☠ Chapter Fifteen ☠
➳ ARIELLE'S POV
I look out the front window of Zayn's car. There's music playing softly on the radio. It's been fairly quiet between the two of us since I entered his car and I can't help but feel like it has to do with the whole Kit situation… and the Niall situation. I'm totally unsure how to feel about Kit. Do I worry? Is she dangerous? Is she stalking Zayn? If so, does that mean she's stalking me also? Yes. That would probably mean she's stalking me also. But then again, maybe she's just a harmless old one night stand?
I involuntarily shiver at the thought of Zayn bringing home girl after girl, only to tape cab fair to their foreheads and leave so they wake up alone. As I sit here and look at him I find it hard to believe he can so easily treat a woman like that, but when I think back to when I first met him it's a lot easier to believe. Believe me, he hasn't changed much - in fact he really hasn't changed - since I've met him, so what makes me think he wouldn't still have another one night stand?
I tried asking about Kit earlier when I first sat in the car, but Zayn just brushed it off. I'm dealing with it Arielle. Don't worry about her babygirl, she won't bother us anymore, I promise. I can't help but feel like maybe he's hiding something. Why won't he tell me who she is? I feel like I should drop it and just let it go.
"Who's Niall?" Zayn asks out of nowhere.
I fidget in my seat, "he's a friend. We met through Zoe and we've been friends ever since."
"He's the one from the party?" He asks without ever pulling focus away from the road.
"The party?" I question, not realizing at first what he's talking about. And then I think back to when I first saw Zayn and how to get his attention I was grinding on Niall. I squeeze my eyes shut in embarrassment and look away from him. "Right. The party." I say awkwardly.
When I look at him his jaw twitches. He takes a moment to look at me with one eyebrow raised before looking back at the road. I finally realize why he's so touchy around the subject of Niall. I stifle a laugh and it seems to anger Zayn because he tears his eyes off the road once again to look back at me.
"Now I see it," I state. He doesn't say anything, he just tightens his grip on the steering wheel. "Now I see why you're so touchy on the subject of Niall."
Zayn stays quiet. "Don't you see? I wasn't dancing with him. I was dancing for you and he just happened to be there," I say.
"So the fact that his hands were fucking wrapped protectively around you, and the fact that he had a raging hard on had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he so clearly is fucking in love with you Arielle?" Zayn blurts out.
"That's irrelevant," I say.
"So you know?" He asks.
"I am aware of the fact that he has feelings for me, yes. Don't you trust me?"
He looks at me and eyes me up and down for a moment, "it’s not you I don't trust, it's him. I know what men are like babygirl."
"He's not like that. He knows that I don't share the same feelings and he knows that I'm with you so whatever he feels for me is completely irrelevant because I won't ever reciprocate those feelings. And don't bullshit me, you don’t trust me otherwise you wouldn't feel the way you do."
"Don't put words in my mouth Arielle. You need to stay away from him."
"Why? Otherwise he'll end up like Harry?" I spit.
His head doesn't even turn. He just clenches his jaw. "Harry is irrelevant in this conversation."
"Oh but he's totally relevant to this conversation because apparently I can't talk to other men without you beating the piss out of them. I won't let you do that to Niall."
"Arielle, I'm warning you," his voice is low and full of anger.
"Harry is a fucking prick and he needed to be taught a lesson. Me pushing him to the cement and beating the piss out of him that day needed to be done. He was talking about you as if you were a whore, Arielle and that cannot be tolerated." I flinch at the word whore - the word reminding me of my mother and of just how much Zayn doesn't even know.
"And what about the other day when you beat him even more? Was the first beating not enough to fulfill your bloodlust? It wasn't enough to use him as a punching bag the first time?" I'm so angry that my fists are balled up, my knuckles white as snow.
"What are you talking about?" He asks.
"Harry came to see me the other day. His arm was in a sling… he said you beat the piss out of him," I retort.
"I know nothing about that," he says. "Wait. You honestly think I'd do that?" He looks at me with disappointment laced in his eyes.
"Well what am I supposed to think when someone comes up to me with that sort of accusation… I mean you haven't exactly shown me that you aren't capable of something like that…" I say, hoping it won't start another fight.
He doesn't say anything, he just looks back out the windshield. "Don't you see that you haven't exactly acted like a good guy since I've met you? I've grown to accept bad things as normal. And when people make accusations like the one Harry made I will deny that you did it until I'm blue in the face but my mind tells me the opposite - that you are capable of something like that. You still have to prove to me that you are good." I say with all honesty.
He stares out the windshield, but I can tell something's changed in his attitude, "I'm sorry," he says quietly.
"Prove it to me," I repeat as I place my hand upon his which is resting on the gear shifter. The car falls into silence as he continues to drive.
Eventually he pulls up to a restaurant, much to my surprise. "What are we doing here?" I ask.
"I reckon it's about damn time I took you out for a proper date without any drama," he says.
I raise an eyebrow at him, "you're only doing this because of what I said, aren't you?"
"It's possible, but you'll never find out, will you?" He says flirtatiously. "Maybe this was the plan all along," he smiles. He steps out of the car and walks around quickly to open my door for me. He sticks his hand out and I grab it gingerly. "Madam."
"Don't say madam, it makes me feel old," I joke.
"Miss?" He asks. I shake my head. "Babygirl?" He says as he uses me to close the door to the car by stepping forward until my back is forced against the car. He places his arms on either side of me - firmly pressing his palms on the roof of the car.
"Much better," I whisper as I playfully grab at his shirt.
"That's my girl," his lip ring taps against the shell of my ear. He places a kiss directly below my ear. "Now come, let’s eat."
For the first time since I've met him he grabs my hand and laces his fingers in mine, pulling me into the restaurant behind him. I feel his pulse racing in his hand. I can't help the smile that takes over my features.
After dinner we sit together over dessert - a slice of strawberry cheesecake. "Ask me anything." He suddenly blurts out. I gawk at him, unsure of what he's getting at. "Well…" he looks at me before taking a sip of the brown liquor he holds in his glass, "now's your chance to ask me a single question that I'm completely willing to answer."
I maul over the things I could ask him. I could ask him about Kit, but that'd be wasting a perfect opportunity to learn something about him. I could ask about his tattoos. I could ask about his parents. I could ask if he has any siblings. Why he chose to race cars. Where he learned to drive how he did. "How'd you get out of jail?" My mouth decides to blurt out before my brain can decide whether or not it's the question I want to ask.
He swirls the liquor in his cup before downing what's left of it. "My mother's a cop."
I choke on the piece of cheesecake I was chewing. I reach for my drink and drink a portion of it to soothe my throat. "Really?" I ask. "Now that's an interesting twist. A street racer has a police officer for a mother."
He chuckles dryly, "yeah well she's really managed to keep me out of jail, but not because she's telling me to stop racing. She always manages to pull strings and keep any of my offences out of court, and off paper."
"That's one hell of a mother," I comment. "I mean that in a good way," I clarify. "I wish my mother cared enough to risk her job to keep me safe."
He looks at me with sympathy. "Long story, trust me." I say.
"Well we've got all the time in the world, Angel." He leans forward and places his elbows on the table, staring at me.
I clam up, "no, there really isn't enough time in the world."
He isn't sure what to say and so it falls quiet between us. I desperately search my brain for a new topic, "so that's how you kept your car when you were arrested…" I say aloud, mostly thinking to myself.
Zayn nods his head. "Listen," he says. "There's a wedding next week. Come with me."
"Who's getting married?" I ask.
"Louis' mother is getting married. You're my date," he smiles.
"Deal," I smile back.
"Arielle," I hear a familiar voice call to my right. When I look I see Chef Wilson.
"Chef Wilson," I comment. I notice Zayn glaring beside me.
Chef smiles at me, "please, call me Theo - we're not in class. Who's this?" He asks as he looks down at Zayn whose face is stern.
"Oh, excuse my manners," I laugh awkwardly, "Zayn, this is Chef Wilson. Chef Wilson, this is Zayn."
Chef Wilson offers his hand, "please, it's Theo. I'm Arielle's professor." Zayn stares challengingly at him before standing and shaking his hand.
"Zayn," he introduces himself, "Arielle's boyfriend." I notice Chef wince at the contact and when they pull apart Chef gingerly holds his hand with his other, clearly in pain.
"I must say, Arielle's quite the exceptional student." Chef says with a tone that seems to set off Zayn.
"She is quite exceptional," Zayn pipes up. I watch as he squares his shoulders in defence. He always does that when he senses competition…
Chef turns towards me, "I was wondering if you'd be interested in possibly staying after class one day. I was thinking a one on one extra-curricular cooking class. I know you'd really appreciate the credit," he says as he turns and smiles towards Zayn.
I watch Zayn's big brown Bambi eyes turn dark.
"I'm not sure Chef, I'll think about it. I'm not sure if I can juggle it with everything else going on," I answer truthfully.
"Well do think about it and get back to me on Monday's class," he takes a step towards me and grabs my hand. He lightly places an extremely awkward kiss to the back of my hand. "Was good seeing you." Chef turns to Zayn, who's absolutely seething, "great meeting you."
Zayn doesn't say anything, he just clenches his jaw and I watch a muscle in his jaw throb. Chef nods his head and turns to walk away from us.
Zayn sits back down at the table, still seething. "What the fuck was that?"
"What are you talking about?" I ask, obliviously.
"He was totally fucking hitting on you," he says, voice filled with venom.
"You sound like Zoe," I say. I watch as Zayn's hand fists the table cloth. When I realize what I've said, my face drops. Shit. "What I meant is that Zoe always teases me about my teachers because I'm kind of a teacher's pet, not about Chef Wilson." I try to back-track, but it's clearly not working whatsoever.
"So I'm not the only one who sees this? He should be fired Arielle."
"Don't." I warn, "don't you dare fuck up his life because of your own issues. Whether or not he flirts with me is irrelevant because I will never be with him. Besides, my class with him is almost over and then he'll never be my prof again so you don't have to worry about him."
"Fuck him," Zayn spits.
"Zayn," I warn again. "Did we not just go over this in the car? Why are we fighting over this again? I won't fight over this."
He balls his fists. I watch the rings on his fingers as they shine under the lights of the restaurant. Can't we just have one normal night? Is that too much to ask for?
"He's a prick. Just as bad as Harry. He's lucky I didn't beat the piss out of him," Zayn's voice is low.
I reach forward and place my hands on top of his balled fists. I run my fingers over the light coloured bruises - a reminder of the damage he'd done to Harry after the race. I trace the cuts - both fresh and old. His hands are trembling underneath mine, but after a few seconds the trembling ceases and I slowly feel his fists loosen beneath my hands. He takes a few deep breaths and slowly turns his hands over so that his palms are touching mine. His rough hands caress mine as he takes careful breaths to calm himself.
After a minute or two he looks up at me and his eyes are near their normal shade of caramel brown. I reach forward and place my hand on his cheek, softly rubbing his stubble, "are you ready to go?" I ask.
He nods his head and stands from his chair. Zayn walks around the table and puts his hand out for me to grab. I grab it and we walk out of the restaurant together. "So much for no drama."
A/N: i don't even know why i bother doing these because a) nobody reads my author's notes anyways because they're eons long and b) apparently no one on here is even reading this because i've been asking for comments for weeks now and there have been zero (that's a big fat 0). i'm not saying this in a bitchy tone guys i just want to know whether or not you're enjoying what you're reading because that's the entire point and/or reason for writing is you want people to read and enjoy and such and i'm hearing plenty on wattpad but you guys are so quiet and it's upsetting. like honestly i feel like i should just stop updating it on here because it feels like no one's reading it anyways?
idk i'm just really sad, confused, and frustrated so if you're out there and you're still reading PLEASE comment what your thoughts are or just tell me that you're there otherwise i may just stop updating this on this website.