Claimed *Completed*

"I'm already living on borrowed time. When it comes to it, it will be my time to go."

500 years ago Cathy should have died, but she didn't. She was saved by the Devil.

"I agreed to something ... Something that cant have been important then, it seemed too far away.
I'd agreed, after five hundred years, to hand myself over to the Devil, to become his."

Now her time's up, but back in the city where it all started, things are far from over. Cathy finds out that there is more to the Devil than she ever thought. A new boy, a best friend and a deadly enemy, things are about to get complicated...

"No one's that good or bad, it's not that simple, nothing's that black and white. It's more grey."

*Hi, this is my first Movella, so I'd love some feedback and constructive critsism! Thanks :)

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14. Thursday 13th January 2012

Thursday, 13th January 2012

 

 

 

 

  “We’re taking my car.”

  “No way, I want to go in the BMW.”

  “My car’s better.”

  “I think I’m going to have to agree with Chrissie on this one: my car is way better.” Jack speaks up.

  “Shut up.” I glare at them both. “I thought you were meant to be my friends?”

  Jack smiles slyly, “I’m only here because you’ve got to keep an eye on me, remember?” I try to glare at him, but I just can stay mad at him; it’s impossible, however much I want to be.

  I glare at Chrissie instead, “What’s your excuse?”

  She just shrugs, “I just want to go in the cooler car.”

  I sigh; Jack grins and says, “You’re outnumbered.”

  “Fine, but Chrissie’s sitting in the back.”

  “What? How does that work?” She puts her hands on her hips and pouts.

  “Well, Jack has to drive and since I have to keep an eye on him, I have to sit in the front. And you offended my car.”

  I climb into the front passenger seat of Jack’s car with a last wistful glance at my Mini. In the back I hear Chrissie muttering something that sounds like, “Flirting.” I laugh.

  Jack gets in and I cast a look at him out of the corner of my eye. He’s concentrating on starting the car, his hair falls in front of his eyes. I can’t see them from this angle, but he looks up at me and I’m struck by the beauty of the colour. Again. Will I ever stop being stunned by them?

  “What?” He asks. So romantic.

  I smile and shake my head. I glance back at Chrissie and she rolls her eyes.

  “What?” He asks again, looking between us, confused, “What did I miss?”

  His expression just makes us laugh more. “Sometimes boys can be so clueless.” Chrissie says.

  Jack frowns, “Well, girls can be so cryptic.” He turns back to the steering wheel and starts the car. Chrissie laughs again. I frown. Is he really that clueless? Does he not realise I like him? Does he like me? A horrible thought occurs to me – what if he doesn’t? I mean he was spying on me, why would he like me?

  Oh, for heavens sake, am I really worrying about this? With everything else going on, I’m worrying about Jack not liking me back?

   I look out the window; we’re going to Jack’s apartment, because I’ve finally got sick of always hanging around in my apartment. It’s not fair that Jack has seen my apartment, and I haven’t seen his. I haven’t even bothered to ask about Chrissie’s house, I can already imagine her parents’ reaction to having me around. We wouldn’t be able to talk there anyway, not like we can when we’re alone.

  I realise where we are - quite drive away from my apartment. Driving past my apartment definitely wouldn’t be the quickest way to school, and it certainly isn’t a ten minute walk away... hmm... what else has he lied about? Or not told me?

  The car slides smoothly to a stop in the resident parking outside a large apartment block. It’s a sleek and expensive looking building, just like the BMW. Jack turns off the engine and we get out. 

  Chrissie runs a finger along the low roof of the car, “Wow, I need a car like this.”

  “Huh, now you’re defiantly not getting a fake driving licence if you waste it by driving around a car like this.”

  Jack grins, “Well, I think Chrissie’s got a good taste in cars.”

  “You would say that – it’s your car.”

  Chrissie sighs, “You two argue like a married couple.”

  “Oh, shut up.” I say, but I still blush. I turn away from Jack to stop him seeing.

  Jack gives up on working out what we are talking about and leads the way up to his apartment.

  However fancy the apartment building looks, his apartment is smaller than mine. Jack walks along a short hall and through a door on the left into the living room.

  The walls are a deep turquoise colour, a bit like Jack’s eyes, but nothing like the real thing. The bright colour is balanced by cream furniture. Jack heads through another door, following him; I see it’s a kitchen-diner. It’s red, which looks really nice in his kitchen, but I can’t tell him that.

  “You’ve copied me.”

  Jack cocks an eyebrow, “I decorated this place before I met you.”

  I shrug, and slide on to a bar stool. “You still copied me.”

  Chrissie wonders in on another stool, looking at me expectantly, “Well, come on - call her.”

  Jack frowns, “I really don’t-”

  “No one asked for your opinion, so shut up.”

  I smile. I pull out my phone and the now worn piece of paper.

  “Oh, hurry up, come on.”

  I laugh at Chrissie’s eagerness compared to the wary look on Jack’s face, “Okay, okay, I’m ringing her.” Jack sits next to Chrissie so they are both sitting opposite me.

  0-7-8-5-6-4-3-2-4-2

  I finish dialling the number, but my finger hesitates over the call button. I look up at Chrissie and then Jack, “You two stay quiet, because Jess might be more willing to talk if she thinks it is just me.”

  Chrissie sighs, “Okay, but put it on loud speaker so at least we can hear what’s going on.” Jack nods in agreement.

  I press the calls button and wait. I don’t have to wait long because after the first ring somebody picks up.

  “Hello?” I put it on loudspeaker, it’s Jess. I let out a breath I hadn’t realised I was holding.

  “Hi Jess, it’s me, Cathy.”

  “Cathy?” She sounds relieved, “I was starting to think you wouldn’t call.”

  What is she on about? It has only been a day. I tell her.

  “Has it?” She seems distracted, but then laughs, “Oh, yeah, stupid me.”
  “So...” I’m not really sure where to begin. I glance up at Chrissie who shrugs.

  Luckily Jess gets there first, “I know you’ve got a lot to ask, but we can’t do it over the phone.”

  I become suspicious, “Why not?”

  “For one, calls are too easily to listen in on.” I shoot a look at Chrissie and Jack, “And you won’t believe a word I say. I need to talk to you in person.”

  Jack shakes his head vigorously at this and even Chrissie looks doubtful.

  I consider it for half a second, “Where do you want to meet?” Jess reels of an address. I motion for Jack to pass me a pen and paper. He slides them across the counter, “Sorry, what was that?”

  “80 Church lane, top floor, near the shopping centre, 9.00pm tomorrow.”

  “I’ll see you then.” I hang up.

  Jack slaps his hand to his forehead in frustration, and Chrissie looks a bit worried.

  “What did you do that for?” Says an exasperated Jack.

  I shrug, “I wanted to find out what’s going on, and now I can.”

  “You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.”

  “I can look after myself; I’ve been doing it for a long time before you came along.”

  “You’re looking at little miss indestructible.” Chrissie adds.

  “But,” Jack hesitates, “what if I’m not?”

  “Huh?”

  “Cathy, think about it, the other day you broke your arm and last night you fell asleep. So, okay, your arm healed almost instantly, and you did have a flash-back instead of a dream, but it’s not normal for you.”

  “So... what are you saying? I’m becoming more normal?”

  Jack shrugs, “Maybe.” Hmm... I know what Jack means; I have been acting strange (or normal, however you want to look at it) ever since I got here, and that’s probably not a coincidence. I’d forgotten about falling asleep and I think I really did sleep for a bit before the flash-back.  I’d be thinking of it as strange, but maybe it’s not.

  It’s all too normal.

  Ha, ironic; I’d always wanted to be more normal, and now I’m calling myself too normal.

  I shake myself, “Jack, this is just stupid. There is no way I’m becoming more normal, if anything I’m getting stranger. None of this is like me: breaking my arm, sleeping, hearing the Devil... this only proves that his hold on me is getting stronger.”

  “Wait, what?”

  “Err... his hold on me is growing?”

  “Before that.”

  “Hearing the Devil?”

  “Since when have you been hearing the Devil?” Jack looks shocked. Chrissie’s eyes are firmly planted on me.

  Oops, I forgot to tell them about hearing the Devil. I bite my lip, “Erm, only since I came back to Toritos. I’ve been hearing him before and after visions.”

  “And you only tell us now?”

  “Well, I forgot to tell you with everything else going on. I have a lot on my plate at the moment, in case you haven’t noticed. And I don’t have to tell you everything, you know.” I sound sulky, but I have only known him a couple of days and he already expects me to tell him everything. I nearly have – how much more does he want me to tell him?

  “Well, how can you forget to mention hearing the Devil everywhere?”

  “Not everywhere.”

  Chrissie interrupts, “Jack, be quiet; Cathy, explain.”

  “Well, there’s not much to say. I heard him a couple of times after flash-backs, but I forgot about them pretty much as soon as I woke up.

  “The first time was when I opened my box. It’s got all sorts of things in that I’ve kept from my past, some of the most painful parts of it; a piece of cloth from the night on the bridge, the bracelet Jane made me, Elizabeth’s necklace...”

  I’m on the verge of tears. It’s amazing how quickly I can go from banter to tears. But Jack takes my hand under the table and squeezes encouragingly. I pull myself together and give him a half smile.

  “When I opened it I started to remember all these things I’d forgotten, I quickly closed the box again, but I heard this voice. It was only faint and it was telling me I should open the box and let all the memories back in. It wanted me to feel the pain of them.” I swallow, and find my mouth suddenly dry. “It was the Devil’s voice, no doubt about it.

  “After that I’ve been hearing him after flash-backs, every time his voice is a bit stronger. I think it gets stronger as the Devil does. Every time I’ve had these flash-backs I cry, and the Devil’s voice urges me on: to mourn, to cry. I think the Devil might be...” I can’t finish it. I don’t know how to put my thoughts into words.

  Jack finishes it for me, “Feeding from your fear.” I nod, that sums it up pretty well. We all sit in a stunned silence, even Chrissie, but only for a minute.

  “So, what are we going to do?”

  Good, question, what can we do? Not much by the sounds of it. How can you stop a Devil feeding off your fears if you can’t see him? Or even prove he’s real?

  Chrissie voices my thoughts, “Well, we can’t exactly do anything about it, can we?”

  “No, not really.”

  There’s a pause, “Okay, there’s something I don’t get.” Chrissie speaks up again, “How does he feed off your fear? How does that even work?”

  “Wouldn’t I like to know?” I sigh, “Do you want an honest answer? I have no idea, all this is just guess work; I know next to nothing about the Devil.”

  “Great,” says Chrissie, sarcasm layering her voice. She sees the despair written all over my face, and immediately drops her sulky look. She flings her arms around me across the counter, “It’ll be okay, Cathy.”

  Over Chrissie’s shoulder I can see Jack looking at me, trying to convey to me that I shouldn’t worry, but I can see he’s worried himself, so the message is somewhat meaningless. Still, just his presence makes me calmer.

  Chrissie pulls away and puts her hands on my shoulders, weighing me down, “Cathy,” she says, her eyes locking on mine, “we’ll figure this out. We’ll help, we’ll be here 24/7 to keep your mind off things, help you fight, whatever. We’re here.”

  “I know.” I glance between her Jack and I realise that they are both going to be with me until the end. But I don’t want them to be at the end, it’ll bad enough if it’s me who gets taken, but I can’t have them hurt too, “But I don’t deserve it, I don’t deserve you.”

  “Yes you do Cathy. Everyone does- God, we’re had this conversation ten thousand times already. You have friends that care about you and that want to help. Get over it.”

  I can’t, not really.

  I nod, “Yeah,”

  Neither of them believes me for a second.

  Jack turns to boil the kettle and Chrissie stares absentmindedly out of the window behind me. Eventually, after a hushed silence, her eyes refocus and she remembers something, “Oh yeah, what was that about sleeping? And when did you break your arm?”

  I welcome the change of subject, “When I fell down the stairs I landed badly on my arm and it broke. That’s never happened before, but my body healed it quickly enough, so by the time I sat up it was only a sprained wrist, though normally I wouldn’t even have that.”

  I poke my wrist absentmindedly, and then wince. It still hasn’t fully healed. “I think it was something to do with Katrina. Then, last night, I fell asleep, after, well...” I pause to glance up at Jack through my lashes, red making its way up my checks. I’m pleased to see Jack looks just as embarrassed.

  Chrissie chooses to ignore our look, “So? So what if you fell asleep?”

  This time Jack answers for me, “She doesn’t sleep.”

  “You don’t sleep?” Chrissie gapes at me, “At all?” I shake my head. “Cool.”

  I shake my head again, more vehemently than before, “No, not cool. There are too many hours in a day; it makes five hundred years seem twice as long.”

  No one really knows what to reply to that. The conversation trails off and Chrissie wonders off to find the toilet, though it’s probably just an excuse to have a nosey around Jack’s apartment. Jack has his back turned to me, I study him closely. I think about what I thought before about Jack lying to me about where his apartment was. Did he think I wouldn’t remember? He must have realised that I have a super memory? I know it’s not important, but that little lie puts me on edge, on guard.

  Jack turns around, sensing my eyes on his back, he gives me a small smile, which I return, but my face falls back into its frown. There is an awkward pause while I think of what to ask him, he leans back on the counter, waiting.

  “How come-” I choose my words carefully, unsure of how to put my questions into my words, “How come you live here on your own?” It’s something that’s been lurking in the back of my mind ever since he told me that his dad died. His stories don’t seem to fit together. Okay, so it sounds very hypocritical coming from me, but I’m a special case. Jack isn’t, not in the same way.

  Jack seems to know what I’m getting at though, because he takes a minute to answer, “The official story is that I live here with my dad, but he’s away on business a lot.”

  “Okay... so if that’s the official story, does that mean that it’s not true? You told me your dad died.” Jack turns his head to look mournfully out of the window. Stupid of me to mention his dad, it’s still a fresh wound, not like mine; the deaths I’ve dealt with are more like scars now. Even if some of then are being ripped right open again.

  I walk around the table to where he’s standing. “I’m sorry; I can be so tactless sometimes, I forget.” I balance on the tips of my toes so our eyes are level, forcing him to look me in the eye. “Come on Jack; tell me what’s going on. You owe me that much.”

  I try to keep my head in the conversation, but it’s spinning and nonsensical. His closeness sends shivers down my spine, and all I can see are his eyes.

  I put a hand on his chest to push him, make him answer me, but once my hand’s there it sits perfectly on his chest and I leave it there. Now all thoughts of what we were talking about have completely vanished from my head. It’s just him and me.

  He leans towards me, just a breath away-

  “Jack, I can’t find the toilet! Where-” Chrissie’s voice floats towards us, it seems like she’s far away, but she breaks off abruptly when she enters the kitchen. I jump back from Jack, cheeks burning. Jack steps backwards and bumps into the kitchen counter. He looks sheepishly up at Chrissie, who’s standing open mouthed in the door way. She quickly closes her mouth and averts her eyes, I pull my t-shirt self consciously and I out of the corner of my eye I can see Jack running a hand through his hair. I’m determined not to look at him.

  “Err... sorry, I didn’t mean to barge in, I was just looking for the toilet...”

  Jack clears his throat, “It’s the second door on the left.”

  “Erm, thanks.” Chrissie starts to back out of the door, but I really don’t want to be left in the room with Jack now, what am I meant to say, Right, where were we? Oh, yeah...

  No, that’s just too awkward.

  “Chrissie,” I call after her, “We should probably be going now anyway.”

  “Err... right, yeah.”

  I turn back to Jack, avoiding his eye, “Do you want to come to mine for eight? You know, because I’m meeting Jess at nine.” I quickly add.

  “Yeah, I’ll see you then.”

  “Bye.”

  It almost kills me to walk out of the kitchen, and away from him.

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