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!


22. Suffocating Love.

I was right when I said that the school would probably call Sally. She was absolutely frantic when I eventually reached home after running for twenty minutes straight so as to not miss dinner.

I wasn't even hungry. I just wanted something to run for.

Sweat seemed to be dripping endlessly from my forehead and I was almost faint from fatigue. Sally gripped my shoulders urgently.

"Natalie, where on earth have you been?"

Like I hadn't heard that one before.

"I'm sorry," I panted, wiping my brow of the sweat that had gathered, "I was at Jaspers' and... I didn't want to miss supper."

Sally raised her eyebrows at me, folding her arms, like she wasn't going to believe me for one second.

"Curry night!" I exclaimed, even though I hadn't concealed the fact from anyone of my distaste for spicy food, "Wouldn't miss it for the world!"

Sally narrowed her eyes at me, her sandaled foot holding the front door open. "No," she cut in, "I mean where have you been all day? Curzon Street called this morning to tell me that one of my inmates had done a bit of a bunk."

Almost immediately I slid past Sally's enormous frame, almost blocking the door, and raced up the stairs two at a time. "I've got a load of homework!" I yelled down to her as I ran, "I'll talk later."

In fact I had no intentions whatsoever of doing my homework, or talking to Sally 'later' for that matter. All I wanted to do was forget everything and just be me, for a while at least. I wanted to be just the typical teenager: to go to school in my parent's car, hang out with my friends, do my homework and worry about my love life; normally court cases and marriage didn't come into the picture.

I went to my drawer, opened it, and found the loudest CD I owned. It was some heavy metal band that I had been into during my gothic faze. I fitted the CD into my portable stereo and plugged my headphones in.

It was so loud, it was quiet. Peaceful, even. With every thump of the drums and plucking of the guitar each piece of anxiety softly slipped away out of my head and out of my system. For the first time in months I felt... safe.



                                                             * * *

The familiar creak of my door knob shocked me awake like a fire alarm. I reached for my bedside lamp, and flicked it on. Jasper grinned in the dim light, and put a finger to his lips.

He looked like an angel illuminated like that. His golden bronze hair was rough and tousled, drooping into his eyes, and he had changed from his school uniform into loose jeans and a navy hoodie, outlining the name of the rowing club he had briefly belonged to.

I got out of my bed and went over to him, wrapping my arms around his waist. "And there I was just beginning to feel normal."

He lifted up my chin with one finger. "And now you feel..."

"Hopelessly in love," I admitted. 

Jasper smiled. "At least I know the feeling's mutual." He leant down and kissed me gently on my lips. "So before.." He went red, embarrassed slightly at his prying self. "You're okay now?"

"I think so."

Jasper took my clenched fist and fitted his fingers gently through mine. "Don't let me keep you up. Come back to bed. I was planning on spending the night here anyway."

"Fine," I said, ignoring the butterflies that exploded in my stomach at this proposal. It was stupid to hope, I knew that Jasper would never let that happen again until we were married.

I let him pull me back to my bed, but I sat straight upright instead of lying down. Jasper reached up and stroked my cheek, worry clouding his face. "You all right, love?"

I shrugged, sighing. "I don't even know anymore."

"What do you mean?"

I threw my arms up in exasperation. "I don't know what to do, Jasper! I mean, do I give my evidence, and I have lots of it, against Theo? Or do I tell the court about the push, that I was there, that I saw it?"

Jasper was listening to my rant carefully, his forehead creased with concentration. When I had finished, he smiled, and placed his hand lightly on the skin that covered my heart. "What does your heart say?"

"It tells me to just leave it. To run away from it all." When a pained expression crossed his face at the words 'run away' I added quickly, "With you."

Jasper took my hand in his. "That's better."

I looked into his eyes searchingly. "Don't pretend that this isn't hurting you, too. You hated the hearing."

"But I don't have a choice," Jasper argued, "You and your family are a package deal. While I'm with you..." he paused to rumple my hair playfully, "And I always will be, I get your family to deal with, too."

I succumbed to temptation after this and lay down on top of my duvet sleepily next to Jasper. He drew patterns on my face with his finger delicately. "But Jasper, you wouldn't have to 'deal with it' if we just ran away."

He moved his finger to my lips now, stopping them moving. "Natalie," he tried to sound stern, but I think he secretly relished the idea, "We are not running away."

I pouted. I guess it was never a serious option, but like Jasper, I loved the sound of it. Jasper's chest rumbled as he laughed at my expression. Then his mouth was at my ear. "What do you want to talk about?"

"Well it's easy to guess what you want to talk about."

Jasper laughed again, and then just as quickly, was serious again. "Have you considered it any more, soon to be Mrs. Murray?"

I growled at him, swiping at his head with a pillow. "I'm sixteen in two weeks, I am no where close to a serious decision."

Jasper looked at me then, through his floppy haircut and beautifully long eyelashes covering his toffee eyes. "Natalie, do you not want to marry me?"

I sighed, and rolled over so that I was lying on top of him, so that he could see how sincere I was being. I leant down and kissed him, long and lingering. Jasper was confused, but willing, and kissed me back with an urgency I didn't know existed inside of him. When I finally pulled away, I asked, "So did that answer your question?"

He grinned at me. "Not quite. Maybe you need to explain it again..."

I turned my face away so his lips reached only empty air. He frowned, obviously disappointed. "I'm being serious, Jasper."

"So am I."

"Well," I said, "Let me explain with words." I touched his lips with my finger teasingly. "I'm too young."

"In two weeks you won't be."

"Everyone will think you knocked me up."

"Not far from the truth."

"People will say that..."

Then Jasper kissed me again, roughly, vigorously, moving his hands through my hair and down my back. Then he released me and looked deep into my eyes. "Do you want to hear my reasons, Natalie?"

I sighed, my heart pounding and my whole body weak with infatuation. "Go for it."

"I love you, Natalie. I want to be with you forever. For once, I want you to have some stability in your life. I want you to have my children. I want us to grow old together, watching our children grow up, fall in love like we have, make the same mistakes that we have made and have their own children. I want you, Natalie. No one else."

And that's when I realised what he was saying was true.

did want to marry Jasper. I loved him. I wanted to have his children, and grow old with him; sitting in deck chairs out in our garden in the afternoon sun, watching our grandchildren play in the warmth.

In that moment  realised what I wanted.

I felt nothing but wholesome, virtuous, pure, suffocating love.

And I had never felt more alive.

"I think May is a good month."

Jasper grinned at me, and his eyes were so full of love that I thought for a second that I was going to cry.

"I agree," he murmured, and kissed me again with so fierce a passion that it seemed like everything we had been through during the past three years were rolled into that one kiss.

We sank deeper into the bedcovers.






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