Rescued By Your Love

// This is a part of my life that I will never be able to forget. Even now, as I close my eyes and inhale the deep scent of chocolate orange cocoa, the snowflakes compressing on the window ledge, a thick woolly blanket wrapped around my shoulders and the radiator reflecting the heat of my heart, even the vestige of a kiss on my lips. Lips that I could never imagine would kiss mine. His lips. This is how he rescued me. Rescued me from my flaws and hurt ~ from an eating disorder. // ~ Marie McBeanie

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21. The First Day

Step by step, I ambled nervously to a familiar seat. The clouds were low in the sky, little puffs circling the tall skyscraper; making the blindingly light blue sky have a surreal appearance. The waiting room was a large open space, walls were windows for the long length of the left side of the building, classic black and white matte metal acted as a wall on the right side. My heels slid playfully along the white marble sheet beneath my feet. The place was beautiful. Even the chair I was seated on had a plush soft texture with an impressive matching matte black finish. Marina mentioned that Mr. Malik and Mr. Styles would both attend the meeting for the summary of my interview results. Butterflies, as they say, fluttered with static energy within me; I couldn't tell if it was my nerves or the consciousness of my empty stomach. 

Today, I wore my hair down. The voluminous coal coloured curls lay comfortably on my left shoulder, the natural brown dip dye effect meant that I wouldn't have to dye it this year. Any year. A slim fit burgundy blazer hugged my figure, the black elbow patches complimenting my knee length pencil skirt, curving effortlessly but not too tight. The outfit was complete with Christian Louboutin Daffodils that I had received for a prom gift a few years back. The memory brought a small smile to my face. My face, today, was minimalistic in most things. A light layer of the basics, only taking the extra precaution of a little more mascara, making sure to apply eyeliner to my tea ducks all around; trying to appear like I hadn't spent the night self loathing the parts that I couldn't get to go away... My favourite part in the morning was the gradient black to burgundy lipstick. 

Pursing my lips and looking down at my gold Michael Kors watch, I hoped that this would go slowly. To be honest, I needed the time off from planning the next step of my life; this summer would be a long one. University would be next and, to pursue a career in physiotherapy, I would need the money and experience; the former being why I was here - as well as my obvious love of the arts. Modelling, an art? I had never really considered this before; it would definitely be interesting to see how the other side was. 

Damn.

The slick patter of his shoes were enough to hook me onto everything else. Instead of grey, a slim black suit replaced it. So much more attractive in a way that I couldn't describe. It was the weirdest sensation. His half smile grew as he saw me, a pounding in my chest loud, nearly audible, as I grinned foolishly at the marble floor from the eye contact. Standing up to face him, we were less than a meter apart, and I could smell the strong cologne, smoky and manly. An arm extended and I wrapped my own in it. "Miss. Mathis" His voice was deep and had a raspy but smooth quality that was  exclusive only to a Tuesday morning. "Mr. Malik" I managed to half whisper, half say; a smirk stretching across his face. Gosh, it was not the first time I was seeing him, why was I feeling this way?

My heels were quite loud on the marble floor but he didn't seem to mind, my smile deepening whenever he looked my way; his smile was truly captivating. As we walked, a spiral of his gelled hair fell from his quiff, curling perfectly on his forehead. Even this was enough to send a slight cold feeling rush through me. "So how was your night with Mr. Styles?" the question came up as we strolled casually down corridors that I had never seen before. My cheeks felt warm as he asked and I didn't dare make eye contact until the very end of my response. "Different... Interesting, it was a little weird being on the other side - for the first time" I smiled up at him; trying not to change the subject however weirdly uncomfortable I felt. He was just being polite. 

As we came to a flight of stairs that headed upwards, Zayn held a little tighter onto my arm; conscious of my very high heels. Blood was pulsing with strength against my artery walls. The shivers intensified. He laughed quietly, the folds by his cheek made him look so happy, so relaxed. I couldn't help but  break into a small giggle too. "Yeah, it's always interesting to see what it's like from the other side." Suddenly, he leaned in, his mouth nearly touching my ear as his breath formed a pool of warmth as he whispered "Harry wanted to take you on but I told him you were mine." Cursing silently, tingles rushed over every inch of my body, my legs weakening as he spoke. I resisted the urge to close my eyes as he spoke, letting out a shaky breath as he stood up straighter. I gripped tighter onto his arm; even though we had met the landing; off the staircase.

I managed to giggle lightly. My arms quivering from the contact between us. Hazel eyes entrapped me as he kept focus on my small features. I kept my eyes on the floor, avoiding the intense flaming heat in his eyes; trying to match my footsteps with his until I got it perfect. "Thank you... I very much appreciate this" As soon as the words fell from my mouth, I regretted them - too formal for my liking with a touch too needy. My comment didn't seem to phase him as he continued to inspect my lips, my eyes. His hands ran slowly, gently through his hair and he licked his lips fractionally for a split second. "The pleasure, if I recall, is mine" I watched his hair spiral direction less across his forehead and smirked remembering our conversation on a train that seemed so long ago. To his soft voice, I nodded in agreement and stroked his arm slightly with my thumb "Mhmm, I guess so" I smiled brightly, mumbling quietly.
 

The corridor ended and at the end of it was a large gallery, the smell of wet paint was potent in the room overpowering the soft scent in the outer building. As we entered, I saw the painter in his slim, dark navy overalls; his ladder leaning against the wall and splatters of paint over him, paintbrush in hand. A tattoo was revealed as he stretched his hand to paint a high corner, finishing up the wall at the entrance; the rest of the room was already completed. His form was familiar. Watching me stare intently, Zayn coughed to concentrate my attentions on him and I apologised almost silently. "This is our new gallery" he released my arm from his, the warmth disappearing between us as he crossed them. The room was large and completely cream, contrasting to the crisp white seen everywhere else. Much like a modern palace, the marble floors where a matching cream with alabaster stone pillars, also cream, looking like a Roman court. It was beautiful. There was a large glass window at the terminating wall, seeming completely transparent in the bright light. "It's beautiful" I exclaimed impressed.

"Not as much others I know, the shoot was simply breathtaking" a voice came from behind me. I turned around shocked as I recognised the form more clearly. "Mr.Styles" My voice was warm towards him. He stepped closer to me and I touched his arm, resisting the urge to hug him. "Thank you" I finished, my cheeks heated and my eyes fluttering with the compliment. Harry's hair was tossed about and relaxed. He wore a navy T-shirt under the matching overalls with navy loafer shoes; it was simplistic but he flaunted the look with little effort, a few wooden beaded bracelets on his right hand. I smiled and stared at his nose, a large splatter of paint on it. "What?" Harry laughed a little, smirking as he could tell that I was staring. I could feel the air becoming tense as Zayn stood in silence behind us. Gently, I touched Harry's nose, the paint flaking off as I did and beamed as it smudged. Harry rolled his eyes and grinned as I did so; a hot flush running through me as he watched me intensely. 

"So, Miss. Mathis..." Mr. Malik resumed and I waved goodbye to Mr.Styles, him winking playfully back as Mr. Malik and I walked arm in arm towards the door. 

"I guess you would like to know the summary of your interview then Miss. Mathis?" Zayn stopped us as we were about to enter into his office. His face close to mine as he held my arm back from opening the door. His large hands felt protective and strong, the sturdy grip on me was almost frightening; I could feel him gently, slowly, release the pressure. The soft glaze over his eyes warmed my whole body and his pink lips looked all too kissable from this short distance ~ I took a small step forward. "Yes please, Sir". Dark eyes roamed my body and a small half smile appeared on his lips as he opened the door. I tried to breath normally. 

Two large canvases lay on his desk, one portrait, the other landscape. Motioning me to sit opposite him, I could remember how is was the first day of meeting in this same office. As I neared his desk, I recognised the photographs more clearly. One, the portrait image, was of Mr. Styles, the ease on his face noticeable, the familiar smirk on his face undeniable. It only belonged to him. The second image, landscape, was of myself. I lay peacefully, my body seemed to glow in the moonlight - I was glad that I had decided to shave. A little disappointed at the size of my thighs, I moved my eyes along the photograph to my eyes. They were altogether seductive but effortless in a way that I couldn't grasp. It did not look like the insecurity that I was feeling at the time; maybe it was the way that Harry made me feel. I smiled and looked back at Zayn. It would have looked vain if I had looked any longer. 

Plastered on the image, his eyes didn't meet mine immediately, taking it's time to wind from the photograph to my eyes. His dark eyes gazed longingly at me. "So, Miss. Mathis" he broke both his stare and mine. "This is the end of the road," Swivelling around in his chair, he turned around to face the skyscrapers in the background; just as he had done once before. "If you decide to be the photographer, you will work in my department, not that it would matter," his eyes told differently. I could tell that he was trying to be nonchalant but his tine gave away his longings. "You could work part time in either section. Being the model, I would select Mr.Styles to be your overseer ~ your boss as I do not deal with such affairs" he waved them off with a sad look. Was this about Shay? "The decision is yours..." He finished, leaving it up to me. Was this the test as it were, which boss I would choose? I thought for a moment before answering.

"If it was feasible for you, Sir, couldn't I work full time in both sections, under the supervision of yourself and Mr. Styles, not that it would concern me" I half smiled and looked away before continuing "I could be an asset to both sides of the company" I proposed. Meeting his eyeline, I saw that Mr. Malik was truly impressed. He sat back in chair, his arms resting on the sides of the large plush armrests. Holding his chin, he considered before replying:

"It would be a pleasure to have you here at my gallery, and, if you would like, this could be the start of your day"

I grinned, shaking his hand, his fingertips warm between mine. "Yes please"

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