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Lyrical: Chapter 10


“What do you really want?” I ask heavily.

“To speak with you,” he responds, stepping back towards me. His shoulders sag, exhaustion pulls at his features. As he moves, his jacket pulls apart and I see what I hadn’t before. I see the dark stain of blood stark against his white shirt. “Zayn, what happened?” I ask, my eyes widening. He’s hurt and even though anger lingers, even though there are things I want to say, that’s all pushed aside for the moment.

“I’m okay,” he replies, pulling his jacket closed hastily and buttoning it up. “It’s just a scratch.”

“That wasn’t what I asked. What happened?”

Of course he doesn’t answer. Instead, he lifts his hand to cup my cheek. “I’m sorry,” he says, as his thumb brushes across my cheekbone. His night-time eyes are filled with a fucking galaxy of emotion, his secrets like shooting stars burning bright and too fast to grab hold of. I snap my head away, out of his hold. He’s too close, too raw, too emotional.


“Pen. I’m sorry,” he repeats, and I honestly don’t know what to do with that. Does he want me to just forgive him because he’s apologised? It would be so easy, so simple to do, and for the briefest of moments I consider doing just that. The thing is, we’ve never been simple. We’ve always been complicated, messy. Even when we were kids, our friendship was never straightforward. My love for the Breakers changed things. People say that true love should be simple, easy, but that isn’t true, is it?

Love is chaotic, agonizing, complex.

It’s like DNA, no one really knows the depths of its power or can unravel its mysteries. Love is just there, it’s something that exists and we’re all just a bunch of people either looking for love, are in love, or are heartbroken without it, because of it.

“For what, Zayn? What are you sorry for?” I whisper, because saying sorry isn’t enough. It’s too vague, too all encompassing. People say I’m sorry and expect it to be a sticking plaster for every sin they’ve ever committed. People say I’m sorry like it washes away the heinous things they’ve done. It doesn’t. Zayn breathes out heavily, his stubbled jaw tight with stress.

“I didn’t know what Jeb had planned. I’m sorry you were put in that situation. I’m sorry you were scared.”

Bullshit. I saw the look on your face. You wanted to screw me.”


“Don’t fucking lie to me, Zayn. I saw the truth in your eyes that night.”

Zayn presses his eyes shut briefly, and when he opens them again, there’s a determined look on his face. “Of course I want you, Pen, I can’t deny that. Look at you, you’re goddamn beautiful and fucking strong, and determined and unafraid. How could I possibly not want to fuck you? But not that way, not like that. I’m many things but I am not a goddamn rapist. Jeb was wrong to do what he did.”

I bark out a laugh to hide my surprise and to deflect the fact my body is betraying me as I step closer towards him wanting more words, more truths. “Is he ever right?”

“I don’t know. You tell me, Pen. You walked away from us to be with him. Has it been everything you hoped for?” he asks me, a sudden sarcasm and vitriol dripping from his tongue. I flinch as though slapped. Zayn’s words hurt, but only because they’re true. I did walk away from the Breakers to be with Jeb but not for the reason he thinks.

“And the others? What about them? Did they know what he had planned? That I was a fucking gift to be served up to you without any say or choice in the matter.”

“Fuck, no! They didn’t know.”

“It doesn’t matter though, does it? We’re still enemies. I’m still on the outside looking in. I’m still the girl you all hate.”

“I don’t hate you, Pen.”

I laugh bitterly. “You could’ve fooled me.”

“Listen to me,” he says fiercely. “I don’t hate you. I never did. I was angry, hurt, fucking cut-up, but I never hated you. I want to understand. Tell me the truth.”

“I—” I begin, but find I can’t say anything without opening up a whole can of worms. He has a right to be angry, bitter. Then again, so do I. “It’s not that simple—”

“Just fucking tell me, Pen. This is only as complicated as you make it. Put me out of my goddamn misery!” he growls, angry at me, at the situation, at us. “We could always talk, you and me. That was never a problem. What the fuck happened to change that? What you did came out of the left field. You blindsided us, Pen. We were happy. We fucking loved you.” His hands come up once more and his fingers slide into my hair, tightening on the strands.

“I know you did—”

“Is that it? Is that all you can fucking say? I know. You don’t fucking know. You don’t fucking understand what that did to us,” he shouts, his honesty taking wing on the back of anger. It flies around us with frenzied wings and sharpened claws.

“Of course I understand!” I shout back, yanking his hands away and backing off. “You don’t think it hurt me to walk away? You think I haven’t felt every minute of your absence all this time? You think I don’t hurt, that it doesn’t cut me up inside to know the boys I would do anything for never even questioned why I did what I did?” I’m panting now, shaking with adrenaline and the truth that is on the tip of my tongue. Zayn opens his mouth to speak, but I cut him off. “No! You don’t get to come in here and throw down like this, not after Friday night, not after what happened. You don’t get to pile on the guilt to make yourself feel better. You don’t get to push me until I break. You don’t get to hurt me like this anymore!”

Zayn blanches, regret replacing the righteous anger. “I’m sorry, okay? I’m sorry for what happened Friday night and everything before.”

“No, it’s not okay. None of what happened at Grim’s club was okay. None of this is okay,” I say pointing between us, wanting more than anything to turn back time and change what happened.

But I can’t.

I can’t change anything.

Our past is set in stone and our friendship is buried beneath the soil of our distrust and the tears of our heartbreak. There’s a whole fucking graveyard filled with the death of our friendship. I back away from Zayn, almost tripping over my own feet in my haste to get away. “I can’t do this anymore. I fucking can’t.”

“Can’t do what, Pen?” Zayn asks, crowding me. He forces me backwards until my back hits the wall. “I’m not letting this go,” he says emphatically, grasping my head in his hands. His gaze searches mine like he’s trying to uncover all my secrets with that one look. I can smell his expensive aftershave overshadowed a little by the metallic scent of blood and two days of wearing the same clothes. I don’t hate it. I don’t hate him.

How can I when I still love him despite it all?

“Fuck, Pen. Just talk to me. Give me something at least. Make me understand.”

His breath is warm against my skin, his fingers tight against my scalp and his body flush against mine. I can’t breathe with him so close to me, taking up my personal space with his presence. It’s too fucking much. “There’s nothing to tell.”

“Pen, goddamn it, don’t you dare shut down now. Give me something, anything. It’s important.”


Please, Pen.”

Our gazes clash, our breath mingles, and I get the distinct impression that Zayn isn’t a man who pleads very often, that he doesn’t beg for anything. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s showing a more vulnerable side, the absolute misery in his gaze—or the fact that I’ve missed his touch, him, so much—but I give him the only thing I can in the moment.

My kiss.

My lips smash against his as I grip hold of the lapels of his jacket and yank him close. I kiss him in anger and with love. I kiss him with fierceness and hurt. I kiss him with longing and loathing. This kiss isn’t a white flag of truce. This kiss is meant to distract, to disarm. I can’t give him the answers he seeks, but I can give him something to think about. After a beat, he kisses me back. He presses his body against mine, lifts me up beneath my thighs and traps me against the wall. His stubble scratches against my skin, but I don’t care.

We kiss in a way that opens old wounds.

Our tongues mine the depths of our past, our hurt. Our kiss unearths our memories, hunting for the friendship we once shared, digging deep as our teeth clash and our tongues duel. There’s no holding back with this kiss, and despite my intentions, I fall into it headfirst, searching for what we once had. Zayn’s moans mingle with mine and the noises we make are nothing short of erotic. This kiss is filthy in the best possible way, it’s wet and torrid and insanely hot. Instinctively, my legs tighten around Zayn’s back, my core pressing against his lower abs. I jerk my hips, trying to ease the intense throb there but when he grunts in pain, I’m reminded of the wound to his torso and pull back sharply.

“Fuck, Zayn—” I say against his lips, but he shuts me up with his mouth, refusing to let reality settle back in and presses me harder against the wall, propping me up so that he can reach between us. His fingers slide beneath the waistband of my joggers and knickers, and his whole hand cups my mound. He just holds me there, the heel of his palm pressing against my clit that throbs beneath his hand. I don’t push him away.

want his touch.

want his kiss.

want his fucking attention.

On Friday I’d refused to lean into his kiss. It was a conscious move on my part. To not give in that way. Today I kiss him not because I’m weak, but because I’m strong. I am the master of my own fate, my own decisions. I’m done feeling like I have no control, and I want that back. I want Zayn back. Rightly or wrongly, I crave him.

If sorry is a sticking plaster over the wound in my heart, then this kiss and his touch is a bandage. I feel it wrapping around the wound, stemming the flow of blood in an attempt to heal the pain. In the moment, nothing but the way he tastes, the way he feels, is important. I rock into his hand, pressing against his palm. I’m slick with heat, with want, with need, and as his finger rims my entrance lighting me up from the inside out, I weep for him, for this.

My pussy fucking cries out for his touch as tears slide down my cheeks. I cry with relief and with new beginnings. At least that’s what I dare to hope.

“Pen,” he laments as we both taste the saltiness of my tears. The sound of my name on his lips is different, it’s reverent, loving in a way I haven’t heard for three years. It sounds like grief, sorrow, pain, but also hope, joy and the start of something new.

As he rubs the pad of his thumb gently over my clit and kisses me with hunger, an orgasm builds at the base of my spine. Our tongues duel and his fingers rub against me expertly. I mewl into his mouth and he growls into mine, until the years apart fall away and we’re just two best friends planting that first seed of love with touch and kisses and ecstasy. I can feel that promise, that hope growing inside of me. I can feel it pushing up against the dirt and the grime of our bad choices. I can feel it reaching for sunlight, for a chance to flourish, and despite everything, I let it, because what am I if not a girl desperate for this boy to love her again?

Zayn’s finger hooks inside, pressing against that tender spot within me whilst his thumb circles my clit delicately. His tongue laps at my mouth, sucking my tongue into his and the groan he makes as I flood his hand makes me want to rip off his clothes and fuck him right here on the hardwood of the studio floor.

“Come, Pen,” he growls against my mouth whilst his fingers fuck me into oblivion.

So I come.

I come on Zayn’s hand, his fingers deep inside me.

I come with his chipped tooth biting into my bottom lip.

I come with a warmth in my heart that I haven’t felt in a long, long time.

I come undone, and Zayn… Zayn holds me until I’m spent.


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