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.


12. Chapter 12

Ashley's POV:

"H-H-How long will you be?" I asked quietly as Niall slipped on his shoes to head off to the store, his mum had asked him to pick up some milk and he refused to let me go with him. I wasn't sure why though. "I won't be long, just stay here with Amelia." He suggested, trying not to sound too demanding. "Remind me why I can't go again?" He chuckled at my comment. "Do you really, really, REALLY wanna come?" He asked. I nodded happily. He laughed. "Alright then, go grab your shoes." He said, sending me upstairs. I felt like a little kid begging her father if he could take her to the candy store, the way he just sent me off was quite like a father figure. He doesn't see me as a child, does he? God, I hope not. The last thing I need is a boy thinking I'm a weak child, I'm not weak. I'm strong. Ugh. "You ready, Ash?" He hollered up for me, I didn't respond, instead answering him by walking out of the room and down the stairs. He smiled. "Let's go." "Wait-" I said, skipping into the living room as I kissed Amelia's head. "Be good for Mrs. Horan, okay?" I instructed. She nodded. "Okay." I then quickly dashed out of the room and out the door. "Watch your step..." Niall said, grabbing my hand as I noticed the broken step outside his front door. "Oh, Thanks." I skipped the step and walked toward his car, hoping in the passenger side as he shut the door for me. He jogged around the front of the car and climbed in the seat. On the way there, Niall filled the car with his beautiful, angel like voice as I just enjoyed his company. It wasn't until he locked eyes with my gaze when I realized that I had been staring at him, now recently that's been happening a lot, and I was never aware of it. I was always too deep in to thought to see the beautiful figure in front of me. He stopped singing. "You okay?" He asked. I smiled. "Yea," I wanted so badly to complement him on his voice, but then I figured that, I've already said something on the subject and I wouldn't wanna be a bore. So I kept quiet. "Niall?" I nearly whispered as I noticed us passing the grocery store. "Oh yea, um, I just gotta make a stop first." His tone frightened me. Where was he going? What did he need? Why did he have to lie to me? Questions like those boggled in my mind as my palms started to shake. "Ash, It's fine, I just want you to meet someone." He grabbed my hand in his, rubbing his thumb along the back of my hand. "Who?" I finally calmed down. He smiled, eyes still focused on the road. "He's nice, don't worry." Now that I realized it was a boy, I just hoped Niall wouldn't make me do most of the talking. I felt the car come to a stop as I lifted my gaze off my lap and out the window, realizing we had stopped at a small diner. I took a big gulp and then a deep breath. I knew it wasn't a big deal but, something about the fact that Niall had to keep it a secret scared me. "Ready?" He asked before leaving the car, I nodded and smiled. He returned the favor. I tugged on the handle and walked out of the car, I then noticed that Niall had attempted to walk around and let me out. A look of disappointment grew on his face as I suppose he wanted to help me out. Lately, he's been wanting to help me with everything, I hated help. When someone helps you, you owe them something. Though Niall has made it perfectly clear that he wants to help, there was just something in me that felt as if I shouldn't let him help me. Niall's reached out hand snapped me out of my daze, I grasped his hand, linking my fingers within his. I actually enjoyed this, just me and Niall. No worries, no problems. It was nice. His touch soothed me, completely forgetting about whoever this mystery "Friend" was. Me and Niall walked in the diner, being greeted by waitresses and waiters. I wasn't sure if it was because they knew Niall, or if they knew Niall's friend. "Harry!" Niall's suddenly loud tone made me jump. He squeezed my hand. "Sorry." I suppose he forgot that I'm not one to enjoy loud noises. "Niall!" I heard a voice call my blonde beauty. I looked up. The first thing I noticed from the male was his curls, his locks were so unique, I've never seen such hair like that. Second was his height, seems as if he was much taller than me. So was Niall, but, he was taller than Niall. Third and final thing was his lips, the way he moved them when he talked was interesting, when he smiled it was nearly a half smirk. I was attracted to his dimples that framed his mouth perfectly, facts like those ran through my mind as the giant figure came closer. "Hey man!" They shared a hug as I refused to let go of Nialls hand. Not because I was scared, just simply because I didn't want too. I guess I was stubborn in that way. "Hi." The one Niall called 'Harry' greeted me. "Hi." I said quietly. "Hm?" Harry leaned in, facing his ear toward me. "Oh, I said hi." I repeated myself, trying to be as loud as my tone would let me. "Quiet one ya got here, Niall." Harry chuckled. Niall just laughed along as the tall boy escorted us to his previous spot. "So darling, what's your name?" Harry's deep, husky voice startled me. "Ashley." I guess I was looking a bit uneasy due to Harry's sudden soothing tone. "You okay?" He asked. I smiled. "Oh yea, I-I'm fine." What was wrong with me? Harry was so nice and so kind, why was I so shaky? I had to cool down, maybe get some air or something. "Um can I go-" "Hi, I'm Amy and I'll be your waitress for the morning. Do y'all wanna start off with some drinks?" The busty woman interrupted my escape. "Hi, um, I'll just have a coffee, and he'll have a-" Harry locked eyes with Niall. "Just a water is fine." Niall answered him. "Alrighty, and you miss?" All three of them locked eyes with mine, I stuttered. "U-U-Uhm, just a water as well. Thank you." The woman leaned in. "I'm sorry, what was that?" "She said a water." Niall said a tad bit irritated. I squeezed his hand and thanked him. He nodded and winked, obviously causing a light shade of pink to appear softly on my cheeks, heating them whilst doing so. "So anyways," Harry started. "Niall, guess who I got in touch with the other day." Niall tilted his head and frowned. "I don't know, who?" He asked. "Steven." Harry said, Niall started to laugh. "No way!" Both of their tones got louder by the second. "Yea!" "Man that guy is the bomb!" "Isn't he though?!?!" I started to get uncomfortable, not that I didn't completely adore Niall but- It was a bit awkward. "I'm gonna go call Amelia; see if she's okay..." I finally found an excuse. Niall said 'Alright' and slid out of the booth, allowing me to climb out. On my way out of the diner, something made me look back at Niall. Still not sure what, but something. I turned my head back, glancing at Niall who's eyes were locked on me, making sure I left safely. Being under his gaze made me feel safe, it made me feel secure. 'Be safe.' Niall mouthed to me along with a wink. I smiled. 'I will, you too.' I mouthed with hand gestures. He laughed and turned his head back to his conversation, I giggled. The power this boy has over me is insane.


Niall's POV:

The power this girl has over me is insane. "She's a cutie." Harry said, I laughed. "Yea, she really is." I agreed, turning my focus back to him. "She's older, no?" He asked. "No, she's our age." I said. He frowned. "No kidding? She seems so much more mature." I didn't like the way he was saying that. "How is that?" I asked. "Not sure, anyways-" "How is she mature?" I asked, not letting him change the subject. "Uh..." He stuttered. I sighed, calming myself. "Never mind." I suppose I was just over reacting, Harry's a great lad. He's not like that. "Does she gotta boyfriend?" He asked. I nearly spilt my drink at the question. "Shit." I mumbled, catching the cup in my hand. "Um-" What was I going to say? She was, technically single... I mean, I guess. She wasn't mine, and I guess I'm not hers. It's not exclusive but- Then again. "Does she?" Harry snapped me out of my thought. "Oh, uh. No. I-I-I guess not." I stuttered, Harry's eyes were locked out the window at Ashley who stood beautifully, hair flowing through the wind, eyes lighting up the world, that perfect smile stretching from ear to ear. Why the hell would Harry think she's older? She's mature yes but- I'm just afraid he's looking at her differently. More like a hot piece of ass rather than a mature beauty. "Give her my number, will ya?" Harry said, handing me a napkin with his number on it. I frowned. "Um."  His phone started to ring as he mumbled cuss words. "I gotta go, It was sooo great seeing ya, bud. I'll text ya!" He hugged me and left. I left a few bucks on the table before heading out not too far behind Harry. I then looked out the window and saw Harry talking to Ashley. They shared a laugh and then a hug, I felt my fists tense up as his giant hands wrapped around her body. Dammit.


Ashley's POV:

"Niall.." I said, watching him walk out of the diner. "Hey." He seemed pretty normal but something was off. "You were right, he was nice." I said, trying to get him not to worry about me. "Yea." I saw a small piece of paper sticking out of his pocket, I frowned and tilted my head. "What's that?" I asked. He looked down, pulling it out and staring at it. "Um-" He nearly whispered. "Harry told me to give you his number..." He said quietly, he looked as frightened as me. "Oh." -Was all I could get out of my mouth. "You guys should go out sometime." I frowned. "What??" My tone got a little loud. "Yea, I mean. You're both single, you're both fun. You should call him." He handed me the paper. I was furious. I suppose all of that stuff we said, all of that stuff we shared; mean't absolutely nothing to him. Nothing at all. Guess I'm nothing to him. Fine, if he thinks I should call him. Then maybe I just will. Damn him. How dare he lead me on like that and then just throw me to the side like a piece of trash? God damn him. "Fine, I suppose I might as well. Ya know, since I'm single." I snatched it out of his hand. "Yea." He huffed. I crossed my arms and walked to the car. The car ride was silent, quiet, no music, no singing, no joy. I-I-It didn't feel right. Being mad at Niall didn't feel right but- I had to stay strong. He's an ass and I-I just can't... I can't let him have that power over me. Not anymore.

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