I sat in the waiting area for the planes, my sunglasses were over my eyes, and a coffee cup was in my hand. I hadn't slept since everything with Josh. I couldn't. I just had the image of his body laying lifeless beneath me.
You see the thing was, we always thought he would do what he wanted, but he was only ever looking out for everyone's best interests.
Let me just tell you what happened.
It had been twenty minute since we took the drink and I felt no different, but Josh had gone pale, his lips were blue, and beads of sweat rolled down his face.
“Josh” I turned to him, as he lay there, no lying down shaking, I placed my hand on his forehead, he was burning.
“It's cold” he told me, was this was it was going to be like for me, was all that was running through my head. “Brook, go.” he told me.
“It's going to happen to me too, I am going to be here” I spoke, and gripped his hand tightly, but he pulled himself up, and touched my cheek.
“You didn't get any...” he mumbled, before collapsing back onto the floor.
“What?” I shake my head.
“I couldn't give it too, you had a sugar pill, I gave myself the poison” he took long deep breaths, followed by quick short ones.
“Josh... we agreed...”
“Shhh...” he shook his head, looking weaker than I had ever seen any man look.
“I couldn't... I couldn't kill you. You've got so much more that you need to do... It's only fair, I mean, when you met me I ruined you, I made Zayn mad, maybe he would have been different if I hadn't of touched... what wasn't mine”. This sentence took a while to say, accompanied by panting, shaking, and then white liquid coming out of his mouth.
“I was ready” I sighed, knowing he was being caring, but feeling like he was being selfish. “My life started when I met you, you were the catalyst.” I caressed his face.
Too may people I love, had died in my arms, or been close to death. I don't think I could loose another one.
“You need to call, Ashton.” he muttered.
“Ashton?” I asked.
“I... I made a deal with him. He is going to kill, Ricky. Then take you home.” he told me, “After that, the gangs have no rivalry, it's over. You'll be free.” he reassured me.
“You had this all planned from the start, didn't you?” I whispered.
“Since I knew you were involved with Ricky? Yeah, I did. You... You didn't really think I'd let you go it alone did you, I've always been there Brook” he told me.
“Wait, Ash is Ricky's brother.”
“There's bad blood between more than just you and your own brother.” he smirked as his eyes began to cross.
“I don't understand, Ash is going to kill Ricky, and then it's all over? No more gangs, no more murder, none of it?” I asked him, and he nodded.
“You didn't have to die for it though, Josh. What about that girl?” I begged him to stay alive.
“She'll be fine, she will be free too. I just want you to call her, and tell her everything, tell her I loved her.” he had stopped moving, and his breathing was shallow.
“Josh... No...” I shook my head, tears streaming down my cheeks, and he was loosing consciousness.
“I'd do it all over... all over if it meant you could live, if it means you have a chance of not being stuck in this world” he muttered, I wanted to scream and tell him that, the white pill would of been my way out.
“I'll miss you” I whispered, and pressed my lips to his forehead, and then lay my head on him, his weak arm raised, and cupped my cheek, he swiped his thumb under my eye, and smiled like he did the night I first met him, but he didn't scare me this time, at least not in the same way.
“Stay out of trouble” he whispered, before letting me go. Then I wept until the bright lights of Ashton's truck pulled me away from him.
Me and Ashton barely spoke, I could see bloody sheets in the back of his truck, and rolled up bag, which I had a nasty feeling had Ricky's body in. We drove down a long bumpy road, and then took a sharp left. Driving a mile or two down a dirt track, and getting out the car, Ashton handed me a blanket to wrap around my shoulders.
He drove the car 10 metres away from us, and threw petrol over it, and let it burn. He came and stood back next to me, we sat on the dirty floor, under the blanket together.
“Is he in there?” I whispered, and he just nodded. “Thanks.” I said, he looked over at me, and he had tears threatening to fall, I did too. I opened my arms, and let him wrap his long arms around me, and wept into my chest, and I let my silent tears fall as the fire burnt in the distance. Ashton's sobs were soft, and broke the last ounce of strength I had.
“I know he was a bad guy, I don't feel bad for killing him. I just feel bad for the little boy that I used to play with, the boy that had such a bright future, but when our mum overdosed, and our dad walked out, took it all the wrong way.” he explained, I cooed him.
“We don't have to talk about that now, Ash. We don't have to.”
In no more than a supportive way, we walked for the next three or four hours until the light was coming up, all the way back to the house, hand in hand.
When we got back we packed, and said goodbye. Everyone treated his death as mysterious, and they agreed to cut all ties, as Ash was next in line, he let them go, cut them out of their contracts and let them go.
So that brought us to here, sat in the airport for what felt like the tenth time. Ashton, handed me another coffee, and slouched beside me. “Are you going to stay?” I ask, hoping he'd say yes, and he smirked over at me, and nodded, “For a while” he told me.
We waited it was ten. I stood in front of the car leaning on the bonnet in the pick up area, I stood with a cigarette in my hand. Harry paced back and forth with his sunglasses down, and hair pushed back. Liam sat in the back of the truck, along with Niall and they muttered conversation that was meaningless. Louis sat in the back of the truck on his own.
We waited, and it was the longest wait I think I may have ever participated in.
“This is taking for fucking ever,” Harry complained, he hadn't slept all night, he had been in the kitchen, drinking until about five this morning, the alcohol had no effect, a slight numbing feel, but we were immune to it's charms now, “he said ten, right?” Harry turned to me, and I just nodded at him.
“Zayn.” Liam stood up in the back of the truck, gazing over. I looked over, and saw her. She had black jeans on, some white heels, and see through shirt on, and a leather jacket, her hair pulled into a messy bun, and sunglasses on. She looked a mess, but perfect.
She walked over with a blonde boy, he smiled fondly at her, and she offered him a smile back, but I could see something was wrong.
As she got closer, she quickened her pace. Before I could move, she had clocked eyes with Harry, and he was jogging to meet her, we all followed in the middle of an empty parking lot. She dropped her bag, and wrapped her arms around his neck, he enclosed her, as she buried her face into his neck, there was a pang in my chest, as I remembered she was no longer mine.
“I could kill you” Harry said as he let her go, and cupped her face, but sighed smiling pulling her in once again, and she sighed too.
She let him go, and looked over his shoulder and saw me.
Anticipation was clear on everyone's face, everyone looked around waiting for one of us to say something.
“I got your message” I spoke, she tried to smile.
“It didn't happen” she told me, a hint of sarcasm in her voice, I opened my arms slowly, and cautiously, but she walked into them, lifting up her sunglasses, flashing her eyes at me.
“Please, don't scare me like that again.” I whispered into her ear as she hugged me, and her fragile frame covered my large one.
“This is Ashton.” she let me go, and stepped over to him. We all exchanged pleasant hello's.
The car ride back, we looked around at each other as Aston explained the story Brook struggled to listen to.
“Then we burnt the body, and came here.” he finished, and it made me wonder how she was still in one piece.
A loud phone rang, it was Brook's. “Douglas is ringing you?” Ashton smirked, elbowing her in the ribs, trying to be playful, and she smiled and then seemed to remember she was with me, and gulped.
“Hello” she spoke, looking me dead in the eyes, and then looking away, I didn't want to listen to her speak, so I tried to not to listen.
I'm okay... Thank you, Ashton said you helped...Sure... You could stay a day or two... a meal?... I think so... Yeah, he is here... yeah, okay... Bye.
“Anything of interest?” Ashton asked, and she just shook her head.
We arrived back at the house. I wish I had missed being here, but I hadn't. As soon, as I walked in I was reminded of why. Flo and Tiff stood with unwelcoming grins. Everyone had walked into the living room, and they followed, flirting with Ashton as he walked in. Uttering snide comments at me.
“So, when are you moving out?” I stood up, and looked at Flo and Tiff, they looked at me with baffled expressions. “Well, you aren't staying here. It's all over now, no more protection, you can leave, sorry, you will leave, because this is my house.” I spoke.
“You can't do that, this is Zayn's house.” Flo winked at him, “And we've got an arrangement” she looked him up and down, I didn't even want to know what she meant.
“My name is on the lease, I want you two bitches out of my house, okay?” I snap, and flash a smile, and the boys all stifle a laugh, even Louis. “Everyone else, I want you all to get dressed up, we are going out, celebrate the end of an era” I spoke, but also to mute all the voices in my head. “Ash, I will show you a room” I gestured for him to come with me, “I am going to get showered, and then have a coffee, we can go out at about five.” I spoke, and everyone agreed.
I showed Ashton his room, and then showered, letting the water wash over the events that had happened. I put on some sweat pants and crop top, going down stairs grabbing a box of cigarettes and a coffee, seeing Liam on the porch, I go and join him.
“Hey” I sit beside him, and see him blow his own smoke out.
“Hey” he gave me his lighter, “How long are you going to stick around for this time?” he asked me.
“I've not decided yet” I spoke, and inhaled the nicotine. “I'm sorry, for all that shit before I left, the kiss and stuff” I say.
“I've been hurt before, Brook. I'm used to it.” he told me, “I still can't believe you told Zayn” he spoke.
“I didn't” I turned to him, feeling my heart drop.
“He told me you did, he made me tell him. Fuck.” he rolled his eyes, and stomped on the cigarette.
“You told him?” I say calmly.
“Of course, he said you told him. He knows everything, from when you faked your death, up until a few weeks ago” he spoke, he shook his head, he stopped. “You are rather calm about this?” he edged.
“I'm not dating him anymore, it doesn't make any difference” I said, and blew out the smoke again, he sat back down.
“You're not?” he asked, and I saw hope in his eyes, and I shook my head.
“No. I think I will stick around until it all cools down, a month or two, and then leave for a while, get myself together, let you all move on” I say.
“What if I come with you?” he whispered, and then turned to face me with a serious expression.
“Liam, please, now isn't the time, knowing our luck,everything is going to have changed in less than a week” I spoke, and stood up, kissing his cheek, “Just give it some time.”
I had three hours to kill, so I went inside and found Harry sitting at the counter, he was on the phone. I thought it was Hope, I promised it was as he told her he loved her before he hung up. I shook my head, and told him to keep talking, and went to find Ashton.
As I did, I found he was in his room, giggling with a girl. I pushed the door open a little, and saw the familiar girl, that ruined everything in her path, Perrie. He grinned like a school girl at her, and she twisted her hair around her finger. I tuned my back, feeling anger build up inside me. I walked into my room, then stopped because it wasn't my room, it was Zayn's, that had used to be ours.
Zayn was lay on his bed, and he looked over.
“Sorry” I go to leave, “You don't have to go, you know? Stay. Sit. We can talk.” he told me, and I sucked in a breath, and closed the door.
“How are you?” he asked me, as I sat down on the bed.
“I'm okay.” he flicked the TV off, and turned to face me. “Are we going to stop bull shitting and sat how we really feel?” he asked me, I laughed and nodded. “You first” he spoke.
“I'm shit. I watched Josh die, for me. I let Ricky get killed, and he may have been a bad guy, but there has been enough death for me. I'm loosing it. Harry has Hope, and I don't have him as a safety net. I had Ash, but now Perrie has sunk her claws in, in less that three hours. Liam wants too much. Louis doesn't look at me. Niall doesn't either. And I've lost you, I just need to leave” I sighed.
“Well, I'm shit too. Josh turned out alright, and he died for my mistakes. Harry is helplessly in love with you, the way he hugged you before is how I wanted to, but I could do it. Liam, I can't stand the sight of him since I know what you two did. Niall is the only good thing, he's honest with me. And you? I miss you. I can't stop thinking about you, even now, now you are here in front of me, at home where you should be, I should feel warmer than what I do.” he told me.
His words hurt but were true.
“I've missed you too” I whispered.
Zayn reached for hand, and intertwined his fingers, I smiled at the familiar touch, skin to skin with Zayn still felt like the most extraordinary thing, for both of us, even when we were rough, it helped. He smiled too.
I moved forward, and wrapped my arms around his neck. His arms lowered to my waist, and I closed my eyes, taking him in, kissing his lips, and he moved on top of me, and poured himself deeper into the kiss, he pulled back and smirked.
“But that feeling, it never changes” he whispered.
That kiss felt like our Catalyst.