I end up spilling every secret to Jake Melvin.
Why was it that suddenly things become so real once you say them out loud?
I've only known Jake for a few weeks but I feel like we share an indescribable connection. Jake always listens to me patiently but the thing I value the most about his friendship is that he never judges me. . . For anything.
I've always been terrified of anyone knowing my secret but when I tell Jake, it's a relief. It feels good for someone else to know the stuff that happens behind my closed door.
We're both in Ivory's living room. I'm on the couch with a blanket draped over me and Jake is laid on the other side, his head propped up on one of the cushions.
"Why did you decide to tell me?" Jake asks me quietly, blue eyes staring straight at me.
"I can't take it anymore, there's a constant war inside my head. Do I tell people or do I not? If I do, Trevor will kill me but if I don't, it never stops. All I want is for it to stop." I reply honestly, looking up at the ceiling to stop the tears from falling. I blink them back, not wanting to cry in front of him.
"Why didn't you tell me sooner?"
"I didn't tell you because I haven't told anyone and I've only known you for a few weeks Jake, I had to make sure I can trust you." I tell him. He slowly nods his head, eyes flashing with surprise.
"You trust me?"
I nod my head, realising that I do. I really do trust him. Despite everyone around me warning me off Jake Melvin, I've learned that I can trust him. The endless conversations we've had, the way he makes me feel safe just from being in his presence.
"I really do trust you. There's something about you that I can't really pinpoint but I know that I can trust you." I tell him. He looks at me intensely for a while, his eyes fixed on mine.
I've grown to learn that Jake has a kind soul. He may be involved in a world of violence but there's an aura around him that I can't seem to pull myself away from. Since knowing him, we've grown closer and thinking about it causes my lips to tug upwards into a smile. When I glance up at Jake from under my lashes, he's smiling back at me. I lean forward, lightly slapping his chest.
"Stupid oaf," I say to him, rolling my eyes. He grabs hold of my hand, raising one eyebrow at me with a smirk on his face.
"Oaf? Ouch, your insults wound me Muffin."
His words are a hushed whisper and he lightly pulls me forward. I feel goosebumps erupt over my skin, running up and down my arms as I grow closer to him. My eyes flicker between both of his and I can feel my breathing shallow out. Butterflies explode in my stomach as the tension between us grows until it almost becomes unbearable. I study every inch of face, unable to believe how beautiful he is.
"What do you want?" He murmurs, blue eyes dropping from my eyes to roam over my lips. I feel him inhale sharply before his eyes flick back up again to meet mine. The intense look in them causes the butterflies in my stomach to go crazy.
"I'm not sure," I whisper in response, my body screaming at me to close the distance between us. If I inch closer, our lips would finally meet and I'll be kissing Jake Melvin.
"Let me help you decide." Jake murmurs, his breathing growing heavy. I slowly nod my head, watching as desire and a newly lit flame fills his eyes. He continues to pull me forward, his addicting scent wrapping around me.
The door springs open and I quickly jump back from the sound, snapping me out of the trance I was in. Jake closes his eyes and sighs, reaching up to pinch the bridge of his nose.
"Ivory, what do you want?" He groans, glaring at her. She stands in the doorway, looking more alive than she did previously this morning.
"Sorry, was I interrupting something? Are you guys making out on my couch?" She smirks, glancing between Jake and I. I feel my cheeks burn with embarrassment, turning beetroot red.
"No, you're not interrupting. We're just talking." I say quickly, avoiding eye contact with Jake. She rolls her blue eyes at me, cutting me off by holding her hand up in the air.
"Yeah, I'm sure you were just talking. Stop hitting on my friend Jake." Ivory tells him off, one hand on her hip. I glance between them both, wondering how they know one another.
"I'm not hitting on her and technically, she was my friend first." Jake hits back at her, throwing a cushion in her direction. Ivory dodges it, throwing a glare in his direction.
"God, you're such an annoying cousin. You know that?"
"You guys are family?" I question them both, looking at Jake. He nods, rolling his eyes at a triumphant looking Ivory.
"Yeah, this little dork is my cousin."
Good looks clearly run in the family.
"That's cool, I didn't know." I smile at Ivory. She huffs dramatically, turning the TV on before turning back to me.
"It's not cool at all. Try living with him and my brother, it's a nightmare."
"I'm not annoying, I'm fun." Jake mutters in response, sounding hurt. I chuckle quietly and Jake decides to explain further.
"I live here with Mum, Ivory, her brother Tobias and their Mum. She's my Aunty Myra."
I nod feeling a little overwhelmed as I tried to remember the information.
"You guys have an amazing house." I tell them both.
"Thanks, you're welcome here anytime Emily. It's not like we don't have the space." Ivory gestures at the open air. I smile at her in response and look down at my hands, biting my lip nervously. They're both being so nice to me and I'm not accustomed to that. Jake shuffles closer and leans down so that his lips meet my ear —
"Why are you nervous? Relax," he whispers, his voice sending a shiver to run down my spine. I glance up at him, noticing how thick and dark his eyelashes are. His eyes are beautiful and I don't realise I'm staring until Jake laughs.
"You could take a picture, it'll last longer and you can use it to keep you company at night." Jake smirks smoothly. I gasp, my mouth dropping open slightly.
"Ha, you wish. I'd end up with nightmares." I mutter playfully, earning a chuckle from Jake.
"What time is it?" I ask out loud to no-one in particular. Jake glances at his watch before answering — "Eleven thirty."
My eyes widen and I immediately spring off the couch.
"Crap." I mutter, reaching for my jacket. I'm late, very late.
"What's wrong?" Jake asks me, his expression confused. I mutter a brief explanation and turned towards Ivory in a hurry.
"Thank you both for letting me stay here."
"You're welcome, don't be a stranger." Ivory smiles, holding out her arms as she signals for a hug. I return her smile, leaning in and embracing her. I can't thank her and Jake enough for being so kind to me. I make my way towards the door, glancing down and sighing at my clothes. When I push down the handle to leave, Jake's hand slams the door shut again, stopping me from leaving.
"Where are you going?" He questions me, frowning deeply.
"Home. I really have to leave, like now." I reply desperately, trying to open the door again. Jake shakes his head at me, his jaw tense with frustration.
"No, you can't."
"Jake, please. I need to go!" I tell him firmly, feeling the panic inside me increase.
"Emily, you can't go back there. Let me look after you." Jake argues back, anger lining his voice. I feel the panic increase inside my chest and images of Trevor growing increasingly angrier by my lack of presence clouds my mind.
"You're not my hero Jake!" I yell at him, trying to make him see sense. Hurt flashes through his eyes and he lets go of the door before taking a step back.
"Please understand, I need to get home." I plead with him, pulling the front door open. I silently wish Jake doesn't hate me for it. I walk out the front door, the fear inside of me growing until I feel nauseas.
It's my birthday today but Mum has clearly forgotten. No-one else knows beside Trish. I pull my phone out of my pocket and glance at the screen. One message from Trish.
Happy Birthday Bestie! I'll see you in college soon! Love you xoxo
I stuff the phone back inside my pocket, making a mental note to reply to her later. My gaze lands on Jake who's leaning against the doorway, watching me like a hawk.
"Please don't tell anybody my secret," I plead with him before turning around and hurrying down the driveway. I hear Jake follow me from behind and his warm hand slip in mine. The smooth feeling of paper falls into my palm and I feel him close my fingers around it.
I turn around, curiosity written across my face as I look at him. I don't have time to question his action so I wrap my hand around it tighter, not wanting to lose it. Before I can leave Jake leans close to me, bending down slightly. I feel his lips press against my cheek tenderly and I freeze, stunned to the spot. The skin sparks up with electricity from his touch and his lips linger before he pulls away. I inhale sharply, my fingers tracing over the skin. I can still feel the pressure and contour of his lips.
"Happy Birthday Muffin."
He turns around and walks back to the door, hands stuffed inside his pockets. My heart skips a beat from his words and begins thumping wildly against my chest. He knows it's my birthday.
I want to run up and kiss him properly but decide against it. It just a friendly birthday kiss, close friend to friend. I have to push any feelings for him aside especially since my life is so crazy right now. Having feelings for Jake will make everything increasingly difficult . . .
Especially with Trevor in my life.
Speaking of Trevor, I turn around and bolt down the street.
I need to get home, before it's too late.
A step too far
I turn the key slowly in the door, pushing it open as I listen for any sounds of movement. Seconds pass and the house remains silent so I decide to make a run for it. I take the stairs two at a time, very aware that I'm still in last night's clothes. There's no way I'm risking Mum or Trevor seeing my like this.
"Emily . . . is that you?"
I hear Mum's voice floating up the stairs but I don't stop to respond to her. I push through my bedroom door and quickly turn around, locking it. I can hear Mum walking up the stairs, her voice lined with confusion.
"Emily! What are you doing?" She yells at me. I quickly tear off my clothes, dropping them to the floor.
"I'm in the shower Mum! I'll be just a minute!" I yell back at her, heading for my bathroom. I turn the shower on and step inside, grabbing my shampoo to tackle last night's scent.
Ten minutes later and I'm squeaky clean, smelling of sweet vanilla. I wrap a towel around my body and search through my wardrobe, picking out my white cashmere jumper and denim jeans. My hair is falling freely on my shoulders and I begin to tackle it with my hairdryer, my arms aching from the strain. The bruises on my body are slowly healing . . . slowly being the key word.
I apply some concealer underneath my eyes, covering the dark bags. I choose a pale pink lipgloss and a nude eyeshadow, finishing off the look with some mascara. After I'm content with my appearance I reach Jake's note on my dressing table. A smile immediately stretches across my face and I'm unable to ignore the excitement inside my stomach.
Meet me at two in the park.
My eyes scan over the words a hundred times, over analysing his scruffy writing. Is this a date? I nibble on my bottom lip, re-reading the note over and over again before realising meeting Jake at the park definitely doesn't sound like a date. I sigh unhappily, feeling disappointment settle inside my stomach.
I'm going to admit it. . .
I have a crush on Jake Melvin.
The town's bad boy.
His kiss lingers on my cheek and my fingers brush over the skin, wanting to remember the moment forever. I sigh knowing I'll have to put my feelings aside for Jake.
It feels so surreal that he knows everything about Trevor. I have to admit it's good to finally expose the truth but part of me feels vulnerable, scared of what Trevor will do if he knows I've confided in him.
"It's too late to go back now," I murmur,
resting my head in my hands.
I've cleaned my room twice, completed all of my homework, brushed my hair again and re-applied my makeup, adding some liner and blush before finally painted my nails a bright red. I glance at the clock and groan, I have twenty more minutes to kill before I can try to sneak out and meet Jake.
I haven't heard any noise from Trevor or Mum so I'm wishing it'll be simple to leave. I grab my leather jacket and pull it on, deciding I can't wait any longer. I unlock my bedroom door and peek out, listening carefully. Silence. So far, so good.
I close my door quietly and tip toe down the stairs, avoiding the creaky step. I've learned over the years which steps creak and which are safe so by now, I'm a professional. My heart begins to race as I see the living room door wide open but there's no sight or sound of Trevor. I'm just about to open the front door when he appears out of nowhere —
His tone is icy and low. I turn slowly and smiled falsely at him, avoiding looking him in the eyes.
"To the library to study for exams."
He takes a step closer to me, the scent of smoke and alcohol immediately slapping me in the fact. I grimace, unable to hide the disgust on my face.
"You have no books, you liar!" Trevor hisses at me. His eyes scan my body from head to toe and his lips turn up into a sick sneer.
"That's why I'm going to the library!" I attempt to persuade him, shrinking into myself.
"Don't lie to me. How many times have I told you that?" He yells at me, his voice booming through the hallway and bouncing off the walls. I cower against the walls, my hands trembling by my sides.
"I'm not lying to you, I swear!" I shout at him, desperately trying to make him leave me alone. He remains stood in front of me, his fists clenched violently. His face is turning a bright shade of red and he suddenly lunges forward, grabbing a fistful of my jumper. I scream, fear building up inside my body.
I can't take another beating, not again. I still haven't healed fully from the last one and I don't know whether my body can handle it.
I feel myself being dragged forward and I lose my balance, tripping over my own feet.
"You're going out to sleep with someone. Look at you, all dressed up! You look cheap, it's disgusting!" Trevor roars in my face, foaming at the mouth in a drunken rage. His free hand reaches into his pocket, pulling out a small object.
My eyes instantly zone in on it and widen in fear as it finally dawns on me, he's holding a knife. He flicks it open, eyes twinkling with sick pleasure.
"It's about time I got rid of you."
The blade glistens in front of my eyes. I immediately silence, my body frozen in place.
"Please don't do this," I plead, my throat closing over until it's hard to breathe. His hand grips onto me and shoves me against the wall forcefully.
"You can beg me all you like, I hated you from the minute I laid eyes on you." Trevor hisses, the blade growing closer to me. I scream out loud, my frightened yells bouncing off the walls and floating around us. I reach up, scratching at his hold so that I can escape.
It only causes him to hold on tighter.
The cool feeling of the blade pressing against my throat silences my screams for help and I whimper, tears streaming down my cheeks.
"Mum will never forgive you," I whisper, desperately searching his cold eyes for any sign of human sympathy. Cold black bottomless pits stare back at me and I blink, tearing my eyes off him. It's no use, he's a monster.
"Your mother hates you too, don't you dare threaten me with her!" He screams in my face, the blade pressing further into my skin. Any more force and I know it'll eventually pierce the tender skin. I suck in a sharp breath, squeezing my eyes shut tightly. Warm tears stream down my cheeks and I have no option but to continue begging for my life.
A knock on the front door causes Trevor to freeze, growing silent. He clamps his hand over my mouth, muffling out the whimpers coming from me.
"Don't say a word or I'll kill you," he spits down at me. I nod desperately, my eyes dropping down to the knife that's still pressed against my throat.
Relief washes over me, silent tears streaming down my face as Trevor pushes me backwards into the living room, out of sight. He clears his throat and heading towards the front door.
I stand up shakily, my vision blurred from my tears. My legs are shaking underneath my weight, threatening to give in any second.
This is it, my chance to escape.
I run up the stairs two at a time, locking myself in my room. I don't feel safe. I grab my phone off the side, the screen brightly lit up with a text from Jake.
Where are you?
I quickly reply, my fingers shaking in fear.
Please help me, he's trying to kill me.
I send the text quickly, my chest heaving with heavy sobs. My phone pings straight away and I read the text, my vision blurry due to the tears.
I'm on my way, pack a bag Muffin.
I do as Jake says, grabbing the biggest bag I own before throwing in clothes, shoes, makeup and my college work. I place the photo of me and my dad on top of the pile before zipping it up. My hands are trembling and I sit on my bed, breathing deeply to calm myself down.
It suddenly dawns on me that Jake doesn't know where I live. I reach for my phone again and ring him but he doesn't answer.
"No!" I yell out in frustration, letting out a scream.
Jake's POV –
I instantly know something is wrong when she doesn't show up to the park. I'd written her that note because I knew she'd probably forget and I need to see her again. I didn't want her to leave this morning but it took everything I had to stand back and let her go knowing what happens inside that house.
My phone pings and I pull it out, glancing at the screen. My eyes scan the words and my grip on the phone tightens as I feel the anger curse through my body. The urge to break every bone in Trevor's worthless body grows stronger by the second.
"Fuck," I mumble, feeling powerless. I respond back to her, my fingers tapping away at the screen quickly. The image of her trapped with him trying to kill her flashes through my mind and I let out a yell in frustration. The anger continues to build inside of me until it's impossible to contain and I lash out, needing a release. Pain flares through my knuckles but it does little to help my anger.
I scroll through my phone, jaw tensed as I finally find what I'm looking for. I ring him, bouncing on the heels of my trainers impatiently as I wait for him to answer.
"What do you need?"
He answered almost immediately.
"Emily Wentworth, full address."
Within a few seconds he has it for me, word for word. It's only a ten minute walk, five if I run. I end the call and pull my hood over my head. On the way images of her bruised and beaten body fills my thoughts which fuels me to run faster. She looked so vulnerable, years of abuse finally breaking her in pieces.
I feel a sense of honour knowing I'm the first person she confided in. When she told me she trusts me, I was completely taken aback.
Not many people do trust me.
I held her against me the entire night, unable to sleep a wink myself. She doesn't remember but knowing I was here to comfort her made it worth every second. Every time she stirred or mumbled in fear due to her nightmares, I'd hold her closer, whispering reassuring words to her. I know I'm becoming way too protective over this girl and if I'm completely honest. . .
It terrifies me.
I never like to admit fear either.
Emily's POV –
I hear a soft tapping noise coming from my window. I walked towards it and opened it, peering down to find Jake stood at the bottom, panting. I stood there, staring down at how attractive he looked, unable to stop myself from admiring his beauty. Beads of sweat were glistening on his forehead and his hair was a complete mess but for some reason, I liked it.
"Emily, don't just stand there and stare! Get down here!" He whisper-yelled, shaking his head at my lack of co-operation. I snapped out of it, my eyes widening as it dawned on me what he was inferring to.
"You want me…to jump out of this window?" I gestured at the window and then crossed my arms tightly over my chest, glaring at him.
"Do you want to murder me Jake?" I asked, my eyes narrowing at him. I noticed his right hand was bleeding and my eyes widened further –
"What happened to your hand?" I asked.
"What happened to your face?" He shot back, signalling at the cut on my head.
"I'm not jumping Jake." I said stubbornly, looking down at the height. My stomach twisted nervously and I gulped, taking a step back. Jake sighed in response, running his hands through his hair.
"Muffin, it's the only way you can get out. You won't fall, I'll catch you," he reassured me, holding out his arms. I groaned, knowing he was right.
I couldn't stay here with Trevor any longer, the thought alone terrified me. I dropped my bag out the window first, hearing Jake catch it with an oomph.
"God, what have you got in here?" He muttered up at me, his eyebrow raised slightly.
"Girl stuff," I replied, sitting on the window ledge and rotating myself. I gripped onto the ledge tightly, shutting my eyes.
"That's it, you've got it," Jake encouraged me.
"Dear God, if I fall to my death, please send me straight to heaven."
"Emily, what are you doing?"Jake hissed, cutting me off.
"Saying a prayer incase I die!"
He rolled his eyes at me, letting out an over dramatic huff.
"It's not that far! You're tall anyway, use them legs for good use."
I scoffed and lowered myself down, my knuckles turning white from the strain of having to grip onto the ledge. I closed my eyes and counted down from three before letting go and bending my knees slightly.
For a brief second, I was flying.
I feel myself fall into his arms and then he wraps them around me tightly. I look up at his smirking face —
"I knew you'd end up falling for me one day," Jake winked, his words smooth. My mouth fell open slightly and he chuckled, lowering me down to the ground.
I turned back to take a look at the house and I shuddered with fear. If only people knew what went on inside…
Jake took hold of my hand, fingers wrapping around mine. The further we walked, the hold on my lungs loosened, allowing me to breathe again. After we were safely a few streets away, he stopped and turned, his expression serious.
"What happened back there?"
His finger carefully brushed over the area that was cut and red raw. I sucked in a breath.
I bit my lip and looked down at the floor, not wanting to admit that Trevor almost killed me. Just the thought of it churned my stomach. Jake lifted my chin and looked at me softly before taking my hand in his.
"Come on, let's get out of the cold."
His hand felt large and rough compared to my small one. As we walked ahead, his thumb drew circles on the back of my hand, causing me to shiver from the feeling.
"Are you cold?" He asked, turning round. I shook my head, not wanting to admit the real reason I was shivering. I pulled him towards Lulu's cafe, knowing we'd be safe inside.
"He won't find us in here," I said, leading Jake through the door and into the warmth. One of his hands was clutched tightly in mine and his other was carrying my bright pink escape bag.