Conquer My Soul

SEQUEL TO SHOW ME YOUR SOUL
"Ace had betrayed me. Ace had used me. Ace had destroyed me."
Cecily had it all. A loving family, friends, a boyfriend whom she thought loved her endlessly - until it all fell apart. Alone and betrayed, she is driven by one thing: Payback.
Can Ace conquer her heart and save his girl before it's too late? Because only joined they can fight their inner demons and face the threats that are awaiting them…

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3. Black as The Pit

 

 

CECILY

 

A week passed and so far, Roman was not right. I so did not get used to that club. This job was harder than anything I’d ever experienced. I always thought my stamina was sufficient but compared to the women here, I looked like an old granny.

I wasn’t getting much sleep. In fact, with my two jobs and that night shifts, my circadian rhythm sucked butt nuts. I barely had time to shower, to eat or do anything except work. My muscles still ached from my last shift. Everything hurt. 

The only calming thing was the safety measures at that club. The bouncer was always watching on camera, so I knew it never got out of hand, no matter what the customer may have in mind.

I checked my hair in one of the huge mirrors and got up. Some girls went through their stretching routine, others swallowed pills that I didn’t even want to know the name of.

Ah, which reminded me. I reached for the only pill I’d ever swallow. Annoying, but my shitty period was coming too irregularly these days.

I walked down the dark hallway until I saw the stage.

“Those are mine,” a voice snapped behind me.

I turned around just to see Jade glaring at me. She pointed at my shoes.

“Roman gave them to me,” I announced.

She frowned. “I don’t give a fuck. Take them off. Now.”

 I guess she was not used to not getting what she wanted.

“There are plenty others,“ I countered, making my way to the tables. There was already a customer.

“You don’t have a say. Take. Them. Off.”

She grabbed my arm, but I reflexively pulled away. No one would touch me here.

What was her deal with those shoes anyway? They looked all the same. “I am not going to take them off.”

She shoved me. Hard. I stumbled and almost fell if I hadn’t grabbed the table next to me.

“Either you give them to me, or I make you,” she hissed, and I was starting to get the feeling this girl was coocoo. When she grabbed a handful of my hair, I raised my hand, but she held it easily. How the hell was that girl so damn strong?

With my other hand, I freed myself out of her grip. I was ready to hurl myself into her, but we got separated real quick. Raphael was between us in a hell of a speed, his fingers clenched around my arm and Jade’s.

“What the fuck is wrong with you two?” His voice was grave. And his look murderous. Yep, he was pissed.

“That slut stole my shoes!“ Jade yelled and I saw his fingers tightening around her arm.

Slut?! Oh, I wanted to smack that whore right now! I lunched forward, ready to scratch her eyes out, but Raphael easily pushed me away with one arm.

“Stop it,“ he roared. His grip was tight, and I feared he was cutting my blood flow.

“I don’t give a damn thing about your juvenile problems. Get your fucking shits together and act like professionals.”

“But she–!”

“Shut up,“ he barked, and Jade really shut her mouth. “If you don’t pull yourself together in two seconds, you can grab your things and leave. I don’t want to deal with your fucking PMS shit, so go be a bitch elsewhere.”

Jade’s face went pale. Hell, mine was surely the same.

“Are we clear?”

Jade nodded, unable to bring out one more sentence. Raphael nodded to the stage and she disappeared without even saying another word of complaint.

“And you.” He turned to me and his glare was turning my blood to ice.

“You’re still new, so I can make this very easy. Another quarrel and you’re out.”

I swallowed that lump, giving a brief nod. Arguing that she started first would be pointless and only increasing his idea of us being immature.

I headed to the kitchen, once the customer had stopped his cheap flirts and told me want he wanted to eat.

Roman was standing nearby, eyeing me.

“Catfighting with Jade again, huh?” He grinned.

I rolled my eyes.

“Congrats, hon. You’ve accomplished to do everything I advised you not to do.”

I opened my mouth but closed it. Dammit.

“You better avoid Rafe for the rest of the night,“ Roman suggested. “He’s not in a good mood.”

I raised a brow. “Just because of that fight? Seems exaggerated.”

He shrugged. “He had a bad day.”

Roman left and I turned back to my work.

After everyone’s focus was on the girls on the stage, I stayed at some corner, watching the show.

They did the splits, twisted their bodies and moved almost mesmerizingly. I was shocked how many customers were willing to put money into their mouth after it had been inside a girl’s hoo-ha.

Some were athletic and flexible, while other’s ass implants needed to be remade. I figured that the black lights were installed for aesthetics. They hid stretch marks and cellulite. It was just a side-bonus that they also seemed to bring out the semen stains in pants and shirts.

I kept watching the show and even though I hated to admit this, but Jade was kind of awesome. Her flaming red hair was like a magnet, pulling all the men’s attention. She looked like an acrobat, spinning around that pole like it was made for her.

She smiled at one of the men and walked down to him. Thirty seconds passed, and she was sitting on his lap with nothing but her thong.

Yeah… this “dance” was getting a wee bit too private. Fortunately, it ended soon when she took his hand and headed to the stairs.

Feeling kind of useless, I strolled to the bar. Raphael was on his phone, treating me like I was invisible. Which was good.

Roman was right, he had a bad day. I heard him drop a few F-bombs before he clenched his phone so hard I thought he might break it.

He slipped it inside his pocket and looked at me like he just noticed I was there.

“Don’t you have customers?“ he barked, rather harshly.

I shook my head. “They’re… occupied.”

Letting out a snort, he grabbed two glasses and poured some vodka in them.

I thought they were both for him but he surprised me when he said, “Here.”

I shook my head. “I don’t drink.”

He mustered me, trying to figure out if I was joking or not. “What are you, a prude?”

My brows knitted together. “No. I just don’t like the taste of alcohol.”

He blinked a few times. “It’s not about the taste.”

“Let me guess.” I tapped my finger against my chin, pretending to think about it. “It’s about getting drunk.”

He raised his glass. “Cheers.” He emptied it in one gulp and reached for the next one. “Believe me, if you want to survive this place, you better start drinking.”

I didn’t bother trying to argue with him. I was pretty sure Raphael wasn’t someone you could convince easily.

Besides, people deal with their problems differently.

We stayed like that, silently as I just listened to the sultry music. When the song changed, I heard a noise. A thump. And then something louder. Like shattered glass.

“Did you hear that?” I asked Raphael through all the noise.

“Heard what?”

I got up and headed to the stairs. Maybe it had been nothing? When I found myself upstairs, I definitively heard something break.

I figured it was coming from the middle room.

Before I could even contemplate about it, I tore that door open. Pieces of a shattered lamp splayed across the floor, turning the room into a dim place.

So many things were wrong, I couldn’t decide where to look.

I recognized Jade laying on the carpet and a guy taking a step to her. They didn’t seem to have heard me. Just as I noticed a piece of glass in Jade’s shaking hand, the man wrapped his fingers around her throat and shoved her back against the wall.

It happened too fast. Before she could bring her knee to his groin, he face-punched her.

She cried out and crashed on the floor.

Blood drained from my face and shock rippled through me, and then… there was rage. Pure, red rage that seized at me, making my legs move.

I grabbed the next thing I’d found – a high heel – and threw it against that guy’s head.

He gasped and turned around slowly. Blood flowed along his temple, and his lip was busted. The latter must’ve been Jade’s work.

Against my will, I took a step back as I saw the bloodlust in his eyes. He was bearlike, giant, probably around six feet four. Blood was all over his mouth, covering his teeth when he gave me an evil grin.

“Wanna end like this whore?” he grunted.

My pulse quickened. I cursed, trying to come up with a solution. I really should have considered this before. I’d let my impulse take control. Not very smart.

I glanced at Jade who was crying and holding her eye. There was a dark spot on the carpet. Dammit.

I spun around, dashing down the hall to the stairs. I needed to find Raphael, or Roman, or Schwarzenegger-bouncer whose name I still didn’t know. Everyone just called him Big T.

Being out of breath, I managed to say “Raphael” once I’d arrived at the bar. “Jade… she’s…”

He understood immediately.

Swiftly, he was already on his way and I was doing my best to keep up.

We needed an ambulance. Dammit, I really needed a phone!

Once we were in that room, Raphael launched into that guy. He moved like a ninja. Swiftly, but strong at the same time.

That guy had no time to react.

Raphael moved his arms, blocking each one of the man’s attempts, and slammed his fist right into his jaw. I heard a crack. Damn.

He hurled forward and landed on the floor, crying out in pain. Raphael was merciless; he grabbed him by his shoulder and twisted his arms painfully behind his back.

I forced my gaze away. Grabbing some sheets, I headed to Jade who was still lying on the floor, naked, crying, and bleeding.

“Here,” I said gently and wrapped it around her slim body. She was shaking, and her eye was black and swollen.

“She needs to go to the hospital. That guy, too,” I added.

A moment passed but then Raphael shook his head. “He can go by himself.”

My jaw dropped. Sure thing, he was an awful bastard who needed to pay for what he did, but not like this.

“You’re kidding. We can’t let him–”

“J-Just shut u-up,” Jade snapped next to me. She glared at me as if I had been the one causing that black eye.

“T-Take him away, Rafe!” she cried.

She didn’t need to tell him twice. He got that asshole up to his feet and ushered him to the door.

“Get away from me,” Jade said to me, clutching the sheets. As she was back in her bitch-mode, my empathy toward her dissolved. I got up.

“You need to see a doctor,” I said. If she didn’t want any medical help, it was her loss.

To my surprise, she snorted. “You don’t think I know that, you dumb-ass?”

I ignored the insults when I examined her face. It was a mess. Beneath the layers of smeared make-up, the bruises and the blood, she was just a scared girl.

She reminded me of a stray dog.

“You have no insurance,“ I guessed.

“Wow. You’re a genius.”

Despite her meanness, guilt chewed on my insides.

“I have money,” I said and immediately regretted it.

With shaking legs, she got up and reached for her thong. “Really? Oh, how noble of you! Thank you so much!” Once she dropped the sarcasm, she spat, “I have my own money, okay? And probably more than you will ever make here.”

Ouch. The money that I needed was still like miles away, but every day I was getting close to getting out.

“When you’re done being such a pain in the ass, I could offer you some help. Not money. But I can take a look.”

She snorted but stopped halfway when her face twisted in pain. “What are you, a medic?” She laughed then, not knowing that she wasn’t that far away from the truth.

I gave her a tired smile. “Would a medical student be working at a strip club?”

She shrugged, holding her eye. “Ouch. Whatever. I can handle myself.”

I rolled my eyes. “I’ll just take a look, okay? Or are you scared? Want me to call your daddy so he can hold your hand?“ I mocked, trying to trigger her ego.

It worked. She humphed and stalked past me. “I need to change my clothes. That asshole ruined them with his jizz.”

Concealing hurt behind other emotions was always one of my strengths. I guess, that was the only thing Jade and I would ever have in common.

 

She waited for me in her own personal room. No wonder she felt like the queen of this club. Everyone treated her like one and she liked it too much for her own good.

Whatev.

“If I had to wait another minute, I would’ve been gone”, she huffed but I only smiled.

Somehow, her bitchiness didn’t affect me anymore.

“Get that stupid grin out of your ugly face.”

Still, it was hard not to slap her.

“Would it kill you to be nice to me for once? Sit.” I instructed her to a small couch while I grabbed a chair.

I had been looking everywhere for a clean washcloth and disinfectant. The latter was just vodka and the washcloth… well, I hoped it was clean enough.

 “At least you’re good for something.” She grabbed the bottle and took a sip.

I took it away from her. “That’s not why I brought it.”

After a lot of screaming, complaining, and more insults, I finished cleaning up her injuries with the alcohol.

“Told you it might hurt.”

“Shut up! You didn’t say it would hurt that much, argh!”

“Lightweight.”

“Stuck-up princess.”

I shoved my thumb into her bruised cheek. “Ouch, you bitch!”

“Sorry, but I need to know if it’s broken or not.”

There was no crunching sound of fractured bones.

I palpated her orbita floor, her sinus and then her nose which was a little crooked, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t his work. Didn’t think that OMS lecture last year would become so handy.

But her eye was swelling rapidly. “Follow my finger. Do you have a double vision?”

When she rolled her eyes, I knew everything was fine. “No, I can see your stupid finger perfectly fine.”

“Nauseous? Feeling dizzy?”

“You’re annoying.” Which meant no.

Ignoring her was getting easier. I focused on my work, so I was shielded from her comments. Patients were all the same when they were hurt or scared.

I placed my thumbs next to her ear. “Open your mouth.”

“What? No.”

I rolled my eyes. “I said open your mouth, not spread your legs, Jeez. You’re familiar with both things, though.”

I grinned and she flipped me off. She glared at me while slowly opening her mouth. “More,” I instructed, feeling like in an R-rated version of Life of a dentist.

She obeyed but cringed halfway. “Ow! What did you do?”

“Nothing.” I removed my hands. “Your lip looks bad. You may need stitches.”

“Hell no!” She got up, grabbing her high heels.

“Wait. You’re not going home?”

When she didn’t answer, I headed to her. She seemed so small without the heels, fragile without the spotlight.

“Get lost,” she said, putting them on. There was a nasty bruise on her arm that I hadn’t seen before.

Working against her was getting tiring. “You need to see a doctor,” I repeated. “I think you might have a mandible collum fracture.”

“A what?”

I tapped the spot in front of my ear. “Your joint. I think it’s broken. Or maybe just partially. In any case, you need a 3-D scan.”

Her chest rose sharply. She walked to her vanity table and fumbled in her toilet bag for something. Her hands were shaking.

“I’ll put a salve on it later.”

A –? I wanted to shake her tiny shoulders. “That won’t do it. This will get worse if it’s fractured. It will swell until you won’t be able to open your mouth at all. Chewing will become painful and then impossible.”

She applied some make up over her eye, ignoring me completely.

“Jade,” I said, taking a step toward her. “You should–”

The door burst open and Raphael rushed in.

She yelped. “Ever heard of knocking, douche?”

His eyes shifted from Jade to me, and then back to Jade. “Show’s over for you,” he commanded.

Jade’s face got ten shades paler. “Screw you! I’m staying!”

Raphael mentally killed her with his look. “Go home. No one wants your beaten ass in his face.”

Nice as usual.

Jade pushed her chin forward. “I’ll cover it up like always.”

Always? Oh God. She was used to this?

“It’s too big. Your eye isn’t even fully open.”

There was silence. Her shoulders slumped. “Rafe…,“ she started and I was surprised by the pleading tone in her voice. “I… You know, I need this job.”

Raphael stayed there like a statue. Stone-cold and unaffected. “You can come back once you’ve recovered.”

Frustration dipped from every inch of her body. She groaned loudly. “This is unfuckingbelievable!” she shouted, directing her blazing eyes to me. “You! You set me up, didn’t you?”

“What?”
“You texted him! You told him that shit you were telling me!”

God, she was cray-cray.

“I didn’t. I don’t even have a phone.”

“Bull,” she spat.

Exasperated, I threw my hands in the air. “I didn’t talk to anyone, okay? And in case you’ve forgotten, he was upstairs, too.”

Once she stopped glaring at me, she looked utterly crestfallen.

“Go home,“ Raphael ordered before he stormed out.

She removed her shoe and threw it across the room. “That fucking dickhead! Stupid army shitface! Who does he think he is? Fucking bastard!”

Creatively, she continued calling him names I had no idea even existed. But once she’d calmed down, she grabbed her bag and a coat.

“Want some good advice?” Jade choked out. “Get the hell out of here as long as you can. You wouldn’t survive another week.”

She was gone.

And I just stared at my reflection.

 

I got back to work, rushing from the kitchen to the stage room, to the bar, back to the tables and then to the toilet. Repeatedly.

Everything was back to the usual, as if nothing bad had ever happened half an hour ago. The girls were doing their jobs, the kitchen-guy was in the kitchen, the bouncer doing his bouncer-things.

“How’s Jade,” Roman asked me at the bar.

“Fine. I guess. But pissed.”

He nodded. And then a shudder passed me as I thought that it wasn’t a one-time thing for this girl.

“Does that happen often here?”

He bounced his head from side to side. “Sometimes. But rather rarely. Hey, don’t worry, Big T won’t let that asshole back. And Rafe’s a pro.”

My eyes snapped. “Wait a sec. Jade mentioned the army earlier. Is Raphael a G.I or something?”

Roman shifted on his feet. He rolled his eyes. “Ex. He was on a few missions. But, you don’t know that from me. Jade shouldn’t have told you. He doesn’t like–”

“Wait a sec.” My eyes went wide. “He really was a soldier?“

Roman nodded.

I grinned.

“Oh-oh. I don’t like that look on your face, baby.”

You haven’t seen anything yet, Roman.

 

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