Locked up with the Badboy.

I take a seat on the floor in front of him, "What?"

He combs a hand through his dark hair and sighs, "This is a maximum security prison, the people here have killed babies, shot up schools , killed multiple partners and run crime rings and you, are saying that I'm mean? "

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12. Liability

 

 

 

 

I look into his eyes and smile, rest my head against his arm and swoon as he kisses me again. We don’t do anything more, but at the moment I don’t want more, my only wish is to fall asleep in his arms.

When my heart calms down, when my lips stop sparkling I snuggle into him and closing my eyes to the stars fall asleep. It’s perfection in a prison.

 

But perfection doesn’t extend to the morning, I wake alone and that bothers me more then it should. Then I realise that he’s showering, and well… that’s not such a hardship.

Perking my head up and feeling a little guilty I watch through the two tears in our shower curtain that reveal to me a new world; rippled muscle and tattoos studding his arms. The spray from our shower leaves droplets forming on his hard abs. Too soon the showerhead falls silent.

I groan just a little as he pulls the shower curtain aside, quickly I look away, determined not to be trapped by his hotness. On the edge of my eyesight I can see only a single white towel.

“Clara?” he says, and because it’d be rude not to I look up.

WOW.

 Mercifully my eyes fall on his and they’re crinkled like he’s about to make a big joke, “Were you checking me out in the shower?”

“Nope.” I say as I lose focus and let my eyes trail down his hard chest smooth stomach and slightly protruding towel, “Do you have a hard on?” I exclaim, fool that I am.

He looks down, then shrugs. “Yeah…”

Instantly all the awkwardness in the world descends upon me, “I’m sorry, I didn’t really mean to check you out, it kind of just happened and…”

He shrugs again, and to my surprise doesn’t try anything remotely sexual, instead he gets changed, pulls on his overalls and then slips the towel out like magic. Then he walks over, lifts my chin up until I no longer have a mouth hanging open and deciphers exactly what I was thinking, “I’m trying to be different now Clara.”

Then he picks up a piece of toast, and begins to eat, leaving me confused and a little star struck.

****

Absent mindedly I much on a piece of my toast, and watch Ben as he reads a book, I can’t tell whether he’s serious or not. He was different this morning, but then again; can a person change that fast?

I chew and swallow, but something doesn’t go down and lodges in my throat. With an *Ack* *Hack* I begin to choke and my eyes water a little.

A hand slaps my back and another rubs my front. “Come-on Clara, don’t die.” Ben half laughs as he hands me a cup of water. Before I can drink it, the blockage dislodges and I spit out a folded piece of paper in a pile of gloop on the floor.

“Eww, sorry.” I say, flinching. To my absolute horror Ben picks it up and wipes my saliva on his overalls.

“Why’d you do that?” I ask, voice still croaky.

He unfolds the paper then looks at me; “It’s a note from my contact in security.”

Spreading it out on the floor, we read it together. The letters are printed, in a weird English font. Possibly to make it harder for the cameras to pick up on;

B, You stuffed up.

The security footage of you getting with those other girls and then being saved by your girlfriend has gone viral; 2 million hits in the first 48 hours. Television stations have identified both of you and the O’vo almost certainly know where you are.

P.S; Fox are considering turning the two of you into a reality T.V show.

I look up at hard ashen-faced Ben, the fun in his eyes is gone.

“What does it mean?” I ask, and he looks down.

“It means that both of us are on the news,” he says breaking down a little, “Shit, everyone knows I’m here now.”

“And my family too,” I muse, not completely believing it, “They’ll have seen me.”

“Yep.”

I stare at the wall a moment, biting my lip and trying to think about how I feel. Funny thing is I don’t feel a thing; it’s just a video to me. “Ha,” I laugh, “I always wanted to get famous.”

Ben does not take it anywhere nearly as well as me, “You know what this means? If O’vo didn’t know I was here already, they’re going to know now, and I’ll bet that others will be after me too.” He hangs his head and a shadow crosses his face.

Trying to smile and keep the mood warm I give him a friendly punch on the shoulder that actually hurts my hand, “You know what Bucco?” I say sounding completely retarded, “I think you just need to stop being a pessimist, look at the bright side?”

“The bright side huh? Like the fact someone’s going to kill me soon.”

“Yeah that’s right, turn that frown upside down!”

He hides it well, but for the slimmest of a second I see a smile track across his face. The frown resumes itself and he lets out a sigh, “I might as well resign myself to fate.” He sits on his bunk, and pulls out a book.

“Fine,” I say feeling a little annoyed myself, I turn on the T.V and let him keep his anger to himself.

****

Often the best revelations come at night and as I lay; half-dreaming, half-asleep my mind turned over the possibility of escape, it’s crazy and probably impossible. But because the morning hasn’t arrived yet I’m not fully realistic. Climbing down from my bunk I see Ben turning in his sleep. I imagine this is what it must have been like that first night when he’d tied me up.

A really good idea fizzes to life, a little payback for him. Wrapping a sheet around my face and stuffing a shirt down my front I tear a knife shaped piece of carboard from the cover of a book. Slowly, imagining myself a cat I extend one knee over his stomach and lean forward until I have the ‘knife’ in his face, one of my hands rests dangerously close to his ear.

Giggling at how awesome this is going to be, I pause to question whether prison has made me insane.

Definitely. And with that I blow a soft “Boo.” Into his face.

Ben definitely overreacts. Expecting him to be scared I didn’t get a very good positioning and in a flash the ‘knife’ is knocked out of my hand and I’m being flipped over, pushed under him with my hands held by my sides. Two seconds after I was in full control my body is pinned beneath him and his taunt face is peering into my covered one.

“I knew you’d come,” His husky voice is insane, like a legit criminal’s, “And now you’re going to tell me everything, he rests a hand on my throat which scares the crap out of me. My disguise totally falls apart, “No Ben, don’t please, it was just a joke…”

“What? Clara?” His head turns in confusion, “What are you doing?” I don’t know how, but he seems to radiate betrayal and instantly I feel so wrong.

“Ben, it’s just a joke okay, It’s like when I came here and tied me up.” I try to wriggle a little but his body stops me, presses further.

“Oh,” he thinks for a while and begins to smile, “So you’re getting revenge?”

“Yeah.” I try to move again, “Are you going to let me go then?”

“Oooh, I dunno.” He gives a hungry look, then catches himself. Slowly, like there’s a war going on in himself he nods and rolls off me.

Being able to breath is a wonderful thing, as I’m catching mine Ben pulls the cover around us, “So that was your only reason for coming down here right?” a big hint strings his tone as he touches my arm.

“No actually,” I reply in a voice that is the complete opposite of seducing, “I had an idea.”

“What is it?” he asks, moving so that we’re touching. He runs his hand through my hair, lightly bushing my arm at the same time.

“Um,” I try to think, but I can’t focus, his hand trails again… “Can you stop,” I say annoyed, but nicely, “I cannot think when you touch me.”

“Me too baby,”  He grins in his deep gangster voice.

“Okay… So anyway what I was thinking until you so rudely interrupted was that we should- Arrg, I cannot focus when you do that.” I give him evil eyes until he looks away and then finally finish my sentence.

“Anyway, we should escape.”

Again, he surprises me. His whole body stiffens up like a board, “I don’t think that’s such a good idea.” This time his hands don’t run through my hair.

“Why not?”

“It just isn’t, there’s too many guards and, and…” He falls silent and stares at the bunk above us.

“And?...” I prod gently, “And you said yourself, staying here is certain death, at least out there you’ve got a chance.”

He nods slowly, trying to keep a straight face, but like a card castle it crumbles and his eyes turn into saucers, gently he pulls me to him. Wrapping his arms around my back, he hugs me tight and like a poor orphan he whispers; “I’m scared Clara, that’s all there is too it. I’m scared.”

Giving him time, allowing my warmth to flow into him and his scent to completely charm me we lie still. The feelings seem to last forever, but all too soon he places a hand on my head and a small delicate kiss on my cheek, “Thanks Clara, I feel… Strong.”

Then he sits me up on one end of the bunk while he’s on the other. Pillows behind our backs and our feet touching in the middle where it’s warm.

Running a hand through his matted hair, he stares at the spot where our feet overlap, “The thing is Clara, I know how to escape.”

“You do?”

“Yeah, I’ve had it set for weeks, got someone in security bribed as well.”

In the while it takes for me to process that security here are actually able to be bribed he speaks again, “The thing is I’m not sure,”

“Why?”

He turns his face and I see it again. He’s still scared. The gangster boy is actually afraid. It’s kind of scary to think about.

“Wait, you want to stay in prison because it’s safe?”

He runs a hand through his hair, transforming almost instantly into someone ten years older; “Yep.” A one syllable reply that changes how I think about him.

“It’s okay to be afraid.”

“Clara, it’s not just about… dying” He stands up, “You have no idea the sort of shit I’ve caused, they won’t just kill me they’ll torture me until I want them to kill me. Then probably nurse me back to health and do it all over again.” The more he talks the more frantic his voice gets, all I want to do is sink back into the bed and disappear. But I don’t because I want to escape and Benny is my only chance, at least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself.

“Ben, you sound like a man defeated.” He is still pacing, not crying but I’m pretty sure he would be if I wasn’t here.

He doesn’t really listen, just continues his pacing games. “You haven’t seen what they’re capable of Clara.”

“Well stuff them anyway, I want to get out of here.”

He shakes his head, I can’t do it Clara.”

“So you’re going to live the rest of your life in a woman’s prison, never achieving anything more, never being wild and insane or fighting or seeing your family again and telling them you’re sorry.”

“My family is dead.” His bitter voice says.

“Oh, right.” The ultimate silencer. I lower my voice and soften my eyes, “They’d want a better life for you, surely?”

He rubs at his own eyes, sniffing slightly, “Can you keep a secret?”

I nod, “Yeah totally, I mean especially in here who can I te-“ I see his face again and bite my bottom lip, “Yeah I can keep a secret.”

“Imagine a family, they’re pretty much like the rest of us. Have their good moments and their bad, but for the most part they’re happy. There’s a Mum and a Dad, three daughters…” he points to himself, “And one son.”

I have no idea why, but Ben’s story already makes me want to cry, maybe it’s the happiness I see in his eyes.

“The Dad got angry, but it was only extremely rarely and he’d never hurt a fly. But it was normal stuff like me hitting  baseball through a window or Abi breaking her leg because Ellie pushed her. “Just normal family stuff.”

And then Dad’s accounting firm took a big hit, he was young so easier to fire and he found himself out of a job.

Somewhere along the line someone must have offered him a drug that took all the pain and failure away. He got more and more hooked and the guy supplying him was a O’vo so he’d give my father anything he could to keep the money rolling. We all knew what was happening, we all knew how violent and wretched he was becoming but Mum was the only one who never said anything. The rest of us just pretended like nothing was happening, save face you know.” Ben wipes hot tears from his cheeks, he’s not ashamed, he almost seems proud of them.

“One night when I was at my friend Jonny’s. Dad woke up. He must have thought there was a burglar in the house as he grabbed his .44 and turned it on Mum. The girls all woke, he thought they were demons or something and he killed them too.”

“Next thing I know, Dad’s been taken to Alcatraz or wherever it is the authorities take the bad guys and I’m left on my own with 20,000 for the sale of our house in my pocket. I spent a week just moping about, then a month figuring out what I was actually going to do with my life. That ended when I became a O’vo drug dealer.”

I give a little gasp at the twist, then remember; crime-lord.

Pacing, and staring off into the distance his voice travels up and down the emotional spectrum, “I made a shit-ton of money, hired some thugs to take out all the other people in the area, made a fortune for the O’vo’s and kept getting promoted.

But it wasn’t all hard work, there were a few knife fights,” he points to his scar, “A bit of torture, quite a few parties and late night escapades with the Gang’s Bordello racket. It was good.”

“And then stupid f**ing Maala who’s kingpin of the entire operation decided to promote me to his east coast man, I had access to every single drug dealer, deliverer and slave trader on the other side of America and you know what I did?”

He takes a moment to catch his breath, and yet again his face changes, this time he’s more proud then I’ve ever seen him.

“I spent six months gathering it all up and then sold it to the government, and that’s why the prisons are so full. Because I leaked the names of a quarter of a million people who were in some way connected to this drug trade. Because of me, eastern America is twice as safe as it once was. That’s why I was scared to go outside.”

“Then why change your mind?”

“Well, I guess it has something to do with everyone knowing that I’m in prison…”

“Oh yeah, haha.” My laugh is too flat.

He shrugs, “And it’s getting stuffy in here and without you what would I have to moan about?”

“Oh, you’re real funny…”

“But seriously Clara, we’re going to get out of here alright, and I don’t know what’ll happen on the outside, but I know sure as prison-iron  that I still want to be stuck with you.”

Sniffing a little and rubbing my face, I extend a hand, “Shake on it.”

He takes the hand with a firm grip that could belong to any honest man, “Deal.”

Ben lets go and I break into a cheer, “WE’RE LEAVING!!” “Yeaaaaah.”

 

A/N: Everytime I want to give up on this story I just log onto here and someone amazing has left a comment for me. It's enough to get me away from my cookies and onto my laptop. I think so much of you all, and if you've commented and favourited you're even more awesome!!

Liability is the song for this chapter, I know it doesn't really fit but I heard it on the radio and wanted to share it. 

Shoutouts to the crew that have commented so far; Baesickly, Stelli, taylor.fan.girl465, notanun, zayniasheylla. Your comments push me forward and make this a better story.

 

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