Saturday, 30 June 2018

AFTER ROMANCE 2 Episode 76-80

My chest aches as I watch Christian wrap his arms around Kimberly and lift her off the floor in a loving embrace. I'm so happy for her, I really am. It's just that it's hard to sit and watch someone get something that you wanted, no matter how happy you are for them. I would never want to take even an ounce of her happiness away but it's hard to watch as he kisses both her cheeks and slides a gorgeous diamond ring onto her finger.
I stand up from my seat, hoping that no one will notice my absence and I manage to make it to the living room before the tears fall. I knew this would happen, I knew I would break. If he wasn't here I could handle it but it's too surreal, too painful to have him here.
He came here to taunt me, he had to have. Why else would he be here and not speak to me at all? It doesn't make sense, he has avoided me for the past ten days then he shows up here when he knew I would be here. I shouldn't have came, I should have at least driven myself so I could leave right now. Zayn won't be here until... Zayn.
Zayn is coming to pick me up at eight and it's seven thirty now. Harry will kill him, literally, if he sees him here.
Or maybe he won't, maybe he doesn't care at all.
I find the restroom and close the door behind me. It takes me a moment to realize the light switch is a touch screen panel on the wall. This house is too damn high tech for me.
I was absolutely humiliated when I dropped the wine glass at the sight of him. He seems so indifferent, like he could care less about me being here or how awkward his presence really is. Has it even been hard for him? Did he spend the first few days crying and lying in bed the way I did? I have no way to know and he isn't giving off the heartbroken impression.
Breathe Tessa. You have to breathe. I have to breathe regardless of the sharp knife lodged in my chest each time that I try.
I wipe my eyes and look at my reflection. My makeup hasn't smudged thank goodness and my hair is still perfectly curled. My cheeks are slightly flushed but in a way it makes me look better, more lively.
When I open the door Trevor is leaning against the wall with concern clear in his features.
"Are you okay? You ran out of there pretty fast." He takes a step toward me.
"Yeah..I just needed some air." I lie.
A stupid lie at that, it doesn't even make sense to rush to the bathroom for air. Lucky for me Trevor is a gentleman and would never call me out on my lie the way Harry would.
"Okay, they are serving desert now if you're still hungry." He tells me as we walk back down the hallway.
"Not really but I'll have some." I respond.
"How do you know?" Smith's small voice says from inside the room we are passing.
"Because I know everything." Harry replies.
Harry? In the room with Smith?
"You go on, I .. uhm.. I'm going to talk to Smith."
"Are you sure.. I can wait." He offers.
"No, I'm fine." I politely dismiss him so that I can impolitely eavesdrop.
"Not everything." Smith says.
"I do though, I know everything." Harry's voice is calm as I lean against the wall next to the door.
"Will she die?"
"No, what is with you always thinking everyone's going to die?"
"I don't know?" The little boy tells him.
"Well it's not true, not everyone dies."
"Who dies?"
"Not everyone."
"But who Harry?" Smith presses.
"People, bad people I guess. And old people. And sick people, oh and sad people sometimes."
"Like your pretty girl?" My heart races.
"No! She won't. She's not sad." Harry says and I put my hand over my mouth.
"Yeah huh."
"No, she's not. She's happy, and she won't die. Neither will Kimberly."
"How do you know?"
"I already told you how I know, it's because I know everything." His tone has changed since the mention of my name.
"No you don't." Smith half laughs.
"Are you okay now? Or are you going to cry more?" Harry asks.
"Don't tease."
"Sorry, are you done crying though?"
"Yeah."
"Good."
"Good."
"Don't mock me. It's rude." Harry says.
"You're rude."
"So are you, are you sure you're only five?" Harry asks and I wonder the same thing.
Smith is so mature for his age, but I guess he has to be considering what he has been through.
"Pretty sure. Do you want to play?" Smith asks him.
"No, I don't."
"Why?"
"Why do you ask so many questions, you remind.."
"Tessa?" Kimberly's voice startles me and I nearly scream.
"Have you seen Smith? He took off and Harry out of all people went after him." Kimberly looks confused yet touched by that.
"Uhm, no." I hurry down the hallway to avoid the humiliation of being caught by Harry.
I know he heard Kimberly call my name.
When I get back to the dining room I approach the small group that Christian is speaking with and tell him how much I appreciate him inviting me and I congratulate him on his new engagement. Kimberly appears moments later and I hug her goodbye before doing the same with Karen and Ken.
I check my phone, it's now ten minutes until eight. Harry is occupied with Smith and obviously has no intention of speaking to me and that's fine. That's what I need, I don't need to apologize and tell me that he's been miserable without me. I don't need him to hold me and tell me we will find a way to work this out, to fix everything he has broken. I don't need that. I want that more than anything, but I don't need it. And he won't do it anyway so it's pointless to need it.
It hurts less when I don't need it.
By the time I reach the end of the driveway I am freezing. I should have worn a jacket, it's the end of January, I don't know what I was thinking. It has begun to snow, lightly but enough to make me even colder. I hope Zayn is here soon.
The icy wind is unforgiving as it whips my hair around and I shiver, wrapping my arms around me in an attempt to keep warm.
"Tess?" For a moment I think I'm imagining the boy in all black walking towards me in the snow.
"What are you doing?" Harry asks me, coming even closer.
"I'm leaving."
"Oh..." He rubs his hand over the back of his neck like he always does.
I stay quiet.
"How are you?" He asks and I'm baffled.
"How am I?" I turn to look at him.
I try to keep my cool as he stares at me with a completely neutral expression.
"Yeah.. I mean are you..you know, okay?"
Should I tell him the truth or lie..
"How are you?" I ask, my teeth chatter.
"I asked first." He responds.
This is not how I had envisioned our first encounter going. I'm not entirely sure what I thought would happen but this isn't it. I thought he would be cursing me out and we would be in a screaming match. Standing in a snow dusted driveway asking how one another are doing is the last thing that I imagined happening. The lanterns hanging throughout the trees lining the driveway make Harry appear to be glowing, like an angel. An obvious illusion.
"I'm fine." I lie.
He looks me up and down slowly, making my stomach leap and my heart pound.
"I see that." His voice carries over the wind.
"How are you?" I want him to say he is doing terribly.
But he doesn't.
"Same. Fine."
"Why haven't you called me?" Maybe this will evoke emotion from him.
"I..." He looks at me then down at his hands before running them through this snow covered hair.
"I..was busy." His answer is the hammer that takes down the rest of my wall.
"You were busy?" Anger overpowers the bone crushing hurt that is threatening to take over at any moment.
"Yeah..I was busy."
"Wow."
"Wow what?" He asks.
"You were busy? Do you know what I have been going through the last eleven days? It has been hell and I felt pain that I didn't know I could endure and at times I didn't think I could. I kept waiting.. waiting like a fucking idiot!" I scream.
"You don't know what I've been doing either! You always think you know everything but you don't know shit!" He yells back and I walk to the very end of the driveway.
He is going to lose it when he see's who is picking me up. Where the hell is he anyway? It's two minutes after eight.
"Tell me then! Tell me what was more important than fighting for me Harry." I wipe the tears from under my eyes and beg myself to stop crying.
I'm so sick of crying all the time.
Harry's POV.
When she starts to cry it becomes much harder to keep a straight face. I don't know what would happen if I told her that I have been through hell too, that I felt pain that I wasn't sure I could endure either. I think she would run into my arms and tell me it's okay. She was listening to me talk to Smith, I know she was. She is sad, just the way the obnoxious little boy claimed but I know how this ends. If she forgives me I will just come up with some other fucked up thing to do to her next. It's always been that way and I don't know how to stop it.
The only option here is giving her a chance to be with someone much better for her. I believe that deep fucking down she wants someone that is more like her. Someone with no tattoos, no piercings. Someone without a fucked up childhood and anger issues. She thinks that she loves me now but one day when I do something even more fucked up than the last, she will regret ever speaking to me and the more I look at her crying in this driveway as the snow falls down around her, I know that I'm not good for her.
I'm Tom and she's Daisy. Lovely Daisy who is corrupted by Tom and she's never the same after. If I beg for her forgiveness right now, on my knees, in this snowy driveway, she will be the awful Daisy for eternity, all of her innocence will be gone and she will end up hating me, and herself.
If Tom would have left Daisy at the first moment of her uncertainty, she could have had a life with the man she was destined to be with, a man that would have treated her the way she deserved to be treated.
"It's none of your concern really, is it?" I say and watch as my words rattle her to her core.
She should be inside with Trevor, or back home with Noah. Not with me. I'm no Darcy, and she deserves one. I can't change for her.
I will find a way to live without her just the way she will without me.
"How could you even say that? After everything we have been through, you just toss me aside and you don't even have the decency to give me an explanation?" She cries and headlights appear on the dark street.
I'm doing this for you! I want to shout at her but I don't. I just shrug my shoulders.
Her mouth opens then closes as a truck stops in front of us.
That truck..
"What is he doing here?" I croak.
"He is picking me up." She tells me and the news nearly brings me to my knees.
"Why would.. why is he..what the fuck?" I pace back and forth.
I had been trying to push her away from me and trying to let her move on so she could be with someone like herself, not fucking Zayn out of all people.
"Have you..have you been seeing him?" I am aware of how frantic I sound but I don't give a shit as I step towards his truck to drag him out.
"Get out of the god damn car!" I shout.
He surprises me when the door opens and he climbs out, leaving the ignition running. He's a fucking idiot.
"Are you alright?" He has the nerve to ask her.
"I knew it! I knew you were waiting for your moment to swoop in and make a move on her! Did you think I wouldn't find out?"
He looks at her and she looks at him. Holy fucking shit, this is really happening.
"Leave him alone Harry." She says and I snap.
One of my hands wraps around the collar of his jacket and the other connects to his jaw.
Tessa screams but it's barely a whisper, lost in the wind.
He stumbles back holding his jaw but steps toward me. He has a death wish.
"Did you think I wasn't going to find out! I fucking told you to stay away from her!" I move to hit him again, this time he blocks me and manages to hit me right in the jaw.
Anger mixes with the adrenaline of being in a fight for the first time in weeks. I have missed this feeling, the energy flowing through my bloodstream getting me high.
I hit him again, this time he falls to the ground and I am on top of him in seconds, hitting him again and again. I will give him credit, he has managed a few punches but he has no way to overpower me.
"I was there.. and you weren't." He eggs me on.
"Stop it!! Stop Harry!" Tessa pulls on my arm and I knock her backwards onto the driveway.
I immediately snap out of my rage and turn to her as she backs away with her hands and stands to her feet.
"Don't you fucking go near her!" Zayn yells behind me.
What the fuck did I just do?
He is by her side in no time and she is looking at me like I just murdered an entire village of innocent people. I wish I would have, this is much worse.
"Tess..I didn't mean to do that. I swear, you know how I get when I'm angry.. I'm so sorry. I.."
"Can we go please?" My heart leaps until I realize that she is talking to him, to Zayn.
How the fuck did this happen?
"Yes." He drapes his jacket over her shoulders and opens the passenger seat of his truck for her and helps her inside.
"Tessa.." I call again but she doesn't acknowledge me as she buries her face in her hands and her body rakes with sobs.
"This isn't over." I threaten him and he nods.
When he reaches the back of his truck he turns around to look at me.
"I think it is, actually." He smirks and climbs inside his truck.


"I'm so sorry that he pushed you like that." Zayn tells me as I swipe the warm cloth across his busted cheek.
The skin is cut open and just won't stop bleeding.
"No, it's not your fault. I'm sorry you keep getting drug into this." I sigh and dip the cloth back into his sink.
He had offered to take me back to Liam's instead of fulfilling our previous plan of seeing a movie but I didn't want to go back to Liam's. I didn't want Harry to show up there and cause a scene because no one would be there to keep him away from me. He's probably there destroying their entire house right now.
God I hope not.
"It's cool. I know how he is, I'm just glad he didn't hurt you. Well, worse than he did." He sighs.
"I'm going to apply pressure to this so it may hurt." I warn him.
"Okay." He says and closes his eyes as I press the cloth to his skin and apply as much pressure as I can.
The cut is deep, it looks like it may scar even. I hope not, Zayn's face is too perfect to hold a scar like this and I certainly don't want to be the cause of it.
"Done." I say and he smiles despite the fact that his mouth is swollen as well.
Why am I always cleaning up wounds?
"Thank you." He smiles again as I rinse off the blood stained towel.
"I'll send you a bill." I tease.
"Are you sure you're okay though? You hit the ground pretty hard."
"Yeah, I'm a little sore but I'm fine." I tell him.
The events from tonight took a drastic turn for the worst when Harry followed me outside. I had a feeling he wasn't too hurt by me leaving him but I thought he would be more effected than he was. He said he was busy and that's why he hadn't called me. Even though I thought he wouldn't care as much as I did, I thought he loved me enough to care a little.
He was acting as if nothing had even happened, as if we were friends having a causal conversation until he saw Zayn and lost it. If anything I thought seeing Trevor would anger him and he would try to start a fight in front of everyone but he couldn't care less, until he saw Zayn and he lost it.
At least Zayn didn't push me to the ground. Regardless of how brokenhearted I am I know Harry wouldn't hurt me purposely but this is the second time something like this happened. The first time I was quick to excuse his behavior. I was the one who convinced him to go to his father's for Christmas and he just couldn't handle it. Tonight was his fault, he shouldn't have even been there.
"Are you hungry?" Zayn asks me as we walk out of his small bathroom and into the living room.
"No, I already ate at the party." I tell him, my voice is still hoarse from the excessive amount of sobbing on the way to Zayn's apartment.
"Okay, we don't have much anyway but I could order you something if you want, so just let me know if you change your mind."
"Thank you." Zayn is always so incredibly sweet to me.
"My roommate will be here in a little while but he won't bother you, he'll probably crash as soon as he gets in." He tells me.
"I really am sorry that this keeps happening."
"Don't apologize, like I said I'm just glad I was there for you. He seemed pretty angry when I got there."
"We were already fighting, go figure." I take a seat on the couch and wince.
All of my bruises and cuts from my wreck just healed and now I am going to have another, from Harry.
The back of my dress is dirty and ruined and my shoes are scuffed down the sides. Harry really does ruin everything that he comes in contact with.
"Do you need some clothes to sleep in?" He asks, handing me the old blanket I slept with a few nights ago.
I am slightly apprehensive to borrow Zayn's clothes. That's something I share with Harry, I have never worn anyone else's clothing before.
"Rebecca has some stuff here.. I know that's probably awkward but I'm sure they are better than sleeping in that dress." He half smiles.
"I can't fit in her clothes, but thank you for thinking I could." I almost laugh, Rebecca is much smaller than me.
He seems to be confused by my answer, his cluelessness is adorable.
"I have some clothes you can wear." He offers and I nod before I allow myself to overthink it.
I can wear whoever's clothing I want, Harry doesn't own me and he didn't even care enough to try to explain himself to me.
Zayn disappears into his bedroom and returns moments later with his hands full of clothing.
"I grabbed a few different things, I don't know what you like." There is something behind his tone that makes me think he would really like to get to that stage with me. The one where you know what the other likes. The stage I am in with Harry.
"I'm not picky." I grab a blue t-shirt and a pair of plaid pants.
I give him a thankful smile before I go into the bathroom to change. To my horror, the plaid article that I thought was pants is in fact a pair of boxers. Zayn's boxers. Oh god. I unzip my dress and pull the large t-shirt over my head before processing what to do about the boxers.
The shirt is smaller than Harry's shirts are, it barely hits the top of my thigh and it doesn't smell like Harry. Of course it doesn't, it's not Harry's. It smells like laundry soap with the smallest hint of cigarette smoke. The smell is nice somehow, but not as nice as the familiar scent of Harry.
I pull the boxers up my legs and look down. They aren't too short and they are sort of baggy, tighter than Harry's would be but not too tight. I will just walk to the couch and cover myself with the blanket as fast as I can.
I am incredibly embarrassed to be wearing them but it would be even more embarrassing to make a big deal out of it after everything he has been through tonight because of me. His face holds the proof of Harry's anger, a big bloody reminder of why Harry and I would never work. He only cares for himself and the only reason he lost it when he saw Zayn is his pride. He doesn't want me but he doesn't want me to be with anyone either and that's not fair.
I leave my dress folded on the bathroom floor, it's already dirty and ruined anyway. I am going to take it to the dry cleaners but I'm not sure if it can be saved. I really loved that dress too and it cost me a decent amount of money, money that I need to be able to move into my own apartment with.
I walk as fast as I can but when I reach the living room Zayn is standing next to the television stand. His eyes go wide as they rake up and down my body. I will never understand what it is about women wearing men's clothes that they like so much, maybe the intimacy of it? I'm not sure but I loved wearing Harry's clothes more than anything.
"I..uh, I was putting something.. I was putting, trying to find a movie.. to watch. Or something for you to watch, I mean." He stutters and I sit on the couch, pulling the blanket over me.
His fumbled words and the look in his eyes makes him look younger and more vulnerable than usual.
"Sorry, I was trying to say I was turning the t.v on so you could watch it." He laughs nervously.
"Thank you." I smile as he takes a seat on the other side of the couch.
He rest his elbows on his knees and stares forward.
"If you don't want to keep hanging out with me, I understand." I say to him.
"What? No, don't think that." He turns to face me.
"Don't worry about me, I can handle it. A couple beatings isn't going to make me stay away from you. The only thing that will is if you tell me to. You want me to then I will but until you tell me to go, I'm here." His eyes pour into mine.
"I don't. Want you to go, that is. I just don't know what to do about Harry, I don't want him to hurt you, again." I tell him.
"He's a pretty violent guy, I know what to expect I guess. Don't worry about me though. I just hope that after seeing who he really is tonight, you will distance yourself from him."
"I am, I definitely am. He doesn't care anyway, so why should I?" Sadness creeps in.
"You shouldn't. You're too good for him anyway, you always have been." He assures me and I scoot closer to him on the couch.
He lifts the blanket slightly and covers himself with it before pressing a button on the remote. I love the ease between us, he doesn't say things just for the single purpose of pissing me off, he doesn't hurt my feelings on purpose.
"Are you tired?" I ask him.
"Nah, you?"
"A little."
"Go to sleep then, I can go in my room."
"No, you can stay out here until I fall asleep?" My tone is more asking than telling.
"Yeah, sure." He beams.
Harry's POV.
My fist hits the top of my trunk and I scream to let out some of my anger. How did that happen?
How did I push her to the ground? He knew what was going to happen the moment he stepped out of that truck and he ended up getting his ass beat again. I know Tessa, she is going to pity him and blame herself for his ass beating and she's going to think she owes him something.
"Fuck!!" I scream even louder.
"What are you yelling about?" Christian appears in the snowy driveway.
"Nothing."
The only person that I will ever love just left with the person I despise the most in the world.
"Obviously something."
"I don't really feel like having a fucking heart to heart right now." I snap.
"Neither do I, I am just trying to figure out why there's an asshole screaming in my driveway." He says with a smile.
"Fuck off." I nearly laugh.
"I take it she didn't accept your apology?"
"Who says I had an apology, or a reason to need one?"
"Because you're you, and on top of that you're a man.. we always have to apologize first. It's the way it is."
"Yeah well she doesn't want my apology."
"Every woman wants an apology."
"Not mine.. not her."
I can't get the image of her looking to Zayn for comfort out of my mind.
"Fine, are you coming back inside?"
"No.. I don't know." I shake the snow from my hair and push it back off my forehead.
"Ken.. your dad, and Karen are getting ready to leave."
"And I give a shit ..why?" I ask him and he chuckles.
"Your language never ceases to surprise me." He laughs.
"You curse just as much as I do."
"Exactly." He puts his arm around my shoulders and I surprise myself by letting him lead me back inside.
Tessa's POV.
The door opens with a hidous creak, waking me from my sleep. When I open my eyes Harry is kneeling down in front of the couch, his face only inches from mine.
"What are you.." I begin but he covers my mouth with his hand.
"Shhh.. I came to apologize and bring you back home where you belong, with me." He tells me.
"But you.." He covers my mouth again.
"Just hear me out, please baby." He pleads and there is no way that I can deny him.
"I'm so sorry for everything. I should have chased after you the second you left me, I'm a god damned idiot and I'm so sorry. I have missed you so much Tess, every second without you has killed me. Please, please, come home with me and I will make this up to you. I swear it." He uncovers my mouth.
He is saying everything that I want to hear and it feels so perfect having him show up here to finally say these things.
"I can't live without you Tessa, you know I can't. Look at me, I know you can see how terrible I look." He says and I nod slowly.
His eyes are red rimmed and he looks like he hasn't eaten in days. I noticed earlier at the party but I assumed it was because he had been drinking and partying much more.
"Please baby." He says once more, his green eyes on mine.
"Okay.. it won't be as easy this time. You have to prove it to me." I tell him, trying desperately to hold my ground.
"I know, I know. Let me show you." He says and his hand slides under the blanket.
My heart races and he smiles at me before pushing his fingers through the band of my panties.
"Harry.. Zayn is going to wake up." I say and he stops immediately.
"Zayn?" He growls.
"Yeah.. that's where we are.." I look around as the room shifts from our apartment to Zayn's and back once more.
"Harry?" I say in confusion as he disappears.
I sit up and try to catch my breath. It felt so real. My chest rises and falls quickly, trying to catch my breath. My forehead is soaked with sweat and my chest is aching. Of course it was a dream, Harry wouldn't come here to apologize to me.
Once I manage to calm myself down I lay back on the couch. I check my phone for any sign of Harry attempting to contact me and of course there are none. I check my alarm again, I have classes tomorrow so Zayn is going to take me back to Liam's early enough to have time to get ready and get to my classes on time.
When I try to close my eyes again my mind races, remembering the way dream Harry pleaded with me to come home. Hearing it, dream or not, still kills me.
After tossing and turning on the small couch, I decide to do what I should have done in the beginning of the night.
When I push Zayn's bedroom door open, I immediately hear his light snoring. He is shirtless and lying on his stomach with his arms folded under his head.
I'm waging an internal war with myself as he stirs in his sleep.
"Tessa?" He wakes up.
"Are you okay?" He sounds panicked as he sits up.
"Yeah.. I'm sorry for waking you up... I was just wondering if maybe I could sleep in here?" I ask timidly.
"Yeah, of course." He says, shifting so that there is plenty of room for me to lay down.
I try to ignore the fact that his bed doesn't have a sheet on it. He is a college student after all and not everyone is as neat as I am.
He slides a pillow across the mattress and I lay down next to him the distance between us less than a foot.
"Do you want to talk about anything?" He asks.
Do I?
"No, not tonight. I can't make out the mess that is inside of my head." I explain.
"Is there anything I can do?" His voice is so soft in the darkness.
"Scoot closer?" I request and he does just that.
I am nervous as I turn on my side to face him. His hand moves up to my cheek and he rubs his thumb back and forth. His touch is warm and gentle.
"I'm glad you're here with me, and not him." Zayn whispers.
"Me too." I respond, having no clue if I mean that or not.
Harry's POV.
"Well I don't know what else to do. If I don't leave I won't be able to stay away from her." I explain.
"I don't know, you keep messing up." He shrugs.
"Real golden advice you've got there." I roll my eyes.
"Well it's two in the morning and I thought my mum was coming to get me, not you." Liam fires back.
He's developed quite the attitude since the night he attempted to assault me.
He threw a tantrum at the airport when it was me standing at the baggage claim waiting for him instead of his mum. Karen had agreed to allow me to pick her son up, I assume its because she didn't want to go out in the middle of the night, or maybe she pities me, I'm not sure but I'm glad she did.
Liam on the other hand was pissed off, claiming that I am the biggest asshole he's ever met and he refused to get in the car with me. It took me nearly twenty minutes to convince my lovely step-brother that riding with me had to be better than walking thirty miles.
"Well I'm here and I need you to tell me what I should do, I am split. Right down the fucking middle."
"Between what?" He asks.
"Between leaving here and going back home to ensure that she has the life that she deserves and driving over to Zayn's and fucking murdering him."
"Where does she fit into either of those?"
"I would make her come with me after I murder him."
"That's the problem here. You think you can make her do whatever you want and look where that got you."
"I didn't mean it like that. I just mean.. " I know he's right.
"But she's with Zayn, how did that even happen? I can't fucking see straight thinking about it." I groan, rubbing my temples.
"Well maybe I should drive then?"
Liam is so fucking annoying.
"When did they.. how?" I ask him, hoping he knows the answer.
"I don't know really, I know he went to Canal Street with her Friday."
"She went there? Again? With that creepy ass professor?"
"Yeah and then she..." He stops himself.
"She what?"
"Nothing." He lies.
"Tell me, now." I press.
"She's my best friend."
"And I love her so tell me."
He sighs but I know he's going to give in.
"She stayed the night with him Friday and hung out with him all day Saturday."
My vision literally goes black.
"What?"
"I told you I didn't want to tell you."
"So.. she's just.. so she's dating him?"
"I don't know if she's dating him but I do know that she laughed for the first time since you deserted her when I talked to her Saturday."
"She doesn't even know him." I can't believe this shit is happening.
"Not to be a jerk but you can't ignore the irony of the fact that you were so obsessed with her being with someone like her but she ends up seeing someone just like you." Liam says.
"He's nothing like me." I say and try to focus on the road before I end up breaking down in front of Liam.
I stay quiet the entire way back from the airport to my father's house.
"Did she cry at all?" I finally ask when I pull up to the driveway.
"Yes, for a week straight. You have no idea what you have done to her and you didn't even care. You still don't, you are still only thinking about yourself."
"How can you say that when I have done this for her? I have kept myself away so that she can move on. I don't deserve her, you told me that yourself remember?"
"I do, and I still mean it but I think she should be the one to decide what she deserves." He huffs and gets out of my car.


Harry's POV.
"I haven't really been shit lately, just hanging out. Tristan barely comes around anymore, he's stuck up Steph's ass." Jace takes a puff from his joint.
"Hmm." I take a drink from my beer and look around his shit apartment.
I don't even know I came here in the first place, but I didn't know where else to go and I sure as hell am not going back to that apartment tonight. I can't believe Tessa is with Zayn, what the actual fuck.]Liam wouldn't call Tessa and trick her into coming back to my father's house no matter how many times I tried to force him to. He's a dick.
I have to admit I admire his loyalty to her but it not when it stands in the way of what I want.
Liam said I should allow Tessa to make the choice whether she wants to be with me or not but I know what she will choose, well I thought I did. I was compleltely blindsided by Zayn picking her up last night and now I know she spent almost the entire weekend with him.
"What's going on with you?" Jace asks me, his pot smoke blowing right in my face.
"Nothing."
"I must say I was pretty surprised to have you show up at my door tonight after what happened the last time I saw you." He reminds me.
"You know why I'm here."
"Do I?" He taunts.
"Tessa and Zayn, I know you know about it."
"Tessa? Tessa Young and Zayn Malik?" He smiles.
"Tell me."
He needs to wipe that god damned smile of his face.
"I don't know anything about it, honest." He shrugs and takes another drag, small flakes of the white paper fall onto his lap but he doesn't seem to notice.
"You're never honest."
"Yes I am. So they are fucking?"
I nearly choke on my breath from his question.
"Don't fucking go there. Have you seen them together?" I breathe in and out slowly.
"Nope, I don't know anything about them. I thought he was dating some high school chick?" He puts his joint in the ashtray.
"So did I."
"So she ditched you for Zayn?"
"Don't mock me, I'm not in the mood."
"You came here asking questions, I'm not mocking you." Jace sneers.
"I heard they were together on Friday and I wanted to know who was there."
"I don't know, I wasn't though. Don't you two live together or some shit?"
"Yes. Why do you think I'm so pissed about this shit with Zayn."
"Well you know how he is.."
"I know." I cut him off.
I hate Jace, I really do. And Zayn.
Couldn't Tessa have chosen Trevor to move on with?
Holy shit, I never thought I would consider that.
I roll my eyes and fight the urge to knock him through his coffee table. This is getting me no where, none of this is, the drinking, the anger, none of it.
"You're sure you don't know shit because if I find out you do I will kill you, you know that don't you?" I threaten, meaning every word.
"Yes dude, we all know how psychotic you are over this chick. Stop being such a dick."
"I'm just warning you." I tell him and he rolls his eyes.
Why did I start hanging out with him in the first place? He's a fucking slime ball and I should have let our so-called friendship end with me beating his ass.
"I'm going to bed now, it's four in the morning. You can crash on the couch if you want." He tells me and walks toward his bedroom.
"No, I'm good." I walk out the door.
It's four in the morning and I will never be able to sleep knowing she is with him. At his apartment. What if he's touching her? What if he spent this entire weekend touching her?
Would she fuck him to spite me?
No, I know her better than that. This is a girl who still blushes each time that I slide her panties down her thighs.
However Zayn can be pretty convincing and he could have her drinking. I know she can't handle alcohol, two drinks and she starts cursing like a sailor and trying to unfasten my belt.
Fuck, if he gets her drunk and touches her..
I make a U-turn right in the middle of the intersection and hope there are no cops around to witness the illegal move. I don't give a shit really, as long as I talked my way out of the ticket in time to get to her.
Fuck this staying away from her shit, I may be a dick to her and I have treated her like shit but Zayn is worse than me. I love her more than he, or any other man possibly could.
I know what I had now, I know what the fuck I had to lose and now that I've lost it I need it back. He can't have her, no one can. No one except me.
God damn it. Why didn't I just apologize to her at the party? That's what I should have done. I should have begged on my knees for her to forgive me and we could be in our bed together right now.
Zayn is a fucking prick. Who the fuck does he think he is picking her up from that party? Is he serious?
My anger is getting the best of me again, I need to calm down before I get up these stairs. If I stay calm she will speak to me, I hope.
She must be crushed right now, I basically told her I didn't give a shit that she left me and then I pushed her to the ground when she tried to pull me off of Zayn.
If I can get her to listen to me I can explain to her why I was pushing her away, that I was pretending not to care when I really care, so fucking much.
It's now four-thirty in the morning and here I am in front of Zayn's apartment trying to calm myself down while I knock and wait impatiently.
Just as I am about to turn my knocking into pounding the door swings open revealing Tyler, Zayn's roommate who I have spoken to a few times when they had parties here.
"Styles? What's up man?" He slurs.
He's either drunk and really fucking tired and it better the be the second option.
"Where's Zayn?" I push past him, not wasting any time.
"Dude, you know it's like five in the morning right?" He rubs his eyes.
"Yeah, no shit. Where.." I notice the folded up blanket on the couch and it takes a moment for my brain to connect that the couch is empty.
Where is she if she's not on the couch?
Bile rises in my throat and I lose the ability to breathe for the hundredth time tonight.
When I open Zayn's bedroom it's dark, near pitch black. Tessa's blonde hair is sprawled out on the pillow under her and Zayn is shirtless.
Oh my fucking God.
I flip the light switch on and she stirs, rolling over and reaching for something...someone. Me.
Only Zayn is there, in the fucking bed with her. She scrunches her eyes shut and then opens them slightly to find the source of disruption.
I try to think of what to say as I try to process the scene in front of me. Tess and Zayn in bed, together.
"Harry?" She whines and a frown takes over as she appears to wake up.
She looks over to Zayn before she looks up at me, clearly shocked.
"What.. what are you doing here?" She asks frantically.
"What are you doing here! In bed with him?" I try my best not to shout, my fingernails dig into my palm.
If she fucked him I'm done, completely and utterly fucking done with her.
"How did you get in here?" She asks, her face full of sadness.
"Tyler let me in. You're in his bed? How could you be in his bed?"
Zayn rolls over onto his back and wipes his eyes, he jumps when he sees me standing in the doorway.
"What the hell are you doing in my room?" He asks.
Don't Harry. Stay still. I have to stay fucking still or someone will end up in the hospital. That someone is Zayn but if I'm going to get her away from him I have to stay as calm as possible.
"I came to get you, let's go." I say to her and her eyebrows furrow.
"Excuse me?" Here comes the infamous Tessa attitude.
"You can't just come to my apartment and tell her to leave." Zayn moves to get out of bed in only his boxers and loose gym shorts.
I don't think I can stay calm.
"I can, and I just did. Tessa..." I wait for her to get off the bed but she doesn't move.
"I'm not going anywhere with you." She tells me.
"You heard her mate, she's not coming with you." Zayn taunts me.
"I wouldn't start that shit right now, I am trying with every fucking fiber of my being not to do anything that I will regret so just shut the fuck up." I growl.
"It's my apartment, my bedroom at that and she doesn't want to go with you so she's not. If you want to fight me then go ahead but I'm not going to force her to go if she doesn't want to." He tells me and gives her the fakest concerned expression I have ever seen.
"That's the plan isn't it? You get me mad enough so I beat your ass and she will feel bad for you and I will be the monster who everyone is afraid of? Don't buy into this shit Tessa!" I shout.
I can't stand the fact that she is still sitting in his bed, and even more I can't stand the fact that I can't beat the shit out of him for it.
That's exactly what he wants.
"Just go." She sighs.
"Tessa, listen to me. He isn't who you think he is, he's not Mr. Fucking innocent."
"And how's that?" She challenges.
"Because.. well I don't know yet but I know he's using you for something. He wants to fuck you, you know he does." I tell her, struggling to keep ahold of my emotions.
"No he doesn't." She is getting angry.
"You should just go, she doesn't want to leave. You're making a fool out of yourself." When the words leave his busted lip my body starts to shake.
I have way too much anger that I need to let out.
"I warned you..to shut the fuck up. Tessa stop being difficult and let's go. We need to talk."
"It's the middle of the night and you.." She begins but I cut her off.
"Please Tessa." Her expression changes from my words and I have no idea why.
"No Harry, you can't just come here and demand that I leave with you!"
"Don't make me call the cops." He says and that's it.
I take a step toward him but Tessa jumps up off the bed and steps between us.
"Don't. Not again." She begs, her eyes staring directly into mine.
"Then come with me. You can't trust him." I tell her.
"And she can trust you? You blew it, just face it. She deserves better than you and if you would just let her be happy.." Zayn comments.
"Let her be happy? With you? As if you actually want a relationship with her? I know you only want to get in her pants!"
"That's not true! I care about her and I could treat her better than you ever did!" He shouts back and Tessa presses her palms against my chest.
I know it's stupid but I can't help but revel in her touch, the way her hands feel against me. I haven't felt her touch in so long.
"Both of you stop please! Harry you have to go."
"I'm not leaving Tessa, you are too niave, he could give a shit less about you!" I yell in her face.
She doesn't even blink.
"And you do? You were 'too busy' to call me for eleven days! He was there when you weren't and if..." She shouts back as my eyes travel down to her clothes.
Is she? She isn't..
I take a step back to find out for sure.
"Are those..what the hell are you wearing?" I stutter and begin to pace back and forth.
She looks down, seeming to have forgotten her attire.
"Are those his fucking clothes?!" I nearly scream. my voice cracks and I tug at my hair.
"Harry.." She tries to speak.
"They are." Zayn answers for her.
If she's wearing his clothes..
"Did you fuck him?" I croak, tears threatening to spill at any given moment.
"No! Of course not!"
"Tell me the truth right fucking now Tessa! Did you fuck him?"
"I already answered you!" She shouts back.
Zayn stands back and watches with a worried look on his bruised face. I should have done more damage.
"Did you touch him? Oh my fucking god! Did he touch you?" I am frantic and I don't give a shit.
I can't handle this, if he touched her I couldn't stand it, I wouldn't be able to.
I turn to Zayn before either of them can answer.
"If you touched her at all, I swear to fucking god I don't give a shit if she's here or not I will..." She steps between us again.
"Get out of my apartment now or I'm calling the police." Zayn threatens me.
"The police? You think I give a flying.."
"I'll go." Tessa's voice is soft in the middle of the chaos.
"What?" Both Zayn and I say in unison.
"I'll go with you Harry, only because I know you won't leave unless I do."
I don't give a fuck why she's coming, only that she is.
"Tessa you don't have to, I can call the cops. You don't have to leave with him. This is what he does, he controls you by frightening you and everyone around you." Zayn says to her.
"I know.. but I'm exhausted and it's five in the morning, this is the easiest way." She sighs.
"It doesn't have to.."
"She is coming with me." I tell him and Tessa shoots me a glare that would surely kill me if it could.
"I will call you tomorrow, I'm so sorry that he came here." She tells him and he nods.
He's fucking sulking and she better not fall for it.
I'm actually really surprised that she is agreeing to come with me so easily but she does know me better than anyone else and she was right when she said I wouldn't leave until she came with me.
"Dont apologize. Be careful and if you need anything, don't hesitate for a moment to call me." He says to her.
It must suck to be a little bitch and not be able to do shit about me showing up at his apartment in the middle of the night and taking Tessa with me.
She doesn't speak a word to me as she walks out of his bedroom and stalks to the bathroom across the hall.
"Don't come near her again, I've already warned you before and you haven't gotten the hint yet." I say when I reach the door.
He lowers his eyes at me and if it weren't for Tessa calling my name from the living room I would have snapped his neck.
"If you hurt her I swear to god I will make it the last time!" He says loud enough for her to hear as we walk through the door and out into the snow.
"He's playing you." I tell her.
She scales the stairs in high heels and his fucking boxers. It's a ridiculous pairing but I assume she doesn't have other shoes which may be a good sign that she didn't plan on staying the night. But she still did, and I'm fucking disgusted that she was in his bed. I can't stand to look at her in those clothes. This is the first time that I don't want to look at her. Her red dress is in her arms and I know she is freezing.
"Here, put my coat on." I shrug out of my coat and try to hand it to her.
"Don't speak to me and take me to Liam's." She snaps and waits by my car for me to unlock it.
I don't even mind her anger towards me, I welcome it. I am so relieved and so damn happy that she left with me at all. She could curse me out the entire way home and I would enjoy every word falling from her full lips. I am angry too, angry at her for running to Zayn. Angry at myself for trying to push her away.
"I have so much to tell you." I attempt to talk to her again when I pull onto my father's street.
"I don't want to hear it, you had your chance to talk to me for the past eleven days." She holds her ground.
Whether she wants to hear it or not, she's going to.


Harry's POV.
"Just hear me out okay?" I beg.
"Why now?" She asks, staring out the window.
I still can't believe she's in the car with me, not that I gave her much of a choice.
"Because... because I miss you." I admit.
"You miss me? You mean you are jealous that I was with Zayn. You didn't miss me until he picked me up tonight. You are fueled by jealousy, not love."
"That's not true, that doesn't have anything to do with it." It does have a lot to do with it but I do miss her regardless.
"You didn't talk me to me all evening, then you came outside and told me you were too busy to talk to me. That's not what you do when you miss someone." She points out.
"I was lying."
"You? Lying? No way, that never happens." She is feisty tonight.
I take a deep breath to make sure that I don't say something that will make this worse.
"I don't have a phone for starters, and I went home to England."
Her head snaps to look at me.
"You what?"
"I went to England to clear my head. I didn't know what else to do." I explain.
"You didn't answer my calls."
"I know. I ignored them and I'm so sorry for that. I wanted to call you back but I couldn't bring myself to and then I got drunk and broke my phone."
"Is that supposed to make me feel better?"
"No..but the reasoning made sense to me at the time, and still does. I want you to be happy Tessa."
She doesn't say anything, she looks out the window again and I reach for her hand but she pulls away.
"Don't." She says.
"Tess.."
"No Harry! You can't just show up eleven days later and hold my hand. I'm sick of going in circles with you. I am finally to a point where I can go an hour without crying then you pop up and try to pull me back under. You've always done this to me since the say I met you and I'm sick of giving into it. If you cared about me you would have explained yourself." She is trying her hardest not to cry, I can tell.
"I'm trying to explain myself now." I remind her, my annoyance growing as I pull into my father's driveway.
She tried to open the door but I hit the locks.
"You aren't seriously trying to lock me in the car with you. You already basically forced me to leave Zayn's house! What is wrong with you!" She begins to shout.
"I'm not trying to lock you in the car." I am though.
However, in my defense she is stubborn and doesn't like to listen to anything I have to say.
She presses the unlock button and climbs out of the car.
"Tessa! God damn it Tessa, just listen to me!" I shout into the wind.
"You keep telling me to listen but you haven't been saying anything!"
"Because you won't shut up long enough for me to!"
We always end up in a screaming match. I need to let her yell at me and just take it, otherwise I will say something I regret. I want to bring up Zayn and the fact that she is in his fucking clothes but I have to keep my temper under control.
"I'm sorry okay, just give me two minutes to talk without interrupting me. Please?" I ask her.
She surprises me by nodding and crossing her arms to wait for me to speak.
The snow is really coming down and I know she's freezing but I have to talk to her now or she may change her mind.
"I went to England after you didn't come back that night. I was so pissed off at you that I couldn't see straight. You were being so damned difficult and I just.." She turns away from me and starts to walk up the snowy driveway toward the house.
Damn it.
I am shit at apologies.
"I know it's not your fault, I lied to you and I'm sorry!" I shout, hoping she will turn around.
She does.
"This isn't only about you lying Harry. There is so much more than that." Tessa tells me.
"Then tell me, please."
"It's about you not treating me the way I should be treated. I never come first with you, it's always about you. Your friends, your parties, your future. I don't get to make any decisions about anything, and you made me feel like a fool when you said I was being crazy about marriage. You weren't listening to me, it wasn't about marriage, it was the fact that you haven't even thought of what I want for myself and my future. And yes, I would like to be married someday, not any time soon but I need security. You know how I am and you couldn't even humor me with the idea of it yet you expected me to move across the world where I will not know anyone." She is out of breath by the time she finishes speaking and I take a few steps toward her.
She's right, and I know she is. I just don't know what to do about it.
"I know, I thought if it were just the two of us there you would.." I stutter.
"I would what?" Her teeth are chattering and her nose is red from the cold.
"You would be less likely to leave." I admit and wait for her horrified response.
It doesn't come.
Instead she begins to cry.
"I don't know what else I could have done to show you how much I loved you Harry. I kept coming back every time you hurt me, I moved in with you and I forgave you for every unthinkable thing you did to me, I gave up my relationship with my mother for you and you are still so insecure." She quickly wipes her tears away.
"I'm not insecure." I tell her.
"See? That's why this would never work. You always let your ego get in the way." She cries.
"I don't let my ego get in the way of shit! If anything my ego is pretty fucked right now because I just found you in Zayn's bed." I snap.
"You're really going there right now?" She challenges.
"Hell yes I am, you're acting like a.." I stop myself as she flinches from the words that she knows will follow.
I know it's not her fault that he got under her skin, he is good at that but it still fucking hurts me that she did.
"Go ahead Harry, call me names." She is the most infuriating woman in the entire world but fuck if I don't love her even at her most difficult.
I have to go inside I'm cold and I have to be up in an hour to get ready for school." She adds and walks toward the house again.
I follow her up the driveway and watch as she remembers that she left her purse in my father's car.
"I'll have to call Liam, I don't have a key." She says, mostly to herself I assume.
"You can come home?" I suggest.
"No."
"I'm insecure okay? I admit it. I can't help it, you know you are too good for me."
"No I'm not. We are the same, remember?" She looks down at the ground.
"We aren't though. But I am okay with that as long as you are. I'm sorry for everything and I know you think I haven't missed you or cared enough to contact you but that's not true. I have missed you so much, I have been through absolute hell without you and I can't last another day." I spill.
Tessa's POV.
My heart aches as the words leave his mouth. He is too good at this.
"You're lying. You always do this." I say.
"No, I'm not. It's true, yeah I'll admit the first few days weren't so bad. I was so pissed off and I didn't want to be anywhere near you because you were overreacting but then as I began to realize this could be it, it terrified me. I know I haven't treated you the way I should have, I don't know how to love anyone other than myself Tess. I am trying as hard as I can.. okay I haven't been trying as hard I could but I will from now on. I swear it."
I have heard those words too many times.
"You've said that before."
"I know but this time I mean it. After I saw Natalie I.."
Natalie? My stomach drops.
"You saw her?"
Does she still love him? Or hate him? Has he truly ruined her entire life?
"Yeah, I saw her and I spoke to her. She's pregnant."
Oh god.
"I haven't seen her in years Tessa." He reads my mind.
"She's engaged and she's happy and she told me that she forgives me and she was saying how she's happy to be getting married because there is no greater honor or some shit but it was really eye opening for me." He steps toward me again.
My legs and arms are numb from the cold air and I am furious at Harry, more than furious, I am enraged and heartbroken. He keeps going back and forth and it's exhausting. Now he's here in front of me talking about marriage and I don't know what to think.
I shouldn't have even left with him, my mind was made up earlier. I would get over him if it was the last thing I would do.
"What are you saying?" I ask.
"That now I realize how lucky I am to have you, to have you stick by me through all the shit I put you through."
"You should've realized that before. I have always loved you more than you love me and.."
"That's not true. I love you more than anyone has ever loved another person. I went through hell too Tessa, I have been sick, literally, without you. I have barely eaten, I know I look like shit. I was doing this for you so you could move on." He explains.
"That doesn't even make any sense." I push my damp hair away from my face.
"Yes it does. It does make sense. I thought if I stayed out of your life you could move on and be happy without me, with your own Elijah."
"Who is Elijah?" What is he talking about?
"Natalie's fiancé. See, she found someone to love and marry her, you can too." He tells me.
"But that someone's not you..is it?" I ask him.
A few seconds pass and he doesn't say anything.
His expression is puzzled and frantic as he tugs at his hair for the tenth time in the last hour. Slivers of orange and red are beginning to appear behind the large houses on the block and I need to get inside before everyone wakes up and I have to walk past them in boxers and high heels.
"I didn't think so." I sigh, not allowing anymore tears to be shed for him, not until I'm alone at least.
Harry stands in front of me with a completely blank expression and I dial Liam's number to have him open the door for me. I should have known that he was only going to fight enough to get me out of Zayn's apartment, now that he has the perfect opportunity to tell me everything I need to hear yet he stands in silence.
"Can you open the front door please?" I ask when Liam picks up the phone.
I wait for Harry to stop me, even though I shouldn't be but I love him. I am setting myself up for another nine days of hell and I know it.
He doesn't. He just stands there as Liam opens the door and I step inside. I look back once more, just in case, but he is already walking back to his car.
I wanted to give in to him the way that I always do but he proved once again that I am an idiot for doing it. He isn't trying to prove anything to me.
"Come on, it's freezing." Liam says and closes the door behind me.
"He's.." I don't even know what to say.
I don't want to push my problems on Liam right now, he only got home from New York a few hours ago and I need to not be selfish.
He grabs the blanket that hangs over the back of the chair and drapes it over my shoulders.
"Let's go upstairs before they get up." He suggests and I nod.
My entire body and mind are numb from the snow and Harry. I glance at the clock as I follow Liam up the stairs, it's ten until six. I need to get in the shower in ten minutes. It's going to be a long day. Liam opens the door to the room I have been staying in and turns the light on as I walk over to sit on the edge of the bed.
"Are you okay? You have to be freezing." He says and I nod.
I'm grateful for him not asking what I am wearing and why.
"How was New York?" My voice comes out monotone and uninterested.
I am interested in my best friend's life, I just have no emotions left to show.
"You sure you want to talk about this right now, it can wait." He tells me.
"I'm sure." I force a smile.
I am used to this back and forth with Harry, it still hurts but I knew it was coming. It always does. I can't believe he went to England to get away from me. He said he had to clear his head but I should be the one clearing mine.
I shouldn't have stayed outside and talked to him for so long, I should have had him drive me here and came right inside the house instead of listening to him. The words he said only made me more confused, I thought for a moment he was going to say he does see and want a future with me but when it came time for him to say just that, he let me walk away again.
When he admitted that he wanted to take me away to England so I couldn't leave him I should have ran for the hills, but I know him too well. I know he doesn't believe he is worthy of anyone loving him and I know that in his mind that made sense to him. The problem is that's not a normal thing to do, he can't just expect me to give up everything and be trapped with him in England.
He has a lot of things he needs to work out on his own and so do I. I love him but I have to love myself more.
"It was nice, I loved it. Danielle's apartment is really awesome and her roommate is really nice." Liam tells me.
It must be so nice to have an uncomplicated relationship. Memories of Noah and I watching endless hours of movies flash through my mind, nothing was ever complicated with him. But maybe that's why it didn't last, that's why I love Harry so much because he challenges me and we have so much passion between us that it nearly crushes me. I just wish we could have communicated better, I like to think it could have worked.
"So are you moving there? For sure?" I ask.
"Yeah, I think I am. Not until the semester ends but I really want to be near her, I miss her a lot." He tells me.
"I know you do. I'm happy for you, I really am."
"I'm sorry that you and Harry..."
"Don't be. It's done. I'm done. I have to be. Maybe I should come to New York with you." I smile and his face lights up with the warm smile I adore so much.
"You could." He beams.
I always say this, I always say I'm done with Harry then I go back to him, it's an endless cycle.
"I'm going to talk to Christian Tuesday about Seattle." I decide in this moment.
"Really?"
"I have to." I tell him and he nods.
"I'm going to get dressed so you can take a shower, I'll meet you downstairs when you're ready."
"I missed you so much." I stand and hug him as tight as I can.
Tears spill down my cheeks and he hugs me tighter.
"I'm sorry, I am just a mess now. I have been since he came into my life." I cry and pull away.
He frowns but doesn't say anything as he heads to the door. I gather my clothes in my arms and follow him into the hallway to head to the bathroom.
"Tessa?" He says as he reaches his bedroom door.
"Yeah?"
"Just because he can't love you the way you want him to doesn't mean he doesn't love you with everything he has." Liam says.
I process his words as I close the bathroom door and start the shower. As I pull Zayn's t-shirt over my head there's a knock at the door.
"Hang on Liam, I need one second." I call and pull the shirt down to cover my stomach.
When I open the door it's not Liam. It's Harry and his cheeks are stained with tears and his eyes are bloodshot.
"Harry?"
His hand cups my neck and he pulls me to him, his mouth moves against mine before I can resist.


Harry's POV.
I can taste my tears and her hesitation on her lips as I wrap my arm around her waist to bring her body against mine. I press my palm against the small of her back and kiss her harder, it's a feverish and purely emotional kiss and I could pass out from the relief of her mouth on mine.
I know I won't have long before she pushes me away so I take in every movement of her tongue, every barely audible gasp falling from her lips.
All of the pain from the last eleven days nearly evaporates when her arms wrap around my waist and in this moment, more than ever, I know that no matter how much we fight we will always find a way back to each other. Always.
After I watched her walk back into the house I sat in my car for a second before finally growing some fucking balls and going after her. I have let her slip away too many times and I can't take the chance of it being the last. I lost it, I couldn't help but cry as Liam closed the door behind her. I knew that I had to come after her, I had to fight for her before someone else takes her from me. I will show her that I can be who she wants me to be, not completely but I can show her how much I love her and that I won't allow her to walk away so easily, not anymore.
"Harry.." She says and gently presses her hand against my chest and pushes me back, breaking our kiss.
"Don't Tessa." I beg her, I'm not ready for it to end yet.
"Harry you can't just kiss me and expect everything to be okay. Not this time." She whispers and I fall to my knees in front of her.
"I know, I don't know why I let you walk away again but I'm sorry. So sorry, baby." I tell her, hoping the use of the word will help me.
I wrap my arms around her legs and her hands move to my head, caressing and running her fingers through my hair.
"I know I always fuck everything up and I know I can't treat you the way that I have been. I just love you so much that it overwhelms me and I don't know what the fuck to do half the time so I just say things on impulse and I don't think of how the words effect you. I know I keep breaking your heart but please.. please let me fix it. I'll put it back together and I won't dare to break it again. I'm sorry, I'm always sorry I know. I will get a fucking shrink or something, I don't care, just.." I sob into her legs.
I grab ahold of the waistband of the boxers and slide them down.
"What are you.." She stops my hands.
"Please, just take them off. I can't stand you wearing them, please..I won't touch you just let me take them off." I beg and she lifts her hands from mine, returning them to my hair as I slide the boxers to the floor and she steps out of them.
Her hand moves under my chin to lift my head up. Her small fingers caress my cheek then move up to wipe away the tears from my eyes. Her face holds a confused expression and she watches me carefully as if she's studying me.
"I don't understand you." She tells me, still swiping her thumb across my tear stained cheeks.
"I don't either." I agree and she frowns.
I stay in this position, kneeling in front of her, begging for her to give me one last chance even though I have blown through more chances than I deserve.
The bathroom is full of steam and her hair is sticking to her face and moisture is beginning to pool on her skin. God she's beautiful.
"We can't keep going back and forth Harry, it's not good for either of us."
"It's not going to be that way anymore, we can get through this. We've gotten through worse and I know now how quickly I can lose you. I took you for granted and I know that. I'm only asking for one more chance." I take her face between my hands.
"It's not that simple." She tells me, her bottom lip begins to quiver and I'm still trying to stop my tears.
"It's not supposed to be simple."
"It's not supposed to be this hard either." She begins to cry with me.
"Yes, yes it is. It will never be easy with us, we are who we are but it won't always be this hard. We just have to learn to talk to each other without fighting every time. If we would have been able to have a conversation about the future it wouldn't have turned into this big fucking mess."
"I tried but you wouldn't have it." She reminds me.
"I know." I sigh.
"I am a mess without you Tessa, I'm nothing. I can't eat, sleep, or even breathe. I have been crying for days straight and you know I don't cry. I just.. I need you." My voice is broken and cracking and I sound like a fucking idiot.
"Stand up." She hooks her arm under mine to try to pull me up.
Once I'm on my feet I stand directly in front of her. My breath is ragged and it's hard to breathe in here with the steam filling every inch of the bathroom.
Her eyes pour into mine as she takes in my confession. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm crying now she wouldn't believe me. I know she is battling with herself, I can tell by the look in her eyes.
"I don't know if I can, we keep doing this over and over. I don't know if I can set myself up for it again. I'm sorry." She looks down at the ground.
"Hey, look at me." I plead and tilt her head up to look at me.
"I need to get in the shower, I'm going to be late."
I capture a single tear from just below her eye and nod.
I know that I have put her through hell and no one in their right mind would take me back again after the bet, the lies, and my constant need to fuck everything up. She's not like anyone else though, she loves unconditionally and she puts everything she has into loving me, even now when she's turning me away I know she loves me.
"Just think about it, okay?" I ask her.
I will give her space to think about it but I'm not going to give up on her, I need her too fucking much.
"Please?" I say when she doesn't respond.
"Okay." Tessa quietly agrees and my heart leaps.
"I'll show you, I will show you how much I love you and that this can work. Just don't give up on me yet, okay?" I wrap my hand around the door knob.
She bites down on her bottom lip and I let go of the knob to close the small space between us. When I reach her she looks up with cautious eyes. I want to kiss her lips again, to feel her arms wrapped around me, but instead I plant a single kiss on her cheek and step away from her.
"Okay." She repeats and I head out of the door.
It takes every bit of self discipline I posses to walk out of the bathroom, especially when I turn around and she's pulling the t-shirt over her head to expose her creamy skin that I haven't laid eyes on in what seems like years.
I close the door behind me and lean against the frame closing my eyes to stop myself from crying again. Fuck.
At least she said she would think about it. She seemed so apprehensive though, like it pained her to think of being with me again, not that I can blame her.
I open my eyes when Liam's bedroom door opens and he steps into the hall wearing a white polo and khaki's.
"Hey." He says to me as he slings his bag over his shoulder.
"Hey."
"Is she okay?" He asks.
"No, but I hope she will be."
"Me too, she's stronger than she knows."
"I know she is." I use my shirt to wipe my eyes.
"I love her."
"I know you do." He agrees with me and I look up at him again.
"How do I show her that? What would you do?" I ask him.
A pained look flashes in his eyes but quickly disappears before he answers.
"You just have to prove to her that you will change for her, you have to treat her the way she deserves to be treated and give her the space she needs."
"It's not that easy to give her space." I tell him.
I can't believe I am talking to Liam about this shit, again.
"You have to though or she will just fight back against you. Why don't you try to show her in a non-suffocating way that you will fight for her, that's all she wants. She wants you to make an effort."
"A non-suffocating way?" I don't suffocate her.
Okay, maybe I do but I can't help it, there is no medium for me I either push her away or hold her too close. I don't know how to balance the two.
"Yeah."
"Could you explain what the hell you mean? Give me an example or something."
"Well you could ask her out on a date, have you guys ever even been on an actual date?" He asks.
"Yeah of course we have." Haven't we?
"When?" He arches his brow at me in question.
"Uhm.. well we went to.. and there was this time we.. " I'm drawing a blank here.
"Okay so maybe we haven't." I conclude.
Trevor would have taken her on dates. Has Zayn? If he has I swear to fucking....
"So ask her out, not today because that's too soon for even you two."
"What's that supposed to mean?" I snap.
"Nothing, I'm just saying you need some space. Well she does, otherwise you are going to push her away even more than you already have."
"How long should I wait?"
"A few days at least. Try to act like the two of you just began dating, or you are trying to get her to date you. Basically try to make her fall in love with you again.
"You're saying that she doesn't love me anymore?" I harshly remark.
"No, would you stop with the pessimism all the time."
"I'm not a pessimist." I defend. If anything this is the most optimistic I have been in a long time.
"Okay..."
"You're an asshole." I tell my step-brother.
"An asshole that you keep asking for relationship advice from." He brags with an annoying smile.
"Only because you're the only friend I have that has an actual relationship and you happen to know Tessa better than anyone, except me of course."
"You just called me your friend." His smile grows.
"What? No I didn't."
"Yes, yes you did." He is clearly pleased by this.
"I didn't mean friend, I meant.. I don't know what the hell I meant but I didn't mean friend."
"Sure." He chuckles and I hear the water turn off behind the door.
He's not so bad I guess but I'll never tell him that.
"Should I ask to drive her to campus today?" I follow him down the stairs.
"What part of non-suffocating do you not get?" He shakes his head at me.
"I liked you better when you kept your mouth shut."
"I liked you better when you... well I never liked you." He says but I can tell he's teasing.
I never thought he liked me actually, I thought he hated me for the terrible things I have done to Tessa but here he is, my only ally in this mess I made for myself.
I reach my arm out and push him lightly which makes him laugh and I almost join him until I spot my father at the bottom of the stairs watching us like we are an act in a circus.
"What are you doing here?" He asks and takes a drink out of his coffee mug.
"I brought her home.. well here."
Is this her home now? I hope not. The three of us walk into the kitchen and Liam grabs an apple out of the wire fruit basket on the kitchen island.
"Oh." He looks to Liam.
"It's fine dad, I can bring her wherever I want to. You can stop trying to play protector and remember which one of us is your actual child." I grab a coffee mug and Liam lowers his eyes at me.
"Tessa has become a part of this family in the last few months and this is her only place to go when you.." He trails off as Karen enters the kitchen.
"When I what?" I ask.
"When you mess up."
"You don't even know what happened."
"I don't have to know the whole story, all I know is she is the best thing that has ever happened to you and I am watching as you make the same mistakes that I did with your mother."
Is he fucking serious?
"I'm nothing like you! I love her and I would do anything for her! She's everything to me which is nothing like you and my mum!" I slam the mug down, spilling coffee on the counter.
"Harry.." Tessa's voice is behind me.
Damn it.
"Ken you leave the boy alone, he is doing his best." Karen defends me and my father's eyes immediately soften as he turns to his wife.
"I'm sorry Harry, I just worry about you." He sighs and Karen rubs her hand up and down his back.
"It's fine." I say and look at Tessa standing in her jeans and WSU sweatshirt. She looks so innocently beautiful with her damp hair hanging around her makeup free face.
If Tessa wouldn't appeared in the kitchen I would have told him how big of an asshole he is and he needs to learn to mind his own god damn business.
I grab a paper towel and wipe it over the counter to clean up the pool of coffee on their expensive ass granite counter.
"Are you ready?" Liam asks Tessa and she nods, still staring at me.
I really want to take her but I should go home and sleep or shower, lay on the bed and stare at the ceiling, clean the place, hell anything but sit here and chat with my father.
Her eyes finally leave mine and she leaves the room, moments later I hear the front door close and I let out a deep breath.
As soon as I walk away from my father and Karen I hear them start talking about me.
"You have got to stop being so hard on him Ken, did you see how upset he was?" She says to him.
Tessa's POV.
"I can't believe he came back." I tell Liam.
"You can't?"
"No, I thought he was just going to leave." I haven't decided how I feel about this.
I know how I should feel, I should have told him to go away but I couldn't. He rarely shows emotion and the way he was on his knees in front of me broke the pieces of my already shattered heart. I told him that I will think about it, about giving us another try but I don't know how this is going to work. I suppose it depends on what happens next.
I am so conflicted right now, I am more confused than ever and I'm annoyed with myself that I almost gave into him but on the other hand I am proud of myself for stopping it before it got too far. I need to think of myself here, not only him, for once.
My phone buzzes in my lap and I check the screen.
*Are you okay?* It's Zayn.
I take a deep breath before responding.
*Yeah, I'm fine. I'm on my way to campus with Liam. I'm sorry about last night, it was my fault that he came there.* I send and turn my attention back to Liam.
"What do you think will happen now?" He asks.
"I have no clue. I'm still talking to Christian about Seattle." I tell him.
*No it's not. It's his fault. I'm glad you're okay. Are we still on for lunch today?*
I had forgotten about my plans to meet Zayn in the environmental studies building for lunch. He wanted to show me some sort of flower he helped create that glows in the dark.
I want to keep my plans with him, he has been so kind to me through everything but now that I kissed Harry this morning I don't know what to do. I was just sleeping at Zayn's last night then kissing Harry this morning, what is happening to me? I don't want to be that girl, I still hold guilt over what happened with Harry while I was with Noah. In my defense Harry came in like wrecking ball, I had no choice but to gravitate to him as he slowly destroyed me then built me back up, then destroyed me again.
Everything that is happening with Zayn is totally different. Harry hadn't spoken to me in nine days and I had no idea why. I was left to assume he didn't want me anymore and Zayn has always been there for me. Since the beginning he was always sweet, he tried to end the bet with Harry but Harry wouldn't have it, he had to prove he could get me to sleep with him regardless of Zayn's efforts to stop the disgusting game. Harry and Zayn have had bad blood between them since I met them, because of the bet I assume. I'm not sure but it's been evident since the first time I hung out with the two of them. Harry claims that Zayn only wants to get in my pants but honestly that's a little hypocritical of him to say that and Zayn hasn't done a single thing to even hint that he is trying to sleep with me. Even before I knew about the bet and I kissed him at his apartment he never made me feel like I had to do anything I didn't want to.
I hate when my thoughts go back to that time. I was so clueless and they both played me but there is something behind Zayn's caramel eyes that shows kindness while anger is behind Harry's green eyes. I'm not going to be kissing Zayn or dating him and I don't know what the hell is going on with Harry. I love him and I hope he does try to show me that he can treat me better but I feel bad for tossing Zayn to the side. He has always been on the side but I'm afraid he was beginning to think he was taking center stage.
*Yeah, I will meet you there at noon.* I respond.
He deserves an explanation of my back and forth behavior. I will explain everything to him when I meet him today.

To be continued..

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