13, An Unlucky Number (FULL LENGTH!!!)

My book 13, An Unlucky Number is quite a long novel about a case worker named Angela. Her life is scarred by the need for revenge of a man named Steelo and his accomplice Skull. Together they try to settle a century old score, striking at Angela in any way they can. Victims piling up, Angela tries to run but whether Steelo and Skull succeed or fail at their path of destruction, 13 will turn out to be Angela's unlucky number.

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13. I've Found You..

Angela continued to plod on slowly, her clothes dripping wet and leaning against the row of bush lining the edge of the road for support. A strange meow beside her made Angela jump and she looked down to see Dennis at her feet. "Did you follow me all this way?," Angela asked the cat, who looked up and mewed at her in reply. Bending down, Angela took the cat into her arms and his soft black and white fur felt welcoming and safe. Burying his face in her clothes, Dennis settled down and yawned, obviously as tired as Angela was. With the cat in her arms, Angela walked on along the road until it opened out to the beginnings of a small village. 

When she came to a bus stop, she sat down. At least I'm not completely alone, Angela thought as she collapsed into the bus stop seat, her clothes still damp, and looked down at the cat in her hands. She gave him a stroke and he started to purr beneath her hand. Some movement and scuffling beneath the bus stop seats interrupted Angela's day dreaming and thoughts, rushing her back to the lonely world she was in. She bent down to look underneath the seats to find Jamie hunched in the corner, his eyes tired and sorrowful. He hadn't even seemed to have noticed her. "Jamie.." Angela whispered, leaning closer toward the boy, "What happened to you?.. Where's Petunia?.." The boy looked up at her, his eyes gleaming slightly as he recognized Angela. She placed Dennis on top of the bus stop seats and bent back down to offer her arms to Jamie. He, in turn, leaned forward and almost collapsed into her arms and Angela dragged him out from beneath the seats. "I've found you. It's okay now.."

Angela hugged Jamie tighter than she ever had before, as if unable to let go. She didn't want to let go. She wanted to hold him close to her forever and never let go again. She'd found him, and she was unable to hold back tears of both joy and sorrow. It was almost like there was a pain deep inside Angela's stomach that clenched hard. "Why did I ever let you out my sight?," she mumbled, still holding Jamie. "I tried to look for you.." Jamie let out a pitiful whisper, as if too weak to speak, "But I couldn't find you.. I tried.. I tried.." Both were crying and they were still holding each other. Dennis weaved his way around their legs, mewing loudly as if he had been forgotten or felt left out. Angela bent down, picked him up and gave him to Jamie who cuddled the cat close and snuggled against him. Dennis seemed to enjoy the fuss and attention, his purr loud and affectionate. 

Together, side by side, Angela and Jamie sat on the seats of the bus stop and told each other everything that had happened. Angela told her story first. "I tried to visit you.. but you were both gone. You know I couldn't have forgotten you that easily.." she explained. Suddenly things became clear when Jamie told his side of the story. "Aunt Petunia made us leave the house. She wouldn't tell me why and I argued against her, but I had to give up in the end... But then she died, and I was left to fend for myself. Which is when I went looking for you. I had tried to sneak out of the house one night, when we were still at Aunt Petunia's house, but she'd caught me before I could go and find you. I think.. I think she moved because she.. she didn't want you seeing me. I think she could tell you'd try and visit.. so she made us move away.." Jamie described what had happened, clarifying why Angela had arrived to an empty house, "After that I just kept moving around from place to place, hoping one day I'd find you.. And you'd bring me home with you.." 

Angela stroked his head gently, the same way she did when he'd had nightmares, and kissed his forehead. "I'm so sorry Jamie but I don't have a home to bring you back to.. We're together now, that's all that matters.."Angela whispered into Jamie's ear. With Dennis spread out on their laps, Angela and Jamie fell asleep huddled together, still sat at the bus stop. Soon, Angela knew, they'd have to go. As she dreamed, Angela remembered about Jamie's nightmares and realized she'd forgotten to ask him whether he'd had any recently. I bet he's having one now, she said to herself. Her dreams were still filled with grief and pain and sorrow, but this time she wasn't fighting. 

Angela was stood, looking down at a sea of mist. Somewhere in the distance she recognized the silhouettes of Skull and Steelo, the strange boy with black eyes, the dark figure of the man from the strange phone call and abandoned white house, Riley 'Rifle', and another that she did not recognize. There were people behind her too, though the people behind her she was a lot happier to see. Seen as they were right behind her she could see them in colour, they were not just silhouettes. There was Graham and Adam, and even Ashley and James were there too. Right beside her stood Jamie, though he looked slightly older than he did then. Though she had no idea where she was, Angela was glad to see her friends again, especially Adam. She was still grieving her loss of him, and so to see him so.. alive made her so much happier. But of course she was happy to see all of them. Backed up and surrounded by familiar faces, Angela stood her ground. The figures in the distance hadn't moved until now. They got closer and closer. And then Angela woke up.

In the morning, after both Jamie and Angela had woken up, they caught a bus and started to travel. They had no idea where they were going, but Angela was sure they could find somewhere to go. Jamie held Dennis, who was wrapped up tightly in his arms. Jamie had woken up from another nightmare in the morning and, for the first time since Angela had been kicked out by Petunia, Angela was there to comfort him. This reminded Angela to ask about Jamie's nightmares and he had expressed to her that the nightmares he had while she was gone were far worse than those before. He also recounted how Petunia had simply ignored him until he'd drifted off back to sleep, only to have another nightmare. He had no idea why she didn't just simply let him go with Angela when she was kicked out. She obviously had no interest in him, even from the start. Angela gave him a sympathetic look as the bus drove on. After a while, the bus stopped and the pair, along with Dennis, hopped off and went in search of a hotel. 

Angela and Jamie, along with Dennis, had settled into a hotel room. It was clean and the beds were more comfortable than Angela could ever have thought possible. Having had that odd dream, Angela started to think about Ashley. She was still pregnant last time Angela saw her, which of course was at James' funeral. Was she still pregnant? Angela didn't even know. She wanted to get in touch with Ashley, but though Angela had given Ashley her number, which she had placed in her list of 'friends' contacts, Ashley hadn't given Angela hers. Suddenly Angela's mobile began to ring. She had completely forgotten she had her mobile in her pocket the whole time and, though it was drenched from her dip in the river, it still worked. She opened the mobile to look at the caller ID only to gasp, mostly in anxiety - It was the Police. She quickly answered, having not a clue why the Police were ringing her mobile. But she was about to find out.

"Is that Miss Angela Price on the phone?," the person on the other end asked and Angela replied with a simple "Yes." "We are to believe you are Ashley Gold's friend, am I correct?," the Police officer responded, and Angela reported that she was. "What is this about, Officer? Is Ashley in trouble?," she asked, trying to nudge answers from the Police officer on the other end. "You could say that. We have tried contacting her other friends and family, but you are the only one we have managed to get a hold of. Ashley is.. well.. Ashley is dead." He became silent as he heard Angela gasp down the phone in grief and disbelief. After a few minutes of regaining her voice she continued to talk. "What happened?,"Angela asked. "We're still investigating, but it looks like she was hit on the back of the neck and drowned in her bathtub. What I'm calling you about, though, is just as important. A few weeks ago Ashley gave birth to her daughter, and so the baby is now an orphan. Instead of emitting her directly into the foster system we've been trying to contact friends and family to see if we could find anyone to look after her. Are you available to look after her? The home doesn't have to be permanent, though it might be good for her to have a permanent home. You would have to come to collect her, but if you tell us your whereabouts we'll send an escort." Angela hesitated. 

Could she really give a home to a baby? But then after thinking it through she couldn't exactly say no. "Okay, I'll be ready for the escort in ten minutes. I'm staying at the Plasma hotel. The one next to the theater, in the town center. Do you mind if I bring a friend who's staying with me?," Angela inquired. "Not at all. All right, we'll send the escort in five minutes. It'll take the escort five minutes to get there. Thank you." "Thank you." The Police officer held up. Jamie was looking confused at her, and she explained about Ashley and the daughter. "You don't mind a bit of company do you?," she asked, and Jamie shook his head. "No, it's okay. Actually it'll be nice to have some more company," he said, stroking Dennis. "Okay then. Grab your coat and scarf, your coming with me," Angela smiled and turned to pick up her jacket. "Can we take Dennis with us?," Jamie questioned, looking down at the black and white tom. He then placed him down on his bed, Dennis letting out a small mew, and grabbed his coat. "I don't see why not," Angela answered. They both smiled, Jamie picking Dennis back up off the bed. Together they left the hotel to see a Police car driving up nearby. They both got in and the car started towards the Police station.

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