dont bark if you can't bite
Billy the Car just didn't like long journeys.
His little engine was spluttering and had been doing so for the past twenty miles. A few times on the motorway Charlotte had patted his steering wheel, urging the Fiesta to carry on and true to form, he had done. Is there anything else in the world a girl can rely on then her first and only car? He'd even powered through some of the awful country roads that led to her old hometown, Christ knows it was hard enough to even bloody walk down the cobbles sometimes.
The only complaint she had with him was the fact his air-con had decided to pack in ten miles into the four hour journey to the North. For some reason England had chosen today to be the hottest of the year thus far, and as she beat her finger against the button that was meant to send cool air catapulting toward her, nothing came.
So now, as she arrived in Humbleton, her hair was lovingly splattered against the back of her neck with sweat, the makeup she'd applied that morning was dripping down her hot face and beautiful wet patches had made damp circles under her armpits. Every now and then she had to lean forward to tear her boiling skin from the leather seat. De-fucking-lightful.
She'd almost crashed into a wall as she reached the top of the hill leading into the village down in the valley. It was already way into the evening, but British Summertime had seen the sun just setting between the tops, a pinky-yellow colour that bathed the entire town in a soft, forgiving light. And fucking hell did it need forgiving, she thought as her car moved closer.
Humbleton had changed from the sweet little place she left when she was eighteen.
Charlotte had left your typical 'can-I-borrow-some-sugar' town. Houses had been little, pretty and always blooming with flowers. It used to piss her off how there was never so much as a leaf messing up the pavement, or how the shop wasn't actually ran by a keeper, but had a fucking 'honesty box' right on the counter. The only place any type of fight happened was in the tiny high school at one side of Humbleton, Penny High. There wasn't a kid in the place that hadn't gone through that school, Charlotte included. Even then the fights were normally to preserve someone's honour or some complete bullshit like that.
She'd had this 'escape' temptation in her life since she was a teenager, and when she got to eighteen she did the thing only a few before her had done and left Humbleton's security. It was every kid's dream but Charlie managed it and made it in the 'big city'.
Was she scared when she got to the capital and had to make it on her own? Yeah course, it was the first time she was alone, but come the fuck on, everyone watches television, she knew from hundreds of episodes of CSI what to expect. She'd never been naive to the outside world, Humbleton wasn't a cult, just a lot of people set in their ways.
But now, Jesus, now.
Humbleton was looking bleak to say the least. The first house she passed, which used to belong to some old man, was abandoned completely. Wood covered where the windows once were, the door was totally boarded up, the grass had made a break for it and curled around the garden path. Man did it look spooky. Her nose had shriveled but slowly, as her car crept through the small place, she recognised that almost every cottage was the same. A few still had lights on and some sign on activity- but even those ones were overgrown and unkempt.
The roads were covered with litter and even the setting sun couldn't make Humbleton shine like she remembered it doing.
"What the fuck is going on?" Charlie whispered to herself, turning into the street that led to her childhood home.
And there it was. Her parent's house, right at the top of the road.
Returning home had never actually been part of the plan. When she'd escaped to find 'her true self', she'd left behind a chaotic mess of a past. More importantly, she'd left with a fucked up little heart.
She'd gone through highschool with a boy on her arm, a handsome little one at that.
Tino Colleti was the epitome of teenager brilliance, all blonde hair and quirky smile. For five years they were inseparable, but one person found their snotty little way between them. Charlie's best friend, Colleen, who thought she and Tino were made for each other, ("Colleen Colleti... doesn't it just sound so right?"). No it didn't you home wrecking little bitch.
But it turned out Tino thought the same thing, cue heartbreak.
Charlotte felt her eyes getting damp and willed herself to man up. The truth was, she was back to empty the place. Both her parent's had passed away a few years before, and the house had stood bare for that long. She simply hadn't been able to bring herself to visit the place she still expected them both to be, because they wouldn't be there and she'd have to admit to herself for the first time that they were really gone. That she was really alone. Her hand shook as she pulled the key from the ignition, and her chest heaved as she grabbed a breath for some courage.
Her legs ached from the drive, almost caving as she pulled herself up and out of Billy. Her body felt incredibly heavy, as though she had every person on the planet weighing her down. To add to this her mouth was beginning to tug downwards as the familliar feeling of tears bit the back of her eyeballs. She pulled her hands to her face with maximum effort, dropping her palms on her cheeks and rubbing vigorously. Come on girl, you can do it.
The internal pep-talk urged her to move toward the old building, her keys hanging limply from her fingers. Pushing open the wooden gate, flecks of old paint and moss stuck to her sweaty hands like it was festering on her skin. Wiping them against the tatty denim shorts clinging to her with the heat, her heart flew into her mouth. Charlotte's attention was pulled to the old, tattered from door.
Previously, the wood had been polished and painted a deep red colour but now it looked worn, unkempt and shabby like the rest of the house. Her palm reached out-
She couldn't do it. Not yet.
Her body reversed suddenly and she found herself fleeing back to Billy, resting on his hot hood, eyes shut to the world.
Dutch courage should do it.
The Black Tavern looked exactly the same. Fair enough, the curtains that were normally always opened were drawn closed and took away some of the welcoming vibe the place once gave out, but apart from that every flower basket was just as Charlie remembered. The door was wide open and held back, which she took as a sure sign the pub was open. Even the flowery wallpaper that lined the small entrance was still there. Charlotte's dad, Mick, had been well acquainted with the boozer and on occasion had brought his daughter along on a Sunday. It'd been their bonding time without her mother running around with a vac. Mick had always joked that it was the one place he could get a drink without expecting a chore with it.
When she had got older, Charlie had moved into her terrible teens and almost every weekend attempted to get served at the bar with a group of kids that were obviously no where near legal age. It was different back then though, and the landlady had often taken pity. Plus, it wasn't as if the tiny town was rammed with police. There was two coppers in the entire place, and both were ancient. They must have followed laws from the nineteenth century because Charlotte had never heard of anyone getting done for anything. Either that or Humbleton had reached a creepy level of perfection.
As she opened the second door she expected some sort of huge, warm welcome. The bottom of her stomach seemed to fall out as she immediately spotted the bar stool her dad had always had his fat arse upon. It was empty. Covered with purple velour that had become a dirty grey colour from wear and tear, the seat remained completely barren. Her hands began to shake as she slowly moved toward the bar, twisting her head ever so slightly.
The place was pretty much deserted, apart from a few old men dotted around. The air was completely silent and the woman behind the bar was reading a newspaper. Mrs. Creedy. The recognition pushed a bit of courage into Charlie, and she tilted her head, flattening her palms on the worn oak counter.
"Hello Love, what can I get you?" Tanya Creedy hadn't looked up from whatever she was reading. The woman looked no different, her short blonde hair was still sticking up in all directions and her chins still shook as she spoke. No, that was a lie, she looked older. Much older. Her cheeks had lost the lovely rouge shade they'd used to have on a busy night, when sweat had trickled down her brow. She was an intimidating looking woman, tall and wide. Locals knew not to take the piss with Tanya Creedy, and hardly anybody did. You respected her. Charlotte respected her.
When she was rewarded with silence, the older lady's interest was peaked, and her head rose. "Blood-y hell." Tanya's mouth dropped open as she folded her newspaper, raising her eyebrow and moving over to where Charlie was standing.
Momentarily shock, Charlotte froze. To be fully honest, she hadn't expected anyone to recognise her. Time had been pleasant to the younger girl, who had grown taller and leaner from her somewhat plump frame as a teenager. Her hair had been dyed a few shades lighter and curled to her breasts. The puppy fat was gone and the shape of her face had changed, yet Tanya saw through it all straight away.
"Well, well, if it isn't Charlotte Lee. You're home now?"
Now that was a loaded question. Charlie's eyes flew to the empty bar stool and her lips pursed. Was this home? She thought of the desolate buildings she'd seen as she'd entered Humbleton. No. This wasn't home, something had changed. But of course she only smiled, nodded and took the woman's outstretched hands. Tanya's palms were clammy and hot, yet the softness of them almost made tears burn the back of her eyes.
"Wow, Honey. You look amazing." The small smile on Charlotte's face seemed more natural after this, and she ordered half a lager, sitting on the stool closest, refusing to take the place of her father. As she watched the older woman get her drink she answered Tanya's questions as halfheartedly as she could, but it was hard. Things just didn't feel right.
She couldn't help it any longer and, sipping her drink, leaned forward, "Tanya, what's happened here? Everything looks so different, so... unkempt."
Pallor took a new home on the face of Tanya Creedy. It was if Charlotte had just pointed a gun at the woman's head. All of a sudden, the kindness that had been offered was ripped away without remorse, and the landlady stepped back as if she'd been burnt by the words. She looked scared. And Tanya scared ment that every fucker else should be too.
For a second Charlie had assumed it had been her nosy question that had made the older woman move towards the back exit of the bar, but as she heard the main door hit the frame, she froze.
It's always a bit of a cliche to say that the air changed, but fucking hell did it. A poisonous chill swept the little pub, and a glance to her left saw the few men in there drop their heads away from the cold. Goosebumps erupted in little mountain ranges across Charlotte's skin and her eyes flew behind her, body twisting.
Creedy's whimper of his name drifted past her ear and over Colleti's broad shoulder. Her mouth had dropped open as she took in the appearance of the man she once sneakily checked out when she thought he wasn't looking.
Of course, back then he was just a boy. The boy who happened to be the brother of a beloved ex-boyfriend.
The frost that encapsulated the image of the grown up man before her hazed her vision for a second before she realised- this was not the guy she used to see dropping Tino off at school, nor the one she saw fucking girls at parties on tables in front of everyone. He wasn't the guy who once accidentally knocked her into his pool and resulted in her being subject to loads of "God, gurrrl, you already wet for me?" remarks for the rest of the night.
The body in the doorway was stationary, his height and stature nearly blocking out the darkness that was behind him. His arms were clad in a tight black shirt, the sleeves turned up to reveal the pale skin of his muscled forearms, his chest totally still and boasting a perfect 'v' shape down to his small waist. The shadows of the dim lights cut along his cheekbones, a sharp line distinguishing his steel jaw. His hair was still a dirty blonde colour, cut short enough to just sweep to one side with one of his huge palms. But fucking hell- His eyes.
The crystal green shade Charlie had once known was deeper, darker and caused her spine to stiffen uncontrollably. His shattering gaze travelled erotically down her body, but the straight line of his thick lips made no move from their unimpressed position.
He moved toward the bar in a way she could only describe as perfectly intimidating, his large bulk turning my stomach to dust and creating a huge lump in her throat. He did not order a drink, but one of his palms swept toward Tanya. Charlotte watched her only nod and move to the shadowed doorway behind the bar, cloaking herself in darkness. The girl began to wish she could jump over the top and creep over to her for safety.
"Max." She murmured beneath her breath, still in some stupid fucking paralyzed state.
His heavy elbow set itself down as he turned to face her. She could feel the strength and power radiating from his white skin. His haunted eyes hadn't left her for longer than a few seconds.
"Hello, Charlotte." Oh dear God. His voice could hardly be described so, it was more of a growl that set her palms sweating profusely.
She could feel her hands shaking and forced herself to clasp the bar running along the side of the wood next to her. He seemed to realise without removing his eyes from Charlie's and his lips curled into a smirk, showing the bottoms of pearl white teeth.
"Hello." Was all she could bring herself to reply. Her heart was thumping like somebody had injected it with speed at the knowledge that he knew her name.
Max Colletti himself, knew her name.
Pull yourself together, Charlie, of course he fucking knows your name, everyone knows everyone in Humbleton.
"I wasn't told you were coming back."
Shit, did he just say come?
'He did,' she thought, 'and I think I just did.'
"I didn't really think to call ahead, didn't know it was much of a big deal." She had to bite hard on her bottom lip to stop it quivering. What was this man doing to her? She was acting like a bitch in heat because he used a verb in a perfectly normal sentence. Christ, girl.
His eyes swept down her one more time and she bristled under observation.
"Oh," He curled out, "it's a very big deal."
She couldn't reply- what do you reply to something like that? How was it a big deal?
She couldn't cope with all this shit after such a long day.
A laugh bubbled up her throat till it hit his face. His eyebrow quirked into a perfect semi circle high on his forehead, yet he remained stoic.
"Whatever, Big Man." Charlotte told him, courage hinted with stupidity making her grab her glass, throw the rest down her neck and turn toward the door.
"Stop." He told her from behind but she could only send him a 'you-wish' look over the shoulder and carry on.
"I said, stop." His deep command hit her ears as she opened the door.
Her entire body was frozen still.
It wasn't by her own will.
She couldn't physically move, her limbs refusing to work. It felt as though she was made of stone, stuck at the place in the doorway. She turned her neck back to see him, even though the pain was agonising.
She saw the faces of those around her first, stuck in patterns of horror yet not shock.
She finally met his eyes, yet it wasn't their fury that had her scared.
It wasn't the way his body shadowed hers.
Nor was it the hand outstretched lazily toward her.
It was the fangs.
newstowy newstowy newstowy
it's different from what a usually do but with ma traditional big hot male lead
and a got a tumblr too: mamblybum dot tumblr whatever blahblah