Annika: Center of AttentionMature

When the lights went up, that was then time stood still.

I was on stage then, moving my body along without really thinking. Thinking only made it harder. Looking into the eyes of the people gathered around the bar, into their empty spaces where their souls might have been, only made it worse. The girls without dignity were draped over the arms of the boys without hearts. And I was in the spotlight.

A display.

The songs didnt last long, not when I allowed myself to slip away into the pounding bass and strobe lights. My only companions in the hellish club. Descending the stage, I approached the bar with all my usual sultry confidence. The bartender raised an eyebrow. What can I get you?

An escape, I replied internally. A way out of this mess.

"Fuzzy navel," I murmured, not particularly caring if he heard me over the cadence or not. I didnt even like drinking. It just made whatever came next a little easier.

With my drink in hand, the orange juice burning my throat and the schnapps burning my stomach, I began to circulate. I laughed when I knew I should. Sarah came over to me, and I let my fingers trail over her bare shoulder and arm, giving the guys a little something to excite them.

When it happened, because it always happened, it was near the entrance to the back room. The breeding ground for nightmares. The place where fear met reality. I felt the chill creeping up my spine before I felt the hand on the exposed skin of my back.

Whirling around, I tried to step away, but he was right in sync with me, inches away. I could smell the alcohol and the aftershave and the radiating dominance. "Hey there," he slurred. His grip moved to my forearm, rough fingers leaving bruises. "How much for a few hours alone with you?"

I so wanted to pull away in disgust. He was waiting for an answer, eyes raking my body violently enough to leave marks. I was looking anywhere but at him, towards the door, towards my escape.

That was when he came in, timid and beautifully uncertain. Captivating.

The man before my gave a tight squeeze. "I'm talking to you," he snarled. "Stupid cunt whore."

His horrible words barely registered. "Sorry," I muttered. "I'm off." Lies, but still I was ripping my arm from his grasp, pushing through the crowds. Yearning to reach the boy before he got away. Something about him was drawing me nearer. Maybe I didnt know what, but I was sure as hell going to find out.

The End

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