The boys spend time taking pictures and signing things with the few fans as I wait in Zayn’s dressing room. I look around and find a Nintendo DS on the coffee table. I open it up and play on it for a while until Louis walks in the room.
“Ready to head back to the hotel?” he asks me as I close the DS and throw it down next to me.
“So ready,” I reply as I walk past him and out the door.
The rest of the boys are waiting for us and we all make our way towards the back exit.
“Don’t answer any of the questions and just stay between Harry and me,” Liam commands as we approach the door.
We walk out and I almost faint from the amount of fans swarming us right now. I do as Liam instructed and it takes us a while before we make it to the cars.
“Intense, huh?” Liam asks and all I can do is nod.
“You get used to it,” Harry says, shrugging it off like it is no big deal.
It is a short ride back to the hotel and I hurriedly make my way up to the room. I cannot wait to change and go to bed. I pick out my pajamas and run into the bathroom in case Zayn walks in.
When I come back out, he is digging through his suitcase. He looks at me briefly before walking past me into the bathroom. I sigh, tossing my old clothes in the corner and climbing into my bed. I don’t bother turning the lights off because Zayn is going to come out soon. I just close my eyes and drift off to sleep.
“I’m going to use the restroom,” I say, standing and walking away from our table.
That was the moment that changed everything. I came back and took my seat with lip gloss newly applied.
“How was the bathroom?” Ryder asks jokingly.
“Wonderful,” I coo, playing along.
I reach over and take a sip of my drink.
“What were we talking about?” I ask as the waiter brings the check.
“How crazed Mr. Tompkins is about getting to class on time,” he scoffs, reaching for the slip of paper in the middle of the table.
“Oh, that’s right. I was late one time and got a week of detention,” I tell him, making us both laugh.
I begin to feel extremely dizzy and I place my hands on the side of my chair so I don’t fall off.
“Are you okay?” Ryder asks as he pays in cash.
“I’m fine. I just think I need to use the restroom again,” I mumble, suddenly feeling nauseous.
I stand up and almost fall flat on my face, but luckily his hands are there to catch me.
“Let’s get you home. You don’t look too well,” he says, concerned.
He buckles me into the passenger seat of the car and speeds off. We arrive at the front of a hotel and I am confused.
“Why are we here?” I ask slowly as he pulls me out of the car and into the lobby bridal style.
“No reason,” he replies as he gets his room key from the lady at the desk.
“Is she okay?” she asks.
“Oh. Yes. Too much to drink,” he says and before I can say anything, he leads me into the elevator.
“Ryder? What’s going on?” I ask, trying to get on my feet.
His grip tightens, but he doesn’t answer me. He walks us into a room and places me down on the bed, climbing on top of me and kissing my neck.
“Ryder, stop! Stop it!” I shout and try to push him off, but I am too weak. “Get off!”
“Arielle,” I hear someone shout as they shake me.
I throw open my eyes and see Zayn hovering above me. I am crying and shaking.
“You were screaming 'stop' and crying in your sleep. What were you dreaming about?” he asks after pulling me in for a hug.
Just because he is mad at me doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about me. When I don’t answer him, though, he pulls away, holding me by the shoulders and looking me in the eye.
“Arielle, what were you dreaming about?” he asks again, this time harsher.
I look down and cry harder. He gets the hint. He slowly rises off the bed and walks over to his own, sorrow written all over his face.
“You’re okay,” he says before flicking off the light and going back to sleep.
I lay down and try to do the same, but I cannot find the strength. I am too scared of dreaming of him again. When I hear Zayn snoring, I walk out onto the balcony and look over the city in one of the chairs. I stay there and watch the sun rise, thinking about that night and letting more tears fall and stain my shirt.