Broken silence, p.12

Broken Silence, page 12

 part  #2 of  Silence Series


Broken Silence

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  “Have you spoken to Oakley? I’m sure she would want you to be happy. ”

  “I don’t need to talk to her. My sister comes before any girl. She always will. Don’t you say anything either. I don’t want her feeling guilty for me and Abby not being together. ”

  I nodded in agreement, but I couldn’t help feeling bad for him. I knew that Oakley would make him stay here and be happy if she knew he wanted to be with Abby, but I also got that he was putting her first. If I had my way they would all stay in England, but this was never about me.

  As Jasper’s eyes flickered to Abby for the twentieth time during our conversation. I couldn’t help wondering how he managed to forgive her. Was it because the situation now put everything else into perspective?

  “I need to go home,” Oakley mumbled and slumped down beside me. “I don’t feel good, and I don’t like drinking. ”

  I wrapped my arm around her waist. “I think that’s a good idea. ” Standing up, I practically dragged her to her feet.

  “I should go too,” Jasper said, looking at Abby.

  “No,” Oakley slurred. “You stay. I’m fine with Cole. ”

  Jasper looked at me for confirmation, so I nodded. Of course she was fine with me. “I’ll get a taxi. You all stay. ” Oakley looked up at me and frowned. I knew exactly what that frown was for. She didn’t want me to miss out.

  “I’d rather go with you,” I whispered in her ear. “Night everyone,” I called over my shoulder and lead Oakley towards the exit.

  “Bye,” she shouted, waving her hand enthusiastically. Yeah she was definitely going to suffer tomorrow.

  The second I got her in the taxi, she leant against my shoulder and closed her eyes. A sleepy drunk then!

  “Can you give me a minute?” I asked the driver as we pulled up outside her house. I saw him nod in the mirror, not even bothering to reply. I walked to Oakley’s side of the car and reached in, putting my arms around her. Getting her out of the car was awkward but she didn’t weigh much, so carrying her wasn’t hard.

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  “What are you doing?” she asked, slapping her hand over her mouth as she yawned.

  “Carrying you inside. ”

  “Bye, Mr taxi man,” she called out, blowing a kiss over her shoulder. No wonder the guy was a miserable bastard. He probably dealt with drunk people all the time. Oakley shoved the key towards the lock. “Huh. It’s broke. ”

  I tried to keep a straight face. “Oakley, let me do it. ”

  “No. I can,” she replied. Sighing, I leant against the wall, silently hoping the taxi driver would still wait. “It’s broken!” she insisted.

  “Okay, give me the damn key. ” I held my hand out and she dangled it in front of my face, smirking. As I thought, the second I went to grab it she pulled her hand away. “Oakley,” I said warningly, trying not to smile again.

  “Yes, Cole?” Wrapping one arm around her waist, I pulled her closer. Her eyes widened in shock as she hadn’t expected it. I used her surprise to my advantage and grabbed it out of her hand. I unlocked the door, and she gasped. “You fixed it!”

  I chuckled, shaking my head. She looked genuinely impressed. “Yes, I fixed it. ”

  Grabbing my shirt in her fist, she pulled me closer. “I have something else you could fix for me,” she whispered. I gulped and rested my hands on her hips, half holding her up. She suddenly frowned and looked up at me, worried. “I don’t feel good. ”

  “Let’s get you to bed then. ” Please don’t puke!

  I helped her up the stairs and gave her the pyjamas laying on the futon. She stripped down in front of me. Her chest and toned stomach was staring me in the face. My mouth went dry, but I snapped myself out of it, and made sure she got into her bed and had a glass of water ready for when she woke with a raging hangover.

  Her eyes slowly closed and her breathing evened. She looked like an angel, and I was completely in love with her.

  Ben and I grabbed our paint guns and made our way into the forest. We had been there so many times that they didn’t bother us with the whole induction and rules thing now. Nigel, the owner, made us sign our lives away and then we were let loose to inflict pain on each other.

  “So what are you doing tonight? Actually, let me guess… you’re going to see Oakley?”

  “I’m not sure what I’m doing actually. ”

  He chuckled. “Of course you’re not!”

  I really didn’t have any plans to go and see her. We hadn’t arranged anything.

  “What’s going on between you two anyway?”

  I sighed. “Not sure. It’s complicated. ”

  “How’s it complicated?”

  Was he serious? “You’re not that dumb, Ben. She lives on the other side of the world. She’s back for the trial of the men who abused her and we’ve spent the past four years apart. ”

  “So what’s your point?”

  My mouth opened in disbelief. “Well… all of that. ”

  “That’s what you’re letting come between you? You need to man up, Cole. If you love her, then all of that other stuff will work itself out. Just grab her and kiss her. ”

  “Man up,” I muttered under my breath. It wasn’t a case of manning up; it was a case of not knowing what Oakley wanted it. “I don’t know. ”

  “You’re scared of getting rejected again? Like when she left you before. ”

  “Thank you for bringing that up again. ”

  “You’re a fool, man. ”

  Was he right? Was the only reason I wasn’t giving us another chance because I was scared she would leave me behind again? Of course that scared me, but I was older this time. I could move to Australia so why was I holding back?

  After paintballing and losing, epic-style yet again, I dropped Ben off and called Oakley.

  “Hey,” she said.

  “Hey. What’re you doing?”

  “Nothing much. Everyone’s out, so I’ve just had a shower and I’m now watching re-runs of Friends. How was paintballing?”

  “Fun and painful. Ben, the bastard, shot me in the same place over and over. I need someone to kiss it better. ”

  “Yeah? You’re mum’s pretty good at that stuff. ”

  “Don’t!” I yelped.

  She laughed, and the effect it had on me answered Ben’s question: I was scared of losing her again. Terrified, in fact. But I had to take a chance.

  “Look, I’m driving so I’ll call you later, okay. ”

  “Okay,” she replied, sounding confused by the abrupt call.

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  I was nervous. Really nervous, but I couldn’t wait any more.

  Oakley opened the door and frowned.

  “I thought you said you’d call later?”

  Her damp blonde hair had just started to curl. It draped down her arms. Her make-up had been stripped off, leaving her fresh-faced. She had never looked more beautiful to me.

  For a second I was frozen. She was perfect, absolutely perfect. I soon snapped out of it. Stepping forward, I slid one hand in her hair and the other around the back of her back, drawing her closer. She opened her mouth slightly to say something but closed it again. I didn’t give her chance to talk. I pressed my lips to hers and kissed her with everything I had.

  My heart felt like it was going to rip out of my chest. I pulled her closer; our bodies pressed together almost painfully as we both tried getting as close as physically possible.

  The kiss became urgent. Her fingers dug into my back, and she whimpered. That was it. I picked her up, and her legs wrapped around me.

  I kissed her deeply and walked forward. I’d had enough messing around. I just needed her again. So I did the thing I had wanted to do since the second she walked back into my life, I carried her upstairs to bed.

  Chapter Thirteen


  My eyes fluttered open and the first thing I saw was Cole
sleeping beside me again. The cover was pulled down revealing half his naked chest. He looked so peaceful. I still wasn’t used to seeing him every morning. We had been back together almost a week, and I couldn’t be happier. Everything was so easy with him. We could do absolutely nothing and I would still have a great time.

  Being in Cole’s house again felt amazing, but at the back of my mind I couldn’t help thinking how close it was to my old home; the scene of so many things I wanted to forget. I refused to look at it, but that didn’t stop me knowing it was there.

  Cole thinks I should look and face it. Every single good memory was overshadowed by the bad ones though. I should knock on the door and see if the new owners would let me look around.

  ‘Face your fears head on’ was what Cole said, but I was doing that with the trial. Seeing the house as well was too much.

  Cole stirred beside me, rubbing his eyes as he woke up. I watched him with a content smile until his eyes met mine. He reached out and stroked my cheek. Touching me was the first thing he did when he woke up, it was as if he had to make sure I was actually there.

  “Good morning,” I whispered, closing my eyes at the feel of his fingertips gently gliding across my jaw.

  “Morning,” he replied and kissed me. “I love spending Sunday mornings like this, and every other morning actually. ”

  I sighed and pressed my head into his shoulder, breathing him in. “Me too. ”

  “What are we doing today then?”

  “You don’t have to keep me busy to stop me thinking about tomorrow, Cole. ”

  His chest bounced gently underneath me as he laughed.

  “You know me too well. Are you okay about tomorrow though? You’ve not really mentioned the trial recently. ”

  “That’s because I’ve been too happy. ”

  Cole grinned, making that little dimple show. “What made you so happy?”

  “Watching Hollyoaks again. I missed it,” I replied.

  His fingers suddenly jabbed in my side gently as he started tickling me.

  “Cole! No!” I squealed and wriggled, trying to get away. “Okay, okay! It’s you!”

  Cole stopped immediately. “I thought so. ”

  It suddenly occurred to me there was something I needed to do.

  “I’d like to go shopping today. I kind of have a feeling that this will the last time I’ll be able to do it in peace. ”

  Once the reporters learned I was back instead of giving evidence from Australia, I knew they wouldn’t leave me alone. The case had become high profile because the arrest of my father uncovered one of the biggest paedophile rings in our area ever. That was the only thing I was proud of, stopping that.

  “Whatever you want,” he replied, kissing my forehead.

  I got up and pulled the cover off him. “Let’s get ready then. ”

  This was going to be the last day that was somewhat normal, and I was determined to make the most of it.

  “No trial talk today. It’s banned,” I said to Cole as we walked downstairs.

  After breakfast, I went to have a shower and get dressed. Cole’s house was empty, and I didn’t ask where everyone was because I had a feeling they had gone out to give me and Cole time alone.

  I got out of the shower and dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. Cole was sitting on his bed when I got back into his room. He frowned. “Why’d you get dressed?”

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  “Because, we’re going out now!” I shook my head and sat on the bed. “Do you need to shower first or are you walking around dirty?”

  “I happen to like dirty. ”

  “Shower, Cole!” I ordered, and tried not to grin.

  While he was showering, I put on some make-up. Every time I brushed mascara over eye lashes or stroked lip gloss across my lips it was like sticking two fingers up at my dad. I could finally make choices for myself and wasn’t controlled by him.

  “Are you ready?” Cole asked as he walked back into his bedroom. He wore a white T-shirt and dark blue jeans. Even dressed so plainly he still took my breath away.

  “I’m ready. ”

  I got off the bed and set down my compact mirror on his bedside table. In the corner of his room was a stack of large cardboard boxes where he had started packing. In about two weeks he would be moving into his first house. His and the vendor’s solicitors were currently sorting out all the legal stuff, but because there was no chain the sale was going through quickly.

  I couldn’t wait for him to move in. We already had most of the paint he needed and had chosen a new kitchen and bathroom suite. The carpets were picked out, and he was going to order a little closer to the time.

  “Where is everyone?” I asked. I couldn’t not ask any more. There was no way I wanted his family to feel like they had to go out of their own house because of me.

  “Mia’s taken Leona to her Tots Music and Movement class, and my dad’s taken Mum somewhere. ”

  That didn’t really answer my question. I wanted to know if they had planned to do that anyway.

  Cole grabbed his keys and slipped his shoes on. “Mall or town?”

  “Mall. That okay with you?”

  He shrugged. “I couldn’t care less, Oakley!” Right, he hated shopping.

  Neither of us spoke on the drive to the mall, but we didn’t need words. I was content to sit with him and mentally plan what I was going to buy. I didn’t really want anything in particular, just retail therapy. We pulled into a parking space and got out.

  “Where to first?” Cole asked as we walked towards the entrance. His hand quickly found mine, and we both squeezed at the same time.

  After shopping and one of the best Indian meals I’d ever had, we went back to Cole’s parents’ house. There driveway was empty still. Cole must have arranged an all-day thing with them. “Where is everyone?” I questioned again. I felt a really uneasy being the reason they were kicked out of their own house.

  “Still out I guess,” he replied. “Want to watch a movie or…?”

  “Movie sounds good. ‘Or’ later. ”

  He smiled. “Definitely or later. ”

  I slumped down on the sofa and sighed. “Thanks for today. It was nice to do something normal. ”

  Cole sat beside me. “How do you feel about tomorrow?”

  “Uh uh. ” I shook my head. We had agreed not to do this. “Later, please. I just want to relax with you for a while. ”

  “Alright. Come here. ” He held his arm out, and I snuggled against his side. “You care what we watch?”

  “Nope. ”

  He flicked the TV on with the remote and found a movie. I closed my eyes and hugged him tight. I didn’t care about the film. I just wanted to be close to Cole. “I love you,” I murmured into his chest.

  I felt his smile against my hair. “I love you too. ”

  “Oakley?” I frowned and opened my eyes. “Hey, sleepy,” Cole said, smiling down at me.

  Sitting up, I stretched out like a cat. “Sorry. ” I looked up and saw Cole’s parentss and Mia were home. Embarrassing!

  “Hey,” I said, smiling sheepishly.

  “Hi, sweetheart,” Jenna replied.

  “Where’s Leona?” The house was too quiet, and there was no way I would be able to sleep if she was around.

  “I dropped her off at Chris’ earlier. It’s his night,” Mia explained. I knew she hated sharing Leona with Chris, but she did it because Leona loved her dad.

  “Your mum called a little while ago. You should at least text her and let her know you’re okay. I think she’s worrying,” Cole said, handing me my mobile.

  I took it from him and started a new text to Jasper’s phone since Mum’s was still in Australia. “Thanks. ” I knew she worried, too much sometimes.

  ‘I’m fine Mum. Spending the day with Cole and will see you tomorrow morning. You okay?’

  I didn’t want to elaborate
much more than that and get into a full conversation in case it turned to tomorrow.

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  Mum replied a few minutes later. ‘OK honey. We’re fine, Jasper driving me crazy. Have a nice night and we’ll talk tomorrow. Love you. ’

  Cole and I ate with his family and then went upstairs for an early night. Our shopping bags were beside his bed. I had no idea when he brought them up, probably when I was sleeping on the sofa.

  He closed the door and walked towards me. Something changed between us. It was like a surge of electricity. Neither of us said a word as we collided. His mouth was on mine, kissing me. We were a tangle of lips and tongues.

  I woke up in Cole’s arms again and managed to smile. Even on the day I’d been dreading for so long, he still managed to make me feel happy. He was already awake, and by the dark half circles under his eyes he must have been for a while.

  “You didn’t sleep well,” I said, stroking underneath his eye.

  “Not really,” he whispered, pressing his lips to my forehead. “How are you feeling?”

  “Sick and nervous. I just want it to be over already. ”

  “You’ll be fine though, and I’ll be right there the whole time. ”

  That was half the problem. Having to spill every single detail in front of the people I loved the most was awful. I didn’t want them to know what I had gone through.

  I kissed him and slipped out of bed, wrapping my robe around me. “I know you will be. Thank you. ”

  Without another word, I went into the bathroom to get ready. I looked into the mirror and sighed. You can do this, Oakley. I wished they could make him do a lie detector so none of us would have to talk up about anything.

  Mum, Jasper, Ali, and Lizzie sat on the sofa in Cole’s lounge when I got downstairs. How long had they been there? They all looked up at me with the same forced smile.

  “How are you holding up?” Mum asked.

  “Okay. You?”

  She nodded. “Okay. Nan and Grandad are meeting us there. They said to say hello and good luck. ” I smiled, not knowing what to say to that.

  I wasn’t sure if Dad’s parents would be there or not. I understood if they didn’t come. No one wanted to hear what a monster their own child had turned out to be. It wasn’t my grandparents fault though. It was all Dad.

  Ali stood up and hugged me. “My beautiful, brave niece. I’m so proud of you,” she whispered in my ear.

  “Thanks, Ali,” I whispered back.

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