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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3. Suspicion

As Arran leads me up the stairs towards our flat, I can't help but think about what just happened. We could've been attacked by Jordan's crew, and that probably would've ended in both of our horrible, painful, slow deaths. So why weren't we attacked? Arran threatened to rip Jordan's face off, and his crew didn't lift a finger. There is only one reason I can think of for them not doing anything. Arran is somehow involved with them, or he's made some sort of deal with them. Is there something going on that I don't know about? Something that Arran isn't telling me? Just the thought makes me feel worried. Arran could end up dead, like the fifty other who have been murdered in this estate in the last six months alone. If he's made a deal, he's basically sold his soul to the devil. And I can't lose Arran. He's the only thing I have, and there was a time when I was the only thing he had. My mind wanders back to when we first met, when we were both sixteen.

 

I keep my head down and my hood up as I walk quickly down the street that takes me towards my block. I'll never admit it to anyone, but I'm shit scared. Walking down this street is just as dangerous as swimming in a shark tank at feeding time, covered in fish oil, and wearing a big sign that says in block caps 'EAT ME'. And if anyone did come after me, what the hell was I going to do about it? I'm too small and weak to fight anyone off, so my only advantage is that I can run fast.  A surge of anger rushes through me. I hate this place, but I'm stuck here, and there's no chance that I'm ever going to escape. After what Jordan did to me, I've lost all of my strength. I used to have a bit of fight about me, but I don't any more. Jordan has ruined my life. But one day, I'll ruin his. Revenge is the only thing that spurs me on these days.

 

"Spare change, miss?" A voice at my feet says, and I jump in surprise. I stop walking, and look down at the speaker. It's a guy, roughly my age. He's sitting on the ground, his back against the flat block, his clothes torn. His face is grubby, but his eyes are a bright, and striking grey. I've never seen a colour like that before. And underneath all that dirt, there's a pretty face. A pretty face that I vaguely recognise.

"Arran? Arran Mackenzie? Is that you?" I ask as I kneel down so I can look into his eyes. Surprise and fear flash in his eyes, and finally recognition.

"I know you! Chanelle, right? Sorry, I don't know your last name." He says, smiling gently, his head tilted to one side. Arran and I had been at school together, and I'd had my eye on him for a long time. But I'm Chanelle from the Lawson estate (sounds posh but it really ain't) - like he's going to notice me. I'd thought that he probably lived somewhere like Kings Road, where all the posh and rich people live. And now... He's clearly been sleeping on the streets for a few days. What the hell happened to him? I'd never seen him here before - and people who live on Kings Road one day don't just turn up here the next.

"That's me, and my last name is Redfern. Arran, what the hell are you doing here? Don't you live on Kings Road or somewhere like that?" Arran gives me a strange look.

"What on earth gave you that idea?"

"Well, you're always clean, you have an iPhone for Gods sake, you've got loads of mates, and I've never seen you here before. People who live here, in the crappy Lawson estate, people like me, don't have that kind of thing..." I trail off. Arran laughs, and the laugh is tired.

"Chanelle, honey, that was all show. I wish I'd had what you thought I had, but I didn't. I didn't live in this estate, but I wasn't living in Kings Road either. And now, I have nothing at all." He sighs. "Absolutely nothing. I'm on the streets, and things are a lot worse out here than they were made out to be."

"Tell me about it." I mutter. Arran smiles a little. "So are you really out on the streets?" Arran nods mournfully. I straighten up, and look down at him. "Not anymore." Arran looks up, his expression clearly confused.

"What are you talking about?"

"You'd best be coming with me. This place ain't safe." I say. Arran grins and me, and leaps to his feet.

 

From that moment on, Arran lived with me in my flat. It might have seemed crazy - taking in a guy I only vaguely knew. He could've been anybody, he could've done anything - and he did nothing to me. As each day with him passed, as we got to know each other, I trusted him more and more. He didn't tell me how he ended up on the streets, and something tells me he never will. After we'd been living together for about a month, he kissed me. And I kissed him back. I had successfully buried my feelings for him - he was clearly going through a tough time, what with ending up on the streets and all. But when he had kissed me, all those feelings had come back with a vengence. Suddenly, it was all so obvious. I love Arran, more than I've ever loved anyone.

 

I unlock the door of my flat, expecting him to follow me in. I mean, he lives here too. Arran stands behind me, his hood still up even though there is nothing to hide from. I step just inside our flat, and lean against the door frame. I look straight at Arran, tilting my head to one side as I take in every little detail.

 

His clear, stormy grey eyes glitter in a way that doesn't look human. He pulls down his hood, revealing shiny black hair. His skin is snow white, accenting the the blackness of his hair and the depth of his eyes. His face seems even more hauntingly beautiful, like a dark angel. His black hoodie, dark blue jeans and black Converse baseball boots make him look even paler. And he is mine.

 

"You, er, coming in?" I ask silkily, swishing my hair a little so it shines in the artificial lights of the hallway. Arran stares at me for a second. I can't be alone tonight. I need him, I need to know that he still wants me, I need to know that he still loves me.

"No, I gotta go. I'll see you in the morning." Rejection washes through me, bringing tears to my eyes. At the same time, I wonder why. I look at him strangely. Arran worked in a near by bar four days a week, but he wasn't working tonight. (I didn't work. The only work availible around here was at a strip club. I've sunk to plenty of lows, but I refuse to stoop that low.) So what's the deal?

"What's the deal? You ain't working tonight." I say. Arran looks away, clealry uncomfortable.

"It's, er, just something I gotta do." He says. I sigh, not wanting to argue, even though I want to know what the hell is going on.

"Fine. I'll see you later." I say tiredly. I didn't want to be alone tonight, not after what happened with Miranda Lockhart. If Arran was with me, then I knew for certain that he wasn't with her. But if I told him that, it'd look so clingy. And he has a life outside of me. We are so alike, but we're different as well. This is how we are different. He's all that I've got. But I'm not all that he's got.

 

I delve into my pocket, and pull out the spare key to the flat. I hold it out to him. He doesn't take it. Instead, he darts in, and kisses me. I kiss him back, clinging to him like I'm drowning and he's my life preserver. We stagger into the flat, slamming the door behind us.

 

Arran throws me on to the bed, and whispers in my ear that he's by my side until I order him away.

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