Ok, this is a kind of sequel to my story 'Where's the girl'. This is kind of a three way Les Miserables. Book/Musical/Focus on the Family audio story. I own nothing.
Adyna tucked her just earned three francs inside her red and green bodice as she smoothed her skirts back down around her shaking legs. She watched as her latest customer, a solider, disappeared down the street to join his regiment. She wiped her lips and continued on her way down the street to hopefully see if her shack of a home was still intact.
Adyna had been living this lifestyle as a prostitute since she was fifteen and after seven years, she wasn't sure how much more of it she could stand. The Thenardier's, the benefactors who'd taken her in out of 'the goodness of their hearts,' had made her work like a slave until she reached fifteen. Then, everything changed for her.
She remembered coming back with some bread that Madame Thenardier had requested and some man had tackled her from behind. She'd fought him hard, but he took her and left her lying on the floor, bleeding and crying. He then handed the Thenardier's a little over one hundred francs. She never understood until later why he'd paid so much for her until she'd grown older.
But that wasn't all she had to endure. The Thenardier's began collecting customers for her and the men would visit her almost every day. During that hell of a time, she'd mentally and physically begun to adjust to this new form of torture. However, after one night with a particular customer had whipped her and tried sickening things on her, she'd fought back. She was rewarded with him smashing her head into the floor and she'd ceased speaking after that. She wasn't anything anymore. She was just a body that men used and she was worthless and she'd never be anything else.
She'd escaped a few months later. But freedom meant nothing, no one would hire her because she couldn't speak. So she wound up doing the same thing that she'd run away from. Prostitution. But for her it was a way of survival and living.
She walked around the corner, her eyes trained on the ground for any dropped money. She was so intent that she didn't even notice the man who was hobbling along the street until she smacked into him.
"Damn you!" The man shouted as he fell back against the wall. Her eyes widened in terror as he stepped away to grab his back in agony. She frowned, wondering how she could have hurt him but then her eyes widened as she saw his hand come away with blood. "I've been shot!"
She hastily grabbed ahold of him, supporting him to continue on his way. "What's your name?" She shrugged and the man frowned. "Can't you speak?" She shook her head. "Oh, I apologize. My name is Grantaire. Can you help me?" she nodded her head and his voice shook. "My friend…he lives…right around the corner."
She nodded and braced him as they walked around the corner to a rental building. The man climbed slowly up the stairs and he let out a hiss of pain with each step. "The key….should be under the mat." She nodded and when he stopped her at a door, she reached under the mat and grabbed the key. She opened the door and pushed it open.
He hobbled towards the bed and collapsed on it. Adyna responded by kneeling beside him. She began gently pulling his vest off his shoulder. Fortunately, the bullet had passed clean through without hitting any major arteries.
"Go get a doctor." She shook her head and began unbuttoning his shirt. "Have you done anything like this before?"
She nodded and for once she was thankful she was mute. She didn't want to tell him that she'd spent almost all her life patching up whores that had gotten beaten, abused or shot by an unsatisfied customer.
"All right." He said. "I'm in your hands."
The first thing Adyna did was search the house for medicines. Fortunately, all the drugs she needed were there. She cleaned his wound thoroughly before she stitched the wound closed. The poor man was so exhausted that he'd fallen asleep during this whole procedure.
Adyna started a fire and then curled up on the couch. She fell asleep several hours later but woke at the sound of him stirring. She'd always been a light sleeper and that kept her from getting molested at nights when the Thenardier's locked her out. She hadn't seen them since she ran away two years ago, but she knew that if they ever met up with her, they'd kill her. Or invite some of their men to gang rape her to death. But she'd kill herself before allowing them to lay a hand on her again. It had taken two whole years to save up almost three hundred francs and she needed lots more money to buy her way out of the slums.
She walked over to the man's bed and he attempted to sit up. She gently forced him back on onto the bed and shook her head firmly.
He sighed. "Fine. Well, we're going to have to come up with form of communication. Can you write?" She shook her head as he sighed. "Oh well, I guess I'll have to teach you. But I can't keep calling you 'you' can I?" She shook her head. "How about….Chantelle? Do you like that?"
She nodded. For she'd been told that her name meant 'wretched' so many years ago that to be called something like Chantelle, made her feel awkward. She wasn't sure what Chantelle meant, but it was certainly something better than wretched.
"Good. All right Chantelle, if you'll get some books and we'll teach you the alphabet." She shook her head, closed her eyes, and tried to show him that he needed to rest. He made a face. "I've rested long enough and either you get the books or I will. That's all I'm going to say on the matter!"
Adyna sighed and did as he asked. She began to realize that when she was helping the man, she'd invited a lot more trouble than she had bargained for.