Everything's quiet as Zayn and I wait for Liv and Niall to come back out. I bounce my knee up and down, impatiently. "Patience is not one of your best qualities, love...", Zayn chuckles. I get up and start pacing around the waiting room.
"Bite me, love...", I snap back.
"Just tell me where, love...", he teases back. I know he's trying to distract me but all he's doing is irritating me.
"What's taking so long", I ask. He gets up from his chair and wraps his arms around me.
"Calm down", he whispers.
"How can you say that to me? Knowing that we're all here because of me", I shout.
"No...we're all here, because Niall couldn't keep it in his pants, which has nothing to do with you", he chuckles. I bite my lip trying to supress a giggle and playfully slap Zayn on the arm.
"I'm sorry for being such a bitch...", I whisper.
"It's ok, I'm getting used to it...", he teases. I give him my most 'wounded' look. "If it's any consolation...I love you anyway", he says, pressing his lips on mine.
My phone vibrates in my pocket. "Who can that be?", I wonder out loud.
"Probably the lads, wondering if we've heard anything yet", he offers.
"No, I don't recognize the number", I say, before answering. "Hello? Oh hi. Yes, we're in the city. Sure we can. About an hour. Bye..."
"Who was that?", Zayn asks.
"John Taylor. The director from the Kids shelter is trying to get a hold of Liv and I. He wants us to come by in about an hour. He said it was important...", I say, shrugging my shoulders. Just then, Liv and Niall appear in the doorway. I can tell they've both been crying. "Well?", I ask, trying to get a read on their expressions. "WELL!?!", I shout.
"First off, let me just say, that everything's fine and that we're both very happy..." Niall says, glancing at Liv. A wave of relief washes over me. "Second, how do you guys feel about becoming Aunt Mia and Uncle Zayn?", he asks, smiling.
"Wait, what?", I say. Liv shakes her head at me, smiling. That's when I realize that her tears are ones of happiness. I pull her in for a deep hug. Zayn and Niall join in and we all just stand there holding each other.
We exit the office from the private entrance and get back into Zayn's Bentley Continental GT. Liv and I sit in the back seat. "Where to now?", I hear Liv ask.
"Um, we need to stop by the kids shelter. John called looking for us...", I answer.
"Then to do some house hunting and maybe a celebratory dinner at Nando's..." Niall says, smiling back at us.
"Did John say what this is all about?", Liv asks. I shake my head no. We pull up outside the shelter about 15 minutes later. John is waiting for us at the door.
"I'm sorry to bother you, our regular child councillor is sick and we've just had a little girl brought in to us. She's probably about 5 years old. We can't get near her. I-i thought maybe one of you could try...", he explains.
"John, we're not really qualified to...", I say.
"I saw you the other day, you're both naturals. Will one of you just try?" he pleads.
I look at Liv, "I-I don't know if I can Mia, I'm kind of an emotional train wreck already...", she says.
Looking back at John, I shake my head yes. "Get me some paper and crayons..."
John opens the door to a little room for me and closes it behind me. The room is stark white and almost empty. Uninviting. Cold. There's a cot by the wall, and there huddled in the corner at the end of it is a little girl with long straggly brown hair. She's dirty, and her clothes are ripped. She has no shoes on her feet. My heart breaks for her, as I see the fear behind her eyes. I glance back at the door and see everyone watching, silently. I sit quietly on the floor across from her being careful not to make any sudden moves. I can feel her watching me as I start to draw pictures for her. I draw her a balloon with a smiley face, and push it in front of her, then I draw her a dog, and put that one in front of her, I draw her ice creams, clouds, kittens, music notes and flowers. "These are some of my favorite things", I say. She looks down at the pictures.
"What are those?" she whispers, pointing at the music notes.
"They're music notes. I like music. It makes me feel better when I'm sad...", I say.
"Are you sad now?" she whispers.
"Yes", I answer.
"Why?" she asks.
"Because, I can see that you are..." I answer her.
She looks at me cautiously. "You're pretty", she says.
"So are you" I say and a small smile cross her little lips.
"Are you someone's mom?" she asks.
"Not yet", I say.
"Can I draw with you?" she asks.
"I would love that", I say holding my hand out to her, "My name's Amelia..."
"Sophie" she whispers, putting her small hand in mine, that's when I notice the bruises all over her little arm. I watch her as she takes the crayons and starts drawing.
"Sophie? Where's your mom?", I ask cautiously.
"Dead", she whispers.
"Where's your dad?", I ask, and she shrugs her shoulders. "I can help you if you want me too", I say.
"No one can help me", she says, and I get a sick feeling in my stomach.
I stay with her most of the afternoon until a child councillor arrives. "You were amazing", Zayn says, as we go to leave. I feel little arms wrap around my legs.
"Please don't leave...", she begs.
"Sophie, I'll come to see you again tomorrow, ok? I promise...", I say as tears spill out over her little cheeks. Someone on staff whisks her away.
"NO! AMELIA!!", she sobs as she thrashes around wildly. I can't stop my tears as I watch her struggle.
"HEY! Let her go! Zayn! Make them let her go!" I shout. Zayn wraps his arms around my waist as Liv tries to calm me down.
"Mia, you can come back tomorrow. Right now we have to get her cleaned up and get her processed", John says.
"C'mon love, lets go..." Zayn whispers. I'm furious. My hands are trembling as I walk back to Zayn's car.
"Why did they ask me to help her if they were just going to..." I shout. Zayn wraps me in his arms.
"Mia, please calm down. We'll come back tomorrow. I promise", he says.
"I don't feel like looking at houses today, I want to go home...", I say. Everyone is silent as we head back.
"It's a beautiful morning to go for a run on the beach", I say to myself, as I pull my hair back into a ponytail and throw on some shorts and my bikini top. It's barely 6 am, so no one else should be up. I grab my Ipod and earphones and go outside. I see the heli pulling away and wonder who's leaving so early. I follow the little path down to the beach and turn my Ipod on shuffle, loudly. I don't know what I'm still doing here, I probably should have gone home with Mr & Mrs. Lexington but 'no', I stayed because Katie wants to see where things with Liam might go. Running always makes me feel better, it helps to clear my head. I do some simple stretches and then set out down the beach, setting a steady pace. I watch the steady rhythm of my feet as I go. I glance up, and see someone running towards me. I don't have time to get out of the way and we both crash into each other. Louis. "S-Sorry, I didn't see you", I hear him say.
"No sweat", I answer quickly and dust off.
"Can we talk for a second?' I shake my head 'no', as I take off back down the beach. Louis catches up to me and sets his pace to match mine. "Lauren, please. I'd really like to apologize for last week..", he says.
I stop short and turn to look at him. "Fine, go ahead..."
"I-I'm sorry that I kissed you. I didn't mean to hurt you", he stammers.
"I'm glad you're feeling better, oddly enough, it didn't do a whole lot for me..." I say, before taking off down the beach again. I feel a hand wrap around my elbow and bring me to a stop.
"WHAT?!", I snap.
"What do you want me to say? What can I do?", he asks.
"You can leave me the hell alone", I say.
"But, I don't want to do that either...", he says, as he presses his lips against mine, again! I pull myself away and stare at him in disbelief. Before I can stop myself I bring my right hand up and slap him, hard, across the face. He stands there shocked for a minute as I look at him. Tears sting behind my eyes. He advances on me again, and I let him. He pushes his lips against mine and my knees buckle. My heart is racing while my mind is scrambling to catch up.
"No, this is wrong", I say, pushing him away.
"Don't ever kiss me again", I say, as I take back off down the beach.
"I won't kiss you again, until you ask me too...", he shouts after me. I turn and run backwards just long enough to give him the finger, then turn back around and crank up my tunes. Someone's awfully full of himself. Hell will freeze before that happens.
As we get back to the house it's early afternoon. Niall, Liv and I follow Mia into the kitchen where Harry, Liam and Louis are sitting at the table. She grabs a glass out of the cupboard, her hands still shaking. "Well, how did it go at the Drs", Harry asks first. Niall puts his hands on Harry's shoulders.
"Looks like you're all going to be uncles...", Niall says, beaming. They all get up from the table and start hugging Niall and Liv. I'm still watching Mia as she grabs some ice out of the freezer and pulls out a bottle of whiskey from the liquor cabinet. We all watch silently as she pours herself a large glass.
"Mia, you can't drink all that", Liv says.
"Why don't you mind your own damn business Liv", she snaps.
"Mia,love. What are you doing? If you drink all that straight, you'll give yourself alcohol poisoning", I try to reason.
"What's wrong?", Liam asks, concerned.
"Amelia, enough!" Liv snaps, and we all watch in shock as she slams the glass down hard, on the counter. Shattering it in her hand. Liv grabs a cloth as Mia stands there in shock, looking at the blood dripping from her hand. "Amelia!", Liv's over in a flash picking the glass from her flesh. "I need twizzers, some peroxide and bandages, now, please..." she says. Liam takes off like a shot for the first aid kit in the bathroom. "Jesus Christ, Amelia. What the hell?!", Liv says as tears flood Mia's face.
"Someone's using that little girl as a punching bag, Liv", she whispers. "Do you know what she said to me after I offered to help her?", Liv shakes her head no, "she said that no one could help her. She's so little. It's not fair..." she whispers. I can't believe the impact that this little girl has had on her.
"We'll go back tomorrow Mia, we will help her. I promise." I say. Silence fills the room as Liv picks all the glass out of Mia hand, disinfects and bandages it.
Mia gets up from the table, "I need some air" she says as she walks out the door.
"Zayn?", Liv says.
"I'm on it, Liv", I say following her out the door.
I walk behind, trailing her to the beach. She sits down in the sand. I walk over and sit behind her. "This little girl really got to you, huh?", I say.
"We have to help her Zayn", she answers me.
"We will, love..."
"I love you...", she says.
"I love you too..."
"Do you want kids, Zayn?"
"Someday, as long as it's with you...", I answer. Her gaze ascends to meet mine and I smile and blush. "That was kind of corny huh?", I say.
"No, I don't think so...I-I need...", she strugges to find the right words. I stroke her check with my hand and pull her in for a long, deep kiss. Her tongue parts my lips with a sense of urgency. "Zayn? Please...", she pleads with her big, beautiful, brown eyes. I pull off her tee shirt then mine. She reaches for me impatiently. I unbutton her shorts and pull them off. She fumbles with my button, then zipper and pulls me free. She's in such a rush she's almost panicking.
"Easy love, slow down", I say, before pushing myself inside of her. She gasps before kissing me long and hard. This feels raw and unbridled, not intimate like our other encounters. I move my hips against hers fast and deep, and with each thrust she groans.
"Zayn, harder!", she cries out and I willingly oblige. I can feel her getting close as I crash my lips against hers. I hear her groan loudly as the wave hits her body sending ripples through her and through me. I kiss her softly now, stroking her face as I stay buried deeply inside of her. I see the tears start falling and I kiss them away. "Thank you", she whispers as my mouth finds hers again and I make love to her again, slower this time.