Enemies/Lovers With Benifits

He hated it, but he had to do it to stop being bullied. He couldn't take it any more. So he did it. And he was never bullied again.

But now, eight years later, he finds himself touring with the same girl whose heart he'd broken so many nights ago.

How can he deny the feelings he so obviously has for her?

How can he stop her from hating him, when she's dead set on revenge?

And how can he call it 'Just Sex' when he is so hopelessly in love with her?


2. Let's Dance in Style, Let's Dance for a While

I'd managed to get the boys off my case, but my own head was flooded with memories. The more I thought of it, the more I despised myself for what I'd done.

I used to get bullied. Every single day. And I couldn't escape it. I'd learnt boxing to avoid it, but even boxing lessons couldn't teach me how to fight six boys, twice my size, at one time. I got absolutely sick of it in the end. I tried fighting, I tried running, I tried hiding. But nothing worked.

Finally, I could take it no more. I needed to end it. I asked them what would make them stop, and they'd laughed and told me their conditions. I hated them, but I'd had enough. I wanted it to end.

I was supposed to seek out the highly unpopular 'Dana White' and break her heart in a week. I hated the idea, but I couldn't help my desire to end the bullying.

I'd done it. It hadn't taken long. I knew I could be rather charming when I liked. By the end of the day, she was opening up to me, and that weekend I asked her out, and stood her up. The bullying stopped. I had to see Dana's heartbroken face in school for a month afterwards, and later, the pain in her eyes was replaced with a cold vengeance.

But more than anything, I hated myself. I hated the way I felt all the time. It was worse than getting bullied. By the end of the year, I couldn't cope with it. I finally convinced my parents to let me change schools, and I left without a warning. I couldn't see her face anymore. I was hoping a new beginning would help me move on.

But now she was back. The same vengeance in her eyes, and the same bitterness in her smile. I knew nothing I could say or do would rectify what I'd done. All I could do was ask for forgiveness, which I didn't deserve, and hope she gave it, which she rightfully shouldn't.

I rubbed my face in frustration, as I tried to sleep that night. But it evaded me. All I could see were her beautiful golden eyes, continuously altering between pain and hatred right in front of my face, every time I closed my eyes.

Dance rehearsals were to begin the very next day, and there was nothing I dreaded more than seeing her again.

I wished there was some way I could apologize to her and make it all right. But I knew, in my heart of hearts, that nothing I said could make it better. Nothing could erase the pain I'd caused her. The harm. The damage.

The boys noticed that there was a lot on my mind, and in their own awkward, weird way, tried to distract me from it as we drove to the rehearsal area, and for that I was grateful.

But I couldn't ignore the huge problem staring me right in the face for too long. We were supposed to dance with the girls in two of the songs.

'Everything About You' and 'One Thing'

That was the first thing Mrs. Lester told us. We were supposed to dance with them.

She was going to be instructing us and choreographing our dance moves for this particular tour, and she thought it only fair that we pick our own dance partners, unless Mrs. Lester herself felt like we could connect better with someone else.

I was sweating bullets. There was no way I was going to dance with Dana. She would probably find a way to kill me. And it also wouldn't be fair to her. So, as soon as we began to discuss who we wanted to dance with, in low voices, I immediately spoke up.

"Harry, could you pick Dana?" I pleaded.

He looked surprised by my request.

"Why?" he asked me.

I gulped. "That is, if you don't fancy any of the others or anything..."

He shook his head. "Not really," he mumbled, honestly.

I nodded. "Alright then. What about the others?" I asked them.

We quickly decided, and walked over to the girls, who were waiting for us, patiently.

I'd picked Cassie to dance with. She was about the same height as Dana, good to dance with, and she looked graceful.

Mrs. Lester taught us the routine of the first few bars of 'Everything About You', and we tried to keep up. Finally, she said that that was enough, and left us to practice and get to know one another.

As we tried the second step - the twist, step, twirl - Cassie talked to me. "I'm sincerely sorry about the way one of our dancers behaved yesterday. Dana? She's just bitter because she doesn't like your music, but she couldn't find a better opportunity to get noticed as a dancer."

I shrugged. "It's alright, Cassie. She had her reasons for saying that to me," I answered, with a smile.

"Well, none of us actually like her much. Except Michelle. Who does she think she is? Talking to you like that when you hadn't even said a word to her?"

"Just drop it, Cassie. I repeat, she had her reasons," I said, effectively ending the conversation. She just scowled, and continued practicing.

As we danced, I watched the others. Cassie had disappointed. She wasn't as good as I'd hoped. I observed Zayn twirling Michelle around flawlessly. It seemed unbelievable that only two years ago, he'd nearly been eliminated off of The X-Factor because he wouldn't dance.

Louis was having some trouble coordinating with Roberta, and Niall appeared to be completely hopeless with Katherine. On the other hand, Harry, who wasn't that good a dancer, was doing wonderfully with Dana. Though, I supposed that that was just her. As I watched her, I found myself believing my theory more and more.

She was an amazing dancer. Absolutely flawless technique, perfect form, and she truly danced with all her heart. She appeared to feel every beat with the rhythm of her heart, and it flowed out of her arms, legs and waist as though she were born dancing.

Two hours of practicing and ten pairs of aching feet later, Mrs. Lester came back to evaluate our work.

She started the music, and we danced, Harry and I singing the first verse and the pre-chorus.

Mrs. Lester nodded, and watched us carefully. Finally, she ordered, "Liam, why don't you and Louis switch partners?"

I nodded, and Cassie walked over to Louis, as Roberta did to me, with a smile.

"Niall, you try dancing with Dana, and Zayn, dance with Katherine. Michelle, go with Harry."

She started the music, and there was an immediate difference. I found I was far more comfortable dancing with Roberta than I'd been with Cassie. Mrs. Lester was really good at this.

She nodded, looking satisfied with the arrangement, and I watched the others. Louis looked far more comfortable. Zayn still was. Niall was doing great now. Harry was not getting the hang of it quite yet.

Mrs. Lester tapped her foot patiently, and asked Harry to dance with Katherine, asking me to dance with Michelle and letting Zayn dance with Roberta. Harry still wasn't quite comfortable, but Zayn's performance improved thousand-fold, and I never even dreamed it was possible. He and Roberta danced with a grace as though they were meant to be partners.

I was just as comfortable with Michelle as I had been with Roberta, and I was starting to realize that maybe there was still something wrong.

Mrs. Lester was looking at me, as though she were thinking the same thing.

"You are rather clearly the best dancer here, Liam," she commented, almost talking to herself. "Yet, Zayn has better form at the moment. You obviously need a different partner."

She looked around the room once again, and her eyes settled on Louis. "Harry, dance with Cassie," she ordered. "Louis, Michelle and Liam, try dancing with Katherine," I sad her look up at the ceiling in silent prayer as she said the last bit, and I immediately understood why. Everybody had noticed the tension between Dana and I. She was trying to avoid pairing us together.

She started the music, and finally, Louis and Harry were perfectly comfortable with their partners. But, as hard as I tried, I couldn't hide the fact that I wasn't completely comfortable with Katherine.

I looked over at Dana, who was dancing with Niall, her lips pursed, as she tried to make her dance with him look as natural as possible. But we both knew the inevitable. We all knew it.

Mrs. Lester stopped the music, and let out an audible sigh.

"Liam and Dana are clearly the two best dancers here," she said, like she was talking to herself. "They have to be paired."

"Dance with Liam, Dana," she ordered, slightly louder. "And Katherine, go back with Niall. Perhaps a little practice is all you two need to coordinate."

Niall smiled encouragingly at Katherine as she walked back to him, and Dana stood awkwardly in front of me, three feet away, her eyes burning with hatred. I wondered what in the world I was going to do. How could I dance with someone who couldn't bear to look at me unless it was a death glare?

But then, the music began. Our hands gravitated towards one another's as though they were controlled by another force. Her feet moved in perfect synchrony with mine, like every hour I'd spent practicing with Danielle, had in fact been with her. I felt more comfortable dancing with her than I ever had with Danielle.

The burning hatred in her eyes, changed to a different type of fire. Passion. Love. The emotions flowing through her as she danced were unbelievable. She was born to dance. It was her one true love. The music flowed through her limbs just as easily it flowed through my throat.

As I danced with her, I forgot where we were. It was just me and her. Two strangers who knew nothing, yet everything about one another. Two strangers who had found a common world through a common language. Dance.

Just as I was beginning to really lose myself, the music stopped. I was literally ripped out of the temporary world and placed in the real one. Dana's eyes immediately changed back to the hatred she always had when she looked at me now. The passion in her eyes was gone. The hate was back.

She immediately stepped away from me, like it physically pained her to be so close.

Mrs. Lester looked at us, approvingly before saying. "I'll give you another hour to practice or rest as you wish, and then we'll work on 'Stole My Heart'."

She nearly ran out of the room as though she were trying to escape an explosion. I didn't blame her. I would run too, if I could.

Dana immediately stepped away from me in disgust, and went to the corner of the room where she'd placed her water-bottle. Michelle joined her without hesitation, and the rest of the lads joined me as I slunk to the floor, wondering how I was going to get through the next three months of dancing with Dana.
  * I hope the entire dancer circulation made sense to everybody. Just in case, here is who they finally ended up with:
Niall - Katherine
Harry - Cassie
Louis - Michelle
Zayn - Roberta
Liam - Dana

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