Beautiful Souls

Chrystal Winter's life is about to change forever. Fleeing from her dark past and her former self, she finds her self making a small but successful living in sunny LA. Whereupon, she meets the young, wild force of nature that is Ashton Irwin. Immediately drawn to one another but for what reasons? Chrystal's heart isn't the only thing she's desperate to keep secret...

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20. Chapter 20

The best thing about taking on the Geisha persona was that it allowed Chrystal to be silent and as demure as she could possibly be. She hardly had to smile, she would flutter the fan flirtatiously in front of her, concealing most of her face. The men loved it. She sometimes hated her job for reasons like these. She hated how much men sexualised women, but if they didn't- she wouldn't have a job. She mostly hated her job when she was in a bad mood, she hated pretty much everything when she was in a bad mood. It was almost twelve, Chrystal's party would be here soon. As if in tune with her thoughts, Kendra appeared, motioning with her hands for Chrystal to come to the private booth. Holding back a moan, she left the small group of men she'd been entertaining, who started to protest profoundly at her leaving. She apologized sincerely and made herself walk to the booth. 

The private room was spacious enough, it could hold about 18 people comfortably. There was a small stage, with a round black table set a few meters back from it and a two red enclosed booths back to back, set against the back of the room. There was an open doorway which was covered by a heavy red curtain which led to a smaller private room, which was used for lap dances and such. Chrystal had never used that room. There was bottles of champagne set on each table for their expectant guests. This room was more dimly lit than the main hall and the stage lighting was softer and more intimate somehow. It made Chrystal cringe. She didn't know why she hated private performances so much, it was basically the same thing she done every night, just with fewer and more higher paying customers, and a much smaller stage. 

She hopped onto the small platform, not bothering to use the stairs. It only came off the ground about two feet. She stood in the center and looked sadly about the small room. She would easily be able to read the expression of the furthest seated man, never mind the one that was practically at her feet. "Oh cheer up Chrystal!" Kendra chimed happily. She wouldn't be totally alone in this room with the party. Kendra would be hosting along with another girl to tend to the gentlemen's needs. "Want a practice run of the first dance?" Kendra asked, encouragingly. Chrystal bobbed her head quickly. Chrystal took a few short steps to the back of the stage and pulled open another set of heavy red curtains. Behind them was the music system and light control. She set the lights lower, so the stage glowed a sultry bronze. She'd have someone do this for her when it was time but for now she was happy doing it herself. She pulled the chord on the curtains which again shut them, hiding her from the rest of the room. She hit play and waited till the gong of her Japanese inspired playlist begin before slowly pulling on the chord, and revealing herself once more. She merely shadowed the steps she already knew, not wanting to exert herself. Moving to the parts of the stage she knew she had to be. She caught sight of Jack standing in the doorway, grinning like an idiot. She winked at him, remembering how he had complimented her when she last wore this costume. The practice run made her feel a lot more at ease and she shook out her limbs and took a long drink of water. 

It was twelve and Chrystal was in place behind the red curtain. This time she had Nick with her, he had worked there six months and he was pretty creative with the lighting system. She liked Nick, he was mid thirties and he wore a wedding ring. She heard Kelly's shrill voice first, before she heard the overall babble of the men. They seemed excited enough, sounding about 8 or 9 of them in total. They laughed loudly and Chrystal heard them flirt shamelessly with Kelly. They sounded very young. Odd, young boys never paid for private dances. It took about ten minutes for Kelly and Kendra to settle the boys down before they even considered introducing Chrystal. She shuffled uncomfortably from one foot the the other. The space behind the curtain wasn't large enough to let Chrystal sit down comfortably. Nick had offered her his seat behind the sound system, but she had politely refused. She was just beginning to wish she had accepted his offer when she heard Kendra's introduction speech. At last... 
"Now gentlemen, if you divert your attention to the stage. It gives me great honor and pleasure, to introduce our most exotic and rare blossom..," Chrystal rolled her eyes as she rattled off more ridiculous adjectives which in no way resembled her at all, "our very own Godsend, Angel!" She finally finished, earning excited whoops and applause from the rowdy group of boys. She sure knew how to work up her crowds, Chrystal thought before turning to Nick and nodding silently at him. He smiled  at her reassuringly and hit a few buttons and the music started up. Chrystal took one last deep breath before the curtain slid open, revealing her to the small crowd before her. 

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