The House Next Door [One Direction]

COMPLETED: One Direction: Harry Styles/OC - Victoria lives next door to her best-friend Jeremy. Jeremy lives with his friends Dan and Gemma. Gemma's brother comes to visit with his friends. Having nine people crowded into two houses was never going to be easy, but it was always preferable to the alternative.

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16. Ashamed

 

Just a warning, there is quite a bit of dialogue in this chapter (which I don’t think I’m very good at), and it might get a bit confusing.

Thank you for all the lovely comments. I’m glad you’re enjoying yourselves with this story! I’m having great fun writing it.

“So,” said Harry, a worried expression creeping up onto his face as he stared into Victoria’s ocean blue eyes. “What did you want to talk about?”

“Do you still love me like you say that you do?”

Victoria had not meant for that to come out so harshly, but she couldn’t help the frustration that seemed to be seeping out of her every pore.

The worried expression on Harry’s face changed very briefly to one of being utterly gobsmacked before settling into absolute horror.

“What has got you thinking something like that?” he asked, fighting to keep his voice calm. “Of course I love you!”

“Then why haven’t you been answering my calls, texting me...or...or....or anything?”

“We’ve been really busy,” replied Harry in a defeated voice.

“Then please explain to me why I was able to talk to Niall, Liam, Zayn and Louis. If you were busy, you would all be busy at the same time. I can’t help but get the feeling that you’re trying to avoid me. Is there someone else that I should know about?”

“Toto, look at me...”

“Don’t call me that!” snapped Victoria.

Harry blinked at her in disbelief.

“You let Jeremy call you that, why can’t I call you Toto?”

“Jeremy is different.”

Harry raised his eyebrows at her, questioning her argument.

“Maybe I should be the one who is worried about someone else...”

Victoria shot Harry a withering look, her fingernails digging into her palm as she clenched her fists.

“What on Earth is that supposed to mean? You know perfectly well that I don’t see Jeremy in that way. He is my friend,” retorted Victoria, putting emphasis on the word ‘friend’.

“Yeah, well someone should tell him that. We’ve all seen the way he looks at you.”

“You are being utterly ridiculous, Harry. I guess I have to be clearer with you: Jeremy and I do not see each other in that way. End of story. Now can we please get back to talking about us? Why have you been avoiding me?”

“Like I said,” replied Harry, “I have been busy.”

“Doing?”

“I’ve been thinking, okay?”

“Harry,” replied Victoria, her voice finally at a normal volume again. “You are going to be going to a huge amount of countries, for long stretches of time. This can’t happen every time you come back home.”

Harry sighed looking down at his hands where he was twiddling his thumbs in nervousness.

“I know exactly what you mean, and that is exactly what I was spending so much time thinking of. I was wondering if every time I would be separated from you would be this painful.”

Victoria’s face softened immediately at the sincerity in his voice.

“Oh, Haz...”

But Harry pushed his index finger to her lips to silence her.

“I missed you so much that I went and bought a bottle of that perfume you always wear. Every night before I went to sleep, I would spray a little on the pillow so that it would smell like you...I admit, I was avoiding you a bit, but that was only because every time I would see your face on the computer, or hear your voice on the phone, it reminded me of exactly what I was missing. I want more than anything, to have you there with me when we go away, but I know that’s impossible, and it hurts.”

Harry finished his speech, and the pair stood in silence for a few minutes, neither of them knowing how to respond, however they were spared having to figure it out because Paul was rushing over.

“Hurry up! Everyone else has already gone. We need to get the pair of you to the care as quickly and safely as possible.”

Victoria felt Harry’s hand grip hers tightly, and tug her in the direction of the doors leading outside.

He still loved her. He may not have said it in as many words, but Victoria had gotten the point of what he was trying to say.

Seeing Gemma up ahead, Victoria took the lead and pulled Harry along to the black Range Rover. Climbing in first, Victoria felt the warmth of Harry next to her and the insistent pressure of his thumb rubbing over the back of her hand in a soothing manner.

Neither of them felt like talking now that Gemma was in such close proximity, and they spend the remainder of the car ride in dead silence – Harry texting on his phone with his free hand, and Victoria staring out the window.

Gemma would cast the occasional glance between the pair, and offered a few conversation starters, but she soon gave up and turned the radio on instead.

To Victoria it felt like forever before Gemma rolled the car in front of their houses. Shutting off the ignition, Gemma turned around to Harry and Victoria in the back seat.

“I don’t know what the heck is going on here, but please sort it out as soon as possible.”

Unbuckling her seat belt and getting out of the car, she left the pair behind her as she stalked off into the house.

The silence seemed to be pressing in on Victoria’s eardrums, and finally she spoke what she had been dying to say to Harry since Gemma had told her about it that morning.

“Why didn’t you tell me we were going to Cheshire to meet your family?” she asked her voice quiet for the first time in hours.

Looking from her lap to Harry, she saw his head cast downwards into his own lap, not daring to speak.

“Harry,” cajoled Victoria, “please, tell me why you didn’t tell me. Are you ashamed of me?”

At those words, Harry snapped his head up to look directly into Victoria’s eyes. She could feel his warm breath escaping his lips as he spoke, mingling with her own as he brought himself to be closer to her, gripping her shoulders with his hands.

“Don’t ever think that I would be ashamed of you,” he replied and Victoria felt the pressure release from her shoulders as his hands moved to cup her face. “I know I should have said something earlier, and I’m beating myself up for it now because I know it’s made you upset. This is exactly what I was hoping to avoid...I just didn’t want you to be nervous about meeting Mum and Robin as my girlfriend.”

Victoria finally was able to come to some kind of understanding in her mind. Part of her wanted to still be angry with Harry – he had virtually been on the cusp of lying to her, yet another part of her knew exactly where he was coming from. Hadn’t she done exactly the same thing merely two weeks before when she turned up on Gemma’s doorstep in the middle of the night?

“I don’t know what to say...” she finally admitted to Harry. “I thought we had things going pretty well considering we haven’t been in the same country half the time, but I guess that we’ve just got to learn to trust one another, and have faith in one another. Agreed?”

“Agreed,” replied Harry in a firm tone before gently placing a kiss on Victoria’s forehead.

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