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.It was possible Dougie worked at the Bonne Chance as a bouncer or bartender--or whatever else perverts do as a day job.From what she'd seen of the club employees, Dougie wouldn't have a front job.He was too uncouth.There didn't seem to be a kitchen on the premises, so cook and dishwasher were out.That left cleaning or stocking liquor for the bar.There would be other jobs in an establishment this large, but Anna didn't picture the yellow jacket in management or laundry.The thought triggered a memory, Candy's pssst-chunk.Could it have been industrial steam irons ironing the many sheets a place like this might go through in a day? She shelved the thought for later.Taking Jordan's hand, she pulled him close.Their noses inches apart, she whispered, "Let's take a walk into the bowels; see how deep the club goes, if there's another building behind it, or if it runs the length of the block."Jordan nodded."You want I should take the dog for a while?""No." Anna wanted the dog as close as possible.Mackie's innocence and loyalty were her talismans against the curse of finding herself totally disgusted with the race to which she nominally belonged.They traversed the library toward the dark opening to what they assumed was the rest of the club.The fornicating couple had reached the moaning stage, and their observers, the drooling stage.One dominatrix was gone.Now that Anna thought of it, they might share decorating tips, or which whips were the best, but, given their proclivities, it would be tough for them to work or play well together.The remaining dominatrix was allowing a woman, who hadn't been in the room earlier, to kneel in front of her and respectfully stroke her inner thighs.Reminding herself it was okay to look, that they were doing it in public for a reason, Anna quelled the unpleasant feeling one gets when a guest fails to lock the bathroom door and sidled past to the dark doorway.It opened into a hall.Walls, ceiling, and floor were painted black.Down the middle of this fun-house darkness ran a skinny carpet in harlequin black and white.To the left were half a dozen or more door ways obscured, or partially obscured, by heavy red drapes.Between each pair of the curtained entrances a wall sconce.The bulbs in the shape of the Statue of Liberty's torch, emitted enough light to pick up the crimson highlights and make the white squares on the carpet shine.The glow was pronounced enough that they might have been black lights.The carpet was thick, and she and Jordan made no noise despite Anna's stiletto heels.The curtained rooms were mere alcoves, large enough to hold a double mattress covered in a white sheet.Several of the curtains were closed for privacy, but a majority were completely or partially open.The insides of the cubicles were lit with smaller wall sconces in the shape of seashells and giving off a flattering peach-colored light.Anything flattering was a boon.Most of the patrons of the Bonne Chance weren't the sort of people one would cross the street to see naked.At a guess, the average age was midforties to midfifties, with a spackling of thirty-somethings.Anna saw no one who looked to be in his or her twenties.Body types were the kind filling the streets and malls on any given day: a lot of plump, a lot of bald, and a lot of gravity dragging things from pert to ponderous.Mardi Gras was over and Jazz Fest yet to come, so the city wasn't as crowded with tourists as it sometimes was, but still the club was doing a good business.Passing the alcoves, Anna grew tired of views of a personal nature, but there was no relief to the other side.There a doorway opened onto a room with salmon-colored lockers floor to ceiling, the kind one might find in old high schools.In the middle was a swing made of straps of leather woven into a seat and affixed to a chain hanging from the ceiling.A long black cord hung down next to it with a black box the size of a paperback book at its end.In the middle of the box was a toggle switch."If that's not for adjusting the height, I don't even want to know what it does," Anna whispered as they stopped.Jordan grunted.Mackie whined.Anna picked him up.She didn't want him to get anything on his paws, then lick them.Beyond the swing were three doorways, one to the left and two, side by side, directly in front of them.Those were closed; Anna couldn't see what lay beyond the other."This way?" Anna asked."We'll come back if we have to," Jordan said and walked away.With the dog and Star's fancy shoes, Anna had to hurry to catch up.She didn't relish being left alone.It wasn't fear, exactly.Except for being in various states of undress and/or masks and costumes and having public sex in groups, the people seemed well behaved and ordinary.There wasn't any doubt in her mind that the nice young people downstairs would let her out should she wish, nor did she really think she would catch some icky disease from the air.Mostly she felt like a stranger in a strange land, a fish out of water, a bull in a china shop, a rube in the big city, a park ranger in a sex club.It made her want to stay with her own kind, even if that kind happened to be a dog and a woman whose personality had been co-opted by an imaginary gutter punk.She caught up with Jordan and fell into step beside him.Beyond the locker-room-cum-swing-set were two rooms, each easily twenty by thirty feet and each paved in one gigantic mattress.Viewing windows were set into the walls so those in the hall might watch the events.Inside, groups and couples squirmed about amid cast-off bits of clothing, some hardy souls moving from group to group in hopes of joining in.Past what, for lack of a better term, Anna mentally dubbed the orgy rooms were four more curtained cubicles, then a dead end.A wall of brick, painted flat black, ascended into the gloom."Shit," Jordan said.He balled his fists and uttered a low feral growl as if about to physically attack the brick and mortar.Anna grabbed his arm, jockeying Mackie aside to do it [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]