“No, no, no, don’t touch me!” I protest as his hands hook themselves under my arms. “I don’t know him!” I tell the woman desperately.
“Don’t make a scene,” He whispers venomously in my ear, hoisting me up to my feet. I whimper loudly, not able to hold myself up due to the pain flaring up my leg. I find myself obliged to hold onto him for support.
“Mr. Horan we should really call medical help―”
“No it’ll be fine ma’am,” The blonde denies, shaking his head.
“I don’t know him!” I repeat, louder. Niall’s fingers tighten around my bicep. “Help me please!”
“Mr. Horan she doesn’t seem to know you and she’s clearly wounded―”
“She knows me,” He denies. “She must’ve hit her head when she fell.”
“Well even if she does know you she’s wounded. I insist we call some medical assistance.”
“No please take me to the hospital!” I shake my head.
“Fine then,” Niall agrees. What?! “Send them up to my room, 578. I’ll make sure she’s okay until their arrival,” He continues. No! I want the hospital! “And also, would you be a dear and tell the rest of the band that Anne is with me?” He asks, hauling me into his arms. “They shouldn’t be far behind me.”
“Niall please let me go!” I cry softly, my fingers clutching his leather jacket.
“Certainly Mr. Horan,” The receptionist nods, not seeing my pleading face.
“Shut. Up.” He grunts between clenched teeth, walking away from the lobby. Nothing more is said as he climbs in the elevator and presses the button to his floor. I’m shaking, pain and fear mingling unhealthily inside me. I was so close. So close! But Niall had to arrive?! Why?!
He walks down the hall and places me on my feet to reach for his room key. I slump to the ground beside the door, unable to stay standing.
“Niall I’m hurt don’t do this,” I plea as he hoists me in his arms once more, taking me inside his room. He drops me on the bed.
“Remove the sweats,” He instructs, taking off his vest.
“Niall no please! Please I―”
“Anne remove them,” he repeats, anger lacing his every word.
Warm tears trickle down my cheeks as I helplessly oblige to his command. I flinch when I see my knee almost bruising before my eyes. As soon as Louis’s sweat pants are off my body, he leaves the room. I don’t even have the time to properly register his absence that he’s back, with a sack full of crushed ice. He walks over to the left side of the bed.
“What the fuck was that?!” Niall bursts out finally, aggressively placing the pack of ice on my wounded knee.
I squeal in pain, grabbing the pillow behind me to scream in it, more tears pouring out of my eyes. What is wrong with him?!
“What is wrong with you?!” The Irish boy continues, pressing the bag to the center of my leg. Pain ignites my knee. “Are you feeling suicidal Anne?!”
“Do you have a death wish?!”
“Then why the fuck did you think jumping off a couple balconies was okay?!” He whispers shouts, looking at me intensely.
“I-I-I―” I stammer but he cuts me off.
“I saw you! You even slipped! You could’ve killed yourself!”
“And then did you even consider what we’d do to you if you had managed to escape?!”
“Do you realise how dumb your move was? What went through your head?! What made you think you had a chance of making it out?” The blonde persists incredulously. “You even pretended you didn’t know me!”
“I had hope alright?!” I snap, finally getting a full sentence out. “I was hoping to prove Sophie wrong!”
“About the possibility of getting away.”
He presses his lips into a fine line, his cerulean eyes pouring into mine. “If you’re looking for a way out, that certainly isn’t the way to go,” he says carefully.
I stare at him, bewildered.
“Excuse me, what?”
The Irish boy blinks a few times before anger invades him again.
“You were bloody mad!” He persists, pressing the ice bag to my knee.
“Ouch Niall!” I whimper.
“I should tell the others you tried getting away,” He groans, almost to himself. His eyes meet mine. “You should be punished,” Niall continues. “If you weren’t Sophie’s sister―”
“You still would’ve done it?” I say scornfully.
“I don’t know!” He exclaims, his fingers digging into his bleached hair. “But it sure as hell would’ve been easier!” The blue-eyed boy declares, grimacing. “It’s bad enough I raped you that first day...And to make it worse, it’s because I thought you we’re Sophie. God she hates me doesn’t she?”
I watch taken aback as he starts crying.
“Why do I always manage to fuck things up?” Niall says standing up, pained. “She hates me doesn’t she?” He repeats, looking at me with his tear-filled eyes.
“I-I-I don’t know,” I stammer.
“I’m sure she does... Oh my god,” He hiccups, rubbing his right hand over his left forearm rapidly.
Wow. He really feels bad for what he did.
Both our heads turn as we hear somebody knocking.
“Niall open up its Zayn.”
The younger boy exhales shakily, before answering the door.
“What the fuck happened?!” The Pakistani boy exclaims once he’s inside, glaring at me. “An ambulance just pulled in at the hotel and the receptionist said they we’re heading for your room!” He continues, turning towards Niall. He pauses, looking at him. “You’ve been crying?”
“No. I’ve just―”
There’s yet another knock at the door.
“We’re here for the wounded girl,” A male voice says from the other side of the door. Zayn lets them in. As soon as the two men enter the bedroom, I feel self-conscious. One of them practically looks like the younger version of Tom Cruise and I am only dressed in boxers and a t-shirt. Wow.
“What happened miss?” One of them asks, kneeling beside me. The Tom Cruise lookalike busies himself with my other scratched leg, placing a first aid kit beside him on the bed.
“Well I-I-I,” I utter, looking at Niall for help.
“She jumped off one of the lower balconies,” he sighs as both men put on blue latex gloves.
“She what?!” Zayn bursts. “Anne are you mental?!”
“No I wanted to―”
“This might hurt a bit,” The man near my bleeding leg warns before disinfecting the open flesh with a cotton wad.
I clench my teeth together.
The other guy removes the bag of ice and gently nudges the side if my knee.
“Does it hurt when I do this?”
“Yes!” I nod rapidly.
“From a scale from one to ten, how bad is your pain?” He demands.
“Be honest Anne,” Zayn warns.
“I’d say six,” I say between gritted teeth.
“That’s normal,” The brown-haired man nods, his fingers pinching the muscles near my swollen knee. “That hurts too?” He enquires, his piercing eyes meeting mine. I frown. He looks like Bradley Cooper. Since when are ambulance men hot like that? “Miss? Does it hurt when I do this?” He repeats, fingers digging softly into my flesh.
“Yes,” I acquiesce, wanting his probing hands to stop touching me.
“Are you experiencing any head pains? Nausea? The lady at the front desk mentioned you might have hit your head in your fall,” The Tom Cruise twin asks as he finishes bandaging my right leg.
I flinch as the Bradley Cooper doppelganger places the ice bag back on my knee, standing up.
“It was a very good reflex to put some ice on it,” he congratulates. “Now she won’t need an operation or anything too big, but if you want her to heal, I strongly suggest you keep ice on her knee for 15 to 20 minutes, four to five times a day until the swelling is gone. She shouldn’t walk on it either,” he informs, packing up his stuff.
“How long until its back to normal?” Zayn asks.
“Luckily, none of her muscles tore so I’d say give it a week, give or take a few days,” He answers simply.
“Try not to jump off galleries again miss... Next time, your leg could actually break,” Tom Cruise lookalike advises before both of them wave us goodbye and leave.
Zayn looks at me longly, an unknown emotion in his eyes.
“I’d punish you but I guess you already punished yourself,” he says finally, motioning my left leg. He pulls out his phone. “We have an hour until we have to be at the stadium,” he declares. “I say we put her to sleep. Even though I doubt she’ll be going anywhere, I’d feel safer if I knew she was sleeping,” he explains. Niall sighs, and leaves to the bathroom.
“Put me to sleep?! It’s practically two in the afternoon!”
“Maybe but you’ve shown us you can’t be trusted awake. Plus, you’ll need all the sleep you can get: tomorrow morning, we’re getting back on the bus and we’re leaving for Los Angeles. I can’t guarantee you the bus ride will be very pleasant...”
“Why can’t we take the plane?! It’ll save us time!” I protest.
“Because we have a couple of shows to do on the way there. It’ll take us five days.”
Five days in a cramped bus with them?! No way!
“Can I please just go home?” I complain. “You’ve got Sophie now anyways! Please! You don’t need me!”
“We’re five sweet cheeks, two girls are better than one,” Zayn denies as Niall comes back, a damp towel in his hands.
“No please no!” I shake my head, trying to move away but failing due to my wounded knee.
“It’ll all be better when you wake up Anne,” Niall sighs, before pressing the towel to my mouth.
“Please!” I hiccup feebly as the odor clouds my senses.