The Boy With The Silver Lighter **ON HIATUS**

**Sequel to 'The Boy With The Red Sunglasses'.** It has been a week since the funeral of Evelyn James, a funeral that shouldn't have happened. Because Evelyn is not dead, although she might as well be. With the order to stay away from her friends, family and the boy she loves, Evelyn has no choice but to go back to the boy who caused her death - the boy with the silver lighter.

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4. Home

"So, this is where you live?" Evelyn sounds undeniably unimpressed as she steps into my open plan, warehouse apartment. "Okay..."
"What?" I roll my eyes. "Not all of us can afford mansions like the X-Men." She shoots me a look. "Too soon?"
"Yes, John. Too soon." She sighs heavily and steps further into my apartment.
"What's wrong with my place?" I follow her quickly. I notice her look disapprovingly at the lack of separation between the kitchen and the lounge area.
"Nothing, it's lovely." She smiles, trying to be polite, but I soon hear her true, meant-to-be-hidden thoughts. "Except it stinks and feels extremely unorganized."
"I heard that, Miss OCD." I gibe telepathically.
"There is a big difference between OCD and just not wanting to die. I mean, EW!" She steps back from a candy bar wrapper on the floor. "How long has that been there?"
I shrug casually, before turning my attention to the refrigerator. There's gotta be something good in here to eat! I scan the near-empty shelves. Bingo! I pull out some leftover pizza from two days back.
"You're disgusting." She comments, leaning against the work surface.
"You love it." I toss her a piece of pizza, which she quickly discards into the trash can beside her, before wiping her hands on her shirt.
"Eww. No. I'm not eating that. I'm not eating anything that has touched any surface in this room." She crosses her arms over her chest and lifts her chin slightly, making me smile.
"Fine. I'll take you out for dinner in the city tonight. My treat." I suggest mindlessly, before quickly finishing the pizza in my hand.
"What if someone sees?" Suddenly, fearful, emotional Evelyn returns.
"They won't, I promise." I step closer to her slowly. "The city is a big place."
"Okay." Her small smile returns. "Wait. Did you just ask me out on a date?"
"Woah!" I hold my hands up in mock surrender. "I don't 'date' girls!"
"Not even me?" She calls, as she heads off to explore more.
"Especially you." I tease telepathically.
"Ouch." She replies sarcastically. She knows I'm lying. I admitted that I loved her, so my emotions are no secret.
I allow her to search out each nook and cranny in my home - although there aren't many - on her own. She'll figure it out. I track her with my eyes as she makes her way towards the bathroom.
"Oh god!" She gasps. I reach her quickly.
"What is it?" I look around the room, trying to find the issue that has caused her drama. "What's wrong?"
"Have you never heard of cleaning?!" She contorts her face into the most disgusted expression I have ever seen, making my smile grow.
"Hey! I clean this place!" I argue.
"Oh really?" I notice that she stands in the centre of the room, as far away from every surface as possible. "When?"
"When important people come over." I say smugly.
"Hey! I'm important!" She walks past me and heads for the sofa.
"Evelyn, up until two hours ago, I thought you were dead." I reply bluntly as she crashes down on the sofa. I follow her and quickly sit beside her.
"Good point." She bites her lip lightly, obviously trying - and failing - to find a valid argument.
"Not that I would have cleaned for you anyway." I tease her and am rewarded with a light punch on the arm.
"How did you afford this place anyway? I mean, do you even have a job?" She scans the area around her.
"My parents bought it for me." I shrug, slouching back. "After I left Australia for New York to pursue my art career."
"Art?" She raises an eyebrow.
"Yes!" I laugh. "What's so unbelievable about that?"
"You're just not..." She pauses, searching for the right phrase. "The kind of guy I would expect to see doing that kinda stuff. You any good?"
"No. And that's where this conversation ends." I order. I don't want her seeing my paintings. That would just be humiliating.
"So, your parents just sent you here? Is that even legal?" She questions, changing the subject. "I mean, how old are you? Seventeen? Eighteen?"
"I'm almost twenty." I correct her.
"Seriously?" Her eyes grow wide.
"Yes! Why? How old are you?" It feels strange that we still don't know such basic stuff about each other.
"Seventeen." She replies timidly.
"What?" But she looks so much older! Ugh! I blame makeup. That's gotta be it!
"I'm nearly eighteen, will be next month, if that helps?" She suggests.
"No, I mean, there's nothing wrong with that. I just thought you were older, I guess." I try to look casual, but my surprise is still evident.
"Oh god!" She covers her face with her hands. "You're gunna think I'm some sort of child now, aren't you?"
"No." I laugh. "You're still kind of kick ass, so you can't really be a child."
"'Kind of kick ass'?" She raises her eyebrows.
"Only kind of." I joke.
"If you say so." She stands from the sofa. "Now, where are the bedrooms in here?"
"I know so. And look up." I reply, waiting with an amused smirk for her reaction to my mezzanine 'bedroom'.
"That?" She flicks her index finger up towards the balcony that cuts up the space between the wooden floor and the high ceiling.
"Yup." I smile sweetly over at her.
"What about me?" She sounds hurt. "Where do I sleep?"
"Ta dah!" I stretch my arm out, indicating the sofa that I am sat on.
"The sofa?" Her mouth falls open.
"Yup. Or I guess, my bed?" I suggest.
"I'll take your be-"
"With me." I cut her off.
"Eww. No!" She whines like a child. "Fine! I'll sleep on the couch."
"You sure? I mean, at least my bed is clean." I pick up an old potato chip from the sofa and flick it at her, causing her to jump back. "I can't imagine the germs that cover this thing."
"Why can't you sleep on the sofa?" She moans. "I'm the guest."
"My house, my rules." I shrug. "You're welcome to join me in my bed whenever you wish, princess."
"Don't call me that. I just like hygiene!" She protests. "Can I get changed in - on - your room-thing?"
"Sure."
"Wait." She stops as she heads towards the small staircase. "There's no door or anything."
"Nope." I smile proudly.
"So, you're gunna be able to see me?" She sounds shocked. Seriously? What did she expect?
"Yup." I smirk, already anticipating her reaction.
"And you weren't going to tell me that?" She drops the small backpack she's been carrying so closely to the floor.
"Nope."
"Fine." She bends down and starts rummaging through the bag. "I'll get dressed in that disgusting thing that you call a bathroom."
"You don't have to." I tease.
"Perv." She murmurs, quickly pulling some fresh clothes from the bag.
"It's nothing I've not seen before." My amused grin grows at the thought.
"What?" Her head snaps up to look at me. That got her attention.
"We have a telepathic connection, which, at its strongest, allows us to see what the other person is doing..." I explain slowly.
"Oh my god!" She pulls her handful of clothes up over her already covered chest. "What the hell, John?"
"Evelyn. I'm a boy." I start casually, sitting back on the couch. "And you're an attractive girl. Guys kind of seek out any opportunity to get a girl naked. I don't even need to try."
She throws a shoe at my head, but I quickly dodge it.
"You've been spying on me?!" She hisses.
"Spying? No! Of course not! Watching you get undressed occasionally? Yes." My words award me another shoe thrown at my head.
"You're disgusting." She says again. I have a feeling that might become a commonly used phrase the more time she spends with me. But really? What did she expect? I'm a teenage boy. This is kind of like the dream!
"A dream that you definitely won't be having for a long time!" She snaps telepathically.
"Fine." I shrug. "I have my memories of that night now. That night when we-"
"No! Nothing happened!" She cuts in. I laugh at her protest but I can't say it doesn't hurt slightly. Is that night really such a bad thing for her? Because for me, it was perfect. Finally waking up with her beside me was just... Wow. Even if she did throw me out immediately afterwards. I look over to her, preparing to find something else I can use to wind her up, when I see it. All she has with her is that tiny backpack. That's when it hit me; she's had to give up almost all of her possessions.
"Evelyn," I say her name softly.
"What? Is it difficult for you to see me with my clothes on?" She snaps, making me smile slightly.
"Is that all you could get from your house?" I nod towards the backpack. The emotion quickly returns to her eyes and she nods. "What happened?"
"The professor said that if I take too much, people would notice. So, to only take vital things." Her voice is weak once again. I can't imagine the pain she's been going through. And I can't help but admire how she's been hiding it so well. I spread my arms out, offering her a hug. She quickly accepts and crawls onto the couch beside me.
"Want me to take you shopping for some new clothes tomorrow?" I suggest. I have no idea how to cheer a girl up, but the movies always show them all happy and stuff when they're blowing cash on pointless stuff. "I still have some cash input from my parents back in Australia, so I can buy you whatever you need to tide you over."
"That would be nice." She nods sadly into my chest. "But you don't need to pay."
"I want to." I stroke her hair gently.
"You don't need to." She repeats, retrieve a small, plastic card from her back pocket. "The professor gave me this."
"A credit card?" I take the card from her and twist it in my fingers.
"He said I should use it to find a place far from the institute. He says he'll pay for anything I use." She whispers sadly. "But now I'm here. And after everything he's done to me. I think this is the least he can do."
"He payed you off?" I hug her tighter. I know this must be hard for her. She nods.
"I just want to go home." I notice her voice become higher as she starts to cry again. "I don't even care which one - the institute or with my mum - I just want to be back home!"
"This place can be home too." I whisper, kissing her hair. "Sure, it might need some cleaning, but I can help you make it home?"
"Might?" She jokes through the tears. She's so strong.
"Hey! I happen to like this place exactly how it is." I protest, squeezing her once, tightly, before continue in a whisper. "I happen to like you exactly how you are."
"Thank you for letting me stay here, John." She yawns and snuggles closer to my chest, the tears slowing.
"Thank you for coming to me, Evelyn." I smile when she doesn't reply, and continue to stroke her soft red hair until I feel her relax entirely, and her breathing become heavier.
I slip out from beneath her carefully, ensuring I do not wake her (which is extremely awkward), before lifting her up from the sofa. I meant what I said earlier, that couch must be absolutely full of disgusting stuff. There's no way I'd let her sleep on it, really. I slowly carry up the stairs and place her lightly on my bed. I guess we're not going out for a meal tonight then. I smirk at the thought. It's difficult to believe that this girl that sleeps so sweetly on my bed is the same girl that, when we first met, threatened to 'burn the pretty blond hair right off my head'. I stroke her hair gently, smiling at the distant memory of that night in the club. She stirs slightly, causing me to stay perfectly still sat beside her.
"Scott..." She murmurs. My heart sinks.
I'll always be second best.

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