"Please." I begged. "Please.... PLEASE......I'm begging you, let me go." I cried, spitting blood onto the floor at the end of my sentence. My lip was swollen and bleeding down my chin. That's what happens when you struggle to get away from someone much stronger than you. He'll hit you.
We've been in this room for hours, him just talking to me like the creep that he is. Going on about why he would be a better choice, and how I should have chose him.
"You know I can't do that." He said, his voice cold and empty of emotion. My eyes flickered the to knife glinting in the dim light as he played with it in his hands. This place was dark and dank. I could hear the sound of water dripping from a pipe. We were in a lonely basement, cold and wet with no place to hide.
"I'm begging you. Please let me go. I promise, I won't tell anyone what you've done if you let me go. Please." I begged, sobbing as I did so. Tears continued to run down my face as my wrists ached from the tight ropes tying me to the cold metal chair.
"I can't let you go. You're mine now, and I'm not letting you get away this time." Jake's cold eyes stared into mine. "In fact, once I've had my way with you, you'll never be anyone elses. Ever. Again." A devious and evil smile spread across his face.
"No! NO no no no! Please. Please don't kill me." I sobbed. "Help! Someone please help me! He-" A hand ran across my face, smacking me quiet.
"Shut up!" He yelled, his voice echoing off of the walls. "No one can hear you." Pain started ringing through my face, and I could feel my cheeks swelling. I let my head hang, knowing that this would be the end. He was going to hurt me, then kill me, and that was it. The worst part it all is that I would never get the chance to say goodbye to anyone I love.
The sound of my cries spread through the room and he kneeled down to get a closer look at me.
"Sorry to lose my temper. You're very.....resilient." He said, chuckling to himself. "But I like that about you." He whispered creepily, running the side of the blade across my cheek. I continued to weep in my sorrow, knowing the end would be coming for me. Never in my life did I think I would die this way.
Jake stood up and cracked his back, before bending back down to start untying me from the chair. "Tonight's going to be a great night. Don't you worry." He said, rubbing his thumb under my eyes in an attempt to wipe away my tears. I flinched at his touch and turned my head the other way. He shook his head and returned to unknotting the rope holding me down. I let my head hang again as I said my silent goodbyes to everyone I loved.
Suddenly the sound of running footsteps came from somewhere in the distance. My head snapped up and hope inflated my heart like a beam of light in the darkness of all darks.
"Don't make a sound." Jake whispered, holding his knife to my throat.
"Raegan? Raegan? Are you down here?" It was Niall. I started to sob harder than before, knowing that I couldn't run to him and feel the warmth of his arms again. All I wanted was to be wrapped up in his arms. "Raegan? Raegan!?" He continued to yell. Jake slammed his hand to my mouth muffling my cries until the sound of a door slamming open rang across the room, taking the breath out of me.
"Raegan! Babe come on wake up!" I took a sharp intake of breath as my eyes sprung open. Tears started rushing down my face out of fear as sobs escaped my lips. I felt two arms pull me into their chest, Niall's chest. "Shhh, it's all okay. It was just a bad dream." His ran his hands through my hair as I soaked his shirt with my crying.
"It...." Sniffle. "Was......" Another sniffle. "Just....." Continued sobbing. "So......scary." I finally finished, crying my eyes out. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't understand a word I just said. To be honest, I was incredibly embarrassed at my crying fit, but it's not like it's something I could just turn off at this point.
"It's okay. It's all over now. Just a dream." He soothed, still holding me tight. He started rubbing small circles in my back and kissed the top of my head. The sobs started slowing down as I began to calm. We just laid there for a while, wrapped in each other's warmth, the final wish in my dream. Finally, my heartbeat returned to normal and the tears came to a complete stop.
"Do you wanna talk about it?" Niall whispered to me. Anytime I have a nightmare, he asks the same thing. He knows that for me, talking about it always makes me feel better in the end. And after the death threat I received last night, I figured we actually needed to talk about it.
"Last night, before the show I got a text from Jake." I started, as he wiped the leftover tears from my face with his thumb.
"He knows that it's you I'm with." I stammered. "And, he said that I'm dead and that he's coming for me. Which is probably why I had the nightmare."
Niall took a deep breath, sighing before he responded to what I said. I think he was trying to keep his cool, rather than getting up and punching the wall, or throwing a glass and breaking it like before.
"I wish you told me this last night, but that's beside the point." I cringed a little bit. I didn't want to tell him last night because he was just so happy. And to be honest, I completely put the scary threat in the back of my mind once the show started. Despite the message, last night was one of the best nights of my life.
"I'm sorry. I just didn't want to spoil the night."
"Don't apologize, you probably did the best thing." He said, his voice softening again. He kissed the top of my head again. "Now we just need to tell the guards."
"I already did. I can just send the texts into the department now." I explained to him. "And I talked to the detective on the phone afterwards in the bathroom. He said there was nothing we could do but extend the restraining order."
"So that means nothing right? I'm starting to get annoyed with them. It's like they're not even trying to solve this." He asked, getting angry. His body started to tense up and I could tell he was frustrated. He pulled away a little so he could look right into my eyes. "You're no longer safe. Anywhere you go, he could be there. What if he hurts you? What if he lays his hand on you?"
"I don't know..."
"I'm calling Paul." He said sternly, leaning over to the hotel nightstand to grab his phone.
"What? Why?" I asked him, confused.
"If I can't be here myself to keep you safe, then someone else will just have to until this is all over." I didn't answer him, instead I just mulled over his words in my head as he dialed the number. Did he mean what I think he means? An actual security guard?
"Paul. Can you come to the suite today around noon? It's important." Niall said into his phone. I heard Paul's voice on the other end, but couldn't make out what he was saying. "Okay, great. Thanks. See you then." Niall said before hanging up.
"Does this mean we have to get up?" I asked, giving Niall my best puppy eye look.
"I'm afraid so love. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather you stay in your ...revealing .....sleepwear." He wiggled his eyebrows at me. I was wearing his boxers and just my bra. "But this is important." He leaned in and kissed me on the lips short and sweet before flipping the covers back and practically jumping out of the bed. I had never seen him so determined this early in the morning before.
"Hello Raegan. How are you?" Paul said as he slid himself into the chair of the little table we were occupying.
"I'm good, thanks for asking. How are you?" Paul is always so polite.
"I'm fine thanks. So Niall, what it this all about?" It was just the three of us at the table in the suite the guys were staying in. Everyone else was still sleeping despite it being noon. Niall and I had already gone out for breakfast, been photographed together by papa, gotten ready and watched a half hour of some silly cartoon.
"I need someone to keep Raegan safe."
"Keep her safe?"
"Yes. For the last few months, some creep has been stalking her and threatening her. The guards already know, but for some reason they can't do much about it. This guy is good."
"Okay.... continue....." Paul said, needing to know more.
"Last night he sent a message threatening her life."
"Can I see the message?" He asked. Niall looked at me, and I slid my phone across the table at Paul. His eyes scanned the screen a few times, then looked back up at Niall and I. "This is a very serious threat."
"That's why you're here." Niall said in a serious tone. "I need her to be protected. I want a bodyguard with her at all times. And I think she should have a driver as well, I-"
"You're kidding right?" I interrupted, looking right at Niall. This can't be happening. Walking around the city is something I love to do. This means I won't be able to go running with Sarah and Morgan anymore. "I don't want to drive everywhere!" I said, almost whining.
"Niall's right Raegan. A driver is a very good idea. You're much more vulnerable walking through the streets." Paul said, backing Niall up.
"Well can't I drive the Jeep then?" I asked, still annoyed.
"That wouldn't be a good idea. This guy probably already knows what vehicle you drive." Paul explained. I heaved a sigh out of frustration and put my head in my hands, closing my eyes. I know that it's for the best, but I was hating everything about this bodyguard stuff already. I don't know how the guys do it almost daily.
"I don't know if I can do this." I stood up to get out of the room for a second, annoyance and a little bit of anger flooding my emotions. My head was getting too cluttered, like an overcrowded basement that people just keep throwing their junk in, and it was starting to overflow. I started for the balcony of the bedroom. Fresh air would help, and I hope Paul wouldn't take my storming out personally. It's nothing against him.
I heard Niall heave a sigh as I walked way. "I'll be right back." He muttered to Paul as I shut the bedroom door behind me, making my way to the balcony. As I slid the glass door behind me I walked right to the edge and looked out over the city. I closed my eyes and took a breath of the crisp air. A sense of calm came over me as the sounds of the city greeted my ears. Cars zooming, people laughing, drinks clinking together in celebration. It was a beautiful reminder of why I loved this place to begin with.
I heard the glass door open and close again, footsteps making their way to me. Strong arms wrapped around my waist from behind.
"Talk to me love." Niall said quietly as he rested his head on my shoulder, taking in the city with me.
"I'm upset. And mad. And annoyed at this whole situation." I told him, not letting myself breakdown again like this morning. I was done with the crying. It wouldn't get me anywhere in this situation, and Niall once told me it kills him to see me cry.
"And you have every right to be."
"I don't want some bodyguard to follow me everywhere. I don't want it one bit. I want to just walk around the city like before. I want to be able to relax in the courtyard at school with my friends. I just want things to be normal where I don't have to worry about some creep jumping out and snatching me. I just want everything to be normal."
"I know you do. But its not." He started. I turned around so I could look at him as we talked. He wrapped his hands back around my waist as I leaned against the railing. "I know this isn't what you want. But you're in danger. So please, just try to work with me on this. It's not ideal, but I can't bare to think about what could happen to you. For me.....please." He said. He sounded exhausted and fed up with the situation.
"Fine. For you. But just know I'm going to hate every second of it." I told him.
"That's all I can ask for." He said with a small half smile. He leaned and kissed me soft and slow. "You ready to go back in there?" I nodded, and he grabbed my hand, leading me back to the little table. We both sat back down, and Niall didn't let go of my hand, rubbing little circles on it with his as he spoke, helping me keep my cool.
"Thanks for waiting." Paul nodded at us, giving me a small sympathetic smile. "So, your guys are the best around. Do you think you can get one of them to do it?" Niall asked.
"Absolutely. When would you need 'em here?" Paul asked him, as I listened, my head resting in my hands.
"Since the flight leaves first thing tomorrow morning, probably then. Could he meet us at the gate?"
"Of course. I know exactly who I'll pick to do the job. He's one of the best and Raegan...." He started, shifting in seat to look at me better. "......I know this is very frustrating for you, but it's only in our best interest. You're part of the family now. If something were to happen to you, not only would Niall be devastated, the rest of us would be too." My heart swelled at his words. Part of the big One Direction family? That mean's a lot to me.
"Thanks" I said, smiling at him. I leaned over the table and gave him a quick hug, truly grateful for his efforts even though I was still annoyed and frustrated.
"Thanks again. It means a lot" Niall said to him. Their chairs slid back on the tile floor as they both stood up. I looked up to see them shaking hands, then he left. Niall sat back down on his chair, and pulled me from mine and onto his lap. He started kissing my neck, being more gentle and sweet rather than turned on and in the mood.
"I'm sorry about this." He said quietly, looking up into my eyes. "But you mean the world to me, and I don't know what I would do if something happened to you. It kills me that I can't be here with you, and that I have to have some guy keep you safe instead of me."
"And I love you for that." I told him, a small smile reaching my lips. I started going in for a kiss when I heard a door creak open, and the sound of light footsteps treading across the floor. Niall and I both looked up to see Edin walking into the kitchen area. As soon as she looked up and noticed us, a fierce blush spread across her cheeks. She only had a blanket wrapped around her, and it was obvious that she wasn't wearing anything underneath. If I wasn't mistaken, I was pretty sure she just came from the direction of Harry's room, not that that surprised me. Edin was always one for hook ups over long term relationships, and Harry seemed interested in her from the start.
"Uh, sorry." She started stammering. "I didn't think anyone was up. Didn't mean to interrupt." Niall and I just smirked at her as she made her way back to Harry's room, obviously a little embarrassed.
"Well that was interesting." Niall said once he heard the door close.
"You're telling me." I said to him, chuckling to myself. I would definitely be getting the scoop on that later. But for now, I just wanted to enjoy what time I had with Niall, since he'd be leaving tomorrow morning.
Once he leaves, I'm coming to get you.
I heaved a sigh. Another text from Jake to scare me out of my wits.
"What's wrong?" Niall asked looking over at me. We were in the back seat of the car on the way to the airport. Edin and I were going to see the guys off, then her flight would be leaving from the same gate as theirs a few hours later. She has to go back home for school, our spring break was just about over.
"Just another text from Jake." I told him.
"Don't let it get to you. He'll give up eventually. The guards will get him soon enough I'm sure." He rambled, trying to comfort me, which it did. Something about Niall always made me feel better, no matter what the situation is. Every single morning I wake up wondering why he would choose to be with me, a regular girl. I've always been confident with myself, but with him I'm always asking myself how I got so lucky to find someone so amazing. I can trust Niall, I can be myself around him, I can tell him my deepest darkest secrets and know that he'll take it all as it is. He loves me, and that still blows my mind every single day.
"What are you thinking about?" He asked me after a few minutes, giving my hand a squeeze.
"You." I answered simply. He smiled at me and kissed my temple.
The car pulled up to the terminal and the driver jumped out to help the guys with their bags. I grabbed Niall's green puma backpack for him and we headed in. I got cleared to go to the gate with the guys with the rest of the crew, and we had to go through security just like the rest of the world. After making it through that we all went to the gate to wait until boarding time. As we all sat down everyone began to chatter with one another. The guys were getting excited for the next gig and the crew was excited to be going back to England, where most of them are from. The next show would be in Manchester.
Edin and I sat next to each other, the guys sitting in the chairs across from us. Zayn was texting someone, probably Perrie. Lou and Harry were having a thumb war. And Niall and Liam were talking about something.
"You wanna go somewhere. They don't board for another hour." I asked Edin.
"Definitely." She said standing up. "Let's grab a coffee or something."
"Sounds good to me." I stood up to follow her when Niall looked over at me.
"Where are you going?" He asked me, concern in his eyes.
"To grab a coffee. We'll be fine. I swear." I reassured him.
"Okay, just keep your phone on." He instructed me, being overprotective as usual.
"Got it. We'll be back in a bit." I told him before Edin and I left the gate. Her and I started walking down the large hallway, looking for some place to grab a bite and some coffee. Finally we found a Starbucks. The two of us walked up to the counter and ordered some Coffee and grabbed a big cookie each. After ordering we found a little table to sit at.
"So" I started right in. "Are you going to give me the dirt on you and Mr. Styles?" The two of us started giggling like little girls.
"Well, you probably already know that we hooked up the night of the concert." She started.
"Obviously." I said chuckling to myself, remembering yesterday morning.
"Well when he brought me up on stage before that he told me that I was the prettiest girl in the audience and that I could be his for the rest of the night. So of course I agreed." She said with a sly smile. I wasn't surprised in the least. Edin thrives on being flirty and not taking those kind of relationships seriously. I know she'll settle down in the long run, but she has no intentions of doing that anytime soon.
"I figured. All that night you two were flirting it up." I told her.
"I know. It was fun."
"So what happens now?" I asked her.
"Nothing really. He said next time he's in our area he'd give me a call. But I don't want anything serious, and neither does he. Just friends."
"With benefits." I said. She gave me a cheeky look and wiggled her eyebrows at me. "Was he good?" I asked her, and the two of us started giggling like fools again. We could be so immature.
She leaned in to whisper in my ear. "Very."
We both started laughing again, and people around us gave us looks. Eventually we quieted ourselves and stood up, ready to go back to the guys. I threw all our wrappers in the barrel, grabbed my coffee, and we left. As we approached the gate I could see Niall standing up, conversing with Paul and someone I didn't recognize. I walked up Niall and Edin went to sit next to Harry.
"Hey babe." Niall said wrapping his hand around my waist. "Rae, this is Neely. He's gonna be with you when I can't be."
"Hi, it's nice to meet you." I said shaking his hand.
"Same to you." He said. He didn't look any older than 25, and seemed like a nice guy so far. He looked built enough to stop an attacker or anyone trying to harm me, but wasn't so built that it looked like he was on steroids. I got the feeling that he was kind of quiet, but very kind and understanding in the end. The kind of person you can't really get mad at.
"So Raegan, Neely here is going to be driving you wherever you want to go whenever you want. That means you'll be leaving here with him. He'll also be waiting for you after your classes so Jake can't corner you anywhere in the courtyard while you're at school." Paul explained to me. I just nodded, showing my understanding. Neely gave me a half smile. I wonder if he was picking up on how hesitant and annoyed I am about having a bodyguard. "It would also be best of you stayed in as much as possible. That mean's no going for runs. No going to the bars unless he goes with you. Nothing like that. Neely will also be staying with you in your flat, so if Jake were to show up there, you'll be alright." Paul said.
"Wait what?" I said, looking at Niall, infuriated. I know he's only trying to help, but that seemed too far for me. I didn't really like the idea of some dude practically living with me who I didn't even know.
"I know you like having your place to yourself. I know, I really do. But Jake knows where you live, he's even showed up before. It's for the best." He said to me, giving my hand a squeeze. I pulled it away, and crossed my arms across my chest. Niall heaved a sigh and looked back over at Paul.
"We've also had the Jeep moved to Niall's father's house for now. Just to be sure he doesn't mess with it. For all we know he could cut the brake line, putting you in harm. Other than that, everything is going to remain the same." I rolled my eyes. He had to be joking.
"Thanks again, for setting this up." Niall said.
"Anytime. We're going to grab some tea. We'll see you in a bit." With that, they walked away. I felt a little bad for making things awkward right then, but then my anger reminded me of why it got awkward in the first place. Niall turned to look at me. The two of us were just standing in the middle of the gate while everyone else was bustling around or talking with the people around them.
"I don't want to fight about this." He stated seriously. Looking right into my eyes with his. As he looked at me, I could already feel my mind telling my anger to go away, but then the stubborn side of me to hold on to it, because I had every right to be angry.
"Don't you think you should have thought about that before you agreed to let some stranger live with me, without asking me first?" I asked him, my arms still crossed, like a little barricade to my soul.
"Probably, but you're acting like I've done something terrible! I'm only trying to make sure you're okay when I leave."
"You said he would just be following me around in public. Not living with me!"
"I assumed, since I'm doing this for you, that you would be okay with it. It's really not a big deal."
"I didn't want this. I don't want this. I don't want some guy following me around everywhere I go, living in my apartment, waiting for me on every corner. And you had them take my car? That's my Jeep!"
"Get over it Raegan. Welcome to my life. We deal with it every single day. Get used to it. We have security with us wherever we go." He said gesturing to the guys, who all looked up at the two of us, then quickly looked away again.
"You asked for that. I didn't. I don't have to get used to anything." I told him, still annoyed. Didn't he understand how annoying it will be, to never get space to myself? To always have someone telling me what I can and can't do? And taking away my Jeep without telling? That Jeep is my outlet, my reminder of where I come from, my freedom. To just take it away was not okay.
"What's that supposed to mean?" He scoffed.
"It means that just because you chose this, doesn't mean I have to. You should have told me everything as soon as you knew."
"Why are you making such a big deal about this? It's not like you're sleeping in the same room! It's not like he's going to follow you into the bathroom when you piss! Why are you freaking out about this?!" Niall said, his voice getting louder.
"Don't yell at me! I'm mad because you just gave some stranger permission to live in my flat without asking me. Don't you think I have the right to be a little angry?"
"No way in hell! You said you would agree to me keeping you safe, so that's what I'm going to do whether you like it or not. My god, you're brutal. Your acting ridiculous." He said, running his hands through his hair. If I wasn't so angry right now I would probably think he was sexy.
"You really think that don't you?" I accused him.
"Yeah I do. You're acting like a spoiled little baby who didn't get her way."
"Yeah well your spoiled little 'baby' is leaving." I said as I started walking away.
"Rae come on! Don't be like that!" I heard him yell to me as I stormed off. I went over to where Edin was sitting and I saw him sit down in a seat all by himself away from everyone else, putting his head in his hands.
"E, I'm really sorry but I've got to go." I told her.
"Um, that's okay babycakes. I've got these goobers to keep me company until they leave." She said looking over at the guys. "Are you and Niall okay?"
"Not at the moment. I'm really sorry. I wanted to see you off but I can't hang around here. Do you hate me?" I told her again, looking down at feet, almost ashamed.
"Stop it. I don't hate you. It's fine. How about you call me when you get back to your place and we'll talk until I board my flight okay? So it's like you're here, but not really. Don't feel bad. Shit happens." She said, laughing at the end of her sentence.
"Sounds good to me." I pulled her in for a hug. Then I walked over to Zayn, Harry, Liam, and Louis.
"Look, I know you just witnessed me yelling at your band mate. But can I still hug you all goodbye?" I said to them in their seats. After all, they're my friends too, and I really would miss them. They've never been anything but kind to me.
"Of course dollface." Lou said standing up. The four of them pulled me into a group hug.
"I'll miss you guys." I told them, my voice muffled by their shirts.
"We'll miss you too." Zayn said quietly.
"And just because you yelled at Niall doesn't mean we like you any less." Liam chimed in.
"Thanks guys. I'll see you soon I hope." I told them as they let me go. I hugged Edin one more time, then started making my way out of the gate turning around to wave them goodbye. Everyone waved at me and then I turned the corner and couldn't see them anymore.
"Hey Raegan wait up!" I heard someone yelling as I stepped on the escalator to go down. I rolled my eyes before turning around. Neely was running to catch up with me.
"Hey look, I still have to follow my orders as much you don't want me to. I'm sorry." He said to me. Hardly out of breath despite sprinting to catch up with me.
"I understand." I told him sincerely, but not saying anything else to him. I guess Niall was right. I'm going to have to get used to it.
OMG you guys are amazing!! 361 reads!! It's amazing how people want to read MY book! Thank you all so much! You don't know How much this means to me! This chapter is dedicated to Kierstinn for being a darling and reading AND commenting this book xx