‹ Prequel: Love in Music

Love in Lights

Vultures Circle Up Above

The boys from One Direction are set to hit the shores of Australia this week and will be staying to soak up the sun for a while with a large amount of publicity appearances booked in. Hopefully the boys will have a few days set to the side to enjoy the sunny beaches of Aus and perhaps visit some old friends.

The fans waiting out front of the airport weren’t for me, they were for the boys that had probably arrived minutes before me by the state these poor girls were in.

I foolishly thought that I could go past them without being noticed but I hadn’t even reached their group before I was recognised. Screams were released and security tightened around me almost painfully. Phones were quickly lifted to hide excited and tearful faces as they tried to take photos of me. I smile shyly at a few, feeling self-conscious with the little amount of make up I had used and cursing my decision to wear my thermal pajama pants onto the plane. They were adorned with sheep jumping over fences and possibly the comfiest pair of pants I had ever owned, also the most embarrassing. At least my Burberry black trench coat was more fashionable and fell down to my knees, hiding most of my pants. My UGG boots not rising high enough to hide the rest.

“Do I have time to sign?” I asked Geoffrey, shooting him a hopeful look. He glanced at his watch before sighing. Nodding he moved to the side to allow me closer to the fence, the other three guards automatically moving to keep me as covered as possible. The screaming got louder and papers and pens were shoved in my face.

Smiling as best as I could at the cameras also pushed forward I grabbed pens and signed as much of the paper in front of me as possible.

“Are you touring with One Direction?” Someone called out, I couldn’t tell which face the voice belonged to but I shook my head.

“Just hitching a ride with them. I’m just going to spend time at home.”

“When are you going to be playing here?”

“You’re really pretty!”

“Are you really dating Zac Efron?” More questions were fired and I tried to answer but soon enough Geoffrey was dragging me away, waving apologetically I followed him obediently into the airport.

My bag was scanned quickly, with no line up at this time of night. Moving through the airport was easy as most people hanging around were tired and waiting for loved ones. No one paid any attention to a girl standing in the middle of four tall suited men.

By the time I reached the terminal the boys had just started to head through the barrier. My security wouldn’t be going with me but I would have One Direction’s security if I needed it. I looked towards them and back to Geoffrey worried, I didn’t like having people that didn’t know me.

“If anything goes wrong you call me okay. Doesn’t matter that I’m halfway around the world, if you need help you call. I have some people I know in Australia who can be there for you instantly, you got that kiddo?” I nodded and smile weakly at Geoffrey when he laid a warm comforting hand on my shoulder. Without fail Geoffrey had been there for us these last two years, no matter what we did, he had organised and protected us to his limit. And he had never judged us, the only person we knew who hadn’t.

Smiling again, I waved and picked up the handle of my suitcase, rolling it towards the barrier where all the boys but Niall had disappeared through. He shot me a disarming smile, his teeth white and straight. I smiled back and handed my ticket to the lady waiting.

“I was worried for a minute you weren’t going to make it.” He told me, reaching out to take the handle of my bag and leading the way through the tunnel. I smiled gratefully.

“Some of your fans wanted autographs and photos. I couldn’t say no.” I shrugged when Niall shot me a look over his shoulder.

“Don’t go stealing our fans.” He warned teasingly. I smiled back.

“Haven’t you read the papers? We stole your fans a long time ago.” I responded, referring to the amount of emphasis that the papers put on our rivalry with each other, our fans didn’t even bicker as much as they made out, mostly because our fans were one and the same.

We walked outside of the tunnel into the chill London air where the plane was sitting. Our bags were taken from us and I climbed the steps to the plane behind Niall, slightly more anxious that I would be spending such close quarters with these five guys. We were still so friendly with each other but it was no secret that we weren’t as close as we used to be. Except maybe Liam and Kate their friendship had never changed.

The boys were surprisingly loud when we were inside and the door was shut behind us. It was late at night and I expected them to be tired and sleeping almost straight away. Except all four boys were loudly yelling, and moving about in the compartment, not even claiming comfortable seats yet. Niall immediately joined in, their actions all synchronized with each other after spending years living out of each other’s pockets. I understood the way they acted with each other better now then I did before. Their movement came from hours of sharing buses, planes, backstage areas, couches and narrow walkways with screaming fans on either sides. You knew your band mates and what they did without thought or feeling. It was instinctual to move and dodge and yell and live on top of each other.

In this instant I was an outsider and not for the first time did I wish one of the girls were with me. Taking a deep breath which felt like searching for courage, I moved forward and ducked and weaved through the oblivious boys and safely took a seat in one of the large comfy white chairs towards the back of the cabin.

Soon enough the boys were told to sit and everyone scrambled for their spots; Liam venturing to take the seat across from me, his smile a comfort. The rest of the boys all hesitated and took seats sparsely throughout the plane. Louis made a beeline for the chair on the opposite side of the plane to me, Zayn falling into the seat next to him.

I leant back against the chair, buckled up and turned my head out the window, my eyes blinked slowly as the plan began to turn and head towards the runway. I had fallen asleep before we had even taken off.


There was delicious warmth covering me and I pulled it closer, snuggling further down in the seat trying to fall back asleep. The warmth stayed but sleep eluded me. I sighed heavily but kept my eyes closed until the curiosity won out, I eyed the large white fluffy mink blanket lying across me. It was even tucked under my feet from where I had curled up onto the seat. I stared down at it in surprise before glancing up to where Liam was sitting across from me: except he was gone. I sat up further, stretching and noticed the other boys had spread out further around the plane, all of them asleep from what I could tell. Liam didn’t seem to be in the compartment at all.

Unbuckling myself I stood up to stretch as high as I could, my back popping into the right places before I made my way towards the bathroom seeing that it was already occupied. I leant against the wall next to it and glanced over at the boys again. I could see Louis from here. He wasn’t asleep. His eyes were fixed on the Ipad in front of him, ear buds tucked neatly into his ears and I took full reign to stare at him while he was oblivious. His hair was flat at the front and soft looking, little tufts stuck up the back from being rubbed wrongly against the seat.

He had his own white blanket wrapped around his waist and downwards, a warm burgundy sweater covering his upper body. He looked comfortable and I had to force myself to not walk over there and bury myself down next to him.

The click of the toilet lock sounded and I looked up to see Liam open the door and walk out, his eyes red-rimmed and I had a small shot of panic where I glanced into the bathroom behind Liam out of habit as if needing to look for drugs. But this was Liam not Frankie and he was red eyed from exhaustion not from poor decisions. Liam obviously caught my reaction and opened his mouth to say something that I probably didn’t want to talk about so I cut him off.

“Thanks for the blanket.” I smiled as confidently as possible. Liam snapped his mouth shut and furrowed his eyebrows before shaking his head.

“Wasn’t from me.” He said simply before nodding his head to the left and walking past me back to his seat. I look over to the left where Louis sat, staring directly back at me this time. I fancied the idea of going to thank him but the blank expression on his face made me think better of it and instead I turned, heading into the bathroom and probably slamming the door too hard behind me.

Leaning against the sink I stared at myself in the mirror. I didn’t looked as bad as I expected, thankful that I didn’t wear any make-up otherwise I was sure it would have been rubbed and smudged over my face. My hair was a tangled mess and I easily ran my fingers through it before plaiting it over my right shoulder. I felt refreshed after splashing my face with the water from the sink, my eyes stung a little, still tired but I knew I wouldn’t fall back asleep for a long time.

I walked out of the bathroom and almost headed straight back for the warm mink blanket waiting for me. But I hesitated, glancing towards Louis again, he was immersed in his Ipad and I was tempted to sit across from him. My eyes moved to Liam briefly before back to Louis. I could grab the blanket and head to Louis but I caught Liam’s eye, he shook his head briefly, a frown on his features. Giving in I hunched my shoulders and headed over to him, immediately curling up underneath the warm white blanket, avoiding Liam’s gaze.

“When did you last spend time with your family?” He asked me after a moment of silence, I shifted to look at him.

“When I was here with the girls in January, I saw my parents but not my sister, I haven’t seen her in ages.” I told him.

“Why not?” I averted my eyes again and turned back to the cabinet, Louis eyes met mine again and he didn’t look away.

“I-I don’t know, I guess I didn’t really want to see her when we were all…” I gestured vaguely with my hand, expecting Liam to understand, his little nod told me he did. “So I made sure that whenever I came down she wouldn’t be here. I suck I know, just out of everyone I really didn’t want to see how disappointed she would be.”

“That’s good then.” Liam smiled reassuringly. “Then you have someone that you can focus on, someone who makes you want to be better.” My eyes moved involuntarily to the side, Louis’ eyes were closed now, his head resting against the armrest. “Someone whose relationship with you is stable.” Liam said with a harder tone, his words clearly implying that Louis couldn’t be that person for me.

I didn’t want to talk about this, not with Liam. So I nodded in my way of leaving the conversation and reached into my bag to grab my music. I could only hope to be numb for a few hours.

I was lulled into an easy state, the voices of ‘London Grammar’ floating threw my ear buds, my body was warm and my brain exhausted but I couldn’t sleep. Liam had fallen asleep a long time ago and the only person to move within the last few hours was a half-naked Harry who stumbled to the bathroom then back out again, barely pulling his underwear up before he opened the door, I closed my eyes before I got an eye-full. I did not need that image burned to my eyelids.

I didn’t even realise at first that I had been staring at Louis until I noticed him staring back. His hair was even more ruffled then before, his eyes blinking slowly and the blanket was pulled to his chin, he looked soft and young, innocently young.

Taking my chance, I pulled my ear buds out, wrapped my blanket tightly around my shoulders and ambled my way over to Louis, taking care to avoid Niall’s feet which hung right out past his chair, the sock on his left foot half hanging off, there was quiet snores coming from underneath the jumper he had thrown over his face.

Louis’ eyes never left me as I fell into the seat across from him, his face carefully blank. I took it as an encouragement.

“Hi.” I said, deciding that that was the safest beginning. “Thanks for the blanket.” Louis stayed silent, his eyes blinking at me, my smile faltered thinking that he was actually just going to ignore me. But instead he wiggled and moved his body closing to a sitting position, angled away from me towards the other side of the plane to where I had been sitting.

“You looked cold.” He eventually said, his eyes leaving mine to stare across the plane. I petted the blanket slowly and waited for him to say anything else; he didn’t.

“So,” I ventured, not earning a response. “How have you been?” I asked lamely. Louis’ head snapped to me this time, his eyes unbelieving.

“Seriously?” He grumbled, I thought it was a harmless question. “Great, perfect, fantastic.” I shifted uncomfortably at the sarcasm leaking from his tone.

“How are your sisters? Your Mum?” I tried to ask but Louis just seemed to get angrier, bringing a hand up to rub through his hair viciously.

“Why do you care?” He hissed making sure to keep his voice down low. I furrowed my eyebrows.

“Because I do. What type of question is that?” I asked, annoyed now, I was trying to be nice.

“They’re fine Annabelle, great, perfect, fantastic.” The repetition of his words from before sat ugly between us and I shrunk further down under the blanket. Realistically I never saw Louis forgiving me but that hadn’t meant I wasn’t foolish enough to dream that he would.

“Louis, I-” He cut me off with a look.

“Why don’t you go back to Liam?” He ground out, “he always did have a soft spot for you.” His words and eyes clearly said what he thought and I wanted to hit him, I wanted to yell at him and I wanted to not have all this bottled up but I didn’t have the right to hurt him anymore then I already had so I stood up, white blanket pooling around me like a cape and I went back to Liam avoiding his pity. I didn’t need them judging me; the rest of the world was doing a good enough job at it.


It was bright when we finally arrived in Sydney, the weather was warm and I pulled off my sweater as we began climbing off the plane and headed through the airport. Security tightened around us and I was surprisingly wide-awake after the long flight. I followed easily next to Niall as he chatted at me merrily. His hands were following along with his words but I wasn’t, there was a calmness in letting Niall’s voice constantly surround me, it felt familiar.

When we collected our luggage I realised the mistake I had made lulling myself into a sense of security. There were girls everywhere, in and outside the airport, blocking our way to the cars waiting. I don’t know why I was so surprised I did just travel with the hottest boy band that had been seen getting on the plane for Australia. I should have realised, but it had been the last thing I was thinking about.

I was going in a separate car to the boys so I said goodbye to them before we entered the crowd of girls. Louis was the only one who didn’t say goodbye, not even a nod of acknowledgement and I wanted to be mad about that because I was trying with him. I was trying.

I had two security guards, one in front and one behind while the rest went with the boys, there were more of them and it was presumed that most of the girls were here for them. My arrival wouldn’t have really been known about except from the girls who saw me before we boarded the flight. I expected my path through the fans would be relatively easy.

It was. Until we got outside, they started pushing through security and the barriers placed up. I lost sight of the boys and my security guards had turned to stand either side of me, their arms bracketing me in and trying to push through but there were bodies and faces everywhere. The screaming was beginning to hurt my ears and something sharp caught on my arm. I cried out and pulled my bag tighter against me, panic seeping in at the faces surrounding me.

There were pens and papers thrown in front of me, camera flashes as well and I knew some of these people were fans, actual fans who liked me and my music and Purity but I could hear and see the others. The ones who sneered at me, someone spat on the ground in front of me, the sharp pain on my arm I was pretty sure was a scratch and I was being called every horrible name you could call a girl under the sun. I couldn’t block them out, I couldn’t push them away and by the way we were moving, I couldn’t run away either.

I didn’t want to cry in front of them, but my head was pounding, my hands were shaking and I might have had blood on my arm. I was crying from panic and stress and it was getting harder to breathe.

I didn’t know how long we were stuck there for, girls pushing in from either side, my security was yelling something but I couldn’t hear until the crowd of girls was pushed further out. I looked up at the large men who began pushing through, surrounding us. The boys bodyguards had pushed a way through to us and Louis was amongst them. His eyes panicked as he searched before finding me. I gasped in panic as he grabbed my arms, I tried to wrench backwards away from him, worried that he would throw me out there, to the masses.

His grip softened at my panic but he didn’t let go, bringing his other arm up to wrap around my shoulders he pulled me against his body, his warm, familiar body and began walking within the circle security had created for us to move through. I was still gasping, not enough air creeping into my lungs and the world was slowly tilting, words and screams becoming more distant the further Louis led me until we walked through a gate and the men around us filtered out showing me a car park ahead of us with a fence closing electrically behind us.

With a loud inhale I pushed out of Louis arms and crouched to the ground, he touched my shoulder but I pushed him off needing my own space, I needed to re-center my world. Taking deep lungful’s I tried to think of good things. Of the girls, of Lissy, my parents, my home, the beach, surfing, the feeling of being swallowed by a wave and looking up at the sun through a haze of blue, the muffled sounds of the incredibly loud world while I moved further beneath the surface of the water.

My breaths evened out, becoming easier to suck in and release without gasps of pain. My hands were still shaking while I hugged my knees tightly to my chest, they would only stop with time. I could see a small gash on my arm where someone had scratched me with was a small buildup of blood to the surface.

I shakily stood up and wiped my eyes and my cheeks, the tears had stopped but I still sniffled. I met the boy’s eyes with defiance daring them to mock or tell me that they had seen worse but they didn’t. Liam looked sympathetic, the others shocked. Louis, Louis was carefully blank, his eyes boring into mine but his face didn’t change into a cruel smirk like I thought it would. I became aware that the fans were still standing against the gates, able to see me clearly despite security trying to cut off their view from me. Their cameras would still reach.

“I want to go home now.” I almost cried in relief at how strong my voice sounded, it didn’t waver or crack and I held on tightly to the straps of my bag, raising my chin. I could handle this, I could be this celebrity and I wasn’t going to brake.

The two bodyguards that had tried to lead me through before stepped forward, one headed straight for a black car, tinted windows, while the other led me over to the back door, careful not to touch me in any way and I smiled in appreciation, climbing into the back and exhaling loudly once I was seated.

My hands were shaking violently and my eyes burned from more unshed tears. The back door re-opened making me jump in surprise. Louis face appeared before he climbed into the car, shutting the door behind him and facing forwards.

“What are you doing?” I asked incredulous. He turned to face me with a disbelieving look like it was obvious why he was here. I waited for a response and he gestured to my hands that would not stop shaking.

“You almost had a panic attack out there, actually, I think that might have been one so I’m coming with you until I know your home safely.” His voice was hard in a way that expected I wouldn’t argue with it. I detested when people spoke like that.

“I’m not a damsel in distress and that was not a panic attack, trust me I know what one feels like.” his face turned unbearable soft and I loathed how my stomach shrunk and tears built up upon seeing it. “Just get back in the other car and go to the hotel, I’m fine and safe in here.” He only ignored me, grabbing his seatbelt and buckling up, crossing his arms and leaning back in the seat, eyeing me and my own seatbelt as the car started up.

Sighing I grabbed the buckle and pulled it harshly across my body intending to push it into it’s lock. I missed, grunting in annoyance I tried again but my hands wouldn’t stop shaking and I kept missing. Over and over and over again.

A tanned warm hand reached out and grabbed onto mine steadying my hands and pushing the buckle gently into the lock. I pulled my hands from Louis’ as soon as it clicked and focused out the window as the car drove of. Luckily we didn’t have to go through the fans any longer.

“You’re bleeding.” Louis murmured, his hand reaching for the wrist of my right arm. I glanced down at the long scratch on my arm probably from a fingernail.

“I’ll be fine.” I muttered pulling the arm closer to my body and away from Louis.

“Maybe we should get it checked out just in case.” His tone of voice was so soft, like at any moment I would lash out if he didn’t keep me calm. It wasn’t appreciated.

“I’ll be fine, I have stuff at home.” I turned to look out the window as we drove far away from the airport. The further away we got the steadier my hands grew and the only reminder of the horrible event was the numbing scratch across my arms.

“I’m sorry.” Louis broke the silence in the car and I turned to him confused. “For the fans.”

“You don’t apologise for them Louis, you never apologise for someone else, it doesn’t work like that.” I mumbled to him. “And anyway, scratches heal and there isn’t many words that they can call me that I haven’t already heard before.” I closed my eyes briefly, trying to block out Louis and the world around me. I was suddenly so tired, a bone deep tiredness that swept through me, my limbs felt like lead and my head pounded with an ugly headache. It was strange how moments ago I was almost happy about being back here, home.

The car pulled to a stop and I looked up at my house. A two story that sat right on the beach. I had bought it a year ago trying to create some semblance of normality and the thought of having an actual home seemed a likely way to do it. I had barely spent a month here the whole time but it was the closest I had to a home right now.

I moved to open the door and noticed, disbelievingly, that Louis was climbing out his side too, reaching into the back of the car and grabbing my bag. I took it from him and headed to the house, unlocking the door before dumping my bag beside the door. Louis followed me.

“I’m fine now, really, thank you for you know making sure I got here but you can go now.” I tried to be thankful but mostly I just sounded pushy, I just wanted to sleep for next twenty-four hours and if he didn’t leave soon I was going to start anyway. He looked like he wanted to say something so I waited, patiently hoping that he would say it soon. He was barely in the doorway, awkwardly standing half in the foyer like he wasn’t sure he was invited in, I wasn’t about to encourage him.

“You said,” he began slowly, “at Harry’s party that you aren’t okay. I thought you were exaggerating so I want to apologise for thinking that of you.” I looked away feeling ashamed that after my freak out back at the airport he actually saw how damaged I was.

“Is this the part that you tell me I can talk to you? Tell you anything?” I was joking but my words were more biting then I wanted them to be and a dark look took over Louis’ face, he took a step back out of the door.

“I-I can’t, I can’t be there for you and I can’t be your friend.” I turned my eyes away, not wanting to see Louis’ conviction as he spoke. “Not, not after that day.” He sounded so heartbroken and I wanted to comfort him, to communicate better.

“Lou I can, I can explain that, really, if you just-.” The look on Louis’ face was enough to make me trail off.

“Don’t, don’t give me some half assed excuse that you thought of two years later, don’t.” His eyes were hard and his jaw set, his hand clenched tightly at his sides and I slumped my shoulders in resignation. He turned to go without another word and I moved to shut the door behind him before turning around and inspecting the place around me. It was unbearably full of shades of cream, white and beige. There were no pictures, no shoes chucked messily in the corner or blankets and cushions haphazardly thrown. This place wasn’t a home, it was a depressive empty shell and I hated it more than anything.
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So I updated way sooner then normal because I was just in a major mood to write this chapter, but don't expect this all the time I unfortunately had to neglect a lot of Uni work to get this out of me! And thank God it is written :D

Enjoy lovelies!

Song Title: Vultures by Labrinth