Chapter Five : Sadie Gets A Warning
"Hey, Sadie, you got plans for tonight?"
Sadie cast her friend a grin as she put the key in the lock of her front door. The speaker was Cece, haphazard of appearance as ever, with a big smile on her face and a twinkle in her grey-blue eyes. It was impossible to be shy with Cece, and from the moment she had moved into her new home, cowed and unsure by the new responsibilities she had, Sadie had taken comfort in the other girl's extrovert nature.
"Plans?" She said now. "I don't know. I don't think so. What did you have in mind?"
"Kym from work is having a do down at Valentinos, it's her twenty-fifth and she told me I could invite a bunch of friends. Whaddya say, you wanna come?"
"I don't even know Kym, Cece." Sadie protested with a smile.
"So? She doesn't care. It'll be a laugh." Cece linked arms with her friend, pushing open the now unlocked door of Sadie's apartment and guiding her friend inside and kicking the door shut behind her. "C'mon, Sadie, you haven't come out this week for one thing or another, and anyhow, I've already asked Brian - you know, the guy from the ground floor who has a definite crush on you? Maybe this'll be your lucky night!"
"Ce, I don't want a date." Sadie held up her hands. "And I haven't been out this week because I promised Aly I'd sit for the kids and so I did."
"Fine, but still, you'll be missing a great night out if you don't go." Cece's expression became beseeching. "Please? You could wear those trousers you bought last week and that white top...c'mon, Sadie, live a little! You're twenty one, not fifty one!"
"Mm, are you sure Kym wouldn't mind me gatecrashing?" Sadie looked uncertain.
"Positive." Cece grinned. "She told me to invite whoever I wanted to."
Before Sadie could respond there was a tentative knock at the door. The two girls exchanged looks, and Sadie moved to answer it, whilst Cece made herself at home on the couch.
"Expecting company?" She asked. Sadie shook her head, swinging open the door, letting out a gasp as she recognised the man who stood there.
"Shock!" She breathed, taking an unconscious step back.
The man sent her an awkward smile.
"Hi Sadie. Can I come in?"
"What do you want here?" Sadie's skin had gone ashen, and she cast an anxious look in Cece's direction, taking little comfort from the interest her friend was showing in the visitor. "Did he send you here?"
"Don't be daft. You think I'd have knocked if I was still doing that kinda stuff?" The visitor snorted. "I came for another reason...please let me in, Sadie. It's important."
"Hey, Sadie, you gonna introduce me?" Cece put in her bit at that moment, flashing the stranger a grin. "Hi. I'm Cece...I didn't know Sadie kept such handsome company."
"Ce, please, this isn't the time." Sadie begged, but the newcomer laughed.
"David Courts, pleased to meet you." He said with a grin. "Sadie and I are...old friends, it's been a while." He cast Sadie a questioning look. "Well? Can I come in?"
Sadie sighed, pushing the door open fully.
"Whatever." She said reluctantly. "But you better not be here to cause me trouble, Shock, I'm warning you..."
"What did you call him? Shock?" Cece looked intrigued. Shock laughed.
"Old nickname...habits die hard." He said with a shrug. "Cece, do you mind if I have Sadie to myself a while? It's important I talk to her."
"No, Ce, don't go!" Fear sparked into Sadie's blue eyes, but Cece was already on her feet.
"Hey, don't mind me, I'll go play gooseberry someplace else." She said, casting a wink at her friend. "Later, Sadie...I'll call you about tonight in half an hour - you can bring this guy along too, if you want."
With that she swept out of the apartment, door banging shut behind her, leaving Sadie and Shock in an awkward silence.
"Why are you here?" Sadie was the first to speak, her tone flat and her gaze flitting to the door more than once, as if hunting for an escape. Shock caught her gaze, and sighed.
"Well, it's not to hurt you." He said frankly. "Sadie, when have I ever laid a finger on you?"
"You did what he told you...he might've sent you." Sadie returned.
"Neal? No." Shock shook his head. "Believe me, Sadie. I'm like you - I've gotten out of the mess and gone straight. I scraped some money together, bought my own autorepair yard and I'm making an honest couple of quid now. I swear to you. Sure, it ain't much, but it gets me by. And you're doing good for yourself, too, I see."
"I do all right." Sadie nodded slowly.
"Are you clean?"
"Of course I'm damn well clean!" Sadie flared up. "What do you think, I'd be able to afford the rent on a flat like this one if I was spending my wages on smack? You don't earn a fortune without qualifications, you know!"
"Hey, chill out, I only asked." Shock held up his hands. "Amber will be glad to hear it. She wouldn't say it but I think she worries about you - I know she tried to get you out of trouble many times back when."
"You're in touch with Amber?" Sadie looked startled, a shred of her defensiveness melting away at the mention of her former friend. "How...how is she? Are you and she...?" She left it hanging, but Shock understood, and he nodded his head.
"Yes." He agreed. "And she's fine. She's finally using her abilities where she should be using them. Haven't you heard of the Teenangel Outsiders?"
"Yes, I have." Sadie nodded. "But...you're not telling me Amber plays with them?"
"She's their bass guitarist." Shock agreed. "I really can't believe you didn't know."
"I guess I'm just as much the airhead as I ever was." Sadie smiled slightly. "I don't take things in. I might've seen them play, but you don't stop and think that someone who was messed up in the trouble we all were could be making it big in a group like that...you know? I'm glad though. Amber deserved better."
"So did you." Shock told her softly.
"So why are you here, if not from Neal?" Sadie asked, sitting down. Shock dropped down into an empty seat, frowning.
"It is about Neal." He admitted. "But it's more to warn you than anything."
"Warn me?" A look of apprehension touched Sadie's blue eyes. "What do you mean, warn me?"
"Well, he kinda knows where you are." Shock said slowly.
"What?" There was no concealing the terror in the girl's voice at this, and rather awkwardly Shock reached out to grab her hand, wanting to neassure her.
"Listen. I don't think he knows your address or phone number or anything personal like that. He does know you're in Birmingham though, working and stuff."
"How?" Sadie demanded. "Who told him? And if he doesn't know where I live, how come you do?"
"Your sister told me." Shock said simply. "Alyssa, I mean. I got her address off of Georgia and so drove down to speak to her...when she realised what the situation was she told me where I could find you."
"What does Georgie have to do with this?" Sadie demanded.
"Mm, a lot I'm afraid." Shock frowned. "Your kid sister has a big mouth, Sadie, and a lot of attitude. More, I think Neal's latched onto her in some way or other. I don't know what the situation is, but she's camping out at his place at the moment, so it seems, and I'd lay odds it was her who told Neal your 'undisclosed' rehab location in the courtroom was in Brum. She didn't want to speak to me, only she's kinda scared of Amber see, since Amber put the fear of God into her once or twice this week. So she told me."
"I see." Sadie spoke in level tones, her expression unreadable.
"Was I right to tell you?" Shock asked. Sadie sighed, nodding.
"I...guess so." She acknowledged. "I...I'm still so scared of him, but I guess so. What I don't understand though, is what does he want with me now? He can get other girlfriends! He told me enough times that he didn't need me in his life and that he didn't love me! Why can't he just leave me alone!"
"Love's not the issue." Shock said grimly. "It's more what you could testify against him in a court of law, since you're out of the loop now. He wants you where he can keep an eye on you, make sure you don't say anything you shouldn't."
Sadie looked frightened.
"Am...am I in danger then?" She whispered.
"I don't know, yet." Shock admitted. "And I won't know for sure till I get back to Kent and find out a bit more about what's going down. But if you give me your phone number I'll call you as soon as I know anything." He eyed her keenly. "That is, if you believe me."
"I believe you." Sadie said sadly. "You may be tough as heck but you're honest. You tell it straight." She frowned. "Tell...tell Amber thanks for caring, huh?"
"She does, you know." Shock said quietly. "And I'll pass on the message to her. Maybe when she has less work on she'll find time to stop by and see you herself."
"No...no it's okay." Sadie mustered a wan smile. "She has a new life now - new friends and all of that. She's a big star and I wouldn't want to tarnish that for her."
"Why would you?" Shock demanded. "Hell, Sadie, Amber and I are dating, and you know where we've both been!"
"Yes...but neither one of you was a drug addict." Sadie said slowly. "I'll only pull her down."
"That's crap and Amber would say so too." Shock said bluntly. Sadie shrugged.
"Well, I'm sure she's very busy." She said finally. "It's okay, Shock. I just...appreciate the warning."
"Well, I hope it'll come to nothing." Shock said, getting to his feet. "But if anything happens...I'll be sure to let you know."
Chapter One: Jewel In England
Chapter Two: Lovesick
Chapter Three: A New Sensation
Chapter Four: Cameron
Chapter Five: Sadie Gets A Warning
Chapter Six: A Little Love Advice
Chapter Seven: Topaz Makes A Friend
Chapter Eight: At The Halfway House
Chapter Nine: A Shock For Sadie
Chapter Ten: A Family Encounter
Chapter Eleven: Copper Gets A Fan
Chapter Twelve: A Burns Family Secret
Chapter Thirteen: Thicker Than Water
Chapter Fourteen: A Phonecall