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Stole My Heart- A One Direction Fanfic: CHAPTER 10

Chapter 10


The next five minutes was a blur to Anya. Indescribable emotions of guilt, pain, and utter heartbreak raced through her body. She didn't know whether to scream or to ball up in the corner of the kitchen and cry herself to nothing.

It was hard to keep up with reality at the moment but what Anya heard was Liam and Zayn gathering their coats and phones and heading out to find where
Niall had fled to, and Louis was going separately in his own car.

Anya felt Harry's comforting arms wrap around her. He pulled her close to him, trying to relax and cradle her fragile state, but she stayed frozen in shock and deep thought. Liam, Zayn and Louis could search for days on end in
every coffeeshop, cafe and Nando's in the country, but only Anya knew exactly where he'd be.

Anya pulled herself away from Harry and looked up at his puzzled face. "I have to go," she whispered.

Harry shook his head in bewilderment. "Where do you think you're going?"

Anya slid from his grip and scurried to the front closet to slip on her Toms. She didn't answer Harry and didn't plan on telling him where exactly she
was headed. Anya threw on her winter coat and reached for the doorknob but Harry grasped her wrists in his hands and looked her solemnly in the eye. "Bon, I'm
serious, you should NOT be leaving in this state of emotional distress. It's not safe for you to get behind the wheel."

"Niall left." His name cracked in her throat and Harry rubbed his thumb against the back of her hands. She breathed in deeply and shook her head. "I-I'm
not driving anyway."

"Where-"

"I have to go," she repeated, pulling herself from his hands and shutting the door on all the unanswered questions that flooded his face.


There was an alley behind their building. It was lined with a chain link fence that had a gaping hole leading out to the park behind the building. Anya
carried herself swiftly through the park on trembling legs to the forest preserve beyond it. Leaves crunched under her shoes as she strolled along the man-made path through the wildlife, and memories started to pour into Anya's mind. Far enough into the trees there was a field-big enough to play a game of football but small enough to resemble a suburban backyard. There was a thin creek that ran alongside it and a makeshift bench made of a tall, thick tree trunk right nearby. A few months after Niall and Anya had started dating, they'd discovered it together. The first day they found it, they sat for three hours next to the running water, talking about everything- learning anything they
possibly could about each other. They swore they'd come back but never got around to it once touring began. Anya knew in her gut that she could find him here.

Anya crossed onto the soft grass of the field but stopped after the first step. Across the field the rushing water hissed against the rocks and small
plops of pebbles being dropped into the creek echoed through the silent tranquility. Niall was perched on the tree along the water, tossing stones in one by one in a hypnotic manner. His back was turned to her but by the
hesitation in his next rock toss, she knew he was aware of her presence.

Slowly and timidly, Anya walked to him and rested beside him on the tree. She didn't look at him, and for an entire two minutes they both stared blankly
at the running water in front of them.

Anya turned to look at him- his jaw was clenched and the region under his eyes was flushed red with teary aftershock. The image squeezed hard at Anya's
heart and tears pooled her eyes, making his face appear blurry. She swallowed hard and barely spoke in a whisper. "Niall-"

Niall shot up from his seat and hurled the remaining pebbles in his hand into the creek, making their little plinks sound angry. He turned to her, "Why did you not tell me?"

"I thought it would upset you-"

"So you told Harry instead?!"
How did that sound like a better idea?!"

Anya rose from her seat now. "I panicked! You wouldn't have told ME, would you?! You would have gone to your friends first!"

Niall stared at her with a sort of pain in his eyes. "Anya, you're my best friend."

The tears burned at the edges of Anya's eyelids. "Niall, I love you more than anything, and the last thing I want is to see you hurt. I wanted to protect
you-"

"And you felt guilty about feeling these things and hiding it so you had sex with me?-"

"Niall, no!-" It came out in a sob but Niall cut her off with the dismissive wave of his hand.

"I don't want to argue here. It'll just taint everything about this place." Niall turned his back to leave but not before Anya caught a glimpse of his quivering jaw. He'd always been so strong for her and he didn't want that front to fall even now, but the broken look on his face killed her inside.

Anya waited a few minutes before she followed him out of the preserve. She saw him duck through the fence and assumed he was returning to their flat. Anya
trudged her way up the stairs, every step like another stab at her.

"Anya!" Harry had stretched his head out the front door of their flat and spotted her on her way up.

Anya approached the door and tried to scoot past him, wiping her eyes. Harry stopped her momentarily. "Bon, everything's gunna be okay-"

"Harry, please," Anya pleaded, breaking down again. "I just need to talk to him."

Harry moved slightly aside allowing Anya to push past and try to mend the relationship that was almost falling apart in her hands. Niall was pacing back and forth
across the floor of their bedroom when she entered.

"Niall, can we sit?" Anya suggested.

Without saying anything Niall plopped himself on the edge of their bed and rested his head facedown in his palms. Slowly, Anya sat down next to him. She'd
never wanted to hold him close more than right now. Everything about him at this moment made her want to weep-the weary expression, the occasional trembles of his
tensed muscles- he just looked broken, there was no other word to describe it. And that made Anya feel just as torn apart.

A sob built up in Anya's throat but she choked back the tears that were dying to pool out of her eyes. "Niall... I didn't know and I still don't know what I felt about Louis- if I even felt anything at all... But whatever happened with that had NOTHING to do with what happened between us when I stayed over, you know that..." She placed her hand on his arm and immediately felt herself coming undone inside, as tears slid down her cheeks. "You know it was because of how much I love you."

A single tear hit the carpet below Niall's face and he lifted himself from the bed, casually wiping his eyes and trying to compose himself. He kept his back turned to Anya the entire time, even when he mumbled in response. "Things started too fast."

"We...wait, what?"

Niall faced her again. That hurt in his eyes kept screaming at Anya, making her weaker. "Did we start out too fast?"

Anya felt confused. "Niall, I'm not exactly following."

"We live together. We're a teenage couple who live together, see each other 24/7...we started out so fast, what if we're STILL going too fast?"

"What are you getting at?..."

Niall scratched at the back of his head, wincing, and obviously repulsed by what he was about to say next. "There's...there's still that flat above here that management has rented out just for you, before we all decided you would live with us..."

"Are you suggesting I move out?"

Niall stared blankly at the wall behind her. Anya could tell that it was the last thing he wanted, but he didn't take back his suggestion either. Her heart plummeted into her stomach, especially since she knew deep down that it wasn't completely out of line. Finally, she found it in her to form the words on her lips. "...Fine."

The instant she agreed to leave, Anya saw Niall's shoulders fall, along with his face, and she knew he'd been hoping she would fight to stay. But someone had to have a clear head.

Anya rose from the bed and brushed past Niall on her way out of the room. Tears swarmed her vision and she ceased to try to fight them back. The other four boys were standing patiently in the kitchen, waiting. They perked up with curiosity and concern as they heard Anya come in. When she entered the front room in tears, Harry swooped to her side and Zayn followed closely behind him.

"Are you guys okay?" Zayn asked quietly.

Anya hurriedly fumbled with her laptop case and purse, grabbing them both from the kitchen counter and heading toward the door. She didn't say a word as
she gently rejected Harry's attempt at comfort, knowing if she opened her mouth to speak that nothing she'd say would come out in words, only sobs. Closing the
front door behind her, Anya raced up the nearest staircase to the floor above. She stopped in front of the next door, gasping for breath and fiddling through her purse for the doorkey. As soon as she opened the door she slipped in and slammed it behind her and the horrible echoing sound screamed mockingly through the empty flat. Anya slid to the floor, clutching her face in her hands. She bawled
uncontrollably, feeling as empty and alone as the apartment she sat in- the apartment she was now forced to call home.





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