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Stripped Bare
Emma Hart

“I don’t want to see a bunch of naked penises writhing at me!”

My best friend’s words slid right over my head, but their meaning didn’t: Taking my virgin best friend to Las Vegas for her bachelorette party might not have been the greatest idea.

All right. “Might not have been the greatest idea” was a total understatement. Las Vegas was the worst idea I’d ever had, mostly because the entire plan was a night at a strip club. On the Strip. Strippers on the Strip. Pole-dancing, hip-grinding, booty-shaking male strippers.

It was proving to be pretty damn hard convincing her to go.

“Since when were penises not naked?” Jaz snorted, putting her mascara wand down and flipping her jet-black hair over her shoulder. “They’re not usually suited and booted with a bow tie, Al.”

My blond best friend and bride-to-be pouted glossy, pink lips and crossed her arms in annoyance. “I know that. I’m not a total virgin. I just... I don’t know. I didn’t know a cock fest was on the agenda.” She punctuated that with a dark look at me, but her heart wasn’t in it.

Allie’s trying to be angry at me was like trying to be angry at a puppy. It was literally impossible. That’s what twenty-four years of being attached at the hip will do to you.

“It’s your bachelorette party! What did you expect me to do? Buy you pajamas and fluffy socks for a slumber party?” I raised my eyebrows and handed her a glass of the Long Island Iced Tea I’d just finished shaking.

Yeah—we’d brought our own alcohol. We were...resourceful that way.

Plus, all of my cash may or may not have been in one-dollar bills, and I didn’t want to check out the next day and find I had eight hundred dollars of alcohol on my bill.

Not that I’d found myself there before. Just, you know. Hypothetically.

“Allie, it’s just a strip club,” Lucie reasoned, taking her glass from me. She tucked her dark-brown hair behind her ear, and not for the first time, I found myself mildly amused that, with my fiery, auburn hair, we were like a walking Pantene advertisement or something. “Besides,” she added, sipping on the cocktail. “It’s not gonna hurt you to see some real-time peen.”

Twenty-seven years old or not, Allie had decided at fifteen—after a disastrous blow job incident when her mom had walked in on her—that she wasn’t going to have sex until marriage. Her fiancé, Joe, was a reformed Christian and a supposedly born again virgin and I respected that, but lord... The girl needed a bit of peen in her life.

It was a wonder we were best friends at all.

“You guys act like I’ve never seen a cock before. I’ve seen a lot of cocks. I’ve touched a lot of cocks. I just don’t want to see or touch...stripper cocks.” She shuddered as she spoke and then took a long drink through her straw. “Who knows where they’ve been?”

“Inside their tighty-whiteys, ready to play peekaboo for a good portion of my life savings?” I offered, fighting the smile my lips were threatening to form.

“I have no idea how I’ve tolerated you for this long.” Allie sighed and put her glass down.

“Because she’s the crazy to your straitjacket?” Jaz suggested, pulling three pairs of heels out of her suitcase.

“The one-click to your Amazon?” Lucie added cheerfully.

“The smut book to your Kindle?”

“The bra to your boobs?”

“All right, all right,” Allie grumbled and picked her glass right back up. “These are strong. If I didn’t know better, I’d say you’re trying to get me drunk, Mia.”

I whistled low and turned around to check out Jaz’s shoes. She had the best shoes known to man, and god only knows where she freakin’ found them. She’s the ultimate shoe hunter. She could make a career out of that shit.

Meanwhile, I wasn’t even going to dignify Allie’s comment with a response—honestly, she should have known I was damn well trying to get her drunk.

All right, so maybe the cocktails were a little stronger than I’d intended, but since we hadn’t even left the room yet and we were already fighting about the club, it’s not a bad thing. She was gonna need to be a little giggly—as in sober enough to walk but drunk enough to forget the plan.

“You know Joe’s gonna be going to one, right?” Lucie slid her gaze over to Allie. “It’s pretty much a given for most guys. Or one will be brought to him.”

I put one of Jaz’s red shoes down and moved to my own. The red-soled, pointed Louboutins were born of the devil, but good lord, they looked like heaven when they were on. They’d also gotten me my current job and let me keep it, so I was pretty sure my baby toes had finally come to an agreement with them.

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