Sorry to anyone following me, but there won't be an update of any of my recent work for a while. Late for joining I know, but I decided to hop on the NaNoWriMo group. I actually just finished one novel (which will never be seen as long as I have something to say about it) with my creative writing class so though I did it, I didn't do it with the month. This is my last week of classes before midterms and Thanksgiving break, but seeing as I have no classes after this Wed, I figured it was something to do. There is going to be a whole lot of errors in this but seeing as I'm going for words more than anything, I'll go back and edit when I have time. So wish me luck in this!

On first glance, Arthur Kirkland was completely normal in every way. He was seen by his neighbors every morning when he would get up and leave for his job (though no one really knew what that job was). And he would go out with few people who would occasionally come to pick him up. His house that rested in a quiet area of London was normal looking. Yes, on first glance, Arthur Kirkland was completely normal. This of course, was exactly what he wanted all of the people around him to think. If he could pass off as an average bloke, then who would ever guess about his other life. The other side of the coin as some people would say. Yes, contrary to popular belief, there was a dark side to Arthur, and very few would have ever guess.

It was night, and Arthur was getting ready to head out with his group. They were a small group, but they stuck together very well. It was him and Francis Bonnefoy, a Frenchman with blond hair and blue eyes who he had known since childhood. With him also came his friend Gilbert Beilschmidt. An albino German man with red eyes who was constantly getting on Arthur's nerves. The three of them, along with another man, Antonio Fernandez Carriedo, were a well-known team in their professions. They each had a trait that made them the best in their trades in all of Europe. Though Arthur had a day job too, working at a day-care, it was never enough. He had dreams. He longed for a day when he would become a recognized artist. He loved painting and drawing. In fact the only reason he had gotten into this business was because he hoped that he could get enough money to go off and fulfill his dream. That was what drove him and what kept him in this business through the past five years. Being only a man in his early 20's, it was something to be said that he had already at least made a name for himself in this business. Though of course, he used a secret name for when he would do his job.

That's right, his job. He hated it so much. He hated doing the dirty work for others and only getting a small portion in comparison to what he made. He still owed his "boss" for getting him started in the business. Ivan Braginski was probably one of the worst known mob bosses in the world. How Arthur had gotten mixed up with him was a pure accident.

He had found a drunken girl one night and had taken her home. The next morning when the two realized what happened; he realized that the girl was in fact the little sister of Ivan Braginski, or Russia by a code name. Enraged by what happened, his sister, who goes by the name of Natalia, or Belarus, went and told her big brother exactly what had happened. Ivan then went to Arthur and would have happily killed the man had he not promised that he would repay him in exchange for all that had happened. It had taken some work, but the two men made a deal. If Arthur could make £500,000,000 pounds within seven years, then all of the issues that he had cause would be forgiven and from then on, Arthur would be free of all connections with Ivan and his group. It had taken a while, but Arthur was already well on his way to making it. Within five years, he had made £300,000,000. It was an impressive number, but he only had two more years to get the rest. That was also where Gilbert, Antonio, and Francis had come into the picture.

The three of them together had done some small business and had caught the attention of Ivan. Ivan had managed to get them all into some kind of trouble with him or people in his group and thus they were all in the same boat as Arthur. When they met, Arthur had recognized Francis from his childhood. They hated each other back then with a burning passion. Now that they were older, it wasn't at all that the passion had died; it was that they knew they would need each other to stay alive. They together had made much more than the £500,000,00 that each man owed, but they had their own dreams. Francis wanted to stop and be a chef, Gilbert had a brother to look out for, and Antonio just wanted too move back to Spain and go back to the tomato farm he had grown up on. They each needed money though to do this. So with their day jobs, and taking very small bits from their night jobs, they had made an agreement to share what they could and that they would help each other until their dreams came true.

As the clock struck 10, Arthur sat down with a cup of tea and waited. The others were meeting him there tonight. So he would try and relax before he would be set off to work. It took about ten more minutes until a knock was heard at the door. Reluctantly, Arthur got up and answered it.

"You're all late you know." Arthur said in a quiet voice but it still had venom in every word.

"Sorry, my bad. I just had to wait until Ludi went to bed. You know how it is with siblings." Gilbert said. Arthur understood and nodded. He grabbed a bag that was right beside the door and walked out. He quickly locked it before turning back to the others.

"So where are we heading tonight?" Arthur asked.

"Down to the pier. There is a few games there and some work for you too Arthur. How you do your job amazes me. It makes me question if you sleeping with Ivan's sister really was how you got into your mess with him." Francis said. Arthur shot him a look and silenced him.

"You two coming that way too?" Arthur asked Antonio and Gilbert. They shook their heads.

"We're walking with you but that's it. There's a match tonight with one of my fighters. I know their competition so I know my shots. It's worth betting tonight." Gilbert said confidently.

"Are you sure? Last time you lost some good money. Ivan wasn't happy about that." Antonio questioned.

"He's never happy with anything I do. No big deal. Anyway, you coming with me or not?" Gilbert asked his Spanish friend.

"Nope. I'm instead off to go and see how much of my product I can sell. It's a good batch. So it should rake in a lot. If I don't like how the crowd I'm selling to is I might walk and meet you there." Antonio said. Arthur sighed and nodded to all of them. They walked down the street until Antonio and Gilbert took a different turn.

"Meet at the building and don't go in until we're all there. If you're not there by 4 then we'll assume something happened. Good luck." Francis said to the two of them. They all gave each other such sad looks before turning away. What had their lives come to? Antonio's part of the business was making and selling crack. He was good at it. He sold pot as well. Being a natural farmer and able to work with his hands, had made it so making drugs was perfect for him. Gilbert trained cocks and dogs for fights. They all knew Gilbert hated this job. His little brother, Ludwig, loved animals and wanted pets. It killed Gilbert to say no to his brother, but the group watched as Gilbert would get so shaken by a dog sometimes.

Francis and Arthur walked in silence until they finally got to their destination.

"Your area is on top floor. I'll be in the basement, seeing as your reputation is so good, if something goes wrong, come and get me. It won't look odd." Francis said to Arthur as he rested a hand on his shoulder.

"Right, same here. Just come up if you need me. Don't drink too much. Also, please don't overplay. We can't afford it." Arthur warned him. Francis nodded and went in first. Francis was a poker man. He played cards and was always able to read past a poker face. It was dangerous, maybe even more so that Gilbert's job since at least Gilbert knew his odds, but Francis was amazing cards and always came back with a fair share of money. It wasn't something that Arthur needed to worry about. With a sigh, he headed upstairs to his area. He hated this job so much. As he looked back on when he joined Ivan, he didn't know why he even got assigned to this part. Or did he volunteer for this? And if so, what was worse than doing this? It was hard for him to imagine a life worse than the one he had here. As he went to the back and changed into his outfit, he let out a small sigh before opening the curtain and walking out. He stood there for a moment and looked at the people there tonight. Many of the costumers were already drunk. He had gotten there a little late so this didn't surprise him. Yet the sober ones were what scared him. They were the ones who were still conscious of their actions. If they did something, it was on purpose. And the knowledge of that scared Arthur so much. He wanted more than anything to disappear right there and never see this place or see these people ever again.

"You're late! Get your ass in there and serve our guests! They paid good money for this and they want you to be out there!" one of the other "members of staff", as they called it, yelled at Arthur. With a sigh, Arthur checked what some people had ordered and groaned. This was already turning out to be a long night. As he walked over to the first table that had ordered something from him, he felt the usual feelings of shame flood through him. He stood up on the table and grabbed the pole that was in the direct center of it.

"Who hear ordered a sexy Brit covered with ale?" He asked as he took a bottle and dumped it all over himself while sliding around on the pole. As he heard the cheers of the drunken men, he closed his eyes and tried to do his job while getting as many tips as he could. For he was Arthur Kirkland. By day, an average citizen living an average life where everything went the way it should. By night, a male stripper working under the influence of Ivan Braginski in a desperate attempt to by back his own freedom.

Jeez! Why is it that I start typing with no idea at all and Arthur becomes a stripper? Don't ask. Anyway, please read and review!