Chapter Twenty Five

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Somehow, Zayn didn't suffer a hangover the next morning.

He seemed exhausted, but he still smiled at me, holding my hand and kissing the corner of my mouth

"Let's dance, yeah?" He asked

"I... I don't want to right now" I yawned "give me an hour to wake up"

"You don't want to dance with me?" He asked confused

"No... I do" I said softly "I'm just... Tired s'all"

"I'm sorry I kept you up" he caressed my cheek "last night was... Horrid"

"You remember it?"

"How can't I?" He asked "I wasn't that drunk"

"You drank all that whiskey though"

"I don't think you saw how much was in the bottle you gave me" Zayn mumbled "I had more from the bottle you emptied than I did from the whiskey bottle"

"Are you okay now?"

"Yeah" he nodded "I'm fine, I'm away from them... And I'm not going to go back"

"They'll report you as missing or something"

"They'll know I ran away" Zayn sighed "and they won't care. Besides, it's easier for me this way"

"I think you should go back"

"If I'd yelled another thing, he'd have kicked me out anyway" Zayn pet my hair "and I am so, so sorry you had to be there and watch that screaming match"

"It's my fault... I called her to fix the mess she made"

"I shouldn't have sworn at her, or yelled at her"

"It's not your fault, Zayn" I assured him "if Yasser hadn't come down and said all those things to you..."

My voice trailed off as tears began to slip from Zayn's eyes

"No... Zayn" I cooed "come on, no more tears"

He sniffled, his lips trembled and I brought him near, holding him tightly

"I can't believe he admitted it..."

He whimpered "I can't believe he really thinks that about me"

"It's okay"

"I can't believe he got angry with you, Niall" Zayn suddenly hugged me tight "that bastard is not allowed you yell at you, ever. I'll kick his fucking head in if he ever tries to do that again"

It was nice knowing that even in a moment on conflict that didn't involve me, he'd still defend me.

But remembering how his anger vanished when I'd gotten frightened was still fresh in memory.

How did I do that? How had I made him choose me over that bottle? How had I made him calm with just a single plea

Was it because he was afraid to loose me? Did he want me to be safe and happy? Or did he just feel like it was his job to protect me from the people in his life he was afraid would hurt me too.

I knew Trisha didn't hate me, but I was almost sure his father couldn't stand me.

Trisha had even tried to reason with Yasser which was a shocker but she gave up... Almost as though she knew that it wouldn't work

But how could they try put Zayn into an orphanage as a boy? That was so cruel. Yasser left Trisha because Zayn was born, now that had to hurt more than anything else Zayn went through.

But didn't Zayn know he'd lost his father at one point? Did Trisha try put Zayn up for adoption to get her husband back?

Zayn's family was so cruel, and they didn't even realise it.

Zayn deserved so much better.

He was falling apart, and they hadn't even realised.

We lay together for about twenty minutes longer, and there was silence between us, yet Zayn held me in a way that felt different

But that's because it was. Usually he just put an arm around me, but this time there were two arms, and our hands linked with his palms to the back of my hands, and he had our hands between our chests, almost as though he were keeping our bond warm.

We eventually did get up, and Zayn got out his cellphone, and plugged in a pair of small portable speakers, then offered me his hand.

I blushed but took it, and just like yesterday, we danced till we couldn't anymore.

Zayn told me that we could just go look around, that he would get a flat, and a job

"You know I could help you?" I offered "I'm looking for work for pocket money and stuff, plus my parents are rich"

"I've pocketed an awful lot of money, cutie" he whispered

"Yeah but this way you can't run out" I told him "so I can give you some of my extra money, I can take from my parents, they have so much that they wouldn't even notice, you know?"

"I don't want you stealing" Zayn whispered, caressing my face "not you... You're a little angel, and you need to stay that way"

"You treat me like a child" I said

"You are a child"

"I'm your boyfriend" I told him "and I'm not pure as gold"

"So you're not innocent?"

"I have my virginity, I'd only kissed someone once before, and I haven't given anyone a sexual favour" I looked him in the eyes "but I know about it, I know all about favours and sex and the lot..."

"And you then?" He asked "do you get off?"

"I..." I began to burn

"Do you?" Zayn asked

"Sometimes" my voice nearly broke

"Has anybody else ever touched you?"

His voice was so silky, laced with... Concern? And curiosity?

I shook my head and he smiled "good"

"What?" I asked "why?"

"Because I don't want anyone else's hands on you" He said quietly "nobody is allowed to touch you, ever"

"Except you?"

"Except me" he nodded

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