frat boy niall horan

Frat Boy Pt. 9

part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6,  part 7 (1), part 7 (2), part 8

IT’S BEEN TOO LONG FRATTY FRIENDS! Literally - Six. Months. Or longer. Here’s the RECAP if you need to catch up on your infuriating frat boy shenanigans in a fun and easy fashion! It’s been a while, and we’re learning about Harry now… be fragile with him. As always, please tell me your thoughts after reading! It takes a moment but when I feel people are involved in this project it motivates me to continue with it. Anyways, I’ve already kept you waiting long enough…Thank you for sticking with us. ENJOY! xx

18 Morning View Drive

Coast Hills, CA

Then, exactly an hour and thirty minutes later:

7 pm.

Those were the only things Harry had texted you. Just the address.

“I don’t even know if I want to go anymore,” you whined, looking at your phone once more before tossing it on the bed. “He clearly hates me and doesn’t want me to go.”

“I thought you told me he said you could though!”

“Only because it sounded like he had to! His sister was practically forcing the words out of him.”

Renny cringed. “Sister…Yeah I’m sorry, I’m still not over it.” You groaned at the reminder and she sighed in response. “Okay listen, just be yourself! Try not to hate him.” You felt your eyebrows rise higher than hairline.

“And this is coming from a girl who loathes him more than her entire being?”

She rolled her eyes. “I just think he’s an entitled asshole, but you clearly don’t otherwise you wouldn’t be going to the dinner. Now, nude pump or suede bootie?” She held up the two shoes she was gracious enough to let you borrow and you bit the inside of your cheek. You did think he was an entitled asshole, but… you were curious. So undeniably curious and how many girls could say they went over to a family dinner at the Styles’ house? Not that that was your primary reason for going but…

“Uh, Y/N?” she prompted.

“Bootie,” you said quickly, snapping yourself out of further self-analysis.  You weren’t sure if you liked the boy, but you were definitely… interested. Renny went to the closet and came back with two dresses.

You shook your head.

“What do you mean?”

“They’re a little…fancy.” You bit your tongue, not allowing ridiculous to form. You shook your head.

“Yeah it’s a family dinner. Jeans will be fine,” you reasoned. You plucked your favorite denim from the drawers and Renny gasped as if you’d smacked her across the face. “And a t-shirt,” you added with a smirk. She gasped louder and clutched her chest.

“No no no no no. No!” She raised her finger to you, stalking to the closet again, the cocktail dresses abandoned to the floor. “If you’re wearing these booties you’re at least wearing a blouse. God, who are you?” She plucked a peachy top and a blazer from the inside of the closet, but you snatched the blazer from her hands and put it back on the hanger, opting for the cream sweater instead.

“I want to be comfortable, not looking like I’m going to a business meeting ya dingas.” She snorted at the term and you pulled her in for a hug, clinging to her for a moment. She always seemed so soft and you weren’t sure if it was the Victoria’s Secret body lotion she used or if she was just blessed with naturally smooth skin.

“Renny?” you mumbled against her chest, arms still securely wrapped around her.

“Yeah?”

Your mind raced with hundreds of questions. What were you doing? Was this absolutely stupid? How do you know if you like someone?

“Your boobs are comfy,” you finally sighed. You knew she couldn’t possibly give you explanations for any single one of those things. She wasn’t exactly a love guru, but she was entirely the best at texting and the art of flirting.

“Thanks. Niall thinks so too.” You squeezed her tighter before it registered what she’d said. “Gross,” you mumbled, letting go with a laugh.  You only let her put the bare minimum makeup on you and she was just finishing up with a coat of mascara when there was a knock on the door. She stopped.

“I thought you said he wasn’t going to pick you up.”

You shook your head. “He isn’t. I’m driving.” Renny paused, listening, as if she’d be able to hear what was going on just beyond the door. The mascara wand was set on the bathroom countertop and she crept to the door. You weren’t under any illusions that he would swing by your place beforehand so you weren’t going to bother wasting precious energy on “what-if”s, though your heart still picked up its pace in expectation. The door creaked open at the last swish of the mascara wand.

“Niall?”

Expectations you didn’t want in the first place fell when you heard her voice raise in pitch. Of course it wasn’t Harry.

“What’re you doing here?”

“Thought I’d stop by.” His satisfaction at having surprising her was evident in his smug tone and you tip-toed out, not having had a proper one-on-one with Niall since the night of the party.

“You alone?” he whispered to her.

You saw Renny shake her head before you took a step out. A bit of guilt hit you thinking about the spontaneous kiss, but it was so long ago. I mean, you were going to Harry’s house tonight and Niall just came for some one-on-one time with Renny. At this point the kiss just seemed…a bit irrelevant. Renny faced you as if to gesture “see! Not alone” and his blue eyes focused on you as if nothing had changed. But then they did.

“Oh, hey Y/N, what’re you doing here?” he shrugged and shifted his weight. Renny was oblivious to the awkward shift.

“Um, I live here?” you crossed your arms, brows furrowing a bit.

He thought it over but for a second before he shook his head, lips quirking up in their innocent schoolboyish charm. “Right. Must be tired or somethin’.”

“Or somethin’” Renny teased. Niall poked her sides and she twisted out of reach, only leaning back again to smack him playfully across the chest.

“Alright love birds, I’m headed out. I’ll see you later.”

“Bye then,” Niall said, arm already sneaking around Renny’s waist. She mouthed an “OMG” to you at his display of affection while you tried not to vom. But when the door closed shut you couldn’t help but think about how natural it seemed for his arm to wrap around her waist.

—–

“OH GEE, THANKS for putting on your BLINKER - not. ASSHOLE!” you shouted, almost wishing your window was down and that the pompous senior citizen wearing ray bans at night could hear you. Since you were a decent and intelligent human being you put on your blinker and switched lanes, trying to follow Siri. Grandpa was driving a Porsche and he cut you off only to go 5 miles per hour. Your 1990 Chevy Cavaleir was driving faster than that and he thinks he can cut you off just because he has a better- you exhaled hard through your nostrils.  No. He wasn’t worth it.  You’d left in plenty of time, 30 minutes early actually, even though it’d only take about 20 to get there.

The only problem was your phone was verifiably ancient and your navigation was the slowest thing known to man. Once you’d gotten off the freeway, you’d made three wrong turns because your navigation was being ditzy and not telling you how close 600 feet was. And now the entitled drivers of Coast Hills decided you’d be okay with them cutting! you! off! Your hands squeezed the steering wheel a little too tight.

The ocean hugged your side on the highway for another five minutes, but each glimpse you tried to steal to it was futile. It was dark, an expansive pitch-black body stretching as far as your eyes- well, couldn’t see. It left you with a chilling feeling as you turned up the winding hills to the mansions waiting at the top. They were nestled all along the drive up, though hidden by hedges and various gates, and at the very tops all you could see were their lights already glistening, making the hills twinkle with light. Perhaps tonight they could see the water better from their perch above, but a part of you doubted it. No matter which way you tried to look at it, darkness somehow refused to be penetrated.

But you bet it looked gorgeous when the sun came up.

In 200 feet, make a right on Coast Hills Drive.

“Shit,” you cursed, quickly getting in the right lane and ignoring the honk of a horn. You didn’t have time to put on your blinker and as soon as you slammed on the accelerator to turn, you were slamming on the brakes. The iron gates were intimidatingly high and the guard that hopped out of his security room didn’t look amused. A mounted sign read “Coast Homes” behind a trickling waterfall that fell against a stone wall and massive palm trees stood beside it. And then there was you.

A knock on your window practically had you jumping out of your skin.

“Are you lost?” the guard asked. It looked as if his mouth was already open to give you directions, hands raising to point you someplace else, but you shook your head.

“No, not lost.” And his mouth closed at your words, hands quickly dropping to his sides and confirming your suspicions.

“Are you here to see someone then?” he prompted.

“Harry. Uh, Harry Styles.” A slight buzz ran through you saying those words. You were here to see him. You were actually invited to the Harry’s house. Oh god, what if you saw his bedroom?

His eyes narrowed a bit at the name.

“I mean, I’m here to see his family?” you suddenly clarified. As if it were necessary. As if he wouldn’t believe that you were here to see him alone. It didn’t make it much more believable though.

“What’s your name?”

“Y/N.”

He looked to the back of your car to check the license plate and you felt a twinge of annoyance. “Pull up then.” He used two fingers to beckon you forward before quickly jogging to the security room. You stopped closer to the gate and he scrolled through the computer with a furrowed brow, clucking when he found your name. “You’re here.” But it sounded like “wish you weren’t.” The heavy mechanics of the printer and a dull screech sounded as something printed, and he plucked a sheet of paper from the machine, holding it out to you.

“This is your pass. It’ll last until tomorrow in case you spend the night so don’t worry about tickets or anything like that as long as this is properly displayed on your dash.” He tapped your windshield as if you weren’t aware where your dash was located and you smiled.

“Thank you, it’ll only be for a few hours- tops.”

He nodded and then, as if you were old friends and he was admitting you into a secret club of his, said quietly, “Their visitors don’t usually last too long.” He straightened up instantly, his moment of gossiping weakness vanished with his once-again professional posture. He gave you a nod. “Have a good night!” The gate opened and you called out a quick thank you before entering the most brilliant display of wealth you’d ever seen.

Lawns were perfectly manicured as you passed, some opting for Mediterranean fashions and others expansive Spanish villas with imported tropical plants. Most cars you assumed were inside of the mansions in their garages, but the ones that weren’t inside weren’t any less impressive. “Ferrari, Porsche, oh! Tesla,” you muttered. It was like all the fancy cars you’d ever seen in passing on the highway had the same destination. Here. You stopped counting how many you saw on your hand when you got to 14. And the houses… they were the largest you’d ever seen. They were more like hotels than mere houses.

You’d seen glimpses from below, and recalled the many times you’d stare up at them dreamily on late night cruises to get back home from work, the lights beautifully transforming the hilltops and making you feel like it was an early Christmas. From below you seemed to forget how massive they would be in person.  How they hinted at lives being lived just out of reach. Staring at them up close now, you somehow felt they were even more so.

Make a right on Morning View Drive, then, in 500 feet, your destination is on your right.

You swallowed hard despite yourself as you turned right, suddenly thinking that Renny’s idea of a dress wasn’t that ridiculous of an outfit. But it was too late now, especially when you drove down a street just as manicured as the rest, but somehow seemed wider. The streets alone…They were about twice- no, three times the size of your own in width. And the houses were separated far from each other, far enough that one property easily took up the space of four large houses. You tried to zero in on the numbers along the houses – only to realize they were hidden. By gates. More gates? What were they hiding in there, the Crown jewels?

Your destination is on your right.

Your body jolted forward as your twitchy legs hit the brakes too hard and your car started drifting forward again as your foot relaxed.

Another jolt to stop before you ran into the mailbox.

You couldn’t see a number, but you didn’t think you had too. Forget the other houses - this was the largest home you’d ever seen, fitting for how well known the Styles family was. It was a Spanish Mediterranean style mansion with golden lanterns adorning windows and balconies…and this was just what you could see from what was rising above the iron gate surrounding the property. It sat prominently in the middle of the street, both intimidating and more striking than any of its neighbors, and the largest too – your gaze ran all the way down the gate; it took up the rest of the street until the end of the hill where it’d drop off into a deep valley and eventually run straight into the ocean. You’d seen that view from the highway a thousand times, but it was different to be on the other side of it now. You knew the Styles were rich, but you didn’t think they owned an entire coastal hilltop.  

You awkwardly repositioned the car and drove up to the callbox, but paused, looking to your purse hesitantly. Should you just call Harry on his cell? You rolled your eyes and leant out to press the little call button and the buzz that instantly droned in the air made your hand recoil in a snap and left your mouth suddenly very dry. This was real. This was happening.

Awesome.

You swallowed hard, trying to convince yourself you shouldn’t peel out of his driveway and drive straight back home to Renny and your ducky pajama shorts.

The droning stopped, and a long high-pitched beeeeeep sounded, which triggered the gates. There was muffling on the other end of the line as the iron gates started peeling back, and you could’ve sworn you heard a voice say, “Is that her?” Your hands were mildly shaking as they reached to put the car back in drive, from fear? Excitement? Admittedly, a bit of both.

You drove up the cobblestone drive through a yard lush with tropical plants that had to have been imported, but your gaze was quickly stolen by the resort-like property you’d be entering at any moment. Columns stood tall and the encased chandelier emitted a warm glow where the intricate glass doorway stood. The click of your booties walking along the cobblestone seemed loud as you walked to the front and tentatively raised a hand to the door. You knocked softly for fear the intricate glass would break, though it did seem expensive and thick enough…

You looked back to the only car in the driveway – yours. Their cars were probably hidden and well-kept from the elements in one of the three garages you’d parked in front of. The dent you’d received from last year’s fender-bender was still obvious even in this dim lighting. The crickets seemed peaceful tonight.

“Welcome!”

You turned sharply at the high-pitched voice to see Gemma. She held a full champagne flute in her hand, and leant a bit on the dark wood rim of the door, looking every bit as beautiful as you’d remembered – more so, now that you saw the cocktail dress she was wearing.

“Hi!” you mirrored her enthusiasm.  She ushered you in, not noticing it was a mere mask for how totally unprepared you felt. “Was I, uh, was this like a formal occasion?” you whispered, eyes darting down the long hall. The blank stare she gave you made your anxiety about being the most awkward human bean rise to new levels.

“What, formal?” Gemma looked baffled for a moment. “Oh! No, not at all. All my other clothes are dirty and I’ve been refusing for Sven or Eli to do them.” She took in your lost eyes. “The house maids- or, housemen? Not sure which,” she clarified. Her eyes quickly darted over your cardigan and jeans. “You look wonderful by the way. Dinner’s only just begun, I promise.” You smiled warmly at her, suddenly becoming aware of the chatter and silverware scraping the plates. A grand piano sat in the entrance, and there was a surprising amount of marble for the Spanish exterior of the house. Chandeliers lined the tall ceilings all the way down and some orchestra music you weren’t sophisticated enough to name filled the air.

She started walking down the hall, and you trailed behind her, your heart rate accelerating from the anticipation of seeing Harry in his home. It sounds weird, but you’d never been able to picture him at a proper house, with a family, with a childhood really… just the fraternity.

“Y/N is here!” She called out just as she turned the corner. Seven pairs of eyes locked on you and you instantly tugged on your sleeves. Especially when you only recognized two. Harry sat beside the head of the table, his eyes locked on the plate of food, and a surprise. Sorority Viv was beside him. You wanted to scowl, but you tugged the sleeves of your sweater down instead.

“Hi,” you put up a hand and braced a smile.

“Well we didn’t think you were coming,” a woman said. Her blonde bob looked strangely familiar and Harry’s eyes snapped to her when she spoke. Even from here you saw them harden.

“Oh..uh,” you looked down at your watch. 6:55. “I’m sorry, I thought dinner started at 7.”

“You’re fine dear,” the man at the head of the table assured. Mr. Styles you assumed. He had kind features and softened wrinkles by his eyes when he smiled like now. He was like a George Clooney and, even though he had gray hair, he was tan and somehow it was fashionable. But something was off.

“It was meant to be 6,” she noted, and her pearl necklace jostled as she leant over and placed her empty glass of champagne on the table and beckoned you to the seat in front of Harry. “Well come in! Please,” her voice sounded sincere but the thin smile radiated about as much warmth as a frozen potato. Gemma squeezed your shoulder as she passed and sat at the next empty one a few chairs down. You pulled yours out next to a fair-skinned boy with light dull brown hair and he offered his hand. It was like porcelain, so it was a little unnerving when you grasped it and found he was actually warm.   

“Charlie,” he said, and you realized he was the boy you saw kissing Gemma.

“Y/N,” you smiled. You looked across to Viv and did the same, and she returned it, if a little unwilling. She looked to Harry again, who’d busied himself more with food.

“Hey,” you said, but it was into the void, his eyes elsewhere probably looking at the thousand dollars worth of décor – your embarrassment was swallowing you up until Viv nudged him. He looked up, eyes distant, and they locked on your own for only a second.

“Hi.”

It was mortifying.

“So-” Charlie cleared his throat- “You guys are mates then I reckon?”

“We’re not sure what they are,” Gemma piped in.

“What do you mean?” Viv asked, looking to Harry.

“Yes, what do you mean?” Mrs. Styles suddenly halted the conversation at the other head of the table with the couple beside her. Harry’s face morphed into a scowl.                               

“Gemma,” he warned.

“Mary, please,” Mr. Styles sighed.

“Harry,” Gemma and Mary spoke at the same time.

“So!” Charlie let out a nervous laugh. “The chicken’s really good isn’t it?” He forked another bite into his mouth and you were envious you couldn’t do the same. Just like that, a gloved hand reached down and gingerly set down a china plate with the juiciest piece of chicken and capers you think you’d ever get the privilege of eating.

“Thank you,” you looked back to the kitchen help before he could disappear, black and white uniform and all. “You have a lovely home Mr. Styles. And Mrs. Styles.”

“Oh honey my mother-in-law is Mrs. Styles. I’m Mary, and he is Lionel.” Her voice was bubbly like the champagne she twirled around, but so was her friendly tone – full of air.

“Oh, okay.” You busied yourself with picking up the silverware before stealing a glance to Harry. His demeanor was different than usual, eyes glued to his food, cheek sucked in as he lightly gnawed on it. He was still, but .. sad? No.

…despondent?

“Did practice tire you out?”

His eyelashes fluttered at the sound of your voice and he looked up, lips pursing just the slightest. It was a miracle he hadn’t ignored you.

“No…”- a brief lift of his shoulders, a shake of the head, then- “No,” he repeated, forking a piece of chicken into his mouth.

“Yeah, you have been awfully quiet-OW,” Charlie began coughing and Gemma threw him a glare.

“Harry’s never quiet.”

“And how would you know that?” Harry suddenly snapped to life and the room dropped by ten degrees. She raised the napkin neatly to her mouth before slowly tucking it below her.

She took a deep composed breath.

“Oh please Harry,” her oddly placed laugh made you tug your sweater tighter to your body. “I’ve lived with you long enough don’t you think?”

“Long enough? Yeah I completely agree.” A sarcastic half grin spread across his face and something tugged within you that made you want to kiss it away. You heard yourself thinking and it made you sick. Kiss? KISS??!

You stuffed another bite in your mouth.

“So Y/N what’s the story here?”

You look up, cheeks full. Mr. Styles – Lionel, laughed a bit at the sight and his laugh didn’t make you want to cringe into your sweater like his wife’s. “Sorry darling, I’ll let you finish.”

You swallowed a little too fast.

“What are you studying here? How do you know Harry?”

“I’m majoring in Biology, but we’re in English class together.”

“Biology! I’ll drink to that,” Lionel lit up and raised his flute.

“Lionel’s the best doctor in Southern California.” Mary crossed her heart, and Lionel shook his head lightly.

“She exaggerates.” Her eyes narrowed slightly at his comment, but he continued, “If you ever need an internship or if you want to come visit one day…feel free.” He slipped a hand into his pocket and pulled out an extremely thick, extremely white business card as if it was the most normal thing in the world. “So… just class?” He gestured between you and Harry once more.

“Well, he’s also quite a good soccer player so I’m pretty sure the whole school knows him.”

“I wouldn’t say the whole school,” Harry started, but his eyes were fixed on Lionel and the way he broke into an easy smile.

“So we’ve heard. We’ve seen him play once or twice, haven’t we?” He looked to Mary who nodded. She soundlessly raised the napkin to her mouth again but she didn’t speak. “Yeah, he’s quite good.”

“Really good,” Viv crooned.

“Could you pass the water please?” Gemma asked.

“What?” Mary arched a thin brow.

“The water,” Gemma repeated.

“Water,” Lioinel mimicked the accent and broke into a smile. “You can’t ever leave Gemma, it’s decided. I’d miss your voice too much.”

Something snapped in you. He lifted the heavy vase of water effortlessly and passed it on to her, oblivious of the gears turning in your head. The accent.

Mr. Styles didn’t have one.

And neither did Mary?

“You don’t have accents?” It was out before you could stop it and the table fell silent. It was one of those awful moments when everyone’s brows were squished and slow side glances were given. And a nauseating feeling spread through you when you realized you might have said a very wrong thing. Viv nervously looked to Harry.

“What do you mean?” Mary asked.

Harry cleared his throat. “I mean, technically we all have accents.”

“He’s right,” Gemma said, pointing her fork.

“But you’re…are you British?”

“I am!” Charlie said.

“Yes you idiot,” Gemma nudged him, and Lionel laughed a bit before shaking his head.

“No darling, we’re from here. Born and bred beach bums.” He threw up the shaka sign in true dad-fashion but Mary tipped her champagne flute back.

Harry snorted.

“Never say that again.”

“Why am I embarrassing you?”

Harry didn’t bat an eye.

“Oh come on…Charlie smiled.” Lionel innocently looked over for support, but Charlie’s gaze was locked deep on his chicken by then.  

“You’re lying,” Harry shrugged. “You never go to the beach. Can’t be a host that lies to its guest can we?” Harry turned to you and you froze. “You don’t like liars do you? Cause I don’t.”

“What has gotten into you?” Lionel’s voice was breathless, incredulous.

The table fell silent and the two looked at each other from opposite ends of the table. Lionel set his glass down and a tint of disbelief reflected in his eyes.

“I’ve never seen you there it’s just funny to hear you say it,” Harry continued calmly.

“What’re you talking about I took you sailing all the time.”

“I’ve seen pictures!” Viv said, “Oh you were so cute in your little outfits, don’t you remember?” But her voice sounded overenthusiastic, keen to change the subject.

“Sure and how old was I again Vivvy?”

His retort was instant, the question harmless enough, but it was the way he said it that made Viv’s face instantly fall. For a moment, you even felt bad for her she seemed so genuinely hurt. Mary rubbed her mouth with the napkin so hard you weren’t sure if the red on her lips was blood or makeup. Do you speak? Make a mad dash for the door? Sorry, I didn’t sign up to be on an episode of the Housewives - gotta blast! Then you could throw the thumbs up sign to Harry on your way.

No. You couldn’t. You didn’t even dare to breathe right now.

Gemma watched wordlessly, just as much at a loss as you. More so, it seemed, for her mouth open and closed multiple times, but each time it was a hopeless attempt. Lionel rose his brows, took a deep breath, and leaned back. He looked tired.

Harry’s eyes had barely flitted over to yours before retreating again and in that brief moment you looked at him, it’s as if he realized what he’d said. His cheeks flushed, but his jaw was locked.

Okayy, someone woke up on the wrong side of his small fraternity bed this morning. But you’re welcome to come back and live with us. Have your nice king sized bed again…” It sounded like a nice offer but if you listened hard enough you could’ve sworn you detected something sharp.

“Oh funny joke Lionel,” Mary laughed humorlessly, slowly turning to you. “Harry’s always been independent.”

I wanted Gemma to reach out, to whisper a concerned Harry as a warning, because right now his eyes were dark, brewing a storm of blood rain from invisible scars he’d cut open himself. How deep did they run?

“Yes, funny, funny, that’s what we are,” Lionel said, but there was no smile on his face, he was rubbing the corners of his mouth with the napkin and setting it down on his clean plate. “Sorry about this.”

As if Harry wasn’t in the room. As if you didn’t feel as though you were in the most awkward position you could’ve been placed in, plopped in the middle of a tug of war you didn’t really remember signing up for. Were you supposed to be on a side?  

“Dinners aren’t usually like this, I don’t know why he’s-”

“I don’t know why we’re having this dinner. Are you done?” Harry asked Viv. Her plate was still full of vegetables and at least half the chicken.

“Actually-”

“Great! Are you done?” He turned to you in all his over-animation, and in his dark green eyes you felt a sudden sympathy. It wasn’t right what he was doing, but he could only be acting out for a reason. Or multiple.

Or perhaps he was a just a selfish petulant boy.

Whatever the reason there was a wild plead in his gaze and you didn’t want to disappoint.

But you were also very much aware of Lionel waiting for your answer.

“If everyone’s done, then I’m done too.” And in fact, your appetite had disappeared.

Gemma seemed close to tears, but she blinked them away and tossed her napkin. “Yes, I’m actually quite tired.”

Charlie halted his fork mid bite and with one look from Gemma he reluctantly put it down.

“Stuffed full actually,” he mumbled.

“Great, well, I’ll grab dessert.”

Mary rose with her napkin but the scrape of Harry’s chair against the wood floors made her do a sharp turn.

“Where are you going?”

He didn’t answer as he headed to the marble staircase, footsteps loud as he jogged up them.

“Let him go,” Lionel sighed, and with it, he shrunk smaller in his chair.

“Harry!” she screeched. But he didn’t answer and with a turn at the top of the stairwell he was gone.

Everyone dispersed after that. Lionel received a conveniently-timed phone call to which he had to dismiss himself into one of the many rooms. Mary headed immediately into the kitchen but she never came back -

And then there were four.

“I’m-” Gemma bit her cheek, folded her hands. “Nevermind.”

“I think I should get back.”

Gemma looked at you understandingly, a sad sort of reluctant smile gracing her face. “Perhaps that’d be best. It was really nice meeting you though, and as much as Harry doesn’t seem to get on with loads of people, he mentioned you multiple times. I thought-” Her eyes got misty again and they glazed over the multiple paintings hanging over the dining table. “Nevermind what I thought,” she looked down to her feet but for a moment before that, her warm eyes had smiled at yours. You didn’t know her, not at all, yet somehow you could tell the warmth behind them was genuine. And you liked her instantly.

“Alright, I’ll just – I’ll head out then. Thank you so much for the dinner, it really was delicious.”

“Thanks for coming,” Charlie offered, swinging his arm around Gemma.

“Guess I’ll see you at school.” Viv appeared beside them and the unexpected head of jealousy showed its face again. Well, not its whole face. Just the tip of its nose as it peered behind the pillars of your heart, because would you really want to spend more time in there?

You were shocked when that tiny part of you said yes.

You were only halfway to your car when you heard Viv shout out.

“Wait!” You obeyed, feet halting as her fast jogging in heels made record time. She let out a breath. “Back there, what you said about the accents, it’s not like it’s a big secret, but um.” Her eyebrows slightly knitted together. “I’m not sure why I’m telling you this, I guess just so you don’t make it a big deal.”

“Yeah. Wait- why, did I make it a big deal? I really didn’t mean to.”

She shook her head, then stopped. Her head leaned slightly to the side and her eyes pinched as she pondered your questioned. “Maybe a little.”

She put her arm around you and steered you to your car.

“Harry’s adopted, it’s not bad that I’m telling you this because they don’t try and keep it hidden or anything it’s just – they don’t advertise it. And most people don’t ask. They just assume long-term boarding school or something. They don’t look into it.”

“Oh. Right.”

Adopted. Of freaking course.

“It was when he was young, seven or something. Uh-” She stopped, perhaps she’d said a bit too much. “But anyway it’s not that big of a deal.” But it sounded like she was trying to convince herself. She looked to you.

“Yeah,” you agreed, “Totally fine. I mean I’m sure his other friends know anyways.”

She smiled then, and stuck you at arms length. “See you later.”

After revving the engine, and drawing up to the gate, you sat there for what must have been a solid twenty seconds, throwing the engine in reverse and then approaching it again. It didn’t move. Shouldn’t this thing be automatic from the inside? You threw it in park and trudged to the front door again, but no one was moving inside the house. You tried knocking. Everyone was gone. Fantastic.

A miracle, one of the garage doors started to open and you walked closer.

“Oh good, I was about to be stuck!” you called out as the doors clicked back, expecting Gemma to return your smile from the other side. But it was dark and no one was there. You did see the shadow of three other cars though. Three very nice racecar material cars.

“Hello?” You called out. You swallowed harshly when you saw two brown booties.

“What’s going on?”

You felt like you should be the one asking him that, but you just shrugged your shoulders. “The gate won’t open.”

Harry stood expressionless before retreating to the back of the garage.

“Wait- where are you-”

The sound of the gate opening shut you up. “Oh, thanks,” you mumbled. You didn’t really know what else to say, and Harry wasn’t exactly making conversation, so you were silent as the clank of your door closed you in again. Back to reality. This night had been a disaster.

The spluttering of your engine lasted longer than usual and you stilled.

Come on grandpa!!!!

You twisted the key again but it was refusing to give you the satisfying thrum when it finally gave. You were so close!! It couldn’t give out now!!!! It could literally break down, say, in a total hypothetical situation that did NOT happen, when I’m trying to avoid human contact after being pantsed in front of hottie toddie physics professor but it CAN’T give out now.

You tried again but it failed.

And you tried again.

And again.

And again.

Harry’s figure approached the car window with a beer in hand and he took a deep swig of it before knocking on the window. You barely heard it above the spluttering but you gave grandpa a moment of silence.

You rested your head on the steering wheel before bouncing up again and rolling down the window.

“What Harry,” you sighed.  

“She’s dead.”

“I know.”

You got out and waited, crossing your arms while Harry ran into the garage to check if he had any jumper cables or whatever else he’d need to fix this. At least it wasn’t smoking.

“We don’t have any.” He sauntered over, scratching the back of his neck and looking at the car. “Can stay here if you want.”

“I can call an Uber.” You hit your phone’s lock switch but it was a black screen. DAMN you Renny for hogging the charger before you’d left. DAMN YOU. “Can’t. Can’t call an Uber. Could you call one for me?”

“Are you trying to use me for my money?”

“I- no.” Your mouth parted but it closed again. Was he for real? Was he….kidding? “I can pay you back you know.”

“Lionel won’t hear of it. He doesn’t trust Uber.”

“Doesn’t trust Uber. What is he? A binge-watcher of late night crime shows?”

“No.” An almost smile shone through and you crossed your arms.

“Well I can’t just block the gate.”

“No one’s going anywhere for tonight.” He headed for the garage again. “Come on,” he called back.

“Renny will be worried about me!”

“You can call from our landline.”

People still had those?

“Sh they can hear you these walls aren’t 12 inches thick!!” you whisper-yelled into the receiver. You gave Harry an awkward smile and twirled the cord around the vintage phone. “Mary picked it up at a Parisian market or something. It’s mainly for decoration but they got it hooked up just in case,” he’d said, only walking to the end of the hall to give you some “privacy.”

It was literally from the 1920s. You felt like a vaudevillian actress about to break into song about how she wants to live a normal life but mommy and daddy keep her locked in a tower.

“I DON’T CARE IF THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD HEARS ME YOU ARE BETRAYING YOURSELF IF YOU SPEND THE NIGHT THERE.”

“Renny- ! Oh my- ! Could you just- could you just LISTEN?”

“Let me call you an Uber.”

“Lionel already knows and they’re-” you looked over at Harry who seemed to be distracted by a painting he’s probably seen a thousand times before and you lowered your voice- “Apparently one of the maids is already making my bed.”

“ARE YOU ROYALTY NOW?! Are they going to give you complimentary chocolates in the morning?! Are you going to be giving him complimentary HEAD-?!!!”

“RENNY!”

Harry’s head whipped towards yours, but his lips were still set in his pout. You grimaced, putting your back to him and facing the end of the hallway.

“Now you have me thinking about the wizard’s wand. I literally hate you,” you grumbled.

“You know I’m joking. Well, half-joking. You can stay there if you want it’s just-” she sighed- “What is this, are you guys like dating now? Because the last I heard you were literally running away from him and wanting to punch his face in.”

“He does give off that effect. And no! We’re not-” your voice lowered more- “We’re not dating. My car’s just broken down.

“You keep lying to yourself.”

“I’m not lying to anybody.”

“Keep telling yourself that kid. Because the last time I was with you was when you were literally RUNNING away from him. But you’re going to spend the night at his house. Voluntarily. I mean geeze you’re giving the poor guy a headache you can at least suck his dick.”

She’d hung up before the words even processed.

—-

“This is the living wing, I dunno why they call it that it just makes it sounds depressing.”

“What do they mean by living?” you asked. Each word sounded heavy on your tongue, each sentence carefully constructed. It was weird to be talking with him when he clearly wasn’t in the best frame of mind. When you didn’t know if he’d snap and turn sour all of a sudden.

Though you didn’t think that’d happen. He seemed more sullen to you now more than anything, apologetic maybe, if a word like that could describe him. Think: a toddler after being scolded for something he’s done wrong. Eh? That image seemed to work.

“It’s where my dad keeps his…creatures. Birds, fish, I don’t know I never fucking go in. It’s also where their bedrooms are.” He poked his head around the hallway before muttering, “I guess.”  

“Oh okay.”

Your feet stopped following him when you met a tall window. Their backyard was….spectacular. It was dark and the twinkle lights only exposed so much, but there was a very nice long pool, tile patio with sunbathing chairs, and more green beyond it. The all black on the horizon you assumed to be the ocean.

You didn’t realize Harry was behind you until he muttered, “What’re you thinking about?”

“You know I could ask you the same question. Like at least half the time I’m around you.”

His brows squeezed together a bit but a bit of a smirk was starting to form. “I’m not sure I know what you mean.”

“Oh you do. You definitely do,” you started to laugh and back into the window to scrutinize him from afar. Because right now he had a very odd look in his eye. “You’re quiet most of the time,” you said softer. After dinner, you weren’t quite sure what was going on in Harry’s family life. But the longer the adopted word kept being tossed around in your brain and analyzed every which way, you wondered how many different dynamics existed that added or subtracted to their relationship. Take Gemma. How did she fit in? She had the accent too.

So, if you could make him smile by backing up and eyeing him like he was some sort of specimen than so be it. As much as you would’ve killed to see him unhappy a couple days ago, you’d realized you’d been a bit rash to run into conclusions. And yes, you had managed to make yourself look like an utter mentally unstable ass and a half. So you could cut him some slack. The night hadn’t been a nightmare for just one of you.

“Stop it,” he warned. But you started to circle him and you squinted one eye, putting two hands up to frame Harry’s face and the window with the warmly-lit grounds like a director choosing the shot. “Okay seriously. Stop.”

“Nope,” you popped the p, “It’s funny. I couldn’t picture you in a place like this before, but now I can.” You slowly put your hands down and you thought you heard him mumble weird.

“Oi. Did you just call me weird?” your mouth opened in playful surprise. His nose scrunched up at your over exaggerations. He was confused, you could tell. And he was probably being just as cautious as you were, you realized. You didn’t blame him. But he was so close to smiling. Soooo clooosseee-

“S’just weird,” he settled with. And his would-be smile dropped. A little bit of guilt struck you.

“What is?” you began slowly.

“It’s weird that you’re here.” He shrugged. “I don’t know.”

Ouch.

“Why?”  

“Because I can’t picture you here.”

His voice seemed shy. He nodded towards the other end of the hall. “Come on, I’ll show you where you’re sleeping.” And he didn’t give you much time to catch up, nor time to feel offended, as his long legs were once again a disadvantage to you.

You weren’t sure how many bedrooms you’d been passing, and to be completely honest, Harry’s explanations of what each room was went a bit beyond you.

“Theatre’s to your right, sun room’s to the left. That’s the library over in there, elevator’s around the bend. Annnnd… here it is.”

He forgot to mention the multiple living rooms you’d been passing which had killer ocean views, or the full-on mini bars. Yes. Bars. As in numerous. You didn’t see much alcohol in them though and you wondered if it had anything to do with Harry.

“I’ll be at the other end then.”

“Of the house?”

“The hall, just there.” He pointed, and looked back at you with a funny look about him. “No sneaking into my bedroom.”

You coughed. “I’m sorry, was that a joke? A poor one but…Are you making jokes now?”

His smile faltered, but it was finally there. No matter how small or pained it looked. His eyes looked to his boots for a second before settling on your elbow, then your shoulder. Then your chin. Or was it-

“Right. Well. I’ll give you something to wear, just- stay there. Or don’t. I don’t care.” Harry turned quickly and disappeared into the last room at the hall. Your eyes grazed the hallway walls. He may not look necessarily enthused that you were there, but in this whole situation you’d felt like an outsider. And you suspected that was exactly what he needed.

Not that you held any pretenses to know what that confusing boy needed.

Not at all.

Or rather, none at all.

None were there to gather dust, to give you a glimpse into what he looked like as a toddler through to the awkward teen years. No family portraits hung. Each wall’s empty space was filled with a landscape painting of the sea, or the cliffs facing the water. Except for the power portrait of the Styles in the center of the home that looked out over their grounds - it was stark of any traces of family existence. The messy bits anyway. And instantly you compared it to your old stained carpets and walls with so many nails in it if you removed all the pictures and unscrewed the nails, you’d be left with hardly a house at all. This felt like someone had come in, staged it for a potential buyer, and that was it. Like if you opened the dresser’s drawer you wouldn’t find anything in it except for another nail or the assembly instruction manual.

You hummed to yourself, peering into your bedroom. A nice queen-sized bed and bamboo flooring. White canopy drapes covering what you assumed to be a window.  The only thing that seemed off was the ceiling. It had stars painted on it. You walked to the center of the room and looked up- there was a name there, inscribed in the center of the biggest star. You sat on the edge of the bed, twiddling your thumbs before wandering over to the ensuite bathroom. It was no less impressive.

A big part of you was wishing to be with Renny right now. Gosh you would’ve paid anything to see her face if she could only see the outside of this house. You never fared well when there was quiet, a lot of it anyway. And in a house this big, it was quiet. A little too quiet. And cold. Was the AC set to 50 or something?

Warm water ran down your face and you briskly turned the faucet off. At least Renny would be able to say “I told you so” tomorrow. Well, not about the blowjob thing. You opened the medicine cabinet to find some toothpaste, or face soap. The last thing you needed was another zit to pop through.

But there wasn’t anything of the sort. No no no.

Pills filled the cabinets. Some with labels, some without. You closed the cabinet. Definitely not toothpaste. Definitely not your business. But who were they-

“Oh my gosh!” your heart flew to your chest.

Mary was sitting on the edge of your bed, silent, hands folded in her lap. Had she seen you? The sudden adrenaline found an escape in an awkward laugh. “You scared me.”

“Oh I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to do that.” She tucked a strand behind her ear and it wasn’t until your hip hit the door frame on the way out of the bathroom that you realized she hadn’t been looking at you this entire time. She would’ve judged you for that blunder. No, her eyes were fixed on the walls, then the ceiling.

Did she need help with something? Were you in the wrong room?

“Is this my room?”

“It’s my youngest’s room.” She looked up again, and her left hand seemed to be a little shaky as she soothed already straight hair behind her ear. You watched her closer and saw her body sway a bit to steady herself when her head lowered. You instinctually looked to the door, to an exit. Harry should be down there. Nerves suddenly held your body like they always do in a situation that’s unfamiliar, in the face of unpredictability.

“She liked astronomy!” She said suddenly, as if she’d just had an epiphany. She walked over to the canopy drapes and peered between them, revealing a balcony as she looked out. “I thought she’d like it. She likes the stars.”

“I bet they’re, uh-” your eyes shot out again- “Beautiful from here.”

She was quiet and she slowly turned to you, pointing to the ceiling. “There. Did you- didyouseeit? There.” She stumbled closer, still in heels, and you crossed your arms tightly, nodding even though you had no idea. You followed her hand briefly. It was the scribble on the wall.

“I picked it,” she said, finger sliding to fall at her heart. “I picked it.”  

“Jesus! Mary.” Harry stormed in, a horrified look on his face as he clutched clothes in his hands. They fell to the floor.

“And Joseph,” you muttered.

Harry’s eyes held no humor in them in the brief moment he glanced to you. It was hardly enough time to properly glare. But glare he did. And there was enough fiery gusto in them to realize that now was not the time.

“Jane,” she corrected. “Jane.”

Harry was struck still, and you watched as his eyes frantically observed. But when she was about to sit down again he spoke,

“What’re you doing in here? Y/N is going to try and sleep.”

Mary looked at him, her drunken emotional journey to the past turning sour. Her lips pressed in a hard line and she stood up, swaying a bit when she did so, but the level of composure she emanated was impressive.  She went over to him, passing you silently, and for an irrational second you thought she was going to jump you. Instead, she grabbed Harry’s arm when she was almost out the door. “There were two rooms Harry.” She tried to whisper it, but the alcohol had warped her perception and you heard everything.

She let her hand fall and Harry’s fist clenched as it did.

You were struck dumb, again. This wasn’t your domain, you weren’t close enough to comfort him if that was what he needed and you weren’t brave enough to interject if he needed a good slap in the face. You barely knew him. And the realization of that sunk deeper than you’d ever realized. You can get frustrated because of him, infuriated at him even, but you couldn’t be one to judge. Not when he seemed more miserable here than anywhere else.

“Stay here,” he finally said. And then he was gone, leaving you with a pile of clothes that couldn’t explain the half of it.

You stripped quietly once the door was closed, pulling the oversized plaid button up down that fell to completely cover your hands. It still left you cold, barely covering your bum, but your heart warmed a little at how he didn’t just give you a black t-shirt. You almost stepped over the sweatpants that were there before greedily snatching them up with a smile In your fanciful mind you imagined he knew you’d be cold in here.

Harry never came back. You couldn’t text Renny, or anyone, and you couldn’t be bothered with figuring out how to turn on the tv or to find a channel. So you lay there, looking at the ceiling. You didn’t belong in this room. Mary, even if she hadn’t necessarily said get out, still verifiably creeped you out enough so that you didn’t want to be in this room. You never knew Harry had another sibling. Not that you’d even known about Gemma until yesterday. How many other people knew him, truly? Why were you here now? What would you do if you opened your eyes and Mary was just sitting at the end of your bed again - watching you sleep?  It made your head dizzy and you closed your eyes. If she was there at least you wouldn’t be able to see her. But the scribble in the sky was still burned in your mind’s eye and it had your imagination roaring. You rolled over on your side, pulling up the thin sheet to cover your ear. The wind smacked a palm tree leaf against the balcony window and you jolted in place. You felt haunted, and it wasn’t like the sheet would protect you from anything except for soothing the little toddler in you who still believed that good always won, evil always lost.

This was an expensive home.

With probably more security than the local bank.

You were safe.

But you didn’t feel secure.

Your anxious thoughts continued like pins pricking your stomach until fatigue made it stop. You didn’t know the time when you fell asleep.

And you didn’t know the time when you awoke. The smacking of the palm trees was as bad as ever , and your nightmare had been worse tonight. The same sick one. A house in the countryside, peeling wallpaper that threatened to wrap itself over your hands if you leant against it a little too long, trapping you there when you needed to run from faceless creatures.

You were being watched.

You jolted-to in a cold sweat.

Was it 2 am? 3? You hoped it was closer to 6, to the sunrise. These days you cherished the times when you’d wake up at 4. You tried closing your eyes again, but the sweat soon chilled you enough to where the sheet wasn’t enough. You silently stood, walking over to the cabinets on the far side of the wall. The painted shutter doors squeaked when you opened them. It must’ve not been opened for a while because the paint caused the two doors to stick together and it only gave on the third tug.

What you saw stilled your heart. Because you didn’t find linens or a big fluffy blanket, and if you’d discovered this just a few hours later in the morning you’d probably glance right over it, perhaps it would’ve sparked a moment of confusion maybe. But now, in a big strange house in the middle of the night you surely felt a chill. And then you were booking it out to the hall.

His door was there. Just like any other door. But you paced around it a few times. He was probably sleeping. Should you just go to the downstairs? Just…I don’t know… grab a glass of water? Try putting on the tv? Like a normal person would? You raised your hand, but it fell just as fast. Gosh who were you?!

You couldn’t yell at Harry for being bipolar when you were basically the perfect spokesmodel. You knew why you were standing outside his door. You knew who’d make you feel secure. This was embarrassing.

But the door opened before you had to knock.

“You can come in,” he murmured.

“Oh,” you said, voice barely above a whisper. “Oh you don’t have to-”

But when he opened the door wider you didn’t waste a second in entering.  

Fuck You Good - Frat Boy's

Originally posted by thedesire

He looked at me from the corner of the frat house, a beer to his hand as his eyes never left my body not even when I looked back at him, he would just answer back by arching one of his eyebrows and taking a sip from his beer, which in mine opinion, was on his hand for way too long. I swayed my hips to the beat, a mess of hot bodies around me, but none were dancing with me, not even my friends I had come with, who probably were lucky enough to find a good night stand way faster than I did. My arms went to my head, pushing my sweaty hair away from my face as I continued to dance to a EDM song I didn’t even know the name, my feet ached for me to stop, but the beat was contagious and my promise of a good night was right there and I continued to dance waiting for a move of his

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MASTERLIST ☻

[*] indicate smut. Reader’s discretion advised.

///

» to see all writing in order, click “harry styles smut” in the tags :-)

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Frat Boy Pt. 8

part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6,  part 7 (1), part 7 (2)

HELLO FRIENDS HE HAS RETURNED TO YOU. It’s shorter than most updates, but necessary things are happening to push the story along and one mystery is revealed! It’s always lovely to hear your thoughts or guesses about what’s happening. Your frat boy has missed you xx

It’d been an utter disaster.  You hadn’t eaten much at all last night and the dull throbbing in your head was a reminder that alcohol on an empty stomach wasn’t the best idea.  Especially when it’d been expensive enough to be smooth and light and what you think alcohol should taste like.  It had hit you even harder on the ride back to your dorm, the numbness in your hands not entirely due to the pricks of cool air against your skin, something you realized after you stumbled out of the passenger seat and Renny had to pick you up . Your whole body was completely numb at that point.  The reason for your numbness was the same reason you’d slept without a nightmare last night, and it was the reason you (almost) slept through your morning class and only had time to throw on a sweatshirt, jeans, and sunglasses before, quite literally, running to English.

You were late, making sure to close the door quietly behind you this time, but the pair of eyes you expected to see whipping around to follow you to your seat with a seductive glimmer weren’t there.

He’d ditched.

Only Niall was there to mutter a quick “Hey Y/N” as you passed him to reach your seat.  The teacher started talking about something having to do with how everyone’s analysis was sub-par on the last essay, but if you were being honest you didn’t care, you couldn’t even concentrate.  Though you were facing the front, your mind kept drifting behind you, to the image of the empty seat where you’d gotten used to seeing his long body confidently sprawled out and leant back, one elbow propped up on the arm chair and head cocked as if he were pretending to listen.  It was annoying how even though he wasn’t here he could still somehow take control of your thoughts.  It’d be easier to ignore him if he wasn’t so damn infuriating, just the thought of last night made your blood boil, but the words you’d said came back to you, slowly, bit by bit.

Go back to your fake girlfriend who clearly understands you so much better.

People have planes and go to Europe on a three day weekend…

Creepily small wrists!

Had you really ran your mouth that much? To him?!  You groaned a bit and the person beside you turned with a loaded look -Weirdo- before returning their attention back to the board.  No matter how true your words were, you wouldn’t have told him all that completely sober.  At all.  You had a mind that was quick to get indignant and when the alcohol came in, the filter went out and there was only the Lord to help the poor person caught in the crossfire.  A rush of embarrassment flooded you and you’d regretted saying one word to him.  You should’ve played it cool, acted like you didn’t care that he was with someone else, not made a fool out of yourself.  He probably thought you were someone easily charmed by money when he’d paid for your meal or some bitter charity case and your sad speech last night just proved it. 

You realized you were kicking yourself and tried to stop your mind from spiraling any further.  If there’s one thing you hated most about boys it was that they could make you feel absolutely stupid.

Yet here you were.

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Frat Boy Pt 5

part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4

Thanks so much for your patience guys.  Enjoy some fratty bratty harry with fratty niall and art student zayn ;)

The kiss stayed with you through to the morning, instantly awakening you with the thought of how his lips had felt heatedly pressed against yours - hungry, savory, soft.  He’d been gentle with you, but dominating.  Dominating in the most comforting of ways.  And as cheesy as it seemed to be, you had been putty in his strong, capable hands.  With cheeks flushed from drifting thoughts, you ghosted your hand where his once cupped your cheek and you could almost imagine it was his instead, but when your fingertips traveled to touch your lips, the tingle he’d left and the burn in your stomach he’d ignited was just out of reach.  And when your hand fell to touch your throat where he had pressed a luscious kiss, you felt the crusty trickle of blood that had caused him to retreat.  A frown befell your face and an onslaught of sensations took over as the memories from the alley came back to you full-force, the grubby hands pressing you against one’s bony chest, the glint of the sharp blade, the sickly sweet cologne and the moisture from his breath that had hit your neck.  There was a cold chill and you shivered even though just two minutes ago you’d woken up sweating under the blankets.  When you rolled over to see Renny’s bed empty there was a sudden slam in the bedroom that made you jump and your adrenaline skyrocketed as you froze beneath the sheets.  It was the blinds, only the blinds, you told yourself.  They’d just slammed against the window from a draft.  The beating of your heart was still pounding and your eyebrows knitted together as it hit you that you were very much alone.

She’d left for class already.  An obnoxiously bright orange note card was taped to the side of your desk and you stretched your arm as far as it could while staying buried beneath the protection of the covers.

I miss you :( TELL ME EVERYTHING WHEN I GET BACK

btw it’s back-to-school theme for the sorority party tonight so…prepare the slutty outfit and what you’re going to say to make me look good ;)

Your eyes shot to the clock and you froze.  It was 7:45.  When the shutters slammed against the window again and your heart dropped for the second time this morning, you knew you couldn’t stay here.  You may fail the stupid test and Harry may be annoyed that you didn’t stay, but you wouldn’t be able to sleep again.  As silly as it sounded you wouldn’t be able to fall asleep even if you checked under your bed and swept the closet five times over to make sure no one was there.  You felt so vulnerable alone, and your mind kept drifting to that night.

You wouldn’t be able to fight the memory.

You had fifteen minutes.

With no regard to yesterday’s makeup you threw on jeans and a sweatshirt, even though the clouds from yesterday were long gone.  You may be sweating on your way over to class, but you didn’t want the world to see you today.  You’d just thrown up your hood and the door was closing behind you when you froze- the blood.  It was still on your neck.  And with a sinking feeling in your gut, the thud of the closing door sealed your sentence.  You’d left your keys in the pocket of your sweats from last night and there was no way you could get back in to wash it off.  “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” you cursed, wiggling the doorknob to no avail.  You weren’t one to cuss, hardly ever, and you weren’t sure what you were hoping for in jiggling the locked door, but- fuck.

In a panicked fast-walk to class, you tried rubbing your neck to try and get the evidence to fade but all it left you with was irritated skin probably reddening from the burn you were creating.  People seemed to be staring at you more today as you picked up your fast walk to an awkward fast jog and as disgusting as it was, you licked your hand and started desperately rubbing again.  You winced a bit as you felt the sting from the cut, the slight injury reacting with the dampness in bristling rejection.

Your head was a dark cloud of anxiety, stress, and fear and when you burst through the doors of lecture hall with a minute to spare, your thoughts turned impossibly darker.

Harry was leant back looking effortlessly alluring in a snapback and partially unbuttoned flannel, with a girl stood between his legs.  His hands were casually gripping the edge of the extended table while her hip was popped out in the way that made her butt look bigger and her waist, smaller.  You knew that pose, you did it too.  She said something to him that caused him to smirk and he nodded his head with a shrug of his broad shoulders while she giggled in excitement.  The same shoulders that had been hovering over you, bare, just hours before…

The instant bitter spark of anger erupted and your natural reaction was outrage at this blatant betrayal, but then, you realized, what was he betraying?  The anger was no match for the larger flood of disappointment that followed not even two seconds after.  You thought he’d be worried about you, you realized.  After last night, you’d thought he’d stay the same warm, gentle person when the sun showed its face again.  You’d forgotten who he was.  What he was.   He wasn’t going to change, nor was he going to just flip a switch and become solely focused on you of all people because he’d stopped those men from taking advantage of you.  Any decent person would’ve done that.

Wasn’t that what your mother always told you when a check bounced?  Don’t fall in love with a man you think you can change, because no one will change fundamentally.  Unless, of course, he had money.  Then, she’d told you, it didn’t really matter if he changed or not because money could afford you all sorts of distractions.  Security first, love secondary.  You’d listened with open ears when your father wasn’t around, letting it come in one ear and out the other.  That was just your mother though.

She’d never read the love stories you had.

A part of you was reminded of Harry’s intensity, how each time his fist met the other man it had been so calculated and filled with unchecked rage.  Something was telling you that not any person would’ve done what Harry did.  That a person mentally couldn’t have done most of it.

For an irrational reason, anger struck up again.  Harry didn’t have to do any of it.

And he definitely didn’t need to spend the night.

But that’s why he’d honestly asked you to “tutor” him wasn’t it?  He’d gotten what he’d wanted, hadn’t he?  He’d gotten to kiss you and you’d given in.  His sweet words were just a cherry on top.  Blatantly meaningless as he continued to charm the girl who he clearly already had under his thumb.

You’d pushed the door harder than expected and it slammed shut, causing all heads to turn towards you.

Including his.

Including hers.

The make-out chick Harry had been with the night of the party was staring at you with crystal blue eyes, doing a once over at the weird hooded girl glaring at the entrance before turning back to look at Harry.  But he was still looking at you.

Harry’s brows immediately drew together and he gave an irritated shake of his head that screamed “what the fook are yeh doing here?”  It made your skin crawl how you could already picture his voice so perfectly in your head, and you hated knowing it wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  You only had the energy to fake a smile when the professor cheekily said “So nice of you to join us Y/N.”  The girl standing in front of Harry started walking away at his sudden disinterest and you almost wanted to comfort her, hell, you could make a lot of money off a Harry support group.  You’re sure many girls needed it after dealing with the ever-shifting enigma that is Harry Styles.

You heard Harry call your name as you passed him, but you ignored it, for once gracefully walking a little faster when you saw him unsuccessfully reach for you in the corner of your eye.  

Niall was the one who sat at the end of the aisle and reached a hand out to stop you before you could descend and get away.

“Hey, what’s wrong with your neck?”  His voice held traces of concern, but it was a question asked out of selfish curiosity.  

“Allergic reaction,” you lied.

“Yikes, you allergic t’a good make out then?” he teased before breaking out into a snicker at your furrowed brows.  He hadn’t.  He…he wouldn’t have -

You immediately looked to Harry and his eyes had darkened, all the proof you needed, and you hoped your death glare transferred through the sizzling line of energy that seemed to pop up whenever you looked at each other.  That cocky, bragging, arrogant son of a…

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Chemicals Collide-- Niall Horan

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“I got a couple addictions
But I swear that I’m coming clean
I got a new way of thinking
Yeah, you’re bringing out the best in me

I got a bit of a history
But you’re telling me that you don’t care
I’ve been a bit of a mystery
The only thing that I could find around tonight was you
So come on, come on
Do you want to?

Shut your eyes
And feel the chemicals collide
You and I, tonight
You’re the sugar in my high

Shot so high
I feel the chemicals collide
Stars and satellites
Spinning round and round
On the night you saved my life”

________________________

I watch intently as my roommate glides the thin felt tip of the eyeliner pen across her right eyelid, the ink prominent against the pale tone of her skin. As she reaches the end of her eye she gives the marker a quick flick, connecting the wing to the original line.

“You have so much patience.” I say as I stare at her reflection across the room, watching as she leans back from the mirror and drops the makeup marker in her drawer with a short content sigh. “I could never do that with such precision and poise.”

“Thanks. I’ve been doing it for so long I could practically work at Mac.” Adylan looks at me through the mirror, giving me a confident smile.

I return her gesture from where I sit on my bed, snug in my fluffy Batman pajama pants and its matching shirt, my back propped up against the beige wall of our dorm room with my laptop perched on my thighs. A half-finished episode of The Vampire Diaries decorates my screen, one of the main characters paused in the middle of a gruesome fight.

A bag of Doritos lays at my side along with a bottle of Diet Pepsi, the food having been the perfect companion with the night of vampire romance and hybrid killing I had so attentively planned out for tonight. After a couple of episodes I had promised myself that I’d pull out my notes and start studying for the psychology test I have coming up on Monday, something telling me that if I didn’t study I wouldn’t pass it with the grade I desired.

I have an A in all of my courses except for psychology, my grade teetering at an annoying 86.7. The only reason I have this grade is because of a stupid take-home test I had flunked, causing my grade to drop four points to where it is now. If I pass this test with atleast a ninety-three, my year-round grade would round up to a ninety and I’d be able to exempt my final. So close, yet so far.

However, my arrangements were unexpectedly interrupted when Adylan had stormed into our room, screaming profoundly about her own plans for today’s Friday night. After the excessive squealing and several rounds of victory dancing she finally settled down enough to tell me what she was so worked up about.

From what I could comprehend inbetween random screeches of elation, it came down to a simple conclusion. Apparently, Adylan had caught the attention of a jock from one of the fraternity houses on our campus and he had invited her to a party that they were throwing tonight.

“Who is it?” I had asked half-heartedly without even looking up from my screen, more to humor her than anything. I was more interested in returning to my fictional world of thick drama and soul-wrenching love than any silly little frat shindig.

“You aren’t going to believe this!” She had squealed for about the tenth time in the last two minutes, jumping up and down as she shuffled through her favorite outfits in her closet. She had pulled out a rather tight shimmery black dress, the neckline cut too low for my personal taste. She peeled off her floral blouse and kicked off her khaki shorts, stepping into the beautiful yet too-revealing dress.

I’m going to be completely honest and clean-hearted when I say this because I love Adylan to death, but she sometimes dresses too carelessly. She fairly covers herself for school, but whenever she goes anywhere else she would go all out and completely forget about her modesty. This time, as I stated before, wasn’t any different.

She had the dress three-forths up her body and is was working on squeezing her chest into the tight bodice when she finally answers. “It was Zayn Malik!”

The name caught me so off guard I had choked on a Dorito chip. I paused the show, coughing up bits of cheesy tortilla pieces as I fumbled for my soda.

Zayn Malik is not just a member of anyfraternity house, he is a member of the Sigma Omicron Beta brotherhood– one of the most popular frat houses on not only our entire campus, but our entire county region. To get invited into one of those parties was like being invited into a celebrity’s home.

The boys in the Sigma Omicron Beta– ΣΟΒ or SOB for short– are part of some of the most rich and prestigious families in the whole state. These boys are sons of some of the biggest CEOs and businessmen you could ever meet– they’ve got the money, the education, and the looks. Most of them only care about the money and looks, throwing their intellectual matters away like a plastic wrapper. Many of these college boys have so much money their kids probably wouldn’t even have to work for a living.

Adylan had laughed at my sheer surprise as she stumbled around trying to sip up her dress, nodding her head in satisfaction at my reaction. That was the reason she was wearing such a risqué dress– she was hoping to catch the full interest of Zayn.

The SOB was not just known for their impeccability around campus, but they held the ultimate trophy for throwing the best parties in the county. Teenagers from other fraternity houses around the area would come and hope to be let in into such a huge mansion, knowing that the party inside would not doubt be the biggest and wildest party of maybe their entire lives. Adylan had practically been invited into the Gates of Heaven.

Now I sit here, watching as she finishes touching up her smoky makeup and curling a few extra pieces of hair, wanting to look flawless for the event.

“This is going to be absolutely sick!” Her enthusiasm is barely contained by her wide grin as she turns and bends down, reaching for her sleek black pumps. Her short dress rides up the back of her thighs and exposes her lace thong.

“Whoaaaa!” I howl, covering my eyes with the back of my hand and doing my best to sound utterly mortified. “No flash photography, please! Make it stop!”

“Oh, shut up!” She hisses sinisterly, quickly straightening up and roughly tugging down the hem.

I laugh, watching as she struggles to grab her high-heels and keep her bottom covered. When she finally manages to get her hands on her shoes, she plops down onto her bed across from mine.

“You know, this is why you’ve never gotten laid. You rarely wear shorts, your jeans sag too much in the back, and you have way too many Marvel t-shirts.” She states coldly, playfully sticking her tongue out at me as she slips into her footwear. “You’re going to end up being a real-life case of The Fourty-Year-Old Virgin.”

My mouth drops open and my hand flies to my chest, pressing down over where my heart as I give a fake insulted gasp. “How rude!”

“The truth hurts.” Adylan slumps back onto the palms of her hands, tired from her transformation. She leans across and grabs a Dorito but I slap my hand down against her fingers, shooing her away.

“I don’t share food with disrespectful whores. Just incase you’re confused, you file under that category.” I huff, shoving the bag of chips under my crossed legs. Now it’s her turn to be faux flabbergasted.

“How rude!” She mimics me in a high-pitched voice, throwing up one manicured hand and flicking me off.

I make a sour face at her, scrunching up my nose and complaining about the pure stench of skank that seems to be protruding from her body.

“Why, thank you. I do try.” Adylan bats her eyelashes in my direction, pursing her nude lips and making kissy noises. “If you can’t deny it, embrace it, bitch.”

I dive into a fit of chuckling, nodding my head in agreement at how blunt she is. I reach up and redo the messy ponytail my hair is hanging in, wanting to get all of the stray strands away from my line of vision. I give her a smile, showing that no matter how much I tease her, I will always love her.

“Well, I hope you have fun with Zayn at the party. Just remember: Don’t be silly, cover the willy.” I give her my most serious expression, my lips twitching as I try not the break my straight face.

She smirks knowingly, rolling her eyes. “Thanks, mom. I’ll make sure.”

I give her one more nod, finally returning my attention back to my screen. Just as I am about to press play, she screams.

I spasm, nearly flipping the computer off my lap, my whole body going into immediate defense mode. I look up at her, my eyes wide with confusion and bewilderment. “What the hell is wrong with you?!”

“Oh my God!” She yelps, a huge smile spreading across her face at whatever information has just resurfaced in her brain. She stands up, jumping up and down as she laughs. “Zayn– he said I could bring a friend with me to the party! I can’t believe I forgot to tell you! I was so caught up in my own invitation it slipped my mind!”

I blink at her, everything she had just said shuffling into place in my mind. I had also been requested to come.

Any other normal college student would do backflips because of the incredible news, but the first feeling that registers in my mind is fear.

Throughout my life I hadn’t been very good with people– talking to them, interacting with them, or simply just being around them. I had a history of being overly-shy and reserved. It had taken me hours to even as much as mutter a word to Addy the day I’d moved and I live with her. Now I had been invited to a mansion full of possibly hundreds of teenagers and most of them would be astonishingly attractive, over-confident, and intoxicated– a huge manor full of complete and utter assholes. Not really my scene at all.

“I don’t think I shou–” I begin to explain myself to my friend, trying to get through to her that maybe me going to this party isn’t the most brilliant idea.

Do not fucking tell me you don’t want to go.” Adylan crosses her arms over her chest as she raises her eyebrows threateningly, daring me to reject her.

“Addy, you know I’m not good with people…” I murmur, furrowing my eyebrows in an apologetic gaze. If the situation was different– maybe a less populated party and less high-ranked attenders– I’d consider going, but it’s not.

“Are you serious?” She whines, stomping one of her heels and how she manages not to break her ankle is beyond me. “What are you even going to do all night that could be better than meeting all of these hot frat guys?”

“I have to study for Thorn’s psychology test on Monday.” I point out, jerking my chin in the direction of my backpack for emphasis.

Her eyes light up and I feel myself cringe. Whenever Adylan’s eyes glimmer the way they are now it’s because she has leverage of some sort and by the way she’s practically glowing with smugness, I can predict it will not benefit me very well.

“I remember you telling me that you really wanted an A on that test, is that correct, Y/N?” She clasps her hands behind her back, walking in a line back and forth infront of me, eyeing me closely.

I slouch, grudgingly nodding my head. All I want is to stay in my bed in peace without any social interaction but from the way Adylan is smiling, I can tell that I won’t be getting my wish tonight.

“What would you say if I told you that I already took that test and I can help you study almost exactly what was on there?”

My head perks up as I eye her suspiciously. How is it possible for her to already have taken the test when Professor Thorn planned out to give the exam to all his students on the same day?

“You’ve got my attention…” I trail off dubiously, my right eyebrow cocking upwards curiously.

“Remember how I told you I’m not going to be here on Monday because my parents want me to go home for my great Nanny’s ninetieth birthday?” She continues slowly, seeming to be savoring in a victory that isn’t even her’s yet.

“Nanny McPhee?” I reply, giving her a sarcastic grin.

“No, you dipshit. Nanny Carmen.”

I chuckle, rolling my hand in a few circles in a signal for her to keep going.

“Well, since I’m not going to be here on Monday, I asked Thorn if I could take the test earlier to avoid having to take it next week along with my other exams and he agreed to let me do it. I took the test after school hours today and it’s still fresh on my mind.” She stops dead in her tracks right before me and gives me a manipulative half-smile. “Would you care to take this advantage and have Yours Truly tutor you on it?”

“Yes!” My answer is automatic and without hesitation, the gates to my exemption form being kicked wide open for the taking.

“Okay. All you have to do is come to the party with me.” Addy falls back onto her bed, crossing her legs and folding her hands in her lap calmly, very pleased with her side of the deal.

My mind rages with what decision to make, my instinct being to take the offer without looking back. Although her bid is very tempting, another large piece of my mind whispers for me not to do it. My anxiety when meeting new people and being surrounded by a large crowd pokes at the back of my thoughts, making a simple choice so much harder to accept.

If I agree to do it I will have the benefit of passing my class for certain and not to mention attending probably the greatest party of the year, but I will have to suffocate in the tons off other people that will also be attending the fiasco. If I decline, there’s a possibility I might pass my test with a fair grade, but it’s not guarantied the way Addy’s proposition is.

“Better hurry up– I promised Zayn I’d be there by ten. It’s already nine forty-five and the frat house is about a ten minute drive.” She looks up from having glanced at her phone, holding up her right wrist to me and tapping it with the opposite index finger as if she were wearing a watch. “Times ticking, Y/N. What’ll it be?”

I groan, already knowing the mandatory answer. “Fine, I’ll go.”

“Yay!” Adylan claps her hands, squealing as she jumps up and tackles me in a hug. “This is going to be great! I’m going to help you pick out your outfit and do your makeup and–”

“Absolutely not.” I stop her short, putting one hand up in halt. “I’m not dressing up for this party. I’m making myself as least noticeable as possible.”

“What? But you have to! It’s a party!” She immediately begins to complain, gripping my shoulders as she pouts.

“You said I had to go to the party, you didn’t say I had to actually interact at the party.” I give her a proud grin, pleased that I’d found a small loophole in her supposedly solid contract.

“You can’t be bloody serious.” She gapes. “Are you?”

“I’m afraid so. You should’ve thought the demands of the deal through before suggesting so quickly.” I cackle evilly, wringing my hands together like a mad genius as I push the computer off my lap.

“You’re unbelievable.” Addy scoffs, slumping forward with her elbows on her exposed knees.

“Why, thank you!” I copy her tone from before, batting my eyelashes at her angry expression. “If you can’t deny it, embrace it, bitch.”

I snicker as I shut down my laptop, grabbing my beverage and snack as I make my way to my closet at the end of my bed. I pass by our mini-fridge and toss both items inside, not really caring whether the Doritos belong there or not.

I peek through the door of my small walk-in clothes room, grabbing the first article that catches my attention. It’s a NASA Kennedy Space Center t-shirt from when I had visited there during spring break– black background and the words printed in white, blue, and red in the center with the NASA logo right above. I reach for the drawer underneath all of my hanging clothes and pull out a pair of dark denim skinnies, not giving much thought to my appearance at all.

I know if I allow Adylan to dress me, I’ll end up wearing a flashy dress similar to her’s or a skirt so tight I wouldn’t be able to sit down properly, so I rather take care of this on my own.

I can hear Addy groan as I appear from behind the door, her eyes trained on my outfit with a mixture of disgust and loathing. Her glare shifts onto me and I give her an innocent smile, set on pushing all of her buttons for forcing me to go.

“Atleast tell me you’ll let your hair down from that pony tail. I love it when you part it to the side and pin your bangs back.” She is able to work a compliment into her demand so I decide to oblige, giving into her meager request.

I whine internally as I slip out of my cozy pajama bottoms, wanting nothing more than to just curl up in a ball and finish watching the fourth season of my show, but I know that if I do that I will most likely not be exempting that final. I’ll take what I can get.

I hear Adylan trying not to laugh as I expose my underwear, her snorting being audible even from a few yards away.

“Just because I still buy the full-coverage hip-high panties with the cute patterns on them doesn’t make me a child.” I grumble, already knowing what she is thinking.
I ignore the chuckles escaping her mouth, concentrating on getting dressed.

“You’re wearing pink panties that have bunny patterns on them! What are you, five?” She bursts, clutching at her stomach as she throws her head back to laugh.

“They’re comfortable and affordable! Shut the fuck up!”

After unenthusiastically tugging off the rest of my comfortable nightwear and repeatedly telling my roommate to leave me alone about my undergarment choices, I pull the t-shirt over my head, thankful that I already have on a bra since I only take them off right before I go to bed. I take out my tie and shake out my hair as I slide into my jeans, jumping up couple of times to pull them all the way up, keeping in mind the comment Addy had made about my saggy pants. I hop over to my nightstand as I slip on a pair of mismatched socks, picking up my pair of scruffed-up black Vans. After lacing them up, I snatch up my hairbrush from the counter and stare at the mirror as I remake the hairstyle Addy had asked me to do.

“Ready?” Her heels thud softly along the carpeted floor as she walks over to the front of the dorm room, picking up her car keys from one of the hooks I’d set up next to the door. She turns the knob, glancing back at me over her shoulder.

I sigh emptily at my reflection, letting my hands fall to my sides limply. I had low expectations for tonight, already planning on keeping my head down in the crowd and praying that I don’t get noticed by any of the snotty rich pricks that are going to be parading around the humongous house. The last thing I need is to get picked on in an event I don’t even want to attend.

‘I can survive one night.’ I think to myself as I turn and head after my friend, flipping off the lights to our room and pulling the door closed behind me. ‘It’s just one party. What could possibly go wrong?’

///

We’d managed to make it to the party around the hour Adylan had promised, but I didn’t notice the exact time because I had been too preoccupied gawking at the mansion the we were pulling up to.

Whenever I have spare time in my hands, I like to watch those shows where designers, decorators, and construction professionals get together to build a dream house. I’d never thought any manor could possibly out-do some of the royalty-worthy architecture I had witnessed on that show– that is, not until now. I don’t think I’ve ever laid eyes on a house so ginormous and over-the-top as the house the looms over me now.
This home is a completely different level of stunning, mesmerizing me as soon as I passed through the iron gates.

The first masterpiece to appear is a large pool/fountain that has steps inside where the water current pushes forward, creating multiple small waterfalls. LED lights make the water change colors, glowing and fading from bright blue to deep red, neon pink to a brilliant purple, and a light green which changes into an iridescent orange. The pool alone is a wonderworld.

The entrance to the house itself is to the right, where cars pull up and evacuate their passengers, the driver heading off to find a random spot in the scattered mess that is the parking lot. The house has cement walls that are a faded shade of beige and large framed windows, most lining a cylinder tower from where you can see a colossal chandelier hanging from the ceiling, alternating colors similar to those of the pool.

People stream into the house through the large dark red-oak doors, groups and groups off people piling into what I guess would be the living room. My breathing picks up as I watch people push and shove eachother out of the way to enter, but I tell myself to remain calm for Adylan’s sake.

Speaking of Adylan, I glance over to watch as she sits up straight, craning her neck around to see where she could find a satisfactory parking space.

“Ah, perfect.” She murmurs, managing to squeeze her Corolla inbetween a Range Rover and a Jeep that are parked diagonal of the fountain pool. “Are you ready?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be.” I breathe, undoing my seatbelt.

“Good! I bet Zayn has a bunch of friends he wouldn’t mind introducing you to. He’s not that bad, you know.” Addy comments as she opens the door, landing on the ground with a sharp click of her heels. I flinch slightly, wondering if she could even feel her feet from having to balance her weight on such torturous shoes.

“He’s actually really sweet. From what I’ve learned about him, he takes his education seriously even though he’s doesn’t have to.” She hums as we meet up behind the car, pressing a button on her key controller to lock her vehicle. “I’m not sure about his friends, though.”

I shrug, not really caring whether Zayn’s companions were worth the pain of befriending. Most of them are probably the type who like to jump around with girls just as they would on a trampoline.

“Getting an STD is really low on my list of life goals so I think I’ll pass.” I murmur absentmindley, looking around in awe at the sheer amount off people milling around with drinks on the courtyard of the property.

I feel something hard whack me on the arm and my hand instantly finds the affected area. I furrow my brows at Adylan as she stares at me with an annoyed expression.

“Lighten up, would you? Would it kill you to let someone in your pants for once?” She rolls her eyes as she continues looking around, trying to find her frat boy.

I open my mouth to answer, ready to snap at her about how I was waiting until I was in a committed relationship to give myself up to anyone, but I’m cut short by her releasing an excited squeal.

“There he is!” She swoons. “Fuck, he looks so hot in that jacket.”

I follow to where Adylan is pointing, my gaze landing on a small group of boys that are chatting as they stand off to one side of the doors, away from the mob of guests.

I count five boys in total, all of them wearing the same leather jacket with their SOB brotherhood crest engraved on the back, three of them wearing different colored snapbacks. I can barely make-out their individual appearances but I can tell one of them is blonde, the hair sticking out of the rim of his hat a light golden hue. My eyes jump from boy to boy, obvious details sticking to my brain so I can distinguish them better.

One has his hair a bit longer than the rest and has it styled up into a fluffy quiff. Another is wearing a red and black plaid flannel shirt under his jacket and is wearing a cap. One has jet black hair that is also styled up and does not have a snapback. The second to last has on a shirt with the words “The Future Is Now” stamped on it, accompanied by a hat aswell, and the last member is the blonde one. One trait that all of the boys have in common is that they are all incredibly attractive, which gives me a perfect reason to avoid them. Out of league, out of mind.

I feel someone tugging on my arm, snapping my attention back to my friend. “What are you doing?”

“I’m going to introduce you!” Addy gives me an enthusiasm-infused grin, pulling me after her as she makes her way towards the gang.

“What? No!” I yank my arm from her grasp, shaking my head furiously. “I don’t want to! I said I wasn’t going to talk with anyone!”

She gives me an irritated scoff, narrowing her hazel eyes at my face. “I didn’t think you were serious.”

“Well, I am, so please just let me be.” I whisper, looking at her with as much sternness as I can muster. “I’m going to go inside.”

“Wait, no!” Adylan stops me as I try to push past her, gripping one of my hands in both of hers. “I want you to meet them! Who knows, you could actually have some fun tonight! Y/N, please let me do this. I want this for you. You’re probably one of the only virgins in the district! Let’s try and change that!”

My eyes widen in bewilderment as panic rises in my body at her suggestion and I only have enough time to shake my head before she’s hollering across the front yard of the house.

“Zayn!” She takes off at a fast walk, dragging a very shocked and unsettled me behind her.

The boy with the darkest hair turns in our direction, a smile breaking across his unbelievably handsome face. He lifts his left hand and waves us over, his smile being one of the brightest I’ve ever seen.

I’d only heard about Zayn in the hallways of our school, but I’d never actually met him. He has classes on the other side of campus, meaning I’d never even laid eyes on him because of our varying schedules. But now he stands in my path, his eyes glued on my roommate as she hurries over to him. We finally arrive before the group, all of their eyes taking in the two new visitors.

“Hey, babe.” Zayn reaches over and squeezes Adylan in a familiar hug, his hand snaking around her waist. “You look sexy.”

Adylan releases my hand, using her own to cling to her date in a hug, a blush evident on her cheeks as she mumbles a thank you.

After greeting him back she says hello to all of the other boys, leaving me to stand by her awkwardly for a few seconds.

“I brought someone with me.” Addy smiles as she makes eye contact with me from where she stands in Zayn’s embrace, silently urging me to introduce myself.

I slowly look up at all of the men standing before me, mustering a shy smile. “Hi, I’m Y/N.”

The one with the plaid shirt and slight stubble is the first to welcome me. He returns my smile, the way his eyes crinkle making him look genuinely kind. “Well hello, Y/N. I’m Liam.”

I give him a grateful smile, watching as he takes it upon himself to introduce the rest of his friends.

“This is Harry.” Liam extends one hand towards the boy with the longer hair. Harry’s lips spread into a lob-sided half-grin, his right eye-lid dropping in a wink to emphasize his ignorant greeting.

I can tell he’s the type to live around girls’ bed, his entire demeanor showing it off. The way he holds himself with too much confidence and an over-whelming sense of haughtiness almost drowns me, his celadon eyes dancing with mischief as they flick over my face.

I avert my gaze, glancing to the boy next to Harry with the worded t-shirt. “This is Louis.”

“Hellloo.” Louis wiggles his eyebrows at me playfully, chuckling lightly.

I’m not really enjoying meeting all of these frat members because I know that no matter how harmless they may seem, their intentions are anything but pure. I’m itching to just dive into the house and sit by myself in a lonely corner, but I have to finish the business Addy had involuntarily set me into doing.

“That’s Zayn.” Liam flicks his chin toward the person I already established is Zayn and I meet his eyes, being blown away by how they seem to change color in the light that showers us from inside through the windows. They seem light brown at first, but then they fade into a few shades of a dull willow green, and then back to a rich brown. His eyes are very similar to Adyaln’s, which I find pleasantly coincidental.

Zayn gives me a warm smile, surprising me completely. Maybe he’s not as bad as I had put him up to be.

“And last but certainly not least, this is Niall.” My eyes wander to the last member, already knowing it has to be the blonde bloke since everyone else has already been presented.

My eyes drift upwards from the ground, taking in his Vans that are quite similar to mine, his black baggy cargo shorts and a red muscle tank. I watch as he slips off his leather jacket, his arms becoming exposed. His biceps ripple as he crosses his arms over his chest, the muscles becoming enthrallingly taunt.

I manage to rip my eyes away from his arms, tracing the tight pectorals that lay under his tank up to his neck and finally his face.

My first impression of Niall is different than from the other boys, his features being more significantly unique than any other frat boy I’ve ever seen. His face appears to be soft and pretty childish, his pale skin not being structured by a strong jawline like Harry nor sharp cheekbones like Louis, but it’s a shape all of its own. His nose tilts up ever-so slightly, round at the tip in the most adorable way possible. Tender light-pink lips that lead up to rosy cheeks and icy blue eyes with specks of gold in the middle, which are framed by somewhat bushy fair-toned eyebrows. All of this adorns his impish face framework, easily making him one of the most alluring boys I’ve ever met.

Niall reaches up and takes off his cap–which is bright red and has the words “EXPLICIT CONTENT: Parental Advisory Adviced” imprinted across in big bold white letters– and runs a large hand through his messy blonde hair, pulling slightly at his dark roots and then repositioning his snapback back atop his head. His eyes rake down my body from head to toe, causing a vexatious sensation to weigh down on my chest. I shift uncomfortably under his intense stare, attempting to play myself off as calm.

“Have yeh ever even been to a party before?” He speaks up, his arms finding their way back infront of his chest as he seems to glare at me. His accent is strong and thick, my mind picking it off as Irish.

I feel my heart drop to my stomach, the smile melting off my face. A grin grows on his, his demeanor taking on a malicious aura.

“Uh–uhm– yes?” My answer comes out more like a question, making it sound as if I were asking him for confirmation that my reply was correct.

“Are you sure?” One of Niall’s eyebrows flicks upwards in doubt. “I mean, if you have gone to a party, I would think you’d know what to wear to one. A stupid geek t-shirt and a pair of random jeans really doesn’t cut it– especially not at a Sigma Omicron Beta party.”

The rest of the boys burst out laughing, all except for Zayn and Liam. Some of the people that surrounded us start laughing as well, their eyes unforgiving as they judgmentally flit over my clothes. I watch as they react to Niall’s insult, taking it as a comical scene.

My cheeks flare with red, blood rushing to my face in sheer embarrassment. I look up at Niall through my eyelashes, watching as he chuckles at how dumb he’s made me look. I wish nothing more than to disappear.

“I-I’ll be inside…” I mumble to Adylan, only having a short glance at her shocked and apologetic expression before I brush past her towards the doors of the mansion.

I can hear Zayn’s voice speak up, but I ignore any comfort his complaint brings me. “What the fuck is wrong with you, Niall?”

I mold into the reasonably smaller crowd of people pouring into the manor, passing into a world of neon lights and loud music. Pop songs blare from the huge speakers in the over-sized living room, making the ground vibrate. Tons of teenagers stumble around in the dim lighting with bottles of varying liquor drinks and suspicious cigarettes in there hands, while others are dancing freely around the massive house.

I find myself coughing, bringing up my hand to cover my nose from the horrible stenches of nicotine and other unknown drugs. I elbow through two couples that are practically sucking eachother’s faces off, looking around for an untaken seat away from all of the hysteria. I pass under an archway into what seems to be another living room, spotting a small couch shoved into a far corner. I avoid bumping into intoxicated bodies as best as I can, making a beeline for the settlement.

I slouch down into the cushions, taking a deep breath of the foul air as I try to calm my nerves. My chest feels hollow at Niall’s vile derision, but I push it out of my mind as best as I can.

I knew I was right– frat boys are nothing but rich assholes who can’t take anything serious and make anyone’s life hell. Niall was the proof.

I lean back against the sofa pillows, watching as a guy and girl stagger right by me, the guy slamming the girl into a wall and groping her in places he shouldn’t be touching in public. I gag, turning away from the pornographic sight.

Taking out my phone, I pull up the folder I have with all of my games organized, clicking on Geometry Dash. I pop in my earbuds and make myself comfortable.

This is going to be a hell of a long night.

///

- N i a l l -

Niall was baffled– completely, unsatisfactorily baffled.

He is propped up against a wall, taking leisurely sips from his blue plastic cup filled with an odd mixture of tequila, bourbon, Pepsi, and Minute Made pink lemonade that a very wasted Louis had thrust into his hand a few minutes before. He looks around at all of the stoned and buzzed college students dancing and making out, nothing seeming out of the ordinary to him since this was just another typical Friday night in his frat house.

Niall is confused as to why he isn’t turned on considering the tanked girl that was clinging onto him now was doing a pretty amazing job at trying to get him aroused. He could feel the roughness of her tongue and teeth as she sucks on his neck, one of her hands teasingly palming him through his cargo shorts while the other yanks wildly at the hair along the nape of his neck, just like he likes it. On normal circumstances, Niall would be all for it, but his body seems to be putting up a fight against any trigger he wants to ignite. He finally gives up, his legs becoming tired as he has to hold up not only his weight but also the weight of the random brunette he had snatched from the pool outside.

“Alright, babe.” He slowly detaches her from his throat, watching as her face contorts into one of pure confusion. “I’m just not feeling it. I think Louis walked that way and he seems to be up for anything. Why don’t you go take a look, yeah?”

The girl follows his finger in the direction Niall had promised her his friend would be and decides to give it a go, shrugging. “Whatever.”

He watches as she sashays off, in pursuit of another willing guy to bone. Niall sighs irritably, angry that he couldn’t seem to get wound up no matter how hard his efforts are.

He continues sipping his drink, eyeing a couple who are practically ripping the clothes off eachother’s bodies as they push through the crowd of grinding teens, watching as one of his fraternity brothers shoves the girl onto the wooden counter of the bar, pulling her shirt over her head as she fumbles with the buckle of his belt.

Niall snorts, diverting his gaze from the show. He wasn’t necessarily uncomfortable with the two shagging on the counter because it happened all the time and he had watched it occur repeatedly, just with different people. Hell, he’d even fucked a fair amount of girls on that exact same booth. He’d just have to wipe it down with Lysol later.

“You having a little trouble with your friend down under?” A voice perks up from behind and Niall doesn’t even have to turn to know who it is.

“Is it that obvious?” He speaks into his cup, chugging down the rest of the atomic beverage in one large gulp. He tosses the cup onto the marble island across from him, pressing his palms on it and leaning forward for its support.

“I mean, you usually don’t last this long downstairs. A maximum of about thirty minutes and you’ve already got a atleast three girls trying to tear down the door to your room. It’s a bit surprising to see you still participating at the actually party, and empty-handed as well.” Liam comes up next to Niall and looks at him over the brim of his drink, the lower half of his face hidden behind a lime green cup with an unknown brew swishing inside. He leans back on his elbows, adjacent to Niall, facing towards the living room where he can see a handful of the sisters from the Sigma Epsilon Chi sorority house playing a round of naked twister with a couple of his friends.

“I wasn’t empty handed a couple of seconds ago. I just wasn’t feeling anything so I brushed her off towards Lou– he’ll definitely be feeling something with all of those shots he gulped down. She’ll have more fun with him than with me.” Niall allows himself a short glimpse at his best friend, smirking at how Liam rolls his eyes.

“Wow. Niall James Horan actually giving up a shag for his friend– how oh-so modest of you.” Liam chuckles, throwing his now empty cup towards a pile of trash in one corner of the large kitchen. He hits a girl who was on her way out, the cup knocking her right on the forehead.

“Sorry, sweetheart!” Liam calls, giving her a quick wink. Niall snickers as he watches the girl roll her eyes and leave. He hurriedly snatches a random empty cup and chucks it at the same girl, but–unlike Liam– he has the intention of landing the hit a little lower. It smacks into the girl’s ass, making her jump and whirl around.

“Asshole!” She yells over the music, flicking Niall off as she disappears into the mob of people.

“I’ll shove my dick up yours!” Niall calls after her, satisfied with the rise he’d gotten.

Liam goes into a fit of chuckles, telling him he’s a bastard as Niall pretends to brush dust off his shoulders.

“Hey, now that we’re on the subject of apologies…” His mate trails off after he’s calmed down, raising his eyebrows suggestively at the Irish lad.

Niall rolls his eyes, already knowing what Liam has in mind.

“Why’d you snap at Y/N?” Liam questions, reaching across Niall for a blue bowl full of sour cream and onion potato crisps.

Niall shrugs, not really having thought out the motive for insulting the unfamiliar girl. He conjures up a haphazard reason, taking a chip from the container. “I just thought her shirt was stupid and that I’d let her know. Giving my opinion, you know? Exercising my freedom of expression.”

“You’re a piece of shit sometimes, you know that?” Liam sighs, shaking his head disapprovingly.

“That’s what I aim for, Payno.” Niall pats his chest in false pride, inspecting the chip before popping it into his mouth. He reaches in again and takes a handful, spreading them out on the marble table before him and concentrating on trying to build a mini tower of fried potato slices just for the hell of it.

“You should go say sorry. I think that’s the reason she’s been sitting all alone instead of enjoying the party– she feels degraded because you bashed at her for no apparent reason.” Liam says softly, furrowing his eyebrows slightly to emphasize that he is serious.

“Yeah? Well, you should go suck off Zayn and then shove your dick up Sandy’s ass.” Niall quips sarcastically, watching as his chip tower collapses for the third time.

“Niall, I’m not messing around. The poor girl never did anything to you so why did you have to go and ruin her whole night just because you didn’t have anything better to do?”

“Since when did you become so kind and heartfelt towards random chicks you never even knew existed? I think Zayn is starting to rub off on you– he has his dick so far up your ass that you’re starting to become his little bitch.” Niall grumbles, fumbling for any other insult that could get Liam to fuck off.

Liam shrugs, pushing off of the table in a cease-fire. “Forget I said anything.”

Niall grits his teeth as he watches Liam blend into the other guests, leaving him with his nerves on end. It pisses him off to his limit whenever Liam does this– whenever he tells Niall that he did something wrong and unfair so that his conscious would start picking at him to make it right. He can’t just forget it now that it’s there, implanted into his brain like a disease. The only thing that will cure the brooding infection is for Niall to apologize to Y/N, which is something he wants to refuse to do.

He slaps his hands down on the cool stone of the counter and aggravatingly scatters the crisps he had been playing with. Liam had just ruined what was left of his entire night aside from whatever anti-boner hormone was kicking around in his system right now.

‘Damn motherfucker.’ Niall’s mind spits, raging and out of control.

The guilt is making him want to pull out his hair by the roots, his chest seeming to be stinging with regret for his actions earlier towards Y/N.

‘Fine.’ He decides, not that he really has a choice anymore. 'I’ll find her, apologize, and then go find some busty blonde to fuck for the rest of the night.’

Niall pushes off of the counter, sauntering out of the kitchen and shoving through people without remorse as he tries to spot the one girl he hoped he’d never have to encounter again.

///

He finds her in the second living room, sitting on an old couch that no one uses anymore. He and his friends had agreed to shove it into the corner, not wanting to throw it out just incase they ever broke the others.

Josh has already cracked one down the middle when he and six others had been playing a game of indoor football and Niall had managed to break another one a few weeks ago when he’d invited over some sorority girls to participate in a nude game of tag. They’d managed to convince the buyer of the house– also known as his dad– to replace those, but he had clearly stated if they broke one more, they’d have to use the old dusty one they’d cast aside. Since that conversation, everyone has been more careful around the sofas.

Niall stands under the archway across the room from the couch, leaning one shoulder against the doorframe, a glass bottle of Absolut Lemon-Lime Vodka in his grasp. He brings the bottle to his lips, chugging down three gulps as he tries to come up with what he will say in his apology.

'I’m sorry you have a shitty taste in clothing.’ He thinks, immediately cackling to himself.

'Maybe not.’

In the end he succeeds in arranging a some-what prudent atonement, settling for telling her that her shirt really wasn’t that bad. That he’d been to the Kennedy Space Center once and that the restrooms had been fairly spotless, wrapping it up by complimenting her on sporting the logo of a decent company with the comfort and intimate happiness of their guests in mind.

He can practically feel Liam’s hand whacking him on the back of the head, telling him he’s an uncultured fucktard.

'Something is better than nothing.’ Niall shrugs to himself, focusing back on Y/N.

He stares at her as she taps away on her phone and Niall’s demented form of curiosity questions whether he should ask her if she was watching porn. He votes against it, not wanting to dig himself any deeper into the hole he was already in.

His eyes narrow at her face, actually wanting to take in her appearance unlike before. He hadn’t really cared for her at all the first time they met but now he was going to have to face her for longer than twenty seconds so actually analyzing her was necessary. How awkward would it be if he tries to say sorry while she has a booger sticking out of her nose?

Niall scans her face, tracing the delicate curves of her rosy lips and seemingly soft skin. He watches as the light from her device reflects off of the suddenly mesmerizing shade of her eyes, the way they shimmer making his breath abruptly catch in his throat. The way her hair falls forward into her face makes his lips twitch into a smile, unaware of the alien affect she is bestowing upon him that no girl had ever brought him.

Niall gazes at her, captivated by the way her fingers brush her hair back from her naturally tinted cheeks and behind her ears.

He wants to slap himself for being so utterly sappy but he can’t seem to control the feeling that is suddenly blossoming in his body as he sees her smile at something on her screen. The sensation is warm and soothing, spreading up from his chest to his neck and down his stomach, making his eyes become lidded as everything around the barely-known girl becomes an irrelevant blur.

Niall had never carried any feelings for any girls he’d been with, always telling himself that tying ropes with someone did just what the phrase means– it would rope him down from living his life and having fun, and that’s why all he did was sleep around with them and end it there. Fucking and nothing else– that was his number one rule. But try as he might, he can’t seem to dismiss the way his heart is starting to speed up as he nears Y/N.

Now that he was giving her his undivided attention, he comes to terms that he’s never seen anyone so purely beautiful and untainted– never laid eyes on a girl so naturally radiant and with such genuinely clean intentions as what she was giving off now. Y/N had shown him nothing but kindness when they had first met outside and he had been an absolute douche. His mistake flashes before his eyes, guilt pressing down on his chest as he thinks about how nice she had been to him, hoping he would be polite and return the gesture, but he had screwed himself over by being a pompous asshole.

'This is stupid.’ Niall tries to convince himself, trying desperately to shake off the feeling that just looking at this girl gives him. It seems to be consuming him and he can’t do anything to stop it.

'Feelings in general are bullshit. No one can ever truly just like one person with so many people walking around in the world.’

Niall repeats these thoughts over and over again in his head, reassuring himself that what he is feeling is just the affect of what the brunette from earlier had been trying to achieve. He was horny– sexually aroused and nothing else. After finishing his business with Y/N he could drag a few girls upstairs and make this all go away. He was fine, he was himself– Niall Horan, the popular jock that fucks girls more than he studies and plays football more than he does homework. He wasn’t sentimentally attracted to her– Niall was incapable of emotional attachment. It isn’t real– it’s just the liquor and sexual tension kicking in.

He’s hovering behind Y/N in a few mere seconds, taking deep breaths to cast away all of his insane and impractical thoughts. His hand reaches out to get her attention, drowning himself in denial as he does.

'This is nonsense.’ He screams at himself internally. 'Absolute rubbish.’

But even as Niall bends his will to prove that he is only wired up, he can’t deny that the small brush against Y/N fills him with a response he’s never had before.

As he feels her skin slide against his fingertips, his perception on himself shatters into a billion pieces. In a split second, the shards seem to kaleidoscope around, rearranging themselves into an uncomprehendingly distinct point of view on what he had just been tearing himself apart with.

It’s as if she were contagious, his mind brimming over with nothing but her and only her. Like a virus, she spreads across every inch of his thoughts, claiming them as her’s.

His mind explodes with thousands of unexperienced sensations and all of them manage to translate into one palpable feeling: captivating adoration.

///

- Y/N -

I’m proud to be able to say that I probably broke the record for the highest scores on all of the games I have downloaded. I’ve been sitting here for an two hours now, alternating between Geometry Dash, Flappy Bird, Dot Wave, and a bunch of other random mini-games without stop. If I see another yellow bird my head is going to implode.

My fingers are beginning to cramp and the battery icon on my phone is flashing a dangerous shade of bright red, announcing that it only has twelve percent of battery life left. I sigh, regretting forgetting my charger.

Adylan had come by a few times, trying her best to get me up and out of my seat to dance. I had managed to ward her off each time, claiming that I was feeling light-headed because of all of the smoke fumes floating around the living room. It wasn’t hard to convince her because every round she came over, she was more wasted and stoned than she had been before.

The last time she had visited me was roughly about ten minutes ago, stumbling over her feet and giggling as if she were on laughing gas.

“Come dance with me!” Addy had slurred, gripping onto the armrest of the couch for support. She had suspicious purplish spots that looked like love bites littering her neck and collarbone and I could see a large questionable stain soaked into the front of her dress along her chest. She reeked of tequila and from the look of her hooded eyes, she was bound to collapse any second.

I had smiled at her ruefully, deflecting her request without trouble. “I feel sick, Adylan. I’ll just wait here until my head clears up and then I’ll go find you.”

She had blinked a few times, the information struggling to register in her muddled brain. She finally nodded, giving me a lazy smile. “Alrighty then. I’ll just be over there in the kitchen. Scream if you need me!”

I kept my eyes trained on her as she wobbled off ungracefully, muffling a few chuckles as I had watched her grip onto random strangers to prevent from falling forward on her face.

Now I sit here alone yet again, with my phone dying and the foul stench of beer and nicotine threatening to suffocate me.

I glance around, witnessing as groups of college students stagger past me on there way to the stairs that wind up to the second floor of the manor. I presume that upstairs is where all of the bedrooms are, and I shiver just at the thought of all of the vulgar interactions that are most likely taking place right above my head.

My mind wanders to what Adylan had said before– that I’m probably one of the only virgins walking around this area. I don’t even try to deny it because I know for a fact that it’s true.

“You’re in college!“She had whined in disbelief the first time I ever told her. She had gone off about how the climax of my entire life is now– that college years were the days for me to make mistakes and regret them later. That I should get blindly drunk and high and get fucked over.

I had politely declined her reasoning the first time and I declined it to this very day, explaining to her that I was waiting to be in a devoted relationship to fully give myself up. I felt a bit of remorse for lying to her, though. If I ever told her the real reason I haven’t had sex yet, she would never let me live it down.

The actual reason why I don’t want to engage in anything sexual yet is because I’m afraid– I’m afraid of messing up the moment by doing or saying something stupid, I’m afraid of it hurting to the point where I wouldn’t be able to carry on until release, and I’m afraid of my partner going off and telling all of his friends that I’m shit in bed. All of these scenarios bounce around in my head, making me shiver at just the thought.
I’m just not one-hundred percent sure that I’m ready so I rather wait it out until I am instead of having to deal with the embarrassing aftermath of a bad first time.

I’m yanked out of my thoughts by a light brush on my arm, the unexpected contact making me jump in my seat, my phone sliding off my lap and crashing onto the ground.

“Shit!” I yelp, rapidly fumbling for the sleek black electronic. I turn it over and over in my palms, scouring the surface for any dents or scratches.

After establishing it as unharmed, my mind reels towards the person that caused this outbreak. I look up from where the interaction came, curious about what he/she wants. A pair of bright cerulean eyes lock with mine and I can’t help the way the corners of my mouth automatically dip into a frown.

“Nice shirt.” Niall says sarcastically, giving me a bright, innocent smile.

I snort humorlessly, turning back away from him and hoping he’ll go away. He doesn’t seem to get the message because he walks around the couch, plopping himself next to me. He settles himself, slouching into the cushions with his feet flat on the ground and his legs opened wide. I can tell it’s an innuendo but I choose to ignore it.

I watch from the corner of my eye as he lifts up a bottle of vodka to his lips, taking a laggard swig. I refuse to engage in conversation with him, still upset and even a bit terrified of him.

I can see him studying me, his eyes never leaving my face. I quickly become flustered, wanting nothing more than for him to leave me alone. Although, by the looks of it, he doesn’t seem to be planning on it.

I finally choose to speak up, my head snapping in his direction with irritation written clear all over my features. The words stick to my throat, however, when my eyes land on his face.

Niall’s eyebrows are furrowed deeply as if he is in deep thought, his eyes glazed over in concentration. He’s chewing on his lower lip, which I guess to be a random mannerism of his. The reason I had stopped short was not because of his habit, thought. Instead of focusing on smaller details, I take in his facial expression as a whole and I’m stunned to find that it shows what I interpret to be fascination.

“What do you want?” I mumble, self-consciously crossing my arms across my chest to cover the NASA logo on my shirt.

Niall blinks back into reality, whatever he was thinking pushing back into the recesses of his mind. A small smile tilts his lips upwards as he sees my position, a low chuckle reaching my ears.

“You still got a rake up your ass because of that?” He asks nonchalantly, tilting his bottle in my direction to signal my hidden top.

I glare at him, wishing he would disappear into thin air.

“Oh, come on? Can’t you take a joke?”

“Can’t you take a hint.” I deadpan, my teeth grinding together in anger and utter dislike.

“Feisty, huh? I would’ve never thought you had it in you.” He goes for a taunting wink, but I continue to smolder at him.

His eyes stay trained on me as he reaches up and scratches the back of his neck, probably feeling awkward for the first time in his life since I’m deflecting any attempts he’s making at humane conversation.

Niall leans forward, propping his elbows on his bare knees and turning his head to fully face me. “Listen, I just wanted to…to apologize for what I did outside.”

My eyebrows shoot up in surprise, astonished that he’d managed to make the words leave his mouth. I never would’ve thought the he would be able to put the words “I” and “apologize” in the same sentence.

“I’m shocked you know what an apology is.” I let the snide remark slip out without a second thought, a bit more confident now that I know he’s feeling some type of anguish for his actions. If he wants forgiveness, he’ll have to hold back from offending me any further.

His eyebrows furrow in defense, his mouth opening up to make a vile comment, but he stops himself.

“Well, it is.” Is all he settles for saying, no mockery or bitterness behind his words.

I give him my honest attention now, very curious about this personality switch. He takes my silence as a sign to keep going, inhaling deeply before letting the rest rush out in one breath.

“I’m sorry for being an asshole. It was wrong of me to insult you without even barely knowing your name– it was wrong to bite at you at all. I wish I could take it back because I recognize how humiliated I made you feel. However, since I can’t take it back, apologizing is the only way I can try to make it up to you.”

Silence follows his confession, the loud bass of the music seeming to be drowned out by the tense air that fills the gap between us.

Niall was actually, truly apologizing. He had taken my feelings into consideration and had worded out whatever amount of remorse he carried in his heart to try and get me to forgive him. It was unbelievable, to say the least. Niall, the jock that goes around using girls like toys and then pushing them away to take another. Niall, the notorious frat boy with a loaded family and a naturally expense-paid future was taking the time to apologize to a random middle-class girl he might not even recognize after today. But he acknowledges me and my peace-of-mind now, and that is a step up from the guy I had tried to talk to before. I’ve always believed in second chances, and Niall seems to desperately want one.

The look of genuine guilt on his face communicates his affliction, his eyes sheepish as he gives me a regretful half-smile.

“I forgive you.” I murmur, letting the edges of my own lips twitch into an accepting smile.

His shoulders slump forward slightly as if a weight has been lifted from his body, his eyes shining with gratitude.

“Thanks. And I really do want to take it back– the Kennedy Space Center is actually pretty great. Their bathrooms are clean and their soap doesn’t smell like that shit cough medicine my mom used to give me when I was ten– I personally appreciate that. You’re choice in company promotion is ace.”

I shock even myself when I let out a laugh, watching as his face breaks into a satisfied grin. The ice between us breaks, my anxiety dwindling down to a comfortable level. I’m grateful that he made me laugh because if he wants to get a positive rise out me, that means he’s not intending to hurt me in any way anymore.

Niall brings the rim of the one-fourth finished vodka bottle back up to meet his lips, winking at me as I roll my eyes at him.

I’m impressed by how he can just swallow the liquor from the bottle with no trouble, while I myself start to conk off after just one and half cans of beer. I’ve never worked up a tolerance against alcohol because I never liked it– it’s bitter, is to easy to abuse of, and makes my tongue itch for a reason I have yet to know. But Niall seems to take the heavy drink without a problem, enjoying it as if it were a tasteful milkshake.

He catches me staring, detaching his lips from the bottle and lifting up the hem of his shirt towards the tip and wiping it off. I catch a glimpse of his toned stomach, my eyes tracing down his dark happy trail as it vanishes behind his belt buckle. His muscle tank drops back over his torso, leaving an odd gnawing of discontent in the pit of my stomach.

“Want some?” Niall offers the bottle to me, raising up his eyebrows in a playful dare.

“I don’t drink.” I shake my head, scrunching up my nose for emphasis.

“I’m not saying you have to chug down the whole bottle– we can share.” He suggests, setting the bottom of the flask ontop of my knee, waiting for me to take it.

I shake my head again, staring at it with uncertainty.

“Why not?”

I look up, already sure that he is going to start making fun of me again because of my apprehension towards alcohol, but instead I find his eyes full of curiosity rather than reticule.

I sigh, waging whether to brush him off or open up to him about it. I decide the latter.

“Drinking is irresponsible. Alcohol makes you do things you normally wouldn’t do and you could fuck up and end up either pregnant, hurt, or dead. That’s the reason I don’t drink– I don’t want to mess up my future.”

Niall stares at me for a second, the words sinking into his mind, and then he starts to laugh.

“Well, in case you didn’t know, I can’t really get pregnant.” He pats his stomach for significance.

“Shut up.”

He laughs harder, his cheeks beginning to turn red. I give an exasperated sigh, hinting to him that he’s being a dick again.

“So the reason you don’t drink is because you’re a good girl.” He concludes after getting himself together, a daring smile lingering on his lips. “You’re wound up so tight about what mistakes you might make that you never just let yourself go. Let me guess: You’ve never gotten drunk before.”

His tone of voice isn’t sinister but comical, so he’s not being rude but rather harmlessly teasing.

“Never.” I admit, shrugging my shoulders. “It’s stupid and unnecessary.”

He rolls his eyes, scoffing in fake disbelief. “It’s fun and it relieves stress, which you seem to have a lot of.”

“What do you know about stress?” I challenge. “And don’t tell me you’re stressed out from school because I’ll collapse my lungs from laughing so hard.”

“Ahh,” Niall wags a finger in my direction, clicking his tongue against his teeth, “you got me there. But I’m familiar enough with stress to know that it’s physical embodiment is sitting right next to me at this very moment.”

He lightly pulls at a strand of my hair mockingly, resulting in me elbowing him jestingly in the side. It’s ridiculous how fast we broke the contact barrier when more two hours I could barely stand him.

“Listen, Y/N, I might not be an expert on being a “responsible student,” but I am an expert at unwinding and living my life to the fullest capacity of enjoyment– I used the bigger words for your benefit, just so you know.“

"Well, consider me blown away.” I grin, slightly flattered. “Continue.”

Niall chuckles, clearing his throat for the hell of the joke. “I think you should just forget about everything for one night– loosen up your reigns and run free. Every teenager has to have at least one moment like this in their life– a moment when they loose all sense of meaning and throw away all the shits they give about their future and their jobs and their education. One night– just one– where they let themselves be reckless, irresponsible and fully inconsiderate. I think you should try it; you’d be surprised at how amazing it feels to not give a damn.”

He breaks my gaze, glimpsing around the living room, his eyes landing on something across the room. He leans in further next to me, his left cheek hardly two inches away from mine. He points towards whatever had caught his attention, his voice indicative as he talks. “Look at Adylan. Doesn’t she look like she’s having a great time?”

I follow the direction he’s signaling, my eyes taking in what he’s trying to show me. Through the archway that leads to the kitchen I can see Adylan leaning on a counter island, a red cup in her delicate hand with her head nodding to the music as she seems to be waiting for someone. She is obviously still drunk, the way her eyes are too wide and her pupils are dilated making it clear, her hazy smile showing nothing but pure delectation.

I observe closely as a tall finger makes its way towards her, stopping infront of her smaller figure and setting his hands on her waist. The sleek black quiff and caramel skin are familiar in my mind, Zayn’s face connecting to this man’s appearance. Adylan wraps her arms around his neck as his arms tighten around her waist, their lips connecting in a deep kiss. I watch as Zayn picks her up, sitting her down on the counter and pushing her down until her back is against the marble. He works on shrugging off his Sigma Omicron Beta jacket, one of his hands slowly pushing up the fabric of the dress from her thighs.

Addy’s fingers loosen on her red cup and it falls to the tile floor, its contents splattering everywhere. No one pays attention to the mess, everyone in the kitchen more interested in witnessing the two teenagers getting it on. Zayn climbs up on his knees onto the table, laying his body down over my roommate’s as she wraps her legs around his waist, pulling his body as close to her’s as possible while smashing her lips onto his own. All of the people around them cheer and hoot, yelling some very explicit ideas about what Zayn should do to her.

I tear my eyes away from the scene, not wanting to be invasive of my friend’s relationship. She doesn’t seem to care about being in public, however, because she proceeds to lift Zayn’s shirt over his head and throws it behind her, ignoring the fact that tons of complete strangers are watching her hook up.

“See? She’s enjoying herself. Why don’t you give it a try, just for once?” Niall’s voice hums in my ear, trying to lure me into doing what he had said– to let go.

My mind spins with his tempting offer, all of my logical senses telling me that it’s not a very good idea.

'Do it.’ A soft voice I’ve never heard before hints in the back of my brain, pushing me towards the edge and begging me to jump off. 'You’ve earned it.’

All of my life I’ve done nothing but follow the rules and act rationally, placing heavy accountabilities on my shoulders without a single break. I’ve worked myself to the bone for my exceptional grades and good résumé, and frankly, one night of fun wouldn’t hurt. Maybe he’s right– I should take a rest and just throw away all of my worries for tonight, actually allowing myself to enjoy one of the biggest college parties I had the luck of being invited to.

“It’s just for one night.” Niall whispers provokingly against the shell of my ear, his warm breath tickling the side of my cheek and jaw. He smells of raw smoke and strong liquor, making my senses kick into high gear at this invasion of toxic smells. One of his hands sneaks onto my leg, taking mine and wrapping my fingers around the neck of the half-full vodka bottle.

He sifts his long digits inbetween mine, slowly lifting up the rim of the liquor carafe towards my lips. My eyes meet his, the color a dark and almost sinful shade of sea blue. “Let go.”

“Just for one night?” I echo his comment quietly, my eyes flicking from the edge of the bottle and back to his face.

“Just for one night.” He confirms, not breaking eye contact.

I feel all of my sane reasoning drain out of my mind, temptation finally taking charge. Just one night of freedom– I deserve it.

My mouth parts willingly, catching a glance of Niall’s triumphant smile as he pushes the bottle past my lips and tilts it back, the stale liquid filling my mouth. I wrap both of my hands around the glass, leaning my head further back so more of the lemon-flavored acid enters my body. I can feel it running down my throat, scorching everything in its path and leaving behind a sizzling feeling.

I chug down the rest of the bottle without shame, a dull prickling spreading across the back of my head and up my scalp. I release it, involuntarily coughing up some of the liquor. I’ve never had anything stronger than beer so, naturally, my body is rejecting this new poison.

“Deep breathes.” Niall orders, setting the empty bottle on the polished wooden floor. I feel his hand slide up my back encouragingly and I concentrate on his light caress, managing to get myself under control.

“You good?” He questions, his eyes trained on my heaving chest with uncertainty.

I nod and smile confidently, the warm bubbling response in my stomach begging to be fed with more booze. “I want more.”

“More?” Niall can’t help the surprise that coats his tone, raising his eyebrows in conformation.

I nod frantically, clinging onto his arm and pleading. I love that every single worry I had before is fading away from my thoughts, my mind becoming fuzzy and numb with drunken glee. I’ve never felt more liberated in my entire life.

“Alright.” Niall grins, pushing himself up from the couch. He offers a large hand to me, wanting to guide me through the turn of events that I’m about to engage in. I take it, excited for all of the new sensations I’m more than ready to experience.

We dive into the crowd of sweaty dancing bodies, pushing through drunken people with the determination of reaching the bar. I feel the music coursing through my body, my careless instincts wanting to dance just as wildly as the other girls surrounding me.

“Niall, I want to dance.” I murmur, tugging at his hand. We reach the open bar and he turns, giving me a small smile.

“How about we get you another drink and then we’ll see.” He winks, facing back to the bar tender and asking for a beverage that I’ve never tried. He grabs my waist and lifts me onto a stool, positioning himself next to me as we wait for my drink.

I receive two tiny glass cups and I swallow down the clear liquid inside immediately, the vague taste of pineapple making my taste buds tingle.

“Do you like it?” Niall takes the cups from me, handing them over to the waiter.

“It tastes pretty good.” I nod, savoring the splash of fruit juice that still lingers on my tongue.

“Half a bottle of vodka and two shots of whiskey mixed with pineapple tequila– that’s a brand new record for you.” He chuckles, his eyes squinting up as he does so.

I’m hypnotized by the way his laugh vibrates deep in his hard chest, the sound being one of the most delightful I’ve ever heard. I relish the feeling of his firm hands still gripping my waist, the rough yet soft skin making me want to melt into him.

Everything around me is fading in and out of relevance as I feel the liquor run through my veins, warm and heavy. The feeling is mind-blowing, my bloodstream seeming to boil in response to the unfamiliar liquids flowing through my system. A dull buzzing magnifies in my ears and I feel as if my stomach were frothing, all of the alcohol I’ve had mixing to build an effervescent sensation all throughout my body.

I find myself grinning, requesting that he get me another one. I have three more in the next fifteen minutes, each time finding myself sinking further into Niall’s secure embrace.

He has his chest to my back, keeping me from falling back off of the chair. I can smell the deliciously intoxicating aroma of his cologne, his scent making me want to stay near him for as long as possible.

At this point, I find myself slurring and choking on my words, short bursts of giggles filling the spaces inbetween my sentences of random gibberish. Niall just laughs at my attempts to talk, only energizing me to keep mumbling blankly so I can keep hearing his laugh. I finally calm myself down enough to ask for another shot.

“More.” I remark flatly, jutting out my arm with the sixth empty cup in my hand and shaking it unsteadily.

Niall gently pries it from my fingers, setting the shot glass onto the counter of the bar. “I’m sorry to have to say this, but I’m cutting you off.”

“What? Why?” I whine, kicking my legs like a child. “I thought you were going to help me unwind and shit! What are you now, my withdrawal coach?”

“Y/N, you’ve never had this much alcohol in such a short amount of time, meaning it could be dangerous. I don’t want you to have to get your stomach pumped because I wasn’t paying enough attention.” Niall presses his lips together into a straight line, his eyes tinged with concern.

“Get my stomach pumped? That sounds painful.” I scoff, shaking my head at the suggestion as I twirl the cup on the wooden tabletop.

“Trust me, it is.” Niall shivers, giving me the feeling he’s experienced the procedure front and center. I stare at him as he pulls off his snapback, running his hand through his head of messy blonde locks and setting his cap back on before he talks again. “Do you still want to dance?”

“Yes!” My enthusiasm is rekindled at the idea, and I wiggle my legs in attempt to scoot off the stool.

He helps me off and leads me to the middle of the crowd, telling me to just feel the music and to let myself go. I do as told, starting to sway my hips to the beat of the song and completely losing myself for the first time in a long while.

Niall takes my hands, twirling me around and dipping me down, our laughter mixing in with the lyrics from the music. I have no idea what I’m doing and I know that I probably look ridiculous, but at least Niall is here to look ridiculous along with me. I loose sense of time, focusing fully on having fun and just enjoying the feeling of his touch on my skin.

“Watch and learn.” Niall releases my hands and bends forward with his palms against his knees, jutting out his ass and starting to shake it.

I die of laughter, clutching my stomach as I watch him slap his bottom a few times. We keep dancing, ignoring anyone around us but eachother.

There comes a moment when my legs finally give out in exhaustion, Niall being there to catch me.

“Whoa, easy there, babe.” He grabs my waist, helping me stabilize myself on my wobbly legs.

“'Babe?’” I hiccup, a joyful smile spreading across my face without consent. The nickname makes my heart flutter against my ribs, my ears turning a light shade of red.

“Yeah, 'babe.’ It’s a pet name, Y/N. Haven’t you ever heard of them?” Niall flaunts, poking me in the side.

I realize my mistake too late, regretting it right after as I watch his eyes light up dangerously, full of curiosity and smugness. I had squealed.

“Oh, so you’re ticklish?” Niall asks slowly, a sinister smile taking up his face from ear to ear.

“Niall, no.” I spread my arms infront me, trying to put up a barrier of protection as I stagger back to get as much distance between us as possible. All thoughts of continuing to dance slip my mind as I watch Niall start to slowly advance towards me.

“Oh, I think yes.” He’s getting really close and I don’t notice that I backed myself up into a corner of the room until it’s too late. I’m trapped.

I push back as far as the tiny corner allows, my hands set out flat before me to face Niall. I’m shaking my head, begging him not to do this.

“Niall, please.” I plead pathetically, my heart speeding up as his chest presses into my palms, his strength easily overpowering mine.

“Sorry, Y/N, but I just can’t help it.” Niall’s hands are on me in an instant, his fingers digging into the flesh along my waist and up the side of my torso, crawling around like ants.

My body curves inward, trying its best to shy away from the exotic attack as I jerk from side to side, loud laughs and desperate cries for help bouncing off of the beige walls surrounding us. No one can hear me over the music, unfortunately, so I’m going to have to stay here and suffer until Niall’s had his fun.

After about twenty seconds that seem rather like two hours, his fingers finally stop pinching around my body. He watches me with a large grin still on his lips, his eyes brimming over with the haughtiness of the power he knows he possesses over me.

“Are you quite done yet?” I gasp out, completely flushed and breathless.

“I don’t know.” He looks up at the ceiling high above our heads, pretending to be in deep thought as if this choice will actually impact his life.

“Just stop.” I snap irritably, my ribs throbbing from the abuse and my lungs wheezing with every hurtful inhale of air.

“Ah, ah, ah…” He warns, his hands shifting up from my hips back onto my waist, threatening to continue his torture.

“Please! I forgot the please!” I quickly add, hoping he’ll take pity on me and let me be.

“Hmm, that’s what I thought.” Niall sing-songs, nodding his head but not removing his hands from my over-worked body. “Alright, how about we do this: Tell me I’m hot and I’ll stop.”

“You’re so fucking shallow.” I laugh, resting my forehead against his shoulder, my back slouching onto the wall he has me pinned up against. He’s unbelievable.

“But you’re not denying that I’m hot, are you?” Niall asks, wiggling his eyebrows as he makes slurping sounds with his mouth. “Thirsty much?”

“Shut up!” I grin, socking him upside his ego-inflated head. “I’m not saying it.”

“Oh? So you rather I just”– he squeezes my sides suddenly, making me howl and twist against his arms–
“do that instead?”

“No, no! Okay, I’ll say it! I’ll say it, alright!” I yelp, pushing against him to try and make him stop. He halts, waiting for me to go through on my promise.

“You’re…” I trail off, inhaling and exhaling heavily to try and get air flowing back through my body. “…hot. You’re hot.”

“Come on, now! You can do better than that. Say it with feeling.” Niall imposes, twitching his fingers on my hips to scare me.

I grit my teeth, wanting to make him pay for this.

“The only thing you’re going to be feeling is my knee against your ballsack if you don’t get the fuck off of me…” I growl lowly, blowing a few strands of hair away from my face.

“What was that, sweetheart? I don’t think I heard you.”

“I said you’re hot– you’re so hot Niall.” I moan dramatically. “So damn rugged and incredibly sexy…”

“That’s more like it.” He nods in satisfaction, skidding his hands off of my body and onto the wall behind me.

I breathe out in victory, silently cheering that the horrible persecution has come to an end. I tilt my head back, letting it rest on the cool cement wall. My gaze lingers on Niall’s eyes, intrigued by the way they flicker with childish glee at how he’d managed to get what he wanted.

“You’re an asswipe.” I finalize, a small smile playing itself across my chapped lips as I watch him crow in amusement, wondering about how insanely comfortable his laughter makes me feel.

“Never heard that one before– gonna have to write it down.” He chuckles, his hand mindlessly brushing along my cheek as he pushes a few other strands of rouge hair away from my eyes.

My words catch at the unexpected gesture, his touch electric against my warm and slightly damp skin. His fingers don’t slide away but rather stay perched on my jaw, his fingertips softly swiping against the skin of my face.

My throat contracts, any sound I try to make being dissembled by my mute vocal cords. My eyes lull closed, the gentle caress of his skin against mine being oddly pleasureful and deeply satisfying.

“Why did you care?” I blurt out the sentence before my mind has even had time to review what it means, my emotional instincts taking charge of my mouth and pushing the words past my lips.

Niall’s eyebrows scrunch together, tiny ridges forming inbetween both of them, the question having caught him off guard. I don’t blame him; even I’m frazzled as to why this thought has vocalized itself at such abruption.

“What do you mean?” He questions skeptically.

“When you cut me off you said you did it because you didn’t want me to get my stomach pumped, meaning you were showing concern towards me. If I’m right, concern for someone means you worry for their well-being, and when you worry for someone’s well-being it means you care for them. And if I know one thing about guys like you, it’s that you don’t care about anyone but yourself.” I come to a realization that it is not my mind that is speaking, but instead my heart is taking control. “Why did you care?”

Strange emotional sensations towards Niall surface from a hidden place inside me, feelings I’ve never truly experienced mixing with the normal physical attraction I already established I felt for him when we first encountered one another. This is not just the typical allurement I feel whenever I see a handsome boy around the mall or on campus– no, this is something that digs deeper into my mind to bring out something so much more than just sexual inclinement. I think I’m developing feelings for Niall.

I watch with interest now as the question I had asked him rests into his mind, the way his concentrated eyes are flicking around different points of my face showing me that he is experiencing the same tidal waves of feelings as I am.

Eventhough the dark lighting of the house dims my vision and the loud sounds of screaming college students intertwined with blaring music muffles any noise we try to make, I feel as if the whole world has been set on pause, nothing else being of importance except for me and Niall.

“I don’t know…” He finally mumbles, his voice a bit shaky. His eyes flash with what translates to me as panic, his mind befuddled as to what the hell is happening between us right at this moment. His eyes have the wide deer-caught-in-headlights look and from what I can see of my reflection in them, mine are just the same.

An uncomfortable and eerie silence stretches between us, making me frenzied to erase everything I had started. We had been doing so well up until the point where I decided to ruin everything by asking that irrelevant question, and now I want to do anything to get the calm composure that we had before back.

“Maybe you just wanted to benefit your apology.” I suggest, doing everything in my power to not look at him in the face. “You probably still felt bad about the whole thing even after I forgave you so you just wanted to make sure I was okay so you wouldn’t feel any more guilt.”

“I…I don’t know…” Niall repeats, tearing his eyes away from my face and focusing on the ground. I can see his cheeks are flushed and I know it’s not because of the laughing.

“I’ll–I’ll just go now…” I whisper, ducking under his bare arm and taking off at a fast pace to go find Adylan and get as far away from here as possible. I don’t dare look back.

I pass by the first living room in a blur of neon lights and glass bottles, passing into the second room and heading for the kitchen.

Hot tears are starting to gather at the edges of my eyes and it frustrates me that I don’t know why. I don’t feel sad nor happy about what just happened– I just feel empty and hollow. My head whips around as I rub my eyes, trying to locate where my roommate could possibly be. I make up my mind to go into the kitchen for a look, not caring what scarring scene I might be walking into.

Just as I am about to pass under the tall archway that leads out of the living room, I feel a firm hand grip my forearm. I don’t have time to turn around and look before I am roughly pulled away from the entryway, my back meeting the hard surface of a random wall.

I gasp out, fear being my primal emotion to this sudden confrontation. A large hand comes up and cups over my mouth, the person it belongs to putting their index finger over their rosy lips to tell me to not cry out. Niall quietly shushes me, his eyes unsettling yet assuring at the same time.

“How could you just leave me like that?” His voice is low and unsteady, anything he wants to say not seeming to be completely put together in his brain. “You can’t just fuck with my head and then disappear like nothing happened!”

“I-I’m sorry! I just didn’t know what to do and–”

“So what? You’re just going to run away from it? Well, I’m not– I never run away from what I set into motion. We have to sort this out and sort it out now.” Niall is determined to solve this issue, his tone telling me he won’t let me leave until the matter is unraveled. “I don’t want it bugging me for the rest of my life.”

“Okay.” I choke out, nodding my head. “What do you want to say?”

Niall inhales slowly, closing his eyes for a second and thinking about what he is going to say next. His eyes flutter open, glinting with a new-found sense of confidence about the subject.

“Maybe the reason I cared for you was because I still felt guilty– because I felt an indebted remorse and nothing else. Maybe I just wanted to make sure you didn’t wind up in the hospital because then I would be blamed and billed for your lack of responsibility for drinking, considering this house is mainly under my name. Basically, I was just looking out for myself and nothing else– that’s it.”

His words hit me like a punch to the gut, his true intentions becoming clear as water. I internally laugh at myself, jeering at how pathetic and delusional I had been. How could I have possibly thought that Niall, out of all people, would give even a shred of actual concern or feelings for someone like me? He was just looking out for himself the entire time– nothing new.

I start to struggle against his hold, pushing and shoving against his shoulder and telling him to let me go.
“Okay, you proved your point– it was just you saving yourself from getting in trouble with the campus police. Now please let me go while I still have a little bit of dignity left.”

“No.”

“What?” I spit, absolutely furious and too emotionally and physically wasted for him to be playing more mind-games. “What do you mean 'no?’”

Niall’s hands reach up and cup my face, a few tears escaping from my eyes at his soft touch. “You didn’t let me finish.”

“Oh, what? You’re going to keep me here and dig the knife in deeper? Is this fun for you?” I’m sobbing now, weakly pushing at his chest.

He shakes his head, pleading with me to look at him. I finally do, telling myself that giving him what he wants will make this all go a lot faster and that will allow me to be able to leave sooner. I take a deep breath, ready for the next emotional impact to come.

“Didn’t you notice how before each suggestion, I put in the word 'maybe?’ That means that I’m not fully clear about why I did what I did and what it means for us. Each time I gave a suggestion, it was simply me listing off possible reasons for my actions. For me to finally get my conclusion, I have to not use 'maybe’ but rather the words 'the reason I did this.’ That way you know I’m positive about why I did it and we can finally bring this whole thing to a close.”

I want nothing more than to slap Niall and scream at him that this is not time for him to be bringing up smart dictation and vague reasoning, but my hands are clasped into tight fist against this chest so this option is not available.

“Where the hell are you going with this?” I sniffle, barely keeping myself together.

His eyes soften as he watches the tears roll down my cheeks, his thumbs gliding against my wet skin to wipe away any evidence of my pain.

“Y/N,” he speaks softly, his words gentle and light like a feather. “After you bolted, I quickly thought about your question and I thought about all my possible answers, and I finally came down to the logic behind all of it. The reason I did this was not because I was being selfish and protecting myself, but rather because I actually cared about your safety and about protecting you. If I had walked away when I could have, I would not have been able to live in peace knowing that I left you there– as unexperienced as you are– to put yourself at risk. I cut you off because the thought of you unintentionally hurting yourself because of me making you drink was enough to make me to feel hurt myself. I didn’t do it for myself, I did it for you because I care for you. I normally don’t give a shit about what happens to other people at our parties, and I don’t know why I care about you, but I just know that I do in ways that I have never cared about anyone else and that’s all that matters to me.”

The sound of my blood rushing around my head is the only audible noise I can hear, the weight of Niall’s words making my heart skip a beat.

'He actually cares for me– he actually wants to be with me.’

Niall leans back away from me, my arms dropping to my sides since they don’t have his chest for support anymore. He gives me a bashful smile, scratching the back of his neck as his cheeks flare red.

He’s nervous for my response. Niall is nervous.

My eyes study his childish features just like I had the first time I had laid eyes on him, his structure being more kid-like now that his cheeks were tinted of rose and his eyes were cast down in a shy gaze. His physical appearance clashes so much with whom he is that it actually makes me laugh, catching him utterly off guard.

“I-Is that good or bad, you laughing?” He stutters out, which only makes me laugh harder. Niall is stuttering.

“What, are you Yoda now?” I poke fun at him about his backwards sentence, making his cheeks turn an even deeper shade of crimson.

His temper rises and takes over, his anger trying to mask how vulnerable he’s allowed himself to be. “Are you fucking kidding me? I tell you about how I feel towards you and you have the fucking nerve to joke around?

I chuckle at his negative rise, the way his eyebrows tilt down and the way his pupils dilate with fury making him seem cuter than ever. Any fear I had of him before has faded away now that I’ve seen him at his most open and weakest point, knowing now that under the layers of rude snappy remarks and high-brand muscle tanks that he’s actually a sappy sweetheart.

He reaches up and clutches his cap in one hand, beginning to pace back and forth as he yanks at the roots of his hair, fully pissed and limitlessly frustrated. “I fucking opened up to you and you laugh at me? What the bloody hell is wrong with you? Do you know who I am? I’m fucking Niall Horan! I can get any girl I want but instead I’m standing here talking to you while I could have my dick up some hot chick’s–”

I cut him off by lurching forward and snaking my arms around his neck, pulling his face down to mine and finally– finally– pressing my lips against his own. “It’s good, me laughing.”

He’s so startled at first that he drops his snapback, not expecting for me to make the first move since he knows I’m not as dauntless as he is. I’m amused by this– the way his blue eyes widen in surprise and the way his lips part in awe against mine. After a few seconds of being astounded, I feel his lips move over mine, deciding that whatever he was going to say isn’t important anymore. His lips remind me of the alcohol I had consumed– they’re stomach-twistingly addictive.

His scent, his touch– everything about him piles up onto my chest and causes a churning deep in my gut. He’s like a mixture of the most compulsive drugs in the world, and as his skin smooths against mine, I can feel the chemicals collide in a burst of electric waves of pleasure.

Niall shoves me up against the wall again, his hands groping my hips as I tangle my fingers in his hair, pulling at the tuffs that stick up around the nape of his neck. He hums in agreement, running his huge hands up my body until he’s holding my jaw with both, the pads of his fingers digging into the skin just below my ears. I fist the cotton fabric of his red muscle tank, smiling into the kiss. I don’t think I can recall a moment where I’ve felt as happy as I do now.

“You’re going to have to make this up to me.” He murmurs inbetween kisses, biting down on my lower lip playfully and nibbling.

“Oh, yeah?” I breathe, digging my nails into his clothed chest as I allow him to dip his tongue into my mouth, the feeling new and strangely rewarding.

“Mm-hm…”

I sneak my hand down to the waistband of his shorts, my fingers ducking under his sleeveless shirt and tucking into his belt. I brush my thumb up along the happy trail I’d been admiring earlier, the little hairs bristling against the sensitive skin of my finger pad. His body jerks and I laugh, making him rut his hips into mine once so that my bottom slams into the wall as revenge.

I break the kiss and lean down, grinning as I hear him give a long whine. I pick up his fallen hat, placing it atop my own head. “It looks better on me.”

Niall rolls his eyes, ghosting his lips over my ear as he speaks. “Look at who’s suddenly gotten bold.”

I hum, tilting my head to the side as I feel him sponging kisses below my ear and trailing down the side of my neck. He gives small bites here and there, making me squirm around at the soft pecks.

“About making it up to you…” I trail off, savoring in the sweet feeling of his tongue passing along my skin.

“When you’re ready.” He whispers against my throat, nudging my chin with his nose.

“Thank you for understanding.” I sigh in relief, gripping onto his broad shoulders as he kisses along my collarbone.

“But can I just ask one thing?” Niall brings his eyes up level to my own, pressing his forehead against mine as he blinks at me questioningly.

“Yeah?”

“This waiting thing– does it apply to dry humping and blowjobs?”

I laugh softly, placing a kiss on his nose and running my hand down through his hair and back, wrapping my arms loosely around his waist.

“We’ll see.”

______________________

A/N: Hi guys! So I spent quite a lot of time writing this imagine and I think it’s pretty decent! Sorry if there’s any misuse of punctuation or typoes! I’d really appreciate if you told me what you thought because I feel skeptical about this one and I don’t know why. You’re feedback really helps. :) The song this piece goes with is Chemicals Collide by Boys Like Girls. I made some very minor changes to some of the lyrics just so you know– nothing major, just adding a word here and switching out a phrase there. ;) I really hope you enjoyed it and as always, all the looooveee! xxx

– Andrea ☻

Frat Boy Pt. 7 (Pt. 1)

part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6

Y’all this wasn’t proofread and it’s shorter than the last update, but…. you’ve all waited long enough :) Massive thank you to everyone for being so patient and I always love hearing your thoughts xx

Your eyes were gross and dry when you opened them, instantly begging to be shut against the world, closed where they wouldn’t have to try and see anything that was this bright.  And you were cold, you realized, head instantly turning around and a frown settling on your face as you took in the empty tent.  Renny’s sleeping bag was still discarded in the corner untouched from when Harry had tossed it and no one was beside you.  Had you been imagining it, then?  His warmth, the sturdiness of his body when he’d held you from your nightmare?  The horrifying dream had been a similar one and it stopped when you’d seen the glint of the knife, again.  Even when you’d thought you’d been awake last night, the Harry parts of your memory still seemed like a dream.  That is, until you heard a deep voice say “fuck off” just beyond the tent.

Perhaps you hadn’t been dreaming then?

You instantly smoothed your hair, desperately trying to untangle any knots and fizziness that had occurred in your tossing and turning, and you slapped your cheeks a bit because Renny’d said something before about how that stimulated blood flow.  Though this was coming from a girl who believed you put Vaseline on eyelashes, so- your hands dropped.

You groaned a bit when you stretched your stiff limbs and with a grimace made the effort to dig through your bag wedged in the corner to throw on a fresh t-shirt.  A little excitement bubbled in you and quickened your actions as you tugged on the fresh white blouse.  Your old shorts were going to have to do, because you weren’t going to risk Harry walking in on you.  You took a step to leave, and stopped.  You listened for a few solid seconds and there wasn’t much movement towards your tent and low accents seemed far enough away…Guess you could change if you were super fast in stripping.  You quickly shimmied out of your shorts and were left in just your knickers when you reached for the jeans in the very back corner.  You huffed as you leaned even farther, the stupid backpack was lodged under the sleeping bag and your head was hitting the side of the tent.  You were too lazy to stay in the hunched-back position, palms hitting the floor as if you were stretching, and you cringed when you felt the burn in the back of your thighs.  You really should’ve gone to yoga with Renny.  But if you just inched your hands a little more-

And that was when you heard the unzip of the tent.

“Shit!”

You jumped, head hitting one of the metal rods in the process, and you pulled the flowy blouse down as far as it could go as you whipped around to see a very shocked-

“Zayn!” you squeaked. He blinked hard, twice, still immobile at the entrance, eyes instantly looking anywhere but you.  But his feet were still glued to the floor.

“Shit- sorry,” he spluttered, and he finally turned with a blush, completely flustered.  He even faltered for a moment after turning around before actually leaping away from the entrance with a quick shake of his head. You struck a hand to your face and it dragged down as you cursed yourself for ever believing life would favor you for one freaking second.  You jumped again when a hand pushed its way through the entrance.

“ZAYN! IT’S OCCUPIED!” you screeched, completely incredulous.

“No, I know, don’ worry, jus’ tryin’- tryin’ t’get it-” he zipped the tent shut- “there, good.”  

But it was anything but good.  Your ass had been on full display along with your granny knickers as you were bent over, head to your knees, and he’d seen it all.  More footsteps and cracking brush.

“She in there?” It sounded like an accusation.

The gruff sound made your heart drop to your stomach, but it was fighting to come back up as you realized he was talking about you.  You’d just shimmied into your shorts when the zipper was starting to be tugged at again.

“Doesn’t anybody frickin’, I don’t know, ask to walk in anymore?  I could’ve been completely naked.”

“S’that bad?” His head poked through and the little twinkle in his eye almost made you wish that he had seen you without your shorts.  Almost.  You sank to your knees and his eyes followed.  You ignored the slight smirk that told you he enjoyed the action a little too much.

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Dusk Coloured Kisses

Requested.

Pt. 1

The screeching of your alarm clock wakes you up. Five o’clock. Niall had specifically asked for you to wake up early, you weren’t entirely sure why. But he said he had something planned. Who were you to say no?

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