It took longer than we originally thought, but we finally reached the river. Joy washed over me like the water over the stones and I felt the need to shout.
And that’s exactly what I did.
The boys gave me strange looks, but I didn’t care. I threw the backpack on the ground and kicked off my shoes before running towards the water. The stones weren’t very friendly for my feet, but oh well.
Slowly, I stepped into the cold water. I moaned. Jesus that felt good.
‘I wouldn’t moan like that again, if I were you. It’s a huge turn on.’ A deep voice whispered in my ear. I laughed, turning around and facing a smirking Harry. Of course.
‘Will you please stop smirking at me like that? It makes me uncomfortable.’ I said, turning around again and making my way deeper into the river.
‘Come on Scarlett, I know you like it.’ Harry said, grabbing my arm. I pulled away from him, and splashed water into his face.
And that face was priceless.
I laughed loudly and shrieked when I felt his arm around my waist, pulling me down. It didn’t take a long time before we were both completely soaked. ‘You bastard.’ I said, getting up and walking out of the water. ‘Bitch.’ I heard him reply.
I smiled and walked to the backpacks. Didn’t want to walk around in my panties while my leggings were drying, you know.
Suddenly, I heard something walking around in the forest. I looked behind me and saw Harry, Liam and Niall all in the water or on the riverbank. So, if they weren’t walking around there, who – or what – did?
‘Eh, guys?’ I yelled, still staring at the forest in front of me.
‘What’s wrong?’ I heard Niall yell at me.
‘There’s something in the forest.’ I replied, slowly walking backwards, creating some distance between whatever was walking there and myself. I waited, but nothing happened.
I felt a hand on my shoulder and glanced sideways, seeing Harry standing next to me.
Then, we heard voices.
‘What did you say?’ A male voice spoke. ‘I heard something.’ Another male voice replied.
‘Well, we’ll find out soon enough.’ The first voice said.
I smiled at Harry. ‘Maybe they’re survivors. From the other end of the plane.’ I whispered.
He nodded slowly. I walked towards the forest, shaking off Harry’s hand.
‘Hello?’ I said. It took a second before a guy pushed away some plants and stopped right in front of me, eyeing me up and down. ‘Well well. What do we have here.’ He said, before whistling softly. I chuckled, extending my hand. ‘Scarlett.’ I said bravely.
He took my hand and gave me a smile. ‘Louis. Very nice to meet you. Aye, Zayn! Hurry up, man.’
‘Yeah yeah. Coming.’ Someone said behind him. Louis turned around a little and the someone stepped out of the forest, bending down to pull a plant out of his shoe.
When he stood up straight again and looked at me, recognition hit me.
‘Zayn! Zayn Malik!’ I said, smiling so widely, my cheeks almost hurt. It took a second and then he recognized me too. ‘O my god, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Scarlett Jones.’
He took a few steps forward and I threw my arms around his neck. ‘Jesus, Malik. That has been quite a while ago. Is it just me or have you gotten bigger?’
Zayn let out a laugh. ‘I don’t know. But I’m sure you’ve gained some weight since the last time I saw you.’ He playfully grabbed my ass, before I pushed him off me, laughing.
‘Maybe.’ I replied, blushing. ‘Hm, still a little shy, I see.’ He chuckled.
‘Louis!’ We suddenly heard. I looked over my shoulder, seeing Liam running up to us.
‘Oh, fuck man. I thought you were… gone.’ Liam said, before hugging his mate.
‘Jesus Liam. I… wow.’ Louis replied.
That night, we stayed up late, talking and just being around each other.
‘So, Scarlett, how do you know Zayn?’ Louis asked, taking a bite from the fruit in his hand.
I shrugged. ‘Eh… We first met when I was a student in Photography. Zayn got asked for modeling and I was learning how to work in a studio and all. So… yeah.’
‘And then, Scarlett got asked to do some modeling too.’ Zayn said, smirking and nodding at the other guys. ‘Yeah, Harry told us.’ Niall said.
‘I still have my phone. I believe there’s a picture on it.’ Harry said, grabbing his phone out of his pocket.
‘No!’ I said. Totally regretting the photo shoot.
‘Ah, come on Scarlett. We’ve been in this jungle for days now-’
‘Just three days, Liam.’ I interrupted him.
‘Three days without-’
‘Women? I’m here, remember.’ I interrupted him again.
‘Oh, you’re volunteering?’ Liam said, scooting closer to me and pushing my hair to the side, exposing my neck.
I moved away from him, bumping into Harry. ‘Ah, I knew you wanted me.’ He whispered in my ear. I sighed, getting up and walking to Niall, sitting down next to him.
‘At least here I won’t be sexually harassed.’ I mumbled, faking a tired sigh.
‘I won’t be too sure of that.’ I heard someone whisper in my ear. I turned my head and Zayn winked at me, giving me the sexiest half smile.
‘You guys are awful. I could’ve known it would be a disaster, being the only woman in the middle of all that testosterone.’ I said, covering my face with my hands.
‘Well, not entirely. You always have Niall.’ Liam said with an evil smile.
‘Wait a minute. Did you just say I am gay?’ Niall shouted out.
Everyone laughed and Niall looked a little panicked. Then, a determined look appeared in his eyes. ‘I’ll show you something.’
Niall suddenly laid a hand on my cheek, forcing me to look at him. Before I understood what was happening, he pressed his lips on mine. They were soft and a little sweet, from the fruit.
‘Way to go Niall! Show them what you’re worth.’ Louis shouted, patting Niall on the shoulder when he finally pulled away. The look on my face must have been pretty funny, because everyone was laughing and Louis was even clapping.
‘Well, I bet he wasn’t as good as I am.’ Zayn exclaimed, pulling my body against his before pressing his lips on my neck, slowly sucking on the skin. I almost moaned, before I realised what was actually happening.
‘Whoa!’ I pushed Zayn off me. ‘What the fuck?! Go suck each others dicks or something. Please.’ I said, before getting up and leaving the group.
Luckily, we had made a shelter on the little beach, so I had a place to go to.
I sighed, sitting down.
Sure, it had been funny in the beginning. But they went way too far. I wasn’t some sexdoll.
I lay down on the soft bed I had made from plants and moss, covered with a big scarf. Surprisingly enough, it was kind of comfortable.
I shook my head. ‘You guys went too far.’ I said, before getting up and leaving the group as well. It was dark when you got out of the glow of the fire, but I could still see the shelter. And Scarlett, lying on her ‘bed’.
‘Hey.’ I spoke softly, lying down on the ‘bed’ next to her.
She didn’t answer.
‘Just so you know, I’m not going to try anything. I think they went too far.’ I said.
And I knew I said the right thing, because Scarlett turned around, facing me.
‘I’m just tired. I probably overreacted.’ She replied softly. I shook my head. ‘No. You didn’t.’
She nodded. ‘Okay.’
A silence fell upon us and the only thing we heard was the river.
‘You know Harry? I think we can all thank you. We wouldn’t have made it like this without you.’ Scarlett said.
I smiled and laid my hand on top of hers. ‘No need to thank me. I just… I don’t know. But we’re not there yet, Scarlett. They still need to find us.’
She nodded. ‘Do you think I would’ve died if you hadn’t found me?’ She whispered.
I shrugged. ‘I don’t know. The smoke was kind of thick, but you were lying on the ground. That’s what saved you in the first place. A lot of people died because they suffocated. Niall and I also lay on the ground.’
We didn’t say anything for a minute. Then, she spoke up again. ‘Harry?’
‘You still see those people, don’t you?’
That question hit me hard. All those images appeared in front of my eyes again and I shivered.
Her hand touched my cheek and I closed my eyes, nodding. ‘Yes.’ I choked out. ‘How do you know?’ I asked.
‘I heard you talking in your sleep. You were… crying. I… I am so sorry for you.’ Scarlett whispered. I took her hand in mine and we just laid there, listening to the river and the sounds of the jungle. It didn’t take a long time before I heard her breathing become regular. And I knew she was asleep.
I was scared to fall asleep. Scared of the nightmares that haunted me. But when I closed my eyes and felt Scarletts hand in mine, I drifted off in a peaceful, dreamless sleep.