"I loved her not for the way she danced with my angels, but for the way the sound of her name could silence my demons." {Christopher Poindexter}


22. S E V E N T E E N

Copyright © 2014 Izzy Saphira


In between the ridiculous costs of university tuition and overpriced textbooks, Zayn had somehow managed to scrape up a few thousand dollars in order to purchase a much-needed car. 



He ended up settling with a small, black, Honda Civic, a car that fit his needs well. The car was in good condition - he had made sure of that - and Zayn made an effort to keep the vehicle spotless - inside, and out. 



The inside of the car smelled faintly of lemons - clean and pleasant. Elsah took the passenger seat, clicking the seat belt on, and Zayn started the engine. 



“When was the last time you saw Niall?” Zayn asked her, breaking the silence between the two. 



“A little over a week ago.” Elsah answered him. “He came over for a few hours.” She would’ve mentioned the fact that it was actually a few days before she had met Harry, but Elsah knew that if she brought up Harry’s name again. Zayn would most likely begin chastising her once again over her selflessness and perhaps even bring up the subject of what she had done. 



So she steered clear of mentioning Harry, not wanting to ruin this uneasy peace between the two. 



Zayn simply nodded, and then reached over to turn on the radio.





After exactly two knocks, the door pulled open, revealing a tall blonde man, with a bright, perfect smile. 



His massive wings were a creamy white color, covered in thousands upon thousands of soft creamy feathers. They spread behind him in a glorious, sublime manner, perfectly symmetrical in their elegance and exquisiteness. Everything about him radiated utter perfection and lack of flaw, his unblemished snowy skin seraphic and silk-like. 



His eyes were the color of gold - bright and luminous - as if every part of him was straight out of a textbook on the paradisiacal characteristics of a angel. He was exactly the kind of creature Blood Dealers sought after, to suck the life and blood out of them, leaving them drained and dead. 



“Elle!” His arms wrapped around Elsah, pulling her up into a tight hug. His golden eyes lit up at the sight of his first cousin, having missed her company so dearly. He’d never really been able to see Elsah as much as he had back when they were children and the world around them was less dangerous, and he’d missed his childhood best friend. 



“Careful - ahh. Ah.” Elsah let out a pained hiss as she pulled back from Niall’s embrace, where his arms had come down against her back in the wrong way. 



Zayn stepped up from behind Elsah, worry in his eyes, immediately attentive of Elsah’s pain, “Are you okay?” His hand wrapped around Elsah’s arm as she bit down on her lip.



Niall immediately withdrew his arms from Elsah, furrowing his eyebrows in concern. “You okay? Sorry, I forgot-“



“Yeah, I’m fine-“ Elsah assured the two of them instinctively, not wanting them to worry about herself. Her hand reached back to feel at where it stung, grimacing when she felt something warm and wet trailing down her back. 



“Elsah, you’re bleeding!” Zayn panicked, and Niall immediately rushed around her to be able to see what was going on. 



“Oh my god, I’m so sorry-“ Niall gushed, freaking out. 



“Let’s get her inside - get a cloth or something, quick!” Zayn instructed Niall as he pulled Elsah in by her arm. He was careful to be gentle with her, leading her to Niall’s dining room and pulling out a chair for Elsah to sit in. 



“Sit down,” Zayn demanded, trying to remain calm with the panic that he felt. There was so much blood seeping through the back of Elsah’s shirt, so much more than he would’ve expected, and it was throwing him off. 



She did as he asked, a grimace of pain still on her lips. 



Niall rushed back at an inhuman speed, a bottle of iodine and a single cloth in his hands. He set them down on the table next to where Elsah was sitting, and pointed to Zayn to dampen the cloth. 



“Elsah, let’s take off your shirt real quick?” Niall asked, his fingers quickly moving to the hem of her white t-shirt. She nodded quickly, reaching her hands up into the air so that it’d be easier to pull off the shirt over her head. 



When she did so, she cringed at the thought of being exposed to both her cousin and Zayn, but it wasn’t like she had another choice, so she didn’t say anything else. 



Zayn rushed back to Niall and Elsah, and tossed the dampened cloth to Niall, who caught it and turned to Elsah. 



“Rest your head on the table,” he told Elsah softly, and she did, turning her back to him. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you.”



She felt the warmth of the damp cloth as Niall pressed it to her back gently, wiping up the blood that had dribbled down her back, all the way up to where her skin had broke, and pressed firmly against it, applying pressure to stop the blood. 



She let out another soft gasp as the antiseptic stung her open wound, and screwed her eyes shut closed as Niall kept the cloth pressed firmly against the skin.



Zayn watched carefully from where he stood as Niall patiently held the cloth to Elsah’s back, his eyes scanning over the scars the scattered Elsah’s back. They were much deeper and more horrendous than Zayn ever imagined. The wounds hadn’t even scarred over yet - the skin still pink as if it had been freshly lacerated. 



Zayn understood why Elsah didn’t want him to see the wounds - if he were in her place, he probably wouldn’t have wanted anyone to see them either. He would’ve been ashamed to bear such cuts. 



But he was happy that now he could at least see the extent of the damage that had been inflicted upon her.


Zayn stepped closer, placing a hand gingerly on Elsah’s shoulder in comfort, as Niall continued to quietly hold the rag to her. 



What Zayn didn’t notice, at first, was that there were silent tears in Elsah’s eyes, slowly making their way down her face as she rested her head against her crossed arms on the table. But when he did realize that, he crouched down next to her, taking her hand in his, and rubbed soft circles into the palm of her hand with his thumb, comforting her. 



All this was done in silence. Complete, utter silence, as Niall’s eyes watched pityingly over his cousin, and Zayn ached for his friend. 



After a good ten minutes had gone by, Niall loosened his hand against where it had been bleeding, slowly peeking under the cloth to make sure the bleeding had stopped. Sure enough, it had stopped bleeding, and so Niall pulled away the cloth slowly, and and then nodded approvingly. 



“Hand me the bandages, Zayn?” Niall was the first one to break the long silence between the three. He then quickly dressed the open wounds, sticking the bandages to her back, covering them with the soft material of the bandages. 



“There,” he spoke up softly, patting down the edge of the sticky side of the bandage. “You should have kept bandages on your back to keep the cuts from bleeding.”



“Yes, you should have.” Zayn piped in, chastising Elsah. 



Elsah didn’t reply, letting out a small sign and bringing her arms around herself, as if she was holding herself together. 



“Let’s go sit down,” Niall motioned for Zayn and Elsah to follow him to the living room, his sublime wings shifting with the movement of his arms. “I’ll go get you a spare t-shirt?”



“Thank you,” Elsah said softly, nodding. “That’ll be perfect.”



Zayn took Elsah’s shirt that was soiled with her blood, trashing it, before turning to Elsah. But when he turned around, she had already disappeared from the dining room, and headed to the living room, where she sat on of of the long sofas. 



Niall came back quickly, a plain gray t-shirt in his hands. He held it up so that Elsah could see, a grimace on his face. “Sorry, El, all my t-shirts have holes in the back for my wings…I hope you don’t mind? I’m so sorry-“ he apologized. 



“Don’t worry,” Elsah let out a soft laugh, taking the shirt from Niall and shaking her head. “This is just fine.”



She quickly slipped on the soft t-shirt on, which was much too large for her, but she couldn’t care at this point. She was much too exhausted, much too tired, and in too much pain to give the shirt another thought. 



Zayn came into the living room quietly, sitting down on the other side of the couch next to Elsah, and then Niall collapsed onto the small chair across from the two. 



“So, how’s my favorite person in the world doing?” Niall asked teasingly, referring to his one and only cousin. 





The time neared nine p.m, and Harry was crouched down next to the toilet in Louis’s apartment, and had been for the past hour. He’d been throwing up relentlessly, his gagging becoming more and more violent as the time passed. Sweat had accumulated on his forehead and had drenched his t-shirt. His dark hair was plastered against his head with seat, and his skin was burning bright red. 



He could’ve tried to contact Louis, who was still not home, but he didn’t have a cell phone, nor did he want to pester him. 



He could have gone back to Elsah’s apartment, but again, he didn’t want to. He didn’t want to be accused of leeching off of her by her friend - Zayn. He didn’t want to use her.



And as he leaned over once again and began gagging, he felt a certain hatred for Elsah’s friend, a rush of jealousy. 



Zayn seemed like just the kind of person with a perfect family and a easy childhood, full of caring parents, and sheltered worlds, Harry thought to himself bitterly.



Not like me, Harry frowned. His stomach still felt unsettled, but he had stopped gaging for a few minutes, and used the back of his hand to wipe off his mouth. 



But then once again, as Harry tried to stand to his feet, he felt an overwhelming sense of dizziness come over him, so he grabbed the edge of the counter to steady himself. He ducked his head, closing his eyes in order to rid himself of the dizzy spell, but it didn’t work. 



Harry didn’t understand why this kept happening over and over and over again. It didn’t make any sense at all - why he would get sick so quick, so regularly. It was almost as if eating was causing the problem, but Harry knew that couldn’t be right, because he’d only taken a small nibble off of the fajita, and then trashed the rest of it. 



His ears suddenly picked up on the sound of a door opening, and he jolted upwards, caught off guard. 



“Harry?” Louis’s voice called out from the front door as he shut it closed. His eyes were slightly red from the amount of alcohol he’d consumed. But because he was a demon, his body could take excessive amounts of alcohol, and still be only slightly buzzed. Rarely did a full blooded demon ever get completely intoxicated. 



“Bathroom,” Harry gasped in between gags.



Louis followed Harry’s voice to where he was, even though technically, he didn’t need to. He could easily hear Harry’s heartbeats and each inhalation with his ultra sensitive ears. But he followed his clive to the bathroom anyway, where he found Harry’s bruised and scarred body, leaning over the toilet, wrenching. 



“Woah, you okay?”



Harry barely turned around to look at Louis, before he was violently throwing up again. The worst part was that there was absolutely nothing in his stomach, so all he could throw up was more acidic bile, which burned at the back of his throat. 



“You need to sit down,” Louis immediately stepped in, throwing off his jacket to uncover his raven black wings so that he could move properly and help Harry. “How long have you been like this?” Louis demanded, pulling Harry up to support him. 



“It’s been getting progressively worse since around six.” Harry managed to say, a deep grimace of agony on his face. “I don’t know what’s going on.” His breaths came out short, ragged, and shallow, unable to get enough oxygen into his lungs. 



Harry’s eyes rolled back into his head, and he swayed slightly before his knees gave out from underneath him. 



Louis was quick to grab Harry before he could fall to the floor, supporting his weight. 



“Fuck,” he cursed under his breath, his eyes widening. ‘Harry? Harry?”


A soft groan came from Harry, who was near the brink of unconsciousness. 



“Harry, I’m taking you back to Elsah’s apartment.” Louis informed him, pulling him out of the cramped bathroom. 



“No!” He let out a pained protest, struggling to form words, “don’t. No, I don’t want-“



“Harry, I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with you, but you’re getting dangerously sick again!” Louis fought back, still pulling Harry down the hallway while Harry tried to resist. 



“I don’t want…I don’t want to take any more from her!” Harry tried to push Louis’s hands away weakly, blinking furiously to try to remain awake. 



But that only lasted so long, until Harry’s body gave out, and he fell limp against Louis. 





It was late when Elsah and Zayn had said their goodbyes to Niall. The day had felt so short, sharing laughs and jokes and playing ridiculous games of Monopoly and Scrabble. They all knew that they couldn’t just go out to have fun - that would have been life-threatening to Niall. 



The incident in the morning when they first arrived to Niall’s house had not been forgotten, but it was pushed to the side and not spoken of, for Elsah’s sake.



When the roll of the dice landed Niall on Zayn’s boardwalk hotel, his jaw dropped, and his gold eyes flashed up to fake glare at Zayn, who wore a smug smile. 



“Pay up!” Zayn cackled, throwing his head back in laughter. “You landed on my hotel!”



“Ouch, Niall, that’s gotta hurt.” Elsah teased her younger cousin, joining Zayn’s contagious laughter. 



Niall groaned, half smiling, and shaking his head as he counted out the Monopoly money. “You suck.”



When he realized that he didn’t have enough money to pay up, Niall tossed the rest of his cash in the middle of the board, “I’m broke, man.” He reached behind him to the couch, grabbing one of the fancy pillows that adorned the couches, and aimed it at Zayn’s head, throwing it and catching Zayn off guard. 



The pillow hit Zayn square in the face, and then exploded, a thousand white swan feathers flying out and twirling in the air as they fell to the ground.



The look of shock on Zayn’s face was priceless, showing that he hadn’t expected that. 



And then they all laughed. 



Niall and Zayn didn’t speak about the incident of Elsah’s back starting to bleed in front of her; but what she didn’t know was that the second she excused herself to the bathroom, Niall took the opportunity to ask Zayn about it, his voice almost inaudible. 



But when she came back, they acted as if nothing had happened - they didn’t want to hurt her, so they moved onto the subject of the latest World Cup, and continued on to a new game of Uno.





It was almost 9:45 when Elsah and Zayn reached Zayn’s apartment. 



To Elsah’s disappointment, and Zayn’s delight, there were no signs that Harry had returned to the apartment during the time that they were gone. 



Elsah remained silent when she entered into the apartment, flicking on all of the lights. She looked around for any signs, any clue. But there was nothing.



Zayn noticed Elsah trying to inconspicuously look to see if Harry had come back, but he didn’t say anything. 



“Let’s head to bed, yeah?” Zayn suggested, motioning for Elsah to follow him back to get ready to sleep. “It’s late.”



Slowly, Elsah nodded, “Okay.” Her voice came out soft, and then she headed into the bathroom, closing the door behind her. 





She had showered, tied her hair back into a bun, and thrown on a salmon colored tank top, and a pair of black cotton shorts.



Elsah refused to go to bed just yet, her anxiety ever-growing and bubbling in her stomach. Instead, she headed to the living room, dimming the lights, taking Harry’s cell phone into her hands, and pulling up a blanket to the couch. She climbed up onto the couch, curling up into a ball and pulling the blanket over her, waiting. 



Zayn stepped into the living room, a frown on his face. “You’re not going to go to sleep?”


Elsah shook her head, “I’m staying here for tonight.”



“Elsah…” Zayn began chastisingly, until Elsah finally snapped. 



“I’m fine, Zayn. Go to bed. I’ll be okay out here.” Her tone was somewhat sharp, a tone she’d never used with Zayn ever before. But he was being overbearing, and she needed to stay up to see when Harry would come back. 



Zayn looked as if he was going to say something more, but he stopped himself, and just nodded. “Alright, Elsah. Goodnight.”



At this, Elsah sighed in relief, resting her head against the arm of the couch, and pressed the power button on phone to wake the screen up. 



It was 10:55PM, and still no sign of Harry. Elsah continued to stare at the bright screen of the phone, realizing that a few days ago when she called Louis, he didn’t have a lock screen. But now there was - one of those plain, generic lock screens that came with the phone - nothing special. 




Just as a loud crashing sound came from outside, the time turned 10:56PM, but the phone was long forgotten as Elsah raced to the door of the apartment to see who it was.


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