It was almost 11am when Zoe woke up. She looked at Calum's sleeping face and knew he wouldn't wake up in the next hours. She sighed, debating on getting up or not. She got up and quickly changed into jean shorts, but kept on Calum's shirt. She walked out, trying not to wake Calum and went downstairs. She was greeted by Joy in the kitchen.
"Morning, sunshine. Calum's not awake yet?" She asked and Zoe shook her head, followed by a yawn.
"Slept well?" She asked and Zoe nodded. She was a bit grumpy in the morning and didn't talk that much. Joy made two cups of coffee. "How'd you like your coffee?" She asked then.
"Milk and sugar, please." Joy nodded happily. She was glad Zoe finally spoke to her. The woman handed Zoe her cup of steaming hot coffee and both of them sat down at the kitchen table.
"Have you heard anything from Elise yet?" She asked, sipping from her cup.
"She tried to call me 10 times yesterday, but I didn't pick up." Zoe told her after swallowing the liquid and feeling it go down her throat.
"Why not?" The woman asked.
"I was scared." It came out of Zoe's mouth in more of a whisper. She really was scared. She knew what Elise was capable of. Joy send her a comforting smile.
"I think you should try and talk to her." She suggested.
"I can't. I could never talk to her without her hitting me." Zoe explained softly. Joy pursed her lips, trying to think of something to help, but she couldn't. Zoe watched the woman and saw something of Calum in her. He always made the same face when he was thinking. She giggled softly. It was cute how they were so alike.
After talking for a couple more minutes, their cups of coffee were finished and Joy got up.
"I'm gonna go to the grocery store. Do you need anything, sweetie?" Zoe shook her head.
Joy nodded with a smile and left. Zoe sighed again and went upstairs, hoping Calum was awake yet. He wasn't. The guy was still fast asleep. He looked cute though. Zoe smiled and walked over to her bag which was lying on the floor. She took out her phone and laid down next to Calum again. She pressed a kiss onto his cheeks and checked her phone.
20 missed calls from Elise and 1 from Jenn. 5 new messages from Jenn, 4 from Yasmine and 3 from Ashton. Zoe sighed and opened the first message Jenn had sent.
From JennPenn x: "Where are you?x"
From JennPenn x: "Your parents are home, where are you?x"
From Ash: "Zo, where are you?"
From Yazziepants) : "Jenn texted me. Where are you, Zo? xx"
From JennPenn x: "Zoe please answer. I'm worried. x"
From Yazziepants) : "Zoe pls answer me? I'm worried sick. x"
From JennPenn x: "ZOE ANSWER NOW YOU LITTLE SHIT. Where the hell are you???"
From Ash: "Cal doesn't answer. Where the fuck are you??"
From JennPenn x: "Please tell me you're alright. I'm worried."
From Yazziepants) : "ZOE PLEASE ANSWER?!"
From Ash: "Zoe if you get this, please answer. We're worried sick."
From Yazziepants) : "ZOE ELLA VALENTINE PLEASE TELL ME YOU'RE ALRIGHT. I DON'T WANT TO FUCKING LOSE YOU"
Zoe groaned softly and opened a new text to send to all of them.
To Ash, JennPenn x, Yazziepants) : "Sorry guys, phone died and we were at the zoo. I'm with Calum and I'm alright. Pls don't tell Elise where I am. I'm really sorry, Love you! xxx"
She pressed the sent button and put her phone on the bedside table before turning around to look at Calum. His eyes were open and he was staring at her with a concerned smile on his face. She tried to smile, but failed. He pressed a soft kiss onto her lips before speaking up.
"Who was it?" He asked.
"Ash, Yas and Jenn. They were worried because I didn't answer and I wasn't at home." She replied. Her phone buzzed and she groaned. She wanted to turn around to take her iPhone from the table, but Calum was faster. He stretched his arm and took the mobile device. He handed it to his girlfriend with a smile before laying his head on her stomach, his arm wrapped around her waist. Zoe opened the message.
From JennPenn x: "Shit, Zoe. You scared me. Glad you're okay. Call me, please? xx"
Zoe sighed and decided to call Jenn. After only two rings, she answered.
"Zoe!" Her voice sounded tired and weak. Zoe felt guilty for that.
"Hey Jenn." Zoe said, making Calum look up from his spot on her belly.
"I'm really glad you're okay. Sorry about the spam." She said with a small giggle.
"It's okay, it took a while before I had read all of them." Zoe replied and put her hand on Calum's head. She started playing with his dark hair. It kind of calmed him down and made him fall asleep again. Zoe didn't notice though, she kept on talking.
"Cedric knows where you are. He--"
"HE WHAT?" Zoe basically screamed, waking Calum up, of course.
"Hey, wait. Let me explain." Jenn said. Calum sat up straight and leaned against the wall, pulling Zoe with him so she was resting against his chest. It was his time to calm her down. He still had sleep in his eyes and he tried to rub it out. He looked like a little toddler, rubbing his eyes like that.
"Cedric called to ask where you were and if you were with me. I told him you were probably with Calum and I told him he couldn't tell Elise. He asked why and then I said you would tell him one day. He appreciated it, said thanks and hung up." Jenn explained and Zoe hummed in response.
"I'm really glad you're okay, Zo. I was scared to death." Jenn told.
"Why?" Zoe asked.
"I was scared you'd do something to yourself. I don't wanna lose you, Zoe. You mean so much to me." Zoe felt tears forming in her eyes. She never thought Jenn would care so much about her to be scared of losing her.
"I love you, Jenn. I'm not going anywhere." Zoe told her, wiping the tears away and sitting up straight. Calum pouted and kissed her cheek. He then left to the bathroom, leaving Zoe alone to talk to Jenn alone. Zoe looked at him as he left the room. His muscled back looked so tempting. She just wanted to jump on him and kiss him. Zoe drew in a deep breath. Keep yourself together, Zoe. Don't lose it.
After the phone call with Jenn, Calum had gotten back into the bedroom. Fully clothed this time. The both of them went downstairs and had breakfast. Joy still wasn't back from grocery shopping, which meant they were all alone in the house. Calum's dad had gone to work and he wouldn't be back 'til 6pm.
They finished breakfast and cleaned everything up. They did the dishes and when that chore was done, they sat on the sofa to watch TV. It was about an hour later when the doorbell rang. Calum and Zoe looked confused, but both got up to open. Calum went frist, since it was his house. He opened the door with a smile, but that smile dropped when he didn't recognize the woman. She had blonde hair and bright blue eyes. She looked furious. Calum had a clue who it was and when he felt Zoe tense up next to him, he knew for sure who it was.
"ZOE ELLA VALENTINE. CAR. NOW." She commanded sternly, pointing at the dark grey Mustang in front of the house. Calum shook his head.
"She's not going to come with you." He said. Elise laughed.
"You can't tell her what to do. Zoe, come with me. NOW."
"You can't either. She's eighteen. She can do what she wants. You don't need to fucking command her." Calum was tensing up and his teeth were clenching.
"I adopted her. So I can."
Tears were rolling down Zoe's cheeks.
"Why do you hate me so much?" She asked, not leaving Calum side. "What did I ever do to you?" Her voice became louder and more confident. But that confidence immediately fell when she saw Elise's glare.
"Get in the car, NOW." Zoe sighed and looked at Calum.
"Calum..." She started.
"No, Zoe. You're not going. You can't."
"She can. It's not that hard. Just walk towards the car, Zoe. It really isn't that hard."
"That's not what I meant." Calum spat and turned to Zoe again. "Zoe, please. Stay here. I promised your gran I would take care of you and make sure you couldn't get hurt." He softly said. Zoe looked into his eyes and saw the sadness. She bit down her lip and went up to her tiptoes to kiss his lips.
"I'll come over to get my stuff later." She whispered in his ear before walking towards the dark grey car. Elise stayed behind to talk to Calum.
"Listen here, if you ever dare to come near her again I swear I will do something to you."
Calum had his eyes fixated on Zoe. She looked at him from her spot in the car. She had tears streaming down her face. This couldn't be happening. He couldn't do this to her. This wasn't real. Please could someone wake him up from this nightmare?
"You can't do anything to me. You didn't adopt me." He snapped, tears brimming in his eyes. "Don't you fucking dare to touch her." He said, but she just glared before leaving. Calum watched the car drive off. Zoe was looking at him until he was out of sight.
Elise pulled over in front of their house and both of them got out. They remained silent until they arrived in the living room. A small boy ran towards Zoe and hugged her legs. She looked down to the light haired boy. She looked up at Cedric, who had followed the little guy into the living room.
"Robin, say hi to Zoe properly." Cedric ordered. The little boy let go of Zoe's leg and looked up at her.
"Hello Zoe, I'm Robin." He said and extended his small hand. Zoe smiled and shook it.
"Hello Robin. Welcome to our little family." Zoe said, trying her best not to cry. She felt bad for the guy to come into their family. She didn't want the little boy to get hurt. He didn't deserve that. No one did. Not even Sophia would deserve anything like that.
Cedric and Elise went to the kitchen and Zoe and Robin sat down on the sofa. They watched Dora The Explorer together in silence until Robin spoke up.
"Why did you run away?" He asked, not taking his eyes off the TV screen.
"Because Eli- mom hasn't been the greatest mom of all time to me." Zoe told him softly, hoping she didn't hear them from the kitchen. Robin looked at her, rather confused. "Do you wanna go out for a little walk with me?" She asked and he nodded.
"Mom, I'm going for a walk with Robin. We'll be back in less than an hour." Zoe shouted. She didn't wait for an answer, she just rushed out the door with her new little brother. They walked towards Calum's house. Zoe needed to pick up her stuff anyway and she could talk to Robin in peace.
"So mom actually is a bad person and hurts you?" Robin asked after Zoe had tried to explain everything. Zoe nodded softly as they turned around the corner to Calum's street. "And she might hurt me too?" Zoe looked at her brother in pity. She stopped and bended down to get on his eye level.
"Listen, Robin. I like you. You're a cool guy and I really don't want mom to hurt you. I'll take care of you and make sure you won't get hurt." She repeated Calum's words to her little brother and he smiled, hugging her. They let go off each other and continued their walk towards Calum's house. Zoe rang the doorbell.
"Who's house is this?"
"Calum's. He's my boyfriend and--" She got interrupted by the door creaking open.
"ZOE!" Calum's voice sounded relieved and he really was. He took her into a tight embrace. "This must be Robin?" He asked and Zoe nodded. He then bended down to get on Robin's eye level.
"Hello" Robin said excitedly. Calum laughed.
"Hello big boy." Calum ruffled the guy's hair and let both of them in.
"I'm gonna get my stuff and then we're going home again." Zoe told Calum and he nodded, sadness in his eyes. Zoe ran upstairs, gathered everything, but left one of her favorite necklaces. It was one with a moon hanging from it. It kind of looked like a 'C'.
She left it on his bedisde table and went downstairs again. Calum let both of them out and they said goodbye. Calum kissed his girlfriend once more before they left.
When they arrived at home, Cedric approached them.
"We're gonna go grocery shopping!" He exclaimed and picked Robin up.
"Can I come along?" Zoe asked, not wanting to stay alone with Elise.
"No you can't. You have to help me with cleaning."
She always had some sort of an excuse. Cedric and Robin left, leaving Elise and Zoe all by themselves. Elise glared at her 'daughter', burning holes into her soul.
"What did I ever do to you?" Zoe repeated her question from earlier.
"You still dare to ask that? You came into my life out of nowhere. I didn't ask for you. I didn't want a failure to be my daughter."
"Woah, I was here first okay? I came here before Cedric even met you." Zoe stated, making Elise even more mad. She stepped closer and hit her across her face. Zoe brought her hand up to her cheek. She was used to it, but it really was a while ago.
"You can't talk to me like that." Elise almost screamed.
"I can talk to anyone the way I want to." Zoe screamed back. Elise lashed out to her again and hit the other cheek.
"I'm your mother. Treat me with respect, young lady."
"You're not my fucking mother." Zoe was being stubborn. Before Zoe could even recover from the second slap, Elise hit her again, sending Zoe towards the ground. She held her reddened cheek while Elise went into the kitchen. She took a rolling pin and a knife and walked back to where Zoe was still lying on the ground.
"I saw you started cutting again. Go ahead. Fucking slice open your wrists." Elise commanded and handed Zoe the knife, but she didn't take it. "Fucking take the knife." Zoe didn't even look at her. Elise was boiling up and lashed out with the rolling pin. It landed on her head, making her go knock out after a second hit. Elise continued hitting her in every single place. Her arms, her legs, her stomach, everything. It left bruises. Large, red bruises and they would turn purple after a while.
"ELISE. WHAT THE?" Cedric exclaimed when he walked back inside, Robin by his side. The little guy saw Zoe's phone on the coffee table. He ran over to it and picked it up. He remembered Calum's name and pressed it to call him. He left into the kitchen so no one would hear. Cedric was yelling at Elise for being a bitch and that sort.
Calum's phone rang and he picked up.
"Zoe?" He said hastily.
"It's Robin. Mom hurt Zoe. You have to come over quickly." The words had only left the boy's mouth a couple of seconds ago and Calum was already on his way. Robin had declined and Calum called Jenn.
"Jenn, please. Elise did it again. Come over to Zoe's house as fast as you can. Please." Tears were streaming down his face. He didn't stick to his promise. He whispered a 'sorry' while looking up to the bright blue sky.
"We'll be there in a minute." Jenn said and hung up. Calum started running and made it to Zoe's. He was panting. Robin stood at the front door and let Calum in. He ran into the living room and saw Zoe lying there. She didn't move.
"Have you called an ambulance yet?" Calum asked, crying. Cedric nodded, surprised at the boy's antics. Calum held his girlfriend tight. He didn't want to lose her. He couldn't lose her.
"Where's Elise?" Calum asked Cedric, who was pacing down the room.
"She's upstairs." He answered.
"Did you know?" Calum asked.
"No." Cedric replied as a tear rolled down his cheek.
Soon enough the ambulance pulled over in front of the house. It seemed like a deja-vu. Calum had seen this before. Five guys walking in with a stretcher, putting Zoe on it and walking out again. Everything went too fast.
"Take care of Robin while I ride with the ambulance." Cedric told Calum.
"I'll be at the hospital in a few." Calum told Cedric. He nodded before getting in and driving away. Ashton pulled over when the ambulance just left. Calum took Robin with him in the car and they drove off. Calum was still crying. He hated himself for not sticking to his promise. He hated that he couldn't do what Zoe's gran asked. She was probably mad at him right now and so was he. He was mad at himself. If he lost Zoe, he would lose himself.