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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24. Wednesday, 19th January 2012

 

Wednesday, 19th January 2012

 

 

 

 

  I’m officially a fugitive.

  I’ve always been a fugitive, but now I have an official stamp on my fake record to prove it. MI6 have been after me a while so there’s nothing new there, but now the police are after me as well. I’m suspected of a double murder, along with Chrissie.

  “This is so cool!” Yes, those are Chrissie’s first words when she sees today’s newspaper. ‘Dangerous Teenage Killers On The Run From Police’ screams the front page.

  “’Two teenage girls are suspected of murdering fellow year eleven students at Cherrystone High School, Toritos.’” Jack reads, “‘Cathy Jenks and Christina O’Donald – both 16 – are thought to have carried out an unprovoked attack on-’”

  “Unprovoked?” Shrieks Chrissie, “What are the police – stupid? What about all the wreckage, they can’t honestly have believed that was us?”

  I sigh, “Just because there was wreckage, it doesn’t disprove anything. They found two dead girls and two girls running away. They put two and two together.”

  “They’re not blind,” adds Jack, “Listen; ‘The police arrived at a scene of carnage last night as the Kiay Bridge, where the attack took place, was pronounced unstable. As of yet, they have no evidence as to the cause of the bridge’s current condition.’”

  “What about Jess and Katrina?” I have to force the names out, “What does it say about them?”

  Jack’s eyes skip quickly over the article, “Here; ‘the body of Katrina Oswald was found on the bridge, no cause of death has yet been announced, but Jessica Sterlington’s body was found washed up on the bank if the River Kiay, just half a mile down stream. It is suspected she was pushed from the bridge while alive and drowned later in the deep water.’ Blah, blah, blah... oh here; ‘both girls were friends at school, clever and well liked, no doubt they will be dearly missed by all who new them.’”

  “Hmm...”

  “What about us? Is there anything else about us?” I just stare at Chrissie in disbelief, eyebrows raised. She shrugs, “What?”

  I shake my head, “You’re far too happy about this. Bring suspected of murder is not a good thing.”

  Chrissie smiles widely, “That depends on how you look at it. This means no school, no parents, lots of publicity and this awesome apartment.”

  We had to quickly evacuate my apartment – which meant leaving all but a change of clothes behind. I’m trying not to think what I’ve left back in my room. Some of the things I’ll never see again.

  I’ve rented a new apartment under the name Heather-May Roberts in a small city on the other side of the country. A quick call to my contacts at the forgery agency means we all have new passports, birth certificates and Jack and I have driving licences, much to Chrissie’s disappointment. The apartment itself is quite nice, though it’s nothing on my old one. Chrissie just likes the Jacuzzi. I like the fact there are only two bedrooms, which means I’m sharing with Jack.

  I shake myself out of that daydream, “Chrissie, this sort of publicity is not good and we’re only stopping here for a few days and then we’re moving on again. Not all the places we go will be as nice as this. You’re just lucky I could get this place at such sort notice.” We can’t go abroad as soon as I’d have liked because we have to wait for all the hype to calm down a bit first.

  Chrissie pouts, but then says, “Come on, I still want to know what it says about me.”

  I lean on the back of Jack’s chair and read over his shoulder. “‘Miss Jenks was celebrating her sixteenth birthday party that night with a Victorian style ball at Sutton Hall, Toritos. She had recently moved form Spain to the high school and several students recall her immediate friendship with the likable Miss O’Donald. Many believe that it was Miss Jenks that “led her astray”. Also obvious to fellow students and teachers alike, was the dislike shared by Miss Jenks and Miss Oswald.’”

  Chrissie laughs, “‘Dislike’ doesn’t quiet cover it, ‘hatred’ works better.” But then she frowns at my serious expression, “What’s up with you?”

  “Besides the obvious? Well, I did ‘lead you astray’, didn’t I? It’s my fault you’re here now.”

  “For heavens sake. Not this again. I’ve explained it to you so many times this is the absolute last one. We want to be here because we are your friends. Got it?” She says it slowly like she’s taking to a deaf person.

  I smile, “Yeah, I get it. Doesn’t mean I like it though.”

  “Nobody said you had to like it, just live with it.”

  We’re silent for a minute before Chrissie spots the newspaper article. Now laying on the table, and addresses Jack, “There’s no mention of you in there.”

  He grimaces, “That’ll be something to do with MI6.”

  Chrissie sits up. “MI6? I thought we’d established that you’re not an evil spy?”

  “She’s got a point you know.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

  Jack glances up and me, then sighs. “I’m not an evil spy, but I can’t stop all contact with them because not all of them are Saved, so they still believe the mission is active, especially now this has happened. So I had to tell them I was going with you, but I haven’t given them any details because I told them you were getting suspicious.” I frown at him, he sighs again. “Oh, come on Cathy, we’ve been through this; I’m sorry I didn’t tell you in the first place, but I promise, no more lies.” I start to turn my head away from him, but he catches it and makes me look him in the eye, his hands resting either side of my face.  “I promise.”

  I nod, “I know, I just-” I’m cut off by a retching sound. Chrissie is sitting in the chair opposite us, sticking her finger sown her throat and pretending to be sick. Look over at her and sigh.

  She huffs back, “Don’t you two go all soppy on me, I might have saved your relationship, but that doesn’t mean I want to see it.” Jack just laughs and I slide into a chair next to him after a pause, Chrissie asks, “What about Will?”

  I look up, “Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about him.”

  “That’s nice of you.” Chrissie rolls her eyes.

  “I’ve had a lot to think about, in case you haven’t noticed someone had to get you your Jacuzzi.”

  Chrissie ignores me and turns to Jack, motioning to the newspaper, “Is he mentioned?”

  “I don’t think so... wait, ‘Miss Sterlington’s long term boyfriend is said to be ‘distraught’ at the death of his girlfriend’” Jack pauses, “Maybe we should have gone back for him, now he’s on his own.”

  The thought is nice, but I don’t think it would work. “Do you really think he’d have come with us if he thought we’d just killed his girlfriend? He’s meant to me ‘distraught’, and he won’t have known the full story, so as far as he’s concerned, we’re murderers.”

  There’s a full minutes silence before Chrissie pipes up, “We should have gone back for him straight away and told him our version of the story.”

  “Would he have listened? Anyway, it’s too late for that now.”

  Something occurs to me, “Do you think he knew? About Jess spying, I mean.”

  Chrissie leans back in her seat, “Hmm... I don’t think do, he seemed too nice.”

  I glance at Jack and then back at Chrissie, exasperated, “Chrissie, we thought Jess was nice until she handed me over to the Angel. You can’t judge someone on whether they’re nice or not.”

  Chrissie folds her arms, “Why not?’

  Jack rolls his eyes, “Because nothings that simple, you can’t say someone’s good just because they look nice, or someone’s evil because they don’t look nice. It doesn’t work like that.”

  It reminds me of something the Devil said, and the truth of it really hits me.

  Nothing’s that simple, nothing’s ever that black and white.

 

*

 

  A few hours later we’ve exhausted all the possibilities for escaping the country unnoticed and have decided we better get some sleep. Jack’s left the room and it’s just me and Chrissie, I remember something I’d been meaning to ask her before. “Why did you leave my party? I assumed it was something to do with the Devil or something, but you came back later with Jack – what happened?”

  She looks guilty and I narrow my eyes suspiciously.

  “It’s nothing really, just... well, I hated seeing you so upset over Jack,” I’m suddenly glad that Jack’s not in the room; I don’t want him to know just how much I missed him. “and I wanted to make things better on your birthday. See, I got a text from Jack saying that I should persuade you to hear him out. I was about to tell him stick it, because after what happened I wasn’t going to let him anywhere near you.” She shoots me a grin which I reluctantly return. “But then he told me that you hadn’t heard the full story, you hadn’t waited for an explanation. I thought that it couldn’t do any harm if I heard what he had to say – but it was going through me first before I let him within a mile radius of you.

  “I thought there was a chance, a small though it might have been, that he was still alright, so I wanted to give you the extra birthday present of having Jack back. So I slipped out to meet him, thinking I’d be back before you noticed. I went to Jack’s apartment, which was a few streets away –what would I do without Google maps? – and found him. He explained everything. I was about to go back to the party, but Jess turned up and nicked my bag and locked me and Jack in his apartment. It took Jack a while to smash the door down.”

   Wow, that certainly explains a whole lot. “So, Jess must have taken your phone and texted me with it to get me to the bridge so she could call the Angel.”

  I’ve told them everything that happened, even the parts I want to forget, so they know exactly what happened. There’s a long pause.

  I stand, and Chrissie follows. “Night Cathy,”

  “Night Chrissie,”

  I turn to leave the room, but Chrissie calls, “Cathy,” I spin around, she looks worried, “you alright?”

  I frown, “Yeah, why?”

  She looks quickly around to check nobody’s within hearing range, “Cathy, are you sure about Jack?”

  My frown deepens, “Yes. Yes, I’m sure.”  I told her what I’d heard on the bridge, and she heard it herself from Jack, why is she questioning it now?

  Chrissie searches my face for any hint of doubt. “Only if you’re sure.”

  I nod, but then sink down in one of the wooden dining chairs next to me, “I think so Chrissie. I know I can never be one hundred percent sure, but I’m as close as I can get.”

  “You need to listen to your head as well as your heart. Just don’t let him go breaking your hear; you have to be able to trust him. And I’m not saying you can’t, just be sure.” With that Chrissie walks quietly out of the room.

  I stay immobile for a minute before I can force my legs to move. I get up and make my way to the door of my bedroom, the one I’m sharing with Jack. I lean against the door frame and watch him. He’s sitting on the bed, looking out of widow into the navy sky.

  Can I trust him? My heart is screaming yes, but I try to ignore it and focus on my head instead. I’ve not been myself for a few weeks; the Devil’s had too much control of my head, but now my mind is clear I can concentrate and think about everything properly.

  I really want to be able to trust him, and I think I can. If he doesn’t want to be Daniel anymore he shouldn’t have to. I don’t want to be Catherine. We should be able to choose. But I still know so little about him. He knows more about me than anyone else ever has, but yet I barely know anything about him. I shift my weight onto my right leg, the floorboard beneath me creeks. Jack turns and smiles as he sees me. I let my heart take back over; I’m staying with Jack, no questions asked.

  I pad softly across the floor and sit next to him, dropping my head onto his shoulder. For a minute we just sit there and look out at the starry sky. The stars never fail to amaze me. No matter how much the world around me changes, the stars stay the same.

  Eventually I turn my head to look up at Jack. Moonlight falls over his face, casting half of it into shadow. He looks back at me, and all I can see is him and the blue-green. It’s even better than the stars. He bends his head and his lips touch mine. A light floaty feeling spreads through me, like I’m floating up there in the sky with the golden light from the stars washing over us. Nothing matters but the here and now. Jack and me. We kiss until we have to pull away for air. Jack wraps his arms around me without a word and falls back on the bed. I lay curled next to him.

  Jack turns his head to study me; I can’t meet his eye, instead I stare at the ceiling. He guesses what I’m thinking about. “Names don’t mean anything, at the end of the day I’m still me and you’re still you.”

  I sigh, “I’m sorry.” Jack starts to interrupt but I continue over him, “I’m sorry that I didn’t listen to you, I’m sorry that I called you a lair. I just... I haven’t been this close to someone – emotionally – to someone for so long. It’s hard.”

  “I know, and I don’t hold it against you. It’s okay.”

  I stare at him, why is he being so good about all of this? After what I said? It makes me want to cry. I love you. More than anything I want to say those three little words, but they just won’t come out. After all this time, after I’ve learnt to love again, I can’t tell him. It’s like my mouth won’t work, someone cut the nerve from my brain to my mouth; no messages are getting through.

  Jack seems to get the gist though. He pulls me tighter to him. “It’s okay.” After another pause, he says, “I’m haunted by my past just as much as you are, except you’ve just got more of it than me.” I press my lips together, determined not to say anything. I’ve seen snippets of it; his mum dying, then his dad, but I don’t know if that even happened, let alone the rest of his past. I want to ask – no more lies he’d said, but it’s obviously as painful for him as mine is for me. I don’t want to hurt him by asking – maybe he’ll tell me, one day. But it should come from him.

  Jack laughs softly beside me, staring at the ceiling, ‘You’re 516, and I don’t care. That’s what love does – messes with your head. Love is blind. And deaf. No matter what you’re called, no matter how old you are, I don’t care. You are you and I love you for it.”

  “Have I ever told you how amazing you are?”

  Jack just smiles, “Not as amazing as you. I can’t believe you fought them off like that.”

  I shake my head. “Neither can I.”

  He shoots me a sideways glance, “So you’re red then?”

  “Yeah, I don’t know how I did that either.” My finger doodles idly on his shoulder. “I think it was you that helped me through. I heard your voice and I just needed to see you, to apologise. It gave me the strength to fight back.”

  Jack doesn’t reply. After a while he says, “So what are you now then?”

  I lift my head from where it was resting on his chest. “I thought it didn’t matter to you what I am?”

  Jack smiles slightly and brushes a lock of hair from my face, “It doesn’t.”

  There’s a long pause. I sigh, “I don’t know anymore. I’m neither Saved or Damned, but I got a caught in the cross fire of power between the Devil and Angel, so I have some of both of their power, but neither of them Claimed me – what does that make me?” I look at Jack, but he just shrugs; he knows even less about it than me. “I don’t know who I am anymore, it’s like I don’t belong anywhere.” I can hear the sadness in my own voice, I lower my head.

  “No,” Jack puts a finger under my chin and makes me look at him. “No, you belong with me.” And staring into his eyes, there’s nowhere I’d rather be.

  He presses his lips to mine for short few second, his touch gentle. When I open my eyes, he pulls away and puts something heavy into my hands. “A late birthday present.”

  I look down, it feels like a book, and as I turn it over in my hands I see that it is, but it’s not just a story book. The cover is made of blue fabric with swirling patterns on it: bird, flowers, butterflies; all intricately drawn. It’s beautiful. I open it to find the inside totally blank. Then it clicks; it’s a journal. I close it again and run my hand over the material. It feels right in my hands.

  I look up at Jack, his expression is full of concern. HHHHhe starts babbling, “It’s for you to write your own story in. I mean, you don’t have to, but I though it might help to put everything down on paper. If you don’t like it that’s fine, I only-”

  I stop him, “No Jack, I love it. Thank you so much. For everything.”

  Staring into the blue-green I realise the extent of everything that’s going on; I’m running from so many different people I’ve lost count, I’m alive when I really, defiantly should be dead this time, I’ve no idea what I really am and I’ve fallen in love with the boy sent to spy on me and who I know barely anything about, but I can’t help loving him. I’m caught up in him, like this is all a dream.

  I have no idea what happens now, but what ever it is I’ll be ready for it. I’ve got Jack, Chrissie and my journal. And that's all I need.

 

 

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