"What in the bloody hell are you thinking?" Zayn exclaimed, after I told the lads why they were watching Jamie having a conversation with Sullivan.
"He's gone completely insane!" Zayn continued.
"Calm down, mate. There's probably a completely rational reason behind why Niall would do such a thing," Harry stated slowly, holding his hands out, as if assessing the situation. "What on earth were you thinking?" Harry bursted out suddenly.
"He's her father," I answered.
"Step-father," Liam corrected calmly, his arms folded.
"Thats what she said," I murmured to myself.
"Because it's true! You basically just fed her to the sharks!" Zayn yelled. "She's not safe around him."
"Look, he didn't try anything out there, did he?" I stated.
"That's a pathetic reason," Zayn muttered as he walked away, barely audible. "He probably didn't have balls to do anything because we were around her and because we were on national television!"he exploded, the veins in his neck protruding.
"Who are you to criticise what I ask Jamie to do or what Jamie decides to do? She's MY girlfriend. So back off, mate," I snapped.
He glared at me, gritting his teeth, his jaw tense. Then, just for a millisecond, I saw the hurt in his eyes. Zayn had always been good at hiding his emotions but I didn't know he was THIS good.
"Wait, Zayn," I pleaded, grabbing his arm which he quickly snatched away. I have a tendency to say things without thinking. And it usually landed me in trouble.
"I thought I was one of your best friends. And even though Jamie's not my girlfriend, I care about her a lot. We all do. And if YOU won't protect her, then I will," he told me, marching off towards Jamie and Sullivan.
"You should leave," I instructed. I didn't want to be around him anymore. I placed my hands on the wheelchair, trying to turn myself around, the wheels making a screeching sound.
"Wait," Sullivan insisted. I let out a loud sigh. He'd been acting J-distinctly different than how I remembered him. He was tolerable...almost...kind. This observation confused me. "Please," he continued.
I turned to look at him. He looked genuinely sad and concerned. "I just want to apologize for...what I did to you when...before," he murmured. "And I'm sorry about your mother."
I hesitated. "Thank you. I have to go," I told him stoicly, turning to leave as I heard someone approaching.
"Jamie," he called, placing his hand on my arm.
"I think that's enough, mate," someone muttered angrily as a leather arm shot out from behind me and shoved Sullivan's hand away. "She said she wanted to leave," the person continued, whom I realised was Zayn.
Sullivan stared at Zayn with an unreadable expression on his face.
"I understand," Sullivan murmured. "I don't expect you to forgive me for the things I've done...I just wanted you to know that I'm sorry."
I nodded in acknowledgment as Zayn helped me into the make-up room where the boys were.
"Are you alright?" Zayn asked, concerned.
I nodded slowly, distracted. "Yeah," I replied.
"Are you sure?" Zayn asked again, unsure.
His voice seemed to be far away, my mind was somewhere else.
"What? Um, yes, I'm sure."
"You're a terrible liar," Niall said. I rolled my eyes.
"Did something happen?" Liam asked, walking towards me and placing his hand on my shoulder.
"No," I told him. I realised that the boys had formed a circle around me and were studying my face intently, watching me as if I was an experiment.
"I think they're curious as to why your forehead is wrinkled which usually means you're worried or thinking deeply about something when you said nothing happened," Niall told me.
"My forehread is NOT wrinkled," I argued, reaching up to feel my forehead.
"They're called worry lines," Harry said dismissively.
"And now your furrowing your eyebrows...and together with the creased forehead, you can't honestly expect us to believe that nothing happened," Zayn noted.
"It's just that it's unusual for Sullivan to be so gentle and...sincere." I answered. "Satisfied?" I groaned. "You boys are so annoying when you're concerned!" I muttered angrily.
"You're family. We care for you and don't want anything to happen to you," Louis explained. "We love you, Jelly."
Carrothead could be really sweet when he wanted to be.I smiled and opened up my arms to hug them all.
"I love you boys too. Now, I'm famished. Who's up for a visit to Nando's?"