☠ Chapter Thirty-Three ☠
➳ ZAYN'S POV
I pull into my driveway quickly, pushing the garage door opener and driving into the garage. Louis follows behind me and parks on the driveway. Once I step out of the car, I feel all of the anger rise up in me again. The drive back helped loosen me up a little bit, but once I'm relieved of the feeling of being behind the wheel, some of that pulsing anger comes up again.
I step around the car and throw a reckless punch at the bag that's still hanging from the ceiling. Pain flashes through my knuckles, but I ignore the feeling and punch again, promising dark bruises. Langley knows how to fucking piss me off and I need to let my anger out elsewhere, otherwise it'll end up being directed at anyone, and everyone . . . including Arielle.
Louis carefully steps into the garage, and stops behind me. "You alright, mate?"
I hang my head down, taking a moment to catch my breath. I take a few deep breaths, trying to calm myself. It works a little, but I don't know if it's enough. I wave my hand lazily in Louis' direction without looking at him. After a few moments, I hear the garage door close and Louis walks past me, towards the staircase. "Need a moment?" He asks.
I scratch at the back of my head, "no, no, I'm fine. But I need a smoke."
"I'll join you," he replies before he starts up the stairs. I follow him up the steps where the two of us meet Zoe and Arielle, who're cooking together in the kitchen.
As I take the final step up the staircase, Arielle's eyes meet mine and I instantly feel a little calmer. I don't want to upset Arielle in a release of my anger, and knowing that has caused me to be more aware and in control of it, for now anyways. Arielle is my calm in a weird way.
Arielle turns then to flip something in a pan, while Zoe heedlessly chops away at vegetables. Her hands move so quickly with the knife that I'm afraid she'll end up losing a finger. It's amazing that the hyperactive chick can be so calm and focused on something. I guess in a way, cooking is Zoe's calm. It's her Arielle.
I didn't even realize I was as hungry as I was, but the second I smell her cooking my stomach grumbles out in hunger. It just smells so damn good.
The sound of the patio door opening behind me draws my attention away from Arielle. Louis steps out onto the deck and grabs the ashtray. He wastes no time in lighting up a cigarette and I saunter outside to join him. Once I'm out on the balcony beside him and there's a stick between my fingers I light it, and inhale. The nicotine makes its way through my bloodstream and travels to my brain, stimulating pleasure.
Sometimes I question why I even smoke, but then I remember just how pleasurable it is. The moment I feel any stress, any worry, any anger, anything I feel I can't control, I reach for this tainted stick of poison and it changes everything. Either that, or it just pushes the problems further into the bottle and tightens a cap on it. I'm not entirely sure yet.
"So do you think what Langley said is true?" Louis asks as he taps his cigarette on the edge of the ashtray. He looks up at me with concern laced in his blue eyes.
I shrug. "I dunno. He's a dick, how do I know that he's not just fucking with me?" The prick likes to fuck with everyone. He seems to think he has some sort of authority over me because he works for Sullivan. I do too, asshole.
"I dunno, mate." He inhales. "I don't see what he'd gain by lying to you."
"Anything. Money, status, ego . . . just knowing that he was able to fuck with me a little would inflate his ego like a balloon."
"I don't think he'd do that," Louis responds before killing his cigarette in the ashtray. "Look . . . yeah, I reckon he likes screwing with you -- the two of you hate each other enough -- but he wouldn't lie about something like this. It's just a waste of his time, and I know for a fact that he has better things to do. Sullivan has better things for him to do. You might think he can do whatever the fuck he wants, but he's Sullivan's little puppet."
I sigh. I take my final long drag on my cigarette and squash it out. "I still feel like he'd go out of his way to fuck with me."
"Whatever, mate. Just don't stress yourself over it. You'll end up fucking smoking a pack a day and it'll kill you before he can." Louis slaps a hand to my back as we both head inside.
As we step inside the house, an orgasmic fragrance fills my nostrils. "What is that?" I ask, desperately smelling the aroma swarming around the room.
"Come. Sit," the hyperactive one says as she pats one of the chairs. Arielle comes out from the kitchen, looking fit as hell carrying two beers in her hands. She takes a swig out of one of them as she hands the other to Louis. And then she gives me the bottle she just had her lips on. She cocks an eyebrow at me before her lips curl into a smile and she walks back towards the kitchen.
Louis and I sit down at the table as Arielle and Zoe scramble around in the kitchen doing last minute touches to the meal. After a minute or two, the girls place our plates down and the food looks just as good as it smells.
"So what are we eating ladies?" Louis asks, knife in one hand, fork in the other.
"In front of you is a medium-rare porterhouse steak, along with a vegetable salad that consists of zucchini, onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms, asparagus, and scallions tossed in a dressing made of olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, mustard, and oregano," Arielle says with the utmost confidence.
"The hell is a scallion?" Louis asks.
"Seriously, babe?" Zoe places her plate down as she speaks. She sits in her chair and looks at Louis as if she wants to laugh, but she doesn't.
"It's-" Arielle begins.
"A green onion, mate. How didn't you know that?" I interrupt. Arielle turns to look at me with surprise, annoyance, I'm not sure what.
"I've never heard of a fucking scallion. If they're green onions, call them that." He starts cutting into his steak eagerly.
"You forget we have two chefs in the house. They use the fancy terms that you don't understand, you bloke." I respond as I begin cutting into my own food. "Plus they're called scallions, you bloody idiot."
"You don't have to be a prick about it," he mutters.
I grab a piece of steak on my fork, and anxiously eat it. The taste overwhelms my senses and I release a pleasurable moan. This is one of the best fucking things I've ever eaten, and my babygirl's the one who cooked it. The entire table is dead silent as everyone wolfs down their food.
I grab a mouthful of the salad and I admit it's good, but the hyperactive chick isn't as good a chef as Arielle is. Nonetheless, this is probably the best meal I've ever eaten.
I make eye contact with Arielle and she smiles. "You like?" She asks as she places the wine glass to her lips.
"Fuck yes," I curse. I lean over in my chair, whispering, "it's delicious," before giving her a quick peck on the lips. I delicately grab her glass between my fingers, sneaking a little sip of her wine. She watches me with adoration in her green eyes, before she has to break eye contact to cut into her meat.
I continue cutting into my own food. When I look up at Louis' plate, he's already managed to eat the entire slab of meat that once covered over half of his plate. He doesn't seem fazed at all as he greedily begins stuffing vegetables into his mouth as if he hasn't eaten in the last month. I wouldn't be surprised if the bloke was high, but I know for a fact he doesn't have the munchies. If he had the munchies, there's a ninety percent chance I would too. Sharing, is caring.
Zoe isn't far behind Louis, as she only has about two bites left. Arielle and I both are slow, as we savour the flavours at our own tortoise-like pace. By the time I've eaten half the serving of meat on my plate, I hear Louis place his knife and fork down onto the glass top of the dining table. Three minutes later, Zoe does the same.
"We should've made dessert," Zoe says.
Arielle shrugs her shoulders. "Didn't have time."
"Yeah, but I could totally go for some cheesecake right now."
"Oh," Louis moans, "that'd be fucking ace right now. Did you just read my mind, baby?"
Hyperactive girl giggles all fake sounding while flipping her over-the-top hair. "Maybe."
I think it's just the two of them are so fucking similar sometimes it's weird.
Arielle speaks up beside me, "I think you two are just the exact same person half the time." Now we're thinking the same thing.
"Is that such a bad thing?" Louis asks.
They all look at me, and I shrug my shoulders, "you guys are fucking weird."
"Oh, like you can talk! You two are fucking kinky little shits!" Louis yells out, jokingly.
Arielle's face instantly reddens, as does mine, but for completely different reasons. "Louis," I warn.
Zoe screams out in this fucking annoying squeal, "I knew it!" Arielle's face reddens even more.
"Shut up," Arielle mumbles quietly, embarrassed. She attempts to hide her face behind her hair, but it doesn't work. It's obvious that she's flushed to everyone within the room.
Louis is looking at me in this way like he's somehow showed me who's boss but he doesn't even realize that I know more about his relationship with the hyperactive chick than I lead on. I know he's not all that faithful, so who's he to give me that look? I kind of feel bad for the girl because she has no idea that Louis is as sly as he is, but their relationship is none of my business. Besides, I need leverage over Louis if I'm ever in deep shit.
Arielle places her wine glass down after taking a sip, turning to Louis and saying in a deep voice, "if you were a car, Louis, we'd definitely be running up the mileage together." She bats her eyelashes and both her and Zoe burst out in a fit of laughter. I don't understand the joke, but obviously it affects Louis because he's looking flustered across the table from me.
"I can't believe you tried picking her up with that line, it's horrible!" Zoe says after regaining some composure.
"You fucking clown! You tried picking up Arielle with a line? Mate, Zoe's right, that's bloody horrible!" I start laughing too, because Louis is a fucking goof. As if Arielle would've ever went for him, she's totally out of his league. Louis is glaring at me from across the table, and I wait patiently for Louis' foolish mouth to say something he'll regret.
Louis' blue eyes glare down Arielle, but then they notice me sitting directly beside her, my hand on her thigh and he cowers down in his seat. He knows better than to fuck with Arielle or me, and I'm pleased to see he still knows better.
"Hey, my lines helped me score this one, didn't it?" Louis asks, pointing at Zoe and smiling.
She faux giggles again which causes me to roll my eyes. "That's because she's one of those very rare types of people that finds your humour funny," Arielle says from beside me.
I squeeze her thigh to stifle a laugh, and when Arielle feels it, she looks up at me. The second I look at her the laughter erupts within me.
"Hey!" Louis yells out in defence. "I'm funny!"
Zoe leans forward, resting her palm on his chest, "shush baby." She whispers something in his ear that causes a smile to play across his features. I assume she probably told him he's funny, even though she'd be lying.
Arielle stands up from beside me, gathering the soiled plates and taking them into the kitchen to be cleaned. Zoe follows and it's just Louis and I left to stare at each other. I can tell he's pissed with me, but whatever. Fuck him.
Interrupting our stare down, my cell phone vibrates in my back pocket. I have to lean over in my seat to wiggle my phone free from my pocket. Lifting it up to eye level, I notice a message from an unknown number.
I unlock my phone, revealing the text message that's been delivered. It's a photo of Kit, shirtless, with her finger seductively placed in her mouth.
Unknown Number: imagining ur fat c ock in my mouth ;) xx
I stiffen in my seat. How the fuck did she get my number? I quickly delete the photo.
Zayn: you have the wrong number
Unknown Number: this isnt zayn?
Zayn: no, but thanks for the free show
Unknown Number: sry but glad u enjoyed it ;)
"Everything okay?" Arielle asks from steps behind me. Within a second I've deleted the message and opened my emails to avoid any confrontation that would come with Arielle knowing of my recent contacts.
"Oh, yeah. Sorry, just answering an email from my mum," I close the email application and lock my phone, putting it away. When I look at Arielle, she smiles, letting me know that she's accepted my lie as the truth.
I notice Louis focusing on his phone suspiciously before he locks it and looks around the room with an intense gaze. I wonder for a moment if Kit sent him the same text message. Or maybe he's the one that's still in contact with her and gave her my number . . .
Am I just fucking paranoid?
"Would you like another drink, baby?" Arielle whispers in my ear as she hovers over me from behind, wrapping her arms around my neck and rubbing her palms up and down my chest. "You seem really distracted all of the sudden . . . are you sure everything's alright?"
I caress her arms and twist my neck, placing a featherlight kiss to her cheek. "Yes, everything's fine. Stop worrying babygirl."
"I don't believe you," she whispers.
"Well you're going to have to, because it's the truth." I grab hold of her hands and squeeze them gently. "I heard back from Liam today."
"Yeah, he said he talked to his father about getting you that internship and he reckons he should know in a few days."
"That's great," she tucks herself in the crook of my neck and I imagine she's smiling. "I'll have to contact my advisor and meet with her after tomorrow."
Tomorrow's New Years Eve and I know that the advisor won't meet with her until after the holiday. I mentally cross my fingers, hoping the woman will meet with Arielle on the second or third of January, and not make her wait for weeks. Arielle needs to know whether or not to sign up for classes again this year. I also mentally cross my fingers that Liam's father pulls through on this internship.
"That sounds good. I hope she meets with you soon," I respond.
Arielle leans around my body so that we can finally make eye contact. "I do too," she says quietly before softly pecking my lips. I realize then that the anger I had earlier has subsided almost completely. It is still there just a little bit, but at least I'm not ready to fucking rip a pillow in half anymore.
➳ ARIELLE'S POV
Louis is seething across the table from me. He's clearly angry that I mocked him earlier and he's letting me know that with his eyes. I never thought the loveable man who's always laughing -- who's also terrified of Zayn -- could have such anger in him, but because Zayn's sitting right in this room I don't feel intimidated at all. Even though he's frowning across the table, somehow he still looks adorable, in that he's totally cute like a little brother way.
I grab the last few soiled dishes from the table and begin rinsing them off in the sink. I give them a quick little splash of water, and then place each item in the dishwasher to be cleaned. As I'm cleaning the final glass, I feel a presence behind me. Hands suddenly wrap around my waist, and a chin is placed on my shoulder, stubble tickling against my skin.
"Are you done unpacking yet, love?"
"Not quite," I respond. "Zoe and I finished the majority of it while you were gone, but I still have to finish all of my clothes. Do you have a spot where I can put them? I don't have all that much stuff."
"Of course," he places a kiss to my neck, "half of the dresser was already cleared out for your convenience."
"Just the dresser?"
"Alright, so maybe I cleared a spot for you in the closet too." I look up at our reflection in the window and he's smirking, as his right hand travels under my shirt. His fingers begin playing with my navel piercing, each touch of his skin against mine draws electricity.
"You better have," I turn around in his arms the second I finish with the dishes. It takes a minute for his eyes to meet mine, as they slowly drag up my body, taking the time to admire it.
"Oh, really now?" He whispers, as his finger traces up my neck and pushes hair off my shoulder. He watches his finger intently, placing a kiss against the skin below my ear.
"Can't you two keep it in your pants for five minutes?" Suddenly Louis' presence is known. Zayn doesn't even react to it, he just trails kisses up my neck, until he reaches my lips. And then his lips are on mine and we're the ones having a heated make-out session while Louis stands awkwardly in the kitchen.
After a minute or two, we pull apart and Zayn looks at Louis, uttering, "no, so can you give us some privacy mate?"
Louis rolls his eyes and laughs.
"No, seriously. We want to do some of that kinky shit we're so infamous for," I tell Louis over Zayn's shoulder. Zayn looks at me again, cocking an eyebrow. I hope he knows that I'm not serious, but when he pushes his crotch into mine, I know he thinks I mean it. Zayn's hands squeeze my bottom playfully.
I hear footsteps coming from the hall, and Zoe emerges from having used the washroom. "So what's the plan?"
"Hot sex," Zayn replies, kissing my neck again.
"Kinky," I add in, just to further annoy Louis.
"Right," Zayn mumbles against my neck. "Sorry. Hot, kinky sex."
"What a rude way to treat your company," Zoe jokes.
"I don't give a damn," Zayn says between kisses. "You'd better get out now though." He leans away from my body, pulling the shirt off his back.
"Yeah, let's go. Thanks for dinner guys!"
I hear collective rushing around and tripping over things to collect their things before, "bye!" and a door closes. Zayn chuckles before pressing his lips quickly to mine.
I'm surprised when he pulls away from me, "that got rid of them fast." He pulls a cigarette out of his back pocket and begins heading towards the balcony. "Couldn't fucking stand that hyperactive chick for any bloody longer." He says about Zoe, revealing the whole act just seconds ago was a ploy to rid of the two of them.
I laugh which causes him to turn and smirk back. He winks before turning around again and stepping out onto the deck.