Chapter 23- Don't Let Me Go

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Hi, Guys! So... I wanted so much more from this story but my heart just isn't into it anymore. I'll complete it of course, but my main worry is that you won't understand some things I haven't exactly made clear or forgotten about. Don't hesitate to ask :)

This will be the second last chapter. Thank you all for being amazing, as always. Lots of love from England <3

The streets are dark. So dark.

The dirt feels like its clinging to every pore and my arm aches from that awful man's harsh grip.

"Come with me," he had smirked, breathing heavily down my neck. I couldn't escape him because he was just so... scary. I froze, and allowed his to stroke my chest before spiriting into an alley.

And here I am, hurting and cold. The hunger is all that's driving me forwards, despite the fact that I'll probably die here.

But who cares, right? It's a win-win  scenario either way, isn't it? If I get what I came for, everything will stop. If I die, everything will stop. And judging by the way the scary man in the ratchet jacket is glaring at me, the latter seems most likely anyway. I shudder, smiling shyly at him. Could he sell something, maybe? He looks the type.

"You looking for goodies, kid?" he growls and I flinch. There's a bruise forming on my arm and he glances at it with disgust. "We don't sell it here. Can't help you."

"Why?" I reply, my nose scrunching. "I know you do. Why can't you sell it to me?"

"Because you're twelve."

"Sixteen, actually."

"You're British."

"That's racist."

"I don't sell to abused kiddies."

I stall at his curt response, anger surging within me. How dare he? But it's true, isn't it?

"Whatever," I shrug. "I have money, a lot of it, and I really want some of whatever you have. So you're going to give me it."

"Is that right?" he sneers, climbing to his feet. I don't even shudder. If he wants to kill me, fine. It doesn't matter.

"It is," I reply as he shoves his grimy face in mine. He has long, black hair and deep brown eyes with light freckles feathered along the bridge of his nose. In another life, he would have been handsome. He would have been better than this.

"I'm telling you, kid," he whispers and gooseflesh erupts across my bare arms. His eyes have softened considerably and he places a firm hand on my shoulder. "Don't start with this shit, okay? Look at me!" he shakes me as tears spill from his haunted eyes. I see myself. "Do you see me? Look what I did to myself!" I whimper as he shakes harder, my head flying backwards and forwards on my shoulders.

"I- I'm sorry!" I gasp and he pushed me away. He pulls his hood back over his face and points his fingers towards the light, towards civilization, towards my Chris.

"Go," he sniffles. I want to hug him. "Go back to your family!"

"I don't have it." I whisper defiantly, despite wanting nothing more than to go home and see my friends. My hunger is long forgotten.

"You do," the man smiles sadly. "I can tell you do. There's no way someone like you doesn't."

My tears finally spill over my bottom lids and I bite my lip to keep myself from sobbing. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Chris!

"Go back to your boyfriend," he chuckles. "Enjoy your life. Travel the world, get married, have kids. And for God's sake, tell Chris that you love him."

"I will!" I quake, overcome with emotion. "I will! I will!"

"Then go."

I jump into consciousness with a startled gasp, the murky alleyway morphing into a clean, white ceiling. I am warm and my arm isn't hurting like it was previously. Something beside me stirs awake and I sigh, realizing that my boyfriend is with me.

It was just a dream.

It was all just a dream.

"Are you okay, babe?" he grumbles, propping himself up on one elbow. He rubs his eyes adorably and my own fill up at the beauty of such a simple action.

The man I want to spend the rest of my life with is so beautiful.

"I'm amazing," I whisper back and he grins.

"Yeah, you are."

He leans forward and presses a long, passionate kiss to my lips. He smells like coconuts and morning breath. Strangely, I can't get enough.

"I love you," I mumble, rubbing our noses together. Chris kisses the tip of mine and buries his head into my neck.

"I love you too, baby boy,"

"I think you should do something."

"Oh, yeah? Like what?"

"Like kiss me."

"Oh, I can do that."

It's at this point that I know everything will be okay.

I suppose you could call it my grand epiphany, if you really wanted to. I know now that I have a family who love and adore me and a boyfriend who would die for me. And I would die for him. Of course I would.

This is why I don't stop him as he unbuckles my belt and his kisses become more desperate. I'm enjoying it. I'm in ecstasy.

"Sorry, Scarlett," I think to myself. "But you're not going to get to witness this, I'm afraid."

I reach out blindly to slap the radio on, which I moved into our room yesterday during my depression session. The sweet sound of The Fray fills my ears, pushing me into further bliss as Chris pushes into me.

Some things we don't talk about
Rather do without
And just hold a smile
Falling in and out of love
Ashamed and proud of
Together all the while

You can never say never while we don't know it
Time and time again
Younger now than we were before
Don't let me go, don't let me go, don't let me go
Don't let me go, don't let me go, don't let me go

And I am right. Everything is more than okay. It's perfect.

23 chapters down, one more to go!

Thanks for all the love and support, friends <3

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