Danya sat in black lingerie in the corner of a smoky hotel room. She had seen so many clients that day that she forgot what pleasure felt like, and felt only pain. She was tired and wanted to go home. Her latest client, a boy with dingy dark hair and a second hand lounge coat, lit up a smoke and said “Hey, so you are good. You are really good.” His voice came out like a sheet of glass, smooth and ready to break. He stood next to the bed and buttoned up his coat. It was charcoal gray with an orange lining, and she knew he could never afford to buy it new.
“Yeah? You too.” Her voice carried a hollow tone that lilted off the yellow walls and extended to the boy’s ears.
“I’m sorry I didn’t last very long this time. It’s just, you’re really good.”
She hummed in agreement, “You said that already, doll-face.”
“I love when you call me that.” He put on his shoes and knelt down next to her. He ran a hand through her sweaty blonde hair.
“Doll-face,” she said. He kissed her and the taste of cigarettes filled her mouth. She managed not to throw up. “Get out of here; you’ll miss your bus.” He left and she went to the bathroom to clean up.
She exited the hotel and a man approached her. “Hey honey, you on?” He asked.
“No. Not now.”
“How about for a thousand dollars?” He smiled at her. He wore a long gray winter coat over a brand new three piece suit. He was freshly shaved with thick eyebrows and slicked brown hair. His smile was easy and reminded her of someone she knew when she was little. “One thousand bones, baby girl.” He said.
She had never been offered that much money for one job. “I don’t know. I don’t do anything freaky.” She said.
“How about fifteen-hundred?” She looked at him, uncertain of what he may have wanted. “I promise, nothing too freaky.”
“No anal, either.”
He said, “No way, honey. That’s something I just don’t do.”
“Come with me,” she said, and the two of them went back into the hotel. The yellow walls of the hallway were patterned with the same blue floral nonsense that was in the rooms. The whole place smelled like cigarettes and air fresheners. “It’s room two-oh-five,” she said on the second floor. She rented the room by the month.
They went into the room and she pushed him onto the bed. “I like it rough, honey.” He said. His voice came out like a sheet of molten steel, smooth and hot.
She grabbed his tie and pulled close to him. “Tell me what you want.”
“Take off your clothes. All of them.” His breath smelled like whiskey and expensive tobacco. She was entranced by his musk and attracted to his confidence. She obeyed and was naked in seconds. He stood and pinched her nipples. “Turn around and bend over.”
She giggled and shifted her weight, placing her hands on his chest “But you’re so clothed.”
He hummed a little laugh and took off his gloves, jacket and overcoat. He wore a vest and a gun.
“Are you a cop?” She asked.
“Or something. Turn around. Bend over.” She obeyed and backed up against him. His calloused hands on her rump pushed her away from him. She felt cold metal on her vulva. She heard the hammer on the gun pull back.
“Hey, what are you—”
He pushed her up against the wall and shoved the barrel into her vagina. She squealed. “Shut up” He said. “Shut up. I am in total control.” Wrestling her to the ground, he maneuvered so that they both lay on their sides. He wrapped his massive body around hers, and kept the gun in her. He moved it up and down. “Are you afraid? I can smell your fear.”
She kept still as he threatened her. “Yes.”
He moaned and sucked on her neck. “I love the taste of sweat.” He explained that sweat from fear tastes different than sweat from exhilaration. He pushed the barrel deeper in and felt her clitoris with his other hand. “You’re so afraid right now, you are unable to feel this, aren’t you?” And it was true. She just wanted it to be over. She nodded. He pulled the trigger. The gun clicked. He removed the barrel from inside her and kissed her on the back of her neck. “Free yourself,” he said, and he stood up.
He left so quietly that she didn’t realize he was gone until she looked over her shoulder. On the bed lay fifteen hundred dollars.