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"Welcome to The Dollhouse, Las Vegas," Eamon King shouted above the crowd, raising his glass to toast the raucous bachelor party as fifty or so guys entered the V.I.P. section of his exclusive Vegas nightclub. Most of them whooped and hollered, and fist-pumped over the loud, pulsing musica clear sign that they were married men who'd planned to go buck wild on this rare night away from their wives. A few of their eyes were already bulging at the sexy-looking women who worked at The Dollhouse.
"Now, which one of you is Marcus Henderson?" Eamon asked, his gaze combing the crowd.
"Right here," they shouted and then pushed a six-foot, pencil-thin nerdy-looking brother in black-rimmed glasses.
Eamon ignored his private thoughts about the guy looking like a stereotypical paper pusher and hooked one of his muscled arms around the man's neck. "All right, Mr. Henderson," he boasted. "As one of the owners of this establishment, I want to personally guarantee you that tonight will definitely be a night that you will never forget!"
"Whooo-hoooo!" Henderson's party shouted.
"Last night of freedom," Marcus joked shyly.
"Plenty of time for you to change your mind," someone shouted from the crowd.
Although there was a smile on Marcus's face, Eamon detected a note of uncertainty in his voice. He gave Henderson another casual glance and thought to himself that if this man had found a womanany womanto say yes, then maybe he'd better get on his knees, say his prayers and seal the deal as fast as he could.
"Ladies! Please come on up here," Eamon shouted.
On cue, Shawn, Brittani and Cassie strolled into the V.I.P. room smiling from ear-to-ear in their metallic gold Daisy Dukes and matching bikini tops. In their hands each one carried a golden ice bucket with a bottle of Cristal.
All the men's eyes grew even wider and their mouths sagged to the floor.
"Good evening, gentlemen," the beauties greeted in sync.
"Oh sweet baby Jesus," Marc mumbled.
Eamon reached over and nudged Marc's chin so that he'd close his mouth before he started to drool. "Now gentlemen, these three ladies will be your hostesses for the evening. If there is anything that you need, your hostess will take care of you. But first " Eamon walked to the back of the V.I.P. room and stepped onto the stage and grabbed the microphone lying on the lone chair next to a stripper pole. "I need the man of the evening to come on up here."
The men clapped and shoved Marc forward.
It was clear that he wasn't used to the spotlight as he seemed to tuck his head down and had trouble making eye contact as he made his way up to the stage.
Amused, Eamon shook his head and then swung his arm around Marc's shoulder and directed him to face forward. "Now. We at The Dollhouse have something special for you, my man."
One side of Marc's lips curled upward as he asked in a quivering voice, "Really?"
"Ooooh yes. I have a special girl in mind for you. " He tossed him a wink and then signaled to the DJ. The music quickly transitioned into Li'l Wayne's "Lollipop." To the crowd Eamon said, "Gentlemen, won't you welcome to the stage DELICIOUS!"
A gold-and-silver disco ball descended from the ceiling. The men gave enthusiastic barks and shouts as The Dollhouse's number-one moneymaker, Delicious, stepped onto the stage, working her hips like a figure eight and rolling her chest so that the small tassels on the ends of her gold pasties spun like mini-helicopters.
The crowd went wild while Marc stood like a deer in headlights and Eamon exited the stage and handed off the mic to one of the hostesses. Delicious knew how to work a crowd and within seconds, she had them all eating out of the palm of her hand. As Eamon worked his way to the back of the V.I.P. room, he spotted his brothers, Xavier and Jeremy, with their arms folded and leaning against the back wall. The three of them were similar in build and coloring: tall, milk-chocolate brown with solid, sculpted muscles. Of the three, Eamon sported a pencil-thin goatee, a slightly squarer jaw, with eyes that were slanted like Tyson Beckford's. While Eamon and Xavier stood at an even six-four, Jeremy, the pip-squeak, came in at six-three and three quarters. It was hardly noticed by others, but it made for endless teasing by his older brothers.
They were all pretty laid-back. They were very close having grown up in a family that didn't have a lot of money, but plenty of love. Their parents had taught them the value of hard work and didn't accept any excuses. The three put themselves through college and then went into business together. They weren't as rich as their cousins, the Hintons, but they each had a couple of million in the bank.
"What are you guys doing here?" Eamon asked, suspiciously.
"Damn. What? No hug or 'how in the hell are you'?" Xavier shouted above the music, smiling.
Eamon lifted a brow. His brother was showing a little too much teeth with that smile. "I'll hook you up at the next family reunion." His gaze then shifted to Jeremy who was acting like he'd never seen Delicious perform before. Playing along, Eamon folded his arms and turned back toward the stage.
Marcus Henderson sat in the chair center stage, looking like he'd died and gone to heaven. His ebony goddess backed up her beautiful, oiled, brown booty with a disappearing gold string down the middle up on him and then started bouncing her round cheeks until he was damn-near hypnotized.
"WHOOOOOAAAA!" His friends whooped and hollered as they crowded around the stage and tossed bills of every denomination onto the stage.
Marc's mind spun like a pinwheel while money rained down on him and this goddess of the stripper pole like they were in their own little money globe.
Delicious bent over at the waist, giving him a better view of just where her mysterious gold string disappeared to before effortlessly making both cheeks clap.
The erotic applause made Marc tug at his collar. Even though the sucker was already open, it still felt as if it was choking him. Completely wiped clean from his mind were any thoughts of the woman he was going to marry tomorrow. In that moment, all that mattered was Delicious. She gave Marc an erection so hard that he swore he could feel his inseams popping.
Marc turned his head, while his jaw elongated and his hands trembled with want.
"Your boy is looking like Gollum up there," Xavier chuckled.
Jeremy turned with his fingers creeping toward Eamon's face. "Precious. I must have the precious booty."
Eamon swatted Jeremy's hands away from his face and then rolled his eyes. "Grow up."
That just succeeded in making Jeremy laugh. "Testy. Maybe we should arrange a private lap dance for you, as well. You need to relax." He put his hands on Eamon's shoulders and started rubbing. Since he didn't know what he was doing, the shoulder rub hurt like hell.
"Will you two just spit it out. What the hell do you want before this fool lands me on a chiropractor's table?" He shrugged Jeremy's hand off his shoulder, but then turned in time to catch his younger brothers sharing a look. "What?"
Xavier sucked in a deep breath. "Maybe we should talk about this in the office?"
Eamon frowned as a ball of anxiety picked up speed in his chest. "It's that bad?"
His brothers stood mute blinking at him.
Cursing under his breath, Eamon cast a quick glance back at the stage. Delicious had Marc's face planted in between her chests while she slapped both cheeks with her fresh-out-the-box silicon-filled breasts. When she finally pulled his head back again so that he could breathe, Marc looked like he was in love.
"Another satisfied customer," Eamon chuckled. But when he looked back up at his brothers that ball started rolling again. "C'mon. Let's go to the office."
The three Kings exited the V.I.P room and entered the main floor of the club where it looked as if they had a full house. Prince's old-school jam "Get Off" pumped through the mounted speakers while seven of his hottest women on seven different stages worked golden stripper poles while their customers rained money on them.
As the Kings traveled down the glass staircase, a harem of belly-dancing strippers were coming up for the bachelor party's next set. Eamon plastered on a smile as he glanced down at his watch. "Running late, ladies."
The women gave him meek apologetic smiles as they continued running up the stairs. At the bottom, Azizi, an African beauty with gorgeous coal-black skin, waited with a sly grin and a goat.
"Now that's something you don't see every day," Xavier said with mild amusement.
The brothers stood on the side of the staircase so that Azizi and the goat could climb up. Right behind her were a dozen dwarfish women, no more than three and a half feet tall, dressed in two-piece black cat costumes with furry ears.
The look on Jeremy's face was priceless. "What kind of freaks are you hosting tonight?"
"The kind whose credit card is approved when I swipe it," Eamon laughed while he threaded his way through the thick Saturday-night crowd. He could literally hear the ca-ching of the cash registers as he watched the army of bartenders, waitresses and dancers scurry about.
The success of The Dollhouse defied the odds and baffled all their competitorsnot only in Atlanta, but also in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. But the Kings believed, as their father had always taught them, that the fundamentals were what made success: vision, integrity, talent and communication. After that was location, location, locationmarketing, marketing, marketingand cash, cash, cash.
That last partthe moneywas particularly hard. When Xavier and Jeremy first approached Eamon about expanding their small adult nightclub and laid out an impressive business plan, he was skeptical. The normal movers and shakers who did what his brothers were suggesting usually came from old money. They argued about it for so long that he finally tossed up his hands and told his brothers that if they could find the money to finance their grand fantasy, then he would go along.
He should have never underestimated Xavier and Jeremy. They could sell condoms to a nun if they set their minds to it. In this scenario, Eamon was the nun.
Unfortunately, their new financier came straight from another branch of the family tree, the branch that Eamon didn't particularly care forthe Hintons.
Correction. He actually didn't mind Jonas and Sterling so much. They were solid, hardworking men who didn't put on airs or walk around like they were better than everyone else. However, his Uncle Roger and his cousin Quentin were his least favorite and for different reasons.
Uncle Roger, billionaire extraordinaire, tended to walk around, thinking that everyone had a price tag on them. There was no deal too dirty and no trickery or underhanded tactic that was beneath him. In fact, the only time that Eamon had ever felt a little sorry for his cousin Quentin was when his uncle bribed him into marrying some business associate's daughter so he could better position himself on the company's board. It was no shock that Quentin took the money. After all he'd been cut off financially by his father in a feeble attempt to force him to grow up and support himself. But Q was accustomed to a certain lifestyle, and he was immune to the whole notion of actually working. So after about a year of roaming from one sugar momma to the next, he jumped at his father's offer.
It came as no surprise that the marriage didn't last, but Q reclaimed his inheritance. So when Xavier approached him with his business proposal, a deal was struck. The Kings and one Hinton became business partners provided that Quentin Hinton remained a silent partner.
"Hello, Eamon," a feminine voice floated in between the music.
He stopped and looked down just as a woman's slim hand slid up his broad chest. When he shifted his gaze to the hand's owner, he was pleasantly surprised to see Charelle. His lips stretched wider at the short, red number she had on. It showed off her long, lean and toned physique to perfection. "Hello, Charelle."
"Ah. So you do remember me?" She moved closer and pressed her small curves against him. "You know, six months is a long time not to hear from someone."
He laughed while his gaze dragged down her body. "If I remember correctly, you were the one who left town."
Charelle's cherry-red lips curled higher. "Silly man, you were supposed to chase after me." Her hands and arms looped around his neck. "Don't you know when a woman is playing hard to get?"
Behind him, Xavier and Jeremy chuckled. "Actually, I do," Eamon said, reaching behind his neck and, gently but firmly, pulling her arms down. "And like I told you before, I don't like playing games."
Charelle moaned and pushed out her bottom lip. "Then don't think of it as a game. Think of it like a dance."
"Oh. A dance, huh?" He playfully rolled his eyes.
"What?" She pushed on one of his bulging biceps and flashed her pearly whites up at him. "You're a man who owns a strip club. Don't tell me you that you don't like dancing."
Xavier cut in. "Actually, it's a gentlemen's club." Charelle's gaze shifted to the brothers. "Sorry. I didn't know that I was interrupting a family reunion. Hello, boys."
They quickly said their hellos. "Then you won't mind excusing us." He started to move away.
"So we'll finish this dance later?" she asked, rocking her hips to entice him with what could be waiting for him when he was through.
It wasn't enough. "No. I'm sorry," he said, shaking his head and stepping away. "When I dance, I like to lead."
Charelle's face fell while Xavier and Jeremy sucked in a quick breath as if Eamon had delivered a body blow. He should have known better than to do this in front of them. They had a tendency to be juvenile.
"You're welcome to stay. Just tell the bartender I said that the drinks are on the house tonight." He stepped around her and then threaded through the crowd when she grabbed him by his trim waist.
"Is that it?"
"Did you need anything else?" he asked benignly.
"Hey, Eamon." A woman walked behind him and gave his firm butt a good squeeze.
He turned his head in time to see Hayley, one of his waitresses, sashay away. "Hey, I require dinner and a few drinks before I allow a woman to have her way with me." He laughed.
"I'll keep that in mind," Hayley teased and continued to navigate her way through the crowd with her tray of drinks.
Laughing, Eamon turned back toward Charelle whose face was twisted in annoyance.
"Well, no wonder you've been M.I.A., you've already moved on to the next trick."
Unfazed and, quite frankly, bored by Charelle's penchant for drama, Eamon folded his arms. "You do realize that you just called yourself a trick, right?"