Delicate

Finley Abbott and Liam Payne were inseparable since they were little kids. Fast forward to 2012- as they finally meet again. This time, Liam and his bandmates are internationally famous and tour worldwide.
Finley thinks she's got all of Liam's mates figured out, all except one. Zayn Malik.

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6. but i was sober. (or zayn's mistake)

Zayn’s POV

 

   The hangover was nasty. When I say nasty, I mean absolutely terrible. I woke with a pounding headache, a dry mouth and a scratchy throat. I felt like I’d been dragged through hell and back. Well at least there wasn’t some leggy stranger in my bed.

   I sat up, with a groan when I realised how exerting it was. I held my head in my hands, trying to recall last night.

   I glanced at the clock. Oh god, it was 3:30 the afternoon already! Not that it mattered anyway, we weren’t doing any interviews, publicity or concerts today so I could literally just sleep the whole time. Concert. Hmm, I was sure we’d had one last night. And- bam it hit me.

   I remembered her. The strange girl who Liam knew, the one he’d rambled on forever about after we ran into her in the supermarket. Finley. Odd name. Big eyes, pretty enough face. I think I might have thrown my drink in her face or something, I couldn't quite place it.

   "Ah, you're awake," Niall said as he marched into my room, holding a bag of chips in his hand. "About time, Sleeping Beauty."

   "Niall?" I asked as he opened the curtains, letting the blinding sunlight stream into the room. "What happened last night?" He shot me a bemused look.

   "You don't remember?" I shook my head. "Well we were at the bar, you got into a fight with the manaager and got us kicked out."

   "That it?" I asked, knitting my brows together in confusion.

   "Yeah, about," replied Niall warily with a shrug, "Oh and you called Liam's friend a slut." I let his words sink in slowly.

   "Who? Finley?"

   "Bad move mate," Niall said, darting out the door before I could say anything else. I knew I did something stupid.

   I walked out into the living room of the presidential suite we were staying in. The hotel was luxurious and decadent, but temporary as it was. Louis and Harry were sprawled over each other on the couch, Liam no where to be seen.

   "Where's Liam?" I croaked out, running a tired hand through my hair.

   "Oh you're awake," commented Louis, looking up from his laptop. "He left this morning, something about an emergency."

   "Oh," I said dumbly. Harry glanced up at me, before looking down and smirking, shaking his head slowly.

   "Shitfaced," he muttered. I ignored him.

   A couple of hours later, I heard the door to the suite open and shut sharply. It was past nightfall already, dark outside. Immediately I emerged from my bedroom again, just to see Liam pacing up and down, looking distraught. Louis was grilling him already.

   "Liam? What's wrong?"

   Liam opened his mouth, about to speak when he noticed me hanging out of my door. He clamped his mouth shut tightly, looking almost angry.

   "You," he said quietly. Calmly as ever, he raised his arm and pointed out the door. "You should talk to her."

   "She's here?" I asked in confusion. "Why?" He didn't bother to reply.

   "She's up on the rooftop," he said simply, then stormed off to his room. Sheesh.

   I made my way slowly to the rooftop, and I realised with a start- what a gorgeous view of the city there was from here. Only then did I notice the huddled figure sitting a few metres away. Slowly I approached her, realising she was wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, cupping a warm drink in her shaking hands.

   She must have heard me, because she looked up, with such genuine fear and reproach in her eyes that I stopped abruptly. I was worried that she didn't want me near her, that she might pour her burning drink on me or something.

   That's when I noticed it. Her hair.

   It was chopped messily, out of place and scraggly. Her gaze lowered, her bottom lip trembling a little and she turned back to look out on the city. She looked a proper mess.

   I forced myself to swallow, before I approached her again, and sat down beside her, a whole arm's length of safety still between us.

   "What happened to your hair?" Wow. That one slipped out. To my surprise, she gave a watery chuckle.

   "That's a nice way to start an apology," she replied in a raspy voice. She didn't look at me, but raised her cup to her lips and sipped slowly. I think I could make out a faint mark on her cheek, but that might just have been my imagination in the darkness. What the hell had happened to her?

   "I'm sorry," I said finally, letting the words hover there for a few moments. "I only met you yesterday and I already managed to make myself look like the biggest prick in the world."

   She didn't speak for a few seconds, before she said drily,

   "You don't really have to try, do you?" The nerve of this one...

   "I don't have to try anything," I shot back, "It comes naturally."

   "Mhmm," she hummed, running a finger along the edge of her cup. "Does that come with being a jerk, or is that an add-on?"

   "Do people like you?" I asked bluntly. "I get the feeling they don't." She finally looked at me. Yeah, I was almost certain I could see a fading mark on her cheek.

   "It comes naturally," she repeated coldly, before staring back out at the sea of lights on the city below.

   "Look, I said I'm sorry," I huffed exasperatedly.

   "Well you can stop wasting your breath if you don't mean it."

   "I mean it!" I snapped, "Jeez, what the hell happened to you?" She stared at me blankly for a few seconds, and I realised the harshness of my words. It was too late. She bundled the blanket tighter around her and disappeared into some tiny ball of silence and misery.

   I didn't know what to do. So I did the only thing I knew how.  

 

Finley's POV

 

   I was pretty certain I hated Zayn Malik. His stupid attractive face and hair and eyes and body, and that dumbass attitude of his, and his inability to show any emotion apart from exasperation, wariness and bore.

   I couldn't bear to think what he might think or say if I even bothered to tell him about Dean. Not just Dean, but of my entire life. The abuse I'd suffered at the hands of my father, and now my boyfriend. How the scars marked my body, but my mind as well. I'd never let him know, because he'd judge me for it.

   He'd treat me differently, or maybe he'd be repulsed by me. Anyway, he already thought I was a slut.

   Then suddenly his hand was on my back, and he was mumbling distractedly like he didn't know what to do.

  "I really am sorry," he said, "I shouldn't have lost my head like that."

   "When?" I replied. "Just then, or last night?" I raised my head and I realised abruptly how close he was. I could smell his scent, a little musky mixed with something sweet.

   "Both I guess," he sighed, shifting back away from me again. "Can we start over, then?" He held his hand out to me. I looked at him uncertainly, before I grasped his hand tightly. We shook on it.

   "Right," I breathed out, still feeling awkward.

   "Right," he repeated, his mouth crinkling a little like he might be smiling, maybe. I doubt it. "So Finley, tell me about yourself."

   "Er," I said, caught off guard. "Well I'm seventeen, from Wolverhampton. Liam and I have been friends since we met in kindergarten."

   "Yeah? How did you meet?"

   "Some guy stole my book I was reading and he stood up for me," I recall, feeling a small smile creep onto my face as I remembered it. "From that moment on, chubby and I were the best of friends."

   "Sounds just like Liam," he mused.

   "What about you?"

   "I'm simple," he replied, with a shrug, "I sing."

   "So do I," I almost whispered. He looked at me in surprise.

   "You sing?"

   "A bit," I passed off.

   "What do you sing?" he asked.

   "Anything," I answered. "I like songs from musicals. Like Les Miserables."

   "Can you sing for me?"

   "Alright," I whispered, fidgeting. I cleared my throat. "I dreamed a dream of time gone by, when hope was high and life worth living. I dreamed that love would never die, I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

But the tigers come at night, with their voices soft as thunder.
As they tear your world apart, as they put your dreams to shame.

Still I dream he'll come to me, that we will spend the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be, and there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be, so different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed.

Now life has killed this dream, I dreamed."

    He was staring at me, and I think he might really have been smiling this time.

 

 

 

  

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