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Velvet Cabaret

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i. 

Cheryl had always been taught that the men in Penelope’s brothel were up for grabs at any point in time.

Those men, Cheryl… they come from money that we need,” the woman who Cheryl was so unfortunate as to call her mother had hissed to her while sitting in the parlor chair. The parlor which washed away the dried grey roots of her hair and colored it a pretentious red color.

Perhaps that fit her perfectly well though, red with rage, filled to the brim with pseudo everything , and an all around trademarked Blossom.

Cheryl had been sixteen then, already fed with lies by her family and teeming with formidable negativity. Control was her vice, loss of it was the bane of her existence.

So young, and already so corrupted. So young, and so broken.

She had managed though, to stay away from the hungry men for the next five years of her life after that. Cheryl Blossom was everything but a whore, and damn her if she would sell out her body to the needy and less than attractive men that crowded the low lit streets of the Velvet Cabaret.

Hell, Cheryl had even refrained from visiting the brothel all that much, choosing instead to stick to the strip club joint of the bordello instead.

Being inside a building that reeked so heavily of sex brought a sort of disgust to the forefront of her mind, she could never erase the fact that this was run by her mother from her brain. Besides, she had made friends at the strip joint of the Velvet Cabaret, friends that were more to her than just objects on the stage, shaking their assets for money.

Tonight, Cheryl was going to the club again. It was almost a weekly activity for her, stress relieving and freeing, as she got to watch her friends move around and express themselves on stage while never having to touch a single man.

Her cousin Betty usually accompanied her to these things, feeling only comfortable asking her considering they were family and Cheryl was the only one outside of Jughead who knew about the girl’s darker sexual desires.

Tonight, Cheryl had been reminded by her mother that there was a newly inducted stripper who would be making her debut dance. Usually Cheryl’s visits to the club were just for fun, but tonight her mother had assigned her with the task of assessing the work and earnings of a certain Toni Topaz. Her name had made Cheryl smile, there was something sultry and seductive about it.

“Are you excited to see the new girl?” Betty piped from the seat next to Cheryl.

“I’m certainly intrigued, with a name like Toni Topaz… she’s ought to bring something to the table,” Cheryl replied, twirling a stand of red hair between her fingers and wondering what exactly it would be that she would bring to the table.

Perhaps some new moves? Or… a crazy ability to drive everyone nuts with a seductive aura? There were girls in the joint that Cheryl would’ve slept with no doubt had it not been for the redhead’s unbreakable policy of not sleeping with the women who worked there.

They were not prostitutes or sex workers, they worked in the club and not the brothel for a reason and Cheryl respected that.

“I’m just excited to see Veronica,” Betty trailed off into her own thoughts and glanced out her window, heart eyes taking over and Cheryl resisted the urge to roll her own. The blonde haired girl had had a crush on the raven haired stripper for almost as long as Cheryl could remember, and yet she was still with Jughead and refused to make any moves on Veronica.

Despite the fact that Cheryl knew for a fact her long time best friend felt the same way, she refused to interfere, things would fall in place for them if it fate had it that way.

Their black shielded and sleek limo rolled up to the front curb of the Velvet Cabaret, commanding both of the wealthy girls in the car’s attention. Cheryl could already here the frantic and vibing music that was spilling out the cracks of the neon lit door, behind which her best friend and new stripper lay.

“Well, let’s go,” Cheryl breathed, turning to Betty who also looked more than ready to hop out of the car.

“Let’s.”

The entrance was dark, clouded almost, under the intoxicated feelings of those who were hanging around by the doorway. Cheryl had to force her way through those people, gently smiling up at the guards who knew her by name now, their black iron pressed suits giving them a bigger appearance, and they smiled back at her, albeit tight lipped, letting her in immediately.

“Miss Blossom, Miss Cooper,” they greeted.

“Men,” Cheryl and Betty voiced in unison, slipping past them and the long line of horny men who waited to get in patiently.

The place itself was gigantic, from each side of the room was a dripped reddish gold hue that plastered the walls and reflected onto the dance floor, making everything in there exude a kind of lust and sensuality that never failed to relax Cheryl’s shoulders. She often found herself wondering why her mother favored any other division of the Velvet Cabaret over it’s strip club joint. Perhaps that was just a personal choice thing, her mother had always been quite the eccentric prostitute, just hid it quite well before her brother and father passed away.

There were small poles and stages designed to fit into each corner of the room, strategically placed under the lights which had come with the building when Penelope had thought of expanding her business to more than just the rising bordello.

“It never fails to amaze me how your mother pulls this much crowd in small old Riverdale and gets away without a scandal,” Betty whispered into Cheryl’s ear, mesmerized by the many people with their lavish tuxedos and the women, scantily clad in the most expensive underwear.

It was by no means Betty’s first visit, but she always seemed to be taken aback by the sight, considering she only accompanied Cheryl when she visited and Cheryl only visited on Friday nights, the most hectic night at the club.

“My mother might be a bitch but she’s a bitch with an exquisite taste,” Cheryl grinned, sending the flash of a smile to Betty who smiled in tandem. The Penelope jabs never got old.

“That’s where you get it from,” Betty appeased, and both girls entered the darker, more shrouded part of the club where the center stage were with a shit eating grin on their faces.

A thumping bass song came on, enveloping both the girls in the environment of the club, easing them of the worries they had carried into the building on their shoulders like boulders; weighing them down.

“This is where Toni Topaz is going to be performing, correct?” Betty asked, turning to the bar and waving to a raven haired boy who was wearing a tight fitting bartender clothing, a suit and tie that accentuated all his muscles. Cheryl had gone to school with him, but as it turned out, Reggie Mantle didn’t have too much in him to go any further than working as bartender in Riverdale.

Although, Cheryl didn’t believe that he was doing poorly, she herself was well aware of how heftly paid all the workers in the brothel, strip club, and underground drug dealing lair were. Almost as well paid as Cheryl’s own workers were at Blossom Industries.

Almost.

She still topped their pays by about fifty grand. And that, in her book, was a win against her mother.

“Earth to Cheryl?”

“Hm?” Cheryl hummed, turning to look at Betty as she leaned back against the bar behind her. The blonde girl raised a cautious eyebrow, sipping gently on whatever concoction she had gotten handed by Reggie.

“I asked if this is where Toni’s dancing tonight.”

“Yeah, yes, this is where mother told me she would be, now I wouldn’t put it past that raging pathological liar to tell me those lies just to assure that I would be here tonight for some other show she’s ready to put on,” Cheryl commented, rolling her eyes at the audacity of her mother.

It had happened one time, Penelope had requested that Cheryl come over to judge a new stripper, and yet Cheryl had come face to face with a public show of her mother stripping for everyone and then proceeding to give a public handjob.

Needless to say, it had scarred Cheryl plenty and she refused to come back to the vicinity for a good few weeks in succession to that mess.

“She’s a spiteful old bitch, I agree,” Betty nodded her head, turning to look at the main stage as lights around the place started shutting off one by one, the sexier strobes taking over. “But I don’t think she’s lying about this one.”

The music became central, and it was all anyone could hear, the lights above the poles in the other sides of the building shut off as the bigger spotlight centered over the one woman stepping out that Cheryl could only believe was Toni Topaz.

Almost immediately, all eyes were on her, there was no doubt about the fact that the woman knew who she was, knew her place, knew that she was above the rest of the horny men and some women in this strip joint. It was quite alluring, the way Cheryl could tell even from the back of the room, how dominant Toni was. Each click of her heel, falling against the glass topped stage, her hips swinging in time with the music. She pulled a kind of long dormant desire from Cheryl, rising from the pits of the girl’s stomach to her chest and blossoming in her rib cage.

“Betty,” Cheryl leaned in and whispered into her cousin’s ear. “I’m going up closer to… assess her for my mother.”

Cheryl had meant to sound convincing, but the doubtful smirk that was plastered across Betty’s lips as she watched Cheryl go told the girl that she knew otherwise.

The redhead slunk through the crowd, diving between the people with the skill of a former sleuth, and made her way to the front of the room where she could see Toni leaning over the edge of the stage, making the man she was hovering in front of tremble. Cheryl didn’t blame him, she was trembling from all the way over here and Toni hadn’t even noticed her. Yet.

The redhead was determined to at least get the number of her mother’s newest dancer tonight, if not something more. No, by that she didn’t mean sex, she did want to get to know her though, perhaps a friendship? It wouldn’t be the first time Cheryl found an attractive member of her mother’s crew and befriended them.

Exhibit A: Veronica Lodge.

But the raven haired girl was far from Cheryl’s mind as the redhead gazed upon Toni, a woman with so much sexual prowess and power held in her body that Cheryl wondered why she looked for work in a rundown town like Riverdale. She could for sure be making equally as big bucks in somewhere like central New York city, alive with nightlife that one could only imagine of in Riverdale.

Cheryl’s intrigued and slightly predatory, but only as far as consensual predation of course, gaze landed upon Toni as she threw her long hair from one side to other, striding from one side of the stage to the other, shaking her hips. And god have mercy on Cheryl, the usually ridgid backed girl found herself nearly melting at the feet of this goddess, of this woman who commanded so much from her with doing so little. The beat of the music picked up, becoming more frenetic, and Toni dropped onto the chair in front of her, legs spread on either side, showing off what were probably lusciously caramel thighs under normal lighting. Sip after sip of whiskey drained down Cheryl’s throat, though she wasn’t sure where she had pulled it from, but it was in her hand now so she would drink it, and her esophagus burned almost as bad as her loins.

And then… then Miss Toni Topaz turned her attention to Cheryl, their eyes locking for a split second, sending what must have been electricity up the youngest Blossom’s veins. She would be death of Cheryl, she was sure of that, Toni seemed to latch onto their eye contact, not losing it for a second, as the dip in her hips and the swing of her legs became more pronounced, like she was trying to prove a point.

Cheryl gripped the glass harshly in her hand, anger boiling in her body all of a sudden. Who was this dancer to instigate her like so? Who was Toni Topaz to try and bring a Blossom to her knees?

But she could also not ignore the truth.

She wanted Toni, in a way that she hadn’t ever felt a need for a partner before, not even when she had been dating a certain Heather, a woman her mother had conveniently snatched from under Cheryl, hissing at her daughter for being the devil incarnate.

Little did Penelope know that it would only fuel Cheryl’s desires, the redhead going on a fucking rampage, literally and figuratively, bringing home girl after girl, and forcing her mother to sit through each and every pleasured moan and tortured sigh.

That had been back when Cheryl was more adventurous though, more willing to go out of her way to spite her mother. Back before she had become practically celebate for the sake of focusing on her company and out doing Penelope in another way.

Penelope would burn Cheryl at the stake for sleeping with a dancer.

Perfect.

Cheryl grew even more eager at that prospect, barely being able to control herself from jumping out of her place on the floor and dragging this Toni with her to a backroom. To hell with her policy of not sleeping with the strippers, if Toni was willing, then so was Cheryl.

Cheryl’s attention returned to Toni as the song began to slow, signaling the end, and Cheryl thanked the lord for the red lighting above head that shielded anyone else from seeing the intense blush that covered her cheeks when she realized Toni was still staring at her.

The girl’s face was indecipherable from this far, with the marring of the red lights, the screaming of the people ahead to wanted her body, the haziness of the whisky, it played tricks on Cheryl’s eyes, but she could see without a shadow of a doubt that the girl was fit.

But then, the song came to an end, and before Cheryl could raise her voice or move through the crowd, Toni disappeared off the stage and into the backroom. Cheryl was more than aware of the layout of the backrooms, she had been here since the beginning of the bordello and joint after all, but she hesitated in that moment. Perhaps this was some higher power telling her to reign it in and calm down. This was a girl that Cheryl barely knew, a girl Cheryl only knew as far as the details her mother had given her, which wasn’t much at all outside of her name.

So she took the hint and moved away, heart dropping surprisingly in her chest, and made her way back to Betty, only to find the blonde engaged in a conversation with Veronica Lodge.

“Ronnie!” Cheryl exclaimed, placing her whisky glass on a caterer’s pan before moving to engulf the raven haired girl in a tight hug. “I missed you today, your dance, I’m sorry. Work held me late.”

“Don’t worry about it, Cherry, really,” Veronica grinned. “I caught Betty sulking back here because apparently you abandoned her to go, and I quote, fuck Toni’s brains out?”

Cheryl rolled her eyes.

“An exaggeration of hyperbolic mutitudes,” Cheryl cleared up. “I saw her on stage, and I must admit, she is very good at what she does. But you know my policy Vero, no matter how good looking one is, I must refrain from falling into bed with them. I know no one would find out, but I also can’t risk someone even getting an inkling and leaking it to the pap that I slept with someone from my mother’s strip club. It’s been hard enough getting positive publicity in the articles with the stigmas everyone has over my last name and my mother’s business.”

Veronica pouted and rubbed up and down Cheryl’s arm, comforting the girl while Betty reached over and squeezed her hand.

“You don’t need to explain it to me, Cheryl, I get how hard it is to leave the wing of an overbearing omnipresent parent. There’s a reason why despite my best efforts… I still ended up here at a strip club, shaking my ass for money that gets me through college rather than using the million dollar fund that my daddy had set up for me.”

Cheryl frowned. “I love our little dysfunctional families club, you too Betty, we all know how messed up your dad is in the brain. I mean, he tried to sleep with my mother after all.”

Betty choked out a laugh. “Very funny, Cheryl, but that almost broke my mom.”

And as the night grew on, Cheryl found herself enjoying the drinks and banter with her friends, but also found that the memory of Toni, and her capable hips took up the back of her mind. She yearned, every few moments, to go back and search for the woman who had made her feel things that no other had in a long while, and simply from the way she had moved.

But she didn’t, she needed to control herself. For if she couldn’t control herself, then how would she ever control those around her?

ii. 

The next morning, Cheryl was more than happy and pleased to feel the control seeping back into her bones. Thank god for a good night of sleep and somehow no hangover, and the remnants of whatever lust was still ebbing within Cheryl… well… she would just have to take care of that the good old way.  

Her hand slipped beneath the comforter, she found that her orgasms were all ways most solid when it was barely morning, her body still waking up, overwhelmed with pleasure that her own fingers were giving her. She rocked into herself over and over again, imagining thick thighs, those of a certain Toni Topaz, a luscious body that could move in ways over her own body.

Cheryl shook with a power of a thousand hurricanes, climaxing hard around her fingers and wishing it was the mysterious girl wrapped around her instead. She wanted to feel her, know her, see what was further inside, Cheryl Blossom was intrigued.

But that would have to wait for later. Work always came first in her mind, especially after it had been her father’s business that had tanked her last name, she worked hard on rebuilding the credibility behind her patronymic.

She ran through the usuals with a casual ease that came with the knowledge of having done the same routine for years now. There was something pleasing to Cheryl, knowing that she could be done with all of her morning rituals at the same time everyday, the ticking of the clock accompanying her every move like the beat to a muscle memorized dance, the same click of the hand falling upon the nine as Cheryl slotted her coffee into place.

It was control, it was the familiar, it was everything that Cheryl had aspired for her life to be since she was little. Since her father had chosen the easy way out and her brother had been forced away from her to an afterlife that was more rosey than his actual life.

By the time Cheryl stepped into the tall building with the towering Blossom insignia shining even in the daylight, she was at ease. Her shoulders were tense with the knowledge of a tough day of negotiating with bigoted bastards ahead, but her mind relaxed at the thought of something she had already been through. She fought these same battles every day, she would do fine today.

For the exception of one thing, and one thing only: her new secretary.

Cheryl’s last secretary, a certain Josie McCoy, had been fired on counts of perjury during her mother’s court case against yet another thing that was destined to be doomed from the beginning.

But Cheryl refused to have a single bad name in her company, she held all of her employees to the same pristine standards, and she most definitely would not have her secretary of all people, being accused of things that could very possibly tank her precariously built company.

Of course, firing someone so important to her position also meant Cheryl would have to go through the strenuous and extensive process of picking another secretary. She had seen most of them yesterday, today were the last three, and she surely was expecting something better than what she had to listen to yesterday.

The state of her next secretary position was looking… bleak, to put it gently.

It was no matter though, Cheryl was sure she would find someone, even if they were subpar she would train them. She hadn’t successfully been captain of the River Vixens for three years and taken them to the finals all three years for nothing.

“Kevin,” Cheryl called, addressing the lobbyist who sat at the main desk. The man whom Cheryl had known since high school, a boy who had shown enough promise to go work elsewhere but choosing against moving too far from his safe parameters. “How’s the roster looking?”

“Heavy,” Kevin responded, flipping through his pages before pausing on one and peering up at Cheryl. “You have three more interviews for the secretary job today, correct?”

Cheryl nodded, checking her nails before returning her gaze to the boy.

“Well, it just so happens that the woman who was scheduled last… had some time constraints and showed up extra early… she’s in your office right now,” Kevin grimaced, pointing to the doors a few stairs up, behind which someone was in Cheryl’s private office… by themselves.

Kevin,” Cheryl hissed, shaking her head and turning in the direction of the elevators that she rarely used in order to get the calf workout by walking up the stairs everyday. “You know no one’s allowed in there alone! You’re actions are near imbecilic at this point, I must say,” Cheryl reprimanded, getting lost behind the sliding metal doors of the moving contraption that rapidly brought her closer to where her next interviewee was.

Moving as fast as she could, Cheryl darted through the hallway and brought herself to her room, taking a moment to gulp and straighten out her back.

First impressions were everything, a lesson well taught by Penelope and baroquely learned by Cheryl, and no matter how panicked Cheryl was in the moment, she would never forget her most basic knowledge.

She pushed open the glossed glass doors of her office, which were tinted black in a way that she couldn’t see inside from the exterior but she could see everything on the outside from the interior.

Cheryl’s eyes fell immediately upon the lithe and petite body sitting in the chair facing her desk, polite and gentle, hair falling upon her back in pink waves which were certainly unconventional for a woman in the business.

The woman in the chair’s head turned first, to the side, giving Cheryl a glimpse of her godly side profile. A smile stretched onto the side of her face that the youngest Blossom could see, and there was something almost familiar about the girl-

“Hi! I’m sorry to come so early, I had something come up and I just had to reschedule,” the girl moved up out of her chair, speaking fast but curtly. Impressively. “My name is-”

She turned around.

And the redhead’s own knees seemed to weaken.

The girl in front of her made eye contact with her, smile dropping and outstretched hand slacking. A panicked expression took over the pink haired woman’s face and Cheryl’s body trembled.

Those were the eyes she had seen last night, the eyes she had lusted after in the morning, the eyes she had imagined looking into as she shook to a climax this very morning in her bed.

Cheryl opened her mouth to finish the sentence her interviewee had began, only to whisper it in a forbidden way, slipping past her mouth at the same time that the cavorting stripper in the quiet of the night spoke it more dominantly.

Toni Topaz.”