I have to admit Harry's idea was brilliant. My stomach was a bundle of nerves. "Everything ready?" I ask Zayn.
"Almost, Mia's still waiting to hear from Katie, but everyone else is already in the air and on their way. Simon pulled some strings for you mate, they'll all be here by late tomorrow afternoon. The girls are taking care of everything else. You sure about this mate?", he asks, already knowing the answer.
"I've never been more sure about anything in my whole life..."
"Can I come with you tomorrow morning?"
"Of course. You don't trust me?", I say, chuckling.
"No, I want to get one too", he answers, smiling at me.
"No way!", I say, as I give him a hug.
"The truth is, I already asked her and she already said 'yes', but I wanted to wait to tell everyone until I got her a ring", he says.
"Holy shit, congratulations", I say, laughing as I give him another hug.
"What do you think Liv will say?", he asks.
"Yes, I hope. I hope she sees that I'm asking her now, before we find out for sure, because I love her, no matter what our future holds", I say.
"I'm surprised Harry thought of this" Zayn laughs.
"Me too. Underneath it all, he's a true romantic. Who the hell would of thought..." I say, laughing as well.
I open my eyes and look around the room hoping the morning was just a dream. I glance at my arm.
Reality hits home and I can feel the tears flood my face again, hot and heavy. Nialls gone and I'm alone. I get up and go to the bathroom. I start the shower, undress and step in as steam fills the little room. I put my face under the shower and let the hot water wash my tears down the drain.
What if he thinks I did this on purpose to trap him?
What if he never really loved me?
What if he did love me and I just ruined it?
My mind races. I'm sobbing uncontrollably now. I sit in the bath and pull my knees up to my chest, the water pelting my skin with it's fiery licks. I try to slow my breathing down but I can't. The light headed feeling in my head returns as the room spins violently around me.
I feel sick.
I pull myself out of the tub and vomit in the toilet. I can feel someone wrapping a towel around me, someone else holding my hair. "Go away", I say, before the next wave of nausea hits me and my head is back in the toilet.
"Niall, can you leave?", I hear Mia say, she's crying. I open my eyes and I'm back in bed. I have one of Niall's tees on and a pair of sweats. Mia's sitting on the edge of the bed next to me, watching me, holding my hand in hers. "Liv, you need to pull yourself together", I hear her say. She's not crying now, but her voice is full of concern. I pull my hand away from hers and turn away. "I get it, Liv. You hate me. Fine. Hate me. If it makes this whole situation easier for you to handle, go ahead. But I love you, Niall loves you. Everyone in this whole fucking house loves and cares about you. No matter what happens, no matter how hard you try to push us away, you will never be alone. Baby or no baby..." she says, she's crying again now and so am I. I reach back and hold my hand out to her. I feel her take it, as I wrap it around me. She lays down next to me, holding me.
"I'm s-sorry...", I whisper through my tears. I hear the bedroom door open, then feel the bed move as everyone piles on. No one talks, they're all just there, and I realize just how much I've grown to love them, all.
I wake the next morning to find Mia still sleeping next to me. I look out the window and see how beautiful and warm it is. Niall's mum, and step-dad come today and Mia's right, I need to pull myself together. I carefully crawl out of bed trying not to wake her and decide to go for a swim. I've been dying to do that since we got here and now that the stitches are gone, I have no excuse not to go. I go into the bathroom and look in the mirror. "I look like I've been run over by a train", I mumble to myself. I wash my face and scrub my teeth and tongue. I hate being sick. I tiptoe back into the bedroom and slip into my bikini. I wish now I'd brought my one piece with me. I close the door gently behind me as I pull my hair back into an elastic and make my way to the pool.
As the cool water welcomes my body, I feel instantly better. It's not until I get to the other side that I notice Harry, passed out on a deck chair. I jump out and give him a shake. His eyes flutter open and look at me "You sleep out here all night?", I ask.
"Yeah...", he answers, shielding his eyes from the sun. I jump back in the pool to continue my laps. "Should you be doing that?", he shouts.
"Well, in case you're...you know", he says, and I can't help but smile.
"Pregnant?", I finish for him.
"Yeah, that...", he says.
"I don't know that I am, but, if I were, something tells me a few laps in the pool wouldn't hurt either of us...", I say.
"Oh, ok then. As you were...", he says, as he sits up and watches me. I can see him shifting uncomfortably in his chair and I can't help but laugh as I size up the situation.
"You can go to the loo, Harry. I don't need a sitter...", I say.
"Well, what if you get light headed again in there, you could drown. Niall would be pissed If I let you drown...", he says. I roll my eyes.
"Harry! Go pee!", I shout, exasperated.
"I'll just duck behind this bush. That way, if you need me I'm right here", he says.
"Oh for pete's sake", I grumble, as I resume my laps. Clearly, I'm not going to win this battle.
I open my eyes and reach beside me in the bed. Empty. Shit. I jump up and stretch, I still have the same clothes I had on yesterday. I look out the window and can see Liv in the pool. "Awesome, that's definitely a step in the right direction..." I say to myself before running downstairs to join her. Lou, El and Liam are in the kitchen.
"Everything ok?" they call, as I run out the door.
"I think it's going to be!", I answer, without stopping. I run towards the pool and jump in with all my clothes on. As I surface I can see Lou, El and Liam watching and laughing.
"Have you gone mad?", Liv asks. I giggle.
"GERONIMO!", Liam shouts, as he jumps in with his morning clothes still on, followed by Lou and El. That's when we all notice Harry pop up from behind a bush.
"What are you doing back there Hazza?" El asks.
"Nevermind. We don't want to know", Lou says quickly. Harry jumps in, seconds later.
"No point being lonely", he says.
"You have all lost your minds...", Liv says smiling. "Anyone seen Niall this morning?"
"He's with Zayn", I answer.
"Where?" she presses.
"That information is classified, Miss...", Louis teases. She shoots me a glare.
"Sorry my beautiful sister, you're on a strictly 'need to know' basis, and right now, you don't need to know!", I say, smiling.
"Bite me! I'm hungry, I'm going in now...", she pouts. I splash her in the face. "Not yet! Play with us first..."
"Play with you? What are we 10!", she snaps.
"C'mon Liv, channel your inner child", I say, splashing her again.
"Ok, it's on like Donkey KONG!", she shouts before pummeling me with water. Pretty soon we're all laughing and splashing.
We all make our way back to the house for breakfast. El and I change quickly and have it well under way by the time Liv comes back downstairs. I watch as Liam pulls out a chair for her.
"Juice Liv?" Harry asks, as he sets a full glass and carton down in front of her, before she even has a chance to answer.
"Ok, please stop. The way you guys are acting you'd think I had one foot in the grave. I'm not dying...", she says.
"We know that, silly!" Harry says, and then turns to me, "She's good right?", he whispers. I laugh and roll my eyes.
"Yes, Harry. She's good", I say. A look of relief washes over his face.
"I'm serious. I want you to stop treating me like I'm going to break. Please. It's making me uncomfortable...", she says.
"Liv, you had a rough day yesterday. We're just trying to be supportive", I say.
"Can you all be supportive without making me feel like an invalid?", she asks.
Harry grabs the glass of juice he just poured for her, drinks it, and sets it back down in front of her before saying "Fine, get your own damn juice then!". We all look at Liv. She's trying really hard not to laugh.
"Thanks you guys", she says, finally before reaching for the carton and pouring herself some more.
Zayn and I hear the heli and run to the door. El and Mia talked Liv into going for a walk along the beach. I glance at my watch. It's almost 5 pm. My mum, step-dad, dad and brother are all making their way up to the house, followed by another man and woman, followed by Lauie and Katie. "Hey, mum!" I say giving her a hug.
"How's my boy?", she says, giving me a kiss. "Hi Zayn", she says, kissing him as well. I shake my step-dad and dad's hands, and give my big brother a hug.
"How're you son?" dad says.
"Good dad. Hi there. I'm Niall..."
"I'm Zayn...", we say to Liv and Mia's mum and dad.
"I'm Claire and this is my husband Jack. It's nice to finally meet you both in person, though I can't help but wonder why we've been summoned here. We've heard some awfully nice things about you...", I see Harry appear in the doorway.
"Lets get you guys inside. We don't want Liv to see you just yet..." he explains, as he ushers them in. I turn back to Lauie and Katie and give them both a hug.
"Thanks for coming back. It means the world to us both..." I say and smile.
"We wouldn't have missed this for anything, we'll help in anyway...", Katie says. Lauie stays silent as we all go inside and shut the door.
"You guys are back in your old room", I say. "I'll be up to talk to you in a bit. Liv doesn't know you're here and I want to keep it that way. For now. OK?", I say.
"Ok", Katie says, as they make their way upstairs.
"Everyone's in the music room, Niall?" Harry says. I take a deep breath before going inside.
"I hope they don't kill us", Zayn whispers. I laugh.
"Me too", I say.
I walk back to our bedroom and walk in on Liv looking at herself in the mirror. "Admiring yourself", I tease, as I walk up behind her, wrap my arms around her waist and settle my chin on her shoulder. She blushes and bites her lip. "Stop that, It drives me wild. You should start getting ready for dinner. Everyone's just freshening up a bit..."
"What are we having?", I ask.
"Zayn and I picked up some Peri Peri Chicken from Nando's", I say smiling.
"Why am I not surprised. Dressy or casual", I ask.
"Somewhere in the middle", I answer.
"I'm going to go take a quick shower", she says.
"Ooh, can I watch?" I tease in a low, sexy voice. She smiles as her face blushes again. I turn her around so that she's facing me, and kiss her soft, inviting lips. "You, are my world. Don't ever forget that...", I say, stroking her lips with my thumb. "I have something I want you to wear tonight", I say, pulling a small box out of my pocket.
"Niall, no..." she starts to say, tears filling her big, beautiful, brown eyes.
"Liv, just hear me out for a second", I say cutting her off. "I have known from the first moment I laid eyes on you how special you are. You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life, and you have the most amazing heart. You're smart and funny and kind and I've known for awhile that it's you I want to wake up to every morning. I'm asking you this now, before we know if you're pregnant because I want you to understand that I love you and I want to be with you no matter what happens...", I explain, kneeling down on one knee, taking her hand in mine and kissing it softly. "Olivia Jayne Lexington, would you please do me the honour of marrying me?", I slip the ring on her shaking finger.
"Are you sure this is what you want? What if I'm not..."
I stand and push my lips against hers, cutting her off. "None of it, is relevant right now. Say 'yes' simply because you love me, and everything else that follows will just be icing on the cake. Figuratively speaking...", I say, smiling.
"Yes", she whispers, as I wrap my arms around her and pull her in for a long, slow, deep, amazing kiss.
I make sure she's in the shower before crossing to the window and pulling down the shade, masking the flurry of activity going on outside.
As I rummage through my closet I'm at a loss at what to wear. "This sucks...", I say wishing I could just wear my damn yoga pants.
"Hey?", I hear Mia say from behind me.
"You seem perplexed?", she says.
I shake my head, "You know me, I was not the one blessed with good fashion sense. Help me?", I plead.
"I know exactly what you should wear...", she says, as she reaches for a zipped clothing bag at the very back of my closet. She unzips the bag and takes out a stunning little white dress. She helps me slip it over my head as I gaze at myself in the mirror. I don't remember seeing this before. I don't usually wear dresses, but this one is lovely. The bodice wraps around me snuggly, complimenting my figure. It has a cut out V-neckline and a twisted halter back with wide straps that wrap around my neck. The skirt is softly gathered at the waist with the help of a plain cotton sash. The whole thing falls perfectly just above my knee. "You like?" Mia asks, smiling.
"I love. Thank you", I say.
"Don't thank me, El picked it out and Niall bought it. I just pulled it out of the bag. What's this?", she asks me smiling, noticing the diamond on my finger. "Congratulations", she says pulling me towards her and wrapping her arms tightly around me.
"Can I help you with your hair?", she asks.
"Up or down?", she asks.
"Surprise me", I answer, giving all control over to her. I can tell she's loving this. She runs some frizz cream through my hair and dries it with my diffusser. I close my eyes as I feel her fingers work through my hair.
"Perfect", she says finally. I look in the mirror. She's tamed my long, curly hair in a fish tail braid, that lays perfectly down my shoulder on one side, being careful to leave a soft curl hanging loosely, on either side. I almost don't recognize myself. She disappears back into my closet and comes out holding a new pair of white, gladiator sandals. "Here you go...", she says handing them to me. A little liner, mascara and lip gloss and I'm ready to meet his family. I wave of nausea hits me and I do my best to shake it off. I see the bedroom door open and Niall walks in. Mia smiles. "You look beautiful", she says, closing the door behind her as she leaves us alone.
"Oh my god, you look stunning", I hear him whisper.
"Not too much?", I ask.
"Just enough...", he says wrapping his arms around me. "They are going to love you as much as I do...", he says, and I can feel my knees getting weak. He looks gorgeous in his kakhi pants and casual white button down shirt. "Are you ready?" he asks.
I shake my head, "As ready as I'll ever be", I say as he takes my hand in his and leads me out the door.
"Just a sec!", I say, as I run to the bedroom door, "Sorry Niall I was just..."
"Can we talk?" Liam says, pushing his way past me. I shake my head as I close the door behind him. "Where's Lauie?"
"Shower..." He stands there looking at me for what seems like forever, waiting. "I'm really sorry I bailed on you, but Lauie needed me...", I explain. Immediately, he wraps his arms around my waist and crashes his soft lips against mine.
"I missed you...", he says.
"I missed you too, Liam..."
I run to mum and dad's room and knock quietly on the door. I smile beaming as my mum opens the door. I step inside and give them hugs and kisses. "How are you my darling?", she asks, as we sit down on the bed. I can see her look at my neck and stifle a sob.
"It's ok mom. I'm fine. We're fine. Zayn and Niall have been taking really good care of us", I say.
"You look happy. Is your sister happy too?" she asks, eyes full of motherly worry.
"Yes, she is. Has Niall had a chance to talk to you yet?", I ask.
"Yes, honey. He and Zayn were in a little while ago. Sounds like this has been some roller coaster ride...", dad says.
"Does he make you happy, Amelia?", mum asks.
I shake my head, "He's the one mom...I can feel it in my heart...", I say as I pull her in for another hug. "I've missed you so much..."
As Liv, Niall and his family enjoy a dinner of Nando's at the back of the house. Everyone else is busy outside. The stone patio is decorated with soft white mini lights and thousands of white wisteria blossoms, draped over every thing like garland. There have been a few more small, round tables added to the intimate setting. They are adorned with white flowy table cloths surrounded by satin-draped chairs. Each are accented with centerpieces of white daisies and white roses. It all looks so natural and ethereal. Each table has a bottle of wine and wine glasses. It looks breathtakingly flawless. Arms wrap themselves around my waist, "Hey beautiful... You ready for this?", Zayn murmurs.
"I can't wait, I'm so happy for her..." We hear the heli approaching one final time. "I thought everyone was here already?" I say.
"Uncle Sime and guest, I presume", he says. "Let's go get ready", taking my hand in his and leading me back towards the house.
We walk into the formal dining room at the back of the house. "I think this is the first time we've ever been in here", I say chuckling. "Liv, this is my mum Maura and her husband, my step-father Chris. My dad, Bobby and older brother Greg", I say as she shakes their hands in succession. My mum pulls her in for a hug and kisses her cheek.
"So you're the one who has stolen my son's heart...", she teases. Liv blushes and bites her lip. Greg pulls out a chair for my mum, as I pull out Liv's chair as we all sit down.
"She's very beautiful Niall...", my dad says. Liv blushes again, deeper this time. She looks radiant. I wrap my hand around hers and give it a squeeze.
I listen to my mum and Liv chat back and forth over dinner. She patiently answers all their questions about how we met and the incident in Toronto. Her body tenses a little as she talks about it. She's charming and engaging as she answers all mum's question's about life back home and the work she does with the kids at the rec centre. I can tell that they are all as completely swept away by her as I am. "Beautiful and smart, Niall...", my brother chimes in. Liv blushes again.
"Liv and I are just going to clear these dishes, you guys go have a seat out on the patio and we'll be out in a second", I say giving them a wink. After they've left the room I wrap my arms around her tightly and spin her around, pushing my lips against hers. "I told you they'd love you..." I whisper, smiling. "I have a surprise for you..."
"I don't know if I can take to many more surprises...", she giggles.
"Last one, I promise. Close your eyes and keep them closed until I tell you, ok?", I whisper as I take her hand in mine and lead her out the door.