A Perfect Stranger

When Lara meets a mysterious stranger in the park, they get to talking and she feels drawn to him. What happens when she finds out who he really is?

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4. Fun & Games

“It’s everything about you, everything that you do.”

 

“Left here Lou. You know, I CAN walk,” I said wearily from his back.

“Mmm, shush. I’m having fun.”

I smiled shyly, burying my face into his neck. He had insisted giving me a piggyback for the last five minutes of our 30 minute walk from the hotel, after I had suggested we get a cab on the way back. He took this to mean I was tired, and now refused to put me down, even though we had just turned onto my street. I pointed out my house, and finally slid from his back at the front door, fishing my key from the pocket of my loose black silk and cotton pants. I swung the door open and ushered them inside, closing it behind me. “Feel free to look around. I’ll be ready in ten, just gonna have a quick shower. Help yourself to the fridge Niall, but leave something behind, kay?” I ducked into my room and dug through my draws for my best bikini that I hardly ever wore, some booty short style boardies and a change of clothes for later. I turned to go to the bathroom and yelped in shock as I came face to face with Lou. He grinned cheekily and wrapped his toned arms around me and I rested my head on his charcoal shirt. “Nice room,” he smiled, gesturing around. I nodded, pulling myself loose reluctantly. “Thanks, I decorated it myself. Took a lot of convincing for my parents to let me do it, but it turned out alright I’d say,” I proclaimed, grandly gesturing around my room. “Haha, okay. I’ll be back out in five,” I said as Lou plopped down on my bed and continued to look around. He pouted at me as I left, making me laugh.

 

I showered quickly, not bothering to wash my hair, seeing as it was clean and we were going swimming anyway. I hurriedly dragged a razor over my legs, getting rid of any prickles that inevitably had sprung up overnight. Shutting off the water, I towelled dry and got dressed before making a beeline for my toothbrush. I brushed my teeth twice, relishing in the feeling of a clean mouth. I dragged a brush through my wild hair until it maintained some semblance of normality and stuck it up in a high ponytail. I didn’t bother with makeup, but something made me throw my basic toiletries into my bag as I left the bathroom. I slung the strap of the grey canvas bag over my shoulder and walked into my room. Louis was standing in front of my massive bookshelf studying its contents. He turned to me as I walked in. “You read?” he asked me in mock seriousness.

“A little,” I answered equally sarcastic.

“They’re all so big.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Not really. Some have less than 400 pages.”

“You have an entire series that comprises of books all over 700 pages. And there’s like 20 books in it.”

I glanced at the series he was pointing at. “There’s only 14 Lou,” I giggled. Still laughing I turned back to my bed and began stuffing small necessities into my bag and removing the random clutter that always seemed to accumulate there. Having a sudden thought, I turned to Louis again, “Hey Lou, wh- Oof!”

I suddenly found myself pinned on my bed underneath a smirking Louis. My heart was hammering in my chest, and my breath hitched in my throat. I could feel every inch of Lou’s body pressed against me, warmth seeping through the fragile layers of fabric separating us. He bent his head toward me and my heart started to beat so fast it was almost a hum. Lou’s breath tickled my ear as his whispered, “So what were you saying?”

I swallowed, unable to answer. He chuckled. “I like the effect I seem to have on you.”

I managed to force out, “What effect?” in a husky voice.

My eyes closed as I felt Lou’s hand slide between us and rest over my heart.

“This.”

It slid sideways until his hand was cupping my ribcage, rising and falling rapidly with my erratic breathing.

“This.”

It came up and a thumb slid across my closed eyes.

“This.”

I opened my eyes as Lou’s hand cupped the side of my face. He leant closer until our foreheads were touching, lips parted slightly, studying my face. I could clearly see the emotion burning in his eyes and it stunned me to know that not only I could evoke that reaction in someone after knowing them for so little time, but that I felt the exact same way.

 

“Hey Lara- WHOAH! I’ll come back later then….” Niall laughed as he spun on his heel and walked back out of my room. I heard a scrambling coming from a living room and footsteps as the boys came to investigate. Louis sighed, voicing the frustration I felt and rolled off me, keeping his arm around me as he lay next to me on my queen-sized bed.

“What is it?” I heard Harry ask curiously

“They were having a moment,” Niall’s voice shook with laughter.

“Like what?” Zayn’s voice sounded in the hall

“NIALL!” I yelled, “KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!”

“OH, SO YOU DON’T WANT ME TELLING THEM ABOUT HOW LOUIS WAS LYING ON TOP OF YOU? OKAY THEN!” He yelled back, unnecessarily loud. I groaned as I heard the boys tittering with laughter. I heard whispers and suddenly Zayn, Niall and Harry came flying into the room and piled up on top of Lou and me, laughing hysterically. I started laughing to, forgetting my earlier annoyance, and heard Louis join in beside me. Hands at my ribs and feet soon turned my laughter into shrieks of, “Stop!” as the boys found my weak spot and began tickling me. I appealed to Liam who was leaning against the doorway, “Liam, HELP! Please, come on make them stop, make them STOP!”

He just grinned evilly at me and lunged towards the bed and joined in the mobbing. I squirmed and wriggled, trying to escape the five sets of hands that attacked me. The weight of the four boys held me down, but we were on the edge, and my wriggling achieved something, although not what I was hoping. There was the sound of fabric sliding against fabric and a sliding sensation before we all found ourselves in yet another messy pile on the floor. 

I groaned in pain, being at the bottom of the five boys. “Niall, once again, this is all your fault,” I complained.

“I blame the bed!” he protested, pulling himself off the pile.

“Sure Niall,” I said sarcastically as I accepted Zayn and Louis’s helping hands from the floor. I looked around and fished my bag off the floor, glad that the contents had remained inside. Grabbing a warmer change of clothes for later and shoving them in my bag I shooed the boys back out of the room. As the others left, Lou grabbed my hand and murmured, “We’ll finish that later,” in a voice that made me shiver in nervous anticipation. I grabbed my phone from my pocket and flicked through my contacts, dialling a taxi. I ushered the five outside and locked the door behind me, not trusting them to leave the contents of my house intact during the five minute wait. We sat talking outside on the lawn until the cab came, at which point the boys all donned there sunglasses and flipped up there hoods to avoid being recognised. Stifling a laugh at the drivers reaction, I gave him the hotel name and climbed in after the boys. We sat in awkward silence for most of the journey, with the occasional chuckle escaping someone’s lips. The driver kept shooting me worried looks, like he thought I was being coerced into whatever it is we were doing. When we finally arrived at the hotel, I shoved a $20 note at the driver and told him to keep the change as we fell out of the taxi and ran inside laughing like lunatics. “He, he must have thought we were total hoodlums!” I gasped as I collapsed on the floor of the lobby laughing with the guys.

“Did you see the looks he was giving us?” Niall wheezed in between his hysterical tears while Liam thumped him on the back, also laughing.

Noticing the looks we were getting from the reception, we got up off the floor and into the elevator, still laughing. We had calmed down slightly by the time we reached the room, getting confused looks from the two guards sitting outside. Liam swiped a the card and let us all in, shutting the door behind us. Having an epiphany I looked at the boys. “Won’t there be other people at the pool?” I asked.

They gave me secretive smile. “Nope, its private,” Harry answered.

“Then where is it?”

“That, my dear, is for us to know and you to find out. Now go get changed.”

I shrugged. “I’m ready. I have my bathers on under this,” I said gesturing to my knee length floral sundress. “You’re the ones who need to get changed.”

 

Ten minutes later I stood with a piece of cloth tide across my eyes, holding an armful of towels with Lou’s head resting on my shoulder and his hands on my hips, guiding me out the door and into what I presumed was the elevator. We went, up or down I couldn’t tell properly, for a few floors before the elevator stopped and the doors dinged as they opened. I tripped over my own feet on the way out, and soon found myself scooped up in Lou’s strong arms. I wrapped my free arm around his neck and leant my head on his shoulder, keeping a tight hold of the towels. I heard a click and felt warm sunlight on my face and the distant noises of the city reached my ears. Louis set me on my feet and someone pulled off my blindfold. I winced at the bright light, but my as my eyes adjusted I looked around in amazement. We we’re in some sort of walled of garden that must have spanned the top of the entire hotel. There was a large pool half shaded by a shade sail, as well as deck chairs and sun lounges. A small garden sat in one corner, and an open patch of lawn explained the need for the soccer ball. I turned and beamed at the grinning boys. “This is amazing guys!” I exclaimed. Harry gestured for me to pass him the towels so I tossed them to him and he flung them onto a nearby chair and his shirt soon followed. I did my best not to stare and turned to face the others just as there balled up shirts went flying over my head. Not knowing where to look I followed suit, pulling my sundress over my head and tossing it at the pile of clothes, revealing my favourite bikini, navy with dark charcoal trimming and black board shorts. For the second time in less than 24 hours I felt the boys’ eyes resting on me. They were anything but subtle, so I made a point of checking each of them out. Once they realised what I was doing and why, they had the decency to look embarrassed, with the exception of Harry, who winked and said, “Like what you see?”

“She’s mine!” Lou yelled and ran towards me grabbing me and throwing me over his shoulder. I started screaming for help when I realised that he was headed for the pool. As expected he tried to throw me in, but in my desperation I managed to wrap my arms around his neck, the result being we both ended up in the pool. Water rushed around me, I could feel bubbles brushing against my skin. My feet touched the bottom of the pool and I pushed up, surfacing a moment before Lou. I took a deep breath, relishing the feel of the water around me and flicking my long wet hair out of my face. I called to the others, “Come in guys, it’s nice!” They all came hurtling towards the pool at breakneck speed, launching themselves into the air at the edge and causing a massive splash as they hit the water. I laughed aloud and plunged back under, racing my shadow from one end of the pool to another, twisting and turning and summersaulting until my lungs screamed for breath and I burst out of the water and sucked in clean fresh air while floating on my back. Noticing the sudden silence I stood and turned to see what was going on. The guys were all giving me odd looks, and I realised that I was once again the object of their curiosity. “What?” I huffed, indignant.

“What was that? asked Niall, waving an arm around in the general direction I had come from.

I grinned playfully, feeling the sense of freedom and joy that only few things brought me. Swimming was one of them. Instead of answering I took a breath, plunged back under and swam back towards the loosely grouped boys, weaving between them until I reached Niall. I didn’t stop once I had reached him, instead I aimed for the gap between his legs and as I swam through at top speed I grabbed him around the knees. The fact I was coming from behind was the only reason my plan worked. My arms hit him in exactly the right spot behind the knees, causing them to buckle and I spun round in the water just in time to see Niall going under. I stood and took a breath as my face broke the surface, joining in with the boys’ laughter.  Niall came up and flicked his head dramatically to get rid of the strands of wet blonde hair hanging in his eyes before leaping at me through the water. I dodged, barely, and laughed. “Lou, help!” I yelled in mock fear as Niall lunged yet again. I heard a splash behind me but couldn’t turn to see what was happening, as I was keeping my attention focused on a grinning Niall. “Scared?” he asked me chuckling menacingly.

“Terrified,” I answered sarcastically

“You should be, you’re gonna cop it for that,” Niall warned in his lilting accent.

I smirked cockily. “Gotta catch me first!” I taunted. As I went to leap away I felt as brushing between my calves and exclaimed in shock when I found myself out of the water, sitting on Lou’s shoulders. I wrapped my legs around his back for balance and rested my hands on top of his head as he reprimanded Niall. “Now, now children,” Louis chastised, “there is a better way to solve this.”

“Oh yeah?” asked Niall, doubtful.

“CHICKEN FIGHT! The winner gets to choose what the loser’s punishment is!” Lou yelled enthusiastically.

I closed my eyes in despair. That explained why I was on his shoulders. I opened them to see Niall grinning wickedly. “Liam, get over here. Zayn, umpire for us mate,” he shouted. As Liam approached I smacked Louis lightly on the top of the head. “Why Lou? There’s no way I’m going to be able to beat those two. I’m a girl, but Niall’s not gonna hold back. It just means I’m weaker.”

“Ow!” Louis protested. “That’s the thing. You’re a girl. So use your womanly charms on him. Trust me,” he said, a mischievous note in his voice.

I frowned, confused. “What do you mean, wom-…oh,” I said as the realisation of what Lou was suggesting dawned. I was about to protest as Niall, now seated on Liam’s shoulders came up to us. He leered down at me. Putting on my most arrogant face, I fluttered my eyelids mockingly at him. Inside my heart and stomach fluttered nervously and I made a mental note to kill Louis for this later. Zayn, seated on the edge of the pool, yelled out to us as we lined up about two paces apart, “Ready?”

“Yup.”

“You betcha. Scared Lala?”

“You wish Ni. Prepare to eat bubbles.”

Zayn shook his head at our antics. “Okay guys, 3, 2, 1, GO!”

 

“I can’t believe I’m going to do this,” I muttered to myself as Louis stepped towards Liam and Niall. We stepped into range and Niall grabbed at me and I let him. In fact Louis stepped in even closer and I used Niall’s grip on me to pull him down to my level. Taking a deep breath, I smirked at him, prayed that this would work, and planted a kiss on his lips.

 

 

Well, that’s all for this chapter peeps. Thought I’d leave you with a bit of a cliffie. The consequences will all be revealed in the next chapter. READ ON! <3 and xxx’s

 

            -Serendipity

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