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The Dance Of Lust

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            It had been around fifteen years since Gackt last heard from his uncle and so it was a surprise to receive the phone call from his solicitor. In all honesty, Gackt couldn't find real affection for his uncle, he barely knew the man, and so to hear he was dead was just an unwanted surprise.

            There was more though, Gackt was one of the benefactors of the will and had inherited his uncle’s night club. There weren’t many details about the place, just a name and an address, but Gackt knew the only proper way to check out a business was to visit it.

            “Can you tell me why uncle has left this club to me?” Gackt asked. “Only he barely knows me and I'm sure there must be closer family members who would benefit more.”         

            “All he said was that you were the most suited for the job.” The solicitor explained and still feeling confused Gackt said his goodbyes and hung up the phone.

            Presumably what his uncle meant was that he had a lot of business experience. He did own two casinos, one in Kyoto the other Okinawa, and was setting up a third here in Tokyo. Could he really run a nightclub as well as set up a casino though? It was a lot of work but then if the club was already set up and had good management, perhaps he could leave it to run itself? Well he wouldn't know until he checked it out and deciding there was no time like the present, he made a phone call to his accountant and arranged a visit.

 

            Kami had worked as Gackt's accountant before he had even received his degree in accounting and had always remained a loyal and trustworthy friend. The pair had met at high school and remained together ever since. If anything, they were more like brothers than friends and no matter what happened they both knew the other would be there to offer support. It was no surprise to Kami that Gackt had asked him to join him on his initial visit to the club and without hesitation Kami had agreed to go. It was exciting to see Gackt's business empire grow and Kami was nothing but happy for his friend.

            Though now they were standing outside the club, Kami was beginning to wonder if this club was truly a gift. It was clearly a gay club and though Kami wasn't offended by the concept, he was a little on edge. There was something here that wasn't quite right and he could tell Gackt was feeling it too.

            “Perhaps it was given to me because Uncle knew I was bisexual?” Gackt commented warily. “Scared someone else might close it down.”

            “It's a valid fear,” Kami commented. “Look at it, it looks more like a seedy strip club.”

            “I think it might be,” Gackt commented warily. “Why else would a club be hidden on a backstreet?”

            “I suppose we have to go in.” Kami replied with a sigh.

            “We do.” Gackt agreed, heading down the steps that led the club door. The bouncer let them both past without question and stepping inside into the dim smoky room, Gackt looked around his new establishment with a heavy heart. This was a strip club, with pole dancers in skimpy clothes being watched by sleazy men. Everything was very much stereotypical, except it was men who danced here.

            “Oh god, they even have private rooms in the back.” Kami got out and Gackt glanced over to find that it was true. Less than happy, he headed to the bar to look for whoever was running the place. Some changes were going to have to be made to this place but first he needed to get the full story of what was going on.

 

            “Have you heard?” One of the dancers asked Közi the next day, as they were stretching read for practise. “The new boss turned up last night.”

            “The new boss?” Közi asked. “What was he like?”

            “Gorgeous, I wouldn't mind dancing for him,” Közi's friend replied with a wink. “Though I doubt that will happen. He didn't look keen on the idea of taking on a strip club. In fact, he's already talking about 'modifications'.”

            “Why would Camui-san leave his club to a nephew, who wouldn't support the idea?” Közi asked confused and upset. This job was his livelihood and he loved doing it.

            “That's a good question,” Spoke up the house mother, a transvestite named Mana. Mana worked as dance instructor and assistant manager and right now was the highest ranking member of staff in the building. “I can't understand what he was thinking.”

            “Yeah but you’re still annoyed he didn't choose you to inherit the club.” Közi teased.

            “How am I meant to like a man, who's currently deciding if this should even stay a club?” Mana asked. “I overheard talk that he might convert this to a casino to add to his own chain.”

            “It would have been nice for you to inherit this place,” Közi spoke up loyally. “It would have been best for everyone, I think.”

            “What we need is a way to convince the new boss that this is a good place.” Közi's friend spoke up. “He isn't by any chance gay?”

            “I don't know. He turned up with a pretty man I could have sworn was his lover but then he got a call from his girlfriend. Gackt himself is a mystery.” Mana explained.

            “You’re on first name terms already?” Közi asked surprised.

            “He refuses to be called anything else,” Mana responded. “But it is a good question. Perhaps if he's gay someone could seduce him and then convince him to keep this place open as it is.”

 

            As Közi practised, he thought over what Mana had said. To seduce the new boss was a sound idea and who better to do it than him? He was the club’s best dancer and one of the most attractive. He was certainly prepared to do anything to keep his job but was the boss gay?

            As he was pondering that, the main doors opened and a man in a black suit entered followed by a more casually dressed red haired man. It was clear that the man in the suit was the new boss and unable to help himself, Közi stopped to watch him. He truly was gorgeous, though it was impossible to guess his sexuality, at least not without talking to him.

            As Közi watched, the two men and Mana disappeared into the manager’s office for a little bit before Gackt, or at least the man Közi had decided was Gackt, came out alone. His eyes met Közi's instantly and it was clear he was aware he had been watched. Wordlessly Gackt headed in Közi's direction and, feeling like a naughty kid been caught by the headmaster, Közi slid of the stage so that when Gackt reached him they were standing on equal ground.

            “I suppose you're interested in your new boss.” Gackt commented, deliberately letting his voice carry to the other dancers in the room.

            “Is it true, you plan to shut this place down?” Közi asked, always straight to the point.

            “I haven't decided,” Gackt replied. “I won't let any one of you go unemployed without good reason. No matter what I turn this place into, there will be jobs for all of you.”

            “And what if all we want to do is dance?” Közi asked. “Some of us take pride in being good at it and earn better money through tips, than any job you could give us in a casino.”

            “Közi leave it.” Spoke up one of the other dancers but it was too late for that.

            “How do you know you wouldn't like another job?” Gackt asked, clearly not the kind of man who would easily back down.

            “Why should I have to find a new job?” Közi challenged. “Why won't you give this place a chance?”

            “I never said I’d shut the place down.” Gackt replied. “I said I hadn't decided.”

            “Then why don't I let you see why you should keep this place open as it is?” Közi suggested.

            “Go on then.” Gackt replied. startling Közi who had expected some time to think up a strategy. Caught on the spot like this. he had to think fast and the only reason he could think to keep the club open was because he loved to dance.

            “Why don't you see how much fun it is to dance?” Közi suggested. realising as he said it that the other dancers were impressed at the idea. Nobody expected Gackt to agree to it but it took courage to try and get a man who disliked the idea of pole dancing to take to the stage.

            “Show me then.” Gackt replied. “Something simple that I can copy.”

            “Uhhh OK.” Közi replied, feeling a little uneasy to be put on the spot like this. Still he was a performer at heart and pulled off a simple but effective routine which he finished with a smile and a bow before watching as Gackt wordlessly removed his shoes and socks and climbed onto the stage.

            “It's best to use the chalk,” Közi advised, pointing to a bucket that was at the back out of the way. “Stops the pole from getting sweaty and helps protect your hands.”

            “I see.” Gackt replied, doing as he was told. What Közi said made sense and it was actually pleasing to see that someone cared about the staff’s welfare. Taking to the pole, determined not to make a fool of himself, Gackt did his best to repeat the routine and though he knew he was making mistakes, he was pleased with his interpretation.

            “Not bad,” Közi admitted. “Try the twist again with your hand higher up the pole, yeah that's it.”

 

            Kami was in the office, looking through the company’s accounts and finding a lot of inconsistencies in the paper work. Not only was a lot of information missing, there seemed to a lot of missing profit. Someone had been deliberately fiddling with the books to avoid taxes and though it might fool somebody having a quick look, it didn't fool Kami.

            Putting the paperwork away, Kami left the office to report his findings only to find Gackt on stage pole dancing. It was the last thing he expected but it seemed Gackt was having fun. With a smile on his lips Kami watched his friend dance for a few minutes before he headed over to the stage to confront his friend.

            “Gackt, I know you’re having fun but you're needed.” Kami called out, bemused by the embarrassed expression that was thrown his way.

            “Yeah, I suppose I do,” Gackt agreed. “Thanks for the lessons.” He added for Közi's benefit before he followed Kami into the office to discuss business.

            “So, pole dancing now?” Kami asked, raising an eyebrow.

            “You know I’ll try anything and it's only fair to truly understand a business before deciding if it should be shut down.” Gackt explained.

            “Oh god, you want to keep it as it is!” Kami declared in horror.

            “I think that if I try and change things I'm going to make a lot of people unhappy.” Gackt responded.

            “And by any chance is the red-haired man, who was teaching you how to dance, one of these people?” Kami asked.

            “He might be.” Gackt admitted, knowing he couldn't hide anything from Kami.

            “Seriously Gackt, why do you always let your hormones affect your decisions?” Kami scolded.

            “Because I'm human,” Came Gackt simple but unarguable answer. “Is the business making a profit?”

            “It's doing alright,” Kami admitted. “Fine you win, there's no point closing down a profitable business.”

 

            It was a few days since Gackt had taken over management of the club and the staff were slowly beginning to realise that he was a lot better than their old boss. Gackt's uncle had often abused the back rooms used for private lap dancers and demanded his dancers gave his dances for free as part of their job. He had even gone as far as to violate his own policy to not touch the dancers and many of the performers found him to be repulsive. Gackt however had never once asked for such a service and those who had offered in hopes of perks had all been rejected.

            The changes Gackt had brought in were small enough not to cause complaint, as he was spending most of his time and effort redecorating in hopes of attracting a more up-scale clientele. It was already clear that Gackt was a good business man and, with the exception of Mana, everyone liked him.

            Mana of course couldn't get over the fact that Gackt had inherited the club instead of himself and had taken to making Gackt's life increasingly difficult. It was clear one day soon things would erupt between them but for now life was good.

             Közi however was facing a dilemma. He was falling for the boss but knew that any attempts to approach him would be rejected. Gackt had made it clear already he wasn't accepting any kind of favours or advances and Közi very much doubted Gackt would make his own. He was just far too professional for something like that.

            Frustrated with the predicament, Közi headed onto the stage and began his routine for the watching men, feeling the music take him away. His frustration fuelled the dance and he lost himself in the moment as he found inner peace, if only for a while.

            With his feelings as a catalyst, Közi performed beyond his usually ability and received more tips than even he had expected. Feeling pleased, he headed to the back room already having a request for a back room.

            “I don't feel well.”  Közi lied, he simply wasn't in the mood but Mana wouldn't accept the excuse and he found himself been forced to meet the client. Annoyed Közi entered the room to find Kami waiting for him. This was the last thing he had expected and his frustration was forgotten as curiosity took its place.

            “I thought you were straight.” Közi commented, unable to help himself.

            “I am,” Kami replied. “I just wanted to talk to you without Gackt finding out.”

            “You did?” Közi asked puzzled.

            “The thing is, he likes one of the dancers more than he should,” Kami admitted. “He won't make a move himself but I can tell he's serious. It was a crush but I can see he's growing truly attached. I thought perhaps I could interfere a little and set something up. I doubt this dancer will approach him now he's made it so clear he doesn't want that.”

            “Oh, I see.” Közi replied feeling crushed. Well at least he knew the truth now.

            “I asked a few dancers if they knew what this man would respond to such a request and nobody could truly answer. Apparently, he's hard to read when it comes to love.” Kami explained. “So, you think it's best if I ask him directly?”

            “Would Gackt be mad if you set things up?” Közi asked.

            “Not at me.” Kami replied.

            “Then perhaps you should,” Közi replied. “I don't think there's many men here who would turn him down.”

            “That's good to here,” Kami replied. “The man is you.”

            “What?” Kami asked, sure he had misheard.

            “He thinks you're cool,” Kami explained. “He admired the way you stood up for yourself when you first met and when you dance, even I can see why he finds you so sexy. But really it's the fact you're so honest about everything that attracts him.”

            “Well if that's the case, I'll have to say yes,” Közi replied with a smile. “The truth is, several men have developed a crush on the boss and I'm one of them.”

           

            This wasn't the first time Kami had decided to influence in his love life but it was probably the time Gackt was most appreciative. He really had been struggling to come to a conclusion on what he should do about Közi but now Kami had solved everything. Kami was now responsible for this date and anything that might happen because of it.

            The date was your typical dinner in a restaurant, which was probably a safe choice for now. When they truly got to know each other, they could arrange something original, assuming that this date went well.

            Without a trace of nerves, Gackt waited for Közi outside, leaning against the wall watching the people walk past. He didn't miss the admiring glances but he didn't react to them as his mind was elsewhere planning out this date and wondering about its consequences.

            Közi arrived a few minutes late but nothing was said of the matter and the pair entered the restaurant and were seated at a small table in the back corner out of everyone’s way. Drinks were ordered and conversation came easily, time passed quickly but pleasurably.

            It was clear they were getting on well and Közi accepted Gackt's suggestion to go back to his home without hesitation. The drive back was filled with flirtatious jokes and quick kisses at traffic lights but when they entered Gackt's home, Gackt suddenly stopped flirting and turned his full attention on to getting out a bottle of wine.

            Slightly confused, Közi sat down on Gackt's sofa but was soon joined by the other who began pouring the wine. He wasn't acting any less friendly than he had before and deciding to ignore the sudden change of mood, Közi took a sip of the drink and tried to start a conversation, only to have Gackt ignore him entirely.

            “We both know where this is heading but you need to pass a test of courage to get there.” Gackt informed Közi, handing him a plate containing some kind of soft white substance with blue mould growing in thin lines through it.

            “What is that?” Közi asked.

            “Cheese.” Gackt answered.

            “Like on pizza? It's mouldy.” Közi replied sceptically.

            “It's meant to be. It makes it taste better.” Gackt explained, proving his point by eating some of the substance that Közi still wasn't willing to accept it was cheese. He smiled encouraging at Közi, waiting for him to take a bite.

            “It's meant to have mould in it?” Közi asked sceptically but Gackt was no longer listening. Instead he was busy preparing some cheese on his finger to offer to Közi and reluctantly Közi took the offered cheese, wondering if this was even safe to eat.

            “Like it?” Gackt asked, laughing at the face Közi pulled in response. It was clear he hadn't but he had passed the test and taking pity, Gackt kissed Közi gently.

            “Why do you even have to set up tests?” Közi complained.

            “Because it's fun?” Gackt suggested.

            “Because you're sadistic?” Was Közi reply.

            “Just a little,” Gackt replied. “Shall I make things up to you?”

            “How do you plan to do that?” Közi asked with a flirtatious tone in his voice.

            “Well I’ve seen you're pole dancing,” Gackt replied. “Why don't I show you mine?”

            “You own a pole?” Közi asked.

            “This pole, well all men have one,” Gackt replied. “And the dance is done with a tongue.”

            “That sounds amazing,” Közi replied. “I think perhaps you should show it me.”

            “I think perhaps I will,” Gackt replied. “You did eat my cheese.”

            “The question is, will you eat mine?”