Chapter 1

The light above the black SUV in the parking lot flickered on and off. Inside the SUV Alex drummed his hands impatiently on the dashboard. Alex hated waiting and his already thin patience was breaking. Angel, the passenger in the SUV looked at the time on the clock. The little green numbers burned into her eyes, 8:52 PM. She sighed and went back to looking out the window. Angel hated coming down. Your emotions were not your own, but a puppet master's who played with them seemingly for his amusement. Sending you from one extreme to the next before you even realized how crazy you seemed. A tear slid down her cheek, Ray was late again and now Alex would be mad and the night would not go well. She chanced a look at him and he caught her eye and with a disgusted snarl he looked out his own window. Angel sighed and lowered her head against the door curling into a little ball.

Alex looked over at the pathetic excuse for a girlfriend. She was beautiful when he met her. Ruby curls had framed her pale skin and made her blue eyes twinkle and shine. She was petite but her curves were in all the right places and she always attracted a lot of male attention. Including mine thought Alex. He saw her curled into the ball and thought back to when they first met. She was shy and cautious but beneath all that she had a spark. A wild side peeking through that he had seen and had taken a chance on. His hunches about her had been right and they had shared a night of unrivaled pleasure. Many more followed but with the sex came drugs. He introduced her into his world. A world that he was experienced in navigating and could control but she on the other hand was a tourist. He had guided her and helped her to learn survival skills for the situations they were thrown into but she would never be the same. Nor would he.

Now when he looked at Angel he saw what being a tourist in the world of drugs had done to her. Gone was the twinkle in her eyes. It was replaced with a hollow glassy stare that never quite fixed on you. She had lost weight and with it went her feminine curves. They were replaced with bones and taught skin covered in bruises from using. Her hair hung limply from her head like a ratty old doll's hair. The looks weren't all that mattered to Alex but more so he feared she had lost that initial thing he had craved in her, the spark. At times he was determined to pull her out of the world they now shared but he couldn't do it before he himself left and she'd have to cooperate with him. Then other times he thought about the other women. The beautiful ones that had their vices already but they fortunately weren't stripped of their beauty or attitude. One in particular stood out, Candi. She was a model hopeful that kept him interested in the sack. She did things he had never done before and that was saying a lot. He'd been around the block enough times to have it renamed after him but she'd blown him away. Not to say that Angel wasn't good, she just wasn't trained. Some days Alex liked to train her others it annoyed him. He couldn't help but wonder if Candi felt like that about him sometimes. He then brushed that thought away remembering the way she blushed at the size of his manhood. No, she wasn't going to give him up easily.

"Did you hear me?" Angel's voice broke through his thoughts. She had come out of her ball and was looking at him cautiously. At least she knew when to tread lightly.

"What is it Angel?" he couldn't keep the annoyed lilt out of his voice. She cringed at his tone and he regretted the harshness of it but was too preoccupied with fantasizing about Candi to apologize. He was mentally stripping a wet t-shirt of her ample breasts when Angel's voice drifted into his ears again.

"I'm going to use that pay phone to page Ray ok?" She always asked him permission for everything since he had accepted the role of her guide to the drug world. He nodded and closed his eyes imaginng Candi stripping for him and teasing him with a pink feather. Damn, even this fantasy's making me hot, he thought and decided to ditch Angel so he could call Candi.

Angel got out of Alex's car and walked to the phone. It was cold out and she didn't have a jacket. She shivered in the jeans and tank top she wore while she dug in her purse for some change. Tears started to blur her vision and she furiously wiped them away. Alex was her whole world and she saw how insignificant she was to him every time he looked at her, which lately wasn't often. Angel knew all about Candi and the other ones. They liked to call her and tell her all the nasty details of their trysts with Alex, because they knew she would never leave him or even say anything for that matter. She loved him too much and was scared to be without him. It was just another way the bitches felt powerful she reminded herself as another batch of tears stung her eyes. How had she gotten like this? You are weak she told herself and pushed the cold change into the slot on the phone. She dialed Ray's pager number by heart and typed in the phone's number after the beep. Angel sat on the curb in front of the phone and remembered how her life was just a short four months ago. Her friends all partied and she went along but usually hung back a little not fully releasing her inner wildness. Now she feared it was locked up too tightly inside her to ever resurface. She had become a slave to addiction and to anyone else that put half a thought towards dominating her. She had no original thoughts anymore and molded her opinion to shape who ever was inquiring of it from her.

The phone rang and jostled her out of the past. "Hello." She said tentatively hoping it was Ray.

"Hey how ya doin' sweet ass?" Came Ray's version of mafia lingo over the phone line.

"Ray, where are you man? Alex is getting pissed and I don't wanna be the target of it again tonight!" Angel pleaded over the phone. She knew how pathetic she sounded but didn't care.

"Relax baby I'm jamming out your way right now go back to Alex's pad and I'll meet you in the courtyard in 20 minutes doll". He hung up before she could respond. Heading back to the SUV she could see Alex was watching her, obviously interested by the outcome of the call. Angel opened the door and sat down then looking at her fidgeting hands in her lap she said quietly
"He wants to meet at the courtyard." Alex started the car and drove the opposite direction from his house. Angel didn't dare speak she knew he was taking her home. She bit her lip to fight back tears and when he stopped on her street she got out without protest.

"I'll call you" Alex said as she closed the door. Angel ran up her driveway and collapsed onto the chair out front. Tears violently crashed down her face as she tried to forget about him but that was impossible.