I regretted not having time to take a shower but I was happy with my new clothes, some dark blue jeans and an in-vogue jacket, Kian kept looking at me from the side and smiling,
"What?" I asked when he did it again,
"You look great," he said with a cheeky grin, I rolled my eyes, "You feeling okay?" he asked,
"Could we slow down a bit?" I asked, "We don't all have meter long steps," I smiled; Kian slowed up and walked at my pace. He absentmindedly looked around, into building which looked derelict or cheap motels, I watched the pavement under my feet - it had been years since I'd properly been outside. There were white splodges, Kian explain that it was gum, and each pavement slab had a thin black line which I didn't like to stand on, without noticing I was hoping over the slabs making sure I didn't touch the cracks.
"You're such a child," Kian laughed, I looked up at him, the sun briefly blinding me,
"What's wrong with that?" I asked,
"Nothing, in fact, I envy it," I smiled at him,
"Anyone can be a child, you just have to let your worries free," I told him, he sighed,
"I have too many worries, most of them being taken up with things to do with you,"
"Don't worry about me," I told him sincerely, "I'm not worth worry," he shook his head smiling,
"I beg to differ; you have that childhood innocence which I wish to protect,"
"Oh and you're all old, mature and wise eh?" I asked, he laughed,
"Check out the size of my earlobes," he bent down to my level, my eyes by his ear; I pushed his head away and subtly ran my hands along his hair,
"What's that got to do with anything?" I asked chuckling,
"Wise people have big ear lobes, check out Buddha," he grinned,
"Yours are the size of peas," I told him, he pushed me away; I fell sideways and caught my foot on the edge of the sidewalk, losing my balance I fell into the road. Kian was right by my side; he helped me up and grimaced,
"I forgot I took those strength enhancements," he said, "I thought they'd have worn off by now," I smiled,
"It's okay," I wiped off the dirt from my new clothes. When I looked back up Kian wasn't by my side anymore, I looked around and saw him halfway up an overgrown path to a house. Its windows were smashed and the door's hinges were broken, before I could say anything Kian pushed the door and stepped inside. I went up the overgrown path kicking away the weeds and then looked up at the house, its wooden cladding was rotting and falling off the house, before I could take it all in Kian was back, his hand slipped into mine and he pulled me inside. I tripped over the mat but this time he caught me,
"Watch your feet," he smiled, "this place is perfect!" he enthused, I looked around, a dark damp hallway, the wallpaper was coming off the wall and a thin ray of sunlight came in through a small window, dust particles were held in suspension in the light. Kian pulled me up the stairs, which creaked as I stepped, and into a bedroom, two single beds, neatly made with cream coloured bed clothes.
"I don't know... something about this place feels odd," I said looking around; there was something I couldn't put my finger on.
"Liss, it's perfect!" he said again, going back downstairs we found a mouldy kitchen and a conservatory which had broken glass, the lounge was liveable with a stained sofa and rug. Kian was beaming as he sat down,
"Heaven on earth," he grinned,
"This isn't heaven," I said picking up a dark brown pillow and throwing it at him, "even I know that, and I haven't experience anything near to paradise," Kian threw the pillow back at me,
"Please Liss, take a seat," I obliged, I was tired anyway, I rested my head on Kian's shoulder and looked at the fireplace feature at the other end of the room, my eyes felt heavy and my lids drooped. Before I knew it I was asleep.
I woke up on the sofa, I blinked and sat up, Kian wasn't in the room. I looked around worried for a moment; I calmed down when I heard a thump in the hallway, the front door swung open and heavy footsteps came in. I got off the couch and then froze, there was more than one footstep, I darted behind the sofa and wedged myself in the gap between it and the wall. I heard voices which I didn't recognise, my heart was booming in my chest,
"Ross go out and get a takeout,"
"I have no money,"
"Who said you need to pay, now go!" there was a stumble of footsteps and a thump,
"I'm going I'm going, you didn't need to push me," said Ross,
"Go!" said the deeper voice in a terrifying voice. They came into the lounge and some sat down on the sofa,
"Do you guys wanna go out tonight?" came a new voice,
"I haven't got much else to do," another voice spoke up,
"I wanna see if I can score with Meagan," I shivered,
"She's hot," said the scary voice,
"Smoking hot." I closed my eyes and took a calming breath, I could get out as soon as they went, I just hoped Kian wouldn't come back - although if he did, and God forbid if it turned into a fight, I hoped he'd win. Although I hadn't seen these guys, they could be big. I continued to breath in, my nose began to tickle and I felt a sneeze coming, my heart picked up as I drew another breath involuntarily. I tried to suppress it but it just made it louder, my sneeze almost echoed around the room. Before I knew it the sofa was pulled away and there I was, like a cat in the headlights, I squeaked slightly and then one stepped forward and pulled me up by the arm.
"What are you doing here?" he asked,
"I...I," I couldn't spit it out,
"What's this then?" said the man with the deep voice as he entered the room again, he looked up from his phone and grinned, an almost toothless grin. I shuddered, "How very becoming," he bowed mockingly, "nice of you to join us," he said, "although I'm not sure there's enough of you to go around..." he said his hand on his chin thoughtfully,
"If you so much as touch me!" I warned,
"You'll do what?" he asked,
"I'll... I'll..." I began,
"You'll do nothing, because you're weak and helpless and hey it was you, wasn't it? Who came into my house?"
"You're house?" I spat almost laughing,
"Don't deride me!" he boomed, my back pressed against the wall. It was then when I noticed the rest of the group of guys, I recognised them, I had seen them before... in the street. They were the group of late teens with hoodies, beanies and the loud music; I noticed the boom box on the floor.
"Who wants her first?" he asked, the boys looked at each other,
"I'll go," said the disgusting-looking one, his shaved hair made him almost bald and his gums were retreating to show a lot of yellow tooth, he had bushy eyebrows and a broad jaw.
"Don't. You. Dare!" I warned. I wanted to scream, I wanted to lash out, I wanted Kian to come back from wherever he was. He grinned, this was only turning into a game for him, he stepped forward, I quickly turned towards the door, his hand gripped the small of my back and his fingers wrapped around my jacket. He pulled me towards him and wrapped his arms around me,
"Get off! Get off me!" I shouted, I tried to wriggle in his embrace but failed, he pushed me against the wall and pressed his lips onto my neck, I craned away and tried to hit him.
"She's feisty that one," said one man. Suddenly my heart relaxed, fast footsteps, then a rich, welcoming voice,
"Get your filthy hands of her!" Kian roared, the guy pulled away and looked at Kian,
"And who are you?" the group of boy looked around,
"I know him..." one said,
"He's that dude!" One of the boys rolled up his sleeve,
"Let's get him!" he grinned, another flexed his arm. They began to walk towards Kian; he was strong, but not strong enough to take on all eight of them. I took my chance as they were all facing Kian; I coiled my hand into a fist and flung it at the disgusting-looking boy's face, my hand flew back off it and he didn't even turned. Before I even noticed Kian had flung three boys over and he was standing ready,
"Who's next?" he asked bigging himself up.
"We won't hurt you," began the scariest and obvious leader of the group, "if you get out of my house," Kian was about to disagree when I spoke up,
"Kian, let's go," I said, he looked at me and then his face softened,
"Okay," he sighed, he waited for me and then he followed me out the house. Once we were far enough away I began to talk,
"Where did you go? I just wake up and there are a load of strangers coming into the house. I managed to hide and then all the dust makes me sneeze and boom! They know about me, then they start talking to me and treating me like a piece of meat..!"
"I went to get something," Kian said, I narrowed my eyes,
"You could have brought me with you, I knew there was something weird about the house, and then you just left me there alone!"
"I am so sorry Liss, but I wanted to get this..." Kian pulled out a small package, "Open it later," he said handing it to me, "Is there anything I can do to make up for this?" he asked,
"Yeah there is actually," I told him, "Teach me to fight!"