Runaway
Author: Lacey Raine

Chapter 2
Luke

 I need to get a car.

I had the same thought to myself as I walked up the road from the bus stop. It would make my grocery shop much easier. I sighed. I didn't understand why they made carrier bags out of that flimsy plastic shit. It made my hands hurt like hell. I shifted them into a slightly more comfortable position in my hands as I cut through the park to get to my building. I stopped halfway through at what I saw in the corner.

A boy, slumped on the floor. He was as tall as I was, with black hair, tipped with golden blonde. He was wearing a filmsy black shirt made from some kind of silky looking material. Under that he had a pair of badly ripped and torn baggy blue jeans. His face was bruised and battered and he had his dangerously skinny arms wrapped protectively around a black rucksack. His eyes were closed and he wasn't moving.

He looked dead.

I was shocked that people were just walking straight past him with out giving him a second glance. I hurried over and knelt beside him. He was breathing, at least. I shook his shoulders gently. He groaned quietly and moved his head slightly. There was a stain at the corner of his mouth something crusted and dry. It could've been vomit. Or something else. I shook him again, slightly harder.

"Fuck off, you bastard and leave me alone," He moaned.

"Are you okay, mate?" I said.

"I'm not your fucking mate," He said, weakly. "And do I fucking look okay?"

"Come on," I urged him.

"I'm not going anywhere," He said. "I just wanna stay here."

"It's freezing. Are you not cold?"

"Yes, now fuck off," He groaned, turning away from me.

"It's going to rain later. You'll catch pnuemonia," I said. "Or hypothermia. You'll freeze to death."

"I don't care," He sounded like he crying. "I want to die. Just leave me. Please?" I couldn't bring myself to do that. I put both of my shopping bags in one hand and picked the boy up. It was as easy as carrying a small child or a sack of potatoes. He groaned and mumbled a stream of curses but I ignored him. I carried him out of the park and to my flat.

I set him down on his feet inside the flat. He took a step forward, staggered, stumbled and gabbed me for support. "I don't wanna fucking be here," He slurred. "Why didn't you just leave me?"

"I wasn't going to leave you to die," I said.

"I want to die,"

"Don't talk to stupid," I said. "I'm going to run you a bath, alright?"

"No. Let me go back to the park," He tried to push me away but I carried him into the bathroom. I ran a bath full of hot water then placed him into it. He moaned- but sounded more in pleasure than pain.

"Fuck that feels good," He said, quietly.

"You're welcome," I said, smiling at him. He closed his eyes and tipped his head back, savouring the feeling. He looked like he hadn't had a decent bath in ages. He had a pretty face, with long black lashes, full lips and a slightly wonky nose. His hair fell over part of his face, only just hiding the black eye he was sporting. He had a large bruise on the opposite cheek to his shiner. He looked very young. "How old are you?"

"Seventeen," He said. "You?"

"Nineteen," I replied as I washed his hair for him. "What's your name, kid?"

"Er...Jonah," He said. "Jonah Carter. And yours?"

"Lucas Rothery, but you can call me Luke," I said. "Can I ask you something?"

"Depends what it is," He opened his eyes and looked up at me. His eyes were a very clear, icy crystal blue.

"Why were you asleep in the park?"

"Fuck off," He said, bluntly. "I don't have to answer to you."

"Right. Okay then," I said. "Well. I'll go find you something to wear."

"I want my clothes," He said. I shook my head.

"They're soaking wet and covered in blood," I protested. "I'll wash them then put them on the radiator. They should be dry by morning." And I left before he could argue anymore.

When I came back into the room, he was out of the bath and had a towel wrapped round his narrow waist. "You're very skinny," I observed.

"Fuck you," He snapped.

"What d'you normally eat?"

"Bread and water, mostly. Milk sometimes," He said. "If I can get hold of any." I'd brought my smallest jeans and a skinny fit tee-shirt for him, but they were loose and baggy on him. I handed him a belt but he refused to touch it. He shyed away as if he was scared of it or something.

"Hey, have you run away?" I said. He whirled round.

"I told you to fuck off asking me questions," He snarled.

"Sorry," I said, holding up my hands. He sighed and flipped his hair off his face.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to bite your head off," He said. "I...yeah, I ran away."

"Where from?" I asked. He shook his head. I sighed. "D'you wanna get some proper sleep?" He nodded. I smiled. "It's the door next door. The bed's made up." He smiled wanly at me and I walked out of the bathroom. As I walked out of the door I heard him say, very softly.

"Thank you,"

 

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