Four Years Later... (Sequel to 'Behind the Truth')

*Sequel to 'Behind the Truth'*

It's been 4 years. 4 years since I moved to New York. 4 years since I left my friends. It was difficult, but I planned to cope without them.

Ever wondered you could turn back the time and wished you were young again?

-

Carter Hanson hasn't seen her old friends in four years. She changed, they changed, everything changed.

Sometimes, Carter can't seem to take a break. Not even when she reunites with her old friends. And yes, her old friends are the world-famous boyband, One Direction.

Follow her journey to see how complicated her life is even when her friends are on her side. Secrets are meant to be hidden, but eventually will be revealed.

"Sometimes I have the luck that every girl wants, but not the life..."

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16. Feeling Better.

Harry's POV:

 

"Hey, isn't Carter suppose to be here? She's suppose to be meeting Taylor here any minute." I told Niall as I finished up my outfit for the date.

He shook his head, holding a bowlful of grapes. "Nope. Carter's parents are home and she can't get out."

I looked around the suite, noticing two people missing. "Where's Louis and Eleanor?"

Niall shrugged, "Don't know, mate. They just said they were going to be back soon." He popped a grape in his mouth. "Anyways, have fun on your date." He patted my back and walked passed me, joining Jasmine on the couch. 

Again, was something going on?

I felt something in myself that felt queasy. Maybe I was just hungry. Louis and Eleanor were probably outside together on a date or something. Should I call for a double date, just in case? I took out my phone from my pocket and dialed Louis number. No answer. I tried with Eleanor's phone, and she picked up on the third ring.

 

"Hello?"

 

"El? Are you with Louis?" I asked. I heard a few cracking noises from her line. 

 

Her voice sounded a little hollow and suspicious. "Um, yeah. I'm with him."

 

"Oh, great. Are you guys outside on a date or something?"

 

"...something." She said uneasily. "Lou, watch out!" What's going on?

 

"El? What's wrong?" I asked nervously.

 

She sighed, "I really can't talk now, Harry. Can we talk later?" I could've sworn I heard Louis say something about 'Carter' from her line. She shushed him and went back to the phone. "Anyways, I'll call you later. Bye!"

 

"Wait! Ele-" I was cut off by the dial tone. I quickly dialed Carter's phone number and heard it dial a few times. It answered, but I heard nothing but shuffle sounds. She must have accidentally accepted the call. The same crack noises from El's line was made. Was my cell service that bad?

 

"H-Hello?" I heard a strained, tired voice. Was that Carter?

"C-Carter?" The service began to break up again. I said it a little louder, but she didn't reply.

"H-Harry?"

 

The line went dead.

-

 

Carter's POV: (Flashback)

 

"Derek, where the heck are we going?!"  I finally asked him after 30 minutes of driving through the woods. I began to panic. I hated the woods. It was always dark and scary. It was my worst nightmare.

"Relax, babe. This is the shortcut to the restaurant." He rubbed my hand, and I shoved it away from him. "Don't be a wuss, babe. I'm with you."

"Derek, you better tell me where we're going or I will-" I was suddenly cut off by the door opening from my side. I yelped in fright and felt a hand push my back, my entire self landing on the cold hard ground.

"Good night, princess. I hope you learned your lesson about giving me attitude." Derek sneered evilly. I heard the car door close, and saw the car driving away. It was official; I was stranded, lost, and deserted.

 

-Present-

 

I'm cold, lost, and hungry. Stupid Derek. Why would he leave me here? I kicked a pebble across the path in the woods monotonously, shoving my hands in my pockets in search of my phone, but realized that there was no service in the woods after that small phone call with Harry. I sighed and sat on a tree stump nearby, knowing that I was going to be here for a long time.

But I had to do something, right? The woods scared me, and I didn't want anything or anyone eating me alive. If only I could have a miracle.

I stood up and straightened out my now dirty dress and messy hair. I continued to walk aimlessly around the woods, hoping to find someone to save me. Maybe even the clear streets where I could see most homes and cars. I stared at the sky above me, trying to figure out how people without maps can do this. I could barely even see the sky, so it was no use. Darkness over-swept the woods as I tried to keep warmth in my hands by rubbing them against each other. I was cold, starving and immensely lonely. The sound of the little birds chirping had now turned into crows squawking and soaring over me in the sky.

The night sky seemed to be getting darker and darker every second. A shiver crept up my back as I shivered slightly. The woods were silent for a mere couple of minutes until I heard sudden footsteps. My ears perked up as I gazed around my surroundings before realizing that I was still alone.

Then, I saw something. A light. Headlights! It was headlights!

 

Louis' POV:

 

Eleanor and I continued to search through the woods for a few more minutes, trying to look for Carter either walking around the woods trying to find her way out, or passed out from what Derek probably did to her. Either way, my goal was to kill him.

After the phone conversation between Harry and Eleanor, I found someone in the darkness of the woods. Could it be her?

I suddenly stopped the car, unbuckled my seat belt, and opened the car door. "CARTER!"

The figured turned around. It was Carter. "L-Louis?" She squinted. I ran over to her once I saw a smile forming to her lips. I hugged her tightly, feeling the chills on my back when she rested her cold hands on my shirt.

"Louis! Oh my gosh, Carter.." Eleanor suddenly rushed over to us, her tears forming in her eyes. "CARTER!" We pulled away and Carter smiled again. Eleanor hugged her tightly, sniffling away the tears. "Are you alright, Carter!?"

Carter sniffled, wiping her stray tear out of her cheeks. "I-I'm fine. I'm just so happy to see you! H-How did you find me?"

"We'll explain on the way. Right now, you'll be ill if you don't warm up." I gave her my jacket as we led her back to my car, driving home safely.

 

-

 

A few minutes after Eleanor found the way out the woods, we made our way back to the hotel. We couldn't take her home in this condition right now. Her parents would freak. Even worst, even freak when they find out she's been hanging out with us.

I looked at Carter, her lips were dry, her face was pale, and her hair was filled with dirt. She fell asleep a few minutes after we picked her up. I couldn't blame her for being so tired. She deserved the rest.

Once we arrived, Eleanor parked the car in the hotel parking lot as I checked my phone. I have got 20 missed calls from everyone upstairs, including Harry. I shoved my phone back in my pocket as Eleanor opened the door for me. I carried Carter all the way upstairs, getting ready for everyone's reaction as to what had happened.

Eleanor opened the door, and everyone started to crowd up on us to where we were all night in the late hour. After I came in, they gasped.

"Carter!?"

"Is that Carter?"

"What happened?!"

I set Carter down on the couch and went to get some heat packs in the kitchen to warm her up. She still hasn't awoken ever since the ride from the woods. I went back and stopped in my tracks when I saw Harry the only one sitting beside her.

"You heard?" I asked Harry from behind. He was stroking her hand comfortingly and nodded quietly.

"What happened? I called her, but the phone went dead." 

"I know." I pursed my lips. I wiped a warm towel on Carter's face, wiping off the dry blood on her forehead. Harry took the towel from my hands and offered to take over. "Let her rest. She had a long day." I stood up and joined the others to the conversation.

"...so we found Carter wandering around, looking really pale and lifeless." Eleanor finally finished, wiping away a tear from her cheek. I pulled her close, wrapping my arm around her waist.

"That's horrible." Louise looked back to Carter on the couch and left the group to check on her.

"Why would someone do that to her?" Zayn asked.

Eleanor sighed, "I don't think it's something I should say... Let Carter explain when she gets better." Everyone excused themselves, walking towards the couch.

"Will she wake up? Her parents will be worried than ever." Eleanor whispered in my ear.

I glanced at her, "Of course she will. She's just asleep. But Carter's parents are not important right now. What's important is her health. We'll just use Carter's phone and text them that she's sleeping over at Derek's house or something." I tried making up an excuse for her parents to accept, but what if they didn't want her to sleepover?

I went over to pick up her phone and checked all her contacts. I scrolled through numerous numbers until I noticed a friend's name. "Here, we'll say that she went to sleep over at this girl's house; Bella."

Eleanor exhaled, "Yeah, sure." She walked over to the couch where everyone else was, leaving me alone.

 

-

 

Carter's POV:

 

"Do you, Derek Jones, take Carter Hanson to be your lawfully wedded wife?" The priest asked. He held both my hands tightly, smiling maniacally at me. I looked at myself; I was wearing a white wedding dress with my hair curled and all my friends and family surrounding me and Derek, smiling maniacally as well.

Then, I see someone in a distance. Harry. He looked happy, almost ecstatic that I was getting married.

I squinted, getting a clearer view of what I just saw. It wasn't Harry. I blinked twice, seeing just my father with Bella. She smiled and waved at me. I looked back at Derek, who had already accepted the question that everyone says. "I do."

The priest turned to me. I felt my face boil in nervousness. "Do you, Carter Hanson, take Derek Jones to be your lawfully wedded husband?"

I gulped as I looked at everyone around me again. They all looked happy, but I didn't. I didn't want to marry Derek. It was all an arranged marriage for me for someone I didn't love. I didn't love Derek. In fact, I hated Derek. Everything he did to me, how can I love him?

What shocked me the most, was when I said the two words I regretted the most. "I do."

 

I shot my head up quickly, screaming. I breathed heavily, feeling sweat forming on my forehead. I wiped it with the back of my hand, looking around the room with a concern looking group of familiar people.

I panted, "Wha-Wha-" I couldn't find my words. Where was I?

"Sh, Carter. You're safe." Harry tried soothing me down. Harry. He was in my dream.. I stayed silent, trying to figure out exactly where I was. This wasn't a dream, right? I looked at myself. I was covered with bruises and dirt. "Are you alright?"

I suddenly found myself engulfing Harry into a tight hug. "I'm so glad to see you!" He was taken back when I hugged him, but he hugged back after a few seconds. I pulled away, "What happened to me?"

"Louis and Eleanor found you in the woods after Derek left you stranded there." Niall told me, taking a seat right beside me. He hugged me from the side. "I'm so glad you're alright, Carter. I was so worried."

"Oh," was all I said as I hugged him back. "Is that it? Where's Derek?"

"He's probably out kidnapping tons of girls and leaving them in the woods by now." Louis joked, sitting on the other side of me. "I'm kidding. He's probably trying to find the first aid kit after what had happened." He wrapped his arms around me.

I turned my seat to face him confusedly. Oh, now I remembered what happened. "Oh yeah..." I paused and looked at Louis. "Wait..What did you do to him?"

"Louis beat him up." Eleanor replied for him. "Louis got frustrated at him for treating you like that, especially leaving you stranded in the woods. It hurt him so much that he kind of beat him up."

I turned back to Louis. "Is this true?"

He nodded reassuringly. "It's true, Carter. Nobody does this to my friend. Especially my best friend. Eleanor and I couldn't bear to not have you here. I mean, we just saw each other again, right?"

"Thank you so much.. How am I so lucky to have friends like you?" I hugged him tightly. Then, I had a sudden thought, making me pull away. "Wait, how did you know I was out with Derek?"

He hesitated. "W-Well, I sort of-kind of.. overheard you had plans with him. I wanted to see if he was good enough to pass the boyfriend test." He shot me a look. "He failed, big time."

I chuckled, "You got that right." I flinched, feeling a sharp pain on my side. "Ow."

"You alright, Carter? No broken bones, right? If there is-"

"I'm fine, Lou. Just a little in pain, that's all." I strained, holding my side. "I think I should go, before my parents-"

Louise stopped me, "No! Carter! You can't go. You're still in pain."

"I have to, Louise. If I don't, they'll know something's up." I stoop up and slouched my way to the door, but felt a hand stop me by my wrist.

I turned around, "Harry? I need to go."

"You can't go. You're hurt. You need to stay here for the night. Text your parents and tell them Derek left you at a friend's house to sleep over for the night." He suggested with his pleading green eyes.

I looked over his shoulder with everyone agreeing with him to make me stay. I looked back at Harry and sighed, looking down. "Fine."

I sat back down on the couch, texting my mom that I was sleeping over at Bella's tonight after a long night with Derek. It took a few persuasions to get her to sleep over at Bella's, but she finally gave in, letting me stay. As long as I was safe and was coming back tomorrow after class, everything was fine. I put my phone down on the coffee table and smiled to let everyone know that it was okay for me to stay.

After a few moments of silence, I finally spoke up, "So do I sleep on the couch or-"

Louis cut me off, "Never! No guest of ours sleeps on the couch. Since everyone has someone to sleep with, you'll be with Harry. His bed is big enough for two."

Harry and I exchanged glances. I felt a little awkward about it, considering that Harry has a girlfriend and all. Plus, we were broken up, and that would just be plain weird. "Uh-"

"I'm fine with it." Harry said, making me feel a little bit more uncomfortable. He looked back at me, "You know we're just friends, right?"

I let out a smile, "Of course we are."

"Great, so you can borrow either one of the girl's pajamas, Carter." Louis told me. Louise suddenly pulled my hand, dragging me towards hers and Liam's room. She opened her suitcase and took out a bunch of her clothes to lend.

I gave her a look of surprise as she looked up at me, smiling. "I missed those days when we had our little sleepovers and dressed up. No offense to the others, but it wasn't the same without having you here."

I hugged her shoulders and smiled. "Aw, Louise.. I missed you too." I rested my head on her shoulders. "Remember what I told you before I left?" I felt her nod. "I said we would always be best friends. Nothing was going to break us apart. Not even long distances."

"Really?" She said softly.

This time, I nodded. "Of course." I looked down at her suitcase. "So, what should I wear?" I asked.

After a few minutes of cleaning up, it was getting later than  usual. I crept to Harry's room and saw him already asleep on half of his side of the bed. I didn't want to wake him, so I slowly grabbed a pillow from the bed and tip toed towards the couch outside.

Of course, I couldn't take a blanket from Harry's bed, so I used a random sweater hanging on the coat hanger instead. When I made myself comfy on the couch, I fell deep into sleep.

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