Stronger

Layne Carter has had a difficult past two years. After the death of her father and her mother leaving, she is left to raise her 11 year old sister. What happens when Layne comes in contact with the boy of her dreams?

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10. Ten

I woke up in the middle of the night and stepped out on to the balcony to smoke. I couldn't go back to sleep. There was too much on my mind. I lit the end of my cigarette and sat down in a chair over looking the water. I unlocked my phone to see that I had another missed call from that number. I locked my phone again not letting the thought cross my mind.

I needed a minute to think about where my life was going. This time next year I would be in university studying fashion, hoping to have my own line. Michelle would be here in Doncaster and I would be in London. Louis would be on tour, and I would be alone. I looked down at the ring that was still on my finger. It was a promise that I would never be alone, not when I was with Louis. 

I took the ring off of my finger and looked at the inside of it. Louis had our names engraved into it. Louis and Layne.

I walked back into the hotel room and crawled back into the bed trying not to wake Louis. I kissed him on the cheek and fell back asleep.

~~~~

When I woke up Louis was gone. I looked at the time on my phone to see that it was 2:04 pm. Had I really slept that late? I had a text message from Louis.

Ran out to go do a few things. Didn't want to wake you since you were up last night (; I'll be back around 4 to get you so you should probably start getting ready now, love. -Lou

I hopped into a warm bath that I had run. I needed a stress relief. I soaked in the water for a bit until I had to get up. I got out of the tub, did my hair and makeup, and went into the room to get dressed. I pulled out the skater skirt and burgundy sweater that Louis had bought me. I put all my stuff into my new Burberry bag and called Louis.

"Where are you?" I asked.

"I'm walking up to the room now," He said.

"I'll just meet you in the lobby," I said.

I walked down into the lobby where Louis was sitting on a couch signing autographs for the fans that were with him. He gave them all hugs before we went out to the car. Louis grabbed my hand and looked me in the eyes.

"I'm gonna take you somewhere I use to go as a kid," He said, "We can relax before we have to go to dinner with the fam."

"Where are we going?" I asked.

"It's a surprise."

We drove down a long dirt road until we reached a pond. There was a picnic blanket with flowers all around it laying on the ground. There was a basket sitting on the blanket. Louis parked the car and jumped out grabbing two blankets that were in the trunk of the car, along with pillows. We sat down on the blanket and opened up the basket. Louis pulled out two glasses and a bottle of white wine. He poured us both some wine into the glass. He took a sip of the wine as did I. It was phenomenal. 

He wrapped his arm around me and kissed me on the cheek. I leaned my head on his shoulder. It was freezing outside. I got under the blanket and curled up in Louis' arms. I was interrupted by the buzzing of my phone. It was the strange number again. I answered the phone to hear a familiar voice. A voice I never wanted to hear again.

"Layne Frances Carter," She snarled, "Where are you?"

"Why should you care mom?" I snarled back at her, "I think you are forgetting about the part where you left me and Michelle."

With that Louis sat up and put his arm back around me. I could feel tears building up in my eyes. Her voice cut like knives into me. The pain was still too real. I never wanted to talk to her again after what had happened. 

"You didn't answer me. You aren't home. Where are you?" She snarled again.

"I'm out of town with Michelle," I said.

"Who are you with?"

"I'm with my boyfriend. Now why don't you fuck off," I said hanging up the phone.

I couldn't hold back the tears anymore. They came streaming down my face at once. Louis wiped my eyes and kissed me.

"Don't cry," He whispered, "Don't cry. Don't worry about her. You're with me and everything is okay."

"No Lou. Nothing is okay. I can't do this anymore. I was forced to raise my sister and I missed out on a lot because of it. I didn't want to grow up so fast," I cried.

"I know," Louis said stroking my hair, "Everything will be okay."

With that Louis and I got back into the car and drove back to his house. When we arrived there were many cars in the driveway. Louis didn't tell me there was going to be more family here. We walked inside to see all of the food ready. Everyone was sitting around waiting on us to arrive.

"Sorry we're late. Something came up," Louis said.

"No excus-" Johannah said.

"We'll talk about it later mom," He said kissing her on the cheek.

Louis took me over and introduced me to his grandpa. He gave me a big hug as he could see I had been crying. My face was still puffy. We went through the line and got our dinner. I sat down at the same place I sat for dinner last night. Michelle sat in the family room again with Lou's sisters.

This dinner wasn't like the dinner last night at all. Louis' grandparents kept staring at me awkwardly. They didn't speak the whole dinner. I helped Johannah clean the kitchen once again before everyone said their goodbyes. I said goodbye to Louis' grandpa but he didn't respond. He looked at me and walked out the front door. What was that about?

 

Louis POV

I saw Layne sit down on the couch with my sisters. I figured now would be a good time to talk to my mom about what had happened. I pulled her into the back bedroom and sat down on the bed.

"It's Layne's mom," I said, "She called her and was yelling at her about her not being home or something."

"That's why we were late. We were down at the lake and that's when it happened. I just tried to calm her down and lost track of time," I said.

"I'm so sorry Louis. I had no idea," she said, "I'm gonna go talk to her."

She got up from the bed and walked into the living room. She grabbed Layne's hand and pulled her into the kitchen. I stood by the door eaves dropping on the conversation. 

"I'm sorry I said something about you and Lou being late," my mom said, "Louis told me what happened."

Layne pulled my mom into a hug and cried on her shoulder. I didn't want to interrupt the moment. I would just talk to her tonight back at the hotel.

 

Layne's POV

I didn't know what to do. I pulled Johannah into a hug and cried on her shoulder. I felt like I was broken into a million pieces. I felt like no one in Louis' family like me besides Johannah. I didn't even think Mark liked me. All of the stress was piling on my shoulders from my mom to worrying about my future. 

Louis and I got into the car and walked out to the car and drove back to the hotel for the night. The ride back was silent. I didn't have anything to say right now. I was at a loss for words. I didn't know how much longer I could take this. Only one more year and it would only be me to worry about. I wouldn't have to play the mother role anymore. 

I changed into my Jack Wills t-shirt and yoga shorts and crawled into the bed. I turned on my side away from Louis. I wasn't in the mood to talk. I just wanted to be left alone. Louis wrapped his arms around me and laid beside me. I felt his phone vibrate. 

"Hello," He said, "Oh, hello."

"What is it?" He asked, "I can't do that. You see I'm happy right now. I can't do that."

"That isn't true at all. I'm not doing it, end of discussion." He said hanging up the phone.

With that I turned around and looked him in the eyes, "What was that all about?"

"It's not a big deal. Don't fucking worry about it," He said walking out to the balcony.

Why was he being such an asshole to me. I got out of bed and slipped on my Jack Wills slippers. I walked out of the room without Louis knowing a thing. I walked down to the hotel bar and took a seat. The bartender looked over at me, "Get me a shot of jack," I said.

A tall boy with bright green eyes came and sat down beside me. He had long blonde hair. 

"Hi," I said.

"I'm Connor," he said.

"I'm Layne," I said.

"I know who you are. The girlfriend of Louis," He said.

"Yep. Everyone seems to know that," I said laughing.

I took down the shot of jack and put the glass back and asked for another. The pain was slowly starting to go away with every shot I took. I stopped on number 4 and asked for a cosmo.

"So what brings you here to this shitty town?" I asked trying not to slur my words.

"I was here visiting a friend," He said, "Do you live here?"

"Nope. I live in London," I said. 

"I do too!" He said laughing. 

We continued to talk for about an hour. That's when my phone rang. It was Louis.

"What?" I asked hatefully.

"Where are you?" He asked. He sounded upset.

"Don't fucking worry about it. Remember that?" I said hanging up the phone. I was in no mood to talk. Chances are I wouldn't remember this in the morning anyway.

"It was great talking to you," I said, "I have to go back to the room."

"Here let me give you my number. Call me if you want to talk or need anything, okay?"

He scribbled down his number on a napkin and handed it to me: Connor Andrews 343-345-5654.

I flashed him a drunken smile and went back to the room. When I opened the door, Louis was sitting on the bed with tears in his eyes. I stumbled across the room and fell onto the bed. He jumped up and helped me get into the bed.

"Layne, what's wrong with you?" He asked. 

"Everything is wrong with me. What isn't wrong with me should be the question," I said.

"You're drunk," He said, "Where the hell have you been?"

"I was down at the bar. Chill out."

Tears fell from his eyes. He got up and walked into the bathroom. Was I really hurting him this much? Did something else happen? He came back from the bathroom and sat down on the bed facing away from me. Now I can feel how much I hurt him by doing the same thing to him earlier. I sat up and wrapped my arms around his shoulders. 

"I'm sorry Louis," I said.

"No you aren't. You're just drunk. You don't know what you're saying," He snarled.

"I beg your pardon. I think I'm capable of knowing when to apologize. I meant it, I guess you're just too childish to accept it."

I crawled back under the covers and went to sleep. I dreamed of the first day we met. Everything was the exact same. It was perfect. It wasn't like the hell I just witnessed. I loved Louis with all my heart and I truly did feel terrible for taking all of my problems out on him. He had fault in this too. It wasn't just me. 

I woke up the next morning to see Louis sitting up in the bed texting someone. I didn't ask any questions. I just got up and went to the bathroom. I brushed my teeth and pulled my hair into a top knot. I returned back to the bedroom and sat back in the bed. I wasn't going anywhere today. 

"Louis. I'm sorry," I said. 

He didn't respond. I felt the tears building up in my eyes. 

"Louis. I'm sorry," I said again.

"Why wouldn't you talk to me? You just shut me out." He said without looking at me.

"I didn't want to talk last night. I'll talk to you now," I said, "But you shut me out too when I asked you about who called."

"Then lets start talking. What the fuck happened?" 

"I was upset about my family situation. Your family doesn't like me. And now I feel like you don't," I said.

"What are you talking about?" He asked.

"Your grandpa doesn't like me. He wouldn't say a word to me," I said crying, "What did I do? Why doesn't he like me."

Louis gulped. He closed his eyes and bit his lip, "He thinks you are like my last girlfriend Caroline Daniels. He thinks you are just using me and he thinks you are totally wrong for me."

Those words cut me like a knife. I didn't know what to say. I put my face into my hands and cried. Louis did nothing to comfort me. I heard his phone ring. He stepped out on to the balcony again. The curtains were closed. I walked up to the door and put my ear onto it, trying to hear the conversation. 

"Come get me now. We can go to our spot," He said, "Thanks for being there. I love you."

I ran back to the bed and sat back down before he walked back into the room. He sat his phone down on the dresser and walked into the bathroom. I heard the shower water cut on. I grabbed his phone off of the dresser and went to his calls. The last phone call was an outgoing call to a name I didn't want to see. Caroline Daniels.

 

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