☠ Chapter Forty-Three ☠
➳ ZAYN'S POV
I burst through Liam's front door with a fucking purpose. I don't even bother knocking because at this point I'm furious. I'm done with Kit and her shit. Nobody just takes my car anywhere without my permission. She better be dead.
"Wh-" Liam steps out from the kitchen with a damn spatula in his hand. He greets me with a smile, but once he sees that I'm pissed off, he quickly places the utensil down. "What's going on?"
"Where the fuck is she?" I spit. I don't intend to be a dick to him, but I need to find this bitch, and wring her fucking neck.
"Kit! Where is that bitch? Is she here with Snow?" I begin stomping around his house without asking, opening doors and checking inside of rooms, despite the fact that my car wasn't parked outside of his house. As it was, I had to take a fucking cab here, and that was embarrassing enough.
"No, I haven't seen either of them since yesterday!" He yells out in defence. "What the hell is going on?" I ignore him, and so Liam grabs my arm, effectively making me stop dead in my tracks and glare at him, praying those fucking fingers that have hold of my arm will fall off. "Zayn!"
I jerk my arm away from his grasp, "she took my car!"
"Yes, you bloody idiot! I went into the garage and both her and my car were gone! She's dead if I get my hands on her!" I slam my fist against the countertop, immediately wincing. I probably shouldn't have done that with my one good arm. At this rate, I'll end up with both of my damn arms in a sling.
"Maybe her and Snow are out together," he tries a calm voice, and it doesn't work. "Look, I'm sure she'll be back soon! You need to fucking calm down before you pop a damn blood vessel."
"Oh, fuck off." I run a hand through my hair. How in the hell did this even happen? I let some stranger into my house and now my most beloved possession is missing. It's safe to say that she'll never again set foot into my house, and my car keys will not leave my sight.
"I'll ring Snow, alright? We'll see if they're together." Liam pulls his cellphone out of his pocket and after a few taps on the screen, he puts the electronic up to his ear. But after several rings, and a voicemail message, it's evident that Snow isn't picking up. He tries dialling again, but ends up with the exact same result. "Shit," he curses.
"Fucking hell," I pace back and forth a little in front of him.
"Calm down, Z. I'm sure they're fine."
"I don't give two fucking shits about anything but my car," I snap.
Liam sighs, "whatever, mate. I'm sure your car is fine. You need to smoke a joint or something, jesus." He walks away from me then, probably irritated that I'm being a fucking dick, but all I care about is that my car ends up safely parked in my garage by the end of the night.
I don't have time to respond because my phone starts ringing and I quickly pull it out of my pocket. I don't recognize the number flashing across my screen, but I answer the call anyways. "Yeah?" I say into the phone, irritated with everything.
"Is this Zayn Malik?"
"Yeah, who the hell is this?"
I hear a chuckle on the other end of the line, "your mother warned me you'd be like this."
"My mother? What's going on? Who are you?"
"I work with your mother, and there's been a situation-"
"Is she alright?" I interrupt.
"She's alright, yes. It's something else. I'm going to need you to come down to see me about five miles up Attlee Drive."
"What the hell is this about?"
"Look, Zayn . . ." He takes a heavy breath before continuing. "I'm a close friend of your mother's and I'm sort of doing this off the books, if you catch my drift. I could get in real shit, so get your ass down here or I'll charge you with something you should've been charged with a long time ago."
"Fuck, fine. What am I looking for on Attlee?"
"Trust me, you'll see it."
"Alright, but my mate will be driving me," I respond. Liam looks at me, expecting it to be him, but I shake my head and look away.
"Am I to assume that'll be Louis Tomlinson?"
"Yes, fuck, do you need to know if I shit this morning too?" Cops fucking know everything about me without my ever saying a word, and it's irritating as hell.
He chuckles. "Just get here, and ASAP."
I hang up the phone and turn to Liam, who immediately raises his eyebrows, "who was that?"
"I need to go," I say and begin walking out of his house. Before I take a step outside, I turn towards him, "thanks anyways for the help."
Liam approaches me, giving me a quick hug, "just take it easy, mate. You look like you're about to wear yourself out."
"I'm fine," I reassure him as he pulls away from me. "Don't worry about me." He opens his mouth as if he's about to say something else, but I interrupt before he can even begin. "Look, I really have to go."
He nods his head, concern and pain fills his eyes. I ignore the look and head back to call off the taxi, dialling Louis' number on the way.
➳ ARIELLE'S POV
"So did anything else happen last night that I don't remember?" I ask Niall, over my steaming cup of coffee. I lift the mug to my lips, and cringe as the liquid makes its way down my throat. The only reason I'm even drinking it is to sober myself up, but it doesn't seem to be doing much other than inducing a headache from the aroma.
Niall smudges a droplet of the liquid on his mug, "I think you kissed Raelyn."
I sink my head into my hands, "seriously?"
He nods his head, obviously blushing. "Yeah, and that was something that everyone saw . . . including that guy, Hayes."
"Hayes saw it too? He's like my boss, that's so weird! Wait, was it just like a peck, or did we make out?"
Niall raises his eyebrows, "it was a few kisses throughout the night, although I can't account for what you did in the water because it was dark and I couldn't quite see the two of you."
"Why were you watching the two of us?" The question comes out awkward and weird, although I totally didn't intend it that way. I just wanted to know what he was doing watching us run heedlessly naked into the ocean.
"Well, first of all, you were naked and I thought that if you were sober, you really wouldn't want people to see you that way. And second of all, you two were totally smashed, and I was worried you'd end up drowning or something. Just imagine me running towards the ocean with clothing, trying desperately to get you to wear something."
"I can't believe that happened . . . always the gentleman, aren't you?" I tease. I can't help but make comparisons between Niall and Zayn. I just think that if I was running naked anywhere while I was dating Zayn it would've been an entirely different story. It would've been protectively pulling me away from everyone, or it would've been inappropriate touching in the ocean, who knows? Either way, I miss the feeling of being around him, and at this point, I don't know that I'll ever get over it.
"Not always," he teases back. Obviously this is some thing about him proving that he's a man, because he slowly puffs out his chest a little, thinking I don't notice. "There were two naked women, and I'm a man," he shrugs his shoulders casually.
"Right," I tease, dragging out the sound.
"Morning," Hayes interrupts as he makes his way down the stairs. He's shirtless, in a pair of low hung sweatpants, and I admit that it's really hard to look away because he's quite fit.
"Morning," I reply, but Niall chooses not to respond. "Anyways, as you were saying . . ." I say to Niall, but he shakes his head.
"Just . . . never mind."
"What's that?" Hayes asks from behind his freshly poured cup of caffeine.
"Oh, nothing," Niall quickly utters.
"We were just talking about last night."
Hayes raises his eyebrows, giving me a strange look, "oh?"
I sink my head into my hands, "about that . . . I'm really sorry."
Hayes chuckles, pulling out a chair at the table and taking a seat. "Don't worry about it," he smirks.
Eventually, Rae joins us in her hungover state, and the four of us enjoy conversation over our coffee in good company. But in the back of my mind, all I can think about it how badly I need to see Louis and ask him all about Zayn's line of work . . .
➳ ZAYN'S POV
After calling Louis and waiting for what seems like forever, he finally arrived to pick me up and now we've both been sitting silently in the car during the ride, as I yelled at him the instant I sat in the passenger's seat.
"Couldn't you have fucked the muppet another time?" I bite, bringing the topic up again. I was pissed because he'd taken forever to come pick me up, and I'm positive it's because he was fucking his girl, which apparently couldn't wait until after we ran this errand.
"I wasn't having sex," he says for the thousandth time.
"Do you think I'm a bloody idiot? Your hair's flat in the back, couldn't you have been on top for once, you lazy fuck?"
"Shut up, you prick!"
I turn to look at Louis, but notice that the car's begun to slow down and his eyes are wide as he stares out the windshield. I follow his gaze, to a sight that makes my heart stop in my chest. My breathing instantly quickens, and my vision blurs, and my fists tighten at my sides. In the ditch, is my beautiful car, on its roof, completely smashed and destroyed.
"Holy fucking shit," Louis softly whispers as he brings the car to a stop on the shoulder of the highway, near where the police officer stands.
I open the door and step outside, and it's almost as if everything's moving in slow motion around me. The cars aren't speeding down the highway beside us, they're rolling, almost as if they're immersed in some sort of molasses. The wind, which was furiously blowing earlier, has become almost nonexistent, as the trees seems to barely be swaying anymore. It's almost as if the world transforms and shifts before my very own eyes, as the colours of the world smear into dullness.
"What the fuck," I whisper, taking steps closer.
The car is on its roof, which has caved in. The windshield, along with all of the other windows have been smashed, or cracked. I notice the one mirror hanging off the side of the car, along with a print of blood on the front windshield in front of the driver's side.
What the hell am I supposed to do without my baby? This car has been all I know, all I've ever known. My closest connection to my father. My job. My reputation. This car has been my everything, and now it's gone. Seeing it broken, and completely destroyed has me feeling as if I've lost a part of myself, and the grief is apparent in my heart. It was so much more to me than just a car . . .
"Zayn," the officer greets me. I have to tear my eyes away from the horror, and look at him. I recognize the man from my mother's office.
"Wade," I greet him by his last name. He seems impressed that I knew his name, but it's on his badge, so I end up giving him a look of confusion.
"Now you see why I called you?"
I nod my head. "What the hell happened?"
"Well, we found a blonde woman driving the car, she'd been knocked unconscious. I found a bag of some substance in her purse. We assume she was intoxicated when she was driving . . . ended up rolling it."
"Fucking Kit," I curse, running a hand through my hair.
"You knew about this?" He asks, pointing towards the wreckage.
"No! She fucking took my keys today! I didn't know where she or my car were! I didn't know about the drugs either."
"We're not entirely sure the drugs were hers, we're still waiting on test results, but I'm fairly positive. Was the woman your girlfriend?"
Louis scoffs from beside me, and I'm not entirely sure why, but I chose to ignore it. "No . . . I don't fucking know! No! Is she-"
"She's alive. They took her to the hospital. Minor injuries; a few cuts, bruises, and scratches. But she'll be facing charges once she recovers."
"Charges?" Louis pipes up.
"Possession. Driving under the influence."
"What about the car?" I ask, knowing all too well that the vehicle is illegal on the streets of Miami. Am I going to end up getting fined, or will my ass end up in jail? How could my mother possible cover this? Or Wade?
"That's why I called you down here personally," Wade takes a step closer to me. "It's been handled, but you have to find yourself a legal car. Your mother said specifically that if you chose another car with illegal modifications, there's nothing she can do for you."
"Wait, so she's going to a wrecker?" Louis asks, pointing to the car, that's very obviously destroyed.
"You're a bloody idiot," I tell him before turning to Wade, "ignore him." I pace the pavement, unsure of what's even going on anymore. How in the hell did this happen? How am I supposed to survive without my means of earning money? I need to find a new car as soon as I can. I need to walk away and pretend like this never happened, because standing around dwelling on it sure as hell isn't making me feel any better about it.
I also need to deal with the fucking bitch, Kit.
"So if I walk away right now I have your word that this'll be dealt with?"
Wade nods his head, "you have my word, Malik."
I purse my lips and nod in his direction. I take once last look at my baby before turning and walking away from the car. I need to go home, and have a drink. I need to calm myself before I confront Kit, otherwise I'll end up strangling her with my own two hands. Getting fucking stoned and crashing my livelihood.
If she's not dead by the time I get to the hospital, well then I might just finish the job.
➳ ARIELLE'S POV
After Rae dropped me off at home, I immediately took some pills and took a nap while waiting for Louis to come home. But eventually, I end up waking up and I'm bored so I cook some food, and still wait around for him.
Hours later, I hear him pull into the driveway and I eagerly approach him once he's inside. "Hello," he greets as he tosses his keys down onto the table inside the door. "It smells really good in here."
"Oh, thanks. I cooked orecchiette. Would you like some?"
"Please, that sounds amazing."
I walk towards the kitchen and begin to prepare a plate for him.
"What's in it?" He questions eagerly.
"Peas, shrimp, radishes, dill, lemon juice, chives, red pepper, and some garlic."
When I look at Louis, he's smiling at me, and I'm forced to ask, "what?"
"Nothing. I like it when you go all chef on me."
"What?" I ask with a smile. I assume he means that it reminds him of Zoe, but he doesn't answer my question, as I've placed his plate down in front of him and he's eating it as if he hasn't seen food in weeks, or months.
"Nothing, listen . . ." he stuffs his mouth with another forkful of pasta before continuing. "There's something that happened today that you probably want to know about."
"What is it?" I pick away at the ribbing on my shirt while I wait for his response. I'm not sure what he's going to tell me, but from the tone in his voice, it doesn't exactly sound like good news.
"So, it turns out that Kit stole his car-"
I interrupt, "wait, seriously?"
Louis nods his head, "it gets worse. Not only did she steal it, but she got stoned and ended up wrecking it."
I gasp, covering my mouth with my sleeve. What the fuck! Flashbacks immediately come to me of every time I've ever been in that car. From the first time I saw it, to the time when I blacked out the first time Zayn and I met alone, to racing down the highway, and making love on the roof of the vehicle. That car held so many memories of the two of us, of Zayn and I, that it immediately hits me like a truck.
It's just another reminder that Zayn and I aren't together, and I'm reminded that I haven't properly dealt with the loss of our relationship. I've done well at faking my togetherness, but I don't know anymore. I need to properly get drunk off my ass and vent to someone . . . anyone that'll listen to a broken girl's heart.
Suddenly, I'm furious. Zayn's lost so much in the last little while. He's lost his memories, he's lost me, he's lost time, and Kit comes in here like some fucking cancerous disease, and destroys everything. She mixes up his memories, she pushes me further away, and she's wasted even more of his time. If she's not dead, then she'd better run far away from here, and fast.
I'm suddenly charging out of the house, and I hear Louis' voice from behind me, but I can't hear him. My ears can't pick up the sound because it's like my head's been submerged in water, and I can't understand nor comprehend because it comes out muffled to me.
I'm calling a taxi as I walk down the driveway, desperate to give this bitch a piece of my mind.
➳ ZAYN'S POV
As I'm walking down the hallway, I realize that I don't have a fucking clue where I'm going. This hospital is like a fucking maze, and despite the receptionist's - or whatever the fuck her job title is - directions, I'm lost.
After wandering around for fifteen minutes straight without getting anywhere, I'm forced to pull someone aside who's wearing scrubs. "Where is Kit?"
"I'm sorry sir, but Kit who?" She clutches a clipboard against her chest, eyeing me up skeptically. She probably thinks I'm some boyfriend who beat the shit out of his girl, and now I'm here to finish the job. I guess in a weird, fucked up sense it's true, but that'd be a desperate connection.
"Kit . . . uh," it's then that I realize that I don't even know her last name. "She was in a car accident. Blonde hair. Green eyes. Was high on some drug when she crashed."
"Oh, she's at the other end of this hall," the woman points to the hallway behind me. "Go straight down there and turn right. She should be down that hall."
"Alright," I say to the woman.
I turn from her then and walk down the hallway. Ultimately, I find the room number, but just as I'm about to enter, I hear yelling.
"You manipulative, psycho bitch! How could you do that to him? What is wrong with you?" A woman's voice yells out.
I hear laughing, maniacal laughing. That's when I look around the corner of the wall to stare into the room. I notice Kit, sitting up in her bed, staring at a woman with brown hair. The brown haired woman's back is towards me so I can't tell exactly who it is, but it kind of looks like that fit girl who came to see me at the hospital when I was in here.
"What, are you expecting an apology?"
Brown haired girl looks away. "You don't regret any of this, do you?"
"Well, it's a good thing you'll probably end up in prison then."
The brown haired girl goes to turn away, before Kit smirks menacingly. "It was fun while it lasted, y'know?"
She turns around instantly at Kit's words. Kit whispers something to her, so quietly that I'm unable to hear, but it obviously strikes a cord with the fit girl, because she instantly gasps. She quickly takes a step forward before slapping Kit across the face, and hard. The sound resonates throughout the room, surprising even me.
Suddenly every intention I had of coming here comes grinding to a halt. It's clear that Kit doesn't bode well to being scolded, so there must be another way of getting her off my back. What would she register with? Seeing me with another woman?
The fit girl sighs before looking at Kit, "karma by far has more balls than I do, and is a much bigger bitch than I am. I have absolutely no doubt that you'll get exactly what you deserve, Kit." With that, she turns and walks away from Kit. Kit sits helpless in the bed, especially when I grasp brown haired girls' wrist and she almost ends up falling into my arms.
As she steps a little away from me, I notice a lacy bra strap appearing from beside the strap of her top. I can't help but wonder if her panties match? That's a sight I'd fucking love to see.
"What was that all about, love?"
She shies away from me, staring up into my eyes. "Nothing."
I trap her up against the wall in the hallway, placing my one hand over top of her body, caging her against the drywall. Her chest instantly begins rising and falling rapidly at my presence. I bring my one hand up to her jawline, running a finger along it.
I hear shuffling and thumping behind me, and I assume it's because Kit can see exactly what I'm doing, but then again, that was my intention.
"What was your name?" I whisper softly, and her mouth parts slightly. My gaze ends up falling on her luscious lips, and it's driving me crazy that I can't kiss this strange, beautiful woman's lips. She's fucking fit as hell, why is it I've never been with her before?
"Arielle," she utters quietly, seemingly a little breathless.
I brush my thumb over her lower lip, and she shudders at the action, looking up at my own lips. "I appreciate beauty, Arielle and you are one of the most beautiful women I've ever met."
She closes her eyes, but before she can speak, Kit yells, "Zayn!" She weakly smacks my arm, but I don't even bother turning towards her. In fact, I don't pay her any mind.
"I-I have to go," Arielle utters before she quickly slips out from under my arm before I can stop her. I turn to glare at Kit, before turning away from her and slowly walking out of the hospital, desperate to catch a glimpse of Arielle again.