Raven ƹӝʒ

I'm on the run. But don't come looking for me, because I only bring destruction wherever I go. I'm like a timebomb, just waiting to explode and hurt you the most. So keep that in mind, if you choose to come looking. Because you might not get so lucky this time.
Lesson 101: If you catch a theif then they'll steal your heart.
(Third and final book of the series - Prequel to 'Red' - 1st- and 'Ruby' - 2nd- Raven is the 3rd and final book).

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4. Getting To Know You

Louis

"How was you're day with Chris?"

"Mum, no offense but I don't need an interrogation right now. I just got in."

Mum looked offended, and I pursed my lips with regret. Then I kicked myself because I thought about whether Half-Naked Girl had a mum or not. Maybe she was out shopping with her that day.

"Well, Lou, I'm sorry if I wanted to ask a simple question." Then she marched indignantly into the kitchen to cook dinner for us.

I followed after her and gave her a hug. I was at least a head taller than her.

"Sorry. It's just, Chris decided to go shopping so I'm proper stressed out."

Mum chuckled and it made me feel slightly better.

"Well, you know how Chris is once you set him in a shop!" Then she smiled brightly and began to get pots and pans out the cupboard.

I gave her a smile in reply and walked into the hallway, dropping my keys into the bowl on the counter and jogging upstairs into my bedroom, then passed out fully clothed on my bed.

 

I decided to take a walk to ease my mind a little. It was kind of stupid how much I was thinking about it. I would run over the situation in my head and think of a million different things I could've said to prevent her from being so hostile towards me and maybe get a date out of it. But I guess she wasn't that kind of girl to just accept random date requests from shirtless jackasses. She made that perfectly clear when she opened the door with a crumpled shirt pressed to her.

Cursing as I walked down the street, I found a ridiculous boutique to go in and drown in my frustration by staring at scarves old ladies would wear and hoop earrings I could probably fit my entire arm through.

As I pushed open the door of 'Barbara's Boutique', the bell above the door tinkled and I paced about the shop staring at stupid posters and the pink frills that were everywhere. In the back corner of the shop was an entire row of mannequins dressed up in crazy outfits with luminous feather boas around their necks and pink felt cowboy hats on their shiny bald heads.

 "Stalking me now, are you?"

I nearly jumped out my skin when I turned around to see Half-Naked Girl smiling lop-lopsidedly from underneath her own pink cowboy hat and a bright pink feather boa draped around her shoulders.

"Nice outfit."

She grinned and a dimple surfaced in both cheeks. I had the same weird urge to either run or snog her face off. I decided to do neither for now. 

"You didn't answer my question, smart-arse."

I chuckled but it was not humorous.

"Yes, I'm most definitely stalking you, Half-Naked Girl. Oh, and while we're being friendly, what's your name?"

She raised and eyebrow slyly.

"Who said we're being friendly?" She took off the feather boa and looped it around my neck, reeling me closer until the tips of our noses were touching and I could smell her perfume. It smelt like roses after rain.

"Who's to say we're not being more than friendly?" She had me rendered helpless. I'm pretty sure if she'd have asked me to strip her down right there and then I would've. It was pathetic.

"Uh, the owner of the store." I pointed out the angry lady marching towards us. She was rather plump with shortly cut dyed-blonde hair. In her fourties, probably.

"Did you pay for those, young lady?" she asked, gesturing to the feather boa and cowboy hat. I was becoming rather attached to that feather boa already, under the circumstances.

"No, I'll go and put them back," she promised, unwinding the boa from around my neck and smiling but it wasn't quite the same. It was like she was three years old and she was finished playing with me now. 

"It's okay, I can pay for them if you really want them?"

I guess I must've said something wrong because Half-Naked Girl scowled at me and shoved the boa onto a random shelf along with the hat.

"I don't want your fucking money," she hissed, then went to storm out the boutique.

"Wait, what did I do?" I grabbed her bicep and she turned to me, fists clenched. Well done, Lou. Managed to piss her off both times now.

"You think just because you've got cash that I'll drop down and kiss your sweaty feet? Not today, Rich Boy."

She grimaced at me like I was a piece of fluff on her favourite top and walked out the shop. I went after her and realized it was almost sunset. Must be about seven o' clock.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you."

She turned to me and actually looked surprised.

"Well, I'll be damned. The boy's got manners! And apparently he also wouldn't know sarcasm if it kicked him up the arse!"

I couldn't help it. I let out a laugh and was suddenly in full blown hysterics. Which just earned me a slap. I sobered up instantly.

"Look, I am sorry. Did you want to come back to my house and watch a movie or something?"

It was my way of apologizing, and if I say so myself I was doing a pretty good job considering I'd just been slapped by a girl who made me scared and aroused at the same time.

"No. Because you probably live in a mansion off in Sheffield with slaves that bow at you every time you enter the room and a girlfriend for every day of the week. And you think by spending Mummy's money you'll get me to willingly drop into your bed? I don't think so, mate."

I was pissed off now.

I grabbed her wrist and pulled her close enough that I could feel her breath on my skin.

"You don't know anything about me, okay? First of all, I don't live in a mansion. I live with my mum in a normal house and we eat shitty microwave meals from the shops if she can't be bothered to cook. Our family is completely normal and I don't have that much money. I work part-time at the corner shop and had an extra bit of cash I would've probably blown on cigarettes or something. But I wanted to spend it on you. Is that a fucking crime?"

She stared at me for a second then looked down at my hand which was gripped her wrist pretty tight. Then she took hold of my hand when I let go and pressed my fingers to her cheek. I guess it was her way of apologizing but it made me speechless all the same.

"I didn't know. I'm-"

"I know you are." I said, taking her hand in mine. "Now, do you want to come back and watch Disney movies with me? Mum's working and won't be home til morning at least."

She smiled, dimpling, and nodded. But she still looked like she could tackle a crocodile and rip it's  teeth out one by one. I'd practically just told her my entire life story in one single outburst and yet I didn't even know her name.

"You never answered my question," I looked down at her, "what's your name?"

She bit down on her lower lip and simply said: "I've never seen a Disney movie before."

 

 

I had everything set up; the coffee table we had in front of the couch was laid out with trays of mini donuts, bowls of crisps, five different types of fizzy drinks and crap loads of pizza. I figured if we were going to watch Disney at all we were going to do it the right way.

"Come on." 

Half-Naked Girl walked in and shut the door, following me into the living room where we both slumped onto the couch.

"Okay, which one first? Peter Pan, Aladdin or Cinderella?"

She looked at the DVD cases for a moment before choosing.

"Let's watch Cinderella. The guy on the front kind of looks like you."

When I frowned at the DVD cover she burst out laughing and covered her mouth.

"What? You do! Take it as a compliment, stupid."

I think Half-Naked Girl was the only person who could compliment and insult me at the same time. I glanced at her long honey blonde hair and smiled wickedly.

"You just wait until I introduce you to Rapunzel."
 

 

After watching practically all of the traditional Disney movies, we both settled down and began talking about what food we liked and didn't like, our habits, the things that made us laugh.

"I don't know why, I just don't like pickles! I mean, it's not weird or anything is it?"

I laughed and shook my head no.

"Good, well I want to sleep now so I best be leaving."

She stood up and I stopped her.

"I still don't know your name." I told her, raising an eyebrow.

She tilted one side of her lips up in a crude smile.

"Just think of a name. I'm going now."

But I didn't want her to leave, not yet anyway. I know it was selfish but I guess that's just the way I am sometimes.

"Okay, here are my propositions," I stated. She immediately put one hand on her hip and cocked her head as if to say and who said you're in charge?

"I need to leave," she persisted.

"Listen. I propose that you stay here for tonight and leave in the morning. Completely innocent. It's just, I don't really want to be alone tonight."

I frowned at the living room carpet and Half-Naked Girl turned back to me, all big blue eyes and long hair. Then she gave me that smile that almost killed me but made me whole at the same time.

"Okay. But just for tonight."

I grinned back and took the snacks up to my room along with two movies she picked out from our collection.

"For fuck sake." I sighed mockingly and she splayed he hands out in defense.

"What? What did I do?"

I smiled to let her know I was kidding, but told her anyway.

"You picked the girliest movie in the world! Titanic. I mean, even I thought you were classier than that!"

We both laughed and settled on my bed and it wasn't weird because she didn't make it weird and I tried not to either. It wasn't like we were boyfriend and girlfriend watching movies and crying when Jack died despite the fact I'd already watched this countless times with Mum. We weren't even mates. Just perfect strangers lying on a bed, and falling asleep beside each other.

 

In the middle of the night I woke up for no other reason other than the fact there was snoring. And I knew it wasn't Dad because he wasn't home anymore. At all.

I rolled over to find Half-Naked girl fully clothed and sprawled across the other side of the bed and snoring ever so gently. I stifled a laugh while I crawled out of bed and cleared off the empty crisp packets and crumbs into the bin beside my desk. Then I pulled off my jeans and my not-so-new shirt and threw it on the floor in a bundle before climbing back into bed.

A few moments later, whilst pretending to be asleep, I watched as she climbed out and stripped down to her underwear then grimaced at my room, trying to hunt down a shirt she could wear. I shouldn't have been surprised considering I'd first met the girl in a guys changing room, but I was still a little bit shocked to find her wearing Batman boxers that looked like shorts on her. She was wearing a black bra and ran a hand through her sleep-tousled hair. I opened my eyes fully and spoke in a murmur.

"Top drawer. T-shirts are in there. Just grab one and get back into bed."

She didn't flinch and cover herself like my ex (or any girl for that matter) would've done, she just stumbled in the semi-dark towards my chest of drawers and pulled open the top one, grabbing a plain black shirt and pulling it on, pulling her hair out the back. I don't know what it is, but she looked incredibly sexy wearing my clothes. I think it's just the stupid rules of nature or something like that. That guys have to be attracted to girls who wear guys clothes. In that case, Half-Naked Girl must have guys drooling over her all the time.

But I didn't think so. She didn't seem like that kind of person.

After putting it on - it looked like a nightie on her - she climbed under the duvet beside me and we both turned to look at each other, the only light was the moonlight coming in through the gap in my curtains.

"Have you thought of a name, yet?"

Her whispering voice tore my attention away from the alarm clock on my desk. It was 3:47am.

"Hmm? Oh, no. Not yet."

I looked around my room for inspiration, and then spotted a wildlife booklet on the desk. It was from when Mum and I went to this zoo thingy. It had a flock of birds on the front of it and I picked one out at random.

"Can I call you Raven?"

She turned and looked at me for a second before smiling tenderly. I think if we weren't so sleepy, we wouldn't have even had this conversation at all. She wouldn't have came to my house. Then a new thought occurred to me; maybe she had nowhere to go. Maybe she was homeless. I hoped not. Because if she was, if she admitted to being homeless, I don't think I'd have the willpower to send her away tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next.

"Yeah, I like that. Raven. It sounds weird, but I like it."

"You're weird." I told her.

Like I said, if we weren't both so slap-happy, she probably would've killed me for saying something. We probably won't remember this conversation when we wake up and I'll go back to being an asshole and she'll go back to being a bitch and the world will make sense again.

"I know. But you are too." She pondered her words for a second. "I think everybody's weird in their own way. It's just up to them whether they show it or not. I'm glad I can be weird around you, Louis."

I smiled, then realized something.

"How do you know my name?"

She grinned and I became a whole lot more suspicious.

"Calm down, don't get your knickers in a twist. I saw it on the front of your notebook. It's a nice name.'

I thanked her and then watched in part shock and part horror and she came closer and nestled into the curve of my body and I found myself wrapping both arms around her and pulling her to me so that her spine was pressed against my ribcage.

Then, in a what I thought was a suicidal thing to do, I buried my face in her hair and found it to be surprisingly soft and thick.

I inhaled her perfume and found joy in the way that her body fit perfectly to mine.

It made me think of us as jigsaw puzzles and I tried harder to think about the way we fit together, and not the ways in which we could be torn apart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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