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:
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
“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.
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.
Expectations you didn’t want in the
first place fell when you heard her voice raise in pitch. Of course it wasn’t
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“Are you here to see someone then?”
“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?”
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
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.
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.
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
“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
“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.
It was mortifying.
“So-” Charlie cleared his throat-
“You guys are mates then I reckon?”
“We’re not sure what they are,” Gemma
“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
“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.
“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
“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
“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
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
“Really good,” Viv crooned.
“Could you pass the water please?”
“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
“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.
“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
“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
“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.
“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
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.”
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
“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.
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
You rested your head on the steering
wheel before bouncing up again and rolling down the window.
“What Harry,” you sighed.
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
“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
“I- no.” Your mouth parted but it
closed again. Was he for real? Was he….kidding? “I can pay you back you
“Lionel won’t hear of it. He doesn’t
“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-?!!!”
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
“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
“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
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
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
“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.”
“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
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
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
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
“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
“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
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
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
But when he opened the door wider you didn’t waste a second in
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
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
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.
“Hales, do you have any deep red lipstick?” I called as I walked through the living room, putting my earrings in. She was in her bathroom, pulling her army green Ramones jacket on. “I need a trip to Sephora in the worst of ways. I’m out of everything.”
She pulled a lipstick from her drawer, the perfect deep burgundy I was looking for. “Use it in here, otherwise I’ll never see it again.”
I rolled my eyes, opening the tube and applying a layer of the liquid lipstick to my lips. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like you’re any better.”
“So, I extended an invite to your sorority sisters.” She quipped, putting on an extra layer of powder, sparing a look in my direction.
“I doubt any of them will come, considering I basically fell off the map for a year.” I did my sisters wrong, barely talking to any of them during my break from school. It wouldn’t surprise me if none of them wanted to speak to me after that.
“If they’re really your sisters, they will. From what you have told me that’s supposed to be an unbreakable bond. And if they are cold towards you for taking a year off, they weren’t really your sisters to begin with.”
She was right, even if they didn’t know the whole situation, they should still be there for me regardless… right? That’s what sisters did. Biological or not.
“Also, I heard from a little birdy, that you invited Mr. Styles to be apart of our little shindig tonight.” She smirked, propping herself against the counter and crossing her arms. “What happened to ‘no distractions’?”
I sighed, trying to hide the tiny smile I could feel begging to come across my face. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t kind of looking forward to seeing Harry again. I honestly didn’t know why, I didn’t even know him from Adam and I had sworn off guys for the most part. So why was I practically begging myself not to be happy to see him?
“Because he kept asking me to hang out and I just told him we were having a party. It was only to get him off my back.” I lied, hoping Haley would believe it.
“You’re such a liar.” She laughed, “I know you, Callahan.”
“You’re into him, aren’t you?”
I blushed a deep crimson, “No, I barely know the kid. I’m just trying to get y'all off of my back.”
“Yeah, okay. I know how this is gonna end and it’s not gonna be you enjoying being single, it’s gonna be you naked in bed with him.”
I rolled my eyes, chuckling “You’re so full of shit.”
“So what’s she like?” I asked Niall, on the ride over to Taylor and Haley’s house. It was Saturday night and people were just beginning to come out for the evening, dressed in their weekend best, toting cases of beer.
Niall chuckled, “She’s something, alright.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Taylor is different from other girls. She and Haley are a lot alike. Neither of them are dependent on anyone but themselves. They’re also two of the most hard headed girls I know.” He smiled, pulling into their driveway. “Taylor is one of those girls that seems so typical and so predictable, but she’s anything but.”
I found myself becoming curious again about their reaction to my question at lunch. What were they hiding and just how unpredictable is Taylor?
“But if there’s one thing I know about Taylor Callahan, is that she can drink pretty much anyone under the table.”
We walked inside, a variety of people scattered through the house. Most everyone noticeably tipsy and the party was in full swing. Glancing around, I noticed a few of our brothers gathered in the kitchen, beers in hand and laughing loudly at something one of them said.
“Brit! You made it.” One of them shouted, “Just in time to shotgun one with us.”
I shook their hands, “Yeah, had to see what all the fuss is about these parties.”
“Oh, these two throw some ragers, that’s for sure.”
“Speaking of, where’s the hostesses?” Niall asked, pulling a beer from the fridge.
“I saw Haley out back with Chloe.” One noted, tossing a beer to me. “Here, man. Join us.”
I chuckled, “I’m alright for now. Ask me a few drinks from now.”
My eyes scanned the living room for the beautiful brunette that had invited me. Noting the amount of people that filled the house, I was shocked seeing just how many there were. I noticed a few that I had classes with before, some that were in the band, most were in fraternities and sororities which I had recognized from the many Thursday nights I had spent at the Greek village.
“You came!” A familiar voice shouted, before I knew it I was being engulfed in a hug by a giggling Taylor, obviously tipsy. “I didn’t think you were ever gonna come.”
I chuckled, checking my phone, it was only 10:56, the party had merely just started. “Of course I came.”
She smiled drunkenly up at me, “Hi.”
It was the first time I had gotten a good look at her. Her green eyes sparkled, her lips were painted deep red and I wanted nothing more than to kiss her. “Are yeh havin’ a good night?”
“The best.” She smiled, closing her eyes and taking a long gulp of her drink, tipping it all the way up.
“Do you need another? What are you drinking?”
“Hunch punch.” She giggled, “But it’s my secret hunch punch. No one knows about it except for me.”
“And me, now.”
“Damn it.” She cursed, stumbling towards the back of the house. I followed her curiously, mostly because I was afraid she might run into a wall or two in her high heels. She led me into a bedroom, which I assumed was hers. It was dimly lit by fairy lights, casting a yellow-ish glow onto the fluffy white bed. A vintage record player sat in the corner with a stack of vinyls next to it. I walked over to them, a Fleetwood Mac album sat at the top of the stack.
“Stevie is my soul sister.”
The sudden sound of her voice made me jump. I turned around to face her. She stood there, cup in hand, smiling at me with that perfect smile that I honestly could stare at all day. It was one of those simple pleasures in life that I was definitely getting used to.
“She’s amazing.” She added, “My mom adores her too. It’s one of the few things we agree on.”
I smiled, pleased to know that she had great taste in music. “Have you ever seen her live?”
“God, I wish. That would quite honestly be the best day of my life.” She sighed, walking towards me her smile faltering a bit. “I really am sorry about being rude. There was no reason for me to be.”
“All is forgiven.” I chuckled.
We fell quiet, the only sound coming from the booming music in the living room. We stood for what seemed like ages without talking.
“So why did you go inactive?”
“Um, j-just a family emergency.” She stuttered, I knew she was lying. “Something happened at home that I just needed to deal with.”
“S’everything okay now?” I asked, genuinely concerned for the girl that stood in front of me, practically begging with her eyes for me to change the subject.
She smiled again, making my worries settle. “Getting there.”
“I’m back, bitches!” Taylor shouted, standing on top of the coffee table holding her beer in the air as all the guys around her cheered. “Miss me?”
“Give us a show, sweetheart.” One shouted. I didn’t recognize him, he was on the short side and seemed like one of those guys that acts tough to try and compensate for his unfortunate height. His comment infuriated me though, even with my hazy mind.
Taylor laughed sarcastically, flipping her long dark hair over her shoulder. “Not even in your dreams, micropeen.”
I couldn’t help but laugh loudly, thatta girl. She glanced over at me, flashing a flirty grin.
“This one’s for you, Tay!” A girl I had remembered who’s name was Jordan shouted from beside the speaker. A familiar tune started playing, I soon recognized the song as Bennie and the Jets.
“Hey kids, shake it loose togetha, spotlight’s hitting somethin’ that’s been known to change the weatha. We’ll kill the fatted calf tonight so stick arouuuuund.” She sang, using the neck of her beer bottle as a microphone. As she swayed and sang, I found myself completely amused by the girl who had initially been seemingly standoffish and now was the life of the party.
She turned to me again, holding her hand out in my direction. Everyone else had left, leaving just her and me in the middle of the room as she sang her heart out. I walked towards her, chuckling as she wiggled her eyebrows at me. Just as I took her hand to help her down, she lost her footing and fell forward, crashing into me. Thankfully, with her small stature I was able to keep us from falling to the ground. She giggled, turning her head towards me. Our eyes met, there was an undeniable connection. It was almost as if nothing else was going on around us, it was just us two. I felt myself leaning in closer, but stopped. We were both drunk, I didn’t want to take advantage of her, no matter how much I wanted to kiss her in that moment.
“Sorry.” She giggled, steadying herself back on her feet before continuing to sing. “She’s got electric boobs!”
I cackled, “Boobs?”
“That’s the words!” She argued, pushing me slightly. “You’re distracting me!”
I smirked, “Am I?”
“Oh Halessss,” I heard Taylor’s voice calling me from down the hall, I opened my door to find her struggling to stand on her own, a fresh cup of her hunch punch in her hand. “This is so much fun. We need to do this every night!”
I stifled a laugh, trying not to egg her on knowing where this night may end, hoping to keep control of the situation. “You wanna share that hunch punch with me?”
She laughed, chugging the rest of the liquid that filled her cup. “What hunch punch? It’s allllll gone.”
My mind instantly went back to earlier that day when she had made not one, but two gallons of her hunch punch that was indeed, mostly alcohol and very little juice. I inwardly groaned, this night was already headed in the direction I hoped it wouldn’t, and I wasn’t looking forward to the ultimate demise of what originally was a great night. I grabbed her cup from her hands, and took off towards the kitchen. “Alright Tay, I think you’ve had enough.”
“Who are you to tell me when I’ve had enough?” Taylor slurred, brushing past me and grabbing a bottle of Jack Daniels off of the island. “I think I deserve a drink or two.”
I huffed, becoming increasingly irritated “You’ve had more than two drinks. You’re drunk off your ass.”
“So what if I am? At least I can sort of forget about how fucking shitty my life has been.”
“Taylor, stop it. Don’t start this again, this isn’t you!” I shouted, trying to grab the bottle from her. Taylor brought the bottle to her lips, taking a large chug without even wincing, as if it was water. My heart began to sink, this can’t be happening again.
“I haven’t been me in three years.” Taylor muttered, beginning to walk back towards her room.
I stalked after her, snatching the glass bottle from her hands. “You’ve had enough.”
“Just fuck off!” Taylor seethed loudly, a tear running down her face. I attempted to grab the bottle again, and failed once more.
Harry was on his feet then and Niall came around the corner shortly after, running a hand through his blonde hair. This was getting out of hand, and of all things, it wasn’t just us, some of our closest friends were seeing her like this, something she always said she’d wanted keep from them. Harry shot me a confused look, I shook my head feeling tears coming to my eyes.
“Okay, everyone. Party’s over.” Niall announced, trying to usher people out of the house as quick as possible. Once the last person was out, he returned to me, standing in between Taylor and me. “Taylor, calm down. You just need to go to bed, okay?”
“Come on, let’s go.” I tried to pull her back down the hall. The arm that was in my hand was jerked back violently as she shot me a warning glare.
She shook her head profusely, “No! I need to forget! I need to be numb!”
Tears were visibly pouring down her face then. She was shaking as sobs took over her body. Niall wrapped his arms around her as she fought him, ultimately failing as she became limp in his embrace, sobbing into his shoulder. “I can’t do this anymore.”
Niall kept his tight hold on her, whispering into her ear, “We’ve got you, Tay. You’re safe.”
My heart was breaking for my best friend all over again. I thought we were past this, but I thought wrong.
Taylor broke free from Niall’s grasp and glanced at me, I could see the pain written on her face. With one last quick swig, she stalked back to her room and slammed the door. I stood there in shock, glancing at Haley who had tears running down her face as well. Her heart visibly broken.
“She said she was better.” Her voice was broken, chin quivering.
Niall sighed, kissing her forehead. “Well obviously she’s not. But that isn’t something you get over quickly. You know that. We just need to be here for her, like we always are. That’s all we can do right now.”
“I’m sorry, I’ll just leave.” I muttered, grabbing my jumper that was draped over the back of the couch. I suddenly felt like I was intruder on the conversation and their lives. This wasn’t my place to be.
“Actually, she might like someone to talk to that doesn’t know what’s going on.” Haley spoke up, her voice hoarse from the alcohol and crying. “She won’t speak to me or Niall for the rest of the night.”
She sighed, “That’s just how this goes.”
“This has happened before?” I asked, now more concerned than ever. What exactly was I trying to get myself into? What kind of mess was this and was it worth what I originally thought?
“After what happened, it became a regular thing– the drinking, the outbursts, the fighting. I guess she thought it was a good way to cope.” Haley frowned, looking down at her shoes. “I’m sorry, I’ve had enough of tonight. I’m going to bed. I’m sorry about all of this.”
Niall rubbed her back, placing a kiss on her forehead. “I’ll be in soon.”
She granted me a sad smile before walking towards the door opposite of Taylor’s. I longed to knock on her door, to make sure she was alright, but I wasn’t sure if it was my place or if I needed to. After all, my suspicions were confirmed, this was much deeper than Haley and Niall had originally led on.
“Stay, don’t want you driving after having a few.” Niall offered, scratching his neck, obviously trying to figure out the mess that just played out. “I better go check on Haley.”
I nodded, not sure if I should leave or not. Something inside of me told me to leave, to get as far away from this as I could, but for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to. “Thanks, man. I’ll hang out for a bit. Sober up enough to walk back to the house.”
“If you need anything, we’ll be right in here.” He patted my shoulder before making his way back to Haley’s room.
The sound of a loud thud had me jolting from my light sleep. I sat up from my position on the couch, catching a glimpse of a stumbling Taylor, still in her clothes from the party and toting the Jack Daniels bottle. I jumped up, catching her before she fell.
“Easy there, tiger.” I muttered, startling her slightly. She glanced up at me, eyes glazed over, eyebrows knitting together. Her makeup was smeared, faint black streaks decorated her cheeks, making my heart clench. I had always hated to see a girl cry.
“What are you doing here?” She slurred, becoming a rag doll in my hold, catching me off guard. After steadying myself again, I hooked an arm behind her legs, walking towards the couch and placing her down gently.
I sighed, “Wanted to make sure you were alright.”
“Why does everyone keep saying that?” She groaned, “I’m fucking fine.”
“I’m sure you are, sober.”
She sat up, “Don’t fucking start with me, Styles.”
“I’m not trying to do anything.” I held my hands up in defense, fixing my eyes on the bottle in her hands, noticing it was almost empty. “But how about we get you some water and something to eat?”
Her eyes rolled, but eventually she loosened her grip on the bottle enough for me to take it from her. She laid there, looking utterly defeated, if it hadn’t been for her evident sadness, I might would have chuckled at her state, but this wasn’t something funny.
“I need to get out of these clothes.” She grumbled and before I could stop her, she was pulling her shirt over her head, revealing her tanned torso. I tried to stop my gaze from falling to her full chest, but I noticed something right below her bra. Along her ribcage, ran a long scar, making my heart clench. “I got cut during a fishing trip.”
Her voice startled me, pulling my gaze back up to her face. Though her face was stoic, something told me she was lying. “Oh.”
“Shit, you must think I’m some stripper or something.” She mumbled, quickly finding her shirt that she had just discarded to the floor and covering herself.
I chuckled, “Not quite.”
“Um, let me go change.” She slurred, shuffling towards her room. Moments later, I heard another thud. Worriedly, I stalked towards the back of the house finding her leaning against a wall struggling to get her skinny jeans down her legs. “Help.”
I hesitated, again, not wanting to take advantage of her. “Are you sure?”
She huffed, falling back onto her bed. “I can’t do it.”
I noticed a stack of folded clothes on her dresser, grabbing a tshirt and a pair of sleep pants for her to wear. She was still struggling to work the denim down her legs, but barely trying, her intoxication slowly drifting her to sleep. “Stay with me until we get you some water.”
She groaned as I pulled the pants up her legs, “Just let me sleep.”
“Nope, you’re not winning this one.” I told her, picking her up and throwing her over my shoulder, making my way into the kitchen. Raiding the pantry for something filling, I found some peanut butter and bread, making her a quick little sandwich. I browsed the fridge for any bottles of water, finally finding one hidden behind a jar of pickles. “Here, eat up and drink.”
She pulled her hands from her face, grabbing the sandwich and taking a lazy bite. “Thanks.”
“S’no problem.” I muttered, washing the knife I had used. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah.” She deadpanned, taking another bite of her sandwich. The both of us stayed silent, but I noticed the faint sound of music playing, I soon recognized it was Fleetwood Mac playing from her record player. It was a comfortable few minutes of quiet as she finished her sandwich and water.
“Harry?” She muttered, her voice hoarse. “Can I ask you a question?”
I looked at her, taking in her face. Black streaks cascaded down her cheeks, her cheeks flushed. “Of course.”
“Why are you still here?”
I shrugged, not really sure myself as to why I was, but for some reason couldn’t leave. Something was pulling me to her. “Because I see that you’ve had a hard time, was just trying to help.”
“I don’t deserve it, though. I don’t deserve Haley’s forgiveness either, I really don’t deserve her at all.” She admitted, looking down at her water bottle solemnly. “If you only knew how much we’ve been through and how much strain I caused in our friendship, you’d never look at me the same.” A single tear fell down her face and I just looked at the girl before me. Now more than ever, I wanted to know what had caused all of her pain and a part of me wanted to be the healing she needed, but not knowing if that’s what was best. This whole situation seemed deeper than anyone had led on and I wasn’t sure if it was in my best interest to get involved, but still, I couldn’t leave.
“Sorry.” She shook her head, gulping down the rest of her water. “I’m sorry for all of this.”
I shrugged, offering her a small smile, hoping to see her mood change slightly. “Shit happens.”
“Wanna watch a movie?” I could tell her drunkenness was slowly subsiding, at least enough for her to talk normally again.
“That sounds great, but I can’t promise I won’t fall asleep halfway through.”
She smiled a bit, “I won’t hold it against you.”
We sat on the couch, only a foot or two between us as we browsed through Netflix. She snuggled deep into the couch, covering herself with a fluffy blanket.
“How I Met Your Mother is always a good choice,” She yawned, slightly inching towards me.
I chuckled, enjoying the decreasing space between us. “How I Met Your Mother it is, then.”
She had only made it through two and a half episodes before she was out cold. At some point during that time, she had slowly inched down to lay her head on my shoulder. Unbothered by it, I snuck my arm around her waist, feeling her snuggle deeper into me as I situated us more comfortably.
I couldn’t help but smile slightly, something about this felt right. Although we had only met two days before, there was a pull towards her and I wanted to pursue it. If not in a romantic way, then at the very least, a friendly way. Something told me she was brought to me for a reason, and I wanted to find out.
It had been a while since I had woken up this hungover. Sharp pains were shooting through my brain at the slightest of movements I made. My body felt like it had been put through the wringer and I wanted nothing more than to bury myself in my bed and not come out until I was eighty-nine. But something felt off, I wasn’t in bed. My eyes fluttered open, seeing my hand loosely fisting the fabric of a shirt that adorned none other than Harry.
Oh shit, what have I done now?
I quickly sat up, instantly regretting that decision when the shooting pains increased in my skull. “Fuck.”
Harry stirred awake, stretching his long limbs before rolling his head to the side to face me. “How are you feeling?”
I groaned, covering my face with my hand. “Let’s not talk about it.”
He stood from the couch, shuffling to the kitchen to open up the fridge. He returned only moments later with a bottle of water, “Where do you keep your pain relievers?”
“Above the sink in the kitchen, in the cabinet.” I answered, taking a long swig of the water, the cold soothing my raw throat.
“Here, take four.” He offered out his hand with four ibuprofen already taken from the bottle. I looked up at him, silently thanking him and also wondering why he was still here.
After taking the pills, I sunk back into the couch, hoping to find a comfortable position. I glanced up at him, he was still looking at me, obviously holding back from saying something.
His eyes widened a bit before taking his seat next to me again. “Well um, you kind of, went a little overboard last night.”
“What do you mean?”
“You don’t remember anything?” He asked, concern written on his face.
I tried to think back to the night before, the only thoughts I could recollect was Harry’s arrival. After that, it was all a blur. “No.”
He sighed, running a hand through his disheveled hair, obviously trying to find the right words. “Well, you had it out with Haley.”
“What?” I asked, my heart rate increasing remembering the last time we had had it out with each other. The night that I thought I lost my best friend. I hoped and prayed that last night was not a repeat performance.
As Harry recalled the events from the night before, I felt my heart break and guilt consume me. Had I really done it again? Had I really lashed out at my best friend for helping, again? Tears started falling from my eyes and I knew I needed to talk to her.
Before I knew it, my feet had found the hardwood floors, taking me back to Haley’s room and leaving Harry in the living room. I hesitantly knocked on the door, not knowing if she’d talk to me now that I had done this twice. Only moments later, the door swung open revealing a shirtless Niall, fresh from a shower. One look at my face and he wrapped his arms tightly around me as I sobbed into his shoulder.
“It’s okay, Tay.” He soothed, rubbing my back. “She knows you didn’t mean it.”
“I need to apologize to her, I can’t lose her again Niall.”
“Tay, you’re never gonna lose me.” Haley said quietly, coming from the bathroom with wet hair, walking over to me before pulling me into one of her comforting hugs. “I know more than anyone what you’ve been through and if you really think that one little spat is going to get rid of me, then you’re not really my best friend and I need to find that crazy bitch that I really live with.”
She chuckled, pulling back and keeping me at arms length, her words bringing a slight smile to my face, my worries slowly decreasing.
“I’m so sorry for what I said.” I said sincerely, taking her hands in mine and squeezing them. “Truly.”
She shrugged, “I had already forgiven you last night, I just needed your ass to sober up so I could make sure you were still alive.”
Haley was truly the greatest person I knew, one of the only people that truly has been there through thick and thin. I didn’t deserve her friendship or her forgiveness, she was way too merciful with me. There was no way I would be alive and well if it weren’t for her.
“Well, I think Harry took care of me last night. God only knows how much of a handful I am, I hope I didn’t scare him off.” I sighed, genuinely concerned for what Harry thought of me now. Although I wasn’t interested in being involved with anyone romantically, I couldn’t help but be pulled to Harry for whatever reason it was. “I’m really sorry.”
“Dude, will you stop apologizing?” Haley chuckled.
I smiled slightly, bringing her in for another hug. “I hope you know you’re my person.”
Walking back into the living room, I had silently hoped Harry was still there but another part of me just wished that he would rid himself of any kind of relationship with me completely. He didn’t need to be roped into this, I couldn’t do that to him. He seemed so genuine, which was refreshing considering the guys I seemed to always attract had been the complete opposite. Despite my wanting him to save himself from me, I still felt a pull to him. I wanted to know him, there was a reason I met him. I could feel it in the pit of my stomach.
“Everything alright?” He asked from the couch, standing from his seat.
Smiling a bit, I ran a hand through my hair, realizing then just how much I needed a shower. Despite the night of heavy drinking and drama, he still looked good. I inwardly cursed myself for looking like such a mess in front of him this early on, but oh well, it was too late now.
“Um, yeah.” The room grew silent, neither of us knowing what to say next. A feeling in the pit of my stomach was telling me that he was looking for an opportunity to leave and in all honesty, I didn’t blame him.
Dimples indented his cheeks then, glancing at the floor momentarily before looking back up at me with sparkling green eyes, making my heart do the cursed thing yet again. “Do you want to go get some breakfast? As friends, of course.”
My eyes flickered to the clock on the wall, 1:32 pm. I chuckled, “Well, I think we may be a little late for breakfast, but lunch sounds great.”
“So, what brought you here of all places?” I asked, sipping my protein smoothie, hoping it would aid in my hangover recovery.
He smiled, leaning back in his chair as the waitress brought our plates of food to us. “I could ask you the same, Miss Southern Belle.”
It was true, I was just as much of a rarity as he was at Syracuse , at least where accents and hometowns were concerned.
“Well, my dad is from here and this is where he went to school. I spent a lot of time here when I was little during football season, so I’ve always loved it here.”
“Did you consider other places?”
I thought for a moment, of course there had been other options I had considered, but when it came down to it, Syracuse just felt like home to me. “Yeah, but none of them offered what SU did.”
“How come we’ve never met before this year?” He asked, biting into his club sandwich. “Obviously you took a year off but there was two years before that.”
“Well I guess I can credit that to the fact that I didn’t go out much during those two years except for a handful of times.”
“Just not keen on going out or?”
I sighed, trying to figure out a way to word this that wouldn’t cause more questions to arise. “I was just really focused on spending time with my boyfriend at the time rather than going out.”
“Oh, I’m assuming he’s out of the picture now, right?”
“Thankfully, yes.” And for the first time, I felt like I could genuinely smile about that. “You still haven’t answered the question.”
“Erm, well, I just wanted something different. I researched a lot of universities in America and felt that this one fit me best.”
I smiled as he delved into stories from his childhood, finding myself enjoying the conversation and his company more and more as we sat there. The conversations seemed to flow easily, the both of us never running out of things to talk about. All too soon, our plates were empty and the check was being brought to the table.
“I got it.” He offered, pulling his wallet from his pocket.
I placed my hand on his as he reached for the book, “No, please, let me. After all you did for me last night and how rude I was to you that first day, I think I owe you. So, I got it.”
He hesitated but eventually pulled back, placing the cash he had just pulled, back into his wallet.
“This goes against everything I believe as a gentleman, but I suppose I am still a little sore from you brushing me off.” His eye dropped into a wink making me blush. How did he manage to do that with the smallest of gestures? “Thank you.”
“Thank you again for breakfast.” He smiled as we drove back to my house. “I’d love to hang out again.”
I blushed again, “Um-”
“As friends of course.” He clarified, throwing me a small grin. “Don’t want to pressure you into a date, I’m hoping you’ll want to on your own.”
I chuckled, “You are one of a kind, Styles. You know that?”
“I’ve been told a few times.”
He was something alright.
There you go guys!!! I hope you enjoyed it, I really loved writing this chapter and am already delving into chapter three.
Please, give me some feedback. It helps, a lot and it’s always, always, always appreciated!!!
Thank you guys so much for enjoying frat boy, I get so excited each time I hear your responses! We can all thank @whathefuckeverr for this amazing edit :) Also thanks for being patient everyone, i hope it’s worth it.. ;) xx
held the door open for you. Granted, you never really expected him to,
but when it slammed shut in your face it nevertheless left a chill.
pedestrian gave you an apologetic glance, and you really wanted to tell them
you were definitely not with him, not the guy that walked just as fast
as he drove, mumbling a “come on” or huffing every few seconds when
you’d fallen behind, not the guy who seemed to be rushing to get away from you,
to the cover of the indoors. But then the sky opened its mouth a little
more and you started to feel a drizzle, the stranger was forgotten as you
ducked under the awning. And when you walked through the doors and saw
Harry still clad in his practice uniform brushing off the stares that seemed to
gravitate towards him, you thought, perhaps you wouldn’t completely mind if you
were with him. You waited a little awkwardly by the door along with the
other normal people waiting their turn in the long line Harry had
assumedly skipped. He stood confidently, like he was standing in his
living room and not like he’d just jumped to the front on one of Kean’s busiest
nights, and you watched curiously as he spoke to the hostess who had the whole
Urban Outfitter wardrobe and Tumblr girl pout going on.
you clearly weren’t going for.
gestured behind him with a little look your way, and the hostess followed his
gaze, you offered a small smile and saw her brows knit together a bit in what
you could only guess was distaste. It stung, but you were more focused on
the way he leaned towards her just the slightest to say something a little
lower, and the way her pout suddenly turned up with a giggle from his huskily-spoken
way his smile broke into a smug grin as he took in her change of mood.
his focus with the hostess to look back at you, still looking as smug as ever,
and you cursed yourself for following him when he tossed his head to come
closer. Truly, it killed you a bit to follow this arrogant panty-dropper,
and you mumbled little apologizes to the people you (not so elegantly) brushed
past to get there. You hated the stupid pangs of jealousy at his intimate
actions with the hostess when in reality his words were completely meaningless,
a means to an end. Actually, you should be trying to warn the girl before
it was too late and she was spread on his bed like a sloppy PB&J and
thrown in the trash the next morning by a kid who decided he didn’t like the
way the jelly and the peanut butter ran off the edges.
hostess was quickly leading you through the filled tables to the only open
space and when you saw it you wanted to roll your eyes. The largest booth
at the back of the room, and somehow it had Harry written all over it.
That hostess must’ve been a yoga instructor or an acrobat because you
were downright struggling to maneuver through everything that quick and Harry,
surprisingly, was gracious enough to wait for you.
wait by the door?” he asked. And if you weren’t smarter, you would’ve
thought you heard the smallest sliver of concern.
too ridiculously crowded. But it looks like that wasn’t a problem for
you,” you observed.
friends.” His tone was dismissive, but you couldn’t trust it.
found its way to your waist to help you forward and you couldn’t quite swivel
out of it in the narrow spaces between chairs and tables.
isn’t a date Styles.”
said it was,” he countered. “M’not cheap enough to take a girl here
fo’ a date. Plus you’re m’tutor now aren’t yeh? ‘M not that kinky.”
forgot you were rich. Would you fly her to Spain for dinner then?” you
scoffed, but you were cringing at how you couldn’t mask your sudden sour mood.
d’yeh like Spain?”
almost seriously questioned if he would and mumbled a never mind.
You never really thought about how rich Harry was, you knew his family
was well-known for something, and you were pretty sure it was a big
something. But you’d just never been sure what. For all you knew,
he could own half the oil rigs in Texas and own two private planes. The
rich weren’t exactly scarce in your town, actually it was normal for you to see
Ferraris and Rolls-Royces at the grocery store on the daily, and Harry’s family
was definitely situated at the top of the rich hierarchy. You reckoned
his family had a collection of exotic cars.
hostess quickly called a waiter over to clear the table and her persistent
glances towards Harry when you slid into the booth set you in a petulant mood.
He’d probably fly the hostess to Spain. He’d probably be kinky
with the hostess in Spain.
in beside you and his hands brushed against yours as he did so, a tingle
running up your sides from the gentle touch.
m’not into role play, but you’d still look sexy in a pencil skirt,” he murmured
practically choked on air, and before you could mumble an incoherent what?
his eyes were already back on the hostess. Bright with laughter.
And anything but innocent.
all set. Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you,” she said.
And the way she looked directly at Harry with a coy smile and
nonchalantly leant down to accentuate her ample cleavage made you think that
yes, she really did mean anything.
Em. ‘M glad you’re workin’ tonight,” he said warmly, with that crooked smile
that could charm the knickers off your gran. Em. The
intimacy in which he spoke those words was twisting the knife lodged deep in
everything that came out of his mouth this seductive-sounding? You
weren’t making this up were you? You couldn’t possibly.
usual?” she asked, in that familiar way that made you grit your teeth with annoyance.
sure yet, we’ll get back to yeh soon,” he sent her a little wink and you swore
she actually swooned. A small flustered smile befell her and Harry
was watching it all, his charming persona never faltering. “Well when you
figure it out you know where to find me,” she said, turning her head and
wiggling her hips a little too much when she walked away.
Her long blonde hair was perfectly curled and you were envious of
how it seemed to fall so naturally, swish each way when she walked. For a
moment, you regretted throwing your hair in a bun.
suddenly ran his hands up and down his face once and leant back with a sigh,
your body tensing just the slightest when you sensed his arm fall just above
treat all your friends like that?” you asked. You couldn’t help it, the
seed had been planted and it was going to nag at you all night if you didn’t
just ask him. Besides, there was no harm in it - nothing was ever going
to happen between him and you so there was no need to be bashful.
the tug at his cheeks. “Yeah, friends. I stop in every now and
then.” He stopped to think a moment. “She got sloppy drunk once but that night
was just a mistake all ‘round I reckon.”
imagine you have a lot of those,” you mused.
never be with a woman too fucked up to enjoy it,” he said shortly. “She came
onto me and she was proper embarrassed about it all the next day when I told
her what ‘appened, apologized and everythin’.”
you telling me this?”
shrugged before looking at you with an amused glimmer lighting his eyes.
“You’re the one who wanted to know.”
never-” your denial faltered. Had you asked him? “You don’t
need to tell me about your sex life,” you said quickly, covering up your
glares yeh were givin’ her said otherwise, but don’t go on and blush about it,
m’flattered s’all.” The cocky grin broke across his face and the knife
you’d felt in your stomach quickly melted by a fire you weren’t quite sure you
wanted to acknowledge at the moment.
we’re inside though, startin’ t’rain now innit?” His eyes never left you, and
you felt forced to look outside the windows now wet from their natural shower.
you sighed. It hit you for a moment where this conversation was going and
suddenly you laughed loudly. “I refuse, absolutely refuse, to talk
about the weather with you Harry. Let’s…” You reached for your bag that
he finished for you.
you muttered. Harry quirked an eyebrow. “I forgot the books,” you
whispered as the realization sunk in. You could’ve sworn you’d brought
them to the field, but you’d been in such a rush to get over there and then
you’d ran back to put on a light coat of makeup… they were in your bag on your
bed. Along with your wallet.
hadn’t said anything, but as he took in your crushed face, he barked a laugh
and shook his head a bit. “That’s classic, absolutely classic.”
Your hand shot out to shove him, but he dodged it and it only made
your scowl deepen. “Harry! You’re laughing at your own failed
English grade right now,” you whined.
laughter subsided but only after mumbling an unbelievable under his
breath. “S’alright, we can still talk about it yeah? ‘M sure yeh
got loads of stuff in that pretty head o’ yours.” The word pretty slipped
out before he could stop it, and unnoticed by you, everything about him froze.
“That’s how you’re supposed to feel, doll,” Natalie smirks at you.
A girl shoves past you both, screaming and barely managing to avoid spilling beer all over your chest. The Alpha Psi fraternity resides in a mansion. One that you were certain had existed all the way back into the 80′s. Ivy stretched itself out on the walls until it almost manages to sneak into the windows.
Windows and balcony doors that are thrown open–warm, heavenly light spills out into the night, casting an ominous glow on Natalie’s face. “Ready?” She asks, although it’s not really a question. You don’t even get a chance to part your lips before she drags you through the door.
In all your years of being a teenager, you have only been to a number of parties. Real, genuine, drinking parties. Birthday ones didn’t count. That said, you aren’t much of a drinker, having been raised on the strict principle of sober parents. So, naturally, when Natalie forced a red foam cup into your hand, you didn’t know what to do.
She lifts hers up to her lips and sips, before sighing deeply. “See? Let loose a little, you’re not gonna get his attention looking as stiff as a plank of wood.”
“I don’t want to get his attention!” You exclaim, but it’s too late. Natalie tilts your elbow up and the oddly lukewarm liquid fizzes down your throat.
“That’s better,” Natalie smiles, looking at your already-cloudy eyes. She looks around the room for a second, then lights up when she spots her target. “There’s Thomas. I’m gonna go accidentally bump into him, okay? Be. Cool.”
You watch as her small red head bob up and down across the room, before you lose her due to a new influx of drunk freshmen. You scrunch your nose up as one of them throws up on the couch. You don’t even understand how someone can be so physically drunk so quickly. This is not your scene.
The front door is held open by what looks like an old math textbook, and you think about how tempting it is to just walk out and head back to your dorm. Properly unpack and play the new Lorde album. You can feel your legs carrying you towards your escape, and there are only two more steps to go…when you see him walk out of the kitchen.
Well, walking is an overstatement. He strides sluggishly, obviously intoxicated, to the nearest beverage bar to help himself to another bottle of beer–utterly oblivious to the one he was already carrying in his other hand.
Beautiful and gorgeous Harry.
You feel your heart begin to hammer in your chest and your cheeks begin to flush (which was most probably due to the alcohol currently running through your veins). Truth be told, you had lied to Natalie. It wasn’t technically a full-fledged lie, but it wasn’t completely the god-honest truth either.
No one has ever looked at you the way Harry did this afternoon. And speak of the devil…Harry turns around, head whipping around the room, before his eyes land on yours. A sly smile stretches out across his lips, and he swaggers over to you. You are quick to down another large gulp of whatever Natalie had poured for you, and shake out your arms a bit.
You are not going to be a plank of wood. Not tonight you’re not.
“You came,” he whispers, backing you up against a wall, forehead leaning on yours. You bite your bottom lip, desperately fearful and excited at the same time. And this just attracts his green orbs down to your lips, and he smiles. “What is your name, sweetheart?”
You watch as his eyes wander down down down, and you are silently thanking Natalie for cutting into your dress. “Y-Y/N,” you stammer.
“That’s a pretty name,” he murmurs. You can feel his hot breath against your mouth. “Pretty name for a pretty girl, who would’ve thought?”
It only occurs to you after a few seconds that he had just cracked a joke, but before you can laugh, he’s setting down both of his bottles of beer on the nearest table and grabbing your hand. “Let’s go upstairs,” he whispers to you, before leading you up the stairs.
Now, you have never been into this house before, but you can only assume he’s taking you into his bedroom. Climbing up the stairs, your gaze latches onto Natalie’s–whose jaw hangs agape.
She appears to be saying something to you. Puzzled, you continue to let Harry lead you further away from the crowd.
“Is this okay?” Harry asks you. You look around the dark and empty room at the back of the house. The window is slightly open, and you head over to it, looking at the heads of party guests dancing in the backyard.
“It’s fine,” you say, unsure what else to respond with. “Hey, Harry–”
You turn around, and he’s shirtless. You’re so shocked, you don’t know what to say, before he walks over to you and starts kissing you. His hands fly up to your hair and you wrap your arms around his toned waist.
His hands move down to your back and unclasps your bra in one swift motion. It is only until your underwear is yanked down that you finally register what Natalie was trying to tell you:
This is the longest thing I’ve written on here, EVER. Not sure if that jumbled it up, but thank you to everyone for sticking around to read about this crazy frat boy, sending me messages and asks and song recs for the playlist! This chapter’s a bit of a revealing one, and little almost imperceptible layers are chipped away. Let’s see if he’s ruing the day yet, yeah? xx (shout-out to @lovelhes for the bomb mood board, love you bb)
It was 2:54 AM by the time Renny got back. You knew because the comfort Zayn had brought
you dwindled fast with each step you took away from him, so much so that by the
time you got to the doors of your building, your legs were shaking from how
frantic you were. It had been much too dark outside, each
innocent bush and tall tree beautiful in the daylight suddenly twisting into
something sinister, hiding a dark figure just waiting to grab you and slit your
throat as you fall to the ground with a soundless shout. Even in the grossly fluorescent hallways that
seemed oddly empty for 1 am, you turned each corner quickly for fear of who’d
be waiting on the other side. Even the
shut of the heavy door behind you didn’t give you peace and when you’d swept your
room and checked the closet for potential predators hiding behind hanging
clothes, you knew you were being silly, so absolutely ridiculously silly. But
your furiously beating heart told you otherwise.
You couldn’t fall asleep after that.
But you pretended to as Renny got ready for bed, as she quietly
tip-toed through the room, the click of her low-lit lamp as she settled under
her covers once again coating the room in an inky stillness. Her little snores comforted you in the
slightest, but she wasn’t awake, she couldn’t distract you from your thoughts. And as your eyes bore up into the ceiling,
seeing past it to nothing at all, a hand lay on your throat.
The stream that ran red, his fists, the snake tat, his
touch, their smell, the men, his arms, the safety you felt in them. It wasn’t fair,
none of it was. That he could make you
feel something that felt so right and toss it in the trash like it never
happened. You had been fine with being
acquaintances, safe at that distance, pretend that you wouldn’t be affected by
him, but then he was the one who had to turn it into something more, to turn
you into this. You remembered your words to him and felt a
deep sadness seize your chest. You were
a hypocrite. The weight building inside
you contracted into a choke-hold, threatening to crush your lungs with its
deadly mixture of guilt, regret, anger, but you were too tired to release it in
a sob. So it sat there. Refusing to let you sleep. Suffocating you. Silly
girl, a voice sneered, All this for a
boy you haven’t gone on a date with.
The moan of his name in that unfamiliar voice rang loud in your head as
an unwanted tear rolled straight down to hit your ear. You willed yourself to numb your mind, to not
think about anything, but when had you ever truly had control?
Sometime, in the early hours of the morning, your lids felt
heavy and closed without you ever really knowing, the black cloak of the night
sealing them shut as the dark twists and pangs building inside of you pushed
you off a ledge, forcing your fall into a fitful sleep.
“Did you have a nightmare last night?” You cringed as Renny took her black eyeliner
and dug a little too hard with the tip against your cheek. You thought about denying it for a moment,
but decided against it. If there was one
person you could talk to, it was Renny.
“How’d you know?”
“You kept groaning and- hold on”
- she licked her thumb and rubbed below the line she’d just created for the
black #17 now on your cheek, smudging it up and using her nail to dig into the skin
and remove the extra bits she’d accidently drawn. She hadn’t asked to draw Harry’s number on
you and for that you were thankful. Your
favorite was Louis anyways - “There, perfect.
You just kept muttering something and you looked like you were shaking. I tried waking you up, but you just turned
back around and fell asleep.”
“Sorry for waking you,” you
offered her an apologetic smile, but she brushed it off.
“You honestly think I mind? I mean, I’m a little jealous you got to sleep
that much, but I was the one who chose not to leave the party.” You wanted to let out a single sharp laugh at
that, but you were better. “Paw print?” She brought the pencil to your other cheek and
paused, you nodded. She started to draw
the symbol of your school’s mascot, the panther, and for some reason Harry
popped into your mind again. Agile.