She can feel the men eyeing her. Their heavy breathing and intoxicated laughter. They’re barely illuminated by the lights above the bar spelling out Haymen’s Haven in filthy neon blue lights. There’s no telling when the last time was that they were cleaned. This isn’t the first time her ride hasn’t shown up on time. Usually, she gets a text or some kind of call about what a horrible bitch she is and the usual “You’re a fucking monster” voicemails. Just so she can hear how disgusted with her they truly are. Nothing and this time, she’s having to dial a second time to find out what’s going on.
“How mush fer a night, pretty girl?”
“You’re drunk. Go home before someone calls the cops.”
It wouldn’t be the first he’s had to be escorted from the premises. This one at least she recognizes. One of her regulars. Everyone calls him Jail. Not that she needs his actual name.
“Jus a couple hoursss, then?”
Cellphone screen lights up. No fumble as she answers it.
'Stop fucking calling her! Find another way home! She’s fucking tired of you! Stay away from us you stupid fucking slut! Walk your whore ass home! Or better yet go murder someone! Fucking bitch!'
The line disconnects. Pain scatters through her chest. Of course this would happen. Her past has always haunted her life. Making friends shouldn’t even be something she does. And this was one of the ones she thought was different. Sure she has other friends, friends whose lives are so busy she’s not entirely sure what they truly think of her. With these drunk men she keeps her composure and sifts through her limited contacts. Most of which are working or incapable of picking her up for one reason or another. It’s worth a shot to try calling one of them to her though.
“See, you’ve g-got t-t-time. Betterrr yet, why don cha come home with me?”
“Sir, you’re drunk. And I have more than one way home.”
“You’ve g-got ten m-minutes.”
She steps just out of his reach to keep his sweaty hand off her arm. Either way she can still smell the alcohol. There should really be a limit for this man. Jesus fucking christ. He’s still reaching for her, the others around him chuckling and starting to crowd around her.
“I really don’t. And I’m sure you’re aware harassing an employee, whether on the clock or not can get you arrested.”
“What the hell are you still doing hanging around?”
The mens faces darken. Almost as if they’re children and she’s the candy being taken away from them. She glances briefly at the man walking up to them. He’s been seen around here and there. The bartender is the only person truly familiar with him. Under normal circumstances she’d hesitate, but she takes a few steps back to fall beside him. Internally shocked when he slips an arm over her shoulders protectively.
“Sorry, completely forgot I had asked you to swing by in case I didn’t have a ride.”
“Oh come on sweetheart.”
“Maybe you should watch the other girls perform. They have to make their money too. Night gentlemen.”
When they’re out of earshot she mutters a ‘thank you’ to the man. She’s not used to having people just randomly help her out. Not like this. Usually they get one look at her and want nothing to do with her.
“Maybe next time you make sure your ride is actually out here before coming out.”
“Yeah, I’ll keep that in mind for tomorrow. Any way, thanks again. I can walk from here.”
“Tch, yeah right. Besides your fan club is still looking over here.”
Her shoulders rise and fall as if that’s typical, normal behavior for men around her. His scowl darkens just a bit. She had to be stupid as shit to be okay with something like this. Instead of saying anything he opens the passenger door and waits for her to climb in. The second the door closes she reaches for the handle. Instinct telling her she doesn’t know what he’s capable of. And she’s not in the mood to shoot anyone. This odd stranger makes his way to the driver's seat, all the while, the drunks by the bar door can be heard swearing.
“Drunk dumb asses. Seatbelt stupid.”
“I’d really much prefer to walk.”
“Trust me if I wanted to hurt you, I wouldn’t have helped you.”
“That’s disturbing, but I guess in some way good to know.”
The ride is silent. Giving directions being the only time she opens her mouth. What would she even talk about to this stranger? Not to mention she’s only seen him when she’s been working. Even then it’s rare he ever shows up. Literally all the girls are nearly in love with him. She hadn’t seen him this evening. And that’s only because the other girls had miraculously put together a frequency of his visits and managed to guess that he’d show up. Not that that was a guaranteed thing.
“Just what the hell is going on in that head of yours?”
“N-nothing. Just work stuff.”
Dark eyes flip to the review mirror. More or less, he was sure he’d shaken the car behind him. That was the only reason he ended up by the bar. He’s distracted,this much she can tell. She quickly glances back.
“Told you they do this.”
“If that was one of your fan’s I’m positive they’d have gotten into an accident by now. Even if it was, that doesn’t make it right.”
For the second time tonight she just shrugs as though she truly couldn’t care. The sign of someone who’s already given up on life. They aren’t actively trying to kill themselves, but they aren’t actively participating in life either. Getting by on the bare minimum. Simply, if she walked across a street and a drunk driver hit and she died it wouldn’t even bother her. If he were interested, he’d ask. Except he’s well aware of what a person who’s had he entire world ruined before their eyes at a young age looks like. Knows what it’s like to continually watch it burn no matter how hard you may have tried.