Rylee didn’t really know why her mother did what she did, she just knew that it made her feel like an individual. It made her feel powerful, and connected to her mother in some way, even though she didn’t want her.
Raven pulled out the lingerie top and mini-skirt she had stolen from her mother's closet, and paired the outfit with a pair of heels she wore to a wedding once. Her outfit wasn't quite the look of a traditional prostitute, but, it was a start. Raven shoved her old clothes back into the backpack, along with her sneakers, and stepped out onto the street.
For hours, Raven paced back and forth on the street corner, outside a sleazy motel that flickered, "The Friendship Motel" in bright yellow lettering, getting nothing but honks from passing by cars and the occasional holler. Becoming frustrated with her lack of success, Raven began to walk off from the street corner to find a place of refuge for the night.
"Hey there, kiddo," a voice spoke from behind the girl.
Raven looked around blankly for the source of the voice.
"Over here!" The man waved from his car.
The brunette frowned as she looked at the present situation. The man that was calling to her was probably in his mid-twenties, and accompanying were two men of the same age. They were normal looking men, not the kind of trash Raven had expected. All three were well dressed and driving a nice car.
"How much?" The man in the passenger's seat asked with a deviant smirk on his face.
"Um… I don't know…" Raven said timidly, she had never considered a price. In fact, she didn't think anyone would want her to begin with.
"How does a hundred sound? Each, of course," the dark haired man in the passenger's seat offered.
The girl's eyes widened at the offer. She had never even seen three hundred dollars, let alone held it in her hands. "Okay…" Raven shrugged, getting into the backseat of the car. "So, when do I get paid?" Raven began trying to make herself as comfortable as possible. Her feet were killing her, and she had a horrible headache, likely from the combination of traffic noise and the fact that she hadn't eaten anything all day.
"Later. Don't worry, we'll get you your money, okay?" The driver reassured Raven who appeared extremely nervous.
Raven stared at her feet as she was being taken off of some unknown location. To say she was anxious would be the biggest understatement of the year. All she could do was reassure herself that things wouldn't be that bad; after all, this was what she wanted.
"So, how old are you?" The blond man sitting next to Raven enquired as he looked at her with a lustful glance.
"Um… fifteen," the thirteen year old girl lied. Luckily for her, she looked older than she actually was.
"Perfect." The man smirked as he moved his hand through Raven's long brown hair.
Raven stayed quiet for the rest of the car ride. She didn't care to ask questions.
After about thirty minutes of traveling, the car pulled up to a decrepit shack. The building was atrocious. Paint was chipping in the front, weeds were growing at least a foot and a half high, and there did not appear to be any windows on the house. Raven stared at the structure in terror, falling into a daze as she began to imagine the horrid things what were about to unfold.
"Get out." The driver instructed bluntly, ripping Raven from her daze. The brunette conformed, as she took a deep breath.
"Everything is going to be okay…" Raven whispered to herself over and over again as she exited the car and followed the three men into the hut that appeared to be in the middle of nowhere.
The inside was only a slight improvement to the exterior. The front room of the shack was furnished was a dilapidated, green couch that was covered in dirt and dark stains. Covering the worn wooden floors was a tattered rug, and in the center of the room was a small table. Illuminating the room was a fluorescent light that hung from a chain in the ceiling. In the left most corner, there was a door leading into another room that all three men had disappeared into. Finally, in the opposite corner of the room, there was another door which leads to a small closet.
"Put your shit wherever, I don't give a shit." One of the men called from the other room.
Raven examined her surroundings and timidly made her way over to the couch where she sat patiently with her backpack by her side. After a moment of waiting, the three men returned, each holding a drink of some sort. The man who had been driving threw a water bottle at Raven.
"Thanks," Raven whimpered almost inaudibly as she unscrewed the cap and took a long sip of the water.
"Get the tape." The man who had been driving ordered.
The teen's eyes widened, "tape?" She whispered to herself as she looked up at the man who was staring at her with his arms crossed and a malicious smirk. Raven couldn't begin to imaging the things that were going through his head. "So… What's going to happen?" Raven whimpered, trying desperately to be strong.
"You'll see," the driver grinned, "It'll be a surprise. Do you like surprises?"
"I guess…" Raven answered, trying to be as obedient as possible. She could feel her entire body becoming tense. She just hoped that if she did as she was asked, everything would be fine.
The blond who had been sitting in the back of the car with Raven returned with a roll of duct tape. "Stand up and turn around," he directed.
Raven took another deep breath and turned her back to the blond who grabbed her wrists with extreme force and began taping them together. Finally, Raven's fear took over; she lost control. She could feel warm tears making their way down her face as she began to shake uncontrollably. When the man finished taping up Raven's wrists he moved on and taped over her mouth, wrapping the duct tape around her head so it couldn't get lose. Finally, he taped over her eyes.
After a moment of standing upright, she was thrown to the ground and picked up by the hair when a voice whispered hoarsely in her ear, "You just entered a world of hurt, kid. You've got no idea what you're in for."
Damien used to be nice to Rylee’s mother. She knows. She’s seen videos where he loved her. He used to actually care for her, and protect her. Rylee wondered when it all changed. When they met Warren? When Warren brought home Kiara? She wishes she knew when it all went to Hell.
Late one November night, Damien was looking to pick a fight. After all, he made most of his money through mugging people he thought looked weaker than him. As he made his way through the city, he heard a sudden cry of terror.
"Let go of me, dickhead! Someone help! Please!" The girl cried from afar.
"Bitch, you thought you could escape?" Another voice yelled.
Damien was looking for some excitement, so he followed the source of the scream to find a girl, no older than fourteen wrestling with a much older man. The girl had long, dark brown hair that was matted with what appeared to be blood and bile, and she was dressed in a loose t-shirt, and a pair of shorts, she was not wearing shoes.
The man, on the other hand, was tall and blonde, and looked to be in his mid-twenties.
Damien tried to shuffle through the possible scenarios, regarding what was going on.
"Please help me!" The girl screamed again, looking at Damien, and sobbing uncontrollably.
Damien swiftly pulled out the switch blade in his pocket and stabbed the man who was harassing Raven in the thigh. While he was disabled, Raven turned around and began kicking him relentlessly.
"We need to get him out of here," Damien said, picking the disabled man by the shoulders, "grab his feet," Damien instructed. The girl did as she was told and the two carried her attacker off into a back alley.
"What should we do with him?" Damien asked with a smirk.
The brunette stared at Damien with fear and shrugged her shoulders, "I don't know." She mumbled.
Damien handed the knife to the girl as he looked at the nearly paralyzed man on the ground, "I think this one's yours."
The girl took the knife and sat down next to the blond who had attacked her, then shoved the weapon directly into his stomach as she let out a fierce cry of triumph. When she watched the man go limp and the blood spill from his stomach and onto the gravel, she lost all emotional control as she fell into hysterics and tried desperately to comfort herself.
Damien looked at the girl in shock, "what the hell was that about?"
She didn't respond.
Damien rolled his eyes and sat down next to the girl, as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. The brunette reacted in shock to the sudden embrace as she instantly began struggling and yelling phrases such as, "no" and "stop".
Damien frantically covered the girl's mouth, "You need to be quiet, understand?" He demanded.
The girl nodded her head as tears continued to spill from her eyes. Damien could feel her body shaking violently, and instantly recognized the fear in her eyes.
"What's your name?"
The brunette looked up at Damien, "Raven," she choked.
"Well, Raven, I'm Damien." The boy said, trying to make Raven feel at least slightly better. The horrible thing was, Damien wasn't trying to make Raven feel better because he cared about her or felt bad for her; it was because he was hoping that he could make her feel good enough to sleep with him. Alas, Damien's consolation efforts were ineffective. "Look, do you want to come back to my place and crash? You look like you've had a rough night… Er… Week?" Damien offered.
Raven thought about Damien's offer momentarily, but decided she would likely be safer with someone her own age than on the streets alone.
The two stood up, and looked down at the body, "What are we going to do with him?" Raven asked shyly.
"I've got an idea," Damien grinned, "Help me carry him again?"
Raven smiled pitifully as she grabbed the ankles of her attacker and helped Damien carry him off to a near dumpster.
Damien jumped into the dumpster and tore open two, large plastic bags and passed them to Raven. "Put him in these."
"We're not going to get away with this…" Raven hesitated, holding the garbage bags and staring at the body. "… And what about the blood over there?"
"Raven, listen to me, I know what I'm doing, okay?"
Raven nodded, then began shoving the body into the two plastic bags she was given. The brunette could not believe she had just murdered someone. She could feel a painful knot in her stomach, but she couldn't tell if it was because of what she had just done, or the things she'd experienced, just days before this. When Raven finished stuffing the corpse into the bag, she tied it shut tightly and handed the heavy container up to Damien. The boy dropped the body to the bottom of the dumpster and covered it with a few other, similar, black bags.
"Okay, follow me," Damien gestured to Raven as he began climbing a block wall, into a residential backyard.
"What the hell are you doing?" Raven crossed her arms, "and… I can't climb that," the girl protested.
"Fine, just wait here," Damien said as he hopped down from the wall into the yard. Moments later, he returned with a garden hose that was running water. Raven felt her jaw drop open.
"You can't just -" Raven began objecting to Damien's actions, when he cut her off.
"Raven, I swear to God, stop it. Listen to me. I know what I'm doing." Damien told her as he sprayed off the bloody wall and gravel. The two stood in silence as they watched the puddles flow away, and into a nearby storm drain. Damien threw the hose back over the fence and the two walked off, back to Damien's house.
As the early morning hours grew closer, both Damien and Raven found they had trouble sleeping. Raven couldn't get the images her kidnapping out of her head, and Damien couldn't stand Raven's constant sobbing throughout the night. Becoming frustrated, Damien entered the room where Raven was lying to attempt to console her, and possibly, make her be quiet and go to sleep.
"What's wrong?" Damien asked, nudging the girl with his foot.
"My life," Raven responded numbly, with tears in her eyes, "I ran away from home because my dad used to hit me and my mom kept trying to kill herself, and then from there horrible things just kept happening to me. Maybe, my mom had the right idea."
Damien rolled his eyes. Having never felt emotions before, Damien had little tolerance for over dramatics. "Well, what happened when you ran away? I mean, I've been living on the streets for three months or so now, and I've been fine."
Raven said nothing as she pulled off her shirt to reveal a collection of haunting injuries. Her back and stomach were covered in dark blue bruises, paired with a series of deep slashes, caused by a whip, and finally in the upper-right corner of her back, there was a large burn that was caused by oil, oozing with a clearish fluid.
Damien's eyes widened as he looked at Raven's wounds, "Dude, what the hell?"
Raven began crying harder as she put her shirt back on, "They had me for almost a year," the girl bawled, "It was January when they took me."
"I don't know what to say to that. I'm sorry, I guess." Damien affirmed, pulling the girl closer to him, "I won't let anyone hurt you, okay?" Damien offered.
The teary eyed girl nodded her head pathetically. Damien looked at her and smiled as he wiped the tears off her face. "Can I go to sleep now?" Damien pleaded slightly.
Raven sat up and nodded again. Damien got up and began walking off.
"Hey… Um… Damien?" Raven began.
Damien turned around to looked at Raven, "What?"