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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16. the dress.

A/N sorry guys it's been so long! ive been super busy with school and stuff, so here's a long ass chapter to make up for it! (i try) it's really long but i hope you enjoy it, more zayn+finley moments...thank you for all your support and comments, keep them coming guys! please COMMENT/FAVOURITE/LIKE tell me anything seriously anything i will listen. much love xx

 

 

 

   “Fin, are you ready? Let’s go, it’s already past ten,” I heard Liam call. I zipped my suitcase up quickly and yelled back,

   “Alright, coming!”

   “You said that five minutes ago!” I hurried out of my room, tugging my case along.

   “I’m here,” I huffed, as he stood at the front door waiting patiently. “Remind me why we’re going back to London again?”

   “Well I’ve got to work,” Liam pointed out, taking my bag chivalrously from me and walking out the door. I stepped out cautiously after him and he closed the door behind him with a satisfied click of the lock. “And you’ve got to find a job.”

   “Urgh a job,” I sighed, “Wouldn’t it be easier just to find a job here in Wolverhampton?”

   “There’s more to do in London,” Liam replied as we headed to the car. “All of our apartments are all next door to each other as well, so you’ll be seeing plenty of the boys.” I made a face, but luckily he didn’t see.

   The drive wasn’t long, just a few hours in the car mostly just of Liam talking about his apartment in London and how bloody amazing it was. I’d never been there before. By the time we got there, it was mid-afternoon. Liam carried our luggage up while I looked around. He was right after all, his apartment was gorgeous and expansive.

   I walked into my new bedroom, sat down on the bed carefully as he came in, dusting his hands off.

   “Hey,” he said brightly. Being back in London seemed to have lifted his spirits back from his mother’s sudden departure. “We’re going out tonight with the boys, a welcome back sort of thing.”

   “Tonight?” I asked wearily. “I don’t have anything to wear.”

   “Of course you do,” he scorned in return, “It’s not fancy or anything, just wear a nice dress or something.”

 

*

 

   I think the last time I’d worn a dress was probably at my great-aunt’s funeral. Not that I was against dresses, but they were so impractical sometimes. Stepping out of my new room in a bodycon and heels made me feel somewhat vulnerable.

   “Fin, l- whoa,” Liam halted abruptly in the corridor, staring blankly at me. “Erm.”

   “Does it look that bad?” I choked a little, feeling my cheeks flush in embarrassment. “It’s fine, I’ll go change.”

   “No,” he said sharply, marching over and grabbing my wrist to hold me tightly in place. His dark brown eyes raked up and down, before he smiled. “You look great, Finley.” See, that is what normal people did. Not like Zayn who just gaped and stared like you were on display in an art gallery. What was wrong with me? Fuck Zayn.

   “You sure?” I breathed heavily, feeling a strong urge to cross my arms over my chest.

   “Yes, I’m sure,” Liam said, before hesitating for a moment, “Fin, is this-this…this um, for somebody?”

   “What? No,” I said too quickly. He raised an eyebrow at me in disbelief. Yeah. No. Zayn was going? Who gives a shit. “What?”

   “I dunno, I just thought you know…” he trailed off awkwardly while I waited for him to formulate a proper sentence. He stared at his feet for a bit before blurting, “Is it Harry?”

   “Sorry?” I got out weakly, feeling very hot all of a sudden.

   “You two seemed to have a little something going on,” Liam added, in a quiet voice, “He gets them all, doesn’t he?”

   “Liam, what the hell are you on about?”

   “Look, if I don’t mind if you and Harry-” he paused, before shuddering, “Just…be careful with him, OK? He can be a bit of a prick sometimes, and that’s coming from a friend’s point of view.”

   I was struggling, wondering if I should even bother to refute him. Harry wasn’t the problem, no. Funny how Zayn hadn’t made a lasting impression with him in terms of me. Perhaps he was just a good actor.

   He drove us uptown London to where all the clubs were, apparently we were meeting his girlfriend and all the other boys there. I couldn’t help but fidgeting the entire time in the front seat.

   “Fin, are you alright?” he asked, concerned as we pulled up at the club.

   “Fine,” I squeaked, my heart thudding loudly in my chest. Why was I so nervous?

   “Harry will like the dress.” I was tempted to actually whack him around the back of the head. Instead, I bleated out a strangled moan and thrust the door open, clambering out as quickly as possible. We headed in, past the crowd as Liam was waved in immediately. There were a few photographers, but they weren’t overly rabid tonight so it was alright.

   As soon as we entered, the club was pounding loudly. Everything was vibrating, the heavy bass rumbling through the floor. The dancefloor was illuminated by flashing strobe lights, the bar lit up in the corner surrounded by hungry bodies.

   “There they are!” Liam shouted in my ear, making me jump. He was such a dork sometimes, though I did have to admit my dorky childhood friend did look hella good tonight.

   He guided me through the crowd until we reached a VIP booth with the others sitting there. It was completely dark so all I could see were the silhouettes of everyone’s bodies which was quite pervish and made it difficult to identify who was who. I squinted into the darkness. I could count one, two, three-

   “Hello there beautiful.” I jumped again, as someone touched my elbow. I looked around to see someone standing behind me, dark and unidentifiable. However, that voice I could recognise anywhere.

   “Harry?” I ventured cautiously. His bright smile caught me out as the strobe lights flitted momentarily over his face. It was a bit creepy to be honest.

   “It’s me,” he replied happily, before eyeing me up and down and whistling lowly. “You clean up nice, Finley.”

   “Thanks,” I bleated weakly, thankful it was too dark for him to see the colour of my face. “Though you probably shouldn’t mention that to Liam.” His eyebrow quirked.

   “Why not?” he asked, bemused.

   “Never mind,” I assured quickly, regretting the slip of my mouth.

   “Oi Harry!” Louis’ distinctive voice called out as we turned around. “Stop hoarding the good company! Hey Finl- wow.” As I approached the booth I was suddenly aware of many pairs of eyes on me. The feeling wasn’t entirely unpleasant, but I was still a little uncomfortable. I’d never been paid too much attention before.

   “Stop it,” I heard Liam mutter warningly, nudging the rest of them back into the booth. Harry gestured me in first so I slid inside and found myself wedged between him and Niall, who by the looks of it had already drunk half the bar stock.

   Last count, there was only one missing.

   “So,” said Harry, dragging out the word slowly and staring at me intently though I did notice his eyes wandering a little. “What were you saying before? About Liam?”

   “It’s nothing,” I replied, “Where are the drinks?”

   “Someone’s eager,” chortled Niall, sliding his half-drunk beer over. “Here, you can have some of mine.” I wasn’t complaining.

   “You’re a gentleman,” I grinned before I grabbed the bottle and downed as much as I could in one gulp. It stung a little going down. I was pretty sure I needed to be quite drunk to get through tonight.

   A hand on my leg brought me to alert. Harry’s gaze was still fixed on mine intently as if staring would eventually wean the answer out of me.

   “Come on, Finley,” he said smoothly, his warm hand a firm presence on my bare skin. I really wished this dress was longer. “Tell me.” I gave in hopelessly. I glanced around quickly to see the others engrossed in a conversation, before I leant forward hastily and whispered in his ear,

   “Liam may or may not think we have a thing for each other.”

   I jerked back and took another heavy gulp of Niall’s beer, ignoring the fact that both our lips had been on the rim. Now Harry was regarding me with a look of amusement, his lips pressed together and curved upwards a little and an eyebrow raised slightly.

   “A thing for each other?” he repeated and I hushed him hastily.

   “It’s stupid.”

   “Is it really?” he asked, turning and taking a sip of his drink. His hand was still on my leg, unmoving and seemingly content where it was. “Do you have a thing for me, Finley?” I choked a little on my drink and avoided his eye pointedly.

   “Um…”

   He looked so amused by this. Suddenly his hand shifted slightly, his warm skin against mine, moving up and down a little. Seriously. Was he rubbing me?

   “Harry,” I laughed as lightly as possible, trying to pass it off casually as I gently raked both hands down my legs and in the process nudged his off. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

   “I don’t think it’s ridiculous,” he shrugged turning back to his drink, “Liam may or may not be onto something.” I stared at him confused and a little alarmed. What was he saying?

   The feeling of someone else there brought my gaze up, to find him standing there very stationary and very quiet. Harry, who was watching me, followed my stare and started a little.

   “Zayn, what are you doing buddy?” he asked, patting the seat next to him. “Come sit down.” The strobe lights shone for a moment across his face, and I was surprised by what I saw in his expression. It seemed almost stony and cold, but his eyes were burning. Staring at me, before flitting to Harry.

   How long had he been standing there, watching?

   “Finley?” he asked in a flat tone. The husk of his voice was so familiar, so enticing. Last time I’d heard it, it had been whispering naughty things in my ear. “Is that you?” I nodded wordlessly.

   “Clean up nice, doesn’t she Zayn?” asked Louis cheekily and I rolled my eyes but avoided Zayn’s gaze either how.

   “I’m gonna get another drink,” Harry said, getting up, “You wanna come, Fin?”

   “Nah, I’m alright,” I replied, holding Niall’s almost empty bottle of beer though I wasn’t about to point that out. “Go on.” Harry nodded and sauntered off past Zayn who was still standing there, looking at me. His expression had changed to a look of faint bemusement.

   “Zayn, you’re seriously making me nervous,” chided Liam, snapping him back to reality. “Sit down, mate.” Zayn nodded and slid down into the booth, taking Harry’s spot.

   Right next to me.

   “Finley,” he said, stating it plain and simple.

   “Zayn,” I nodded coldly in reply, before turning away. I hadn’t forgotten what frisky things had ensued between us previously. I was torn on how to feel about it, but I knew for sure that I was pissed at him. And that he regretted touching me. And that I was pissed at him.

   “What was Harry’s deal?” he asked abruptly, demanding my attention. I glanced at him over my shoulder with a frown. “Was he propositioning you?”

   “What are you on about?” I asked, shaking my head. “We were just talking.”

   “He had his hand up your dress,” he said in a low voice. I glanced hurriedly at the others to make sure they weren’t paying attention.

   “Don’t be daft. We were just talking.”

   “He can’t have you.”

   “What?” I snapped, staring at him and wondering if I’d just heard him right. He shook his head.

   “Nothing.” He pushed his shot glass towards me. “Here, take it. You’ll need it.”

   “Whatever Zayn,” I sighed, ignoring his drink and turning my back to him. I thought he’d just let it go, but apparently I misjudged him because he just wouldn’t leave it alone.

   “I felt bad about what happened at my place,” he spoke up and I whipped around angrily to shush him up, knowing he was just trying to get my attention.

   “Remember one of our first conversations?” I demanded through gritted teeth, “You can stop wasting your breath if you don’t mean it.”

   “For fuck’s sake, Finley,” I heard him curse under his breath, grabbing my hand. “Come with me.” I yanked my hand out his grip furiously.

   “Don’t tell me what to do!” I snapped bitterly. “Forget it, Zayn! I’m not gonna, don’t think you can just…”

   “I’m not gonna fuck you, Fin,” he snapped back, narrowing his eyes. “The world’s not bowing down at your feet, love.” I shook him off me and slid past him intentionally just to piss him off and stomped off to the dance floor.

   Unfortunately, the others had the genius idea of following me.

   “Finley’s dancing!” exclaimed Louis brightly, shoving Liam and Niall up, “Let’s dance! Let’s dance!”

   “No-” I began but I was cut off as the three of them swarmed on me, pushing me out onto the dancefloor. I caught sight of Zayn standing there with his hands in his pockets, watching me. That fucking loser.

   The songs were deep with heavy bass, rumbling through the floor. I danced slowly at first, aware of the others around me. Then I saw him making his way through the crowd, honey eyes fixed on me. Wasn’t he just insufferable?

   Girl you look good won’t you back that ass up?
   You fine motherfucker won’t you back that ass up?
   Call me big daddy won’t you back that ass up?
   Girl who you playing with won’t you back that ass up?

   The song was slow and incredibly sexual, almost making me blush. That was until he took my arm and pulled me towards him, his eyes fixed on my body firmly. I stumbled forward, finding myself pressed right against him, feeling every curve of him.

   “Z-”

   “Dance with me,” he murmured in a low, smooth voice. His eyes were appraising, coaxing me into him. How is it that one minute I could be pissed off as hell, the next I was drooling at his feet? He held onto my hand, spinning me around so my back was pressed to his chest. His hands trailed down to my waist, holding me tight to him.

   We danced slow but with intent. I looked up to see Harry making his way there, and somehow I was wrenched away from Zayn. I looked back to see him disappear into the crowd.

   “Fin!” Harry exclaimed with a grin, an arm around my waist. He was holding a drink in his hand, but my thoughts were preoccupied with Zayn. “Would you dance with me?”

   “Erm,” I said hesitantly, shooting a look over my shoulder. He was gone. “S-sure. Why not?” Harry beamed happily. He took my hand, spinning me around as the song changed again to something more upbeat. I laughed, watching him dance. He sidled back up to me with a dozy grin, wrapped his arm around my waist again and pulled me tight against him. I burst out laughing, my hands on his chest, completely caught up in the moment.

   “You’re so- you’re such a,” I gasped with laughter, shaking my head, “Oh my god Harry…”

   He stopped for a moment, looking straight in to my eyes leaving me breathless. His eyes flittered from mine, down to my lips. Then he started to lean in, his soft lips pursing ever so slightly-

   I turned my head at the last moment, our lips brushing a little but instead his caught my cheek. I ducked my head self-consciously feeling a vague sense of shame and guilt coursing through my system. I heard him sigh in my ear and I pressed my lips together tightly.

   “I’m sorry,” I blurted, pulling away from his grasp. He let me go easily, something of an apology in his eyes. “I- I’m sorry.” I turned and spotted the back door of the club swinging, but I still couldn’t miss that dark quiff anywhere. I weaved through the crowd, managing to finally reach the door but not before being groped by a few people.

   I shoved the door open, feeling the cold night air hit me as I walked out. It was freezing; a dimly lit alleyway. There were tiny flakes of snow starting to fall, winter arriving as it always did. I looked around cautiously before I spotted him, standing close by facing a wall and smoking a cigarette.

   He noticed a moment later, sparing me a brief glance before turning his head away.

   “What are you doing out here?” I asked, wrapping my arms around myself. He took another drag, staring up at the sky and not replying. “Zayn?”

   “Look, could you just leave me alone for a couple of seconds?” he demanded rashly, still not looking at me. “Anyway you seemed to be enjoying yourself just fine in there.” I stared at him blankly.

   “Is this about Harry?”

   “Well, apparently now it is!” he snapped abruptly, tossing his cigarette on the ground and stomping it out angrily. “Harry’s in the game too is he?”

   “The game?” I repeated in disgust, “The game? What the fuck are you talking about? You think this is all just a game?”

   “I don’t know Finley,” he spat, “I don’t know what the hell to do with you. I try to talk to you but you never let me, so why do I even bother?”

  “Yeah, why do you bother?” I snapped in contempt, stepping closer to him and narrowing my eyes. “And I’m not going to play this ‘game’ on your terms, alright? You might be used to get every single girl you want, but I’m not gonna lie down and let you walk all over me!”

   “Yeah?” he smirked, “Well last thing I remember was you letting me grope you in my bathroom and touch you when you were sitting right next to-”

   “Fuck you!” I yelled, slapping his shoulder before attempting to hit him again. “Just- j…fuck you Zayn!”

   “Ow! Get off- Fin!” he got out, fending me off with his strong hands. He managed to pin them over my head as he pressed me to the wall of the alley. Out of breath, he glared at me, breathing heavily through his nose. His body was pressed firmly against mine, and once I’d calmed down, a new sensation was running through me.

   Excitement.

   He was pressed right against, pinning my hands above me and leaving me completely vulnerable. Slowly, he let his forehead rest onto mine.

   “Jesus,” he mumbled lowly, letting his eyes close for a moment, “I’m so fucking tired, Fin.”

   “Tired?” I repeated quietly, not quite understanding what he meant. What I was understanding was that he was currently pressed up between my legs.

   “Of fighting,” he sighed, “I just wanna…”

   “Oh,” I said, flaring up a little again. I shook him off and he stepped back surprised. “Oh, I get it now.”

   “You do?” he asked in surprise.

   “Yeah,” I said, nodding, “I get it. You wanna fuck, and then leave so you can tie things right up hmm? Well I have news for you Zayn, go fuck yourself!”

   “But I-” he began, clearly taken aback.

   “I don’t…” I got out weakly, feeling some unexplainable wave of emotion hit me. “I don’t want you…” He just stared at me, clearly confused.

   “You don’t want me?”

   “Just leave me alone and leave Harry out of this,” I snapped coldly.

   “Fine,” he snarled, balling his fists up. “Go on then, go back into the club and find Harry. Don’t lie, I saw you two. Making out there, I saw you!”

   “We were not!” I protested hotly, “I didn’t touch him!” OK, that was a bit of a lie.

   “You’re a fucking tease,” he snapped, “Did I ever have a chance? Does Harry have a chance at all? Why don’t you stop playing your games with us, Finley.”

   “I’m not playing my games with anyone!” I yelled, “It’s just you, for god’s sake! I can’t stand you!”

   “Yeah? Well I can’t stand you either!” he yelled, his eyes burning. We stared at each other, breathless before he jolted forward, slamming his lips into mine. I made a noise of surprise, clinging to the front of his jacket as he backed me up into the wall.

   His kisses were demanding, hot and furious, lips soft and wet. His hands curled at my sides, tugging me closer and closer against him. His breath tasted smoky and sweet at the same time, melting into my mouth like honey. One of his hands trailed from my waist and down my back and cupping my ass, making me arch at his touch. He groaned into my lips, pushing my body away from him slightly but not breaking the distance between our lips.

   His tongue darted into my mouth, daring against my own, coaxing it out teasingly. It was an understatement to say that at this point, I was incredibly turned on. Suddenly his hands were on my bare legs, his coarse warm skin massaging mine and nudging my dress up. Wait- what?

   “Get off,” I gasped, pulling my lips from him.

   “What?” he asked vacantly with blank eyes.

   “Get off!” I choked out, pushing him off me. He staggered back, his hair out of place and his jacket strewn messily over his shoulders. I pulled my dress down hastily, my cheeks burning with guilt. “You can’t keep doing this to me.”

   “What am I doing?” he asked, annoyed. His lips were a little swollen and pink, wet with our kiss.

   “You…you do this to me,” I said, gesturing around, “And then you…you take it back. Like in your bathroom. You just walked out on me and you didn’t look back.”

   “What was I supposed to say?”

   “I don’t know,” I said wildly, “I just…know you regretted it. I could see it in your eyes, Zayn.” Standing with a clear distance between us, we watched each other closely. I wrapped my arms around myself again shivering at the cold. The snow was falling a little heavier now, coating the ground in a thin layer of soft, fluffy ice.

   He reached up and shrugged his jacket off, and out of instinct I moved away as he approached. I could see the hurt in his gaze.

   “Take it, Finley,” he said hollowly, holding it out to me, “You’re gonna fucking freeze.” I pressed my lips together and shook my head. I was too attached. How is it that only now I realised how attached I’d become to this sick idea that I meant something to him? He stared at me, annoyed now, and dropped the jacket in a pile at my feet.

   Then he turned and walked past me back into the club. I stood against the wall, shivering and holding myself in my arms. Jesus, what the hell was wrong with me?

  “No,” Zayn said, walking back out and towards me. I looked up in surprise, watching him walk over. He was now only in a t-shirt and a pair of jeans, his dark hair still a little messed up. “No I can’t.” With a sigh, he raised his hand to his eyes, rubbing them wearily with his fingertips. “Can you just tell me something?”

   I folded my arms over my chest disapprovingly and didn’t say a word. He swallowed and eyed me up and down again.

   “The dress. Is it for me?”

   Something caught in my throat, and I lost my breath for a moment. He stared at the ground, but shook his head quickly.

   “Never mind, it doesn’t matter,” he murmured and just like, he left. This time, I knew he wasn’t going to come back out here again. Slowly I slid down the wall until I was sitting down on the ground, shivering.

   His jacket was lying in a pile at my feet, looking sad and lonely. I picked it up gently, running my hands over the leather. It was warm and fleecy inside and I slid it on. It was a little big on me, but it was warm. It smelt like him. I shoved my hands into the pocket, surprised to pull out his lighter.

   On and off.

   On and off.

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