Six: I Don't (Really) Know Him

"So, uh... m-mind if I ask what that was about?" Jiru, the boy who had just hired Hinata's womanly services, inquired from the front seat of his sleek car. Hinata, herself, was in the back (an act of protection - it's harder for a serial killer to choke you to death if he's got to reach over to you). She was counting out the pile of cash which Jiru had told her was her payment. All together, there was about $700 dollars.

"Um..." She squeaked, before swallowing down her awkwardness. No need to make a client think she was weak with her shakey voice. "Well, that was my... c-colleague, Dei. He's a very, um, he's a very eccentric person. I-I think, that is." Her voice was strong despite her speech impediment, holding an air of maturity as she added the last sentence as an afterthought.

Jiru made a turn, driving closer and closer to a motel in which they could carry out their business. "You... think?" He deadpanned.

"I think," Hinata stated. "I don't know him. N-not really. I just, um... actually, nevermind, you uh, do know that hour long sessions are just $500, right?" Before you misunderstand - the Hyūga girl did need every penny she could get, but she was an honest woman before she was a business woman. And she wouldn't risk a brand new client, even if it was just a one-time thing, by ripping him off. Jiru might spread the information of her taking more than she should have, and bad mouth could easily end the career of a prostitute.

Jiru blinked. He pulled up into a shabby Motel, one that was probably owned by a small family based on it's nameless aura, and parked. "Oh. I guess I didn't realize. That was... really ethical of you, Hime." He commented, turning around to smile a chubby cheeked smile at her.

"Did you think I wasn't e-ethical?" Hinata asked wearily. She was a slightly paranoid person, and wondered if maybe he was a killer on the lose, deciphering which vitcims to murder or let live by who was honest and who took the extra cash quietly. Hinata mused the idea of becoming a murder mystery novelist, writing about such things, before bringing herself back to reality. It was an interesting idea, but the original thought was pretty scary, considering how real the threat of danger could have been.

After all, hookers come in contact with some pretty terrifying people every day.

The man yelped, a burning blush covering his face entirely. "O-oh, no, no, I just-! I just... uh, forget it, I-I didn't mean it like that!"

The lavender eyed woman giggled sweetly. "It's okay, Jiru. Now, go rent a room, and ask for two keys, alright? D-drop off one of the keys to me in the car and wait in the room for fifteen minutes. If you don't trust me, you can take the money. I'll come up after that fifteen minutes p-pass. As a precaution..." Hinata instructed him with a clearness in her voice. It was one of her mandatory rules, which she had inlisted on her website. However, she wanted to remind the boy about it in case he forgot.

(A/N: Not completely positive about how the website thing works/what websites prostitutes typically use for their advertisements/if they have to use a lot of codewords or not any at all, but I do know that it's really common to do it that way. As is the whole precaution thing Hinata was just talking about.)

The pale woman shivered as she examined herself in the motel room's mirror. She was just in her lacy underwear, and felt deprived as a human being when she looked at her appearance, searching for what she would need to cover with concealer.

A few love bites and bruises lines her neck and jaw - none of them ached or hurt, but they looked unattractive on her silky skin. Her makeup was smudged but somehow still intact by the grace of God. Her hair had not received the same treatment, though. That Jiru guy really liked playing with it - not pulling it, but just simply running his hands through her midnight tainted tresses.

Jiru was an interesting man. During their short, hour long session, he had spent most of the time talking to her, and they had only heatedly made out for twenty minutes at best. All while talking to her, he politely requested that he could play with her hair. Hinata, of course, didn't deny him - he was paying her for physical affection, after all. She just expected it to be less... naïve and sweet. But it seemed as though he, himself, was a very naïve and sweet person.

According to what he had conversed to her about, Jiru had never had a girlfriend before. In fact, their mini kissing fest had been his very first contact of the romantic and sexual nature. He was a very timid boy on the nerdier side, so it was hard for him to seem interesting to some women. It hurt Hinata's heart when the boy had told her he was too ugly to be with most of the girl's he like. There was just a genuineness in his voice, like it was a completely true fact to him, that made it so sad. He really wasn't that bad looking - maybe a little untraditional, but certainly adorable no less.

She tended to care too much, Hinata decided as she primped herself to return to the streets and score another hustle. The girl brushed through her long, inky strands with her fingers, entirely lost in thought.

She would be lying if she said she didn't suffer from a large heart. It was one on her biggest flaws as much as it was one of her greatest attributes. And maybe it was even her downfall, as well.

After redressing in her skimpy clothing, the Hyūga woman made her way back to Cherry Street in hopes of finding Deidara to figure out what the hell he meant when he told her about always getting people to do what he wants. Not only was it strange, but it was intimidating. Though he had said the words with nothing but a harmless chide in his smooth, deep voice, something about the whole thing unsettled her.

In fact, something about Deidara unsettled her.

And yet, no matter what she did, she couldn't turn away when she found herself running around the same circles as him.

"Dei?" The Hyūga woman called into the night, a shiver running up her body from the chill of crepuscule.

Her inky hair shuffled as the slight wind tossled the strands into face. She stood on the little corner for a good while, leaning onto a lit lamp post and hoping that he would come by before business did. After her second round, Hinata decided it'd be best to head home. It was crawling into the wee hours of the night, after all.

Eventually, the blonde boy that was stuck in her mind like a broken record showed his face once again. His eyeliner flew from his uncovered orb all the way to the edge of his ear, obviously from being swiped or smeered. The half ponytail that was Deidara's custom seemed to be ruffled, and his clothing was askewed ever so slightly.

"What a night," He echoed with a hollow voice, a blankness pooled underneath his steel cyan eyes. It scared Hinata, if only a little bit. She knew that feeling of residue left on the skin that could never be removed, and of being carved from the inside out. It was a common sensation amongst those who survived just for the sake of survival itself.

When you only live to not die, a dullness is often very opaque in your life. Just getting by simply doesn't have the same adrenaline soaked affect that true life does. And the really sad fact was, when one is stuck in such a cycle, they tend to be ripped of their ambitions for real living as well. At times, life is too heavy to care about experiencing.

Hinata gave him a soft hearted smile. "Y-you have no idea."

In return, Deidara snorted out a laugh. "And why do you say that, yeah? Believe it or not, Hime, but females are just as aggressive as males." He said, referring to the roughness of his night - a client being the primary source, apparently.

A shake of the head caused the boy to raise his eyebrow. "No, I didn't m-mean that... my, um, my client was actually really tolerable. I mean, I was r-robbed before... work..." Hinata was unsure of what to call her little gig of street walking. In her mind, the Hyūga had always named it her 'night job', but she had an unusual need to gain this new man's approval, and was afraid that maybe it sounded too newbie-like.

Which was funny, considering she'd been running her little circus ring before Deidara even existed in humble Konaha.

The male's eyebrows shifted from their upward slant to knit together in concentration as well as a sympathetic frustration for Hinata's situation. "Oh, shit. That sounds rough; anything salvageable?" He inquired with a flick of his tongue.

"Nothing of v-value." She warily responsed, anxious of pushing her conversation onto Deidara too much. Hinata had never really liked forcing people to talk to her when they didn't feel like it.

He blanched for a moment. "Nothing, yeah? Not even some cash?" She repeated her action of shaking her head. "Whatd'ya need to make up for... living expenses, I guess, then?"

"...$2,500. But th-that's because of... some, some family payments I have to handle." As per usual, Hinata was rather hesitant about mentioning Hanabi's chemical dependancy issues. It wasn't a dinner table topic, at the very least. And it wasn't an easy thing to talk about at the very best.

Hanabi had always been the promising one. She was the morning's grace where Hinata was a drunkren stumble. With her exceptional beauty, she could have lived an easy life as a trophy wife - a common role amongst Hyūga women. However, if Hanabi didn't want that for her future, the young girl's strength and thirst knowledge could have earned her a notable degree with ease. After Hiashi had disowned Hinata at the age of 12 because of her weak and gentle attributes, the heiress spot of Hyūga Industry was open to Hanabi like a candy shop is to a children with a hole in their pocket.

Maybe it was the pressure that got to her, Hinata mulled. Whatever the cause, it was certainly a fact that Hanabi had started with drinking at 13, which quickly morphed into shooting dope at only 15. It pained Hinata to see her baby sister fall down such a spiral, but Hinata was doing all that she could to save sweet little Hanabi. Her suffrage in order to provide for her sister was proof enough.

"Oh shit, over 2 grande, yeah?" Deidara drawled with evident shock. To her surprise, the boy didn't interrogate Hinata over what family issue could be so expensive. Instead, he just asked, "How long do you have to make it up?"

The lavender eyed girl gulped. "A week..."

Blondie sputtered with a look of terror pale-ing his face until he was able to compose himself. "O-oh," He let out a rare stutter, "damn. Just, damn. I..." Deidara let out a long sigh, leaning his head back onto the brick wall that stood just a few feet away from Hinata's position near the street lamp. The boy whipped out a classic cigarette, setting fire to the stick with a white Bic lighter. He took a slow, intimate drag from the cancerous nicotine, visually letting the smoke engulf his insides.

"Well, I might actually be able to lend a helping hand to you, Hime." Deidara smirked at the last word as smoke filed out of his mouth and nose in thick, grey clouds.

"Oh?" Hinata asked, eyebrows raised before she narrowed her soft eyes in question. "H-how so?"

His smirk widened. "I have a... deal going on. Not much of a big thing or anything, but if you can help out my dude Sasori, I'm sure he'll reimburse you, yeah. He's a good guy, even if he tries not to be." The man chuckled after his vague explanation. "We'd just need you to come along with us to talk to these guys. That's all you'd really need to do."

Hinata laughed. "You'll give me s-some cash just for t-talking to some guys with you?" Her small giggles caused Deidara's pierced ears to perk up.

"I'll give you the whole $2,500 if you can help persuade one of them with me." He shrugged carelessly, as if it weren't anything special. Hinata choked on her spit, and her mind wandered to why exactly her presence was worth so much when they were just going to 'talk to some guys'. However, being in a time of need, she decided to shut off the buzzing question in her mind. She couldn't afford to ask questions. Not with Hanabi's well-being at sake.

The Hyūga woman did her best to swallow her fears. She wasn't exactly sure what she was partaking in, nor was she aware of when and how it was about to go down, but she knew refusing Deidara's more than generous offer would have been the mosmost idiotic thing she'd ever done. Nervously playing with an inky strand of hair, she responded. "A-alright, um, if you mean it, then I'm i-in."

All Deidara could do was smile.

"Glad to hear it, yeah. Why don't we head over to Sasori no Dana's now?"

A/N: Kind of wanted to make this a lot longer, but if I did then it'd be a day or so late. So, needless to say I'm not very happy with this chapter since I don't think it has enough material in it despite it being my usual 2K words length (well, clpser to 3K but still). However, things are finally moving along. I'm assuming this story with be closer to 30 chapters long, but I also want to make chapters longer so it might just be 20 chapters.

If I made chapters a minimum of 4K words, would you guys mind me updating only once a month instead of biweekly? Or do you prefer chapters of this 2K length being updated once every 2 weeks? I prefer the first, but I figure it'd be pretty jerk-y of me to not take my readers thoughts into consideration.