“Rise and shine sleeping beauties!” Louis shouts nosily, entering the bedroom. “We’ll be arriving at Atlanta’s stadium in less than a half an hour ladies!” The covers are almost immediately thrown off my body and I whimper, identically to the person beside me. Sophie.
“Fuck off Louis,” Sophie groans, moving in the bed to try to find a more comfortable position. I turn my head around curiously to look at his reaction. I’m greatly surprised as I watch him get on top of her.
“Careful Soph… We both know how dirty mouths can be a turn on…” he whispers loud enough for me to hear. She promptly pushes him off her.
“God Louis,” she huffs, annoyed. I can’t help noticing her smiling as she digs her head back into her pillow.
“Right now Soph or I’m tickling you!”
“Louis no─ aha ha ha ha stop please! Oh my gosh Louis aha!” She laughs, writhing to get away from his probing hands.
“Get out of bed!” he counters, also laughing.
“Fine! Fine I’ll get out Louis!” She surrenders. Her weight removes itself from the small bell. Rolling my eyes, I grunt and let myself sink back into my own pillow.
“Anne you have to get up too,” The British boy declares.
“Whatever,” I grumble, unmoving. Louis climbs on the bed with me. I reflexively scoot closer to the edge of the bed.
“I’ll have to tickle you too then…” he murmurs mockingly in my ear.
“I’m not ticklish,” I retort dryly.
“But you’re squeamish,” he responds. Next thing I know, his hands are in my track pants, caressing the inside of my upper thighs. I jolt away from his touch immediately, only to fall off the bed.
“What the hell!” I protest, looking at his smiling face above me. “What was that for?!”
“It got you out of bed didn’t it?” He teases, chuckling. “Come on we’ve got breakfast for you,” Louis continues, handing out his hand for me to take.
Shaking my head, I move to stand up alone only to recall my injured knee.
“Don’t be stubborn Anne. I’m only here to help you,” Louis huffs.
“Pushing someone off the bed surely is the best aid I got,” I grumble.
“You’re the one who threw herself off the bed. I wasn’t doing any harm when I merely touched your leg─”
“You caressed my thigh!” I deny firmly.
“Same thing,” he shrugs. “So are you going to let me help you up or not?” he sighs, his hand still held out.
Grimacing, I reluctantly place my hand into his and he proceeds to haul me up to my feet. Both our gazes drop to my leg as he does so. The sweat pants I was wearing were hiked up and we could see yesterday’s damage. My left knee had a nauseating bluish-purplish tint and it was swollen while the right one had a foot-long gash.
“Not your brightest idea,” Louis quips.
“Shut up,” I scowl.
“I’m only stating the obvious babe,” he responds, bending down. The brunette puts his one of his arms under my legs and the other one on my back before hauling me into his arms.
My own arms wrap around his neck to secure myself as our faces end up inches apart.
“Hey there pretty blue eyes,” he exhales in wonder, his eyes pouring into mine. I manage to tear my gaze away.
“Even if you shower me with compliments, I won’t start liking you Louis,” I state as he walks us out of the cramped room.
“I have my ways Anne,” he declares before making me sit alongside Sophie at the small table. A plate with eggs and toast was handed to me from Harry seconds after. Uneasy, I stare at it. What if they put some kind of death or rape drug in it?
“They won’t poison you if that’s what scares you,” Sophie states, munching on her own toast. I frown.
“Why would we poison you?” Zayn asks, sat on the counter with a cereal bowl beside Louis.
“You’re no use dead,” Liam says simply, laid lazily on the couch behind us.
“Liam don’t say it like that,” Niall shakes his head disapprovingly, taking a seat at the table with Sophie and me. “He means that your company is more appreciated when you’re alive.”
“I didn’t think you’d poison it. I’m guessing you drugged it.”
“Anne, we don’t want to harm you,” the blonde persists.
“Says the guy who raped me that first night,” I scoff. Silence hangs in the air for mere seconds, everyone wanting to hear Niall’s answer.
“I don’t always take my medication alright?” He bites tensely. “Sadly for you, I didn’t take them on Friday. Consequently, I had very little control over my emotions and I was literally blinded by resentment when I saw you, because Soph had broken my heart only a couple months prior,” he explains. “I wasn’t in my right mind when I assaulted you that night.”
“You take medication?” I frown as Sophie moves uneasily beside me.
“To keep my feelings in check, yes.”
“As in pills for bi-polar disorder?” I enquire, curious.
“Something similar to that,” he nods. Well that’d explain some of his mood swings.
“Anne I have a question for you,” Sophie declares suddenly. All eyes are immediately on her. “Did you come to Ireland at the same time your father did?” The brunette asks.
“Do you recall a particular event that could explain Niall’s current situation?” She demands.
“You mean it wasn’t developed over the years?” I knit my brows together, confused. “Due to depression or―”
“I was hit by a car,” the blonde denies, looking strangely between my sister and I.
“Anne?” Sophie persists.
“What exactly are you implying?” I respond carefully.
“Yes please Soph, enlighten us all,” Zayn agrees, watching me with his intense gaze. My twin looks at me longly.
I search in my head for a moment.
“It was nice to know you Ashley! I promise Sophie will be safe! Bye and thank you again for your cooperation!”
I smile and hang up before heading back on the laptop and adding a few other details to the article. Dad walks in our loaned house just as I finish up some details. He has a proud smile on his face.
“Let’s just say my little Sophie is going to be coming back to us soon Anne,” he sighs contentedly, putting away his car eyes into his back pocket.
“I may have broken the thing that kept her there in the first place…” He trails on thoughtfully. “Are you done the article about Ashley being an insider?” He continues, switching the subject.
“All done,” I nod, standing up.
“Good. Hey would you be a dear and make me something to eat?” Dad asks, taking a seat in front of my computer. “I’d do it myself but I just thought of a new article and I want to write it down while it’s fresh.”
I nod, before heading to the kitchen.
[End of flashback]
If I remember correctly, what appeared the next morning in the magazine was something about Niall being hospitalized… Oh god. Dad said he had broken the thing that kept Sophie with them… Niall. Oh no.
“The car accident,” I whisper, horrified. My father was the one who tried to run Niall over with his car.
“Did you know?” Sophie probes, her features softening in realisation.
I shake my head negatively. “I had never realised until now...” So if Dad hadn’t tried to kill Niall with his car, his emotions probably would’ve been steadier and he wouldn’t have raped me...
“What are you two girls not telling us?” Harry scowls.
My eyes meet Niall’s almost guiltily. Almost.
Liam though, is quick to place the pieces together.
“Your father is the one who hit Niall with his car?!”
“And the one responsible for that magazine. He’s the one who tried to make your lives hell, so I could return to him,” Sophie nods. How could she?! It was all to help her!
My blood freezes in my veins as mayhem explodes. Everyone starts shouting at everyone simultaneously; Harry has to throw himself in front of Liam to restrain him from approaching Sophie and me while Zayn tries to calm Niall down and Louis attempts to prevent me from ripping my sister’s head off.
“How could you?!” I holler at her, trying to push Louis out of my line of vision to glare at her.
“They had the right to know!”
“They didn’t have to!”
“Anne calm down―”
“No Louis I won’t fucking calm down because Liam wants to fucking kill me for something I didn’t do!”
“You little bitch! You ruined my life!” Liam intervenes, trying to move Harry.
“It wasn’t me!” I disagree firmly, cutting Harry off.
“I bet you fucking helped to make that damned article about Sophie!”
“See?!” I yell to my sister. “He’s fucking pissed!”
“Well he’s right!”
“I only wanted to help you!”
“It’s all her fault...” Niall cries silently, his hands clenched into tight fists.
“Well you fucking did the opposite!” My twin declares angrily.
“ENOUGH!” Zayn silences. “Everybody just shut up!” He says, exasperated as he rubs his temples. The shouting ceases. “For the love of God Liam you have to let your past go alright? Or you’ll be sad all the time. And Sophie, seriously? You had to bring that up now?”
“Don’t interrupt me,” he rejects sharply. “Both of you need to start listening to each other,” he continues, addressing to Sophie and I.
“Yeah well I wish I never met her,” I grumble. “It would’ve made my life way easier. If it weren’t for her, Dad and I would still be happily living in Australia.”
“Take that back,” Sophie demands, voice wavering. Her right hand starts rubbing her left wrist on the side of her body.
“No. It’s true,” I state. “My life would’ve been better if you wouldn’t have been in it!”
I watch baffled as she starts crying, rubbing her wrist even harder.
“Anne take it back,” Zayn agrees, his tone murderous.
His hand is suddenly on my arm. The dark boy yanks me off the chair. I squeal in pain as I fall to the ground, unable to get a proper footing due to my injured leg. Zayn mercilessly tows me out of the kitchen and onto his lap, taking a seat on the couch in the makeshift living room.
I struggle as his hand hooks around the elastic of the sweatpants, tugging them down.
“No, no, no! Let go!”
My face turns crimson as he also pulls my panties down. I get a glimpse at Louis, Harry and Liam watching me, Niall and Sophie out of my line of vision.
“Zayn no! You’re hurting my knee!” I plea. And it was true. The position wasn’t exactly painless.
“I’ve been itching to do that for the last two days,” he shakes his head before his hand comes down swiftly.
I squirm and shriek, the sting burning my rear end.
“That was for the unnecessary swears you said a minute ago.” His hand goes down again.
“No!” I yelp.
“This is for being so fucking impolite towards everyone.”
Smack! Smack! Smack!
I scream, his second and third blow taking me by surprise.
“These ones are for being mean to your sister.”
SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! SMACK!
“Stop it Zayn! Please!” I beg. Warm tears trickle down my cheeks, my rear feeling ablaze.
“And these are for the stunt you pulled at the hotel.”
SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! SMACK!
I start sobbing, digging my face into my arms, humiliated. The bus halts to a stop as Zayn pulls my panties and yoga pants back up, but I stay curled into a ball, my ass burning like hell.
“Don’t forget to put ice on your knee,” the Pakistani boy ends, leaving me on the couch. Silence follows and I’m guessing I’m alone, all of them probably checking on my poor sister.
“No go away Lou,” I shake my head, still crying. Great. Louis’s here.
“Anne I know it’s hard for you to adjust right now―”
“I said go Louis!”
“―but it gets easier okay? If you follow the rules―”
“Gets easier? How can all this get any easier?!” I utter, my face still pressed inside my arms. I feel him taking half a seat on the couch, near my legs.
“Anne if you start behaving―”
“Cut the shit. When did Sophie start to ‛behave’ exactly huh?” I question, lifting my eyes up briefly to glare at him.
“Well umm... She just kinda... You see it was her period and we didn’t want to hurt her too much...” Louis tries, struggling with his words. “But then she broke her arm―”.
“See? You guys are the ones who started being soft! Maybe if I can be treated as a human being too, I’d learn to respect you.”
Both our heads turn in the direction of the bunks as the door to the bedroom opens.
“Lou, Niall and I are taking Sophie out, Zayn is going to see Perrie and Liam needs some air,” Harry declares as the five of them pile out. Zayn and Liam are quick to exit the bus, followed by Niall and Sophie. My sister is red faced and she’s clearly been crying. “You’ll watch over Anne?” He asks, walking down the steps in front of the door.
“It’s not like I can go anywhere I want anyways,” I mumble, keeping my face hidden under my arms. I wince as Louis squeezes my thigh warningly.
“No problem mate,” he replies.
“We might be out until the after-noon... So I don’t know if you’ll leave to get lunch or something―”
“I’ll take care of it Haz. You take care of Sophie okay?”
There’s the distinct sound of a door shutting. I instinctively feel calmer as soon as it does, yet Louis presence still makes me nervous.
“That last comment was unnecessary Anne,” he scolds.
He sighs in disbelief, before standing up without saying single word. I watch him vigilantly as he walks up to the freezer and pulls out an ice pack. Still mute, he comes back over to me and places it on my swollen knee. I flinch and recoil a bit, the sensation unpleasant.
“Thanks,” I mutter, arranging it so it’d be directly over my knee.
He remains silent, eyeing me.
“What am I going to do with you?” He murmurs to himself.
“You mean to say we won’t do anything while we’re alone?! You don’t know me Anne,” He states, a small smirk forming on his lips.
“You’re right. And you don’t know me.”
“Great! You just gave me an idea,” he claps. “I know what game can make us learn a bit more about each other,” Louis says happily.
“We’re going to play Two Truths and a Lie.”
Seems innocent enough.
“You know how the game works right? We take turns, each saying three things. Two of them are true, and one of them is a lie. If one of us can figure out the lie of the other, he or she must take off an article of clothing,” he explains, grinning madly.
“You changed the rules!” I utter. God I knew it seemed too innocent.
“I’m only making sure you’ll actually make an effort to play,” he counters.
I grimace, looking away.
“Fine,” I agree reluctantly, cracking my knuckles. “Let’s play Tomlinson. You start.”