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.


13. Chapter 13

Ashley's POV:

What did I get myself into? I don't wanna go on this date. Dammit. I shouldn't have called Harry, I was just so mad at Niall. The fact that he said he cared about me and he said he loved me, then he goes and says I'm single?! He said I was fucking single! Before I could change my mind, the doorbell rang. I took a deep breath. From the five seconds I actually talked to Harry, he was pretty nice. Maybe it won't be too bad. The outfit I was wearing screamed uncomfortable, I decided to just go with a pair of jeans and a cute top that I made myself. I just took my old shirt and snipped a little here and there, making it actually pretty cool. "Ashley!" Niall annoyingly called for me, ever since the other day, me and Niall haven't been really talking lately and I feel like its affecting Amelia. She's usually so cheerful but suddenly, she's all mopey and what-not. I took a quick look at myself in the mirror and then brushed my hair back. I sighed. "It'll be fine." -I kept telling myself. "It'll be fine." I repeated again. Once I was calm I walked down the steps and awkwardly waved to Harry who looked fine as ever. He was a pretty attractive guy, though I saw nothing in him whatsoever. "You look great." Harry's comment made me smile, I suppose. "Thanks." I bluntly replied. I looked back at Niall who was bright red. I frowned, showing him my concern in his anger. He nodded, giving me an 'I'll be fine' look. I sighed. "Have fun." Niall said, walking away to the living room to mope. I rolled my eyes. "Ready, darling?" Harry's smooth talk impressed me. "Sure." I said, walking out the door. As I took the first step I noticed my foot slipping, desperately trying to keep my balance, I foolishly collapsed. I reached out for Harry's arm but he was much to far ahead for my small arms to grasp. "Woah there," He said, finally giving me a second look. "Sorry." I apologized. "What?" He asked, I rolled my eyes. "I said sorry." I repeated myself, trying not to sound too annoyed. "Oh, it's okay." -Now why did that bother me? Why was I bothered by that comment? Maybe it was because I was so used to Niall telling me not to apologize that I assumed everyone was that kind. But I guess I was wrong. "You good?" He asked as I fixed my shoe. "Yea." I said loudly, I didn't want to have to be repeating myself through this whole date. God, now wouldn't THAT be annoying.


Niall's POV:

She just left. She just went with him. She didn't say bye, she didn't say no. She looked actually... Happy. I don't know why I assumed she'd say no and stay with me. I'm not Harry. Not at all. Harry's normal. Maybe that's what she needs though; a little normal in her life. I sat on the couch, trying desperately not to call or text Harry. I should just let him be. But I can't not text Ashley, I had to keep her safe. Even with one of my great pals, ya never know what could happen. Rushing to the kitchen I grabbed my phone on the table and started to type. 

"Hey, text me when you get to the restaurant. Xx -N"

 I waited eagerly for her reply, I just hoped she stayed safe. That's all I wanted.

"I will..."

Her reply was blunt, it was obvious she was still mad at me. Though my actions weren't mean't to come across like they did, it was a complete misunderstanding.

"I miss you ."

My phone buzzed, I frowned at the text. Was this from Ashley? I glanced up at the caller ID and noticed it was still her, I smiled.

"I know . I'm sorry, I miss you too." I replied.

"Harrys loud."

I started to laugh at that one, nearly falling on the floor. She was so cute, damn I wish I was there. I shouldn't have let her go. It was clear she wished that I was in Harry's place. I wished it as well. This sucks.


Ashley's POV:

The car ride was quiet, I suppose it must've been awkward for him as well. After a little while I started to feel bad, about the way I was ignoring Harry and whatnot. "Wanna listen to some music?" I asked. "Sure." He grinned, placing his palm on the nob as he turned up the volume. I was staring out the window 'til I noticed the deep, quiet, husky tone of the male in the drivers side began to sing. I smiled and turned toward him. His voice was really beautiful, it was nice, pretty. He was good, great in fact. "You are a really good singer." I smiled, he turned toward me. "Thanks." He chuckled. After a few minutes crawled by, I noticed us pulling into a restaurant. I pulled on the handle of Harry's car and stepped out slowly, grabbing my shoulder bag whilst doing so. "Ready?" He asked, I smiled. "Yup." I couldn't help but feel a bit uncomfortable when he tried grasping my hand. I let him link his fingers between mine. Maybe if I knew where his hands were I wouldn't worry about where they might travel to.

***At the table***

"And you miss?" The woman asked. "Just a water, thank you." -I said, trying to be loud enough. The girl frowned. "I'm sorry, what?" She leaned in. "I said just a water, thank you." I started to get irritated with this, it was like everyone was deaf or something. "Sorry 'bout that." Harry apologized. "It's okay, don't worry about it. So, um, tell me about yourself?" I tried to get to know him. "Uh... There's not much to tell." He wasn't very into himself, anytime I tried to talk about him, he'd just turn it back around on me. As if he was hiding something, and that scared me. "That's cool..." I awkwardly faded out of the subject.

***After Dinner***

The night wasn't going as smooth as I thought, so I figured it might be nice to take a walk. Harry agreed. We walked a good amount until I realized we had been sharing a laugh. It was nice to have a friend; I don't have many of those. Harry wasn't so 'in to me' as a girlfriend, but he definitely showed that he enjoyed my company. "So, you and Niall huh?" His question was blurted out from his mouth. "What???" My tone became louder. "I'm not stupid, Ashley. I know you guys are a thing." He said, though it didn't seem as if he knew, I suppose he did. "Then why did you ask me out tonight?" I asked. "Well I didn't know in the beginning, but now I know." I smiled at him. "Yea... I guess we are something." I felt my cheeks heating up. "Well aren't you just as cute as a button." He chuckled, I giggled. "Man, I can't remember the last time I made a girl blush... Ya know, like how Niall makes you blush." I frowned. "Well, I'm sure she's out there. Your future girl." "I've always been chasin' the wrong ones though." His british accent spilled from his curved lips. I stopped in my tracks. Harry faced toward me as I ran my fingers through his hair; something Niall taught me in order to calm someone. "It'll be fine, okay?" I reassured him, he smiled. "Thanks." We continued walking until I noticed the walkway got darker and colder. The people got ruder and bigger. Thugs traded crack along our sides, the walkway leading to nothing but darkness. I clung to Harry's shirt, just wishing and hoping I'd be fine. I looked up at Harry who was unfazed by the obvious change in scenery. "Harry.." I whispered. He couldn't hear me. I took a deep breath to calm myself as shivers ran through my body. "Harry." I said louder. "You're alright, darling. This is a shortcut to my car." He said as I noticed we just made a circle. "But Harry-" "What?" His irritated tone angered me. I was scared as hell and he dare gets pissy with me? I let go of his arm. "Nothing." I said, shoving my hands in my pockets. "Maybe we should just turn around." I suggested, he frowned. "No, we're almost here." Something about Harry's tone wasn't as soothing as Nialls. Not trying to compare the two males but- Niall was just more trust worthy, I loved that about him. "I'm gonna call Niall." I said with no hesitation. "Why?" Harry asked. "Because..." I honestly didn't know why. I just felt safer with Niall, even if he wasn't here, at least I could hear his voice. Maybe he could calm me. "Sorry." I apologized to Harry as I dialed Niall's number. "It's okay." Our tense angered turned into calm, pitiful smiles. The phone started to ring.


"Ash? You guys alright?"

"I-I-I don't know, I mean yes but. Um, I'm just a little nervous."

"Why? What's wrong?"

"No, Niall we're fine its jus-"
"Put Harry on the phone please."

"No, Niall trust m-"
"Ashley, put Harry on the phone"

I sighed and did as I was asked. "He wants to talk to you." I adored Nialls caring side but- I hated feeling weak. I was fine, I was just a little nervous. That's all.

Harry's POV:
Ashley handed me the phone and said Niall wanted to talk to me.

"Uh hello?"
"Hey man, um, look she's scared."
"What? Now she's not, she seems perfectly fine-"
"I know she seems fine, but, as much as she hates to admit it. She's scared."
"Oh... Sorry man, I didn't know."
"Its fine, but just wrap your-"
He chocked up.

"....Just wrap your arm around her and brush her hair back. It'll make her feel safe."
I felt bad for being in the position that Niall was clearly meant for but- there wasn't anything I could do about it now.

"You sure?"
"Yea, thanks man."
"No problem, I'll have her home by 10."

Then he hung up. I gave Ashley her phone back and then stood there quietly. I started studying every one of her actions, the way her fingers shivered in her pockets, her whole body trembling with every step she took, her feet nearly tripping over each other as she struggled to keep calm. I'm such an idiot, why couldn't I see how frighten she was before? Man. I slid closer to her freezing cold body and slowly slid my arm over her shoulder, she jumped at my movement but then got comfortable in my chest. "I'm scared." She admitted, I sighed. "I know, I'm sorry." I apologized. I tried plugging her ears to block out all the guys yelling things like 'Hey 'lil mama' or 'Nice piece of ass, babe' but- nothing was working. I then thought for a minute and pulled out my phone, plugging in my headphones to keep out the sound. "Put these in." I instructed. She took them in her hand and shoved the earphones in her ears. "Thanks." She whispered, I was now getting used to her quiet tone. "Anytime." I watched her close her eyes as I walked her down the sidewalk. Finally getting to our destination, I opened the door for Ashley as she hoped in the front, I climbed in not to long after. "Who is this?" Ashley asked, referring to the music that played on my phone. I chuckled. "Guess." I said, she brought a smile to her lips. "Is this Niall?" She asked, I smirked. "Yes." "That's so cool." She looked delighted. "I can give ya his CD if you want." I suggested, it was the only way I could repay her for putting up with me being such an idiot tonight. She nodded. "Yes please," I laughed, reaching down by my feet and pulling out his disk. "Thank you so much!" She said excitingly quiet. "No need to thank me." Ashley decided to keep the headphones in the whole ride home. Words can't describe how bad I felt. Taking her out, leading her down a bad street, not realizing she was scared. "Thank you, Harry. I actually had a pretty good time." She smiled as we stood outside Niall's house, I grinned. "Me too." She gave me a light hug and then started walking up the stairs. Niall opened the door before she reached the first step. "Watch your step." He reached out his hand, supporting her in every way he could. "Thanks." She blushed under his gaze. Watching the two interact made me smile. Niall was much different with her, he was so much more involved and concerned. Don't get me wrong, Niall's a caring guy its just- with Ashley, he's different. Much different.

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