The early morning sun wakes me as it shines through the window. I should have closed the blinds last night. I look over at Liv. She's still asleep. God she's beautiful when she sleeps, I could watch her forever. I can't resist and lean in to kiss the freckle on her nose. As I pull away, I see her eyes flutter open and she's smiling at me. "Good morning beautiful" I say. Her cheeks flush a deep red and she bites her bottom lip. Cute. "How's the arm feel?", I ask.
"Better I think, it's not throbbing anymore", she answers.
"Hungry?" I ask, and she shakes her head.
"I'll go start breakfast while you get cleaned up, ok?" I say, leaning in and planting another kiss on her soft lips before leaving. I love her lips. I walk into the kitchen to see Harry and Liam have beaten me to the breakfast making.
"We figured you'd be hungry since you went to bed without any dinner last night" Liam says.
"Oh, sorry about that mates" I reply.
"It's fine, we just ordered a pizza. No biggie. Zayn and Mia didn't eat with us last night either", Harry says.
"How's Liv this morning?" Liam asks.
"A bit better, not quite as sore. She'll be down soon, she's just getting cleaned up. What's on the schedule for today?", I ask.
"Well, we have rehearsal all day. We have a concert tonight and tomorrow night, remember?" Liam says.
Zayn, and Louis come into the kitchen. Zayn jumps up to take a seat on the counter. My heart sinks when I realize that it's Thursday already and that we are due to fly back to London, Saturday morning. "That means the girls have to go back to Nova Scotia on Saturday too" I finish my thought out loud. I look at Zayn, his smile has gone to and he's gazing at the floor. Liam, Harry and Louis are staring at us both.
"These girls really got to you, didn't they?" Liam says, smiling.
I shake my head, "Yeah, that's a pretty fair statement...", I say.
"What if they didn't have to go back to Nova Scotia Saturday?", Harry asks.
"What do you mean?" Zayn asks.
"Well, what if you make arrangements for them to come to London with us for the summer. We're off. They're off. No commitments until September. Nothing to do but hang around and have a good time. You can call their parents, make all the arrangements and surprise them!", Harry explains. I see Zayn jump down from the counter and throw himself at Harry. He plants a big kiss on his cheek.
"Do you think it'll work?" I ask, still skeptical.
Zayn runs down the hall towards his room, "We'll MAKE it work Nialler! C'mon!" he says and I jump off my stool running after him.
I wake up to bright morning sun flooding my room. I look around for Zayn but he's no where to be found. Just as well, I think to myself. I need to get cleaned up. I still smell like vomit. I make my way to the bathroom and fill the tub with hot water. I squeeze some toothpaste on my brush and scrub my teeth and tongue for a good 5 minutes trying to get the bitter taste out of my mouth. I undress and step into the steamy oasis. I wash my face and body carefully, avoiding my stitches and tip my head back to wash and condition my hair. The tub is 4 times my size, I could easily swim in it if I wanted too, but decide to just settle back and relax. This has turned out to be quite a first experience away from home. As I think about everything that has happened so far, I can feel my pulse quicken.
I'm not usually a crier, never really have been, even as a baby my mom told me I never cried much. I just found my thumb, popped it in and that was it. When I was a bit older, I was the kid that "acted first, thought later", which meant I was always getting hurt. Even when I was 7, fell off my bike and had to get stitches in my elbow, I still was the kid who didn't cry. I don't like it. It makes me feel weak. I don't like feeling weak. I step out of the tub and wrap a towel around my body and one around my hair. I stand and look at myself in the mirror. My eyes can't help but stare at the stitches on my neck. A lump forms in my throat and tears well up in my eyes. "NO! I will not be his VICTIM!" I shout, at my reflection in the mirror. I pull myself together and get dressed. I pull on my black skinny jeans and a black anti-bullying t-shirt with the words "I AM STRONG", written on the front in big white block letters, and tie a black bandana around my neck to hide the stitches. I add my black converse high tops, brush my long curls out until they are tangle free and tie them back in a high pony with an elastic. Add some liner, mascara and lip gloss and I'm off to breakfast.
As I enter the kitchen I smell the delicious aroma of bacon. I LOVE bacon! I see Liam and Harry at the stove bickering about how crispy the bacon should be, and Louis sitting on a stool by the breakfast bar. I walk over and steal a few pieces off the counter.
"Good morning! Mmmm Bacon." I say.
"Hey don't eat that!", Harry snaps, trying to grab the bacon away...but I'm too fast for him and it's in my mouth before he can. Liam, Harry and Louis all laugh. I plop down on one of the stools next to Louis, munching away, looking very pleased with myself. Harry stifles a laugh "I've got my eyes on you..." he warns.
I laugh. "Ooo I'm so scared!", I say.
"You look better this morning" Liam says.
"I feel better this morning" I confirm. "My sister been down yet?" I ask.
Harry shakes is head, "Not yet."
Warm arms wrap around my waist from behind and pull me off my stool. "Good morning love", I know it's Zayn. I turn around wrap my arms around his neck, do a quick jump and wrap my legs around his waist.
"Good Morning my hero..." and I lean in and kiss is soft lips. I hear Liam, Harry and Louis all clearing their throats and decide I better pull away. "Oops, sorry. Got carried away" I say, as Zayn sets me back down on my stool. "So, what's the plan for today my lovlies?" I ask, as El and Niall walk into the kitchen. I turn to Niall, "Hope you're taking extra good care of my big sister, Nialler!" I say, and playfully punch him on the shoulder. "So, what are we doing today? I don't want to waste the day...We should get out and do something. What should we do? Do you guys have rehearsals?", I'm rambling, and I feel anxious. I can't seem to calm myself down. Niall glances at Zayn.
"Everything ok love?" Zayn leans in and whispers in my ear.
"Of course, why wouldn't it be? I just don't want to sit around all day. That's all..." I say.
"Well, it's just with all that's happened..." he continues.
I cut him off in mid sentence, "Nothings wrong. I just decided not to be that prick's victim. I just want to forget him and that the whole thing ever happened. I don't want to think about it anymore and I don't want to spend the entire day alone!", I say, my voice beginning to waver.
"Mia, love...that's probably not the healthiest way to deal..." Zayn starts to say. I need to shut him up. My cheeks are flushed now and the sick feeling in my stomach has returned.
"NO ZAYN! NO MORE!", I shout, as I storm out the patio doors without looking back.
After a quick but careful bath, I grab my favorite yoga pants (they have the word "HOT" written across the bum), and gingerly pull a new hot pink tank over my head, courtesy of Niall. I brush my hair through and apply a little anti-frizz lotion deciding to leave it down and curly today. After a bit of liner, mascara and gloss I head downstairs. As I get to the kitchen, I stop just in time to hear Mia shouting at Zayn.
"I Just want to forget him and that the whole thing ever happened. I don't want to think about it anymore and I don't want to spend the entire day alone!"
"Mia, love...that's probably not the healthiest way to deal..." Zayn says calmly.
"NO ZAYN! NO MORE!", Mia shouts.
I watch helpless, as she storms out the patio door.
"Someone should go talk to her" I hear El say.
"I'll go" Zayn says.
"No." I say sadly, everyone turns startled to see me standing there. "I'll do it." I head for the patio door, Niall grabs hold of my hand.
"You okay to do this?" he asks.
"Whether or not I am, I have to...she's my sister and she's hurting", I say. He kisses my forehead and let's my hand go. I turn and walk outside. It's beautiful out. The sun is shining and there's a nice breeze blowing. I didn't realize just how big the property here was. Just past the pool in the back yard, there's a large open lawn, just beyond that, there's a happy bubbling brook and beyond the brook are the large gates that surround the property.
I can see Mia sitting just beyond the lawn, beside the brook. Her knees are pulled up to her chest and her arms are wrapped around them tightly. I sit down next to her, being careful not to strain my arm. "Hey" I say.
"Hey" she replies, not looking up at me.
"Quite a vacation huh?", I say, she's quiet. "You know, sometimes I forget that you're only 18. You've always been so strong and confident, more than me. It's one of the things I admire most about you. Sometimes I think you should of been born first.", I say. Still nothing. "You know, It's ok to be angry and hurt. I am. It doesn't make me weak or helpless, it makes me human. That man, what he did to us, you were right yesterday when you told me it wasn't my fault, but it wasn't yours either. I love your beautiful saucy mouth. It's stood up for me when my quiet mouth couldn't. He's just a sick man", I pause and wait for a response...nothing. "I know someone else who loves your saucy mouth too." I tease. I feel Mia lay her head on my shoulder. I lay mine on top of hers "We'll be fine, we'll stick together and we'll be fine". I kiss the top of her head and just sit there with her, watching the water run.
Niall and I watch out the patio doors as Liv carefully sits down next to Mia. "What do you think she's saying to her?" I ask Niall.
"I don't know Mate, but whatever it is, I'm sure it'll help. Don't worry", Niall says.
I feel a vibration in my back pocket, I fish out my cell phone. I don't recognize the number, it's long distance. "Ello? Mrs. Lexington! Thank you for returning my call. My name is Zayn Malik, I'm one of the members of "One Direction", uh uh, no ma'am I'm not kidding. Yes, they're both fine. If you have access to a computer we could "Skype" each other so that you could see them. Well, It's kind of a long story. Do you have some time to talk to me?" I say, walking down to my room for privacy. Niall follows closely behind. This may take some convincing.
"Let's head back, before the bacon's all gone, Liv." I say, sniffing as I get up and stretch. I reach my hand out to help her up, and we make our way back to the house. It's almost 10 am when we get back. Lou, El and Harry are still sitting around the kitchen table drinking their tea. "Hi, any bacon left?" I ask.
"Yup, we saved you some" El says, smiling. I join them at the table and Liv brings over the left over bacon.
"Want some juice?" she asks. I get up.
"Sit down Liv, I'll get us juice", I say. She smiles and sits down.
"Where's Niall?" she asks.
"Um , I think he and Zayn had something important to do for our rehearsal this morning", Harry answers. I sit back down with the juice and grab some bacon.
"Sounds suspicious, Mr.Styles..." I say, smiling. Liv and I sit quietly as we finish our breakfast and listen as Harry and Lou discuss the morning's rehearsal.
Someone sits behind me in my chair and wraps their arms around my waist. I lean back and lay my head against his shoulder. Zayn. "I'm sorry, about earlier" I whisper. I felt his arms tighten around me. He leans in and kisses me softly on the lips.
"Already forgotten about love", he says. I see Niall standing behind Liv's chair, he pulls her hair back with his hands and leans down to kiss her neck. She lets out a giggle.
"I'm ticklish you know", she says, as her face flushes a deep shade of red. I think she might explode. A giggle escapes my lips too.
"We we're thinking since El and Dani have to work today, that maybe you could both come to rehearsals with us", Zayn says.
"Sounds like fun", I say.
"Actually, fun is probably not what it's going to be..." Niall adds.
I grab the dishes on the table and give them a rinse before putting them in the dishwasher. "All set", I say, and the group of us head for the door.
"I can't believe we talked their mom and dad into letting them come to London with us for the summer, Zayn! I hope they're happy when we tell them. I don't know how long I'll be able to keep it a secret from them", I say, excitedly. Zayn and I walk out of his bedroom where we had been talking to Mr & Mrs Lexington. "I don't know how you can be so calm mate." I add. We walk back into the kitchen, and see the girls are back. Zayn walks up behind Mia and swings a leg over her chair sitting himself snuggly behind her. I must admit, he does have some smooth moves. I'm to shy to do that, what if Liv didn't like it or what if I hurt her by accident again. Nope, I'll just stay back here and play with her hair. Maybe one little kiss on the neck won't hurt. She has the best giggle.
I listen as Zayn invites them to our rehearsal and they accept. "Sounds like fun" Mia says.
"Actually, fun is probably not what it's going to be..." I say, wishing more than anything I didn't have to go today. Mia clears the table and loads the dishwasher while we all grab our things.
"All set" she says, and we're off to the ACC for a long day of rehearsals before our show tonight.
As we're driving in the car Liv takes out her phone, "I'm just going to check in with mom, I don't want her hopping on a plane because of worry."
I glance nervously over at Zayn who's looking anxiously back at me. We forgot to tell Mrs. Lexington that the change in their summer plans was going to be a surprise. Damn. Think fast Niall.
"I don't think we have a very good cell reception inside the limo. Maybe you should try later." I suggest, trying to sound casual.
"No, It's ok I have bars. It's ringing", she says. My deodorant is working overtime right now. Hang up. Hang up. Hang up. "Hmmm, just went to voice mail. I'll leave her message and try her later." Liv says.
"Thank god", I mumble, a little louder than expected. Zayn shoots me an icy stare.
"What did you say?", Liv asks.
I groan, "I said "thank god" we're almost to the ACC, because I really have to go to the loo", I say. I am so not good at this lying stuff.
I glance at my phone for the time. It's almost 4 o'clock. We've been here since about 10 am this morning. Mia watched for a couple of hours, but I can see she's bored now. She's been playing on her I Phone for awhile. "I'm done guys - I'm breaking for supper" I say.
I walk over to Mia and hold out my hand, "Excuse me Miss, I noticed you sitting here all alone and was wondering If I could take you out to dinner. My name's Zayn Malik. I'm a hot international Pop Star, so you'd be crazy not to take me up on my offer", I say, giving her one of my sexiest smiles. She laughs and rolls her eyes.
"Well, Mr. Hot International Pop Star, I'm not sure you're my type. I need to ask you some questions first." I watch her as she gets up and stands in front of me...she runs her finger over my chest and back as she walks around me. She stops in front of me and stares at me with her beautiful dark brown eyes. "First question: What's your sign?" her face is completely serious.
"I'm a Capricorn, love" I answer, raising my hand to touch her cheek.
"Ouch", I say, as she slaps it down.
"Second question: Do you have a girlfriend?" she asks, taking a step closer to me, our lips are inches apart and I can smell her strawberry breath.
"Um, well no not officially, but there's this girl that I'm really into. I'm not sure how she feels about me though", I say.
She takes a step back and I see her face soften "You really can't tell how I feel about you, Zayn?" she says, searching my eyes for an honest answer.
"Well, I...How do you know I was talking about you...?" I tease. She smiles, takes another step forward and plants her soft lips on mine. She wraps her arms around my neck, my arms find her waist. I lift her off the ground as our kiss grows deeper and more intense. I can't keep the secret any longer. I set her back down and call Niall over. "Let's tell them, cause I can't wait any longer" I say. I can feel my stomach tighten.
"Tell us what? No bad news right", Mia says cautiously.
"How would the 2 of you like to extend your vacations for a little bit longer?", I ask.
"What do mean?" she reply's.
"Well, what would you say if we arranged it, so that you could both come back to spend the summer in London with us instead of going home to Nova Scotia", Niall explains.
"No way! You're kidding right?", Mia says, a giant smile on her beautiful face.
"It's all arranged, Niall and I already called your mom and dad. We've got your passports and plane tickets ready to go, all we need is for the both of you to say "Yes". I say.
Mia throws her hands around my neck and wraps her legs around my waist, she plants a kiss on my lips "YES!" she shouts. I hug her tight. This is going to be the best summer ever.
I could sit here and watch Niall forever. He's so talented and good looking. My insides start to quiver just thinking about him. I glance over at Mia, she's bored, I can tell because she's playing on her phone. I laugh. She's the only girl in the world I know that could get bored watching 'One Direction'. I see Zayn say he's taking a supper break. I hope Niall does to. I'm hungry and starting to feel a little tired. What are they doing. I see Zayn call Niall over. "Liv, can you come here please?" Niall asks.
"How would the 2 of you like to extend your vacations for a little bit longer?" Zayn asks. I can't believe what I'm hearing. We can't spend our summer in London. We don't have enough money. We're completely un-prepared. Oh my gosh, they already called mom and dad. Mia's already said "yes". I look at Niall and sit back down. He sits next to me and takes my hands in his.
"You don't want to come..." I hear him say, tears in his eyes.
"No, it's not that. I want to be with you, Niall. I do. I just...well, so much has happened and we don't have much money left and I don't want you paying for my whole summer. It's just not right and", I say, and stop as tears spill out...
"and?" Niall urges.
"and I'm scared Niall, what happens if we get over there and you decide I'm not the one you want? What then? What happens to me then?!", I sob. He wipes my tears with his thumbs, places a hand on the back of my neck and pulls me close until our foreheads meet.
"I can't promise you how it's going to turn out, there are never any guarantees in life, but I can promise you it will be an adventure. I really want to be with YOU this summer. Only you. I think I'm falling in love with you", he says. I can't believe what he just said to me. I put my hands on his face and pull him into a long deep kiss.
"Yes, I'll spend the summer with you Niall" I whisper.