Waiting for You

Amanda and Skyler get the chance of a lifetime when they are personally invited to go on tour with their favorite band, One Direction. As relationships develop, secrets are revealed, and it starts to become unclear what will unfold. But the only thing the girls know for sure is that with these boys, love is always an option.
Co-written by Heather Tomlinson and Emily M. Horan, author of More Than One Direction, and the sequel, Choosing One Direction.

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17. Damaged

After Lou and I finish all the cookies, we cuddle with each other in my bed.
But I can't help but wonder why he's being so good to me.
"Why are you taking such good care of me?" I ask him.
"Because," he says, "I'm your boyfriend."
I let out a soft chuckle.
"No, really."
"Really Amanda. It's my responsibility to take care of you."
"No it's not. We're not really dating."
"I know, but still. I have to."
"No you don't Lou. If you want to leave I wouldn't mind."
"Do you want me to leave?"
"No," I say simply.
"Then I'm staying here," he says, pulling me closer.
"Where did Sky go?" I ask.
"I sent her to be with Harry, told her I'd take care of you."
"Oh."
He kisses my cheek, and I turn around to face him.
"Thank you," I say, looking up into his eyes.
They're really pretty eyes.
He smiles at me brightly, but it looks a little forced.
Then he says something that surprises me.
"Can I call you Amanda Banana?"
I giggle softly, then allow myself to be sad.
He notices, and immediately, regret crosses his face.
"What's wrong?"
"My dad-" I say, "He used to call me that."
"Is he...deceased?"
"No, I just-" I start, "I don't talk to him anymore."
"Why not?"
"C'mon Lou," I say with a small smile, "you don't want to hear my lame sob stories."
He looks at me very seriously.
"Yes I do."
I sigh deeply, then give up. He knows exactly how to get to me.
"Well, I was estranged from my parents growing up. We lived in a bad neighborhood. My parents, especially my mom, were bad people. I was abused, physically and emotionally, by my mom and sister."
I lift up my sleeves, exposing my scars from years ago.
"Those are from them. And my parents got divorced. Eventually my dad fell in love with another woman, and she became my new mom. I really loved her, she was a great mom, until she just turned plain mean. My dad too. They hated me. We'd fight a lot; they were never fair. Treated my step-sister like royalty and me like dirt. So I moved out, and they disowned me. That was in high school. And I've lived with Skyler ever since."
I look up at Louis's face for the first time, and I can see his eyes watering just at the corners.
I dab them with my thumb, smiling softly at him.
His mouth twitches into an equally soft smile, and he gently lifts my arm.
He pushes my sleeve back, to where I had shown him my scars, and kisses them slowly, each one.
When he finishes kissing each scar, he holds my face in his one hand and looks deeply into my eyes.
"I want to protect you," he says, but I don't believe him, not even a little.
Because I'm damaged, and how could he ever want anything to do with me?
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