Chapter Twenty-One

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(Zayn’s P.O.V.)

Caroline walked out the building with a broad smile on her face. She ran at me and jumped on me, kissing me hard. When we stopped, I set her down and she beamed at me. 

“I love quitting,” she mused. I smiled at her.

“So what are you planning on doing now that you’re free?” I asked. She shrugged and started walking as I wrapped my arms around her from behind and we walked in sync.

“I’m not sure. I’ve been thinking about studying to become a nurse. I know an awful lot about medical stuff,” she said happily, turning around to face me.

“Really? I think you’d make a great nurse. But you wouldn’t be afraid of all that blood and stuff?” I asked uneasily. She laughed.

“Really Zayn? Me? Afraid of blood? It’s like you don’t know me at all,” she said. I kissed her temple.

“You’d be a perfect nurse, Caroline. And any patient would be lucky to have you.”

She giggled. “I love you.”

“I love you more.”

“Doubt it!” she shot back.

“YOU CAN’T PROVE ANYTHING!” I shouted. I took off running down the sidewalk and she chased me. I could get used to this.

(Erika’s P.O.V.)

“Are you sure you don’t want to see the others for your birthday, babe? I feel bad keeping you all to myself,” Harry said as we reached the park. I nodded happily.

“Yes, I’m sure. They got me for the past four years, you get me tonight,” I told him. He smiled and kissed my lips quickly, then he grabbed me and threw me over his shoulder and started running.

“HARRY!”

“ERIKA!” he shouted back, mocking me. I laughed and let him run around with me over his shoulder through the park. He stopped when he got to the bridge over the creek and he set me down on the banister. He climbed up next to me and wrapped his arm around me and we watched the sun go down.

“I feel bad,” Harry said sadly.

“Why?”

“Because I never got you a birthday present,” he answered, pouting at me. I laughed and ruffled his curls.

“Yes you did.”

“I did? What is that?”

“You made me happy. That’s more than enough.”

(Deirdre’s P.O.V.)

I looked at Niall nervously as we pulled up to the house. I grabbed his hand and my breathing got short. “Niall, I don’t think I can do this. Let’s go home – ”

“You can. I know it,” he told me, squeezing my hand. He shot me a reassuring smile and kissed my nose. “You’re strong, Deirdre. And I promise you won’t regret this.”

I let his words crash over me and soak in. I nodded and kissed his lips quickly and got out of his car. I walked quickly up to the door of the familiar house. It brought back too many memories I didn’t want to cope with, but I pushed them aside and knocked on the door. Niall appeared at my side and put an arm around me.

“I’m scared. What if they hate me, Niall?” I whispered.

“They won’t. They’ll always love you, no matter what,” he assured me. Before I could answer, the door opened to reveal a woman I hadn’t seen in five years.

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