Chapter Nine

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  • Dedicated to Bryony Spooner *twinzo*

Niall's POV:

We were woken up early the next day by a stranger, which I have to say, was weird. Woken up by someone you didn't know? Anyway, about three group leaders came in the room yelling energetically for us to move out our beds, and get dressed. So we all did so, too tired to say anything to each other, changing seperatly in the bathroom, before glumly plodding out our dorm, Louis and Brandon following after my step, and we stepped out into the pale autumn morning sun, where the rest of the school was waiting for the day to start. 

Minutes after of standing in silence, waiting for the last of the pupils to get out their dorms, one of the volunteers stepped out, taking everyone by surprise. She had completely hot pink dye hair. What a thing to wake up to. She smiled at us all, and clapped her hands together, and told us we'd be doing rugby first thing after breakfast. 

So after breakfast, which consisted of bacon, eggs, beans, and a shortlived food fight between Stan Lucas and Sinead, we all headed down the campus, down the small tarmac road, toward a huge football-pitch sized astro with huge uneeded stadium lights dotted round the sides. I smiled. Now this was nice to wake up to.

I instinctively glanced over at Louis, knowing how much he liked sport, and predictably, he looked blissful. I walked over to him, as the rest of the year got out rugby balls and began to chuck them round the pitch, quickly turning into a bit of a craze. 

''This is nice, innit?'' I grinned. Louis turned to me, his cheeks instantly pinker than seconds before, and returned a woozy, awed grin. 

He nodded, ruffling up his tousled hair, which looked brilliant today, and whenever he moved, it shone in the sun, like heavy shimmering curtains over his scalp. ''This place is awesome. Hey, Niall-'' Louis stopped for a moment, and picked up a neighbouring rugby ball, and held it in his capable hands. ''Think fast.''

Without warning, Louis threw it to me, and I surprised by catching it nimbly in my hands without taking my eyes off Louis. He rose both his eyebrows, and grinned at me, evidently impressed. He clapped his hands together, and started out on a jog across the pitch. ''Get it over the line. I'm after you, Horan,'' He grinned playfully, gesturing for me to haul the rugby ball over the painted boundry line about 100 yards away. Couldn't be too hard. I shot Louis a competitive smirk, and took off at a sprint.

The rush never got old, I thought, as I pelted across the pitch at a pretty ecstatic pace for someone who didn't run much. I glanced over my shaking shoulder, and saw Louis just behind me, his toes practically kicking my heels. I felt a sudden mad urge of competitivity and pleaded my feet to sprint faster. The obeyed me, and I began to run even quicker. From far away, I'd probably look like a human bullet. I grinned to myself, as I heard Louis's footsteps begin to fade behind me, and I gripped the rugby ball in my sweaty palm, and I when I began to approach the line, I threw my balance across the white streak, and fell to the ground, touching the ball to the ground.

I was retching and panting by the time I was on the floor, but I the thrill was still chorusing through my veins, and I felt like I was on a high, satisfied and proud of myself for going so quickly. Louis's heavy, running feet suddenly came in my vision, and I sat up, and grinned up breezily up at the panting boy. He slumped next to me, smiling widely, and threw his head back and stared at the sky, his chest rising and falling rapidly. 

''That workout on the treadmill the other day clearly helped,'' he shrugged. I laughed, and shuffled upward, and leaned my back against the wired fence. Louis looked up at me through a curtain of chestnut hair. I reached down, and slowly brushed it out his eyes. He didn't stop looking at me, and it felt so lovely. I wanted to catch his moment and put it in a frame for everyone to see. I felt oddly complete and utterly content. I liked to touch Louis's face. It felt nice and relaxing and blissful. 

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