Thursday, 24 May 2018

AFTER ROMANCE Episode 71-75

When we enter the house Karen and Ken are sitting on the couch in the living room, they both look up when we walk in.
"Harry! What happened?" Ken asks, his voice panicked.
"I'm fine." Harry grumbles.
"What happened to him?" Ken turns to me.
"He got in a fight, he hasn't told me with who or why." I explain.
"I am standing right here and I just said I am fucking fine." He spits.
"Don't talk to him like that!" I scold him and his eyes widen. Instead of screaming at me, he takes my wrist in his busted hand and pulls me out of the room. I hear Ken and Karen talking about Harry's bloody appearance as he drags me upstairs. Once we reach his room he turns me around, pinning both of my wrists to the wall and steps towards me leaving only a few inches between us.
"Don't ever do that again." he says through his teeth.
"Do what? Let go of me." I tell him and he rolls his eyes before letting go and opening his bedroom door. He walks towards the bed and I stay close to the door. Ken and Karen are probably wondering why Harry keeps coming here, he never used to come here.
"Don't tell me how to talk to my father. Worry about your own relationship with your father before trying to meddle in mine." As soon as the words come out of his mouth, they register with him and he looks up at me as I take a step backwards. 'I'm sorry.. I didn't mean it like that.. It just came out." He tries to apologize.
"It always just 'comes out' doesn't it?" I can't help the tears pricking my eyes. The comment about my father was just too much, even for Harry.
"Tess, I.." He begins but stops himself. What am I doing here? Why do I keep thinking he will stop the endless string of insults long enough to have an actual conversation with me? Because I am an idiot, that's why.
"It's fine, really. That's who you are, that's what you do. You find people's weakness and you exploit it. You use it to your advantage. How long have you been waiting to say something about my father? You have probably been waiting for an opening since you met me!" I shout.
"Damn it! No I haven't! I wasn't thinking when I said that! You are not innocent here, you provoke me on purpose!' He yells, even louder than I did.
"Provoke you? I provoke you! Please, do enlighten me!" I almost scream. I know everyone in the house can hear be but for once, I don't care.
"You always push my buttons! You constantly fight with me! You go on dates with Zayn, I mean fuck! You think I like being this way? Do you think I like you having this control over me? I hate the way you get under my skin, I loathe the way I can't seem to stop thinking about you! I hate you.. I really do! You're such a pretentious little.." He stops and looks at me. I force myself to look back at him, putting on the charade that he didn't just tear me apart with every syllable.
"This is what I am talking about!" He runs his hands over his hair as he paces back and forth across the room. "You.. you make me crazy, literally insane! And then you have the nerve to ask if I love you? Why would you even ask that? Because I said that one time, on accident? I told you already that I didn't mean it so why would you ask again? You like rejection don't you? That's why you keep coming around me, isn't it?" He is screaming at me and all I want to do is run, run out of this room and never, ever look back.
"No, I keep coming around because I love you." I finally admit. I cover my mouth, wishing I could push the words back in. He couldn't possibly hurt me worse than he has and I don't want to be left wondering what he would have said if I told him. I am okay with him not loving me, I got myself into this knowing how he was all along.
"You what?" He looks astonished. He blinks rapidly as if trying to process the words.
"Go on, tell me how much you hate me again. Go ahead and tell me how stupid I am for loving someone who can't stand me." I say, my voice comes out foreign and almost as a whine. I wipe my eyes and look at him again. "I'll be going now." I say, I feel as if I am walking away from a battle in which I have been gravely been defeated. I need to leave the scene to bandage my internal wounds.
As I open the door he takes one long stride to close the gap between us. I refuse to look at him as he puts his hand on my shoulder. "Damn it, don't go." he says, his voice is full of emotion, which emotion is the question.
"You love me?" He whispers and puts his busted hand under my chin to tilt my head to him. I dart my eyes away from his and nod slowly, waiting for him to laugh in my face.
"Why?" His breath comes in a hot burst against my face. I finally bring my eyes to his and he looks.. afraid?
"What?" I ask softly.
"Why do you love.. how could you possibly love me?" His voice cracks and he stares at me and I feel like the words I say next will carry much more weight than I ever expected.
I have no explanation except that I just do. He drives me crazy, makes me angrier than I have ever been, but somehow I fell for him, hard. "How could you not know that I love you?" I ask instead of answering him. He doesn't think I could love him?
"You told me you didn't, and you went out with Zayn. You always leave me, you left me on the porch earlier when I begged you for another chance. I told you I loved you and you rejected me. Do you know how hard that was for me?" He says. I must be imagining the wetness in the corners of his eyes.
I am too aware of his callused fingers under my chin. "You took it back before I could even process what you said, you have done a lot of things to hurt me, Harry." I tell him and he nods.
"I know.. I'm sorry. Let me make it up to you? I know I don't deserve you, I don't have the right to even be asking this.. but please, just one chance. I am not promising not to fight with you, or get mad at you but I am promising to give myself to you, completely. Please, just let me try to be what you need." He sounds so unsure of himself, it turns my insides to liquid.
"I want to think this can work but I just don't know how it could, so much damage has already been done." My eyes betray me as the tears fall. Harry brings his fingers up from my chin and captures the tears.
"Do you remember when you asked me who I love the most in the world?" He asks, his lips inches from mine.
I nod, how does he remember that? It seems so long ago and I didn't think he was even paying attention.
"Its you. You're the person that I love most in the world." his words surprise me and dissolve the ache in my chest.
"This isn't part of your sick game is it?" I ask before I let myself believe him and turn to my usually state of putty in his arms.
"No, Tessa. I am done with the games, I just want you. I want to be with you, in a real relationship. You'll have to take the lead of course because I don't know what in the hell that even means." he laughs and I join him.
"I have missed your laugh, I haven't heard it enough. I want to be the one to make you laugh, not cry. I know I am a lot to handle.." he says but I cut him off by pressing my lips against his. His lips are rushed and I can taste the blood from his lip being busted. My knees want to buckle from the electricity shooting through me, it seems so long ago that I last felt his mouth on mine. I love this damaged, self loathing, asshole so much that I am afraid it will crush me. He lifts me up and I wrap my thighs around him, tangling my fingers into his hair. He moans into my mouth and gasp, pulling harder. My tongue runs over his bottom lip and he winces, I pull away.
"Who did you get in a fight with?" I ask and he laughs.
"You're asking that now?"
"Yea, I want to know." I smile.
"You always have so many questions, can't I answer them later?" he pouts.
"No, tell me."
"Only if you'll stay." He holds me against him tighter. "Please?" He begs.
"Okay." I breath and kiss him again, forgetting about my question.

"Okay, now tell me who you fought with, was it Zayn?" I ask, afraid of his answer. I sit down at the end bed and he follows me, sitting towards the headboard.
"No, it wasn't Zayn. It was just a few random guys." He replies. Oh, I had assumed it was Zayn, I am relieved that it wasn't.
"Wait, a few? How many?"
"Three.. or four. I am not really sure." He laughs.
"It's not funny, why were you fighting anyway?"
"I don't know.. I was pissed that you left with Zayn and it seemed like a good idea at the time." He shrugs.
"Well it's not a good idea, and now look how busted up you are." I frown and he cocks his head to the side with a puzzled expression. "What?"
"Nothing.. come here." he says and holds his arms out to me. I move across the bed and sit in front of him, between his legs.
"I am sorry for the way I treated.. well treat you.' he says quietly into my ear. A shiver runs through my body from his breath in my ear and his unforced apology.
"It's okay, well it's not okay. But I am going to give you one more chance." I tell him. I hope he doesn't make me regret it. I don't think I can handle anymore hot and cold from him.
"Thank you, I know I don't deserve it. But I am selfish enough to take it." he says, his mouth against my hair and wraps his arms around me. To sit with him like this feels foreign and nostalgic at the same time.
When I stay silent he turns my shoulders slightly to have me look at him. "What's wrong?" He asks.
"Nothing, I am just afraid that you will change your mind again." I admit. I want to dive into this head first, but I am afraid I will hit the bottom.
"I won't, I have never changed my mind. I just fought my feelings for you. I know you can't trust me but I want to earn your trust. I won't hurt you again." He promises and leans his forehead against mine.
"Please don't." I beg. I don't care how pathetic I sound.
"I love you, Tessa." he breathes and my heart leaps out of my chest. The words sound perfect coming off of his lips and I would do anything to be able to hear them again.
"I love you, Harry." This is the first time we have both openly said the words, I fight down my urge to panic over the idea that he may take them back again. Even if he does, I will always have the memory of how they sounded, how they made me feel.
'Say it again." He whispers and turns me around to face him. His eyes are more vulnerable than I thought possible for him as I move to my knees, between his legs. I take his face in my hands and rub my thumbs over the light stubble on his perfect face. I can tell by his expression that he needs me to say it, over and over again. I will say it as many times as I have to until he believes that he is worthy of someone loving him.
"I love you." I repeat and cover his lips with my own. He hums in appreciation as his tongue grazes gently over mine. Kissing Harry feels new and different each time, and he is like a drug that I can't get enough of. His hands press against the small of my back, bringing our chests together. My mind is telling me to take it slow, to kiss him gently and to savor each second of this gentle calm between us. But my body is telling me to grab a fist full of his hair and pull his shirt over his head. His lips travel down my jaw, and attach themselves onto my neck. That does it, I can't control myself anymore. This is us, all anger and passion and now love.
An involuntary moan escapes my lips and he groans against my neck, grabbing my waist and flipping us over so he is hovering over me. "I..have..missed you.. so much." he says in between sucking the skin on my neck. I can't keep my eyes open, it feels too good. He unzips my jacket and looks down at me with hungry eyes. He doesn't ask for my permission before tugging at the fabric, pulling my tank top up and over my head and he sucks in a sharp breath as I arch my back so he can unclasp my bra.
"I have missed your body.. the way you fit perfectly in my hand." he growls and palms my breasts, I moan again and he presses his lower body against mine, I can feel his arousal pressed against my lower stomach. Both of our breathing is rapid and uncontrolled and I have never wanted him more. it seems our exchange of feelings hasn't changed the overwhelming passion between us, I am glad. His hand glides down over my bare stomach and down to pop the button open on my jeans. As his fingers slide into my panties he gasps into my mouth, "I have missed how wet you always are for me" he expels. His words do wicked things to me. I lift my hips again, begging for contact.
"What do you want Tessa?" He breathes heavily into the crook of my neck.
"You." I answer before my mind can process what I just said. I know it is true, I want Harry, in the most primal, deepest way possible. His finger slides easily into me, and my head falls back against the pillow and he pumps in and out.
"I love to watch you, to see how good I make you feel." he says and I moan in response. My hands fist his t-shirt at his back. He has too many clothes on, but I can't form a coherent sentence to request for their removal. How do we go from 'I hate you' to 'I love you' to this? I don't care for the answer though, all I care about is the way he is making me feel, the way he always makes me feel. His body slides down mine and he removes his hand from my pants, I whine from the loss of contact and he smiles. His hands pull down my jeans and panties and I gesture to his fully clothed body.
'Undress." I say and he chuckles.
"Yes ma'am" he smirks and pulls his shirt over his head, revealing his inked skin. I want to run my tongue along every single line on every single tattoo.
Before either of us can ruin the moment with words, I grab ahold of his hair and pull his face to mine. I kiss him briefly on his lips before kissing his neck, In my limited yet thorough experience in pleasuring Harry, I know that the spot on his neck just above his collarbone drives him crazy. I plant wet and warm kisses against his neck, feeling his body jerk and tense as I lift my hips to him again. The feeling of his bare body on top of mine is exquisite. We are both already starting to sweat, despite the fact that we are both completely undressed. If one small movement is made, this will be taken to another level. A level that I never had been ready to reach, until now. Harry's hard muscles moving under his arms as he slowly rubs himself against me, moaning, is too much for me to resist.
"Harry.." I moan as he glides against me again.
"Yes baby?" He stops moving, I bring my heels to his thighs and force him to move again. His eyes flutter closed. "Fuck." he moans.
"I want to.." I say.
"You want to what?" His breath is hot and heavy against my clammy skin.
"I want to.. you know.. " I say, despite our intimate position right now I find myself embarrassed.
"Oh." He says. He stops moving again and stares into my eyes. He seems to be wagering some internal battle with himself. "I.. I don't know if that's a good idea.."
What? "Why?" I push him off of me. Here we go, again.
"No.. no. baby. I just mean for tonight." He wraps his arms around me and puts me on my side, laying next to me. I can't look at him, I am too humiliated.
"Listen, look at me." he says, tilting my chin. "I want to, fuck do I want to. More than anything, trust me. I have wanted to feel you around me since I met you, but I .. I just think after everything today and.. I just want you to be ready. I mean all the way ready, because once we do this, it's done. You can't take it back." My humiliation eases and I look at him.
I know he is right, I know I need to think about this more, but I have a hard time believing that my answer will be any different tomorrow. I should think about it when I am not under the influence of his naked body grinding against mine.
"Don't be upset with me please, just think about it for a little while and if you are sure that's what you want to do, I will gladly fuck you. Over and over, when and where you want. I want to.."
"Okay! Okay!" I bring my hand up to cover his mouth. He laughs against my palm and shrugs his shoulders as if to say, "just saying".
When I remove my hand from his mouth, he playfully bites my palm and pulls me to him. "I guess I should put some clothes on so you aren't so tempted." he teases and I blush.
I can't decide which aspect of this is more surprising, the fact that I just suggested we have sex, or the fact that he actually has enough respect for me to turn me down.
"But first, let me make you feel good." he mutters and flips me back onto my back in one swift motion. His mouth ducks down between my legs and within minutes, my legs are shaking and I am covering my mouth with my hand to keep myself from screaming his name.

I wake up to Harry snoring lightly, his lips pressed to my ear. My back is pressed tightly against his chest and his legs are hooked around mine. Memories from last night bring a smile to my lips, before the euphoric feeling is replaced by panic. Will he feel the same in the light of day? Or will he torture and taunt me for offering myself to him? I roll over slowly to face him, to examine his perfect features while his permanent frown is smoothed by sleep. I reach out and run my index finger over his eye brow ring, then down to the bruise on cheek. His lip looks better, as do his knuckles since he finally agreed to let me help him wash them off last night.
His eyes snap open as my finger greedily traces his lips. "What are you doing?" He asks, I can't decipher his tone, that makes me uneasy.
"Sorry.. I was just.." I don't know what to say. I don't know what type of mood he will be in after we fell asleep in each others arms.
"Don't stop." He whispers and closes his eyes again. Half of the weight on my chest disappears and I smile before tracing over the shape of his plump lips again, careful to avoid his injury.
"What are your plans for today?" he asks a few minutes later, reopening his eyes.
"I actually have plans with Karen to work on her greenhouse out back." I tell him and he sits up.
"Really?" He must be mad. I know he doesn't like Karen, even though she is one of the sweetest people I have ever met.
'Yea." I mumble.
"Well, I guess I don't have to worry about my family liking you, they like you better than they do me." He chuckles and runs the pad of his thumb across my cheek, sending a shiver down my spine.
"The problem with that is, if I keep hanging out here my dad may start to believe I actually like him." he says, his tone light but his eyes dark.
"Maybe you and your dad could hang out or something while Karen and I are outside?" I suggest. He is probably going to bite my head off.
"No, definitely not. I will go back to my house, my real house, and wait for you to be done." He growls.
"I wanted you to stay here though, it may take a long time. Her greenhouse is in pretty bad shape." I say. He seems to be at a loss for words which makes my heart warm at the thought that he doesn't want to be away from me very long.
"I.. I don't know Tessa. He probably doesn't want to hang out with me anyway." he mumbles.
"Of course he does. When is the last time you two were even in the same room alone together?" I ask and he shrugs.
"I don't know.. years. I don't know if this is a good idea." He says, running his hands over his head.
"If you are uncomfortable you can always join Karen and I outside." I assure him. I am astonished that he is considering spending time with his father.
"Fine.. but I am only doing this because the thought of leaving you, even for a little while.." he stops, I know he isn't good at expressing how he feels so I stay quiet, giving him time to collect himself. "Well, lets just say it is worse than hanging out with my prick of a father." I smile, despite his harsh words against his dad. The father that Harry knows from his childhood is not the same man that is downstairs, and I hope Harry can come around to see that. After I climb out of bed, I remember that I have no clothes with me, no toothbrush, nothing.
"I need to go by my room and grab some things." I tell him and he tenses.
"Because I don't have any clothes, and I need to brush my teeth." I laugh. When I look at him he has a small smile on his face but it doesn't reach his eyes. "What's wrong?" I ask, afraid of the answer.
"Nothing.. how long will you be gone?"
"Well I was assuming you would come with me?" As the words leave my mouth, he visiably relaxes. What is with him?
"Are you going to tell my why you are being weird?" I ask with my hands on my hips.
"I'm not.. I just thought you were trying to leave. Leave me." His voice says so small and unlike him that I get the urge to walk over and cradle him. Instead, I gesture for him to come to me and he nods before getting up and standing in front of me.
"I'm not going anywhere. I just need some clothes." I tell him again.
"I know.. it's just going to take a little getting used to. I am used to you running away from me."
"Well I am used to you pushing me away from you, so we both just have some adjusting to do." I smile and lay my head on his chest. I feel oddly comforted by his worry, I had been terrified that he would change his mind this morning and it feels good to know he was just as afraid.
"Yea, I guess we do. I love you." He says and it hits me just as hard as it did the first time, and the twentieth last night.
"And I love you too." I tell him and he frowns.
"Don't say too." He says.
"Why?" Oh no.
"I don't know.. it just makes me feel like you are just agreeing with me." he looks down. I remember the promise I made to myself last night that I will do whatever I can to help his self doubt.
"I love you." I say and he looks up at me. His eyes soften and he gently presses his lips against mine.
"Thank you." he says when he pulls away.
I roll my eyes at how flawless he looks in a plain white t-shirt and black jeans. He never wears anything expect plain white or black t-shirts and black jeans every single day, but he looks perfect, every single day. He doesn't need all the bells and whistles on his clothing, his simple style suits him so well. I put on my clothes from last night and he grabs my purse for me before we head downstairs.
Karen and Ken are in the living room when we walk downstairs.
"I made some breakfast." Karen smiles. I feel slightly uncomfortable with Karen and Ken knowing I stayed with Harry, again. I know they seem to be perfectly fine with it, and we are adults but that doesn't stop my cheeks from heating.
"Thank you." I smile and she gives me a curious look, I know I will get some questions when we are in the greenhouse. I walk into the kitchen and Harry follows me. We both fill our plates with food and sit at the table.
"Are Liam and Danielle here?" I ask Karen. Danielle will probably be confused seeing with Harry again after being Zayn last night. I shake off the negative thoughts.
"No, they went to Seattle for the day to do some sight seeing." She informs us. "Were you still wanting to work on the greenhouse today?"
"Yea, of course. I just have to run to my room and change my clothes. " I tell her.
"Good. I look forward to it. I will have Ken bring the bags of soil out from the shed while you're gone."
"If you wait until we get back Harry can help him?" I half ask, looking to Harry.
"Oh, you will be here today as well?" Her smile grows. How can he not see that people care about him?
"Uh..yea. I was going to just hang out here today.. I guess. If that's cool with you?" He stutters.
"Of course! Ken! Did you hear that Harry is going to be here all day!" Her excitement makes me smile and Harry roll his eyes.
"Be nice" I whisper in his ear and he plasters the fakest smile I have ever seen across his face. I giggle and kick his foot with mine.

"Do you want to get your car and take it to your dads?" I ask Harry as we drive back from my room.
I changed my clothes and took a quick shower, even though I am going to get dirty planting with Karen. Harry waited patiently, fiddling through my underwear drawer to keep himself busy. He told me to pack enough clothes to spend another night with him, which made me smile. I would spend every night with him if I could.
"No, I'm okay. As long as you stop swerving all over the road." He tells me.
"Excuse me? I am an excellent driver." I defend.
He snorts but keeps his mouth shut. "So what made you decide to get a car anyway?"
"Well, I got the internship and I didn't want to keep taking the bus or depending on other people to take me places." I explain.
"Oh.. did you go alone?" He asks and looks out the window.
"Yea.. why?"
"I'm just wondering." He lies. He is trying to ask if Zayn went with me.
"I was alone, that was a bad day for me." I say and he flinches.
"How many times did you and Zayn hang out?" He asks. Why is he bringing this up now?
"Twice, we went to dinner and a movie, then the bonfire. It wasn't anything for you to worry about."
"He only kissed you once?" Ugh.
"Yes, only once. Well besides the time that.. you saw. Now can we move on from this? You don't see me asking about Molly do you?" I snap.
"Okay..okay. Let's not fight. This is the longest we have ever gotten along so let's not ruin it." he says and reaches for my hand. His thumb rubs small circles on my skin, defusing my annoyance.
"Okay." I say, still slightly annoyed. The image of Molly on his lap makes my vision blur.
"Aww come on, Tess. Don't pout." He laughs and pokes my side. I can't help but laugh with him.
"Don't distract me, I am driving." I tease.
"This is probably the only time you'll ever tell me not to touch you."
"Not likely, don't be so full of yourself." Our laughs blend together and it's a lovely sound. He brings his hand to my thigh and rubs his long fingers up and down.
"You sure?" His raspy voice whispers and my skin tingles. My body responds to him so quickly, my pulse drumming heavily.
I gulp and nod, causing him to chuckle and pull his hand away. "I know that's not true.. but I'd rather not have you driving off the road, so I will finger you later." he smirks and I swat at him.
"Harry!" I blush.
"Sorry babe." he smiles and looks out the window. I love when he calls me babe, no one has called me that before. Noah and I had always thought that the ridiculous pet names people called each other were too juvenile for us, but when Harry calls me those names, my blood sings in my veins.
When we get back to Harry's fathers house, Ken and Karen are in the back yard waiting for us. Ken looks out of his element in jeans and a WSU t-shirt. I've never seen him dressy so causally, he looks even more like Harry when he is dressed this way. They greet us with a smile and Harry tries to return it but looks uncomfortable as he shifts on his heels and buries his hands in his pockets.
"I'm ready when you are." Ken says to Harry. He looks just as uncomfortable as Harry, but he seems nervous where as Harry seems apprehensive.
Harry looks at me and I give him an encouraging nod, it seems our dynamic has changed dramatically. I am surprised that I have suddenly become someone he looks at for reassurance, but it makes me happy in a way I hadn't expected.
"We will be in the greenhouse, just bring the soil in there." Karen says and gives Ken a small kiss on the cheek. Harry looks away from them and for a second I think he may give me a kiss too but he doesn't. I follow Karen to the greenhouse and when we walk inside I gasp. Its huge, bigger than it looks from outside and she wasn't joking when she said it need a lot of work. It is practically empty.
"It is quite the project, but I think we can do it." She smiles.
"I think so too." I tell her. Harry and Ken come in both carrying two bags of soil each. They are both silent as they drop them where Karen directs before walking back out. Twenty bags of soil and hundreds of seeds, flowers, and shrubs later we have a pretty good start. I haven't seen Harry in a few hours and the sun is down. I hope him and Ken are both still alive.
"I think we have done enough for today." Karen says and wipes her face. We are both covered in dirt.
"Yea, I better check on Harry." I tell her and she laughs.
"It means a lot to us, Ken especially that Harry has been coming around more, we have you to thank for that. I take it that you two worked out your differences?"
"Sort of.. I guess we did. We are still very different." I laugh. If only she knew.
"Well, different is sometimes what we need, it is good to be challenged." She gives me a knowing smile.
"Well he is definitely challenging." We both laugh and she pulls me in for a hug.
"You sweet girl, you have done more for us than you know." She says. I feel my eyes tearing up and I nod.
"I hope you don't mind that I've been staying overnight, Harry has asked me to stay again." I tell her and try not to make eye contact.
"No, of course not. You both are adults and I trust you're being safe."
Oh god. I know my cheeks are a deeper shade of red than the bulbs we just planted.
"We ..uh.. we don't." I stammer. Why am I talking about this with Harry's soon to be stepmother? I am mortified.
"Oh." She says, equally embarrassed. "Let's go inside." She says and I nod, following her.
When we walk inside the house, we both take our shoes off at the door. Harry is sitting on the edge of the couch and Ken is in the chair. Harry's eyes immeditaly find mine and relief flushes through them.
"I'll make some late dinner while you get cleaned up." Karen says. Harry stands up and walks over to me. He seems glad to be out of the room with his father.
"We will be back down soon." I say and follow Harry up the stairs.
"How was it?" I ask as we enter his room. Instead of answering me he wraps his fingers around my ponytail and brings his lips to mine. We stagger back against the door and he presses his body against mine.
"I missed you." He breathes. My insides liquefy.
"You did?' I squeak and he chuckles.
"Yes, I did. I just spent the last few hours in awkward silence and a few even more awkward comments here and there with my father. I need a distraction." He runs his tongue along my bottom lip and my breath catches in my throat. This is different, Welcome, and very hot, but different.
His hands travel down my stomach and stop at the button on my jeans.
"Harry, I need a shower. I am covered in dirt." I laugh. His tongue runs along my neck.
"I like you this way, nice and dirty." he smirks. I gently push him back and grab my bag before heading to the bathroom.
My breathing is unsteady and I try to close the bathroom door only to have it stop midway. When I look down I see Harry's boot stopping the door.
"Can I join you?" He smiles and pushes his way into the bathroom before I can answer.

"What?" I whisper harshly, ignoring his growing smirk.
"I would like to join you." He says. His fingers grip the bottom of his shirt, pulling it over his head and he reaches behind me to turn on the shower.
"We can't just take a shower together, we are at your father's house, and Liam and Danielle could be back anytime." I say. The idea of seeing Harry completely naked under the shower makes me squirm but this is too much.
"Well, I am going to take a nice hot shower while you stand there and overanalyze." His pants are left on the floor, along with his boxers as he steps past me and into the water. I don't realize I am staring until he closes the curtain abruptly, hiding his perfect body that I was in the middle of ogling.
"Don't you just love a hot shower after a long day?" His voice is distorted from the water but I can hear the smug smile his voice.
"I wouldn't know because some rude naked guy stole my shower." I huff and hear him chuckle.
"A sexy rude naked guy?" He teases. "Just come in before the hot water gives away."
"I.." I want to but taking a shower with someone is just so intimate, too intimate.
"Come on, live a little. It's just a shower." He says and opens the curtain. "Please." he reaches his hand out and my eyes scan his long, inked torso, gleaming from the water sliding down his skin.
"Okay." I whisper and undress while he watches every move I make. "Stop staring" I scold him and he pretends to be wounded, placing his hand over his heart.
"Are you questioning my nobility?" He laughs and I nod slowly, trying to fight my smile.
"I am insulted." He reaches his hand out to help me step in with him. I can't believe I am actually doing this, showering with him. I try my best to cover myself with my arms as I wait for him to move from under the water.
"Is it weird that I love how you're still shy around me?" He says, removing my shield. I stay quiet and he gently tugs my arms to bring me under the water. His head dips down, soaking my bare shoulder.
"I think it's so appealing to me because you are so shy and innocent, yet you let me do dirty things to you." His breath feels hotter than the water against my ear. I blink as his hands travel down my arms slowly, his eyes taking in my naked body.
"And I know for a fact that you like when I say dirty things to you." I gulp and he smiles against my neck.
"See how your pulse quickens.. I can practically see it under your delicate skin." he taps his index finger over the pulse point in my neck. Oh wow. I have no idea how I am standing, my legs have surely turned to mush, along with my brain.
His fingers running over my body make me stop worrying about the fact that we aren't alone in the house, they make me want to be reckless, and let Harry do whatever he wants to me. When his long fingers wrap around my hips, I involuntarily lean into him.
"I love you Tessa, you believe me don't you?" He asks. I nod, wondering why he is asking me this right now, after we have said it so many times in the last twenty-four hours.
"Yes I believe you." My voice is hoarse and I clear my throat.
"Good, I have never loved anyone before." He goes from playful to seductive to serious so fast, I can barely keep up.
"Ever?" I think I already knew this but it feels so different actually having him say the words, especially when we are in the shower together. I thought he would have his head between my legs right now, not expressing his feelings.
"No, never. Not even close." He admits. I wonder if he has ever had a girlfriend before, I don't want to know if he has. He told me he doesn't date, so I am going to stick with that.
"Oh." Is all I can say.
"Do you love me the way you loved Noah?" He asks. A sound between a cough and gasp comes out of my mouth and I look away from him. I grab the shampoo off of the shelf, I haven't even washed anything yet and we have been in here a few minutes.
"Well?" He asks. I don't know how to answer that. It's a totally different with Harry than it was with Noah. I loved Noah, I think. I know I loved him, just not like this. Loving Noah was comfortable and safe, it was always calm. Loving Harry is raw and exciting, it sparks my every nerve and I can't get enough of him. I never want to be away from him. Even when he drove me crazy, I missed him and had to fight myself to stay away from him.
"I take that as a no?" He says and turns away from me, letting me have full access to the water. I feel cramped in the tiny space and the air is too thin, too clouded with steam from the hot water.
"It's not the same." How do I explain this to him without sounding insane. His shoulders slack, I know if he was to face me he would be frowning. My hands wrap around his waist and I press my lips against his back.
"It's not the same in the way you think." I say. "I love you in a different way, Noah was so comfortable to me he was almost like family. I felt like I was supposed to love him but I really didn't, not in the way I love you at least. It wasn't until I realized I loved you that I saw how different the love was. I don't know if that even makes sense." I breath. A ping of guilt hits me for saying I don't love Noah but I think I knew that from the moment I kissed Harry for the first time.
"It does." When he turns back around his eyes are much softer. The lust, then apprehension is gone, replaced by.. love? Or relief.. I can't tell but he leans down and kisses my forehead. "I just want to be the only person you ever love, the way you are mine." How could he be such a jerk before and say these loving things to me now? Despite the hint of possessiveness in his tone, his words are sweet and surprisingly humble for him.
"In the ways that count, you are." I promise him. He seems pleased with my answer as his smile returns.
"Now, can you move so I can get this dirt off of me before the water goes cold?" I say and gently push him out of my way.
"I'll do that for you." He grabs the cloth and pours soap on it. I hold my breath the entire time he gently scrubs the dirt off of my body, shivering as he passes over the sensitive spots, his touch lingering on them.
"I would have you wash me, but I won't be able to stop what would happen after." He winks at me and I blush. I want to find out what would happen after, and I would love to touch every inch of his body. But we aren't alone in the house and Karen has probably already finished cooking.
After I am dirt free and feeling calm yet wound up from Harry's touch, I dry off quickly and put on my yoga pants and a t-shirt from my bag and brush my hair before pulling it into a bun. Harry wraps a towel around his waist and stands behind me, staring at me through the mirror. He looks so heavenly, god like, and perfect and mine.
"Those pants are going to be distracting." he says as we walk downstairs.
"Have you always been such a pervert?" I tease and he nods. It isn't until we walk into the kitchen that I realize how we look, both coming down here with wet hair. It is obvious that we just showered together, Harry doesn't seem to mind but he has no manners.
"I made some sandwiches, they are on the counter." Karen beams. She doesn't seem to be surprised or mind either. My mother would lose her mind if she knew what I just did.  Especially with Harry.
"Thank you so much." I tell her. Ken is sitting at the counter with a stack of folders in front of him.
"I had a nice time today Tessa." Karen tells me and we start discussing the greenhouse again. Harry eats in silence, glancing at me from time to time.
"Maybe we can do some more work next weekend." I suggest, I forgot the wedding for a second. "Never mind, the weekend after?" I laugh.
"Yes, of course."
"Uh, is there a theme or something with the wedding?" Harry interrupts. Ken looks up from his work.
"Well, there isn't really a theme but we have chosen white and black for the wedding décor." Karen says nervously. I am sure this is the only time they have discussed the wedding with Harry since he lost it when Ken told him about it.
"Oh. So what should I wear?" He asks casually. I want to reach over and kiss him after seeing his father's reaction.
"You're coming?" Ken asks, clearly surprised but very happy.
"Yea.. I guess." Harry shrugs and takes another bite of his sandwich.
Karen and Ken smile at each other before Ken gets up and walks over to Harry.
"Thank you son, this means a lot to me." He pats Harry on the shoulder. Harry stiffens but rewards his father with a small smile.
"This is great news!" Karen says and claps her hands.
"It's nothing." Harry grumbles. I move to sit next to him and put my hand over his under the table. I never thought I could get him to agree to the wedding, let alone actually talk about it in front of Ken and Karen.
"I love you" I whisper in his ear when Karen and Ken aren't paying attention. He smiles and squeezes my hand.
"I love you." He reciprocates.
"So Harry, how are your classes going?" Ken asks.
"I noticed you moved your classes around again."
"Yea, and?" Harry is getting annoyed.
"You're still majoring in English right?"
"That is great, I remember when you were ten and you would recite passages from The Great Gatsby all day, every day. I knew you were a literature whiz then." Ken laughs.
"Do you? Do you remember that?" Harry tone is harsh. I squeeze his hand trying to tell him to calm down.
"Yea, of course I do." Ken says calmly.
Harry's nostrils flare and he rolls his eyes. "I find that hard to believe since you were constantly drunk, and if I remember correctly, which I do, you tore that book to pieces because I bumped your scotch and spilled it. So don't try to take a stroll down memory lane with me unless you know what the fuck you're talking about. " He stands up as Karen and I both gasp.
"Harry!" Ken says as he leaves the room. I scurry after him and hear Karen yelling at Ken.
"You shouldn't have went that far with him Ken! He just agreed to come to our wedding, I thought we agreed on baby steps! Then you go and say something like that, you should have left it alone!" She says, I can tell she is already crying.

To be continued


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