Two Steps Forward

One day, Tessa takes her younger sister, Mary, to a One Direction signing with her boyfriend, Kyle, for Mary’s birthday. When they are there, he doesn’t like how the group of boys talked and look at her- he ends up taking it out on Tessa. There, Niall Horan sees Kyle start to push Tessa around. Niall hates it when he see this type of thing, so he steps into help her out. No girl should be treated like that, he thinks. A whole new chapter starts for Tessa when the Irish boy defends her. What will happen?

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5. Chapter 4

Tessa's POV

The brisk morning air bit at my face while I walked to the bakery. It felt good compared to my stuffy flat. I continued to walk down the sidewalk with no one on until I was at the doors to my job.

Since I wasn't supposed to be in until later, the door was locked. Mrs. Gibbs gave me a key to open up shop when I pleased.

Mrs. Gibbs was asleep still, and none of the other bakers were here. I didn't have to bake anything today. I was just working behind the counter. Usually I wouldn't have time to clean up the place, and seeing how everyone else was going to be in the kitchen, I took it to myself to make the front of the shop look good.

It was nearly seven o'clock when I finished everything that should get done. That means the chalkboards were wiped down and rewritten, the floors were swept, and the counters were washed. These were daily events that someone would have to do everyday, but I also did more. Scrubbing floors was one thing.

Tony, an old Italian man came in around ten minutes after I did. He was in the back making the things that took the longest. I never knew when he would get here because he was always so quiet. Mrs. Gibbs never knew he would be here either.

So, when I made a clash from a tin dropping on the ground. In came Mrs. Gibbs, broom in her hand- ready for attack. My eyes widened.

"Bloody hell, Mrs. Gibbs. You could've killed me!" I said in a posh accent.

She scoffed. "What on earth are you doing up at this hour! Did you catch a cold last night?"

I rolled my eyes. She knew how hard it was for me to get up from my slumber; she was always kidding with me about it.

"I just couldn't stay at the flat for long." I lied to Mrs. Gibbs. "Marry had to leave earlier with a friend."

I gave her a weak smile and picked up the tin the sat in front of my feet. I put it on the shelf that I intended to put on the first time.

"Well, you look famished my dear. I'll go make you a cup of tea, and then you can tell me the real reason you came at this hour." With that, the old lady wobbled away. I let out a chuckle when I heard her mumbling profanities.

~

"Kyle left Mary and I," I told my boss while sipping on my tea. "I-I mean Kyle left me. I guess I was too much for him to handle."

The old lady sighed. "That still does not explain why you are here."

I continued to sip on my tea, thinking if I should tell her why I left my flat so early. Mrs. Gibbs was like my grams to me. I decide on telling her.

"I can't look at Mary and wonder how I am going to get through this for her. There's no lying that Kyle helped out a lot," I admitted this. Mrs. Gibbs looks at me with pity and I shook my head at her. "Please, wipe the pity from your eyes."

We continued to talk up until it was time to open up the bakery. Mrs. Gibbs told me how her grand kids were coming to visit her soon and how delightful they were. They were. I met them once; the small kids grew up well mannered. She also kept promising me to not worry much on food, that she would be able to help out with that. I was grateful for her help.

Right now, I was putting away the fresh bake goods into the show cases while I put yesterday's things in boxes for reduced prices. The things from days before would then be taken to the children's home a few blocks down. I usually took them there during my lunch break. It was always a delight to see smiles put on kids faces when I came in.

When I was on the last tray, the door's bell rang, giving my a signal that someone has came in. I look up to see a friendly face- a familiar face at that too.

"Good morning, Zayn," I smiled. "I'll be with you in a minute." I quickly placed the pastries in the case, a talent I picked up for the time I spent here. I wiped my hands on a rag looked up at the dark haired boy. He had patience written on his face as worry. I frowned. "What's up?" I knew the answer, but I want to ignore the fact that I did.

"Can I get some of the sweets you chose from the last time?" He had his hands in his pockets as Zayn walked forward.

I nodded at him. "Same amount?"

He shook his head. "Best double it." I grabbed two boxes and started to fill them up. "Uh, how are you?" This was the question I was dreading to answer. For some reason, I knew if I tried to lie, Zayn would just see right through it.

"I'll live," I said to him and placed his order on top of the counter.

He nodded, not pushing me. "How much?"

I gave him a big smile. "It's on me." He looked as though he was going to protest, but I cut him off before a word could come out. "You guys were amazing to my sister and I yesterday, there is no way I am allowing you to pay."

"Then at least let me do a favor for you." He replied. I bit my lip thinking of something that would be beneficial to me. An idea popped up in my head.

"This is just an idea, but I'm going to bring these," I pointed to some boxes on the counter, "to the Childern's House down the street, would you come with me. I'm sure that they would love to see you." A smiled formed on my face when I thought of the kids jumping with glee seeing the boys.

"I'm supposed to meet Niall and Harry for brunch," Zayn admitted to me. I frowned and looked down at my hands. I wasn't sad that I wasn't able to spend time with Zayn- not that I don't enjoy his company- I just think that those kids deserve to have a chance to meet the boys. They were great guys, and it would've been amazing to see the reactions.

I look back up at him before speaking. "Oh, I understand. Have a good day, Zayn."

"Oh no, I'll come!" He assured me. The corners of my mouth turned into a grin. "I just have to cancel the brunch and, uh, ask if the guys want to come."

I ran around the counter and wrapped my arms around Zayn's torso. He stiffened, most likely taken aback from my sudden happiness, but he ended up wrapping his arms around me too.

"Thank you! You don't know how much this will mean to them, Zayn."

The hug ended and Zayn chuckled a bit at me. "It's not a big deal."

I nodded. "Well, I have to go tell Mrs. Gibbs that I am going now. I'll be right back."

With that, I left him in the front of the shop while I went to tell my boss that I was going to go drop of the sweets to the kids. Her office was in the back of the building next to the kitchen. She always told me that she likes it there because it was calming to hear the clattering of cooking utensils.

I knocked on the wooden door to let her know that I was approaching her. Mrs. Gibbs looked up from her paperwork.

"I'm going to take the extras to the kids now," I told her.

A smile slipped on her face. "With that boy?"

I nodded. "That was the plan. He said he'd invite the rest of his band mates too."

"I like him," she said and I gave her a 'don't go there' look. My boss has been doing this ever since I brought Kyle in one day to the bakery. Then whenever she would meet a friend that would be a guy, she would tell me how I would be so much better off with him. Even though she thinks all guys are trouble makers.

"Take your time, dear. Today is going to be slow." I smiled at her and left her alone. 

Zayn was still standing out front, but he was slowly chewing on a Chelsea Bun that he bought. He stood, looking at a wall that was filled with pictures. They were a bunch of memories Mrs. Gibbs thought were important enough to let everyone glance at while they were here. I smiled at one of her teaching me how to bake something new. The picture was taken secretly, but I don't care, it was a good picture. 

"Ready?" Zayn asked. 

I grabbed multiple bags that held different treats. "Yeah, you?" He nodded while walking towards the door, still chewing on a delicacy. 

The breeze wasn't as bad as it was this morning. The sun was shining and to be honest, felt good on my skin. 

"Do you want to get a ride there?" I asked. "We could just walk there because it's not even two blocks." 

Any other day I would appreciate a ride from anyone, but today is different. The warm sun made me want to stand outside all day. It was nice to be able to feel the warmth. 

"That's cool, we can walk," he said. "I, uh, am going to put these in the car first." Zayn gestures toward the two boxes he held in his hands before walking over to a black car.

When he came over to me, I started to walk in the direction needed to get to our destination. At first he seemed a little hesitant. Zayn looked around to see if anyone was around. Most likely because of the people that would want to take numerous pictures of him and the fans. The walk isn't far, so we shouldn't have to worry. 

The bags in my hands were long gone. Zayn took them from me, being the gentlman he is. There was no conversation going on, but that didn't make the atmosphere uncomfortable. Zayn was a very chill guy; he would be someone I would hang out with all the time. 

"So, my sister's everyday rants, I know you are dating the famous Perrie," I smirked at him and wiggled my brows. A light chuckle escaped his lips and he smiled. "Tell me about her. I know you're probably a whipped bastard, but try to keep the mush to a minimal." 

This time Zayn full on laughed and I couldn't help to join him. 

"Well, um, I love everything about her- is that to mushy?" I looked over to him and gave him warning look.

"You're pushing it, but you're good." 

The love-struck man continued. "Anyways, I'm able to go to her for anything and she is so understanding." I looked over to the boy with awe. Just that simple sentence showed more emotion in his eyes than any other gesture could. 

I knew that look- Kyle used to look at me like that. Recently though, when we were together, I didn't see the same adoration in his eyes like Zayn showed for Perrie. It took 'til now to realize that we should have been done a long time ago, but I was too naive to take notice. 

Remembering I wasn't the only walking, I snapped my attention back to Zayn. "You are whipped, man." I playfully punched his arm with a smile. "Don't worry, I won't tease you." 

The conversation ended with him rolling his eyes. We walked the rest of the way to the Children's House. None of the others were there yet, so Zayn and I decided to wait for them outside. It didn't take long either for the rest of them to arrive. 

"I'm going! I'm go- Louis, stop pusing!" Liam, the brown haired and eye boy yelled while getting out of the Land Rover. I smiled at them, finding myself amused by the who situation. 

"Hurry up," Louis whined. 

I chuckled and whispered under my breath tho Zayn: "Louis does know if he wanted to get out faster, he should've went out his own door, right?" Zayn barked with laughter. 

Eventually the other four were by us and had small smiles on their faces. 

"Hey, you have purple in your hair again." 

I gave Niall, the boy who said this, a blank look. "Really?" Everyone chuckled and once Niall realized what he said, joined in too. "Anyways, we should get going, but just a warning, this place is a tear jerker." 

With that I opened the heavy door with the assistance of Niall. The Children's House was well taken care of. Beautiful pictures were painted on the walls of animals, flowers, and anything else happy. There wasn't a front desk in this place, so I just led group of boys to where the kids usually were at this time, the dinning area. 

When we entered, kids were sitting at low tables eating lunch while the others were in line waiting for food. There was about twenty children chatting with droopy faces, making my happy mood go out the nearest window. They sat in their chair in tethered clothes. Clean clothes, but worn down to nothing. 

I let out a sigh. 

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