Misery Loves CompanyMature

Erin walked toward the door of the cafeteria. She turned and took one more look around at the empty space she was leaving behind. She thought about how loving someone was a lot like an empty room. While you were loved, the room was full of all kinds of people and things. It was alive and vibrant. When no one loved you, it became empty and cold, and even the things left over seemed to lose their meaning. She looked at the rows of empty tables and chairs standing before her eyes like graves in a graveyard, each chair back representing a monument to someone's broken heart. She quietly laughed to herself about the analogy, and turned to go.

Erin left the empty cafeteria and walked down the nearly empty halls. There were a few stragglers wandering about as they made their way toward the doors and out into the open air of afterschool freedom. She continued down the hall toward the band room, then suddenly stopped dead in her tracks.

Erin looked at her oboe case. Why was she doing this? Who really appreciated the fact that she played the oboe in the school band? It was just something she did to please her parents, and she knew it. It seemed to her at that moment that she had never done one thing to please herself. There was always someone else. Like a walking, talking idiot, blindly following their passions, she had even tried to please Ray. And for what? To watch girl after girl take over the role of pleasing Ray right in front of her? The only thing Ray never did was invite her to stay as part of a threesome.

A tap on the shoulder brought Erin out of her reverie with a start. She turned to see Ray's friend Hootie standing there smiling at her. "What it is, baby girl?" he said to her. "I hear thangs ain't so tight between you and Ray. Do tell."

Erin began, "Hootie, I..."

"That's Hootius Maximus to you, sweet thang" Hootie interjected. "We got business to talk, so let's take a walk." Hootie opened his jacket and showed Erin his gun. "I don't ask twice." Hootie turned Erin around and headed for the outer doors. "See Ray owes me a lot of money, and I'm here to collect."

"That isn't my problem. Ray isn't my problem." Erin wasn't sure what was going on, or what to say. She knew the gun made her nervous, and she didn't want to end up on the wrong end of it.

"Oh, but it is, and he is" Hootie said as they stepped outside the school. "Ray promised me something you got if he ever got in too deep."

Erin was now beside herself. "He did what?"

"Why do you think Ray has so many girls on a leash? Don't be so naive. He pimps them out when he gets too far behind in what he owes. You just happen to be next up."

Hootie led Erin across the parking lot. The school was desserted now, except for the few students and teachers who stayed late for various clubs and activities. But they were all busy inside the school with their various activities. For all intents and purposes, Erin was alone except for the cars in the parking lot.

Erin wanted to throw down her books and oboe case and run, but the gun scared her. She didn't dare do anything that would get her shot as they weaved between the cars. As they approached an old green four door sedan, Erin saw Emily sitting in the front seat, staring wide eyed like a scared rabbit through the windshield. Hootie opened the back door, and motioned for Erin to get in.

Once Erin was inside the car, Hootie walked around to the other side and got in, and sat down beside her. "All right, we got the packages. Let's get going" he told the driver. Once the car was moving, he turned his attention to Erin. "You and Emily will be working together tonight. Satisfy all the clients we send you, then you go home. You might even get a bonus out of the deal if you're good enough. We're also gonna be filming your asses so you keep quiet. Understand?" Erin nodded her head. "Good. Any questions?"

Erin had a dozen questions ranging from 'is this a joke' to 'why do we have to work together.' She opted for the latter. "Why do we have to work together?"

Hootie looked Erin straight in the eyes. "Because misery loves company."

Erin didn't say any more. Instead she looked out the window as the car sped through the city. Adult bookstores, strip clubs and other sex oriented businesses popped up in front of her eyes. Women dressed in skimpy clothing stood on street corners or perused the sidewalks in search of their next john. She thought about how ironic all of this was. Here she was, the daughter of a minister who played an oboe in the school band, about to be forced into sexual servitude. Suddenly all she could feel was nothing. Everything went numb.

The car finally came to a stop in front of an old, run down apartment building. hootie hopped out, then let Erin out. Then driver got out and let Emily out. The two men walked the two girls into the building, which smelled of cheap wine and stale urine. They took them up three flights of stairs to apartment 302. Hootie opened the door and motioned the girls inside. Once they were all inside, Hootie locked the door.

Erin looked around the large living room. There was a large matress in the middle of the floor, surrounded by chairs and a large sofa. Camera equipment and lighting were set up around the room, and a large flat screen TV sat against the far wall across from the sofa. A coffee table, containing all kinds of paraphenalia, sat in front of the sofa.

Hootie checked the camera equipment. Satisfied that everything was working properly, he came over to the girls. "All right. Both of you take your clothes off, and hand them to me."

Emily stood there, her head bowed in shame, shaking nervously. Her hands were clasped tightly in front of her short tartan skirt. Hootie stepped toward her. "Get your clothes off now, or I'll have fun ripping them off of you. Then you'll go home naked after we're done. That is if I decide to let you go home."

Emily started crying at Hootie's words as she slowly moved her hands up to the buttons of her blouse. She started unbuttoning the buttons at her collar, and nervously worked her way down, slowly exposing her pink lace bra.

Erin had wasted no time. She had already kicked off her tennis shoes and slid out of her jeans. She now stood beside Emily clad only in her long tee shirt, underwear, and socks. As Erin started to remove her tee shirt, Hootie became impatient with Emily. He backhanded her across the face, sending her sprawling onto the matress.

Hootie charged at Emily and hoisted her to her feet by her neck. "When I say take them clothes off, you get them off fast."

Erin couldn't help but feel for the girl. Sure, she didn't like Emily for obvious reasons, but Emily didn't deserve this kind of treatment from Hootie over Ray. In fact, neither of them did. She decided to try and reason with Hootie on Emily's behalf. "Hootie, if you're going to film us, do you really want us bloodied and bruised for our film debut? Let me talk to her, and I'll calm her down."

Hootie let go of Emily. "All right. Go ahead and talk to her."

Erin stepped toward Emily. Much to her own surprise, she opened her arms and embraced Emily, pulling her close to her. Emily returned her embrace, and her shaking slowly began to subside. "I'm sorry Erin. I'm sorry for everything. I never wanted to hurt you, and I wanted so bad to make it all up to you, and become your friend, too. I really like you as a person."

"Hey, it's all right" Erin began. "This is all Ray's fault, not yours. Neither of us had any idea he'd sell us out. But you should know, there are other girls you don't know about. Ray only cares about himself. Neither of us would be here if that weren't true. I'm not mad at you Emily. I was at first. I blamed everything on you. I see now I was wrong." She paused and took a deep breath, then continued. "Listen, we're both going to be all right. We'll make it through this together, I promise. And yeah, I think we're ready to be friends." She brushed her hand through Emily's blond hair. "Let's just do as we're told, and we'll be okay."

Emily kissed Erin's neck. "You're so calm and cool. You're like a rock."

To both girls it seemed like time suddenly stood still, and nothing mattered except the moment they were sharing together. They knew then, deep inside in their hearts, they needed each other.

"All right you two. Break up the love fest and get them clothes off before I change my mind and beat you both." It was Hootie's voice that interrupted the moment, and sent both girls crashing back into reality. But this time they were ready for it. They would face it together, united for the first time as friends.

The End

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