They were done. She got dressed, he paid her from the blankets, she beckoned at the door for him to leave. Just like that. Sex, payment, get dressed, then you go.

Edward found he couldn’t get out of bed when Iris wanted him to. “What are you waiting for?” 

she picked up his clothes and threw them at him. Still Edward couldn’t move. Something was missing. Why didn’t it feel like the way it felt yesterday? This time around it was rushed. He felt cheated. Was that a quickie? Was it his fault that he ejaculated way too soon before the climax could be reached? He didn’t move, still in the sheets. He glanced at her with questions in his head. How could she just sleep with him and then demand him out of the room the minute they were done? What happened? 

He remembered who she was. “She’s a beast, yo!” She’d probably forget about him a week later, or maybe she will the minute he’s gone. This was just a job to her, that’s all it ever was; no excitement, no emotions to be derived from it. How else could she have afforded the pink and purple theme set of this room and this strange yet lovely strawberry smell which never left the air? At these thoughts, Edward began to feel the chills in him. 

How many men were in this exact spot he’s on right now on this bed? That tall dark man with a bald head for instance. 

Edward jumped out of bed and dressed. “It was really nice. I enjoyed it,” he lied. 

Iris gave a halfhearted nod and pointed to the door. 

“Yesterday was my birthday, you know. I’m 23 now.” He waited for her to say something, but she didn’t. To her he was as good as nonexistent. 

“Come to think of it, you actually the best birthday gift I’ve ever bought myself,” he spoke again, waited for the effect of his words to register. 

Not that she saw any reason why she was told of this, information she could have carried on without, Iris acknowledge his presence with a stare, said: “Really now?”

“Yes,” he grinned, glad that he could get her to look at him and talk. 

“That’s good, I guess,” her voice as nonchalant as her energy. He awed at how she could be so athletic when they were doing it, to being so chill and light when they weren’t. Where’d she’d get that energy from? 

“I’m going to need you to leave now,” she opened the door and pulled him to it. 

“Wait, wait, are you always this hostile?” He asked her. When she gave no answer, his glare roamed around the room. “Nice place.”

She didn’t say thanks or thank you. 

“I’ve been meaning to tell you, I just love the odor of this place. Did you spray any–” he didn’t get to finish because she was shoving him now. That beast energy had returned.

“Look, if you don’t leave now I swear there’ll be trouble,” Iris said. 

“Are you threatening me?” 

She started to yell for a name he didn’t hear as a local, probably Brazilian or Argentine. 

Disario, as Iris had called out for, filled the doorway with his physique of big arms; muscle fused with fat. He appeared out of nowhere. Even when Edward walked in this building in two occasions he had never seen him. 

“Is there a problem here?” His voice was more like a boom, he sounded the way he looked. His scowl made his eyes smaller. There was no telling of what was going to happen next. But the presence of such a man, yelled for in such an urgent female voice didn’t mean a good thing.

Edward gave a quick reply before Iris could speak. “Not at all, sir. No problem. We were just having a minor disagreement, nothing we can’t resolve ourselves, isn’t that right?” He turned to look at Iris. He could sense danger when she opened her mouth to talk, so he pulled out his wallet in a split second. “I’m willing to settle for whatever price you wish to charge, lady,” he smiled at her. “A misunderstanding of the price, that’s all this is really,” he said to Disario, but his smile didn’t soften the big man one bit. 

For a moment there seemed to be no movement between the three. Clearly Disario was waiting for a signal from her to do something; to do something to Edward. Iris nodded at Disario, he looked at Edward one last time before leaving. She shut the door behind him.

“What do you want?” She asked. 

“You, I think,” it came out a blurt he himself was as surprised as he thought she would. 

Iris wasn’t, she may have not heard him. Edward watched her prepare the bed. 

“What spray do you use for the scent around here?” 

Again, she ignored him, only focused on fixing up the bed to its normal form. One wouldn’t tell she was a prostitute. He perceived her to have gone through some major hardships for her to end up with this sort of life. 

“Preparing the bed for the next one, huh?” That was ignored as well. “How many youservice in a day?” Ignored. “Or do you fuck them like you did me?” 

She snapped at him in an instant, “don’t make me yell for Disario again! You are such a –” he tasted the remaining words as he forced his mouth to hers, silencing her with a kiss. Her eyes grew big, she slapped him away from her wet lips. He held his cheek in amazement. How could she sleep with him, yet hit him so hard for just a simple a kiss? Or was he also supposed to pay for the kiss as well, if so then how much?

“I love you, Iris,” he said, with a hurt voice. “I can save you from this – from this life.”

“Fuck you, I don’t need saving,” she screamed at him.

He reached out his hand to grab her but she slapped his hands away. There was a struggle, he eventually held her but she squirmed out of his grasp and yelled for Disario, very louder this time.

In less that four seconds the big man bulldozed his entry through the door it bounced on the wall, the key fell from the keyhole. Edward trembled in one spot. 

He knew he should make a run for it but there was only one door and on its way, was Disario. Edward was left with no choice but to speak quickly like he did before, talk the man down and explain. But what was there to explain really? 

One look at Iris’ face convinced Disario that he needed to act now. He also felt angry at himself because he should have acted earlier when the situation was not as bad. He no longer cared to hear what this kid planned to say. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice….

“Listen, bro, please listen,” Edward raised his hands above his face as the means of defense. “Listen. It’s not what you think it’s not–” he too was silenced, not with a kiss, but with blows to the face. Blows to the body, with quick, fat and hard knuckles. Last thing he remembered was falling to the floor. Last thing he heard was Iris’ wailing as she tried to push Disario away. Last thing he felt was a shoe on the neck. Passed out…