The morning had passed quietly and quickly at the Pink Lady Boutique and that suited Alice Parks just fine. The twenty-one-year-old had spent so much time the previous week concentrating on finals that she had fallen behind on her responsibilities at the store. With classes having ended the day before, Alice was grateful for the chance to catch up.
Standing high on a ladder as she put away some boxes that had been delivered earlier, Alice didn’t react when she heard the chimes that rang when the front door opened. Instead, she waited a few seconds to see if Louise Bradley, the storeowner came out of the back room. It was only when she failed to hear the older woman’s voice that she acknowledged whoever had walked in.
“I’ll be right with you,” Alice said as she pushed the last box to the back of the shelf and started to climb back down.
“Take your time,” a strong but definitely female voice replied.
Reaching the bottom of the ladder, Alice took a moment to brush her platinum blonde bangs out of her eyes and sweep her long ponytail back over her shoulder. Putting on her best “can I help you” smile, she turned to greet her patient customer.
Whatever words she had planned to say next never came out of her mouth. As soon as she turned all the way around and took in the woman standing in front of the counter, Alice was stunned into insensibility.
Fortunately, Louise chose that moment to reappear from the back room and, with a broad smile on her face, greeted the customer instead.
“Welcome to the Pink Lady,” the fifty-two-year-old brunette said in a cheerful voice. “What can we do for you today?”
The woman that had so stunned Alice stood at least three inches above the blonde’s own five-foot-six, with short cropped black hair that couldn’t have been more than a half-inch in length. She had a muscular build, but more in the line of a conditioned athlete than a bodybuilder. A bust just large enough to be impressive filled the tight fitting, sleeveless black t-shirt that she wore, along with an equally tight pair of dark blue jeans. She looked to be in her early thirties but had such flawless features that the quick estimate could’ve been off by as much as a decade. Around her upper left arm was an arm band tattoo consisting of a linked chain, broken every few inches.
Since a majority of the Pink Lady’s clientele were lesbians or bisexual women, the woman’s appearance really wasn’t that much out of the ordinary. Still, it had been a very long time since Alice had been so smitten that she couldn’t even talk. It was almost a minute before she could even focus on the conversation the woman was having with Louise.
“So we would really appreciate it if we could put one of the placards in your store window,” Alice finally heard the woman say.
Reluctantly, Alice took her eyes off the woman and tried to read the large cardboard sign that rested atop the counter between her and Louise. Reading what she could of it upside down, she saw that it was an announcement of a new club opening just a few blocks away.
“Hmmm,” Louise said as she lifted the poster and, turning it right side up, bringing it to eye level. “I don’t see why not. I’m always happy to see new business in the neighborhood, especially ones run by women.”
“Thank you very much,” the woman said as she smiled at Louise. “And if you like, I’d be happy to give you a couple of passes that’ll get you into the club on opening night.”
“I’m afraid my clubbing days are far behind me,” Louise smiled back. “My lady and I are usually in bed by the time the ten o’clock news comes on.”
“I find that hard to believe,” the dark haired woman laughed, thinking that if they were in bed by ten, it wasn’t to watch the local news.
“But I think Alice here might like to go,” Louise responded, directing both of their attentions to the younger woman.
“I’d ... I’d love to,” Alice stammered out after a moment’s hesitation.
“Well we’re opening next Friday night,” the woman who finally repeated her name now that Alice was listening. “Do you know where the White Rabbit used to be?”
“Over on Jefferson, right?” Alice asked.
“That’s the one,” Simone said. “My friends and I, actually more my friends than I, I’m just sort of helping out, have taken over the lease for the property and have just about totally redone the club. They’re calling it Wonderland and they’ve already booked some great bands for the opening. It should be pretty awesome.”
“It was a shame about the fire they had there last year,” Louise noted, “but thankfully it was all property damage and no one got hurt. I’m glad to see it being reopened. There are few enough clubs for girls to go to and have a little fun without being harassed.”
“It’s not too late to change your mind about going,” Simone Kent said, shifting her attention back to Louise.
“No thank you.”
“Did you ever go to the White Rabbit?” Simone asked Alice as she shifted back to her once again. “If so, you’re really going to be surprised at all the changes they’ve made.”
“Is that really the question?” Alice thought. “Or are you asking in a roundabout way if I like girls? Just because I work here doesn’t make that a given. Jenny Collinwood works both here and at a lesbian bar over on 3rd and she’s as straight as they come.”
“I’ve been there a few times,” Alice answered, wishing that when she’d gotten dressed this morning that she’d put on one of the lesbian oriented shirts that she’d bought with her employee’s discount. The blue blouse with the cute panda bear over her breast just didn’t say gay girl here. Nor was the fact they she’d gone to the White Rabbit confirmation either. On any given night, at least a third of the girls there had been as straight as Jenny.
“Well then, I hope to see you there,” Simone replied as she again thanked Louise while she scribbled a quick note on the back of a business card before handing it to Alice.
Watching her exit the small store, Alice couldn’t help but think that the view from behind was just as impressive as the front. It took her a few moments to realize that she was staring at the door long after it closed, and that Louise was staring at her.
“What?” Alice asked, her face showing a look of innocence.
“You really have to ask?” Louise asked in turn, a look of amusement on her own face. “I thought I was going to have to hose you down the way you couldn’t take your eyes off of her.”
“Come on, don’t you think you’re exaggerating a little?” Alice insisted. “She took me by surprise when I came off the ladder, that’s all.”
“Sure, I believe that,” Louise laughed. “That’s why if you actually wore panties, you’d have to go in the back and change them right about now.”
Alice blushed because that was certainly all too true.
“Hmmm,” she said instead, imitating Louise as to change the subject, “what should I wear to the opening?”
Not to let the subject pass so easily, the older woman reached for one of the shirts on the side counter and held it up for Alice to see.
“This would probably be suitable,” Louise grinned.
Written across the black shirt, in large white letters, was the phrase “I’m just here to get laid.”
The following Friday night came quick enough and in the end, Alice decided on a non-descript blue dress that, while it did show off her best assets, didn’t scream slut either.
When she showed up at the club, she was initially taken back by the long line of women waiting to get it. If it weren’t for the small card in her hand, Alice would’ve turned around and headed back home. As it was, it still took almost twenty minutes to work her way to the front of the line where two tall, muscular women, one white and one black, guarded the entrance to the new club.
Given the number of, at least in her opinion, hot women that the guardians of the gate had already turned away, Alice had begun to wonder if, even with the card, would they let her in? She needn’t have worried because as soon as they saw the signature scrawled across the back of the card, they couldn’t open the chain link barrier quick enough. Much to the vocal disappointment of many of those around her that had so far been denied access.
Once inside the hallway entrance, Alice could see that Wonderland bore little, if any, resemblance to the White Rabbit. The club had been totally renovated, not just fixed up a little where the fire had done damage. At a glance she could see that both the bar and the dance floor had been expanded, as well as the inclusion of a row of privacy booths on the far wall. Later she would learn that additionally, a number of private rooms had also been added on the second floor.
Crowded as the club was, Alice had no idea how she was going to find Simone. Or if she, despite what she’d said, was even going to be there. She thought about it as she made her way to the bar and finally decided that she would just concentrate on having a good time, Simone or no Simone.
“What can I get you?” a tall, rather powerfully-built brunette asked from behind the bar.
“Just a beer I guess,” Alice smiled, thinking that it was much too early in the night to have anything stronger.
“Coming right up, precious,” the bartender said, returning Alice’s smile.
.... There is more of this story ...