Alone. Always alone. Alone in the same way you can be alone in a crowd of people. Alone because she was never alone. Always alone.
“There’s not point fighting. You’re going to lose, Elektra. Just give up now.”
Her foot connects with the back of his knee and he falls to the hard concrete floor. She hears his kneecap break. Hears the hiss of pain in his breath. Feels his anger as he slams into her, crushing her against the wall.
“You really shouldn’t have done that.”
His hands roam her bruised and battered body. She squirms under his touch, struggling to escape his cast-iron grip. His lips take hers, biting teeth drawing blood, his tongue licking it up like a cat laps milk.
“Get off!” she screams into his mouth.
“Why the reluctance? You weren’t so difficult when you fucked me last night.”
Always fucking. Always fucking but always alone. Always fucking because she was always alone. Fucking and fighting. Fucking and fighting alone.
“Have fun last night?”
“That bloke last night. Did you have fun?”
“Oh, yeah,” she says, memories returning. Maybe a six out of ten. Nowhere near a ten. Only two men achieved that level of prowess, and one of them’s sitting in front of her she recalls. He grins at her, flashing teeth so white they should be banned.
“What was his name?”
“What?” she asks, momentarily wrong-footed. His grin only intensifies.
“His name. What was it?”
“Erm…” Truth is, a shag that rates under eight isn’t worth his name remembering. “Mark?”
He smirks at her.
“Really?” he asks sarcastically. “At least we know he meant so much.”
None of them mean anything. Nothing means anything anymore. Once, she worked for the money. Now, she works because there’s nothing else to do.
It’s dark. The rain falls in sheets, drenching her cold skin. A pale moon hovers in the sky, surrounded by thousands upon thousands of stars, twinkling in the velvet blackness. Her feet slip and slide on the sodden ground. The rough wall grates at her palm, scratching tiny cuts into the soft flesh as she stalks along beside it. And then she reaches the end, and can hide no more.
The gunshot echoes around the deserted space. She flinches instinctively, pressing her tensed body against the cold stone. Then she runs.
They meet midway. Guns are soon wrenched from their grip and thrown to the floor like discarded litter. Fists meet faces and limbs meet legs. Their punches are accurate and deadly and fast, reminiscent of a snake lunging for its prey. The fight is well-matched, the advantage switching from one to another in the blink of an eye.
He throws a punch; she blocks it. She aims a kick; he twists out of the way. And so it continues, on and on.
But then everything changes. She loses focus for a split second, and he has her. She’s pinned to the floor, arms behind her head and his triumphant face bearing down over hers. It’s all over.
But then, inexplicably, he’s the one on the floor, he’s the one pinned down by her body, he’s the one with his hands behind his head. She retrieves the gun, relishing the fear and anticipation on his face. A single shot, and crimson blood forms a sick halo around his head.
She’s smiling. Smiling in the face of death, laughing at it, goading it. Because this is what she lives for now; the heady, adrenaline-pumping rush of close encounters. That spine-tingling feeling. The brush with death.
And through it all, she’s alone.