Chapter 21- Concerned?

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Just a short chapter today guys, sorry. EXCITED FOR THE FOOTBALL!

It was a tense journey back to the apartment.

I don't think Chris's normally sensible driving dipped below 50 the whole way home. His lip and face was slightly swollen but he didn't seem hurt really, just beyond pissed off. I didn't know what to do or how to feel until we pulled in to Maple Street.

"I'm sorry," I splutter at random, squeezing my eyes shut.

I don't want to see his disappointment in me.

I don't want him to hate me!

"What are you cracking on about?"

I blink in surprise at the bright smile he throws my way. His hand tugs mine to the clutch so he can hold it.

"Aren't you... mad? I'm really sorry she hit you, Chris! I'm so sorry! I don't know what I can do to make it up to you but I swear I-,"

"You didn't do anything, dummy," Chris giggles. How can he be so calm? "Your mother's hands did, and it's not even that bad!"

"That's beside the point, though. What if she had hurt you?" I shudder, heart thudding at the thought of her being just a little bit quicker, a little bit smarter. Would she have grabbed a poker? A plate? A knife?

"You need to learn how to take things as they come," Chris smiles at me, lifting my hand to his chest. My hands instinctively curl around his shirt collar, without hesitation. "I'm here, my heart is beating. You're here too, you're with me. And you're going to be for a long time," his blinding smile makes me melt. My heart rate climbs back down to normal and I find myself grinning too. What did I do to deserve him? "We're gonna go back home, forget about this awful weekend and have some fun, agreed?"

"Home," I breathe. I hadn't really thought of it like that, but it is my home.

I live there with my boyfriend and my best friends and people who find themselves in the same situations as me. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

If only Jack and Sam could live with me.

Chris called the police as we left the house over an hour ago, so she shouldn't be anywhere near them, but I still worry. I'll always worry about them. It's my job.

I also found out that Taika knows of my mother, because I'm pretty sure he broke into the prison lists, or whatever they're called.

I'm not even mad. I'm relieved.

This way, I don't have to explain to them why I'm so scared of older men. She was a prostitute and often brought home shady men whenever my father wasn't home. They'd hit me sometimes. They'd go even further if they were drunk enough. I eventually found the sweet release of drugs when I was eleven, and I haven't fully recovered since. It fucked with my head. I became paranoid and unable to concentrate on my school work. I became everything I never wanted to be.

But then my parents were arrested and I was shipped off to live with my older sister in a different country. I was bullied, laughed at, abandoned and hated but last week, I found the Performance of Ashes. Or rather... it found me. And now I'm here. Now I'm happy. Now I can be normal.

We eventually drive into the parking lot outside of the apartments, where the guys are hanging out on the huge stone steps.

"Wow," I chuckle, unclipping my seat belt and reaching over the arm rest to press a kiss to Chris's temple. He blushes as Pratt wolf whistles. "Déjà vu!"

"I'm so glad you're here," he sighs, with a distant, faraway look. I narrow my eyes in concern but he brushes it off with his trademark smirk. "You've grounded me, ya know? Fuck knows where I'd be without you."

Before I have a chance to ask what the fuck he meant by that, he's leaping out of the car and racing towards the guys. He collides with Pratt, who crumbles to the ground from the weight. Robert and Evans are waving me over; Scarlett is blowing kisses at me from over their shoulders. I should be elated, but I just feel concerned. I need to talk to Taika. Immediately 

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