DISCLAIMER: I wish I did own the characters of Nancy and George and the whole River Heights gang, but sadly that dubious honor belongs to the mysterious Carolyn Keene. No copyright infringement is implied/meant/deliberate in anyway, shape or form.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Again, this is the Nancy Drew of old, and as such, expect cheesy dialogue and action. Really, it's all good, clean fun.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Nancy Drew and the Mystery of the Leather Bar
By Del Robertson
Nancy walked briskly up the steps and through the double doors of the River Heights Police Department. She marched past the front desk sergeant without a moment's hesitation. Confidently, she strode to the far recesses of the building, towards the Detective Division.
She barely rapped once with her knuckles on the glass stenciled "McGinnis" before pushing the door open. The man seated behind the large mahogany desk looked up in surprise.
He had sandy brown hair cut in military-fashion, piercing green eyes and a strong chin. He wore a crisp, white button down shirt with a navy blue tie. His sleeves were pushed up to his elbows, both hands lay folded on an open case folder on his desk. As the titan-haired sleuth entered his office, he discreetly closed the case file.
"Nancy, what a surprise!" He subtly slipped the folder off his desk. "What brings you around?"
"Relax, Lou." Nancy sat in a straight-backed chair across from Detective McGinnis' desk. "It's not the Hardy Case."
"Excuse me?" Lou sputtered. "The what?"
"The Hardy Case. I know you're working the investigation." Nancy took out her compact, checked her lipstick. "I'm presuming you assume I'm here about Joe and Frank. That's why you snuck the case file into your upper left desk drawer and locked it when I came in."
Nancy noted Lou had the courtesy to blush. "Well, if you're not here for that, Ms. Drew, why are you here?"
"I need a restraining order."
"Oh-kay." Lou looked at Nancy quizzically. "That sort of thing is handled by the clerk's office, not the Major Crimes Unit. You know that."
"True. But, I need to handle this discreetly - I don't want it spread all over River Heights."
"I see. Tell me, Nancy, exactly who are we talking about here?"
Nancy rose from her chair, crossed the room to peruse Lou McGinnis' office wall. He had several framed photographs on the walls, including some old black and whites. She noted the most recent one taken a year ago, him and Nancy on the front steps of City Hall with the mayor after solving the Case of the Naughty Night Nurse. That particular sting had earned Lou his place as lead detective on the River Heights police force.
Nancy turned around, placing her back to the wall, staring Lou McGinnis in the eyes. "I need a restraining order -" She jutted out her chin in defiance. " - against Ned."
"Ned?" A puzzled look came over Lou's face. "Ned? Ned Nickerson!?!" Realization suddenly hit. "Uh-uh! No way, Nancy! He's in the District Attorney's office!"
"Yes, he is, Lou. And, he won't leave me alone."
Another puzzled look. "Haven't you two been engaged for like forever?"
"Yes. But, I broke it off." Oh, dear. I don't want to explain the whole sordid mess to Lou. Why, what would he tell his dad when they sat down to family dinner tonight? Oh, by the way dad, I bumped into Nancy Drew today - and did you know she's queer? No, his dad's old Irish - I doubt if he wants to hear about that over corn beef and cabbage night. "Things ended badly. Ned's not taking it well."
"Well, I think if you two will just take some time and work at it, things will sort themselves out." Lou rose from his chair, casually approaching Nancy. He nonchalantly took Nancy by the elbow, guiding her towards his door.
She stopped, pausing to look at an old black and white photograph on the wall. Two tall, handsome men stood side by side, one wearing a policeman's uniform, the other a fedora and suit, smoking a cigar. Nancy reached out, fingers disturbing the thin layer of dust as she touched the glass.
"You know, Lou, our fathers were the best of buddies. They may not have always seen eye to eye, but they always tried their best to look out for the other." She batted her eyes at Lou, giving him her best innocent look.
"Okay, fine, Nancy." Lou threw his hands up in the air in mock-surrender. "If you can't work things out with Ned on your own, call me and I'll see what I can do."
"Thanks, Lou!" Nancy fairly hugged the detective.
He half-heartedly returned the hug, nudged Nancy out his office door and closed it behind her. With a satisfied grin, she turned around, making her way back the direction she had come. Oh, George will be so pleased when I tell her that Lou offered his support! Why, I just might invite her over for dinner - and maybe a little dessert afterwards.
Nancy was so lost in delightful thoughts of dessert with George that she didn't realize there was a corner coming up in the corridor. Out of rote, she blindly rounded the corner, and bumped right into someone coming the opposite direction.
"Oh, dear! I am so sorry!" Nancy apologized profusely. "Here, let me help you up."
Nancy struggled to help the other woman off the floor. She was a tangled mess of arms and legs. Her brunette hair was mussed, covering her face. Nancy bent to retrieve both their purses from the floor as the woman attempted to brush her hair back from her face.
"Nancy?" Nancy paused from her bent position, looking back towards the woman sitting sprawled on the floor. "Nancy Drew, that is you!"
"Yes?" Nancy asked, helping the other woman to her feet.
"It's Helen! Helen Corning." The brunette must have thought recognition hadn't dawned on Nancy, yet, forgetting that the sleuth practically had a photographic memory. "Remember, when we were children and you moved in next door to us? Mother always said it was because your dad was lonely in that big old house on the hill after your mother tragically died when you were only three. So, he brought you and your dog, Toto, and that lovely elderly housekeeper, Hannah Greun, who took care of you to live in a smaller house so that you wouldn't be surrounded by painful memories of your past while growing up."
"Didn't you move?" asked Nancy, brusquely.
"No. But, you went off to Shadow Ranch with your new best friends, the cousins, one summer and seemingly just forgot all about the girl next door. I've been right here this whole time."
"Oh." An uncomfortable pause. "You don't still live next door to me, do you?" Nancy asked.
"Oh, no, silly! I moved across town when I went off to college!"
That's a relief. I would have been really embarrassed to learn that she was still my neighbor. Get a clue, Nancy Drew!
"You know, I always wondered what happened to those two cousins." Helen wrinkled up her nose. "Between you and me, I never much cared for them. Never thought they'd go very far."
"Oh, they didn't. They're still in River Heights, also." Wonder what she'd say if she knew one of them was married to the Chief of Police and the other was my girlfriend? "So, are you here visiting your brother - your husband?" Nancy prodded.
"Actually, no." A deep frown marred Helen's features. "I've just been released from questioning."
"Questioning!" Now we're getting to the juicy stuff. "Why, whatever would the police be questioning you about?"
"It's a long story," confessed Helen. "I'd be glad to tell you about it over lunch, though."
"Make it coffee and cake and you've got yourself a deal." Nancy practically shoved Helen's purse into her hands and made a beeline for the front entrance. I think I smell a mystery!
Inside the River Heights Diner, at a quaint little booth near the back, Nancy Drew and Helen Corning waited patiently as their waitress served them each a slice of Red Velvet cake. The slightly plump blonde waitress pulled two forks and napkins from her apron pouch, placing them beside the china plates. She dropped several sugar packets on the formica tabletop before retreating towards the kitchen area.
"So, tell me," Nancy leaned forward, delicately sipping from her coffee cup. "What were the police questioning you about?"
"Well," Helen ripped open three sugar packets, poured them into her own cup of coffee. "I own a bar in downtown River Heights."
"A bar?" Nancy's eyebrows shot up. "Really?"
Helen nodded, sipped her coffee. Grimacing, she stirred in another sugar packet.
"Maybe I've been there." If I keep pulling teeth, maybe she'll eventually open up and talk about the real mystery. "What's the name of your bar?"
Helen didn't bat an eye. "Leather and Lace."
"It's small, but popular with a certain crowd. My - friend and I opened it about a year and a half ago."
"Helen, did something happen at your bar?"
"Yes." Helen picked at her red velvet cake with her fork. She stirred the white icing around with the tines, swirling the cream cheese into tiny whirlpools. "Have you heard about the bodies found in the park?"
Nancy slowly nodded. "It's been on the news. Six women found in the park, strangled. The police believe the women were all held hostage and sexually assaulted somewhere else before their bodies were dumped in the park. And, despite the increase in police activity, they're advising women to not be out alone at night until the killers are apprehended."
"Right." Helen cringed. "The part that wasn't on the news is that all six women were last seen leaving my bar."
Nancy's eyes grew wide. "Well, that can't be a coincidence."
"That's exactly what the police think. Hence, my questioning at police headquarters."
"Well, surely they can't think you're involved in this, can they?"
The waitress suddenly appeared at Nancy's elbow, refilling the coffee cup. Helen glanced at the waitress, then quickly dropped her head, staring fixedly at the table top while her own cup was refilled. Nancy noted the woman nervously wringing her cloth napkin in her hands. She waited until the waitress moved to the next table before leaning in to whisper to Nancy.
"They've been pressuring me, Nancy. They've put police officers on patrol outside."
"Well, I'm sure they're just trying to help."
"You don't understand, Nancy. They're frightening away my clientele. And, now, they're telling me they want to place officers inside, as well. They're going to drive me out of business, Nancy!"
"Calm down, Helen." Nancy patted Helen's hands, attempted to quiet the distressed woman. "It can't be all bad."
"But, it is, Nancy. I'm already losing business. I have been for the past three months. If things don't get better fast, I could lose the bar!"
Nancy hesitated for only a split second before speaking. "Write down the address of your bar. I'll speak with the police this afternoon. Maybe they'll agree to back off a bit if they know I'm helping with the investigation."
"Oh, Nancy!" Helen's eyes lit up. "You'll really help?"
"Of course." Like I could say no to a mystery.
"Good. We open at seven." Helen hurriedly scribbled the address on her napkin, passed it to Nancy. "I'll see you tonight."
Nancy placed the folded napkin in her handbag. She had her hand on her open handbag, intent on making her way to the cashier to pay. She turned as she abruptly stood - and was knocked to the ground as she was bumped into.
"Oh!" she exclaimed, landing hard on the floor. Now I know how Helen felt earlier.
She heard the waitress running across the restaurant, asking if she was okay. A large hand reached out, grabbing her by the forearm, picking her up. She came face to face with a stocky man, wearing a baseball cap and a jacket. A day's worth of stubble was on his chin. He roughly shoved Nancy's open purse into her midsection.
"Watch where yer going!" he brusquely ordered, storming past her and out the diner door.
"Are you okay, honey?" asked the waitress, fawning over Nancy.
"Y-yes, I think so," Nancy stammered.
"How rude!" commented Helen. "He knocked you over, then demanded you watch where you're going."
"And he didn't pay for his coffee!" The waitress snarled, grabbing an empty cup and saucer off the booth directly behind the one Nancy and Helen had occupied.
"I'll pay for it," Nancy offered, reaching inside her open purse, deftly pulling a twenty from her wallet.
The veins in Nancy's wrists bulged as she frantically clutched at the headboard for support. The silk stockings tied firmly around both wrists were beginning to chaff. Grunting, she redoubled her efforts to break free. Her upper body came halfway up off the bed, before exhaustion caused her to fall back against the mattress again.
Large, calloused hands clutched at Nancy's bare breasts, roughly mauling the flesh. Both breasts were lifted, cupped, cradled, caressed with strokes alternating between gentle and coarse. The constantly changing sensations kept her on edge, unable to block out her torment. Nancy yelped as her nipples were pinched and tweaked repeatedly. And, despite the initial flash of pain, she found her tender nubbins swelling to unprecedented proportions.
She heard her heart pound loudly in her ears as she felt the suckling sensation between her legs increase. "Oh, my!" Nancy thought - or perhaps she screamed it out loud - as she felt lips and tongue increase their pressure. Two hands on her buttocks lifted her, adjusting her, as a talented mouth moved lower. A thick tongue slipped inside her wetness, and Nancy felt the blood rush to her nether regions.
The pounding sensation in her ears increased. Thighs reflexively tightened. Still, the pounding sound increased.
"Nancy, I'm home!" a disembodied voice yelled from downstairs.
Nancy's eyes flew open as she realized what the pounding sound had been. Knocking on the kitchen door. "Ned!" She heard his heavy footfalls on the wooden stairs.
The tongue that had been diligently lapping up her moisture slowed, then stopped completely. With a groan and curse, Nancy's bindings were untied. "I thought you got rid of him," George groused, reaching for her black muscle tee.
"I did. I broke off the engagement." Nancy frantically reached for her clothing that lay folded in a chair beside the bed. "He's having a few problems coming to terms with the situation."
"Maybe we should have let him catch us in bed together. Maybe that would speed along his comprehension."
Still buttoning her blouse, Nancy looked at George. A devilish grin met Nancy's shocked expression. George was already dressed, having quickly donned her muscle tee and jogging shorts. Nancy's mouth watered as her gaze fell on the outline of George's erect nipples. Quickly, she slipped on her skirt. "Have you seen my panties, George?"
"Briefly," George responded with a huge grin. "Lovely pair. Didn't know they made little flower-and-heart panties for little girls your age." George held aloft the pair of underwear, intently examining the designs. "Thankfully, my mom stopped buying these for me when I turned six."
Nancy heard the footsteps at the top of the stairs. "George, give them to me." She reached for her panties, George easily evaded her grasp. Oh, I can't have company without panties!
She reached for them again. Again, George easily eluded her. "George - please," said with a pout and big, blue pleading eyes.
"Give me a kiss and I'll give you your panties."
Nervously, Nancy glanced towards the bedroom door. Ned's almost here. Did I lock the door? Taking a deep breath, Nancy stepped closer. This time, George didn't back away from her. Nancy's lips closed on her best friend's. Tentatively, she licked George's lips with her tongue, demanding entrance. George groaned and gave in, opening her mouth fully beneath Nancy's onslaught.
To her surprise, it was George that ended the kiss. Visibly shaking, she retreated a half-inch, licking her swollen lips. Trembling fingers deposited Nancy's damp panties in the sleuth's open hand. "Hurry back." Her voice was husky, her command barely audible.
Nancy knew what she said, though, and it sent a shiver down her spine. Quickly turning away, she hurriedly slipped her moist panties on beneath her skirt. Smoothing the hem with trembling hands, she made her way across the room. Confidently, she opened the bedroom door.
Ned was poised on the other side of the door, about to knock when Nancy appeared. She slipped out, discreetly closed the door behind her before he could attempt to enter. With one hand on the small of his back, she ushered him back down the stairs to the den. He took his usual place in the recliner, leaving Nancy standing near the mantle, hands folded defensively in front of her chest.
"Rough day at the office," Ned said, loosening his silk tie. He settled back in the chair, kicking off his brown dress shoes.
Nancy silently observed her ex-fiancée. He used to be charming and athletic, the life of the social party. He was constantly on the go, inviting her to this place or that. And, he was the one who followed in her father's Prada footsteps, enrolling in college, finishing at the top of his law class. Of course, it had seemed the natural thing to do when he proposed to her one summer night to say yes. And, he had seem to accept the terms of their engagement two years at minimum was socially acceptable. She had relented and allowed him to move in, even allowing him to sleep in her bed, but she had put her foot down at the notion of sexual relations. Why, it just wouldn't be proper! And, throughout it all, Ned had been quite understanding.
Probably because it was what was expected of him, thought Nancy. Ours has always been a relationship built on practicality, and never passion. I wonder when I stopped finding him attractive. Gone was the boyishly charming football captain that swept her off her feet. In his place sat a lawyer. With a thickening waist and a receding hairline; the boyish charm had disappeared, replaced by the legal shark.
And, now, here he sat in her den as calm as you please, no more than two weeks after she asked him to move out. Sitting in her den, surrounded by pictures of her family and friends, looking for all the world like he belonged there. Relaxing in her favorite chair while she stood uncomfortably in front of the mantle with moist panties that were sticking in the most inappropriate places.
"What are you doing here, Ned?" she finally asked.
"What do you mean?" He asked, while rolling up his shirt sleeves.
"We broke off the engagement. You moved out. You can't just come and go as you please."
Nancy waited for him to add more. When he wasn't forthcoming with a response, she felt the need to press him.
"Oh, yeah, that. Ned, you can't keep doing this. We're over. You have to move on."
Ned calmly reached over, picking up a picture from the table next to the recliner. He idly stared at the photograph. Nancy and George during the soccer championships. George with her arms around Nancy, a big grin on her face. And poor, sweet naïve Nancy not knowing what was going through that girl's mind the whole time. Well, he knew. He had always known. He'd seen the longing looks, the lingering touches. But, he thought once he'd moved in with Nancy, George would realize once and for all that Nancy Drew was off-limits.
George had always managed to stay in the picture somehow. And, no matter how many fights Ned provoked with Nancy, his fiancée refused to hear any of the ugly truths about the tall brunette. And, then after the kidnapping, Nancy told him it was over. He knew it was because of George. Had seen her come over to the house repeatedly over the past two weeks. Hid in the bushes outside the living room window as George made out with Nancy on the couch. She never let me cop a feel while watching Indiana Jones. In all those years, all I ever got was some kissing. Still, that had to be the hottest thing I've ever seen!
Nancy silently watched as Ned stared at the picture of her and George. The one he always wanted her to toss out. Then, she spotted the bulge in the front of his trousers. Angrily, she swiped the picture from his grasp. She turned, gently making room for it on the mantle between the photograph of her Mom and Dad on vacation and the snapshot of Hannah and Toto playing in the snow the winter before she passed away.
When she turned from the mantle, Nancy was surprised to see Ned removing his hand from his trouser pocket. That darn pipe! I should have known. With a self-assured grin, Ned gripped the pipe between his teeth, lighting it. He took a few quick puffs, sighed loudly as his lungs filled with nicotine.
"Don't worry, Nancy. I'll be waiting for you when you decide you've had enough of well, whatever it is you're getting now."
Nancy stared at Ned incredulously. "Ned, George is not a phase, if that's what you're implying. And, if for some reason, things don't work out, I'm certainly not coming back to you. I want more than what we had."
"Look, all I'm saying is that if you've never even tried it with a man, how do you know that's not what you want? If you want our relationship to be more physical, just tell me. I'll try anything you like. If you still don't want to do anything beyond kissing and petting, that's fine, too. I'll be anything do anything you want."
"Ned, it's not that simple. You and I had a nice, comfortable relationship for many years. But, with George, well, I don't feel settled. I feel alive and wanted and desired."
"I've always desired you, Nancy. Surely, you must know that!"
"I'm talking about more than wanting to grope me in the back of my convertible, Ned." She actually gave him a sympathetic, half-smile. "Please, Ned, you need to go now."
Ned felt Nancy's hand on his, her attempting to pull him up from the recliner. Reluctantly, he allowed himself to be led to the front door. He stood there, back to the open door, staring longingly at Nancy. "Seriously, Nancy, when you change your mind, call me. I'll be there for whatever you need."
"Thank you, Ned." Nancy leaned in, kissing him soundly on the cheek. "Go now." She thrust his pair of shoes into his hands, shoved him out the door.
Dumbfounded, Ned's mouth dropped open as Nancy shut the door in his face. Nancy's always been cold, bordering on artic frigid. Maybe I'll visit Bess. Everyone knows she didn't buy that kneeling pad for her garden.
On the other side of the door, Nancy turned around, leaning against the solid wood frame. She breathed a deep sigh of relief. Reaching behind her, she securely locked the door with the deadbolt. Nancy looked up to see George leaning over the second-floor banister, legs crossed at the ankles, elbow on her cheek, staring down at her. Nancy's heart skipped a beat at the sight of her tall, tanned, athletic and gorgeous. And mine.
"Think he finally got the hint?" asked George.
Nancy glanced back at the door, then George. A broad grin broke out on her face. "He's an attorney; I doubt it."
Leather and Lace was one of those "basement bars" - the sort where you had to pick your way down a flight of stairs below street level. The stairs were dimly lit with blue and pink neon strobe lights, and Nancy had to watch very carefully to be certain she didn't take a wrong step in her high heels.
Nancy Drew was never one for the bar scene, though she had been to a few cocktail lounges with her father when he would meet clients who wouldn't - or couldn't - come by his main office. Usually those included people who were falsely accused of murder or some other crime that prevented them from meeting her father in more socially acceptable surroundings. On those occasions, Carson Drew brought his daughter along to be a look-out; both for the police and to see if anyone shady was trailing his prospective new client. She'd always felt a little odd, sitting in a dimly lit bar full of men, sipping a non-alcoholic daiquiri, knowing it was a glorious sunny day outside.
As Nancy stood outside the door, gathering her courage, two young men rushed down the stairs. Both were tall, one blonde, one brunette. The blonde was tanned, with a moustache. The brunette wore wire-rimmed glasses and a goatee. Both sported mesh tank tops, one in black and the other pink. Instinctively, Nancy clutched her handbag tightly, wary of the possibility of purse-snatchers. To her relief, neither seemed to notice her as they entered the bar.
"Wow. They're really cute," thought Nancy, her gaze traveling down their backs and over their leather-covered derrieres. "Why, if Bess was single, I'll bet she'd like to date either one of them."
Taking a deep breath, Nancy pushed open the door and stepped inside. Her first thought was, It's dark! She stood there for several long seconds, waiting for her eyes to adjust to the dim lighting. The entire perimeter of the bar was decorated with blue and pink strobe lighting. And, Nancy noted that each table had a candle, ringed by either a blue or pink light stick.
Gingerly, Nancy made her way to the bar. It was still early, and not that many patrons had arrived yet, so she was able to find a corner stool fairly easily. As she slid onto her stool, a young woman with spiky blonde hair approached her. She wore a white pocket tee with the logo Leather and Lace hand-stitched above the left breast. A bar towel was tucked into the waistband of her black leather pants.
"What are you having, sweetie?" asked the bartender, looking Nancy up and down.
"Just an ice tea, please." Must keep a clear head for surveillance.
"One Long Island coming up," spoke the bartender, moving off to fix Nancy's order.
Nancy swiveled around on her barstool as she waited for her drink. Casually, she took in the scene. The bar was dimly lit, but now that her eyes had adjusted, she was better able to notice the little details about her surroundings. It seemed to be a good mix, both men and women at the establishment.
Her gaze settled on a table some twenty feet distant. A husky woman with a military-style buzz cut was sitting next to another woman. Sitting atop her, really. Their chairs were on the same side of the table, the large woman's arm casually tossed over her friend's shoulder. Nancy's eyes grew wide as buzz-cut's hand slid down the top of the redhead's red leather halter, openly squeezing a full breast. Oh, my!
Blushing, Nancy swiveled her barstool around, trying to fight the temptation to look. It's not polite to stare! She watched as two other women strolled past the bar, one leading the other. The woman in front held a chain in her grasp. Frowning, Nancy followed the length of the chain back to the other woman. It ran up - Is that a collar around her neck? I think I bought the same one for Toto his second Christmas with us!
Nancy was relieved when she saw the bartender return with her drink. What a cute little umbrella! Nancy removed the parasol, setting it on her napkin beside her drink. She lifted the tall glass to her lips, delicately sipping. As she continued to sip her tea, she mentally willed herself to relax. Part of being a good detective, after all, was the ability to be at ease in any given situation. If she was comfortable and confident, she could blend in with any crowd.
Feeling a renewed sense of fortitude, Nancy swiveled back around on her barstool, facing the now-crowded room. Right. Just observe, don't be too shocked by anything you see here. You just have to blend in and look for anything out of the ordinary. Nancy bit her bottom lip. OH! Everything looks out of the ordinary here!
"See anything you like, honey?"
Nancy felt the tickle of breath at her left ear, turned to see who was speaking. She came face to face with a tall blonde with sparkling blue eyes. She was smiling broadly at Nancy. Finally, someone friendly!
"Hi, I'm Nancy." Nancy stuck out her hand, ready to offer a firm handshake.
To her shock, the other woman took her hand within her own, raised it, kissing the back of Nancy's hand. "Well, it's a pleasure to meet you, Nancy." Nancy noticed the woman didn't release her grip on her hand. Instead, she reached around, taking Nancy's drink from her other hand, depositing it on the bar.
As the woman moved around Nancy, she was finally afforded a complete look at the other woman. She was tall, at least a full head taller than George. She had long, blonde hair tied back in a ponytail. A pair of faded blue jeans, ripped at the knee, exposing milky white flesh. And, she sported a black leather vest, open at the front. A thick, gold chain was visible at the vest's opening.
Goodness! How embarrassing; she must have gotten dressed and forgotten her blouse! Nancy's mouth dropped open at the sight of the woman's bare flesh. Her breasts were partially hidden by the material of the vest, but the slightest movement caused the fabric to move, revealing flashes of her flesh. The woman caught Nancy staring. As their eyes met, Nancy blushed and she grinned.
It wasn't a request. Nancy felt the stranger's grip upon her hand tighten as she found herself dragged off her barstool and towards the dance floor. She could have resisted. She was certain the woman wouldn't persist. But, the truth was, Nancy didn't want to make a scene. Here the woman was, already without a top on; Nancy didn't want to draw further attention to her embarrassing situation.
As they reached the dance floor, and a slow song started, the woman held Nancy tight in her arms. As the beat continued, Nancy felt herself slowly start to relax in this woman's embrace. This isn't so bad. And, I should be able to spot lots of suspects from here! Nancy's gaze surreptitiously scanned the crowd, looking for suspicious activity.
Her gaze settled on two men near the far wall. They were in a dark, secluded corner. Neither one appeared to have a drink. One man slapped the other one hard across the face. He's mugging him! Right here in the bar! Nancy struggled to break out of her dance partner's grasp. But, before she could extricate herself, she saw the second man unzip the first man's trousers and put his hand inside.
Confused, Nancy felt her face blush red. That wasn't a new sensation for her this evening. She felt as though she was blushing every thirty seconds at this bar. Embarrassed, she looked down.
Her eyes grew wide. What she had thought was a gold chain connecting the front of her new friend's vest turned out to be something entirely different. It was still a gold chain, but it wasn't attached to her vest. It was attached to - With a sharp gasp, Nancy's head jerked up.
Her gaze met her dance partner's. A broad grin broke out on her face. She took one of Nancy's hands in her grasp, brought it to her midsection. Nancy felt her fingers closing around the gold chain. She watched herself, thinking that she was seeing everything through a murky haze. It seemed as if her brain was processing everything that was happening at a much slower pace than her body was reacting.
Her eyes were fixed on the stranger's chest. She clutched the middle of the gold chain with two fingers. Both ends disappeared beneath the fabric of the vest. To her amazement, her new friend lifted the sides of her vest, holding them open farther for Nancy's inquisitive gaze.
Nancy's eyes grew even wider as she realized that both ends of the chain were attached to gold clamps. And, those tiny gold clamps were attached to each of the woman's nipples. Hard, thick, eraser-like nipples capped atop large, milky white breasts.
She felt hot breath at her ear, a husky voice whispering commands. "Give it a tug, sweetheart."
Nancy's face felt flush, her pulse racing a mile a minute as she inexplicably did as instructed. Her eyes grew impossibly wider as she gave a little tug - and the woman's nipples seemed to grow even larger. Experimentally, she gave a firmer tug, enjoying the feel of resistance.
She heard a low moan. "Yeah, baby. Be rough with me."
Shocked, Nancy stepped back. Her hand flew to her mouth, covering her gasp. The chain bounced back against the other woman's heated flesh. Legs shaking, she turned, ready to flee the dance floor.
An arm reached out, catching Nancy's elbow as she hurried past the bar. Her momentum worked against her, spinning her around, causing her to collide with a bar stool. Flustered, she attempted to stop the stool from wobbling.
Nancy looked up, expecting to come face to face with the woman from the dance floor. She breathed an audible sigh of relief when she realized it was Helen.
"Nancy, are you okay?"
Nancy looked past Helen, to see the blonde woman with the ponytail and nipple clamps stalking across the dance floor towards her. Apparently, she felt Nancy owed her more than just a dance. She was ready to bolt again when she saw the woman stop. She paused, hovering just out of Helen's sight. She seemed to be debating the consequences of continuing her pursuit.
"What? - Oh, yes."
Helen's gaze followed Nancy's to the dance floor. Frowning, she searched the faces of the crowd. Not seeing an imminent threat, she turned her attention back to Nancy.
"Are you sure you're okay? Because, well, you seem a little - flushed."
"NO! No, I'm fine. I just wasn't - well, your bar isn't quite what I was expecting."
"Leather and Lace; I thought the name said it all." Helen smirked. "Is this your first time in a leather bar, Nancy?"
"Is it that obvious?" Nancy dropped her voice, leaned in close to Helen. She didn't want to risk her cover being blown by anyone knowing she was inexperienced. "What gave me away?"
"My first clue was the clothes." Helen made a production of looking Nancy over from head to toe.
Nancy looked down, taking in her own appearance. She had thought the paisley sundress and high heels were a classic, no-risk combination. She had relied on the practicality of sundresses to carry her through any given occasion. With the proper pearl necklace and handbag to accessorize, of course.
"You think I don't blend in?"
"You're about as inconspicuous as Dorothy in Wonderland."
"But, Dorothy was never in Wonderland. That was Alice."
"Exactly." Helen saw Nancy's hurt expression, couldn't help feeling sympathetic towards the other woman. "Look, you're not going to find out anything tonight. Why don't you go shopping tomorrow - find something a little more suited towards our atmosphere and try again tomorrow night?"
"Are you sure?" Nancy asked, biting her bottom lip. "I could give it another go."
Helen glanced over Nancy's shoulder, at the biker gang that had just come in the front door. They were staring at Nancy as if she were the filet mignon on the all-you-can-eat buffet bar. Taking her under her wing, she escorted her towards the back of the bar. "Why don't you wait in my office for a while and collect yourself, and we'll discuss it in a few minutes, okay?"
To her relief, Nancy acquiesced. Helen effectively squirreled Nancy away in her office, locking her in for her own protection. She just hoped Nancy wouldn't suddenly get the urge to pick the lock on the office door and make her second grand entrance of the evening. Oh, boy! It's going to be a l-o-o-o-n-n-n-g night!
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