It's just after 10pm on a Friday and the witching hour has begun along Melbourne's red light mile.
Street sex workers in the inner city suburb of St Kilda have come out to earn money and are selling their bodies to strangers in cars.
Over the next three hours the trade will sizzle along at a cracking pace, with customers in cars whisking girls off the street as soon as they return from their last assignation.
Seasoned street worker Renee is the prettiest on the street and is earning "$100 for sex, $50 for oral, no less" she tells news.com.au, on her patch outside a late night shop.
The temperature is dropping and Renee wears a red cardigan over her white mini-dress and long bare legs in high heels.
But a chill from the cold is the least of the worries for Renee, a dark-haired 42-year-old who looks young for her age.
She lopes girlishly towards a car which has pulled in at her corner and climbs inside.
As she tells news.com.au in an exclusive interview, danger lurks in every pick-up, whether it be men in suits or men strung out on methamphetamine.
Not that she hates her job.
"I still like the naughty aspect of it," Renee says, "But it is dangerous, yes, I've had men attack with baseball bats, men crazy on ice.
"I've been doing this 20 years, and you learn how to get to safety if something bad happens, but there is danger."
News.com.au spent three nights observing street workers on St Kilda's sex worker mile, which extends from Grey Street down Barkly Street and up various side streets.
It is almost five years since St Kilda sex worker Tracy Connelly was murdered in her van.
Ms Connelly, a "beautiful person" according to Renee who was a friend, parked a street away from the main drags in "the precinct" as it is called by the workers' collective, the St Kilda Gatehouse.
Her body was found beaten to death inside the white Ford Econovan in which she lived, in Greeves St opposite the St Kilda Gatehouse.
Police believe she had arrived back at her van at 2am on July 21, 2013, and was killed before 2.30am.
Since Ms Connelly's murder, the tiny community of female sex workers in St Kilda, which numbers about 250, has lost seven women.
This is more than four times the standard death rate in the Australian population, which in 2010 was 5.7 deaths per 1000 people.
The collective told news.com.au the deaths were principally drug-related, but some were not and that street sex workers face daily hazards of drug addiction, domestic violence and other factors which shorten their life expectancy.
"It's shocking," Gatehouse board chairman Mark Watt said. "We work with women and have programs to help them with whatever issues they face. It's a high needs area."
But Ms Connelly's murderer is still on the street and at least one worker, Renee, is doubtful he will be found soon.
"The police aren't doing anything," she said. "Really, I spoke with them the other day, and ..."
On the street, Renee says she keeps to herself.
"I'm self sufficient, but I've been that way since I was 16," she says. "I respect the other girls, but most of them are heavy drug users.
"I don't take drugs, I had a line of cocaine with [a client] tonight and it's made me, phew," Renee exhaled and fanned her face.
"But I don't do this to pay for a drug habit."
The Gatehouse says women are working the streets for a variety of reasons.
Aged between 18 years old and "quite elderly", the women are mostly on the street because of substance abuse.
"What comes first?" Andy from the Gatehouse said. "Can be either, it's chicken or egg.
"Some girls are party girls and might have gone to private schools and then try to finance their ongoing addiction."
Others have been traumatised, have terrible backgrounds and have fallen into addiction because of that.
"We provide toilets, food, a place to sleep. We have just started sewing classes and bought an op shop.
"It's very early days but we hope that women can make things to sell in the shops.
"We need funding. Some people are supportive, but some not."
Last Thursday night a young woman was being marched up to Grey Street by a man wearing a trucker's cap over his long hair.
The dark-haired woman, who looked fresh from a shower and either scared or apprehensive, was wearing high-heeled black boots and a short dress.
"You've got 10 minutes to get ready," said the man, either her boyfriend, her pimp, or both, "and then you're working."
Hours later she was still on a corner of Grey Street, wearing her boots and a straw hat over her short hair, waiting for a customer.
Sitting behind her on a low brick wall of the Sacred Heart Mission was trucker cap man, staring blank faced at the street.
Up the street, three more girls waited on their corners for customers.
The following night, Grey Street was doing a cracking trade.
No sooner had working girls emerged on the street, or re-emerged after getting into a car, than they were picked up.
Two girls, one in a miniskirt, the other in short shorts with her ample cleavage on display, stood laughing on the footpath until the girl in the dress was whisked away in a car.
A minute later a police vehicle drew up to the girl in shorts and she spoke with an officer through the car window.
Then, within another minute, she too was gone, in a car that pulled away with accelerated speed.
Up the road, a slim blonde woman wearing jeans waited briefly before a car drew up and took her away.
Over the next hour, the women were dropped off on their street corners and then picked up again.
Further down the red light mile on her beat, Renee was enjoying a very busy night.
With an average half-hour turnover, she was back on the street for less than a minute between each customer.
The men, she says later, range between "horny young guys, businessmen, guys strung out on ice".
What do they want her to do to them? Renee smiles and shrugs, "make a list. Everything."
The business is done "all in cars" parked at a secluded spot not too far away from where Renee operates.
She is always on guard, always prepared "to get out" of a threatening situation, when the client turns angry or is drug-fuelled and becomes aggressive.
Renee works only two days a week, which is enough to support the life she chose after leaving home in an outer Melbourne suburb more than two decades ago.
She has worked as a sex worker in Kings Cross and in London, but has always returned to Melbourne and St Kilda's red light mile.
Renee lives on her own and spends her spare time painting pictures, shopping or just being happily alone.
She doesn't see an end to life as street sex worker and there are enjoyable moments with her clients, but the life does take its toll.
At 1am on Sunday morning, Renee has returned to her car after finishing her night and her week's work.
She confesses that she is "exhausted" from the constant traffic to her corner.
While she has been off servicing a client, at least three cars have been constantly circling her corner, appearing to watch for Renee's return.
Two of them give up after four or five revolutions, but a third car driven by a bearded man drives around the block at least 10 times before finally giving up.
Some men become obsessive with particular street workers, and the St Kilda's sex worker community have been stalked by a rapist and killer.
Adrian Bayley, who murdered Irish ABC staffer Jill Meagher in 2012, brutally raped five St Kilda sex workers between September 2000 and March 2001.
Renee was working on St Kilda's streets when Adrian Bayley was free roaming the streets.
"I know his face, but he never picked me up," Renee said, making a last, tired joke, "should I take it personally?"
Renee drove off for the night, her work on St Kilda's streets over for another week.