☠ Chapter Fourteen ☠
➳ ARIELLE'S POV
"Ari, Ari," I wake when I feel my arm being violently shaken. When I open my eyes, I find Zoe staring closely at me. I groan with annoyance and attempt to roll over, but she just yanks on my arm so that I'm facing her. "Get up!" She moans.
I run my hands over my face and look at her through eyes that are laced with sleep. "What?" I snap at her.
She rolls her eyes and takes a step back. "I'm sorry, it's just it's kinda urgent and you've been sleeping for like two hours and I can't wait any longer…" she murmurs out much too quickly for my brain to register.
"What?" I sit myself up in bed.
"It's about earlier today. Remember when you came home and I said I needed to tell you something?" Zoe asks as she sits on the edge of her bed and stares at me.
"Get on with it Zoe," the phrase comes out with a lot more attitude then I'd intended for. I begin stretching on the bed to help wake myself up.
She rolls her eyes, "your mom and dad were here."
"What?" I choke out. "That's impossible."
"No, I'm serious. A woman came to the room looking for you and when I said you weren't here she said she was your mother, and then I watched her out the window and she left with a man." Zoe picks at the skin around her nails.
"I'm sure you're mistaken," I respond. "My mother doesn't even know that I'm in Florida."
"No," Zoe shakes her head, "she definitely said she was your mother."
"Well then she wasn't with my father. It's obviously one of her boyfriends." I put my head in my hands and sigh, "what'd she want?"
"Well first off, she was wearing a wedding ring so I just assumed that was your dad she was married to. I'm sorry. But she-"
"She's married?" I interrupt.
Zoe looks up at me, "she had a big rock on her hand so I'm guessing so, yeah."
"Huh," I say aloud.
"You didn't know?"
"Uh, no," I respond. Zoe opens her mouth to say something, but I speak before she can interject, "so what exactly did she say?"
Zoe eyes me for a moment, seeming to debate whether or not to ask. "She wanted me to tell you that she wants to meet you in front of the campus later tonight. She said she wanted to see you… and talk to you."
I'm sure. "Where? And when?" I ask.
"She said she'd meet near that big tree by the fountain for like seven," Zoe replies. "So, like soon…"
"Are you going?" She asks. I shrug my shoulders. "Listen, by the sounds of things it doesn't sound like you and your mom are close so if you'd like me to come with you, y'know for support or whatever, you know that I'm always here."
"Thanks but I think I've got this one." Besides, I wouldn't want you to see what kind of person I become when my mother's around.
"Okay, well you can always text me if things get too intense," Zoe stands up from the bed and heads towards the bathroom. When she's standing in the doorway she turns and faces me again, "oh shit I nearly forgot. Some other girl by the name of Kit was here asking about you."
"Yeah when I asked who she was she said the two of you were friends but I'd never seen her around so it seemed kind of weird," Zoe responds.
"I don't know a Kit," I adjust myself on the bed. Who the hell is Kit?
"Well then that's even more weird because she came up to our room and everything like she knew you'd be here."
I shrug my shoulders, "maybe she's from one of my classes?"
"Maybe," Zoe shrugs her shoulders as well, "anyways she said she'd just come back another time so I wouldn't worry about it too much, obviously it wasn't very important otherwise she would've left a message."
"Yeah, I guess you're right." I look at the clock on my cellphone. "Shit," I murmur. "I have to go meet my mother. I'll be back later." Guess I'm doing this.
"Okay," Zoe then turns away from me, entering the bathroom and closing the door behind her. I gather my things and head out the door, my stomach is already upset worrying about how this meeting will go.
I head out of the dorm and walk across the campus until I reach the bench by the fountain and I sit there, waiting very impatiently for her to arrive. It almost seems like I'm sitting there for hours before I see her slim figure walking towards me. When she nears I notice that her hair is now dyed brown. In her left hand she carries a Chanel purse and I can't help but scoff and roll my eyes. She's dressed to the nines - wearing a form fitting dress and expensive looking pumps. Her hair is swept up into the perfect bun and her lips are painted a bright shade of red.
"Arielle," she addresses me.
I don't bother standing from the bench, knowing full well she knows she's lucky that I'm even here. "Vivien," her name feels wrong on my tongue. She slowly approaches me and then she stops. I take in a large breath of air and look at her face. "What do you want? What dragged you out here?"
"Jackson and I came to see you. We flew out from New York late last night because I said I wanted to see you." My mother doesn't even hesitate after hearing my tone.
"So you got married again and moved to New York? What happened to the last husband and California?" I question, unaware, but totally not surprised of either change in life events.
She ignores my questions. "It took months to track you down Arielle, it was hard. You made it near impossible to find you. We had to spend quite a bit of money," she stands regally before me, as if she's a member of the royal family.
"Obviously not hard enough," I comment. "What do you want mother?" I bite.
"I wanted to see how well my little girl is doing." She takes a step towards me, still standing several feet in front of me. "So you are going to Le Cordon Bleu, that is okay…" I hear the tone in her voice, she's unimpressed - she's looking down on me like usual.
"If you came here to condescend me I don't want to hear it. There's a reason I left as soon as I could and we both know that reason," I stand up, hoping to convey a sense of authority to her.
"Arielle, let us not go there. Do not go around saying things that you cannot back up. You were a wild child with just as wild of an imagination. Let us speak of another subject as I am sure you do not want your friends to know just why Mommy had to spend thousands of dollars to find her daughter…" she adjusts the hem of her dress.
"I don't understand why you came here. I don't see the motive yet. What are you here to fuck up in my life?" I attempt to square my shoulders in defense, just as Zayn does when he's conveying authority. My mother stays stone-faced, simply staring at me with cold, loveless eyes.
"We are in public, do not use that language. I thought you had grown out of this un-classiness." She eyes up the outfit I'm wearing, "but I guess once a whore, always a whore." I take four quick steps towards her and strike her as hard as my arm will allow.
My mother places a gloved hand upon her cheek that is already red with my handprint. "You're one to talk," I spit. She looks up at me and smirks wildly. "There she is… there's the mother that I know," I comment.
She doesn't say anything, she just turns around and walks away. I stand there and seethe for a moment. I run my fingers through my hair and suck in a breath of air through my teeth - my eyes stay fixated on the small devilish figure walking away from me.
"Ari?" A familiar voice calls my name from behind me. When I turn, Niall's staring at me with concern. "Are you okay?" He asks. I stand there and begin to sob uncontrollably. When I feel his arms wrap around my small frame I cry even harder into his shirt. Even though I have a feeling he saw the events that transpired he doesn't say anything, he just holds me and absorbs my sobs.
After a minute or two the crying has subsided. I use my hands to wipe the stray tears away. When I look up at his bright blue eyes they're a sea of concern. I know he wants to ask me what just happened and who I slapped, but I also know that he won't ask unless he feels it's necessary. He places his hand on my back and rubs soft circles, "do you wanna talk about it?"
I close my eyes and take in a big breath, attempting to steady my emotions. I can still feel the rage inside me, which will take some time to subside. I don't even bother looking at Niall I just shake my head back and forth in a response.
"Okay, but you do know you can talk to me right? I mean I know things have been a little weird lately between us but I've been a prick, I'm sorry. I've purposely been avoiding you and I really shouldn't have because there wasn't any reason to. We're friends." He smiles.
"Yes I know I can talk to you," I respond, "and don't apologize!" I smack his arm playfully. "You have done nothing wrong, I'm the one at fault here. I'm sorry for everything that night." I smile back at him, "I'm glad we can look past it because I really do appreciate you as a friend."
"Me too," he responds. It's silent for a few moments and I use the precious time to calm my frayed nerves. "Listen, do you want me to walk you back to your room? You still seem a little on edge…"
I nod my head and we begin walking a slow comfortable pace back to the dorm together. "So how have you been? It's been weeks since we've talked so leave nothing out." I joke, lightly shoving him with my shoulder. He takes a few tumbling steps away from me, smile plastered on his face.
"It's been good. I'm really enjoying the one course I have, the professor is great… or should I say chef?" He laughs lightly and looks down at me.
I form a small laugh, "that's good to hear."
"How about you? How has class been going?" He scratches the back of his head.
"To be totally honest it's kind of been a blur the last few weeks - things have been kinda crazy with Zayn lately, not to mention the fact that I saw an old high school friend and that was crazy. Everything's just been so insane that I haven't had time to really focus on my classes," I laugh to break the awkwardness that's fallen between us.
"Zayn," he states. "Is that the guy from the party?" He asks, protectively.
"Yes," I can't bring myself to look at his face which I know has a look of pain written all over it.
"Oh, so you're dating him now?" Niall questions. His voice doesn't sound condescending or offended, he just sounds like he's asking a simple question but I've known him long enough that I know he isn't pleased.
"Yeah, I guess you could say that," I respond. An even more awkward silence succumbs us as we walk. I desperately try to think of something to break the silence but it's like the painful silence has numbed my brain, making me even more desperate to end it.
"How's Zoe?" Niall asks.
I laugh and I can see him smile beside me, "oh, she's Zoe. Typical Zoe."
As we're walking, a couple passes us and we have to shuffle over. Niall steps on the grass and I shuffle over too, our shoulders rub until we pass the couple and are able to comfortably move back onto the sidewalk. When we're back on the sidewalk, Niall nudges me lightly as a joke, almost making me stumble face-first onto the cement. He grabs my arm before I can hit the pavement and we both break into a fit of laughter. He pulls me up and I stumble into him.
Our laughter is cut short, "what the hell do you think you're doing?" I hear Niall's voice ask and he takes quick steps around me. I have to wipe away the tears to see that he's standing in front of a small blonde woman. I notice she appears familiar, but I'm not sure where from.
"Why were you taking a photo of us?" Niall asks, clearly annoyed that this random person has invaded our privacy.
She uses a manicured hand to throw her hair over her shoulder. I decide to take slow steps towards the two of them. "Arielle," she addresses me.
"How do you know my name?" I ask. "Who are you?"
She places her hand over her mouth, feigning that she's offended I don't know who she is. "My name's Kit, I came here earlier to talk with you but now I see where you were…" she eyes up Niall who's standing protectively at my side.
"Who are you and what do you want?"
"You thought it was more important to hang out with your boyfriend, boy-toy, fuck-buddy, whatever he is to you rather than visit with me," she pouts her lower lip and I’m tempted to jam my fist right into it.
"Seriously who the fuck are you?" I ask, irritated now.
"Whoa, who lit the fuse on your tampon this morning?" She comments.
"Okay, whatever," I say before I turn and walk away from her. I take two steps and she speaks up.
"Well I guess I'll send these photos to Zayn. I was going to give you an opportunity…" she entices me.
"What?" I ask obliviously, turning around and taking careful steps back towards her.
"Zayn?" Niall questions, "what does this have to do with Zayn?"
"Well you see, Arielle here was clearly flirting with you," she looks at Niall who blushes furiously. "So obviously you two are cheating together so I best let Zayn know. I'm sure he'll be furious." Kit raises one almost non-existent eyebrow at me. "So let me just send these photos to him."
I cross my arms, "fine. I don't give a shit. Niall and I are just friends so if you send those - if you don't send those - it doesn't matter, you'll accomplish nothing."
"Mm, I don't think so… you see Zayn has a very bad temper and I'm sure once he sees some compromising photos of his girl hanging off another man he'll be quite… upset. I once gave an old friend a hug. He was a male friend. I ran into his mother a week later, only to learn that he was now in a coma from being beaten so badly," She tries her best to threaten me. A part of me feels terrified that maybe her story is true, but the other part of me calls bullshit.
"Bullshit," I spit. "Look, I don't know who the fuck you think you are, or what you think you're doing, but when I tell Zayn that you're stalking me I'm sure he'll handle things." I threaten her right back.
She juts her hip out, "well, well, well kitty got claws!" She throws her head back and laughs for a moment, "Arielle, honey, don't hate me because I'm beautiful… hate me because Zayn thinks I am."
"This performance you've put on, it's wonderful." I snap, "I would give you a clap but I'm sure you already have it."
Niall nearly chokes beside me and with that I walk away from her, totally not caring if she sends those photos to Zayn or not. All I did was trip and Niall caught me instead of letting me hit the pavement - there's no cheating going on here. It's not like anything's going on between Niall and myself so why should it matter? Yes, he has feelings for me, I know he does, but those feelings are not and will not be reciprocated so why should it matter at all? I try my best to forget about the woman but I feel as if it's tainted my entire day - Kit and my mother.
When I take a step inside the building I can hear Niall huffing behind me to catch up, "what the hell was that out there?" He asks.
I shrug my shoulders, "I don't know who she was or what she wants but I'm not going to let someone threaten my relationship that easily."
"Well, good for you." He responds, totally unconvincingly. We stand there in a moment of silence.
"I've got to go phone Zayn and let him know what happened here," I say.
Niall nods his head, "okay." He takes a step forward and places his hands on either side of my face. He leans down and gently places a soft kiss to the top of my head, "if you need me, you know where to find me."
I smile meekly at him, "thanks." With that he exits through the doors and I begin making my way up the stairs. I pull my cell phone out of my pocket and dial Zayn's number. After three rings, he picks up.
"Something wrong, babygirl?" When I hear his voice my heart begins to beat a little faster.
"No, I just - something a little unsettling happened today and I wanted to see if you knew what it was about." I reply softly.
I hear him blow smoke past his lips, "is everything okay?"
"Yes, it's just this girl showed up today and she was taking pictures of me and a friend and she sort of… she sort of threatened me with the photos she'd taken."
"Threatened you?" He asks. He blows more smoke, "wait… what did she catch you doing that she felt the need to take photos of?"
I scratch the back of my head and bite my lip out of nervousness. He's clearly impatient with waiting for a response so he speaks up again, "babygirl? What am I missing here?" His voice now sounds agitated.
I sigh, "I was hanging out with Niall… one of my guy friends and I tripped and we were laughing about it and I heard Niall confronting her - asking her why she was taking photos of us."
"Arielle," he warns.
"It was nothing. But she was something. She was threatening our relationship with these photos." I try to distract him from the fact that I was hanging out with Niall because I know him and his possessive personality won't be happy.
"If it was nothing then how could she use these photos to threaten our relationship?" He asks.
"Because you're possessive! Don't you get it!" I raise my voice slightly, not wanting to raise it enough for everyone to hear. "She knew that you'd react this way if you heard I was hanging out with a man other than you! Whoever she is, this is exactly what she wanted! And she's getting her wish without even sending you anything! I swear to you that there's nothing going on between Niall and me!" I take a deep sigh, "I need you to trust me Zayn."
I can hear his heavy boots as he paces on the other side of the phone. It's silent for a few moments and all I can hear is the familiar sound of him smoking. I hear the lighter click and I assume he's lighting another. "Who was it?" He asks, voice low.
"She said her name was Kit."
It's quiet for a few seconds. "Jesus Christ," he swears. I imagine him running his fingers through his hair.
"Who is she?" I ask, intrigued yet scared.
"Has she shown up before?"
"She showed up earlier today, asking Zoe where I was," I reply.
"Fuck," his pacing becomes more erratic on the line.
"She showed up asking for me by name and when Zoe asked who she was, Kit said she was an old friend of mine. I saw her at a coffee shop once too when I was with Zoe, but that was back before we'd first met and she didn't acknowledge me, but now that I think about it I think she was getting coffee for you."
He scoffs, "yeah she brought that coffee to my place."
"Wait. She's been to your house? Should I be worried about her coming there too?" I hit the third floor and stay in the stairwell. Who was this Kit girl, and why did Zayn seem to be worried about her?
"No, she knows my mom's place, not mine. You're safe at mine. But don't worry, she's harmless - an old shag who couldn't quite say no to one."
I'm speechless on the other end. So that's why when I asked Louis to take me to Zayn's place he took me to his mother's - because Zayn takes all of his one night stands to his mother's place. In a sick twisted way I feel honoured to have been allowed into his place and in another way I feel ashamed and disgusted.
"Don't worry about it babygirl, I'll handle her," he says before I hear him sucking in and blowing out. "I'll talk to you later, okay? I wanna see you soon."
I'm still near speechlessness, "okay, me too." I mutter out. With that, he hangs up. I walk back to my room in silence thinking about whether or not Zayn is a good man.
A/N: not really sure if anyone on movellas is reading this anymore???? I haven't received comments in a while so please let me know if you're still out there reading!!!!