"Emily, your phone is buzzing." Trish hissed at me whilst maintaining eye contact with Mrs Wilkins as she lectured us on our math exam results. Apparently we all did below her expectations and she wasn't happy.
"It's fine, it's on silent." I whispered back at Trish whilst doodling in the corner of my book. Trish poked me in the ribs, signalling for me to check my phone and I sighed, pulling it out of my jean pocket. The screen flashed with five different text messages and I scrolled through them, reading each one.
How's my little girl been doing?
Emily? Answer me.
Answer me when I ask you a question little girl.
Did your mother never teach you not to ignore someone? It's very rude Emily…
Maybe I should teach you? Would you like that? We'll be together soon Emily then we'll have all the time in the world.
My grip tightened on the phone as I read each message, the next one more creepy than the last. I swallowed the lump in my throat and ignored the chills running through my body.
DC Jones terrifying face flashed through my mind and I would have bet a million pounds it was him sending me these texts. I hadn't heard from him in a while causing me to think he had crawled back underneath his rock somewhere.
Oh, how wrong I was.
I turned my phone off and shoved it into my pockets before focusing on class. I hadn't noticed my hands shaking and Trish looked at me worryingly. I could feel her gaze burning into the side of my face. I looked over to find Jake doing the exact same. He was leaning back into his chair, looking as bored as every other student in the classroom.
Mrs Wilkins monotone voice could even put vampires to sleep duringthe night. His eyes filled with worry and concern as he noticed the distress on my face.
"Whats wrong?" he mouthed over to me silently. I shook my head, not wanting to get into it right now and turned away from him, focusing my attention back onto Mrs Wilkins. No matter how hard I tried, the daunting thought of DC Jones getting me 'alone' with him was all I could think about.
Who is he and what does he want with me?
Is he one of Trevor's allies in the police force?
How does he know my father?
I had too many questions that sadly I knew I wouldn't get the answers to until I was face to face with the man himself. So I pulled out my phone and did the only thing I could think of.
I text him back, asking for a time and place.
Stupid, I know.
I need answers to the endless amount of questions I have and this is the only way to get them.
Mistake No 2
4pm. The Arm's Pub. Leave Jake at home or else I won't tell you anything.
I read the text repeatedly, my eyes straining from not blinking. The words began to blur on the screen and I sigh, leaning back against the wall. The time read 3:58 and I was stood outside The Arm's Pub, regretting my decision.
"It's not too late to turn back. . . " I muttered under my breath, closing my eyes for a brief moment.
How else would I get the answers I so badly craved?
I agreed to meet Jones at a public place however it came with one condition. . . he chose the location. Gangs of hooded figures littered the street corners and people tend to avoid this section of town like the plague.
Loud drunken shouts could be heard coming from behind the glass doors, aggressive and booze filled. The windows that would have once gleamed are now a murky brown, full of inch thick dirt. Broken glass scattered across the floor and I grimaced, walking around it.
My hand wrapped around my phone and the other clutched the handle of the small knife inside my jacket pocket. It was for my protection but the thought of possibly having to use it scared the living crap out of me.
I'm not a violent person but the situation I find myself in requires me to be strong and certain. I didn't feel strong or certain. Cold harsh winds whipped around me and even though it's 4pm, darkness fills the sky. The street lamps light up, illuminating objects with a creepy shadow.
I shivered at the icy breeze that surrounded me and I wrapped my black leather jacket around me tighter, hands trembling slightly. I stood in front of the door, building up the courage to push it open and take the first step inside.
You can do this Emily, you only have to speak to him for a few minutes, get some answers and leave.
I silently wished Jake was by my side but I also didn't want to risk his safety. Jones specifically asked for me to leave Jake at home and I hated lying to him about where I was going. I'd told him I was shopping with Trish and that could take up to a few hours. With Trish, it usually does. The idea of Trish buying everything that came into her sight sounded more appealing than meeting with Jones. I inhaled sharply before wrapping my hand around the dirty handle and stepping inside.
The first thing that hit me is the repugnant scent filling the air. The entire place reeked of stale beer, smoke and sweat. My stomach that was already in knots was now doing frickin' gymnastics inside my body.
The pub was busy with crowds of men, clutching glass beers in their hand. A football match was playing on the large screen in the corner and a group of middle aged men were screaming profanities at it, their drink's spilling over the side of the glass with their annoyance. No-one noticed me at first but as I took a few more steps inside, the noise level quietened and heads turned in my direction. I dropped my gaze to the floor, nerves building up quickly as I headed for a booth at the back.
Disgusting comments and sniggers were thrown my way as I beelined for the table, legs shaking underneath my weight. The men and their intense stare terrified me but I tried to ignore their scrutinising gaze. I took a seat, breathing a sigh of relief.
I'm guessing not many teenage girl's walk into this pub…
My hair fell around my shoulders and I gladly hid behind it, now realising the mistake of sitting where I was. I couldn't see the door meaning I couldn't keep an eye out for DC Jones.
"God, I'm an idiot," I grumbled at myself, standing back up and walking around to the opposite side of the table. I was just about settling down when a dark figure slid in opposite me, sitting in the spot I was in mere seconds ago.
"You alright darlin'? How about a drink?" He slurred, leering at my chest and signalling at the bar.
Numerous eyes were watching us and I shook my head, my eyes scanning over him. He clutched at a bottle of cider and looked as pissed as a parrot. His face was covered in week old facial hair and I grimaced at the sight of his stain covered clothes that were stale and sweaty. I forced a small smile onto my face, replying to his question.
"No thank you, I'm okay for now."
He chuckled quietly at my response and his hand shot out quickly, taking hold of my arm. His grip was cold, the contact between us making my skin crawl. I glanced down at it, gritting my teeth at the sight of his dirty hand on mine.
"Let go of me."
My voice came out strong and calm and I was impressed with the tone I used. His top lip curled up intimidatingly but his hold tightened further. I let out a low hiss under my breath, my face emotionless as I attempted to yank his hand off me. He leaned closer, his breath laced with alcohol.
"When I offer you a drink, you should take it." He whispered, sick humour lining his voice.
"I would but I'd probably catch a disease. Let me go." I shoot back at him, narrowing my eyes. I leaned back further into the seat, trying to put as much distance between us as I can. From the corner of my eye, I catch sight of him and almost stop breathing.
His hood is pulled over his head and he wore a dark jacket followed by some jet black jeans. His stance screamed authority and everyone else in the pub seemed to have quietened down and spoke in hushed whispers around him.
There was no mistaking his piercing eyes for anyone else's, they were burning brightly like a blue flame that only got stronger and angrier. His jaw was clenched tightly as he took a step forward.
I'd completely forgotten about the man opposite me, unable to tear my eyes off DC Jones. I watched him like a hawk.
He stopped as he stood behind the man, looking down at him and tilted his head slightly. My throat had dried up, sucking all the moisture out of my mouth and a drink definitely sounded appealing right now.
The man that had hold of my wrist was unaware of the figure stood over him and continued to leer at me, his presence making mine crawl with the contact we had. Jones' hand shot out and he placed it on the mans shoulder whose head immediately snapped to it, before glancing at his face.
As he met eyes with Jones, he immediately dropped his hold on my wrist and I clutched it towards my body, thankful to have his dirty paws off me. The man's face immediately paled and he stood to his feet, staggering over slightly.
"I- I am so sorry." He apologised, taking a few steps back away from Jones. He was shorter than him by a fair few inches and Jones loomed over him like an authoritative giant.
The man looked terrified and cowered a little, backing up into the wall behind him. I scooted as far away into the wall as I could, wishing I could find a way to make a run for it without having to pass Jones.
I watched silently, my hands trembling in my lap as DC Jones took a few steps towards the petrified man and grabbed him by the scruff of his neck. The man instantly shut his eyes as if expecting a blow to his face, something I recognised from my time living with Trevor.
"Please mate, I didn't do anything, I wasn't touching her, I swear!" He pleaded, his eyes growing wide with terror. DC Jones remained silent, blue flames burning holes into the man's face. His lips curled up into a smirk as he enjoyed the reaction he was getting from his victim. He slowly bought his face towards the man's ear and whispered, loud enough for me to hear.
"If you touch her again, I'll tear off your limbs one by one. Do me a favour and don't call me your mate."
His words sent icy shivers pulsing throughout my whole body and my face drained of any colour remaining. If I thought I was shaking before, it was nothing compared to the chills in my body now. The man whimpered in his arms and nodded profusely before DC Jones released him, causing him to fall hard onto the floor. He immediately scurried to his feet and fled straight out of the pub, leaving his unfinished drink behind on the table in front of me.
Jones shook off his hands and smiled chillingly at my pale face, knowing his words scared the living crap out of me. He took a seat opposite me where the slob previously sat and moved the drink out of the way before looking straight at me, his eyes confident and gleaming.
"Emily, you came," he smiled, signalling for the bartender to come over to our table. The women immediately scurried over, smiling tightly at me before waiting for Jones to speak to her. I nodded, still not able to speak due to how dry my throat was.
It seemed like everybody in this pub was terrified of this man, including myself. I reached into my jacket and slowly took out my phone, ready to text Jake if anything went wrong. Thankfully, Jones didn't notice as he spoke to the bartender, ordering his drinks. I fiddled with my phone in my hands underneath the table and was grateful for the small device that reassured my nerves. The feel of the knife in my pocket reminded me I had some sort of safety and I blew out a breath, composing myself.
Jones bought his attention back to me once he had finished with the bartender and he placed both hands on the table between us, interlacing his fingers. His entire body language reminded me of a police officer, confident and demanding. He cocked his head to the side slightly and studied me silently before speaking again.
"You're scared of me, aren't you?"
I looked up at him in disbelief. Isn't it obvious? His eyes flashed with sadness before quickly masking them over with his signature cold front. I dropped my gaze, unable to look at him any longer than a few seconds.
"Can you blame me? The crazy texts, the stalking? What sane person does that?" I asked him, my voice surprisingly confident. I had enough, I need answers. The worst feeling is being left in the dark when it involves a man I love with all my heart. I need to know what Jones knows about my family and my past.
"I want to ask you a few questions and you need to tell me the truth."
I wanted to lead this conversation, it was me who organised the meeting. DC Jones nodded and signalled for the bartender to leave without glancing at her.
She placed a drink in front of him and an orange juice in front of me before hurrying off, her eyes trained on the floor. Jones picked up his drink and took a gulp before placing it back down and licking his lips. I did the same with mine, grateful for the cool juice travelling down my throat. I felt instantly refreshed and placed it back down onto the table.
"What do you want to know?" Jones asked, his voice low and deep, laced with amusement. I clenched my jaw at the sheer cheek of this man.
"Who the hell are you to start off with?"
He was starting to anger me and I needed some answers. My life seemed to be one big, messed up lie and the jigsaw was missing pieces, toomany pieces.
Jones chuckled deeply at my question before he leaned back, interlacing his fingers once again. I noticed a dragon's head tattoo sneaking out from under his jacket on his wrist and he immediately pulled his sleeve down, keeping it hidden.
"You're not ready to know the answer to that question yet Emily. I will tell you soon though."
I let out a scoff, narrowing my eyes at him.
Is this man actually for real right now?
"I came here for answers so I want answers! You're really starting to make me angry." I spat back, wanting him to know I was more than just a scared, vulnerable little girl that he could manipulate.
"Whoever you are, I won't let you treat me like this! I've spent most of my life being pushed around and I won't stand for it anymore." I added, meaning every single word.
Jones remained silent, listening intently before nodding. The corner of his lips turned down into a straight line and his face became emotionless, hard as stone.
"You've finally grown a back bone."
I sat back, frowning as I studied him. Why did he act like he'd known me my entire life?
"How long have you known me?" I asked desperately, my mind a jumbled up, confused mess.
"All your life."
His tone was blunt, dark eyes full of truth. My head reeled from his answer and I leaned backwards, finding it difficult to understand. I had never seen him before, never laid eyes on this man.
"You're lying!" I snapped back, my words shaking as I didn't know whether they were true or not. Is he lying? He sounds so certain.
My head throbbed and I rubbed at my temples with my fingers, feeling light headed and dizzy from the conversation. I desperately searched through my memories, trying to picture Jones' face again.
"You have to be lying," I whispered, shaking my head. My throat ran completely dry and I could feel my stomach twisting with knots. The pounding in my head increased and I let out a small groan, my hands tightening around my phone.
I glanced up to find DC Jones watching me intently, a small smile playing on his lips as my vision began to blur.
The noise in the pub intensified and soon enough it felt like the music was blaring straight out from my head, each beat stronger than the last. I groaned again, my muscles instantly turning weak. My grasp on the phone loosened and it dropped from my hold, landing on the floor. My eyes fluttered closed but Jones' grinning smile flashed through my mind.
"You bastard," I choked out before blackness invited itself inside my head. My body slumped forward, slammed straight onto the table in front of me. The glass shattered, piercing into my skin. Remnants of orange juice poured onto the floor and all that was left in the bottom was a powdery white substance.
A Howling Caveman
Jake's POV –
Harder, Faster, Stronger.
My fist collided with the bag once more, the force of the punch sending it flying backwards. Beads of sweat was dripping down my face and I focused on my breathing keeping it steady and rhythmic. Each punch I laid into the bag one more worry disappeared for a few seconds.
Emily's safety, punch.
DC Jones, punch.
My knuckles stung painfully and I grabbed the bag with both hands, resting my forehead against the cool surface. My chest was rising heavily up and down and I breathed in deeply, ignoring the aching pain in my arms.
Pain is good, pain takes my mind off things. Pain means progress. Progress means I'm becoming stronger. Becoming stronger means I can keep Emily safe.
That's all I want.
Her sweet face flashed through my mind and I smiled, wiping the sweat off my forehead with my arm. I tore off my boxing gloves and chucked them to the side before grabbing my bottle and downing the cold cool liquid. I glanced over at my phone that was on my dresser and frowned, no texts.
Emily promised to text me once she was done shopping with Trish yet hours had passed. I shrugged it off thinking girls would be girls, never get in between a girl when she's got her shopping head on.
Most of them wouldn't skip a heartbeat to trade you for a 50% off voucher code.
I grabbed my towel and headed for the shower. I passed Tobias in the hallway and nodded in his direction, things between us were slowly becoming civil yet I still had problems with the guy that would never be solved. He crossed a line no brother should ever cross. I brushed past him making sure I didn't make eye contact as the last thing I wanted was to start a fight with him again. I had promised Emily I would try keep from punching his teeth out at every chance I got and I intended to stick with that promise.
I stuck to all my promises.
"Where's that lovely girlfriend of yours trouble?" Aunty Myra asked pecking my cheek whilst shrugging her jacket off.
I jokingly wiped away the area she had kissed mocking disgust and Aunty Myra chuckled, shaking her head at my cheeky response. I grinned at her and shrugged –
"She's out shopping with a friend but hasn't text me for hours."
I checked my phone again. Nothing.
I frowned and decided against ringing her, I didn't want to come across controlling and if she was having a good time, she deserved it. The girl had been through too much recently and a few hours away from all her troubles would be good for her.
"I know you love her Jake but don't overdo your caveman act, she'll be back soon" Aunty Myra nodded towards me before putting the kettle on.
"I'm a natural born caveman, I can't help it."
"Beside, she's my girl and I can be as much of a caveman as I like." I added, pounding my chest and howling at the ceiling. Aunty Myra laughed, clutching her stomach.
"You may be a caveman but you are not a bloody werewolf, stophowling."
I grinned and turned back to my phone checking my texts once again. Still nothing. Screw it, I'll ring her and check to make sure she's okay.
The phone rang once, twice, three times, no answer. I frowned and the bad feeling in my stomach deepened. I sighed and pushed my chair back, murmuring a goodbye to Auntie Myra. She watched me leave, her head shaking at me. I reached for my jacket, shrugging it on before grabbing my keys. If she doesn't want to answer me, I'll go find her.
It's better to be safe than sorry, right?
I miss her.
I miss her warmth and the feel of her against me. I miss her voice and hearing my name roll off her tongue. I pulled my hood over my head as I walked briskly in the direction of Trish's house. I couldn't shake the bad feeling in my stomach, no matter how many times I tried to re-assure myself.
My eyes fluttered opened and I groaned, a wave of pain shooting down my body. The pounding in my head begins to intensify and I groan again, louder this time.
"Shit a brick, I feel like shit," I wheezed out, my throat as dry as sandpaper. Everything began to rush back to me, the memory hitting me worse than the ache I was feeling. DC Jones, the pub, the drink. . .
I'm fully awake now, my eyes wide with fear. I looked down and noticed that my hands are tied with a thick rope, double knotted.
"What the hell," I breathed out, unable to believe what I was seeing. I tugged on the ropes desperately but instead of loosening, they tightened further causing pain to the tender skin on my wrists. I glanced around the floor to find some sort of object to use but had no luck.
The room is small and square, the walls covered in a floral wallpaper that's peeling from every corner. Yellow stains and mould collects on the ceiling. The mahogany furniture along with the floor is covered in a thick layer of dust and grime. Sunlight streamed in from a small window just below the ceiling that was protected by a metal cage. Was that to stop things from getting in or from me getting out?
I breathed in heavily and pulled again on the ropes, the feeling of desperation increasing. Fear and shock settled inside my stomach as I realised the psychopath kidnapped me. Both my hands are tied and my right foot is also roped to the metal frames of a rusty single bed.
The bed was filthy with a dirty stained mattress an inch thick. I grimace at the sheer filthiness of the whole room and instead focus my attention on getting the hell out of here. I face the wooden door on the other side of the room, holding my breath as I listen out for any noise behind it.
Complete silence surrounds me.
It was obviously the next day considering I had met DC Jones last night, that meant I was with him all night, unconscious. The thought of that alone made me feel sick. A shiver ran down my body and I grimaced, glancing down to study my clothes. Thank god I'm still fully dressed. A single fell down my cheek and I cursed myself for crying.
Why did everyone want to hurt me?
Ever since my dad died, everything went downhill. My life has completely flipped upside down and now I'm going to die. DC Jones is a psychopath, the situation I'm in confirmed that for me. I began to hyperventilate.
Like full on, cannot breathe. Lungs on strike.
Another tear escaped from my eye, landing on the filthy floor. I twisted my body until I was in a more comfortable position and laid my head over my arms, closing my eyes. I focused on my breathing and Jake's face flashed through my mind. I whimpered at the thought of never seeing him again, never feeling his arms around me, never feeling his lips on mine. I suddenly ached for him, wanting him to come get me out of this mess so we could go back to eating pancakes together and annoying each other. Stop it Emily. You can get out of this.
"Damn right I can," I whispered, wiping the tears away quickly with my arm.
"Screw this, screw him" I protested. I knew Jake would want me to be strong, want me to fight like he had taught me to. I tried to put myself inside Jake's mind, react the way he would in this situation.
My eyes desperately scanned the room once again and I attempted to undo the ropes but they didn't budge. I wasn't as strong as Jake and nowhere near as smart.
I cried out in frustration, tugging harder at the ropes on my arms. The ropes only tightened, reminding me of my new prisoner status. I gritted my teeth in defeat and did the one thing I could in hopes of getting out of here.
I screamed for help.
Jakes POV –
"What the fuck do you mean, she's not here?" I asked, pushing the door back and storming inside Trish's house. I made my way to the living room and pushed open the door searching for Emily.
"Where is she Trish?" I asked, my voice rising slightly. Trisha backed up, her eyes wide with fear. I mentally rolled my own at her reaction, everyone seemed to be so scared of the boy with a reputation. As if I would ever lay hands on a girl or innocent person, I'm not a complete heartless thug.
"I'm not going to hurt you, just tell me where she is." I said quietly, my patience running low.
"I don't know where she is, we never even met after college! Honestly Jake, I don't know." Trish pleaded and I knew from the look in her eyes that she was in fact telling me the truth.
Emily lied to me, played me.
I gritted my teeth and stormed out, slamming the front door behind me. My fists clenched at the thought of Emily deceiving me, she had been gone for hours. Before I could think about my actions, my fist flew out and made contact with the nearest car window.
Whoever's car that is, I have no idea.
The glass immediately shattered from the impact and cut deep into my hand before falling all over the floor. The alarm suddenly roared into life, alerting it's owner of the damage done however I was already halfway down the street, my hood back up over my head. I ignored the stinging pain in my hand and headed in the direction I hoped I would find her.
I waded my way through the rubbish and pounded on the front door with my left hand, the hand that wasn't currently dripping with blood. When I got no answer I knocked again, bouncing on the heels of my trainers in an effort to keep me warm. As each hour passed into the night, the air became colder and harsher and my jacket wasn't enough to keep me warm. The front door swung open and there stood Emily's mum, she looked just like an older version of her. Long dark hair, tanned skin and large brown eyes. I was the first one to break the silence between us both —
"Sorry to interrupt Mrs?" I asked, waiting for her reply. She closed the door over a little, protecting herself from me and I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes once again.
"Mrs Cole," she said quietly before staring me down once again. I noticed how she had taken on Trevor's last name. Imagine sharing a last name with that waste of space, I'd rather stick a fork through my own eyeball. . .
"Is Emily here? Have you seen her?" I asked quickly. The look on her face as I asked the question already had me knowing the answer. She isn'there.
"No, I thought she was living with you? Goodness knows where she's ran off to now, she has always been trouble." Mrs Cole replied, shaking her head disappointingly. Her words turned icy whenever she spoke of Emily and I glared at her, disappointed for Emily that this is her mother.
She deserves a better parent.
"Trouble? You think Emily is trouble? How much trouble can she be when your husband was battering her to a pulp so she had to lock herself in her own room for years?" I asked, my voice rising with anger.
Mrs Cole looked taken aback before she huffed dramatically and slammed the door in my face, causing it to shake on its hinges. I gritted my teeth and walked away, pulling my phone out of my pocket. He's my last hope and I prayed he'd know where she is. I dialled the number and waited for him to pick up.
His voice is as smooth and deep as ever.
"Amil, I need your help. It's Emily." I replied, leaning against a brick wall at the end of the street. I kicked around a stone, waiting for my boss to respond.
"She's missing, isn't she?"
His tone dull and uninterested. I stood up straighter, clutching onto the phone tighter.
"You know and you didn't tell me?" I snapped back at him, my anger once again increasing.
"Jake, Jake, Jake. . . Jones has her. That's why I didn't tell you. The girl's probably dead by now."
My heart skipped a beat at the mention of Jones. A feeling I wasn't used to settled inside my stomach immediately, fear. My jaw clenched at Amil's word's —
"Tell me where is she! I'll go find her and I'll kill him." I ranted, kicking the stone hard and watching it land across the street. I paced up and down the sidewalk, tugging at my hair with my free hand. My blood had ran cold knowing Jones has her, he finally got what he wanted. I didn't realise just how crazy he really was.
Is it to get back at me or Amil? Does he know Emily? My mind buzzed and I felt the need to hit something or someone stronger than I ever had before.
"Jake, she is just a girl. Let her go," Amil said trying but failing to calm me down. The lid on top of my bottle of anger finally exploded.
'She isn't just a girl Amil! She's my girl. What happened to having each other's backs? I have been loyal to you for years, I've never asked for anything in return. This time I ask for your help and you refuse. You've wanted Jones dead for a long time, he betrayed us! This is your chance, he won't see it coming. Catch him by surprise. Even if you don't help me, I will go and get Emily back myself and whilst I'm there, I'll kill Jones. If he manages to put a bullet through me first then I guess you'll end up losing your best member. The one who doesn't ask questions and gets shit done."
My words held truth behind every single one and I paused, breathing heavily whilst waiting for his reply. He was silent for a few minutes and I could practically see the gears working inside of his head. Finally after what seemed like a century, he replied —
"We better kill him before he kills you."
I let out the deep breath I didn't realise I was holding and closed my eyes, feeling extremely relieved. With the gang having my back, I knew the chances of getting Emily back was a lot higher. I put the phone back next to my ear –
"Thank you," I whispered gratefully before ending the call. I pushed myself off the wall and headed in the direction where I knew he'd be waiting. Along the way, I mentally prepared myself for the fight we'd have ahead of us.
Shit is about to go down.
Amil's daunting words however kept repeating in my head no matter how hard I tried to ignore them.
The girl's probably already dead by now.
I shook my head profusely, refusing to believe his words. She couldn't be dead, I'd only just opened myself up to love again and I wasn't about to have the best thing that ever happened to me ripped away so brutally.
I'm going to get her back. . . Even if it kills me.