These Bruises

"Que sera, you'll never guess who I saw."
~
I was loved. I was hurt. That was repeated when I left you. But there are two other people who I love. As a single mom with two little kids in California, my life got better. It was six years. Six years since I last saw you. Six years since those little talks. Now you can see that these bruises that I've been hiding for those six long years mean. (Second book in Little Talks duology)

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46. Shatter me

~Britta POV~

I wait.

And wait.

And wait.

I know that they will be here. I just know it.

Suddenly, I hear footsteps grow closer and closer. It isn't coming from the direction of where Charlie and Justin's rooms are and it's definitely not Justin because I can here him having corny time with someone. Unless he's with himself. Okay, get your mind out of the gutter, Carter. 

I can hear the tumble on the lock turn and the doorknob twists. 

The door opens and I pull my knees to my chest.

My prayers from the last week have been answered.

Zayn, Liam, and Louis are standing in the doorway looking at me. I stand up slowly and tears are pouring out of my eyes. They aren't the tears I've shed over the week of pain and torture. They were happy tears and tears of joy and relief. "Guys." I squeak out.

"Britta." says Zayn. He walk over to me and I am engulfed in his arms. I feel protected now. "I missed you so so much." He whispers into my ear. 

I can't respond because of my tears choking up my ability to speak.

"They hurt me, Zayn." I whisper. "Multiple times. It still hurts so much." I cry into his shirt.

"And no offense, but you smell." Louis says while plugging his nose. I chuckle a bit. I miss his humor.

"Is everyone back at the house?" I ask and they nod.

"Well, except for Rachel and Elizabeth. They're still at the hospital. Liz told me to tell you that she wants you to be the godmother of Clary." Liam states.

Me. A godmother.

"Alright, let's get you out of that towel and maybe lather up some deodorant and get out of this hell hole." Louis says tossing me a tank top, short, a bra, and underwear. I feel so blessed to finally wear clothes after a week of not wearing any. I'm handed deodorant and I lather up like I'm a person who just discovered deodorant. They also brought dry shampoo!

Once I'm freshened up after like an hour we walk out of the room I was held in, but I hear no noise from Justin's room or the snoring from Charlie's room.

Then I felt something grab my arms from behind.

It was Justin.

Liam punches him square in the face and he stumbles back releasing his grip on me. Zayn grabs my hand and yells, "Run!"

And we run.

Down the stairs and out the house.

Into the woods.

But we got lost.

"Where are we?!" I yell. This is not good. Not good at all.

"I don't know!" Louis answers freaking out.

"Can't you call anyone?!" I ask pacing around worried.

"There's no cell service out here!" Zayn answers shaking his phone like he wants to murder it. "It's hopeless! We're done!"

I'm about to cry. "Please don't give up! Please!"

"I'm afraid that's too late for that." I hear Charlie's voice as I feel something against my head.

A gun.

I choke up. I can't speak. I might die.

Charlie walks around me with the gun still on my head and pulls out another gun.

He points it at Zayn's chest.

"No!" I yell.

"Say another word and I will, missy." He snaps at me.

Justin comes out of nowhere with a bruise on his chin and pulls out two guns, pointing them at Louis' and Liam's back.

"You three thought you all were so clever to get involved with the police to track down Britta, eventually find her, and rescue her without being recognized by us? Well, think again." Justin snickers and I'm choking on tears.

"We might have that hungover feeling now, but we are still smarter than you all. Now that we have all four of you here, say goodbye." Charlie says pushing the gun harder against my head.

I'm crying harder. This is it. I'm going to die.

"I love you guys." I say to Louis, Liam, and Zayn. "Especially you, Zayn." I look at him through my tears. "I love you so fucking much Zayn Malik."

He looks at me in my eyes, seeing the fear in me. I can see the fear in his eyes. Same with Liam and Louis. But I'm focused on Zayn.

"I love you so much, Britta Carter." He says grabbing my hand tightly.

I close my eyes and prepare for the end.

I hear the chamber being loaded.

I draw in one final breath.

He pulls the trigger.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don't feel any sharp pain to my head.

I don't feel anything falling out of my head.

I do feel the gun leave my head.

I hear Charlie curse out loud.

"They're filled with blanks!" He yells. I open my eyes and we are still in the woods. Or did we die? No we didn't!

I turn my head to see Charlie and Justin discussing the blank-filled guns because all four guns were filled with them.

"We're alive!" Louis exclaims catching his breath.

"Not yet we are." I state shaking. "We're still in their custody."

I hear Justin say, "How did this fucking happen?!"

That's when I hear a feminine voice out of nowhere reply, "It was me."

I turn my head to the noise and I see a woman with blonde hair braided to the side, brown eyes, and she wore a blue jacket with a white cami underneath, khaki pants, and black sneakers.

"It's you." Charlie says in awe. "You've returned. What are you doing here?" He goes over to the woman and grabs her shoulders firmly.

"Well, Charlie," the woman says with a small smirk, "I'm here to arrest you and your friend." The woman pulls out a gun and she's out of the grip of Charlie. "Both of you, down on your knees with your hands behind your heads!" She yells.

Justin and Charlie are flabbergasted, but they abide slowly and more police officers appear out of the woods with their guns at ready.

Now I remember.

That's Kristen Gregory the intern.

She walks behind the two and put them in handcuffs saying, "Justin Rickard and Charles Lunt, you are under arrest for kidnapping, sexual assault, and attempt murder. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do will be held against you in the court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you..." She says the Miranda Rights as the two are pulled up and escorted out of the forest.

I want to run to the guys and embrace them, but then I feel someone touch my shoulder. I whip around and I see an old colleague. My brother-in-law.

"Zach Patson." I smile.

"Britta Carter." He hugs me. It hurts but I don't care. "We need to get you to a hospital to be checked out, but before we could do that we have to question you." Oh god. Something I'm not ready for.

We are all escorted out of the forest, and the area is surrounded in police tape cutting off the area. News reporters are everywhere, and a helicopter is flying above. I did not know my case would be all across the state of Florida.

"She's alive!" I hear someone shout as I'm led to an ambulance and a shock blanket is set around me. As I'm being asked a bunch of questions, I hear my name. I look up and see my parents and Katie running towards me. Once they reach me, I stand up and they hug me so tightly. They were crying, as was I.

"We were the only people allowed passed the tapes." Dad cries. "Everyone else is back on the other side. But oh my fucking god my little girl!"

I can't respond because I'm crying too much. As they are rambling to me, I cut them out and look at one person that's in clear view on my left.

Zayn.

"Hold on, guys." I say and walk over to him.

He was being questioned at the moment too. But his was short because once I got over, the officer left. "Hey." I say.

"Hey."

"Thanks for saving me back there."

"I don't know what life would be like without you."

"You have Perrie."

"We divorced. She knows I still love you, and she understands. The papers were finalized yesterday. She keeps the child when it's born, but I can visit."

"Wait really?!"

"Yeah. Which means I have one question for you."

"If you are going to propose to me, I think it would be best not to."

"I'm not. I was wondering...want to go out to eat later?"

"Sure."

After I said that I kissed him. I didn't care that there were people all around us.

I just want this moment.

I can't wait for the future.

A future with Zayn.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but the next chapter will be the epilogue. The final chapter. I can't believe after two years of writing Little Talks and These Bruises, Britta Carter's story comes to an end.

The only thing I know about the epilogue is that I will be crying so much while writing it it won't be funny.

So anyways, thanks for reading. Be on the lookout for the epilogue!!!

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