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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42. Ready or Not.


Carter's POV:

 

"Zayn." I called out for him after my phone call with my parents. "ZAYN." I yelled out again. I walked downstairs to the living room, seeing another note on the table. I skimmed through, seeing that Zayn and Perrie went on their date and the rest of the girls went to go do something with their management. I guess I'm alone again.

I scratched my head as I looked around the empty house. I started to wonder what in the world should an 18 year old teen should do in a giant mansion that is owned by a member of the world's famous boy band. 

Nope, nothing.

 

-

 

An hour later, I found myself making a mess in the kitchen as I attempted to bake a few cupcakes when the girls and Zayn come back home. So far, I exceeded in baking three good cupcakes. The rest ended up in the garbage.

"Ugh." I moaned annoyingly. I threw the last burnt pan into the trash and took off my oven mitts, throwing it on the counter. I took a minute to cool myself off from the stress of baking. I just wasn't good at it.

Just then, the doorbell rung. I stood up from the chair and wondered who in the world would that be. It was probably the girls. I rushed towards the door and unlocked it open. 

 

I must be hallucinating.

 

"What are you doing here?" I asked shockingly. I kind of felt the urge to slam the door in his face, but I knew that would be extremely rude. 

Niall just stood there. "I usually come here when I feel like I should be alone. Plus it's hidden from fans and paps." He paused and looked at me with confusing eyes. "It must be fate to bump into you here. I didn't know you were staying here."

I was still in pure shock. "I-uh.."

"Can I come in?" He asked awkwardly. I just stood there, without moving until he let himself in with his hands in his pockets. I slowly shut the door and stuffed my hands in my back jean pocket. "Wow, it's been long since I've been here. Still looks the same."

"Yeah." I just agreed. "D-Did you want to be alone? I-I could leave you-"

He shook his head, cutting me off. "It's fine. Now that I know you're here, I don't really feel the mood to be alone." He walked to the kitchen, observing the mess I made. He furrowed his eyebrows at the burning scent. "Did you attempt to bake?"

I shook my head at first, but gave in and nodded. "Noo....--yeah."

"Why don't I help you?" Niall suggested. He grabbed an apron and tied it around his waist. I crossed my arms and watched him as he tried to clean up the mess before he started to bake. 

"I thought you only eat the goods, not make them." I told him as I chuckled a bit. He simply shrugged and went on to collect all the baking stuff out of the cabinets.

 

-

 

I found myself helping Niall bake as our first batch of cupcakes went into the oven. To be honest, Niall was pretty good at making things. Turns out you had to fill the pan halfway so it won't overflow when it's in the oven. How dumb was I.

As I stirred the next batch of cookies, Niall was already rolling the dough to shape the cookies. He used cookie cutters to cut them into fun shapes such as hearts, squares, and all that stuff. He glanced at me as he rolled onto the dough and I glanced back, smiling. "You got a little..." I pointed at my nose to guide him.

He followed my hands to his face to wipe off the flour on his nose. He wiped the wrong spot, making me giggle. "Where?!" He questioned frantically as he touched his face.

I went closer to him and grabbed a rag, wiping the correct spot of flour off his face. "There." I said, as I felt his eyes staring at me. "That's better."

"Thanks." He whispered. I continued to wipe some more flour spots off his face as I stared into his blue eyes. Those were such a turn on to me. 

I felt him grab my wrist to stop me from wiping his face. I guess I was too caught up in the moment to stop. When realization suddenly hit me, I turned away and went back into the batter. From the corner of my eye, I saw him still in the same position probably with a hurt look on his face. 

 

-

 

I was sitting on the back porch overlooking the view of the ocean as the wind blew in my face. I started to strum a few chords on Zayn's guitar that I found hanging on the rack. I thought I would try to remember what I learned from Harry a long time ago. But I couldn't remember.

"Hey." I heard a knock. I turned around to see Niall leaning on the door frame before grabbing a chair, sitting right in front of me. 

"Hey. Sorry, but I thought you left." I gave the guitar to him, watching him strum a few chords. 

He shook his head, pursing his lips. "Nah. I thought I would stay and hang out for a bit longer. We don't have rehearsals anyways, so.."

I let out a small chuckle, "Heh. Well, how have you been?"

He shrugged, "Alright. I guess." He strummed again. "Do you play?"

I sighed and ran my fingers through my hair. "A little, I guess. Harry taught me a long time ago, but I barely even remember."

He stiffened up when I mentioned 'Harry' which made me regret using his name. Then, he started to clear his throat and strum to a familiar song. At first, I was a little confused, but when I realized what he was doing, I went along with it.

 

"Well, you dawned on me and you bet I felt it
I tried to be chill but you're so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks
Now I'm trying to get back

Before the cool dawn run out
I'll be giving it my bestest
And nothing's gonna stop me but divine intervention.
I reckon, it's again my turn
To win some or learn some.

But I won't hesitate
No more, no more.
It cannot wait,
I'm yours."

 

He nodded at me, "Come on, sing with me." He suggested. I shyly shook my head to deny his offer, but he continued to plead to me until I finally gave into the next verse on time. 

 

"Well, open up your mind and see like me,
Open up your plans and damn you're free.
Look into your heart and you'll find love, love, love, love.
Listen to the music of the moment, people dance and sing, we're just one big family
And it's our God-forsaken right to be loved, loved, loved, loved, loved

So I won't hesitate
No more, no more.
It cannot wait,
I'm sure.
There's no need to complicate.
Our time is short.
This is our fate,
I'm yours.

Do you want to come on, scootch on over closer, dear
And I will nibble your ear

I've been spending way too long checking my tongue in the mirror
And bending over backwards just to try to see it clearer
But my breath fogged up the glass
And so I drew a new face and I laughed.

I guess what I'll be saying is there ain't no better reason
To rid yourself of vanities and just go with the seasons.
It's what we aim to do.
Our name is our virtue.

But I won't hesitate
No more, no more.
It cannot wait,
I'm yours."

 

I looked at him as he finished strumming the last note. He chuckled, "You're amazing." He moved the guitar out of the way as he put it back on the rack. I fidgeted with my fingers until I heard the sound of the door slam and Zayn yelling, "WE'RE HOME."

I stood up immediately and walked towards the front door, followed shortly by Niall. Zayn froze when he saw him, almost thinking the same thing I thought when Niall first found me. "Uh.." 

"Hi..Zayn." Niall said awkwardly.

"Niall." Zayn retorted, staring at me confusedly. "Care to explain?"

I looked down, then looked back up. "Niall came here because he knew that you had an LA home. Apparently, I-I guess you told him before. He said he usually comes here when he wants to be alone and stuff. He found it lucky that he found me here."

Zayn nodded. "Oh, sorry about that. I didn't think he'd remember."

"No problem." I chuckled dryly. "So, now that we're all here.. Why don't we just hang out?" I suggested slowly. 

They all nodded and agreed in response as I grabbed Perrie, Leigh-Anne, Jesy, and Jade away from the boys and into our rooms to change into our swimsuits.

 

-

 

Zayn's POV:

 

I led Niall into my room and he immediately welcomed himself onto my bed. I shut the door behind me, hoping the girls wouldn't hear us when I wanted to speak to Niall privately. "Okay, Niall. What's the real reason why you came here?" I crossed my arms, not believing anything that Carter thought he was here for.

"When I realized you were missing too, I did some research. I remember you telling me a few years ago that you bought a house here so you could stay away from paps and stuff." He shrugged, "I guess I got lucky."

"Why didn't you tell on us then?" I asked.

"Because I wanted to make sure. I would go there first, then if I didn't see, I would say anything. But now that I have..." He trailed off.

"...you're going to tell them where we are now?" I finished for him. "Look, Carter needs space. She doesn't need everyone all up on her back. She has enough problems of her own and she doesn't need any -- " 

He stood up and stopped me. "Whoa, I didn't say I was going to tell everyone. You're right. I know she needs space, and I'm going to give it to her. I mean, I'm slightly sad that she chose you to stay by her side when she needed space, but if that's what makes her happy, then so be it."

I loosened up a bit and uncrossed my arms. "Thanks mate. You're a good friend to her." I told him. "But are you going to keep coming here now that you know?"

I shook my head, "Maybe when I'm bored. But that won't be every day. Jasmine has all these kind of places she wants to tour with me."

"About that.." I started, resting my hand on his shoulder. "What is going on? I never really got the full story from you. I've heard Carter's. Let's hear yours." I ordered, pulling up a chair as I sat down, watching him sigh.

He started to babble about how he realized he sort of fancies Carter the day we met her again. Which was known as the day we tricked her into coming to meet 'Ed Sheeran'. "When the door swung open... and I saw her looking so beautiful and grown-up... I don't know. I just felt myself getting all nervous. Not because we tricked her... Y'know, butterflies."

I just nodded as he continued to tell the story. He mentioned the time he took her out to really meet Ed Sheeran. He told me when Carter was so happy she met him that she literally caught him off guard with a tackle, thanking Niall that he brought her there and things started to get tense when they fell on the ground and almost kissed. Then the day when we did the Color Run, then the beach, and then we he took her to dinner after the beach without all of us. Finally, he mentioned that part when we went to Ed Sheeran's concert and got mobbed by fans on our way out. He found Carter talking to some girls and then managed to walked home together. That time, he told me that he actually kissed her. 

"That's when I felt the real butterflies in my stomach when I kissed her. It was like... fireworks." He dreamily explained after talking nonstop for 15 minutes. 

"Well, what about Jasmine?" I asked.

He looked at me and shrugged. "Jasmine's kiss is.. passionate. But not as magical as Carter's."

"Are you sure about that?" I questioned. Gosh, I seriously felt like I was a therapist. "Kisses can mean anything. I mean, it's suppose to be what your heart tells you, not your stomach. And your mind too."

He was silent for a while before answering, "Wow, I-I never really thought about that..."

I stood up and sighed, realizing what Niall should do. "Okay, normally I would totally be against this, but for one last time.. I need you to make a move on Carter and try to kiss her. Make sure you feel what's really happening to your heart when you kiss her. Then, compare it to Jasmine's."

"But, what if she pulls away when I lean in?" He asks nervously.

I put my hands on my hips as I licked my lips. "I'll create some kind of accident to make her lean into you. We're going into the pool right now, so maybe I'll just 'bump' into her while she's talking to you or something and you guys crash into each other."

He nodded, "Okay... I-I guess that can work. But I didn't bring any swim trunks." I walked over to my dresser and picked our a black swim trunk for him to borrow. I threw it at him as he walked to the bathroom to change.

 

-

 

As we made our way to the outdoor pool, Niall and I saw that the girls were already inside the pool, laughing, giggling, and talking as the music was softly playing in the background. It was getting dark, and I could already see the stars starting to appear in the sky. It was the perfect time to swim under the stars.

I slowly let my legs go into the pool before I fully jumped in the pool, letting the water go over my shoulders. I swam over to Perrie, who was sitting by the edge with Leigh-Anne. Carter, Jesy, and Jade were swimming around the pool, laughing as they splashed each other in the faces. I quickly joined in, jumping in between them, creating a massive splash.

"Oh my gosh! ZAYN." Jesy whined, wiping her face. "You just splashed us even more!"

When I came back to the surface, I shook my head to get the water off my face and laughed maniacally. "Oops," was all I said. I could already hear Leigh-Anne and Perrie laughing at us from a distance.

"That's not funny, Zayn!" Jade scolded in defeat. Carter, Jesy, and Jade started to pile up on me, splashing me with their combined strengths of water, almost making me drown. I laughed as Perrie and Leigh-Anne started to join in. 

A while later after the girls finally stopped splashing me for revenge, I noticed that Carter and Niall were on the other end of the pool, talking and laughing together. Niall was leaning by the corner while Carter was right in front of him just nodding and listening as he spoke. I thought it was the perfect time to accidentally bump into Carter. 

"Hey girls, why don't you continue to splash me?" I suggested. They were confused at first, before I pointed my head at Niall and Carter. 

"OHH..," they said in unison. They continued to splash me even more as I backed away, almost making it to Carter and Niall.

"Oh my gosh!" Carter squealed suddenly when the splash made it to them. Niall laughed as the water came closer and closer to them. I backed away, suddenly feeling my back to Carter, bumping into her.

When the girls stopped splashing and I turned around, I saw that the plan was what we expected to happen.

 

They were kissing.

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