Saturday, 30 June 2018

AFTER ROMANCE 2 Episode 61-65

Harry's POV.
Goosebumps raise on her skin as my fingertips slide down her arms, I know she is cold but I would like to think they are partly from me.
My fingers wrap around her arms more forcefully when she shifts on my lap, pushing her hips down onto me to create the friction that I want and need. I have never wanted someone so much, so often. Yes, I have fucked plenty of girls but it was just about the thrill, about the bragging rights, it was never about being closer to them the way it is with Tess. With her it is about the sensation, about the way these small bumps raise on her skin from my touch, the way she will complain that having goosebumps makes her have to shave more frequently and I will roll my eyes at her even though I find it humorous, the way she whimpers when I bring her lip between my teeth and it makes that noise when it snaps back, and most importantly the way that we are doing something that only her and I share. No one has or will ever be close to her in this way.
Her small fingers move to unclasp her bra as I suck on the skin just above the cup of her bra but I stop her.
"We don't have long." I remind her and she pouts, making me want her even more.
"Then hurry and get undressed." She softly demands.
I love the way she is becoming more and more comfortable with me as the days pass.
"You know I don't have to be told twice." I remark, wrapping my hands around each of her hips and lifting her off of me and onto the open space on the couch.
Only my shorts and boxers are removed before I gesture for her to lay down as I grab a condom from my wallet on the table. She slides her pants off of her legs, those damn pants. I have never, in my entire twenty years of life seen anything so sexy. I don't have a fucking clue what it is about them, maybe the way they cling to her, showing every heavenly curve, or maybe because I can see her ass perfectly in them, but either way I fucking love them and I may have to force her to wear them around the house at all times.
"You have really got to get on birth control, I don't want to use these anymore." I gripe and she nods, staring at my fingers while they roll the condom on.
I mean it though, and I will remind her again in the morning.
Tessa surprises me by pulling my arm in an attempt to force me to sit down on the cushion next to her.
"What?" I ask, catching onto what she is doing but I want to hear her say it.
I love the innocence she holds but yet she is much dirtier than she allows herself to admit, another trait that only I am aware of.
She glares at me so I decide not to taunt her, instead I sit down and immediately pull her onto me, wrapping my fingers in her hair and attaching my lips to hers.
I swallow the moans and cries coming from her lips as I lower her onto me, we both sigh and her eyes roll back, nearly making me come on the spot.
"Next time will be slow baby, but this time we only have a few minutes left. Okay? " I groan into her ear as she circles her full hips.
"Mmhmm.." She moans.
I take that as my cue to pick up the pace, my arms wrap around her back and pull her close to me so that our chests are touching, and lift my hips at the same time she is circling hers. The feeling is indescribable, I can barely breath as we both move faster.
We don't have long and for once I am desperate to finish quickly.
"Talk to me, Tess." I beg, knowing she will be shy but hoping that if I slam into her hard enough, tug at the ends of her hair hard enough, she will gain the courage to speak to me in a way she has before.
"Okay.." She pants and I move faster.
"Harry.." Her voice is shaky and she bites her lip to calm herself, turning me on even more.
The pressure begins to build in my stomach.
"Harry, you feel so good.." She gains confidence and I curse under my breath.
"You are already whining and I haven't said anything." She boasts, her smug tone brings me to the edge and pushes me over.
Her body trembles and stiffens and I watch her climax and she is just as captivating, if not more than each time we are intimate. This is why I can not get enough of her and I never will.
A knock at the door brings us both back from our post-orgasm, almost sedated state and she jumps off of me in an instant. She grabs her shirt off the floor as I remove the spent condom, and pick up my clothes from the floor.
"Give me a minute." I call towards the door the knocking ceases as Tessa lights a candle and begins to rearrange the decorative pillows on our couch.
"What is with the candle?" I ask her.
Now that I am dressed, I make my way towards the front door.
"It smells like sex in here." She whispers, despite the fact that the maintenance worker can't hear her.
She frantically runs her fingers through her hair, my only response is a chuckle and a shake of my head just before I pull the door open. The man on the other side of the door is tall, taller than me, and has a full beard. His brown hair touches his shoulders and he looks to be at least fifty.
"Your heats out right?" His raspy voice asks. He has clearly smoked too many ciggrettes.
"Yes, why else would it be twenty degrees in this aparmtent." I reply and watch as his eyes land on my Tessa.
Of course she would be bending over to retrieve her cell phone charger from the basket under the table. And of course she would be wearing fucking yoga pants while doing so. And of course this greasy man with a damn beard would be checking out her ass. And of course she would stand back up and be oblivious to the entire exhange.
"Tess, you should go in the room until it is fixed." I request.
"I am okay, I will stay out here with you." She shrugs and sits down on the chair.
"It is warmer in there." I try to persuade her. My patience is wearing thin and when she lifts her arms behind her head to tie her hair up and she is practically giving this asshole a show, it takes everything in me not to drag her into the room.
"Okay.. " She is clearly puzzled and will surely demand an explanation later because she is annoying in that way.
Her school books are in her arms as she stalks into the bedroom and closes the door behind her.
"Fix the fucking heater." I snap at the perverted old man.
He stays silent so he must be smarter than I assumed. Tessa's phone vibrates on the end table so I take it upon myself to answer it when I see that the screen reads 'Kimberly'.
"Hello." I say into the receiver.
"Harry?" Her voice is so high pitched, I have no idea how Christian can stand it. It must be her looks that drew him in.
"Yes. I will get Tess." I open the bedroom door to find Tessa laying across the bed with a pen between her teeth, her feet kicking in the air behind her.
"Kimberly is on the phone." I explain, tossing the phone on the bed next to her.
"Hey Kim! Is everything okay?" She asks.
A few seconds pass before she says, "Oh no! That is terrible."
I raise my brow at her but she doesn't notice.
"Oh... okay.. let me speak to Harry about it. It will only take a second, I am sure it will be fine "
She removes the phone from her ear and covers the bottom with her hand.
"Christian caught some sort of stomach flu and Kim needs to take him to the hospital. It's nothing too serious but his babysitter isn't available." She whispers to me.
"So?" I shrug.
"They don't have anyone to watch Smith."
"And.. you are telling me this because?" I ask.
"She wants to know if we can." She chews
on the inside of her cheek.
"Can what?" There is no way in hell she is suggesting that she wants to babysit that child.
"Babysit, Harry." Tessa sighs.
"No, absolutely not."
"Why not? He is a good kid." She defends.
"No Tessa, this isn't a daycare. Not happening, tell Kim to buy him some Tylenol and some chicken soup and call it a day."
"Harry.. she is my friend and he is sick. I thought you cared for him?" She asks and my stomach turns.
Of course I like him, he was there for me and my mum when my father was fucking up but that doesn't mean I want to watch his kid when I already have to go to a hockey game with Liam tomorrow.
"I said no." I stand my ground.
The last thing I need is some annoying kid with a kool aid mustache messing up my apartment.
"Please Harry? They don't have anyone else." She begs.
I should have walked away from her after I told her no the first time.
"Please?" She asks again and I sigh in defeat and watch as a smile grows on her face.


Harry's POV.
"He better not touch any of my shit." I warn Tessa while we wait for Kimberly to drop Smith off here.
I still don't understand why they can't take him with them to the hospital.
"Would you stop griping, you are behaving worse than he will and he is five." Tessa scolds me and I roll my eyes.
"I'm just saying, this is all you. You agreed to this so he is your problem not mine.: I remind her.
Of course she ignores me and walks into the kitchen. A knock at the door tells of their arrival so I take a seat on the couch and let Tessa be the one to open the door. She glares at me but doesn't make the guests..her guests wait long before plastering on her biggest and brightest smile.
"Thank you so much! You have no idea how much of a life saver the two of you are right now, I have no idea what we would have done if you couldn't watch Smith. Christian is so sick, he is throwing up everywhere and we.." Kimberly practically shrieks.
"It's okay really." Tess interrupts her, I assume because she doesn't want to hear the gory details of Christian's illness.
"Okay, well he is in the car so I better get going. Smith is pretty independent, he mostly keeps to himself and he will let you know if he needs anything." She moves to the left, revealing a small boy with dirty blonde hair.
"Hey Smith! How are you?" Tessa speaks in a strange voice I have never heard her use before. This must be her attempt at baby talk even though the child is five years old. Only Tessa.
The boy doesn't say anything, he just gives her a small smile and walks past Kimberly into the living room.
"He doesn't talk much." Kimberly tells Tess, lessening the sad look on her face caused by him not responding to her.
As humorous as it is that he didn't respond to her the way she had assumed, I don't want her to be upset so the little shit better knock it off and be nice to her.
"Okay, I'm really leaving this time!" Kim smiles and closes the door after giving Smith one last wave.
"Are you hungry?" Tessa asks him.
He shakes his head no.
"Thirsty?"
Same response, only this time he takes a seat on the couch opposite of me.
"Do you want to play a game?"
"Tess, I think he just wants to sit here." I tell her and watch as her cheeks flush.
I flip through the channels on the television, hoping to find something of interest to keep me occupied while Tessa is babysitting.
"Sorry Smith, I just want to make sure you are okay." She apologizes and he nods.
He looks an awful lot like his father, his hair is practically the exact color, his eyes are the same shade of green-blue and I suspect that if he were to smile he would have the same dimples as Christian.
A few minutes of awkward silence pass during which Tessa stands next to the couch and I can see her plans unraveling. She had assumed he would come in here full of energy and ready to play with her. Instead, he hasn't spoken a single word nor moved from his spot on the couch.
His outfit is as immaculate as I figured it would be, his small white tennis shoes looks as if they have never been worn. When I glance up from his blue polo shirt, his eyes are on mine.
"What?" I ask. He looks away quickly.
"Harry!" Tessa groans.
"What? All I did was wonder why he was staring at me." I shrug and turn the channel. The last thing I want to watch is 'The Kardashians.'.
"Be nice." She glares at me.
"I am." I roll my eyes.
"I am going to make dinner, Smith do you want to come with me or sit with Harry?" Tessa asks the boy.
I feel his gaze on me but I choose not to look, he needs to go with her. She is the babysitter here, not me.
"Go with her." I tell him.
"You can stay in here Smith, Harry won't bother you." She assures him.
He stays silent. Surprise. Tessa disappears into the kitchen and I turn the television up louder to avoid any possible conversation with him, not that that is likely to happen anyway. I am half-tempted to go in the kitchen with her and make him stay put in the living room.
Minutes pass and I begin to grow uncomfortable with him just sitting here. Why the hell isn't he talking or playing, or whatever the hell it is that five year olds do.
"So what's the deal? Why don't you talk?" I finally ask.
He shrugs.
"It's rude to ignore people when they are talking to you." I inform him.
"It's more rude to ask me why I don't talk." He fires back.
He has a slight accent, not strong like his father's but not completely watered down either.
"Well at least now I know you are able to speak." I say. His response threw me off guard and now I don't know what to say to him.
'Why do you want me to talk so bad?" He asks, seeming much older than five.
"I..I don't know. Why don't you like to?"
"I dunno." He shrugs.
"Is everything okay in there?" Tessa calls from the kitchen. For a second, I consider telling her that the kid is dead or injured but the humor is lost with the thought.
"Everything is fine." I yell back. I hope she is finished soon because I am finished with this conversation.
"Why do you have those things in your face?" Smith asks, pointing to my lip ring.
"Because I want to. Why don't you have any?" I turn the tables on him, trying not to remember he is a kid after all.
"Did they hurt?" He asks without answering my question.
"No, not at all."
"They look like it." He half smiles.
He isn't so bad I guess but I still don't like the idea of babysitting him.
"I am almost finished in here." Tessa interrupts.
"Okay, I am just teaching him how to make a homemade bomb out of a soda bottle." I tease and she poked her head around the corner to check on us.
"She is mental." I tell him and he laughs, dimples showing.
"She's pretty." He whispers into cupped hands.
"Yeah, she is. Isn't she?" I nod and look up at Tess with her hair pulled back away from her face in some sort of nest on top of her head, her yoga pants still on, and a plain t-shirt and I nod again. She is beautiful and she doesn't even have to try.
I know she can hear us still and I caught a glimpse of her smile as she turned to finish her task in the kitchen. I don't get why she is smiling like that, so what if I am talking to this kid? He is still annoying, like every other child.
"Yeah, really pretty." He agrees again.
"Okay, calm down little dude. She is mine." I tease.
"Your what? Your wife?"
"No, fuck no." I scoff.
"Fuck no?" He repeats.
"Shit, don't say that!" I reach across the couch to cover his mouth.
"Don't say shit?" He asks.
"No, don't say shit, or fuck." This is one of the many reasons I shouldn't be around kids.
"I know they are bad words." He tells me and I nod.
"So don't say them." I remind him.
"Who is she if she isn't wife?" He is a nosy little shit.
"She is my girlfriend." I should have never got this kid talking in the first place.
"You want her to be wife?"
"No, I don't want her to be my wife." I say slowly but clearly so he can hear me and maybe get it this time.
"Ever?"
"Never."
"And you have a baby?"
"No! Hell no! Where do you get these things?" Just hearing them aloud is stressing me out.
"Why do.." He starts to ask but I cut him off.
"Stop asking so many questions." I groan and he nods before grabbing the remote out of my hand and turning the channel.
Tessa hasn't checked up on us in a few minutes so I decide to go into kitchen and see if she is almost finished.
"Tess.. are you almost done because he is talking way too much." I complain, grabbing a piece of broccoli off of the dish. She hates when I eat before the meal is finished but there is a five year old in my living room, I can eat this damn broccoli.
"Yeah, just another minute or two." She answers without looking at me.
Her tone is strange and something seems off.
"You okay?" I ask her when she turns around with glossy eyes.
"Yeah, I am fine. It was just the onions." She shrugs and turns the sink on to wash her hands.
"Okay.. he will talk to you too. He is warmed up now." I assure her.
"Yeah I know. It's not that.. it's just the onions." She says again.


Harry's POV.
"Do you like the chicken?" Tessa asks Smith and he nods.
"It's good." I tell her to soften the blow of the kid still not wanting to speak to her.
She gives me an appreciative smile but doesn't meet my eyes.
The rest of the meal is eaten in silence.
While Tessa cleans up the kitchen I head back into the living room, I can hear the small footsteps following me.
"Can I help you?" I ask him and plop down on the couch.
"No." He shrugs, turning his attention to the television.
"Okay then..." There is literally nothing on tonight.
"Is my dad going to die?" The small voice next to me asks.
"What?"
"My dad, will he be dead?" Smith asks.
"No, he is just sick with food poisoning or something."
"My mom was sick and she's dead." He says, making me choke on my own breath.
"Erm...yeah. That was different."
Poor kid.
"Why?"
Christ he asks so many questions. I want to call for Tess but something about the worried expression on his face stops me. He won't even speak to her so I don't think he would want me to bring her in here.
"Your dad is just a little sick.. and your mum was really sick. Your dad will be fine."
"Are you lying?" He speaks well beyond his years, sort of the way I always have.
I suppose that is what happens when you are forced to grow up too quickly.
"No, I would tell you if your dad was going to die." I say and mean it.
"You would?" His bright eyes are shining and I am terrified that he may cry. I have no fucking idea what I would do if he cried right now. Run. I would run into the other room and hide behind Tessa.
"Yep. Now lets talk about something a little less morbid."
"What's morbid?"
"Something that's twisted and fucked up." I explain.
"Bad word." He scolds me.
"It's okay for me to say because I am an adult."
"Still a bad word."
"You said two of them earlier, I could tell your dad on you." I threaten.
"I will tell your pretty girl on you." He counters and I can't help but laugh.
"Okay, you win." I give in.
"Smith, do you want to come in here with me?" Tessa peers around the corner once more to ask him.
"Can I stay with Harry?" He looks at me.
"I don't.." She begins but I interrupt.
"Fine." I sigh and hand the kid the remote.
Tessa's POV.
I watch as Smith settles in on the couch, scooting slightly closer to Harry. Harry looks at him with caution but doesn't stop him or say anything about his close proximity. It is ironic that Smith seems to like Harry when Harry clearly despises children, Smith may or may not be included in that.
"Never." He said to him.
Never. He never plans on having a future with me. I knew this but it still hurts me to hear him say it, especially the cold and confident way he said it. He could have softened the blow, even just a little. I don't want to be married right now obviously, not for years but it's the idea that it isn't a possibility hurts me, a lot. He says that he wants to be with me forever but yet he doesn't want to be married? Are we supposed to just be 'boyfriend and girlfriend' forever? Am I okay with never having children? Will he love me enough to make this all okay, despite the future I had always planned for myself?
I honestly don't know and my head is pounding from thinking about it. I don't want to think about the future right now, I am only nineteen. I don't want children or to be anyone's wife yet, but it is something I have always, and most likely will always want. I just need to stop thinking about this, for now at least. We have been getting along so well and I don't want to ruin that.
After the kitchen is clean and the dishwasher is loaded, I check on Harry and Smith once more before going into the bedroom to get my things ready for tomorrow. I am looking forward to going to Vance but I also had a nice first day back at classes yesterday. I wonder what PE class Harry will choose for us? I hope it is nothing too humiliating. I really did enjoy yoga but I know he was miserable.
My phone rings as I lay out a long black skirt for tomorrow. It's Kimberly.
"Hey, is everything okay?" I ask after answering.
"Yeah, everything is okay. They are giving him some antibiotics and we should be getting sent home soon. It may be late, I hope that is okay." She says.
"Of course it is, take your time."
"How is Smith doing?"
"He's good, he is actually hanging out with Harry." I tell her, still not believing it myself.
"Really? Harry?" She laughs.
"Yeah, tell me about it." I roll my eyes and make my way back into the living room.
"Well that is strange but it is getting him prepared for when you have little Harry's running around the house." She teases. Her words tug at my heart and I bite down on my lip.
"Yeah.. guess so." I want to change the subject before the lump in my throat grows any larger.
"Well, we will be done soon hopefully. Smith's bedtime is ten but since it's already ten, just let him stay up until you want him to go to sleep. Thank you again." Kimberly says and hangs up the phone.
I make a quick stop in the kitchen to pack a small lunch for tomorrow, I will just bring leftovers from tonight.
"Why?" I hear Smith ask Harry.
"Because they are trapped on the island."
"Why?"
"Their plane crashed."
"How aren't they dead?"
"It's a show."
"A stupid show." Smith says and Harry laughs.
"Yeah, I guess you are right." Harry shakes his head in amusement and Smith giggles.
They look alike in some ways, the dimples, the shape of their eyes, and their smiles. I imagine that except the blonde hair and shade of eyes, Harry looked much like Smith when he was younger.
"Is it okay if I go to bed or do you want me to watch him?" I ask Harry.
"Uhm.. that's cool. We are just watching mindless television anyway." He tells me.
"Okay, goodnight Smith. I will see you in a few hours when Kim is here to get you." I tell him. He looks over at Harry then back to me and smiles.
"Night." He whispers.
I turn to go back into the room but I am stopped by Harry's fingers wrapping around my arm.
"Hey, no goodnight to me?" He pouts.
"Oh..yeah. Sorry." I hug him and give him a kiss on the cheek.
"Goodnight." I say and he hugs me again.
"You sure you're okay?" He asks, pushing my shoulders back so he can look at me.
"Yeah, I am just really tired and he wants to hang out with you anyway." I smile weakly.
"I love you." He tells me and kisses my forehead.
"I love you." I respond and hurry to the bedroom and close the door behind me.
Harry's POV.
"Can I have a drink?" Smith asks after Tessa goes to bed.
"Of what. beer?" I joke.
"Eww.. no."
"Water? We don't drink soda really."
"Water." He answers.
I leave the room to get him a glass of water and of course he follows me. I choose not to say anything about it. I still feed bad for him asking if his dad was going to die.
"Thanks." Smith says and takes a drink of the water.
We spend the next hour watching Lost, the five year old who acts twelve points out things that I hadn't even noticed about the show. Around midnight he falls asleep and his small body shifts, making his head fall on my arm. I want to move him because, why is he touching me.. but I can't bring myself to wake him up.
Tessa's POV.
My alarm wakes me with the most hideous shriek. Harry groans next to me, as usual and I reach over to shut it off. After I am dressed and ready to leave I try to wake Harry but he isn't having it.
"Too tired." He whines and rolls back over, I lean down to give him a kiss and leave the apartment to head to Vance.
I hope today goes by quickly. I have no idea what I am going to do tonight while Harry is at the hockey game with Liam. I need to go by Conner's and get a few groceries and do some studying, that settles it then. The weather is nice today, no snow and minimal slush on the sides of the road. Kimberly is sitting at her desk when I walk in and she smiles at me as I grab my usual donut and coffee.
"I didn't even know you came last night, I fell asleep." I tell her.
"I know, Smith was sleeping too. Thank you again." She says and her phone rings.
When I get to my office it feels strange to be there after being on campus yesterday. Sometimes I feel as though I live a double life, one half a college student life, and one half a full on adult life. I have an apartment with my boyfriend and a paid internship that honestly feels like a job not an internship. I love both halves and if I had to choose I would choose the adult life with Harry.
Even though there is no future? My subconscious just has to throw that in there.
I dive into my work and lunchtime comes quickly. The manuscript I have been reading is really captivating and I want to eat fast so I can get back and finish it. I hope they find a cure for the main characters illness, I will be heartbroken if he passes.
"Hey." A male voice snaps me back into reality.
"Hey Trevor, how are you?" I ask and take a seat in the small cafeteria.
"I am good, just getting ready for the move." He smiles.
"That is exciting, I thought you weren't moving until March?" I take a bite of my lunch.
"That was the plan but I will be going the beginning of February, so in about two weeks."
"Wow, I am nervous for you." I smile.
"I am only a little nervous, mostly just excited to be in Seattle and start my life."
"I would love to live in Seattle."
"Why don't you?" He asks.
"Well I plan on it, after college."
"I mean now, I know Christian would love to have you at the Seattle office. Both him and Kimberly will be there next month as well." He tells me.
I hadn't thought about Kimberly and Mr. Vance going too.
"I can't. I have classes."
"WSU has a Seattle campus." Trevor says and wipes his mouth on a napkin.
"I know..it's just.."
"Harry won't." He answers for me.
"It's not that.. it's just.." I am at a loss for words. He is right but I don't want to admit it.
"Well it's none of my business but I think you should really consider it. It would be a great move for your career."
He must notice the way I shift uncomfortably because he changes the subject.
"Did you hear that Krystal in marketing is pregnant?" He asks.
"Is she? I will have to congratulate her." I smile.
I have only spoken to her a few times but she is very sweet.
"Yeah, her and her fiancé are pretty excited. It's funny though because their wedding is next month and now she is pregnant." He laughs.
"The irony." I giggle.
"I have been to three weddings in the last two months. What ever happened to summer weddings?" He smiles.
"I am glad I have only been to one wedding this winter." Ken's wedding was one of the best nights of my life.
"I love weddings." Trevor says.
"You do?"
"Yeah, don't you?"
"I don't know.. I guess so." I roll an olive around my plate with my finger.
"It will be better once it is my own of course." He says and the olive rolls onto the floor.
He bends down to pick it up and tosses it into the trash behind him.
"You want your own wedding?"
"Who doesn't? Not really for myself as much as for whoever my bride is." His cheeks redden and I look down at my plate again.
"You don't want your own wedding? You are the first woman that has ever said that." He laughs.
"I do.. I just didn't know men felt that way." I try to smile.
This is the most ironic conversation to be having right now.
"We do. Well most of us, even the ones that don't would still do it for the woman they love." He says.
"Oh." Except Harry.
"Shit, I need to get back. I will see you later." Trevor says and checks his watch before leaving me alone in the cafeteria.


The rest of the day goes quickly as I am completely withdrawn from the world and fully enveloped in the manuscript which ended terribly sad and left me incredibly heartbroken. With tears staining my cheeks, I leave for the day and head home. I haven't heard from Harry once since I left him asleep and grumpy in bed and Trevor words keep replaying in my mind. He just had to bring up weddings and marriage at the worst possible time to do so. I need a distraction from my pestering thoughts, sometimes I wish I could just shut my mind off like other people seem to. I don't like that I overthink everything but I can't help it. It is who I am and now all I can think of is Harry and I not having a future.
I really need to do something to get my mind off of obsessing over this, he is who he is and he doesn't want to ever get married or have children. This is one of those times that I wish I had some friends to go hang out with, maybe I will call Steph after I go to Conner's to get groceries and do a load of laundry. Harry and Liam will be going to the hockey game tonight, I hope that goes well.
When I arrive at the apartment Harry is pacing back and forth in the bedroom.
"Hey." I say as I enter the room.
"Hey. How was your day?" He sits down on the edge of the bed.
"It was okay, I guess."
"What's wrong?" Harry turns his head to look at me.
"The manuscript I read today was so sad, incredible but so heartbreaking." I say, trying not to get emotional again.
"Oh, it must have been good if you are still upset about it. I would hate to have been there the first time you read A Farewell to Arms." He smiles and I sit down next to him.
"This was worse, so much worse." I say and he grabs ahold of my shirt, pulling me to lay my head on his shoulder.
"My sensitive girl." He speaks, running his fingers up and down my spine.
The way the words sound make my stomach flutter, to be called 'my girl' in any form makes me much happier than it should.
"Did you even go to classes today?" I ask Harry.
"Nope. Watching the kid wore me out."
"By watching the kid you mean watching television with him."
"Same thing. I did more than you did."
"So you like him then?" I'm not sure why I am asking this.
"No, well as far as annoying children go, he isn't at the top of the list but I won't be planning any play dates soon." He smiles.
I roll my eyes but don't say anything else about Smith.
"Are you ready for the game tonight?" I look up at him.
"No, I already told him I am not going." He tells me.
"Harry! You have to go." I shriek.
"I am teasing.. he will be here soon. You owe me for this shit, Tess." Harry groans.
"You like hockey though, and Liam is good company."
"Not as good of company as you." He kisses my cheek.
"You are in a good mood for someone who acts like they are being lead to slaughter."
"If this goes badly, I won't be the one who is slaughtered."
"You better be nice to Liam tonight." I warn him.
He raises his hands to mock innocence but I know better. A knock is heard at the door and Harry stays put.
"He's your friend, you answer the door." He says.
I roll my eyes but I don't want to keep Liam waiting so I leave Harry in the bedroom to answer the door. Liam is dressed in a hockey jersey, blue jeans, and tennis shoes. I have never seen anyone in a fitted hockey jersey before, only oversized ones so the snug fit of Liam's jersey throws me off guard.
"Hey Tessa." He smiles his usual friendly smile and greets me with a hug.
"How were classes today?" I ask him.
"Great, except they would be better if you were in them and not at your internship." He laughs.
"If there were more hours in the day."
"Are the two of you finished so we can get this over with?" Harry interrupts us.
"Well I can see this will be a fun night." Liam rolls his eyes and runs his hand over his short hair.
"It will be the best night of your entire life." Harry teases him.
"Good luck." I tell Liam and he chuckles.
"He's just showing off, trying to act like he isn't excited to spend time with me." Liam smiles and Harry rolls his eyes like Liam just did.
"Well this is too much testosterone for me so I am going to change and run some errands. You two have fun."
"What errands?" Harry asks while following me into the bedroom.
"Grocery shopping and I was thinking of calling Steph."
"For..?"
"Just to see what she is doing, I will be bored tonight while you are gone."
"So, don't you have studying to do or something?"
I open the closet and grab a sweatshirt then a pair of yoga pants from the bottom drawer.
"Ohhh no you don't." Harry says, grabbing them from my hands.
"What?" I try to reach for them but he holds them over his head.
"You are not wearing these."
"Excuse me? I will wear what I want." I put my hand on my hip and he shakes his head.
"No, you aren't wearing them." He lifts them higher and I try to jump to reach them and fail.
"I thought you liked them?"
"That's the point. I do like them and so will every other guy."
"You are being ridiculous." I whine.
"Okay then, you wear these pants and I will be sure to take my shirt off during the game, or the next time we are at a party." He smirks.
"Fine." I give in and grab a pair of jeans.
"Your jealousy is unhealthy." I scold him and he laughs.
"When has anything about our relationship been otherwise?" He laughs again and leaves the room with my pants in hand.
I pull my hair into a pony tail and change into the jeans and sweatshirt before going back into the living room. Harry and Liam have already left. When I grab my keys from the rack I notice that Harry's keys are still hung in their usual spot, he must have let Liam drive. I grab his keys instead of mine and lock the door behind me.
The drive to Conner's is very short, less than five minutes and Harry's car drives so smoothly that I almost turn back around just to make the short drive again. His heat works much quicker than mine and his radio is clearer as well. I find it amusing that The Fray CD was on and playing as soon as I started the car, meaning he was listening to it.
Conner's is deserted and there is only one car and a motorcycle parked in front. I wonder if it is Jonah.. Professor Soto's? Probably not. I stand corrected when I see him standing next to the register when I go to check out.
"Small world." He grins as he spots me.
"Yes, that or you live close enough for us to share the same corner store." I say and he shifts his helmet to his free hand.
"That or you are stalking me."
"I am not! I come here all the time, I.." I begin but he cuts me off.
"I am messing around, it's a joke." He laughs.
"Oh." I bite my lip in embarrassment. I would usually laugh at a joke, no matter how uncomfortable, but he is my professor and I don't know what to say.
"You ready for class tomorrow?" He asks and I nod.
"Yeah, is there any chance of you hinting to what we will be doing tomorrow?"
"Not a chance." He runs his fingers through his black hair.
I pay with my debit card and wave goodbye to Profesoor Soto before leaving.
"Ms. Young!" I hear him call behind me as I unlock Harry's car.
"Do you have plans tonight?" He asks.
What?
"Uhm..." I am at a loss for words. He is my professor.
"I don't mean it like that, stop looking at me like that." He smiles, his smile is very attractive.
"I play in a band and we have a gig down at Canal Street Tavern if you wanted to come, maybe bring some friends? We haven't been playing long and need all the bodies we can get in the place so they ask us back." He explains.
"You are in a band?" My voice comes out just as shocked as I feel.
"Yeah, does that surprise you?"
"I mean.. you are a college professor." I laugh nervously.
"I am only twenty-two. I know I don't fit the stereotype of a stuffy college professor."
"You certainly do not."
"Don't."
"What?" I ask.
"You say do not, you should just say don't, it sounds better."
"Do not is fine."
"No it isn't." He smiles.
"So what do you say? Can you bring some friends down to the show? I may give you a hint of what this weeks assignment will be." He persuades me.
He is nice and very funny, slightly cocky but I am used to Harry's ego so this is nothing.
"Sure. I don't have many friends but I will see what I can do." I promise.
"You mean you do not have many friends?" He mocks and I am tempted to roll my eyes at him but I stop myself when I am reminded that no matter how casual he seems, he is still my professor.
"I will stop annoying you now so you can corral your friends." He places his small grocery bag in the side pocket of his motorcycle and climbs onto the seat. He waves to me before putting his helmet on and revving up the engine to his bike.
After I load my few bags into the backseat of Harry's car, I drive home and call Steph. I have no idea if she will answer or even be free but I hope so.
My prayers are answered when she answers on the second ring and is ecstatic to hear from me.
"I will be right over. Can Tristan come, he's here." She asks through the phone.
"Of course, Harry is with Liam though so he's not here. Someone I know has a gig at Canal Street Tavern, have you heard of it?" I ask.
"Yeah! I love Canal Street."
"Wait did you just say Harry is with Liam?" She is clearly surprised.
"Yeah, it's a long story." I giggle.
"I can't wait to hear it." She says before we say our goodbyes and I promise to text her our address.
Harry's POV.
"Why the hell is it so crowded already?" I groan as Liam and I try to push our way through the crowded line.
"Because you made us late."
"The game doesn't start for another fifteen minutes."
"I usually come an hour early." Liam explains.
"Of course you do. Even when I am not with Tessa, I am with Tessa." I complain.
Liam and Tessa are literally the same person, when it comes to their annoying need to be the first and best at everything they do.
"You should feel honored to be with Tessa." He tells me.
"Stop being a dick so we can enjoy the game." I tell him forcefully but can't help the smile that appears on my face at his annoyance.
"Sorry Liam, I am honored to be with her. Now would you chill out?" I laugh.
"Sure. Let's get our seats." He says and leads the way.


"I can't believe you and Harry live here.. how weird." Steph says when her and Tristan arrive at the apartment.
"It's still weird to me too, sometimes." I admit.
"It's a really nice place." Tristan praises and I smile.
"Thank you."
"So what's with Harry and Liam hanging out?" Steph asks.
We all sit at the table in the kitchen.
"Well they have been getting along, sort of and we got Liam tickets to a hockey game for Christmas so Harry went with him." I explain.
"We got tickets? You two sound like a married couple. Why the hell would Harry want to buy Liam anything for Christmas?" Steph laughs.
I didn't think about the fact that none of Harry's friends know that Liam is his step-brother. I'm not sure if he would mind them knowing but I decide against telling them for the time being. I never know what will set him off.
"I mean I got them for him but Harry was there when I gave them to him." I lie and try to change the subject.
"If I hear one more person talk about marriage." I groan, rubbing my temples with my fingertips.
"Sorry, I won't even ask why." She smiles and pulls a beer from her purse.
"You drove with that?" I ask, horrified.
"Yes, it isn't open." Steph laughs and twists the top open with her shirt.
"So who do you know that is playing at Canal Street?" Tristan asks me.
"My profesoor actually."
"What? How old is he?" He asks.
"Twenty two."
"Woah, he's young to be a professor." Steph takes another drink of her beer.
"Yeah and he's in a band." I remark.
"He invited you specifically to come tonight?" Tristan questions, his expression changing.
"Yeah.. well no. He told me to bring all of my friends but since I don't have many you two are the next best thing." I tease.
"Thanks bitch. We should call everyone and have them come out then!" Steph says and wastes no time getting her phone out.
"Not Molly." I add and her and Tristan both laugh.
"Of course not, she has some new boyfriend now so she isn't around much anyway since you trampled her." Steph tells me and the three of us burst into laughter.
"I'll text Zayn and Niall now. Louis failed two classes last semester so he is on lock down basically, he hasn't even been throwing parties like he used to." Tristan says.
I know Harry probably will not be thrilled about Zayn being invited but I'm not going to tell them not to invite him.
"Really? No parties at the frat house?" I gape.
"Oh there are still parties, Louis just isn't as involved in throwing them as he was before." Steph laughs.
"I don't even know what time the show starts." I realize while Tristan is waiting for a reply from his friends.
"Probably nine, that's the usual time there." Tristan tells me.
"You are changing right?" Steph asks with a sour look on her face.
"I guess. I mean this is not..isn't," I correct myself. "That bad, but yes I was going to change."
"Good." She smiles.
I change into different jeans and a plain black shirt before adding more makeup to my eyes and cheeks. I don't want to over-do it but I don't want to look sloppy either. It has been a long time.. actually I don't remember the last time that I went out anywhere with a friend without Harry.
"Zayn and Niall are meeting us there at nine so we should leave soon." Tristan says when I walk back into the living room.
"You look really hot, just lose the ponytail." Steph suggests.
"It's just like the old days." I roll my eyes at her and she laughs.
"Some things never change." Her tongue sticks out at me before she takes another drink.
I force myself not to think about the "old days" any longer. The days that I was being played for a fool by the entirety of my "friends" including Steph and Tristan. I don't want to dwell on the past, I have chosen to forgive them so I refuse to let my mind wander to the painful memories.
"I will drive separately in case I leave before you two." I tell Steph and Tristan as we walk outside.
Harry's POV.
"Did you see that! How the heck did that count!?" Liam screams next to me.
Even when he is angry he still sounds like a pussy.
"C'mon!" He yells once more and I bite my tongue in laughter.
I suppose Tessa was right, he isn't too terrible of company, not my first choice obviously but not so bad.
"I hear that the more you yell and scream the more likely they are to win." I tell him.
He ignores me and yells again, I shake my head and pull my phone from my pocket to text Tessa. I haven't heard from her in over an hour and she planning to hang out with Steph tonight and I want to see what the hell they are up to. I don't like the idea of Tessa being out with Steph without me at all. I send her a quick text asking her whereabouts and turn my attention back to Liam.
"Yes!" Liam shouts when his team wins the game at the last second.
The crowd piles out of the arena and I push my way through them.
"Watch it." A voice behind me says.
"Sorry." Liam apologizes.
"That's what I thought." The voice says and I turn around to find a nervous Liam and an asshole wearing the opposing teams jersey.
Liam swallows but doesn't say anything else but the man continues to taunt him.
"Look how scared he looks." Another voice says, one of the assholes friends I presume.
"I...I.." Liam stammers.
Are you kidding me?
"Fuck off, both of you." I snarl and they both turn to look at me.
"Or what?" I can smell the beer on the tall one's breath.
"Or I will beat the shit out of you in front of everyone in this crowd and you will be humiliated, that's what." I warn him, meaning every single word.
"C'mon Dennis, let's go." The short one, who seems to be the only one with sense tugs on his friends jersey and they disappear into the crowd.
I grab Liam by the arm and pull him the rest of the way, Tessa will have my balls if I let him get beat up tonight.
"Thanks for that, you didn't have to do that." Liam says when we reach his car.
"Don't make it awkward, okay?" I grin and he shakes his head but I hear him laugh quietly to himself.
"Should I take you back to your apartment now?" He asks after several minutes of awkward silence.
"Yeah, sure." I check my phone again to see if Tessa has responded, she hasn't.
"Are you moving?" I ask Liam.
"I don't know yet, I really want to be closer to Danielle." He explains.
"So why doesn't she move here?"
"Because her career in ballet wouldn't work here, she has to be in New York City."
"And you are just going to give up your life and move for her?" I scoff.
"Yeah, I would rather do that than continue to be away from her. I don't mind moving anyway, New York City would be an awesome place to live. It's not always about one person in the relationship, you know?" He says.
"What that supposed to be directed at me?"
"Not exactly but if you think it was, maybe it is."
"Shut the hell up, would you?"
"Are you telling me you wouldn't move to New York to be with Tessa?"
"Yes, that is exactly what I am telling you. I don't want to live in New York, so I won't be living in New York."
"You know I don't mean New York, I mean Seattle. She wants to live in Seattle."
"She will be moving to England with me." I tell him.
"What if she doesn't? You know she doesn't want to so why would you force her to?"
"I'm not forcing her to do anything Liam. She will move because she won't want to be without me, simple as that." I check my phone once more to try to distract myself from the irritation my lovely step-brother is causing me.
"You're an asshole."
"Never claimed that I wasn't." I shrug.
I dial Tessa's number and wait for her to answer. She doesn't. Great, fucking great. I hope she is still at home when I get there, if Liam didn't drive so god damn slow we would be there by now. I stay silent, picking at the torn skin surrounding my fingernails. After what seems like three fucking hours Liam pulls up in front of my apartment.
"Tonight wasn't so bad, right?" He asks me as I get out of the car and I chuckle.
"No, I guess it wasn't." I admit.
"If you tell anyone I just said that I will kill you." I tease and he smiles before pulling away.
It isn't until I step off of the elevator that I realize my keys are still inside the apartment and if Tess isn't here, I am locked out.
The door is locked and she doesn't answer when I try to call her again. Fucking perfect.
I am left with no other option but to call Liam back and have him pick me back up.
Tessa's POV.
When we arrive at Canal Street Tavern, the bar is smaller than I expected. The building looks like it is made from wood, an actual old style tavern. The theme inside seems to be trains, which suits the whole look of the tavern.
"I thought smoking inside wasn't legal anymore?" I ask Steph as I hand the woman at the door my drivers license for proof of age. A stamp in the shape of a train cart is pressed against my hand and I follow Steph towards the back of the dark, smoke filled room.
I depise the smell of cigarettes and I feel my throat itching already.
Zayn and Niall stand up from the small circular table and Niall greets me first.
"Tessa! Where's Harry?" He asks with a sweet smile.
"He's.. He is at a hockey game." I tell him, purposely omitting any further details.
"Cool. Want a drink?" He asks and I look around the room.
"No one will notice, trust me. I tip well." He smirks and I nod in agreement.
I will be driving home so I can only have one drink, one drink will be fine.
"Hey Tess." Zayn says without meeting my eyes as he sits down.
I don't know why I hadn't noticed the girl sitting next to him before.
"Uhm.. Hey." I can't help but stare at her, she is beautiful.
"Hi, I'm Rebecca nice to meet you." She smiles.
"Hi, I'm Tessa." I force a smile.
She leans into Zayn and for some reason I look away immediately.
"Let's get a drink so we can enjoy the show." Steph says to Tristan and Niall pours me a glass of beer from the large pitcher on the table.
I don't really care for beer but it would be rude to decline the drink he hands me so I just take a drink instead. It tastes just as bad as I remember but I continue to drink it anyway.
"Alright everyone! Tonight we have a pretty cool line up, first we have a local band that may or may not have already finished a bottle of Jack to themselves! Give it up for The Reckless Few!" A young man with dreadlocks yells into the microphone.
All the attention is directed to the stage, Jon...Professor Soto, is the first one to walk onto the small stage. He is dressed in a dark blue plaid button up shirt and black jeans with holes in the knees. The idea that he is my professor seems too strange right now, seeing him dressed this way and getting ready to perform on stage with a band.
I take a seat next to Niall, across from Zayn and his date.
"Which one is he?" Steph leans across the table and asks me.
"The one in the blue." I tell her as the music starts.
"Woah." She winks and Tristan gives her a playful glare.
I take another gulp of the bitter beer and I try not to look at Zayn and his date. Professor Soto begins to sing and I am suprised by how well his voice sounds. He is really good. Almost every head in the room is bobbing up and down, feet are tapping, and fingers are strumming on the table tops. I find myself in a trance, the song is soft but rugged in a strange way and it makes me feel nostalgic but I can't seem to pin point the exact time or memory.
I think Harry would really like this song... Harry. I haven't talked to him in a while. When I check my phone I have three missed calls and four text messages.
"I'll be right back." I tell them and rush to the bathroom.
I hope everything is okay and nothing happened at the hockey game, I never know when it comes to Harry.
He doesn't answer the first time I call but as I am drafting a text message to him, the phone vibrates.
"Why haven't you been answering?" He booms through the phone.
"Sorry, it was loud in here and I haven't checked my phone. Is everything okay?" I ask.
A girl wearing a red leather dress stumbles into the bathroom so I go into a stall.
"Loud in where? Where the hell are you?"
"At Canal Street Tavern."
"What?"
"CanalStreet Tav.."
"I heard you, why are you there?" He cuts me off.
"Well.. we are watching a band play." I will explain the details later.
"Who's we?"
"Me, Steph, Tristan, Niall, Zayn, and his date." I make sure to mention that Zayn has a date with him.
"Zayn huh.."
"He has a girl with him, calm down." I whine.
"I'll be there soon. I am locked out of the apartment because you decided to take my car."
"You forgot your keys anyway so you would have been locked out anyway." I correct him.
"I never said you could drive my car." He huffs through the speaker.
"Turn left." I hear him say, he must be with Liam still.
"I didn't ask, did I?" I remark, sure to let the sarcasm show in my tone.
"You never do."
"I don't need to." I remind him.
"I will be there soon." He hangs up the phone.
I hope he is in a better mood when he arrives. I make my way back to the table to let everyone know that Harry will be arriving soon, I suppose warn them is the better choice of words. Everyone seems pleased, except Zayn but he is too busy paying attention to Rebecca and I am too busy downing another glass of beer that Niall slid in front of me.
The song I was very fond of is now over and Professor Soto is speaking into the microphone about the process of writing the songs they play.
"Do you want another drink?" Zayn asks.
"Yes." Rebecca and I answer at the same time.
Of course he was talking to her. Why would I assume he was talking to me? It's all the cigarette smoke and beer clouding my judgment.
"Oh, sorry. I thought.. I don't know." I stammer.
Zayn's face flashes with an emotion that I can't decipher before he walks away from the table.
"I can't believe that guy is a professor, I hope I get him next year." Rebecca smiles.
"Next year?" I ask her.
Steph is watching our awkward exchange and seems to be wondering the same thing as I am.. why is it so awkward?
"Yeah, when I am in college next year." She tells me.
"You are in high school?" I say much too loudly, and very rudely without intending to.
"Yeah, I'm eighteen though." She smiles and I look away when Zayn comes back to the table with three drinks.
He sits one in front of me and I make a mental promise to myself not to look over at them for the remainder of the night. Who cares if she is in high school? If Zayn likes her that's all that matters, at least she is eighteen.
The second song begins and it holds a slightly heavier beat but it is just as great as the first song.
"They are really good." Tristan praises, rocking his head back and forth along with the music.
"Harry's here." Steph says and taps my shoulder causing me to turn around.
Maybe it's two.. now three glasses of beer I have had but Harry's presence seems to turn every head in the smoky room. He literally looks like he is walking down a runway as he makes his way to the table, scowl and all. What surprises me the most is that Liam is only a few feet behind him.
"Nice of you to join us." Niall mocks Harry.
Harry sticks his middle finger up at Niall before taking a chair from the table next to us, without permission of course and pulling it to sit next to me.
"Grab one." He says to Liam.
Liam stands still, obviously uncomfortable so Harry leans over and grabs ahold of the back of another chair, scooting it across the floor to where Liam is standing.
"There, sit." Harry demands but Liam obliges.
"Uhm.. hey Liam, you are the last person I thought I would see here." Niall teases.
"Don't." Harry snaps, making Niall raise his hands in surrender.
"It was a joke." Niall pouts and smiles at Liam to erase the tension.
Liam being the sweet guy that he is returns the smile and looks up to the stage,
"Is that Professor Soto?" He gapes and turns his head back to me.
"Yeah." I answer, avoiding Harry's glare burning into me.
"That is your professor?" Harry moves my chair so I am forced to look at him.
"Yep! He is hot isn't he?" Steph says.
She really doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut.

To be continued..

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