DISCLAIMER: Another original story I thought I'd share with y'all. And yay me for owning these characters again!
AUTHOR'S NOTE: There is no explicit violence but there are occasionally naughty words (I've used the C-word but only once) so if you fid that offensive, don't bother to read on. Also there is Jafaican dialect and many English references, if you want to know what they are, either ask me or Google ^___^ Aside from that enjoy my 'ghetto' girl/girl pairing!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
No-One Can Stop Us Now
By Vanessa Riverton
CHAPTER 1 NOT GONNA TELL
So far Josie Carter had spent two hours sitting in her office, desperately trying to get the young woman opposite her to speak up, and it had all been in vain.
Josie raised her left hand and raked it through her dark blonde tresses, while her left hand fiddled with the Biro she had been jotting down notes with. Josie let out a loud sigh before pursing her lips and leaning back into her plush leather executive chair.
It was September and unusually warm, especially for the English capital, and Josie was regretting her choice of brown cotton trousers and a light cream wool pullover. She tugged on her collar before blowing some air out of her mouth upwards, in a brief attempt to cool her heated face.
"Are we done 'ere?" Josie fought back the urge to roll her eyes as soon as she heard the irritated undertone used in Jade's sentence, and instead the blonde let out another sigh before shrugging her shoulders.
"That depends, Jade. Are you going to tell me where Marcus is?" Josie wasn't surprised at the shrug given to her by the younger girl opposite her.
Josie inwardly winced at the hostility radiating from the younger girl; she was wasting so much potential. Considering the environment Jade grew up in, it made Josie happy at first to have the chance to deal with the youth with the ability to exceed everyone's expectations of her; but there's only so much Josie, as a youth social worker, could inspire into Jade.
Sure, Limehouse wasn't the best place for any kid to grow up, and Jade was no exception. Her father was in prison for trafficking drugs and was currently serving the fourth of his seven years, her mother was on the game and Jade had more siblings than most people could be bothered to count half siblings and step siblings included.
But here was Jade, five weeks shy of her 18th birthday and she was making nothing but trouble for her and everyone else involved in her life.
According to the papers in front of her she had all the state needed to know about Jade; Jade George aka Nifty, 5'9", 130lbs, brown hair, green eyes, no visible scars, no tattoos or visible piercings, her past crimes include theft, breaking and entering with intent to commit burglary, six counts of ABH, possession of Class B narcotics and known associates included Marcus Paxton aka Shadowz as well as countless other known criminals in South and East London, including affiliates with the Yardie gangs in South London as well as the 'Ranger' gangs in East London.
But there was more to Jade than what a piece of paper said and even Josie knew that.
Josie slowly sat up in her chair and cleared her throat, ignoring the roll of the eyes Jade gave her.
"Look, Jade, I don't want to see you waste your life okay? You were called in here because you were caught stealing stolen goods... again... and the only reason you've not been arrested is because I've put in another good word in for you and because you're not eighteen... yet. And Marcus is still wanted on suspicion for the two murders in Brixton; it's on the news, and we know he's contacted you, Jade, don't deny it, please, we just know he has. So please make life easier, just tell us where he is and stop all the criminal activity right now." Opening up a drawer on her desk, Josie took out some forms and placed them on the table, within reach of Jade.
"I took the liberty of getting some prospectuses from all the colleges in London that take late enrollment, and a lot of these places give great bursaries, as well as "
"You do take liberties." Jade had her arms crossed over her chest, and tapped her foot irritably on the floor.
"I'm trying to help you Jade. Get yourself into school, then get out of this life. This life isn't you Jade. It may be your friends, but I see more in you, and I think that deep down so do you, Jade."
"Dat so?" Josie ignored the insincerity in Jade's inquiry and continued talking.
"Look, start making a good name for yourself by telling us were Marcus is. If you do, I'll do my best to get a bit more leniency on his sentence, and maybe "
Jade instantly rose from her seat, furious, and threw her arms across the table in front, sending half of the items on said table crashing to the floor in one swift movement.
"SEE! You fink he's done it! And he ain't!" Josie spoke as calmly as she could despite the erratic thumping occurring in her chest.
"No! Jade, I don't think that, I "
"Don't fucking lie to me. You just said you'd get him a lenient sentence... and how can you say you don't think he's done it when you just said you could put in a good word for him! You wouldn't have said that if you really thought he was innocent! He. Didn't. Do. It. Marcus may be a lot of fings but he ain't no killer." With frightening calm, Jade slowly sat back into her seat, not taking her eyes off of Josie.
"There were witnesses, Jade. They saw him "
"No! You can't trust that lot. They were all Peckham boys, and everyone in South knows that they fucking hate Marcus and all the East lot. The only reason I'm safe is 'cuz I do them 'nuff favours." Josie looked at Jade and saw that although she was angry, there seemed to be something more there.
"You really think Marcus is innocent?" Jade nodded without hesitation.
"I've known 'im since I was three, Miss C. I know it seems bias, but I just know he don't kill. He might beat up a shitload of people but he's had enough death in his life, he wouldn't wish that on anyone else. I know 'im better than anyone else, and if he really did shoot those two boys... then I'd hate to admit it, but I'd tell you. But he didn't do it and I know he didn't."
"But you weren't there, Jade." The young girl shrugged.
"Didn't have to be. He called me as soon as his face hit the news an' he told me it was all bullshit." Josie rubbed her temples to relieve some of the ache there.
"And you believe him, Jade?"
"Course. He's never lied to me before, why would he start now?" Josie couldn't help but scoff.
"I think protecting himself from being caught as a murderer would be a good reason to lie to you." Josie watched as Jade opened her mouth then closed it, biting down hard on her lip before shaking her head then raising her hand to her mouth and biting her nails.
"Jade?" Deep green eyes looked up into Josie's. "Is there something else you want to tell me?"
A moment of silence passed and Josie thought for a second that Jade would remain quiet, opting to keep whatever was on her mind to herself.
"You can't tell no-one what I'm about to tell you, Miss C. No joke, if this gets out, I could dead by the end of the week." Josie furrowed her eyebrows in curiosity at Jade's more solemn demeanour. She had only ever seen Jade this earnest twice before, and each time Josie realised that look demanded that Jade be taken seriously.
"No-one will know Jade. It'll stay between you and me." Jade licked her dry lips and nodded slowly before leaning forward in her chair and talking at a very low level.
"Okay... Marcus had a feud with the Brixton lot; he owed them a few grand, but it was nothing major. He went to this party last week but I couldn't go cos I had other things to do... but the Peckham boys showed up and started causing beef between everyone there. I'm serious Miss C... The name I'm about to give you don't leave here..." Josie just nodded, she was eager to hear Jade tell her. "It was DeShawn Richards. From the Peckham lot. Marcus saw him do it, but they've pinned it on him. He don't have proof yet but I believe in him, Miss C."
Josie just sat back in her chair in deep thought; DeShawn was well known to the police, he was twenty two years old and one of the worse living people in the capital. He already served one year for GBH; a boy asked DeShawn's girl of that week to dance at a party and DeShawn smashed a Carlsberg bottle into the boy's face, taking out most of the boy's left eye.
He was hated but feared. No-one ever had the guts to go up against him, the only person to have only testified against him mysteriously ended up in hospital with two broken ankles, a fractured collarbone, a dislocated shoulder and a concussion.
He was rumoured to be the leader of the South London gang S1430 a reference to the postal code and number of gang members in the small but highly dangerous crew.
Josie didn't doubt what Jade was telling her was true... but to prove it was DeShawn and not Marcus? It would take something short of a miracle.
Josie looked up at her clock it was 4:51pm. She only had nine minutes before Jade would be escorted off of the premises, but the blonde couldn't let the girl go without giving her something.
"Jade, come back here Monday and I'll see what I can do. And if... and by if I mean when... Marcus calls you ask him to hand himself to the police and asked to be transferred to Limehouse police station. And then maybe I can help him out. But the longer he stays hidden, the worse the effects will be. Okay?" Jade didn't respond but kept her gaze steady on Josie.
"I know you don't really believe us. If I got proof... would that help Marcus?"
"Of course. Proof would exonerate him. Well, actually it depends on the proof "
"What if I got CCTV footage?" Josie lowered her voice and her eyes widened.
"You have footage?" Jade shook her head.
"Not yet... tonight... there's a party at the club where the shootings were. Sort of to celebrate the police letting business go back to normal. And one of the boys from South I know wants me to sort him out with some gear some of my legit gear by the way, before you go off at me and I swore to help out. If I stole "
"I didn't hear you say that, Jade." The young girl rolled her eyes before continuing to talk.
"If I got hold of the CCTV footage of that night, or anything to prove it weren't... would you help us?"
Josie nodded before furrowing her eyebrows in confusion.
"Wait, didn't the police check the CCTV for that club?" Jade just scoffed loudly.
"Please, that club has so many dummy cameras and tapes to cover up half the illegal shit that goes on there. And DeShawn would not have had a chance to go and get it 'cos the police have been crawling all over that club, for him to be lingering would look well dodgy. No, if he wanted to go recover it, tonight would be the night... and I got to beat him."
"Look Jade, I think it's admirable you want to help out Marcus... but you could get yourself hurt from the sound of this. Is it really worth it?" Jade thought for a moment before she shrugged and stood up.
"He's like my brother. I do anything for family. Miss C... If I do get hold of the real tape, you do realise I'm gonna be a sitting duck 'til Monday when I can come back here, right?"
"You can't just go home?" Jade gave an amused laugh before shaking her head.
"Oh man, Miss C, you got a lot to learn... if that tape goes missing, and they know Marcus's best mate was at the club... I'm gonna be hunted down by DeShawn and anyone else he can intimidate. I need to make it back to this borough safe... I can hide easier in my own yard, but not my house, they'll have that covered. But if I'm not here by Monday morning... well, then you know."
Josie stood up and walked around the other side of the desk, grabbing Jade's arm and pleading with her.
"Jade, if these are the real consequences, then don't do it! If Marcus is really innocent, then the courts will find him so!" Jade gave a small shake of her head, and that let Josie know that the youngster wasn't buying any of it.
"Nah, Miss C... they won't find him innocent. A black boy killed two white boys in cold blood according to the media and he's got a history of violence and crime... we both know he'd have no chance. But if I get that tape... there's no way DeShawn can get out of two murder charges. I'm not having my best friend being called a killer when he's not. He don't deserve it. That prick DeShawn does, and he's going to get what's coming to him."
Jade wriggled out of Josie's arms and opened the door to the social worker's office. Josie hung her head dejectedly. Jade turned back to her and smirked.
"Don't look so sad, Miss C. Hope to see you here on Monday. If I'm not here by nine... well, then you know."
"Jade, don't "
"I've got to. No-one else believes in him."
Without another word, the young girl left Josie's office; leaving the social worker, for the first time since she started the job five years earlier, feeling like she had lost another soul to the dynamics of the corrupt system of the London no-one knew.
It was 4:54pm.
There was nothing more Josie could do but wait until Monday morning.
She really hoped that Jade was just all talk... she knew she wasn't but she really hoped that just this once that Jade was just full of hot air.
It was 5:18pm and Jade had barely had a moment to get ready. She had been in her house for nearly ten minutes and she had been bombarded by her mother to get some dinner ready for her brothers and sisters; nine of them lived in a four bedroom council house in North Poplar but there was rarely a time all nine were in the house.
At night, Jade's mother was out working, and during the day her six younger siblings were all at school and Jade's one older brother was always over at one of his many girlfriend's houses.
As soon as she walked in Jade threw some cv chips in the oven and took out some lambsteaks from the fridge before seasoning them and putting them in the oven too.
"James! All you've gotta do is take out the food from the oven in twenty minutes!" Jade closed the door to the bedroom she shared with her two younger sisters, pleased to find it empty, but not so surprised when she remembered that an 'I'm A Celebrity' re-run was on in the other room, so it was inevitable that she'd have the room and possibly the bathroom all to herself well, until the next commercial break anyway.
"Yeah, yeah, I won't forget. Can I borrow thirty quid for this weekend? And don't be gay about it."
Jade rolled her eyes as she heard her younger brother James speak; he was sixteen and in his last year of compulsory schooling. It didn't take a genius to figure out they were related, in fact, all of Jade's siblings had the same dazzling colour emerald eyes that they inherited from their mother, but as for everything else? Well, that all depended on who their mum had happened to fuck and get knocked up by at the time.
Despite not being pure blood relatives, Jade did care for her family and as for James? Welll, he wasn't a bad kid but he constantly hounded everyone, including Jade, for cash, and that pissed Jade off to no end.
Opening up her wallet, Jade took out a crisp, red fifty pound note and opened up the door, unsurprised to find James leaning against the wall opposite the door, a smug grin against his face as soon as he saw the note in his sister's hand.
"Cheers, Nift." Jade arched an eyebrow and yanked the money out of her brother's reach as he lunged forward to get it.
"Uh uh... Listen, I ain't gonna be home till later this weekend, alright? So if you take this, keep an eye out for everyone else. You gotta cover for everyone alright?" James rolled his eyes and took the note from his sister's hand.
"Yeah. Whatever, where you going? Down the Docklands for some muff diving?" Jade smiled in surprise.
"Nice... how long did it take you to think of that one, dipshit?" James shrugged his shoulders.
"Seriously though, where are you going?" There was a silence as Jade turned to go back into her room, to her wardrobe where she began rooting through her clothes and throwing clothes she considered onto her bed.
"I'm going down South tonight do not make a stupid joke."
"You're going South? Vauxhall? Croydon? Streatham?" Jade shook her head to each location before hearing James sigh loudly.
"Well, if you're going down Brixton then don't be stupid. You know everyone's going to have their eyes on you since Marcus went on the run."
"I won't do nothing stupid, don't worry, bro. But... I can't guarantee I'll be home this weekend. So... take care alright?" James looked over at his sister's choice of clothes and frowned slightly, his dark eyebrows knitting together.
"You're wearing that?" Jade smirked as she heard her brother's tone; she wouldn't usually wear anything like the grey Nike cotton tracksuit she had in her hands, but with the task she had ahead of herself, she needed some clothes that provided accessibility and that would be easy for her to move in, as well as being warm but not overly suffocating for the club environment she'd soon find herself in.
"Yup. Now get out unless you want to see your sister naked."
"Ew. No thanks." James walked out of the room with his face contorted into a digusted grimace before he began laughing.
"But I'm serious Nift... everyone knows that you have Marcus's back. Be careful. Don't die." Jade and James shared a small laugh before Jade cut herself off as soon as James was out of earshot. Jade closed her wardrobe and stopped a moment to look into the mirror attached to the door of her wardrobe.
Her reflection almost surprised her; it had been almost nine days since Marcus's picture appeared all over ITV and BBC's London News. Nine days since Jade hadn't slept properly, worrying instead about her best friend.
Tired green eyes looked back at her, her tanned skin looked almost ashen due to her lack of rest. Her shoulders felt tense, no, not just her shoulders, her entire body was taut with tension. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, Jade thought about everything she'd have to do tonight.
Go to to Brixton, sell some of the last minute electronics she had, then head on to YumYum's club just off the high street and find Cole. Once she was with Cole, she'd have more than enough access to any room involving electroics, including the security room where undoubtedly the CCTV footage Jade desired would be there.
If it wasn't on DVD disc, it might be archived on the computer that Jade knew existed there. It would be a bitch to find but if anyone coud find it, she could.
She had to be in Brixton by seven to help set up and to keep her face seen by as many people so she could deny being away from the decks.
"Let's do this, Nifty."
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