Chapter twenty Four
I sling my bag over my shoulder and make my way back to the caravan Florence and I have been given for our stay here. She follows me over to the caravan. She follows me inside and looks around before sitting on the bed.
‘Sorry Marina…for earlier,’ I sit next to her.
‘That’s okay,’ she takes my hand and examines it. ‘Did you love her? Babies mother,’ her gaze travels to my face.
‘Yes, very much,’
‘You were friends you know before,’
‘Yes, we were friends. She was like you not happy she had a match,’ I smile remembering. ‘There was an accident and I almost died. That’s how we met. Neither of us knew the other was our match. That came later,’ pushing to my feet moving away sucking in air.
I find a note and a shopping list and some money from Florence. Have some fun Aaron, is all the note says I smile as I shove them in my pocket. I remove my bag and go through its contents removing my change of clothes and reading book, plus my laptop. I don’t need them to go shopping.
‘Can we be friends?’ she is beside me.
‘I thought we already were,’ giving her a lopsided grin.
I am excited I have never been to a market. I look up as a boy crashes in. He looks just like me with pale blond hair and startling blue eyes an Echo child. He is just smaller than me which is amusing. Andrea found him in a state of neglect and now he is going with me to the Capital. I quite like him and his general childlike ways. Always in a state of enthusiasm. Florence finds it funny the way he follows me everywhere. He stands for a moment getting his breath back.
‘You coming shopping Aaron?’ he gasps out excitement all over his face.
‘Yes Robert, if only to keep you out of trouble,’ I grin at him as Marina glares at him.
‘Oh, hello Marina,’ he smiles and blushes. ‘Gotta go some girl said I could touch her breasts, amazing, see you at the bus,’ he darts out the door and is gone I stand and stare at the space he was in and then laugh.
‘Sorry he is a bit excitable,’ I explain to Marina trying to fill the awkward silence left by his statement and departure.
‘All set,’ I say, and she stands up, I feel nervous again she makes the space seem very confined. I swallow and she smiles she knows I feel uncomfortable around her. She brushes against me and I know it was deliberate her hand grazes my backside and I almost jump at this obvious intrusion.
‘You sleep with Florence?’ She raises a brow and I blush, god damn it what is wrong with me, I really need to man up.
‘Yeah, sort of, she is very protective,’ I say it with as much nonchalance as I possibly can and leave the caravan, I know she is smirking at me.
She leads me over to where a group of teens are waiting and she is right some of the girls don’t look anything like girls, they are way more masculine than me, I relax a bit this might be fun. They eye me up and I try to look like I don’t care.
‘Oh, ain’t he pretty,’ one of the man/ girls says she walks up to me and goes to touch me I step back.
‘Please don’t touch me,’ I say making a point of not looking her in the eye, so it isn’t a challenge. The girl stands back and looks me over.
‘Oh, and why can’t I touch you little boy, how you going to stop me?’ She smirks at me and steps closer I swallow and look at her entire massive bulk, damn.
‘It’s cool Paula, he doesn’t like being touched, Florence told me, he ain’t being disrespectful. He was Rita’s boy,’ Marina steps in as I ball my hands into fists waiting for the fight, not that I am going to stand much chance against Paula she is huge and as Florence enjoys pointing out I am weedy. Marina reaches down and takes my hand uncurling my fingers.
‘We are protecting him. You know the rules around Adams. Besides he’s just an innocent and he belongs to Florence and is also under Tribes protection,’ Marina steps forward sort of aggressively in a non-threatening way if you know what I mean. Paula backs off and the group lose interest and move off. I let out the breath I was holding and follow Marina still holding her hand I notice some of the others pair off holding hands.