Tatum has never had much luck when it came to people. In the course of three years, she's lost her best friends, her father, and her sister. But maybe this year, things will be different. Maybe this year, she will meet someone who will help change her perspective.


2. Chapter Two

Chapter Two

The car lurched forwards, sending all five boys to the ground. They had been sat around lazily in their pick-up car awaiting the long traffic to start up again. Their tired heads hadn't thought to put seat belts on and were now lying successfully atop one another on the dirty floor. Their manager, Jared, sent them a look of disgust, but said nothing. Instead he tapped away at his touch phone, ignoring the group of boys in front of him. It wasn't a nice sight, but he'd been around this lot long enough to be familiar with their shenanigans.

Louis, the eldest boy, groaned as Liam's elbow tore into his side. "Get off me, Liam!" He yelled, quite loudly. Liam struggled against Zayn who was covering his hair.

"Your hair can be fixed later, Zayn." He scolded, glancing at the olive skinned boy. "We need to get up."

Liam then managed to push both Zayn and Niall off him and eventually off of Louis who was extremely pissed. Harry and Niall were the only ones chuckling in the end as they got cast at the very top of the One Direction pyramid. They slapped hands and laughed at their friends, three of whom were livid for different reasons.

More or less, when the lads car finally arrived at their destination, they were completely breath taken with the view. The famous Vantor Hotel stared back at them with pride, as if it knew its worth. The large double doors stood closed, holding crystal clear windows, in looking a luxurious hotel only affordable by the richest of the rich. The boys' mouths hung open in surprise till Jared came around and forced them up the steps, leading them into the lobby. It was not very busy, as expected. One had to either be a king or much close to it to even be given entrance inside. Jared must have pulled some strings for this to be real.

"May I take your bags, sir?" A bell-hop asked Niall who was struggling with a bulky suitcase. He easily handed it over, happy to rid himself of the ugly, green luggage. It was similar to the colour of swamp water and he hated it. It made him gag.

Once everyone had given their bags to the bell-hop, they waited patiently till Jared came back with their room key. The bell-hop lead them to the elevator and then up to the tenth floor where they stopped at room 113.

"Key please," he asked, holding his hand out.

Jared instantly passed it on, telling the boys to settle in and that he would be situated in his own suite, just down the hall and to their right. They thanked him and walked in, once again feeling overwhelmed with the beauty of the hotel. It was a striking suite, fixed with anything and everything anyone could want. The lounge room held a huge flat screen, as well as enormous windows overlooking the gorgeous view of the beach.

"Please make yourselves at home," were the departing words of the bell-hop as he gave them a small smile and shut the door behind him. He had placed all their luggage in the corner of the room while the boys had stood gaping.

"I don't think I could ever feel at home here," Harry commented, touching the beads of the chandelier hanging down above the dinner table. "This place must have cost a lot."

Liam scratched the back of his neck. "Something's got to be up. Management would never just give us something like this."

Zayn shook his head. "I wonder what it is this time. Remember three months ago when they bought us each a car?"

"We got forced into doing television commercials for the worst tasting drink ever," Louis replied, shuddering with the thought of the horrible beverage. "I feel bad for our fans who bought it because of us and then drank it. I still have nightmares."

Niall shrugged. "I thought it was okay."

The boys all gave him a look. "Alright, it was terrible. But the dinner afterwards was nice."

"And so were the cars. But this," Liam pointed to the lounge room, "has got to mean something. I want to ask Jared about this, but…"

"He'll probably just whack us off," Zayn finished for him. He sighed. "Well, I'm completely knackered. That show was something and now I need some sleep. 'Night."

He walked off, checking his hair quickly in the mirror down the hallway to the rooms. The rest of the lads all said their goodbyes soon after and got dressed for bed. For some odd reason, he did not know what it was, Niall was still hyped up. He was not as tired as his friends, so he decided to strew himself across the couch and watch some good 'ol Australian television. He stripped down into just a pair of old basketball shorts and a white t-shirt and laid his blonde head back against the peach coloured furniture.

He flipped the screen on and the first thing he heard was the sound of his band's first single: What Makes You Beautiful. Niall smiled big as the music video played through. It took a lot to get where he was today, and he was glad that he had taken the chance two years prior. He owed a lot to the hit British television show labeled The X Factor, and more so to Katy Perry who had given him his third 'yes' and Simon Cowell who had signed him and his best friends up with a record deal. No matter where he went, where he was, he was never, ever going to forget where he started out. As a small town boy from Mullingar, to a rising pop-star, he was still the Niall Horan who liked hugs from his mother and quiet walks down the streets of Ireland at night. Nothing would ever change that.


"I can't be arsed to do that right now, Tatum," Tess snapped at her younger sister, flipping her the bird and pushing her out of the room. "And stop annoying me."

Outside of the door, Tatum stood there and sighed. All she had asked her sister to do was wash the dishes while their mother was out in town. She herself had a bucket load of homework including a biology test to study for while Tess would most likely be locked up in her room all evening, either texting with her friends or doing God knows what on the internet. Tatum did not understand why, even after all this time, Tess remained futile with her. She took every chance she got to humiliate and upset her baby sister, whom was only a year younger. What had occurred with them long ago still played is Tess' head daily, reminding her of the mockery and shame. She would never let her Tatum live it down, not until she took her last breath on this earth.

Shaking her head, her loose curls bopping side-to-side, Tatum retreated down the steps and towards the kitchen. Their mother was in town for a special meeting. She was a high school teacher in Sidney who taught advanced English and Literature. Tatum knew she would not be home till late and wanted to make sure her mother was content when she returned. She did not think anyone would appreciate having dishes to wash when they came home tired.

After the plates, glasses and other utensils were washed, dried and put away, Tatum went back upstairs to her room to start up on her work. It was already 7:30 pm. On any regular day, it would not have gotten so late, but after school this afternoon, she had a club gathering for the annual spring talent show. If she missed that, she would get into a lot of trouble and would be backtracked on what needed doing. As soon as her butt hit the cushion of her seat, loud rock music wafted through her sister's bedroom and into her own. Tatum tried earnestly to concentrate, willing her brain to comprehend cells and blood types, but to no avail. Eventually, she lifted herself up and walked straight back to stand where she stood not long before.

"What the fuck do you want?" Tess asked angrily, flinging the door open wide to face Tatum. "I thought I told you to stop annoying me."

"That music is too loud." She stated, looking her in the eye. "I'm trying to study for my test."

Tess smirked. "Too bad. You should have thought about going to the library then. It's much quieter there."

"Will you please just turn it down, Tess?" She resorted to begging. "Please? I'll do anything."

Tess watched her sister's face for a minute, scanning it. There was so much anger, frustration and grievance filled within her, at times, she was surprised she hadn't blown up yet. And there wasn't anyone else to blame but her own flesh and blood. Tatum had taken the one thing she cared about most in this world and Tess wasn't one to just forgive and forget. No, she wanted revenge. And in the most heart wrenching way imaginable.

"Anything?" She repeated, still watching her. Tatum nodded. "Get me my boyfriend and my scholarship back."

Tatum was at a loss for words. Her thoughts echoed Tess' voice over and over again. If there was one thing Tess was good at, it was cutting people up and throwing their remains in their face. At the worst times, she would come up with foolishness like this and use it against Tatum. Her own sister created her hell, and watched her wither away in it.

Without another word, she left once again, feeling a sense of Déjà vu as she did so. Tatum did not know how long this was going to suffice; how long her sister was going to make her pay for what she'd done. Their mother planned to stay out of it for as long as possible, as the topic was much too sensitive for either girls to talk about. But at the moment, Tatum only wished she would try to interfere, possibly knock some sense into Tess while she was at it.

Left with no other choice, Tatum packed her bag, and walked out the door onto the sidewalk, immediately taking the route she knew all too well to the neighbouring library. It took her all five to six minutes to walk there and shot right to work the second she was inside. For the next two hours, her head was filled with nothing but biology. When she was sure she had everything figured out, Tatum picked out a few books to read and took her leave.

She decided to grab a small coffee at the Starbucks nearby to soothe the stress of not only her upcoming test but also her sister. Tatum didn't get it. Weren't people meant to make mistakes and weren't others strong enough to move on? It was one little slip-up that caused an eruption of fireworks last year. If she had not gone to that party, if she had not seen her sister doing what she had, perhaps all of this might not have happened. Maybe Tatum wouldn't endure every single day of her life in fear that her sister might choose it as that day to take her revenge.

Fear was one of the worst things to live in. It tore you apart, little by little and feigned itself not the slightest as it did so. Fear kept people from moving on with their lives, from forgetting. Tatum's world may seem like one with not many issues, as her friends now consisted of a small-town boy band on the verge of success, but she had her own share of secrets. Those of which that weren't too well hid either. What people did not understand was that they are all players of the same game, just at different levels. They are irrevocably dealing with the same hell, just different devils.

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