The gang was seated around the long dining table. So far after what Ashley had witnessed, everything seemed normal. But with nothing happening it felt quite odd. Ashley was restless. The sky was now fully dark making the house only dimly lit by the chandelier that hung above them. Everyone was engrossed in conversations about different things while split up into little groups. It felt as if they had all forgotten where they were still. Ashley remained silent as she repeated Stephanie's cruel words in her head. She knew Louis loved her but for some reason Stephanie's words still got to her. Some snacks were spread across the table as they all munched on them. The sound of the bags and wrappers crinkling echoed throughout the house louder than they usually would.

"I'm gonna go take a shower." Stephanie pushed back from table and stood up. "All this dust is making me feel dirty."

Everyone stopped talking and eating to look up at Stephanie. They all agreed only she had the guts to go upstairs alone and take a shower in this place.

"Why are you all looking at me like that?" she snapped.

They all turned away quickly resuming to what they were doing before.

Ashley watched Stephanie disappear into the dark narrow hallway. She wished she had courage like her. Worried and still upset, Ashley turned to Louis and whispered in his ear. "I need to talk to you."

Louis turned to face her looking concerned. He nodded and excused himself. The couple walked over to a sofa in the sitting area. "What's wrong?"

"Louis, do you love me?" Ashley kept her voice low.

"Ash of course I do. What kind of a question is that?" he was surprised from what she asked him.

"Am I pathetic?"

"Babe, do you hear yourself? Why are you asking me all this? No you're not pathetic." Louis seemed upset from being asked these questions.

Ashley was still insecure. She knew Louis loved her very much and he didn't like these questions that were being asked of him. She was scared to death, upset and cold. She wanted to go home. Ashley's eyes began to tear up making her vision blur.

On seeing Ashley get emotional, Louis immediately took her in his arms and brought her in close for a hug. This made Ashley let out a few quiet sobs. He rubbed her back in comfort and hushed her. "Hey, everything's gonna be alright. Shh."

After Ashley was satisfied with crying out in Louis' arms, she pulled back and wiped her tears with her sweater sleeve. She sniffled and got ready for Louis' questioning. "Wanna tell me what that was all about?"

"Stephanie." she simply replied.

"Shit." he huffed and frustratedly ran his hands through his fluffy hair. "What did she say?"

"She said she hates me. No surprise there. But she like really hates me because apparently I annoy the fuck out of her. She invited me to this trip only so I could suffer. She never likes having me around because I'm pathetic. And you unfortunately... fell for me." saying the last sentence hurt Ashley the most.

"That's absurd! I love you very much and you know that. You're the most beautiful and smartest girl I have ever met." he hugged her again and this time kissed her on the top of her head. Ashlequiy wanted to cry again for hearing those kind words but she controlled her emotions. "I never knew Stephanie was that low. I'm gonna talk to her once she's out."

"No. Please don't." Ashley knew very well Stephanie would get back at her. As much as Stephanie irked her, she still lived in fear around her.

"Ashley, someone needs to tell her to control her tongue. Especially when she's talking shit about my girlfriend. And I'm gonna do it."

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