ii. Gigi

It's a hot, smoky evening in the club and she's down one of the empty corridors, catching her breath from her last client. He wasn't as bad as some of the others she's had in the last few months. He didn't hit her. Or burn her with his cigarette. Or laugh when she cried out in pain. He was just a boy, really. Nineteen. Or twenty. Same age as her, give a few years. She slumps down against the wall, and pulls on her newly short hair. She doesn't like the breeze on her neck, but long hair was just another weapon to be used against her by some of the men, so it had to go.

At the end of the hall, one of the other girls, Yvette, Gigi thinks, squeals and then starts to promise things in a low, husky, sex-filled voice. Then just harsh, heavy breathing. And then a door slams somewhere and the moans start.

She rolls her head back and looks up at the cracking white ceiling. Why can't one of them just be good. Decent. A nice man who'll take her away from this godforsaken hellhole, take her back to America with him, give her a new life. She wonders what a man like that would be like. Blonde, she thinks. Very blonde. She's always had a thing for green eyes, too. Cheekbones. Strong. Ridiculously handsome. Called Jonathan or Jason or Gabriel. And he'd look at her like she's the only woman in the world, not just as a piece of ass to be taken against the wall, paid and left there like litter.

"Gigi?" Yvette has re-appeared, running her fingers through her mussed-up hair. "What are you doing here?"

"Sorry," Gigi says, unapologetically, standing up and feeling her knees crack. She's like an old woman nowadays. "I'm going back downstairs."

"The Engineer won't be happy that his prize stripper's slacking."

"What he doesn't know won't kill him."

She finds another client in ten minutes flat, and takes him upstairs, and it's when he hits her that she realises the war grinds the niceness out of men, it makes them into different people than the ones they were before. So she closes her eyes and thinks of Jonathan or Jason or Gabriel, even though it's just a dream and it's never going to come true.

A/N Please review! I'd love to hear what people think! N xx