Voyeur by Candace Wondrak




Roman





Voyeurism: typically marked by someone gaining sexual pleasure by watching someone else engage in sexual activity. Any adult knows what a voyeur is, but most have never encountered a true one. After all, what acne-ridden teenager doesn’t get themselves off by watching porn or fantasizing about others having sex in front of them? Not many, I’d bet.

Some watch in secret, in the shadows, fearful that their lives during the day would be affected. There are few, like me, who watch whenever the hell they want, and even fewer that can make it happen as often as I do. Money helps. How I got that money to begin with is not a story for today.

This is the story of a spunky little girl with bright pink hair and a dead heart, and the story of the man who took her in, made her his. It is not a story for the faint of heart, or those wishing to read about heroes with shining armor and pure souls. The very opposite, in fact, for I am no knight, and I never will be.

And Zoey? She’s no princess. She likes getting down and dirty just like the rest of us.





Chapter One – Zoey





The Dollhouse wasn’t where I thought I’d end up. If you would’ve sat me down a year ago, when I graduated high school, and asked me what I planned on doing with the rest of my life, I would’ve told you my grand plan.

Go to college, get a degree, have fun until adult life comes swooping down, bringing countless responsibilities with it. Wasn’t that the plan of every kid fresh out of high school these days? My ambitions were never great, partly because of my family. They had connections, you see, and they had money. Money which I refused to touch now on principle.

Oh, I was certain my parents wanted me to come home, but I wouldn’t. I couldn’t, not after walking in and seeing my then-boyfriend balls-deep in my little sister.

Running away was probably an overreaction; what I should’ve done was find a baseball bat, or even grab a knife from the kitchen, and make sure that bastard could never get his dick up again.

Couldn’t get a cock up when you didn’t have one.

I never liked the money, anyway. The power, the prestige… it never wooed me like it did my parents or even my friends. I’d known from an early age I didn’t belong with them, and what happened with my sister and Bryan was the icing on the inedible cake, the final straw that broke the camel’s back.

So here I was, the first night at my new job, at the fucking Dollhouse. A woman who lived in the same apartment building as me, Crystal—though I had no idea whether that was her real name or not—had told me her place of work was always hiring. I needed the money. I had been able to secure a small studio apartment by myself with the money I had stashed away, but I’d cut up my debit card, tossed out my cell phone and bought one of those cheap ones from the dollar store to replace it. I wanted nothing to do with my old life, but money was necessary to keep a roof over my head.

A few days ago, Crystal had given me a number to call, and so I did. Foolishly, I might add, before I knew what the Dollhouse was. By the time I realized it, it was too late. I already had the job, and Crystal was telling me that with my looks, I’d walk away with hundreds in tips every night.

Hundreds in tips every night could pay my rent within a few days, not to mention food for the month in just a few more. If I kept at it, I could save up, figure out what the hell to do with my life.

Or I could just spend the money on useless shit and never move out of that dingy, shitty apartment. We’ll have to wait and see what I’ll do.

The Dollhouse was a type of establishment that would force my parents to keel over and die if they knew their eldest daughter was working at it. All neon lights and booze, coupled with a stage and a pole. Yeah, it’s that kind of club. A strip club.

Technically, since I wasn’t twenty-one yet, I couldn’t serve the patrons their alcohol, but I could still take their orders and clean up, make nice to them, flirt with them while trying to ignore their erections. You know, the usual stuff.

The Dollhouse wasn’t my kind of place, but no place really was. One thing that made it a bit more bearable was the fact that it was currently run by a woman, Autumn. Somewhere in her forties with obviously dyed black hair, I found her kind of abrasive, but Crystal swore up and down she’d grow on me. I doubted it, but I guess we’ll see.

It was dark when I arrived for my first shift. I had to walk from the apartment building since I knew my parents would just be able to track one of their cars if I took one when I ran. That night, when I’d decided to leave everything behind, I rode on a bus for the first time.