Don took Mercedes to Mavericks most nights for the rest of that year. Mercedes doesn’t remember a lot of what went on during that time. She remembers going to the club every evening. She remembers flashes of waiting tables and dancing, but most of the time, she just remembers going to the club and then waking up the next morning, either at her Ma’s or at Don’s house.
Mercedes doesn’t remember, because Erin was present for all that time. She was protecting her from the trauma of the drugs, the men, the stripping. But she wasn’t enjoying herself, and after a few months of this nightly routine, she started to give Don trouble.
She started to present more often during the day, misbehaving. She cut her hair short, dyed it black, started dressing Gothic and kept pushing back at Don. She would swear at him, and the men that he used to take her to visit.
If you didn’t know better, you’d have just put it down to a rebellious teenage phase; she was sixteen after all. But Erin was actively trying to sabotage the nightly routine she was stuck in. It was getting too much to handle, even for her – especially the drugs, they were really screwing her up. She wanted it to stop, so she tried to behave as badly as she could, hoping Don would give up on forcing her to strip for him.
The small voice in her head kept arguing with her, telling her Don loved her, and that she must be good and do what Don wanted. But Erin didn’t believe the voice anymore and stopped listening to it.
Eventually she succeeded and Don stopped taking her through to Mavericks. But, he had other plans for her; he wasn’t finished with her yet…