A/N: I'm sure you'll agree this is a very overdue update, but I'm warning you this is quite literally all the stuff I've got left for this story so the next chapter is going to take me a while to get up. HOWEVER, I have a big storyline coming up in probably the next two chapters, or something like that, and I've also written half a chapter that I'll slot in somewhere. I'm BEGGING you to PM with some ideas for where I can take this story, as I'm seriously stuck. Thanks for reading, and review x
Chapter 11- Ashamed
Charlie jumped off of Brax quickly.
"Who is this?" Elsie Buckton, Charlie's mother asked.
"I…" Charlie hesitated.
"I know who that is!" Ross, Charlie's father fumed. "That's Darryl Braxton, leader of the River Boys! You." He spat at Brax. "Get out of my house this instant!" Brax gathered his things, making for the door.
"I'll call you." Charlie called after him.
"No, you bloody well will not missy!" Ross yelled. "Who do you think you are?" Ruby burst into tears.
"Who do I think I am? More like who do you think you are!" Charlie yelled back, equally as angry. "Look now, you've upset Ruby!" Ross tutted.
"I have not upset Ruby! I have looked after Ruby while you DISAPPEARED without a trace!" Charlie scooped Ruby into her arms, rocking and whispering to her softly.
"You risked her life by bringing a criminal into the house!" Ross was still shouting.
"Brax is not a criminal! Brax is my boyfriend, and has been for a while. But you wouldn't notice, because you're never around!"
"I will not let my daughter see the likes of Darryl Braxton. I forbid you from ever seeing him, ever again."
"No Dad!" Charlie yelled, furiously. "You lost the right to tell me what I do, and who I can and can't see, when you walked out without telling me where you were going."
"And what do you call this?" Ross gestured to Charlie's attire. "Dressed in nothing but some strange boy's shirt, and a pair of old shorts!"
"You are absolutely unbelievable!" Charlie gasped, walking out of the room, still clutching Ruby, who was burying her head into Charlie's chest.
"Where do you think you're going?" Ross demanded.
"Anywhere to get away from here!" Charlie retorted angrily. "Why are you back so early anyway?"
"We thought you might have been struggling…looking after Ruby and everything…" Elsie hesitated.
"Yeah, well it's a shame you didn't think of that before you went off gallivanting, isn't it, mum?" Charlie said, coldly, before leaving the room.
"Lee-Lee, where are you going?"
"Nowhere, Rubes." Charlie said, proceeding to throw a towel into her bag. "Me and you are just going to go to the beach for a while, and maybe see Brax and Casey, yeah?" Ruby nodded, swinging her legs back and forth as she watched Charlie pack up a swimming bag.
"Now, have you got your swimsuit on?" Ruby nodded again. "Let's go!" Charlie picked Ruby up with one arm, slinging the bag over her other.
"Where are you going Charlotte?" Ross sighed.
"Out." Charlie replied bluntly, opening the door.
"Not with my daughter, you're not!" Elsie said, trying to block Charlie's path.
"But she's not your daughter, is she mum?" Charlie pushed past. "And to be honest, if you guys keep on acting like I'm some kind of criminal then I might not come back."
I'm sorry about earlier. I'm down on the beach with Rubes if you want to talk…Charlie x
Charlie hesitated before pressing the send button. She had no idea what Brax was feeling. He looked pretty hurt when he took off, but he must understand that Charlie didn't share her parents opinions…mustn't he? She got a reply through about five minutes later.
Yeah, sure. I've picked up a shift at half twelve though, so can't be long. x
It wasn't long before Charlie saw Brax come down to the beach with Casey.
"Hey, Rubes, why don't you go build some sandcastles with Casey?" She asked. Ruby nodded, running off towards Casey.
"Hi." Brax sat next to Charlie.
"Hey." Charlie replied. "Look I'm just going to cut to the chase and-"
"Charlie, you need to get that I can't stand being wrote off as a criminal, alright? That's not who I am."
"You know I don't think that!" Charlie's voice cracked. "You-you do know that right?"
"Yeah, yeah, but you're here because your family is going to get in the way."
"What? No!" Charlie's eyes filled with tears. "How can you even say that? I trusted you with my biggest secret…you really think I go around telling everyone that? You really think I'm that shallow?"
"Wait, you're not here to break up with me?" Brax asked, confused.
"No!" Charlie stood up, hurt. "I…I can't believe y-you'd even think that. I think I should go… Come on Ruby." She grabbed Ruby's hand, pulling her along, up the beach.
"Charlie!" Brax chased after her. "Charlie wait! Stop!" Brax finally caught up with them. "Please Charlie, listen to me." He grabbed her hand. Charlie had tears in her eyes.
"Charlie, I can't let you walk away from me. I've never ever felt this way about someone before, I was dreading coming to meet you today because I'd convinced myself your parents had told you to break up with me. I was scared of losing you because the fact is…I love you, Charlie Buckton, and I can't see myself being with anyone else."
"Do you mean that?" Charlie asked timidly.
"Every word. I can't live without you, Charlie."
"I love you too." Charlie burst into tears. Brax pulled her into a hung, stroking her hair softly.
"It's okay. I'm not going anywhere."
"GET AWAY FROM MY DAUGHTER!" A sudden yell came from the other side of the beach. Charlie could see her father puffing towards them.
"Ruby, come here baby." Charlie whispered, reaching for Ruby. Ruby ran behind Charlie, hiding behind her legs.
"Dada look scary."
"It's okay. I won't let him get angry." Charlie promised.
"Did you not hear me?" Ross demanded.
"Yes he did." Charlie said coolly. "And he's not going anywhere."
"No dad. He knows. I told him about Ruby." Charlie said. "And now, you're scaring my daughter, so I suggest you go and find some place to calm down."
"Charlie, we agreed when Ruby was born that she would me mine and your mother's daughter."
"What if I've changed my mind!" Charlie cried. "I was only just fourteen. I didn't know what it meant to have a child! I-if you had have tried harder to get Grant arrested then maybe I wouldn't have been so traumatised!"
"Charlie, you left it four months before you told anyone…what could I have done?"
"I was still a victim! I am still a victim!" Charlie yelled. "My whole life was ruined because of him, and for all we know he could be wrecking other girls lives just like he did mine. And what if he finds us? What if he comes back…what if he hurts Ruby?"
"He won't." Ross sighed.
"You can't guarantee that, dad! Did you even believe me?" No reply. "Wait…do you even believe me now? Is that why you made me feel so ashamed of myself? Because y-you thought I'd consented…?" Charlie gasped. She began to walk away.
"Charlie! Charlie wait!" Ross called after her.
"No." Charlie shook her head. "No, I need to clear my head."
Charlie found a spot up the beach where she sat, burying her head in her knees, sobbing to herself quietly. She couldn't believe her own parents thought she was lying. Why would she lie about being raped? That was just…sick.
"You okay?" Charlie's head raised at the sound of the voice behind her. Brax was standing there quietly.
"I'm not lying." It was barely a whisper.
"I know." Brax sat beside her. "I know you aren't."
"At least someone does." Charlie sighed. "I'm sorry for getting you involved in all of this."
"You have nothing to be sorry for. As far as I'm concerned, I got myself involved in this."
"Where is Ruby?"
"With Casey, over there. Your parents have gone home. Ruby refused to join them until you went to." Charlie smiled fondly.
"She got that from me. Her stubbornness."
"She certainly reminds me of you in a lot of ways." Brax agreed.
"I love you." Charlie buried her head in his chest.
"I love you too."