Wow, I think with a smile on my face as she slips in the door. Way to go, Nialler. Nicely done. I had been holding it in the whole time, so I jump up now, pumping my fist in the air.
I had been waiting a long time to kiss her. I knew I’d like it, and I’d hoped Maci would too, but I didn’t know she’d respond like that. I’m not complaining, though! I’m actually quite happy with myself. I now have the best girlfriend a guy could ask for. The only thing that would make my life any better is if she says yes to coming with us.
I dropped her off with plenty of time, so she should get... punished tonight. I linger on the door step for a couple minutes, just collecting my thoughts. I’m absolutely sure of it now - I’m falling for Maci Watson. I step down from the porch and head toward the car. I’m just about to start humming to myself when I hear something that will forever haunt me.
It’s Maci. And she’s in trouble.
I don’t even hesitate. I take off for her front door, taking the three steps in one leap. I throw open the door to find something that will stick in my mind for the rest of my life.
The man I assume to be Maci’s father is bare-chested and traddling Maci, pinning her to the floor. Her shirt is off, torn to pieces a few feet away. Her father is in the middle of unbuckling his belt when he spots me.
“Get the hell out of here, you piece of shit!” he hisses at me. “We’re busy!”
“Niall!” Maci screams. “Help me!”
I freeze when her father’s hand hits her face, whipping her head to the side. But only for an instant. I’m overcome with red hot rage. I barrel toward him, slamming into him and pulling him off of Maci.
“How dare you touch her like that!” I scream, landing on top of him and pinning him down. “If anyone is a piece of shit, it’s you!” I send punch after punch into his chest and face, opening his lip and a place in his forehead.
“Niall, please, stop!” I hear Maci scream. I freeze mid-blow, stopping to look at her.
“Wha-” I start to say, but I’m cut off by a fist sent into my jaw. “Gahh!” I yell, flipping off of her father.
I’m pushed down to the ground by a strong hand. I can hardly see each fist before it rams itself into my cheek, my nose, and my jaw. After the third blow I’m literally seeing stars.
“Dad! Stop! Please!” I hear Maci screech, but her father doesn’t listen. The blows just keep coming, and I try to shove him off, but I just can’t.
I’m barely conscious when I see Maci’s knee bury into her father’s face, sending him flying back. By the force of the blow in addition to the hits he took from me earlier, I could tell that he was knocked out. Maci’s face appears over mine, tears streaming down her face.
“Oh my God,” she whispers. “Oh my God, oh my God.” I reach my hand up to cup her cheek. “Niall, I’m so sorry.”
“I’m okay,” I say to her. “As long as you’re okay, I’m okay.”
“No, Niall,” she cries. “You’re not okay! Let me call the boys. Where’s your phone?” I reach in my pocket and pull it out.
She takes it in her hand and taps on it for a while before putting it up to her ear. She looks down at me, tear after tear falling down her face. My face is numb. I can’t feel a thing, and it’s hard for me to talk. Boy, Simon will be thrilled. Lou is going to flip.
“Zayn?” Maci says into the phone, her voice shaking. “Niall’s hurt. No time to explain, just get here. Yes, I’m with him. No, he’s still awake - okay. Okay. I’ll text you the address. Okay, bye. And please hurry.” She hangs up and quickly types out something on my phone.
Maci sets the phone down on the ground next to her. She covers her mouth with her hand and looks up at the ceiling. Tears are flowing down her cheeks, silent sobs shaking her shoulders. I reach my hand up and take ahold of her hand.
“Please don’t cry,” I say, but this only makes her cry more. “I’m okay, really. Can’t feel a thing,” I say, trying to joke and lighten the mood, but I make it worse.
She lays on the floor, curling into a fetal position. I pull her closer to me so that her head is resting on my stomach. Stroking her hair, I tell her that everything is going to be okay. Her sobs slowly reduce to hiccups, and then she just breathes deeply, staring at nothing. We sit like this for a while, until Paul and the lads burst through the front door.
“Hello?” a lazy voice picks up the phone.
“Zayn?” I say, my voice shaking.
“Maci? What’s the matter?” he says, worried.
“What? What happened!?” I wince, thinking about what just happened.
“No time to explain,” I say. “Just get here.”
“Are you with him right now?”
“Yes, I’m with him.”
“Is he unconscious?” I look back over at Niall just to be sure.
“No, he’s still awake.”
“Don’t move from where you are,” Zayn says frantically.
“Okay,” I reply.
“Don’t try to move him, okay?”
“Where are you?” I hear a door open in the background and other people talking.
“I’ll text you the address.”
“We’re bringing Paul, he’s our bodyguard, so he’s okay to touch Niall, alright? We’ll be there as soon as we can.”
“Okay, bye. And please hurry.”
I hang up the phone and type out the address, sending it to Zayn. I set the phone down next to me, putting my hand up to my mouth. What have I done? Niall is laying here, bloodied and bruised, and it’s all my fault. Oh my God. Oh my God. The tears stream faster and faster down my cheeks. What have I done?
I feel Niall’s hand take mine and I look down at him. “Please don’t cry,” he says weekly, but I can’t stop. “I’m okay, really,” he says.
“Can’t feel a thing.” Oh God! What have I done!?
I move myself to lay on the floor, sobs racking my body. I curl into a ball, wanting Niall’s pain to go away, wanting it all to just go away. I feel Niall pull me toward him, resting my head on his stomach. He strokes my hair as I cry more and more, and he tries to calm me down by telling me everything will be okay. I finally run out of tears and start to hiccup softly. Eventually those stop too, and we sit in silence for a while. After a while, the boys burst through my front door with a man who I assume to be Paul.
I sit up quickly, waiting for them to ask what happened. They see Niall first.
“Oh my God, Nialler,” Zayn breathes.
“Bloody Hell,” Louis says.
“What the hell happened?” Liam asks.
“Why aren’t you wearing a shirt?” Harry asks.
Louis elbows him and my face turns bright red. I had forgotten that I wasn’t wearing a shirt, but I thankfully still had a bra on. “I’ll explain later. I’m going to run up and throw a shirt on. Help Niall, and if my father wakes up, please just knock him out again.” I run up the stairs, quickly darting into my room and throwing a navy blue t-shirt on.
I’m back down the stairs within a minute. Paul is over by my father and the boys are already tending to my Nialler. My Nialler. It feels nice to call him mine. I quickly snap out of my thoughts and see what I can do to help.
“Really,” I hear Niall say. “I’m fine. Just a little shaken up.”
“Tell that to your broken nose,” Liam groans. I cringe, making the boys look up.
“I’m so, so sorry,” I whisper. They shake their heads.
“It’s not your fault,” Zayn says.
“Don’t just sit there,” Niall whines. “Help me up.” The boys hoist Niall to his feet, steadying him as he puts weight on his feet. “See?” he tells me. “I’m fine.”
I shake my head and walk over to him, pulling him into a hug. I feel his arms around my shoulders and I bury my face in his chest. “I’m so sorry,” I murmur.
“As long as you’re okay, it doesn’t even matter what happens to me,” Niall tells me, playing with the ends of my hair.
“Of course it does,” I tell him, pulling a way, but I don’t come out of his arms. I stare at his face, assessing his injuries. Niall has a split lip, several cuts on his forehead, and a broken nose. The corners of my mouth quiver and I put my hand on his cheek. “It matters to me.”
He smiles, but then grimaces and the smile pulls on the split part of his lip. “Alright,” Paul says, coming over. “Now that he’s on his feet, we should get him out of here and to the hospital.”
I try to step away from him, but Niall’s arms tighten around me. “I don’t want you staying here tonight,” he says to me.
I had completely forgotten about where I’m staying. When my father wakes up, he’s going to be very angry. I hadn’t given any thought as to what would happen to me.
I nod. “Okay,” I say. “But where will I go?”
“You’ll stay in our room,” Zayn says. “I think all of us agree that it’s not a good idea for you to stay here.” I give him a weak smile.
“Thank you so much for being so kind to me,” I say.
“Go get your stuff,” Niall tells me. “Bring clothes for quite a few days and anything else you might need. We’ll wait here.” I nod and step out of Niall’s arms.
I run up the stairs, pulling out a very large duffel bag. I grab a few outfits, the first ones that I see, and stuff them into the bag. I grab my toothbrush, foundation, and deodorant from the bathroom and toss then in the bag, too. I have the feeling that I won’t be back here for a while, so I grab the $200 I have in a jar, my hair straightener and curler, and my favorite blanket, and toss them in the bag as well. I zip it up and head down to the waiting boys.
“Alright, I’m ready,” I say. Out of the corner of my eye I see my father stir. He sits up and rubs his head. I flinch. “Let’s go,” I say in a rush, slinging the duffel over my shoulder. The boys all pile out ahead of me. I’m about to go out the door when my father calls my name.
“Maci,” he says weakly. “Baby, please don’t go. Please don’t leave me. I need you.”
I stop, feeling bad. He sounds so helpless. And to leave him here... I don’t know if I can. Niall comes back in the door and puts his arm around my waist. My father glares at Niall, and I’m reminded of what just happened.
“Pick your poison,” I say flatly to my father. “I either stay and call the police, or I leave with Niall.”
His face turns from surprise to rage. “Get out of my house,” he seethes. “Get your sorry ass out of my house and never come back.” I’m hurt by his words, but in a way, I’m relieved.
I don’t have to get hurt anymore, and I can also make my own decisions now. I nod at my father and walk out the door, Niall close behind. He comes up beside me after he closes the door and takes my hand. We walk in silence back to the van. I see that there is another car parked behind it, probably Paul’s.
The boys hop in the van and Niall and I take the back seat, letting Louis drive. Paul gives Louis directions back to the hotel and jogs back to his car, following us as we pull out of the neighborhood. Niall puts his arm around me and I rest my head on his shoulder, still taking in what just happened. Actually, I just don’t want to even think about it right now, so I focus on Niall’s warmth and good smell.
Before I know it, we’re back at the hotel, walking in in silence. The guests in the lobby give us weird looks, but we quickly pile into the elevator and the doors slide closed. We get up to the boys’ floor and Paul gives the boys instructions.
“Zayn, Louis, Harry, and Liam,” he says. “You’re staying here. Niall and Maci and coming with me to the hospital to he his nose and lip taken care of. Take her duffel in the room and behave,” he says sternly. They nod their heads, immediately obeying.
Niall, Paul and I get back into the elevator and go back to to Paul’s car. Niall and I sit quietly in the back while Paul drives through downtown Miami and to the hospital. Paul parks and we walk in with few words, mostly from Paul to Niall - a small ‘Are you okay?’ and a ‘Yeah’ was all that passed between the three of us. We go up to the desk and ask to see a doctor. They get us into a room right away, and a nurse comes in.
She looks at Niall’s nose, poking it in certain places and making him wince. I take his hand, squeezing it to let him know I’m here from him. He smiles the best he can with a split lip, wincing again as the nurse pokes his nose again.
“It is broken,” she finally says, writing something down on her clipboard. “But it isn’t too bad. Just two main cracks along the cartilage - nothing we can’t set straight. He’ll have two nasty black eyes, though.”
“Wonderful,” Paul breathes, and Niall rolls his eyes.
“The lip isn’t split enough to need stitches, so there’s really nothing we can do about that.” I feel bad, but Niall squeezes my hand, letting me know it’s okay. “I’ll go enter this in,” the nurse says, “and the doctor will be here soon to set your nose straight.”
She leaves the room and it’s quiet again. The doctor strides in after a few minutes, walking over to the counter and putting on a pair of gloves. He comes over with two small strips of metal and some tape.
“My name is Doctor Berg,” he says. “That’s one broken nose you’ve got there. Mind me asking how you got it?” Niall glances nervously at Paul, then at me. I shrug.
“I was in a fight,” Niall says plainly.
The doctor tsks Niall, taking ahold of his nose, feeling it and making Niall wince.
“Okay,” the doctor says. “This might hurt a little.” Niall grips my hand tighter.
In one fluid motion, the doctor does a sort of twist and pull to his nose, and I hear a small thud, making me gasp. The doctor places the two pieces of metal in two different spots on Niall’s nose and tapes them down with some sorta of heavy-duty gauze tape. Niall groans when the doctor lets go, falling back on the bed he’s sitting on. The doctor laughs a little.
“I know, kid, I’ve had ‘em before,” he says, patting Niall’s leg. “They suck. I can give you pain meds, though, and those will help.” The doctor walks over to the counter, grabbing a bottle of pills and bringing them back over. “One every 8 to 10 hours,” he instructs, handing them to Niall. Niall takes one out of the bottle, popping it in his mouth while the doctor goes to get him some water. He swallows the pill, and the doctor clasps his hands together.
“You’re good to go,” he tells us. He hands Niall a folder. “The nose should be back to normal in couple weeks. Until then, be careful with it, try not to move it too much. Take this to the lady out there, she’ll help you guys.”
“Thanks,” Paul says, waving to he doctor as he leaves. “Let’s go kids,” he says, taking the folder from Niall. He tosses Niall the keys when we’re out of the room. “Head to my car and start it, I’ll be out in a minute.”
Niall and I head out to the car, hand in hand. We climb into the back and he leans over the seats to put the key in the ignition. The car starts and Niall settles back into the seat next to me. He puts his arm around me and I bury my face in his chest.
“I’m so sorry,” I mutter. “For everything tonight. I so, so sorry.” I mean every word I say.
“Don’t worry, Love,” he says, squeezing my shoulders. “Like I said, as long as you’re okay, I’m okay.”