Get Me Back

**Sequel to Hanging On (A.K.A. read Hanging On first)** It's now six months after the eight month tour begins and Katie can't help but feel her relationship with Louis falling apart. When she discovers the secret he'd been trying to hide from her, she's devastated; how could she ever trust again, especially after the one who promised to never hurt her went against his word? As Katie tries to build herself back up, a new set of arms help pick her back up, showing her something she hasn't felt for a long time. Katie finds herself in a troubling situation, especially when the truth is ultimately revealed to her. Will she try and rebuild what she once had, or will she embrace the new future presenting itself to her?


17. Chapter Seventeen

    Everything that happened next was a complete blur. I remember Louis throwing me behind him and lunging at Toby, his fists drawn. I saw them both land on the ground in slow motion, my hands covering my mouth in horror. I didn’t know what to do; I was frozen. Words couldn’t form from my mouth. I could hear the string of curses and profanities coming from Louis as he beat Toby senseless. I watched in terrified awe as he fought for me, calling Toby every foul name in the book. It made me wonder how much Louis really did care for me, how different he was from Toby, Jace, and even Harry. Here he was fighting the man I once called my lover, my best friend. I finally came to my senses and ran towards them, desperately trying to grasp Louis’ relentless arm.

    “Louis, that’s enough now. He’s had enough, Louis.” His bloody fist finally came between my two hands, calming his furious actions. I knelt beside him, gently pressing my lips to each of his fingers. “Louis, come inside.”

    He finally looked over at me, the crazed look leaving his eyes. “Katie…I don’t know what came over me.” I kept comforting him, trying to show him it was okay. “I’m so sorry I did that.”

    “Louis, help me get him inside so we can clean him up.” Louis looked up at me sharply, confusion in his eyes. “Louis, we can’t leave him half beaten to death in the hallway. Come on, let’s get him up.” We each took an arm, hoisting him to his feet and half dragging him through my door. We set him on the sofa and I rushed to the kitchen for a wet rag. I returned and began to dab the drying blood off of Toby’s face. His eyes opened lazily to meet mine.

    “Babe, it’s you.” I rolled my eyes, still not believing he was actually alive. His personality hadn’t changed a bit, but his features were definitely different. I couldn’t understand how he’d still be here after what had happened. “Babe, talk to me,” Toby coaxed.

    “She doesn’t have a bloody thing to say to you!” Louis snapped. I turned to glare at him, meeting his cold eyes. He looked away but kept his tensed posture, ready to strike at any given moment.

    “She doesn’t have to speak, she just has to listen,” Toby answered with an amused expression. “Babe what’s wrong?”

    “You; you’re what’s wrong,” I spit back, trying not to increase the pressure of my dabbing. He made me so angry. “Where the hell did you come from, the graveyard?” I could feel Toby’s eyes on me, watching me carefully. I continued. “Almost two years now that you’ve been ‘dead’ and not even a letter,” I joked darkly. I stormed into the kitchen and braced myself against the sink.

    “It’s not what you think, Katie. Just let me explain okay?” Toby walked closer to me, Louis in hot pursuit. “You don’t really think I’d just abandon you, do you?”

    “That’s exactly what you did!” I yelled, turning to face him. “You left me alone when I needed you so desperately and you let me drown! Why would you do that?” I’d finally done it; I’d snapped.

    “You don’t understand I needed to do it! I needed to give myself a clean slate,” Toby explained.

    “What kind of a clean slate did you need exactly? One where I don’t exist either? Was I the problem?”

    “My career was tanking, the people were beginning to resent me and I needed a way to escape-“

    “So you just leave?! How the hell did you manage that?” We were both screaming at this point.

    “Management planned the whole thing to get me off the grid! I was home free until you decided to go mental on everyone!” Toby shot back. It was like a slap to the face, only infuriating me further.

    “You did that to me you bastard!” I yelled. I allowed my fist to swing wildly out in front of me, connecting with his jaw. “You did that to me! It was your fault!” I felt Louis pin my arms behind me, restraining me. “You’re the only one to blame for everything I did and said after you ‘died’.”

    Toby ran his fingers through his scraggly hair. “Do you have any idea what I went through? I couldn’t even see you in secret. I had to keep quiet and hide in an abandoned apartment until the whole thing blew over. I changed my whole entire image just so I could live in peace. I had to give up everything including my friends and family. More importantly, I had to give you up.”

    “Oh, that’s a load of bullshit,” I spat. “No matter what I say to you, no matter how I word it or how many times I say it, you will never fully begin to even comprehend any idea of the absolute hell I was put through because of your decision. No one will ever understand what I went through or what I’m still going through. I thought you were dead, Toby. DEAD. The night before our wedding? How could you do that to me? To us? I trusted you to take care of me when I needed someone the most, when I was completely alone with no one to take care of me. I trusted you with every part of my being and you ruined me. I was destroyed because of you. I will never be fixed because of what you did.” I felt tears running down my face as Louis slowly pulled me against him. “I’ll never forgive you for what you did to me, Toby.”

    “I know that Katie. But we can still be together right?” Louis and I both looked up at him.

    “Are you insane?” Louis asked. “You cannot be serious about that.”

    “I’m completely serious. Now that I’m back, Katie and I can get married like we’d always planned. Isn’t that right Katie?”

    I shook my head. “I can’t…Toby, no. I don’t…”

    “You don’t what?” Toby pushed.

    “Back off, mate,” Louis warned.

    “I don’t love you anymore, Toby. I…I love Louis,” I answered. I felt Louis’ arms tense around my waist, pulling me ever so slightly closer against him. This action comforted me, further confirming my decision.

    “Him? You love some guy from a British boy band?” Toby scoffed.

    “Louis was there for me when you weren’t. He picked me back up and made me strong again. He understands me like no one else, not even you. The things we have are things that you and I never had and never will have. You’re crazy if you think I’d ever go back to you.”

    “But you will, Katie. That’s why we’re in love and we’ll always be together. Remember the promise we made?” Toby smiled, reaching out for me. “Now stop playing around and let’s go.”

    “I’m not leaving, Toby.” I started to feel uneasy. I knew he could get possessive, but I wasn’t quite sure how far he’d take it. “You need to get out.”

    “Katie, don’t make me come over there and get you,” Toby warned, his eyes going dark. “Let’s go now.”

    “You heard her the first time. Get out of here before I personally see you out.” Louis loosened his hold and stepped in front of me, shielding me with his body. Toby shook his head, a crazed laugh leaving him. I shuddered at the noise.

    “I’ll be back to visit you soon, babe. Don’t you worry, I’ll come back to take care of you.” Toby blew me a kiss and walked out of the apartment, taking one last look at me. When the door shut behind him, I heaved a sigh of relief and rested against the counter. I let the full realization finally hit me: Toby was alive, he was back, and he wanted me. I buried my face in my hands and let myself cry.

    “Katie, it’s okay I won’t let him hurt you.” Louis pulled my into him, rubbing his hands up and down my back in comfort.

    “What the hell is going on?” I asked.

    “I have no idea, love. All I know is that I’m never leaving you, and that’s a promise.”

    “You said that the first time.” He didn’t answer for a while.

    “Do you trust me Katie?”

    “Yes.” I answered without hesitation. He’d more than proved himself.

    “Do you love me?”

    I waited a moment before answering him. “I love you, Louis.” He pulled away, going down on his knee. I watched in amazement as he pulled out a ring from his pocket, taking my left hand.

    “Will you marry me, Katie?”

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