(A/N:Hey guys! i hope youre enjoying how the story is proceeding so far. just want to thank all of you for all your support and patience and comments...well, everything, basically. please do continue commenting, reading, liking and sharing this movella and Promises wih your friends and/or fans etc. and of course, thank you to those who followed me on Twitter and/or became my fans,who by the way, are the most awesome 256 fans ever:) oh, and 912 likes for Promises?! like, how on earth did THAT happen?! thanks a tonne! stay awesome, ZeeA95.)
I must be hallucinating. The man I've been trying so hard to elude...
"Well, don't just stand there, give your daughter hug!" Alan insisted.
I realised that boys had formed something like a protective circle around me, with Niall shielding Sullivan from me with his body. To those who were unaware of Sullivan and myself and our history, the boys' actions would have seemed to be done out of courtesy, as if welcoming a guest.
The boys glanced at me.
I was shaking. My palms were sweaty, my heart was beating rapidly and my breathing was erratic.
"She's speechless!" Alan exclaimed excitedly, miscontruing my anxiety for excitement.
I couldn't bring myself to look at Sullivan, or even turn my head in his direction. Niall turned his body towards me slightly, mumbling something that only I could whisper.
"We won't let him hurt you."
"Hello Jamie," he greeted, his hoarse voice no longer muffled by his beard that he had shaven.
Hearing his voice made me cringe. All I wanted to so desperately do was to jump off my wheelchair, run as far away from Sullivan as possible and hide.
Actually, what I wanted even more desperately was for him to die or get wiped completely off the face of the earth so that couldn't hurt anyone else.
But I couldn't because I was in a wheelchair.
My mouth was dry, my throat was parched dry with fear as he walked around the boys towards me. I couldn't bring myself to answer him. As he leaned down to wrap his arms around me, I leaned as far away as possible and his awful cologne invading my nostrils. It seemed like eternity until he pulled away. His hand lingered on mine as he took a seat on the sofa, the boys cranking their neck to look at me, concerned looks on their faces. I looked to Niall, making a silent plea for help. Niall was about to get out of his seat when he spoke.
"It's been so long," Sullivan murmured, his voice shaking. I knew it was all a lie. A facade to hide what he truly was. A monster. A predator. And I was his prey.
He tucked a loose strand of hair behind my ear and it took me everything not to slap his hand away. I pulled my other hand away from under his and tucked my hair behind my ear by myself. I was shivering from the bare contact. All those memories...nightmares...of what he did to me came flooding back and it was overwhelming. I was starting to hyperventilate. Niall was too far away for me to grab onto his hand. I needed him.
"Surely, you've missed your father for all these years," Alan said.
"I think she's finding this all hard to believe," Liam stated, glancing at me. He was distracting the audience and Alan so they wouldn't notice how scared I was.
"How have you been? You've grown up," Sullivan told me, smoothing down my hair, his fingers lingering on the ends. "You're so beautiful now."
His voice, his touch, it was disgusting. I had the strong urge to vomit.
He looked to Alan, and then the audience. "They grow up so fast," he said, his voice mellow. The audience laughed, and so did he.
He turned back to me. I thought I saw his eyes turn dark, his mouth twist into a sneer that was so subtle that only I could recognize. He was enjoying this. He was enjoying seeing me like this.
"You look better," he murmured inteligebly. For only my ears to hear.
That made me angry.
"You must be so happy, Peter!" Alan said, referring to Sullivan. I would NEVER call him my father.
"Oh I love happy endings!" Alan told us cheerfully, his nasal voice that made me laugh before was terribly annoying now. "So Jamie," he continued. "How do you feel about reuniting with your father?"
I gritted my teeth and forced a smile.
"Now to my understanding, Peter is your stepfather. And your mother?"
"She died last year," I told him mechanically. The audience was dead silent. Sullivan looked at me too. "Cancer."
"Oh I'm so sorry about that, love. That must've been hard on you."
Frankly that is none of your business.
"She's a tough one to crack, " Niall stated, smiling at me encouragingly.
"Well she certainly is. It looks like she's 'cracked' almost every bone but she's still smiling," Alan noted.
"Yeah she's strong. She can handle a lot. It's impressive, really. And she knows that we have her back," Zayn said, making a side glance at Sullivan.
"My my my! You've made millions of girls even more envious. The whole lot, the entire One Direction seems to adore you!" Alan yelled.
"Yeah, we love her. She's like our little sister. Except for Niall because that would be...disgusting," Louis mumbled to himself, making the audience and the boys laugh.
"She knows that if anyone hurt her, we'd kill them," Liam stated, looking at Sullivan.
Sullivan glanced at all of us.
Then, Alan burst out laughing. "How adorable! You've got your personal little army."
"I love these boys," I said, looking at all of them. I wanted to hug them.
"Oh this has been delightful. But one more thing before the boys have to leave," Alan said, getting up of his seat.
The audience booed.
"They're busy busy boys!" Alan explained. "You see Jamie, its become sort of a tradition. Whenever the boys come visit me, the lads and I have a dance battle..."
AFTER THE SHOW...
"Jamie, can I talk to you?" Sullivan asked , touching my arm gently. I snatched my arm away, tolerating the sharp pain in my upper arm by the sudden movement.
"I have nothing to say to you," I hissed.
"Please," he begged.
"Would you pardon us for a moment?" Niall, who had been pushing my wheelchair, asked.
"Of course," Sullivan answered, walking away to give us some privacy.
"I think you should give him a chance," Niall told me softly.
"He wanted to kill me!" I barked at Niall, not caring if Sullivan heard me. I immediately felt guilty for barking at Niall when I saw the look on his face. I took a deep breath to calm myself down.
"You don't know what he did to me. I can't forgive him for that. Ever."
"I'm not asking you to forgive him. Just talk to him. People change."
"No, they don't," I argued.
"You changed me," he said.
"I just showed you what was already there. You're a good person. You have a good heart," I told him. "He doesn't."
"He's your father."
"Step-father," I corrected.
He gazed deep into my eyes, leaning down on one knee so that we were at eye level. He leaned in and placed one hand on my cheek, caressing my cheek with his thumb, sending tingles down my spine.
"Please? For me?" Niall pleaded, knowing he already won the debate when he opened his mouth. "The lads and I will be right over there," he told me, gesturing over to the make-up room with dim lighting that was in front of us.
I groaned and rolled my eyes.
"Leave the door open," I grunted, wheeling myself towards Sullivan or 'Peter'.
This was going to be interesting.