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Stoker

By Liz Loz

Romance / Thriller

If

A/N

Hi guys!

So this is a little detour from what I had previously been writing. I will still continue other fics I have going, but whilst the iron is hot, I must strike.

I have become slightly infatuated with the film Stoker, so wanted to write my own take on it. It is mostly canon, but I have taken away certain things and added others in. I also changed the name of the character for Whip, because that is the most stupid name I have ever heard in my entire life :D Hope you enjoy!

Liz xxx

Chapter 1 - If

It was my 17th birthday.

The house was full to the brim, the sound of chatter bouncing off the walls and high ceilings as people laughed and joked – conversing about their daily antics. There were old women and women that thought they were young, plastered with makeup and clutching worn out designer bags like they were their lifelines. There were washed up war heroes still clinging to the exploits of their younger years, men leering over others like vultures about to swoop down on a long dead corpse. There were countless people, all I had seen before, but none who bore any affection, or familiarity. And then there was me.

"India dearest!" The sound of a shrill voice echoed across the room, eventually bouncing off the right walls that sent the waves shooting into my ears. I turned swiftly to the left and saw the beaming, rather flushed face of my mother staring back at me. She had already had too much to drink, I could tell.

"Come here!" Answering the call, I began to make my way across the room. With everyone else's rather gaudy attire, my plain black dress and shoes stood out somewhat, but I didn't care. By the time I arrived Mother had already started up her conversation again, but she halted it upon my entry.

"Ah, here you are!" Bony fingers clutched around my shoulder, pulling me in to what must have been a hug, but only caused me to bump violently against her side and almost spill her drink. "Are you enjoying the party?" Despite the timing of this soiree, my birthday was not the primary reason Mother had gathered everyone together. In reality, she simply wanted to show off her new boyfriend. I had never met the man, but had heard many rumours, some good, some bad. The guests may have had some indication to the true meaning behind the celebration, but luckily most of them seemed none the wiser.

"It's ok." I replied. The people around me chuckled, obviously taking my comment as humourous.

"I told you to change out of that drab thing – wear something colourful for a change!" Another sharp swipe across the fabric of my dress made me shiver, more laughs surrounded me and I felt very much like I wanted to leave. Mother smiled and took another sip of her martini. The alcohol oozed out of her pores.

"Where are your friends India?" Suddenly one of the other partygoers spoke. Her perfume stunk almost as badly as the drink, obviously used to hide the fact she was much older than she was dressing. "If it is your birthday party, surely you should have some people your age here?"

"I have no friends." Was my simple reply. For a second silence descended across the area. It was as if nobody knew how to act, whether to take my response as jest or true fact.

"Oh India, you say the funniest things sometimes!" Another hand on my shoulder, this one more forceful. I smiled, and went to turn and leave this godforsaken scenario, skulk away into another room away from the falseness and the desperation, when suddenly somebody entered the room.

Immediately everyone stopped. Nobody had told them to, nobody had made any kind of gesture or sound, not even the person entering. But they all did. He was tall, almost 6 foot. Couldn't be more than 30 years old, which was probably why Mother had gloated about him so much. His brown hair was short, skimming the tops of his ears and his eyes a piercing blue. I was astonished at how much I could pick out from such a distance, but then again, he commanded the space. As the obvious silence over the room became apparent, people slowly began to turn towards Mother. She had a beaming smile across her face, bigger than any I had ever seen before – even with Dad. Her eyes lit up and she threw her arms away from me outwards to open them in a big embrace.

"Charlie!" The man smiled. As he took a step forward into the room everyone breathed in sharply – it was like the temperature had dropped down several degrees. As he stepped further and further I saw how effortlessly he glided across the floor, his feet barely seeming to touch the ground. Mother launched herself forward, tottering forward like Bambi in her ridiculously high heels until eventually the pair connected, hands reaching round a waist to lift her into the air and spin her round quickly, taking her breath away.

"Charlie." Mother breathed upon re-entry. She turned to the crowd, everyone captivated by now and smiled, hooking her arms around his neck and leaning backwards.

"Everyone, this is Charlie. My Charlie."

School was just the same whether you were 16 or 17. I still walked up to the gates ignoring the stares, still pushed past the idiots that liked to crowd around entrances like hyenas, jabbering away to themselves in bozo language.

"Hey, India – stab anyone recently?" One of them jeered at me. Pitts Walker had tried to kiss me at our family's traditional Christmas party when we were eight and I had rebuffed him.

"No, but you're looking pretty good for it right now." I swiftly replied, forcing my way through his group without another word.

"Oooh! I'm so scared!"

"Stoker the Staker!" The halls were crowded but I zoned out the noise like feedback on a radio, heading for my locker and my first class.

As Mr Falkes talked to us about literary theory my mind drifted back to the previous night. Normally I blocked all 'social occasions' such as those from my mind within minutes of them occurring, but this one was different.

"India." Hearing my name had been surprising, especially in the strong, commanding voice that shot to my ears. Flicking my eyes upwards I had seen Charlie standing only a few feet away, staring at me with those piercing blue eyes. His hand was casually locked around Mother's waist, her fingers playing with his in a way that could only be described as affectionate, but his attention was solely on me.

"Yes." I replied, not really knowing how to respond.

"How nice to finally meet you – I'm Charlie." A hand had reached out, rough skin with callouses on that I could see clearly from where I was standing. For a second his hand hovered in the air, my eyes fixed on it with no other part of my body able to move, but then slowly I extended my own arm to let my fingers meet his. We shook and the same temperature drop I had felt before coursed through me.

"Your mother has told me so much about you." For some reason I glanced across, wanting to see this conformation in my mother's eyes. She smiled and nodded.

"I suppose you know just as much about me." Noise had begun to grow again as the rest of the partygoers became bored of our banal chat. As it surrounded us Charlie knelt down slightly, taking his height down to mine. His face drew closer and his eyes bore into mine. It was like he was searching me.

"Now I know this must be strange." He began again. Suddenly his hand removed itself from my mother, instead taking hold of mine so I let out a little gasp of surprise. "But I want you to know I have no intention of taking your father's place, nor will I ever be able to do that." I stared blankly forward, not knowing what to say, what to do. "I'm going to be around quite a lot and I want us to get along." His fingers moved across my skin, making me shiver and a strange sensation crawl up my back, like a spider. "I hope one day that you can find it in your heart to love me as much as I love your mother." Suddenly something else slipped into my hand. I looked down to see a small black box – the colour of my dress.

"Happy birthday." As Charlie drew away he was immediately engulfed – a swarm of cooing 40-something ladies fawning over him and firing question after question at his immaculate face. I stood motionless as they surrounded him, my eyes fixed on the black box that lay in my palm and what was inside it.

"India?"

"INDIA!" Immediately I jumped to attention. My hand flew down from my neck, the tips of my fingers still cold from where I had been stroking the metal of my necklace. Mr Falkes stared at me impatiently, just as the rest of the class now were.

"Have you been listening to anything I have just said?" He retorted. I noticed the sneers of the literary geeks, the smirks of the jocks that were sat on the outskirts of the room, surrounding me.

"No." I replied. Laughter rang out through the group and Mr Falkes scowled, turning away from me.

"I do not like your attitude India." He muttered under his breath, as he scratched my name in capital letters onto the blackboard. "Not one bit…"

The wind was cold as I stood outside the laboratories, biting against my skin and threatening to blow my cigarette out. I sucked in the smoke, thinking of how the weather would soon turn to spring and I would be able to get out more, as it mingled inside my mouth and seeped into my pores.

"You know you're not supposed to smoke here." A voice suddenly said. I turned around, only moving the top half of my body, to see a boy approaching. He had black hair, slightly curly – a confident look about him. I didn't recognise him.

"I'm telling you." He continued, when I made no effort to respond or reply. "If anyone catches you you'll get suspended." He smiled, kicking the ground the ways boys did and I smiled back, taking another drag.

"I think there are plenty of people that want to suspend me." The boy cocked his head to the side, examining me.

"Then why give them the ammunition?"

"To watch them struggle with the power." Silence fell between us. The boy had no cigarette of his own, and he didn't intend to ask for any of mine. His reason for being here was unknown.

"You're India Stoker." He said after a while. I nodded, still not really wanting to engage in any conversation. "You're in my Literary class."

"Oh really?" I replied, the exaggeration in my voice heavy and sarcastic. "How fascinating."

"Hey." The boy seemed offended. "I was just trying to make conversation."

"I don't know who you are." I countered. "Why should I talk to you." Realising his mistake, the boy jutted out his hand, just like Charlie had done to me.

"Carter." He said. "Carter Bownes."

"Charmed." I replied, shaking his hand with as little enthusiasm as I could. Carter smiled, shoving his hands in his pockets and doing a little dance to ward off the cold.

"Did you just move here?" I asked after a while, the cogs having whirred in my head. I remembered the name having come up in conversation a while ago, possibly from some blonde in the corridor or the chatter of two teachers. Carter's eyes lit up.

"So you do know who I am!" he exclaimed. I realised my mistake and scowled.

"I guess."

"Well you're right." Carter continued, edging a little closer so I leant back against the wall, trying to arch my body away from him. "I did just move here. From Connecticut." Wow. That was far away. I tried not to show any interest, but it was hard.

"That must have been a long journey." I replied sullenly. Carter smiled.

"It was. But when you're trying to get away from an abusive ex-husband I'm sure you'd run across half the world if you had to." My eyebrows rose. Carter saw the reaction but didn't say anything, just scuffed the floor like he had previously. He had obviously been through this before.

"Sorry." I said feebly.

"What do you have to be sorry for? You weren't the one beating my mother half to death whilst I watched." A chill had swept across the area, slipping underneath my coat and making me shiver. Suddenly I didn't want to be here at all.

"Well it's over now." Carter said, trying to resurrect the situation and dispel the awkwardness that had fallen over the two of us. "We escaped. To sunny Tennessee." As he motioned to the cloudy sky and laughed I couldn't help but smile, but I hid it well. The clouds shifted in the sky, casting new patterns of shadow over the courtyard. My cigarette burned.

"I like your necklace." Glancing back at Carter, I saw him pointing to my neck. As I looked down I realised that my other hand had snaked up to absentmindedly stroke the pendant again. "Who gave it to you?"

"Charlie." I replied. For some reason I offered no explanation, no detail about whom Charlie was or how he was connected to me. Carter looked exasperated.

"Well it's nice."

"Thank you."

As my new acquaintance moved another step closer, obviously about to ask me another question that would bring upon a string of conversation, I silently stubbed my cigarette on the wall, picked up my bag, and left.

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