☠ Chapter Ten ☠
➳ ARIELLE'S POV
It's been two days since I've heard from Zayn. I've spent the time frantically wondering what happened to him. Is he safe? Has he been charged with something? Has he been released? What if he's been locked up in a jail cell for the past two days? Why hasn't he contacted me?
I stare down at my fingernails - some of which are stained lightly with blood from me biting nervously at them. I pull my cell phone out of my pocket and type a message to Zoe.
I need to see you, now. Meet me at the dorm in 5.
I press send and gather my things together. I quietly make my way out of the back of the classroom, trying my best not to bring any attention to myself. I carefully open and close the door, and quickly head to my dorm.
When I open the door to my room Zoe's already sitting on the bed, diving into a magazine, "did you even go to class today?" I ask, the second I step into the room.
She shrugs her shoulders nonchalantly, "needed a me day." I shake my head. "So what'd you so desperately need? Oh, did you hear from Zayn yet?"
"No, that's why I need to talk to you." I reply. She sits up on the bed and throws the magazine down onto the floor - right on the pile of other magazine's she's already read. Zoe tilts her head, almost as if she's a dog, confused.
"I need Louis to take me to Zayn's house." As I'm talking I'm desperately reaching for Zoe's phone which is resting on her nightstand.
Zoe quickly stands and rips the phone out of my hands, "here, I'll just call him." I eye her for a moment, curious as to what she's hiding on her phone. Dirty texts maybe? "It's just easier," she says with a shrug of her shoulders.
I watch Zoe throw a piece of hair over her shoulder, type in a few numbers and put the phone up to her ear. I can hear the rings. After two, Louis picks up.
"Hello love," I hear his muffled voice say.
Zoe giggles, "hi. I uh - Arielle needs a favour. I'm going to pass you to her." She hands me the phone and I place it up to my ear.
"Hi Louis," I say into the phone.
"Hello, how are you?"
"Good, listen. I need a favour." I say quickly.
"So I hear."
"I need you to take me to Zayn's house. I haven't heard from him in days, this isn't like him." I begin chewing nervously at my fingernails again, but Zoe jerks my hand away from my mouth, scolding me.
"Hm," is all he says on the other line.
"This is serious Louis, he got arrested after the race!" My voice raises. You told yourself you wouldn't get worked up over this.
"I'm right around the corner. Be there in three minutes." I can hear his engine purr to life and the line goes dead. I throw Zoe's phone back at her.
"I have to go, are you coming?"
"Naw, I should probably go to my next class. I haven't been in like four days and I'm sure someone's noticed by now," she shrugs her shoulders nonchalantly again. "But please let me know what's going on, okay?" She takes a few steps forward and wraps her arms around me, "I just know he's okay." She whispers in my ear.
I gather my things together and run desperately out the front door. I don't wait long until I see Louis' familiar car come into view. He rapidly stops and then we're on our way. A somewhat awkward silence succumbs us for a few minutes.
"Have you heard from him?" I ask Louis. I already know the answer but a part of me really wants to just break the terrible silence. I can't sit here and let my brain wander with terrible scenarios of where Zayn might be.
Louis gives me the obvious answer, shaking his head without ever taking his eyes off the road. Suddenly we come to a stop at a quaint little house. I recognize the area - it's just a few blocks from the coffee shop. "This isn't his house," I state. When I turn to Louis he already has the keys out of the ignition and in his hands.
"Oh, I figured-" Louis flusters. He takes a moment to regain his cool, "let's just check inside." Louis says as he steps out of the car and begins making his way up the driveway. What was that?
I follow him up the driveway. When we reach the front door he puts his hand up, "wait here." He lightly jogs around the house, leaving me standing there totally confused.
After a few moments the front door opens and Louis is standing there shyly smiling, "did you just break in?" I ask, narrowing my eyes.
"What? No, of course not!" he says. Before I can assess his facial expression he turns from me. "He's not here, he must be at his house."
I take a step in. My shoes click on the old hardwood floors. "Do you mind?" I ask Louis permission to check the house myself.
"Of course not love," he steps aside. "Zayn's old room is the first on the right."
I take a few more steps in and look at the cute little house. It's a nice house. The kitchen has updated appliances, there's a fireplace in the living room, but there's something off about the house. Maybe it's the lack of photos. Maybe it's the fact that it doesn't exactly feel comfortable and warm.
I find Zayn's bedroom door and open it. The room is dark. It's painted a harsh navy blue colour, and the walls are speckled with holes - approximately the size of a fist. The room is littered with ashtrays full of cigarettes and old clothes - including the odd bra or set of panties that have been stranded on the floor. As I stand and stare at the room I feel mixed.
There's parts of the room that immediately make me think of Zayn, but then there are those other parts that make me think of the total opposite. But I'm sure he hasn't lived here in years, so what's there to analyze?
I take a step out of the bedroom and find Louis at the front door. He lets me walk out first and then follows behind me to the car. He starts the car and we speed towards Zayn's house. Silence succumbs us again and Louis turns some music on. I don't recognize the song that's softly playing on the radio and so I choose to stare out the window. After a few minutes I can finally recall my surroundings.
We pull into Zayn's driveway and I quickly unbuckle my seatbelt and run up the driveway in a haste. My little legs carry me up his front staircase and I pound my fist on the door several times. When there's no answer I ring the doorbell and then take a step to the side and peek into the massive house through one of the many windows.
I can hear the sound of music. My feet carry me towards the rhythmic thumping of music coming from the garage. I notice both doors are closed and there's no entrance door from what I can see. I debate whether or not to knock on the large garage door, but I realize that whoever's in there would never hear me over the deafeningly loud music inside.
I decide to try the front door again. When I twist the handle it's locked. "Here," Louis comes up behind me. I'd almost forgotten he was even here with me. "He always has a spare." Louis pulls a small brick out of the pattern on the exterior of the house and pulls out a little key. He replaces the brick and unlocks the front door, allowing me to enter first.
I enter while Louis returns the key to its spot. When I walk into the house I don't bother looking around, instead I head right downstairs to the lower level and open up the door to the garage.
I gape at the size of the garage. I mean, I knew it'd be large because I'd seen it from the outside and I'd just assumed that since Zayn was a car guy he'd have a large, decked out place to store and work on his cars, but never did I expect it to be so… nice. The music blares so loudly that I notice small nuts and bolts rattling on the metal table beside me. Zayn doesn't seem to notice… or he just doesn't care.
I look at the familiar red car parked with its hood up. I gawk at the curve of Zayn's naked back as he leans towards the engine. He's wearing a pair of tight skinny black jeans on his legs, and his usual army boots on his feet, but he's not wearing a shirt for whatever reason… not that I'm complaining. I memorize the ink marked into the skin on his neck.
His hands are delicately turning a part that is stained black with oil and muck. When he pulls his hand back it's black with dirt and he has to use the back of his hand to wipe the perspiration that has begun running down his forehead. The beat picks up in the song and he begins bobbing his head every which direction to the music.
I take a few steps forward and suddenly the song ends. It's extremely quiet in the garage for several seconds and I end up tripping on my own two feet and end up on my ass - making my presence known. Zayn turns towards the noise and I smile awkwardly without looking at his face. I feel the heat rushing to my cheeks and I hide my face, embarrassed.
I hear a chuckle come from his lips and a few heavy thumps from his army boots before the next song begins pounding away on the speakers. His hands grip my arms and he lifts me up with ease. "You okay, babygirl?" He has to practically yell in my ear. I nod my head lightly still too embarrassed to look into his eyes.
I don't even realize he's departed from my side until the music ceases. I look around the gigantic room until my eyes finally rest upon him. I take in the sight of the fresh ink on his hand. Okay, obviously he didn't get arrested, so where has he been? He places a now dirty rag onto the table.
He turns to face me and my eyes go wide and I'm staring at his swollen lip. There's a piece of cool metal pierced through his lower lip, still plump as if the piercing is fresh. Oh my god.
He notices me staring and he does his signature smirk. I shy away. "Where have you been?" I say quietly.
"Here," he answers vaguely, nonchalantly shrugging his shoulders.
"So you didn't get arrested?" I take a step towards him. I was totally ready to ream his ass out for not contacting me within the last two days but as I stand here in front of him I can't bring myself to do it.
"Obviously not," he says harshly. I cower away from him again.
"Oh," I utter as I pick at my fingernails. There's a moment of silence between us, "so does that mean everything's okay?"
"Don't worry about it babygirl. That's not for you to fret about."
"Okay," I retort. Zayn grabs what appears to be a wrench and begins working on the car again. "When'd the piercing and the new tattoo happen?"
His arm begins twisting while he works. "Like two days ago I guess. You like?" His head turns in my direction, his one eyebrow raised suggestively.
I flush and he notices. "I really like the lip piercing," I reply.
"Good." He's quiet. There's a thump from the front door closing. "How'd you get here?" Zayn asks, his eyes suddenly dark.
"Louis," I respond, but Zayn's already at the door of the garage wiping his hands on a clean rag. I scurry behind him, hoping there won't be a confrontation like there was with Harry.
Zayn's stomping furiously up the stairs, while wiping his hands clean. When we reach the top of the stairs together we both spot Louis innocently leaning up against the wall in the foyer. He hears us coming up the stairs and looks up from his cell phone in his hands. "Oh, good you found him. How're you mate?" Louis says.
Zayn steps into the foyer, just a few feet away from Louis. It's silent while Zayn just stares at him. I stand there picking at my fingernails. After what feels like several minutes Zayn finally speaks, "good."
Louis nods his head awkwardly, "good. Good."
Silence succumbs us.
"Well, what are you still doing here?" Zayn bites.
"Guess I'll be leaving," Louis says. He opens his mouth again when he turns in my direction but his eyes dart to Zayn and he closes his mouth. He quickly shuffles out the door.
"You didn't have to be rude," I comment once the front door closes. Zayn begins walking away from me and all I'm left to do is follow him around the house, waiting for some sort of response - some sort of reaction. "He was just being nice Zayn. I asked him to bring me here, he didn't deserve you being a prick to him."
He stops dead in his tracks. For an instant I'm left staring at his back. I watch his shoulders rise and fall lightly - he's laughing. "I was not a prick babygirl. I simply set him in his place." He turns to face me, "trust me, you haven't seen prick yet - you've just seen typical asshole." I'm mesmerized by the sight of the cool steel loop in his lip moving as he speaks.
I'm speechless for a moment. He takes a step towards me and places a finger under my chin, making me look into his eyes. I inhale the scent of cigarettes and car grease. "Now," he says, "cook for me babygirl."
A/N: a belated happy holidays to everyone! aha it's new years (i literally hate new years it's so overrated). thank you for being so supportive! endless amounts of love being sent your way :) x