Author: Lacey Raine

Chapter 8

 Jonah fell back to sleep almost straight away. He looked almost angelic when he was asleep, not just cute but beautiful. His face was calm and composed and his eyelids flickered gently. His were flat beside him, his elbows bent so his palms rested either side of his head. Like an angel drying his wings. I would've been happy sitting and watching him sleep, but there was a knock on the door. I stood up off the bed and went to answer it.

Gina was at my door in her nightie and dressing gown. "Are you okay?" She said.

"Yeah," I nodded. "I'm fine. Why?"

"I heard you yelling," She said. "I just thought..."

"Oh. No, babe, that wasn't me," I said.

"Who was it then? Have you got Jaya?" She asked, dubiously. I shook my head. "Then who..."

"I'll show you," I took her hand and lead her through into the spare room.

Gina gasped when I opened the door. She blinked at Jonah as if she didn't believe he was there. "I...who is he?" She said.

"His name's Jonah," I said. "Jonah Carter."

"What is he, your cousin or something?"

"No he's..." I bit my lip. "I found him in the park. He was dying. He's seventeen, Gina. I couldn't just leave him."

"So you're letting a homeless kid you picked up in the park sleep in your house?" She said, cynically.

"Erm... yes," I replied. "You don't understand. He was living with this guy, Blain. He got him on drugs. Forced him into prostitution to pay for it. He's covered in bruises and scars and scabs. He must be in pain all the time, but he never says anything."

"You're too soft," She said.

"No I'm not," I replied, taking offence. Okay, maybe I was a little bit soft...

"You should've just reported him,"

"I can't. He begged me not to," I said, desperately. "Gee, I couldn't do that to him, not after what he's suffered through. And... and I'm gonna have to ask you not to either."

"Always the good Samaritan," She shook her head fondly. Then she yawned. "I'd best get back to bed then. See you in the morning, babes."

"Bye," I kissed her forehead. "I love you."

"Love you too," She replied, wearily, before leaving my flat and going back into her own.

I got worried when I heard Jonah groaning in his sleep, but he didn't scream again, and he didn't wake up. I stroked his face gently. "Sh, Jonah, it's okay," I whispered. "They can't hurt you here. Sh. It's okay." I kept repeating it until he stopped twitching and moaning. He sighed and rolled over, turning to face his back to me, bringing his knees up to his chest and tucking his arms around them. He looked like a baby- so cute and vulnerable and innocent. I couldn't help feeling a wave of sympathy.

I crept back into the living room, leaving the door open in case Jonah needed it. I checked my clock. Two thirty. I grabbed a glass of milk to settle my nerves then picked up the book that he'd been so protective over and turned it over and over in my hands. I didn't know whether I should read it or not. After deliberating over it for a good fifteen minutes, I decided not to.

It'd feel like an invasion of his privacy.


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