As Michael continued to sit at the edge of the stage, sipping his drink, the emcee's voice suddenly boomed out over the speaker system of the nicely-furnished downtown strip club.
"Time to introduce our next dancer. All regular customers of this fine establishment will recognize her... She is the very lovely, and very popular... ASHLEY! Let's give her a big hand!"
It was time for 'his' woman to perform.
As the lights suddenly dimmed, causing an eerie darkness to fall over the club, the audience quickly hushed and then a bright spotlight shone down onto the curtain at the very back of the stage.
The curtain ruffled around for a moment, then Ashley stepped out from behind it. The spotlight caught her, and the people throughout the audience gave the exotic dancer an appreciative applause.
Ashley looked stunning.
She was wearing a black leather jacket, which was zipped up fully. Below the waist, however, Ashley had not done all that much to conceal herself. She had on a black pair of thonged panties, a black garter belt and matching thigh-high stockings. Since the leather jacket was a bit small, ending slightly above her waist, everyone had a clear view of her panties and garter set. The outfit was topped off with a pair of spiked high-heels; black ones. Her blonde hair, very long and pretty, went down her neck and shoulders in stylish waves.
As Michael smiled once again, this time as he noticed the vision of lovliness before him, a loud rock-music song suddenly filled the strip club over the speaker system. The crowd cheered at the tune, a catchy one, and then the stripper on the stage began her routine.
Ashley twitched her hips in a seductive manner as she started walking toward the center of the stage. On the way, she spun around in a full circle, and in the process, unzipped the heavy leather jacket. After opening and closing it just as quickly, flashing her succulent breasts to the audience, she stepped in front of a wooden chair on stage and proceeded to lean backwards against it, using her hands for support. That only lasted for a few seconds, though, as she snapped her head back and then stepped forward, toward the front of the stage. The young woman held onto her jacket, keeping it closed, and then did another seductive spin.
Ashley stepped to the very front of the stage, close to the audience, and started to gyrate her hips to the wild music. She turned to the right and danced, then to the left and did the same thing.
The woman turned and walked back to the center of the stage, then faced the crowd with a huge smile. She flashed her breasts, this time even quicker than before, and continued strutting and prancing around.
Two quick spins were followed with three more flashes, all in a row. The crowd roared with appreciation when she finally took the jacket off, placing it over her shoulder. Her breasts were simply magnificant; large and firm, even tanned.
As Michael watched the scene before him unfold, he could not fend off a massive erection that was forming in his slacks. This happened to him every single time he came here, to watch this blonde bombshell at work. He was not interested in any of the other exotic dancers. He was only interested in Ashley.
A couple of the customers got up from their seats and went over to the stage, then started holding up dollar bills in their hands. Ashley immediately noticed them, and she strutted over to one, and threw the coat down behind her.
Ashley bumped and weaved to the music in front of the man, who was quickly joined by three others, all with money in their hands. The stripper continued grinding to the beat while reaching out with one hand, and those men gave her the money. After giving them a smile and then a wink, she spun on a high-heel and went back to the wooden chair.
Ashley turned the chair around, so it was facing her, as she faced the crowd. She leaned forward and placed both hands upon it, and bumped her hips from side to side, in a beguiling manner. She moved to the side of it, then raised a high-heel and planted it upon the chair. After lunging forward several times, showcasing the side of her figure to the approving crowd, the blonde dancer sashayed over and picked up her leather jacket.
Ashley swung it over her shoulder and continued dancing, spinning around twice, then went back to the chair. She dropped the jacket and then sat down in the chair, the back of it still facing her front. She spread her thighs and held onto the chair, then started rocking and bumping her body, which brought yet another favorable response from the predominantly male audience.
Smiling for the most of the performance thus far, Michael finally reached into his inside coat pocket and pulled out a clip of money.
The move did not go unnoticed by Ashley.
For as much as Michael had been watching her over the past couple of months, Ashley had learned to watch him as well. It was a very simple reason why. He tipped her very good. In fact, he tipped her better than anyone. While others would give her a few dollar bills at the very most, Michael would sometimes give her a twenty dollar bill.
Ashley glanced in Michael's direction for an instant, then went back to concentrating on her routine.
Her blonde hair whipped about wildly as she final chorus of the song approached. She leaned back, and then swiftly slipped off the chair, and onto her knees. The stripper crawled on her hands and knees to the right side of the stage, where she received tips from a total of nine guys. She crawled to the front, and was awarded with five more tips, and then finally to the right. Instead of crawling over to the group which had assembled on that side, she instead went directly to where Michael was sitting.
Michael smiled... then Ashley smiled back at him.
Michael pulled a bill out of the clip, and handed it to Ashley. She took it and quickly glanced, hoping it was another twenty, but it was a one. She rose to her knees in front of him, noticing the clip he held, and started bumping and grinding her body for him.
Michael gave her another bill, a single dollar, and then another. Ashley kept dancing, however, wanting bigger bills.
She finally got one, and it shocked her.
Michael gave her $100.
Ashley looked at it for several seconds, stunned, and then remembered that she had to finish her dance. She watched as Michael shrugged his shoulders and put the clip back into his pocket. Then, the blonde moved over to the final group which had assembled for her, and collected the last round of tips.
The song came to a close and then the stripper stood up, and looked down at Michael, bewildered. She had never received any bill higher than a twenty since getting a job here - until tonight. The hundred was a total and complete shock to her. It really was.
"Let's give a big hand to Ashley, for a great performance!" the emcee announced, and the crowd offered a rousing ovation.
That brought Ashley out of her thoughts, and she suddenly smiled and waved to the audience. She picked up her jacket and blew a kiss to the crowd, as they continued to cheer and whistle their approval. She blew another kiss, and yet another, before finally tossing the jacket over her shoulder and strutting off the stage, behind the curtain.
Once she was out of the audience's view, Ashley put the jacket on and zipped it up, and quickly looked at her money. She counted it, and the total came to $136. $103 of it came from Michael, whom she referred to as 'The Tipping Stranger'. He had once given her $27, which was the prior high she had received from any customer in tips. Ashley was still shocked at the hundred she held in her hand. She was completely dumbfounded.
As Michael sat at his table, still nursing his drink from before, he was bored. The other dancers in the club were beautiful, yes, but they did not draw his interest like Ashley did. Ashley was a goddess to him. He had never spoken to her; their only interaction during the past few months was him offering money, and her taking it.
But she was still a goddess to him. Not only because of the way she looked, but because of the friendly, energetic smile she displayed each time while on stage. Michael simply sensed that she was a good person. He had a mental image of her; the way she is outside the club. He imagined that her regular style of dress did not suggest to others that she was a stripper. He bet that she dressed conservatively, when outside the strip club. He also pictured her living in a nice, clean apartment, having a good family and being an animal lover.
"Who is that guy?" Ashley asked outloud, now in her dressing room, still looking at the one hundred dollar bill. She was speaking to herself. "He comes here almost every night, and tips me more than anyone else. But at the same time, he has never approached me, just to talk. Never made a pass at me. He doesn't even tip the other girls... Who IS that guy?"
No matter who he was, Ashley had always considered him attractive. He looked to be in his late 20's. He was tall, and appeared to have a strong, muscular build. His face was quite handsome, and he had a certain air about him. An air that hinted he was soft-spoken and quite nice. She liked those qualities in a man.
The only reason Michael was still in the club was because he hoped that Ashley had another performance scheduled. He wanted to watch her strip again. She usually had two performances each night, and he had just witnessed her first. Michael wasn't going to leave until Ashley had finished her last routine for the evening.
Minutes later, as a stacked brunette was dancing around on the stage, Michael wasn't even paying attention. He was still seated at the table, but was now reading the daily newspaper.
Michael looked up suddenly, and much to his surprise, found Ashley standing beside him!
She had not changed outfits since her routine; the ravishing blonde still wore the leather jacket, zipped up though, as well as the matching panties, garter belt, thigh-high stockings and heels.
"May I sit down?"
Michael's eyes grew big at her request, and he quickly cleared his throat. "Umm, yes. Please. Please do."
Ashley pulled out a chair and took a seat across from Michael.
"Thank you," she smiled. "First, perhaps I should introduce myself. Well, I guess you already know."
Michael smiled at her. "Yes, Ashley. You're introduced to the crowd before every performance." He paused. "Oh, my name is Michael."
She extended her hand. "Nice to meet you."
Michael took her hand, and gently shook it. Her skin felt so soft and warm to him... he could have held her hand forever.
He released it, however, and she took it back.
"Well Michael, let me be very forward with you. I've been working here for three months now, and almost every night, you are here. You tip me quite nicely, but do not bother to tip the other girls. Is there a reason for that?" She paused, then interjected before giving him a chance to reply. "Oh, please! Don't think I'm complaining. I'm just a little curious, that's all."
He shrugged his shoulders. "I'm not interested in the other dancers. Why should I give them money if I'm not interested in them?"
She nodded her head, but was still curious. "I can understand that. But, why do you tip me so well? No one tips me like you."
He shrugged his shoulders again. "Because you're worth more than a dollar or two, like most customers offer. In fact, you're worth more than what I tip you. Much more."
That statement actually made the bold stripper blush.
"What makes you think that, though?" she grinned, still blushing.
Another shrug. "I like you. That's all."
She smiled at him.
Her main intent in coming out here had still not yet been resolved, however. Ashley was concerned about the one hundred dollar bill he gave her. She thought it may have been a mistake on his part. Did he intend to give her a twenty, but pulled out a hundred instead? If so, did he notice the mistake?
Ashley figured that Michael was a very good customer. If he had intended to give her $20 instead of $100, she knew that there was only one thing which she could do. That would be the right thing.
"Michael, you gave me a hundred dollar bill tonight."
He simply nodded his head at her.
Her face lit-up. "You mean, you know?"
"Of course. Why? Are you complaining?"
She leaned back. "No! No, of course not! I mean, I was going to give it back to you, if it was a mistake..."
He smiled at her. "That's very nice of you, Ashley. But, I did give you the hundred. And I want you to keep it. I'm sure it will help you, in terms of expenses."
Now, not only did Ashley think of this man as attractive, but she thought of him as very warm-hearted and friendly as well.
The stripper smiled, in a reserved way. "Can I ask you something?"
"Fire away." He was also calm and collected.
"How would you like to go out for a cup of coffee? I know a nice little diner about a block away. Best coffee in town."
He looked at her, surprised. Was this blonde bombshell actually asking him out on a date?
"I thought exotic dancers were not allowed to meet people or find dates through their work," he retorted. "Company policy?"
She grinned again. "We're not. But, I'm making an exception."
He paused, calm on the outside, but wild and happy on the inside.
"I'd love to, Ashley. When?"
She shrugged her shoulders this time. "I'm scheduled for another show in an hour. But I can cancel it, and get off work early. How about meeting me at the diner in 30 minutes?"
"Sure," he replied. "But tell me how to get to it."
She smiled at him. "When you leave the club here, make a left. Keep driving until you see a big diner sign. It's a block away. Just pull in there. You can't miss it."
"And you'll be there in 30 minutes?"
"Yep," she grinned. "Go there, find a booth to sit at. Then I'll find you. How does that sound?"
Michael looked at his drink and then put it down on the table. "Like a dream come true." He got up, and stretched. "30 minutes, Miss Ashley. I'll be there."
As she watched him leave the club, Ashley mumbled the following words, under her breath:
"I sure hope he makes a pass at me."
Michael found the nice, roadside diner without a problem, and ordered himself barbequed ribs, fried potatoes and a cup of coffee. He looked at his wristwatch once the waitress brought his meal out, telling himself that it would only be 10 minutes before Ashley was to arrive. However, 10 minutes was too long. He wanted to see her now.
Michael could be very content in his dealings with Ashley by simply watching her at the strip club each night and then offering her a hefty tip. But, since she had initiated a conversation, and then asked him out on a date... he now had broader horizons in mind. He never expected her to approach him and put the wheels in motion, and he sure wasn't going to approach her. Despite the mental image he had of Ashley, Michael figured that if he did introduce himself, she would just shake her head and tell him to get lost. He thought, how many guys at the club ask her out on a daily basis? Why would she choose him over anyone else?
But, she had chosen him.
And she even approached him.
At the club, Ashley persuaded her boss to give her the rest of the night off. He finally relented, and then Ashley went back to the dressing room and changed into a normal outfit. She threw on a tight pair of hip-hugging jeans, a white blouse and a red varsity jacket, from the college she attended.
After telling her friends at the club good-bye for the evening, the vixen got into her car and drove down to the diner.
She was drawn to Michael, for whatever reason. He was attractive, yes, but that really did not matter to her. Instead, what caught her eye the most was his friendly nature. He just seemed very nice and soft-spoken, and polite too. In fact, Michael was one of the few men she had met at the strip club who was polite to her. He was like a real gentleman, unlike the roudy, loud customers who often filled the club, with their whistles and lewd cat-calls.
She had noticed that Michael would often sit at his table at the club, very quietly, and show little emotion. He smiled at her quite often, but that was basically it. Other customers would scream and yell - hoot and holler. But not Michael. That was something new.
But, she still wanted him to make a pass at her.
After parking her car, and checking her make-up and hair, Ashley walked inside the friendly restaurant and noticed Michael sitting at a booth about 30 feet away. She watched him look up, and glance in her direction... but he didn't seem to notice her. A few seconds later, he looked up again, and then noticed her.
Ashley smiled as he stood up. She strolled over to him and the two exchanged warm pleasantries, then they sat down together in the cozy little booth, across from one another.
Michael had to stifle a laugh. "I'm sorry for not noticing you earlier. I've never seen you in regular clothes before!"
Ashley giggled at his words. "Oh, don't worry about it." She looked at his dinner, half-finished. "Hungry, eh? I think I'll order something to eat as well." The blonde motioned for the waitress, and then ordered a chicken dinner and coffee.
"This food is really good," Michael said, after the waitress had walked away.
"This is my favorite place to eat," Ashley offered, then leaned closer to him. "So, tell me about yourself, Michael."
He took a bite of food, and looked at her. "What do you want to know? You need to ask questions if you wish to learn anything in this life. That's my philosophy, at least."
"Well, let's have this be mutual," she said. "First, I guess, how old are you?"
"27," he replied.
"27?" she confirmed. "Hmmmmm. I'm 23."
Michael smiled at her. "I figured that you were 22 or 23... somewhere around there."
She paused, and then giggled while holding a hand to her mouth. "Michael, please don't take this the wrong way... but I thought about it while on the way over here. You're not married, are you?"
Michael looked at her, then smiled. "No. Not married. Not even dating anyone." He paused. "Why do you think I'm always at the strip club, watching you?" He grinned again. "Same question for you. I don't think you're married, but are you seeing someone?"
"No," she replied, shaking her head. "I was, a month ago... but the relationship came to a bad ending."
Michael was overcome with a sudden joy, because she was unattached, although his demeanor on the outside stayed its usual, calm self.
There was a moment of silence - which Ashley broke.
"What do you do for a living? You know I'm a stripper, of course. I don't have a second job, or something like that. The club is my only means of living."
Michael was about to speak, but held back. He did not want to tell her the complete truth about his job.
At the young age of 27, Michael was the owner of the largest, most powerful company in the entire state. A few years ago, while enrolled in college, he won the state lottery - over 45 million dollars. Since then, he had started his own business - one that manufactured kitchen appliances and cookwear. The business kept growing, and with a good customer base and advertising campaign, Michael had earned and built himself a personal fortune which most people could only dream about.
However, being a wealthy man had its drawbacks. It seemed like all the women who knew how rich he was were only interested in his money. It seemed as though they would pretend to like and care for him, but all they were after was his money. The routine had gotten tiresome to him, and as a result, he rarely dated anymore.
For whatever reason, Michael sensed that Ashley was not that type of person. However, at the same time, he did not want to divuldge his true job position to her, nor his vast amount of wealth.
Not yet, anyway.
"I work in management," he simply told her. Not a lie, but not the complete truth, either. Before she could ask him to elaborate on that, Michael quickly said, "I see you have a college jacket on there. Is that from the university, here in town?"
She looked down at the varsity jacket, then back up at him. "Why, yes. Yes it is. I'm in Nursing."
He smiled at those words. "Nursing? You want to be a nurse? I respect people in that profession. Always wanting to help others."
"Thank you," she grinned, then paused. "I'm only working at the strip club so I can get through college. College is expensive, you know."
"I can imagine," he told her, the thought of him paying her entire college tuition costs running throughout his mind. He could do it in a heartbeat, if he wanted. It would be a simple drop in the bucket for him.
It was only a thought at this point, though.
He didn't want to tell her of his wealth yet. He wanted her to get to know him, and truly care for him, before divuldging the whole truth.
"Do you play any sports at college?" he asked.
She shook her head. "Not really. I used to play softball, in my freshman year. I was a cheerleader for two years, as well. But now, I just concentrate on my studies, and my job. No time for sports."
"Do you like working at the strip club?" Michael inquired.
She puckered her lips together, and shrugged her shoulders. "Ehh, I guess it's okay. Pays good money, I know that. But there are a lot of perverts who come in there."
"Hopefully I'm not one of them," he chuckled.
"No," Ashley grinned, "no... you're not. If you were, I would not be sitting here with you right now." She paused. "You said you're 27. Do you live alone? Have a roommate or something?"
Not counting his staff of maids and servants, "Yes, I live alone. Do you have a roommate, Ashley? Live in a dorm? Or do you live with your parents?"
"I have my own apartment," she replied. "It's small, but nice. My family lives in Virginia. I'm all the way out here for college."
"Then I take it that they do not know you're a stripper?"
"No way!" she gasped. "My mother would freak out!"
Michael laughed at her response, now viewing her as a regular college girl with an irregular job... just trying to get through life.
Stripper or not, is there really anything wrong with that?
There was another stretch of silence, and Ashley broke it again.
"Michael... you don't... you don't think any less of me for being a stripper, do you? I mean, when I tell some people this, they freak out... they go ballistic. Especially guys."
He shrugged his shoulders. "I think it's great you're a stripper. I love women who are not afraid to be free and open. And, besides that, you're doing it to help pay for college. Whether you make money as a waitress or a stripper, it's still money. And we all need it. As long as you make money, legally, it should not matter what type of profession a person is in. But, as I said, I think it's great you're a stripper. I respect you for being open."
She smiled at his reply.
Over the next hour or so, the two got to know each other on a more personal basis. Ashley went over her life story in a roundabout way, and Michael did the same (minus his lottery winnings and personal business). They shared some laughs, and just had a wonderful time together.
Ashley promised herself upon taking a job at the club that she would never date anyone she had met through work.
She had changed her mind.
Twirling several strands her long blonde hair with a finger, Ashley smiled at Michael as he finished his dessert, chocolate pudding. "How would you like to come over to my apartment for a night-cap?"
"Come over to your apartment?" he said. "Well, I'd love to."
She grinned. "We can share a drink, and get to know each other a little better. I hope you don't object to staying up late tonight?"
He looked at her, and spoke in a strong tone, "Not at all."
Michael drove a sporty Jeep, and he followed Ashley's car in it to her apartment on the North end of town. It was very close to the university, so Michael figured that had to be convenient for her.
The two of them walked into the living room of the quaint little apartment. Despite owning a mansion, Michael remembered his roots of living in a small apartment just like this. The living room had a sofa and television set, along with some basic hardwood furniture, and an assortment of plants. The kitchen was nearby, as well as a small dining table. Off to the side were two closed doors. One had to be the bedroom, Michael thought, and the other was either a restroom or a laundry area.
As he looked around, the young man nodded and then smiled. "This is a very nice place you got."
"Thanks," she said, placing her purse and overnight bag upon the counter in the kitchen. "Do you have an apartment too?" The young woman hung her jacket up on a coat hook.
"Actually I own a house," he replied.