☠ Chapter Four ☠
➳ ARIELLE'S POV
"Yeah okay, I totally saw you dancing with that dude. He was practically dry humping you," Zoe crosses her legs and leans her back against the tree.
I pick at the stray pieces of fabric that have separated from the blanket we're sitting on. Suddenly it gets really bright and I realize that the sun has poked out from behind the clouds. I have to shield my eyes from it as I look up at Zoe, who's covered from the sun by the tree. "It was nothing," I state.
"It didn't look like nothing," the sounds of her slurping the remnants of her juice are apparent.
"I was just into the music. I guess I was a little drunk. It's not like I was purposely trying to attract his attention," I lie. I'm pretty sure Zoe can see right through the lie, but she plays along.
"He sure did like you. I watched him leave that other girl to dance with you once Niall left." She rests her empty juice box onto the blanket, and sits there staring at me.
I can't help but cringe at the mention of Niall. He's been avoiding me for the last few days and I'm positive it's because of what happened that night. I admit that I led him on, and of course he wasn't happy with it. The worst part was that I couldn't give him a logical explanation. I didn't want to tell him about wanting to impress the dark stranger, so I'd just told Niall that I was a little drunk and made a mistake. I know he has feelings for me, and I know I shouldn't have done it, but something just came over me once I saw that Nissan park in front of the house. It was like I was suddenly a different person, more like my old self, when I was spiraling out of control.
"What'cha thinking about?" Zoe asks.
"He's dangerous," I blurt out randomly.
Zoe adjusts the position she's sitting in so that she's sitting more erect, "are you talking about him?"
Of course. I nod my head, "he's a street racer," I pick a few blades of grass from the ground and play with them in my hands. "That night when we ran into cheesy pickup line guy…"
"Well right before he showed up and started hitting on me I saw this Skyline parked beside an Eclipse, and well there were two really hot guys standing beside the cars. One was extremely muscular, while the other was less built with black ink covering his arms. That Skyline was the one that pulled that incredible move at the party." I smile when I think back to the memory, "y'know the one where he did the awesome little thing?" I use my fingers to imitate his 180 degree turn.
Zoe laughs, "of course I remember that, it was fucking awesome!"
"So anyways, I saw him inside at the party and he was outside drinking heavily and smoking with a bunch of other guys." I sigh, "I was thinking about it all last night, in fact I really didn't sleep. I know that I'll probably never see him again, but if I ever do I'm not sure if I'll feel comfortable. He kind of scares me a little." In my hands rests a small bundle of shredded grass. "I dunno, maybe my liquor was spiked or something."
The two of us begin laughing and so neither of us hear the light footsteps approaching us. "Hi."
Immediately I look up at Zoe and I can tell from the embarrassed little expression on her face exactly who's standing behind me. His shadow creates this almost fluffy, adorable man. That's it. That's the best adjective that I can come up with when it comes to describing this man… fluffy. "Uh, hi." Zoe says in response. She's blushing furiously - her cheeks a shade of crimson red. For once, she's actually speechless.
When I awkwardly turn around from my spot on the ground I have to look right up towards the sunlight. I can't tell who the shadowy figure is standing in front of me because of the blinding light, but I know who it is. He rapidly moves from his standing position to sit cross-legged between Zoe and I. Suddenly cheesy pickup line guy comes into focus, and I can see his tight black jeans, and his plain white t-shirt, and his adorably fuzzy looking black coat.
"So last time we talked I only really talked with you," cheesy pickup line guy points at me. "But really I don't fancy you," he says. I breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that there's a possibility of Zoe having a chance with this guy. He's sitting closer to her, and they're cute together.
"I really fancy you," he leans in closer to Zoe and smiles the most adorable little smile, and suddenly she's beaming. "So excuse me miss..." Oh dear god please not another pickup line. "But I was blinded by your stunning good looks. I'm going to need your name and your number for insurance reasons." Of course.
Zoe lets out this little laugh, and her cheeks turn another shade darker. "But I don't even know your name…" Zoe speaks up.
"Well I don't know yours either love. I reckon we should introduce ourselves." He's so charming when he speaks I have to bite my tongue from making the most inhumane noise because of the total cuteness that's occurring in front of me.
"I'm Zoe," she says before using a hand to tuck a stand of stray hair behind her ear.
"Louis," he says before looking in my direction, "and you are?"
"Oh, I'm Arielle." I stick my hand out, and he takes it, shaking it ever so lightly. He's still staring at me when I let go of his hand, making me feel slightly uncomfortable. Why is he looking at me like that?
It feels like minutes before he finally turns his eyes away from me and back towards Zoe, "could I borrow your phone?"
Zoe fumbles in her pocket, "sure… but what for?" She's suddenly completely oblivious. Maybe she saw the way he was looking at me?
"Well to give you my number of course," he laughs lightly, and she blushes. She enters her password in and hands her phone off to him. Zoe rips a piece of paper off of her notebook beside her and scribbles down her name and number. There's a few moments of silence before he's done entering his contact into her phone. They switch items in their hands, and Louis stands up.
He stares at me once again, and I feel like maybe he knows me. But I know for a fact that I've only seen him twice in my life. So why is he looking at me like this… again? "Do call me, yeah?" Louis says to Zoe before walking away. He turns around and smiles, winks, and waves at the two of us until he's finally crossed the massive campus lawn.
Zoe begins squealing like a little girl once he's out of sight.
I gather some clothes within my hands and stuff them into the washing machine. I hear a light little giggle from behind me and when I turn, Zoe's holding her cellphone delicately in her hands - grin from ear to ear. I smile and turn back to my laundry basket, which is full of soiled articles of clothing. I grab a wad of dirty socks and throw them into the wash. My hands reach for my favourite pair of short shorts - the ones I wore to the party just a couple of days ago.
I instinctively reach into each pocket to check for things that I may have left behind that would get ruined in the wash. It's when I reach into my right pocket that my fingers find something completely foreign. I carefully pull whatever the object is out of my pocket.
My eyes widen when I take in the sight of what it is. It's a cigarette. What the hell. Did I smoke at that party? I don’t remember smoking. "Zoe…" I trail off. My fingers are still holding it, twisting it around frantically, trying to figure out where the hell it came from. Suddenly when I roll it between my fingers my eyes catch the sight of black ink - Sharpie.
Starbucks on Main. 11:30pm. Sunday.
Suddenly I realize that Zoe's behind me, reading the words over my shoulder. She says them aloud before gasping. "Who's this from?"
"I don't know…" my mind's reeling. Who could've given me this? Who would give me this? And most importantly why? I replay the night at the party over in my head. At some point the man I had be dancing with had slipped his hands into my pockets. That must've been when he slipped the cigarette into my pocket. I gasp and nearly drop the stick of poison onto the floor. Why would he do this?
"What? Who's is this?" Zoe asks.
"That guy that I was dancing with - he put his hands into my pockets when we were dancing." I'm still staring at the small object within my hands unsure of what to do with it. I've never smoked in my life, how do you even hold this thing?
Zoe nudges my arm with her elbow, "seriously?" I can hear the excitement in her voice, "he was so hot, you're going to have to wear the sexiest thing you own!"
"I'm not going!" I blurt out, before she can continue.
Zoe walks back over to the other side of the laundry room and begins messily throwing her clean laundry into her torn basket. "And why not?"
"What kind of man does this?" I don't know what to do with the cigarette to show my disgust and so I throw it on the floor. I turn and continue doing my laundry, but it's like the cigarette is this loud, flashing buzzer or something because I keep finding myself turning around and staring at it, lying there all by itself on the floor next to a golf ball sized piece of lint.
"A man that really likes you," I hear Zoe say from behind me, "a man that is interested in you."
"But how can he really like me? We danced for like five minutes at a random party," I point out.
"Well obviously he liked something about you. He went out of his way to give you this," Zoe walks across the room in three quick strides and picks up the stick laying on the ground, and hands it to me. "Go."
"I don't know… it seems dangerous to meet a stranger in the middle of the night alone," I'm staring at it again as I talk. I'm entranced by its shape, its colouring, his neat little artistic writing in black ink. I'm entranced by him - he's an enigma and I know it's dangerous but there's a part of me that really wants this danger - this excitement.
"How about this?" Zoe throws a last pair of clean, yet unfolded socks into her laundry basket. "I'll go with you."
"What if I get lucky?" I tease.
"Well then I'll go with it," Zoe teases right back, placing her hands out in front of her and thrusting her pelvis forward while winking. I can't help but burst out laughing, Zoe joins in. "But in all seriousness if you're scared I'll come with you."
"What if he doesn't show up when he sees you or something?" I ask, while throwing the remainder of my laundry into the machine while adding some detergent.
"What if I hang back? Like you go to the meeting spot and I'll just like find a bench across the street or hang around the corner and if I see something suspicious I'll call the police. And then you'll feel safe, and you can meet him and fuel your curiosity, as well as mine." Zoe says.
"I don't know, I really don’t. We'll see how I feel later." And with that I turn the dial on the old washing machine, ending our conversation… for now. I fiddle with the cigarette for a moment before putting it in the pocket on my sweater.
I roll over and look at the green numbers of my clock. It's only 11:05. Zoe's soft snores echo in our little room, signalling that she's already asleep. I can't sleep. I've been tossing and turning since I crawled into my little bed, unsure of what to do.
If I go to see him, will I be okay? What if he's dangerous? I mean, bringing Zoe with me would calm my nerves, I know that but frankly I don't really want her to be there. What if this really wasn't him? What if someone else had managed to slip it into my pocket? Anyone that was close to me could've done it. Hell, this could be from Niall. He doesn't smoke, but that doesn't mean that he wouldn't go out of his way to try and score a date with me. On more than one occasion he'd attempted a romantic gesture with me, but I denied it each time.
I lift myself out of bed and place my feet on the floor. Do I go? Do I not go? I was mad at myself - at my indecisiveness. I needed to focus right now. Maybe working out would help relax me. Exercise tires you out, right? A brisk walk outside maybe? I stand from my bed and pull off my pyjamas. I opt to wear warmer clothes - the air can get cold outside here during the nighttime.
I pull a pair of ripped jeans onto my legs, and slip a plain t-shirt on. The t-shirt has the logo of Le Cordon - it was given to me when I enrolled. I grab a black hoodie and put it on. Quietly I put on my shoes, and write a handwritten note on a sticky pad telling Zoe that I decided to go for a walk.
I grab my phone and my keys and walk out the door. The air is crisp when it hits my cheeks, but I inhale the cold - it's refreshing. I head in the opposite direction of the coffee shop. You can't go see him, it's too dangerous. My phone vibrates within my pocket and I grab it. An unfamiliar number is displayed on the screen.
10 minutes babygirl
I read the message again, and then I look at the clock displayed on the upper portion of my screen. 11:20. How'd he get my number? My feet make a sudden U-turn and suddenly I'm speed walking right towards the coffee shop.
A/N: wow okay this was a really long time coming and I suck. It's probably one of my shittier chapters too because not that much happens but shit will go down soon. I promise. So basically cheesy pickup line guy was finally revealed as louis and basically no one guessed it omg everyone thought it was harry which was cute but I had always planned louis. But I guess harry hasn't made an appearance yet, but he will I promiseeeee. Idk what louis and zoe's ship name would be (the only thing I can think of is loe since zouis is already taken) (zouis is total otp)
Don't forget to comment!
Double update maybe? What're your thoughts? Because I have another chapter typed, edited and ready to go! x