back. "Be there in a few. Where you at?"
"The park at the end of my block." Alexia offered. "Be waiting for you." She stuffed the phone in her pocket and jogged to the park.
Kat worked the heavy bag hard. Sweat soaked her heavily tattooed skin. Her light tank top and her loose bike shorts clung to her body. She turned to work the bag from a different angle. She watched the tall leggy brunette in the red minidress walk out of her bedroom carrying her red stiletto pumps. The woman smiled. "Call me later?"
Kat nodded. "Sure." She couldn't even remember the woman's name. She'd picked her up at Chopsticks last night and dragged her home to fuck the shit out of her. The woman was there to scratch an itch. And, if Kat had to be honest, the woman wasn't very good at it. "Later." She said dismissively. She went back to her workout.
The woman frowned heavily and left the massive condo without another word; gathering her expensive red leather half-jacket along the way.
Kat finished her workout and moved to her kitchen, stripping the tape and martial arts gloves off as she went. She tossed the gloves on the island and dropped the tape into the trash. She opened up the cabinet above her fridge and pulled out a large bottle of Jack Daniels. She took the shot glass out from beside it and set them both on the island. She poured a glass and quickly slammed it down. She set the shot glass down and filled it again. Sighing heavily, she downed it and stared at the bottle. She silently screwed the cap on and replaced it. She put her shot glass in her dishwasher and moved over to the sofa. She leaned back and propped her feet up on her coffee table and settled in for a day of channel surfing.
The ring of the telephone stole her attention. She didn't bother looking at the caller ID. "Yeah?" She said lazily into the phone.
"Hey Kat. It's Duncan." Kat's boss - manager of Déjà Vu's - said happily. "I hate to ask you this, but I really need you to cover tonight."
"Let me guess. Sadie?" Kat asked, irritation evident in her voice.
"Yeah. She said her kid's sick again." He said apologetically.
"I swear to god that kid has fucking AIDS or something. This is the fourth time in as many months."
"I know, Kat. But you're the best dancer I got. And I really need you tonight." He said, pleading.
She slammed her head back on the sofa. "Fine. But I do plan on taking a good portion of the summer off."
"Hey that's perfectly fine, babe. See ya at eight." He hung up.
She dropped the phone back into the recharger and closed her eyes. "Today's her birthday." She said softly to herself.
She hated weekdays. She preferred working the Friday and Saturday night crowds. The tips were better and she didn't have to deal with horny teenagers. High School kids didn't tip for shit.
She got off the couch and headed to her bedroom closet. She sifted through her collection of stripper-wear and decided on the black leather and lace matching bra and thong. She added the spider-patterned nylons to the ensemble. She reached into the bottom of her closet and pulled out the knee high leather boots with the four inch spiked heels.
She stripped out of her workout clothes and tossed them into the oversized hamper. She ran a hot bath in her giant Jacuzzi tub. She relaxed in the tub for a couple of hours, dozing lazily, before pulling the plug and taking a piping hot shower. She then toweled herself off and brewed a pot of coffee.
She sat at the island and stared into her mug. She smiled as she looked at it. It had a picture of a playful kitten on the side and read 'My Kat' with a backward K on it. It was a gift she had gotten from the girl that's been on her mind consistently for the past four years.
Her stomach growling, she rose to her feet and tossed a frozen pizza into her toaster oven. She enjoyed another cup of coffee and logged on to the computer to check the news.
She ate in silence and went into her bedroom and stood in front of the full length mirror on her door.
She pulled the leather thong ridged with lace on and settled it in place. She wrapped her breasts with the lace lined leather bra. She adjusted for more cleavage. She then pulled the nylons up, attaching the garters to keep them where they were. Last but not least, she slid on the boots, zipping up the sides. She always got great tips when she wore the outfit.
She went into her bathroom and sat down at her vanity and began applying her makeup. She applied a small hint of dark eye shadow. Ruby red lipstick came next, followed by a small dash of eyeliner.
She stared into the mirror and smiled at herself. "You are one bad kitty." She said, puckering. She put away her makeup and gathered a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a set of underwear. These she tossed into a bag and went into the living room. She pulled her keys out of the half-moon hubcap sitting on table next to the door and headed out into her garage.
She smiled as she walked up to her primer gray Mercury. It was a 1950 and was her pride and joy. She gave it a once over – as she did every time she went to drive it – and marveled at its lines. It was smooth and almost sensual. Until you go to the front. The giant blown 429 Super Cobra Jet rose from the engine bay and glistened in the light of the room. The chrome was polished and meticulously cared for. She was very happy with what she had done.
She'd brought the beast back from the brink of extinction. It hadn't been easy or cheap. But it had been completely worth it to her. She opened the door and climbed in. She fired the monstrosity up and reveled in the monumental amount of horsepower implicit in the throaty rumble. She put it in gear and headed for work.
Alexia ran and leapt. She cleared the twenty-five foot distance with ease. She banked sharply and ran along the narrow steel beam, she ran up the wall and back-flipped landing in a crouch on the next level up. She leapt again, gripping the very edge of the I-beam with her fingertips and swinging out and releasing, fearless of the hundred foot drop beneath her. She reached out and snagged the heavy rusty chain that hung from the derelict crane that sat long unused. The chain swung and delivered her unscathed onto the roof of the recycling structure.
Tyler watched in amazement as he recorded her with his camcorder. He had a huge grin on his face. "Damn Lex. You're on fire today, girl." He kept pace with her, shocked at her bravery.
She kept running and launched herself from the rooftop. The distance had to be almost forty feet to the scaffolding that she latched onto. She descended it quickly and landed in a practiced crouch. She looked at him, breathing heavily. "Did you get all that?"
He nodded. "Every fucking second." He was grinning like mad. "You should be on fucking Ninja Warrior with that shit."
Alexia laughed. "I was thinking about it, actually." She then turned sad. "Like my fucking parents would let me go to Japan."
"They're getting together an American one, you know."
She shook her head. "Fuck that shit. I've seen it. It blows donkey cock." She went over to his van and pulled a bottle of water out of the cooler in the back. "I would want the original."
He nodded, powering off the camera. "I can't help but notice how much faster and stronger you've gotten. Some of those jumps were just insane."
She sighed. "Ever since I woke up this morning, I've just been wired. I don't know what it is, but I just…I don't know. Everything's in like…hi def or something. Sounds are louder, smells are sharper. For some fucked up ass reason, I don't need my glasses anymore."
He stared at her. "Oh yeah." He pointed. "I was wondering about that."
She shrugged. "I don't get it. I put them on this morning and everything was blurry as shit. I took them off and I could see just fine."
"That's just fucking weird." He said taking a bottle of water. "Did you tell your folks?"
She nodded. "Yeah. They didn't really give a shit. Was cutting lip with my mom before I called you and she didn't even notice."
"Sad." He said. "I'm getting hungry. You wanna hit the Vu? Buy me some dinner and stare at half naked chicks?"
Alexia nodded. "Fuck yeah." She said, downing her water and adding the bottle to the growing pile in the back of his van. "Let's motor."
The pair got in and headed south on South Point Defiance Way, past 84th street and pulled into the parking lot. Both of them snickered at the sign on the front of the building. 'Hundreds of Beautiful Girls...and Three Ugly Ones'.
Tyler pulled in and parked next to a really nice primer gray mercury. "That's a nice ride." He said indicating the car.
Alexia nodded. "Bet it goes like a raped ape."
He stepped out of the van. "I've seen it around town a couple of times. It's loud as hell. Believe it or not, a hot chick usually drives it."
She raised an eyebrow. "Really?" She looked back at the car. "That's just hot."
He nodded. "Tell me about it." They went inside and dropped the cover. Ten bucks was a bit steep for a high school kid, but the music was good, the food was great and with the cover, you get free drinks if you have a student ID.
"I wish I could come in here on Friday and Saturday nights." Tyler commented as they took a table next to the main stage.
Alexia nodded. "Only because you know the chicks get buck naked." She said with a smile. She looked at the rather well endowed waitress. "Ruby red squirt, please."
"Cherry coke." Tyler said. "No shit." He said back to Alexia. "Can you blame me?"
She shook her head. "Not really, no."
The waitress came back, carrying their drinks. "Here you go." Both of them flashed their ID's. She smiled and nodded. "You're good all night."
They sat and talked as the dancers came and went. Alexia very rarely came here alone. She had once or twice, but never really got into it.
"We've got a treat for you tonight, folks." The DJ said, crisply. "She's the main Weekend attraction, but we've been lucky enough to get her in here tonight. Ladies and gentlemen give it up for Kat."
The lights dropped as the heavy tolling of a bell rolled through the club. Smoke billowed out from behind the bead curtain on the back of the stage. The lilting guitar of Hells Bells by AC/DC flooded over the room. The dancer threw the beads aside as the drums and guitars kicked into high gear. The woman moved like she was making love to the music. The black leather trench coat she wore concealed a good portion of her body.
Alexia had to give her credit. She was good. "Who is that?"
Tyler shook his head. "I don't know. I've never seen her before. From what he said, she works the weekend crowd."
The girl nodded. "I can see why." She trailed her eyes over the woman.
The dancer moved around the stage like she owned it. She violently pulled the coat open as Brian Johnson's voice cut in.
Now, Alexia normally didn't go in for a lot of skin art, but this woman wore it extremely well. The young girl was transfixed by the sensual display that was before her.
She forced her eyes up to see the dark haired beauty's face. Her eyes grew ten times wider. "Kat?" Her voice was stolen from her as she said the name.
Kat sat backstage touching up her makeup.
"Thanks again for coming in tonight." Duncan said with a smile. "I really appreciate it."
Kat shrugged. "That's alright." She said to him. "I'll never tell you no, Duncan. You know that. And you can properly thank my by buying me a new clutch cable for my Merc."
"Done." He said, gripping her shoulder. He left the dressing room.
She stared into the mirror at herself and nodded as she heard the DJ announcing her. "Showtime." She said to herself.
She moved up to the beaded curtain and cleared her mind. She had to remember to keep it clean. This wasn't her target audience. She heard the tolling of the bell. The smoke machine was already fired up. She tossed back the beads and went to work. She moved with the music, becoming one with it. She always loved to dance.
And others had always loved to watch her dance.
One in particular...
She pushed the thoughts of the girl out of her mind. She tore the jacket open and tossed it to the side. She spun and dipped, sliding her body up and down the pole. She spun and dropped to her knees, facing the lucky pair at the front table.
And stared directly into the pale jade eyes of the young girl that has been on her mind for the past four years.
"Alexia?" She said quietly.