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Old 11-18-2012, 10:47 PM   #1
palemoon2035
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Last Call at the Twilight Rose (closed for Luna_Wolf72)

Angelica Snyde stood behind the her wooden fortress. Known simply as a bar to many, it was so much more to her. Behind the polished cherry wood counter, complimented by a shiney brass rail, the pale woman with vuluptuous curves stood tall and proud, like a queen looking over kingdom. Yet, her subjects didn't serve her. She served them.

Still, her patrons looked to her for more than just drinks and service. She gave the lonely a place to find friends. She gave the hungry and thirsty a place to eat and drink. She gave women lost in a man's world a place that was theirs. Angelica knew this wasn't just her club, though she owned it. The Twilght Rose belonged to everyone woman that walked through the black laquered double doors. Many peaked through the window, peering around the stain glass rose to see clearly in, but not everyone went inside. Especially men, as they weren't welcome. On the sign outside, written in elegant gold leaf letters Ladies Only.

It wasn't easy running a ladies only club, as Angelica even had to be careful as to how she worded it, emphasizing that it was a lady's club, not a brothel. Angelica didn't hate men, but she hated living in a man's world. So if there was anything she could do to give women a little power and a little independence, she would. Running her little club just outside of downtown Cleveland was her way of giving something back to her fellow woman.

Angelica leaned forward, elbows on the shiney bar top which she kept spotless. The matching cherry shelves behind her were bare. They were meant to hold a variety of liquor bottles, but hadn't done so in over ten years since the Volstead Act was passed. Still, the paneling with intricate carvings of flowers, fruits, and women in the nude behind and around the shelves was a beautiful work of art to be admired.

It was a slow night. Though it was only ten o'clock, the few women at the bar and just ten or so at the tables was probably all there was going to be tonight. A blonde sat on a stool, slumped over the bar in boredom. "I think it's the girl, Angel. She can't sing." Shelly was referring to he slender, fair-skinned blonde standing on the stage in a pale blue evening gown. "Couldn't get anyone better tonigtht?"

"Hey, give the kid a break. It's her first gig." Angelica replied with a little bit of attitude, as was to be expected of this redhead who's shoulder length auburn hair shimmered in the dimly lit pub.

"I thought you said the gal came from New Orelans." Shelly smirked, knowing exactly when her friend was lying.

"Yeah, she came from New Orleans, and this is her first gig in Cleveland. You'd be nervous too, singing in front of a new crowd. So give the kid a break." Angelica was lying of course. The gal was Angelica's cousin and the only singing she had ever done was by herself in the shower. So Angelica was impressed she was doing as well as she was. She kept up with the drums, upright bass, and piano playing with her and she managed to not forget any words. Angelica didn't care. Jazz was jazz and she loved it no matter who sang it. Still, she knew it was hard to find good entertainment to play The Twilight Rose. Whenever she would get someone good, they'd move on to the bigger better clubs smack dab in the middle of downtown. Angelica could have moved to prime real estate near the new Terminal Tower, but she preferred to be out of the center of the nightlife where she might feel pressured to open up to men. She also preferred to stay out of the eyes of the law, as she did serve certain drinks which could be seen as illegal, depending on who's eyes were looking.

"Oh, you forgot to change the calendar. It ain't November anymore, Angel," Shelly winked as she reminded her dear friend as she had every night for the past five years. Angelica glimpsed at the calendar and turned it to December 1st, 1930. She looked over to Shelly, "Oh, guess I should get workin' on my Christmas decorations," she replied with a snicker knowing well the only Christmas deocartion she had was one lonely wreath she had yet to put on the door. "You good, hun?" Shelly nodded, not needing anything as her wine glass was full. Angelica stepped out of the bar, her mint green dress with tiered ruffles flowed over her wide hips. She pulled out her cigarette case, pulled one out, and lit one up to contribute to the lingering smoke that created a haze that usally remained all night despite the many ceiling fans which attemped to move the air. Attempted...but the air was dead with Nicotene.

For whatever reason, she looked over to the door at that moment. Standing just to the side was Marcus Frank. The only man who was at The Twilight Rose every night. A long-time friend to Angelica, he was more like a big brother to her. He kept things...in order. He caught the eye of every gal who walked in the door. He was always dressed nice, tonight was no exception as he sported a double breasted navy blue suit with pin stripes. His dark brown hair combed to the side, sleek and shiney. His eyes, blue and soulful, seemed to captivate the hearts of many single or just lonely female patrons. Many a woman tried to strike up a conversation, and he just stood there and smiled. Angelica always noticed and gave him a glare, reminding him what she paid him for. Of course, he would look over her and her establihsment for free, but he never told her that. Truth is, he would give his life for her.

Looking past him tonight, she saw a silouhette in the window. A head, a face, peering through the window. She disappeared, then reappeared, peeking through once more. "Come on in honey, I need the business," Angelica muttered under her breathe as she took another drag off of her cigarette.

Last edited by palemoon2035 : 11-19-2012 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
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Two days prior

It made absolutely NO sense. Separate cars based upon the color of one's skin. Madrigal sat in the refurbished cattle car and looked at the other affluent people of color who were packed into this space, with her. Men, women, children~ all in varying shades of ebony, caramel, butterscotch. They were beautiful to behold and treated like less than human by the powers that ruled this supposedly great country. And Americans thought that they were better than the rest of the world?

She huffed a bit of a sigh and resumed reading about the new city she had decided to use as her next stop. Cleveland, Ohio. Of course with this odd liquor ban, if she were going to earn some money to continue on with her travels, well~ finding an after hours place to go to work in for a while would be a priority. The city itself seemed affluent enough to meet her needs for habitation. If she could just find a place like the clubs she was used to~mixed crowds or women only. Not that she thought she would luck into anything like that mais on peut espérer.

Her mind wandered, thinking back on the last two years. Two years of travel from Harlem to Baltimore. From Baltimore to the nation's capital. From DC back to Harlem. The stupid crash couldn't have happened at a worse time. She had worked hard to garner the acclaim she had won, worked even harder to become a bit of a well known personage in the more toff jazz establishments, places where one usually had to have a different skin color than the one she gladly lay claim to. Hell, she had even managed a weekend at the Cotton Club, singing with Duke Ellington's band.

Then, mon Dieu, the stock market crash and everyone had scurried away from Harlem. The parties had dried up, the money had stopped flowing. Wasn't too long after that~well the numbers business didn't stay all negro, not by a long shot. Harlem became just another place, just another hole in which people of any type of cultural relevance wanted to move away from as quickly as possible. The best clubs departed for downtown and soon enough~ the best people had migrated, as well. Simplement horrible!

And so, now she was traveling yet again, headed for a new city. She hoped that things wouldn't take too long. She was fast running out of cash.

Cleveland

Establishing a place to rest her head had been accomplished almost as soon as she had stepped off of the train. One of the families that had made the trip, with her, from New York City actually lived in Cleveland. She had made their acquaintance while travelling and once the train had offloaded their things, the wife had offered her a room in their home for a weekly renter's fee. She had paid for the first week up front and spent the night in a clean, safe environment.

The next morning, she had dressed and asked about night clubs or speakeasies that could use a singer of her considerable talents. The husband had looked mildly affronted but the wife, well she had mentioned a Ladies club located just outside of downtown.

"It's a nice place. The lady who runs it doesn't stop women of color from coming by and doesn't allow any men on premises, besides that handsome door man. I think, if you were to go down and talk to her, she'd probably give you a listen."

Maddie had kept the idea in the back of her mind but decided to try some of the more popular places, first. After an afternoon spent hearing derogatory laughter and an evening being called everything from darkie to jigaboo~ that idea had resurfaced. So, she had gone back to her home and changed into appropriate clothing before slipping out, into the cold December night air.

She found the little club, almost by accident. She had walked passed it twice before finally catching sight of the little sign that proclaimed this place open for Ladies Only. Stopping for a brief moment to glance inside, she noted with a thrill of happiness that only women were in residence. She found herself worrying though, as no other women of color were located within it's plush confines.

"Allez en, Madrigal." That quiet statement brought her eyes back to the window and, before she lost all nerve, she walked quickly toward the entrance and pushed it open. Then all courage fled.

For one thing, she looked like no one else in the place. True, all women were women but for most of her life, she had been surrounded by women in varying skin tones of brown. Here? All pale. No beige, no brown, no tan. Pale, pale skin and long hair held in tight chignons or loose buns. Her close crop of pin curls had fit in perfectly in the clubs she frequented before. They didn't fit well here.

Another thing that didn't fit was her attire. She had dressed in a soft, deep green velour dress~not corseted, no bustle anywhere in evidence. Her dress had a small, decorous, peplum but that was only to keep men from making comments. Here, the women were much more relaxed.

Her dark eyes darted from face to face before finally landing on the woman behind the gorgeous bar counter. Maddie had to stop and grab a small breath as the woman's appearance caused a minute twinge in her lower belly. The woman was...gorgeous. Abundantly curved, perfectly clothed with glorious red hair. Finally though, the women stopped giving her the once over and returned to their previous enjoyment of the songstress on the tiny stage~ well if one could call the barely in tune performance worthy of enjoyment.

Maddie walked toward the bar and rested one small gloved hand upon the counter. Now that she had come this far? She wasn't sure if she would ever be comfortable in a place like this. Not that women were dangerous or even scary. Enfer, some of the places she'd been? This wasn't a patch on terrifying. But all these pale faces? She wasn't sure they would accept her type of music, here.

'Rien mais pour tenter.' The thought came and went and before she could stop herself or chicken out, she rapped the bar top, hoping to get the bar keep's attention.

"Excusez-moi, oh I mean, excuse me. I was wondering if you were doing any hiring for entertainers?"
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:26 PM   #3
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Angelica took another drag off her cigarette and let the smoke linger in her lungs before it escaped through her ruby red lips. She smiled as the doors opened, thrilled that she had at least one more customer to serve. She squinted as if to focus, her smile grew wider as she saw the beautiful woman with skin that seemed to be the perffect shade of brown. She took her place back behind the bar as the woman made her way across the parquet floor. The band continued to play If I Could Be With You. The blonde's baby blue gown swayed with her as she sang on the stage.

If I could be with you I'd love you strong,
If I could be with you I'd love you long,
I want you to know I wouldn't go,
Until I told you, honey, why I love you so


No one was listening to her though. All of their pale faces where staring at the colored woman who just walked through the door. Angelica was kean to observe what was happening. She gave a look that swept over the room. Her face alone told everyone, Don't you dare!. And with that look, one by one, they returned to their drinks and their conversations. Everyone but Shelly who didn't look up in the first place. Her eyes were locked on her glass of Merlot as she sipped. She never looked up when those big black doors opened. She was quite certain it was either going to be her exhusband who had been chasing her since she left him two years ago, or the feds marching in to shut the place down. Either way, she didn't want to waste time looking up when she could be enjoying at least one, if not two more sips before someone snatched the glass from her hand. She didn't look up until she heard a woman speak french.

Angelica showed her new customer that signature warm smile of hers that made every new customer feel welcome. She looked into those deep brown eyes and felt captivated. There was something about this woman. Then, she heard the woman speak. She felt her heart start to race. If there was anything she loved, anything that sparked arousal in her, it was diversity. Not only had a black woman just walked into her club for the first time in three months, but she was French.

"Excusez-moi, oh I mean, excuse me. I was wondering if you were doing any hiring for entertainers?"

Shelly finally looked up and smiled sarcastically, "is she ever?" Angelica laughed, "Hey, this is my joint. I do the hiring around here." She took another puff and put it out in the purple glass ashtry, sittingemtpy on the bartop. "Well, darlin', what can I get ya. We serve the three Ws here: wine, women, and whiskey. I got the wine and whiskey back here, but the women you'll have to land on your own." She winked at the lady and smiled. Angelica didn't normally offer an alcoholic beverage until she felt them out. The law had occasioanally sent in a woman posing as a customer to ask questions. Call it a gut feeling, but she was sure this gal wasn't a mole. Angelica was pretty comfortable serving alcohol after doing it for five years. The law allowed her to produce 200 gallons of wine on her property, so that wasn't too hard to smuggle into her bar. The whiskey was a different story. Marcus' cousin manned the distillery in the basement; the basement which no one knew about. Nor did anyone know that Marcus had a cousin who was handsomer than he, who practically lived in that basement.

Now, Angelica didn't mean to ignore the question, but she didn't talk business unless every participant was having a drink. Also, she wanted the moment to last. It wasn't that she never had a colored woman in her bar. She had a couple of regulars who came for three months straight before not returning. They both told Angelica they enjoyed the company of women, but they didn't care for the company of stares.

"So, what will it be?"Oh, how she hoped and prayed the woman would respond in French again. She felt her heart beat just a little faster in anticipation.

Last edited by palemoon2035 : 11-23-2012 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:59 PM   #4
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Maddie gave a light laugh as she listened to the red head give her the low down on the club's policy. Three "W's", indeed! She could feel an odd tingling in the pit of her stomach. The one that sent a spark of electricity bolting up her spine and caused a slight shiver as she cocked her head toward the club's owner. It was the sensation that ALWAYS happened, whenever she came in to contact with a beautiful, unattached female.

Not that her face gave any of that, away. 'L'enfer non! Better training than that!' The thought came and went, quickly. A smile began to tug her lips upward while she listened to the by play between the owner and her friend. It would have been impossible NOT to smile, not when the woman was giving her that smug expression and snubbing her cigarette in a nearby ashtray.

Listening to the dulcet tones of the red head, it suddenly dawned upon Maddie that the offer of a drink was some sort of test. Maybe the woman was worried about the policiers coming to shut her down. No doubt, with the stupid ban on liquor being served, she could get into trouble if she were caught. Giving a decisive nod, Maddie cleared her throat, allowing her own whiskey and cigarette soaked alto to flit into the stillness of the bar's air.

"Double shot of whiskey, s'il vous plaît."Maddie began to peel her gloves from her fingers~a process made terribly slow due to the tightness of the material and the cut of the gloves. She glanced up with a grin and continued on. "If the whiskey is good? I might even sing for you. Just a taste, you understand? Not sure if you are ready for my kind of singing...not if you are enjoying the performance of yonder femme."

She allowed her grin to broaden, flashing dimples and straight white teeth in the low light of the club. It would have been funny to her, had she not been so taken with the woman who stood behind the bar and gazed at her with pretty eyes. Maddie found herself forgetting about the other women in this place, if only for a brief moment. Eventually, both gloves were removed and placed gently upon the bar top. Maddie drummed slender fingers against the wood, a nervous habit picked up from her mère, long ago.

A giggle erupted from her then. Loud, long, and too husky to really BE a giggle. Maddie found herself leaning over the bar, one slender hand reaching out to give a little "come here" gesture. Not that she was sure just what she wanted to say, not really. It was more a matter of wanting the woman's eyes upon her, for just a few more seconds.

It was just then that Maddie noticed the silence. The woman on the stage had just finished her song and it seemed as though the band itself was going to take a quick break. Maybe, just maybe, she could give the ladies here a quick performance, IF the bar owner didn't object. It would be nice to be up in front of some women again, singing the tunes she loved best.

But first? She needed that drink.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:49 PM   #5
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"s'il vous plaît." Those words, oh those words. They were like butter. It was a simple phrase, if you please, but in French, even a vulgar wird like merde was like music to Angelica's ears. Still wearing the same grin she had on her face from the moment this woman walked in, she reached down below the bar and turned a key, unlocking a sliding door. She peerrd up over thr counter. "I'll be right back. Don't go anywhere." Her dimples lit up her face, which slowly turned from a fair shade of white, to pink as she felt that tickle that started in her belly and found its way down to her thighs, back up her back, and to her cheeks. She ducked down behind the counter and pushed in a hidden compartment behind the sliding door. She reappeared with two double shot glasses and an unmarked bottle.

If there was one thing that Angelica was good at, it was reading people. She had to be good at it. It wasn't easy running a business in a man's world, fending off the law so they would leave her alone and let her serve drinks in peace. It was a necessity that she knew everything about a person the moment they opened their mouth. Once she knew what made them tick, she could use that to her advantage. More often than not, it was frustrating, if not straight up freightening, when there was that rare occasion Angelica couldn't figure someone out. Then, there were those very rare moments where not being able to read someone was the most beautiful, sexiest, and intensely arousing moment she ever exprienced.

Standing before her, watching her pour two double shots of whiskey, was a beautiful mystery; a woman whose ancestors clearly came from Africa, who, judging by appearance alone should be a descendant of slaves. Yet this women with big browns eyes that had more soul than any eyes she had ever seen, spoke perfect French. Oh, and the fire. Angelica was born with fire, she was always one to challenge. She enjoyed being the keeper of her patrons, but for the most part, she found their desire to follow and look up to her boring and simply undesirable. "If your whiskey is good...not up for my kind of singing...?" Who was this woman? To Angelica it was a tease and a challenge, and that got her going. That tickle turned into a spark that ingnited her whole body. She knew that feeling....lust.

She slid the full double across the counter and poured herself one. "Honey, this is the best whiskey you ever tasted." She raised her glass. "Here's to your kind of singing, whatever your style is, it must be better than this crap." She looked to the stage, then back to those brown eyes. She brought the glass to her lips. How she loved that feeling. She relaxed her throat and let it slide down. Closing her eyes and focusing on the slow burn that followed. "Ok, hun, Missy up there is taking a break. Now is your chance. I don't normally do this but I like you. Just uh...just don't mind the crowd. My opinion is all that matters tonight. If you wow me, you got a gig. The right kind of crowd will follow. Shelly over here is a marketing genius.". She turned and gave Shelly and and a wink.

Angelica's heels clicked and clocked against the hard floor. She didn't give Maddie a chance to speak; not a chance to challenge how good the whiskey was; not a chance to think or retract her offer. She left the bar and stepped up onto the stage. For whatever the reason, she gave her tush a little extra wiggle and the ruffles swayed back and forth along with her nice round rump thst she had hoped caught the eye of her new friend. Now, Angelica knew it was time to make a sale. She grabbed the silver microphone, the spotlight shining off of it gave it a twinkle that dazzled all who looked at it. "Let's hear it for Missy everyone." There was dead silence. Even the crickets came oit of hibernation for a second just to make a statement. Then, a round of sympathy applause. "Ok, everyone. I wasn't sure if she would make it tonight so I didn't want to say anything. That beautiful, lovely, gorgeous woman who just walked to the door came straight to us from Paris. Yes, the Paris, France. We are so lucky to have her here tonight to sing just one song for us. It is my pleasure to introduce, from half way across the globe, Madamoiselle-" She realized she didn't ask the lady's name, but knowing here audience probably knew little French, Madamoiselle would due. Angelica applauded as she walked off stage and gave the lovely woman at the bar a look, egging to get on that stage. Now, the sale was made, an exotic singer from Paris. All she could do was hope this gal could carry a tune. At least the band could play anything.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:53 PM   #6
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"Don't go anywhere? As if I could?'

Maddie found herself grinning, delighted by the bar tender's flirtatious air. The woman hadn't struck her as inherently same sex oriented and usually, this was something that Maddie could easily pick up on. Admittedly, this was probably due to the fact that the other woman was so devastatingly beautiful. Madrigal couldn't get past her more physical attributes.

Not that it mattered.

The woman returned with a small bottle containing an amber colored liquid. Two scrupulously clean shot glasses were filled, to the brim, before one of them was placed before the songstress. The bar tender's huskily teasing voice filled the silence and Maddie had to concentrate on the words, not the tonality. A promise concerning the greatness of this particular shot, a toast. Meaningless words...but heaven to hear.

And then the woman voiced~ the challenge.

Of course, this woman couldn't know, wouldn't know, about Madrigal's preferred type of music. Even the most advanced jazz fan had trouble relating to the blues when sung by a woman with a husky, whiskey tinged voice. Not that most of the music she'd learned in the States would have been considered the blues. Not nearly enough pleurnicher et de gémissant by a long shot.

It didn't stop her from giving a gleaming grin as she heard the bar tender's voice rising into the smoky air of the club, nor did it dissuade her from making her way through the scattered tables until she could gaze up at the gorgeous red head from the bottom of that self same area. She found herself giving a bit of a husky giggle as the woman paused, momentarily flummoxed, as she had never gotten Maddie's name. All in all, the French woman found the bar tender utterly... captivating, charming and funny~ a positively killer combination.

So when the woman stepped off the stage, Maddie moved UP, her small hand reaching for the silver microphone. With a slight bow, Maddie turned toward the members of the little band and whispered~"Let me take the first few lines. When you have the tune, follow me." Once instructions had been given, she turned back toward the small audience and gave a bit of a shrug, the green velour moving against her dusky flesh.

"I am Madrigal. But you...any of you, all of you...can call me Maddie." A bit of a pause. "This little ditty is something I learned from Ma Rainey, out in Harlem way. So, ecoutez, s'il vous plaît?" Another beat, two, of silence and then Maddie allowed her dark honey voice to pour out into the waiting stillness.

"Went out last night, had a great big fight
Everything seemed to go on wrong
I looked up, to my surprise
The gal I was with was gone."


The piano picked up first, slow somber notes that accented her voice. By the beginning of the second verse, the horn and bass had joined in

"Where she went, I don’t know
I mean to follow everywhere she goes;
Folks say I’m crooked. I didn’t know where she took it
I want the whole world to know."


Maddie hushed for just a moment and gazed out into the upturned faces of the ladies sitting before the stage. Past the bright light, she could see fingers tapping, heads nodding. She had them.

"They say I do it, ain’t nobody caught me
Sure got to prove it on me;
Went out last night with a crowd of my friends,
They must’ve been women, ‘cause I don’t like no men.

It’s true I wear a collar and a tie,
Makes the wind blow all the while
Don’t you say I do it, ain’t nobody caught me
You sure got to prove it on me."


She sang on, until the end, pausing once or twice to showcase the band. When the music stopped, she sang the very last line, staring straight at the bar.

"Cause they say I do it, ain’t nobody caught me
Sure got to prove it on me."


Silence, for just a moment...and then REAL applause.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:45 PM   #7
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Angelica looked on the stage with wide eyes. As she watched Maddie walk onto the stage, she knew she had done the right thing. She saw a sexy confidence in that woman's walk. It was the kind of walk Angelica didn't see enough of in this place. All the while, she wondered what kind of suprise lay in store for her. What ws this style of music her new talent had under her sleeve. Her wide eyes grew wider as she heard the first chord progression and that sexy, husky voice belt out the first lyrics.

Angelica liked all kinds of music, but she had an afinity for jazz. That was what her customers wanted to hear most nights. It was popular. It was either jazz or a piano player. Angelica knew the blues, she loved the blues, but she rarely got to hear the blues in her own club. She suddenly looked around for a genies attached to a bottle because she felt like she had been granted two of three wishes that night alreay. A beautiful stranger with a French accent walked into her club. That same sexy woman then sang the blues for her.

Angelica's eyes locked on the lips of Maddie as if she was trying to see the words leave her mouth as she sung them. Angelica's foot tapped on its own accord. She looked around and saw the smile on every one's face. This gal up there lit up the place after onky a few bars. It was something her cousin failed to do after a full hour. Suddenly the song was over and there was only a brief silence before the crowd errupted in applause. Normally, when an entertainer evoked such a response, Angelica saw dollar signs and happy customers. Tonight was different though, she saw only her happiness. She knew if she could keep Maddie there, she would hear music she loved by a beautiful woman every night if she desired. Angelica saw a chance to get to know this woman. There was no doubt she was attracted to her, and now there would be many nights were she stay long after the door closed, having wonderful, intimate, intelligent conversations with this woman.

Angelica saw a smile on Shelly's face as she vigorously applauded and followed with a whistle. She knew if her best customer and friend approved, then this was meant to be. Angelica walked over to the stage. She offered Maddie her hand, her wall manicured nails glistned and tickled the palm of Maddie's soft hand. As she led her off the stage, Angelica had to shout over the applause which just wouldn't die down. "What you doin' the rest of the night darling? You got two hours to fill. The band will follow your lead. They can play anything. Trust me. This place is yours tonight if you want it."
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:10 AM   #8
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Maddie watched as the bar owner threaded her way through the tables to stand at the foot of the stage. The pretty lady's face was alive with laughter and something else, something barely concealed behind her devilishly gleaming eyes. Maddie did NOT want to know just what was hidden there, not yet.

However when the woman held one slender hand up to grasp Maddie's own and help her down from the stage? The songstress took it quickly and held on to it, even as they walked back toward the bar. The atmosphere in the club no longer felt oppressive. Part of that was the applause, the rest was due to the gorgeous lady walking beside her, trying in vain to be heard over the noise.

Eventually, Maddie caught the gist of the owner's words and turned her head slightly so that she could gaze at the other woman. A job offer? Just from hearing one song? Bonté, and to think she had been worried. A happy smile turned her full lips upward, causing a momentary flash of dimple to be seen.

"Oui, I would love to perform some more for you, ma chère. Alas, I don't have melodies picked out for a full set and would feel rather...unsettled...if I had to hit the stage with no plan. Do you think instead, that I could just sit here for a few hours and bask in the pleasure of your company, maybe sing a time or two more as the mood takes me whenever yonder demoiselle takes a break?"

By now, their meandering walk had returned them to the gleaming bar top. Madrigal gave a glance to the woman who was already seated there and grinned at the woman's enthusiastic wink. Turning her attention once more to the bar owner, she finished her thought.

"Bien que, it seems to me that we have not yet discussed rates nor times needed. As lovely as you are, a woman can not live by beauty alone."

The query was stated with a smile and a brush of full lips across the back of a delicately slender hand. After all, Maddie was gentleman.

"So while we haggle? How bout two more shots, belle dame?"

It wasn't that Maddie meant to flirt, not really. There was just this aura about the stunning red head that made flirting something that had to happen. That in and of itself was unusual enough that Maddie at least attempted to reign in her normal gung ho attitude. Usually, a woman caught her attention and the songstress was at her~singing, talking, whispering, touching in discrete ways. This was altogether different. For once, Maddie found herself unsure of how to proceed. Thus the teasing words, the dimpled grin.

The next bit would be up to the lady but maybe after they haggled? Maybe then...a thought interrupted and Maddie blurted it out.

"Comment t'appelles? I mean...what's your name? Obviously, everyone caught mine...but I didn't get yours....and I can not continue to call you the stunning red headed one to myself, now can I?"
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:51 PM   #9
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It had been a long time since Angelica felt that kind of touch. It had been a long time since she had that feeling. Some called it butterflies. Some, a tickle. Others, spark. Whatever it was called, few women caused that feeling to bubble up inside of Angelica, but here it was. She wished she could never let go of that hand again. And as her eyes met those of the lovely Madrigal, that feeling bubbled more. She saw joy in those eyes. There was certainly a satisfaction and happiness they both felt as the crowd let it be known how they enjoyed the song.

Angelica knew she got a little over excited, but she meant what she said and the offer stood if Maddie wanted to give a few more songs a try. But now, she was more interested in Maddie's offer. A few hours of company. It had been quite awhile since anyone had really flirted with her and been so forward. If it had been anyone else, she would have been certain this was an attempt to woo her, get her drunk, and agree to terms that gave Angelica the short end of the stick. After the glimpses and smiles the two had been exchanging, she knew that Maddie was really interested in the pleasure of her company, regardless of a potential string of gigs.

She took her place behind the bar. "I completely understand. I don't want you to be unsettled up there. This crowd could eat you alive. Don't be fooled by a little applause. You should get up there when you can be more of the confident woman I know you are." She knew a little flattery never hurt. In fact it often worked in her favor. "A couple more shots, eh? I like a gal who can hold her whiskey." A little more flattery usually had an even greater effect. "But two more shots? I am afraid we can't talk money if we are going to drink. Let's just drink and enjoy one another's company. Maybe you should just get a feel for the atmosphere before you even commit to anything."

She should have bit her own tongue, but the words came out. Angelica was no fool. She had had a conversation with every women who was in the club tonight at least once. Everyone was a regular. She knew that even though they all applauded, they didn't all approve. She knew that even though this was the north, there were some women here who wouldn't take kindly to this kind of entertainer. She felt the icey stare of a certain patron the moment she took Maddie's hand. She could care less, but she realized she just told Maddie to take in the atmosphere, an atmosphere that could be a bit unstable tonight. So how would she keep the woman calm and focused only on her? "So why stop at two shots. Never stop on an odd number. We had one, plus two is three. Gotta make it four or it's bad luck."

The sexy woman asked her name, but not before flattering her. The stunning redhead… She liked that. There was that feeling again. That tingle. That spark. She didn't answer right away. She reached down behind the bar, pulling the bottle back up which she carelessly placed on an open shelf without locking it up in its proper place after she poured the first set. She let the amber liquid flow from the mouth of the bottle into each glass. "I'm Angelica." She winked and smiled before downing the shot, not even waiting for Maddie. Over to the side, Shelly stared at her wine glass which was nearly empty. All the while she listened in and smirked.

Angelica walked back around the counter to the stool side. She took a seat next to her new found friend and just looked into her eyes. Regardless of her wish not to mix business and pleasure, she didn't want to let this one get away, so some kind of offer would have to be made. She also knew that truth be told, she was a much better negotiator after a few shots. "So, where are you from? Tell me more about you..."
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:27 PM   #10
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Maddie could feel the tension that allowed her to connect with others like herself~ a certain jolt along her spine, a tingling in her nether region. She wasn't sure if the woman had ever attempted sex with another female. It didn't matter. What DID matter was that the connection was there.

The songstress allowed herself to be mollycoddled, led away from the idea of the haggle. After all, Maddie already KNEW that as long as the bar owner offered a fair price for her performances, she would gladly work here, sing here. BE here. She would be available for just as long as the lady wanted her to be.

It worked like that, sometimes. An instant attraction that developed into a slow burn. There were times when the burn fizzled, went away. Maddie didn't see that being the case here. She was sure the sultry red head could cause un incendie without even trying too hard. She relished the idea of it. The long conversations. The quiet words and easy silences.

She could feel the gazes of those others beaming into her back like a thousand daggers. That did not worry her nor deter her from what she would do, given the chance. However, it did please her to hear the bar owner acknowledge that she might want to give the idea more thought. Not that she would.

It did make for an interesting énigme. In the end though, it would not matter. She would be where she would be, no matter who was upset by it. This country was not her country...and their rules did not apply to her. A wicked giggle at the thought. None of their rules mattered outside of~the money she would make for her performances.

A name given. Angelica. It was fitting indeed. She would be Maddie's own peu d'ange. That thought brought a smile to her face, even as she took the first shot given and concentrated on the words of the pretty woman sitting next to her. She wanted information. A background. A story. There really wasn't much to be told, not really.

"I am from Paris. Home of artistes and writers, of dancers and players. Was born to a woman of color, a dancer at Les Follies. My père was obviously a French man, though of course, I do not know who he was. Nor do I care." A shrug, one shoulder. "I was raised in performance houses. Learned to sing and dance before I could properly walk. It is what I do."

Maddie took a deep breath, her dark eyes focused upon Angelica, her full lips curved upward into an engaging grin.

"Will you tell me how a woman of your station became the owner of a Ladies Only club? Maybe give me a hint as to what I can expect if we ever do decide to get round to haggling?"

And then, because she could not help herself, Maddie touched the woman's face, fingertips grazing her cheek, her chin.

"You interest me, peu d'ange, and I would know...more."
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:14 PM   #11
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Angelica was very careful in how she approached women. She feared judgement of others just as anyone else did. She certainly questioned societal standards, and on a more personal level, she saw no moral wrong in being sexual with any other person, man or woman, husband, lover, mistress, or close friend. To judge a woman for sleeping with another of the same sex simply made no sense to her. It was another way for a man to hold power over a woman; a way to judge her and keep her down in her "place" as if such acts made her less than human. Of course homosexual males had their own battles to fight and she sympathized with them. Yet, this was her fight, a fight for the rights of women. This was about sexual empowerment.

Angelica cared little for being judged for sleepig around with men. After all, they didn't seem to care if they were reaping the benefits. It was a simple power exchange. She got what she wanted from them, and they got a little pleasure from her, not realizing that she had them in the palm of her hand the whole time. It was fun...a game. The chemistry she now felt with Maddie was far from a game. It certainly was fun and playful, but if she decided to take it any further, she risked rejection. Angelica knew this all too well. She had made a pass at a woman or two who didn't quite feel the same way. She thought there was chemistry, but an attempt at a kiss lead to a scolding and the eternal silent treatment.

She would be careful with Maddie, but...still herself. She would let whatever happened, happen. There was certainly a spark, a feeling not felt with every womam she encountered. Still, she would not assume that Maddie knew the pleasure of a sexual encounter with another woman. She would have to take her time. How better to find out though, than through a pleasant conversation? And here it was, and invitation to talk about herself and ask all of the questions she could of this lovely lady sitting before her.

"I interest you? Moi?" Beyond the words moi and oui, Angelica knew no French, however, she wasn't ready to reveal this yet and she hoped that throwing in such a word would impress Maddie. "I was given this club by my father before he passed. I grew up just down the street. You could say I was a spoiled brat, but I got what I wanted because I went after it. That has always been how I lived my life." She titled her head back and said these words with such whismsical delight. "I always get what I want, darling. My dad owned lots of restaurants and hotels around here. He fell ill and lost most everything. I saw some potential here that no man saw. So I got my hands on this dive that my father's partners didn't want. It was a dive and it would be a dead dive if I didn't find a niche. So...look around you." Angelica motioned to the large space with tables and women galore. "My niche. Women. Women of all ages and backgrounds. Some trying to get away from their husbands. Some wishing they had a husband Some happy to be single, needing a drink before they go home to be alone. Some looking for the company of other ladies." It was a subtle hint but Angelica hoped that the lovely Madrigal would pick up on what she meant by "company."

"So tell me, why would a lovely French woman with such beautiful skin and such a beautiful voice leave Paris and come to this country? I don't know if you noticed, but some people around here don't take kindly to the presence of a colored woman. I, personally, adore you. But why come here?"

Angelica took out two short glasses, added some ice, and poured more loquor on the rocks. She wanted to keep it flowing, but too many shots at this pace could lead to Maddie landing a lifetime contract for an outrageous fee along with free drinks and room and board. She had never had whiskey on the rocks. She didn't even know if that was a thing, but she wasn't in the mood for wine.

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Old 12-23-2012, 10:28 PM   #12
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It would be incorrect to assume that Maddie did not want the answers to the questions she had posed. She did~ but more importantly~ she was interested in watching the other woman's responses to her. Much could be learned by watching, by paying attention.

As a rule, most women hid what they considered a base desire behind snapping eyes and curt words. Angelica did not. She smiled and teased and invited one closer, encouraging a nearness by her very presence. Her words brought a smile and a hint of blush, a touch of heat, to the songstress' cheeks. She knew then that anything she wanted to do, eventually, would not be turned aside nor looked down upon.

Maddie found herself nodding, an indicator that she was listening to the story behind the club, behind the woman who had ventured to make such a place for women. It spoke to her, in a way not easily understood by one who was not part of the les amoureux de la confrérie des femmes. If you loved women, sexually or not, then you wanted all women to succeed at whatever they put their heart and head to. You wanted victoire totale. To hear of one amazing woman doing what she wanted, was heart warming.

It made Madrigal smile.

Another query, while the lady fixed two more whiskeys. This time she added ice to the glasses, providing a bit of cold to counteract the heat. Even better, the ice when melted, would cut the potency of the drink. Maddie did not consider herself much of a drinker and usually a few shots or a glass of wine was her limit. However she found herself thoroughly intoxicated by Angelica's nearness. To keep her there, she would have downed anything placed before her.

"Why come here? Pourquoi pas? I am a woman of a certain age, of a certain background of a certain...how do you say? Type. I do what I do because I can. I had heard much about this country and wanted to see it for myself. Wanted to travel and see what there was to see. I am almost famous in my country. I have argent et la gloire. I need nothing else except for...adventure."

Maddie paused then and gave a little half smile before taking a long sip of her whiskey. The liquid slid down her throat like sin and hit her tummy like a fist. She gasped slightly and placed the glass before her, allowing slim fingers to rotate it while she thought. Finally, she gave a light laugh, sly grin and spoke once more.

"Plus, I just ended a relationship in Harlem. My jolie dame decided that it was time to get while the getting was good. I headed for Baltimore. She went... elsewhere. This was just another stop on my learning America tour. So then, lady, are you trying to get me drunk?"

Husky laughter as she asked the question because the answer was not needed. Maddie would be drunk if that was what the woman required. As it was~ she was drunk enough on Angelica's presence, alone. She grinned at the pretty red head and then picked up her drink, allowing the amber liquid to catch her attention.

"Tell me more about your country's problem with skin color, s'il vous plaît?"
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:07 PM   #13
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There was something about the question that Madrigal posed that made her angry. It brewed quickly and bubbled up in fractions of a second. She wasn't angry that Maddie had asked such a question. She was angry about the idea that one should have to ask such a question. This lovely, talented, intelligent woman, who should be treated like royalty for her singing talents alone, was sitting here in a bar, asking her to explain her country's problem with skin color. Her response echoed the anger inside as her tone became louder and more intense with each word she spoke. "My country? Mycountry!? MY!!!??? No, it isn't my country that has a problem with skin color."

Angelica caught herself before she launched into an all out tangeant about the wrongs of society. She took a swig of her whiskey and let the cold liquor burn her thorat. She took a deep breath and just smiled at Maddie before continuing. All the while, Shelly sat a few stools down and had been listening to her conversation. Her drink had long been finished, but she wasn't about to interupt this meeting just to ask the bar maid for another. She stared at the wall and chuckled as Angelica seemed ready to go off. Shelly finally turned to look at the two of them. "Calm down Angel." She then looked directly at Maddie, a woman who she herself couldn't help but find attractive and intriguing. "Darlin', you better ask her for the short version of her answer to that question or we're going to be here all night." She then turned her eyes right back to the wall behind the bar.

"Hush, you." Angelica laughed and gathered herself. She wasn't quite sure what to say next, but the lovey sitting across from her asked her a question and she had to answer. "This country's problem with skin color is that they can see it. They can see someone, right in front of there face, who is different than they are, and it scares the hell out of them. It is an obvious mark. It means they have to chose to embrace and understand the brown person in front of them, or they have to chose to hate them. They choose to hate them because they fear the idea that we are all different. They live in their own little bubble and as long as every one seems the same, then they must be the same...and then everything is right as rain because they don't have to bother to learn from and understand one another. That, my dear Madrigal, is this country's problem with skin color. It is a blatant reminder, everyday, that we are all unique and different, and some people can't wrap their tiny little minds around such an idea."

Angelica was quite proud that she kept her answer to a few sentences while avoiding standing up and smacking the countertop. She looked down at her glass and considered taking another sip, but she did not. She knew Maddie deserved better. Angelica could hold her own, but she didn't want to turn into a drunken fool in front of possibley the most attractive woman who had ever set foot in her establishment. She slid her glass farther away from her and looked up to Maddie to gauge her reaction. Still, more thoughts were brewing and she didn't know if she could hold them in before Maddie had a chance to speak. No, she couldn't help herself.

"You see, my dear, this isn't my country." She spoke with a conviction and passion that she normally hid from people she had just met. "We, women, us," she pointed to the floor and then herself and Maddie, "we just received the 'right' to vote less than ten years ago. And God forbid you live in the fine old state of Maryland or Virginia where they have yet to ratify the 19th amendment. So from 1776 until 1920, my dear, women were less than human apparently. We had no control over where our own country was heading. So, if you think these two elections we have been allowed to vote in makes this my country. You are sorely mistaken."

As her heart raced, Angelica pulled her glass closer, looked at it, and took another sip. She then slid it away again. "We, as human beings have rights, and I will be damned if some man is going to tell me what I can and cannot do. Oh, but I am sorry, you asked me about skin color and I got on my soapbox about women's rights. I won't pretend that I know what it is like to be you. I couldn't imagine...but I do know that you are always welcome here. And I know that I love the color of your skin. And I know I want to know everything about you." It seems the alcohol was having an effect as that last sentence slipped out. "And I know that Nellie is going to walk out soon because you are here, and I apologize for that. She has been staring at you since you first walked in. I know this isn't Mississippi or Alabama, but we still have our share of ignorance here and she is a fine representative."

Angelica realized she had been rambling, and hoped she was wrong about Nellie. She didn't want Maddie to have the slightest feeling of discomfort. It was time to lighten the mood, and give the beauty before her a chance to speak. "Forgive me, my dear. I have been rambling now. Please, tell me more about your country's problem with redheads." She winked and smiled as she slid her mostly full glass of whiskey down the bar to Shelly. She looked over at the loner. "On the house...and next time you are empty, speak up."
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:36 PM   #14
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The sheer outrage the bar owner felt was communicated by the tone of her voice and the look on her face. Maddie could only sit there, stunned, while Angelica proceeded to disabuse her of the notion that THIS country could ever be considered a woman's, not that the songstress would disagree with ANY of the ill humored statement made.

After all, for the most part? It was truth. Women had not made the laws, had not done any of the things that meant that certain others were less than. However, from Maddie's point of view, white women were worse when it came to the whole looking down upon her thing. They didn't have much else they could look down upon, did they? Only a woman with darker skin and nappy hair could be lower than they themselves were, here in the great land of America.

The words finally trickled to a stop as the pretty red head took a sip of her whiskey. Maddie wanted to speak up, to change the course of the conversation but Angelica wasn't finished. There were some compliments, which brought a flush to her burnished cheeks but Angelica wasn't done with her full disclosure. The beauty's voice dropped slightly, as she continued onward.

"And I know that Nellie is going to walk out soon because you are here, and I apologize for that. She has been staring at you since you first walked in. I know this isn't Mississippi or Alabama, but we still have our share of ignorance here and she is a fine representative."

Maddie glanced over her shoulder, large dark eyes landing unerringly on the woman who had been glaring daggers at her back for the past twenty minutes. Perfect picture of 30's American woman~a hater of anything not quite like her. Maddie grinned, a quick flash of white teeth in the gloom, and returned her gaze to the beauty sitting beside her.

"Forgive me, my dear. I have been rambling now. Please, tell me more about your country's problem with redheads."

Maddie took a final sip of her whiskey shot and pushed the empty shot glass away. After hearing everything that Angelica had said, she found herself unable to find the proper flirtatious tone, yet she was unwilling to leave. Clearing her throat slightly, she leaned in and rested one hand upon the woman's arm.

"Pas de pardon nécessaire...I mean no forgiveness required.." Maddie leaned back and gave a slight smile, while studying the red head. "After all, I did ask. And my country doesn't have a problem with les rousses, it's just me. I find the coloration next to my own skin...enticing."

Silence reigned for a long moment, broken only by the sound of the entrance door opening and closing. Maddie turned to glance over her shoulder, her mouth quirked into a slight grin. The woman Angelica had worried about leaving, had left.

"I guess I offended your customer. I apologize. But your skin is so...luxuriante et pâle...I like to touch it. Anyway, could I have some water, do you think? And what else can I tell you about me that you would want to know?"
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:53 AM   #15
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Angelica's heart beat sped up once more, but not from anxiety and anger, but from the joy and elation of flattery. She was so excited to hear Maddie say that she found her skin enticing. As soon as she spoke those words, Angelica imagined her white, almost glowing skin against the beautiful shade of brown that was Maddie. The thought was interrupted by the exit of the Nellie, whose icey stare seemed to fill the entire room with a chill. Marcus, still at his post with a usually emotionless face, gave Nellie the same icey stare as she walked out the door. That was all of the satisfaction Angelica needed. Still, she needed to make one last point. "No need to apologize, darlin'. One day I'll tell you why she is the was she is." One day. Now was not the time to talk about other women, especially the ignorant ones. Nor was it the time to continue on about what was wrong with the world. That moment had past, this moment returned to them. This was about these two, helplessly flirting and flattering each other.

Skin, yes, back to skin. Skin was one of Angelica fixations. She loved the look, the touch, the feel of a woman's skin. She was fascinated by the colors and oh, how she loved contrast in skin tone. This, perhaps, was just one more reason she found Maddie so attractive. She extended her bare arm and placed it next to Maddie's own arm, finding herself admiring the contrast and beauty of the flesh of the woman next to her. She winked, "yes...enticing indeed. Do feel free to touch." Yes, Angelica was shamelessly flirting. "Oh, water. Yes, that sounds like a good idea." She suddenly rememberdd that she was running an establishment. She had help for the weekends and busy nights, but on slow nights like this, she was the only one running the show. It was a simple club really. Drinks and entertainment. No need for a cook and all that jazz. It was too much work for Angelica. She found serving alcohol was difficult enough these days.

Angelica saw the musicians returning to the stage. Realizing it was about to get a little bit louder again. "Forgive me," apologizing to Maddie. She then stood up and shouted, "Anyone need anything?" This was typical for Angelica. She often saw herself as less of a bartender or owner, and more of a hostess hosting a party in her home. Three women at three different tables raised their hands. "Well come on up to the bar before the music starts."

This was also quite typical for Angelica. It is not that she didn't believe in good service. Most nights, especially busier ones, she had someone to wait on tables. Again, the night was slow and most of those here tonight were her regulars who wanted wine of whiskey. She much prefered to pour that behind the bar and leave it to them to drink it wherever they please. Her regular patrons had a certain respect for Angelica and they certainly didn't mind walking a few steps to get their drink. It was relatively inexpensive after all. Besides, it was rare that she would accept a tip from anyone. "Save that for your divorce lawyer," she would say. Most women got the joke.

"Don't you go anywhere." She smiled a giddy smile and winked at Maddie. She placed her finger tips on Maddie's arm as she stood up, letting them drag along the songstress' arm. "Duty calls, but I will be right back."

Taking her place behind the bar, she started by pouring two waters and placing them in front of Maddie. She then poured three more glasses of wine, having them ready before the three women even approached the counter top. They each took their glass and paid their cash in turn. With a ching of the cash register, the transaction was over in seconds and before she knew it, Angelica was plopped right back down next to Maddie again.

All the while, Angelica had not forgotten the last question the lovely woman had asked her. "What else can I tell you about me that you would like to know?"

She just stared at the woman with her blue eyes. "I really want to know everything, but I guess first things first. Is there a Mr. Madrigal...or a Mrs. Madrigal? Are you attached to anyone? Perhaps a long lost love in Paris waiting for you to return?" She twriled a lock of her auburn her around her finger to draw Maddie's eyes. "I would just hate to agree to have you become my main act, only to have to leave days later to return to some handsome fellow back home."

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Old 01-08-2013, 08:06 PM   #16
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Maddie watched as Angelica became seemingly distracted by the sight of their skin, side by side. She could see the faint flush, the quick inhale, the pulse which jumped erratically before resuming it's more natural rhythms. It was an exotic show, one that she was sure la peu d'ange, had no idea that she was putting on.

Maddie listened to the murmur of softly accented words as Angelica flirted outrageously. Not that she minded, far from it! Even so, it was an odd experience, quite new to her, and she found herself at a loss on how to respond. At least at first. Luckily for her, it was at that moment that the small jazz combo returned to the stage.

Angelica excused herself for a few moments to tend to her establishment and customers while Maddie found herself swiveling to look upon the stage and the quartet of musicians there. The woman who had been giving such a desultory performance earlier now appeared more focused, more prepared. As a performer herself, Maddie found herself pleased for the young woman.

Maybe the next go round would sound better.

Maddie's attention was grabbed by the sound of glass hitting the bar top. Turning to face forward, once more, she gave a delighted grin as she saw the ice water waiting patiently to quench the thirst Angelica had built, just by being herself. One hand picked up a sparkling glass and carried it toward a suddenly dry mouth.

Obviously, her nerves were not up to par.

Short moments later, Angelica returned to her side and picked up her own glass of ice water. Maddie could feel the weight of her stare and wanted, desperately, to squirm away from the look. NON, vous n'aurez pas un poulet maintenant! That thought, as nonsensical as it seemed, brought an immediate grin to her face. It was true. she was so used to being the one who did the chasing, the seducing that she felt kind of like a virgin on her very first date. It was...distracting.

Angelica chose that moment to speak, her voice quiet but not shy, in the least.

"I really want to know everything, but I guess first things first. Is there a Mr. Madrigal...or a Mrs. Madrigal? Are you attached to anyone? Perhaps a long lost love in Paris waiting for you to return?"

Maddie's face heated, instantly, her wide eyes going unerringly to the slim finger that teased the luxurious red curl that hung beside her companion's lovely face. Angelica continued on, but it took a few moment's for Maddie to catch up.

".... have you become my main act, only to have to you leave days later to return to some handsome fellow back home."

Maddie almost choked on her ice water. Placing the glass gently on the bar top, she swallowed and turned to face the bar owner more fully.

"Non, I have no entanglements, neither in America nor in Paris. My last amoureux and I parted ways before I left Harlem. She decided to leave before I did, as a matter of fact." Maddie gave a bit of a shy smile and continued onward. "No worries about me leaving to run to some homme. I don't like them and they can't handle moi."

A long drawn out silence.

"And you, petit ange doux? Do you have someone waiting for you at home? Somebody who will make my getting to know you, impossible?"
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:09 PM   #17
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If Maddie found it odd to not be the one chasing, Angelica found it odd to find someone so open to her flirtatiousness. It wasn't often any woman would walk through the door and simply share that she had a history with another woman. Despite this being a ladies only club, many were simply here for friends and escape. Angelica never assumed that any patron or guest had any romantic interest in her or anyone else in the joint. In fact she often avoided the subject. Serving liquour was one thing, but to be accused of running a club catered to fulfilling sapphic desires, that would be a scandal she much prefer to keep out of the public eye. When Angelica did take interest in someone, she would probe and find such reluctance and hesitation on the part of that woman to share any such desire to be more intimate with another of the same sex, that Angelica would simply have to retreat and just wonder.

Angelica's smile grew wider as she heard Maddie's reply. "...she decided to leave before I did..." It wasn't she took any pleasure in the fact that Maddie's relationship didn't work out. She was a true romantic and wished nothing but love and happiness for everyone. It saddened her to hear of anyone's marriage ending or their relationship falling apart. Even those who came to her club night after night to escape their husbands; she wished they would find happiness again. If perhaps one night those women didn't return because they mended their marriage, that would make Angelica happy despite losing a customer. Of course, she knew that they would return, because she believed that love with a man never truly lasted.

What made her happy was the word "she." Maddie had suddenly revealed something about herself that, up until this point, Angelica had only suspected and hoped. She had hoped, but wasn't sure. Now she knew that at the very least Maddie had been in a romantic relationship with another woman. Angelica couldn't help but squirm as those butterflies in her tummy came back in full force. Her interest in Maddie grew ten times what it was. Also, just as Angelica had hoped, Maddie was unattached. This was no longer about landing a good entertrainer for her establishment. She found herself only interested in Maddie, the woman and everything she had to offer to not just her, but the world.

Agelica did her best to convey a sense of calm and confidence. Slipping her feet out of her flats only to get more comfortable if for no other reason, she crossed her legs and her foot inadvertently brushed against Maddie's leg. "I'm sorry it didn't work out for you." She wanted to ask more questions about who this woman was. Why did she leave? How long were they together? Yet, Angelica knew better than to discuss exes. Also, she had been asked a question which she had to answer, and she would prefer not to be probed about past loves.

"I don't have anyone but myself and the company of ten to a hundred women every night. But I am not attached to any of them. I have not loved in a very long time." She dare not elaborate and disclose that her past love was currently sitting not too far away. Not that there would ever be a good time to talk about it, but it could come out when the time was right. Now was not the time. "It is hard for someone like me, and perhaps, well, now it sounds as if you might understand." Aneglica was never quite sure if her trouble with romance had more to do with her, or the inherent difficulties of being a lesbian in the 1920s...now 1930s. "I have a hard time finding the right woman who is willing to give me a chance."

She took a sip of her water, and found herself twisting her hair around her finger again. "Besides, I am very picky and I am difficult to please. Of course, to have someone who could sing to me every night, then I might just be a little less difficult." She suddenly found herself letting it be known what she wanted. Not only did she want many more hours of conversation tonight, but she hoped for night after night of song and intellectual conversation about life, culture, and feminism. And though she dare not let herself think too far ahead, she had imagined one night after lots of blues and jazz and then talk, Angelica would have a chance to see and feel much more of her skin against Maddie's own.

If the singer on stage had soujded better, Angelica hadn't noticed. She was so focused on just one woman and one conversation, the music was simply background noise. Now, she turned to the stage and realized that Maddie mighg just have motivated the lady in the blue dress to step it up.

"You see, I am a very complex person. So, if you hope to get to know me better, as we have established no one will get in the way, then I am afraid it will take you more than one night."
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:19 PM   #18
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Maddie listened to the low throb of Angelica's voice. There were words spoken but, at first, the singer was too busy noticing the rising and falling tones to make any sense of the actual content of the other female's chosen topic. Finally, the words dripped into her inner ear like honey and brought a soft smile to her lips.

The woman, Angelica, was much like her. Interested in women in the same way that she was. The thought made her own heart race for long moments. To think that she had managed to stumble into the one establishment where she wouldn't have to be alone with these supposedly odd thoughts, feelings, needs.

Maddie tilted her head closer, the better to hear those lovely, rounded syllables as they fell from the bar owner's perfect lips. She tried, vainly it must be said, to ignore the heat in her lower belly. After all just because a woman had been with women didn't mean she would WANT to be with her.

Angelica's foot barely grazed Maddie's velour covered shin. Instant heat. The songstress took a deep breath, a thought springing immediately to the forefront of her mind. 'Vous arrêtez tout de suite.' She had the really bad habit of making a move first and regretting it later. This time, she WOULD control her instinct de base. Of course, THAT would be easier said than done. It had been quite a long time since she had felt the touch of another's skin against her own. Maddie sighed, forced herself to pick up the glass of ice water and took a long swallow.

Angelica continued on, her voice lilting~"Besides, I am very picky and I am difficult to please. Of course, to have someone who could sing to me every night, then I might just be a little less difficult."

Maddie giggled. There were lots of things she would like to do for the lady. Singing to her every night did not really fall on the list. However, it was said that music had charms to soothe the savage beast. She was sure that it would work equally well on fiery women.

"Ah, doux ange, the things you say!"

Maddie finished her ice water and placed the empty glass carefully upon the bar top before responding to the final statement of the beauty beside her.

"Il n'ya pas si. I want to know you better and I have all the time in the world to do so." Maddie grinned and slipped from the bar stool. "However, tonight my talking is at it's end. I am still overly tired from my travels and need to head for a bed. We will discuss my permanent placement when I return, oui?"

Slim brown fingers trailed lightly over a pale arm while intense dark eyes studied the woman who had so captured her attention. A yawn soon broke the impasse and Maddie found herself grinning.

"Too tired for much else anyway..."
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:13 PM   #19
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Angelica was a very skilled listener. It was something she learned as a young girl when she hid behind the parlor door and watched her dad strike a cunning business deal over brandi and cigars. He had a way of sitting there and staring at his potential invester or buyer as if to show he was focused entirely on them. He would always clue in on a few choice words. Words that were essential clues that described exactly what the other man wanted. Angelica observed this and learned this skill and found it to be very useful as she became an adult.

Sex was something almost every man wanted, but she knew just when and how to use that tool based on what the man said. If she could avoid jumping in the sac as a pay off, she would. She did think more of her body than just a toy. Still, she enjoyed that power. More importantly though, she focused on what others wanted and she gave that to them. Or so they would think they were getting what they wanted. Mr. Snyde often gave the other guy the short end of the stick without them realizing it. Angelica did the same.

But that was business...

This conversation was not about business. Not in this moment. This was about something more beautiful and intimate. This was about a friendship which could blossom into something more. This was about meeting a woman who seemed to share many mutual interests with Angelica; one of them being other women. Still, she used her savy social skills. Cluing in on important words that conveyed what the lovely woman across from her wanted.

"I want to know you better and I have all the time in the world to do so."

Maddie spoke such beautiful words which told Angelica everything she needed to know. Not only did she want to get to know her better, but she had all the time in the world to do so. Not just tonight. Not just one day or two days. Not a week. But all of the time in the world. This was no longer about securing a singer for a few days before a bigger club with money steals her away. If Maddie stayed to sing, that would be a huge and wonderful bonus, but now all that mattered to her was that they had all of the time in the world to get to know eachother better.

Alas, it seemed the conversation was coming to an end. "Oh, I certainly understand. You must be quite tired. Hmmm...I do have–" She stopped herself. She wasn't sure if it would be appropriate to offer. Surely she shouldn't. Not after them both revealing feeling attraction to the same sex. Still, the offer would be innocent. It would be something she would do for anyone. "I have a suite upstairs. I reserve it for guests. I used to live there, but I moved out of the city last year. You're more than welcome to–"

Angelica suddenly felt nervous and jittery. Her confidence alluded her. She hoped that Maddie would accept her invitiation and see it only as an act of kindness. She truly cared for this woman now. She would hate to have her spend any money on a hotel. Of course, she realized she might not want to stay alone in a suite, being a woman of color in a strange new neighborhood. "I assume you already have a room somewhere, but if you don't....please stay her. Marcus stays in the basement to keep an eye on things." By things she meant the alcohol. They had a plan in place in case of a raid. "No strings attached. A sweet woman like you shouldn't stay in a strange hotel. Like I said, you aren't in the south hun, but not everyone here is friendly to someone like you. Of course, I am sure they would just be intimidated by your beauty."

Angelica stopped herself before she fell into a full on ramble. She looked into those beautiful brown eyes across from her and took a sip of her own water. Then, she couldn't help herself. She didn't even realize she had done it. It just happened. She rested her free hand on Maddie's. It was a soft, loving touch. An unconciouss act of affection. She looked down as if surprised by herself. She didn't jolt it away, but she pulled her hand back and looked at it with discontent as if to scold her own hand like it was a toddler who misbehaved. She took another sip of water. This time she seemed to tremble a little, hiding her face behind the glass. The last thing she wanted to do was give Maddie the impression that she was inviting her to stay for sex. No, not tonight. Not so soon with someone so special.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:42 AM   #20
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At first, Maddie had trouble following the conversation. It seemed that, when Angelica became nervous, she spoke just a little too quickly to be followed by someone who was not a native English speaker. Eventually, though, Madrigal caught the gist of the query and smiled.

However, then? Angelica touched her hand. A long, lingering caress. All thought ceased.

When thought resumed, Madrigal caught herself half in the act of slipping from the bar stool, her head canted slightly toward the beautiful bar owner. 'After all, it is very rude to not pay attention when beauty speaks...or breathes...or beckons.' That thought caused the songstress a momentary stumble~a bit of a burning blush~ but she continued upward, until she had regained her feet.

"I will not require the use of your suite, this evening, though I do thank you from the bottom of my heart for the offer. I am staying with a family, paying weekly room and board." Maddie allowed her lips to turn upward, her full lips quirked in an engaging grin. "That is not to say that I would not like to see your suite, ma belle amie femme, but I am still a new arrival and should stay where I have paid, oui?"

The words were lightly spoken, flirtatious even, but Maddie found herself worried that she had given offense. After all, Angelica had tendered the offer out of the goodness of her heart. 'Cessez de vous inquiéter. Vous êtes stupide!' Maddie burst out laughing, the words sounding exactly like her mother.

"I am definitely sleepy, my friend. I just heard my mother in my head!" Maddie gave another short burst of laughter and immediately stifled a wide yawn. Her voice, when she spoke again, was slower, more husky. "When would you like me to return?"

Maddie turned away from the club owner, in a fit of nerves, and began to gather her wrap and gloves. It was definitely the nerves because the songstress knew that she really didn't want to leave. It was past time, though. She was in a new city, with new people and she didn't know the streets. Best to leave before it got any later.

Once she had settled the wrap and the gloves to her satisfaction, Madrigal swiveled again, so that Angelica was in her sights. "You just say when and I will come, I promise. Maybe then we can talk about me coming to sing for you, hmm?" A small, slender hand rose to trace a pale arm before disengaging. After all, there had been more than enough touching, pour l'instant.

Wide dark eyes settled upon the red headed beauty, taking in each and every feature, storing them away for later remembrance and thought. She waited for a signal, a word, to let her know that...yes, this would happen.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:55 PM   #21
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Angelica was surprised by a feeling of content. Madrigal’s response truly was what she was hoping for, had she been honest with herself. Yes, she was dying to have this lovely songstress spend the night in the luxurious room that she could provide. It would be a sign of affection, friendship, and perhaps, a perceived desire for intimacy…should Madrigal anticipate Angelica joining her later that night. Yet, the truth was that the room was far from worthy of what Madrigal deserved. In only this short time she had gotten to know her, Angelica knew that this songstress from a far away land deserved the royal treatment. And if she could not receive such treatment, she deserved the comfort of a real home, not strange surroundings and the shelter of a bar owner, who, for all intents and purposes, was still just a stranger.

Angelica was relieved. For one thing, the linens on the bed were dirty. She couldn’t recall the last time anyone stayed there and she was quite sure that the same lines remained on the bed since the last guest. ’That room is probably a pig sty’ she thought to herself. Beyond just the sheets, well, what else was there? The room was quite empty. She hadn’t given it any life or ambiance since she wasn’t expecting anyone. Of course, this all wouldn’t do. Madrigal deserved much better. This lovely woman, whose voice was beauty, whose skin was heavenly, whose mind was sharp and intriguing…this lovely woman deserved five star accommodations. Nothing less.

Angelica paused for a moment, only because she wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye, even if only for the night. “You’re quite right then. You should stay with the family who you have made arrangements with. Frankly, dear, I couldn’t give you the suite you deserve. But I would like you to come back tomorrow. Come before we open. 11 a.m. would be good. Perhaps you could sing a little more. Or with whomever you have with you.” Angelica paused again. She had to think if she had any other obligations, and…she still wanted the night to last just a bit longer. “Consider it a formal audition for me and Shelly.”

The blonde, who continued to pretend she wasn’t listening, suddenly looked over. “Who? Me? You don’t need me, hun. You know you’re going to offer her every night she can get her cute tush over here.”

Angelica blushed. Her fair skin only amplified the redness. “Yeah, well, you got the gig, lovely Madrigal, but you’re tired. Let’s talk tomorra’. Ok, darling?” With sad looking puppy dog eyes, she waited for a reply. It was if she was begging for a promise to come back…early. Perhaps before 11…maybe 10:30…maybe 10. Maybe she would wanted breakfast. Maybe…but Madrigal had arrangements, so the redhead said nothing more. She just enjoyed the few remaining seconds that she had.

And then, as if they were old friends. Anglica took Maddie’s hand once more, loving the feel of soft skin of her hand. She felt that tingle as her fingers seemed to entwine with Maddie’s. It was just another way she had tried to say I really, really, really want to see you again. It was a harmless hand hold, not sexual, perhaps flirtatious, but overall just a physical touch to compliment the words she was about to say. “It has been so nice to meet you. I enjoyed talking to you this evening. So, please do come back..early tomorrow.”
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:10 PM   #22
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Madrigal realized that the longer she stayed, the less likely it would be that she would ever want to leave. Angelica had some sort of magical power, one which kept the songstress focused completely upon her. Words were spoken but Maddie didn't catch them, not really. She was too busy being seduced by the touch of pale fingers.

She could feel herself nodding agreement to something but had absolutely NO idea what she had agreed to. Instead she was plagued by pictures of cocoa and alabaster flesh commingled and a need to take this woman and keep her hostage for days so that she could learn every single thought this woman could possibly ever attempt to think. More than that, she wanted to taste flesh, to see if it was like women of her own color.

All of these things~thoughts, images, feelings~ built until she was fairly distracted by lust/want/need.

"I shall come by as soon as the day is properly started. Say about 10:30?" Madrigal's head tilted just a bit, her dark eyes focused on the beauty who had so captured her attention. "As for the other, le plaisir est pour moi." With that, the woman turned and headed for the exit.

The Walk Home

Madrigal spent the better part of an hour trying to remember how to get back to the house. Her brain was filled to the brim with Angelica and that made real thought something that just wasn't happening. Instead, she found herself walking in random directions and eventually, she looked up to discover that she had made it back to the general vicinity of her temporary home in one piece.

The thought amazed her far more than it should have.

She was just getting ready to turn onto the side street that would lead her to the back door when she was approached by two men. They were white, much bigger than she herself was and, by the smell of them, fairly intoxicated. The pleasant dreams faded as the reality of her situation set in.

She was a woman of color, alone, on a street in the "colored" section of this town. There was no one she could call on for protection, no one who would lend aid should she require it and very little chance of staying free of the police should violence ensue. All of those thoughts meant only one thing.

RUN.

Maddie darted away, through the back yard of a house bordering the side street, and was gone~her dark skin blending with the shadows. A few minutes later she was safely ensconced inside, her heart beat pounding to beat the band. She was definitely going to have to arrange rides from the club on the nights that she had to work.

Morning

The day had started off well. Madrigal had gotten up at day break to help the woman of the house accomplish breakfast and laundry as well as some light housekeeping duties. After that? Clothing choices, a bath, and hair pressed. By 9 AM, she was as prepared as she could be to continue her conversation with Angelica.

Better yet, she had no other plans for the day and nothing that required her presence. She could give the stunning red head all of her attention and maybe learn a bit more about the woman in the process.

"Will ya be out late this evening then, Madrigal?" The query was quietly asked.

Madrigal turned to the woman of the house and shrugged, lightly, before speaking.

"I was offered a position at the club you told me of. I am on my way now to work out the details. I am unsure of how long I will be, Madame."

The woman clapped delightedly, her pretty brown face wreathed in a happy smile.

"GOOD! Maybe I will get to watch you perform one evening!"

Madrigal grinned.

"I certainly hope so."

The day could only get better.
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