Just a short little story I wrote to break my writer's block for my other stories. This is taken from personal experience.

The cigarette burned into her shoulder blade, but she ignored it decisively. Usually, her disinterest and apathy worked, and he would draw it away, stick it back in his mouth, a scowl on his brow and a hard primitive gleam in his flinty eyes. But the searing pain persisted until she flinched, her back arching against him, sweat breaking out on her brow. The bedroom reeked of booze and cheap perfume, and soon the pungency of burnt human flesh joined it as well. Eventually he tired of the game, and reached over and crushed the cancer stick in the plain glass ashtray resting on her hip. He liked the scars it left behind, liked to trace them with his fingers, liked to feel them with his tongue, and she let him do it. Nobody except him and Jake and the other guys ever saw them.

Tony leaned over, his breath rank and bitter in her face, and picked a picture of a child off the bedside table to gaze at it. The young girl's bright face was somehow unwanted in this shoddy hotel room, her contented grin and fresh innocence stark in the ugly, dismal second-rate inn. She was flat and shapeless, plump, but pretty and fair with a sweet round face, dressed in a baseball uniform. Sun glinted off her thick, shiny reddish brown hair and turned it into a fiery halo that crowned features including rosy cheeks, smiling mouth, and large hazel eyes - all creating a natural prettiness about her that was charming, simple. Written in the corner of the photograph at a slant was Steph, age 10.

A muscle flexed in fifteen-year-old Stephanie's jaw as she angrily turned her head away. She despised the picture, the purity it stood for, but for some reason…for some reason she carried it everywhere in her wallet. The psychiatrist she used to see told her it was to punish herself for her sins, as a reminder of what she used to be. She never went back.

"I don't remember this," Tony remarked, running a lazy hand up the huge nightshirt she wore. His long fingers found old scars on her abdomen, the undersides of her breasts, from cigarettes. "Is it you?"

"Used to be." Stephanie plucked the photo out of his hand and tossed it back on the table, face-down. She flashed a grin at the twenty-four-year-old man, hating and loving his sexy face, his strong torso, and the way he made her feel - beautiful, sophisticated, and old; ugly, stupid, and young. "I've changed."

Slowly, in a way that stopped her heart in cold blood and pumped it with adrenaline too, Tony's eyes traveled down the length of her body, from her dark roots, to the ends of her long blond hair; from her heavy breasts, along her flat belly, to the junction of her thighs; down her long slender legs to the tattoo of a knife on her ankle. "I can see that, baby."

Stephanie smirked at him, pushing him away and swinging her legs over the side of the squeaking bed. Swiftly, Tony planted a smooth, hard kiss on the nape of her neck. "Don't go."

"I'm just taking a shower." She didn't want to - she wanted to stay with him, let his hands work his magic on her - but she had to if she didn't want Jake to get suspicious. "But after that, I will."

"Why?" he demanded petulantly.

"I'm meeting Jake in an hour."

His eyes narrowed. "I thought you broke up with him. We both agreed it wasn't fair that you were cheating on him with his best friend."

"And you said you'd tell your wife you loved me," she shot back.

"Baby," Tony began, his tone indulgent, "I can't just do that to Johnny. He deserves better."

"Oh, for God's sake - I'm so sick of hearing about your goddamn kid. He's just an excuse."

"Damn it, Steph, he's my son - "

The door slammed shut on his words. Stephanie locked it, and savagely yanked the shirt off. She glared at the hateful face reflected in the mirror - pointed, and almost beige from the foundation she wore. Dark smudges from her mascara streaked down her rouged cheeks and blackened the sunken bags underneath her green eyes. Her heavy blue eye makeup was splotched around the lids, and her cherry-colored lipstick had smeared. Scars - some circular from cigarettes, some white and long and puckered from blades - adorned her body like rings would have, and she had obtained them with the same flippancy she would have with jewelry.

Stephanie turned the shower on, and water began trickling out of the rusted faucet as she stepped into the gentle rush of rain.

I was a straight-A student.

Vigorously she worked her hands through her hair, soaking the heavy greasy tresses with the nondescript shampoo the hotel provided. Foam seeped into her eyes, burning them with a fierce intensity. She wiped the towel across her face.

Daddy and Momma used to be together, used to love me.

The door banged open. Startled, Stephanie drew back as Tony jerked the curtain open, his dark, lean, scarred body naked in all its splendid glory. Amused, she grinned coyly at him, loving how even when he was infuriated with her, he still couldn't get enough of her and what she could give. His hands explored her, gliding over her wet skin, sometimes pinching her just to see her flinch at its abruptness.

I was going to marry a lawyer, and let him take my virginity away.

Later Tony and Stephanie curled up on the bed, sharing a joint. He found a small hand mirror in the bathroom drawer, and after fashioning a straw out of paper and withdrawing a huge bag of white powder from his jeans pocket, they alternated between the joint and cocaine. She would be late for Jake, but Tony had once again hypnotized her into staying. With his hands, and his mouth, he could be very persuasive. When it came to him, she didn't mind being persuaded. In all actuality, he was a good man - his only real flaw was his addiction to burning cigarettes into her, but after awhile she became numb to it. And to give him credit, he never told Jake he slept with his girl.

What happened to me?

The guilt was coming back. Stephanie resolutely ignored it and grinned at Tony, proudly displaying a bottle of booze she had stolen from her father and stepmother and stashed away in her purse. "God, baby, you're something else. Here I was thinking we drank the last of it."

Where did I go wrong?

To Tony's surprise, Stephanie grabbed his face and kissed him, a deep hot kiss that excited him instantly. His hands grabbed her, mauled her, and in retaliation she bit his lip. Sometimes sex dulled the shame, the blame that put tears in her eyes. Passion made her forget, and so did drugs. But even as Tony ripped the buttons from her shirt, her bleary, red-rimmed eyes fled to the photograph, and very slightly could Stephanie see the outline of the precious, bright little girl that used to be, that grew up.

She tried desperately to forget the innocence of yesterdays, but it was getting harder than she thought it would.

So? What did you think? Review, and tell me!