Chapter Fifteen: Worth Angel slammed the club's back door open; letting a blast of cool August air hit her in the face. Every once in a while, she would get these crazy offers from clients. They expected her to do anything. A guy wants to see her bend over for a dog; she's expected to do it. Someone needs a star for a taboo or snuff film, she's supposed to follow, no questions asked. And they all get stark raving mad when she turns them down. The thought of doing some of the stuff she's asked to do, it was enough to make her stomach churn.
Hence the reason she now found herself outside, in the shadows of the back of the club, in nothing but a bra and bootyshorts. "Hey you bitch!" A hard smack landed across Angel's cheek as she turned toward the voice.
The smack caught her off guard and she lost her balance. Landing on her side, Angel turned quickly to look up at the man whom had just offered her a grand to partake in beastiality.
"You disrespectful little cunt!" The man reached down and snatched Angel by the throat, straddling her body.
Angel couldn't lift him. He was bigger and stronger than her, and she had been working long hours the past few weeks. Physically, she was exhausted. The man gave a firm punch to the side of Angel's face, followed by a few to her stomach and ribs. He grabbed hold of her thin bootyshorts and ripped them clean off of her.
Angel tried to scream, but his grip on her throat got tighter. She thrashed, clawing at his legs and arms, even trying to reach up and claw his face. But another punch to her ribs was enough to stop her thrashing, if only for a second to catch the breath that was violently pushed out of her lungs.
The man gave a hard slap between her legs, causing Angel to jolt and thrash again. "Your filthy loose pussy could easily take a doggy dick, you sick cunt!" Again Angel clawed at him, thrusting her hips up at him in an attempt to buck him off of her.
He gave her face another slap, his grip tight enough on her throat that she couldn't even barely gasp for breath. Angel clawed at the dirt, trying to throw handfuls of it in his face.
Nothing phased him. He just continued to maul her. +-+-+ Unsure of which way she went, Rich pushed the back door of the club open. It was an emergency exit, but the alarm had long gone out, and many of the dancers used it to step outside for a cigarette between their performances.
It was likely Angel would be outside smoking, or pleasing a client. He heard them before he saw them. The sound of an obvious struggle; thumping, cursing, gasping, even soft pleading whimpers between derogatory remarks. Either Angel had just taken on a client who enjoyed things a bit on the rougher side, or she was in trouble.
Rich quickly spotted the struggle.
The man was straddling her, pinning her to the ground. His back was to Rich, so Rich couldn't make out the entirety of what was happening, but Angel's desperate thrashing and clawing at the dirt made it obvious to him that this was not business.
This was trouble. In a blur of movements, Rich was on top of the man, ripping him from Angel's writhering body. With all his might and anger, he threw the man away from her, before quickly pinning him down to further release his anger on the human punching bag. The two men struggled while Angel still laid on the ground, gasping as air quickly entered her slightly purple lips.
Rich pulled his pocketknife out, flicking it open and pushed it's blade to the man's throat. A thin line of crimson slowly appeared under the metal blade. "What the hell's going on here!?" Angel recognized Dante's distinct voice, but was still too weak and breathless to attempt to sit up and greet him. Rich looked up to see Dante, just outside the door, his brow furrowed, and eyes wide as he watched the trickle of blood run down the pinned man's neck.
Rich released the man beneath him, standing, his knife still in his hand. The man quickly scurried away from Rich, to his feet, and then darted around the corner of the building, holding his bleeding neck in one hand.
He would be fine, the cut wasn't deep, but it was enough. He may not scar physically, but mentally, he would scar for life. Rich and Dante locked eyes. Dante's eyes were full of shock and concern; Rich's were filled with a red-hot anger.
Angel gasped again; her gasp was almost a whimper, making both men turn to look at her. Both men started for her quickly, each concerned. Dante got to her first. "Angel, what happened? Are you alright? Angel." Rich grabbed Dante's shoulder, ripping him away from her, making Dante stumble backwards.
He let out a low growl as he put himself between Dante and Angel. "Don't pretend to be a knight in shining armor." He bent down, sliding one arm under Angel's back, the other under her knees. Lifting her, he cradled her body to his chest protectively before turning back to Dante.
"You're just another scumbag who buys sex from cheap whores. Don't pretend you care about anything than your daily piece of ass," he spat at the man. Dante's face was one of instant shock, almost hurt by Rich's statement. But he could see why it would seem true. Although he cared for Angel on a deeper level than that of just a piece of sex meat, he paid for her business. He was no better than any other pervert, and he had no choice but to let the two of them go, watching them disappear behind the club's back door.
+-+-+ The door slammed behind them as Rich carried Angel back inside the club. He then shoved his way through the door to the men's restroom, startling a man at one of the urinals. "Out!" Rich shouted at the man, who jumped enough to miss the urinal with the last bit of his stream. Rich sat Angel on the edge of the sink as he heard the zipper of the man's pants fly up, but then his glaring eyes, still filled with his red-hot anger, looked up at the man as he reached for the sink's faucet.
The man froze, and looked at Rich, then, quickly getting the hint, hurried out of the restroom without washing his hands.
Rich turned back to Angel. Although the red-hot anger was there, it quickly drained from his expression and was replaced with concern. "Angel, look at me," he spoke softly, still concerned with her gasping for air.
Obeying out of pure habit, Angel's gaze shifted to his face. Her eyes were spaced, and she clearly was not in any conscious frame of mind. "Can you talk?" Angel gasped a few more times as she tried to summon the strength to form cohesive words. "I…" gasp "I'll be…" gasp "fine…" The assurance was not going to satisfy Rich, but at least she could speak, and comprehend what he was saying to her. Rich ripped off a paper towel from the near by towel dispenser and quickly ran it under warm water from the sink.
He then set to work gently washing the dirt off of Angel's body, starting with her face, then down her arms. He ran his fingernail under each of Angel's, gently removing the dirt that was lodged there. When he finally worked his way down to Angel's legs, her body was shaking. It could have been the air on her now damp body, chilling her from the outside in, it could be her system slowly recovering from her near asphyxiation, or it could have been shock from the entire experience.
Rich wasn't so sure. He rewet the paper towel and continued on Angel's legs. When he began to work his way between her thighs, she jumped, clamped her legs together, and whimpered. It was a sign that she wasn't completely coherent. Normally, she would never shy away from his touch, not even if it was laced with punishment.
"Shh," he soothed, gently prying her legs apart and wiping the dirt away from them.
He then pulled her forward, having her rest her head on his shoulder as he wiped the dirt from her back. Her body still shook, and bumps had begun to form on her bruised flesh.
He finished wiping the dirt from her back before he unclipped her bra and slipped it from her shoulders. Pulling the soiled bra from her, he sat her back upright as she shivered and tried to cover herself with her arms. Rich tossed the bra at the trashcan, not paying enough attention to know whether it went in or not.
Rich pulled off his own shirt, "here." He held it above her head, and swiftly lowered it over her. Her body safe inside his shirt, she slowly extended her arms through the sleeves before cradling herself once again.
Rich then ripped off another paper towel and again, wet it. He then, ever so gently, put the towel between her legs, and softly pressed it to the red inflammation there. Angel jumped at his touch, and she let out a pained whimper. "Let it sit there a bit," Rich moved the hair from Angel's face.
A few bruises were forming on her cheeks and around her eyes. But, she was calmer now. The bumps on her skin were gone, and her breathing, although it was still ragged, was at least at a better pace. Rich lifted the shirt on Angel's body to look at the reddish bruises already taking form and color on Angel's ribs and stomach. Even her thighs were bruised. "Want to tell me what happened?" Angel tensed, rolling over the memory of what happened, "he wanted to pay me to watch me fuck his dog." "And you said no?" Angel couldn't tell if Rich was asking for the sake of asking, or if it was rhetorical and he was surprised.
She responded with silence. "So he followed you outside and beat the shit out of you, because you said no." It was a statement, and required no response. The anger in Rich flared up again, and Angel could tell he was doing his best to hold it back. She was grateful, since she wasn't sure if it was anger towards her or the other guy.
Rich took a deep breath before pulling Angel back to him to rest her head against his body. He gently placed a kiss on the side of her head as he pulled a few pieces of dirt from her hair. "It's ok, baby girl." Another kiss to her head. +-+-+ Upstairs in the balcony, Rich looked down at the stage as Ginger Snapz, a petite and busty redhead, was swinging around the pole, center stage.
He watched, but his interest had long died. He wanted to go home, put Angel in his bed and then go after the guy who had beat her, only an hour prior. But he couldn't. Ginger, and a handful of his other girls were still working the club, and he needed to collect their earnings still. He also needed to be there in case trouble struck with them too.
So, despite his need to continue to pummel the man who hurt his prized girl, he stood there in the balcony, watching the girls work below, with Angel, there in front of him, wrapped in his arms. She too was watching.
Grateful to be let off the hook about working the club, but fearful that she was going to be headed back to the motel. Back to Frank. Because some dirt bag decided that she had no right to refuse his business. Was it worth it? Refusing his business? The pain coursing through her with every breath said no.
Was this life worth it? She wasn't so sure anymore.