I couldn’t sleep that night. The feeling of his aggressive hands wouldn’t leave my body. My body felt dirty, I felt used. Every time I shut my eyes I saw his face. I saw the expression he made as he forced himself into me. He looked pleased with himself. He looked like he was having fun. I doubt he even regretted what he did.
There was no way I could stay here anymore. My life was in danger no matter what I did, but my best bet would be to get back in my boat and leave. If I stayed, Hawthorn would eventually kill me, or I’d get caught by the authorities. Who knows what they’d do to me there.
But leaving here could also kill me. I was lucky last time, there was no guarantee I’d be as fortunate this time. There were so many things that could go wrong. My boat could capsize, I could run out of food, or I might not even find Sunset Valley. I didn’t have a compass or any other type of thing to guide me there. I found Bridgeport by chance, and there was no possible way I could be so lucky again.
If I did leave, what would I tell Dimitri? Just yesterday I told him I would stay, that Hawthorn’s abuse was something I could manage. I couldn’t just change my mind randomly, he’d get suspicious. Telling him what Hawthorn had done to me wasn’t an option either.
What was I going to do? Many months ago I would’ve loved to be in this situation, where no matter what I did I’d have a chance of dying. That wasn’t the case anymore. I’d forgiven myself for what happened. My suicidal thoughts were gone, now they were replaced with thoughts of survival.
“Hey.” Dimitri open poked his head in my room. “Can I come in?”
“Sure.” As soon as I responded he hurried into my room and shut the door.
“Are you doing okay? I heard about what happened last night.” Last night? Did he find out about what Hawthorn had done to me? No, he wouldn’t be so calm. He’d be up in arms about it, asking me if I was okay or if I needed any help.
He had to be talking about something else. But what? I could barely remember what happened last night. All I did was go to work and come home before it happened. Wait, work! He was talking about the new job requirement the boss gave me.
“I’m nervous.” Was all I managed to choke out after a moment of silence.
“What are we gonna do?” He sat down on the bed next to me. His use of ‘we’ made me feel a tiny bit better, it was nice to know I wasn’t completely alone.
“I don’t know, but I don’t know if I can stay here anymore.” I admitted. Leaving was dangerous, but it was my best chance at surviving, it was also my only chance at seeing Ash again.
“That’s not a good idea Jazz.”
“Why not?” I asked skeptically. Just yesterday he was asking if I wanted to leave, now he was saying I shouldn’t?
“There’s a storm coming, the water’s aren’t safe right now.” His expression was hard to read, he almost looked happy about the storm.
“Shit, what do you suggest I do?”
“We could just keep you here, I’ll explain to Hawthorn that it’s not safe for you to work there. We could look for a different club for you to work at.” He suggested. The idea of not fulfilling the only living requirement Hawthorn had scared me. He and Dimitri had different nights off, and if I wasn’t working there would be nights when Hawthorn and I had the apartment to ourselves. There was no telling what he’d to do me with extended periods of alone time.
“No. I wouldn’t feel safe if you weren’t working besides me.”
“Well, the sex is only by request, so maybe if we make you less desirable, you won’t get many requests.” He suggested. The idea was actually a pretty good one, it wouldn’t work forever but it would buy us some time.
“I guess it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.”
The next day we were on edge. Both of us had shifts tomorrow night, and we weren’t entirely confident in our plan. Many of our patrons were fat, balding, unmarried men. They’d fuck anything with a pulse. Making me look undesirable to those men wasn’t a fool-proof plan. To try and ease our tension, the two of us tried to watch a movie. I don’t think either of us were paying attention though. There was too much on the line right now to enjoy it.
The movie wasn’t even a good one, and as I started zoning out I glanced out the window. I did a double-take, my eyes practically bulged out of my head. There were little white flakes falling from the sky like rain. I’ve never seen anything like it.
“What the hell?” I swung around and looked out the window. Thousands of white flakes fell from the sky, collecting on the ground and making everything white. Dimitri looked out the window after me and smiled.
“Oh, it’s snowing.”
“What the hell does that mean?”
“It’s basically frozen water flakes. I’m guessing it doesn’t snow in Sunset Valley?” He asked with a chuckle.
“No, I’ve never seen anything like this before.” I gazed out the window, not caring that my awe was childish.
“Well go put on some warm clothes, let’s go play in it.” Dimitri gave me a mischievous smile before taking off down the hallway.
It wasn’t long before Dimitri and I were running out of the elevator and into the snow. My feet were completely buried in the stuff and I felt like my toes were freezing off, but I haven’t felt so free in a long time. Dimitri stuck his tongue out to catch some flakes, and I couldn’t help but imitate him.
It took a few minutes for our euphoria to burn out, but as soon as it did I remembered where we were.
“Dimitri, is it safe for us to be out here?” I jogged over to him, almost slipping multiple times.
“It’s a week day, everyone’s at work. And if they’re not, they won’t come outside due to the snow. We’re safe, I promise.”
“If you say so.” I sighed and glanced around nervously. I trusted him, but I still couldn’t help but feel exposed and unsafe.
“C’mon, let’s make snow angels.” He giggled girlishly and fell back into the snow. I watched as he waved his arms and legs back and forth ridiculously.
He looked so stupid, I couldn’t help but join in. Although it was freezing and I felt like my ass would fall off, I was having a lot of fun.
It only took us a few minutes to complete the snow angels. They weren’t perfect by any means, but we didn’t care.
“I think I’m gonna freeze to death.” I joked as I dusted snow off my jacket.
“Yea, that happens.” He shook his hair out like a dog, sending bits of snow all over.
We spent some time just running around and throwing snow at each other until it started to get dark.
“Shouldn’t we get inside? People are gonna start getting out of work soon.” I asked, slightly breathless from the running we’d been doing.
“Nah, we’ll be okay for a few minutes. There’s just one more thing I wanna do.”
“What?” He didn’t respond, he just walked to a spot of snow we hadn’t touched yet.
“Here, help me.” He started to pull a bunch of snow into a pile. I didn’t exactly understand what he was doing, but I followed his lead anyway.
“What are we doing?” I asked, after a few minutes of piling snow.
“Be patient, Jazz.” He laughed. I chucked a handful of snow at him.
“Fine.” I huffed and continued making whatever it was.
“There.” Dimitri placed a top hat on the figure.
“What is it?”
“It’s a snowman. I used to make them all the time when I was a kid.” He smiled.
“It doesn’t look like a man.” I stated, making him giggle and shake his head.
“Come on, let’s go warm up.” He wrapped his arm around my shoulders and guided me inside, the two of us laughing about our day in the snow.
All the fun almost made me forget last night. Almost.