Home > The Anatomy of Jane (WJM #1)

The Anatomy of Jane (WJM #1)
Author: Amelia LeFay



Prologue

Saturday

 

I never met my parents, but I’d like to think they would have wanted more for me than just stale peanuts, glitter pushup bras, and body shots. However, since they left me in a crack house somewhere on Fremont Avenue, I’m pretty sure their bar wasn’t very high to begin with…but a girl can dream right? After all, the only thing I had left was my stupid dreams.

“Damn it’s cold,” I muttered to myself, zipping my leather jacket up to my neck, hugging my arms around myself as I waited on the corner.

“Hey! Sweetheart, please don’t tell me you’ leavin’?”

Ignore him.

“I’m talking to you sexy.”

I’m not here. Please leave me alone!

“Hey, bitch!” He grabbed on to my arm and pulled me to him. “Why you bein’ so unfriendly?”

I still didn’t look at him; instead I stared at the taxis as they passed. Men around here were like wild dogs, and if you made eye contact, you’d have to beat them back with a stick.

“I’m off the clock, but if you’re looking for a friend, I suggest you head inside.” I took a deep breath and ripped my arm away.

“Well, I’m not inside—”

“Aye, Gavin. What did I tell you about messing with my girls?” I knew that voice. I hated the rough sandpaper sound of it almost as much as I hated the gallon of Axe body spray he dipped himself in every night before coming out.

When he stepped behind me, it took all my effort not to gag.

“We were just having a chat—”

“Chat with someone else; either come in or get lost,” Allen barked at him, and just like that, the asshole let go before wandering into the back door of the Bunny Rabbit. That wasn’t a metaphor for something but the actual name for the strip club—I mean ‘gentlemen’s club’—where I worked. The Bunny Rabbit was Allen’s dream ticket to becoming the next Hugh Hefner…only he would want to be a perverted old man.

“You’re being difficult Janie.” I hated that too, how he thought it was cute to add on to the end of everyone’s name.

“How is asking for a raise being difficult?” I finally turned to him but had to look down, partially because of the heels I was wearing and also because he was so damn short. At five foot six, which was really five-four without the lifts in his damn shoes, he was almost always the shortest man in the club. Sometimes the girls said he looked like a kid waiting for his mother to get off work. The fact that he was only twenty-five and had a round, childlike face didn’t really help either. The only positive thing was…give me a second and I’ll think of something.

“Janie—”

“And for the record, I’m not one of your girls! I don’t strip. I’m a bartender and your manager and accountant and the girls’ tailor—”

“I get it; you do a lot.”

“I do everything!” I screamed, lifting my hands up for him to see all the bandages I had been collecting on my fingertips. “See! This one I got from sewing Jasmine’s bra back together. Do you know how hard it is to sew through sequins, Allen? Too fucking hard!”

“Jane—”

“And this one”—I pointed to the bandage on my thumb—“is the price I paid for your stupid attempt to save money on a fucking stapler, Allen! Your fifty cent stapler bit me.”

“I get it!” he yelled. I folded my arm back over my chest, looking away from him and glaring at the John Hancock tower in the distance. “I get it, Jane. I know you do a lot, and you know I’m grateful—”

“No, I don’t. People show gratefulness with money in our line of work. No money means ungratefulness.” Well, it actually meant no service, but I was too upset right then to frame it better.

He sighed. “You’re so damn stubborn.”

“As a mule,” I agreed.

“Do you know how much it costs to run a business in this—”

“I know, but if you cut out the Jell-O shots no one drinks, stop serving the shrimp which only end up on the floor, and change all the lights to LED bulbs, we could save three hundred dollars a month. My earning an extra two hundred would mean my not having to choose between groceries and my damn electricity bill.”

I had only started to do the books about a month ago, and I’d almost cried when I realized how much money I wasn’t making by keeping my clothes on. On top of that, I knew exactly how much he made from the other girls while I was struggling day in and day fucking out.

We both came from the same group home, but he was a year younger than me. Part of me still saw him as my brother; I’m not really sure why. Maybe it was because I was a quiet child, and he always stood up for me, even when he would get beaten up for it.

Usually parents who adopt loved newborns, but I was a ‘drug’ baby and that was just like having the plague. No one would touch me. I was passed around from one group home to another until I left at eighteen, and Allen came to find me. He helped me find work waitressing, being a janitor, a barista, and things like that until he opened his club three years ago.

“Look, how about we talk about this later? You know it gets crazy on the weekends here—”

“Jane!” Before he could finish, Lady poked her dark head outside the door and I could see that the purple glitter star she had on her left boob was smeared. “Jane, thank god! The snap on my bra broke, and my boobs look lopsided. Can you help me?”

“Don’t you have another one?” Allen snapped at her. Lady placed her hand on her hip, rolled her eyes, and popped the bubble gum she was chewing.

“Yea, but if Crystal gets pissed at me havin’ a better Supergirl costume, I’ma tell her it was you who told me to change.”

“Supergirl?” he questioned, and this time I rolled my eyes.

“It’s Heroes Night,” I reminded him. How could he forget his own stupid ideas?

“Right, hold on—”

“My set is in five. Jane please,” she begged me.

“Jane…please,” Allen added, already walking to the back door. “I swear we will work this out tomorrow. We need you tonight. It’s Saturday—”

“Jane,” Crystal called again. “Please…please…please—”

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