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I WAS DEAD on my feet at work the next morning.  A terrible night’s sleep combined with a headache like a hammer on my temple made for one awful wake up call.  I suppose the headache was the universe’s way of punishing me for blowing up at Jeremy.  After reflecting on our argument, I decided that although my points were valid I shouldn’t have gotten so worked up.  We were both in the wrong, and yelling never solved anything.

Hannah could tell something was wrong with me by the way I fumbled on my way out the door.  She had stood in front of it with eyebrows raised, silently demanding an explanation before I left.

Taking a deep breath, I’d only said, “Later” before breezing out the door to catch the bus.  I hoped she wasn’t mad at how distant I’d been; I didn’t need another person angry at me.

Roger also wanted to know how things with Jeremy went, but from the look on my face he found his answer.  I moved robotically for the first few hours of my shift, almost liking the automatic way I made the drinks and served them.  I liked the lack of emotion involved, because lately all emotions just made my life more complicated.

Unfortunately, my break from emotions didn’t last very long.  When my shift was nearing it’s end and I was busy wiping down the counter, a familiar figure stepped up to cast a shadow over me.

“Hi, Scarlett.”

Jeremy wore a tight expression, clearly smiling out of force.  His hands were in his pockets like he always did when he was uneasy, and I straightened up.  I couldn’t say I was surprised; Jeremy seemed like the kind of guy to make gestures like this.  I just didn’t know if I liked it or not.

“Can we talk?” he asked under his breath, glancing over at Roger who was nosily eavesdropping while he pretended to clean the espresso machine that I’d just cleaned a half hour ago.

I merely nodded.  “My shift ends in fifteen minutes.”  I turned around so I didn’t have to look at him.  Seeing Jeremy made me sad.  Not a sad in the I-miss-you sort of way, more like a grieving sadness.  It just felt over, and I was sorry to see such a promising relationship go up in flames so quickly.  

After hanging up my apron and fending off Roger’s endless questions with a vow to text him later, I joined Jeremy and walked outside.  It was a beautiful day, but I couldn’t enjoy the sunlight when everything was gloomy inside of me.

Licking my lips, I decided I was the one who should go first.  “I’m sorry, Jer.  I said some things I didn’t mean last night, things you didn’t deserve.  I’m sorry.”  I hoped I sounded sincere; I genuinely was sorry for blowing up.

He broke into a grin, which surprised me.  Then he pulled me into a tight hug, and I was so shocked my arms remained limp at my sides.

“I’m so sorry too, Scarlett.  I didn’t mean anything I said.”  He pulled back, but the grin on his face remained.  “I knew we’d just apologize and move on.”

His optimism made me sick to my stomach.  He actually thought a simple I’m sorry would suffice for the things we said to each other?  I pulled my hand out of his, taking a step back to distance us.

“Jeremy, I said I regret some of the things I said.  But a lot of things were true, and are still true despite an apology.”  I would always like Jeremy, because he was too damn charming to resist.  In terms of liking him more than that, however, I knew I couldn’t anymore.  Not after gaining a new perspective and realizing how utterly incompatible we were.

Jeremy scowled, looking confused.  “What do you mean?  How am I supposed to fix this if an apology won’t work?”

I sighed, rubbing my forehead as the headache returned.  “You can’t fix it, Jer.  And trust me, I hate not being able to fix things even more than you.  But…this, us…is over.”  Saying the words reopened the pit of sadness inside of me, and loneliness swept over me like a tidal wave.

Inhaling sharply and squaring his shoulders, Jeremy nodded once.  “Alright, fine.”  I could tell he was trying to act tough, and his hazel eyes were steely.  “See you later, Scarlett.”  He turned on his heel and stalked off, and I watched him disappear all the way down the street before walking away myself.

On the bus ride home I texted Roger a long paragraph explaining what had happened, and his supportive responses cheered me up a little bit.  The person I really wanted to talk to was Hannah, because she always knew what to say in situations like this.

She was curled up on the couch when I got home, flipping through the channels as she snacked on some popcorn.  Upon seeing me she muted the TV and patted the spot next to her.

“Alright, now you have to tell me what’s up.  Why were you arguing with Jeremy last night?”

Briefly I wondered how she knew.  I thought only Calum had overheard us.  Of course he told her, I thought with a sigh.  He could never mind his own business if his life depended on it.

Stealing some popcorn to stall time so I could come up with an explanation, I shrugged.  “It just wasn’t working out.  Our lives weren’t heading in the same direction, and I felt like I had to end it.”

She looked stunned.  “Wait, you ended it for real?  I thought this was just a fight!  That you’d want advice on how to make it up to him or what to say!  But you broke up?”

I frowned, irritated slightly that she thought I would’ve wanted to make it up to him.  “Hannah, I realized the guy was a self-centered flake, so I dumped him.  Why would I want to be with someone like that?”

“No, you’re right,” she insisted.  “I just thought he seemed so nice when we met him.  I didn’t catch any red flags.”  Hannah was just as charmed by him as I was, which made sense.  

“He was nice,” I said, and I remembered when Calum made fun of me for saying this about him.  “But he was also…inconsiderate, and kind of a douche when it came to certain things.  I don’t even have time for a relationship, really, not with school and the cafe.”  I wished this wasn’t true; I liked having companionship, someone to rely on who relied on me.  But the emotional weight was too much to bear on top of everything else, and I hadn’t even told Jeremy the truth about most of my life.  What kind of relationship did we have if I was lying to him?

Hannah chewed at her lip, and I knew she wanted to say something but wasn’t sure how.  Sighing, I said, “Alright, spill it.  What’s on your mind?”

She adjusted her position to face me head on, grabbing my hands.  “Okay, look, don’t take this the wrong way, but…you dropped out, Scar.  You’re not in school anymore, so why spend so much time studying?  What are you trying to achieve?”

I bit my lip, embarrassed at how it sounded when she said it out loud.  “I know it’s crazy, and a little obsessive, and a little pointless…but I have to go back.  Somehow I need to finish my degree, and start doing what I love.  I don’t want to float through life with no plans and no future.”  That was what Jeremy was doing, and I wanted the exact opposite.

Hannah gave me an understanding smile.  “Of course you should go back to school when you can.  But I’m talking about right now.  You’ve been to hell and back this year, Scarlett.  And not once did you take a break to focus on yourself.”

Her words were like a slap in the face.  I had been going and going ever since my parents died, refusing to slow down in case I slipped up.  But it didn’t matter; I worked harder than ever and still had to drop out.  And now I was nearly killing myself doing work that didn’t matter, and why?  Maybe to prove something to myself, or my dead parents, or the school that kicked me out.  Or maybe I was doing it because if I stopped, I’d have to think about them.  I’d have to come to terms with the fact that my parents were dead, and I was alone.

Looking into Hannah’s earnest eyes, I knew it wasn’t time to stop yet.  I would just reroute my priorities a little, give myself a night off once in a while.  “Alright,” I conceded.  “I did just break up with a guy, so I could use some cheering up.  Any ideas?”

Hannah grinned devilishly, a million ideas already shining in her eyes.  “I say we go out tonight, just the two of us.  There’s nothing a little fruity alcohol and drunk dancing can’t fix.”

I couldn’t help the smile that came to my lips, and I gave Hannah a tight hug.

“What’s with the love fest?” Michael’s voice sounded, and I leaned back to see him and Calum fall onto the couches across from us.  Calum’s expression was as sour as ever, full lips set into a deep frown.

“Scarlett is a freshly single woman, so we need to hit the town.  No boys allowed.”  Michael stuck his tongue out at Hannah, who giggled.

“Single, huh?” Calum said, eyes narrowed slightly.  I lifted my chin, trying to appear confident.

“Yep.  Broke up with Jeremy this morning.”

Michael whistled.  “Hell yeah, leave him in the dust.  You need a guy who’d move mountains for you.”  I smiled at him, grateful for the support.  Michael was such a sweet guy, he was almost as good at cheering me up as Hannah.

Someone who didn’t look very cheerful was Calum.  I thought the news of my breakup would thrill him, and give him a chance to get some final digs on Jeremy.  But he was oddly silent, as if processing the information.  It was one of the first times he couldn’t look at me, and I almost missed feeling warm under his gaze.

Hannah and I went out shopping for the rest of the afternoon, another part of her plan to cheer me up.  The day was too beautiful not to ignore, and I felt like the weather was celebrating my freedom as well.  I was beginning to love the city, and all of it’s quaint little secrets.  I started to recognize people, make acquaintances where before I felt so stranded.  It still didn’t feel like my city, but it was a lot better than it was before.  

We ransacked shop after shop, convinced we had to find the perfect outfit for tonight.  I must have tried on a hundred dresses, some downright awful.  But laughing about the ugly ones with Hannah was releasing some of the anxiety that had been trapped in my heart for so long, and I actually felt like I could breathe.  We ended up buying two cheap, skimpy dresses to wear tonight and sauntered home, bubbling with joy as we burst through the front door.

A heated card game was ensuing at the kitchen table between the guys, who barely noticed us when we came in.  They noticed when we came back down, though; these dresses were shorter than most that Hannah and I wore, with slinky fabric and thin straps.  Paired with chunky heels, we looked incredible.  What’s better is we knew we looked incredible.

Ashton’s jaw hit the floor when we floated into the kitchen to say goodbye before we left.

“Absolutely not,” he protested when Hannah gave him a peck on the cheek.  “How am I supposed to let you leave when you look like that?”  I smiled at how flustered he was around his girlfriend, and Hannah looked thrilled.

“Sorry, baby.  Girls only.”  She didn’t sound sorry at all, and her cherry red lips smirked at her boyfriend.

He wouldn’t let her hand go, and she leaned over to give his neck a kiss.  Ashton groaned.  “Please can I come?  I’ll be good, I promise.”  She giggled against his skin and pulled her arm away.

“No, Ash,” she whined at him.  “This is a girl’s night.  Besides, I’ll be busy all night trying to find Scarlett a worthy replacement for the dick she dropped today.”

“Already?” Luke asked, and I shot him an innocent wink.

“Who says I can’t have some fun?  I am single, after all.”  I was looking at Luke but hurling my words at Calum.  Anything to make him speak, because his eerie silence was unnerving me.  But he just shifted in his seat, taking a swig of beer and not even looking up at me.  I missed his harsh comments; at least then he was paying attention.  This stony silence was somehow even worse.

Hannah’s phone buzzed, and she linked her arm in mine before giving a mock salute to the guys.  “Our uber’s here, so that’s our cue to go.  Have fun with your little card game!”  Hannah cackled down the driveway, and I was out of breath from laughing as we climbed into the car.

“Ashton is gonna kill you,” I told her.

She looked smug.  “Oh, no he won’t.  He’ll do something much, much worse to me later.”  I hit her arm and we fell on top of each other laughing, causing the driver to give us a puzzled look in the rear view mirror.

I was already tipsy from happiness before we even got to the club.  It was packed, just like any other night, and I relished the way we disappeared into the crowd.  Tonight I could be someone, anyone else.  I didn’t have to be Scarlett, the girl with dead parents and more emotional baggage than an airport.  I could be daring, sexy, a risk-taker.  I could go home with one guy, ten guys, or no guys.  The night was up to me, and the control made my heart swell with delight.

Hannah and I ordered round after round of fruity margaritas, until we were so drunk we couldn’t contain our sudden bursts of laughter.  Everything was funny, from the bartender’s goatee to some girl’s polka dress.  At one point we were so wasted we could barely stand up to dance, and had to hold on to each other as we swayed unsteadily on the dance floor. 

When we’d collapsed at a table by the wall, another round of drinks in our hands, I took a long sip until half the glass was gone.  I loved the way being drunk made me so happy and giggly; I had absolutely no worries on my mind.  But I was still curious, and as I chewed on some ice I asked Hannah, “What is it like having Ashton?”  The question was worded poorly due to my intoxication, but drunk Hannah spoke drunk Scarlett’s language well.

She thought about it for a minute, or was just trying to remember how to form words.  “He’s like…my soulmate, dude.”

I let out a pssh of disbelief, and knocked back the rest of my drink.  “I thought soulmates were bullshit.”

She shook her head insistently and grabbed my hand.  “I did t-too,” she slurred.  “But I swear to God, he gets me.  Like, more than I get myself, you know?  Which can be an-annoying.”  She blinked slowly, orienting herself.  “I hate when he knows I’m bullshitting him, ‘cause that means I can’t bullshit him.” 

“So you think you’re like, meant for each other?” I yelled over the loud music.

Hannah sighed, sloshing her drink slightly.  “Even if we don’t stay together, he’ll always be my soulmate.  I could marry some other random guy, and Ash would still be my soulmate.”  She slapped the table for effect.

As my brain attempted to make sense of her jumbled words, I noticed a pair of eyes on me from across the club.  They belonged to a dirty blonde guy with a slight smile, who wasn’t trying to hide the fact that he was watching me.  When he saw me look over, his eyebrows raised, insinuating that I go over and join him.

Raising my empty glass to Hannah, I stood up from the table.  “Well, I’m gonna have that guy over there buy me another drink.  Maybe he’s been my soulmate after all!”

Hannah slapped my bum as I stumbled past.  “Go get ‘em, tiger!” she called after me, and I pumped my fist.  Crossing the floor in my heels was no easy feat, and I nearly tripped into people a few times.  As I moved through the crowd, I lost sight of the guy I was trying to find, and my vision was swimming as faces began blending in with one another.  I ended up by a corner of the club, and leaned against the wall for support.  Suddenly standing straight up was difficult, and I felt my body tilting towards the ground until someone grabbed on to me.

“Almost lost you there for a second,” came an oily voice.  Through my fuzzy vision I made out dirty blonde hair hanging in front of glinting gray-blue eyes.  Lips parting as I tried to form words, I gasped as I felt his stubble scratching against my cheek as he kissed me.  He tasted like bourbon and smelled like sweat, and his hands were too big and too rough as they prodded my body.  I felt my dress riding up and the straps sliding off my shoulders.  It wasn’t necessarily an enjoyable sensation, but kissing this guy was getting my mind off everything else, and that’s what I wanted, right?

I groaned slightly when he squeezed my thigh particularly hard, which he took as a positive sign and moved his hands even higher.  His tongue was berating my own, and I was nearly choking as I ran out of air.  Thankfully his mouth moved its assault to my neck, sucking and nibbling on the sensitive skin there.  I took big gulps of oxygen, trying to stop the room from spinning while my body fizzled with electricity.  I let out an unrestrained giggle as the alcohol still messed with my mind, my body reacting one way but my brain reacting the opposite.  I knew what this guy was doing was wrong, but when I was drunk everything had a funny, rosy glow that made me giggle. 

The guy was moaning as he kissed down to my collarbone, and I felt his hard arousal against my leg.  This managed to send off a loud enough warning bell to break through the drunken clouds in my brain.  I was not about to have sex with some random guy in the middle of a crowded club, no matter how ecstatic I felt inside.  My hands tried pushing him off, but he was stronger.

“What’re you doing, sweetheart?” he grumbled against my skin, gripping me tighter.  I winced at how rough he was being, and panted shakily.

“Nothing, just–wouldn’t this be better in private?”  My smile was breathless, and he must have misinterpreted my giddiness to be suggestive.

“You’re a fun one, eh?” he asked, and I reattached my lips to his.  If I kept him busy up here enough maybe he’d forget his plan to get in my pants, or dress so to speak.

And then a voice broke through the haze surrounding us, causing me to rip my lips away.

“Fun?  That’s a new one for you Scarlett.”

I didn’t know if I was so drunk I’d started hallucinating, or if Calum Hood was actually standing in front of me.  His arms were folded nonchalantly, expression plain as he took in the sight before him.

Struggling to stay upright, I used the guy’s shoulder for support.  “C-Calum?” I stuttered, hiccuping.  I couldn’t keep his frame in focus as I went in and out of consciousness.  I was so drunk I was on the verge of passing out, something I’d never done before.

“I think it’s time you dismount from this skeeve,” he suggested, making me scowl.  Who was he to say what I could and could not do?  I was having fun with a stranger who wanted to kiss me, and I wasn’t about to let him stop me.

“Oh, piss off,” I slurred, sloppily dragging my lips along the guy’s jaw.  Briefly I found it funny that I didn’t even know his name, and another giggle fell from my mouth.  The sound caused Calum’s brows to furrow.

“Are you sure you want to be doing that?” he warned, stepping a little closer.

The guy glared his way, grabbing my hair as if to show his possession.  “I think she told you to piss off, jackass.  Besides, she’s my piece not yours.”

A small smirk drifted across Calum’s lips.  “Right.”  I thought that was the end of it, and that he’d turn around and leave.  I was sorely mistaken as, in a flash of movement, Calum ripped the guy away from me, causing me to stumble against the wall and fall to the floor.

“What the fuck?” the guy shouted, raising his fist to swing.  But Calum got to him first, and grabbed him by the shirt collar.  Fear filled the eyes of the stranger, as Calum’s dominating frame cast a shadow over him.

“You’re the one who needs to piss off, now,” he said through clenched teeth, his tone deadly.  The guy glanced at me for a second, as if weighing whether or not I was worth the trouble.  Apparently I wasn’t, because he took off a second later.

I closed my eyes and tilted my head back against the wall, liking the feeling of being on the floor as I was hit with a wave of exhaustion.  I felt someone kneel before me, but kept my eyes shut as I chuckled softly.

He sighed.  “Jesus, you’re really wasted, aren’t you?”

I shrugged, splaying my hands out and grinning.  “Who really knows?”  Finally opening my eyes, I poked a finger at his chest.  “Why’d you have to ruin things?  I was having fun.”

Calum scoffed.  “Oh yeah, getting taken advantage of is super exciting.  Didn’t you realize he was about to have sex with you in the middle of a club?”

My lips fell into a pout.  “We’re not in the middle, more like off to the side.”  He sighed again.  “Anyway, I don’t need you to swoop in and save me.  I can handle myself.”

“Sure you can,” he mocked.  “You look really strong sitting on this dirty floor.”

I frowned, struggling to get up on my own as I attempted to prove him wrong.  He reached out to steady me, but I pushed his hand away. “Stop helping me,” I grumbled, finally making it to my feet.  He watched me closely the whole time, making me scowl.  “Stop looking at me, too.”  Calum shook his head in disbelief, hands on his hips in impatience.  

“I’m trying to help you, here.”

“Well stop helping me,” I cried, tripping slightly into his chest.  His hands steadied my arms, fingers warm against my buzzing skin.  “Just leave me alone.  All you do is make me upset.”

He looked a little surprised, but kept most of his composure as he looked into my eyes.  We were close, with my fists balled against his chest and his face mere inches away.  My eyes flitted to his lips, and then I tried to wrestle away.

“I told you to stop looking at me,” I whined.  Finally he conceded and let me go, but still seemed poised to catch me if I fell again.  I pulled the hem of my dress down and adjusted the straps, trying to appear put together in my disarrayed state.

But then defeat overwhelmed me, making my shoulders sink.  “Where’s Hannah?  I just wanna go home.” 

“She’s with Ashton.  That’s actually why I’m here; he was going crazy back at the house and dragged me here with him so he could be with her.”

For some reason this made my chest pinch.  “So you didn’t come here for me?” I asked, my question nearly drowned out by the music.  But Calum heard it loud and clear.

He hesitated before answering.  “No, I didn’t come here for you.”

My heart sank, and I couldn’t handle the excruciating heat of being so close to him.  I pushed past him to head for the door, but he was hot on my trail in case I needed help.  The cold air was a welcome relief as I ripped my heels off and carried them in my hand.

“We can wait in the car, I’ll text Ashton.”  I hardly heard him as I fell into the backseat.  He sighed before shutting the door and getting into the driver’s seat.

Sitting up just enough so I could see his face eyes in the rear view mirror, I slurred, “I’m not gonna say thanks.”

He met my gaze in the reflection, and I almost drowned in his brown eyes.  “That’s okay.”  His voice was soft, and the sound lulled me into a sleepy haze.  I wanted to say something else, but exhaustion took over my body and the words never came out.  Within a minute, sleep pulled me under.

32 notes · See All

Saw this on a page on Facebook which happened to see these too. I can’t stop thinking about it. They don’t deserve this kind of sabotage. I’ve been with 5SOS since 2014 and this is by far the most alarming issue about them I have happened to see.

Disclaimer: According to the owner, these are all theories. But fam, read them all and you’ll find the pattern and the connection of everything.

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12 notes · See All

Chapter name: Afraid

Calum and Maeve are in a sticky situation. Running away from a gang seems to not be as easy and they thought. Gang!Calum AU

Chapter song: Afraid by the Neighborhood

 Word count: 2.596

WARNING: this story deals with very distressing scenarious including: neglect, abuse, reference to sexual assault, prostitution, drugs and domestic violence. Possibly smut as well.

warning for this chapter: References to prostitution, crime, neglect abuse and domestic violence, swearing. READ WITH CAUTION 18+

 Maeve’s P.O.V

My footsteps pounded heavily on the concrete floor of the dark empty hallway. The sound of my high heels echoing down the cold night. The harsh light emitting from the lamppost illuminating the path just enough to be visible.

Old toys are scatered on the concrete floor along with old cigarette butts which have at this point become toys as well.

My doorstep comes into view, dirtier than the concrete hallway that leads to it. Loud screams and cries echo from inside, the tv loudly blares through all the commotion making me wince at the mixture of unpleasant sounds.

I look at the old loose doorknob and take a deep breath. Whatever is going down inside, I will have to deal with, as usual.

With courage, I look for my keys inside the big messy handbag. The dark doesn’t help but the fluffy pink pompom of my keychain comes into contact with my hand.

Pulling them out and making a few attempts to put the key in the right way, I finally jam the key in the door which creaks as it opens all the way.

“Do you ever just shut the fuck up Nora? You’re such a goddamn baby!” Mum’s yells suddenly clearer and piercing through my ears, as well as Nora’s loud urgent crying.

A loud scream erupts from the four-year-old as I hear her running out of our room, the sound of her bare feet on the wooden floor instantly recognisable. 

“Maeve!” she exclaims, running as fast as her small legs could carry her.

“Hey bubs” I say, my lips turning into a tired smile when picking her up.  Nora buries her dirty and tear stained face in the crook of my neck, cuddling up to my fluffy pink faux fur jacket.

“I got ya, I got ya” I felt her warm tears slowly trickle down the exposed skin of my neck making my chest feel tight for the little girl.

As I’m about to offer her some food, my mum emerges into the room. Her badly dyed blonde hair was in a messy ponytail and she had the usual cigarette placed between her lips, her robe fell loosely around her figure showing her ill-fitting pyjamas underneath.

“Fuckin kid…” she sighs bringing a lighter to the tip of her cigarette, lighting it with ease, taking her first deep drag. She avoids eye contact as I look at her incredulously. My eyebrows furrowed in annoyance at this woman I could barely call my mother.

Without acknowledging my presence, she walks lazily towards the couch dragging her feet onto the wooden flooring letting herself fall onto her usual spot on the couch.

“You’re okay sweetheart, look I’ll make you some cereal, yeah?” I whisper into Nora’s ear, getting a nod in return. I smile sadly at her little nod, knowing she didn’t deserve being yelled at or cursed at.

Placing her down on the nearest chair she pouted as her small bare feet dangled not quite yet touching the floor.

This scenario was familiar, mum would stay home with the kids, pretend to take care of them and drink until she inevitably passed out on the couch whilst the TV kept playing.

I slipped off my jacket revealing a slip baby blue dress, although it was the middle of winter, short slutty dresses were the ‘uniform’ at my job place. Not that I chose my own clothes anyway. 

I take off the uncomfortable hoop earrings and place them next to Nora who instantly starts playing with them, using them as bracelets, a giggle erupting from the little girl as she tries them on.

Our house was small, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and the kitchen and living room were in the same room, including the small wooden table which was used as a divider for the two spaces.

I turned around and reached for the fridge door, which let out a foul smell of old cheese from inside.

Great. Something else for me to clean.

“How much did you make today?” my mum asks, her words slurring, her thick Australian accent coming through.

“Derek gave me eighty” I answer as I take the half empty milk carton out of the fridge door, slamming it shut.

“Well, that is not going to pay for much now is it, I have a rent to pay. Eighty dollars won’t even do to wipe my ass.” Her rudeness didn’t get to me anymore, but I hated what she said and how she acted in front of the kids. Especially Nora, who repeated everything my mum said at school.

Opting to just ignore her comment, I look through the very limited selection of bowls as most of them are old and cracked or have been broken during one of the many drunken fits thrown by my mother.

I grabbed an old plastic bowl with a fading picture of Rapunzel on the bottom.  Pouring some cheap dupe of crunchy nut cereal and dumping on the rest of the milk left in the carton. Shaking it to make sure it was empty before chucking it next to the overflowing pile of trash coming out of the silver can in the corner.

“Guess you’ll have to go back tonight innit” I almost drop the bowl as I’m placing it in front of Nora who eagerly starts eating the cereal, ripping the plastic spoon out of my hand.

“Guess you’ll have to stop wasting all the money I make on cocaine” I retorted, She snaps her head and makes eye contact for the first time with me this evening, her eyes narrowed in anger as she purses her lips into a thin line.

“I have fucking told you time and time again Maeve, don’t give me lip. You’re under my fucking roof, I hooked you up with the job, you do what I fucking say.”

“But you didn’t hook me with any job, what I do is not a job.” I say, my jaw clenching mirroring the hatred in her eyes.

We stare at each other, the tension between us clear as day, the only sounds in the room being the TV and Nora chewing away at her stale cereal.

She finally averted her gaze back to the TV “Just get me my fucking money.”  She brings her cigarette to her mouth inhaling as much smoke as she can.

Her money. Right.

I hurry Nora to finish her cereal while I clean around in the kitchen, putting trash in bags and doing the pile of dirty dishes that have sat around for at least a week.

“All done!” The four-year-old yells, jumping off the chair and running down the hallway, disappearing quickly out of view into our shared bedroom.

After finishing the dishes, I grab the full bin bags and as I’m about to open the door my mum rummages through my purse and takes my 80 dollars out.

“I expect more tomorrow.” She says leaving the room. I slowly close my eyes and inhale, anger taking over my emotions.

Fucking bitch

My hands let go of the bin bags, instead grabbing my jacket and bag. The trash contained in the bags spilling out over the broken tiles of the kitchen floor.

I don’t care anymore at this point

As I walk outside down the hallway, stepping on a couple of toys and cursing under my breath, I finally make it outside. I grab my half empty pack of Marlboro red cigarettes and place one between my lips, struggling to light it due to my long nails.

Which angers me even more “Fuck this” I yell, dropping the lighter and kicking it out of view.

Tears fill the brim of my eyes, my throat feeling tight and my chest feels like it’s on fire. The cigarette is lost at this point and instead I close my eyes to focus on my breathing.My fake eyelashes tickle the top of my cheeks while I bite my lip so I can focus on physical pain instead.

This always happens, every night is not enough, every night she’s drunk and smells horribly. My sisters usually don’t shower or eat until I’m home and there’s always the same fight about money.

The only thing that keeps us afloat and safe is Derek. We live in the slums just outside Sydney, and the only reason we even have a home is due to my mum’s connections with the gang that controls the drug trade in Sydney. She knew Derek as he was my Dad’s best friend before he died.

He is up there in the ranks inside the gang, the only one that has connections with Rocco, the big boss man. He is the most powerful man in Sydney. Controlling police, politicians and all the criminal activity that happens around us.

I don’t have a specific role in the gang, I just… Am Derek’s side piece. I trade sex within the gang. Like a currency. Derek usually uses me during deals when he wants to impress other seasoned gang members.

In exchange from my services though, he pays me a small amount of money each day depending on how satisfied he is with me and how satisfied the other men felt. He provides my family with cheaper housing and protection from the gang in case anything goes to shit.

As I try to calm myself by thinking about my escape plan, bright headlights make me wince and slowly open my eyes. A black slick car stops a few feet ahead of me, parking at the curb next to my house. The headlights turn off and that’s when I recognize it as Derek’s Car.

“Shit” I mutter, making my way to the car, my steps erratic due to the pain these high heels have been causing me since the morning. As I walk towards the car, I see Derek.

His black hair perfectly pulled back, the texture of the hair gel noticeable at a distance, he sits there with his elbow resting on the door and his hand covering his mouth. 

As I approach the car the doors unlock, signalling to me he wants me to get in. I don’t want to, I really don’t. He only appears at my house when there’s an issue, Derek does not deal well with issues.

The car door is pushed open from the inside by the clearly upset man on the driver’s seat. My breathing gets uneasy as I mentally prepare myself for what’s coming. I sit down slowly shutting the door. The car is silent, Derek doesn’t speak a word, his eyes glued on the street ahead. I stare at my feet and start nervously playing with my hands on my lap.

Quietness engulfs the car, the only sound being my ragged breathing and the car’s motor still working away.

“Calum told me there are two 8-balls of coke missing.” He finally breaks the silence, his words bringing a knot to my throat. I know exactly what he is talking about.

“Oh… re-really?” I stutter.

“Yes” he pauses “Really.” His gravelly voice is calm and almost quiet.

“What do I-” a punch landed on my cheek, making the side of my head hit the glass, His fist hitting my cheek and the side of my nose. I yelp out in pain as he grips my hair in a tight hold pulling  our heads closer. “Don’t you even fucking think you can lie to me Maeve, don’t you even dream.” he told me, his voice dripping with anger.

“I-” A slap lands on my lips making me wince in pain and taste the trail of blood running down my nose.

“You were near the fucking drugs today, the street runners said they fucking saw you.” Hot Tears are streaming down my cheeks, the pain on my nose and cheekbone becoming unbearable, his hold still strong on my hair.

I whimper not waiting to piss him off more by answering him “Where are my fucking drugs?” his tone becomes calm and quiet again.

I don’t answer, my heavy breathing stopping me from uttering any words. Tears keep streaming down my face as I bite hard on my lip trying to control myself.

He lets go of my hair pushing my head against the glass again. I bring both of my hands to my head trying to make the pain decrease, my loud cries filling the car as the pain runs through my body. I hear his lighter start and cigarette smoke fills up the car.

I cough as I’m trying to calm myself down.

“This is not the first time it happens Maeve, you’re somehow near Calum during the distribution of the goods to the kids and suddenly it goes missing.”  He chuckles, almost as if he is amused at my pain and at the mysterious situation.

“How do you know it’s not Calum- or-or the Kids” I stutter, waiting for another punch or slap to hit me, but it never does.

I stare at him through my messy hair. His eyebrows furrow

“Pfft, Of course, how didn’t I think of that earlier! It’s obvious!” Another punch lands itself on my cheek, the taste of metal now prominent inside my mouth, the viscous liquid coating my tongue and teeth.

“I trust Calum with my life and the kids were searched. So only you can have it.” He takes a drag of his cigarette which he stubs out on the exposed flesh of my thigh making me scream out in agony.

“Please stop!” I beg him through my cries. “I don’t have it, I-I promise” I hiccup. He throws the cigarette onto the floor of his car, landing on top of my foot.

“Give me your bag.” he says calmly.

“Huh?” I utter.

“Give me your fucking bag” he yells this time, startling me, clumsily I grab my bag and almost chuck it at him. “Good girl” he mutters to himself.

I keep sniffling, the pain being so spread out and intense that everything just blurs together.

He looks through my bag and dumps the contents all over his lap.

After also searching my jacket pockets he slumps his back against the car seat, looking up at the ceiling for a few seconds, a loud honk comes from the horn as he punches it repeatedly.

“Get out of my car.” As I hear his words, I don’t think twice before opening the door and letting myself out, leaving my purse and its contents inside.

“If any more goes missing when you’re around, I’ll ash my cigarette on your tongue bitch.”

He says before grabbing the handle and slamming the door from the inside.

He doesn’t wait for me to get far away enough from the car as he speeds off, throwing me on the ground in the process. I fall onto my ass as the roar of the engine disappears in the distance.

I sit there. I just sit on the road, the gravel of the poorly made road uncomfortable under the bare skin of my thighs, my expression is neutral as I feel the thin sheet of tears slowly drying onto my cheeks.

My knees crack as I finally bring myself up, I wince as I do so. Looking down at my cleavage I pull out 530 dollars from inside my bra.

I’m glad I sold it before I got home.

___________________________________________________

So here it is! The first chapter of my project! Been thinking of getting back into writting as soon as I got back into the Fam! Go easy on me as it’s my first time writting fiction in years!

This chapter was hard for me to write as I hate writing introductions! 

I hope you enjoy, I will post part 2 as soon as I can! Let me know what you think and if you’d like part 2!

Also, this is HEAVILY inspired by a fic I read when i was 16, it’s still on wattpad! Its Called Burn by @bubblesirwin 

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“So it seems

We might have a number one

In the UK this week

So I thought I might have to write a song

simple words that speak

Straight To the heart and all of the work you’ve done

Promoting CALM to seek

Terrific triumph of our fans you see

I wanna say

Thank you thank you thank you

For all that you do

Thank you thank you thank you

And that’s the truth 🖤”

Ashton via instagram

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