I’m pacing around the hotel suite, looking at the room door nervously every minute or so. Zayn and Louis are lazily strewn on the couch, keeping their eyes on the television. Liam and Harry haven’t left Harry’s room since Sophie’s and Niall’s departure.
“Are you going to keep doing that until they arrive?” Zayn huffs, shooting me a quick glance. “You’re worsening my headache.”
I ignore him.
“Anne sit down,” he repeats a little more harshly.
“Quit looking at me if it annoys you so much,” I retort. “And your headache wouldn’t be a problem if you hadn’t been drinking like an imbecile last night,” I add.
“Anne could you please take a seat? It’s irritating to say the least,” Louis sighs, his tone shifting to a warning one. I huff loudly.
The door opens just as I’m about to take a seat. My eyes grow big as I take in the pair’s appearance: disheveled hair, drenched clothes and melancholic features. Without saying anything or even glancing in our direction, the both of them go their own way: Niall heads to his room and Sophie aims for the bathroom.
“Do you think they―?”
“I’m positive they did,” Zayn chuckles, cutting Louis off. “Rain can become a very arousing element... Am I right Anne?” he smirks, winking in my direction.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I retort, rolling my eyes.
“Want me to refresh your memories then?” Zayn’s tone isn’t playful anymore. I pretend that I’m thinking about my answer.
“I think I’ll pass.”
He bounds towards me so quickly my heart skips a beat in surprise. His body is towering over mine, his eyes piercing.
“Darling, if you think your sassy remarks are cute well you’re dead wrong,” he mumbles menacingly. I push him away but his hands grab my wrists. “Your attitude is annoying as fuck right now. I suggest you change it before I do something too rash,” he threatens, his face inches from mine. “Which makes me think...I didn’t even get a birthday gift from you last night,” he remarks.
“Louis I don’t want to hear it,” the darker boy snaps.
“You do know that the way to a girl’s heart isn’t by her panties right?” I tell Zayn, looking up at him fearlessly.
“And why would you even think that I’m aiming for your heart sweetheart?” he mocks.
“Because you wish to be cared for. Now that Perrie is out of the picture, you feel as if something is missing,” I continue. “And because you know that Sophie and I could never love you, you decide to claim another type of love. The physical type. It’s better than nothing anyways, huh?”
“You’re rambling nonsense Anne,” he shakes his head, but I know my words had the desired effect. I know he’s replaying what I’ve said in his head.
Zayn pulls away, frowning at me.
“Louis,” he says suddenly. A smirk draws itself on his lips.
“How do you feel about Anne?”
I blink, not understanding.
“What do you mean?” Louis responds slowly, looking between Zayn and I cautiously.
“I’m beginning to doubt on whose side you’re on. We’ve all noticed your feelings for her have grown, but I’m particularly curious of their extent. Say she’d run away... Would you let her go and report us or would you chase her down and keep her to yourself?”
“I’d chase her down,” he answers. His eyes meet mine. I know he’s lying. He has to be. Has to play his cards right if he’s to help me get away.
“You positive about that?”
“Then I want you to prove it.”
I inhale shakily.
“If you think it’s going to change something―”
“I believe it will,” Zayn cuts off dryly. “We need to know where everybody stands. All of us. Niall! Harry! Liam! Sophie!” he calls out through the suite. Liam and Harry step out of the bedroom after a couple seconds or so, frowning. Niall and Sophie also appear, dry clothes on their bodies and interrogation marks on their faces. The four of them place themselves randomly around Louis, Zayn and I, but no one takes a seat on the couches.
“Zayn I have no idea what sick game you’re playing―”
“I’m just going to make sure things are clear for everyone alright? That way, there aren’t going to be any slip-ups, or anything that could fuck up our careers,” he says, looking at everybody before dropping his gaze on me. “You. You’ve been nothing but trouble since you set foot in our tour bus.”
“It’s not my fault Niall dragged me into it!” I protest. “Because I wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for him!” I feel bad for throwing Niall under the bus like that, but at the same time, I feel as if he should be guilty, At least a little.
“But you’re responsible for your actions. So as far as I’m concerned, if you hadn’t gone searching for the drugs your father asked, you wouldn’t be here either.”
“Shut it. Harry,” he turns his steely gaze to the younger boy. “You haven’t been cautious at all with Sophie. I might’ve been drunk last night, but I can recall very clearly the two of you snogging your heads off at the bar. No doubt others noticed the pair of you. People are going to start putting the pieces together and then we’ll get questions. Unnecessary questions.”
Harry doesn’t say anything. He nods curtly.
“Zayn I know you’re pissed right now―”
“Louis be patient, I’ll get ‘round to your case,” Zayn silences the Doncaster boy. “Niall. I know you can’t help your mood swings but come on. Are you purposefully trying to tear the band apart? This triangle between you, Harry and Soph... It's got to stop.”
I clench my fists, and I notice Niall doing the same. But the blonde doesn’t say anything. He drops his shoulders in shame after barely five seconds.
“Sophie. You’ve been testing limits. I don’t know if you’ve realized it, but you’re slowly destroying Harry, Niall, yourself and even your sister.”
“What do you even mean!? Are you even hearing yourself Zayn?!” I state, standing up. Liam forces me back down on the couch. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I’m seeing everyone acknowledging Zayn’s remarks without a single protest. “What the actual fuck is wrong with you guys?! He’s toying with your weak points and you know it!” I state angrily, looking at all of them. “You’re just going to stand there and agree with all of this?!” I gripe in disbelief.
“Anne don't try to gather them against me: you are alone,” Zayn says. “So alone that even yesterday, your father came at Ellen’s, and he didn’t even come for you.” There’s a painful pang in my chest, but I don’t let myself show he’s hit a cord.
“Bullshit!” I snarl, the only thing preventing me from jumping on him being Liam’s firm hands on my shoulders.
“It’s the truth, ain’t it Soph?” Zayn chuckles. I look at my sister but she’s unable to return my gaze. “She was talking to him. He was two seats away from you. And Sophie didn’t say anything, nor did he make a move to retrieve you.”
“Enough with your fucking lies!” I'm struggling to stand up and leave but Liam's grip doesn't falter.
“I’m sorry but it’s the truth love. Liam show her.”
Its Harry’s turn to hold me to my seat as Liam pulls his phone out. A video starts playing on the small screen in front of my face. I find myself staring at Sophie and I sitting at the far end of the seats in Ellen’s studio. A man sits down beside my sister. The disguise is too easy to recognise: we’d bought that together as a plan B last year. It’s my father.
I feel like throwing up, my insides coiling unhealthily as I notice my father and sister talking together. Not one of them looks at me during the full five minutes of chit chat. And I’m too focused on Ellen to notice what’s going on beside me.
“How does it feel to be stabbed in the back by someone you thought cared for you?” The darker boy questions sarcastically. I glare up at him.
“Yeah it feels like shit!” he retorts, not at all fazed by my repeated swears. “Now you know how I’ve been feeling for the last few days. Now you know why my patience is always running thin and why I’m using a good fuck to cool off.”
“Zayn you’re being a downright dick right now!” Louis snarls, standing up. “What the fuck is wrong with you?”
“Ah yes the most important part of this lesson. Louis,” he chuckles to himself, passing his hand through his hair is incredulity. “You claim you wouldn’t let Anne leave if she, by some miraculous way, manages to escape. You’re going to prove that right now, in front of all of us. See she clearly needs to calm down, and you need to remember the initial purpose of dragging these two girls in our lives.” He inhales and exhales loudly. “You’re going to fuck her,” he declares, pointing me. “In front of all of us. And then, you’re going to prepare her lovely behind.”
My heart stops beating. The living room becomes an opposing uproar of voices.
“I’m not doing that!” Louis seethes, outraged. “Our first rule has always been to make sure we don’t scar the girls permanently! They have limits and we don’t cross them!”
I’m unable to move, stuck in a haze as I hear them talk about me.
“I knew it! I knew you’d take her side!”
“This isn’t about taking sides anymore! It’s about having humanity and compassion!” Niall steps in, determined.
“Says the guy who raped Anne in the first place!” Liam scoffs.
“Sophie was able to take it when we first got her―”
“Sophie is not Anne!” Louis denies loudly, glaring at Harry. “And vice-versa!”
“Prep her properly and it won’t hurt that much,” Zayn reasons, not intimidated by Louis’s shouting.
“Even if I do prep her, you’re subjecting her to too many eyes! She doesn't like voyeurism! It’s humiliating and degrading!”
“Yet that’s exactly the sort of treatment that’ll happen to us if she gets out and sends us to prison! So either you don’t do anything and confirm our doubts about your feelings, or you do what you have to do to ensure your ass doesn’t end up in jail, plus you get to keep Anne.”
“This is going against all my morals! Even Harry wouldn't subject Sophie to that kind of punishment!” The blue-eyed boy objects.
“No because Sophie has never caused us this much trouble!”
“I’m not doing it!”
“Fine then. If you won't do it, then I will. We know where you stand Lou,” Zayn sighs, clearly disappointed. “Desperate times call for desperate measures...” My stomach lurches as he approaches me. I shake my head rapidly and fail to stand once more, fear crawling inside me like a wild fire.
“No you can't do that!” my sister protests. Harry is quick to hold her back. “Harry you can't allow that!”
“Zayn if you fucking touch me I swear I'll scream so loud the whole hotel will hear me,” I menace, but I'm unable to make it sound threatening.
“I guess we'll just have to gag you now, won't we?”
“Wait!” Louis intervenes. “Just let me negotiate the conditions and I'll do it!” he gives up brokenly. My stomach lurches once more.
“No Louis please!”
“What kind of negotiations are we talking about here?” Zayn asks
“I'm not prepping her behind. First time anal hurts, whether it's prepped or not, and I think she should be the one to decide when it happens, or if it happens at all.”
“See here's the problem: I think anal sex is exactly what she needs in order to realise that she can't make her own decisions. That she has to submit.”
I make an annoyed and frustrated squeak.
“How's this instead: we forget the whole fucking in front of everyone part and you have access to a bed instead of a couch. But you're fucking her ass and I'm there to make sure you're actually doing it,” Zayn suggests. “You need to cum inside it too.”
Louis fists clench.
“You have 30 seconds to agree or we're going back to the first option and I'm not offering anymore negotiations,” the brown-eyed boy declares. “We can't argue all day about this: we have to take the bus to Arizona in a little more than an hour.”
Louis’s troubled eyes meet mine. I shake my head.
I won't forgive you, I mouth to him pleadingly. His shoulders drop in defeat.
I know, he mouths back sadly.
“Okay! I'll take that,” he states. “I'm taking her to my room with all the lube I can get. And I don't want to hear a single peep from you whilst you watch. Not one,” he warns.
“No, no, no! Please,” I beg broken-heartedly. My heart sinks. My limbs are like lead holding me down to my seat. I search for his eyes again but he's looking at the floor, purposefully avoiding my gaze. I watch as Harry drags Sophie out of the living room and as Niall retires to his own room.
“Deal,” Zayn agrees, smiling triumphantly.
Liam releases me but I can’t bring myself to move, glued to the couch. Louis approaches me, still incapable of looking at my face. He holds his hand out for me to take.
“No. I’m not doing this willingly Lou,” I say, still hoping to discourage him.
He exhales shakily, rubbing his face with his hand. His blue eyes finally meet mine. They’re filled with unshed tears. Just like my own. And then, after a few blinks, his face becomes void of emotion.
“Louis I won’t forgive you this time!” I repeat, distressed to say the least. “You can’t pretend you don’t care!”
The brown-haired boy bends down and picks me up in his arms. He throws me over his shoulder like a vulgar sack. I start crying.
“You can’t do this!” I cry, hitting his back as he hauls me to his room. Our room. He drops me on the bed. I fight him off. But my vision is so blurry with tears, I barely see. Both my wrists end up in his hands. I flinch as something sliver lands right beside my head. Handcuffs.
“Thought you might need them,” Zayn sighs, shutting the door behind him. “You know, to make sure she doesn’t move too much.”
Louis doesn’t speak. He simply grabs the hand cuffs, passes them through the hole in the headboard and locks each of my hands in their metal grip before removing himself from the bed. I immediately sit up and get closer to the headboard, pulling at the handcuffs with all my might.
Louis pays no attention to me, digging into his open suitcase beside the bed.
My wrists ache as the metal bites into my flesh but I keep pulling. I turn my body around and place my feet on the headboard, pushing with my whole weight whilst I pulled on the handcuffs. I hear the wood cracking.
“Louis,” Zayn warns.
“Shut up Zayn! I don’t want a single sound to escape your lips. I know exactly what she’s doing and I don’t blame her,” he retorts dryly, still rummaging through his suitcase.
The dark boy doesn’t reply, huffing and turning his gaze back on me. I ignore him, tears still running down my cheeks as I attempt to break the headboard to free myself.
The weight on the bed shifts. Louis hands grab my ankles and he pulls me back down so I’m lying on my stomach. My sobs fill the room as he rids me of my sweats. I manage to flip myself around, kicking and thrashing on the bed. He places himself so he’s straddling my hips.
“Do you want me to blindfold you?” he enquires, his voice so calm it’s scary. “It could maybe make this more tolerable.”
My fear and despair is replaced by anger.
“No. I don’t want you to try and make this pleasurable for me, nor do I want to pretend it isn’t you who is going to rape me. I want to know and remember that you raped me without my consent. That way it’ll haunt the both of us!” I declare fiercely, more tears falling down my cheeks.
“Okay.” He turns me back around, pressing his hand in my lower back to keep me immobile. He reaches over to the bedside table and grabs what he pulled out of his suitcase seconds ago: lube. The next minutes seem to stretch on forever as Louis removes my panties and rub the cold substance down there. Down there where I would’ve never imagined a man to touch me.
I shudder and squirm as I feel his unwanted digit push through the little circle of muscle. His other hand pushes more firmly at the bottom of my back, forcing me to stay put. I try to twist around and stare at him, make him feel guilty or something, but I’m unable to do anything more than breathe and turn my head left and right. The digit alone hurts as it probes my insides, attempting to extend the stubborn muscle. More lube is applied. After a minute of stinging pain, another finger glides inside. Louis proceeds to slide both of them in and out very carefully. I groan in pain, my body refusing to accommodate with this unusual practice. He slows down. I squeal and shut my eyes as he curls them inside me.
I begin crying once more, digging my face into the pillow in front of me. More of the cold substance is rubbed on my behind. I choke on a sob as a third finger enters with a throbbing ache. Yelling, pull myself closer to the headboard with my bound hands, in a fetal position. Louis pulls his fingers out, surprised.
“Stop!” I hiccup. “It’s never going to work!” I beg, gaze in his direction. His eyes are filled with tears once more. He shakes his head and pulls me back on my stomach, in between his legs. My whole body tenses in pain as he forces his three digits past the tight ring of muscles once more. He waits longer this time before moving and extending them, coercing my insides to extend. I feel sick and violated.
I realize I’ve shut my eyes and zoned out only when I feel him remove the three fingers and add even more of the cold substance.
There’s the distinct sound of him unzipping his trousers, followed the sound of skin hitting skin. I turn around, only to see him rubbing his member to get himself hard. He’s not excited by this, I realise. But in a matter of minutes, his hands are holding my hips in a tight grip, lifting them slightly, so I’m on my knees. I feel as if I’m lower than a dog. The pillow in front of me is stained with my tears.
“Zayn, I’ll never forgive you for this,” Louis declares, his thighs pressed against the back of my own. “You’re the one who’s responsible for all of this; just like you we’re responsible when you raped Sophie. You’re the one who’ll end up alone in the end because you’re a fucking dick.”
There’s a pause.
“Whatever mate. The whole band is guilty anyways if word gets out we kidnapped them,” the darker boy shrugs carelessly. “I’m just enjoying them. You’d enjoy this too if you hadn’t been too caught up in your feelings.”
“I’m not your mate anymore. You’re just my band member.”
And with that, I feel him pressing him slowly past my forbidden hole. Pain flares up as he attempts to enter what usually is an exit. I weep loudly, clenching my fists and struggling to get him off me but his grip on my hips doesn’t falter and he keeps me in place, sinking deeper.
I whimper and pull the handcuffs. His member is too big, scorching my insides. My breathing is unsteady. I bite my lip, holding back my screams of anger and pain. He stays immobile, letting my walls throb around him for numerous minutes. I whine when he pulls out, the presses himself back in.
“That’s not the quickest way to cum Louis―”
“I know that!” he snarls. “But she’s in pain! She’s having a punishment she doesn’t deserve!” he continues heatedly. “So let me do what I please!”
“And to think you used to adore anal―”
“Shut. The. Fuck. Up,” Louis silences, his voice deadly. He removes his member and pushes through once more, making me wince. More lube is pressed on my hole and his member, soothing the burn.
“Louis stop trying to be gentle,” I beg, still crying. “You’re just making this whole process longer! You’ve raped me, now just orgasm and get it over with!” I demand dejectedly, knowing that the hurting sensation wouldn’t subside any time soon anyways.
He takes a deep breath and exhales slowly before attempting a quicker pace. The pain gets worse, the action abnormal for my body. A fresh round of tears start as I feel him reach his climax, accelerating his thrusting and using me like I’m some ragged sex doll. I’m nauseous when he does cum. He rapidly pulls out and pulls the sheet over my naked body.
“Out Zayn. You’ve seen what you wanted and I’ve got nothing else to prove,” Louis demands.
“You’re going to thank me one day Lou. When you realize you get to have her for the rest of your life, you’ll thank me.”
“GET OUT!” Louis screams, voice breaking.
I hear him shut the door as he exits.
“Anne, Anne, Anne,” Louis says urgently, coming up to me. He undoes the handcuffs rapidly. “I’m so so sorry―”
“Why?! Why did you do it?!” I sob, bringing my torn wrists to my body. “Why did you comply with Zayn’s demands?!”
“Because if I hadn’t, there would’ve been no chance for me to get you out. At all. They would’ve simply tightened their surveillance,” Louis speaks, voice unsteady. “If I wasn't the one to do it, Zayn or Liam would've been.”
“No! Zayn wouldn't have done it because like I mentioned earlier, he wants to be loved again! He wasn't going to jeopardize that! He wanted me to feel alone and the only way he could truly accomplish that was if I lost you, since Sophie and my father clearly aren't on my side! We could've found another way for me to escape Lou!”
“But it would've taken more time―”
“I would've preferred waiting three more months then suffering through this emotional and physical pain you just put me through!”
There's a short pause.
“Maybe its better like this Anne,” he says brokenly, tears seeping out of his eyes. “That way it’ll be easier for both of us to let go.”
“GET OUT!” It’s my turn to scream before I dig my face into the pillow.
“I can't talk to you right now! Get out!” I weep some more. I keep crying until my eyes aren’t able to produce any more tears. Dry sobs rack my body as I hold on to the pillow tightly, unable to do anything else. Loneliness swallows me whole as I take in the fact that I have nobody. Nobody who cares for me like I care for them. My father prefers Sophie, Sophie doesn’t want to help me, doesn’t even trust me, and Louis... Louis just tore my heart out of my chest and ripped it into pieces before shoving it back in harshly.
Half an hour later, there's a quiet knock on the door.
“Go away!” I shout. “Please,” I add desperately.
“We're boarding the bus,” Niall informs from the other side of the room.
“Leave without me.”
There's the unmistakable sound of the door opening and closing, followed by soft steps on the carpeted floor. The weight on the bed shifts.
“Don't touch me,” I demand, feeling him move to rub my back.
“Anne...I know you might hate Lou right now―”
“I despise him. That's twice he's had to punish me! Why?! Why can't he simply let the others boys do it? That way I'd hate them! Better yet, why can't he stand up for himself?!”
“You make it sound so easy--”
“It is easy! You simply tell them to fuck off!”
“Anne it's much more complicated than that,” he exhales. “Trust me, I know. I've been in his shoes. There's this constant struggle between choosing what's morally right, versus what will end up being beneficial in the long run. For example, he's the one who punishes you because he knows the others will do much worse. He prefers receiving your hate over seeing you getting badly hurt by the other lads.”
“Beneficial in the long run?! Care to tell me how raping me will end up being beneficial in the long run?!”
“You're one step closer to being free. Zayn’s doubts have been dissipated and the other boys aren’t as sceptic as before.”
I sit up, looking at him alarmed. How did he know about Louis helping me to escape?!
“I heard you and Lou talking last night,” he admits sheepishly. “I’ll help you alright? I’ve talked to just now. I’m going to help him help you.”
“I don’t want his help anymore. It’s brought me nothing but false hope and abuse.”
“So far. His plan will work. You’re going to be out on your birthday Anne, I promise,” he declares firmly. “You just have to be patient and stay low.” He reaches beside him. “Here. I’ve brought you a change of clothes for the bus,” he continues, handing me a pile of clothes.
I thank him and grab them.
I spend the next four days shutting myself off from everybody. I stayed alone, in the bus, at the hotels and even backstage, keeping to myself. I focused on observing instead. Whatever had happened between Niall and Sophie in L.A seemed to have passed. Sophie spent her time trying to forgive Harry and ask for forgiveness herself for not only talking to our father, but also getting him drunk. Most of the time, Sophie’d end up crying and Harry’d end up frustrated, but after two days, they finally forgave themselves. I even caught a glimpse of Sophie adding pieces of paper inside her stuffed turtle.
Niall wasn’t sulking over their relationship anymore; it was like he’d finally somewhat accepted Sophie’s refusal. It was clear he still loved her immensely, but his interactions with several fans showed he was maybe ready to finally turn the page.
We could all feel the growing tension within the band, especially between Zayn and Louis. Liam had to set them straight a couple times. I couldn’t care less.
My company was the Fate the cat, who’d taken a liking to me after our ten-hour bus drive to Arizona. She’s been hanging out with me ever since and my guess was that she preferred the silence that seemed to follow me.
Louis hadn’t mentioned anything about my escape. Not since the incident with Zayn. I was almost positive he’d forgotten about it, until we arrived in Philadelphia, the night before my birthday.