Taming a Killer

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(ch 14) the First Attempt (Vernon)


December 22nd, Midnight (London Time)

It felt like they had been travelling for hours. They would land in four hours in New Zealand, and Vernon felt grateful. By this point, all he wanted to do was rip out his hair. Vernon had no idea how people managed on long flights in small, cramped sitting space. For him, it wasn’t an issue, but he wanted to smell fresh air and get off the plane.

He pretended it had nothing to do with the anxiety he felt.

Vernon got up and walked around the area of first class. Everyone was sleeping, mostly out of boredom, he thought.

Sitting down on one of the seats, Vernon flipped open the shade to stare into the sky. Johnny’s words came back to him as he let his mind wander. Vernon knew well enough that Giovanni had a problem with him. He made it so obvious, even people that weren’t part of their family noticed! There was a big chance someone said something to Giovanni, because the boy had gone quiet.

Vernon also knew a reason Giovanni was throwing a fuss. To his mum, Vernon had become the youngest now, the baby and the most cherished. It was foolish of Giovanni to think that his mum would love him less just because she had adopted a child into the home.

The problem was, Vernon wouldn’t have a mum or a dad while he was at school. He wasn’t trying to complain, and he was grateful for having Johnny, but he wouldn’t even be able to see Mrs Attwood! He did still have her number saved, but he didn’t want to be afraid to be himself. He didn’t want to hide how he was as a person. He knew he was definitely stranger than most, but he felt happiness in his differences.

‘Can’t sleep anymore either?’ Molly’s voice came from behind him, spooking him out of his thoughts. He jumped, but she didn’t comment, just ruffling his hair. He pouted and leaned over to mess her hair, too.

‘Ha!’ Molly said happily, her voice rising with her good mood. ‘I like you!’

‘I like you too.’

‘Good, can we be friends?’ Molly looked hopefully at him with her question hanging in the air. Vernon shrugged his shoulders unceremoniously. ‘Sure, as you like. How old are you?’

‘I’m fourteen. I’ll be fifteen in July.’

‘I just turned thirteen.’

Molly shrugged and Vernon watched as she lifted her feet onto the table. Her sweats looked super cosy too. He should have brought some in the shoppes when he had a chance.

‘I like your sweats.’ Vernon thrust his chin toward her outfit.

‘I have a few! Want one?’ She stood up, walking close to Vernon, tilting her head to the side to compare herself to him. ‘I think we’re about the same size. Okay, hold on just a second, I have an extra in my bag!’

She scampered away, leaving Vernon to stare after her with his mouth wide open. None of the kids in the orphanage had been like this girl, but they were all younger than her. Maybe this is how girls turned out after they reached a certain age?

She came back faster than he expected, and surprising himself, he leaned forward, eager to see what she brought him. It was a pair of sweats with a hoodie to match. It was a light grey, and had a leather stripe down the side of both legs. The hoodie was the same except the leather went across the chest.

‘I thought it would match with your dirty blond hair well.’

‘Turn around, let me put it on now.’

Molly rolled her eyes, but did as he requested. ‘You’re seriously such a boy. Why do you care anyways?’

‘Just shy, I guess. K, you can look now!’ Vernon felt delighted at how well his new outfit looked. ‘Thank you! This is absolutely lovely.’

‘Well, we are besties now, obviously.’

‘Obviously.’ Vernon nodded vigorously at her statement.

‘Let’s get food.’ Molly poked at his side, her stomach growling.

‘Yeah, I suppose.’

‘It’s past midnight. What would they serve?’

‘Doesn’t matter. I’m starving.’

Hours later, Vernon awoke with Molly curled up against him in the large seat the aeroplane had. He grinned happily. He had made his first real friend. Life would be good after all.

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