Identity

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 4 (v.1)

Submitted: January 07, 2014

Reads: 214

Comments: 7

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Submitted: January 07, 2014

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***Note***

It's a long one, be warned.

 

 

Chapter Four

Ryan guided her through the door of a quaint coffee shop nestled on the edge of the high street. It was a small place she had passed when out shopping with Leigh or her mother; her eyes had always clung to the mellow aged storefront curiously yet she had never ventured inside, as she stepped across the threshold she wondered what had stopped her before. The door closed behind them, shielding them from the crisp winds outside, the homely scent of coffee welcomed her in a warm embrace.

The cafe itself was adorable; antiques and curiosities lined the walls like jewels embedded in a cave wall, suede loveseats and armchairs sat in clusters accompanied by coffee tables stained with chocolate coloured rings, a chandelier made of old glass bottles hung from the high ceiling. Her eyes feasted on the sights around her hungrily, her mind whispered sweet promises to return there at every available chance.

It was relatively busy; festive shoppers sat with their many bags collected at their throbbing feet, office workers who had stumbled through the door craving warming beverages and comforting pastries to cheer them up during their break, mothers seeking solace in a creamy cappuccino. At the counter a young girl, not much older than herself, took their order. Ryan ordered a mocha and Mia a hot chocolate dribbled with caramel syrup with a splash of cream. 

As the barista turned to make their drinks, Ryan leaned down to murmur in Mia's ear: "I'll be right back, okay?"

She nodded, the display of mouth watering treats catching her eye. Her stomach rumbled at the sight of fruit topped cakes and daintily decorated cupcakes, and then smiled at her own temptation.

 

*

"You're so boring, Jacob!" Scarlett moaned as she hauled the coffee shop door open. "I could kill for a large glass of wine, but oh no you've gone all alcoholics anonymous on me."

"I thought you liked this place." Jacob frowned, closing the door behind them both, ignoring her comment about his drinking.

"I do, but I like wine more." Scar shrugged, casting her eyes on the chalkboard behind the counter. "Oh look, they've got a Christmas menu! What are you feeling, Jacob? Toffee apple cappuccino or gingerbread latte?"

"Neither." Jacob said dryly. Both were far too sweet for his taste. They waited patiently behind the young girl in front who was just finished being served.

"Thank you." Amelia pocketed the change and gripped the two steaming hot drinks. She grinned down at her marsh mellow topped drink with delight, it smelt absolutely delicious. She turned, as Jacob stepped forward without thinking, and Amelia almost tripped over the young man with surprise. A blend of coffee, hot chocolate, and marsh mellows slopped down Jacob's jeans and collected in a puddle around his leather military boots.

"Oh my God, I'm so sorry!" Amelia exclaimed, setting the drinks down on a nearby sideboard, she grabbed a wad of napkins from the counter and passed them to her victim.

"It's okay, no harm done." Jacob chuckled, flustered by what had happened, he put the napkins down despite the girls apologies. "They're old jeans anyway. It really doesn't matter." Beside him, Scar was in fits of laughter, he shot her a glare.

It was then that he looked up and fully saw the girl in front of him. The hazelnut strands that fell in gentle curls, those burning hazel eyes, the slim figure and porcelain skin. His heart stopped.

"I can't believe I did that, I'm so sorry." Embarrassment stained her face the colour of roses, she bit down on her lip nervously, she didn't like all this attention.

"Stop apologising, it's alright." Jacob shook his head lightly and he smiled at the girl. He looked around her and noticed that she was alone. "You're a little young to be on your own, aren't you?"

Confusion furrowed her brow. "I'm 17, and I'm not on my own, my friend's just gone to the bathroom." She replied uneasily.

The initial shock and embarrassment had worn off and Amelia was left with the strangest feeling of discomfort. Her smile faded as she was pulled into the icy waters of his piercing eyes, her lungs burned, and suddenly she was reminded of the images she'd seen that morning.

"I'm sorry but... do I know you? I've have the strangest feeling that we've met before..." She heard herself ask.

The question caught Jacob off guard. "No, I don't think so." He replied coolly. He turned back to Scarlett. "I've just remembered that I've got to be somewhere, I'll have to go."

Jacob gave Amelia a small and polite smile as he grabbed Scarlett by the arm of her coat and tugged her out of the door. The cool November air hit them and bit into their cheeks, Scarlett's bright curls whipped around her as she glared at her dark haired friend.

"What the hell?!" She exclaimed. "I thought we were getting coffee?"

"No, not now." Jacob snapped as he marched her through the high street, shoving past dwindling shoppers that blocked his way.

Scarlett resisted moodily, she tugged free of his iron grasp and spun him around. "Care to explain?"

He glanced around them, at all the people who were stealing glances at them, talking about them. "I will, just not here."

"Where then?" She asked, cocking her head to the side, she placed a gloved hand on her hip.

"Over a drink, of course." He smirked at her.

 

*

Amelia swirled the spoon through the thick cream and chocolate beverage absentmindedly as she gazed out of the window. For the second time that day she'd embarrassed herself publically, and then freaked out some random guy with her twisted daydreams. She sighed, wrapping her cold fingers around the warm mug; at least he'd scarpered, she thought dismally.

"Sorry I took so long. There was some fault with the hand dryer." Ryan said as he sat down in the arm chair across from her. "Are you okay?"

"Hmm?" She glanced over at him, after finally realising that he'd arrived. "Oh, uhh, yeah. Although I just assaulted some poor guy with our drinks." She made a weak attempt at making light of the situation.

Ryan's face broke out into a brilliant grin. "Really? Now how on Earth did you manage that?"

Mia couldn't help but smile too, Ryan's presence had instantly lightened her mood; yet again. She told Ryan of how she'd sloshed their drinks over the young man behind her, and they both laughed over the incident as if it were nothing. This is how it's supposed to be, Mia thought to herself as the two exchanged embarrassing stories. She was meant to enjoy herself, not mull over something that may not have ever happened.

"And that is how I singlehandedly broke my dad's foot and my brother's elbow with a cork." Ryan summarised, fighting back the laughter as he spoke.

"Oh my God," Mia managed to say between shakes of giggles, she wiped the tears from her eyes and took another sip of her drink to calm herself down. "How is that even possible?"

Ryan shrugged. "I guess I'm not very good at opening a bottle of wine. No wonder my brothers don't let me touch the stuff."

"How many siblings do you have?" Mia asked, setting down her empty mug on the coffee table.

"About thirteen. Twelve brothers and one sister. I don't know the exact number though, there may be more, my dad was never very good at keeping track. You?"

"Just me. I was a miracle baby, I think, my dad's sterile." Mia replied. She always thought it was strange thinking about other people's big families when her own was so small.

The two of them had finished their drinks, the mugs sat empty on the table between them, and although they had only been in the coffee shop for about an hour it felt as if they'd been there for a life time. It was as if they were out of the reach of time passing, as they talked years could have gone by and they wouldn't have noticed. And Mia didn't want it to end, she wanted to stay there with Ryan by her side forever, it was there that she felt completely at ease.

"What happened earlier? If you don't mind me asking.." He asked at last, it had been on his mind from the moment he found her shaking in the hallway with tears streaking her face.

Mia shook her head lightly. "I don't know... In a way, everything happened. Everything I've ever been scared of, that I've ever been nervous about, just sort of hit me and I didn't know what to do. All of it caught up with me and I panicked. I don't really want to talk about it..."

Ryan nodded understandingly. He leaned forward and placed his hand over hers. "I get that you don't want to talk, but know that there is nothing to be afraid of, not anymore." There was brief moment of silence, when neither of them knew what to say. Mia's eyes hung on their hands entwined together and then rose to meet his dark eyes; she felt safe.

Ryan smiled softly and said: "Did you want another drink?" 

 

 

 

 

*

Jacob slammed his empty glass on the bar and wiped his mouth with his sleeve. "Another." He barked to the barman, who simply nodded and swiped the glass from the black surface. Jacob's eyes lit up with delight as another pint of honey coloured liquid was placed before him.

"Are you... you know... still him?" Scarlett watched him drink with a furrowed brow. It always confused her when he acted like this, she could never tell who was who.

Jacob smirked. "I'm still Jacob."

"Right, well that's even more worrying. Are you going to explain what happened or am I going to have to force it out of you?" She asked as she picked up her wine glass for the first time since they arrived.

"You didn't see, did you?" Jacob mused. "One of them was there, sat in one of the booths, and you know as well as I do that we can't be seen together."

"Alright, that's fair enough." She replied quickly. She didn't want to talk about that, she'd need way more alcohol in her system to talk about that.

Scarlett glanced around the bar they'd settled in. It was dimly lit, despite it being noon. The bar had an industrial chic to it, the bar itself was made of welded panels of steel with a wooden worktop that had shuddering stickiness to it. Glasses hung from steel cages above their heads, the polished surfaces reflected glimmer of light over the room.  Pillars of chains connected the floor to the ceiling; centred amongst clusters of leather stools and tables. A long row booths ran along the back wall; each divided by a dark panel of opaque glass. The bar stools they were perched on were cracked leather, stained by spilled drinks and slopping wiping.

"Have we been here before? This place seems familiar?" Scarlett asked innocently.

"Yeah, we have." Jacob followed her gaze across the busy bar. It never ceased to amaze him how many people occupied bars in the middle of the day: the lowlifes who had nothing better to do than drink their lives away, the sleazy suits whose office sits somewhere between two glasses of cheap whiskey, and then those like Scar and himself who didn't want to be seen. Jacob leant down to murmur in her ear: "The night we slept together."

The memory came flooding back to her; she blushed. Now that had been quite a night. 

She had been angry with him that night. He hadn't returned her calls for weeks, he made every attempt to avoid her and she hadn't any idea why. After calling every single friend or acquaintance she and Jacob shared, she finally tracked him down to some grunge themed bar. She remembered strutting in with her high heels clicking against the slate floor, eyes narrowed and glaring at her so-called best friend, her fiery hair fluttering in her wake. And when she finally stopped at his side, he glanced at her and groaned, as if she was nothing more than a mess he'd tried to hide under the bed. She had raised her hand and slapped him across the cheek.

"Don't you dare ignore me again." She had hissed at him, ignoring the jeers and laughter of the men around them.

Jake had stared back at her in utter shock, his hand touching his cheek, it stung with all the pain of a thousand daggers. Anger collected in deep pools in his eyes, and Scarlett felt her throat run dry with fear. And then Jake did something completely unexpected. His lips pressed against hers, his arms wrapping around her waist and pulling her toward him. She had gasped at the unexpected taste of him, her mind racing with surprise and anticipation, she had dreamed of his kiss for many years. Yet she knew it should have never been that way.

Scarlett watched him as he raised his glass to his lips again, as the golden liquid splashed against the glass as it disappeared down his throat. For all those years she'd wanted that night to happen, and now she wished it never did. If only it hadn't been Jake sat at that bar, if only she hadn't been so annoyed at him... She gulped at her wine, wanting the alcohol to burn her thoughts away, for her memories to become a blur.

Jacob ordered the next round and they both continued to drink. Conversation between them dwindled into little more than passing comments about their surroundings or the poison they gulped thirstily. He drunk to forget everything; she drunk to forget him.  

 

***Note***

Experimenting with POV and flashbacks... please let me know if you found it confusing, I'll do my best to adapt and change where it's needed. This story will be largely dominated by changing POV's so I'm trying to get it right.

Thank you reading and commenting!


© Copyright 2019 Emma Richards. All rights reserved.

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