[Author's note; I am writing these chapters quickly, got the buzz (",) ]

"Say it again", Chleo giggled down the phone.

"Situation", Belfast Boy replied.

"Sitcheeation", she repeated laughing.

"I don't talk like that", he laughed.

"I love how you talk", Chleo said blushing, why was she so shy with this guy.

"You excited to see me?", he asked.

"Yes! Sooo excited!", she exclaimed, "tell me your news, pleeeeease".

"Nope", he said.

"Oh pleeeease Dan, pleeeease", she begged.

"Nope I'll tell you next week", he said.

"Are you bringing me a Christmas present?", Chleo asked, "I bought you one".

"Of course I got you a present. A big present!".

"Don't be so filthy".

"I'm not being filthy, I'm serious. You're the one with the dirty mind", Dan replied.

"That is true", Chleo said smiling, "I really miss you".


Josh was cleaning up his kitchen, throwing bottles into big plastic bags and putting everything back into it's place. Erin was in the front room hoovering up the confetti and streamers. The house phone rang and he grabbed it.


"Hey Joshua", his mother said, "how did your party go? Did the gazebo stay up?".

"Yeah it was great".

"I told you Marie", his father said in the background, "I told you it was perfect".

"Ok Tony", his Mam sighed, "We were just calling to check up on you, hope the place isn't destroyed?".

"It's not too bad", Josh replied.

Erin had come into the room, she was wearing his shirt and boxers and her hair was still messy, she smiled at him and pointed at the phone.

"My parents", Josh mouthed.

His Mam was rambling on about the weather in London and how his brother was. Erin walked over to Josh and began kissing his neck softly.

"Josh are you listening?", his Mam asked suddenly.

"Mmhmm", Josh replied as Erin started to play with his belt buckle, "Mam I can't really talk, I have lots of cleaning to do".

"We're not back till tomorrow hun, take your time...".

"No!", Josh exclaimed as Erin loosened the belt, "I'm going to do it now".

"We're going to do it now", Erin whispered.

"Well ok then", his Mam said sounding disappointed, "I'll ring you later".

"Yup bye!", Josh hung up the phone as Erin dropped his trousers.

"I'm bored with cleaning", she said kissing him, "we have 2 weeks to make up for".

He lifted her up onto the table and lay her back, kissing her roughly, she wrapped her legs around his waist and pulled him down towards her. She unbuttoned the shirt and he pulled his t-shirt off, as much as she loved the 'making-love' from the night before, she missed this too. Josh was kissing her chest and moving down her stomach, it felt so good she didn't even care that the table was hurting her back.

"Get the fuck off her", someone said.

Josh jumped up, terrified it was his parents, even though they were in England. He whipped around pulling his trousers up as he went. Erin stared at the intruder in confusion.

"Billy?", she said, "what are you doing here?".

She pulled the shirt up around her and got off the table. Billy ignored her and stepped towards Josh menancingly.

"I told you to leave her alone", he said in a low voice.

"Billy she doesn't want you", Josh replied in calm voice, "Erin can make her own decisions".

"YOU'RE NOT GOOD FOR HER!", he bellowed.

"Billy...", Erin started.

"SHUT UP ERIN!", he yelled.

"Don't shout at her", Josh said standing in front of her.

"Don't tell me what to do", Billy snapped, "you don't know her! You don't know anything about her! How do you expect to protect her!?".

"Protect her...".

"You haven't even told him?", Billy said, he sounded insane, "how did you explain your scars? He must have seen you naked when he was fuc...".

"Shut the fuck up Billy", Josh said, "get out of my house".

Billy didn't move, he stared at Josh. Suddenly he lunged at Josh, Josh pushed Erin back out of the way as Billy grabbed his shoulders. Erin screamed as the two boys began fighting, knocking into the table and chairs.

"Stop it!", she cried.

Neither of them listened, they were too busy punching each other, Erin caugh a glimpse of blood on Josh's face coming from his nose. He grabbed Billy and headbutted him, Billy fell backwards onto the floor clutching his face.

"STOP!", Erin shouted she stood in between them, "stop".

Josh wiped his hand along under his nose and looked at the floor. Billy stayed sitting, gasping for air. Tears rolled down Erin's face.

"What do you need protecting from?", Josh asked quietly.

Erin shook her head, she felt a panic attack coming along. She couldn't talk about it. She felt a hand on her shoulder, Billy had gotten up. He looked at her and frowned.

"You don't have to tell him", he said.

"Erin..Please", Josh said barely above a whisper.

She looked into Billy's eyes, they were saying no. She looked at Josh, he just wanted to be with her, she needed to tell him.

"When I was a kid...", she began.

"Erin!", Billy interrupted.

"No", she said, "I have to tell him".

Billy looked defeated, he took a step back and leant against the wall. Erin took a deep breath, she could do this, no big deal.

"My Dad died when I was 4", she said in a matter-of-fact tone, "he was collecting me from dance class and was hit by a car, he died instantly. My Mam couldn't cope without him, she started drinking, a lot".

She took a deep breath, her voice was getting shakey.

"She used to have loads of guys in our house, men she didn't really know, complete strangers. I learnt from early on to stay out of their way. They didn't want me hanging around. There were one or two that were really nice, they would treat me like their own kid", Erin smiled at the thought of the Dad's she could've had, the smile faded from her face, "my Mam's drinking always scared them off in the end. They used to look at me with pity when they left, I wished that they would take them with me".

Erin took a long pause. Josh's eyes urged her to go on. She needed to tell him all this.

"You don't have to go on Erin", Billy said behind her, "if it's too hard".

"When I was 10 my Mam brought this guy home", Erin continued ignoring Billy, "John, he was nice enough and my Mam seemed pretty serious about him, you could tell cause she told me to call him Uncle John. He would bring me to the cinema and buy me presents, he was great, I really thought he was going to be my Dad. Then...then he hit my Mam. He hit her hard, she had to go to hospital, she didn't even leave him. She took him back and he stopped hitting her. After a while they split up and he went off".

Tears were forming in her eyes.

"He came back about 5 years ago, they started seeing each other again, he moved in. That's why I never had anyone around. He was horrible, he stank of drink all the time, he was sickening," Erin paused again and started crying, "one night, he came into my room, he had been out drinking with my Mam, she was asleep in their room though. He came in and he, he..".

Behind her Josh could see Billy closing his eyes, he looked in pain. Josh felt sick, he knew what Erin was going to say.

"He tried to rape me, I managed to get away from him. I ran down to Billy's house, when I went home I told my Mam, she said 'well Erin, you probably deserved it'", Erin was sobbing now, "she told me a deserved everything I got, that it was my fault Dad had died in the first place. That's when he started beating me, he would burn me with cigarettes, he even cut me a few times, and my Mam, my own fucking Mother, wouldn't stop him... I'm sorry", she stopped, "I just need to alone for a sec".

Erin left the room and went upstairs, the boys could hear her sobbing from the kitchen. Josh was speechless, he looked to Billy.

"You think you can look after her now?", Billy asked sharply, "do you think you can answer the phone in the middle of the night to that? I presume you've seen her arms?".

Josh nodded but didn't say anything.

"They're self inflicted Josh", Billy said quietly, "she think she's done something wrong".

"She hasn't done anything wrong".

"I know that", Billy snapped, "she doesn't know that. Josh she needs someone she can count on. I'm not going anywhere, you're going off the England, you won't be here and I'll have to deal with her losing you, she'll come running back to me then".

"What is your problem?", Josh said glaring, "I'm not going to abandon her, I've spent 2 years chasing after her, I'm not going to drop her. Just cause you want to get with her doesn't mean you can push me away".

Billy rolled his eyes.

"You have serious self esteem issues Josh", he said, "I don't want to get with her, I don't want to be anything more than her best friend".

"Right", Josh said dismissively, "can I just tell you that that's really not how it looks".

"Well that's how it is", Billy snapped, his felt his shakes starting. Shit he needed to get out of here.

"Give me one good reason to believe you?", Josh said.

Billy looked around, he needed to get out of here, he needed some drugs, he had to ring Frank.

"Hello?", Josh waved.

Billy looked at him, there was no getting out of this one.

"Cause I'm gay".

The End

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