chapter three - Going over to Brandon's house
I hopped onto the bus when it arrived, making my way to my local shop. It was a little run down, yes. But it was well sustained by the products it sold inside.
I entered the shop to buy all the essentials I needed at the moment. Mostly food. I bought the shopping, carrying it in plastic bags supplied by the cashier. She smiled at me as I left the shop. I took in a breath as I looked out into the darkening sky. There was no breeze as the city seemed still. I didn’t like this one bit. I knew by now it was late so it would be a while until the bus showed up. So I decided to walk home. I didn’t live that far away. I kept a steady pace, making myself feel more comfortable.
I paused when I heard voices down an alleyway. They were loud and easily audible but not to the extent of understanding what it meant. I turned my head to see what I actually expected. I saw Jacob, Daniel and Kyle all surrounding the very same boy they had been picking on earlier. The very same one I had helped before. The boy was shaking in fear. His back was pressed up against the mossy wall as his hands lay spread across it. He looked, right there and then, like he thought he was going to die that night. The sweat lay about his forehead as his breath flew.
“I didn’t do anything.” the boy let out desperately in a screech. I sympathized with the boy, wanting him to be away from the Silver Demons.
“You didn’t have to do anything.” Kyle scoffed. I felt myself shrink back. I would hate to be in that boy’s position right now. I think it would end very differently. My heartbeat stopped for a second when the boys eyes locked with mine. He had only noticed me standing there now. And why did it have to me he saw?
“Help me!” He shouted out with a cracked voice. He got a smack in the back of his head from Jacob but more of a violent one then any type of friendly one. My eyes widened in surprise that he’d called out to me. Kyle turned around slowly to face my direction, a scowl present on his face. Jacob only looked up to glare in my direction as Daniel also turned to see what was going on. Kyle stated walking towards me as the other two boys followed. The boy stayed plastered across the wall as he watched his nightmare walking towards me. In panic, I turned around, planning on making a run for it with my packed plastic bags. But as soon as I turned around I bumped into someone.
“Hello again.” Noah spoke casually with a slight hint of comedy. I couldn’t contain myself as I let out a small scream. I fell backward so I landed on my butt and was now staring up at Noah who had his hands tucked in his pockets, looking at me with amusement. Behind me, Kyle brought me to my feet as I looked around the four boys who had me surrounded. I watched as the boy scrambled to his feet and ran past us, leaving me to fend for myself. Coward. Jacob and Kyle’s eyes watched the boy run in annoyance, deeply wanting to chase after the boy but it was too late. It would be to out in the open there.
“I-I need to get home.” I let out quickly as I tried to push past Noah who nudged me back into the circle.
“I know.” He said simply. I stood in awkward silence as I waited for him to continue. “I’m taking you home.” He turned around as I opened my mouth, no words came out though. The others didn’t seem to have been expecting this as they continued to look at Noah, not totally sure of what they were supposed to do next.
“Are you going to follow him or stand there like an idiot?” Kyle spat out, making it clear he did not want me there. I don’t think any of them did. Apart from Noah who just happened to invite me along. Daniel didn’t seem too bothered about it as unlike the others, he wasn’t sending me death glares.
I turned to pick up my bags when I found Daniel had already beat me to it.
“Uh, I can take my bags. It’s fine.” I spoke to Daniel. I wasn’t sure if I was just worried about the fact that I was talking to Daniel or the slight expectation of him stealing it from me. I knew he stole. A lot. But he wouldn’t actually steal a university students shopping, would he?
“Nah, it’s fine. Noah would hit one of us anyway if no one did it.” He sighed. I wasn’t going to argue. He was a Silver Demon anyway. I could never see myself arguing with one of them. But then again, I never saw myself talking to one of them again.
I hated walking ahead of the Silver Demons, knowing that they were right there behind me. I kept feeling like they were going to pounce on me at any moment. Tell me they recognised me the moment they saw me and then take me to Christopher. No. I couldn’t think like that. If I did, I would end up running away which wouldn’t look too good also considering Daniel would still have hold of my shopping.
I found myself rubbing my hand up and down my arm to help stop myself from freaking out. I could almost feel the boy’s hot breaths against my neck. Or at least that was how it felt.
Noah stopped for a second, only to open a car door and slip in. I knew what that meant. I was supposed to get into the car as well. This is where I slowed my pace. Daniel walked around me, opening the boot to throw my shopping inside. I cringed seeing them haphazardly laid as the hood was shut.
Jacob had already gone around and got into the seat next to Noah in the front. I held back, unsure of what I was doing.
“You know, I’m fine with taking the bus. I don’t need to come with you guys.” I tried to talk to Kyle. I didn’t look him directly in the eyes while talking though, feeling as if that would be a step way too far.
Kyle tutted me in an annoyed manner, rolling his eyes once more. He took a hold of my arm, dragging me towards the car door. I didn’t speak, words lost. He shoved me into the car, getting into the seat next to me.
Ok. Ok. Everything was going to be ok. I was in a car with all of the Silver Demons. But everything was going to be all right. Unless they kidnap me and give me to Christopher. No, I can’t do this. Why did I let Daniel pick up my shopping? I should have just grabbed it and ran. Although the boys would have easily caught up with me in no time. Even without all the shopping.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked to no one in particular, no wanting to have to have a singular conversation with any of them. Kyle sat with his arms crossed, giving me one long look before looking away, completely ignoring me.
“Home.” Noah said as he started the engine. It was finally settling in. I was in a car with all four of the boys. I had no control what so ever. I was trapped. “Where do you live?” Noah continued.
“Doesn’t she live near Brandon’s house?” Daniel jumped in before I had the chance to wonder if I should lie about my address. I guess he had noticed me walking home. It was surprising almost. Yet if I’d been told that he had taken note of who I was when I was walking home I probably would have screamed and ran for dear life down my road.
“Do you?” Noah asked from the front, giving a quick look behind him to see me.
“Yeah.” I sighed, crossing my arms in annoyance as I leaned back into the chair. I was in no mood to lie to the boys. It was too late in the evening to stride with confidence.
“I guess it wouldn’t hurt to quickly go over.” Noah said to himself as he drummed his fingers on the steering wheel, waiting for the lights to turn green.
I screwed up my face at that. I didn’t like Brandon that much. Ever since primary he had always been classed as one of the dodgy guys who’s only out for sex. He’s about three years older than me now but is only interested in girls my age. He never wants anything serious from what I’ve heard as well. Just a good time if you know what I mean. Some may think it would be cute to change his player ways and make him fall for them. But I’ve seen the way he looks at girls and trust me, no one would want to get a look like that. His eyes would rake your body, leaving you feeling tense. He would do no less than eye rape you, scanning every part of you. You would be lucky to get away without him hitting you on the bum, leaving you with an uneasy feeling as you left.
I’ve heard from others in the past that there have been a few cases of him stalking girls. Apparently he tried forcing them into doing what he wanted to do. But all I can say for those are rumours. Nothing has been proven. He has had no problem with the police leaving people to think he was absolutely innocent.
He tried to pull a move on me once. Whispered something into my ear. At the time I didn’t really know how to respond but my brother did. He strode up to Brandon and told him to “******* leave my sister alone.” If I remember correctly. Brandon wasn’t scared of him of course, but didn’t bother me again.
I kept my head forward, covering the mark on my neck throughout the car ride. No one said anything about Noah’s statement. I debated on making it clear that under no circumstance did I want to go to Brandon’s but I kept my mouth shut. The moment had passed and it would have meant getting more looks from Kyle and probably Jacob.
The boys carried on pointless conversations as I stayed put, keeping my mouth shut. Anything I said would get me looks. Or at least that’s what I told myself. And anyway, I don’t want to involve myself with these boys. Why should I try to entertain them with delightful conversation, luring them into a friendship? I should be acting utterly repulsing, drool down my chin and cuckoo eyes.
Relief sunk in when Noah parked the car. I found us just outside Brandon’s house, meaning only a short walk up the road to home. I could only hope this meant that they didn’t recognise who I was.
I undid my seat belt, just about ready to leap out of the car and run home, escaping the situation. Kyle pulled the car door open, exiting the vehicle. When I was about to exit the car myself, the door was rudely slammed in my face. I muttered under my breath as I opened the car door. I glared at Kyle in annoyance. But as soon as he looked my way I stopped, pretending that I had been doing anything other than that.
“Right, bye.” I was about to take off in the other direction when I remembered my groceries were still in Noah’s boot. I swung on my feet, turning back around to see the four boys. They all looked at me expectantly, Kyle with his arms crossed. “Um… Can I have my groceries please?” I asked softly. Daniel scoffed as he looked over to Noah to see his response.
“After, yeah?” He turned to walk towards Brandon’s house. Panic started to settle in. Did he really think I was going into his house?
“Wait. I need to get home. Can I just have my stuff now?” I ran after him, chasing him up the few steps. I stood to the side of him as he pressed the doorbell.
“Later.” I was about to argue when the door flung open. My breath stopped as I turned my head to be faced with a grinning Brandon. His eyes locked with mine, forcing my whole body to go cold.
“Hey.” Noah greeted, high-fiving his friend as he entered Brandon’s home. I was pushed forward into the house as the other boys entered. I jumped when the door was closed behind me. How did I get into this situation? Oh right. Because Noah’s a stupid idiot. It took everything in me to not rip open the door and run home, not caring in the slightest about the shopping in Noah’s boot.
Brandon leant against the door, keeping his eyes on me. I kept my head down, avoiding eye contact. Fear sank in my stomach when I started to remember something. What if Brandon recognised me? Brandon could easily tell when someone he knew looked different. But he wouldn’t recognise me, right? I can only hope.
“Do I know you?” Those words uttered in my mind, causing my heartbeat to rise rapidly.
“Uh, no.” I spoke too quickly, pushing a strand of hair behind my ear. I frantically ran after Noah who was entering another room, before Brandon had another chance to intimidate me while alone.
Noah had already dropped himself across the sofa as he lay back, waiting for his friends to join him. I stood by the side of the doorway, feeling the need to leave the house.
“Noah.” I whisper shouted at him, half leaning forward to do so. He kept his eyes shut, not listening.
“Noah.” I tried again, louder this time.
“What?” he groaned in annoyance, placing a lazy hand over his eyes.
“I need my stuff so I can leave.” I spoke as the other boys entered the room. I stopped talking as Brandon came and stood beside me. I pulled myself away from him a little, not feeling the least bit comfortable in his presence.
“But that would mean leaving.” He moaned, leaning further back on the sofa to look my way, pulling his hand away from his eyes. God, I forgot how much of a pain he was.
“You could just give me the keys.” I tried hopefully. It was worth a shot. There was no way I wanted to spend any more time in this house. Not with Brandon here. Not ever.
“No way.” Noah said, ending the conversation with an irritated tone.
“Who’s the chick?” Brandon asked a little too close to me for comfort. I gave an awkward smile as I let myself sink into my clothes. Brandon kept his eyes on me, his lips turning upwards into a thoughtful smirk. He kept an arm above my head as he placed it on the wall, leaning over, making me feel enclosed next to him.
“Ruby.” Daniel said as he moved across the room to take a seat in one of the other chairs. Honestly, I was surprised someone like him would bother remembering my name. None of the boys saw how much of an awkward position I was in, right up next to Brandon. I guess they were used to seeing Brandon like this. I delicately pressed my hands against Brandon’s chest, pushing him softly away from me. He took a step back in response as I slipped away from the corner to stand by the wall.
Brandon cleared his throat, getting a few of the boys to turn and look at him. “Anyone want a drink?” He asked casually to the group.
“Beer.” Noah said as Brandon nodded his head. The others went for the same thing as I just waited.
“And what about for the lady?” he grinned showing off his greying teeth.
“Do you have any coke?” I shivered as I spoke.
“Sure.” Brandon let the words slip smoothly from his mouth as he took off towards what I assume was the kitchen. I took in a heavy breath, trying to make myself relax. No one will recognise me. No one has said anything. But what about Brandon? He has no idea about the scar in general. So I just have to hope he doesn’t remember me from school.
Brandon came in carrying a load of cans. He threw one at Noah, hitting him in the back of his head. Noah gave a glare at Brandon before picking up the can and opening his drink. Brandon continued to throw the drinks around the room to the more prepared boys.
“Thanks.” Daniel replied to Brandon’s throw, being the only polite one in the group. Brandon didn’t throw my drink to me but instead, walked up to me.
“Here you go.” he said, offering me the coke by pushing it forward a little more. I looked down at the coke, drops of water dripping down it from the cold. I delicately placed my hand around it as Brandon seemed to let his hand linger for a second before letting go of the coke. I was about to bring it to my lips to take a sip when I brought it down to my side instead. Whose to say Brandon didn’t drug it or something? I really hope we won’t be here for very long.
Brandon sauntered off as he took a seat on the sofa after pushing Noah’s sprawled legs to the side. The rest of the boys followed in suit as they took a seat in the few chairs which stood in the room.
“Why don’t you sit down?” Brandon grinned, all his teeth shown as he tapped his lap. I frantically looked around the room for any other seat. I hesitated, not sure of what to do. If it really came to it I would just stand. I didn’t need a seat.
“You can sit here.” Noah said as he moved aside on the sofa, making room for a third person to fit. I didn’t know how to react as Noah seemed unbothered and Brandon gave me a look which made me feel uncertain by the way his eyes lingered on me. All eyes were on me as I contemplated what to do. Taking a shaky breath, I made my way over to the sofa, squeezing in beside Noah and Brandon. Noah moved over a little, giving me my room. Whereas Brandon stayed put, obviously enjoying the closeness between us. In all honesty, I felt safer besides Noah than Brandon even after what Noah’s brother did. I should fear Noah above all.
I felt tense as Brandon brushed his hand up and down my arm. He dropped his arm over my shoulder possessively. I kept a firm grip on my freezing cold can, not wanting to think about what Brandon might be thinking at this very moment.
“Don’t do anything stupid.” Daniel warned Brandon, causing him to flick his head around to face Daniel.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Brandon asked angrily as he squeezed my shoulder. I looked towards Daniel, not knowing what he meant either. Daniel made a head gesture towards me as he adjusted himself in his chair. Noah turned his head to look towards us as he took a long swig of his drink.
“She’s not here to play.” Noah said, taking another sip of his drink. I turned up my nose, smelling the alcohol leak off the can. God, I hope he doesn’t get drunk. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brandon was already drunk seeing as quite often he is seen drinking in bars or heard breaking stuff at home. In fact, a few times he has left the house, shouting things while walking down the road. One thing’s for sure, they’re not comforting words to be hearing at night.
“Not with you anyway.” Kyle said, contributing to the conversation as he leaned forward in his chair, moving around. Jacob stayed silent as always but watching the conversation none the less.
“I’m not playing with her.” Brandon denied. I felt like shouting at him that he was. But there was no way I’d say something like that. Especially to him. Daniel raised an eyebrow at him, taking a swig of his own drink. Brandon didn’t take his arm off me as he looked between the boys.
“What? Are one of you dating her?” He asked, close to snorting. I didn’t think these boys dated very much. There was an awkwardly long pause. No one replied. It truly surprised me. I thought they’d all deny it straight away. Why are they hesitating?
“Nope.” Noah said, pulling himself up into a proper sitting position.
“But she knows.” Kyle said in a deeper tone, showing this to be a serious conversation as he leaned forward. His eyes still rested on me, trying to figure me out. So Brandon knew their secret. Did they seriously trust him that much? Or was he one of them? Oh God, I hope not.
“So why don’t you kill her?” Brandon asked simply. I felt horrified hearing him say that. Were they seriously going to do the same thing to me that they did to my brother?
“We didn’t kill you, did we?” Daniel responded. That shut Brandon straight up. So that proved he wasn’t one of them.
“Wait, is she…” Brandon didn’t finish his question as he brushed my hair from my shoulder. I held my breath in the fear that he’d expose my scar. Now that would be bad. But maybe worse would be if he saw my shoulder. They, the dark, bared the obvious. The black entwining tattoo like birthmarks. We, the light, have ours hidden. Suffering from the darks forced us to adapt this way. Though I am thankful for it. We have a yellow lit up circle on our shoulder. Nothing special, but something that could get you killed.
I instantly pulled my hand up to my shoulder, scared half to death that he’d see the mark. Not long after they were bound to work out who I was.
“She’s not.” Noah said stubbornly, causing me to let myself relax into Brandon’s arms. Brandon stopped reaching for my shoulder and instead looked towards Noah. “She has black hair for one and I know a light when I see one. She is not one.” He was dead wrong there.
“So how does she know?” No one answered the question. All eyes were yet again on me as they all expected me to answer them. I had to think of a way out of this. Quick.
“Do you have a restroom?” I asked, looking towards Brandon. He did look surprised by my question but answered.
“Upstairs.” Was all he said. But I took it as a chance to leave the situation. Placing my coke on the table I raced out of the room, happy to be away from Brandon. I ran up the wooden stairs as they creaked under my feet. I breathed a sigh of relief when I got to the top.
I don’t know why I felt safe. That was an idiot move. And I only realised this when one of the doors swung open.
“What have we got here?” Joe asked, leaning against the door frame. I’m so stupid. I forgot Brandon had an older brother who’s at least ten times worse than him. Why you may ask? He is an actual dark. Oh no.