Forgiving Justice

"...So it came a bit of a shock to me when I saw what was happening between Bella and Theo. No one would have guessed that anything like that could happen to us: the happy go lucky Balmers and Kensits living in the big house on the corner. But that’s the funny thing about life.
You never know what’s coming next."

Fifteen year old Natalie Balmer/Kensit has never really felt like she belongs. Throughout her childhood she was continually bounced from one home to another- whilst keeping a terrible secret that her older sister Bella was being brutally abused.
Now, living in care, seperated from her family and in a steady relationship with boyfriend Jasper, Natalie is shocked to find her past being dragged out in front of her.

Theo is back. And his story's in court.

Natalie, as the only witness to Bella and Theo's injustice, is now compelled to make a life changing decision- Keep her families together?

Or serve Bella justice and send her sister to prison?

Coming soon!




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8. Complication.

I looked down at the two hands I held in my lap. One belonged to Eden. The other belonged to Jasper. He had insisted that, after Eden had discovered us in a rather ghastly state in Jasper's bedroom, we share the complication.

Big mistake.

Jasper's parents were the type of parents, as lovely as they were, to overcomplicate things.

"Look, Julie," I pleaded, "There's really no need for you to call Jamie. I thought you were meant to be at the allotment anyway?"

Julie was already dialling. "Don't be silly, darling," she said, trying to look between me and the numbers she was impatiently crushing on the phone.

I tried again. "And you're supposed to be at work, Ian! You can't call off everything just because of me?"

"You're family, Natalie," Jasper whispered into my ear.

"We did what we thought was best," Jasper's Father, Ian, replied. "When Jasper called me..."

I turned to face Jasper, furious. I ripped my hand out of his. Jasper wound his arm around my waist automatically. "Jasper..." I spluttered, "How could you?"

"Don't be mad at him, Natalie!" Eden jumped in.

"Well I am mad! I don't understand how..."

And then I heard the phone click. Everyone else seemed to have heard it to, as the room was suddenly soundless. "Hello?" Jamie's unmistakeable voice answered.

"Hello, Jamie dear, um... This is Julie, Natalie's boyfriend's mother."

I moaned, and buried my head in Jasper's chest. He stroked my hair, comforting me. "This is so embarrassing!" I grumbled. "I'm fifteen years old, and I'm still relying on adults to do all the talking."

I turned to Julie again. Her forehead was creased, and she was making a lot of 'um' and 'ah' sounds.

"Well yes, It's a bit of a tricky situation, I know."

Confused, I looked at Jasper for answers, but he seemed as baffled as I was. There was some incoherent muttering coming from Jamie, and then Julie suddenly straightened like an electric current had been passed through her.

"Court?"

In the next beat Jasper was by his Mother's side. Eden gripped my hand, and looked at me with soft but wild eyes. I ignored her and stared at Jasper instead, unable to bring myself to go and stand next to him. His golden eyes bore into mine, and without breaking our gaze he held out his hand for the phone. Julie looked at Jasper, then at me, and unwillingly passed the phone to her son. I watched as she whispered urgently to her husband.

"Now just hold on there a minute, mate," Jasper began, "You're not getting Nat involved in anything like that."

I heard some deep muttering from Jamie, then Jasper cut in, "Because I don't think she could handle it, that's why!" He nearly shouted into the phone, "Last time you called, she dropped the bloody phone! Every time anyone mentions her name, she can't take it." I winced at the memory, and realised what my freakish behaviour had led to...

No. I had to focus.

Dragging my mind back from the passionate events from this afternoon, I tried to concentrate on the real life drama that was enfolding in front of my eyes.

"Think what she'd be like in a fricking court room!" Jasper was yelling. Julie stood up and put a restraining hand on Jasper's shoulder. "Easy, love." She murmured. 

This was wrong. What was I doing, getting my boyfriend and his family involved in such troublesome issues? Let's face it, my family had a history of problems, but we had always managed to scrape past barely unscathed most of the time. Why was this any different?

Making up my mind, I stood up and walked over to Jasper. His face was creased with lines of anxiety and perplexity, and I could distinctly hear Jamie and his temper overflowing like an erupting volcano. 

Jasper stared at me. I stared back.

"Jasper," I said, "Give me the phone."

A single tear fell down Jasper's cheek. "Natalie," He mumbled sadly, "You don't have to do this."

"Maybe we should leave them to it," Julie almost whispered, ushering Ian and Eden out of the room hastily, her authoritative motherly tone piercing through my heart like a frozen ice spear.

I thought Jasper knew everything about me. What made me laugh, what made me cry, my favourite food, my favourite music; anything that could make me smile. But I also thought that he realised that I had a special connection with Theo that no one else could see.

Yes, Bella was my sister. She needed me: a blood relative, a reliable witness to give testimony against Theo, someone who could tell the truth about all the abuse that Bella suffered as a child.

But Theo was also my brother. Not a stupid step-brother, like his relationship with my siblings, but an actual blood brother who was just as vulnerable to the world as a frail newborn child.

I carefully took the phone out of Jasper's rigid hand, and put it to my ear.

"Jamie? Yes, Jamie, it's me. I'll do whatever you want me to do, okay? I'll do it. Just... I'll call you back, alright?"

I hung up, not waiting to hear my brother's reply. Gently, I took Jasper's hand and led him to the soft black leather sofa. He sat down, and I crawled into his lap and snuggled against his powerful chest. We lay silent for a while, just listening to each other's breaths, in and out. Jasper was the one who broke the silence. "Why?" was all he asked.

I leant up so my chin was resting on his shoulder. "You know why."

"But I don't understand," Jasper moaned, "For God's sake Natalie, I really can't comprehend why just as you're settling down into a nice normal life, want to get involved in legal crap?"

"Because she's my sister."

Jasper cupped my chin with one hand. "And I get that part, honey. I get that you want to do what's right and save your sister from prosecution. But why you?" Jasper's voice cracked at the end, "Why is it always you who has to clear up the mess? I mean, no offence Nat, but I don't see your Mum or your Dad rushing in to help pick up the pieces."

"Jasper, I haven't seen my parents or my siblings for six years!"

"But this isn't your fight!" Jasper roared.

The door suddenly creaked open. Jasper and I turned automatically, to just see Eden's disappearing feet up the stairs. She had been listening.

"But he's my brother," I whispered. 

Jasper's face was now expressionless. He was very angry, I sensed it. Angry, and betrayed by the person who was meant to love him. I decided to leave him, leave this whole family in peace while I prepared myself for the hearing.

I stood up, and walked towards the hallway.

"Natalie."

I turned around. Before I had time to smile, Jasper was in front of me, clasping my hands so tightly it felt like they had been soldered to mine. He looked up through his beautifully long eyelashes.

"Natalie, I love you, you know that more than I do. It is my duty to love you and protect you and support you in any decisions you may make during your life. Nat, I'm here for you. If this is what you want to do..."

"It is," I breathed.

Jasper smiled his exquisite smile. "Then I'm doing this with you. This is going to be tough, Natalie, and I'm going to be in that court room right beside you every step of the way."

"I love you," I reminded him.

Jasper wrapped his arm around my waist and strained my body closer to his. I locked my arm around his shoulders and kissed him fiercely, trying to describe to him what he really meant to me.

Of course, there were no words.

Just me and Jasper together, fighting any challenge that may come across our way.

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