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As far as Nathaniel Lewis knew, step mothers were not supposed to be pole dancers.
The twenty two year old college student couldn’t help but stare as his new step mother twirled around the metal pole that stretched from floor to ceiling. This was her “dance studio,” as she called it. He thought she would be doing something like yoga or pilates in her office-turned-studio, not something like pole dancing. It was a startling discovery to make when he padded down the stairs looking for a bowl of cereal before school.
The woman before him could hardly be considered his step mother. He thought his father was having a mid-life crisis when he went back into the dating scene, especially when he brought home a woman who had to have been at least ten years younger than him. Cherrie, that was her name. She pronounced it “Sherry,” Nate pronounced it “hot woman.” Not that Cherrie would ever know that. After she had a whirlwind romance and a quickie marriage to his father, she came to see Nate as the son she never had, one she could raise to be unlike the son who had already failed her. Not the image Nate wanted to be seen as by this voluptuous woman, as a son.
In his mind, Nate was the man who could conquer the hearts of all the women, whether they be in his classes in college or the woman he peeked at secretly through the glass windows of the former office space doors. In reality, he was a stringy twenty-something year old with pale skin and more dark hair than his father thought was appropriate. He spent too much time gaming and knew everything about the internet subculture. He was the new breed of “geek,” the type that was considered cool for being computer literate and conquering the newest video game shortly after it came out.
What he wanted to conquer now was the woman dancing in the next room.
He felt like a lecher watching her, but he couldn’t draw his eyes away. She moved up and down the pole as if gravity were never invented, her body moving in perfect timing to the music. One move involved her hanging upside down, her legs clinging to the pole while her arms flew out into the air to grasp the pole below her head. At that move, her upside down gaze made direct contact with him.
He backed away from the door in a hurry. Busted. She wasn’t going to appreciate her step son eying her as she danced. Maybe he could get away with seeing her as he walked to the kitchen. Would she believe that?
He peered back into the dance studio, ready to see her looking more angry parent than sexy dancer. Instead, she had dismounted the pole and was on ground level. She was still staring at him. When eye contact was once again established, she licked her lips and crooked her finger at him, the universal sign for, come here. Was she inviting him to watch her dance? She hardly looked angry.
He took a step closer to the door and she nodded in encouragement. He swallowed his pride, hoped he was right and threw the door open.
Loud music assaulted him as soon as the wood and glass door was opened. He ignored the auditory assault and peered up at the woman before him. Sweat glistened on her skin and she was out of breath, but she turned her stereo down to a more manageable level, still looking like a dancer instead of a figure of authority.
“Enjoy the show?” she asked, her voice low, teasing.