Stephan(9)

By: Hazel Gower



“Okay. Thanks.” He was older than me by over a year. I only had two months until I was eighteen, but it felt like a lot longer. “Are you eighteen?” I asked Cassie.

“Yep. Scott and I turned eighteen nine almost ten weeks ago. Are you eighteen?”

“In just over a month.”

“What? No way. You look older. I thought you would be eighteen already?”

“Yeah, I’m only seventeen.” Chewing on my bottom lip, I hoped my age didn’t change our friendship. Cassie was looking at me funny.

“You have no trouble with school work I know. You are usually finished before me and all your answers are right. You don’t look younger than me.”

“Is this a problem? You are only a little over three months older than me.”

“What!? No. Why would you say that? I’m just a little shocked, I thought Scott and I were the youngest in our year.”

“You’re looking at me different. There are plenty of schools that have people in year twelve who are my age.”

“Yeah you’re right, but I’m actually in awe you keep up with everything. Me and Scott struggled but we have the best tutors provided.”

“Really, it’s not much difference in our ages.”

“You’re right.”

I stood, needing to stretch, and Cassie followed. The coach was rounding the players up on the field.

“Do you want to go? They are wrapping up now. Scott can get a lift home with someone else. I have the keys.” Cassie jingled the keys.

“Yep, let’s go.” I smirked as we walked toward the cars, remembering what Stephan had demanded of me. I said I would stay with Cassie, I never promised not to leave.





Chapter Three





Stephan





I am going to tan Jade’s hide. Why couldn’t she stay where I tell her? I turned to Scott. “Looks like you’re with us. Come on, Derick will drive us back so I can get my car. I need to get Jade from your place.”

Scott scrubbed his face with a towel. “Stephan, I don’t think you can get Jade if she’s at my place. My parents wouldn’t allow it. They aren’t like everyone here. They wouldn’t let you just take her. Jade is new and they know it.”

“She’s mine. I n—”

“Stephan, shut it.”

I glared at Derick as he narrowed his eyes at me. I knew he wanted me to keep quiet. I probably sounded like a possessive arsehole. It was the curse’s fault, and I couldn’t explain to Scott or my friends, they’d think I really was crazy. I knew people thought us Silverman’s were eccentric.

“You’ll see Jade tomorrow at the party. Right, Scott?”

Scott’s gaze went from me to Derick. He knew something was going on, just not exactly what. “Er, yeah, sure. Cassie is dying to go to one of your parties. She’ll make sure Jade comes. I’ll drive them to your place myself.”

I nodded, not trusting my voice. I could wait until tomorrow to see her again. I’d call Zeck again when I got home and see what he’d found out.

*****

Scott stayed for a while and he’d help distract me. Derick took him home half an hour ago and I’d just gotten off the phone with Zeck. I sat at my computer shocked at the information I was reading. Jade was only seventeen, she was a little over a month away from eighteen. I was nineteen, so there wasn’t a huge difference in age. She was smart, not only to keep up with people a year older at school, but she was street smart. I felt like an even bigger arse as I read about her. Jade’s mother had died of a meth overdose only two weeks ago. She had no known father, and there were three different restraining orders against men her mother had been with. DoCS, Department of Community Services, had been called several times, but nothing had come of the visits. There were notes though, and he felt sick as he read one after another. Why the hell hadn’t they taken her? Jade had raised herself. She now lived with her mother’s father who was her only known relative and a drug dealer. Zeck had dug deeper finding out she received Centerlink benefits from the age of fourteen. He’d hacked into her account and I could now see how Jade spent the money, with care at the grocery store, and the cheapest clothing stores.

A knock sounded on my door and knew it would be Derick. “Come in.” I didn’t turn to him I kept reading.

“So anything good?” He didn’t need to ask what I was looking at.

Running fingers through my hair, I cleared my dry throat. “I’ve been an idiot. I knew we were lucky and spoiled, but…” I couldn’t tell him. I stood and moved from the computer. Derick took my place. I laid on my bed and tried not to come up with images of what Jade’s life would have looked like and what she’d been through.

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