The scent of freshly lit cigarettes filled the warm, humid air, flooding into my nostrils and inciting a desire for me to light one of my own. Usually, by 10pm on Saturday night, I’d already be in the club with a vodka-soda in one hand and a beautiful girl in the other, but not tonight. I’d recently heard about a somewhat underground nightclub right in the heart of downtown called La Petite Mort. It was, according to Jason, “the epitome of the club experience.” And, naturally, that was enough to cause a surge of curiosity. What was so special about it?
At 26, drinking had lost its edge. Sure, it was fun when I turned 21, and even a little bit before that, but after waking up with countless hangovers I’d begun to lose interest. Naturally, as that interest faded out, so did my appetite for nightclubs. But I couldn’t deny the results I’d see by spending only an hour or two on a Saturday night at the bar – loud, electronic music pounding away. Beautiful women thrusting their hips like no one was watching.
It’s not even that I enjoy the taste of a vodka-soda – quite the contrary, actually. That bitter taste of liquor coupled with the flavorless fizz of soda water and just a hint of lime, like someone was whispering what you were supposed to be tasting into your ear. It took quite a bit of practice for me to drink it without making a face of pure disgust. But, just like with beer, I eventually acquired the palate.
I pushed a cigarette between my lips and flicked my lighter, taking in a mouthful of aromatic smoke. It was strange to me that there was no one else waiting outside of this non-descript brick building. I couldn’t help but feel like I was in the wrong spot. There was no sign, no people, no sounds of music pounding away inside. But this was the address Jason gave me. And he’d even warned me that it didn’t look like a club on the outside.
I let out a deep breath of smoke, painting a cloud of white in front of me. I stared at myself in the reflective glass as I stood on the sidewalk, waiting. My hair looked good, I couldn’t deny that. After all, I’d spent about an hour styling it until it was perfect. My choice of attire wasn’t necessarily what I would choose on any normal night out but, once again, Jason’s advice to me was that I needed to dress “dark”- whatever that means.
The way I took it was that I needed to wear dark colors, so I settled on a plain black short sleeve button down shirt. It was somewhat tight fitting, accentuating my muscular chest and tapering down to show my slender waistline. The sleeves were tight around my biceps, just the way I liked it – couldn’t afford to keep the guns holstered. The pants were also strategically chosen – they not only accented, but almost magnified, my tight ass.
I took another drag off my cigarette when I saw someone appear behind the glass. A man, tall and muscular, staring at me. How long had he been there? I couldn’t help but feel a bit creeped out. He stepped away from the glass and around, to a small door set back, into the building about 10 feet.
“La Petite Mort?” I asked as he popped the door open.
“Oui,” he said. The word came out naturally, and I immediately felt like I’d be out of place in this club. French was not a language I was familiar with. Hell, Spanish was foreign to me, and I lived in southern Florida.
He stepped outside of the door and looked around the sidewalk for a moment, as if to make sure I was alone. I followed his gaze, looking to my right first, down the empty stretch of concrete, and then to my left. There was no one within earshot. The closest group of people were barely visible down the way, all huddled outside of The Dungeon, my usual Saturday night club choice.
He motioned for me to come closer, so I hesitantly took a step in his direction. He was large and intimidating, staring down at me with an expression that I couldn’t quite make out. Anger, or perhaps frustration? His brow was furrowed, mouth turned down in a scowl. Thick veins ran down his massive biceps beneath his tight, black shirt.…