Let Me Be | Chapter 1: The Bachelorette Party

Hi there! Thank you in advance for reading Let Me Be. This is a labor of love that started nearly two years ago as a silly one-chapter striptease, and evolved into the longest, most complex thing I’ve ever written. As I type this, 17 chapters are written but not fully edited, with at least 8 more chapters to write. I’m already in it for the long haul, and I hope you will be too.

Huge thanks to my Patreon patrons for forcing me to buckle down and work on this by hitting the goal for one chapter posted per month!

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The sun had just slipped behind the roofs of the high-rise lofts by the river. The heavy thickness of the air was already lifting, leaving a warm breeze in its place, and Emmerich Hall was feeling wildly overdressed for both the weather and his destination.

He dug his heels in as Eva practically dragged him down the street by the front of his jacket.

“You’re going to rip the stitching,” he grumbled, trying his best to keep his hands tucked into his pockets.

“Come on, you giant baby,” she replied, taking pity on his jacket and moving behind him to push instead of pulling. “You promised your sister.”

“I promised my sister because she gave me that look. I don’t know why she wants me at this thing.”

“She wants you at ‘this thing,'” Eva said, turning to press her back against his and push with her legs, “because she wants you to know you’re still part of her life, even when she’s married. And because you haven’t gotten laid in years.”

Emmerich huffed. “You don’t know that I haven’t gotten laid in years.”

“Everyone knows you haven’t gotten laid in years.”

Emmerich considered, momentarily, stepping to the side so Eva would overbalance and fall over. Instead, he sighed and stopped walking. She stopped when he did, leaning against him as though he was a particularly annoyed wall.

“I’m supposed to go to the bachelor party. Strippers with the guys, or… whatever.”

“The guys are going to a football game! You hate football, and you don’t know anyone but Vicky and Costin. It’s mostly a bunch of strangers. Boring.”

Emmerich wrinkled his nose. “Don’t let Vic hear you call him that if you don’t want to get smacked.”

She twirled around to face him, dramatically enough that a few passersby stared. “Your brother wouldn’t smack me unless I asked.”

He ignored the comment with the ease of years of practice. “I’d say the point was to get to know those strangers, but I do hate football.”

“See? You’ll like the strip club a lot more. Trust me.” Eva smoothed his rumpled shirt and jacket with only a little too much lingering on the abused lower hem.

Emmerich sighed, accepting defeat. “Fine. Please tell me I can get drunk enough at this place to block the evening from memory.”

“You can get as drunk as you want as long as you keep your hands to yourself, aren’t an ass, and don’t throw up.”

“What about the secret VIP room rewards?” He grinned, but it quickly became a grimace. “Not that I want to see Lia taking advantage of the VIP room rewards.”

“No rewards. From the dancers, anyway. Me, on the other hand…”

“Evie!”

Eva snorted and headed off down the sidewalk, not waiting to see if he was following. “I know, I know,” she called over her shoulder. “Really, though. You’re going to love it.”

—–

Emmerich shifted uncomfortably in his seat and took a long drink from his fourth beer. Lia had thanked him profusely “for being there for her,” with her genuinely happy baby sister smile on. She and the others were well on their way to silly drunk, far enough gone that they hadn’t paid any attention as he steadily began to surpass them.

He had decided to tough it out and stay through the entire party, but the parade of both male and female strippers who’d joined them in their private room had completely failed to catch his interest. Some of their pole techniques were impressive, true. A few of them were close enough to his type. But between his reluctance to be there and his steadily growing headache, he’d waved away everyone who’d tried to give him a lap dance and was sullenly drinking himself into a stupor instead.

It had been worth it, he thought, as a server passed and he took a… possibly fifth, or seventh maybe… beer, just to see Marie’s face go scarlet when a relatively handsome brunet shoved his face in her lap. Eva had joined a pair of the dancers on the stage at one point, showing skills Emmerich wasn’t remotely surprised she had. And Lia had been laughing all night, spending barely a moment without a smile on her face, which was what mattered. So he rubbed his left temple, drank another mouthful of lukewarm beer, and disinterestedly watched as most of the dancers cleared the room for the final act.

The music caught Emmerich completely off guard. It was quiet and slow, completely different from the pounding bass lines of the rest of the evening. He perked up a bit, trying to remember if he’d heard the song before, and fished his phone from his pocket to search for a match on the internet. Then the night’s last dancer stepped through a curtain in time with the beat, and Emmerich forgot how to breathe.

The dancer was tall, male, well-built in that swimmer sort of way; absolutely mind-blowingly gorgeous. He was wearing a black vest, a pair of black pants, a black feather boa, and a smirk that said he knew exactly the effect he had on people. His hair was dark blond and pulled back into a ponytail. Shorter pieces were slipping out and falling into his eyes, and the mess of it made him look nothing if not debauched.

Emmerich set his phone and drink down. Everything else in the room faded into the background, and all that was left was the music, the half-buzz half-headache, and the dancer.

Who started moving.

Hips swaying, hands running up his chest, bedroom eyes, unbuttoning two buttons on the vest, three, the vest falling open, all that pale skin and a line of hair down his stomach disappearing into pants entirely too low and he’s running the feather boa up his thigh oh my fucking god.

Emmerich realized his mouth was open. Distantly, he heard Eva teasing him about his undoubtedly star-struck expression, but he couldn’t find it in himself to care. He wasn’t going to miss a minute of the show.

Unlike most of the previous dancers, this one ignored the pole entirely and danced at the edge of the low stage. He slipped the vest off his shoulders, slowly working it down his arms without disturbing the boa in its place around his neck. He tossed the vest aside with a casual flick of his wrist. Emmerich sat up a little straighter.

It occurred to Emmerich, somewhere partway through one of the hottest things he’d ever seen in his life, that he definitely hadn’t gotten laid in years. He was hard enough that it hurt by the time the chorus even started, and the incredibly talented blond still had his pants on, if undone and about to fall off his hips.

The dancer was facing Emmerich now, and – oh shit – seemed to have noticed his raptly attentive audience. Emmerich leaned back in his seat, trying to look nonchalant. But oh god the man was coming down the stairs, fuck fuck fuck, and there was something magical about those pants, because in one movement they were off and on the floor, and he was in nothing but tight black briefs and the feather boa. Emmerich swallowed thickly and hoped beyond all hope that the mostly naked man both would and wouldn’t touch him.

Fate was blessedly cruel. The dancer straddled Emmerich’s lap, one leg at a time. Licked his own bottom lip, teasingly slowly. Oh fuck kept repeating on loop in Emmerich’s head as he tried to will his erection away and failed miserably. He realized he had no idea what to do with his hands, so he put them as far down as possible and nowhere near the gorgeous creature in his lap. The dancer lowered himself, and though he quirked an eyebrow when he felt Emmerich’s erection, he didn’t back away.

Emmerich hissed as the other man began to move. Everything blurred together. He tried to watch and feel everything at once – the way the dancer mouthed along to the music, the slow grind against his now painfully confined dick, the undulating stomach and chest practically pressed to his face. Then soft black feathers were on his cheek and neck; he fought back a moan and only barely managed, fuck shit fuck I’m going to come if he doesn’t get off my lap what the fuck, and suddenly the space in front of him was empty and the dancer was sauntering back onto the stage as the music ended.

Emmerich stared at his ass like a deer in headlights until the moment he stepped behind the curtain and out of sight.

The ensuing silence was broken by the sound of the women erupting into a fit of giggles and clapping. Emmerich tried to adjust himself into a somewhat less compromising position, clearing his throat and refusing to meet their gazes.

“Holy shit, Em,” Lia piped up, hand over her mouth. “That would’ve been so hot if you weren’t my brother.”

Juliana!” he spat, scandalized.

“It was still hot,” Eva said, making a lewd hand gesture. “Shit, you two could’ve put on the whole show yourselves.”

Emmerich flipped them off, which only made them laugh harder. He looked to Marie for help, but she shrugged and nodded her agreement.

“I think that’s the first time I’ve seen twerking look good,” she quipped, and Emmerich scowled at her.

“You’re all awful,” he mumbled, draining the last of his drink in one go. He was so caught up in being flustered that he didn’t notice Eva had moved until she was leaning down to whisper something into his ear.

“I know him, if you want an introduction.”

Emmerich choked. “You know him?” he spluttered, spraying drops of beer.

She clapped a hand over his mouth. “Yell it a little louder next time.”

“S-sorry,” he replied, muffled.

She took her hand away and wiped it on his shirt. “His name’s Andreas, if you want a name to put with your fantasies.”

Somewhere in the background, the owner of the club was thanking Lia for choosing his establishment and offering some sort of discount for future visits. Emmerich heard it all through a filter, head spinning with a combination of too much alcohol and knowing the dancer’s name.

Andreas.

He snatched up his phone, stood up, and nearly fell over. Marie was there in a flash, arm around his waist.

“Up you go, Emmerich,” she deadpanned. “Wouldn’t want the last thing your crush sees to be you falling on your face.”

“Fuck off,” Emmerich groaned, secretly happy for the help.

Their little group stumbled out of the club and into the night.

Emmerich was very glad he hadn’t gone with the guys.


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