"Hey", Perrie says, finding me in my bedroom after I stormed off the pool deck. I'm sitting, slumped over, on the edge of my bed, my arms resting on my thighs.
"Hi...", I answer.
"Look um, about what happened earlier..."
"I get it, you were feeling, insecure and acted irrationally, out of jealousy...", I say, looking up at her.
"I came in here to give you a chance to apologize to me..."
"For what?", I ask, shocked.
"You don't think I've noticed the difference in you lately. You hardly ever call me. We hardly ever see each other anymore and don't think I haven't noticed how you look at her? How you watched her get undressed before she got into the pool! I'm not blind, Zayn!"
"You still had no right doing what you did down there. It was mean and uncalled for!", I snap, running my hand through my hair.
"Yeah, well excuse me for wanting some attention from my boyfriend tonight, boy what an ass I am."
"Perrie, what do you want from me? I was with YOU in the pool! I've been with YOU this whole time!", I snap, again. Rising to my feet. My gaze locks on hers.
"What time? You never have time anymore. I mean, I don’t feel like I even have a boyfriend, Zayn..."
"I've been busy Perrie. You of all people should understand that. Do you want me to quit the band so that you can feel like you have a boyfriend?", I ask, my voice dripping with sarcasm.
"And I’m happy for you Zayn, but I’m tired of having a relationship with your voice mail! I don’t know what to do anymore..."
"Maybe we should...take a break...a break from us...", I say, finally. She stares at me quiet for a minute before nodding and walking back out the door.
After she's gone, a strange feeling of relief and excitement washes over me. I resist the urge to march right down to Faith's room and kiss her until she turns blue. I feel as though a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Now I just have to figure out a way to be honest with Harry and Niall. Then, maybe I can change her mind about falling in love again...
I knock lightly on Zayn's door early the next morning. He opens it in just his pajama bottoms. I push past him and enter the room, crossing over to the dresser and grabbing him a shirt and some jeans. I toss them in his direction. "Get dressed, I need you and Niall downstairs in 10 minutes...", I snap.
"Why? What's going on?", he asks, groggily, rubbing his eyes.
"I got an interesting text this morning..."
"From who?", he asks, curious.
Zayn's eyes pop wide open. "Faith and Lexi's, Ben?", he asks.
"Look mate, you know I like her, just like I know you like her. Niall likes her too. But we have to do what's best for her. I see the way she looks at you Zayn. She doesn't want to admit it to herself because she's afraid. I think you, are what's best for her, even though she doesn't know it yet. Don't give up on her mate. Something tells me she's worth it... I'll go get Niall. Meet me downstairs. Oh and be quiet. I don't want to wake Faith up and have to explain where we're going..."
The three of us walk into Starbucks a short time later, it doesn't take me long to spot him, sitting at a back table by himself. He resembles Alexis, with his red hair and green eyes. We walk up to him together, and pull out some chairs. "I didn't think you'd come... Are these your bodyguards?", Ben smirks.
"No, we're all friends of Faith...", I answer.
"The old guy told me Faith is your wife..."
"Does she know your here?", Niall asks, trying to cut to the chase.
"Not yet. But I'm going to see them just as soon as I find out what you're up too...", he snaps, staring at me.
"I don't know what you mean...", I answer, confused.
"Let me help you out, you and Faith are not married, I checked. So what are she and Alexis doing living with you..."
"Faith is helping me...us...out with a business transaction...", I answer, carefully.
"Don't hustle a hustler Harry...", he says, taking a sip of his coffee, "What do you think your 'family oriented' song writing friend would do if he found out that your family was actually not yours...but mine..."
"You lost the privilege of being able to call them your family 8 years ago when you walked out!", Zayn snaps, his fists clenched tight.
"I don't think that's any of your business, Ben...", I answer, putting a hand over Zayn's arm.
"What concerns Faith and my daughter, concerns me too...", he answers, smugly.
"What do you want?", I ask.
"Oh, I don't know. Maybe just a little something to tie me over until my next mark comes along, 10 thousand pounds should be good", he says.
"What?!", Niall and I shout together.
"On one condition... You don't contact either one of them. You've hurt them enough. Just leave...", Zayn snaps.
"Zayn! Can we talk to you for a second!", I ask, getting up from the table abruptly and pulling him aside. Niall follows closely behind.
"What?", he snaps, pulling free of my grasp.
"We can't do this... If you want Faith to trust and love you, you can't lie to her!", Niall snaps.
"What's it going to be boys?", Ben snaps, getting up from the table.
"Zayn...", Niall and I snap, again.
We return to the house after our meeting at Starbucks and walk through the door quietly. I can hear voices coming from the kitchen. Alexis must be home from her sleepover. Oh god, I hope we're doing the right thing. Zayn pushes past me and walks into the kitchen first, followed by myself, Niall......and Ben. Faith is pouring Lexi some juice when she looks up and sees us all. She drops the carton of juice and it spills on the table. She just stands there. Staring. Unable to speak. "Hey beautiful... It's great to see you, I missed you...both of you...", Ben says.
"Daddy?", Alexis asks, a look of confusion on her face.
"Yes, princess it's me...", he says. I feel sick. "Faith?", he asks, taking a step towards her. She steps back and right into Zayn, who wraps his arms around her waist.
"I want to show you something...", Alexis says, running excitedly out of the room. She comes back a few minutes later with a picture. "Look! You, me and mommy on the day I was born! It's the only family picture I have of all of us..."
"So how long are you staying Ben...", Faith asks, finally finding her voice.
"Erm, I'm leaving tonight..."
"Tonight?! Why are you leaving. We need you?!", Alexis cries.
"Alexis, you're the only thing I ever did right in my life. But you and your mom, deserve something better. You deserve someone who can be with you everyday...and...I think you might have found that here. You'll always be my special girl. I love you...", he says, getting to his feet. "I didn't mean to hurt her...or you Faith. I should of stayed away. I'm sorry...", he says, kissing Alexis on the forehead and walking back out the front door. Faith finally breaks free of Zayn's arms and runs over to Lexi. She wraps her arms around her and picks her up. Then they both disappear up to their rooms.