Arran's Law

Chanelle's boyfriend Arran is accused of murder, and she goes on a one woman mission to clear his name.

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10. In All But Blood - Arran

The moon is full tonight. The city is lit up, all the street lights blazing. I've been told that from space, there appears to be no life on Earth. But when I see the city lit up... I wonder how that's even possible. How could you look down on this planet from above, and not see the billions of lives? I sigh, and look up. I can see the night sky through the barred window in my cell. The window is tiny, only about thirty by thirty, but I can still see out of it. I look up at the moon, wishing I could escape from here. Well, maybe not escape cause then I'd have to spend my whole life on the run. I wish that none of this had happened. If I'm convicted, I'll either die, or spend my life rotting in prison. I don't want to die, but I don't want to spend my life in prison either. I so wish that I was back home with Nelly, where I belong.

 

Nelly. I'd seen her today, and I had a few questions of my own. How was she still with me? How was she still in love with me? And why was she helping me? After what I had done, after I had cheated on her and everyone'd thought that I killed Miranda, how was she still helping me? For a little while, when she'd visited me, I think she geniuinely thought that I was guilty. But something, I'm not entirely sure what, convinced her otherwise. But she's the only one in the world who will fight for me. I ain't got no one else. My mother is six feet under. The man who I once called 'Dad' has disowned me. And the other member of my family will take my 'dad's side. My head falls forward to rest on the window ledge. We were once so close; virtually inseperable. But when I was kicked out of my home and left with nothing, he did nothing to stop it. And he hasn't tried to find me or contact me since. I won't lie and say that he now means nothing to me. How could I say that when we were once so close? We knew each other so well. We knew what the other was thinking with just a look. I miss him, I miss him a lot. But he shares the same view as my 'father' - I am dead to him now.

 

There is the familiar sound of a cell door being opened. But this time, it is my cell. I lift my head, and turn around away from the window. A guard appears at the door to my cell.

"Mackenzie, you got a visitor." The guard says gruffly. I look at him incredulously. This has to be some kind of sick joke. There is only one person in the world who would visit me - and why would Nells visit me at this time of night?

"You sure you've got the right person?" I say.

"Yup. You's the only Mackenzie we got." The guard says. I decide to just go with it, and see who it is that is so desperate to see me.

 

I walk over to the door of my cell, and present my wrists to the guard. Without a word, he pulls the cuffs off his belt. I resist the urge to kick his ass and run. It wouldn't help me at all - in fact, it would only make thing worse. The guard snaps the cold metal handcuffs on to my wrists. He grasps the tops of my arms, and starts marching me down the corridor, towards the visiting rooms. Thankfully, all the other prisoners are asleep, so I don't have to listen to the jeers of my fellow inmates. While I am being frog marched down the corridor, I wonder who it is that needs to see me so badly that they need to come at this hour. We reach the visiting rooms. The guards propells me into one. He shoves me into a chair, unlocks the handcuffs on one hand, and then cuffs me to my chair. I fight the urge to roll my eyes. I'm not a killer, I'm not even a thief, and they're treating me like Public Enemy Number One. The guard leaves, and I hear him talking to my visitor. I strain my ears. I can hear the guards voice, and another. The other voice is low and husky, clearly not Nelly's. I sit there impatiently, wanting to know who my visitor is. The door opens, and my visitor is revealed. And it's the last person in the world that I expected. It's the last member of my family - it's my brother.

 

I gasp, and nearly fall out of my chair from shock. He hasn't changed a bit. He doesn't look a single day older, even though the last time I saw him was two years ago. He is dressed in an old hoodie that I instantly recognise as mine. His hair is light brown, and is a lot longer than it was the last time I saw him. His blue eyes still have that faraway look in them, and he is still wearing that thoughtful expression. He smiles a little when he sees me, clearly oblivious to my shock. He walks over, and sits across from me. I notice that when he sits down, he automatically crosses his legs, right over left as always. He hasn't changed a bit - and God, I've missed him.

 

"Hello, Arran." He says softly, his eyes focusing on me. He smiles gently, tilting his head to his left, just like me. It takes several tries before I can speak.

"Conor? Is that really you?" I force out, a smile spreading across my face in spite of myself. We were like two sides of the same coin, yin and yang, Laurel and Hardy. the Two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise - and I have no idea how we stayed apart for so long.

"It's really me, Arran." Conor says, regarding me with those eyes.

"Oh my God." I say, unsure of what else to say - not that I could say anything else anyways. I'm so shocked, I'm not even sure if this is real

"I missed you." Conor says, not looking at me. I sigh. I wish we could go back to how we used to be. We used to be brothers. We used to be joined at the hip. We were so alike in some aspects, but so different in others. But ever since Mum died, we'd been forced apart. We'd only ever been half brothers. Conor was Dad's from his first marriage. He's only a year and six months older than me, which is one of the reasons we were so close. But now there are so many things that we know now that we didn't know then. There are history between us that wasn't here before. I've lost my innocence - I know what the real world is like. Conor may still be living in the fantasy world that Dad kept us in for so long. I've broken out - has Conor done the same?

 

"I missed you too. But why are you here? You never tried to find me after Dad kicked me out." I say, meeting his eyes. He sighs.

"Believe me, I tried. I looked for you, even though Dad forbid me. I looked for you everywhere, but I couldn't find you." This knowledge is another shock to me. When I had been begging on the streets, I had assumed that he had forgotten all about me. For a while, I had hated him. But when I had met Nelly, I had forced myself to forget about him. I take a deep breath. What I'm about to say next will probably hurt him loads, but I can't drag my shadows into his world. He needs to move on, and forget all about me. My face is all over the news. Most people who see it will assume that I am guilty. If Conor is there, then his name will be dragged through the mud - and he deserves so much better than what he'll get if he says that he's my brother. His life will be so much better if I'm not in it.

"Why did you even bother? I'm nothing to do with you. We're not brothers. We're not even half brothers. We're not related in any way. I'm just some man's bastard, remember?" I say, my voice hard, and I look him straight in the eyes. His jaw drops, and he looks like he's about to cry. It's killing me inside to hurt him deliberately, but it has to be done. That's right - Conor and I are not even half brothers. After Mum died, she left me a letter, that Dad got a hold of instead. He read it, and hit the roof. The letter said that I wasn't his child - she had and affair, and the man that she had an affair with is my biological father. Dad threw me out, and we never saw each other again.

"I bothered, because you are still my brother. I don't care that we're not related at all. You're still my brother, and I missed you every day, little brother. I can't believe that he just kicked you out like that. I hate Dad for what he did to you." Conor says, leaning forward, and gripping both my hands. I lower my head, and try to get my emotions under control.

"I missed you too. Are you still living with Dad?" I ask. And then something occurs to me. "And stop calling me little brother!" Conor smiles a little.

"No. As of a couple of months after you left." Conor says, gritting his teeth. I raise one eyebrow. I sense a story behind this

"He kick you out?" I ask. Conor shakes his head.

"No - I walked out. He never mentioned you. He hit me once when I said your name. Slapped me traight across the face. The last thing I said to him was 'Arran goes, I go too.' I hope he rots in hell for what he did to you." He says. I move my hands away from his. Conor gives me a familiar look - the 'I'm-older-than-you-so-you-better-bloody-listen-to-me' look.

"Don't try to push me away, Arran. Apart from Chanelle, I'm the only one who can help you!" He exclaims. My head snaps up.

"How do you know about Chanelle?" I ask, narrowing my eyes to slits. He better have a damn good explanation for this.

"I met her today after you were arrested. I knew who she was, so I thought I at least should stop her walking around this estate. I drove her here when she came to see you." He says. "Regardless of what you say, I'm going to help her find evidence to prove that you are innocent." I almost collapse in relief. He still cares about me. He cares enough to help me. And, should I be found guilty, should I lose my life, there will be someone there to look after Nelly.

"Thank you so much." I whisper. Conor grins, and takes both my hands again. This time, I grip his hands tightly.

"You're my brother in all but blood. There's nothing I wouldn't do."

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