Thursday, 24 May 2018

AFTER ROMANCE Episode 76-80

Harry slams his bedroom door as I reach the top of the stairs. I turn the knob, half expecting it to be locked but it opens.
"Harry, are you okay?" I ask, unsure what else to say. He answers me by grabbing the lamp off the nightstand and slamming it against the wall. The glass base shatters from the impact. I jump back and a small shriek comes out against my will.
He paces over to the desk, grabs the small keyboard and rips it out of the desktop computer, tossing it behind him.
"Harry, please stop!" I yell. He doesn't look at me.
"Why? Why Tessa? It's not like he can't afford to buy a new fucking computer!" He yells and knocks the monitor to the ground.
"You're right." I say and step on top of the keyboard, crushing it further.
"What? What are you doing?" He asks as I pick it up and drop it back on the ground. I'm not really sure what I am doing but the keyboard is already broken, and this seems like the best idea at the moment.
"I'm helping you." I tell him, confusion flashes in his angry eyes before humor takes over. I pick up the monitor and throw it against the floor. He walks over with a small smile on his lips as I pick it up again his hands stop mine and he takes the monior out of my hands and sits it on the desk.
"You're not mad at me for yelling at my dad like that?" He asks and cups my cheeks, his thumbs gently caress my cheeks as his green eyes bore into mine.
"No, you have every right to express yourself. I would never be mad about that." He just had a fight with his dad but he is worried about me being mad at him? "Unless of course you're being mean for no reason, which in this case you weren't."
"Wow." He says. The small gap between our lips is too tempting. I lean forward and press mine against his, he immediately opens his mouth deepening the kiss. My fingers twist into his hair and he groans as I put more force into it. His anger rolls off of him like a tidal wave, I push him back a little and he turns me around so the bottom of my back hits the desk. His hands attach to my hips and he lifts me onto the desk. I am his distraction. The thought of me being what Harry needs makes my stomach flutter and my head tilts back as he continues to push his tongue against mine, standing between my legs as I sit on the desk.
"Closer" He moans into my mouth, his hands grip the back of my knees and he pulls me to the edge. My hands tug at his jeans and he pulls his mouth away from mine.
"What..?" He raises an eyebrow at me. He must think I am insane, coming in here helping him break things, and now trying to undress him. Maybe I am insane? I don't care at the moment. All I care about is the way the curve of Harry's collarbones are shadowed by the moonlight coming through the bay window, the way one of his hands is holding my face like I am fragile despite him trying to break everything in the room minutes ago.
I answer him wordlessly by wrapping my legs around him and pulling him closer.
"I really thought you were going to storm in here and tell me off." He smiles and presses his forehead against mine.
"You were wrong." I remind him with a smug smile.
"Very. I don't want to go back down there tonight." He says, eyes searching mine.
"That's fine. You don't have to." He relaxes and his moves his head to the crook of my neck. I am surprised by how easy this is between us. I had expected him to snap at me, maybe even try to make me leave when I came in here, but here he is leaning on me. I can tell he is really trying to navigate this relationship the best he can, despite the fact that he is one giant mood swing.
"I love you." I tell him and feel his lip ring move against my neck as he smiles.
"I love you." He replies.
"Do you want to talk about it?" I ask and he shakes his head, still buried in my neck.
"Okay, do you want to watch a movie? Something funny maybe?" I suggest.
After a long pause, he looks back towards the bed. "Did you bring your laptop?" When I nod he continues, "Let's watch The Vow again." He suggests and I laugh.
"You mean the movie that you supposedly despise?"
"Yes.. well despise is a little harsh. I just think it is a sappy, mediocre love story." He defends.
"Then why do you want to watch it?"
"Because I want to watch you, watch it." He answers thoughtfully. I remember the way he watched me the entire time we watched it in my room. That night seems so long ago, I had no clue what was coming up. I would have never imagined we would come to this.
My smile is all the answer he needs as he grabs my waist, "wrap your legs around me." He commands and carries me to the bed. Within minutes, he is snuggled up next to me studying my face as I watch the movie. Half way through I feel my eyes getting heavy.
"I'm getting sleepy." I yawn.
"They both die, you're not missing much." He says and I nudge him with my elbow.
"You have issues." I tease.
"You're adorable when you're sleepy." He tells me. He closes my laptop and pulls me up to the top of the bed with him.
"And you're uncharacteristically nice when I am sleepy" I laugh.
"No, I'm nice because I love you." He says and I swoon. "Sleep, beautiful." he whispers and gives me a small peck on my forehead. I am too tired to try for more.
The next morning, the light is bright, too bright. When I roll over to bury my head in Harry's shoulder, he sighs in his sleep and pulls me closer. When I wake up again, he is awake and staring at the ceiling. His eyes are hooded and his expression unreadable.
"You okay?" I ask, nuzzling further into him.
"Yea, I'm fine." He answers. I can tell he is lying.
"Harry, if there is something wrong.." I begin.
"There isn't, I am fine." I decide to let it go. We have gotten along all weekend, it's a record for us. I don't want to ruin it. I lift my head up and place a single kiss on his jaw and his arms wrap around tighter around me.
"I have a few things to do today, so whenever you're ready can you drop me off at my house?" He says. My stomach drops, I can hear the distance in his voice.
"Sure." I mumble and move out of his embrace. He tries to grab my wrist but I move too quickly. Grabbing my bag, I head to the bathroom to change and brush my teeth. We have been in our own little bubble all weekend and I fear that without the protection of these walls, he won't be the same.
I am relived when I don't run into Liam or Danielle in the hallway and even more relieved that Harry is fully dressed when I return. I want to get this over with. He has cleaned up the glass off of the floor and the lamp is in the trashcan, along with the keyboard and monitor.
I say goodbye to Ken and Karen, Harry walks outside without saying a word to either of them. I assure them that Harry will still be at the wedding, despite the fight last night. I tell them about the computer and lamp but they don't seem to mind much.
"Are you mad or something?" Harry asks after ten minutes of silence.
"No." It's not that I am mad, I am just .. nervous I suppose. I can feel the shift between us and I wasn't expecting anything to change from how we were all weekend.
"It seems like it."
"Well I'm not."
"You need to tell me if you are."
"You're just being distant and now you're having me drop you off at your house and I thought everything was fine between us." I admit.
"You're upset because I have things to do today?" When he says it I realize how ridiculous and obsessive I sound. Is that why I am upset? Because he isn't hanging out with me today?
"Maybe." I laugh at my stupidity. "I just don't want you to be distant from me."
"I'm not.. not on purpose at least. I am sorry if I made you feel that way." He reaches over and puts his hand on my thigh. "Nothing is going to change, Tessa."
His words calm me, but there is still a sliver of uncertainty behind my smile.
"Do you want to come with me?" He finally asks.
"No, I am okay. I have some studying to do anyway." I tell him.
"Okay. You have to remember this is new to me, I am not used to having to consider other people when I make plans." He mutters.
"I know."
"I can come to your room when I am finished, or we can go to dinner or something." He suggests.
"It's fine, really. Just let me know when you are finished and we can decide then."
When we pull up to his house, he leans over and gives me a swift kiss before climbing out of the car. "I will text you." He says and walks up the steps.

The emptiness that I feel after dropping Harry off is strange in a pathetic way. After the short drive back to my room, I already feel as if I dropped him off hours ago. Steph isn't in the room when I get there but I am glad, I really do need to study and prepare for my first day at Vance tomorrow, I haven't decided what to wear, what to bring, what I am going to say. Taking out my planner, I plan my week by the hour. I am going to wear my new black skirt and a red top and black heels, not too high but higher than I would have considered wearing two months ago. The outfit is very professional but still feminine. I wonder idly if Harry will like the outfit.
To keep my mind off of him I complete all of my assignments that are due this week and then some. By the time I finish, the sun has disappeared from the sky and I am starving. Harry still hasn't text me so I assume he isn't planning on coming over tonight so I grab my purse and head to find something to eat. I remember seeing a Chinese restaurant near the library that I found last week. By the time I find the place it is closed, I look up the closest restaurant to me and find a place called The Ice House. The ice house is small and looks like it's made out of aluminum, but I am hungry and the idea of finding another place to eat makes my stomach rumble even more. The small place is actually packed once I step inside, but to my surprise I find a small table in the back to sit. I ignore the glances of the people inside, they must be wondering why I am here alone but I always eat alone. I am not one of those people that need someone to go with them everywhere they go. I go shopping alone, eat out alone, and I have even been to the movies alone a few times when Noah wasn't able to come. I don't mind being alone, until now. I miss Harry more than I should and it bothers me that he doesn't seem to care to even text me.
While I am waiting on my food, the waitress brings me over a pink drink with a yellow umbrella sticking out of the top. "Oh, I didn't order this." I tell her but she sits it down in front of me anyway.
"He did." She smiles and tilts her head towards the bar area. I immediately hope that it is Harry, but it's not. Zayn gives me a small wave and a dazzling smile from across the tiny room. Niall walks up to behind him and takes the empty bar stool next to him and shoots me a smile as well.
"Oh. Thanks." I tell her. It seems that every place around this campus allows underage drinking, or maybe they only go to the places that do. She assures me that my food will be ready any minute and walks away from my table.
A few moments later, Zayn and Niall pull the chairs out from my table and take a seat. I hope Zayn isn't angry with me for what happened on Friday.
"You're the last person that I expected to see in here, especially on a Sunday." Niall laughs.
"Yea, it was an accident. I was going for Chinese but it was closed." I tell them.
"Have you seen Harry?" Zayn asks with a smile before looking at Niall. Niall makes eye contact with him before looking back at me.
"No, not for a while. You?" I ask them. My nerves are clear in my voice.
"No, not for a few hours but he should be here soon." Niall answers.
"Here?" I squeak. My food arrives but I am no longer hungry. What if Molly is with him? I won't be able to take it, not after the weekend we just had together.
"Yea, we come here a lot. I can call him and see when he will be here?" Zayn suggests but I shake my head.
"No, its fine. I am going to go actually." I look around for my waitress to ask for my check.
"You didn't like the drink?" Zayn asks.
"No, well I didn't try it actually. Thanks for getting it for me, but I should go."
"Are you guys fighting again?" He asks. Niall begins to say something but Zayn shoots him a glare from across the table. What is going on? He takes a sip of his beer and looks at Niall again.
"He said what?" I ask.
"Nothing, he just said you guys were on better terms now." Zayn answers for him. The small bar feels even smaller now, and I am desperate to leave.
"Oh there they are!" Niall says. My eyes dart to the door to see Harry, Louis, Tristan, Steph, and Molly. I knew it. I know they are friends but I don't want Harry around Molly, I also don't want to come off controlling or crazy but I can't stand Molly being around Harry.
When Harry's eyes meet mine he looks surprised and almost afraid? Not this again. The waitress walks by while they make their way to our table.
"Could I have my check and a to go box please?" I ask her. She looks down at my untouched food and nods.
"Why are you going?" Steph asks. The five of them sit at the table next to us. I refuse to allow myself to look over at Harry to see if he is sitting next to Molly. I hate the way he is so different around his friends, why can't he be the same Harry that I had all weekend?
"I.. well I have to study." I lie. In my attempt to distract myself from thinking about Harry, I have done all my assignments for almost three weeks ahead.
"You should stay, you study too much!" She smiles.
Any hope that Harry would scoop me into his arms and tell me he has missed me, is gone. I pay the waitress and stand up to leave.
"You guys have a good night." I tell them. I look at Harry and then back at the ground.
"Wait." He says. I turn around and look at him. Please don't let him make a rude remark or kiss Molly again.
"Aren't you going to give me a kiss?" He smiles. Oh. I look around at his friends and they all look a little surprised but mostly confused.
"W..what?" I stammer. This is very unexpected. I straighten my shoulders and look at Harry again.
"A kiss, you're not going to kiss me before you go?" He stands up and walks towards me. I wanted this, but now I am uncomfortable with everyone's eyes on us.
"Uhmm.." I don't know what to say.
"Why would she?" Molly laughs. God I cant stand her.
"They are like together, obviously." Steph tells her.
"What?" Molly says.
"Keep your mouth shut Molly." Zayn says and I want to thank him, but there is something behind his voice that makes me wonder about his choice of words. This is beyond uncomfortable.
"Bye guys." I say again and walk towards the door. Harry follows me and grabs my wrist to stop me.
"Why are you leaving? And why are you even here to begin with?" He asks.
"Well I came here to eat, and I am leaving because you were ignoring me and I.."
"I wasn't ignoring you, I just didn't know what to say or do. I wasn't expecting to see you here, it caught me off guard." He responds.
"Yea, I am sure it did. You haven't text me all day and now you're here with Molly?" My voice comes out much whinier than I wanted.
"And Louis, Tristan and Steph. Not just Molly." He points out.
"I know.. but you guys have a history and that bothers me." I admit. I surely broke the record for the quickest jealous fit.
"It's just that babe, history. It wasn't like this.. not like us." He says.
"I know, I just can't help it." I sigh.
"I know, how do you think I felt when I walked in there and saw you sitting with Zayn?"
"That's not the same thing. You and Molly have slept together." Just saying it stings.
"I know, it's crazy but I can't help it." I look away.
"It's not crazy, I understand I just don't know what to do about it. Molly is in our group and she probably always will be." I don't know what I expected him to say but 'too bad' isn't what I wanted to hear.
"Okay." I should be happy that he basically told everyone we are dating now, but the whole thing felt so off.
"I'm going to go." I tell him.
"Then I am coming with you."
"You sure you want to leave your friends?" I snap. He rolls his eyes and follows me to my car. I try to hide my smile as we get in the car. At least I know he would rather be with me than Molly.
"So how long were you here before I arrived?" Harry asks as I pull out of the parking lot.
"About twenty minutes."
"Oh, you didn't meet Zayn there did you?"
"No, I had no idea he was there or that you would show up."
"Oh. So what did you guys talk about?" He looks over at me.
"Nothing, he was only at the table for a few minutes before you got there."
"Oh." He says as I pull onto campus.
"I'm just wondering." His fingers drum on his knee. "I missed you today."
"I missed you too. I got a lot of homework done and I prepared everything for my first day at Vance."
"Do you want me to drive you tomorrow?"
"No, that's why I got my own car remember?" I laugh.
"Still, I could drive you." He offers as we walk towards my room.
"No, its fine. I will drive myself. Thank you though."
Just as I am about to ask him what he did all day, why he hadn't text me if he missed me so much, my words are locked in my throat and panic takes over. My mother is standing in front of my door with her arms crossed and a deep scowl on her face.

Harry's eyes follow mine and widen as he sees her. He reaches for my hand but I pull away.
"What the hell are you thinking!" She yells as we approach her. I want to shrink and disappear.
"I..what?" I don't know what she knows yet so I stay quiet. Her blonde hair looks brighter, more angled towards her perfectly drawn on face.
"What are you thinking Theresa! Noah has been avoiding me for the last two weeks and I finally ran into Mrs. Porter at the grocery and you know what she told me? That you two have broken up! Why wouldn't you tell me? I had to find out in the most humiliating way!" she shouts.
"It's not that big of a deal mother, we broke up." I say and she gasps.
"Not that big of a deal? You and Noah have been together for years, he is good for you Tessa. He has a future, and comes from a great family! Luckily, I have just spoken to him and he has agreed to take you back, despite your promiscuous behavior."
Anger bubbles inside me. "How dare I? If I don't want to date him, I don't have to. What does it matter what type of family he comes from? If I wasn't happy with him that is what should matter. How dare you talk to him about this, I am an adult!" I push past her to open the door. Harry follows me and she storms in after us.
"You have no idea how ridiculous you sound! And then you show up here with.. this.. this.. punk! Look at him Tessa! Is this your way of rebelling against me? Have I done something to make you hate me?"
"This isn't about you! Why do you have to make everything about you!" My tears are fighting to break free but I refuse to let her get the best of me. I hate that when I am angry I cry, it makes me seem weak but I can't help it. Harry is standing by my dresser with his jaw clenched and hands shoved deep in his pockets. If only she knew that Harry's father is the chancellor at WSU and has even more money than Noah's family. I refuse to tell her that, money has nothing to do with it.
"It isn't about me, it's about your future! You have to think of the future, not how you are feeling now. I know he seems fun and dangerous, but there is no future here! Not with him.. this freak!" She gestures to Harry.
Before I realize what I am doing, I am in my mothers face. "Do not talk about him like that!" I scream. Harry steps forward, grabbing me by the elbows to pull me away from her. Her eyes are wide and red rimmed.
"Who are you? My daughter would never speak to me this way! She would never jeopardize her future or be so disrespectful!" I begin to feel guilty and that's exactly what she wants.
"I am not jeopardizing my future! My future isn't even in question here, I have a 4.0 and a great internship starting tomorrow! You are beyond selfish to come here and try to make me feel bad for being happy. He makes me happy mom, and if you can't accept that then you should go." I am as surprised as she is by what I just said.
"Excuse me?" She huffs. Harry steps between us. "You will regret this Theresa! I am disgusted to even look at you!"
The room seems to be spinning, I was not prepared to go to war with my mother, not today at least. I knew it would be a matter of time before she found out but she wasn't even on my radar for today.
"I knew something was going on from the first time I saw him in your room, I just didn't think you would be so quick to open your legs for him!" Ouch.
"You're taking this too far." Harry warns her with dark eyes. I think Harry may be the only person who could actually give my mom a run for her money.
"You stay out of this!" She snaps, crossing her arms once again. "If you continue to see him I will no longer speak to you and you surely can't pay for college on your own, this dorm alone cost me thousands!" She shrieks.
"You're threatening my education because you don't approve of who I am in love with?" I am astounded.
"In love with?" She scoffs. "Oh Theresa, my naïve Theresa, you have no idea what love is." She laughs. "And you think he loves you?" Her laugh is more of a cackle and it makes me sick.
"I do love her." Harry interrupts.
"Sure you do!" Her head falls back.
"Theresa, I am warning you. If you don't stop seeing him, there will be consequences. I am leaving now but I expect a call after you clear you head." She says.
I watch her as she walks away, her heels clunking down the hall.
"I am so sorry." I turn to Harry.
"You have nothing to apologize for." He takes my face in his hands. "I am proud of the way you stood up for yourself." He kisses my nose.
"I can't believe her, I can't believe she would act like that and threaten not to help pay for my college. She doesn't pay for all of it, I have a partial scholarship and I got some student loans. She only pays twenty percent, the biggest thing is the dorms. What if she really stops paying for them? I will have to find a job on top of the internship." I sob. His hand moves to the back of my head and gently pushed my head down to cry on his chest.
"Shh.. Shh.. It's okay, we will figure it out. You can move in with me." he says. I laugh and wipe my eyes. "I'm serious, you could. Or we could get an apartment off campus. I have enough money."
I look up at him and his expression is so serious. "You can't be serious."
"I am."
"We can't move in together." I laugh and sniffle.
"Why not?"
"Because we have only known each other for a few months, most of that time was spent fighting." I remind him.
"So, we have done a pretty good job getting along this weekend." he smiles and we both burst into laughter.
"You're insane, I am not moving in with you." I tell him and he hugs me again.
"Just think about it, I want to move out of the frat house anyway. I don't really fit in there in case you didn't notice." he laughs. It's true, his small group of friends are the only ones who don't wear polo shirts and khakis everyday. "I only joined to piss my father off but it didn't work as well as I had hoped."
"You could just get an apartment on your own." I suggest. There is no way I am moving in with him this soon.
"Yea, but that wouldn't be as fun." He smirks and wiggles his brows at me.
"We could still have fun." I tease. His wicked smile grows and he brings both hands down to my bottom and squeezes.
"Harry!" I scold him playfully.
The door opens and my breathing stops. I am relieved when Steph and Tristan walk into the room. For a second I thought it would be my mother coming back to scream at me again.
"What did I miss? I am pretty sure I just saw your mom drive past me and flip me off?" She says and I can't help but laugh.

Harry ended up staying the night in my room last night after Tristan and Steph left to go to his apartment. The rest of the night was spent talking and kissing before Harry finally fell asleep with his head on my lap. I dreamt of a time and place where we could actually live together. I would love to wake up every morning to find Harry next to me, but it's not realistic. I am too young.
Monday morning is now here and my alarm was set ten minutes late, throwing my whole morning off. After I shower and do my makeup quickly I wake Harry before plugging in my blow dryer.
"What time is it?" He groans.
"It's six thirty, I have to blow dry my hair."
"Six thirty? You don't have to be there until nine, come back to bed."
"No, I still have to do my hair and get coffee. I have to leave here by seven thirty, the drive is forty-five minutes." I remind him.
"You will be there forty-five minutes early, you should leave at eight." He closes his eyes and rolls back over.
I ignore him and turn on my blow dryer, he takes a pillow and covers his head with it. After curling my hair, I go over my planner again to make sure I didn't miss anything.
"Are you going to just go to class from here?" I ask him as I get dressed.
"Yea probably. Can I use your toothbrush?" He smiles and gets out of bed.
"Uh, I guess. I can just buy a new one on my way back." I tell him. No one has ever asked to use my toothbrush before. I mentally picture myself putting it in my mouth after he uses it. "Yea, you can." I reiterate. I can't help but notice that his eyes travel up and down my body.
"I still say you shouldn't leave until eight, think of the things we could do in thirty minutes." He smirks. My eyes travel to the bulge in his boxers and my body immediately heats. My fingers stop on the middle button of my shirt as he lazily crosses the small room to stand behind me. I gesture for him to zip my skirt, his hands brush my bare skin before he slowly zips my skirt up and I tuck my shirt into it.
"I have to, I still have to get some coffee. What if there is traffic? An accident? I could blow a tire or need gas? I could get lost, or not be able to find somewhere to park. What if I have to park in the very back and then I have to walk a long way and I will be out of breath, so I will need a few minutes to.."
"You need to calm down baby. You're a nervous wreck." he breathes in my ear. I look at him in the mirror. He looks so perfect when he wakes up, his sleepiness making him look softer.
"I can't help it, this internship means so much to me. I can't take the chance of messing it up." My mind is racing. I will be fine after today, after I know what to expect and I can plan my week in accordance.
"You don't want to show up there nervous like this, they will eat you alive." he places a string of small kisses down my neck.
"I will be fine." I hope. Goosebumps cover my skin from his warm breath against my neck.
"Let me relax you first." His voice is low and seductive, laced with sleep.
"I.." He trails his fingers over my collarbone and down to my chest. His eyes meet mine in the mirror and I sigh in defeat. "Five minutes?" I ask and beg at the same time.
"That's all I need." I move to turn around but he stops me.
"No, I want you to watch." He purrs in my ear. I feel the familiar ache between my legs from his words. I gulp and he moves my hair over my left shoulder and pushes him body against mine. His hand travels down to the hem of my long skirt.
"At lease you aren't wearing tights today and I must say I am a fan of this skirt." He says and pulls it up to my waist.
"Especially when it's up like this." My eyes are glued to his hands in the mirror and my pulse is thrumming. His fingers are slightly cold as they slip into my panties, the contact makes me jump slightly and he chuckles into my neck. His other hand is wrapped around my chest, holding me in place.
I feel so exposed but so turned on at the same time. Watching him touch me takes my mind places that I never knew existed. His fingers move slowly inside of me and he kisses my neck softly.
"Look how beautiful you are." He whispers against my skin. I look at myself in the mirror and barely recognize myself. My cheeks are flushed a deep red, my eyes are wide and wild. With my skirt bunched up at my hips and Harrys fingers moving inside of me, I look different.. sexy even.
My eyes close as I feel my stomach tightening, Harry continues his beautifully slow assault and I pull my bottom lip between my teeth to stifle a moan.
"Open your eyes." He instructs. My eyes meet his and it sends me over the edge, Harry standing behind me, holding me, watching me come undone from his touch is all it takes. My head rolls back on his shoulder and my legs start to shake.
"That's it baby." He coos and tightens his grip around me to hold me up as my vision blurs and I moan his name.
When my eyes open again Harry kisses my temple and tucks a curl behind my ear before tugging my skirt back down my thighs. I turn around to face him and check the clock. It's only seven thirty-five. He really did only need five minutes, I think to myself and laugh.
"See, you're much more relaxed and ready to take on corporate America right?" He beams, obviously proud of himself. I don't blame him.
"Yes, actually. But you make a terrible American." I tease and grab my bag.
"I don't claim to be otherwise." he laughs. "Last chance for me to drive you, well since my car isn't here I could drive you in your car?"
"No, thank you though."
"Good luck, you'll do great." He assures me and kisses me again.
I thank him and gather my things and leave him in my room. This morning has turned out to be great despite my alarm being ten minutes off. The drive is quick and there is absolutely no traffic or accidents.When I pull into the parking lot I pull into the front row and check the time. It's only eight thirty. I decide to call Harry to pass the time.
"You okay?" He says on the other end.
"Yea, I am already here." I tell him. I can picture his smug expression.
"Told you, you could have stayed for ten more minutes and gave me a blow job." He says and I laugh.
"Always such a pervert, even this early in the morning." I giggle.
"Yep, I am nothing but consistent."
"I won't argue with that." We banter back and forth about his lack of virtue before we get off the phone and it is time for me to go inside. I make my way to the top floor where Christian Vance's office is located and inform the woman in the front my name. She picks up her phone and a few seconds later she hangs up and gives me a huge smile.
"Mr. Vance would like to come out himself, he will see you in a second." She smiles.
"Ms. Young!" He greets me. He is dressed in a suit, I am a little intimated but thankful that I dressed professionally. He is holding a thick folder under his arm.
"Hello Mr. Vance." I smile and reach out to shake his hand.
"Go ahead and call me Christian. I will show you to your office."
"Office?" I blurt out.
"Yes, you will have your own office, its not much but you will need your own space." He smiles. Wow. I hadn't even expected to get a desk, let alone an office. He walks very fast, I strain to keep up in my heels.
"We will go over the paperwork when we get to your office." He makes a left turn into a hallway full of small offices.
"Here we are." He says. There is a black tag with my name in bold white letters next to the door. I must be dreaming. The office is as big as my dorm room Mr. Vance and I have different ideas of "small". There is a medium sized cherry desk, two filing cabinets, two chairs, a bookshelf, and a computer in the room. He takes a seat in front of the desk so I sit behind it. It's going to take some getting used to the idea that this is actually my office.
"So Ms. Young, lets go over what your duties will include." He says. "You will be expected to go over at least two manuscripts a week, if they are good then you will send them to me. If they aren't worth me looking at, toss them." My mouth falls open. This internship is literally a dream come true. I will be paid and receive college credit to read.
"You will start out at only five hundred a week, and if you do well after ninety days, you will receive a raise." He tells me. Five hundred a week! That is a lot more than I expected. That is enough money to get my own apartment.
"Thank you so much, this is all so much more than I expected." I tell him. I can't wait to call Harry and tell him about all of this.
"It's my pleasure, I have it on good authority that you are a very hard worker. Maybe you can tell Harry how great it is so he can come back to work for me" He laughs.
"Harry, he used to work for us before Bolthouse snatched him up. He started as an intern here last year but I quickly hired him and he worked from home, said he didn't like the office setting. Go figure." He smiles. "But they offered him more money so he left us, still works from home though." He adjusts his watch.
"I will try to tell him." I laugh nervously. I had no idea he had a job. He has never mentioned it to me.
"Let's get this paperwork out of the way." He slides over the folder. After thirty minutes of "sign here" and "initial here" I am finally finished with the folder.
"You are free to decorate your office any way that you please, as long as it is appropriate of course." He laughs. "I will leave you to familiarize with your computer, make sure your log in and password lets you into the system then you are free to go for today. I will see you back here tomorrow." He says and walks out, closing the door behind him. I can't help but squeal and spin myself around in my chair, at my desk, in my new office.

When I get back to my car after the best first day possible, I call Harry but he doesn't answer. I want to tell him about how great my morning has been and ask him why he didn't tell me that he has a job or worked at Vance.
By the time I get back to campus it is only one, I basically have the whole day to do nothing. I could go to my classes but I am already getting the credit for them and I was supposed to beat my internship until five. I end up going to the mall and walking around, after walking in and out of almost every store, I go inside Nordstrom. I guess I could use a few more outfits for my internship. The memory of Harry and I in the mirror this morning flashes in my mind, I could also use some new panties and bras. My undergarments are so plain and I have had them a while, Harry doesn't seem to mind but I would love to see his face if I took my shirt off and had a bra that wasn't plain old black or white. I pick through the racks and find a few matching bra and panty sets. My favorite one is carnation pink and made almost completely from lace. Pulling it off of the rack alone makes me blush, but I really like it. A woman with curly hair and way too much red lipstick walks over to try to help me.
"Here, what about this one?" She says and holds up something that resembles a hot pink bundle of strings on a hanger.
"Uhmm.. not really my style." I tell her and look at the ground.
"I see you prefer the full underwear?" She asks. Why must she discuss my underwear choices? This could not be more humiliating.
"You should try the boy short style, its sexy without being too sexy." She says and holds up the same light pink set I am holding, only the panties are made differently. Boy shorts. I never cared too much about my panties because no one has seen them, who knew this would be so humiliating and complicated.
"Okay." I give in and she pulls a few more off the rack, all white, black, and a red set. The red is a little shocking to me but I have to admit it is intriguing. The black and white even look more exotic than my usual choices because they are made of lace.
"Just try them, they are all the exact same style." She smiles. I nod and grab them from her, hoping that if I walk away she won't follow me. I am relieved that she doesn't. I find a few dresses as well and a pair of comfortable dress shoes. I have to ask the cashier to repeat my total three times before I finally pay. Fancy underwear is much more expensive than I thought. Harry better like it.
When I get back to my room Steph isn't there and I haven't heard from Harry so I decide to take a nap. My new clothes are put away and I shut off the light off.
I wake up to a phone ringing, it's an unfamiliar tune. Harry. I roll over and open my eyes. Sure enough Harry is sitting on the chair with his feet up on Steph's dresser.
"Have a nice nap?" He asks with a smile.
"Yea, actually. How did you get in here?" I rub my eyes.
"I got my key back from Steph." He answers.
"Oh. How long have you been here?"
"About thirty minutes. How was your day at Vance? I didn't think you would be back already, its only six. But here you are passed out, snoring away so it must have been a long day." He laughs.
I prop myself up on my elbow and look at him. "It was great. I got my own office, I can't believe it. I have a desk and a bookcase! And my name is on the wall, it's wonderful. I will be making a lot more money than I thought and I get to read manuscripts, how perfect is that? I am just afraid that I will mess it up somehow because it is so perfect. You know?" I ramble.
"Woah, Vance must like you." He raises a brow. "But you will do fine, don't worry."
"He said you worked there." I tell him.
"Of course he did."
"Why didn't you tell me? Or that you have a job now? When do you even have time to work?"
"You always have so many questions." He runs his hands through his hair.
"But I will answer them." He adds. "I didn't tell you because, well I don't know why actually. And I make time to work, whenever I am not with you I find the time."
"Oh, Mr. Vance said he wants you to work for him again." I sit cross legged and face him.
"I am sure he does but no thanks. I make three times as much as I did there and have less work." He brags and I roll my eyes.
"Tell me about your job. What exactly do you do?"
"Read manuscripts, edit them. Same thing you will do but more detailed." He shrugs.
"Oh, do you like it?"
"Yes, Tessa. I do." His tone is a little harsh.
"That's good. Do you want to work for Portland Independent when you graduate?"
"I don't know what I want to do." He rolls his eyes.
"Did I say something?" I ask.
"No, you just ask too many questions all the time."
"What?" Is he being sarcastic or serious?
"You don't need to know every detail about my life." He snaps.
"I am just making conversation, having a causal discussion about what you do for a job." I defend. "Those are just normal things that we should be able to talk about so sorry for taking an interest in your everyday life."
He doesn't say anything. What the hell is his problem? I had an amazing day and the last thing I want to do is fight with him. I direct my attention to the ceiling and stay quiet as well. There are ninety five panels on my ceiling, and forty screws holding them up.
"I need to take a shower." I finally say.
"So go then." He huffs.
I roll my eyes and grab my toiletry bag. "You know, I thought we were past this, the whole you being an asshole for no reason thing?" I say and walk out of the room.
I take my time in the shower, shaving and re-shaving my legs for the dress that I bought to wear tomorrow for my first real day at Vance. I am beyond nervous, but my excitement tops my nerves. I really wish Harry wasn't being so rude. All I did was ask him about a job that he didn't tell me about, I should be able to talk to him about that. I feel like there is so much about him that I don't know and that makes me very uncomfortable.
When I get back to my room it is empty.

To be continued


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