Jenni Clarke - Author

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‘Members only.’ The doorman smirked as his eyes flickered over her knee-length skirt, blouse, and hand-knitted cardigan.

‘I’m here for my niece, Lucie.’ She summoned her best glower and prepared to swing her hand bag. He may have muscles of a prize bull, but family was family, and her sweet niece was not going to be sold into the slave trade today.

‘Lucie?’ The doorman placed his meaty hand on the black door. ‘That explains a lot. You sure you don’t want to wait out here?’

Maeve frowned. Was he suggesting Lucie would be leaving? She knew Sandra had a habit of exaggerating, and the information had been passed through a few phones before it reached her, but there was no smoke without fire.

‘She needs my help.’

The doorman raised his eyebrows but allowed her to pass into the club. ‘Mind the stairs.’

Maeve allowed her eyes to become accustomed to the gloomy light before grasping the handrail and stepping down towards thumping music and a red glow. What was she getting herself into? A club in the middle of the afternoon? Was it really a front for human trafficking? She continued down, her heart thumping in time to loud beat. A beaded curtain at the bottom of the stairs swished aside. Two girls, wearing clothes resembling underwear smiled at her.

‘Great costume.’ The blonde girl tugged Maeve’s cardigan. ‘But how can you walk in those shoes?’

Maeve blinked, staring at their red strappy heels, and then at her sensible brown walking shoes.

‘I don’t think she can see in those glasses.’ The red-haired girl laughed and ran up the stairs. ‘Bet she’s for Marcus.’

Maeve walked through the curtain and followed the corridor to a silk padded door, puzzling over their comments. She should have asked them about Lucie, but quick thinking had never been her strong point. Probably why she was a spinster. By the time she decided she liked a man, he was long gone. Although from all the complaints at the weekly knitting group, men were more trouble than they were worth.

Maeve pulled the door open and stepped inside. In the gloom she could see couples slow dancing, hands squeezing buttocks in time to the beat. With an unknown warm feeling in her stomach she walked around the room, peering over low walls, and into small alcoves. Her breath becoming faster and shorter with every sight.

A topless girl wriggled on her boyfriend’s lap while he sucked her breasts. It was not Lucie. The heat in Maeve’s stomach became a low tingling. Was that sex? Surely not, they seemed to be enjoying themselves. She tore her gaze away and hurried towards the bar, tripping and falling with arms outstretched.

‘Got you, ah, got me.’ Strong hands grasped her shoulders as her shocked open mouth became impaled on her saviour’s large penis. Maeve froze.

‘Auntie Maeve?’

Maeve sucked in as she turned her head. The man groaned.

Lucie dropped her armful of freshly laundered sheets.



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