A.N: Hello and welcome! Please, keep in mind that I wrote these first few chapters in 2009 when I was 17 so I hope my newer chapters have improved somewhat because there's things I'd like to change in the first few chapters if I were to ever do a re-write. I hope you enjoy this story. Thank you!
She's standing outside of the Red Daisy nightclub with her arms folded tightly against her bare midsection as the cold air clings to her pale skin. She needs a cigarette but she doesn't want to stay outside for longer than necessary.
The loud music makes the floor beneath her vibrate wildly. Her heart's racing and she can't seem to catch her breath. It doesn't seem right that this place, her place of work, is situated awkwardly beside a lake. It's so contradicting, something perfectly natural paired with something so perverted. The water swirls in the moonlight and she tightens her arms against her.
She watches her breath coming out in white puffs of condensation that make it seem as though she's already smoking. The click clack of high heels fills her ears as somebody approaches.
"You finished for the night?" her co-worker Samantha asks as she leans against the wall beside her and lights her cigarette.
"Yes. Thank god," she answers and smiles awkwardly.
Samantha smiles back; she honestly can't see what's wrong with being a stripper so she doesn't agree.
"Your hair looks really good," Sam comments as she reaches over and touches the ends of her blonde hair.
"Thanks. What was your name tonight?" she asks, trying to be as polite as possible.
Sam suddenly pulls off the red shoulder length wig she's wearing; "I'm Ashley tonight. I always wanted to be an Ashley and it seems to match the red hair. How 'bout you?"
She tries to smile, but it's too cold to move, "Tonight I am Fay." She shrugs and looks away.
Sam laughs and rests the heel of her boot against the brick wall, "Nice to see you Fay."
Fay smiles. "I couldn't think of a better name," she admits.
"It suits you," Sam comments as she blows out another puff of smoke.
"Thanks," Fay says, gratefully. "Well, I'm going to go home." She smiles and waves before walking deeper into the shadows surrounding the club.
She doesn't want to go home. Suddenly she can't think of anything worse. She watches the club disappear behind her and when she's satisfied that she's as far away as she wants to be she walks over to the waters edge and leans against the wooden rail. She wants to disappear into the depths of the murky water but she isn't brave enough for suicide. She shakes her head and laughs at herself a moment later; she's also too immature to really consider it.
She doesn't notice a young man watching her from where he's sitting on the jetty. He doesn't want her to notice him.
She smiles to herself and tries hopelessly to pull the glittering silver costume down over her stomach. She wants to dip her feet into the water, just looking at it is a waste.
She walks halfway down the jetty before she realizes someone is sitting there in the darkness. She's tempted to turn around but the nights too good for running away.
As she walks closer to the figure she realizes it is a man, no a boy. He must be around eighteen.
She sits down self-consciously and folds her arms across her chest. It's too dark to tell if the boy is good looking but it's obvious that he's staring. Music can be heard faintly from the club.
"What?" she asks angrily, "You want a lap dance?"
His eyes widen. She's not sure what that means, maybe she's scared him. She remembers being eighteen; things scared her easily, too.
After an awkward moment he shakes his head. She smiles and takes off her heels before dunking her feet into the freezing cold black water. She gasps softly; it's even colder than the night air.
The boy starts laughing softly and she narrows her eyes.
"What are you laughing at?" she asks, taking stored anger of this miserable night out on him.
He bites his bottom lip and shrugs. She rolls her eyes.
"Can you talk?" she asks him after another silent moment.
"Of course I can," he answers in a voice that sounds too deep to belong to a boy of his age.
"What are you doing out so late?" She asks. She likes being the one to ask the questions for a change.
The night air blows around them while he thinks to himself and she watches the moon as it's reflects in a broken circle against the lake.
"I needed inspiration," he says in an unconfident tone.
"A story I'm writing."
Biting her tongue, she nods and closes her eyes as the water turns her feet to ice. She doesn't like stories.
"What's your name?" the boy asks, and she opens her eyes to looks over at him.
She's tempted to say Fay but Fay seems such a boring name now as she sits beside the water with a stranger who wants to know her name.
He watches her twist her fingers uncomfortably together and notices the chipped black polish on her nails.
"Real names make things complicated," she answers, "You can call me Audrey. I always hoped I'd be like Audrey Hepburn as I grew up, but the closest I get now is black dresses and cigarettes." She laughs; feeling uncomfortable with her honesty.
The boy raises his eyebrows slightly; he can't speak for a moment. "I'm - " He begins but she interrupts. "Don't tell me your real name," she says, shaking her head. "Make one up."
The edges of his mouth twitch and he draws an invisible circle with his index finger on the wooden planks. "Call me Daniel."
The moon shifts slightly in the sky and she sees Daniel's face clearly. Maybe he's older than eighteen. She isn't sure anymore. He seems like a quiet boy and his looks seems to match his personality; He's quietly good looking. She notices his cheekbones before anything else, and the crystal of his blue eyes.
He looks like Daniel the writer, she concludes, even if he isn't really called Daniel and he can't find inspiration.
"How old are you?" she asks curiously.
He seems embarrassed, "I'm seventeen."
She widens her eyes, "You seem older than that."
He smiles, "How old are you?"
She runs her black nails through her blonde hair and rests her arms over her head for a moment. She could tell him the truth, she could blurt out that she's really only three years older than he is. She sighs, "How old do you want me to be?"
She hates the way her voice cracks and she sounds more like a stripper than ever before. He seems like he wants to laugh out of awkwardness but he's too afraid of hurting her feelings.
She shakes her head and laughs at herself, "Just forget I said that. But my age doesn't matter. Names and ages are just facts and I don't like facts at all." She's too used to hearing the businessmen at the club talking about facts as they choke on a cloud of smoke and shove bills into her underwear.