Sunday, 20 May 2018

AFTER ROMANCE Episode 31-35

"He's not so bad, I guess," Noah says and I laugh nervously. "What?" He raises his eyebrow at me.
"Nothing, I am just surprised that you said that" I say and lay back into his chest. The electricity that filled the room moments ago has dissolved.
"I'm not saying I would want to hang out with the guy but he was friendly enough"
"Harry is nothing close to friendly" I say and he chuckles and wraps his arm around me. If he only knew the things that happened between Harry and I, the way we kissed, the way I moaned his name while he.. god Tessa just stop. I lean my head up and kiss Noah's jaw, making him smile. I want Noah to make me feel the way Harry does. I sit up and turn to face him. I take his face between my hands and press my lips against his. His mouth opens and he kisses me back. His lips are soft, just like his kiss. I need the fire, I need the passion. I wrap my hands around his neck and pull myself onto his lap,
"Whoa, Tessa what are you doing?" He asks and tries to push me off gently.
"What? Nothing, I just.. I want to make out I guess" I say and look down. I am usually not embarrassed in front of Noah but this isn't something we usually talk about.
"Okay.?" He says and I kiss him again. I feel the warmth from him but not the fire. I start to rock my hips ,hoping to light the fire. His hands go down to my waist but he pushes them against me, stopping my movements. I know we agreed to wait until marriage but I am just kissing him. I grab his hands and pull them away and continue to rock against him. No matter how many times I try to kiss him harder, his mouth stays soft and timid. I can feel him getting turned on but he doesn't act on it.
I know I am doing this for all the wrong reasons but I don't care at the moment, I just need to know that Noah can do to me what Harry does. It isn't actually Harry that I want it's the feeling.. isn't it?
I stop kissing Noah and slide off his lap.
"That was nice Tessa" He smiles and I give him one back. It was "nice". He is so careful, too careful, but I love him. I press play on the movie and within minutes I feel myself drifting off.
"I should go" Harry says. His green eyes looking down at me.
"Go where?" I don't want him to go.
"I am going to stay at a hotel close by, I will be back in the morning" He says and his face fades into Noah's. I jolt up and wipe my eyes, it is Noah. It was never Harry.
"You're obviously really sleepy, and I can't stay the night here" he smiles and brushes my cheek. I want him to stay but I am afraid of what I will see or say in my sleepy state. I know Noah wouldn't think it was decent to stay in my room anyway. Harry and Noah are polar opposites. In every way
"Okay, thank you again for coming" I mumble and he kisses me lightly on the cheek before sliding out from under me.
"I love you" he says and I nod and bury my head back into my pillow.
The next morning I wake up to Noah calling. He tells me he is on his way from his hotel so I roll out of bed and rush to the showers. I had planned on taking a short shower but the water feels so good against my tense muscles. What should Noah and I do today? There isn't much to do around here unless we go into town, maybe I should text Liam and ask what there is to do around here besides party. He seems to be my only friend who would know.
I decided to wear my gray pleated skirt and a plain blue shirt. I ignore Harry's voice in the back of my head telling me that my skirt is ugly. Noah is in the hall waiting by my door as I return with the towel still in my hair.
"You look lovely" he smiles and puts his hand over mine as I open the door.
"I just need to do my hair and put a little makeup on" I tell him and grab Steph's makeup bag. I am glad she didn't take it with her, I will need to get some of my own now that I know I like the way it looks.
He sits patiently on my bed as I dry my hair and curl the ends. I stop and give him a kiss on the cheek before I apply my makeup. "What do you want to do today?" I finish with mascara and fluff my hair.
"College really suits you Tessa, you have never looked better" Noah compliments me. "I don't know, maybe we can go to a park or something, then dinner?" he says and I look at the clock. How is it already 1pm? I text Steph and tell her I will be out most of the day and she responds saying she will be gone until tomorrow. I have come to notice that she basically lives at Harry's fraternity house on the weekends.
We drive around to find a park which only takes a little while. "When are you going to start looking for a car?" He asks while he parks the car. The park we found is small and quiet.
"I think this week actually. I am going to apply for jobs this week too." I don't mention the internship at Vance Publishing that Harry dangled in front of me.
"That is great news, let me know if you need anything" he offers and I nod. We walk around the park and sit at a picnic table. He talks most of the time and I nod along. I find myself dazing in and out of the conversation but he doesn't seem to notice. We end up walking a little more and come to a small stream. I laugh at the irony and Noah looks at me quizzically.
"Do you want to swim?" I am not sure why I just said that.
"In there? No way" he laughs and I mentally smack myself. I need to stop comparing Noah to Harry.
"I was joking" I lie and drag him along down the trail.
It is seven before we leave the park so we decide to order pizza when we get back to my room and watch a movie. I am starving by the time the pizza comes so I eat almost half of it to myself. In my defense I haven't eaten all day. Halfway through the movie my phone rings and Noah reaches over to grab it for me.
"Who's Liam?" he asks. There is no suspicion in his voice, only curiosity. He has never been the jealous type, he never needed to be. Until now.
"He's a friend from school" I say and answer. Why would Liam be calling me so late? He's never called me for anything other than to compare notes.
"Tessa?" he says loudly.
"Yea, is everything okay?"
"Uhm, well no actually. I know Noah is there but.." he hesitates.
"What's wrong Liam?" My heart starts to race. "Are you okay?"
"Yea, it's not me. It's Harry" he says and my heart drops.
"H..harry?" I stutter. I am panicking inside.
"Yea, if I give you an address can you come here, please?" He says and I hear something crash in the background. I jump off of my bed and I have my shoes on before my mind catches up.
"Liam is Harry trying to hurt you?" My mind can't make sense of what else could be going on.
"No, no." he says.
"Text me the address" I tell him and hear another crash.
"Noah, I need your car." I tell him and he turns his head sideways.
"What is going on?"
"I don't know.. it's Harry. Give me your keys" I demand and he reaches into his pockets.
"I will come with you" he says and moves to stand. I snatch the keys from his hands and shake my head.
"No, you.. I need to go alone" I say and he looks hurt. I know it is wrong to leave him here but the only thing I can think about is getting to Harry.

I rush to Noah's car and my phone vibrates with a text from Liam.
"2875 Cornell Rd." The text reads. I type the address into my phone navigation and pull out of the parking lot. It says I will arrive in fifteen minutes. What could be going on there that Liam could possibly need me to come there. Harry and I aren't even on speaking terms. I hope Harry is okay and not hurt. I couldn't make out what the crashing noise was, it sounded like something breaking. I am still as confused when I arrive at the address as I was when I left my room. Noah has called twice but I ignore it, I need the navigation to stay on the screen and honestly, the confused look on his face when I left him there is haunting me.
The houses on the street are all large, they look like mansions.This house in particular is at least three times larger than my mom's house. It's an old fashioned looking brick house, mansion to me, and the yard is sloped, making it appear to be sitting on a hill. Even under the street lights, it is beautiful. It must be Harry's father's house, that is the only conclusion I can come to on why Liam would be there as well.  I take a deep breath and walk up the steps on the sidewalk. When I get to the door I knock hard on the dark mahogany door and it opens within seconds.
"Tessa, thank you for coming. I know you have company. Is Noah with you?" Liam asks and gestures for me to come inside.
"No, he's back at the dorms. What is going on? Where is Harry?"
"He's in the back yard. He is out of control" he sighs.
"And I am here because?" I ask as nicely as I can. What does Harry being out of control have to do with me?
"I don't know, I know you hate him but he is drunk, completely belligerent. He showed up here and opened a bottle of his father's scotch. He drank over half the bottle! And then he started breaking things, all my mother's dishes, a glass cabinet, basically everything he could get his hands on"
"What? Why?" Harry told me he doesn't drink.
"His dad just told him that he and my mother are getting married" he tells me as if that explains it.
"Okay? So Harry doesn't want them to get married?" I am still confused. Liam leads me through the large kitchen and I gasp as I take in the huge mess Harry has made. There are broken dishes scattered across the floor and a large wooden cabinet knocked onto it's side with the glass panels missing and broken.
"No, It's a long story. Right after his dad told him they left town for the weekend. Thank god they aren't here but I think that's why Harry came here, to confront his dad. He never comes here" he explains and opens the back door. I see a shadow sitting at a small table on the patio. Harry.
"I don't know what you think I can do, but I will try" I tell Liam and he nods.
He leans down and puts his hand on my shoulder. "He was calling out for you" He tells me quietly and my heart stops. I walk towards Harry and he looks up at me. His eyes are blood shot and his hair is hidden under a gray beanie. His eyes go wide then darken and I want to step back. He looks almost scary under the dim patio light.
"How did you get here?" Harry raises his voice and stands up.
"Liam.. he" I answer and wish I wouldn't have told him.
"You fucking called her?" he yells towards Liam and Liam walks back inside, ignoring Harry.
"You leave him alone Harry, he is worried about you" I scold him and he sits back down, gesturing for me to take a seat. I sit across from him and watch as he grabs the nearly empty bottle of dark liquor and puts it to his mouth. I watch his adam's apple move as he gulps it down. When he is finished the bottle slams down onto the glass of the patio table and it makes me jump. I am just glad it didn't break.
"Aww, aren't you two something. You both are so predictable. Poor Harry is upset so you gang up on me and try to make me feel bad for breaking some shitty china" He says with a sick smirk.
"I thought you don't drink?" I ask him and cross my arms.
"I don't. Until now I guess. Don't try to patronize me, you're no better than me" he snaps and takes another swig. I can't deny that being near him, even in his drunken state, breathes life into me. I have missed the feeling Harry gives me.
"I never said I was better than you. What made you drink now?"
"What does It matter to you? Where's your boyfriend?" His eyes blaze into mine and the emotion behind them is so strong that I am forced to look away. If only I knew what that emotion was, hatred I suppose.
"He is back in my room. I just want to help you Harry" I lean a little over the table to reach for his hand but Harry recoils from my touch.
"Help me?" He laughs. I want to ask him why he was calling out for me if he is going to continue to be hateful but I don't want to throw Liam under the bus, again. "If you want to help me then leave"
"Why won't you just tell me what happened to make you break all of their stuff?" I look down at my hands and pick at my fingernails.
He sighs and pulls his beanie off and runs his hand through his hair before pulling it back on. "My father decided to just now tell me that he is marrying Karen and the wedding is next month. He should have told me long ago. I am sure perfect little Liam knew."
Oh. I hadn't actually expected him to tell me so I am not sure what to say. "I am sure he had a good reason not to tell you"
"You don't know him, he doesn't give a shit about me. You know how many times I have talked to him in the last year? Maybe ten! All he cares about is his big house, his new soon to be wife and his new perfect son" Harry slurs and takes another drink.
I stay quiet. "You should see the dump that my mum lives in in England. She says she likes it there but I am sure she doesn't. It is smaller than my dad's bedroom here! My mum practically forced me to come here for university to be closer to him and we see how that worked out" He takes another drink.
With this little bit of information he has given me I feel like I can understand him so much better. His father left him and his mother in England, came here for some reason, and now he is marrying another woman. Harry must be hurt, that is why he is the way he is.
"How old were you when he left?" I ask him and he eyes me warily but answers.
"Ten. But even before he left, he was never around. He was at a different bar every night. Now he's Mr. Perfect and he has all this shit" Harry says and waves his hand towards the house. Harry's dad left him when he was ten, just like mine. And they were both drunks, we have more in common than I thought. This wounded and drunk Harry seems so much younger, so much more fragile.
"I'm sorry that he left you guys but.."
"No, I don't need your pity." he interrupts.
"I am not pitying you, I am just trying to.."
"Trying to what?" he cuts me off again.
"Help you. Be here for you" I tell him and he smiles. It's a beautifully haunting smile and I know what is about to happen.
"You are so pathetic. Don't you see that I don't want you here? I don't want you to be here for me. Just because I messed around with you doesn't mean I want anything to do with you, yet here you are leaving your boyfriend who can actually stand to be around you to come here and try to 'help' me. That, Theresa is the definition of pathetic" He says using air quotes. His voice is full of venom, just like I knew it would be.
"You don't mean that" I ignore the pain in my chest as I look at him. I think back to a week ago when he was laughing and tossing me into the water. I can't decide if he is a great actor or a great liar.
"I do though, go home" he tell me and raises the bottle to take another drink. I reach across and snatch it from him and toss it in the yard.
"What the hell?" He yells but I ignore him.
I walk towards the door and he steps in front of me.
"Where are you going?" His face is inches from mine.
"I am going to help Liam clean up the mess you made and then I am going to leave" My voice comes out much calmer than I feel.
"Why would you help him?" The disgust in his voice is clear when he says "him'
"Because he, unlike you, deserves for someone to help him" I say and his face falls. I should be saying much more to Harry, I should scream at him for the hurtful things he just said to me, but I know that is what he wants. This is what he does, he hurts everyone near him and he gets a kick out of it.
He steps out of my way and I go inside. Liam is crouched over picking up the cabinet and Harry stayed outside.
"Where's the broom?" I ask and Liam looks up at me with a smile.
"Right over there" he motions and I find it.
"Thank you for everything" he says and I smile. I begin sweeping up the glass from the smashed dishes. There are so many. I feel terrible or Karen when she comes home to find all of her dishes gone. I hope they didn't have any sentimental value to her.
"Ouch!" I gasp as a small piece of glass digs into my finger. Droplets of blood fall onto the wooden floor and I jump up to reach the sink.
"Are you okay?" Liam asks and I nod.
"Yea, its just a little piece, I don't know why there is so much blood" I tell him. It really doesn't hurt that bad. I close my eyes as the cold water runs over my finger and I hear the back door open. I snap my eyes open to see Harry standing in the doorway.
"Tessa, can I talk to you please?" He asks. I know I should say no but something about the redness around his eyes makes me nod. His eyes look to my hand and then the blood on the floor.
"Are you okay? What happened?" He says and walks towards me.
"It's nothing, just a little glass" I tell him. He was just calling me pathetic, now he is acting concerned about my health? He is going to make me crazy, literally crazy, as in locked in a padded room. He reaches for my hand and pulls it out from under the water. Even when he touches my arm I feel the electricity. He frowns and lets go, walking over to the cabinet.
"Where are the Band-Aid's?" he asks Liam and Liam tells him they are in the bathroom. Within a minute Harry is back with a Band-Aid and he grabs my hand again. He wraps it around my finger gently and I stay quiet. Liam looks as confused as I am by Harry's actions.
"Can I talk to you, please?" He asks again.
"Yea, I guess." I answer. I know I shouldn't but since when do I do what I should when Harry is involved? He wraps his hand around my wrist and leads me outside.

As we reach the table Harry lets go of my wrist and pulls out the chair for me to sit down. I feel like my wrist is literally burning from his touch, I rub my fingers over it and he grabs the chair next to me and scoots it across the concrete to sit in directly in front of me. His chair is so close that his knees are almost touching mine.
"What could you possibly want to talk about Harry?" I ask him in the harshest tone I can muster.
He takes a deep breath and pulls his beanie off again and sits it on the table. I watch as his long fingers run through his hair and he looks into my eyes.
"I am sorry" he says and I look away and focus on the large tree in the backyard. "Did you hear me?" He asks and leans in.
"Yea I heard you" I snap. He is crazier than I thought if he think he can just say sorry and I will forget the horrible things he continues to do to me on an almost daily basis.
"You're so damned difficult to deal with" he says and sits back on his chair. The bottle I tossed into the yard is in his hand and he takes another drink. How is he not passed out from drinking so much?
"I am difficult? You have to be kidding me! What do you expect me to do Harry? You are cruel to me, so cruel." I say and pull my bottom lip between my teeth. I will not cry in front of him. Noah has never made me cry, we have been in a few fights over the years but I have never been upset enough to cry.
"I don't mean to be" his voice is quiet.
"Yes you do and you know it. You do it purposely. I have never been treated this poorly by anyone in my entire life" I bite my lip harder. I can feel the knot in my throat. If I cry he wins. That's what he wants.
"Then why do you keep coming around? Why not just give up?"
"If I.. I don't know but I can assure you after tonight I am not going to . I am going to drop literature and take it next semester" I say, I hadn't planned on doing that until now but it is exactly what I should do.
"Don't, please don't do that"
"Why would you care? You wouldn't want to be forced to be around someone as pathetic as me right?" My blood is boiling. If I knew what to say to hurt him as bad he always hurts me I would.
"I didn't mean that. I am the pathetic one" I release my lip from my teeth and my mouth falls open.
"Well I won't argue with that" I say and he takes another drink. I reach for the bottle and he pulls it away. "So you're the only one who can get drunk?" I ask and a small smile appears on his face. The patio light shines off of his eyebrow ring as he hands me the bottle.
"I thought you were going to toss it again" he says and I put the bottle to my lips. The liquor is warm and tastes like burnt licorice dipped into rubbing alcohol. I gag and Harry chuckles.
"How often do you drink?" I ask him. I need to get back to being angry with him after he answers.
"Before tonight it has been about six months" his eyes fall to the floor like he is ashamed.
"Well, you shouldn't drink anymore. It makes you an even worse person than usual"
"You think I am a bad person?" His tone is serious. Is he that drunk that he would ever consider himself a good person?
"Yes" I breath.
"I'm not. Well maybe I am. I want you to.." he stops.
"You want me to what?" I have to know what he was going to say. I hand him back the bottle and he sits it on the table. I don't want to drink, that one drink was bad enough and I already have terrible judgment around Harry as it is.
"Nothing." he tells me and I know he is lying.
Why am I even here? Noah is back in my room waiting for me and here I am wasting even more time on Harry.
"I should go" I say and stand up.
"Don't go" My feet stop in their tracks at the pleading tone in his voice. I turn around and he is less than a foot from me.
"Why not? Do you have more insults to throw in my face?" I shout and turn away from him. I feel his hand wrap around my arm and he jerks me back.
"Don't turn your back on me!" He shouts even louder than I did.
"I should have turned my back on you a long time ago!" I scream and push against his chest. "I don't know why I am even here! I came all the way here the second Liam called me! I left my boyfriend who like you said is the only one who can stand to be around me, to come here for you! You know what? You're right Harry, I am pathetic. I am pathetic for coming here, I am pathetic for even trying.." I am cut off by his lips against mine.
I push at his chest to stop him but he doesn't budge. Every part of me wants to kiss him back but I stop myself. I feel his tongue trying to pry its way in between my lips and he wraps his arms around me pulling me closer to him despite me continuing to push against him. It's no use, he is stronger than me.
"Kiss me Tessa" He says against my lips.
I shake my head and he grunts in frustration.
"Please, just kiss me. I need you" his words unravel me. This indecent, drunken, terrible man just said he needs me and somehow it sounds like poetry to my ears. Harry is like a drug to me, even if I take the tiniest bit of him, I crave more and more. He consumes my thoughts and invades my dreams.
The second my lips part his mouth is on mine again, this time I don't resist. I can't. I know this isn't the answer to my problems and I am just digging myself deeper but that doesn't matter right now. All that matters is his words "I need you" Could Harry possibly need me the way I desperately need him? I doubt it but for right now I pretend that he does. He brings one of his hands to cup my cheek and he runs his tongue along my bottom lip. I shudder and he smiles, his lip ring tickling the corner of my mouth. I hear a rustling noise and pull away. He lets me stop the kiss but he keeps his arms wrapped tightly around me, his body pressed against mine. I look towards the back door and pray that Liam didn't witness my terrible lapse of judgment. I don't see him, thank god.
"Harry, I really have to go. We can't keep doing this, its not good for either of us" I tell him and look down.
"Yes we can" he says and lifts my chin up, forcing me to look into his green eyes.
"No, we can't. You hate me and I don't want to be your punching bag anymore. You confuse me. One minute you're telling me how much you can't stand me or you're humiliating me after my most intimate experience" he opens his mouth to interrupt me and I put my finger against his pink lips and continue, "then the next minute you are kissing me and telling me you need me. I don't like who I am when I am with you and I hate the way I feel after you say terrible things to me"
"Who are you when you are with me?" He asks.
"Someone I don't want to be, someone who cheats on their boyfriend and cries constantly" I explain.
"You know who I think you are when you are with me?" He runs his thumb along my jawline and I try to stay focused.
"Who?"
"Yourself. I think this is the real you, you're just too busy caring what everyone else thinks about you to realize it" He sounds so honest and sure of his answer that I take a second to really think about his words. "And I know what I did to you after I fingered you." he notices my scowl and continues, "sorry.. after our experience was wrong. I felt terrible after you got out of my car"
"I doubt that" I snap, remembering how much I cried that night.
"It's true, I swear it. I know you think I am a bad person.. but you make me.." Why does he always stop?
"Finish that sentence or I am leaving" I tell him and mean it.
"You.. you make me want to be good, for you... I want to be good for you, Tess"

"What?" I try to take a step back from him but his grip is too strong. I must have heard him wrong.
"You heard me."
"No, I am sure I misunderstood."
"You didn't, you make me feel things that are unfamiliar to me. I don't know how to handle these type of feelings Tessa. So I do the only thing I know how to do, which is be an asshole." Once again I find myself in a trance.
"This could never work Harry, we are so different. I already have a boyfriend and you don't date, remember?"
"We aren't that different, we are very similar. We like the same things, we both love books for example." he says. I can't wrap my mind around the idea of Harry trying to convince me that we could be good together.
"You don't date." I remind him again.
"I know, but we could.. be friends?" There it is. We are back to square one.
"I thought you said we couldn't be friends? I won't just be friends with you, I know what you mean by that. You want all the benefits of being my boyfriend without actually having to commit to me." His body sways and he leans on the table and loosens his grip of me.
"Why is that so bad? Why do you need the label?"
"Because Harry, I have self respect. I will not be your play thing, especially when it involves being treated like dirt. I am already taken Harry."
"And yet look where you are right now." He points out. I can't deny that he is right but I can't and won't agree to be friends with benefits with him.
"I love him and he loves me." I say and watch Harry's expression change. He lets go of me and stumbles over the chair.
"Don't say that to me." he slurs.
I almost forgot how drunk he was. His words are coming out faster than ever before.
"You're only saying this because you're drunk, tomorrow you will go back to hating me."
"I don't hate you.
" I wish he didn't have this effect on me. "If you can look my in the eyes and tell me that you want me to leave you alone and never speak to you again, I will listen. I swear, from this point on I will never come near you again, just say the words."
I open my mouth to tell him just that. To tell him to stay far away from me, to tell him I never want to lay eyes on him again.
"Tell me Tessa, tell me that you never want to see me again." He steps closer yet again.
He runs his hands along my arms and goose bumps immediately raise on my skin.
"Tell me you never want to feel my touch again." he whispers and brings his hand to my neck.
His index finger traces along my collarbone and back up and down my neck. I hear my breathing increase as he brings his lips less than an inch from mine.
"That you never want me to kiss you again." he says and I can smell the scotch and feel the heat off his breath.
"Tell me Theresa" he coos and I whimper.
"Harry." I whisper.
"You can't resist me Tessa, just as I can't resist you." His lips are close to mine, they are almost touching.
"Stay with me tonight?" He asks and I want to do whatever he says.
A movement by the door catches my eye and I jerk away from Harry. Liam's face is twisted with confusion as he turns away and disappears from the doorway.
I am snapped back into reality.
"I have to go." I say and Harry curses under his breath.
"Please, please stay. Just stay with me tonight and if you decide in the morning to tell me you don't want to see me anymore... just please stay. I am begging you and I don't beg Theresa." I find myself nodding before I can stop myself.
"What will I tell Noah? He is waiting for me and I have his car." I can't believe I am actually considering doing this.
"Just tell him that you have to stay because.. I don't know. Don't tell him anything, what's the worst thing he can do?" Harry asks and I shudder.
He will tell my mom. Irritation towards Noah fills me, I should not have to worry about my boyfriend telling my mother on me.
"He is probably asleep anyway." Harry says.
"No, he has no way to get back to his hotel."
"Hotel? Wait.. he doesn't stay with you?"
"No, he has a hotel room close by."
"And you stay at the hotel with him?"
"No, he stays there and I stay in my room."
"What is wrong with him? Is he straight?" Harry asks, his bloodshot eyes dance in amusement.
"Of course he is!"
"Sorry but something is not right there. If you were mine I would not be able to stay away from you. I would fuck you every chance I had."
My mouth falls open. Harry's dirty words have the strangest effect on me. I flush and look away from him.
"Let's go inside, the tree is swaying back and forth. I think that is my cue to go inside. I have had way too much to drink."
"You're staying here?" I ask him, I had assumed he would go back to his frat house.
"Yea, so are you. Let's go." he grabs my hand and we walk towards the back door.
I will have to find Liam and try to explain what he saw through the door. I don't know what is happening myself so I am not sure how I will explain it but I have to make him understand somehow. As we walk through the kitchen, I notice the mess is almost completely cleaned.
"You need to clean the rest of this tomorrow." I tell him and he nods.
"I will." He promises, I hope he keeps it.
He keeps my hand in his as he leads me up the grand staircase. I pray that we don't run into Liam in the hallway and I am relieved when we don't.
Harry opens the door to a pitch black room and gently pulls me inside.

My eyes adjust to the darkness but the only light is a small streak of moonlight coming through the bay window.
"Harry?" I whisper. I hear him curse as he trips over something and I try not to laugh.
"I'm right here" he says and clicks on a lamp on the desk. I look around the room and it looks like a hotel room. It is large and has a four poster bed with dark linens centered against the far wall, it looks like a king size with at least twenty pillows on top. The desk an oversized cherry wood desk, the computer sitting on it has a bigger screen than the television in my dorm room. The bay window has a built in bench along the wall and curtain less, the other windows in the room are masked with thick navy curtains do not allow the moon to shine through.
"This is my.. room" he says and rubs the back of his neck with his hand. He looks almost embarrassed.
"You have a room here?" I ask of course he does. It is his father's house and Liam obviously lives here. Liam had mentioned that Harry never comes here so maybe that is why it looks so museum like, untouched and impersonal.
"Yea.. I haven't ever actually slept in it.. until tonight" He sits on the chest placed at the end of the bed and unties his boots. He pulls his socks off and tucks them into the shoes. My heart swells at the idea that I am part of a first for Harry.
"Oh. Why is that?" I am taking advantage of his drunken honesty.
'Because I don't want to. I hate it here" he answers quietly and unbuttons his black pants and pulls them down his legs.
"What are you doing?"
"Getting undressed?" he states the obvious.
"I mean why?" I hope he doesn't think I am going to have sex with him. Even though part of me is dying to feel his hands on me again.
"Well I am not sleeping in skinny jeans and boots" he half laughs. His hand sweeps the hair off of his forehead making it stand straight up. Everything he does sends that feeling through my body.
"Oh" He pulls his shirt over his head and I can't look away. His tattooed stomach is flawless. He tosses the t-shirt at me and I don't catch it, letting it fall to the ground. I raise my eyebrow at him and he smiles.
"You can sleep in that, I assume you won't want to sleep in your panties. But of course, I am perfectly fine with it if you do" he winks and I giggle. Why am I giggling? I can't sleep in his t-shirt, I will feel too naked. I bend down and pick the black fabric up and hold it out.
"I am fine sleeping in this" I tell him and he eyes my outfit. He hasn't made a single rude comment about my long skirt or loose blue blouse.
"Fine. Suit yourself, if you want to be uncomfortable go ahead" he smiles an takes the shirt from me and sits it on the dresser. I wonder if there are clothes in it. He moves towards the bed in only his boxers and begins to toss the pillows off the bed and onto the floor. I walk over and open the chest, just as I had thought it is empty.
"The pillows go in here" I tell him and he laughs and tosses another onto the floor. I groan and pick the pillows up and put them into the chest. He laughs at me and pulls back the comforter before he plops down. He crosses his arms behind his head, then he crosses his feet and gives me a smile. The words tattooed on his ribs are stretched from his arms being raised behind his head. His long lean body looks exquisite laying across the bed.
"You're not going to whine about sleeping in the bed with me are you?" He asks and I roll my eyes. I actually wasn't going to. I know it's wrong but I want to sleep in the bed with Harry more than I think I have ever wanted anything.
"No, the bed is big enough for both of us" I say with a smile. I don't know if it is Harry's smile or the fact that he is only wearing boxers but I am in a much better mood than before.
"Now that's the Tessa I love" he teases and my heart lurches at his choice of words. I know he doesn't and would never mean it that way but it sounded so nice coming off of his lips.
I climb onto the bed and scoot as close the edge of the bed and as far away from Harry's body as I can. I hear him chuckle and roll over on my side to face him.
"What is so funny?" I ask him.
"Nothing" he lies and bites his lip trying not to laugh. I like this playful Harry, his humor is contagious.
"Tell me!" I pout and pucker out my bottom lip. His eyes go straight to my mouth and he runs his tongue along his lips before hooking his lip ring between his teeth.
"You've never slept in the bed with a guy before have you?" He rolls onto his side and moves a little closer to me. If I back up anymore I will fall backwards off the bed.
"No" I simply answer and his smile grows. We are only a few feet apart and before I know what I am doing my hand reaches out and pokes his intended dimple. His eyes dart to mine in surprise and I pull my hand away, He grabs my hand and puts it back against his cheek, he moves his hand and mine up and down his cheek slowly.
"I don't know why no one has fucked you yet, you must be really good at resisting" he says and I gulp.
"I've never really had to resist anyone" I admit. Guys in high school found me attractive and hit on me a lot but no one ever tried to actually have sex with me. They all knew I had a boyfriend. I was well liked in high school and so was Noah. We were both on Homecoming Court every year.
"That's either a lie or you went to an all blind high school. Your lips alone are enough to make me hard" I gasp at his words and he chuckles. He brings my hand to his mouth and runs it along his wet lips. His breath is hot against my fingers and I am even more surprised when he bares his teeth and gently bites the pad of my index finger, somehow making me feel it in the pit of my stomach. He moves my hand down to his neck and my fingertips trace the swirl of tattoos on his neck. He watches me carefully but doesn't stop me.
"You like the way I talk to you, don't you?" His expression is dark but so sexy. My breathing hitches and he smiles again. "I can see the blush in your cheeks and I can hear the way your breathing has changed. Answer me Tessa, put those full lips of yours to use" he says and I laugh. I don't know what else to do but laugh. I will never admit the way his words turn something on deep inside of me. He lets go of my hand but wraps his fingers around my wrist and closes the gap between us on the bed.
I am hot, too hot. I need to cool down or I will start sweating soon. "Can you turn the fan on?" I ask Harry and he furrows his brows. "Please" I ask again and he sighs but climbs off the bed.
"If you are hot, why don't you change out of those heavy clothes, that skirt looks itchy anyway" he says and I smile. I had been waiting on him to tease me for my clothes.
"You should dress for your body Tessa, these clothes you wear hide all of your curves. If I hadn't seen you in your bra and panties I would never know how sexy and curvy your body actually is. That skirt literally looks like a potato sack" he says and I laugh, even though he is insulting me and somehow managing to compliment me at the same time.
"What do you suggest I wear? Fishnets and tube tops?" I ask.
"No, well I would love to see that but no. You can still cover yourself but wear clothes your size. That shirt hides your chest too and your tits are nothing you should be hiding"
"Will you stop using those words!" I scold him and he smiles . He finally joins me back on the bed, scooting his practically naked body close to mine. I am still hot and Harry's odd way of complimenting me has given me a new wave of confidence.
"Where are you going?" He slurs, his voice is panicked as I climb off the bed.
"I am going to change" I answer and walk over to the dresser to grab his t-shirt. "Now turn around and don't peek" I put my hands on my hips.
"No"
"What do you mean no?" How can he be telling me no?
"I won't turn around, I want to see you" Oh. I shake my head at him and turn the light off. He whines and I smile to myself as I unzip my skirt. It pools at my feet and another light clicks back on.
"Harry!!" I hurry and pick the skirt back up. He has seen me in less clothing and I know he isn't going to listen so I take a deep breath and pull my shirt over my head. I have to admit I am enjoying this little game we have going right now. I know deep down I want him to look at me, I want him to want me. I am wearing a plain white bra and white panties, nothing fancy or special but Harry's expression makes me feel sexy. I grab his t-shirt and pull it over my head. It smells so good, just like Harry. He leans up on his elbows to look at me, he isn't shy about his eyes moving up and down my body.
"Come here" he says and I ignore my subconscious telling me to run as fast as I can, and I walk towards the bed.
To be continued

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