Runaway
Author: Lacey Raine

Chapter 7
Jonah

 I shivered. How long was he going to be? 'I'll just run in, two minutes...' Liar. I'd been waiting half an hour now in the cold. And it looked like it was going to start raining. I wasn't about to go in after him. He'd kill me if I did. I didn't have a key to the flat. I'd just have to stay here. I sighed and hugged myself tighter. It was going to be a long wait.

A tall lanky guy leaned against the wall beside me. "Hey," He said. "You Zak Sudden?"

"Er... are you a cop?" I asked. I'd always been taught to be scared of the police. He laughed.

"No," He said. "I...we... me and my mate, that is... we were wondering if we could... you know?" He said. I swallowed. Shit. I didn't know what to do. Blain always made the deals and talked to the tricks for me. I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to sleep with him. Or his mate. Of course I didn't. I never wanted to. But I did it or Blain and I would get evicted and have nowhere to go. I couldn't live on the streets again.

"I dunno," I pushed a hand through my hair. "I mean... I guess I can do you a good deal if there's two of you? Blain normally knocks the rates down a bit for group stuff..."

"Ah. That's the thing see," He shrugged his lean skinny shoulders. "We can't exactly um... well... pay."

"Oh," I said. "I dunno then. I don't think I can. I mean Blain... my pimp... I don't think he'd like it."

"You do it every night don't you? C'mon. What does one time make a difference?"

"Yeah but... Blain won't want me to do it for free," I said, desperately. "I can't, not without his say so."

"Oh, c'mon Zak, you can give us this one, can't you?" He stroked my cheek with the back of his fingers. "Just me and my mate Ronnie. A quickie, it'll be half an hour, tops."

"I don't know, I-" Someone, obviously this Ronnie, grabbed me from behind. He had a handful of my hair and something cold and sharp pressed against my throat. Shit. They had a knife?

"See, I told you he'd be like this," Ronnie said.

"Mm. Whatever," The unnamed man replied. He walked to an alleyway. Ronnie, they guy holding me, pushed me forwards. I stumbled and staggered, reluctant to move but he was forcing me to do so. He got me to the alleyway and yanked my hair, directing me to nameless guy was standing. He dropped me onto my knees and then forced me to lie down on my stomach. I tried to stand up, but Ronnie put his foot on my back, pushing me back down. His mate, the one whose name I didn't know knelt down, straddling the back of knees and eased my jeans off and then my boxers.

"No," I sobbed. "No don't. Please don't. Please!" Ronnie clamped his hand over my mouth, silencing me...

I sat up, panting and sweating. My throat hurt and my eyes streamed, tears pouring down my cheeks. The door to the bedroom opened and Luke stumbled in. "Jesus Christ, Jonah, are you alright?"

"Yeah," I said. "I think so."

"You were yelling the place down,"

"Was I? Bad dream. Sorry," I was glad it was dark and he couldn't see me cringe. I thought he was just going to leave me when he walked out of the room, but he came back with two mugs of something. He sat cross-legged on the bed beside me, switched on the crystal lamp on the bedside table and handed a mug to me.

It was filled with steaming red liquid and smelled fruity and inviting. I looked at him enquisitively. "Strawberry and vanilla tea," He said.

"Oh. Thanks," I didn't know they made fruity tea.

"So. What were you dreaming about?" He asked. I shrugged. Why did he care? Almost as if he was reading my thoughts, he smiled.

"When I was at home, if me or my little sister Jaya had a bad dream, Mum would do this," He said. "Make strawberry tea and talk about it."

"Oh."

"So d'you wanna talk?" He said. I shrugged. "What was it about, the dream?"

"I...it...the first time I... said no to anyone," I choked out. "I was only thirteen."

"Thir... how old were you when he first made you..."

"The first time he sold me out you mean?" I guessed. "It... it was a week before my thirteenth birthday."

"Twelve?" He looked disgusted. "That's sick. Who the hell would want to sleep with a twelve year old?"

"There's some real weirdos out there," I shrugged. "Some of them were freaks, especially the regulars. Like one of them liked to do it outside. Another, Andrew, he would only do it if I was blindfolded. I hated that," I looked up at him from the mug in my hands. "I don't really like the dark much."

"Any reason why?"

"In one of my first homes some older lads locked me in the cellar for a laugh," I shuddered. "It was pitch-black down there. And there was this stuff dripping from the ceiling. And rats everywhere. It was horrible."

"Oh, you poor thing," He put his arms around me. I let him this time. "How could people do all of this stuff to you? I knew there was real sickos out there but what you've been through..."

"Yeah, well," I shrugged.

I finished drinking my tea in silence. It tasted good. Sweet. It was calming. Relaxing. I liked it.

"Okay now?" Luke smiled at me.

"Yeah," He stood up. I grabbed his arm. "Don't leave me?" I didn't want to be alone if the dream was going to come back. He looked down at me. And then he smiled.

"Okay," He lay down beside me.

It felt good falling asleep beside someone who I knew wouldn't hurt me.

 

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