Curiosity and the Cat

Michael comes to the Kit Kat Klub investigating a case, and finds much more.


The Kit Kat Klub is a popular place. Some may even call it prestigious. The people of Las Vegas know that this is the place to be if they're looking to stare at some of the most beautiful and exotic specimens of a world they can't even understand. From the moment that Michael Alice walks in the door, he doesn't seem to be one of these people. The man is tall, and he doesn't blend well into a crowd at all. More importantly, his clothing is far from in line with the sort of clientele that a joint such as this is known to attract. Of course, like any red-blooded male, his eyes are instantly attracted to that which is offered upon the stage, but he seems rather unsure of where to start with whatever he's doing. Frozen, he stands there for a moment, before pulling a picture out of the pocket of his worn, brown-leather jacket. It's flashed at a woman that is serving drinks, and she gives it a glance before shaking her head and movin on.

Mister Alice - this is your lucky day! Currently on-stage, and the center of attention of the establishment is the one of those beautiful, exotic specimens with the reddish-gold locks, aptly known as "Ruby". With throbbing, sultry dance music in the background and a multitude of colored lights criss-crossing shining across her feminine form, Ruby sways and dances in a manner designed specifically to entice her audience.
In fact, 'dance' may be overly generous, judging from her pose when Michael enters the establishment. The girl is on all fours, crawling and prowling like a sinuous cat along the edge of the raised stage. Her reddish-gold hair cascades around her face, partially obscuring a seductive yet mischievous smile that she flashes at each patron sitting along the front row. When the lights hit her body, it can be seen that she has body paint on, resembling a leopard's spots. As for clothing, she has a set of black lingerie on, bra, panties, garter-belt, stockings and pumps - clearly a costume meant to draw the men's attention.

The costume of the woman upon the stage with the utterly-sensuous qualities certainly does draw the attention of the men in the room, and even Michael manages to become ensnared by the dance. His reaction is a certain bit of red that comes to bear against his cheeks, a light flush of color, an instinctual response for which he has no control - surely one of many. But of course, he's here on business. That doesn't stop him from stopping and staring for a period of time that's longer that what might be considered polite, forming a rather height-inclined roadblock in the middle of a heavily trafficked portion of the Kit Kat Klub.
It isn't until a bouncer comes up and gives his shoulder a light nudge, saying, "Break out the tips or move along, beanpole.", that he begins to move again, his attention broken. Still, he wields that same picture, actually walking from patron to patron and flashing it at them, all given the same single question of, "Have you seen this girl?". The answer is always the same, and ever does it have Michael drawing closer to the stage. Eventually, he finishes making a nuisance of himself with the patrons, and comes to a stop right up close to the stage, where his eyes are once more helpless against the spell that the woman is weaving upon it.

Oblivious to the minor altercations off-stage, Ruby continues her prowling patrol around the glittering stage. She pauses before each patron; one gets a slow, seductive lick of her lips, the next receives a langorous full-body stretch, and the next gets a teasing downwards tug of her bra strap. The girl owns the stage, and she teases them, making them want more, more, more.
So why is this Mister Alice's lucky day? Because when the tall man stops right there close to the stage, Ruby just made it to the same spot as well. Her gray eyes find his, a delicate brow quirks and her ruby-hued lips curl teasingly, as if signalling to him he's the lucky guy tonight. Smoothly laying down on her side, Ruby gracefully swings those stocking-sheathed legs off-stage, allowing her feet to dangle while she takes up a sitting position at the edge of the stage - directly facing Michael. Leaning back on her hands, the girl crosses her legs - then recrosses them the other way in a dead-on Basic Instinct Sharon Stone impression. Grinning like the kitten that she is, Ruby lifts a hand and gives Michael a come-hither hook of a finger.

The sheer range of expressions that seem to mingle upon Michael's are priceless as such a great deal of attention is suddenly gifted to him. He pauses, hesitation there as that redness that had threatened his cheeks earlier decides upon a sequel. But gravity is gravity, and while the world might be full of it, this woman has an equal amount of the same, but with a sexual flavor. One step, then a glance over his shoulder as if she should be gesturing for someone else, and then a second step, and there he is, standing before the flame-haired bombshell that is sitting on the stage before him.
Several things happen at once in his attempt to battle his own natural awkwardness in the situation. He glances down with those brown, soulful eyes, and pats at his wallet with a mumble of, "Aw, shit. I only have twenties..", before his attention is brought upwards once more. Several words are stumbled over, chosen, weighed and then discarded before he does the least sexiest thing possible - raising up the picture and asking, "Uh. Hi there. Have you seen this girl?". The photograph is of a doll-faced child with blonde hair, no older than ten, sitting on a bicylce in some random part of suburbia.

Certainly, the dancer must notice the man's awkwardness; perhaps it is why she picked him rather than someone who's likely to be more grabby? She watches his approach like a cat watching a mouse, a predator stalking her prey, but with a decided playful seductiveness to all of it. Once he is standing =right= before her, Ruby parts her legs on either side of Michael's hips, allowing her to press forward until she is literally an inch away from him. Unsurprisingly, this elicits a round of cheers and catcalls from the other patrons, who can't see what exactly the lucky guy is showing the dancer
But Ruby sees it, of course. The showy smile never falters even as her gaze is drawn to the photo, and she responds by sliding her arms around Michael's shoulders and neck. "Sorry, baby, there's an age limit in here." She quips, before leaning forward to give him a faux kiss; hidden behind her riot of flaming red-gold hair, the other patrons will surely believe she's kissing Michael. "I'll take twenties." The girl whispers instead when her face is a mere inch from his.

This close up, Michael doesn't smell half-bad. His clothing may not be the classiest, but his face is shaven smooth and his facial features aren't what most would consider to lack a certain appeal - they seem very genuine, maybe a touch rugged, but those words would never leave the lips of the man himself. Metaphorically backed into a corner, there's only so much awkwardness that a man can handle. He's out-matched, surely, the woman's magnetism causing an uphill battle for his own warring instincts.
Something about her quip, of all things, does manage to set him to ease in the end. That, he can handle. A crooked sort of good-natured smile pulls at the corner of the man's lips, and he says back, "I'll give you two if you can tell me who the owner of this place is. That clothing habit looks expensive..". There's sarcasm in his voice, but it isn't malicious in nature. As if to emphasize his words, the man's line of sight is drawn downward - does that ever turn out to be a mistake. A very pleasant mistake. For a second, he falters on his words once more, "I.. uh. Do I hand them to you or is there some sort of secret handshake?".

"No, silly. Slip them in my panties." Ruby gives her directions in an amused tone, still barely a whisper, loud enough to be heard over the dance music still playing in the background. That downward glance will lead his gaze to a sight of her generous cleavage, offered up by the push-up that keeps her decent. Interestingly, despite all her dance moves and display, none of her remaining underwear has come off yet. Hmmm. Still, the customers aren't complaining; as the faux kiss continues, the cheers and hoots from the rest of the club grow ever louder, clamouring for more!
The cheers bring about a lopsided grin to Ruby's lips. "The natives are getting restless. If you're going to tip me, you better do it quick, baby." As if to urge him on, she slides forward on the stage, one leg bending at the knee and curling around the back of his hips - but it's also meant to keep the customers entertained. "You want to find the boss? Ask me off-stage. This… is a bad time." She adds with a purr. Yes, literally a purr.

It isn't often that a man like Michael Alice ends up this close to a woman like the one that is showering him with attention at the moment. Surely, his body is responding with the same sort of tenacity that any male's would be - but his mouth is another story all together. Caught there with her, beneath that curtain of silken red, his lips cock themselves into a corner-laden smile even more, and he says, "Those? Are those what the kids are passing off as panties these days?". Of course, again, his knack for an off-brand of humor has him glancing down in order to make his point, and yet again he's met with the feminine resistance of the woman's supernatural physique.
It's as if her curves force a reaction from him, and Michael reaches around to his back pocket and pulls out his wallet. Both arms come up, reaching around the exotic dancer, and completely unable to see what he's doing, his hands blindly reach in and pull out his money, which he very gingerly makes an attempt at tucking into the strap of the woman's undergarment. With what could only be referred to as the opposite of seduction, he retorts, "..I can't see.. but I think there might be more than two there. I have some questions for you. When do you get off? Of the two, I think you might get less handsy than that ogre they call a bouncer over there.". He's certainly persistent, if anything, even if it seems to be for different reasons than most would show up to a place like this for.

Ruby straightens herself and sways her naked back from side to side like a hypnotic serpent, evoking the story of Eve's temptation by the snake, and making sure everyone can see the man's tips being slipped into the strap of her panties. "Thanks for the tips." Her eyes dance with mirth at Michael's awkwardness, and surprisingly leans forward to give him a rather chaste peck on the cheek. "As long as you're not asking how much for a night, or for my number." She quips, and adds with a playful wink. "See you backstage."
And with that parting comment, Ruby unwraps her arms from Michael's shoulders, smoothly sliding back on to the stage. With a graceful turn, she's back on all fours, with her shapely backside unabashedly in Michael's full view. Slowly, sensuously, she crawls away, until she reaches the center of the stage - at which point the lights and music all cut off at once. A moment later, the customers erupt in a round of applause and whistles.
"And that's our lovely Ruby, ladies and gentlemen." The DJ's voice comes up on the stereo speakers. "But don't fret. Sapphire is up in five minutes. Meanwhile, get your refills and find yourself a front row seat; trust me, you don't want to miss Sapphire!"

In the wake of all of the sensual excitement, Michael is left standing there for a moment, his morals reminding him that it isn't polite to stare, but his manhood unable to cope with the idea of -not- watching the woman crawl away from him. Idly, he murmurs more to himself than to the DJ which his response is given, "Trust me, I don't think I can afford to finish questioning the one I got right now..". He manages to get his wallet back in his pocket again, then pulls at the legs of his jeans as if to adjust them with as much subtlety as he can manage, before wandering off to look for the backstage.
Of course, as it should be when he's involved, there's a bouncer there ready to get in his way. Almost cheerfully enough to be cheeky, he says, "Hi! I need to get past you. I'm here to see.. uh.". He pauses for a second, as if he'd forgotten to get her name in the midst of all of that cleavage and tangible sex that was in the air, "..Uh. Spots? Red? The woman that was on the stage.". As would be expected, the bouncer shoves a thumb in the direction of the door, "Fuck off. No boyfriends, no stalkers."

It would appear poor Michael is out forty bucks… or was it sixty? All for nothing! Well, maybe not =nothing=. Still the girl went backstage and didn't come back out. Of course, no one really expects her to, certainly not in those frilly things she was wearing, and body paint to boot.
And she doesn't reappear, not completely. The backstage door does crack open behind the bouncer, and there she is, the redhead has hastily pulled on a silk bathrobe that's as red as her hair. "Al." She calls to the large bouncer. "Al!" She calls louder when he misses her the first time. "It's alright, let him in. We'll just be a minute."

When the woman cracks open the door and gives him permission to enter, Michael's expression all but screams, 'Hah!' in the face of the bouncer, though he doesn't actually gloat about his minor victory. After all, how often does he really win against a man that looks to have been cross-bred with a mountain and a six-pack? What he does do is raise his hand, pass it in front of Al's face in an odd gesture and say, "This is not the stalker you're looking for.", with all of the air and sophistication of a man that's just mimed a Jedi Mind Trick in the midst of a high-class house of sin.
Before he can press his luck too much, Al's scowl prompts Michael to slip past and into the backstage area of the Kit Kat Klub, where he's already letting his mouth work before he's even laid eyes on the woman, "Thanks for that. I think I could have taken him, but I left my steroids in my other pants out in my limousine, where I hide all my millions..".

Not that she's taking him to the girls' dressing room, because she only lets him through the door and evidently plans on talking in the hallway. Pulling her robe close to cover her body, presumably still clad in the black underwear beneath, the dancer steps back to make room for the man.
"I'm sure you could've taken Little Al easily." She bobs her head in bemused agreement. "And if you had millions, I'm gonna feel disappointed you only tip me sixty. Shouldn't I at least get a thousand or two?" Her lips purse in a thin smile. "Anyway, before you ask your questions, who's the girl in the picture?" We all know the old saying, cats and their curiosity.

"Hey. Some men are rich in things other than money. I'm rich in debt! It's like reverse money. But I don't think you want a thousand or two of that..", Michael says, and it's as if things come out of his mouth before he can even think them through. Suave is not a word that most would use - but honest is. The demeanor of the man makes a complete change now that the woman is covered up, and he seems far more at ease than he had when she'd been half-clothed and practically eating him alive, "Hi. I'm Michael Alice. I run a small investigation business here in town. The girl in the picture belongs to a client of mine..".
A hand is extended, as if offering it to shake, and that same lop-sided smile comes to rest upon the lips of the taller man, "That.. uh. That's a good show you put on out there. I might be in the wrong line of business. But I don't think I could pull off that lingerie…".

The girl gives her reddish-gold hair an idle toss, as one silky lock has fallen over one eye. "Thanks." She smiles at the praise; positive customer feedback is always appreciated! "You never know if you can pull it off till you tried it. The question is whether there's a demand for it." A quick wink is flashed, but she's lost the smile now as she takes the hand in a shake. "Mr. Alice? Michael? Mike?" She tries out the various names, and seems to settle on the last. "Is that like, a missing child case?" She asks as the hand is released. "Because I'm really doubtful you'll find a missing kid in here."

"Where -wouldn't- there be demand for broke, middle-aged men in banana hammocks?" Michael asks, putting forth the dubious question with such sincerity that it passes right out of honest and into practiced drama. Again, he pulls the picture out of his pocket and holds it up, that same little girl on the front of it, smiling and caught in the innocence of youth, "Yeah. It's a missing child case. And no, normally I wouldn't come to a place like this looking for a missing child, but I've got some weird circumstances on this one. You sure you haven't seen her? I mean, anyone with a kid like this? One of the other girls here? Maybe you've heard the name Anne or Annie mentioned in the back or something?".
As he speaks, Michael glances up the hallway on occasion, as if making sure that no one is going to walk out on the pair of them. He leans in a bit, not fast, and not too close, and his brows furrow up a touch as he says, "This is probably a bad place to talk about this. There's a woman that works here, and I'm investigating her, and I'm not pointing fingers, but if she hears, and I'm right, some bad things could happen. Can you at least keep your eyes and ears open? I can rustle up some more twenties, if push comes to shove..".

The dancer obligingly takes the photo and gives it a closer look, her brows furrow somewhat before she shakes her head. "No, never seen her before." She releases the photo back to Michael's custody, but the furrow-browed look is now redirected at the man himself. "You think someone =here= is responsible for kidnapping?" She sounds cautiously incredulous, but still bobs her head at his request. "Sure, I can keep an eye out." Beat. "And I never turn down tips." Another beat. "You're… not going to bring the cops down here, are you? Because I don't think we would like that kind of attention."

Michael reaches up and rubs at the back of his head when that last question is posed to him, the sort of mannerism that he's built up over the years when giving an answer to a question that's not always pleasant to hear, "..Well, no. I won't be bringing the cops down here, Miss. Truth be told, if the cops were willing to search for her, I wouldn't have to come down here in the first place. There's a lot of people that go missing in Vegas. I don't even think it makes them flinch anymore..".
Plucking the picture out of the dancer's hands, Michael tucks it back into an inner-pocket within his comfortable, weather-beaten jacket of brown leather. In a lowered voice, he adds, "..And yeah. I've got a hunch that it might be someone here. I don't want to get into the details, but it might not even be her fault. This one has a lot of twists. Real labyrinth..". Again, he goes digging around for his wallet.

With a head-tilt, and a suspicious narrowing of her gray eyes, the redheaded dancer peers at the PI with clear interest. "You don't say." She wonders aloud. "Huh." Arms now cross over her chest, accidentally allowing her robe to open up just a bit to reveal a glimpse of that cleavage. Not that it seems to even remotely bother her, as one finger is lifted to press thoughtfully at her lips. "You know, I =do= love a mystery. If you tell me who your suspect is, I promise to watch her for you." Whether the girl is serious, it's difficult to tell, but she does seem to have a hint of excitement in her voice at the prospect of playing detective.
At this point, the DJ's voice comes up again, along with some cheers from the crowd. A pretty blonde in silver and white lingerie appears from the dressing room and hurries down the hallway, and as she passes the pair, Ruby grins at the other girl and gives her a playful smack on the butt. "Go get 'em, tiger!"

"Well, I'm rich in mystery too. I've got more of that than I do debt. Mostly one leads to the other and all of that..", Michael responds with, pushing a half-hearted smirk onto his lips for all of a moment, the expression a ghost that flickers to life and then is gone once again. The woman's proposal causes him to halt in opening his wallet, and he eyes her in a way that most men probably don't. It isn't her partially revealed cleavage that he seems to be scrutinizing, so much as it is the intent that is writ upon her feminine features.
He takes a step back as the silver-clad blonde prances down the hall and between the pair of them, and once she's gone he answers with, "Alright. It's not my usual business practice, but I need all of the help that I can get on this one. But y—..". His words are broken off for half of an instant as he glances up the hall, and then lowers his voice, "But you can't let a -word- of this get out. If you do, the girl on that picture could end up in a lot of trouble. And personally, I was looking forward to a week without being shot at. So you didn't see me here. The woman's name is Marney Tisdale. I don't know what her stage name is. It's probably Passion or Whiskey Royale or something.". There's something more serious to his tone now, but again, it's there for only a heartbeat and then gone again.

That lock of hair falls over her eye again, so she lifts a hand to brush it back. "Don't worry, I'm not as much of a bimbo as you think I am." There's that wink again, along with a lopsided grin. The raised hand is turned around, palm up towards Michael. "Business card? I'll let you know if I hear or find out anything. The girl's name is Ann or Annie, right?"
Behind her, there are some loud talking coming from the dressing room now, loud enough that the redhead turns to glance over her shoulder. "If I didn't see you here, you should be heading out of here quick. My friends back there like to yap."

"Trust me, Red. I've never met a bimbo that could suck sixty dollars out of me that fast. But I can't say that it was entirely unpleasant, yeah?", Michael says, resuming the act of digging around through his wallet once more and pulling out yet another twenty-dollar bill, "I don't really have a card. When you're a snoop, it's bad to advertise..". With his free hand, he slips his wallet into his back pocket and then pulls a pen out of his front pocket, searching around for something to use as a solid surface.
Finally settling on the woman's shoulder, he takes a step in and uses that surface to write his number down in the corner of the greenback, murmuring as he does so, "See? I had a pen in my pocket. I wasn't just happy to see you..". It takes him all of a second to ply his number on the paper and utter his sarcasm, before he hands it off to her, "I don't have to put this one in your panties, do I?". Something about the way that he says this makes it clear that he wouldn't mind the prospect, even if his obvious effort is not to betray such a fact.

"Red" doesn't mind her shoulder being used as a makeshift writing surface; in fact, she squares it to provide a firmer platform. The numbered twenty is quickly and deftly plucked from his hand, which is subsequently given a wave. "Sorry, that only happens on stage." She waggles her brows at him as the bill is snatched, the phone number peered at, and finally the note folded and slid down her cleavage; it was clearly done to give the poor man one last tease. "But do come back if you have extra money you're itching to spend on tips, big spender. And I'll give you a ring if I find out anything." With her hands freed, the redhead rubs them together eagerly. "The game is afoot! Ciao." Just like that, she turns and heads back towards the dressing room, before the other dancers see them talking.

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