The moment we step in, we’re engulfed in a stream of House music and an even brighter confetti of colorful lights.
All at once, images of the most glamorous things I’ve ever laid eyes on hit me; large crystal chandeliers, tall antique mirrors, ridiculously high ceilings, even more statues, expensive oil paintings, and the most unique pieces of furniture I’ve ever seen.
The interior infrastructure and décor is absolutely sick.
Jeez, how the hell in the world can one person have so much damn money?!
We continue to make our way through, trickling in past the other guests. There are swarms of impeccably-dressed people; men in fancy suits and tuxedos, and women adorned in lace, silk, fur, diamonds, and other expensive—and quite revealing—attire.
I spot a statue holding a really large champagne bottle…and I realize it’s not a statue. It’s a woman, completely covered in green and white spray-on paint. She’s so still, it’s unreal.
I look ahead and see more like her scattered about the premises; completely motionless men and women stark naked with champagne bottles in their hands and nothing but thin layers of spray-on paint to conceal them.
I continue to make my way through, my eyes roaming over everything as I do.
There are a few barricaded sections of marble floors and mahogany floors over to my left, and in the center of each of them are…stripper poles?
I can’t help but shake my head internally. Of course, there would be stripper poles.
I look over to the other side and I spot illuminated dancer cages in the distance, each with two dancers in skimpy bikinis and large, feathery masquerade masks over their faces. They shimmer exuberantly under the neon lights of their cages, almost as if they’re covered in glitter.
About twenty feet behind them is a large DJ booth where the blaring House music is coming from.
Over in the corners are several large flat screen TVs, hoisted on the walls adjacent to each other the way they would be in a sports bar.
Speaking of bars, I can count at least five of them from where we stand, all the bartenders are wearing the same uniform—if you can call it that—short ‘schoolgirl’ flare skirts and bare-back, halter-neck waist coats.
Glass and marble sculptures are scattered here and there, and I see a parakeet fly by and land on one of them. A second later, another one joins it, and their tiny heads dart left and right, their eyes scanning the room full of party-ready humans as if they’re spectators.
I approach some sort of massive, open-ended table. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. There are countless champagne flutes on it, as well as cocktail snacks, finger-foods, hor d’oeuvres, and right in the center of it, there’s a chocolate fountain surrounded by fruit-embellished women who are otherwise completely naked. I’m unable to take my eyes off the sight for several moments.
Holy crap, this party is extravagant, to say the least.
There’s a sushi bar in the distance, and there is a similar display of naked women covered only by decorative rolls of sushi. There’s a guy who decides to help himself to a roll or two, picking the food items off a redhead’s lower tummy with just his mouth as his friends cheer him on.
Oh, my God. This place is insane. These people are insane. I guess that makes me equally insane for being here—perhaps even more insane than they are.
I quickly avert my eyes from the disturbing sight, wishing I could bleach my brain to erase the memory of what I just saw.
Nicole takes my arm, ushering me in her direction. “Come on, don’t get lost so soon. We just got here,” she teases.
We approach a Grand staircase covered by the same plush ox-blood carpeting as the rest of the house, and I wince as I regard the humongous staircase of seemingly never-ending steps.
I have to pause for a minute.
“You have to be fucking kidding me,” I grumble as I behold the tower of steps in front of us. For crying out loud, my feet are already on the verge of exploding as it is. A million and one stairs to climb is the last thing I need right now.
Nicole pays my groans no mind and keeps walking ahead gracefully. I eventually follow suit, albeit a lot less enthusiastically.
We make our way up, and I clutch onto the sturdy wood railing with a death grip as I ascend one painful step at a time. All I can keep thinking the entire time is not to miss a step and to keep my balance so that I don’t end up falling and breaking my neck and every other part of my body in front of all these people.
God, I can’t even begin to imagine how humiliating that would be. Forget broken bones, I’d probably die from just the embarrassment alone.
Somehow, I manage to get to the very top without my ankles snapping, although I’m pretty sure they’d come close quite a few times.
But as soon as we arrive, it doesn’t take long for a group of about five men to flock toward us, almost like hungry bees to a flower. To be honest, I think they’re actually flocking toward Nicole, and I’m just collateral.
Nicole, with her friendly and bubbly attitude, immediately engages them. It’s pretty astonishing how easily and confidently she flirts and socializes with each of them. Before I know it, we’re surrounded by hordes of men.
I look around, quickly scanning each man, and I can clearly see the lusty looks in their eyes, and the lecherous smiles playing up on their lips.
I think I’m going to throw up.
My heart is beating hard in my throat, but I can’t let my nerves get the best of me. I have to suck it up and put my game face on.
Thank heavens Nicole does most of the talking for the first few minutes so I don’t have to.
But unfortunately, that doesn’t last very long. Soon enough, she’s being whisked away by two of the gentlemen. She gives me a playful wink right before their trio departs to the nearest bar.
Oh man, I didn’t think I’d be left alone so soon. I feel so frickin’ awkward.
Almost immediately after Nicole is gone, a man comes up from behind me.
“Name’s Mitch,” he says with a cocky grin. “Mitch McGraw.”
I forge the best smile that I can as I let him take my hand in his. “It’s nice to meet you, Mitch,” I say, shaking his hand. “I’m Raven.”
His expression falls slightly and the cocky grin disappears. His forehead creases as his brows furrow.
Oh, boy. I know that look. He’d obviously expected me to recognize his name.
“You don’t know who I am?” he asks, his tone drenched in obvious disbelief.
Great. He just had to go and confirm my speculation. How predictable. Of course I’d be the one to get stuck with an arrogant douche named Mitch McGraw.
More like, Bitch McGraw, if you ask me.
I somehow still manage to keep the phony smile on my face even though I have to grit my teeth to do so. All I really want to do now is punch the fucker right in his arrogant mouth, but I resist the temptation.
Instead, I grab another champagne flute from the tray of a passing server and help myself to a few generous gulps.
I listen to him talk and brag about himself and his accomplishments for eons—okay, it’s only really twenty minutes or so—but fuck if I can help myself right now. This guy is seriously off-the-charts narcissistic!
Suddenly, I feel his hand graze my elbow, and the unexpected—and very unwelcome—contact catches me off guard. He slips his hand further down, finally bringing it to rest on my hip.
I feel my body immediately go rigid at his touch, and I feel myself starting to panic inside. I’m beyond tense.
I struggle to swallow the latest sip of champagne that’s now threatening to go down the wrong pipe.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt so uncomfortable in my entire life, and I’m pretty sure the expression on my face perfectly reflects that.
Between my relentless anxiety, impossibly achy feet, the annoying wedgie this stupid thong is giving me, and the way this douchey creep is trying to come on to me, I need a major timeout. Like, now.
I maintain the best forced smile that I can muster even though my cheeks are crying out for me to stop. “I need to use the little girl’s room. I’ll be right back,” I say, grabbing my clutch and emptying my glass.
I quickly excuse myself to the nearest restroom before he can reply or say anything else, walking as quickly as I can in these monstrous things called shoes without falling flat on my face.
What the fuck have I gotten myself into?