The Baby Vamp, the Bearcat, and a Choice Bit of Calico Chapter Six: Adorning the Doll (Velma)

Lena's kinda meek but I know I can break her down. We'll see. She does a fair job. Everything we've asked for is around us, so I can say this: She ain't bad.

She could be better, though. I never settle for second-best.

But right now, I have other things on my mind. The show's about to begin, and Roxie's causing us to run late, again. Two weeks ago, when we were playing at the Onyx, our act was forty-five minutes late because she got a run in her stockings. Sometimes she's a finicky bird, but we're a good thing, so I put up with it, most of the time.

"Velma, this is such the bees knees! Finally, we're in a real joint, with our name in lights and everything," Roxie's chirping, as she puts on her earrings. I listen to her, not paying attention as I finger the jeweler's box on our dressing room table, but Roxie's too enamored with her own image to notice me. What's inside is a surprise, anyways.

The jeweler finished the order quick. I guess Lena mentioned my name. It's nice to know it means something to someone.

"Roxie, come here. I got something for you. A little token of my affection..and to celebrate this new success, I suppose," I say, catching her eye in the mirror and she turns to face me. The silver heart lies on a silky satin bed, and I remove it, twirling it between my fingers.

"Oh, Velma," Roxie breathes, much like she did the first night we were together. "Amos never really gave me any jewelry. Sure, a pair of earrings on our anniversary, but I never even got a proper wedding ring. I had to wear his mother's and she was a large broad." She goes off into a tangent, until I clap my hand over her mouth briefly.

"Those are nice sentiments, doll," I tell her, biting her ear gently. "But why don't you put it on?" Roxie flashes a smile that rivals the lights we dance under and grabs the necklace. Clasping it behind her neck, she arranges it flat between her breasts.

"Now, don't ever say I don't go on treating you nice," I laugh. 'You're mine."

I reach over and tuck it underneath her top, then sling my arms low about her waist, stopping briefly to pinch her thighs before we take the stage. Roxie squeals and smacks my hand away while I smirk. The house is packed, but the only thought in my head is Roxie.

All thoroughout the show, I ignore the two bit johnnys hollering for us to get hot, and glance only at Roxie. At the slenderness of her throat, the gleam of her eyes as we perform, and the smug smile she gives me on stage. Lena stares at us curiously but I stop her from speaking by grabbing her arm as we walk by. Roxie and I recline in the dressing room.

From the sounds of our dressing room, it's as if there's a crowd. But there's only Roxie and me. And it's time for an encore.