17 Year old Ashley hasn't ever had a childhood. She spent most of it taking care of her little sister, Amelia. Before that, her and her sister were abused by her step dad when their mother died. Now that Ashley's in school, she's had a unwanted, sexual abuser. She doesn't know his name, his age, his reasons for hurting her like he has been. All she knows is if she tells anyone, or if she doesn't do exactly what he tells her too. He'd kill her. Her whole life she's only felt harm, hate and beatings from the male species, that is until Niall. No male has ever been so gentle with her. She gets caught up in what she thinks is her trying to protect and take care of her little sister that she forgets to take care of herself. Can Niall help her with all this damage she's been forced to live through? Or will she shut him out like everyone else in her life.


11. Chapter 11

Nialls POV:

After mine and Connor's little 'encounter' I decided it'd be best to just lie down. Well, best for Ashley to lie down. I wrapped her up in my coat as I carried her up the stairs. Her eyes were still red from the crying she'd been doing, yet they still shined as bright as the stars. "Niall." She whispered. "If you're going to apologize, don't worry about it" I said, making my tone the same level as hers. "But I-" "Ashley." I said, looking deep into her eyes as she understood I wasn't going to let her apologize for my actions. "I- I um." She started but stopped herself as she hid her face in my shirt. I laid her on her bed, tucking her in whilst doing so. "I love you." She admitted softly. I knew how hard that was for her, to admit that she loves and not knowing if they'd return the gesture. I did though, I've showed her I love her, I hoped it showed in my actions at least. "I love you too." I lightly smiled, she let out the breath she had been holding in while she waited for my response. "Niall, um-" She started, I gave her my full attention. "What's his name?" Her words shocked me, I knew his name. His name was Connor. But I wasn't going to tell her that. If she found out his name, It'd give him an identity. If he has an identity, he means something to her, and I need him to be dead to her. I need him to be nothing to her. Not a fearful memory, not a heartless freak. Nothing. "I don't know," I hated lying to her but it was best for her. It was best. "His name is Connor, isn't it?" -Shit. A brief pause accord between her question and my reply. "How did you know..." I asked. "You cursed out his name under your breath when he touched me." She said as I sat next to her on the bed. "I didn't know you could hear me." I said quietly. "I can hear a lot." She finally brought me a smile. I grinned at her beauty and chuckled. "Why didn't you want me to know his name?" She asked. "You don't need to know his name, he's an irrelevant ass and he needs to fuck off." The tiny spark of anger in me started to glow. I hated being angry, I was hardly ever angry. But something about someone hurting Ashley just frustrated me. It's surprising how different I am with her, I'm protective, I'm jealous, as much as I don't show it. It's true. "I'm gonna go check on Amelia," I said, kissing Ash's forehead and walking out of the room. As I walked down the hall I started to think about Ashley, in other ways that I have before. I know I'm lusting over her and I hate it. I just want to kiss her all the time, I want her to feel safe. I don't want to push anything; last time I did that she ran off embarrassed. Lately, the closest I've gotten to a kiss has been on the forehead, I don't want to scare her off. Damn she's a tricky one. "Hey hun, you alright?" I opened the door to my bedroom where Amelia had been staying at the time. "Amelia?" I noticed her sitting by my piano. She was playing the most beautiful song, It was recognizable, It was memorizable. I knew that song. Not caring if she saw me, I started to sing the lyrics.

"Maybe you're lovable, and maybe your my snowflake."

I started, Amelia looked up at me and smiled, and then started to sing like an angel.

"Your eyes turn from green to grey in the winter I'll- Hold you in a cold place."

Her voice was soothing, so pure and quiet but strong and beautiful. The way her tiny fingers graced across the keyboard reminded me of Ashley's small hand resting on my chest. Beautifully.

"You should never cut your hair, 'cause I love the way you flick it off your shoulders.... And you will never know, just how beautiful you are to me."

We took turns sharing lines.

"Maybe I'm just in love, when you wake, me, up."

She smiled as she finished that last lyric. I returned the favor by smiling and giving her a reassuring wink. She laughed. "You're weird." She giggled, I frowned. "What?" We joked. "When you wink, it's weird." She nudged my arm playfully. "Ashley likes it though." She said, I smiled at her comment. "Really?" I could feel my cheeks heating up. "Yup." She smiled. "You have a real talent there, Amelia." I started, "Who taught you?" I asked, referring to the piano. "Um, I guess I just taught myself..." She mumbled, not truly knowing the answer. "Well you're really good." I smiled, her eyes flickered with proudness in herself as she looked up at me with the same eyes as her sister. "Dammit." I cursed. She frowned. "What?" She asked as I took the seat next to her on the piano. "I'm falling for your sister." I blurted out. She laughed. "No, duh." She mocked me. "What do I do, she's afraid of me." She noticed in my tone that I wasn't joking. She sighed. "Wanna know a secret?" She asked, I frowned and nodded. "When I was still in school... There was this boy-" She started. "I didn't tell Ashley because- well- she's not the biggest 'guy fan', if you know what I mean. Anyways... He was nice, sweet, caring. Like you. And- Well he asked me out. A-A-And I said yes, stupidly." I could tell the subject was sensitive so I tried comforting her by rubbing her back, she caught a hold of her words. "His name was Todd, and, well. Once we were all at the playground, and he started beating up on this kid who was much- much- MUCH smaller than him. I got worried. So I desperately tried to break them up but, nothing was working. So I figured Mr. Jules, our teacher, could help me. He did, getting Todd expelled and the other kid off the hook. Todd was- He was furious. No matter how sweet, caring, nice and trust worthy he was with me. His anger was outrageous- brutal- frightening, he wasn't just mad... But he was mad at me, for telling on him. He dragged me by my hair and pulled me by the back of the school... He said he wouldn't hurt me if I didn't deserve it, but according to him. I did." She was so calm when she told me this, she was so strong, it was surprising. "He ended up kneeing me in the stomach, causing me to cough up blood. I was too hurt to move. The bell rang and I stayed there curled up in a ball, watching him walk away as if everything was fine. I was stuck there for hours 'til I decided to clean myself up and jump the schoolyard fence, walking home by myself and never looking back." Her words hurt me. It made me furious that anybody would do something so cruel, rude and selfish. "Why didn't you tell anyone?" -Was my first of many questions. She sighed. "Todd was abused at home by his dad." I felt shock run through me as I didn't know what to say next. "I-I-I guess my point is, people do hurtful things due to their life at home, and I let Todd go because of that. Just be patient with her, she's fragile and soft. She won't open up to you unless she's comfortable. Which is the mistake our mom made, our mom trusted too many people with her life, with her love, with her kids. The fact that she trusted my dad with us was insane, he scared me but- He was still my dad." She wiped the tear forming in her eye. "Sh.. C'mere." She fell into my arms, finally being able to break down and cry. I knew behind all that strength and maturity there was a terrified 13 year old girl crying out for help. "It'll all be fine, okay? You don't have to worry anymore." I whispered, all I wanted to do was help Ashley and Amelia, something about Ashley makes my heart flutter and Amelia needs a brother figure in her life, and I prepared to be that. They both need to feel protected and though that's not my strong suit, for them, I'll try.

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