☠ Chapter Thirty ☠
➳ ZAYN'S POV
I tap my foot impatiently against the hard linoleum flooring. It feels like I've been here forever. Why can't my mother just see me immediately? Why does the Lieutenant's son have to wait in the sitting room? I check my messages for the thousandth time and I realize that I've somehow missed a call from Liam.
I rush over to the b itchy receptionist and tell her that I have an important call to attend to. She gives me a dirty look, but nonetheless says she'll signal to me if my mother cares enough to finally see me. I scurry out the front doors and quickly dial Liam's number. He picks up on the fourth ring.
"Liam, it's me," I say in a rush. I'm pacing back and forth across the sidewalk. I've been waiting around too long for everything today and it's caused irritation to rise within me.
"What's up, mate?"
"I need a favour," I reply. I don't even give him a chance to respond. "Arielle really needs a job at a restaurant, can you help me out? Doesn't your dad own some restaurant or something?"
I hear Liam let out a breath of air before responding, "what kind of job?"
"She's trying to become a chef and she's looking for an internship kind of thing because the one she was provided with fell through." I decide to leave out the whole thing about her Chef being a f ucking stalker.
"That's rough mate, but I'm not sure I can do anything. My father owns part of a restaurant with Snow's father, remember? So I'd have to pass this along to her father as well. Snow's in rehab right now, so it might be hard to reach her."
I feel the irritation growing within me again . . . can't he just get her a f ucking job? All I'm asking is for her to cook a plate here and there and he's acting as if I'm asking for her to run the d amn restaurant. "C'mon mate, I'm in a real tough spot here . . . she really needs this. Can't you just pass it by your father? She's one of the best in her class, I know she is."
Liam sighs on the other end of the line, "I'll try Zayn, but I can't guarantee anything, remember that."
"That's all I wanted to hear," I respond, although I want him to tell me she has a job. I want him to bend over backwards.
"My father is really busy with resumes and stuff so she'll have to be really good to catch his eye," Liam adds in.
"She is, Liam. Trust me. He'd be an idiot to pass her up." When I look over my shoulder, the b itchy receptionist is walking towards me. "I gotta go mate, thanks. Call me when you hear something, alright?"
"I'll talk to you soon," he replies and I hang up. I put my cell phone into my pocket and head back into the building. I can't help the uncomfortable feeling that washes over me as I stand in a police station, surrounded by police. I know what I do in my spare time. I know what I do is illegal and I can sense that most of the officers around me realize that too. They probably even suspect my mother of being a crooked cop, but none would ever dare say that to me. I know she'd do anything to protect me from jail, but she is not crooked.
"She's ready to see you," the b itchy receptionist says to me, as if I didn't realize that earlier when she was waving me inside. I hate the tone she uses, talking to me like the Lieutenant isn't my mother.
I walk down the faintly familiar hallway until I reach her door. I can see my mother through the glass, sitting at her desk, shuffling through papers. Her glasses are perched on the tip of her nose, her hair is thrown up into some sort of messy up-do, and her office is nearly packed with box after box of files. I haven't seen her in months, and I don't know why I was expecting her to be different, but she's not. She's exactly the same as I remember. She's disorganized, but completely devoted to her career, and entirely oblivious to her son.
When I knock lightly on her door, she looks up. Her face has an unreadable expression on it when she notices it's me. I step awkwardly into the room and stare at her, expecting her to say something first. The last time I saw her was back when Arielle and I first met. It was when she pulled me over and hauled me into her police car. It was all an attempt to scare her away from me. My mother figured I'd hurt Arielle, and that she was better off without me. Little does she know, it didn't work . . . and that Arielle actually loves me now.
I take a step further into her office and she adjusts the loosely strewn about papers upon her desk, straightening them and then placing them into one of the many folders in her office. "Zayn," she says my name and then looks up at me, "it's good to see you."
"It's been a while, mom," I sit down in one of the seats opposite her.
"Too long," she comments. She says it as if it's my fault that we haven't seen each other in such a long time, when in reality it's her fault. She's too busy to care for anything other than her work. She wouldn't even take care of Sky last week when I phoned her. Internally I roll my eyes. "What did you come to see me for?"
"I need your help," I respond. She purses her lips before moving a few more files on her desk, stacking them in a pile on the right side of the wooden piece of furniture. She doesn't respond to my plea for help, and so I place a piece of paper on the surface before straightening it out and twisting it so it's facing her.
She reaches for the paper and gently slides it closer. Adjusting the glasses on her nose, she stares at the names I've written down.
"I need you to look these people up."
"Zayn, I-" she begins, but I don't give her the chance.
"Mom, I need this. It's important. I'm sure you can use the system to look up their backgrounds, please." I lean forward in my chair, and she looks up at my eyes. I try my best to give her the most pathetic look I can muster. I'm not even sure if it'll work with her, but it's worth a try.
She sighs loudly before pinching the bridge of her nose. "Who is Theo Wilson, Zayn? Is he giving you trouble?" I notice the heavily set wrinkles that have begun to overwhelm her features. They are set in the skin on her forehead and around her eyes, and I'd attribute them to her stressful job . . . and the fact that she never stops working. I notice the personality trait in myself often, and I know that it was given to me by both of my parents.
"He's not giving me trouble per se, he's stalking my girlfriend."
My mother scoffs, "stalking? Let's not over-exaggerate things here."
"He is!" I end up yelling. My fist pounds against the wood and my mother doesn't even react, but when I turn around and look out her window, a few co-workers have stopped in the middle of the hallway and are staring at us. My mother dismisses them with a wave of her hand and they all reluctantly go back to whatever it was they were doing. "He's stalking her Mom, he won't leave her alone!"
"Zayn, you can't just toss around accusations like that," my mother replies calmly. She grabs hold of her computer mouse and swirls it around in a few circles before the screen lights up from its screensaver. I watch her click on some program, and it opens. She looks down at the name written on the piece of paper and then begins typing on the keyboard.
"Mom, he set up this whole fake identity and everything to trap her. She was suggested for this internship in New York for a family and it turned out to be her psycho professor and her mother . . . who's also f ucking psycho. We stayed in their mansion the one night in New York and he was f ucking watching us on cameras." Talking about him and Vivien has caused my fists to ball up tightly again in anger.
She types some more on the keyboard and clicks on the mouse a few more times. I try to lean forward and read whatever she's staring at so intently, but my mother just grabs the side of the monitor and twists it so I'm unable to see. I internally groan. She's making me ten times more impatient than I was earlier.
"I see," she says very vaguely. "I'll try my best to look into him Zayn, but I can't make any promises."
Can nobody do me a favour today?
"Can't you just arrest him? He's harassing my girlfriend." I run a hand through my hair in frustration.
"Zayn, you know I can't arrest him without a reason, without evidence . . ." She looks at me almost sympathetically for a moment before her eyes dart back down to the paper. "Do you know of anything illegal he's been doing?"
"Other than stalking my girlfriend?"
"Zayn . . ."
"Well he was filming us when we were in his house last time, is that illegal?" I ask.
My mother nods her head, "if he was filming you without your consent in his home then that could be a breach of your privacy. It all depends on if he was trying to or succeeded in filming either one of you naked or in the washroom."
"He probably has photos or videos of me naked because I took a shower at his house," I explain.
"That's something we can look into. But we can't just barge into his house and search his computers for these files without a reason. He needs to mess up, Zayn. We need a legitimate reason to search his home."
"Can't you just like place one of his fingerprints at a crime scene or something?" I blurt out, without thinking.
"Zayn! You can't ask me to do something like that!" My mother yells out, "I refuse to do something like that."
"I'm sorry, it's just really tough to get rid of this guy. He won't leave us alone, Mom." I sigh heavily and adjust myself in the chair.
"Okay, okay." She raises her hands in defence. "I'll do what I can." Her eyes look down again at the crumpled paper and she reads Vivien's name. My mother types the name into her system. "And who is this Vivien woman?"
"Arielle's mother. Horrible woman. Wretched woman . . . She's definitely hiding something."
My mother clicks her computer mouse a few times before she quirks an eyebrow. She stares quizzically at the monitor. "She's been married a lot," my mother comments.
"So I've been told."
"And what's the issue with her?"
"Everything," I say quietly. My mother glances in my direction for a second before looking back at the screen. "She's been mistreating Arielle since she was a child. Something happened when Arielle was a child and Vivien blames her for it. Vivien's been trying to ruin her life ever since."
"Well, what happened?" My mother messily hand writes a few notes on the paper I gave her.
"I can't tell you that."
"Why not? It's obviously something that's caused an issue between the two of them and it'd really help if I knew what it was."
"Mom, it's personal. I'm not telling you," I say sternly.
"You're just making it more difficult for me," she responds. She pulls the glasses off her nose, seemingly done researching Vivien and Theo on her computer . . . for now, hopefully.
"That's fine, but I'm not telling you what happened. It was told to me in confidence and I won't repeat it."
My mother quirks an eyebrow at me, "this isn't like you. She must be really special. I've never even heard you talk of a girlfriend."
"She is special," I point out.
"Well, I'm happy for you. Is this the same one from a few months ago?" She references the time when she 'arrested' me, as an intimidation trick.
I nod my head, "yeah, it is. Her name is Arielle."
A small frown appears on my mother's face. I believe it appears because she worries about the women I'm with. Either she's worried that these women will be destroyed by me, or they'll destroy her son. Whichever it is, it doesn't matter because if I destroyed Arielle, it would tear me apart until there was nothing left of me. I care too much about her to ever do anything to hurt her. I'll do everything in my power to ensure that she's happy and she feels safe. I won't ever destroy us.
I look down at my hand, at the ring Arielle gave me. Such a small item, yet it holds so much meaning and significance to me. I play with it aimlessly, until my mother interrupts me.
"I uh," she stutters a little bit, "I should be getting back to work . . ." It falls silent between us, and I take an opportunity to try and memorize my mother's face. I don't know when I'll see her again, and a part of me wants to cherish this little moment we've had.
"Is there anything else?" She asks, as if what she said earlier was my queue to leave.
She looks at me intensely again. She senses something's off.
"I might be in a little bit of trouble . . ." I begin.
➳ ARIELLE'S POV
I jam more of my things into another box. This box is full of my textbooks, and when I try to lift it, I realize I can't. Louis comes running to the rescue and he lifts it with ease. "I got it, love."
"Thanks," I reply. I turn back to the bedding on my tiny little dorm bed. I begin folding it up until I'm satisfied that it's as small as I can possibly get it.
"Are we almost done yet?" Zoe moans. She flops herself lazily onto her own little bed in our shared room . . . well, our once shared room. She pops her gum loudly.
We've been here since early this morning when Zayn dropped me off. I met Louis and Zoe here and we've been packing up all of my things for hours now. When I told Zoe that I was moving in with Zayn, naturally she flipped out. She started screeching and yelling and she was excited for me, but then she realized that she's now without a partner in her room. I would feel really guilty about leaving her, but she's done school in about two months, so she'll be leaving the school anyways.
"Yes, all that's left are my things in the bathroom." I reply to her.
She yells out a happy, "yes!" It causes a smile to break out on my face and when Louis comes back into the room, he's smiling too.
"You're mad," he says to her quietly before kissing her. She laughs and giggles.
I grab the final box and head into the washroom. Quickly, I pack all of my belongings carefully into the cardboard. It takes me maybe ten minutes. When I'm sure that I have everything I walk back into the bedroom, where I find Louis on top of Zoe, and they're having a heated make out session. I walk past them and place the box down. Turning to them, I realize they haven't noticed my presence and so I clear my throat. They kiss each other passionately for a few more moments before they pull away and both stare at me with smirks plastered on their faces.
"Yes?" They say at the exact same time.
"You two are ridiculously in sync," I comment. They both smile at each other before Louis pecks her lips quickly and crawls off of her. Zoe stands and adjusts her clothes and her hair.
"Can we go now?" Zoe asks me.
"Yes!" I turn to Louis who has grabbed the final box of my things. "Is everything packed in the car?"
"Everything but one box, which is in the hallway."
"Okay, then we're good to go. I guess it's officially time to move into Zayn's," I say nervously.
"I'm not helping you unpack," Zoe says much too loudly. She aimlessly curls her stands of hair around her finger.
I hear a loud pop! come from behind me, and when I look at Louis, he's chewing the gum that Zoe was earlier. Gross.
The three of us stuff into Louis' car after having put the final boxes into the back seat. I'm squished against the door, all of my things overwhelming the small vehicle. "So, this is kind of a big step, huh?" Louis asks me.
"Not really," I say, truthfully. I mean I basically live at his house on the weekends, so how is this that big of a step?
"What are you talking about? I've known Zayn forever, and he's never lived with another woman, other than his mother." Louis steers the car around a corner, and races down the street. I always forget that he street races, like Zayn. But sitting in the back seat, I find myself uncomfortable with the way he makes the corners, and flies past the traffic. Something about his techniques aren't as smooth as Zayn's. I feel comfortable and safe with Zayn, but not so much with Louis.
"Well I already pretty much live there when I'm not at school," I point out.
"That's true. It might not be a big step for you, but maybe it's a big step for him." I watch Louis' eyes dart to mine in the rearview mirror. He quirks an eyebrow slightly. Is he trying to tell me something?
"Is it a big step for him, baby?" Zoe asks Louis, as she places her hand upon his. They intertwine their fingers overtop the centre console.
"I think so." We hit a stop sign, and Louis barely stops before he continues speeding along. I look out the window as Louis talks. "Zayn doesn't really keep girls around, so he must really like you Ari."
"Well, thanks . . . I guess." I say awkwardly, unsure of how to respond. "Do you know who Kit is?" I ask him, suddenly.
"I uh . . ." he acts as if he's concentrating on the road, but I don't believe it for a second. "She's some girl Zayn f ucked once."
Zoe smacks Louis' arm, "Louis!"
"S hit, sorry. Zayn took her home from a bar once, and slept with her. I think she thought they were dating or something because she kept showing up at his mom's place - that's where he takes his one night stands."
"Okay, too much information baby," Zoe says to her boyfriend.
"Anyways, she never quite left him alone."
"Did you sleep with her?" Zoe asks.
"No," he says, all too quickly.
Zoe gasps really loudly, "Louis!" She yells out. She starts smacking his body incessantly and he lets out a chorus of noises to signal that he's in pain. I can't believe that Zoe and I are sort of in the same situation . . . both of our boyfriends slept with Kit. Louis turns onto Zayn's street and I can see his house in view.
"F uck! I'm sorry, she was hot and I was drunk!" He yells out in defence. Zoe smacks him a few more times before she stops and just glares at him. "Don't worry, I used a condom," he adds in.
"Oh my god!" Zoe yells out and she smacks him again. "Did you . . . and Zayn . . . and Kit . . .?"
Louis lets out a loud noise that signals his disgust, "who do you take me for, baby?" He starts laughing. "I slept with her like a week or two after Zayn did."
"Ew, that's probably just as bad." Zoe wrinkles her face up in disgust. "I hope Zayn used a condom."
I gasp loudly and Zoe whips around in her seat, oh my god, Zoe!"
"Oh, s hit! I didn't mean it like that! I'm sure he's clean," she says, making it even worse. I put my face in my hands, totally disgusted. How did we even get to talking about this?
"Why am I even friends with you?" I hide my face as I feel the flushing beginning.
"Because you love me," Zoe says as if it's the most obvious thing in the world.
"I can't believe you two," I say. Zoe turns around again in her seat and points to her chest, as if to ask if I'm talking about her. "I mean Zayn and Louis . . . You guys are pigs."
I watch Louis as he smirks and then breaks out into raucous laughter. As he's laughing he pulls the car into the long driveway and parks it. When we all get out of the car, we each take a box and haul it to the front porch. When I reach the door I expect it to be locked, but it's not.
All of us scurry inside with my belongings. Once I place mine down I head further into the house to find Zayn . . .