"It's alright Ash; everything is going to be ok," Lucy said, her tone certain. "I promise. And you know I don't ever break my promises." With that, Lucy climbed out of the wardrobe and sat on Ash's bed to give him a moment to himself.
Ash took a big inhale before clambing out the closet. He placed his mother's picture on his dresser and sat on his bed. He smiled a sad smile but turned toward Lucy and took her hand. "Ready?" he asked.
"Of course," Lucy grinned. She walked towards the door, swinging their hands between their bodies like with a small child.
He smiled at her but continued to let her swing their hands. They were walking past the gallery when someone called his name.
Lucy was in her own little world, a one where Ash was never sad and they were together for always. She was lifted out of her daydreams by the voice and turned to see who it was.
"Ash!" His aunt Tia called. Ash turned to face her. "Yes Auntie, what's wrong?" He asked. "She's gone! Jes is gone!" His heart stopped. "What do you mean she's gone?" He untangled his hand from Lucy's. "She went on a date and never came back." His aunt started to cry. His gulped down the anger rising in his throat. He lightly gripped his aunt's arms. "You let her go out? You let her date ... here? Did you meet the guy?" She shook her head. "I'm so sorry Ash, I'm so sorry." She cried and leaned in to him. He grits his teeth but embraced her in a hug anyways. She should be sorry, she's supposed to protect Jes, she promised. He thinks to himself.
Lucy didn't know what to say, so she stood silently by the side. She felt horrified that Ash's cousin was gone, but she didn't know what they could do about it. Surely they should hand the case over to the police.
"I got her Tia, I got her," he said as he pushed his aunt away.
"I'm sorry Ash, I'm sorry sorry," she cried.
"I'll find her. I got to. You promised to watch her, Tia, you promised. You were supposed to watch her until I could get her." He angrily shoved his hands in his pockets.
"I'm so sorry Ash." She reached for him but he pushed her away.
"Where was she going?" he questioned his aunt.
"To some club ... The Galex, I think." She cried even harder.
"Go to the police and I'll look for her." He turned toward Lucy. "Do you mind going with my aunt while I do this. I promise, I'll explain everything later." He swallowed hard.
Lucy nodded and took Ash's aunt's arm. "Come on, there's a police station up the road," she said to her. She intended to drop her at the station and then follow Ash to chek he was safe. She didn't like the idea of him going off on his own.
Ash watched Lucy escort his aunt to the police station before he took off running toward the club. He knew the club and the club owner. "Hey Ash, what's up?" Te club owner Tony asked. "Did you see Jes last night. She's my little sis...cousin. She's my little cousin. She was on a date and ... did you see her?" Ash asked panicked. "Yeah, she was here with some dude. He took her home around 12." Ash swallowed. "Did you know the guy?" Tony nodded. "Little Max. He lives in two towns." "Thanks Tony" Ash rushed out the club. He headed back to dorm to pick something up before rushing out to two towns.
Lucy left Tia at the police station giving a statement to an officer and went after Ash. She followed him, staying a block or two behind just to make sure he didn't see her. She knew he wouldn't want her there but she felt the need to be there to make sure nothing bad happened to him.
Ash rushed to two towns. He looked up Max's name and found an address. He knocked on the door and a boy about Jes' age, maybe a year or two older answered. "Max?" Ash asked. "Yeah, who are you?" The boy responded back. "Ash. Where's my little sister Jes?" Anger filled his voice. "I don't know who you're talking about." The boy said and just as he was about to close the door. Jes' voice broke through. Ash forced his way passed the boy and toward Jes.
Lucy hurried to catch the door before it shut. She didn't like the look of this at all. Quietly, she slipped into the room and crouched behind a sofa. Nobody noticed her as every eye was fixed on Ash in the centre of the room.
Ash looked around the room for Jes. "Jes, where are you?" He called. "Here." Her voice sounded weak as she struggled to walk to Ash. He rushed to her and gentle took her face in his hands. "Are you okay?" He questioned her, his voice soft. "I just want to go home." She started to cry and he pulled her into a hug. "Achi forbid I let anything happen to you. Had father been alive he'd skin us both alive." They both laughed. Ash turned toward Max and said, "We're both walking out of here no more in pain then we already are. If I see you anywhere near my baby sister, I will kill you." Ash pulled Jes toward him and they started walking to the door. Ash stopped when he felt a presence. He turned around and pulled a knife from his pocket holding it up to Max's throat.
Lucy bit back a gasp, suddenly wishing she had listened to Ash and stayed at the police station. She had never known that he owned a knife, let alone that he was prepared to use one. She shrank back, afraid.
"Jes, call Tia and tell her where you're at." He tossed his phone to Jes and she weakly caught it. He returned his attention to Max. "I told you, we were both leaving here no more injured then we already were." He hissed. "Look man, I don't want no problems," Max said weakly. "Then back away," responded Ash. Max started backing up as Jes struggled to make her way to him. "She didn't answer," Jes responded. Ash hooked his arm around Jes' waist and started backing up to the door. "Press 1 and call Lucy." Jes listened and waited for the phone to ring. Ash kept his knife raised.
Lucy swore as her phone began to ring loudly in her pocket. She tried to muffle it, but it was hard to pretend it wasn't ringing in such a small space. Everyone would have heard it. She knelt in silence, waiting for someone to discover her.
Ash knew that ring anywhere. Why wasLucy in here? "Lucy, come out," he called still holding the knife up.
Lucy slowly got up and shuffled out from behind the sofa. She went to stand next to Jes and wouldn't meet Ash's eyes.
"I'm not going to ask why you followed me. Take Jes outside, I'll be out shortly," he responded coldly still holding the knife toward Max.