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chapter twelve; i love you's

It was 12 AM when Luke got a call.

After a long day at work that consisted of a bratty fourteen year old boy taking at least two hours to choose which flowers were the absolute best for his girlfriend (his girlfriend liked this, but she was allergic to that, she hated red, blue was ugly) and having to deal with Ashton and Calum's wrath because of his disappearing act (which wasn't entirely his fault), Luke just wanted a break. He had entirely collapsed after six o'clock, finding that his skinny jeans and boots were comfortable enough to sleep in and that's just what he did: he slept.

He slept through Calum trying to wake him up so that he could yell at him some more, he slept through pouring rain and booming thunder, yet one simple phone call did the trick. He jolted awake; hair tousled and sticking up in a bunch of different places as he searched the room for where the incessant ringing was coming from with half shut eyes. He found his cellphone glowing under his bed, not even pondering about how it even got there, and he clicked answer before reading the name, putting it up to his ear.

"Hello?" He said, sitting up and staring out the window. Lightening lit up the dark sky, and he could see droplets of rain making contact with the glass windows. Thunder rolled five seconds apart, the storm only coming down harder.

There was no answer, but he could tell someone was there. They were breathing heavily and shakily, like they were crying or running a marathon. Either one would've been acceptable. Luke pulled the phone away from his face and took a glimpse at who was calling. UNKNOWN. He furrowed his eyebrows and returned the phone back, hearing broken up words that still weren't clear.

"Listen, whoever is pulling this–it isn't funny," he warned, annoyed that this was what he was awoken by. He was about to hang up when someone finally responded.

"Luke," The voice was broken and choked. The speaker was obviously out in the rain, it could be heard through the line. He recognized the voice well.

"Ava?" Luke's heart dropped. His mind scrambled through all the possibilities of what could have happened to her and he grew worried. She sounded so fragile in that moment, though he knew that she deep down was far from it, but the fact that there was a tone of vulnerability in her voice admittedly scared him.

"Aves, where are you? Are you okay? What's going on? Why are you in the storm, babe? It's not safe."

"Luke, Luke slow down," she chuckled, but he could tell that it was forced through her sniffles, "I'm at a pay phone. I was lucky to have a couple coins in my pocket."

"Babe, where are you?" He didn't care that he had called her that or that she probably noticed, he just wanted to know if she was okay. That's all he ever cared about.

"I don't know, Luke," Ava cried, letting out a small sob which led into hyperventilating, "Luke, I'm scared. I-I don't know where I am and, um, and you're the first person I called because you're the first person I thought of. I can't breathe, Luke."

Luke's heart repeatedly thumped and he wasn't sure if could stand without going into cardiac arrest. He hurriedly shoved on a jacket and grabbed his car keys. "Ava, baby. I need you to try and breathe for me, okay? I know you're scared, but I'm going to go look for you. Try and breathe, in and out. In and out."

He heard her let out a shaky breath and then inhale, exercising her lungs. With each slow exhale, her breathing steadied. He could tell she was still trying to keep herself together because that was just the type of person that Ava was. He was so used to her teasing him and letting out sarcastic remarks with an undertone of lowkey bitchiness that he had almost forgotten that she had the ability to be anything opposite to that. She was an overall happy person, but he knew that everyone couldn't keep strong forever, no matter how hard they acted like it. She was human and it was only human nature to cry and breakdown. If anything, it was healthy.

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