Broken silence, p.11

Broken Silence, page 11

 part  #2 of  Silence Series


Broken Silence

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  “No walk of shame. ” He smiled. “I have to get home and get ready for work. Don’t want them to fire me now, do I?”

  I laughed and rubbed my eyes.

  “Go back to sleep. I’ll come over at lunch. ”

  I sat up and wrapped my arms around his waist. I hate his job. Cole pulled me onto his lap and kissed my cheek. “I know you’re going to miss me but try keeping it together. I’ll only be gone six hours. ”

  Narrowing my eyes, I slapped his chest. “I won’t miss you at all. ”

  He laughed. “Yeah, I won’t miss you either. ”

  Okay, let him go. I got off his lap and laid back on the bed. Cole tugged his trousers on and pulled up the zip. Gulping hard, I forced my eyes to meet his. Of course, he was smirking. “I’m feeling quite violated right now. ”

  Heat rushed to my cheeks. “No you’re not. You love it. ”

  “Maybe,” he said and winked. “I’ll see you in a bit. Call if you need me, okay?”

  I saluted and got an eye roll in return. I smiled like an idiot and stared up at the ceiling when he left.

  “Morning,” I said as I walked into the kitchen. I yawned and reached for a mug. Ali had already left for work, so it was just Mum and Jasper again.

  They both stood up.

  “You okay?” Jasper asked.

  I turned around. “I’m fine. Please don’t fuss over me all day. I’d rather just carry on as normal. Let’s pretend this is any other normal day. ”

  Jasper snorted. “Normal. ”

  Right. Our lives hadn’t been ‘normal’ for so long that dysfunction was normal to us. “Do you guys want to talk about it though?”

  Mum shook her head. “Not until we hear from Linda. Fancy a pyjama sofa day?”

  “No chick flicks,” Jasper said. “Unless it’s that’s dress one. That chick is fit. ”

  “27 Dresses, and you know you’re a sucker for chick flicks. You loved Wild Child. Although I think that’s like teen flick or something—”

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  Jasper threw a tea towel in my face. I managed to grab it right before it made contact.

  “Shut up, Oakley!”

  “Don’t worry, sweetheart,” Mum said, pinching his cheeks. “There’s nothing wrong with being sensitive and in touch with your feminine side. ”

  “I’m going out. ”

  “No, don’t!” I grabbed his arm. “We’ll stop now. ”

  He frowned. “We’re watching Die Hard, and I’m drinking beer. ”

  Mum, Jasper and I spent all morning watching films and chatting about everything that wasn’t trial related.

  “What time is Cole coming, babe? Oh, never mind. ”

  I watched Mum walk to the door and my heart flipped. He was here already. I jumped up and ran past her. Mum laughed and went back to the sofa. I ripped the door open and pulled him inside.


  “Whoa! Happy to see me?”

  “Are you gonna call Linda now?” Jasper asked, not giving us any time to catch breath.

  I chewed on my lip. Did I want to do this now? I didn’t have a choice, but I didn’t want to do it in front of Mum and Jasper. The way Mum was staring at the floor told me she wasn’t ready for news yet.

  “Yes, but I’m going upstairs to do it. ”

  “You don’t have to…” Yes, I do, Mum.

  “I’ll tell you everything after. I just want some privacy. ”

  She nodded and smiled half-heartedly. Her body relaxed. “Okay. ”

  I lead Cole to Lizzie’s room and shut the door behind us. This was definitely what I needed, too. Making the call away from Mum and Jasper was for the best.

  “You ready?” Cole asked, gently pulling me down on the bed and rubbing my back.

  “Yeah,” I whispered and dialled Linda’s number. Waiting for her to answer the phone was almost painful. I held my breath. Please say he’s changed his plea to guilty.

  “Hello, Oakley,” Linda said on the fourth ring.

  “Hi, Linda. How’s it going?”

  She took a deep breath, which didn’t sound positive.

  “He is pleading not guilty. Apparently, he knew nothing of the images and contacts on his email. His internet history was deleted daily, which he is saying he had no knowledge of either. ”

  “Wait. Everything was deleted? There’s no evidence?”

  “Don’t worry. The police retrieved it. There is no arguing it was there, just who put it there. Please don’t panic, the trial has only just begun. I’ve hardly even started, and we have you and the other women to take the stand yet. ”

  There were many, many more girls out there, but only me and four others wanted to give evidence. One had written a statement that would be read out, but it wasn’t as useful to the prosecution’s case as being there in person. I couldn’t blame her though – I nearly hadn’t come myself.

  I nodded, even though Linda couldn’t see me. I felt numb.

  “Okay. ”

  “Sorry, but I’ve got to run, Oakley. I’ll call you tomorrow, but in the meantime if you have anything you want to ask, I’m free from six tonight. ”

  “Alright. Thank you, Linda. ”

  “Any time. Bye. ”

  “Bye. ” I hung up and stared at the phone. How could he even pretend that he had nothing to do with it? I turned to Cole and tried to tell him what Linda had said, but no words came out when I opened my mouth. Letting go of my hand, he wrapped both arms around me.

  “It’s okay. I heard what she said. ”

  My world felt as if it was shrinking.

  “He’s going to get off, isn’t he?”

  “No!” Cole was adamant. “No matter what happens at the trial he won’t get away with it. ”

  Pulling back slightly, I looked at him to get him to explain exactly what that meant.

  “Don’t worry about anything. ”

  “You’re not doing anything stupid if he gets off. ”

  He smiled and stroked my cheek. “But it wouldn’t be stupid, Oakley. ”

  “Right, so you going to prison because of him wouldn’t be stupid? That wouldn’t be throwing your life away?”

  I wanted to slap some sense into him. How could Cole think doing anything to harm Max would be justice when he would be the one that got locked up? I didn’t want anyone else to have their life ripped apart because of my father.

  “I don’t think you have any idea how much I love you. ”

  Pushing his chest away from me, I stood up and glared.

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  “Great. Thanks for loving me so much! Send me a postcard from prison!”

  Cole sighed and stood up. “You’re overreacting. ”

  “How am I overreacting? That’s what happens when you murder someone, idiot!”

  “Oakley, will you calm down?”

  “I’ll calm down when you stop being dumb!”

  “I’m not being dumb. ”

  “Yes, yes you are! You’re beginning to make Jasper sound like Stephen Hawking!”

  My eyes started stinging, and I fought to keep it together. The thought of Cole throwing his life away over my dad was awful. Dad wasn’t worth it. I wasn’t worth it.

  Cole laughed and shook his head. He stepped forwards and caressed the sides of my face.

  “I won’t let him walk away after what he did to you. ”

  Throwing my hands up in exasperation, I glared at him. Am I speaking Chinese or something!

  “Fine. Go ahead. Do whatever the hell you want!” I spun around and headed for the door.

  “Where are you going?”

  “Away from you!”

  Mum and Jasper looked up in alarm as I stomped down the stairs.

  “Stupid, exasperating idiot. ”

  “What’s wrong? What’s he done?” Jasper asked. He looked accusingly at Cole who was coming down the
stairs behind me.

  “He hasn’t done anything, yet. ” I turned to him. “I think you should go home. We’re done here. ”

  Cole stared at me. “We’re not done. Are you going to talk to me properly or just shout?”

  “What’s going on?” Mum asked, looking between the two of us.

  “He’s being stupid,” I replied, pointing at Cole like a child.

  “Oakley, you can’t tell me you don’t understand. ”

  I ran my hand over my face.

  “We’ve been through this before already. I thought you were over the let’s kill him thing. ”

  “This is about him?” Jasper spat. “You’re arguing over that bastard?”

  “No, Jasper. We’re arguing because Cole can’t see how–” I growled in frustration, not even able to finish the sentence without punching one of them. Spinning around, I stormed out of the house and slammed the door closed.

  Seconds later, the front door opened, and I heard Cole and Jasper argue over who should follow me. I didn’t want either of them to follow me. Swiping away the tears that fell down my face with the back of my hand, I pushed my legs faster to get away from whoever was running to catch up with me.

  “Oakley, wait. ” Cole grabbed my hand and spun me around. I guess he had won. “Look I’m sorry. I know we’ve had this conversation before but…” He shook his head and looked at me with the saddest expression I’d ever seen.

  “I just… I love you so much, and I hate that there’s even a possibility of him getting off. I don’t want you to live your life being scared that he could turn up at any minute. ”

  I didn’t know what to say. He stepped closer, stroked my cheek and wiped the fresh flow of tears away. I closed my eyes.

  “Cole, please don’t. Promise me you’ll drop it and if he gets out you’ll stay away. Please? I couldn’t stand it if anything happened to you. I need you. Please?”

  He sighed in defeat.

  “Okay, I promise. ”

  “Thank you,” I whispered, slipping my arms around his neck and holding him as close to me as I could.

  Chapter Twelve


  Kerry and Oakley chatted in the back of the car, giggling about something I hadn’t caught. Every so often they would whisper something in each other’s ear and laugh about it. The fact that I didn’t know what it was drove me crazy. It was fucking incredible to hear Oakley laugh so much, though.

  “Shh,” Oakley suddenly hissed loudly. I turned my head slightly so I could see them better. What the hell were they gossiping about? As they saw me they both smiled innocently. Okay, this is about me.

  “You two discussing how amazing I am?” I asked, shooting a glance over my shoulder.

  Oakley grinned. “Yeah, Kerry thinks you’re awesome. ”

  I nodded, slowly. “You’re lying. You want to jump my bones, and you know it. ”

  She laughed, blushing a little. “You think way too much of yourself!”

  “It’s hard not to when you’re constantly looking at me with those x-ray eyes. ”

  She shook her head and laughed. “So delusional, Cole. ”

  “Paintballing tomorrow?” I asked Ben. I needed to kick his arse after shooting me in the face last time we went.

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  Ben’s face lit up like a child that had just been handed a bag of sweets.

  “Hell yeah. Boys only though. Those two can do something else, like have a pillow fight or whatever girls do,” he said, nodding towards Oakley and Kerry.

  “Why did you say no girls? We never go with the girls. ”

  “Since Oakley’s been back, you’ve been attached heart the hip,” he moaned.

  “No we haven’t. ” Have we? We’d spent a lot of time together, but it had been four years! Surely I was allowed to catch up properly? Wait, he wasn’t being an arse about it. I was the one being too defensive.

  “So why aren’t we invited?” Kerry asked, poking her head between the front seats.

  “Me and Cole are having a boys’ day. You two aren’t boys. ”

  “Oh, boys’ day,” Oakley teased, wiggling her eyebrows suggestively.

  “Hey, hey, hey,” Ben shouted. “Don’t even be saying things like that, girl. I’m a ladies’ man!”

  I winced as Kerry slapped his head. I felt the thud. “Ladies?”

  “Lady! Baby, you know there’s only you,” he said, and rubbed his head where she’d hit.

  “Good. Love you, sweetie. ” Kerry sat back in her seat and continued chatting to Oakley as if they had never stopped. Their relationship had changed slightly since Oakley’s reappearance in our lives: four years ago Kerry had to learn to read Oakley’s reactions and expressions, but now Oakley was talking more easily, neither of them shut up.

  We parked in the club’s car park and made our way inside. Oakley slipped her hand in mine as we walked towards the bar.

  “What do you want to drink then, little pisshead?” I whispered in her ear and wrapped my arms around her waist from behind. She giggled and scanned the bar. I knew she wasn’t really a big drinker, so I think she was trying to read what all the bottles were.

  “A shot of that blue stuff and a vodka and lemonade, please. ”

  “Are you getting drunk again?”

  Oakley nodded and leant back against my chest.

  Kerry pulled her away to find a table. “Shots all round, Cole,” Kerry shouted, waving her hand over her head.

  “Cheers,” Ben said, raising his glass.

  I downed mine and almost spat it back up. “Shit, that’s disgusting!”

  Kerry shrugged. “I like it. I’ll get more. ”

  “I’m not going to be able to stand by the end of the night, am I?” Oakley said, sipping her vodka and lemonade.

  “Not if Kerry has anything to do with it. ”

  I was right. After two shots and her vodka, Oakley was drunk. Kerry was tipsy but nowhere near as bad. Not drinking often definitely made her a lightweight.

  “Hi guys. Sorry I’m late,” Chelsea said and sat down. She had some other guy with her who I vaguely remember seeing around Uni. “Brad, these are my friends, Cole, Oakley, Ben and Kerry. And guys, this is Brad. ”

  I reached across the table and shook his hand. “Hey, man. ”

  “Hey. ” Brad looked at all the empty shot glasses on the table and grinned. “We’ve got some catching up to do. ”

  “Yes, you do. It’s my round. ” Ben got up, grabbing the tray that we kept and made his way to the bar.

  Oakley groaned. “I don’t wanna fall on my face. ”

  Chelsea laughed. “Not a big drinker?”

  She shook her head. “Not at all. Tomorrow is going to be hell. ”

  Another two shots and Oakley was plain wasted. She leant heavily on the table and laughed hysterically at everything.

  “He’s so old now,” Kerry slurred. Her perfectly styled curly hair was messed up after dancing and stumbling around. “But still unbelievably gorgeous. ”

  They’d been discussing who was or wasn’t hot for the last half an hour. The thing that made my whole night was when Chelsea asked them who the hottest man alive was and Oakley’s eyes flicked to me for a second and I almost thought she’d sat me but that jokish glint in her eye gave her away. She said, before saying Ian Somerhalder. Chelsea said George Clooney and Kerry said Philip Glenister, which was just wrong.

  “Dance with me?” Oakley asked, pulling at my hand while trying to stand up. I got out of my seat quickly to stop her falling flat on her arse.

  I remembered the first time she ever tried alcohol, she was thirteen, and I had just turned fourteen. We were on holiday in Spain and our parents had gone out to dinner, leaving us kids at the hotel with room service. My dad’s half full bottle of Bourbon was sitting on the side, and Mia dared everyone to try it. Oakley coughed for about five minutes. She scrunched her nose up s
o much it looked like she had been sucking on a lemon. That was the first and last time she ever had whiskey.

  Page 44


  I pulled her to a stop as we got to the dance floor and spun her around. “You okay?”

  “Shh,” she whispered, pressing her finger over my lips. She had been driving me crazy all night and I don’t even think she realised it. I was trying to be a gentleman and letting her figure out what she wanted between us but that was getting harder to do.

  “You’re being naughty,” I scolded her playfully.

  “I think I’m a bit drunk,” she said, rubbing her forehead.

  “You think!” I laughed as she nodded. “I didn’t think you could drink, but you can sure put it away. ”

  “You’re a bad influence, Cole. ”

  “Oh, so this is my fault?”

  “Yep. ” She wrapped her arms around my neck. Our lips were just inches apart. I groaned as she stared into my eyes. She wanted us to kiss, and so did I. I wanted that more than anything in the world, but I didn’t want it to be while she was off her face.

  I pulled away slightly and felt like crap when she pouted.

  “Not when you’re drunk,” I whispered, stroking her hair behind her ear. Nodding again, she laid her head on my shoulder. I hate myself!

  “Abby,” Oakley said, pulling away from me. Jasper and Abby were sitting at our table. Grabbing Abby’s hand, Oakley pulled me along. When did they become such good friends, or was it because Oakley was drunk?

  Abby looked up and opened her arms to hug Oakley. They immediately began talking, catching up on what each other had been doing. I bet she wouldn’t remember anything Abby said in the morning!

  Jasper smiled but not his usual unnerving smile. He looked happy. I knew he and Abby were on good terms before he left but was there more going on now? Whatever was going on, I hoped Jasper wouldn’t end up hurt again. As fucking weird as he was, he deserved a decent girl.

  “How drunk is she?” Jasper asked, nodding towards his sister.

  I chuckled. “Yeah, pretty drunk. Don’t worry though, I’m looking after her. ”

  “You’d better because she’s already been through too much. ”

  “I know that, Jasper. Anyway what’s happening with you and Abby? You getting back together?”

  He sighed like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. “I dunno. I want to, but I’m going home with Oakley when all this is over. There’s no point in starting anything. ”

  It was like taking a bullet. They couldn’t go back.

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