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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17. it doesn't count.

 

 

 

 

   Don’t judge me- I was sad and lonely. I grabbed my stuff and headed out, wearing a thick coat and a dress underneath. There was something I had to do- something I knew that Liam would never allow if he knew about it. So obviously, there was no way I was going to tell him.

   I stopped on the sidewalk, staring up at the old building. It was like I’d arrived back into my nightmares. The run-down, dark, dank apartment block in downtown London- my old apartment with Dean. I hadn’t seen him in months now.

   Taking a deep breath in, I walked to the front door and ducked down. I groped under the mat for the key, finding it where it always was. Shakily, I managed to get the key into the door and twist the knob. It opened with a painstakingly loud creak. I paused, almost certain that my abusive ex would come swinging out of nowhere.

   The apartment was completely dark, not a sign of life. I nudged my leg through the tiny gap, then squeezed the rest of the way in. I closed the door quietly behind me, not locking it just in case I needed a quick exit. The carpet muffled my footsteps as I plodded along across the dining room cautiously. I hurried over to the dresser, opening the first drawer and fishing blindly around in the dark. Where the hell was it?

   Suddenly, the light behind me turned on.

 

   I froze completely, feeling my blood chill. Oh no. Oh no.

   “Well,” drawled that familiar voice. “Look who decided to drop by.” I forced myself to swallow, my hand continuing to move numbly around the drawer. It wasn’t there.

   I drew my hand out and turned around slowly, as not to aggravate him. There he stood, unshaven and drunk, leaning against the kitchen counter. Dean. His eyes were bloodshot and unfocused, but I knew he was just as capable of hurting me in this state then if he was sober.

   “Hi,” I said, trying to sound calm, mostly because I didn’t know what to say.

   “Hello kitten,” he sneered, and I winced at the old endearment. “I missed you. What did you fuck with your hair for?” I forced myself not to scowl, remembering the incidents that happened last time I was here.

   “I thought a change would be nice,” I replied complacently.

   “I don’t like change,” he said in a slight, snappish voice. “So are you gonna fuck or what?” I swallowed again, feeling my throat running dry. Why did I have the feeling I was being backed into a wall?

   “I’m looking for something of mine I’d like to have back,” I said, glancing around. I couldn’t see it.

   “Oh,” he slurred, dangling something infront of his face. “You mean this?” My eyes widened and I took a step forward, but he snatched it out of sight, his eyes narrowing.

  “Dean…”

   “Oh you don’t get to bargain here, kitten,” he leered at me, “The ball’s in my court. You want your precious old necklace? Then why don’t you come and get it?” He smirked at me as I stood, rooted to the spot and unable to move.

   “Please,” I choked out. He considered me for a moment, dropping it into his pocket. He walked over, one hand clasping a bottle, the other shoved in the pocket of his scraggly old jeans.

   “My, my, don’t you look different?” he said quietly as I backed away. I felt the dresser jar into my jack as I collided into it, trapped between it and him. He stepped closer, looking down on me from his height. “I take it back, you look sexy with short hair. Why…what are these?” His voice changed immediately. For a moment, he almost sounded sincere and caring. Suddenly, he sounded angry and confused.

   His hand latched on startlingly fast to the front of my leather jacket, shaking it violently and causing me to throttle in his grip.

   “What the fuck is this?” he hissed in a low, dangerous voice. “Who bought you this? Why are you dressing like this?” Liam had bought me new things not long ago, since I’d fled this place with just the clothes on my back.

   “I- it’s not…” I stammered feebly, but he shoved me fiercely back against the dresser, a sharp pain shooting up my spine as he shoved himself against me. I struggled helplessly, pinned by his heavy body and heaving chest. I could hardly breathe.

   “Little slut,” he hissed, grabbing part of the jacket and forcing it open, buttons coming undone in his hands. I weakly tried to push him off, but he was too goddamn strong. He ran his hand invasively along my waist, toying with my clothes.

   “Dean, please don’t-” I whispered, mortified that something like this could be happening. I shut my eyes as I felt his hands run up my legs, to the inside of my thighs. I just hoped it would be over soon.

   “I remember you used to beg like this all the time, but I knew you-”

   “HEY!” A sharp, angry voice filled the room. So familiar. So furious. I wrenched my eyes open to see someone standing in the doorway, their face hidden from the street light behind their head. They looked like some sort of guardian angel. “Get off her!”

   “Fuck off, man, or I’ll break your neck!” shouted Dean, still unrelenting. Gasping for breath under him, I tried to make my hand towards his pocket.

   The person in the doorway marched over, and shoved Dean off me. I collapsed to the ground, wheezing for breath as I felt a warm, rough hand on my back.

   “Come on,” demanded the husky voice, spiked with urgency and irritation. “Let’s go.”

   “Who the hell are you?” snarled Dean intimidatingly, his hand curled into a fist. I stumbled to my feet weakly, feeling myself almost collapse again onto my saviour. A warm arm around my shoulders held me steady.

   “You touch her again, I’m calling the fucking cops.” The voice. It was definitely male. The exit was a blur- heading back out the apartment into the cold night, the arm still supporting me around my shoulders, the bright street lights.

   It was only when I felt myself being propped up against a car door that I started to come to life again. My saviour stood before me, not meeting my eye, but carefully repairing the damage that had been done. Tugging my dress back into place. Adjusting the collar. Re-buttoning up my jacket. Zayn Malik.

   What the hell was he doing here? I thought groggily as he finished buttoning up my jacket. The expression on his gorgeous face was anger, his eyes tired but burning with fury. He wrapped an arm around my waist, and opened the car door. I climbed in slowly, still in shock. It had been so long since his last attack, I’d almost forgotten what it felt like.

   He hopped into the driver’s seat next to me, but he didn’t turn the engine on. He just sat there in silence, as if he was waiting for me to talk.

   “What are you doing here?” I demanded in a raspy, dead voice.

   “Liam doesn’t want you wandering all over London,” he said flatly, looking down on his lap. As if that was sufficient explanation. “Who was he, Finley?” I hesitated, remembering what I’d promised Liam. Never to tell Zayn.

   “No one,” I murmured quietly, looking out the window.

   “Don’t give me that bull-” he began angrily, but I cut across him sharply.

   “Could you please just drive me home?” He paused for a moment, before turning the engine on.

   “I thought you might want to thank me for saving you from being raped back then,” he muttered coldly, before merging into traffic. I gulped. Of course he was right.

   “I’m sorry,” I sighed, leaning my head into my hands, suddenly exhausted. “I- th…thank you.” He drove in silence the rest of the way there, finally arriving back at our apartment complex. At the last moment, he turned and parked across the road, next to the park. He turned the engine off and sighed.

   “He said that you might go wandering,” Zayn said quietly, scratching his head absent mindedly. Freaking Liam.

   “You followed me?” I choked out, feeling somewhat betrayed.

   “You were taking too long,” he mumbled, running a hand through his hair. “I got worried, and then…he was your boyfriend, wasn’t he? And he-” He stopped abruptly, eyes widening.

   “What?”

   “Did he hit you?” he asked in a low voice.

   “What does it matter?”

   “But then…” he murmured distractedly, staring at my arms even though they were covered by my jacket. “The scars and the bruises. The hair.”

   I turned my head away, not wanting him to see my expression. I hated it all. The pity. The disgust. The irony of being beaten by someone who’s supposed to love you.

   “Why didn’t you tell me?” he sounded angry, and even a little upset. I turned to him, disgusted.

   “What do you mean, why didn’t I tell you?” I spat, feeling my eyes fill with tears. “Why do you think I didn’t tell you? You hate me!” He looked taken aback, leaning away from me slightly, affronted.

   “What would make you think that?” he asked, genuinely confused.

   “Goddamit Zayn,” I groaned, burying my face in my hands. “I couldn’t tell anyone, least of all you. I don’t even know you. You don’t care. What difference would it even make?”

   “I would’ve treated you…”

   “Differently?” I finished, staring at him from the gaps between my fingers. “I don’t want to be treated differently! I just want to be treated like me! I want- I want for someone to actually care and not just because I was with someone who treated me like dirt. For me.”

   He stared at me, and to my surprise, gently reached over and put his hand on my knee.

   “I…never knew,” he said, almost apologetically.

   “Of course you didn’t,” I shot back curtly, folding my arms across my chest. “You’re fucking blind to anything that doesn’t concern you.”

   “I just can’t believe he beat you.”

   “Yeah? Well start believing,” I snapped, digging my fingers into my jacket to avoid doing it to his face.

   “Does Liam know?” I was quiet for a moment, before I sighed.

   “Yes.”

   “Why didn’t he tell me?” he demanded, sounding impatient and angry again.

   “Zayn!” I yelped, throwing my hands up and nearly bashing them into the ceiling. “I made him promise not to! And why would he tell you of all people?”

   “Don’t you understand?” he barked, “You don’t not tell people these things! No wonder you don’t have any real friends except Liam, you haven’t let anyone near to you since you were about five!”

   “You don’t know me!” I cried, “Shut up! I let- I let you near me.” My voice dropped off at the end, and I regretted the words immediately. He gaze softened noticeably, and he dropped his eyes quickly.

   “Letting me use you doesn’t count as you letting me near you,” he spoke quietly and I pressed my lips together, not wanting to cry now. The silence was only filled with the sound of his thoughts. “I- I meant what I said to you at the club.”

   “About what?” I gasped, despairingly. “The- the part where you called me a tease? Or a slut? Or about Harry?” I noticed how he flinched at the mention of his friend’s name, and looked away distractedly.

   “No,” he muttered, staring straight ahead at the row of parked cars infront of us. “You looked amazing in that dress.” I shut my eyes, forcing myself to concentrate on the thought of being angry at him. I couldn’t manage.

   “I don’t matter to you, don’t you remember?” I said in a shaky voice.

   “I don’t care,” he said through gritted teeth, leaning closer to me. “Goddamit, you matter to me now. You do.” Suddenly, he closed the distance and jammed his lips to mine. I don’t why, or how, or for god sake what else- but he was.

   It was soft, but firm and passionate at the same time. Controlled. Unlike his other kisses- too fast, too demanding, too needy. His hand was still on my leg, it had moved from my knee to my thigh, caressing my skin under his own. I felt myself melt into him, letting take the steady lead with the rhythm of our lips, the stroke of his hand, his occasional soft sight which I’d noticed become a habit with him when he kissed me.

   Needing to be closer, he clambered over from the driver’s seat into my seat beside him, resting between my legs. He pressed the lever that lowered the seat as he gently lowered himself on top of me. His hands were roaming my body, not intrusively like Dean’s touch, but interestedly and almost curiously. He stared me in the eye, leaning forward with his lips again, before we were interrupted.

   The blast of his phone made him stop. It vibrated noisily on the driver’s seat.

   I turned my head so his lips brushed my cheek instead.

   “You should get that,” I mumbled, and he reached over quickly, scooping it up.

   “Hello?” he asked, sounding slightly confused. His eyes widened slightly, and he rolled off me quickly. “Oh. Hi. What’s up?”

   I gulped, quickly throwing the car door open. Again. Over and over again, he was always ashamed of me.

   “W- Fin!” he called back after me, his phone still to his ear as I clambered out desperately. “Finley, wait…”

   I slammed the door after me, and stormed back off to the apartment.

 

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