Runaway
Author: Lacey Raine

Chapter 34
Jaya

 Jonah shrank back against Luke. Adam let out a small whimper of fear.

"I'll go, shall I?" I said.

"No, Jay," Luke shook his head. "The guy could be dangerous. I don't want you to get hurt. I'll go..."

"I can handle him," I pushed him back down gently. I mouthed "he needs you" and nodded towards Jonah. Luke nodded and put his arms around Jo-Jo. I went to the door, swinging it open. I wasn't scared of this pathetic bastard, not in the slighest, I mean I...

"Gina?" I wrinkled my nose. "What's up?"

"I noticed Jonah coming up to the flat. He looked pretty down. I thought nothing of it at first, but I just remembered that Luke said he'd gone back to Manchester," She said. "I was just wondering why he came back."

"Er... he... just wanted to see Luke, I think," I lied.

"Really? Only he had some young guy with him, looked about your age. Blonde. They both looked pretty badly off, like they'd been thrown about a bit," She said. "I just... I don't know. Thought he'd been in a spot of bother with his pimp or something."

"You know about him?" I asked.

"Yeah, Luke told me all about him," She said.

"Oh. Well. Yeah, I think so," I shrugged. "Not really sure. D'you wanna come in?"

"Best hadn't," She shook her head. "It'd be a bit awkward with me being Luke's ex and whatnot."

"Sure?"

"Positive," She nodded. "I'll see you around, yeah?"

"Yeah, okay," I smiled and watched her walk into her flat. The lift at the end of the corridor pinged open - and I saw the guy I recognised from the picture.

Blain Hart stopped about a metre in front of me. "Here, kid, you don't know where I can find Jonah Carter, do you?"

"I thought you weren't coming until midnight tomorrow, Blain," I raised one eyebrow sceptically at him.

"Beg pardon?"

"Jaya Rothery. Luke's little sister. That's who you're looking for, isn't it?"

"Yeah, it is actually," He scoffed.

"Thought so. Come in," I offered. "Oh, but first," I grabbed the hood of his sweater and pushed him up against the wall and started patting over his body. "Random weapon check."

"What the fuck do you think you're doing?"

"You aren't going in there with weapons. It's a violence free zone," I explained, producing a gun from his hoodie, a kitchen knife from his jeans, a cigarette lighter in his other jeans pocket and a Swiss army knife from his sock. "Okay, you're good."

"Thanks," He said, gruffly, pushing me off him.

"Kay. Come on, then," I sighed, reluctantly leading him into the flat.

Jonah and Adam both froze. Jonah cowered against Luke, shaking. Adam brought his knees up to his chest and nibbled his fingernails. Luke glared at Blain with a cold look of utter contempt; something I'd never seen before from him. "Blain. Have a seat." I indicated the chair beside me and he sat down. "Now. We're all mature adults. Why don't we deal with this is the mature, adult way and talk it out, eh?" I said. Jonah whimpered in reply, Adam stayed silent, Luke grunted and Blain sighed.

"Whatever," He mumbled.

"No. No whatevers," I said. "We're gonna take it in turns. Jonah, d'you want to go first?"

"Why does he get to go first?" Blain asked, immaturely.

"Because, I like him more," I replied, flipping Blain off. "So. Jonah, d'you wanna go first?"

"No," He whimpered, flashing a glance at Blain. I saw the look in his eyes; he was genuinely terrified of this man.

"Fine then. Luke, go first," I said.

"Well, what d'you want me to say?"

"I don't know. I'm trying to Jeremy Kyle it," I said. "So er... your side of the story... I guess. Why d'you want Jonah to stay with you?"

"Isn't it obvious? I love him," Luke put his arms around Jonah then looked straight at Blain, his eyes full of a new emotion; a kind of fierce pleading adoration for the boy next to him. "I love this kid more than anything in the world, can't you see that? I only want what's best for him."

"I love him as well," Blain said.

"No you don't," Jonah said, quietly. "You never did. If you ever loved me you'd have never done all those things to me. You'd never have made me do all that stuff."

"I did it because..." Blain trailed off.

"Why? There is no legitimate reason for forcing a kid to do that," Jonah said. "I can't do anything about what you did to me. I'm already broken; used up. The damage is done and I can't change that. But Adam is fourteen. He's gorgeous and he's still got hope."

"I'm not. I don't. I'm hopeless," Adam mumbled.

"You're not," Jonah held out his arms and Adam snuggled into him. Luke didn't seem to mind too much.

"Right," I said, breaking the brief awkward silence that followed. "Well. Blain. What d'you have to say to that?"

"I did what I had to do to survive," He said, shrugging.

"You could've got a job," Jonah said.

"I was told I was unemployable, I've told you this before!" Blain snapped.

"Because you were a druggie and an alcoholic," Jonah said. "You made yourself that way and theres no way you can say other wise."

"You're just as bad," Blain scoffed.

"Yeah. I was," Jonah replied nodding. "But I quit. I stopped myself before I turned into you."

"I took you in off the streets, Jonah. I gave you shelter and warmth when you needed it. Would I seriously do that if I didn't love you?" Blain said.

"Did you really do it because you loved me, though? Did you really do it because I was kid and you felt sorry for me?" Jonah shot back. "Or did you do it because I was a naive, young virgin? Becuase that's what all the tricks want, isn't it, Blain? Only, I'm not young any more and I'm certainly not a virgin. I'm damaged goods. Why d'you still want me?"

"I..." Blain looked confused.

"Please. Just let me be happy," Jonah begged. "I'll do anything... anything... if you just let me be with Luke."

"No, you won't," Luke said, giving Blain a dark look.

"Adam hasn't said a lot. Why doesn't Adam say something?" I said because Blain and Luke looked about ready to start laying into each other at any minute.

"I er... well... I don't know," Adam coughed. "I guess... I dunno. I look at Jonah and he's such an inspiration to me... I mean he's just... I don't know. But then I look at Josh and Elliot and I don't want to end up like either of them. And.... and I know it's more likely I'll be them than Jonah, because Jo's one in a million and..." He trailed off. "I don't want to do this any more, Blain."

"You survived on just Elliot and Josh before. Why can't you do that now?" Jonah said quietly.

"It's not about that Jonah. You think if I just needed another whore I'd follow you this far?" Blain had tears welling up. "This is about... it's about waking up in the morning with somebody next to you. It's about having somebody to warm you up with a cuddle on a winter night. It's about having somebody to make it better when you cry. I do love you, Jonah. I just... I said those things because I know you don't love me and I didn't want you to see it hurt."

"Oh," Jonah looked down, tears trickling down his cheeks. "I'm sorry Blain. I did love you. But... you shouldn't have done what you did. If you hadn't have done what you did maybe I still would. But you lost your chance."

"Right," Blain sighed defeatedly. "I'll go home then." He kissed Jonah on the forehead. "Look after him, yeah?" He said, to Luke.

"I will," Luke whispered.

And then Blain left.

 

 

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