Dark yet welcoming, the restaurant pulled them in with its
The plastered walls were sponged in color blocks of a deep red and
black. The ceilings were painted in a high polish black and stone black tile
lined the floor. Striking kabuki masks and detailed silk kimono robes lined the
The women shared the restaurant with no one except the spiciness
of sriracha seasonings and robust scent of the rich soy sauce that filled the
air. They sat on their high top stools at the bar, enjoying the food and the
reprieve from the heat.
“Air conditioning is nice, huh?” Noel asked.
“Yes, I’ll give you that. I forgot how sticky this weather can be.
I think we have to get used to having bad hair and make up days.”
“I think you’re right.”
Suzanne finished sipping the last of the broth. “The soup is
amazing. It’s not the kind of cuisine I had in mind for our vacation in Key
“I had no clue this was even here. But, I needed this…helped with
“Absolutely. I think I can tackle a Sandhill Hooker shot or two
today. After all, we are on the infamous Duval Street.”
“Okay, pickle juice that way…now you’re talking.”
She looked around the place and smiled. “It’s pretty cool in
Suzanne leaned her head back. “And look at how high the ceiling
is. I like all that exposed ductwork. I wonder what this place was before?”
“This used to be a club,” said the waitress as she carried in a
case of liquor from the kitchen to the bar.
“This was a club?” Suzanne asked.
“Yeah. You two new to Key West?”
“First time here.”
Noel sat quietly listening to the conversation unfold between
Suzanne and the waitress.
“You want a little history on this building you won’t hear about
on any tour guide?” The waitress asked as she unpacked the box and carefully
placed the bottles on the lighted shelves behind the bar.
“This restaurant and the entire vacant spot next door used to be
one big club.” The waitress turned around and pointed towards the ceiling. “There
was an entire second floor up there. The owners of the restaurant demolished it
since the place is small and narrow. The height makes it feel spacious. You can
sorta tell how it looked like the second floor with that small area they kept
above the kitchen. The red spiral staircase you see leading up to that
area…that’s original to the building.”
“Yeah, taking the second floor out does make it feel bigger. So
the club must’ve been packed all the time to have two floors, huh?”
The waitress laughed and leaned against the counter. “They didn’t
advertise. And you notice it’s off of
The women nodded.
“Not much foot traffic on this street like Duval. This was the
hush-hush place. You had to get invited. Secret door knock and password would
let you in—extremely private and exclusive.”
“You ever get invited?”
“Oh, God, no. I have no idea who
got invited, but I wasn’t one of them. In fact, I never knew the club existed
until a friend told me that the owners were going to put the building up for
sale a few years ago. I was like, ‘what
club?’ And the thing was, I walked past the place many times and always
thought it was an abandoned building.”
“So what was the deal? Why was it private? What went on?”
“Rumors claimed it as an adult playground.”
“If the place was still in operation, somehow I know Suzanne would
get an invite,” Noel chimed in.
Suzanne flashed a wicked smile.
“Possibly,” the waitress said. “Get’s your thoughts going, right?
Like, what exactly happened in there? Who went there? But the one thing I was
always curious about was seeing the place. They say it was like being on
Noel awaited a break in the conversation to jump back in with her
questions. But movement from out of the corner of her eye caught her attention.
She snapped her head to look at the loft area and gasped.
“What?” the waitress asked in a concerning tone.
She scanned the area in confusion.
“What’s wrong?” Suzanne asked.
“I-I thought I saw something up there.”
The waitress peered into
the kitchen. “Can’t be. No one else is here except Jesse and he’s at sink.”
“What’s that door up there?”
“That’s the access point to the space next door, but its sealed
shut from the other side. Trust me. I’ve tried to see if I could get in to
sneak a peek.”
“What is it that you think you saw?” Suzanne asked.
She shrugged her shoulders as goose bumps paraded along her skin.
The same feeling stirred again—as if she were being watched. “I thought I saw
someone looking down on us from that railing.”
Suzanne turned to the waitress. “We partied a bit last night.”
“That tends to happen in Key West.”
“I think we’ll take the check and I’ll get this one out for some
much needed fresh air and vitamin D.”
“I’m not crazy, Suzanne,” she whispered as she reached for her
“I didn’t say you were. I just think you need to get outside.”
“Sammy told you right?”
“The boat? Me freaking out that someone was watching me last
“Yes. But, honey, I think you’re just thinking of Dante being in
this place and visualizing him. That’s all.”
The waitress slid the check across the counter and Suzanne
immediately snatched it up. “My treat. You get drinks tonight.”
Suzanne placed the cash on top of counter. “Keep the change,
darling. Thanks for the 411 on this place. Very interesting.”
“No problem. You guys go have fun.”
About Maya DeLeina:
Born and raised on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Maya could be seen at her
favorite beach, Lanikai, performing with an all-girl band where she played
keyboards, guitar and provided vocals, working as editor in her high school’s
yearbook and volunteering her time at a humane society through UH of Manoa
In 2006, Maya relocated to Colorado. Her crystal blue oceans, waterfalls and
eighty-degree year-round weather were traded for four season weather,
enchanting forests and majestic mountains, which led to her rekindled love for
In winter of 2010, she penned her first manuscript and by 2011, Flesh Fantasy was
under contract and released by Siren Publishing. To date, Maya’s titles
includes Flesh Fantasy, Veil of Seduction, Blood of Luna, and Dark Companion, with Fire
and Ice and Crimson Snow being
added to her bookshelf by the end of 2014.
Not only does Maya have theatrical book trailers that bring her sexy vampires to
life, Maya and her vampires were featured in Singer/Songwriter Jill Cohn’s music video “Blessing