Point of View: Leon Mason

There was a guy standing on the doorstep. He was dressed in a red hoodie, ripped denim jeans, and a pair of black trainers. He had fairly short, greasy, dark brown hair and dark brown eyes that seemed to bore into mine. There was stubble on his chin, and the faint trace of a moustache upon his upper lip. I thought he looked rather shifty.

"What do you want?" asked my girlfriend, Melissa, frowning at him. She tossed her sandy blonde hair over her shoulder, and continued to stare at the guy. I was secretly hoping that she would scare him away; Melissa could be pretty intimidating when she wanted to be. She acted like a complete and utter b**** most of the time. I sighed; sometimes I wondered why I even stayed with her. It wasn't as though I really, truly loved her or anything like that. The guy, however, didn't seem intimidated. He glared back at her.

"I'm looking for a girl, have you seen her? She has long dark brown hair, kinda the same colour as err...this young chap's here, 'cept she has a bright pink thingy in it. A...um...whatchamacallit...a hair extension! Hazel eyes too. Umm, quite pale, I guess. Wearing a black dress, tights and these bright pink erm converse trainers. OH, and the most...we-ell, recognisable, I spose you could say, thing about her – she has a heart-shaped birthmark thingy on her cheek." replied the guy, who seemed to me, to be getting shiftier looking by the second. I didn't like this. It was creepy. Melissa nodded at everything he said, the ends of her blonde bob brushing her shoulders as she did so. As the guy mentioned the birthmark, her eyes lit up, and I began to worry. What was she up to?

"Bit of a whore? Yeah, I've seen her, mate." she said, nodding her head. I looked at her furiously. She was really going to rat this girl out to whoever this man may be? The girl had obviously escaped for a reason, and I had a feeling that it was a reasonable one. This man wasn't making me feel particularly easy myself, so if she had to live with him, or whatever, it must be about a thousand times worse. But Melissa continued "I saw her go into the pub, about five minutes ago." A sly smirk appeared on the man's face, and his eyes shone.

"Thank-you very much, missy. You've been a great help. A great help indeed." he replied, and he began to retreat back down the garden path, heading towards the pub. I watched in trepidation as he raced into the pub. Then there was the sound of shrieking. Lots of shrieking. I tore my eyes away from the pub door, to look at Melissa, who was looking on with interest. I turned away, disgusted. The screams got louder, and when I looked back, the man was dragging a girl, about the same age as us, out by her hair. There was blood trickling down her forehead, and she looked absolutely petrified. My heart was hammering inside my chest. I couldn't let him do this...whatever this was...to her. I just couldn't. I had to do something, and fast, before it was too late. The man was heading towards the bridge. I began to walk down the garden path.

"Where are you going?" demanded Melissa, staring at me with icy blue eyes, that sent a shiver down my spine. I turned around to face her. I hoped that she could see how much I absolutely hated her right now. I was absolutely furious with her at the moment. Furious that she could do such a terrible thing to another girl. Another person. Another human being.

"I'm going to go and help that girl, who you so kindly grassed on." I snapped, sarcasm dripping from the last few words. I couldn't believe that she, my girlfriend, could be so heartless. I hesitated. Actually, I could believe it; Melissa had never been the nicest person. But all the same, I never thought that she would ever do anything anywhere nearly as awful as this. She stared at me, a frown set upon her face.

"If you walk away from here now, then we're over, Leon." Melissa said, her voice shaking slightly. I couldn't quite tell whether it was with sadness or anger, or something else entirely. The ultimatum was echoing through my mind; "If you walk away from here now, then we're over, Leon". I looked at my girlfriend, gazing deep into the cold blue eyes.

"I guess it's over then." I said, turning my back on her, and walking away down the garden path. I knew that I'd have to hurry, or I might be too late to help her, the other girl. I doubled my pace, before I began to sprint down the road, towards the bridge. I was praying to God that I wouldn't be too late. I rounded the corner...and then I saw her.

The man had her held up against the wall; a thick river of crimson was cascading down her face. I could just about see her frightened face beneath the layer of blood. There was panic written in every feature of her face: her hazel eyes were wide and alarmed; her lower lip was trembling and even her face itself was shaking, along with the rest of her body. I needed to do something. The man reached up his hand, and gave the girl a resounding slap around the face, a hard and brutal slap that echoed loudly around the tunnel created by the bridge. Something snapped within me, and I raced full-pelt towards him, and punched him full on in the face, right on his nose. In shock, he released his grip on the girl, and she broke free.

"Run! Now! I'll deal with him!" I told her quickly. She nodded, and ran away as quickly as she could, before the man could get his hands on her again. Now, I just had to deal with him. Whilst he was clutching his nose, I pinned him up against the wall, as he had done to her. I leaned forwards, so that my nose was only a centimetre away from his bloody one.

"Didn't your mother ever teach you that you should never hit a girl?" I asked, breathing heavily. The man twitched. Then suddenly, I was in a headlock, and he was pushing my face down towards the floor. I was struggling to breathe, because he was clutching my throat so tightly. I realised, panting, that that was probably the point.

"Didn't your mother teach you not to stick your nose in where it doesn't belong?" he sneered, still keeping a tight hold on my neck. I breathed in and out even more heavily than before. If he was trying to strangle me, then he was doing a good job. I could practically feel my throat closing up. I shut my eyes. Suddenly, there was a loud CRACK! and then the grip on my neck loosened. I opened my eyes. The man was lying on the floor, completely unconscious. I turned around, looking for my saviour. The same girl from before was standing there, holding a large metal street sign, with the name of the alleyway written on it. I laughed, still panting quite heavily.

"It was the only thing I could find." she said, shrugging at me. I could just about see a small grin through the blood on her face. It was starting to dry. I nodded, and tried to catch my breath enough to say something to her.

"Th...th...thank-you." I gasped, finally managing to just about get the words out. She smiled, and nodded her head at me, her dark brown hair sliding forward as she did so. She pushed it back behind her ears, and smiled at me.

"You saved my life. What better way to repay it than by saving yours?" she replied, shrugging her shoulders, and giggling slightly. I nodded. She had a fair point.

"So, I guess we're even then." I laughed, after I had finally caught my breath completely. My throat was still aching, but I had expected it to; after all, the man had been squeezing it pretty tightly. At least my breathing had returned to normal. I looked at the girl, and realised that we probably needed to clean her up pretty soon.

"Yeah, even." she chuckled, running a hand through the sticky red mess that coated her hair. I winced. It must have felt disgusting, being covered in all of that, but it didn't seem to bother her that much. I couldn't help but wonder if maybe she was used to it.

"I'm Leon." I said, holding out a hand awkwardly. I didn't know what else to do. This was a really bizarre situation, and I had almost no idea of how to react to this sort of thing.

"I'm Carter. Weird name, I know –" she answered, taking my hand and shaking it, whilst also covering it in the sticky red blood that coated her hands. I laughed.

"It's not weird. It's pretty." I grinned, in reference to her name. And I meant it. It really suited her as well. Carter was a very unique name, and I had a feeling that Carter herself was a very unique girl. I was also still impressed that she had come back, to help me, even if it had meant that she was risking her own safety. It had been a completely stupid risk to take, but I was glad she had taken it, because I probably wouldn't be alive if she hadn't.

"Thanks. Umm, I think we'd best get out of here...you know, before he regains consciousness?" Carter frowned, looking down at the man on the floor. I nodded my head in agreement. I certainly didn't want to be loitering here for when he did wake up. Things could get messy; possibly even messier than they had this time around. I smiled at her.

"Smart idea." I chuckled, holding out my hand for her to take. She looked down warily at it, before taking it in her own. We began to race down the alleyway, just in case the man woke up any earlier than we expected him to.

"Where do we go now?" I frowned, looking out into the dark square. I was speaking to myself, more than to Carter. I bit my lip. There were barely any lights on, not even in many of the houses. I sighed. We needed somewhere safe, that wasn't too far away from here. We needed protection. I pondered to myself, trying to think of somewhere we could stay. Someone we could go to. I looked at the pub. It was closed to the public, but there was normally somebody there most of the time, because the landlord and landlady lived in the flat above. I decided it was worth a shot.

"C'mon." I told Carter, grabbing her hand and taking her towards the side door of the pub. She followed, looking warily around her, as though expecting that man to jump out from behind every bush, lamppost or tree. I hammered on the door, as loudly as I could without waking up half of the street. Drawing attention to us wouldn't be a smart thing to do. I waited, until I heard footsteps from inside. I pulled Carter to one side, so that whoever was coming could open the door. Five seconds later, a face appeared at the door.

"Leon, what are you doing here?" asked Jessie, the landlady, staring at me with a look of confusion on her round face. Her usually blonde hair was damp, and hung in small wet ringlets around her cheeks. I assumed she'd probably been in the process of washing it when Carter and I had turned up. She had her arms folded across her chest, and she was now fixing me with a stern gaze. I looked at the floor, slightly abashed now that we'd interrupted her.

"It's a long story. Erm, can we come in? Carter needs to wash the blood off her face, and we need somewhere to sleep the night." I told her, suddenly realising just how odd the situation was. Carter stood beside me, silent, squeezing my hand for all it was worth. I gave Carter a weak smile, and pulled her forwards just slightly, so that Jessie could get a picture of exactly how bad the situation was. Jessie opened her mouth. I assumed it was to protest, so I interrupted.

"Remember what you said Jessie? Anytime you need, come here Leon, and there'll be no questions asked?" I asked. She nodded, the damp curls bouncing slightly on her shoulders. A small smile crept onto my face, as I replied "Yeah, well now is one of those times." Jessie's frown deepened, along with the thick line on her forehead. I gulped, almost sure now that she would object. I closed my eyes tightly.

"Okay then. Go on. Come in. Stay the night. No questions asked." she replied, nodding her head. I opened my eyes, and my mouth, but no words came out. I was speechless. So I dropped Carter's hand and grabbed Jessie in a tight hug. She didn't know it, but she might have just saved both mine and Carter's lives tonight. When I drew back, Jessie looked bewildered and a bit flushed. I blushed slightly. She probably hadn't been expecting that from me. Carter was smiling slightly, so I took her hand again, and led her into Jessie's apartment. Jessie indicated down the corridor, so I followed the direction of her hand, still holding Carter's hand tightly.

"You're lucky I like you, Leon Mason!" Jessie called after me. I chuckled, and continued to lead Carter down the corridor. Before a second had passed, Jessie added "You can sleep in the spare room. It's a double bed, so you'll be sharin', but no funny business, alright?"

She said something else, but it was completely inaudible above the sound of mine and Carter's giggling.