The first time Weslyn sees her she’s working the corner. Wearing short denim shorts and a black crop top with a ratty backpack placed against the wall behind her. She can’t be more than 18, he’s not even sure she’s that old. He goes to mention it to Tobis but by then the car has pulled ahead. Plus they were in the middle of something.
Let's get this straight. In this day and age in Los Angeles, there are three situations for prostitutes.
- The best is widely considered to be brothels: Mostly owned by women, offer food and shelter, and are pretty safe. Sure they take a percentage of your money but you can choose your customers, have free will, and if a guy tries anything without consent he rarely makes it out of the building and if he does it’s without his wallet. And if the stories Weslyn’s heard are to be believed, it’s without his dick either.
- The second best are pimps: pimps are usually controlled by gangs. They offer food, shelter, and drugs. But the girls have little to no choice over who they sleep with, aren’t really paid, and usually have no free will. But if a guy tries something he didn’t pay for, or that is just straight up out of line, he usually doesn’t make it out of the house.
- The worst is largely considered to be freelancers. Sure they get to keep all their money, but they have no food or shelter offered, have no way of guaranteeing they get paid and if a guy tries anything he almost always gets away and because what the girls are doing is illegal they have no way of getting any justice. Nor do they have any protection against trafficking.
So the fact Weslyn’s concerned that this young girl is working the corner is justified.
The second time he see’s her she’s crawling around in the medical waste bin behind the hospital. Carefully reading each bottle before dumping it in her backpack. She’s wearing more clothes this time, including a very clearly stolen gang jacket. He knows it’s stolen because that gang got demolished a few months back and none of the guys survived. But it’s probably enough to keep regular people from messing with her. So he doesn’t judge. He goes to call out to her but gets stopped by Nadia who tells him to get back to the club.
The third time he see’s her he’s had enough. She’s trying to brush off a gang member who’s trying to get her services. And something he only knows because of his time in the business is that this gang member isn’t just anyone, he’s a member of Los Reyes. She throws a bottle of drugs his way, but that isn’t enough for him. He tries to get her shorts off. She screams but everyone on the street ignores it, including the other girls.
“HEY!” Weslyn yells as he comes running across the street. The poor girl looks up terrified most likely thinking he’s coming over to join in. “Leave her alone,”
“Whatchu gon’ do ‘bout it,” the other guy says as he tries to shove his hand down her pants, but squirms and kicks at him. Weslyn stares at him and takes out his gun, the man looks at him before laughing, "You think I'm scared of a gun?"
“No, but I think you’re scared of getting your higher-ups angry. Don’t want Juan getting angry at you just cause you couldn’t control your dick.”
“They don’t care.”
“They will. This is Viper territory and she’s under our protection.” He cocks his gun. “And if you disrespect her you disrespect us.” The guy finally seems to understand the consequences that he's threatening. He holds up his hands in surrender sneering,
“Fine take your whore,” before he runs off behind the building. Weslyn put his gun away as he approaches the girl,
“What do you want?” she says as she scrambles back. He can tell she’s trying to school her face but she still looks like a deer in headlights.
“I want to help you.” she gets to her feet starts to back away from him,
“How? By pimping me out? Raping me yourself?” Her voice is shaky, and he can’t help himself for a second as his face slips at her reaction. “Don’t look at me like that. I don’t want your pity,” She snaps.
“You can use my help. I wasn’t bluffing about the Viper thing, I can bring you back to our headquarters and get you help.” she backs up further. “Not like that, we front as a strip club. We can offer you food and shelter as long as you work for us. You can just waitress if you want.” she still looks uncertain. “How long has it been since you’ve had a real meal? Not just food you’ve found in a garbage bin or whatever you can get the food truck guys to give you for drugs or sex, but real food?” she looks off into the distance before softly replying,
“A long time.”
“I can get you that, just come with me.” she looks at Weslyn again before sighing,
“Fine, but if this ends up being some sort of pimp situation I will bite your dick off.” He chuckles at that,
“Fair enough,” he reaches out his hand and she takes it allowing herself to be walked over to the van. She crawls into the passenger seat puts her backpack on the floor and her feet up on the dashboard. He laughs a bit at that and she scowls at him, “sorry it’s just… that's the same way Reina, my sister used to sit.”
“Used to?” is her quiet response. Weslyn nods at that. “I’m sorry,” she says softly,
“Not your fault,” he says before pulling out. As they're driving his phone pings and Wes looks down to see a message from Nadia
-u done making those deliveries yet? We need you back at the club soon.
He quietly swears, before replying with
- Nah traffics been killer I'll be back asap K?
“We’re gonna have to make a pitstop,” Weslyn says, “I got to make some deliveries to our other front which is a bar.”
“A bar? Why didn’t you tell me about that before? Instead of leading in with the strip club?” she says crossing her arms over her chest
“Well, the first reason is that this isn’t really our front, it’s our super close allied gangs front and second, no one is gonna believe that you’re 21.”
“What? For all you know I could be 27,”
“I’m not even sure you’re 18, but I'm not gonna yell at you about that because we all have to stay afloat somehow.” she looks over at him before staring back out the windshield,
“Well, I am 18.”
“Okay,” He says, but she sighs still staring out the windshield.
“You don’t believe me”
“It’s not that… it’s just I don’t even really know you. I don’t even know your name.”
“I don’t know yours either.” she snaps turning back to face him, he glances at her before saying,
“I used to have a friend named Weslyn. Turned out to be a total jerk.”
“Well I hope I’m not a jerk,” he says in response and she smiles a little before looking back out at the roads.
“Evelynn… my name is Evelynn,” she says quietly,
“It’s nice to meet you Evelynn,” he says grinning out the windshield.