Chapter 1 (Tyler)

January 14, 2018

 

Fabulous Las Vegas, a shithole in the desert where dreams were made and broken in the same night and by the same people. It was a place of opportunity, and the only city where I could get away from my dark past. Living here since seventeen wasn’t too bad. Show up to work, shake your tush, and get paid. Of course, lying about your age helped too, especially if the bossmen were willing to overlook such shit. For the last six years, drunk-ass bitches and pimps came to see me at Freestyle, and no one would pluck my forbidden fruit; I wouldn’t let them.

On a normal night for me to dance away without twerking my ass off for Georgies, I bumped into one of the few peeps here to give a fuck about, my old-timer friend Andy. He had just re-bleached his hair drenched in go-go sweat to match the gaudiest golden outfit ever seen in Las Vegas. I gave him the usual fist bump treatment.

“Another night, another chunk of change, eh Tyler?” Andy reached for a cigarette he didn’t have in his shorts. Good thing he knew how to quit, but some habits died hard. He gave a little sigh. “Forgot I have the patch now.”

“If you say so.” Only he’d bitch about getting six hundred dollars a night, only to waste it on another designer shirt or hair gel. “You got south?”

“Yeah…again. Always get south. At least you’re north, closer to the—"

 “What the hell did you do, Gelardi?” My grumpy boss, Mr Boyle, strong-armed me into our dressing room alone, his ass about to crack twice. “Some twat narc’d on you because you shoved him off the pole.”

“He tried to touch me!” Damn kid looked too young to be in here anyway, but if they let me in at seventeen, sure they’d let him in, too.

“You should’ve called a bouncer. You’re lucky he’s not pressing charges.” The bossman groaned and puffed some of his e-cigarette into my face. Smelled just like a real one…fucker. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with you. Every week we get more and more complaints about you and your ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude.”

“Okay? If our patrons would just stop feeling my abs every five minutes, then we wouldn’t have a problem.”

“But we fucking do. Go home, you’re done!” Mr. Boyle slammed his e-cigarette canister into the ground, shattering it. The nicotine-laced toxic fuck splooged all over the dressing room floor.

On the way out, I bumped into Andy. “Boyle let me go.”

“What?” Andy’s sweaty eyes widened. “Why? What did you do?”

“Some asshole tried to touch me. Can I please just go?”

“Tyler…please.” Andy wiped the sweat off his face with a nearby towel. Thought he’d understand. “Just…take care of yourself okay?”

“If you wanna hang out, just call. I’ll answer.”

“Sure thing.” Andy went into the dressing room, and I stormed my way out of the club before Boyle could notice I was still here.

The shithead was gonna regret firing me. I’d get a job at another club and make lots more cash taking advantage of the tourist assholes who only came here to drool over me. But then again, why the hell was I still doing this? I had enough money to buy my own club, but even that wouldn’t work. The kid had the right idea starting up a modeling agency. Nah, I wasn’t that photogenic, and even I knew that my charm off the stage would steer the models away.

As soon as I got home, I crashed for a couple hours. Woke up when the sun did. Like any responsible adult who just lost a job, I started applying for all the other clubs here. The best in Touristland weren’t hiring, and the other local joints were either owned by Boyle or his friends. Doubt any would call me back. My shit here was done, and as much as I hated to admit it, it was time to go back to hell on the coast.

After a worthless day, I called Jason to give him the bad news. “Lost my job at Free.”

“What?” Any louder and my ear’d cry itself off my head.

“Stupid fuck wouldn’t stop touching me. That shit hurts, you know.”

“I know you don’t being touched and all, but shouldn’t you have—”

“And you’re a touchaholic. Your opinion’s invalid. Look Jace, I’ve decided I’m moving back to San Diego. No one in this shitstorm of a town’s gonna hire me as a dancer.”

“That’s not true, Ty.”

He didn’t know shit. The kid had his agency for almost a year and still didn’t know jack about Sin City or the memories of its citizens and tourists. The club bosses had brains filled with elephant cum, and the patrons had goldfish blood pumping through their veins. Moving back to San Diego ensured both would have the latter. If only that applied to family.

“So, what’s new with you, Jace?” Anything to change the subject.

“Ryker’s got his first hearing in three days. Kody and I are gonna be Downtown all day.” Jason sighed into the phone. “Didn’t have to end like this for him.”

“Yes it did, Jason. Stop living in the past. It was that ass-cow’s choice to try and kill you, but you’ve got Noel, remember?”

“True, and he’s opened up to me a lot. Ever since we came to see you at Christmas.”

“I could imagine.” Hard to believe Jason grew out of the Mr. Ball’s demographic. Better use that money he paid me back to my advantage, or, mine and his. Even though Jason and I were a year apart physically, the recent months brought us closer in age mentally.

“So, when are you moving?”

“Sooner I kiss this shitfest goodbye the better; let’s say by the end of this month.”

“That soon? How are you gonna find a place to live?”

“Winging it. That’s what your fucking dad’s been doing for twenty-some years.” Assuming the fact Uncle Josh was still alive. Shit-tweaker didn’t deserve to spill his cumseed twice, no offense to Jason. Then again, my own father didn’t even deserve to do it once, no offense to me. Fucking cunt deserved to be sliced to death with one of my rusty swords from the old collection. Bastard was worse than the kid’s brother, Justin.

Jason and I shot the shit for another thirty-some minutes before hanging up. Had a long week ahead of me if I wanted to escape this sand-blasted hellhole.

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