oh my my
hi! here it is! the third part to let’s hurt tonight. the first two parts are linked below if you missed them! i hope you like it, only two parts left!
questions, comments, concerns
The drive home wasn’t pleasant and it wasn’t something you were accustomed to driving through in California. In fact, now that you think about it, you’re not sure you’ve ever driven in a storm like this. The rain fell down in sheets so heavy your windshield wipers couldn’t keep up. You had to keep your hands firmly on the wheel when wind threatened to push you into another lane. You held your breath every time your car hydroplaned for a few seconds, taking all your self control not to slam on the brakes. Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled as you finally pull your car into the garage, close to 12 AM. With a sigh, you shut the car off and grab your things, fumbling with the keys in the lock. The door gets stuck and you push it a few times before it gives and you practically fall through the threshold.
Candles are lit all around the house and its a moment before you realize the power’s out. Harry walks into view, phone in hand, looking panicked, “Where have you been?”
You frown, “Work.”
He raises his eyebrows, “You were at work until 12:00 AM?”
“Actually it was more like 11:15…” You trail off when you see the look on his face, “What? There’s only a month until this trial I need all the time I can get.”
“You could’ve at least called! Do you know how worried I was? I thought you were wrapped around a tree somewhere.”
“I’m sorry, my phone died and the power in the office went out.”
“You couldn’t have borrowed someone else’s phone?”
“I was the only one left in the office.” A lie, but you didn’t think now was the best time to tell him you and Ron had been alone in the office all night with nothing but candles to light the room.
He gives a short laugh, “Of course, of course you were the only one left, you’re the only one crazy enough to stay at work that late especially when there’s no power.”
“Don’t be an asshole, Harry.”
“Me? I’m the arsehole right now? You’re six hours late and you didn’t even call.”
“And I said I was sorry!” You walk past him and start up the stairs, rolling your eyes when you hear his steps echo your own.
“You always say you’re sorry, but you never mean it. You just keep doing the same things. When was the last time you got home at a decent hour?”
You round on him, “This is the most important case I’ve ever had! Can’t you just cut me some slack until it’s over?”
He’s a couple steps below you so for once you’re eye level, neither of you yielding to the other.
“I don’t know how much more slack I can cut you when you don’t show any regard for my feelings.” His voice is low and layered with indifference. He’s tired and he can’t fight you anymore.
Maybe if your day had gone different, maybe if you had gotten home earlier, maybe if you weren’t so stressed and frustrated, maybe you would’ve apologized and meant it this time. Maybe you would’ve kissed Harry and told him to come to bed.
But instead, you scoffed, “You’re being ridiculous. You’ll be over this by morning, I’m going to bed.” And you do indeed go to bed, leaving Harry on the stairs.
You’re awake when he climbs into bed and you think it might be the first time he doesn’t reach for you before falling asleep.
“They did what?”
Ron throws a pile of papers on your desk and you immediately begin flipping through them, “They changed their story.”
“Why… Why would he do that?”
“Probably because he figured it would be easier for us to catch them in a lie if they stuck with the whole ‘I’ve never seen her in my life’ bit. Oh, and a witness came forward who said she saw the three boys talking to our client during that party and that one of them got her a drink.”
“So we could use that witness to imply that they spiked her drink, just like she said they did.”
“Yeah.” He collapses in his seat, “So this case just got a lot more difficult.”
You quietly scan the papers over as quickly as possible, “They still won’t admit sexual relations with her.”
“Because we have no evidence to prove otherwise.”
“Except her testimony.”
You lightly toss the papers and lean back in your chair, “Shit.” You murmur.
Ron runs his hands over his face, “There really was no physical evidence?”
“We’ve been over this, she never went to the hospital, or anyone until days later. She only let me take pictures of her bruises, nothing else. She wouldn’t let anyone touch her.”
He’s quiet a moment, “What about her underwear? What happened to that?”
You flippantly wave your hand, “She never found it, she left… without it.” Your voice trails off as an idea begins to take root.
“Oh!” Ron points to you, “That’s your idea face, I love that face, gimme something good darlin’.”
“Call me darling again and I’ll have you castrated.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever, I’m a misogynist, you’ve told me a million times, yada yada yada, now what’s churning in that pretty head of yours?” You glare at him. “I meant, in that intelligent, brilliant head of yours.”
You roll your eyes, “I was just thinking that maybe we underestimated these boys.”
He frowns, “I’m not following.”
“What if… what if they took her underwear in case it did have semen on it? What if one of them still has it?”
Ron sits up now, you have his attention, “Do you think we could get a search warrant?”
You shrug, “The judge did give me access to the school’s records of past accusations. He might give it to us, but I don’t know, it’s just a guess.”
He gets up and pulls on his blazer, “Come on, let’s go.” He tosses you your keys, “You’re driving.”
“Where are we going?”
“The judge’s chambers.”
“Oh, okay, yeah that’s super reasonable, let’s just show up unannounced. I’m sure he’ll take that very well.”
He ignores your sarcasm, “He loves us, it’ll be fine.”
You try calling Harry in the car because being alone with Ron for so long makes you miss him, but he doesn’t answer.
And you, being so oblivious to others lately, don’t realize that he ignored you on purpose.
“Usually it’s the police that come to me asking for a warrant. This is quite unusual.” He looks down at the both of you through his wire framed spectacles.
You knew this would be coming. “Of course, Your Honor, but given that the police were hesitant to even carry out the arrest warrant because of their… connections with the defendants, you can imagine why we’re concerned that they haven’t proceeded with this investigation as thoroughly as they should have.”
“I agree with you, but this also seems like a desperate attempt to get more evidence and it sounds to me like the two of you are struggling to build a case.”
“Not at all, Your Honor, it’s just that most of our evidence is subjective and we know how a jury loves some DNA.”
“You’d be hard pressed to find DNA on that underwear still.”
“Even so, finding the underwear in their possession would be damning enough.”
“And do you have reason to believe one of them has the underwear?”
“When our client awoke after the incident she was never able to find it, so we were thinking it was possible they took it to cover their tracks.”
There’s a long pause, and then he sighs. “I’m going to send three separate warrants for each of the defendants permitting search of their dorm rooms and their cars. I really hope you’re right about this.”
You couldn’t believe your luck, “Thank you, Your Honor.”
You felt like you were walking on air as you walked out of the courtroom, you had a really good feeling about this and your first thought immediately was to call Harry and share the good news. Though, you couldn’t do that in front of Ron who would surely jump down your throat about confidentiality.
You practically skipped into the house around 4:30, you and Ron deciding to take the rest of the day off after the success of the search warrant. Her underwear had been found in the trunk of one of the boys’ cars and sent to the lab immediately.
“Harry?” You call through the house, unable to keep the smile off your face.
It’s a few moments before the basement door creaks open and Harry appears, “You’re home.” He frowns.
“Yeah, so are you.” You say, setting your things down and walking towards him, “Why didn’t you go to the studio?”
He shrugs, “Wanted to work by myself today.”
You’re excited to tell him your good news, but something seems off, “Is everything okay?” You reach to put a hand on his arm and he very subtly avoids it, walking by you to the fridge to grab a water. You turn to follow him, confusion and hurt warring on your face. He wasn’t subtle enough.
“Fine,” He says and takes a sip of water, “Why are you home so early?”
You’re still recovering from his rejection, “Um…” He blinks at you. “I’m sorry, I just, something seems off here.”
“Does it?” He says, “I haven’t noticed.” He opens the fridge again and then closes it, “We need groceries.” He goes to grab his keys.
“Can I come with you?” You refuse to sit at home doing nothing knowing something’s wrong.
He looks like he might say no, but then he sighs, unable to say no to you, “Sure.”
Harry turns the radio on almost immediately and turns it just high enough so that talking would be difficult. You reach out to turn down the volume, “Can we talk?”
“About why you’re clearly angry with me.”
“I’m not angry, I’m tired.”
Your eyebrows knit together, “Tired?”
His fingers tighten on the steering wheel, “I’m tired of coming second to your case.”
Realization dawns on you, “This is about last night.” He doesn’t answer. “Harry, I said I was sorry. I even came home early today.”
“And I have no doubt that that decision had nothing to do with me.”
“Does it matter?”
“Yes, it matters! Because you never come home for me. Ron probably gets to spend more time with you than I do. For all I know there’s something going on with the two of you.”
“Now you just sound stupid.”
“Yeah? Why did you lie to me about being alone in the office last night? I know Ron was with you.”
Oh no. “How did you know that?”
“I ran into him this morning when I went to get coffee. Why did you lie to me?” He repeats.
“You were already mad at me and I didn’t want to give you another reason to be upset.”
“So you lied to me? Did you think when I found out I would be happy about that?”
“I didn’t think you would find out.” You said quietly. “But I hate Ron and it’s ridiculous for you to think that there’s anything going on and I know you know that.”
“Maybe it’s ridiculous or maybe you realized you should’ve married a lawyer like Ron so you’d have someone more understanding than me.“
You roll your eyes, “Well, we’re not married yet, so you still have time to change your mind.”
You’re at a red light and he turns his full body to you, “Is that what you want?” He says quietly.
“Of course not!” You throw your hands up in exasperation, “If I wanted to marry a lawyer I wouldn’t have gotten engaged to you! But since you wanna be so damn dramatic about this—”
“You know what, I don’t want to talk about this anymore because you’re just not getting it and I’m tired of talking in circles.” He turns the volume of the radio back up.
You immediately reach out and turn it back down, “So, what? You’re just going to be mad at me forever? Do you want me to quit my job, is that it? You’re asking me to choose between you and my career and we promised we’d never ask that of each other.”
He pulls into a parking spot outside of Whole Foods. “That’s not what I want! I don’t want you to choose! I just want to feel like we’re equally prioritized and right now it feels like you’re picking your career over me.” The car is parked and turned off at this point.
You close your eyes and pinch the bridge of your nose, growing tired of constantly having to defend yourself, “Harry, I’m doing the best I can.”
“What happens when we have kids? Huh? Are you going to abandon them the way you abandon me every time there’s a case that’s more important?”
For a moment, the devastation plays across your face, but then you set your jaw and furiously wipe at the one tear that managed to escape your eyes. “That’s a really shitty thing to say.” Your voice is thick and you get out of the car, slamming the door before walking into the store, Harry trailing behind you. You try your best to look normal because despite Harry’s comment, you don’t want anyone to get a shot of the two of you fighting.
You sniffle as you reach the shopping carts, but the one you want is stuck and you’re getting more frustrated, aggressively trying to separate it from another cart when Harry gently pushes your hands away and pulls it out for you. You sniff again, “Thanks.” You murmur.
You’re both silent as you push through the aisles, each grabbing things you want. You’re grabbing a couple rolls of sushi for dinner because you’re too lazy to cook tonight when Harry finally says something, “I didn’t mean to make you cry.” He says softly.
You place the sushi in the cart and continue pushing without saying anything for a while. Then, “Do you even know how much I love you?”
He sighs, “Yeah, of course I do—“
“Then how could you even say that to me? Abandon you? Abandon our future children? And on top of that you think I would leave you for another lawyer? Is that really how little you think of me?” You’re fighting back tears again in the cereal aisle and Harry steps in front of the cart, to stop you from moving.
When he moves to you and cups your face in his hands, you let him, “I didn’t mean that, I was upset.”
You push his hands away, “People always mean the things they say when they’re upset.” You press the sleeve of your shirt to your eyes before continuing down the aisle.
He makes an exasperated sound from behind and then lengthens his strides until he’s next to you, “Look, I—“ He blows out air between his lips, “I was wrong to say that. I know you would never… I know how much you love me and it was a stupid thing to say. And I hate that I made you cry and I don’t want to fight anymore—We need coffee—It’s just I miss you and things with the label aren’t going well and I just… I just feel like I’m grabbing desperately at the things I love and they’re all falling through my fingers and I don’t know what to do.”
You’re throwing the coffee Harry said you needed in the cart before you turn back to him, “I’m sorry things aren’t going well at work, but you and I both know you’re brilliant at what you do and things will work out. As for me? You’re never going to lose me, Harry. And I don’t know what I have to do to convince you. I mean, I already promised to marry you.” You both smile as you always do at the mention of the engagement. The giddiness never fades. “I’ll spend more time with you when I’m home from now on. No more late work nights until the week of the trial and no working at home, does that seem fair?”
He nods and takes your chin between his thumb and index finger and presses a chaste kiss to your mouth, conscious that people have been watching you since you walked in, “I’m sorry.”
“So am I. And I never want to have this argument ever again.”
“Well thank God because I’m tired of having it.”
You smile and press another quick kiss to his mouth before continuing through the store.
“And so,” You pop another piece of sushi in your mouth, “The judge gave us the warrant, the police went to search the properties… and they found her underwear.”
“Really?” He swallows, “That’s great, babe. You have this in the bag then.”
“Not necessarily.” You wanted to talk about the case, but also Harry was looking exceptionally snuggly in a big pink jumper and sweatpants, his hair still a bit damp from the shower he took when the two of you got back from the store. It was ridiculous that he still had this effect on you, even watching him eat his sushi was somehow endearing and distracting.
“…Are you going to elaborate on that?” He asks, trying to hide his smirk when he realizes you’re staring at him.
“I’ve decided I don’t really want to talk about the case anymore.”
He raises his eyebrows, “Really?”
You nod, “Really. Could really use a good cuddle, actually.”
He tosses out your empty sushi containers, “I might know a guy who can help with that.“
You raise your eyebrows, "Oh yeah?”
He nods and grabs your hand before tugging you towards the stairs, “As long as you promise not to leave the bed from now until the morning unless it’s for food.”
You smirk, “Anything else?”
You’re in the bedroom now and he pushes you back on the bed, “Yeah. You let me be the little spoon occasionally.”
He barely let’s you settle yourself before he collapses onto the and wraps himself around you, “Deal.” You agree just as you feel his lips against your skin and his hand slide gently under your shirt to rest on your stomach.
“Your skin’s really soft.” He murmurs and his breath makes goosebumps spread across your body.
“Do you wanna talk?”
He pulls back and looks at you, “About what?”
“You… Your work.”
He raises his eyebrows, “My work? You mean where I spend my days trying to think of more poetic and sonically pleasing ways to convey how much I love you?” He’s kissing your neck again and it’s hard to focus.
“No, I’m serious, Harry.”
He pulls away and rests his head on your stomach, no longer kissing you. You gently run your fingers through his still damp hair to try and soothe him. “I just feel like I’m never going to live up to this pedestal everyone’s put me on. And I hate the idea of disappointing my fans or, well, anyone really. Especially you.”
“Baby, come on, you’re never gonna disappoint me. Let’s be real.”
“I am being real.” You can see this is genuinely bothering him, “I don’t know what to do.”
“I think you should talk to people who know more about this than I do. But if you want my advice, I think the music you believe in has always been your best work.”
He crawls up to you and presses his lips to yours, slow and gentle, “Thank you, love.”
“You’re welcome,” You murmur, "Can I hear any music yet?”
He laughs into your mouth before nibbling on your lower lip, “Absolutely not.” You pout at him and he runs his thumb over your lip, “Stop that.”
You stare him down until you can’t keep a straight face anymore, “Hold me, please.”
He obliges you and reaches to turn on the TV and an argument ensues about which movie to watch, but it doesn’t matter because you fall asleep in his arms a half hour later.
Ron walks into your office and sits at the seat across from you. After a moment you look up and notices he’s smiling. Smiling like he did the day the cops found the underwear. You put your pen down and then fold your hands in front of you, “What d’you got?”
“You remember ages ago when we hired a psychologist to evaluate our client, but she refused to go?” You nod, “Well, it looks like she showed up there on her own today to be evaluated.”
You frown, “Is she okay? She wouldn’t have gone there unless she was desperate for help.”
“The psychologist doesn’t think she’s a danger to herself or anything, but she did call me and gave me the results of the evaluation.” He smiles, “Are you ready?”
You stare at him, “Obviously.”
“She has PTSD, the psychologist is willing to testify that if we need her to. She also advised us to be careful during the trial because seeing the defendants may trigger her.”
“What happens if she… gets triggered?”
He shrugs, “Could be anything, panic attack, mental breakdown, flashbacks to that night.” You sigh. “But this is good, I mean, she wouldn’t have PTSD if it didn’t happen.”
You shake your head, “They can argue that it could be from anything, that she had it before that night, even. It might prove she was sexually assaulted, but it doesn’t prove they did it.”
“But with the underwear and everything, I think it’ll put enough doubt in the minds of the jury.”
You nod, “Maybe. It might be enough. Thanks, Ron.” He stands to leave just as there’s a knock at your door and Sophia’s there and someone’s waiting behind her. No, not someone, Harry.
“Sorry to bother you, but your fiancé said he needed to speak with you privately.”
Harry walks in and Ron and Sophia leave, closing the door behind them. You frown and walk towards Harry, “Is everything alright—?”
He grabs you and pushes you against the wall, his mouth colliding with yours in a frenzy. Once the shock wears off, you kiss him back, pulling at his hair. His hands begin to push up your skirt, and that’s when reality comes crashing in and you pull away, “Harry, what are you— What’s going on? Did you come here just to have sex with me? Because you know I’m busy and—“
He sighs, “No, no, I just wanted to start this off positively.”
“What are you talking about?” You’re more confused now than ever.
“Before I tell you, I want you to remember what a loving person I am and how much I care about you—“
He sighs, “My mum just called and… they didn’t want me to tell you, but her and Gemma have insisted on throwing you a surprise bridal shower—“
Your face falls, “No… No, I don’t want that, didn’t you tell them—“
“I did, but they insisted. They’re also worried because the wedding is in six months and you haven’t picked out your dress yet.”
You open your mouth to defend yourself, but for a few seconds nothing comes out, “I’ve been busy.” You say quietly.
“I know, sweetheart, and I understand, I do, but… They won’t listen to me. And they feel like they have to because of the situation with your— your parents—“
“I don’t have parents.” You say harshly.
Harry just nods, used to the way you react when they’re brought up, “Yeah, that. So… They’ll be coming down next week to help you pick out a dress and then throw you the bridal shower and then they’ll be gone, I promise, just give them two days, Sunday and Monday. Sunday will be the shower and then Monday to pick out a dress, okay?”
You sigh, remembering that you promised Harry you’d put him first sometimes, “Fine, but if I have to take Monday out of work, then I’m staying late Friday to make up for it.”
He raised his eyebrows, “Really? That’s it?”
You frown, “What do you mean ‘that’s it’? Aren’t you mad I’m going to be staying late?”
“To be honest, I thought I’d have to give up my Saturday with you, but this is much better.”
You give him a small smile, “Well get out of here before I change my mind then.”
“Give me a kiss and I’ll be out of your hair.”
“You already got far too many kisses when you first showed up here, if you remember.”
He pouts and comes around the desk to get closer to you, “Just one? Just a little one?”
You laugh and quickly press your lips to his, “Now go.”
“One more, just one more, love?” And he’s kissing you as you laugh until you finally push him away and he backs off, a smile on his face that causes his dimples to make an appearance. “See you at home. Love you.”
“I love you too.” You say before he disappears out the doorway. You look at your desk, an opening statement beginning to be drafted, and then back at the door.
“Harry! Wait!” You catch him in the parking lot, out of breath, carrying your belongings. He turns and when he sees you with all your things he smiles. “Let’s go to the beach.”
He walks to meet you and takes a bag out of your hands before kissing you, “That sounds perfect.“