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Chapter Thirty-Five

Katya stepped out of the car when she was told, her head down, and headed for the door, lifting her head just long enough to get a good look around. Camera above the door, one of two apparently into the same building, another camera there. More on each end of the street. Windows up the wall, barred. One guard on the door. That should be enough.

The two men who had driven her across the Macedonian border were hired thugs and had picked up some fringe benefits on the drive; she had a fading bruise on her cheek from her one protest about that. According to plan there was supposed to be a backup team out there, somewhere. But she'd anticipated getting hit. A lot. A slap on the face wasn't anything to cry about and she hadn't, just sucked him off as he'd told her to. She'd really wanted to jam her new nails into his scrotum and watch his face as he bled out, but she'd resisted.

She'd also resisted clenching her fists. The packet was loaded, although until she manipulated the valve in her palm it shouldn't squirt out. But she'd been told the poison was "fast acting" and didn't have an antidote. It was also unlikely that she'd be able to use it more than once.

She had been consigned to hell for at least a week. She needed to save it for when it would actually do some good.

But if they thought she was going to do this mission without just one slaver choking out his life at her hands, they were very stupid people indeed.

"Get inside," the man on the door said, opening it and moving to slap her.

"No, I'm going," Katya said, whining, ducking her head and scooting through the door ahead of the promised slap.

"This the new bitch?"

The room beyond was dark with only a single bulb hanging from the ceiling. There was a table with some men playing poker, a few girls sitting on laps and more men along the sides.

"Katrina or something," one of the men said, standing up and walking over to her. "Look up, bitch, I want to see your face. What's your name, bitch?"

"Katya," Katya said, quietly. "They call me Cottontail."

"Are you?" the man asked, pulling up her skirt and brutally ripping off her panties. "Hey, the carpet matches the curtains."

"Good looker," one of the men in the shadows along the wall said. "She's only going to make a few euros here, though. Send her on to Italy."

"We need to know that she knows her job, first," the man standing in front of her said.

"I am good hooker," Katya said, looking down at the floor again and ignoring the torn clothes. "I was hooker in Ukraine. I know my place."

"We'll see," the man said, picking her up and throwing her on the table. "And we'll see how tight that pussy is," he added, unbuckling his belt.

"Just as tight as it was before you, Greva," another voice laughed.

Katya ignored it and thought about scratching. Just one little scratch ...

* * *

When the last dick had pulled out of her ass, a man rolled her over and slapped her. There had been quite a few of those as well.

"I'm Boris Dejti and you are ...?"

"Katya," she whispered, working her mouth. There was only a little blood from a split lip, but she'd really like to spit. She also knew she'd be hit harder if she did.

"Go upstairs and find a bed," the man said. "Then get your ass out on the street. You owe me six hundred euros tonight. That's to pay off your debt. I bought you and if you want free, you have to pay me ten thousand euros. Of the six hundred, one hundred goes towards your debt, the rest is the interest. You owe me twenty euros a day for your bed, and ten euros a day for your food. Anything else you can keep. If you give it to me, though, it pays off your debt quicker. You understand?"

"Yes," Katya said, still quietly and keeping her head down. It was the usual deal with bastards like this, but even more usurious than usual.

"We're all friends in this town, we know whose girls are who," Boris continued, grabbing her hair and twisting her head up painfully. "You try to run, somebody in this town will bring you back to me. And then I'll take the skin off of your body in little strips, you understand?"

Just one little scratch.

"I understand," Katya whimpered. "I'll be good. I'll be a good whore."

"Get to work, bitch."

* * *

She hobbled upstairs, sore in a way that she'd almost forgotten. It was a soreness that soaked at the soul, like the foul taste in her mouth, a soreness in every pore of her being and certainly all three holes that would fit a penis. She'd also lost some of her muscle control in her mouth in the time with the Kildar. She hadn't had to constantly serve men, there. Her jaw ached along with the rest of her.

There were guards where the concrete steps gave out and the wooden ones started and she began to see a few girls around, looking out of the curtained rooms on either side of the corridor. They all looked very sick. She guessed that you'd have to be very sick not to work in this place. There were a lot of girls here. Finding this stupid Natalya bitch wasn't going to be easy.

She poked into rooms, seeing the few posessions of the girls by or on most of the matresses strewn on the floors, until she came to one about halfway down on the fifth floor. There was a mattress there, like the others with no sheets and plenty of stains. And a small blanket, all the concession to survival offered to the girls in these parts.

The other mattress in the small room had stuff by it. She knew that the girls would steal anything of value, even the least little cosmetics, which was why she had hardly anything. At some point she'd find a place to hide stuff down on the street.

No, she wouldn't have to. She wasn't going to be here that long. But should she anyway? Yes, stay in cover ...

"Katya, you read?" Vanner whispered over the radio in her head.

"Uhmmm ...?" she hummed. She'd tried the subvocalization thing but wasn't really good at it, yet.

"We're in place," Vanner said. "Video and audio are coming through ... surprisingly clear. You hang tough. The teams are on track to be here. Sorry there's not a damned thing I can do until then. But we're here."

"Hmmm ..." Katya said, rolling her eyes. Vanner was such a dick. He-Man hero, hiding in some hotel. And watching everything that happened to her, but not feeling it. He was probably stroking off to the video.

"Just wanted you to know I was here," Vanner said.

"HMMM ..." Katya practically screamed.

"Got it. I'll shut up."

She tossed her bag on the bed and went back down the stairs; she had seen a sign for a bathroom down there.

The place was filthy and stinking, no surprise. But it had some hot water and she washed her face and soaked the bruises for a moment. Then she slipped a comb out from under her dress and combed her hair, making herself marginally presentable.

Time to go hang it out on the meat rack.

* * *

"Mikhail," Vanner said, looking over at one of the bored Keldara security team. "Time to build the cover."

The team had inserted as individuals, each of the men bringing one of the Keldara girls with him along with their gear and taking individual rooms at the Hotel Albana. When they were all in place, the gear had been moved to Vanner's suite and everyone had gathered there and remained there, the girls taking turns monitoring Katya while the shooters just cleaned their weapons and were bored.

But if a group of men didn't get it on a little in Lunari, questions would be asked.

"So, how do I do this?" the team leader asked, setting down the SPR from which he'd been wiping imaginary dust.

"It's not that hard," Vanner said. "Go get your car, drive around town, pick up a girl and take her back to your room. Let nature take it's course after that."

"Don't worry, Mikhail," Greznya said, grinning. "What happens on the mission, stays on the mission. I won't tell your mother."

* * *

She was already late for the first pickings around lunch and there wasn't much traffic. And she had a lot of competition.

Girls were lined up along the street outside the brothel, waving at every passing car, shouting, screaming even. She watched as one walked right out into the road and tried to stop a passing Lada, with three men in it, by standing in front of it. The driver honked and maneuvered around her at which she screamed and punched the passenger side window, letting out a stream of profanity that even Katya found impressive.

Katya looked at the women along the street and despaired of ever finding this Natalya bitch. She was just standing there, her arms crossed, when a Fiat pulled to a halt and honked its horn. She didn't even realize it was honking at her until three other girls rushed over, leaning in the passenger window, and she heard the argument.

"No! The one behind you you stupid bitches!" the man shouted in English. "Get out of the way you ugly whores. That one! The blonde!"

Katya walked up behind the center girl trying to force her way into the car and calmly kicked her in the crotch. That area was just about as sensitive on a woman as on a man, not to mention being that girl's main source of income, and the girl let out a shriek and crouched back, falling over on her stilletto heels.

"I'm just who you want," Katya said, kicking the girl blocking the door handle in the ankle and opening the door. "I take very good care of you."

"You're fucking gorgeous," the man said, embarassedly wiping at his face when he actually drooled.

American from the accent, overweight but not gross and balding. And very excited. She'd seen worse. She leaned over and ran her hand over his crotch. Well, not that excited. This was going to take some time.

"I am very good for you," she said.

"You look ... young," the man said. "Where am I going? Where am I going?"

"I have room," Katya said, shaking her head. She didn't know where the hangouts were in this town. Five minutes on the street and she was already picked up. Of course, after decent living with the Kildar, and the easy life in the brothel before that, she looked better than most of the street hookers in this town. Enough better that it actually frightened her for a second. But if Boris, the bastard, hadn't noticed anything she was probably safe.

"I've been in one of those," the man said with a shudder, looking around at the traffic fearfully. "And I nearly had my car stolen. They tore out the radio and you wouldn't believe what those assholes at the rental agency charged me to get it replaced!"

"You have hotel?" Katya asked, rolling her eyes. This was going to take extra fuck time and travel time and then she had to get back! Maybe she could work the hotel, but the security probably already had deals with other girls. Well, that was what blowjobs were for. "I can give you blow, here."

"Not here, it's not safe," the man said breathlessly.

Katya tried very hard not to sigh, the guy was such a ... what was it Russell said, a "whiner"? Stuck in that hole in Georgia, servicing kopekless farm hands, she'd forgotten about tricks like this. The scared ones, the ones that were running from everything and completely out of their element. Sure enough, he had a wedding ring. He was probably over in Europe for "business" and somehow drifted to Albania.

"We'll go to my hotel," the man said, suddenly, turning left and nearly broadsiding a van. "Could you take your hand off my zipper? I'm sort of ..."

"You need good thing," Katya said, sliding over and working more on the man's crotch. If she didn't he'd take forever to cum when they got to the hotel. He clearly hadn't had an erection in the last decade.

"How young are you?" the man said, suddenly, slowing the car down.

"I am not too young," she answered, not sure if he wanted some young thing or was afraid of her being "too" young. How young was "too" young? Was she "too" young when Ivan had raped her when she was eight? "But I am young enough to make it very good for you."

"Wait," he said, actually turning and looking at her. Since she'd gotten in the car, he'd seemed afraid of even that. "You're speaking English?"

"I speak little," she said, cursing. Fluent English, and she was fully fluent at this point, wasn't common among street whores. "How young you want me?" she asked, couquettishly, dropping her head and looking up at him from under her lashes. "I can be as young want. I am very nearly virgin," she added, knowing that would get him off. Sure enough, he actually went from entirely flaccid to having a pulse.

"How young are you?" the man said, speeding up again and running a red light. Not that anyone paid any attention to them, anyway.

"I am just turn sixteen," Katya said, stripping an easy year off her age and picking one that Americans seemed to fixate upon. "I am old enough, here. There is no problem."

"Are you sure you're sixteen?" the man said, with an edge of disappointment as they pulled up at the hotel.

"When we get to the room, I tell you real age," Katya said coyly, smiling up at him innocently and batting blue eyes through lashes again. "I give you very good time and you give me good money, yes?"

"Yeah, yeah," the man panted. "But ... I can't be seen going through the lobby with you ..."

"Give me room number," Katya said, trying very hard not to sigh. "I meet you there."

* * *

Mikhail didn't like this particular "mission," but he felt he had to set a good example. Each of the team would have to move around town and meet and ... spend time with the hookers that supported the local economy. There were a few problems with that in his case. The first was that he'd never picked up a hooker. The rest didn't bear thinking on.

He drove down the main boulevard in a surprisingly nervous state for someone who'd faced Chechens in battle. He thought that he had been fully trained for whatever he might encounter, but the American trainers had not really given him much advice on this particular skill. He could have killed some of the hookers lining the street and in many cases shouting at him. But he wasn't sure he knew how to talk to them. There should have been a training task on this. He'd have to bring it up when they got back. If they got back.

He knew he didn't want to pick up one of the hard-faced bitches that looked as old as his mother, and not nearly as pretty. They were mostly the ones that screeched from the sidewalk like crows and sometimes ran over and tried to pull his car door open. And some of the girls just looked.... He couldn't imagine doing it with them. They were just ...

Finally he spotted what he was looking for after about an hour of driving around and pulled over, waving at the girl.

The brunette practically ran to the door as he leaned over and unlocked it. She still had to hip-check another woman, one of the older ones, out of the way and tumbled into the passenger seat.

"Hello," the girl said, sliding over to lean against him. "I'm Tanya. I give you very good time."

"Mikhail," the Keldara said, putting the car in gear and trying to figure out which way back to the hotel.

"Hello, Mikhail," the girl said, sitting up. "Where are we going?"

"The Hotel Albana if I can find it," Mikhail said.

"I think you take a right up here," the girl said, sighing. "I've been there, once. Is nice. But it takes time to get there and back, so it will be more. I give you very good time for an hour for ... fifty euros."

Vanner had told him that the girl should cost thirty or forty euros but he wasn't going to haggle. One of the reasons that he'd picked this girl out was that she looked as if she knew what she was doing but she didn't really look like a whore. He just couldn't haggle with her.

"Fifty is okay," Mikhail said, frowning. Vanner had told him to just submit an "expense report." He figured one of the women would know how to do that.

"Ooo, you're nice," Tanya said, running her hand over his arm. "You are going to like this very much."

Mikhail frowned for a second and then sighed.

"Is something need to tell you," he said.

"You want special service is more," Tanya said, not looking very happy. "In ass is ten euros. You want hit, is more."

"It's not that," Mikhail said, hurriedly. "It's ... I've never done this before. Been with a ..."

"Prostitute?" the girl asked then looked at his face and stopped. "Oh. Have never been with girl?"

"Don't laugh, please," Mikhail said desperately.

"Learn early not to laugh at men," Tanya said, still looking at him seriously. "You tell truth?"

"Yes," Mikhail said, frowning. "Where I'm from ... is not much chance. Good girls ... don't. Bad girls ... leave."

"Oh," Tanya said. "Well, I show you good time. Will be okay, okay?"

"Okay," Mikhail said, smiling finally. "Thank you for not making fun of me. How did ..."

"How did nice girl like me end up here?" Tanya said, sighing. "From nice boy like you."

"Excuse me?"

"Boyfriend," Tanya said, leaning back into her own seat. "I'm with him for ... three months or so. He tells me has a friend can get me into Germany as maid. There is no work in Russia for me, so I say I'll meet friend. Turns out friend gets hookers for Albanians. Never see boyfriend again."

"That's ..." Mikhail said angrily.

"Shitty, yes?" the girl replied with a bitter laugh. "I think, maybe he not know. I love him, yes? And he do this to me. But he must know. Sometimes think of what would want to do to him if found him again. Are not nice thoughts."

"I'll hold his arms for you," Mikhail said. "If you not want to do this ..."

"I have to do this," Tanya said desperately. "Don't drop me off, please. I need to earn money. If I don't bring back money, I get beaten."

"Okay," Mikhail said, as they pulled up to the hotel. "We do this."

"You very nice," Tanya replied, snuggling back up to him. "You nice boy, nice man. I think I give you special service. I rock your world."

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