Humane (Liam Payne)

{BOOK 2 - COMPLETE} On the outside, Parker Harrison's life seems perfect. A loving family of her and her brother, Garrett and their parents. But behind closed doors, things are not as they seem. Garrett moves out as soon as he can, getting as far away as possible with the ability to still see Parker, leaving her to feel empty and guilty.

When she runs away from home, and her parents report her missing, the last thing she wants is to be found. When she crashes into Liam Payne, things start to change. He becomes an unlikely ally to staying hidden, and he opens up his arms to her.

Liam is desperate to find out why Parker is the way she is. And when he does, it's in no way what he expected.



24. Chapter 23 ~ Liam

Chapter 23 ~ Liam

“You’re ready, Liam. Go.” Lou told me after fixing my hair. I gave her a smile and joined the rest of the boys backstage.

The interview started in two minutes when the show came back from commercial. Before long we were announced and walked on stage, smiling and waving to the fans. They cheered and even after all these years it shocks us that they’re so dedicated. The interviewer—her name is Robyn—starts talking about our tour. Harry and Niall answer the questions the most, and Louis messes with Zayn’s hair. The Bradford lad isn’t too happy about it; he kept swatting Louis’s hand away.            

Although the interview was going nicely, I couldn’t help but be distracted. Parker was sitting in the apartment, and the odds were she was thinking about the same thing I was: last night. I still couldn’t believe she opened up to me, fragile state or not.

Now I understood why she was so distant when we first met officially in the alleyway. She was scared that someone like her parents hurt her brother. She didn’t know me and I could have brought harm to someone. That thought is absurd, but I can’t blame her for thinking that. She thought she knew her parents, but they turned out to be someone that was the exact opposite. I can see how that would terrify her.

“Liam!” Harry called, bringing me back.

“Yes, what?” I asked.

“I asked you what you’re favorite part of the break was.” Robyn said. I hadn’t heard her.

“Sorry, I didn’t sleep well last night.” I explain, and then proceed to answer the question. “I think the best part is just getting to relax, you know? Before we were so busy and we were constantly moving around. Now, we can just relax and take our time, and I think that’s making us better.”

Robyn smiled at my answer and I smiled back, but as soon as the next question was answered, I lost my smile. I wished I was with Parker now, asking her the million questions I had and comforting her. I know she doesn’t want me around but just because people say they don’t want your help doesn’t mean they don’t need it.

The rest of the interview goes smoothly. I try to pay as much attention as I can but it’s difficult with everything going on in my head. Whenever I think about what Parker’s parents did, I become so much more grateful for my wonderful parents and family. When we sign off, we wave to the fans and then it goes to commercial, signaling us to go offstage. When we’re hidden from view, Harry comes up to me, the rest of the lads behind him.

"Are you okay, Liam?” He asked.

“Yeah, I’m okay. Why do you ask?” I hoped they hadn’t caught on to anything.

“You seemed pretty distracted.” Niall said, and they nodded in agreement.

  "Sorry, I’ve got a lot on my mind.” I sighed, running a hand through my hair. I think that’s a habit I’ve picked up from Harry.

“Parker?” Zayn smirked, an eyebrow rising. I stayed silent, and that was all the confirmation they needed.

“Liam, it seems like every time we bring her up something’s wrong.” Niall pointed out.

He was right, but I wasn’t going to tell them about Parker’s past. “You’re right. Something happened.” I admitted. Harry wiggled his eye brows. “Not like that.” I scolded, “We just had a…deep conversation and she told me more about her parents. The whole story, actually.”

Their eyes widened. “Really?” Louis asked, “What is it?”

“It’s not my place. I wouldn’t feel right telling you. I’m sorry, but you’ll have to ask her yourself, although now’s not a good time.” I said quietly.

“Why not?” Harry asked.

“She told me everything and cried for a long time. It’s a sensitive subject so I’m asking you not to ask her about it. Not yet.” I asked them. The last thing Parker needed right now is another reminder of what her parents did, and I think reliving it over a second time won’t do much help.

“Sounds intense.” Niall joked and I frowned.

“I just don’t want to see her get hurt.” I said, and they nodded.

“I think it’s too late, mate.” Louis admitted and slapped my back before leaving to go change.

Everyone but Zayn left and he came up to me. “Hand it over, mate.” He said, smiling like an idiot and holding out his palm like I was going to give him something.

“Hand what over?” I asked.

“The 200 bucks! Remember our bet? You fancy Parker, and it’s the end of the break, so hand it over.” Was he serious?

“No way! I don’t fancy her so I don’t owe you anything.” I protested.

“Yeah, mate, you do. I see the way you look when you talk about her.”

I shook my head. “I don’t like her. I just care about her.”

“How could you not like her? Mate, have you even looked at her? She’s so fit.” Zayn insisted.

“Of course I have. But I’m living with her and that’s weird. I know she’s fit. She’s really fit.” I wasn’t going to deny that.

“See?” The Bradford lad cried. I rolled my eyes. He was being absurd, wasn't he?

“I’m not paying you, Zayn.”

“Fine. I’ll let this one go, but just you remember, I was right.”

“Yeah, I’ll do that.” I reply sarcastically.

I changed into more comfortable clothes, thinking about what Zayn said. I see the way you look when you talk about her. What was the supposed to mean? I never thought about my feelings for Parker other than friends. Were we even friends at all? It didn’t seem like she was interested in being anything more than roommates. But maybe I should think about my feelings? I’ve never been a sensitive guy—not when it comes to romance. Breaking up with Danielle was hard, and yes, I shed a tear but that’s only because she had been such a big part of my life for a long time.

What were my feelings for Parker? She was absolutely beautiful; there was no doubt about that. I couldn’t say she was a ball of sunshine because it wasn’t true.  She had a dark past and many things she wanted to keep hidden. Maybe that’s the reason why I was so intrigued; she was isolated. I want to make her come back and not hide anymore. I want her to feel safe with me and I’m willing to do anything to make sure that happens. I’m just drawn to her, I need to help her.

I don’t fancy Parker, not a lot. But if things keep going the way they are, I could end up liking her a lot. She’s different. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind and let people know what she’s thinking. I like that about a person. The fact that she likes our music and treats us like she would anyone else is a bonus.

When I meet up with the rest of the lads they’re already to go to the radio interview, but Harry won’t be coming with us. Amabel is taking him out, and when the blonde girl comes to pick him up, I pull her off to the side.

“Have you talked to Parker recently?” I had to know if she was doing okay.

“Yeah, I just came from your apartment.” She said. “She seemed pretty upset when I got there.”

I frowned. “But she’s okay now?”

“Yeah, I guess. When I left she was certainly not as sad as when I first got there. We had a really good talk.” She smiled.

I breathed a sigh of relief. I didn’t want her to be in more pain than she needed to be, not that she needed to be in any whatsoever. “That’s good to hear. Did she tell you…?”

“No, and I didn’t ask. Whatever it was got her really bothered.”

I nodded. “Yeah, I couldn’t believe it when she told me.”

“Wait—you know?” Amabel grabbed my arm.

“Yes, she told me.”

“When?” She asked.

“Last night. That’s why she was so upset today. It’s been haunting her for years.” I explained to her. In all honesty, I was glad I was the only one who knew. It forced Parker and I to have something that the rest didn’t know.

“Wow. How did you do that?”

“I didn’t do anything but ask. I guess she just snapped, and the next thing I knew she was crying and telling me everything.”

Amabel’s eyes widened. “Take care of her, Liam.” She patted my shoulder and then walked away.

Wait, what? “What’s that supposed to mean?” I called after her, but she only gave me a wink in return.

When she meets Harry he wraps his arms around her in a tight embrace and they hold it for a long time before he pulls away and gives her a kiss. I look away immediately; I don’t want to ruin their moment. They link their hands together and then drive away, leaving me with Louis, Zayn and Niall.

“What now?” Niall asked, scratching the back of his head.

“Dunno. But I’m hungry.” I said, and Niall’s eyes lit up. I knew what we would be doing now.


After lunch, we meet up again and are driven to the studio where are radio interview will take place. We’re announced, and then are asked the same questions. What have we been doing on our break? What can we expect next year? Who’s single? How much has our lives changed from the X Factor days?

Before I know it we’re signing off and leaving the studio. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or the next day, but I can’t think of that now. I’m exhausted and I just want to go home to Parker.

What? What did I just say? I must be really tired then. I get home pretty early, at around eight, and when I get inside, it's silent. I walk down the hall, poking my head into Parker's room. She's laying in bed, a blanket over her head. I would like to have thought she was sleeping, but something tells me she isn’t, that she’s faking.

Not that I could blame her or anything.

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