Girl for Hire

A/N: This has been knocking around in the depths of my mind for about three months, and I've finally found the time to write it down. Stick with me, here; the prologue sets the scene, but doesn't really reveal anything. It gets better, I swear. Thanks to the fabulous elisefey for so graciously beta-ing! If you'd like to visit the webpage I've set up for this story, complete with soundtrack and profile pictures, the link can be reached at my profile. So anyway... enjoy.

Song: Extraordinary, Liz Phair
I am extraordinary, if you'd ever get to know me
I am extraordinary, I am just your ordinary
Average every day sane psycho

It was supposed to be a relaxing, tension-free girls-night (week)-out trip. When Marina and I loaded our suitcases onto the back of her sister's SUV and slammed the trunk of the white car closed, we were expecting surf, sand, and sun in Madeira, Portugal. "We're going to kick back and enjoy cosmopolitans in beach chairs while getting massages," Marina told me as we drove to the airport. "We're going to hit the clubs after all-day spa treatments, eat out every night, and make tally marks on our napkin after every hottie we see." Just like in Sex and the City, except we wouldn't be in dreary New York weather anymore: we'd be in sunshine and bikinis, two minutes away from the coastline in Funchal. As I was a broke college student at NYU, I was more than excited to get away from snow and rain, and other 20-year-olds on a paid trip, compliments of Marina's multimillionaire parents.

How was I supposed to know that, by the time we hit the nightclub on the second night of the vacation, I'd already be stressing about how I looked? How was I supposed to know that future connotations of Portugal would, to me, include horrifying paparazzi, living day to day staring at the inside of the hotel walls, and some of the worst nights I'd ever have crying myself to sleeping heartache (the good times seem to be so flitting that most would escape my memory)—yes, on that supposed 'surf, sand, and sun'?

If I'd known all that, I would've stayed holed up in the good old U.S. of A., thank you.

But at the time, all I could think of as we approached John F. Kennedy Airport was, this is going to be the best summer vacation—ever.

To be continued...