"So you'll be able to hear us at all times ok?" Natalie reassured Annie as she walked back into the small living area of the girl's flat. "And Alesha, one of the prosecutors will advise you on what to say exactly, to get the right kind of the evidence for the trial."
Annie nodded, still embarrassed about the mess she'd left the flat in. "Sorry about the mess. I meant to tidy up last night, but I had an essay for college to finish and –" Natalie raised a hand to stop the teenager, and shook her head kindly.
"Annie trust me, I've had two teenage boys and this is nothing compared to state their rooms used to be in." Natalie smiled, and nodded towards the door. "We'd better make a move."
"Yeah sure." Annie glanced round the flat to make sure that she'd not forgotten anything. With a small bag by her hips stuffed with necessities, she grabbed her keys from the side as the DI led the way out the flat into the cramped hallway.
As Annie was locking the door, Natalie was aware of a pair of eyes boring into her and looking round she saw a girl leant against the adjacent doorway, looking her up and down. "Oi Annie!" Annie looked round and had to prevent a sigh from escaping her lips.
"What d'ya want Roxy?" Annie placed a hand on her hip as Roxy swept the matted blonde hair backwards.
"When's that fit policeman friend of yours coming back?"
"I dunno Rox. Listen, I gotta go. Speak to you soon yeah?"
And with that Annie hurried out the block out flats into the warm sunshine of September. "Lovely girl your neighbour." Natalie commented, raising an eyebrow.
"Tell me about it." Annie sighed, raising her face up to absorb the sunshine. "Never stops talking."
Ronnie was watching the pedestrian exit to the car park carefully, as the early morning sunshine glared off the windscreen, lighting up the front of the car. Natalie was sat next to him, in the cramped car that Ronnie seemed to treat as some kind of rubbish dump.
"Any sight of him?" Matt's voice crackled through the radio that was strapped to Ronnie's chest.
"Nothing this end. You?" Ronnie asked.
Annie was sat in the back seat of Matt's car that was parked on the other end of the small walkway that ran down the side of the car park. Matt tensely tapping the steering wheel was nothing compared to the butterflies that were flying round her stomach, but it didn't exactly help with the tension in the car that was slowly heating up in the sun. Alesha Phillips, the lawyer that was going to help her was sat next to Matt, a headset over her curly black hair. The flirting that had been taking place since Matt had picked her up from outside her flat had been rather unsuccessful as far as Annie could see. But that had dried up when they'd parked on the pavement, and the silence had then descended as they waited for David to leave the car park.
Alesha turned round and gave the girl a comforting smile as Annie picked imaginary pieces of dust from her heart-patterned tights. "You alright?"
Annie nodded, but still didn't utter a word which was quite uncommon for her. The radio suddenly cracked and everyone jumped. "He's just leaving now." Ronnie almost yelled down the radio. Annie jumped up, and quickly opened the car door.
The fresh air gently blew back her hair as she hurried towards the entrance of the car park, as her green converse tapped quietly along the clean pavement.
"Can you hear me Annie?" Alesha's voice almost made her jump as the lawyer talked carefully into her ear.
"Loud and clear." Annie smiled, as she picked up the pace avoiding the odd looks from business men, no doubt wondering why a girl in heart patterned tights, shorts and converse was doing here so early in the morning.
In the distance, she could see David. That tiny bald patch that he tried so hard to ignore, his broad shoulders and that stupid briefcase he always had with him. The hatred for this man burned inside her, removing any of the worries that she'd had before. She was drawing closer, but she knew that she had to get to him before he reached the end of the street.
Breaking into a run, she dodged the crowds before diving quickly into the alleyway that led to the street.
"Why did you do it?" She called, and David span round, paled suddenly and tried to walk on. Annie wasn't going to have any of it. "Tell me David." She called again, and this time he stopped, allowing her to walk calmly up to him.
"What do you want?" He looked much older than the last time she'd seen him.
"Tell me why you killed him." She looked back into those blue eyes that had caused her so much pain, in such little time.
"I didn't do it."
A harsh laugh escaped Annie's lips, as she held his piercing gaze. "You keep telling yourself that."
"Keep asking him." Alesha's voice came out quieter this time, as her and Matt tried to get a small view of what was going on.
"Who would I tell anyway?" Annie pressed, "The police?"
"They wouldn't believe you." David sneered, all pretence of innocence gone. "A violent delinquent's word against a business man's." But then his sense seemed to return. "Why should I tell you anyway?" He glared at her.
"You owe me as much." Annie replied, trying to keep calm. "Danny was my brother."
"You," A porky finger was jabbed at Annie's chest, as the standoff continued, "You ruin everything, you get in the cracks of everything and you bring it down with you." David took one last look at the girl and began to walk away, but not in the direction of the street, instead he started to walk down a small alley that led off it round the backs of the shops.
"Where are you going?" Annie yelled, unable to keep her calm anymore.
"You're going to have to follow him," whispered Alesha.
Annie took one last look at the sun-soaked pathway and headed into the alley that was crowded in by formidable buildings. A little way down, David stopped suddenly and pulled Annie suddenly further into the maze.
"Do you want to know what he said?" He asked, his wide body blocking the view from the street. "He said, 'Annie's taking me away from you because you're mean to her'. He wouldn't ever shut up about you." The hatred spat out of his mouth, as Annie tried not to shiver in the shade. "And when I got that candlestick, and hit him, he couldn't say anything more about you. Ever again."
The silence was oppressive, and behind her back, Annie felt one fist clench tightly. "You have to have power over everyone." Her voice was shaky at first, but with a deep breath she controlled herself. "That's why you used to rape me." The word was spat out like poison, echoing round the confined alleyway.
Alesha gave an involuntary jolt at those words, a subconscious reaction that still refused, even a year on, to go away. Instinctively, Matt's hand went straight to her arm and Alesha's breath caught in her throat.
"He used to rape her Matt." Her voice was barely a whisper, as she stared straight at the street ahead of them, through the misty windscreen.
"You let me do that to you." David spat back. "Because you're a worthless slut."
Ronnie and Natalie listened with baited breath, as they peered worriedly into the street. "Matt can you see them?" Ronnie muttered into his radio.
"No." Came the reply, as the two looked at each other.
"I hope you rot in hell." Annie spat, glaring at her former carer before stepping forward to leave. "Move out of my way." She snarled, when David made no attempt to let her pass.
"And now," A dangerous glint had appeared in David's eyes, as he backed Annie further into the alley, "You won't ever be able to say anything." The beating of Annie's heart grew faster, as she tried to look round his large figure for Matt and Ronnie.
David moved quickly, pinned her against the wall. "Help!" Annie yelled. "Matt!" Her voice came out hoarse and roar into Alesha's ear, the desperation clear.
"Go Matt!" Alesha yelled, the urgency in her voice was clear, and Matt swung open the door and ran out into the street.
"Who are you talking to?" David demanded, his eyes wild with anger, as the grip round her neck tightened. "Who?"
His large fingers grabbed hold of her shoulders tightly and dragged her up the wall so that her feet left the ground. As both hands moved round her throat, Annie struggled violently, attempting to kick out but it was no use. David's face became obscured by black spots as the lack of oxygen combined with her struggles began to take effect. She yelled out again, praying that Matt or Ronnie or anyone would hear her.
Matt ran down the alley blindly, before spotting David. Sprinting forward, his momentum allowed him to knock the man over before pushing him against the wall with strictly more force than was necessary.
"David Stone, I am arresting you with the charge of the murder of Danny O'Sullivan. You do not have to say anything, but anything you do say may be given as evidence against you in court." He snarled, snapping the metal handcuffs firmly round David's wrists.
Ronnie and Natalie arrived just as Matt finished, as Alesha had told them through the radio as soon as Matt had rushed out the car. Ronnie went over to help Matt restrain the larger man, as Natalie crouched down to check on Annie who'd fallen to the floor after David let go.
"You alright love?" She asked, as Annie massaged the front of her throat.
"Think so." Annie gulped down the air that had almost been denied from her. The girl was slumped against the wall, shaking like as a leaf as several large red marks began to formed on her neck.
"Come on, let's get you back to the station." Natalie offered a hand which Annie gladly took as Ronnie and Matt led David out of the alley way, just as Alesha appeared, breathless in the sunshine.
"You alright?" She looked from Matt to the suspect with undisguised hatred in her eyes.
"It's all fine Alesha love." Ronnie reassured her.
The tussle had drawn a small crowd, and as David was led out of the alley way the whispers increased, as people tried to make the connection between the events of this girl appearing, shouting the odds, and his arrest. They would find out soon enough, Ronnie thought, with a grim satisfaction.
"He's not going to plead guilty." James Steel appeared in the small control room where Natalie, Ronnie and Matt where sat watching the screens but all looked round when he entered.
"What even with all the evidence?" Ronnie exclaimed with disbelief. "I tell you Gov, this bloke ain't right in the head."
Natalie shook her head, as James sighed loudly. "That's exactly what he's saying Ronnie."
"Insanity plea?" Matt frowned, before looking at his colleagues. "Just when we thought this was going to be an easy prosecution."
"Never assume anything Matt." James smiled grimly. "I'd better be getting back, start going through the files."
"You need anything else, just ring." Natalie reassured the crown prosecutor. "I want this case to be over as much as you do."
"Will do. You haven't seen Alesha anywhere have you?" When everyone shook their heads, James frowned. "Well, she must've gone back then."
Whilst the others were occupied in the next case that had come to the attention of MIU, Matt slipped out the door unnoticed. He knew exactly where Alesha would be if she was still here. Pushing open the long redundant fire door that led out onto the black fire escape stairs, he saw her slender figure hunched over the bar against the London skyline.
"You ok?" She span round at the sound of his voice, before nodding tersely.
"Really?" Matt questioned, raising an eyebrow. "James thinks you've gone back to the office."
"I'll leave in a second." Alesha took one last look at the city, before making a move towards the door. Her way was immediately blocked by an arm in a blue shirt, a blue shirt that she had thought about many times. "He was meant to be protecting her. She was vulnerable when they went to live with them, and he raped her." The word was spat out with as much force as the young crown prosecutor could muster.
"I know Lesh, I know." Matt muttered quietly, as Alesha stared out at the skyline. "But he can't anymore." The silence grew between them, spreading like poison gas.
"Ronnie told me that you think you're related to her." Alesha asked, secretly pleased that Matt had prevented her from leaving.
"I'm pretty sure, yeah." Matt nodded. "Just need to ask her a few things."
"I just feel for her, that's all." Alesha muttered, so quietly that Matt could hardly hear her. "She's had so much taken away from her." She spoke with such ferocity, such empathy, such emotion that it was all Matt could do to not wrap his arms around her and protect her from the world and all its evils.
"Well, she's got the best prosecuting team on her side." He smiled into her dark brown eyes. "The two best prosecutors in the country will definitely make sure he gets what he deserves."
That smile that lit up Alesha's face so readily had returned and she raised her gaze to meet Matt's. "Now DS Devlin, I do believe you owe me a coffee." She hedged, with a cheeky smile that mirrored Matt's usual expression, as he looked back in surprise.
"Well then Miss Phillips," He replied, his smile mirroring Alesha's, "I better right that wrong. What time should you finish?"
Through the small square window Matt could see Annie curled on the large sofa, a book resting on her knees. Knocking gently, he waited for her to reply before entering the warm room.
"Do I have to go now?" Annie asked, carefully turning over the corner of the page before shutting the book.
"No, not yet." Matt sat on the chair opposite her as she shoved the book into the impossible small bag by her side. "You mentioned that your family where from Dogual?"
Annie nodded carefully, never taking her eyes of the detective in front of her. "Yeah, I lived there. Until I was three. Why d'you ask?"
"And your mother, she was Alice O'Sullivan?" Matt pressed, ignoring the girl's question.
"Yeah, she was. Is." Annie paused, as a quizzical expression passed her face. "How do you know my mum's name?"
"Did she have a sister?"
"Wait." Annie stared back at Matt, a look of steely determination in her eyes. "I'm not going to answer your questions until you tell me why you want to know all this."
"Just answer the question." Matt returned the stare. "And then I'll tell you."
Annie sighed, annoyed but carried on nether the less. "Yes, one sister. Kerry-Ann. She was a coupla years old than my mum. Now, tell me why."
The information was what Matt had been expecting, but it still shocked him. No, shocked was the wrong word. Intrigued him more like. "My mum was Kerry-Ann, and O'Sullivan was her surname."
"Oh." Annie's jaw dropped, as she stared back at Matt. Silence filled the room like a noiseless buzz and Annie's brain ticked over as she tried to work out exactly what had just happened. "Oh, so that means…"
"I'm your cousin." Matt finished, smiling at the relative he never knew he had.
"Oh." Said Annie again, before a thought that she'd long forgotten popped into her brain. "Kerry-Ann. That was what my mum always said, that was why she came over."
"Too look for my mum?" Matt replied, a little confused.
"She had it in her head that London was this tiny little village, and that she'd meet Kerry-Ann in the street one day, and it would all be one big happy reunion." The words tumbled out suddenly, as a sudden though occurred. "You sure about this?"
Matt nodded. "I've checked it all out. Birth records and that."
"Your mum, is she still alive?"
"Died a few years ago." Matt gave Annie an apologetic smile.
"How about yours?" The look in Annie's eyes hardened as she frowned heavily at the worn red carpet.
"Either dead or high."
Pulling the battered phone that was her lifeline, Annie checked the time before cursing under her breath. "Can I go now? Only I've really got to start this flipping Law essay." She rolled her eyes comically, as Matt gave a short laugh.
"I'll check with the Gov."
As she left the MIU Annie couldn't help a large smile from spreading across her face, as she wandered to the nearest bus stop amongst the noises of the busy city that she loved. Finding family you didn't know about was weird, but in a good way. It could never make up for the loss of her brother, but it was a start. She wasn't totally alone in the world.
Hello, another long chapter (:
With added Mattesha, cos I love it so much, and frankly they would be incredibly cute together. Why ITV, why?
Please review, because I really want to know that people are enjoying this, and we still have the court case and everything to go yet. (:
Much love… next chapter soonish.
EDIT: I'm not updating for a while because I have exams, I'm concerntrating on other stories, and the lack of feedback is a bit depressing. But I will try to finish this story someday. (: