She hopped up on the stage next to Liza, who didn’t look the least bit humiliated.
She was absolutely in her glory. AJ wouldn’t do a damn thing to dim the gigantic grin on her friend’s face—she’d play along and pretend she was having the best time in the world.
The only other bridesmaid besides Glenda was Darby Van Zandt and she was shier than AJ and Liza combined.
“Now, ladies. We’re gonna have a little contest. Yes, there is a prize.” Glenda waved a clear plastic purple phallus with pearl looking things inside. “This vibrator, as seen on Sex and the City, is called the rabbit. It spins.” She hit a switch and the vibrator started to make a buzzing noise as the tip circled.
The women in the crowd went nuts.
“It has three speeds, even reverse. It’s waterproof. And this little do-hickey on the front? It vibrates in all the right places. I guarantee it won’t move on you at the moment of truth. It stays exactly where you want it. For as long as you want it. This here is a girl’s best friend because it can go all night without complaint…or until the batteries run out.
And you don’t need a man with this bad boy around.”
Half the women cheered; half booed.
“Anyway, this fabulous prize will be awarded to one of these lucky ladies upon completion of a simple task.” She paused for effect. “The most creative placement of a rolled up twenty dollar tip someplace in Mr. Angel’s G-string with only her mouth. No hands allowed.”
The room erupted in fits of laughter, clapping, wolf whistles and boot stomping.
“Who wants to go first? Our lovely bride?”
Amidst the cries of Liza, Liza, Liza, AJ heard the sound of glass breaking. Dear Lord, were these normally prim and proper ladies throwing…beer bottles? Or was that outside in the main part of the bar?
Glenda placed a rolled up bill in Liza’s mouth. Mr. Angel—what a stupid name—
sashayed over and turned Liza’s chair sideways so no one would miss out on the action.
Liza hammed it up. When she attempted to shove the money dead center in the pouch, it dropped to the floor. The stripper quickly picked it up.
A chorus of disappointed aw’s arose…followed by the sound of shattering glass and heavy thumps that no one but AJ seemed to notice.
Darby scarcely raised her head when Glenda placed a fresh twenty between her tight lips. Mr. Angel did his bump and grind routine, taking extra time working the crowd since it didn’t appear Darby was much of a sport.
Lord. Was this almost over?
Darby’s half-hearted attempt to insert the money in his belly button fell short and the bill hit the ground. Mr. Angel scooped it up.
Where was he putting that cash? Wasn’t like he had pockets.
A rowdier chorus of boos and whoops boomed. At the back table by the punchbowl, drinks were raised in a toast—then the members of the Ladies Guild of First Methodist Church…had a chugging contest.
Whoa. Getting out of hand in here.
AJ’s focus returned to Glenda calling for order after a fistfight broke out. Carolyn McKay stepped in to stop it. No doubt she had plenty of experience breaking up fights with her brawling bunch.
“We’re down to our final contestant.” Glenda slipped a rolled bill between AJ’s teeth. “Amy Jo, shown ’em how it’s done, girl.”
Drunken bellows of encouragement floated from the church ladies’ table.
Mr. Angel spun sideways and performed his cheesy lounge singer dance. When he gyrated in front of her, she said, “Turn around. We need to distract them before they riot.” It finally clicked what she meant and he straddled her lap with his butt in her face instead of his bulge. She waited while he dry-humped the air in front of her.
Good God. This was horrid. Women liked this?
And what the heck was that noise? Like splintering wood?
“Settle down, ladies, we’re getting to the good part. Go, Amy Jo.”
Amidst shouts of Amy Jo, Amy Jo, Amy Jo, AJ inhaled a deep breath when the stripper turned around. She slid the twenty beneath the G-string above his right hipbone.
She’d almost made the corner of the fabric to tuck the money into the pouch, when the outer door to the bar burst open.
Curious men poured in, including Cord McKay.
Their eyes locked. And her mouth was dangerously close to a stripper’s…pole.
Rage flared in his dark blue eyes.
For the first time in her life AJ felt the urge to be contrary. Cord was already pissed, how much madder could he get? So amidst the confusion, keeping her gaze firmly on Cord’s, she dropped the cash in the man’s banana hammock and used her teeth to snap the stripper’s G-string like a rubber band.
Cord was infuriated.
The stripper yelled, “Ouch!” When he caught sight of the deputy’s arrival, the stripper snatched his duffel bag and slunk out the back door half-naked.
Glenda shouted, “Amy Jo wins!”
AJ hopped up and snagged her prize off the podium and hefted it in the air like she’d won the gold buckle at the rodeo.
A few women noticed and clapped.
Carolyn McKay floated her a thumbs up before she and her sister snuck out.
The deputy and male bar patrons stared in horror at the decorations and the leftover food. And Bebe and Toots were having a sword fight with two monstrously long and anatomically correct penis-shaped swords.
Which wasn’t nearly as much of an eyeful as the three women bouncing on a six-foot inflatable penis like it was a buckin’ bull. And two other women slow dancing with their life-size phallic partners.
Oh yeah. Keely would be absolutely pea green with envy.
Liza kept a silly grin on her face as Noah climbed up on the stage and helped her to her feet. “My Prince Charming.”
“My drunken bride.”
She giggled. “It was a grr-reat partay.”
“I see that. Ready to return to the castle, princess?”
“Yep.” Liza grinned at AJ as Noah scooped her into his arms and carried her out.
“They’ll be talkin’ about this one for years.”
“That they will.” When she turned back around she saw Cord, standing in the same place, staring at her coolly. Like he didn’t know every inch of her body. Like it hadn’t bothered him a bit to see her on stage with a male stripper.
Like he didn’t care about her at all.
Say something. Come up here and chew me out. Drag me out. Don’t stand there and pretend you don’t know me.
Of course, Cord didn’t do anything.
Disappointed, AJ spun around to regain control of her emotions. Stupid rum punch and bridal games always made her weepy. She stacked the chairs on the stage and carried them to the wall.