Dark Shadows

Some may not live. But the crazy never die

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2. Two

~ Luke P.O.V

Paparazzi were sprawled out behind the barriers leading into the restaurant, there was no escaping their flashes. No moment of privacy offered. As usual I stopped for a few moments to answer their questions and take a few photos with what I assumed were my fans. I couldn’t put my finger on it, I wrote songs for artists, for myself… I wasn’t the one in the spotlight really, the only thing that I could claim as my own was Hemmings Records and Odette. I quickly wondered where she was, and if she had arrived yet. My mind wandered onto her, forgetting all the movement and commotion. My thoughts being infatuated with her. 
“Mr Hemmings, Mr Hemmings? No girls with you tonight?” 
The sudden question torn me from my thoughts, did they honestly think I was some kind of manwhore?
“Girls?” I asked in a nervous laughter.
“You normally have a few around you, not been to Vegas this year then?”
“Whatever, this is about the company tonight. Not me.” I kindly spoke, smiling softly before strolling straight into the venue.
Immediately my eyes searched for her, again forgetting the people around me. A few people appeared in front of me congratulating me on the deal I had just signed. I politely thanked then, excusing myself searching for a quiet place to sit. I found an empty table, hidden well enough from the crowds slipping out my phone. The music playing was pretty loud so I opened up Odette’s conversation typing a quick message. The blue bubble sent almost immediately showing the she had read the text and being the cheeky one she as, replying with a simple “(; x” I chuckled shaking my head a little, the girl drove me crazy. 
While I waited I thought about how to break the news about our relationship. It had been going on a few months now and I knew she hated sneaking in and out of my apartment. Weekends at her place were a bit more private as she lived just outside the city in a small cottage situated on her parent’s estate. It was quiet, peaceful, away from the world and the two of us could be a normal teenage couple. 
After I had finished school I was thrown right into the family business, needless to say I do love what I do, and what I produce. It came naturally, but the expectations were held extremely high. I didn’t get as much recognition as the artists I wrote for, but I was okay with that life. I still had some level of a private life. 
My thoughts wandered back to the night my parents were taken from me, tonight being the 6th year without them. The flashbacks started, my eyes wide with fear as the silver revolver appeared, the four loud gun shots consuming my ears. I was in a state of terror sitting in the crowded restaurant, all noise fading being replaced with those same four loud bangs over and over. My mum’s blonde hair was the most visible thing in the dark alley, fanned out on the pavement the blood leaking out around her. Facing the masked murderer again, his gun only inches from my head I noticed some of the ink tattooed into his skin. The black ink was the shape of a bat in flight, its mouth wide open ready to kill. My eyes didn’t removed themselves from it, as terrified of the bat as I was the guy holding a gun to my head. It was cold against my skin, but in that moment death didn’t scare me. The bat did.

“Baby…” 
The angelic voice ringing from the outside of my mind soothed me back into reality. Odette pushed a strand of her hair behind her ear concern filling her expression. 
“Hey.” I panted.
She didn’t say a word, instead she sat beside me lacing our fingers together rubbing the back of my hand with her thumb. I was a little panicked that someone would see us before I had chance to introduce her but looking at her cuddled into my side comforting me I didn’t and couldn’t move. I leaned my head down to close the height gap, placing a small kiss on her hair line. 
“Stand up, let me see you.” I whispered.
Odette lifted her head, a small smile gracing her lips. She stood, her fingers still laced between mine gazing down into my eyes. Her head dropped as a blush crept over her cheeks, loose curls cascading down over one shoulder. Her dress, the one I bought her last Christmas, was simple but elegant, perfect for this occasion. I smiled as she shied away from meeting my eyes, she was adorable when she blushed. 
“Odette.” I whispered. “Odette, baby look at me.” 
Slowly she lifted her head, those bright blue eyes shining in the dim light from behind us. 
“You look beautiful.” 
That blush returned a lot pinker than before, heat radiating onto my knuckles as I brushed across her cheek. 
“Thank you.” She said breathlessly. 
Her fingers parted from mine so she could wrap her arms around my waist. She took in a deep breathe, I could feel her heart pounding against my abdomen scared with nerves. She wasn’t good around huge crowds, hated attention. I had to dig deep to find out the tiny details like her birthday. Never wanting a fuss. Odette clung to me almost as if she wanted to disappear into my chest as I moved forwards becoming completely visible to the crowd filling the empty space around the makeshift stage. 
“Hey, don’t be scared. I have you, and I’m not letting go.” I murmured again kissing her forehead.
“Don’t let me go, Luke.” She replied.
Odette’s older brother, Ashton waved me over, I had given him a job a few months ago after he had been released from juvi, accused falsely losing all her had due to the charges. I didn’t mind, my team was made up of badasses, and he was a pretty good writer. A great addition to my team, I thought with a smile on my face. 
“Can I have everyone’s attention please?!” Ashton said into the mic waiting for the guests to settle. “My boss has a few things to say about this wonderful occasion, so here he is…” 
As everyone clapped I suddenly became nervous, Odette perking up a little when Ashton appeared. I left her side, promising to return the moment I had finished. She nodded, kissing my cheek before releasing my hand. 
“Thanks, Ash.” I looked around the room full of people, artists, some local actors and actresses, other music producers. This is your life, son. My dad’s voice played in my mind giving me the strength to smile and commence with my speech.
“Yeah, it’s been a busy few months. The studio has been burning up with records, such an honour to work with you all. As everyone already knows Hemmings Records has signed a new fantastic band, and from what I’ve heard of their songs so far I’m extremely proud. Please give a round of applause to our newest band, The Septembers.” The bodies scattered around the room clapped as the three brothers wandered up to the stage. They stood behind me, ready to take the lead in introducing themselves but a certain blonde girl caught my eye and I knew I had to do this now. I wanted to tell everyone about her, let them see how great she was. “One more thing before I hand over, I’d like to all introduce you to my girlfriend, Odette. She’s standing over there, and she makes me extremely happy. Thank you.” I let go of a relieved sigh as the people around me clapped, a few wolf whistles sounded from my team, congratulations being thrown in my face as I wandered back to her side.
“Told you.” I grinned taking her in my arms.
“You’re unbelievable, Hemmings.” She cooed.
“And here I was thinking you were going to propose.” Ashton interrupted patting my shoulder with a wink. Odette scoffed as he wandered into the crowd to join the other two boys in my team. I sniggered, pondering on the idea before returning my eyes to Odette. 
I took hold of her hand raising my arm up over her head and resting it on her shoulder keeping her close to my side. We began walking towards the bar, although I wanted to just go home and be a teenager with my girlfriend but, as it was my event and I was classed as an adult in this world I had created, I couldn’t leave this early.
We both sat up on the bar stools quickly ordering two cokes, this was as normal as tonight was going to get but I was spending it with Odette so I wasn’t at all fussed.

It had reached about 12 o’clock, Odette was growing sleepy not used to being around people for so long. We continued walking around, greeting guests as they planned on leaving. 
“Do you want me to take her home, mate?” 
I turned to my left upon hearing Calum’s voice. I shook my head “no” giving him a small smile.
“Nah, Cal. I’ll be alright. Have you got my keys?”
“To the Audi or the Lamborghini, sir?” 
I chuckled looking down at Odette. “Audi mate, don’t want to scare her with the speed of the Aventador, do we?” I winked taking the keys he handed me.
I watched as Calum strolled out of the door with Michael, both of them shoving their hands in their jeans pockets extremely happy to be driving home in the Lamborghini. 
“C’mon babe, let’s go home.” 
“You can never drive a normal car, can you?” she giggled as we approached the little S3. 
Before I opened the passenger door for her I spun her around to face me, craving the taste of her mouth. It had been torture all night. She looked a little shocked, I wasn’t one to usually take this much control. I gently placed my hand on her cheek brushing the pad of my thumb across it. A moment passed, her chest raising and falling at an uneasy pace, quickening as our hips met. I rested my other hand on her hip, hers gripping my upper arm and the other fisting at my t-shirt. I gently pressed my lips to hers, slowly without being too desperate. A small whimper escaped her lips as I pulled away clasping her bottom lip inbetween my teeth. I smirked darting my eyes between hers and her mouth. I released it, returning my mouth back to hers for a brief moment craving those lips longer. 
“I’ve been waiting to do that all night.” I whispered as I pulled away.
That cute blush crept upon her cheeks again, her eyes shining up through her lashes. She smiled shyly opening the passenger door quickly climbing in. I shut her door, running around to the driver’s side. The drive home was quiet, the occasion glace being shared between us both until we arrived back at my flat.

Odette shyly wandered a few steps in front of me into the bedroom, slipping her heels off at the bottom of the bed. 
“Can I borrow a shirt?” she spoke with a sleepy tone. 
I smiled releasing her hand shifting over to the chest of drawers. I pulled out a plain white shirt, shutting the drawer and turning shock spreading immediately across my face. My eyes widened as I looked her up and down standing in just her lace underwear. I wondered where her sudden confidence had come from passing her the shirt. Breath caught in my throat as she closed the gap between us, sleepily wrapping her arms around my lower abdomen. Odette loved to tease me, but this time it was different. She was vulnerable, trusting, and seeing her in such awe …she was just beautiful. I lightly kissed the top of her head hugging her body tight to my chest wondering if this was what normal teenage couples did. The blonde girl pulled out of my arms taking the shirt I had picked out. Every movement was graceful, although her usual clumsy self-shined through, a little wobble here and there. I chuckled, slipping into the bathroom to throw all of our clothes in the washing basket before returning to the room. Odette was already cuddled up inside the sheets facing me, only her head popping up from the linen. 
“Cuddle?!” she whispered with an innocent little smile.
“Of course.” I said climbing in.
She sat up arms wide waiting for me to get comfortable before settling her head in the crook of my neck. She was tiny curled up beside me, my height always casting shadows over her keeping her safe. I traced my fingers around her back as she mumbled un-auditable nothings onto my skin as she drifted off. A huge smile spread across my lips ear to ear as I watched her in this peaceful slumber. Kissing her forehead before closing my own eyes, my thoughts wandered onto the growing crime rate the city was enduring, each day reports of murders, robberies, kidnapping. Living here was dangerous, just like the bat. The tattoo appeared, floating around somewhat in a mocking way. 
The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, Luke the dawn is coming.
My dad’s words pondered around in the depths of my mind, my arms tightening around the girl in my arms.

“Luke?” 
My eyes snapped open upon hearing the voice, it wasn’t Odette, too manly. I stretched across to the bedside table switching on the lamp to find Calum stood by the door. The blonde in my grasp grumbled at the sudden light illuminating the blackened room. I raised an eyebrow, giving Calum a questioning look wondering what the hell he was doing in my room at half past 3 in the morning. 
“I’d just like to say goodnight, sir.” 
“Is that all, Cal?” 
“N-no, sir.” He said hesitantly after a short moment.
“What is it then?”
“I’d just like to say how proud I am of you. We’ve been friends for a while, me being only 6 when you were born. Luke, what I’m trying to say is…”
“You still haven’t given up on me, have you?”
“Never.” He smiled. “Goodnight Master Hemmings.”
“You don’t have to call me that, Cal. We’re friends after all.” I winked.
The tanned boy nodded with a smile. His words, in light of the day it was, meant a lot to me. Id known him, like he said, all my life and, after my parents were murdered he had been the only one who hadn’t given up or left. He stuck by me through all of my troubled school years, always sticking up for me against his own father who had Hemmings Records until my dad’s will stated I was eligible. I loved Calum, he was more than just one of my team. He was my brother. 
The bedroom door was shut closed, I was left once again in the darkness of my mind thinking only of how I was going to protect my loved ones. That same bat appeared again, sly and devious and most of all secretive. 
We all have fears, son. But the brave ones? They stand up to their fears, and embrace them…

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