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Skinny Love Part 53

As you leave your post at the window to retrieve the phone from Bex, every possible conversation that you could have with Austin crossed your mind. Was he okay? Was he seriously hurt? Maybe it was good news and was too excited to say. Did he find a way to pay the debt without your help? You could only hope that was what this call was going to be about.

“Hello?” You say into the receiver. 

“(Y/N)!” Austin shouted. He seemed surprised to be talking to you. 

“Austin, what’s going on?” You ask. 

“Are you okay?! Where are you? They told me you were dead!” Austin told you. 

“I’m not. I’m fine, Austin.” You assure him. You expect him to say something else, but when he remains quiet you sense there is more to the reason behind the call. “Is that all you were calling for.”

There is more silence on the other end. as the silence wore on you were beginning to understand what was going on.

“Austin?” You spoke. “What’s happened? Did they…” 

“Yeah…”

“Are you okay?” You ask even though you know first hand that he isn’t. 

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Austin says. “I deserve it.”

A month ago you would have agreed with him. You were furious with him for everything that he did, and you were sort of glad that he was suffering the consequences, but that was before you knew how bad the consequences actually were. You saw what Austin looked like when you bailed him out of jail months ago, and that was bad, but tame compared to what was happening now. 

Now you knew first hand just how violent this had gotten, and you didn’t think anyone deserved this. The pain and the fear combine was enough to turn even the strongest people into a blubbering mess. You’d never known Austin to be emotional, and this was a completely different side to him. Last night he actually begged you for help, and now he was calling your phone, freaking out that you might be dead. He may have gotten himself into this mess, and you were still pissed at him for doing it, but he most certainly did not deserve what was happening to him. 

“Can I see you?” Austin suddenly asks. 

“Uh…” You weren’t sure how to answer. 

“Please. Just for a little while? I need to see for myself that you’re okay. I just need to see you.” He mumbled. 

What could you say. You knew you should feel differently, but you couldn’t in good conscience leave him hanging again. Not after how desperate he seemed last night, and how distraught he sounded over the phone.

“Whats going on?” Bex asked confused by your silence. 

You pull the phone from your ear, and press it against your chest so Austin can’t hear your conversation. “He wants to see me.”

“And you’re considering because you have some sort of severe memory lose?” Bex asked. “He did this to you, (Y/N)”

“No he didn’t, Bex. He’s in just as much danger as I am.” You point out.

“And the difference is that he deserves it. Last I checked he was the one that got involved in illegal activity, not you.” Bex sneers. 

“What if it was me? What if I put him in danger, and we were both getting beaten up in empty parking lots? Would you still be on my side? Or would you condemn me like you have to him.?” You test. 

“Of course not! You’re my best friend!”

“Exactly! I’m your best friend and you’d do anything to help me. I have people looking out for me. Austin doesn’t have anyone like that.” You explain. “I’m not saying that I want to be best friends with him, but I think he could use a little compassion right now.”

Bex pondered what you had just told her. 

“Come on. Just for a little while.”

“It’s not safe.” Bex says. 

“You literally just said that they weren’t going to go anything to me right now.” You remind Bex. “Bex, I couldn’t handle it if he asked for my help again, and I refused, and things got even worse.” You say.

“(Y/N)?” You hear coming from the phone. 

“Uh, sorry.” You look at Bex for her final decision. You could tell she wasn’t happy about it, but she nods, giving you her approval. “Where are you? We’re coming.”

Austin insists on meeting somewhere crowded so there are plenty of people around to deter the angry poker players from attacking again. You tried to talk him out of it due to you grotesque appearance, but he wasn’t budging. 

Bex tries to help you cover up your deep purple eyes circles covering the better part of your face with makeup, but no amount of coverup and foundation could hide them. Finally you give up and put on the biggest sunglasses you could find, which just barely extend far enough down your cheeks to cover the purple.  

You meet Austin at a fairly crowded cafe, and find him sitting at a table in the corner. You sat down on the table and just looked at him. He didn’t look as bad as you did, but he didn’t look good either. His face was puffy, and only one of his eyes was swollen. He was holding his midsection, and you assumed that he had a bruise similar to the one on your torso. 

“It’s not that bad. I’ve had worse.” Austin told you. “Thank you for coming. I know you didn’t have to, but it means a lot. I was going to leave you alone, but this is getting out of control.”

"I know it is. It’s okay that you called." You say. "I understand how you feel."

"I wish you didn’t. I’d rather be alone in this than have your help. At least then it would mean that you were safe. When they told me you were dead I just had to make sure you were okay.” 

It was weird to hear the Austin was concerned about you. It almost sounded unnatural coming out of his mouth at this point. He said he wanted to see you because he was overwhelmed with it all, but now sitting down with him he seems pretty calm. 

“She’s been better.” Bex chimes in. “The glasses aren’t for shielding the sun.”

He began reaching across the table to remove your glasses from your face. 

You lean away from him, not wanting him to see that you looked even worse than him. “Don’t.”

He puts his hand back down. “I’m sorry. I wish I knew how to put an end to this faster. I’m trying really hard to get the money together. And then I swear I’ll be out of your life forever.”

“Well you don’t have to worry about the money. Harry’s going to pay the debt.” You tell him.

“Really?”Austin said. He didn’t even really look surprised. “Why is he helping me?”

“He’s not doing it for you.” Bex snaps. “(Y/N) could have died last night because of you! Yet here she is trying to make sure you are okay.”

“Bex!” You call her off. 

“I never agreed to be civil.” She said. 

“Why did you agree to come?” Austin asked. 

You tell him your reasoning, and Austin smiles at your explanation.

“You were always so selfless. I never did deserve you.”

“You got that right.” Bex sasses. 

You give her a dirty look, and turn your attention back to Austin. “Can you just lay low for a couple days? I don’t want anyone getting hurt again before they get their money.”

“Nothings going to happen.” Austin assured you. 

He seemed pretty certain about that fact, though there was no telling what he poker buddies could be planning next.

Something about this meeting was making you feel uneasy. You found it odd that Austin seemed so relaxed about the whole thing. The other night he seemed desperate for help but now he was normal, almost like he knew help would be granted. Maybe you just felt weird about helping Austin by using Harry’s money, or if you were just anxious to be out in public, potentially in the line of danger. You tried your best to brush it off.

“We should probably getting going. Harry would throw a fit if he knew I was out today after what happened last night.” You say, and begin to stand up. 

“Let me walk you to your car. Just to be safe.” Austin offers. 

“That’s really not necessary.” You tell him as you and Bex start making your way to the door.

“(Y/N),” Austin calls after you. “It’s the least I can do.”

“Fine.” You agree. “Lets go.”

The three of you walk down the street to where the car was parked. Everything was quiet, but once you turned the corner to the parking lot, you saw that it was riddled with paparazzi waiting for you. 

“Wow, what the fuck…” Austin said. “Did they follow you?”

“Just walk quickly though it.” You say. “Keep your head down.”

You all enter the madness first, walking as fast as you can through the crowd. Unfortunately  every time someone nudged you, pain shot through your body, making you slower. 

“(Y/N), who’s the guy?”

“Does Harry know you’re with him?”

You ignore everyones questions, and keep walking while everyone continues to call out for you. The crowd starts to get a little rowdy, and the light nudges turn into violent pushes. 

You’re being shoved in every direction, and begin to feel trapped. Suddenly someone pushes you just a little too hard, and you fall to the ground. The sunglasses fly off your face, and your blackened eyes are no longer covered. 

“(Y/N), what happened to your face?!”

“Where are the bruises from!?”

You sit on the ground, too scared to move. Everyone was beating down on you, screaming questions at you, and constantly flashing pictures. You try to suppress the urge to break down right there in the parking lot, but tears begin falling from your eyes. 

You feel a hand take hold of your shoulder, and gently pull you up.

“Back off!” Austin shouts.

Bex gets on the other side of you, and together, she and Austin help you into the car. 

“Are you okay?” Austin asks you once you’re all inside. 

You shake your head. 

“Okay. Bex will get you home. You’re going to be okay.” He says. He moves to exit the car so you can leave but Bex stops him. 

“You can’t go back out there. It’s madness. They’ll rip you apart. You’re coming with us.” 

Bex navigates through the paparazzi, and back to your house. When you pull into the driveway you see Harry’s car there, with Harry leaning against it waiting for you. 

“Oh, this cannot be good.” You mutter.

The fact that you left the house was one thing, that fact that you left to see Austin was even worse, and the fact that he was still with you now could possibly turn out to be catastrophic. 

You call sound out of the car. Harry looks relieved to see that you’re okay, but that fades when he sees Austin get out of the car with you. 

“What the hell is he doing here?”

XXX

"Fuck, my tea."
-me approximately an hour after every time I make tea (via madopiano)

ernbarassing:

do u think starbucks writes the wrong name on purpose bc then ppl will post a pic of it & they get more free advertising