The New Girl in Cheshire!

Nicole Johnson. No one special, just a girl from Cali. In 2010 she got accepted into a foreign exchange student program, and in just a week, she would be heading off to a new family, a new life in Cheshire. It doesn't take long for her to find someone she likes, but is the feeling mutual, or is it all a love game?





*WARNING*
This is just a little notice that this story might contain PG-13 content in it. So if you haven't had "the talk" with your parents, stray from this story.
You were warned(:

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24. "That Was Then This is Now"

~Then, 2011~
I woke up to the sound of Tanner. "Good morning babe." We moved in together a year after our date. We lived right outside Manchester, so it was a short drive to Uni. I got out of bed and turned on a shower."Hey, Tan, I have an interview today so I'll be back around half past 1, okay?" I yelled over the water. "Okay, babe, good luck." I got in the shower and prepped myself for the StarBucks interview.

I got home at exactly 1:30. "I got the job!" I said happily as I crashed through the door. "Congrats!" Tanner said from the bedroom. I walked in to see him on one knee. He cleared his throat, and I dropped all my stuff. "Nicole, um, will you marry me?"

~Now, 2014~

Nicole's POV.

I look at my left hand, my right hand is being held by my, still, fiance Tanner's hand. We are in London for the wedding. "I'm so happy we're finally doing this, Tan!" I say as we walk out the hotel. "Yeah, I know." He's distant this morning, that's not a rarity lately. "You know what, we've been together since we got here, let's spend a day apart, yeah?" I offer him. He looks down at me, "Are you sure?" Now he's interested. "Yeah, I need sometime to think about everything, and you seem distant. I think a day of space will do us good." I kiss him and walk away. "Have a good day!" He yells, but I ignore him, and keep walking. I walk into Jack Wills and start rummaging through clothes for Tanner. I pick out a pair of jeans, a shirt, and some sneakers, but them and leave. I'm walking down the street and I'm stopped by someones strong, rough hand. "Excu-" I stop when I realize who it is. "Harry?!" I exclaim and look in his eyes. His sweet emerald eyes. There is a big sparkle in his eyes. "What are you doing in the city, Nick?" I'm so confused and I don't know what to say. "Uh, um. I'm......I'm engaged." The sparkle disappears from his sweet eyes. "Really? To who?" He almost looks hurt. "Um, wow, you really won't be expecting this, but..... Tanner." He looks at the ground. He stays silent, but only for a moment. "Do you want to grab a coffee?" He offers regaining my eye contact. I think for a minute. It's Harry. The Harry who stole your virginity and kept it up in the secret little room. The Harry that changed your life, and all for the better. The Harry that sneaked you away and made love to you on an island. Harry, your Harry. "Yes, I'd love to." The sparkle meets his eye again and he embraces me in a hug. "I can't believe it's you." He says holding on to me ever so tightly.

We walk around for a while before finally finding a StarBucks. "Ah ha, found one." Harry says as he opens the door for me. "Thanks." I smile and walk to the counter. The store is empty except for us. "Perfect." He says. "Alone." I laugh and wait for him to order. "I'll have a Grande Mango and Passion Fruit Ice Blend, and a birthday cake cake pop, and she'll have." He points to me. "A Grande Caramel Frappe with extra caramel and extra whipped cream, and a birthday cake cake pop." I smile at the cashier and get my wallet out. Harry stops my hand. "I'll pay." I nod and take a seat next to the fire place. Harry quickly joins me with the stuff. "So how have you been?" I offer a conversation. He nods and takes a sip, "Good, good. How about you?" I take a sip as well. "Not so good." He looks at me and touches his hand to mine. "Whats wrong." He always has been the sensitive type. "Tanner is never around. I mean, he's there, but you wouldn't know it. He's quite and-" I stop, I'm not about to tell my first love I'm not being sexually pleased. "And what?" He asks in a comforting tone. Maybe I can trust him not to laugh. "Well, it's been a while, if you know what I mean." He shakes his head. "No, I'm sorry, I don't" He was serious. I lean in slightly and whisper, "I haven't had sex in 8 months. With anyone." Crap, did that sound seductive? I sit back down and see him smiling. "It's not funny, I have needs." I laugh sarcastically at myself. "I'm not laughing, I'm remembering." His smile kept getting bigger. "Remembering what?" I ask wanting to know what amused him so much. "Us. The memories. All the times, and all the places we hooked up. We really loved each other. We really loved each other." Now he was laughing, as was I. "So, you single Styles?" I ask after I calm myself. "You wish Johnson. No, me and Taylor Swift are still together." My jaw drops, he knows how much I despise her. "How?" I don't know why, but it hurts me to hear him say this. I look at the fire, then back at Harry. He shrugs. "I don't know. We've broken up quite a few times. I don't know why I keep going back to her. I guess I'm looking for something like-" He stops. "Like what?" I look at his frown. "Har, whats wrong?" He looks at me with a faint grin. "Forget about it. Do you wanna go somewhere?" He asks with a hopeful tone. "Yes, I'd love to."

We finish our StarBucks and leave the store. "So may I ask where we are going?" I ask him as we make our way down the walk. "You'll see." He turns down an alley and motions me on. "Why are we going this way?" I catch up to him. "To avoid trouble, babe." He must have let that slip because he blushes. We walk silently, but it wasn't awkward, it was a good silent, almost an intimate silent, for about 15 minutes before we reach a big white fence. "Whats this?" I ask scaling the fence. It must have been 10 feet tall. Harry doesn't answer me, instead he unlocks the gate with a little key. I'm taken aback at the view. Inside the fence is a rock path leading straight back. The path is surrounded with a manor of trees. Weeping Willows, Sycamore trees, Euston trees. There are some flowers, and fresh grass. Harry leads me in and locks the gate with the little and slips it back in his pocket. "This is amazing Harry, what is it?" I look around as I walk down the path. "It's a garden only for celebrities. We all have a key." We continue down the path until we find a pond with a bridge leading to a cabana, a waterfall, and a fire pit. We walk in the cabana and sit parallel to each other. "This is really nice." I say starting conversation. "Do you want a drink?" He asks getting up. "What do you have?" I ask. "Um, red wine, white wine, beer, and Strawberry Hill." My heart stops at the name Strawberry Hill. I whimper and Harry runs over to me and get on one knee. "What is Nick?" I feel tears gather in my eyes. "Strawberry-" I choke on my tears. "Strawberry Hill is the wine that I drank the night that I tried to kill myself." I barely get out. Harry strokes my cheek with his forefinger. "Nicole.." He grabs me in a hug and I let myself cry on his shoulder. We stay together like this for a good five minutes before Harry gets a text. He looks at me reluctantly. "Its okay, answer it." I get up walk to the bathroom. I look in the bathroom. Good, my makeup didn't smear. I run my fingers through my hair and walk out. When I get back in the main room Harry is smiling at me. "What is it?" I ask with a grin. Seeing him smile always made me smile. "Taylor broke up with me." I look at him confused. "And you're happy, why?" I walk over to him and sit back in the chair I was in. "I'm happy because she's fucking annoying and I'm tired of her." I laugh and look up at him. The sun shines in making his eyes sparkle and perfect sparkle. I lost my breath looking at him. I shake my and look down. "Now you know what I meant when I said she's fucking annoying." He laughs showing off his dimples. "Yeah." Is all he says. My phone rings so I answer it. "It's Tanner." I say standing up and walking out of the cabana. I notice the sun setting. "Hey babe!" I say and I hear him exhale deeply. "What is it?" He doesn't say anything. "Are you drunk?" I ask worriedly. He came home drunk one time and I was left with a baseball sized bruise. "Just a little." He says barely talking. "Ta-Tanner." He cuts me off. 

"Baby."

"Tanner, I'm going to stay with a friend tonight." I look at Harry.

"But baby I need you."

"Not when you're drunk. I'll see you tomorrow Tanner." I hang up as soon as I can and walk back in the cabana. "Can I crash with you?" I ask hoping he'll say yes. "I have family over, Nick." I look down at my feet. "Why? Aren't you here with Tanner." He basically grunts his name in hatred. "He's drunk, and I don't have the best experiences with drunk Tanner." I say shyly. I lift the hem of my shorts up a little to show a scar. "He thought I was with you one night, but I'm pretty sure he was the one cheating. He smelled like "Fame" by Lady Gaga. I wear "Guess"." The memory of the night creeps back in my mind. I shiver and Harry holds me tightly. "You know I would never do that to you. I'll ask Ni if you can stay at his house." He wipes a tear off my cheek and calls Niall. I sit down and shake the memory out. Harry walks back over. "Ni said you can stay over there, but I want to take you someplace." I nod and Harry leads me out to the alley. "Where are we going?" I ask, our hands keeping a graze. "I just want you to see some people." I shrug it off and we walk in silence until we're at a block of flats. "Aye, Will." Harry says as we walk through the door and "Will" nods to us. I look around the building, it's really nice. "This is where you live?" I ask in disbelief. Bakery store Harry never would have lived here. "Yeah, rents cheap since I'm, ya know, The Harry Styles. I really get tired of that title." He scoffs. The elevator is broken, so we take the stairs. "What level are you on?" I ask already tired. "Penthouse." He laughs and pushes me up the stairs. Once we reach his apartment we're both out of breath. Harry unlocks the door and I'm taken by surprise when I see who is there.
 

I run up to greet Anne, Robin, and Gemma. "Oh my God, guys!" I tear up and embrace Anne. The all step back and look at me. "You've grown so much." Anne grabs me again, tighter this time. "I've missed you guys." Harry gets his fill in and we all sit down for tea. "I could go for some crumpets." Robin says after 5 glasses of tea. I look at Harry. "Let's go make some." He winks and shows me to the kitchen. We start making the crumpets, when I get a cheeky idea. I ball up some flour in my hands and throw it at Harry. "Oh, you little wank." He says and throws some back. I squeal and punch his arm. He pushes me and I grab an egg. I'm about to smash the egg against his cheek when he grabs my elbow and pulls me close to him. "You really don't want to do this love." He stares in my eyes making my knees buckle. I crash the egg against his cheek with a giggle. "You've done it know." He throws me over his shoulder and runs around in circles, tickling my thighs as he runs. "Harry stop, the crumpets are going to burn. Harry! I'm serious. Put. Me. Down." I say sternly until he put me down. I take the crumpets out of the oven and bring them in the living room, still covered in flour. "Woah, rekindling old feelings I see." Gemma says reaching for a crumpet. My heart leaps to my throat, and Harry looks at the ground with a blush. I sit there thinking to myself. Was she wrong? I mean I'm here aren't I? And that back there, that was. No, Nicole, no you are engaged. But he's cheated on you, and if he really loved you, he would have stopped you. Look at Harry. His dimples showing, standing over there looking all cute. Fucking cute. Not cute, he's sexy. He's just damn sexy. His biceps, his eyes, his dimples, his hair. I remember back when my fingers got tangled in his hair when we were-. My thoughts are cut off by Harry. "Nicole, can I talk to you, alone?" I nod and follow him on the balcony. The sun was setting. "I didn't realize how late it's getting." I say sitting in a little french style chair. I look over at him. Maybe, I think, maybe I still love him. I broke up with him because of hate, not because I stopped loving him. He's so irresistible. I really want to kiss him right now. I just want to stand up go over there and kiss him again. God, I think I love him. "Nicole, can we just take a minute and be completely honest with each other, please?" He places a hand on mine. Electricity. I nod and he continues speaking. "Gemma wasn't wrong. I've been lost for three years. I slept around to try to fill the void of losing you, but nothing could. I settled with Taylor because I thought she was all I deserved. I've carried my love for around and I keep trying to find something that makes me feel as good as I did with you, but all the fame, money, girls, is never going to be enough. You're all I need and I feel like seeing you today is some kind of sign that we are meant to be together. Tanner can live a million lifetimes and never be worthy of you, but I've made you happy before and I know I can keep you satisfied. And all I ask of you is to think this over. Please, just remember the feeling I gave you." Tears fill my eyes and I have that feeling again. "Harry, you still do give me that feeling. I'd be lying to myself if I said." I choke on the seriousness of the words I'm about to say. "I'd be lying to myself if I said that right now, in this moment, I'm more in love with you than I was three years ago. Harry, I'm engaged, give me three nights at the most, and I'll be back. I love you." We are both in tears as we lean in. Our lips connect and it's like we are the only people alive. I scoot my chair next to his, not breaking the kiss. My tears keep streaming out, getting caught between our noses. He slips his tongue in my mouth and we fight for dominance. A war I last fought 6 months ago. I 'm determined to win and I do. I re-explore his mouth, as I've done many times before, remembering his feeling. We pull away after sometime and it's completely dark. "You can stay here if you'd like." He offers and I nod. We walk back inside and everyone runs away from the door. Harry rolls his eyes and pulls me in with his right arm. "Guys!" Anne squeals like one of Harry's fans.

Anne and Robin slept in the guest room, Gemma was on the only couch, so I slept with Harry. Harry makes the bed and welcomes me in. I lay down and Harry gathers me up in his arms. I take a deep breath and smell Harry. "Am I a terrible person?" I ask Harry as I take in his warmth. "No, you aren't love. Your so called fiance is for not taking care you while given the chance. I love you Nicole." And with that we fall asleep, legs intertwined, spooning, and together.

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