☠ Chapter Forty-Seven ☠
➳ ZAYN'S POV
As Louis and I are trying to decide on what to order off the Chinese food menu, I hear Zoe grab Arielle's attention as she drags her sneakily out of the room. But Arielle breaks Zoe's plan of being secretive, as she says, "we'll be right back." I don't bother turning away from the menu, despite the fact that I know the two of them are sneaking off.
After about two hectic minutes, Louis has decided on what he's going to order for all of us and I leave him for a moment while he dials the number and puts in the order. I immediately head for Arielle's bedroom, where I assume Zoe has taken her, curious as to what those two are hiding. What's so secretive that the two of them can't discuss it out where everyone can hear it? It couldn't possibly be about me, could it?
"I've started developing feelings for someone else." Zoe says. Well then.
"Who?" Arielle immediately spits out.
"It's not important. All that matters is what am I going to do? Louis is crazy about me! How am I supposed to end things with him?" I nearly laugh at what Zoe says aloud. As if Louis is crazy about her. He's always been fucking side chicks since I can remember, so I highly doubt that he's been faithful to this one.
"Maybe it was just lust. I mean, we did have a lot of sex." Zoe's voice.
"Too much information," Arielle admits. That's true. It seems that Zoe's just as bad as Louis–they're both always talking about how much sex they have, and we fucking get it. Enough already.
"Well, it's no different than you and Zayn! What the hell happened with you two? Why are you being so weird about it?"
What? What the hell does that mean? I assume that means Arielle has a crush on me, and it immediately has me pursing my lips to suppress the smirk that's forcing my lips to curl upwards. She is being weird around me, but it must be to avoid developing some sort of feelings towards me.
"Zayn," Louis scolds as he steps into the hallway. He tsks, "get away from the damn door."
"Fuck you." I'm about to stand my ground, when I hear quick footsteps towards the door. I duck and jog towards Louis. "Shit," I chuckle as I approach Louis with fear that the girls were about to learn that I was eavesdropping. I nonchalantly grab my beer from the countertop and put it to my lips as I wait for them to come out of the room.
After a moment or two the girls step out and it's obvious that they're both fuming mad. Louis interrupts the awkwardness by asking, "what was that all about?"
I eye up Arielle in her little shorts and her tank top. God dammit, why does she have to be so fucking fit? I want to push her up against the wall and run my hands up and down her body and peel that tight little shirt off her body tantalizingly slow. When her eyes flicker from mine to my lips I find it hard not to just dart across the space between us and live out my fantasy.
"Girl stuff," the hyperactive chick says as she fucking glares down Louis as if he's going to spontaneously light on fire. The fuck's wrong with her?
"Thanks for clearing the air," Louis whispers. He turns away from the girls, rolling his eyes as he passes me. I have to bite my lip to suppress the laugh that's threatening to spill out.
"Alright then," I say as another effort to quash the laughter.
"Did you gentleman choose what we're having?" Arielle asks as she takes a step towards the living room, and me.
I raise an eyebrow in her direction while Louis responds. "Chinese has already been ordered."
How in the hell is this night supposed to go? Everybody seems super fucking awkward with each other. There's some severe sexual chemistry going on between Arielle and I, although she isn't exactly giving me the go-ahead that she's into me. I suspect it, but there's only one way I can really be sure. I've made the decision that I want Arielle.
As for Louis and Zoe, they fucking hate each other or some shit. It sounds like Zoe isn't interested in Louis anymore. She must be fucking someone else, and now she's in love with him instead of Louis. I'm not exactly sure when they started dating because I can't seem to remember. It occurs to me that that must mean they probably started sometime around when my memory gets foggy, meaning several months ago. But it doesn't really matter because Louis never really has been a relationship guy, so his being with Zoe seems odd and strange to me.
It's all so fucking confusing now. Just thinking about all of it makes my brain hurt. I don't want to think about what I might've forgotten over the past months. There's so many things that could've changed. So many things that were once important to me, that I've got zero memory of. I want to regain those memories, and it has me wishing there was some damn cure. Some fucking potion that would help me to regain what I've lost.
I realize I'm being fucking somber as hell, that I'm not participating in the conversation that's going on between everyone else. Despite the fact that there's shit going on between all three of them, they seem to still be able to get on fine.
They all burst out into a fit of laughter, drawing me out of my thoughts. "Don't you think so, Zayn?" Louis asks with a chuckle in my direction.
"What?" I ask, utterly confused.
"Just nod and agree," the hyperactive chick chimes in.
I shake my head. "Hell no. I'm not agreeing to something unless you tell me what it is I'm agreeing to. Do you take me for a bloody idiot?"
"Just do it," Arielle says with a smirk.
"Never," I reply with my own crooked smile. She glares me down challengingly, as if she's attempting to tell me something with her eyes. What it is she's trying to tell me, I'm clueless about. Maybe she's mentally telling me to bugger off. Too bad.
Zoe is saying something, but hell if I'm listening, so I interrupt, deciding to be the biggest prick in the room. "So, what's going on between you lot?" I look at Louis and then Zoe and back again, initiating some discomfort between the two of them. Suddenly they're so much more aware that there's some sort of awkward, unresolved shit going on between the two of them.
I watch as Louis sits up a little straighter, folding his hands into each other as he rests his arms on his knees. He bites his lip thoughtfully, before looking at Zoe.
Zoe's posture has changed as well, she's suddenly sat upright, biting her manicured nails, avoiding any and all eye contact with all of us.
"Nothing," they both answer in unison.
I nod my head and Louis picks up on the fact that I don't entirely believe the answer. "Why do you ask?"
I grab hold of my lip ring between my teeth as I think of what to respond. Apparently I'm quite the shit disturber today, because I respond, "mm, no specific reason. Just heard some stuff s'all."
Zoe's head instantly twists in Arielle's direction. Arielle responds to Zoe's nonverbal accusation by knitting her brows together and shaking her head adamantly. Louis doesn't pick up on it, as he asks, "heard some stuff? Who would've–"
"Nah, don't worry about it. I'm sure it's some dumb rumour Liam started or something." Zoe responds. "He's probably jealous."
Louis purses his lips, but nods his head a little. "Yeah, whatever. Ignore that rumour, Z."
I raise my beer towards him to acknowledge that I'll do just that–even though I know that's not going to happen because most likely by the end of the night they'll both be single. Everyone in this room but Louis knows what's about to happen between the two of them. But I guess in a way, Louis knows too because he wants to end it just as much as she does.
Cheers to shitty relationships.
Louis initiates a new topic of conversation, but it's hard to focus when Arielle pulls out some sort of Chapstick from the back pocket of her tight little shorts and begins applying it to her lips. It's hard to focus on anything other than the way her lips pucker. It's so sensual in a way that has me mesmerized. When she's done, the substance has brought about a sheen to her lips that instantly draws my sight straight to her mouth.
She's probably one of the hottest women I've ever had the pleasure of laying eyes on, and either she has no clue that she's as beautiful as she is, or she knows and uses it to lure in guys like me. Guys like me that can't help themselves when they're around her. Guys like me that want nothing more than to make-out with her until she's begging me to take her then and there.
It's been too long since I've last had sex and it's seriously fucking with my brain, and my hormones. I should be focused on regaining my lost memories, but instead I'm captivated with this wild vixen, Arielle. She seems to consume my thoughts whenever I'm around her, and it intrigues me. Not only because she's intriguing herself, but I find that I'm drawn to her, almost as if I were a magnet, and it's unusual to me.
Normally I'd lose interest in a girl quickly, and end up fucking some other chick. But this was different for some reason. And the fact that I didn't know why it is different, or why things seem different really bothers me.
Amnesia fucking sucks. How can things possibly be normal when I'm missing large chunks of my past? The level of frustration I feel every single day cannot be expressed in words. I'm hopeful that there's something out there that'll trigger the sudden inflow of lost memories, but at this point it seems somewhat bleak.
After about an hour of conversation, the Chinese food has managed to arrive and within twenty minutes, all four of us have devoured our plates and we sit with overly full stomachs and satisfied grins. I notice that Arielle's pretty much in a food coma, as her eyes have become droopy and she's sat on the floor–with her food on the coffee table in front of her. She's ended up leaning up against the couch in her tired state. She notices that I've caught her slipping off into sleep, and so she sits up straighter in an attempt to pretend that nothing's going on.
I chuckle while raising my beer to my lips. I feel the food coma as well, and it's caused my eyelids to be a little droopy, but then I remember the entire reason I came here in the first place–to rub my new ride in Louis' face.
"I have something to show everyone," I announce. They all turn towards me as if mentally they're scolding me for forcing them to stand to their feet. But Arielle seems to perk up at my words, obviously very intrigued. I wonder what she seems to think I'm about to reveal?
"Wait here, I'll just go get it." I stand from the couch, despite the looks I'm being given. Within a few quick strides, I'm out Louis' front door and walking up the street to my new, rather old car. When she's in sight, I hop in her, bring her to life and drive her into the driveway.
I quickly jog into the house announcing for everyone to come outside, and they all reluctantly do so because of the hold the food comas seem to have on them. Zoe, especially, puts up an overdramatic fight as she faux struggles to exit the threshold of the house.
Arielle's the first one out of the house, and she immediately takes careful, stunned steps towards the car. "Jesus," she swears as she nears it.
"A–" I begin to say the name of the car aloud, but Arielle of all people interrupts me.
"'69 Camaro SS."
I stare at her, dumbfounded. In the short amount of time I've come to know her, I'd never taken her to be much of a car enthusiast, but the way she's staring at my new car has me watching her in awe. She slowly walks up to it and extends her hand to run it along the hood, but she chooses otherwise, as she retracts her hand and decides instead to just stare at the car.
"Ari, I didn't realize you knew so much about cars." Louis says from beside me as he walks down the steps onto the driveway.
"Oh," she blushes. She waves a hand nonchalantly. "Dream car. Long story."
Dream car? Arielle just got impossibly more intriguing. I watch her walk around the car until she's able to hang her head in the driver's side window. But she's careful not to touch the paint.
Louis, being the idiot that he is, saunters up to the clean car and runs his hand along it. Dude, it's fucking vintage, you don't just smudge your fingerprints on it like it's nothing! I take deep breaths to calm myself and suppress the urge to slap him. I swear he doesn't think sometimes.
"So, how'd this come about? I reckoned you were always an import kind of guy," Louis asks. I can tell he's silently judging me because he's clearly always been an import guy, but he doesn't get it.
I shrug. "Born and raised on muscle. I guess it never left me."
"I didn't know that," he replies.
Yeah, well I guess there's a lot of shit you don't know about me. I don't respond to his question, instead I look at Arielle, because she asks, "may I?" She points towards the driver's seat.
I saunter over to her, opening the door as a response. "Of course, babygirl," I tell her, just quiet enough for the two of us to hear.
She adjusts her little shorts that've ridden up a bit before she places her arse in the seat. She's immediately caressing everything inside of the car–the old, worn leather seats, the steering wheel, the gear shifter, even the radio. Her eyes are wide, her pupils dilated and I can't help but think she looks so fucking hot in the driver's seat of my car. Jesus.
Without asking, Louis tears open the passenger's side door, but Zoe shoves past and tells him to sit in the backseat. The two of them sit in the back seat and instantly cuddle into each other. I thought they hated each other? Or were fucking breaking up or whatever? I don't get it.
"Can I take her for a drive?" Louis asks.
"Absolutely not," I reply with a smile.
"Can I?" Arielle asks quietly.
My lips curl into a smirk as I ask, "can you drive standard?"
She shakes her head lightly.
"Learn on a shitty car first and then, absolutely you can drive it."
"The fuck?" Louis yells from the backseat.
I point towards Louis. "There you are, Arielle, Louis was kind enough to offer his car for practice."
"As if," he says.
Arielle gasps harshly, feigning that she's been severely wounded by his utterance, turning quickly in the seat to face him. "I thought we were friends!"
He crosses his arms and turns his face away from her, closing his eyes in the process as if to show his disdain towards her at this moment. "So did I, but I reckon I'm suddenly down a peg on Zayn's friend list if he's offering you his car and not me."
"Oh, stop being so fucking dramatic." I say from around Arielle. An awkward silence falls upon the car.
"So where'd the car come from?" Zoe speaks up for the first time since groaning about having to leave the house.
"It was my father's," I utter. It becomes quiet because both Louis and I know what happened to my father, while Arielle and Zoe sit there without a clue. They probably want me to explain what happened, or where my father is, but I don't share personal shit like that. As it is, the only reason Louis knows anything about it is because he knew me back then. Hell, he even attended the funeral with me.
"That's so cool," Zoe says. It comes across as a little insensitive, considering my father's dead, but then I remember that she doesn't know that. "Y'know, it's like a hand-me-down. He passed it on to you, and you can pass it on to your son."
I feel Arielle's gaze burning a hole into me, and when I look at her I spot the overwhelming sadness in her eyes. Does she know about my father? Is she just overemotional at the mention of a mini Malik? Maybe I'm just misjudging the look in her eyes, but despite the fact that I'm looking at her, she doesn't look away.
I realize that I haven't responded to Zoe's comment, and when I think about what she said, I end up cracking a little smile, and saying, "yeah."
Arielle shuffles in the seat, and as she's getting out, Zoe asks, "where you going?"
I'm forced to step away from the vehicle as she lifts herself up and out of the seat. I've got my one palm against the roof, while my other arm touches the opened door. When she stands, I've basically got her trapped between my body and the car itself and she ends up looking up at my eyes as a nonverbal gesture asking to get by. She looks down at my arm and debates whether or not to duck underneath it, but she must decide against it because she stays still.
When her eyes dart back up to mine, it almost seems as if it's some sort of invitation. An invitation to follow her inside. But how can I be sure?
My eyes drift down to her luscious lips which end up parting. I take another step backwards, removing my palm from the roof of the vehicle, allowing her to walk around me. She does, but not before purposefully brushing against my body. I watch her walk around the car. When she knows she's out of view of Louis and Zoe, she turns to look at me one last time before entering the house.
Throwing caution to the wind, I decide that she's nonverbally invited me to follow her inside the house. But it's obvious that she doesn't want the other two to know anything about it. I think of an excuse to follow her inside the house, and two or three minutes later, I've got it.
I pull a cigarette out of my pocket, over-dramatically patting my pockets to show that I've somehow lost my lighter–even though my lighter is tucked comfortably in the pocket of my jacket. "Have you got a light?" I ask Louis.
He too, pats down his pockets. "Nah, mate. Inside the house. Check the kitchen drawers."
I nod my head in his direction, hoping and praying that the two of them don't try any stupid shit while in the backseat of my car. I check that I've got the keys–so they can't take it for a damn joyride–before I'm jogging up the front steps to the house.
When I saunter into the front foyer, it's silent. I don't see Arielle and I don't hear her within the frame of the building. But a few seconds after the front door slams shut, Arielle peeps out from around the corner of the hallway.
"Oh, hey," she coyly says. When she looks at me, I can see the anticipation in her eyes.
I walk up to her in the hallway, effectively trapping her against the drywall. "What was that out in the car?" I refer to the strange looks she's been giving me, as well as the very obvious invitation for me to follow her inside. Her erratic breathing is already drumming wildly in her chest.
"Wh–I don't know what you're talking about," she uses the most confidence she can muster, although that's not very much because her voice falters and cracks at one point. I love this effect I have on her. I'm not even touching her yet and she's already a mess.
"Are you saying that you didn't invite me in to follow you?" I ask and her gaze quickly darts from my eyes to my lips. It's enough to make me want to harshly press my lips against hers, but not yet. "Are you saying you didn't want me to follow you? That you don't want me?" I run my index finger softly across her collarbones, and then slowly up her neck. "Hm?"
"N-No," she stutters, but I know she's just lying to herself. The way her pulse races under my touch, her mouth parts, her gaze keeps flickering to my lips–it all shows me how badly she wants to be near me. Does she want to kiss me as badly as I want to kiss her?
I want her in the worst way, so I can make her feel the best way.
I grip the back of her neck, rubbing my thumb over her carotid artery, leaning forward to whisper in her ear, "what was that you were saying? You're not lying to me, are you babygirl?" Heat and electricity pulses wildly around us. She exhales shakily as I pull my head back, racing my tongue along my lips. It's like one little look at her pushes me over this invisible line, and I'm wanting to carry her to the bedroom now.
Her eyes are pooled with lust and eagerness as she looks up at me. It's like suddenly her resolve snaps like a pathetic little twig. And just like I did earlier, Arielle throws caution into the wind, gripping onto the necklace around my neck, and pulling my lips to her own. She evaporates any and all space between us the instant our bodies crash into each other.
I walk forward, pushing her back until she hits the wall, pressing against her. She moans into my mouth in desire, and I'm triumphantly smiling. My head is swimming as she grips the back of my neck, and it's suddenly a heated make-out session. I grip the back of her thighs, squeezing lightly, and Arielle jumps like I hope she would, wrapping her legs tightly around my waist. I waste no time in pushing her up against the drywall again as she threads her fingers through my hair.
She pulls away a little, needing to catch her breath, and so I trail kisses down her neck and across her collarbones. "Zayn," she moans out, giving my hair an encouraging tug. I begin a love bite just below her ear, and she moans out–the vibrations from her throat pulsing against my lips.
"That's what I'm saying! Jesus Christ!" Louis' voice is suddenly present, along with the slamming of a front door. Arielle instantly pulls away from me, fixing her hair and pushing me further into the hallway. I watch as she quickly pulls her hair out of its ponytail, using the long strands to cover the now forming hickey.
I saunter into the washroom with a triumphant smile plastered across my face.
"Where's Zayn?" Louis asks.
"Oh, uh, washroom, I think."
After a minute or two, I flush the toilet, despite not doing anything and walk out of the washroom nonchalantly. "What's with all the yelling?" I ask, referring to Louis' raised voice when he entered the house.
"Where were you?" Louis questions, all nosey and shit.
"Taking a piss, Jesus."
➳ ARIELLE'S POV
How in the hell will I ever get over what happened yesterday? I kissed Zayn yesterday. I finally kissed him after all this time of being apart. But what did it even mean? Yeah, we made-out, but it's not like we're dating or anything.
I hate the fact that the ghost of his lips are burning into my skin.
My head still swims whenever I think about it. When I left his car, I'd hoped he would follow me, but it wasn't like I was giving him signs or anything. I never expected that he'd actually follow me inside, pin me against the wall, and kiss me like he did. But God, I don't regret a second of it.
I end up running my fingers along my lips, reimagining the kiss as if it just happened seconds ago. I hate the fact that he still has this affect on me, despite the fact that he doesn't have a clue as to who I am–at least, not as far as I know.
"Earth to Ari!" Rae waves her hand in my face, drawing me out of my thoughts. "God, you've been like that all day, what the hell happened yesterday?"
I shake my head. It's true, my focus had been elsewhere all day long, but I couldn't help it. I kissed Zayn! "Nothing, sorry, I'm just tired."
"Tired from what?" She asks with a raised eyebrow.
"Just couldn't sleep," I reply, but it's obvious she doesn't believe it because she hums a sarcastic agreement. "I'm worried, alright?"
"About what? Does this have to do with your ex?"
I cringe at the fact that she just called Zayn my ex, but I ignore the comment. Yeah, he was my ex, but it wasn't like that. I decide to use Zoe and Louis as an excuse, responding, "my best friend is planning on breaking up with her boyfriend, who just so happens to be my roommate and my friend."
Rae makes a verbal sound of disgust–I assume it's because my situation with them is so complex. She turns the car onto another street, but I still don't recognize our surroundings. We were on our way to Hayes' apartment. He left his wallet at the restaurant today, and so we'd brought it on ourselves to drive out to his apartment to give it to him. I think we're close by now, but I can't be sure because I don't know where he lives.
"That's complicated," Rae says.
"Yeah, that's why I'm worried. Like, they're both my friends so it'll be hard." I mean, I wasn't entirely lying. Zoe said she did plan on breaking up with Louis today, and I know that it'll be awkward between the group for a while, but it can't be as bad as yesterday. The entire day was full of tension. Tension between Zoe and Louis–seeing as how they both wanted to break up, and sexual tension between Zayn and I. I wasn't very impressed either when Louis and Zoe barged into the house, interrupting Zayn and I's little make-out session.
"Now I get why you were so distracted."
I nod my head, deciding not to reply as Rae pulls into a parking lot. She pulls into some guest parking spot for the apartment complex and we exit the car without another word. We walk up to his floor, and just as we're about to approach his door, Rae's phone rings. She pulls it out of her pocket, looking at the name that's flashing across the screen.
She tosses Hayes' wallet at me, before mouthing, "Chelsea." I realize that her on and off again girlfriend is calling her and so I let her have her privacy as I knock on Hayes' door. After a moment or two, he answers, standing in front of me in just a pair of boxers.
"Yes?" He asks. I close my eyes, embarrassed to have caught him in a moment like this. How do I keep getting myself in these situations?
"You, uh, you forgot your wallet at work." I hold out the leather billfold, totally mortified with the fact that he's almost naked. What's even worse is that his abs are clearly defined and his skin is deliciously tanned and his hair is ruffled all sexy and–
"Hayes?" I hear a woman's voice come from behind him, and suddenly a beautiful woman appears from behind him. She's also not wearing much, in fact, she's wrapped in a bed-sheet. When she sees me, she clutches the sheet tightly to her chest. "Hello," she says awkwardly. She turns around, adjusting the sheet on her body to ensure that it's positioned correctly on her body. When she does so, it reveals a massive dreamcatcher tattoo on the flesh of her back.
"Baby, this is Ari, I work with her."
"Hi, I'm sorry," I say flustered. "I didn't mean to show up without warning, it's just, Hayes forgot his wallet at work and Rae and I wanted to return it."
"Where is she?" Hayes asks. He leans around me, noticing that she's talking on the phone just up the hallway.
"Chelsea," I explain. He nods his head and purses his lips before he rolls his eyes playfully.
The unnamed woman walks towards me. "It's nice to meet you. I'm Jessica, Hayes' girlfriend."
"Oh, hi! I've heard lots about you," I lie to make Hayes look better. "Ari. Chef Hayes oversees what I do at the restaurant." I talk him up a little, knowing it'll make her proud of her man.
"It's nice to meet you," she says, wrapping an arm around Hayes' naked torso. The hell? You people are naked and obviously just engaged in sex, why are we having a conversation right now? It immediately makes me want to dart down the hallway. But I decide it's time to leave before this gets even more weird.
"Well, uh, I guess we'll get going. Just wanted to make sure you got that. Was nice meeting you," I say in a hurry. "See you at work, Hayes."
With that quick, awkward goodbye, I'm speed-walking down the hall, grabbing Rae's arm and pulling her down the stairs. She hangs up the phone when we're outside. "Slow down," she tells me, yanking her arm out of my hand. "What the hell happened up there?"
"Hayes and his girlfriend were naked at the door! It was mortifying!"
"Ah, don't worry about her, she's–" it sounds like she's about to say that Jessica is nice, but she stops. "I mean, Hayes has been with her for well over a year, so she's dealt with all of his work friends."
"Doesn't sound like you like her much," I comment.
"She's pretty . . . uptight."
I shrug my shoulders before the two of us get in her car and leave the parking lot.
did anyone catch the little hidden secret in this chapter? it has to do with jessica (hayes' girlfriend) and her tattoo. if you didn't catch it, go WAAAAAY back and read the latter end of chapter 2, starting with kit's pov onwards! x