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Bed of roses

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"Ya know what he said to me last night?" The blonde exclaimed in her thick Brooklyn accent while applying another layer of bright red lipstick onto her plump lips. "He said I wasn't good enough! Didn't get enough money! Pathetic! Why don't he swing around that pole all night, see how his feet are holdin' up! I swear if he says something like that again I'll-"

"Harley" John said, cutting her off as he looked at her over his shoulder. He shook his head with a sigh and turned his head back to the brightly lit mirror, wiping away some excessive lipstick. "Keep your voice down, he could be right outside." He continued, tilting his head to the left, the right, then glancing down at the blonde wig lying on the table. He ran his pale fingers through the soft, but fake hair, and picked it up, placing it over the wig cap on his head, adjusting it a bit so the cap wasn't visible anymore.

Harley only turned to look at John for a few seconds, frowning while she did before continuing in the same loud voice. "I don't care if he hears me! He's an asshole, I'm fine with him hearing that!"

"Until he beats you." John snapped, turning his head to the side, causing a strand of the wig's hair to get caught in his lipstick. He carefully peeled it away and tucked the strand behind his ear.

Harley was now looking at him with big eyes, surprise easily read on her face. She looked down.

 

"We should get going, don't want to keep the boss waiting." John then said solemnly to interrupt the silence as he stood up and took a last look at himself in the mirror. The white faux-fur fell just off his shoulders and the purple bodystocking underneath didn't leave much to the imagination. The matching purple heels added another few centimeters to his height and his green nail polish had a stark contrast with his pale skin. He was all ready.

 

“There’s my girls! Took you long enough!” A deep voice said as John and Harley left the dressing room. The chuckle added to the words was the only indication of humour, and it allowed them both to breathe out in relief. It was always a surprise what Dent would say. He could act all lovey-dovey and not even a minute later he would scream at his employees, pointing out every little thing that they did wrong. And of course it was never him, it was always someone else, anyone else. But not this time, luckily.

“Come on, give me a kiss and get up there.” The tall man said, adjusting the button on the black sleeve of his expensive suit as he approached the two. Like routine, they both pecked his cheek and immediately left, walking up the stairs to the stage.


John could feel Harvey’s eyes burning in his back as he walked away, but didn’t bother or even dare to turn around and check. Harley went to her side on the left, John took the right. With a few more stairs they’d reached the stage and the shiny metal poles were just there waiting for them along with the crowd. Men and women- but especially men- had their money in hands, ready to drunkenly spend it on a single dance and regret it in the morning as their music qued and they gave each other one last look before swinging around the poles, bodies bending and moving suggestively with cheers of the audience just beneath them. Bills were already flying around, and that was John’s sign. He took off the fur boa and seductively ran it along his body before throwing it into the crowd of ready-to-grab hands.

 

Their performance was filled with cheers and occasional shouts of “Harley” and “Violet” to get their attention, and sometimes they did get what they wanted, a look, a wink, and a kiss blown their direction. Both the stage and what was left of their outfits were filled with money bills and even a few napkins with phone numbers written on them by the end of their performance. Keeping what was in their outfits, they left the stage and a few men came up to collect the rest of the money as the stage went dark.

 

By the time they were back down, Harvey was already waiting for them with open arms and a big grin.

“Fantastic job! That’s a whole lotta cash if I say so myself.” He said, shamelessly eyeing Harley and John up and down, not /just/ to look at the cash.

“Go put that away and attend some clients, they were very interested tonight.” Harvey said, but just as they were about to return to their dressing room, Harvey stopped John by placing his hand on John’s chest, slowly running it down to his waist.

“Not you.”

 

Harley had stopped in her tracks as well and turned back to John and Harvey, looking between the both of them quizzically.

“You can go, Harley.” Harvey ordered, giving her some nasty side-eye.

“But-”

“I said go!” Harvey cut her off, looking at her with fire in his eyes. John could feel his anger by the hand on his waist tightening a bit, nodding for Harley to go so she wouldn’t get herself in trouble. She was sweet, really. But she had a habit of getting herself into things she wouldn’t be able to get out.

With that, Harley turned around with a soft sigh and returned to the dressing room, leaving John behind with Harvey much to her disliking.

 

“Come with me.” Harvey said as soon as the door to the dressing room closed, and he walked down the hallway toward his ‘office’ as he so ironically called it. He unlocked the door with the key from his pocket and held the door open for John. He looked at Harvey for a good few seconds before hesitantly stepping inside, he didn’t like where this was going. It never meant any good if Harvey wanted to speak to any of his dancers in private. But considering he had done exactly as he was ordered, he had no idea what could be going on.

 

The ‘office’ looked the same as always, red walls on the left, black walls on the right. No one ever knew why he chose to split the walls in the middle, but no one ever cared or dared to ask. The furniture was pretty much all red; sofa, chairs, table, bed… one thing he would never understand. Why he had a bed in his office, it wasn’t like he slept here. The guy owned a fortune off of his clubs, and if not that, he did somehow. He probably owned a big ass mansion with maids to do all his dirty work, just like anywhere he went he had someone to do his dirty work for him. Whether that be literally or figuratively.

 

“Sit down.” He said with a gesture towards the couch as he closed and /locked/ the door behind him. Something about that made John’s stomach drop as he sat down on the couch, nervously beginning to peel the money from under the edges of his body stocking.

Harvey turned back around to John, slipping the key into the pocket of his fancy trousers, slowly making his way over to the couch, dropping himself down next to John. A bit too close for comfort.

“You know, I was watching you today, you did really good.” He said with a voice just above a whisper, creepily close to John’s ear as he suddenly felt a warm hand on his thigh, almost making him gasp with surprise. The hand softly squeezed and began rubbing up and down a bit, and if John hadn’t waxed it all off, the hair on his thighs would be standing upright.

 

“Thank you, sir.” John said, deciding to take the obedient road for as far as his hammering heart could take it. Not wanting to cause any trouble with this man in a locked room.

Harvey chuckled, and it made John flinch just a little, but enough for Harvey to notice. His expression turned into a frown, and he brought his other hand up to John’s chin, tilting his head to make him look at Harvey. He tucked a strand of the wig’s hair behind John’s ear and let his fingers slide down over his pale, makeup-covered cheek.

“Relax a little, you’re not in trouble baby girl .”

A cringe ran down John’s spine at the nickname coming from his mouth and he could feel his heart pick up the speed even more.

“I was just thinking you could give me a bit of a private session, just you and me.” Harvey said as he licked his lower lip, eyes going all over John’s body before stopping at his lips.

“Show daddy a good time.” Harvey continued, the hand on John’s thigh going up… up… inward… and.

Gasp.

 

John held his breath as he looked at Harvey who was looking right back with a smirk, hand where a boss really shouldn’t put it.

“You like that?”

John waited, he waited, he waited.

Squeeze.

“N-No…” He then uttered nervously, feeling as if he were about to faint. His heart was hammering and if he hadn’t preoccupied his hands with fiddling with the money, they would be shaking like crazy.

Harvey’s expression changed. His smirk turned into a frown, and the once gentle hand now harshly grabbed John’s face, causing the pale man to grow even paler, staring at his boss with wide eyes.
“No?” Harvey asked. “N-No?” He repeated, mocking John’s tone. “You ungrateful little-”

Knock knock.

 

He was interrupted. He was interrupted.

Harvey turned his head to the door, and John let out a shaky breath, squeezing his eyes shut for a few seconds before also looking at the door.

“What?!” Harvey practically shouted, waiting for reply from the other end of the door.

“Bruce Wayne is here sir.” A male voice said, clearly /trying/ but failing to sound confident.

“That billionaire twat? What the hell is he doing here?” Harvey asked, letting go of John’s face as he stood up from the couch.

“I don’t know sir. He just walked in and sat down sir.” The man said, clearly nervous by his overusing of the word ‘sir’. But John couldn’t blame him for that.

Harvey let out a growl and shot John an angry look before walking over to the door, taking the key back out of his pocket and unlocking the door.

“I’ll go ask what he wants.” He mumbled, turning his head to John. “You get the hell outta here, clients are waiting. Time is money.” He ordered, and John more than gladly obliged. Anything to get out of that room with him.

He stood up from the couch and quickly slipped past Harvey and the other man, immediately heading toward the dressing room with a few bills in his hand.

 

What a two-faced son of a bitch.