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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2. That Covers Me

 

CECILY

 

“You’re late,“ Raphael barked once I arrived the next day. He was carrying a box full of liquor to the bar.

Frowning, I looked at my watch. “Only fifteen minutes.”

Quite an improvement compared to my usual lack of timing. I had spent the whole afternoon driving to almost every café and steakhouse nearby to ask for a job. Which hadn’t been very successful. And after a catnap, I had kind of forgotten time.

Raphael glared at me. “Tomorrow you better be on time.”

I gulped. He really was someone you would not want as an enemy. I nodded.

Roman approached us and Raphael instructed him to show me everything, including my “working clothes”.  A shudder passed me as I thought about those clothes that were rather tissues, and I wasn’t very far away from chickening out.  

Yeah, so much to my bravery.

Another five minutes passed as Roman fished out the slinkiest thing I’d ever seen. Red fishnet tights… leather skirt and… was that even a bra?

“You’ll get used to it,“ Roman said, much to my surprise. 

“Don’t think so,” I muttered. His kohled eyes formed to slits when he smiled at me and I sponged up that small kindness.

“So… how does this place work?“ I asked. “What should I know?”

Better get that shit over with quickly.

“There’s not so much you need to know. Do your work, don’t pick fights with the girls. And what’s most important: don’t piss off Rafe.”

Um… that may be too late.

“He doesn’t like to hear complaining,” he continued.

“Got it.” I nodded. I wasn’t going to complain. 

Roman turned around to give me some privacy, I guess, but as I took off my shoes, he pivoted.

“Oh, and no sex in here. We have VIP rooms upstairs. You can’t lock the doors though.”

And then he left without another word.

I gathered the tiny bit of courage that was left in me and got changed.

My hands trembled.

I drew in a deep breath and clenched them to fists. I hope Roman was right; he had to be. I would get used to it. I had to.

 

***

 

 

By the time the last customer left after he’d spilled almost every type of body fluid on the couches, I was ready to crawl into the next corner and sleep for the next ten years.

I was beyond exhausted.

My arms ached, my legs as well and I was sure I had some nasty blisters from those four-inch heels.

I didn’t know how I’d summoned the last piece of power in me to clean the tables and mop the floor together with some girls. The toilet – yeah, Raphael didn’t exaggerate; there was a mix of condoms scattered on the floor, together with slips and white powder on the tops of the toilet tanks.

I hated it. And I hated myself even more.

Even after taking a shower, I still felt dirty. The only thing that was soothing the ache was the money I held in my hands.

People were generous with tips. Really generous. I stuffed it into a small bag and put it under my mattress.

The next day began. Next? Well, technically it was still the same day, but I already missed half of it when I woke in the afternoon.

I grabbed a yoghurt that was soon going to expire and made a list of things I needed to do.

Not very much, I realized.

I sighed.

Okay, since those places I had applied to were probably going to ditch me, I thought about selling some of my clothes. Or my car? I didn’t need it necessarily. I could take the bus to get to the café and the club was just here.

But then, I would need to take pictures to sell it.

Which required a camera.

And a phone.

Dammit.

Okay, well then, the old-school way: I would drive to a used car dealer.

After finding the address online, I grabbed my stuff and drove to that place.

The guy was a round man with a mustache and a cigarette between his teeth.

“Eight hundred,“ he grumbled as he inspected my car.

“What?“ I snapped. “That’s ridiculous.”

He let out a puff of fume. “That’s all you get.”

Unbelievable.

“Well, thanks. But no. It’s not enough.”

“You won’t get a better price”, he called after me as I got inside.

I tightened my hand around the steering wheel. I would not give up. There had to be a better deal.

Okay, there wasn’t. I kept searching for other dealerships, but there wasn’t anyone who offered more.

Life had become a joke.

I had become a joke.

 

***

 

I could barely keep my eyes open.

“Next,” I said to the woman on the phone as I blinked away my pre-narcolepsies. 

“Yeah, wait a sec,“ she said to the one on the phone. “Skinny Mocha. And a Nonfat cappuccino.”

Okay, Kylie Jenner.

After she told me her name, I quickly wrote it on the cups. It wasn’t Kylie Jenner.

By the time I got her money, the next customer was already telling me his order.

He kept looking at his posh watch, sighing deeply. “Can you hurry? I’ve got a meeting.”

“’Course,” I said, smiling on the outside, insulting him on the inside.

It was Hell. The lines of customers didn't want to end no matter how fast Tina, my colleague, and I were working. 

"Sorry to have called you on your free day,“ she said between making two lattes. 

“It’s okay”, I said, suppressing a yawn.

She'd called me just after my shift at the club. Our co-worker needed to stay home because her kid got sick. I had been dying to get some sleep, but I couldn't say no. 

She had no back up and the money was worth my fatigue. 

Once rush hour ended, we were finally able to breathe again. 

I cleaned the tables, picked up the cups at the patio, and took out the trash. It was pleasant to not find any illegal or disturbing things at the toilets or on the couches.

I worked for six more hours till our colleague took over for me.

When I arrived at my room, I threw myself on my bed and was asleep before I could take off my shoes.

This was more than a catnap.

When I woke up, it was dark outside.

Panic crested my spine as I fumbled for my watch. Shit.

As fast as I could, I grabbed my bag and put some perfume. I raced to the club and grabbed the first costume I had found.

A gladiator?

Whatever.

I walked the narrow corridor and watched girl after girl come onto the stage and do their thing. One looked like she was really enjoying herself and others appeared bored, looking like they were off their heads on drugs.

“Sorry for being late,” I apologized to Raphael. “Again.”

I gave him an I’m-sorry-smile.

He didn’t smile back.

“I don’t need you tonight.”

My heart sank. Crap.

“I’m sorry, okay? But I’m already here. And I’m dressed.”

Or rather undressed.

“You’re late,“ he grumbled.

I closed my eyes. “Yes, I know. I told you I was sorry.”
Raphael snorted. “You think an apology will do it?”

Weariness brought out the bitchy side in me. I was tired – immensely tired.

“I can’t go back in time,“ I snapped. “But I’m here now. Let me work. Please.” I nearly choked on the last word. I was begging him to let work at a strip club? This was so low.

“I’ll let you work once I see that you’re being serious.”

God, he was so stubborn.

I balled my hands to a fist. “I am serious.”

“Really? Didn’t see it yet.”

I inhaled several deep breaths. “You will,” I insisted.

He cocked his head to his side and I was beginning to get antsy. “So? Can I stay?”

He nodded to the new customers that were coming and I understood. Before he could change his mind, I was already on my way.

“Hey,“ he called.

“Yeah?”

Sorry doesn’t bring you back the money you could’ve made if you had come on time.”

Ow. Thanks, Raphael. That was exactly the boost I needed.

I plunged into work and tried to catch up the time I had missed. The bathroom already looked like a bomb had detonated in there. And the dynamite was a medley of puke, coke, used condoms and… was that a tampon?

Oh, come on.

I sighed and started cleaning up. This couldn’t stay like that till the morning. While I was cleaning, I tried to tune out the noises coming from one of the cabins.

Which was hard. It sounded like a whole football team was fucking the cheerleader team. I guess they couldn’t wait to go to one of the VIP rooms.

As the noises got louder, I began to get the feeling I was watching some porn. Or rather getting ear-fucked on Audible. Ew.

The door burst open and almost kissed my face. Redhead Jade and two others strolled in, raising their eyebrows at me.

“Hiding from work, huh?” She grinned. “Or do you think you’re too good to work?”

“I’m not hiding. I am working.” My voice was flat.

“Well, Rafe won’t see it like that.” Her eyes dropped to my palms which were white from the coke I had been cleaning.

“Doing drugs and no working. Tsk. Rafe’ll love that.”

I smiled. “Don’t you have better things to do with your mouth? I’m sure someone’s dick’s waiting for you.”

Her nostrils flared.

“At least I don’t pick up other people’s trash. I hope you’re vaccinated.”

“I am. Are you? Oh wait, there’s no Syphilis vaccine. Just so you know.”

Her cheeks turned crimson red. Her friends looked about twice as massive as me and flanked her like guardians.

She came closer to me, grabbing me by the collar of my costume. “Careful… princess,“ she spat.

“You are nothing here. You hear me? Nothing. I can make your time here very ugly, so you better know your place.”

I slapped her hand away. “Save your breath for someone who cares about your opinion.”

This day drained the energy out of me. The last thing I needed were dumb speeches.

I walked passed her and reached for the door handle when a sharp tug at my hair yanked my head back. Slimy, cold liquid hit my face before I could gasp.

I freed myself out of Jade’s grip and wiped if off my face.  

“Are you insane?“ I snapped, already tasting that stuff on my lips. Ew.

She held a tube in her hand and sniggered. “I’ve warned you. Don’t make me angry again.”

I flipped her off and walked back to the changing room. That bitch.

“Girl, what happened to you,“ Roman said, raising his perfect eyebrow.

“Jade happened,“ I spat and looked for a towel. When I touched my hair, my fingers were slimy too.

Roman approached me and wrinkled his nose. “What?“ I asked.

“You smell like a can of lube.”

Double ew! Okay, now I really needed a shower.

“God, I hate her!” I groaned.

Roman smiled, tossing me a towel that he fished out of somewhere. I didn’t want to know where.

“Yeah, she can be a bitch sometimes.”

“Sometimes? She’s a bitch to me the whole time.”

Roman gave me a small pat on my back. “She’ll come around.”

I rolled my eyes. Yeah. As if.

I sighed and dropped the towel. “I have to shower. Tell Raphael I’ll be right back.”

I grabbed a coat and crossed the street to the motel. I showered quickly, not because I was eager to get back there, but the water was ice-cold. I had talked to the owner, but he still didn’t fix the problem with the water.

It sucked.

I washed away all that stuff and cursed Jade for the millionth time tonight. Some girls just hated me. It was always like that and it was okay for me.

I didn’t know why they despised me, even at first sight, but I knew Jade was one of them.

She was strong. I had underestimated her. Or maybe I was getting weaker.

Anyway, I would need to handle her.

I had been surrounded by worse than her. Far worse.

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