only time i ever really hated lee

Harry Styles; Against My Protective Brother

Requested by Anon:

“I don’t understand why you feel it necessary to curl your freakin’ hair.  We’re going to a carnival where it’s going to get blown around and messed up anyways,” my brother Lee complained.  He looked at his phone as he leaned against the bathroom door and waited for me to finish curling my hair.  I twisted the last strand around my straightener and watched as the curl formed and fell to my shoulder.

“I’m done.  See?  That didn’t take long,” I said, turning to face Lee. 

His blue eyes looked me up and down, the left one twitching as he looked at my hair.  I liked to watch his eyes because it was like looking in a mirror.  We looked nearly exactly alike, but with different hair colors.  “You can’t put on longer shorts or something?” He finally asked, running his hand uncomfortably through his blonde bangs.

I groaned.

“Seriously Morgan, you know guys are going to be all over you,” he said, standing up straight and crossing his arms.  I knew he did that just to show me the muscles he thought he had.  He was so stinking protective, which I loved sometimes but hated most times. 

“Uhh… yeah… that’s what I’m aiming for,” I mumbled, pushing past him to get my phone from my room.

“Is that why you curled your hair too?” Lee asked, close on my heels.

“Yes, Lee! I like to look good, okay?? I’m 17 years old and I’ve been single all my life, no thanks to you.”

“That’s really not as old as you think,” Lee said, looking down at me.  He had inherited my dad’s height, standing tall at about 6’1”.  I, on the other hand, inherited my mother’s shortness, only ever reaching 5’4”.  I know that was pretty average for girls, but I still felt short.  I groaned again and stuck my phone into the pocket of my shorts before pushing past Lee to the front hallway.

“Are you coming??” I asked, closing the front door on him.  I heard him swear loudly as he ran into it.

Lee was only a year older than me, but he had his license and I didn’t even have my permit yet.  He drove the two of us to the carnival in the huge field on the side of the highway that ran through our town, parking in the grass just outside of the fence that kept the carnival in one area of the field.  I grinned as I watched the lights of the rides begin to flicker on as the night grew darker.  The lights flashed all different colors.  I walked beside Lee and watched each individual ride, spinning, swirling, bouncing, hypnotizing me…  I glanced around occasionally for the group of Lee’s friends who we were supposed to be meeting.  We found them eating a large funnel cake coated in powdered sugar at one of the tables.

“Lee!” Miguel shouted, jumping up onto the table and then dropping to the ground in front of his best friend.  Lee and Miguel exchanged their “secret” handshake before Lee greeted Lindsay, Craig, and Noah, three of his other close friends.  Lindsay smiled and hugged me hello. “Your hair looks beautiful!” she said, playing with one of my curls. 

Lee rolled his eyes. 

Noah greeted me too, standing behind me and wrapping his arms around my shoulders until Lee glared at him.

“Sorry, man,” Noah apologized, lifting his hands off of me defensively.  When Lee began to talk to Craig, Noah pinched my elbow and winked at me.  I giggled.  I loved being around Lee’s older friends.

“I saw Evan Dorsey and his gang around here a little while ago,” Lindsay told the boys as she pulled the funnel cake toward the two of us and offered me some.  She took a bite herself and tossed her long, blonde ponytail over her shoulder before looking up at the group and waiting for a reaction to her observation.

“Well just keep your distance.  Don’t look for trouble and it won’t come,” Miguel said, running his hand over his short, black facial hair. 

“I hate those guys,” Craig mumbled, pulling off a strip of the funnel cake and sticking the chunk in his mouth.  I glanced into the crowd around us, searching for Evan or one of his “gang” members.  Evan used to be a part of our group until one day when he stole Lee’s favorite signed baseball and sold it for drug money.  I can’t remember who the baseball was signed by, but it was someone famous.  I mean really famous.  When Lee found out what Evan did, he was pissed and nearly killed Evan.  Evan ran off and started a “gang” which made him look and sound tough – but really… he wasn’t at all.  He just played the part.  I hoped we didn’t see him.  Aside from the fact that I knew Lee would lose his mind, I knew Evan had a crush on me because he was constantly trying to touch me or talk to me.  I prayed we didn’t see them.

Craig, Miguel, Lindsay, Lee, and Noah continued to talk about things that happened that week at school.  I listened to parts of the conversation and zoned out of others, watching the rides or cute couples that would walk by.  My heart fluttered when I saw anyone kiss.  I “ooh”ed absent-mindedly as the SlingShot suddenly started about twenty paces away from where we were all seated, releasing a chair with two people in it straight into the sky where the moon and stars were beginning to appear.  My blue eyes sparkled as I watched the seat stretch to it’s full height and then begin to fall back to the Earth.

“I have to ride that,” I blurted, still watching as the ride bounced back up once more and came falling to the Earth again. 

Lee watched the cables attached to the seat as they stretched upward and stretched downward, catching the seat before it could hit the ground.  “Eh… anyone want to ride with Moe?” He asked. 

Ugh, he was such a wuss.  Tough as nails when he was protecting me.  But a total wuss otherwise.  Scared to death of rollercoasters of any kind. 

“Girl, I would totally go with you but I just ate like that whole funnel cake,” Lindsay said, patting her perfectly-flat stomach over her gray tank top.

“Same,” Craig and Noah said simultaneously.

“Hello?” Miguel asked, picking up his cell and turning away from the table. “Mom, are you there?”

I rolled my eyes and stood up.  “I’ll go alone then.”

“What? No,” Lee said, looking back at the ride.

“Leeeee!” I pouted, slapping my sides. He grumbled and stood up reluctantly.

“I’ll freaking go with you then-“ he mumbled, leaving me at the table and walking to the line.  I giggled with excitement and ran after him, dodging people left and right before I caught up to him.  We were almost to the line when I heard a deep “Morgan!” from somewhere in the crowd around us.  I glanced over my shoulder and spotted a red mop of hair that I knew could only belong to Evan.  I shoved Lee into a large group of people and forced him forward into the line before another large group of people got in line behind us. I turned and looked for Evan again but was glad to see that I managed to lose him in the crowd.

“What the hell was that, Moe?” Lee asked, irritated with my pushiness.

“Nothing,” I lied. “Just excited for the ride…”

Lee and I watched each time the SlingShot released the chair into the night sky, Lee wincing with each time the seat fell back to the Earth but was caught and slung upward again.  I got the goose bumps thinking about how the wind would feel on my skin, thinking about how high we were going to be above the rest of the park, just staring upward at the night sky before we fell back down and were slung upward again.  Lee became more and more pale with each step we took toward the front of the line.

“Shit, Morgan-“ He swore when the couple before us stepped onto the platform and sat in the chair to be strapped in.  “Oh god, please don’t make me do this.”

I scoffed. “You’re the one forcing yourself to do it.”

Lee huffed. “Can we please just not do this?" 

I crossed my arms. "I’m doing it with or without you." 

Lee paled again and shook his head.  He put his hands on his knees and hung his head low. "Shit… shit shit shit…." 

“I’ll go with her,” a cool voice interrupted behind me.  The slight accent caught me off-guard. 

“Yes… yes please go with her…” Lee heaved a sigh of relief, but then got choked up again. “Wait, who?  Who is going to go with her?”

Lee and I both turned to look at the tall individual standing behind me in the line.  His brown hair curled around his face and his green eyes were lit up like the lights of the rides around us.  I was instantly mesmerized.  He was taller than Lee by a few inches, but that didn’t stop Lee from sizing the stranger up.

“Look buddy,” Lee said through his teeth, his face reddening as he puffed out his chest. “She’s not doing anything or going anywhere with you.”

The couple in front of us screeched as the chair was flung into the air.  Lee’s chest deflated and the blood rushed from his face.  I giggled when he gulped.

“Shit,” he sighed under his breath.  The stranger had his hands shoved in the pockets of his black jeans and a peach tank top on.  His hair was secured back with a black scarf.  It was messy… but a really sexy messy. He looked like he could be no older than 19.  He watched my brother patiently, an honest look in his face as though he was seriously just trying to help Lee out of a situation he didn’t want to be in.  Lee was too dense for that though.  All he saw was that I was a “little girl” and the stranger was a guy.  For Lee, that was enough reason to hide me away from the guy forever.

As the couple on the ride squealed again, Lee turned green.  “Okay.  Okay, please go with her.”  He started to slip under the chain that blocked off the line.  He ducked under it, stood up and spun around quickly, and grabbed the stranger by his loose shirt. “Look man, any funny business with my little sister and I will kill you.  Got it?”

The stranger chewed the inside of his lip as though he was bored but nodded. “Yeah okay.  Whatever you say…”

“Lee.”

“Lee,” the stranger repeated. “I’m Harry.”  He stuck out his large hand to Lee, who shook it hesitantly.

Finally, Harry turned to me. “And you are?”

I grinned. “Moe.”

“Moe,” Harry repeated again, shaking my hand.  When the handshake became too long for Lee’s liking, he growled.  I frowned at Lee and turned to face the carnival worker who was ready to take us to the ride.

“Ready?” Harry whispered to me, his body lining up behind mine.  I nodded and bounced excitedly.

We were led to the chair where another carnival worker strapped the two of us in.  We sat side by side in the giant seat.

“So your brother-“

“Scared of rollercoasters,” I said.

“I could tell,” Harry replied, watching the man buckle him in.  As the man moved to my buckle, Harry studied me, his green eyes scanning me intently. “But you?”

I grinned at him. “Let’s just say if I could ride roller coasters for a living, I would.”

Harry laughed. “Same.”

Finally, the seat began to tilt backwards.  I gripped the handles on my chair tightly as I was laid back beside Harry. I couldn’t control my smile as we faced the stars above us, waiting for the ride to let loose and sling us toward outer space.  I tilted my head back and could see Lee standing at the exit of the ride watching Harry and I, his eyes searching for any reason to give Harry an ass-kicking when we got off the ride. 

"I like your curls,” Harry said, staring straight up at the sky.  

I grinned to myself. “I like yours.  You better hold on to that scarf on your head,” I said, looking sideways at Harry. 

He chuckled and turned his head to look at me too. “It won’t come off.  Even if it does, I have a million more at home.”

His smile was so warm.  I couldn’t look away from him and he didn’t try to look away from me.  Shit, just go already, I urged the ride silently.  Harry must have recognized that he was making me nervous because he asked, “Moe? Do you want to hold my hand?”

I don’t know why I did it.  Well actually, that’s a lie.  Of course I wanted to hold his hand.

I allowed Harry’s long fingers to curl around mine and squeeze, and just as I heard Lee lose his mind from the ground behind us, the ride took off.

My stomach was doing flips, but not because I was flying through the air on a seat attached to a bungee cord.  It was because of this handsome guy beside me.  Where did he come from? I had never seen him around here before.  Did he usually take girls on rides and ask to hold their hands?  Was this a trick?  I could hear my brother screaming at us every time we neared the ground, but then we would spring up into the air again and it was just me and Harry.  The sky looked so cool from that high up in the air.  I dared to look at Harry one point, giddy to see that he was admiring the stars and sky around us as well.  His grip on my hand hadn’t loosened at all.

We both laughed breathlessly as the ride stopped bouncing and the bungee cords slowly lowered the seat down to the platform.  It was over too soon.  The seat shifted upright and Harry and I waited for the carnival worker to unbuckle us from our seats, giggling at each other’s wind-blown hair. 

“Is my headscarf still on?” Harry asked, crossing his eyes to try and see his head.   I laughed and nodded.

“You’ll be happy to know it’s still there.”

When we exited the ride, Lee was the first person to greet us.  He was fuming, partially because we were still holding hands.  I hadn’t noticed.

“What the fuck are you trying to do to my sister?” He asked Harry, getting up in his face and spitting on the ground in front of Harry.  Harry frowned and looked at me.  I rolled my eyes and shrugged.

“Mate, we just went on the ride together.  Like you agreed to…”

Lee turned a deeper shade of red and pulled me away from Harry. “Look, mate, I appreciate that but you can leave-“

Suddenly, someone grabbed my free hand and dragged me away from Lee’s grip.

“Morgan, you’re looking stunning, as always…” Evan said before kissing my hand.  His gang of brainless gorillas behind him snickered.  I tried to yank my hand away but Evan pulled me to him and tucked me under his arm before looking at Lee and Harry. “I can take her from here, gentlemen,” he chuckled, slapping my butt hard.  I winced.  I saw Lee tense up, which I was expecting.  His jaw clenched as he watched his arch-enemy groping me.  The thing that surprised me the most though was that Harry tensed up too.

I punched Evan in the side. “Let me go-“ I grunted, struggling to get away from him.  He allowed for me to escape his grasp for just a moment but then snatched my hand and yanked me back into his body again, hugging my head to his chest.  This was a game to him.  He smelled like he hadn’t showered in days.

Lee stepped toward Evan. “Let her go, you bastard,” he said through gritted teeth.

Evan seemed scared for a split second until three of the guys from his “gang” stepped in front of him to protect him.  I groaned and tried to push Evan away again. “Baby,” he said to me, clutching my shoulders tightly and not letting me get away from him. “Don’t squirm, okay? I’m trying to do business.” He pressed his dry lips against my forehead.  I grunted and punched his chest again, but he ignored me. 

Of the two boys watching me struggle, I would have thought Lee would be the first to break, but to my surprise, it was Harry who threw the first punch.  With one, swift hit to the gut, he sent the first gang member to the ground and had grabbed a second by the collar or his dirty shirt before my brother had even taken the third gang member out.  Either way, two from the gang were curled up on the ground and the third was shaking in Harry’s fists within the minute.  Evan’s grip hadn’t loosened on me, but I could tell his cocky confidence was wavering.

“Let my sister go,” Lee said, taking a step toward the two of us.  People in the crowd surrounding us were beginning to stare.  The guy in Harry’s hands began to struggle and tried to fight back, but once again, a swift punch in the gut sent him to the ground.  Harry stepped over the groaning body and stood beside Lee in front of Evan.

“Didn’t anyone ever teach you to respect women?” Harry asked smoothly. 

“Who the fuck are you?” Evan asked, backing up defensively and moving me in front of him like a shield.  To be honest, I was thinking the same thing.  Who was this Harry?  He was amazing.

Harry’s eyes flickered to mine.  He looked so sincerely concerned for me.  I glanced down at his hand hanging beside Lee’s, both of the boys with their fingers curled tightly into fists.  Evan chuckled and pressed the front of his body against my back, allowing me to feel all of his body parts.  Normally, I would have been disgusted, but this time I was thankful he did that.  I knew exactly what body part to aim for when I quickly swung my fist downward into him.  He let go of me instantly and instead clutched his privates while he sunk to the ground.  “You BITCH-“ He yelled, earning us much more attention from the surrounding crowd.  Lee rushed up beside me and delivered a direct hit to Evan’s face.  Before Evan could fall to the left of me and hit the ground, Harry caught him and punched him again, causing him to fall to the right instead. 

Evan whimpered when Lee spit on him and started to shout profanity down at him.  Harry wrapped his body around mine and led me to the tables where Craig, Lindsay, Noah, and Miguel happened to be sitting watching the whole thing.  “Are you okay?” Harry asked, forcing me to sit at a bench and crouching down in front of me to look at my face.  I nodded and looked at him, his green eyes wild with energy. 

“Unfortunately that’s not the first time that’s happened…” I said.  Harry frowned and looked over where my brother was still screaming at Evan.

“Well it’ll be the last.  I promise.”

When I giggled, Harry looked offended.  He fell back onto his bum in front of me and looked up at me like a little boy.

“I mean, that’s just a heck of a promise coming from a stranger…” I said quietly, suddenly feeling bad.

Harry’s small pout turned back into a warm smile. “We’re not strangers.  We held hands on the SlingShot.”

At that point, Lee was done screaming at Evan and had returned to my side.  He was moving my head all different directions and looking at my legs for scratches or bruises. “Are you okay? What’s wrong? Are you hurt?”

I swatted his hands away.

“She’s fine, I already asked,” Harry said, standing up and sticking his hands back in his pockets.  He grinned down at me.  Lee shifted uncomfortably as he looked at me and then at Harry. 

“Did you even know that guy?” Lee finally asked Harry, referring to Evan.

Harry shook his head, his curls swinging across his face as he did. “Nope.”

Lee shifted again and looked back to me like I knew something he didn’t. “Well why did you beat him up then?” He asked.  

“I was raised by women,” Harry laughed. “I can’t stand a bastard who treats women like shit.”

Lee was frowning hard.  I had never seen him look so puzzled in my life.  He glanced up at the table where his friends were and then blinked back down at me before clearing his throat. “Well I suppose you two would want to go on more rides, yeah?”

Harry laughed. “You don’t want to go on just one with us?” He asked.  I couldn’t help but giggle.  That was the same thing I always asked Lee.  Every single time.

“Nah, I just come to carnivals for the food,” Lee said, landing his eyes on a corndog stand nearby.  Harry’s eyes met mine and arched as a smile spread across his face.

“Wanna take off?” He asked. 

I looked at Lee. 

Lee’s face softened and he shrugged.

I squealed and hugged Lee tightly before following Harry into the crowd of people and off toward another ride. Behind me, I heard Lee swear again and say, “Just text me in 5 minutes okay? And then call me in twenty!! Dammit Moe, do you hear me??”

I heard him.  But I was too focused on that curly-headed angel in front of me.  Harry looked back at me and smiled, extending his hand out to me.  I gladly took it and grinned back at him. He pulled me through the people to one of the larger spinning attractions called the Hurler.  His eyes twinkled as he watched the cars spin around, and finally he grinned down at me.

“Ready to go lose your mind?”