Pain and Perfection

This is the story of Amber Hill. She's your typical eighteen year old girl...except for the fact that she's physically abused by her father, has just lost her mother in a car crash, and that she hates the world. But Amber's in for the shock of a lifetime when she meets the hottest band out there, One Direction. She finds herself falling for the boy who's the least in common with her of all. But will love be enough to bring Amber out of the shadows, or is the pain too much to escape from?
They never said love would be easy.
They just promised that it would be worth it.



*caution, there may be sexual references and even some rated r scenes so be forewarned."

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5. Come In From The Rain

Amber's POV:

As I walked inside, I saw Wilke sitting on the couch with Gina. He had his arms around her, and she ha her head on his shoulder.

 

I tried to walk past without being noticed, but Wilke said, "Hey, get back here."

 

I sighed and turned to look at him. "What?"

 

"I think you owe Gina an apology," Wilke said.

 

"Wil," Gina said.

 

Wilke ignored her.

 

I looked at Gina. "Sorry," I said bleakly.

 

"No, I'm sorry. I know this is a huge change for you and I didn't know about your mother. I wish  could've met her, she sounded like a lovely woman."

 

"She was," I assured her. I walked towards my room.

 

"Amber," Wilke said.

 

I looked at him. "What?"

 

"What's up with you?" he demanded. "You've changed."

 

"Yeah, well, everyne changes," I sighed. I walked into my room and closed and looked the door. There was a full length mirror on my wall, and I turned slightly, lifting up tmy shirt to look at my back. Four long, thin cuts sliced the skin of my back. The skin was raw, never having been treated properly. I ran my fingers over them, grimacing. Slowly, I pulled my shirt back down and then lay on my bed.

 

I slept properly for the first time in years. And with sleep came nightmares. They say sleep numbs you from feeling any of the pain you have to deal with during the day. Well, that's not the case. Sleep only intensifies my pain, because I relive those terrible moments.

---

 

It was two weeks later and I was walking through the streets of London. It was muggy and warm, but it was also drizzling. I didn't very much mind rain, so I continued walking, but when it started to downpour, I finally had to conceded and duck into a small cafe. I ordered a smoothie and sat down to wait for the rain to lighten up enough for me to go home.

 

Hours passed, yet the rain only got heavier. I looked out the window. I couldn't see anyting. It was totaly blurry. A few cars passed by, but no one walked out there. Slowly, people left the cafe one by one until it was just me and a worker left.

 

"Anyone you can call?" the girl asked kindly.

 

"Er..." I didn't have my cell phone with me, and I didn't know my brother's number by heart. "No, sorry."

 

She nodded and went back to cleaning up. It was still an hour before closing, but there was no one else there. I sighed. I dug in my pocket for some money, but came out with a slip of paper instead. On it was Harry's number and name. I remembered writing it down and tucking it into my pocket, but I hadn't really intended to use it.

 

"Actually," I said to the girl. "Do you have a phone?"

 

A few minutes later, his voice came onto the line. "Hello? Who's this?"

 

"Um, Harry? This is Amber."

 

I heard something drop and a quiet curse from Harry. "Amber? Hey. I didn't think you'd call. What's up?"

 

"Er, this is a bit akward. But I'm stuck at this cafe and it's pouring outside and I can't get ahold of my brother. Think you could give me a ride?"

 

"Oh, sure, love! I'll be right there. What cafe are you at?" he wondered. His voice was slightly muffled, so I figured he was holding it between his ear and his shoulder.

 

I decided to ignore the pet name and told him the name of the cafe.

 

"Ah, that's a bit far from where I'm at. It'll take a while, but I'll be there," he promised. "See you in a few."

 

He hung up and I sighed, not looking forward to our second encounter.

---

Harry's POV:

I whistled as I drove. It was pouring outside, and I could barely see anything. It was quite dangerous, but I was still in a good mood. She'd called, after all. Even if I was a last resort. Even if it was just to get a ride. She'd called.

 

I arrived at the cafe about an hour later and I hopped out, putting my umbrella up. I ran into the shop and closed the door behind me quickly, closing the umbrella.

 

"Hey, love," I said to her, smiling. She was sitting at one of the tables and she sighed in relief when she saw me. "Thanks, I thought I'd have to make the walk."

 

There was one other person in the place and she gasped as I pulled off my hood. "You're Harry Styles!" she said. She snapped a picture of me and Amber and then raced around the counter. "Can I get a picture? Can I get an autograph?"

 

"Er,'' I said awkwardly, looking at Amber. She looked confused. "Sure," I said, looking back at the girl, who handed me a pen and then turned so I coudl sign the back of her shirt. I signed it quickly and grimaced as the girl shoved her phone into Amber's hands.

 

Confused, Amber snapped the picture for the girl.

 

"What are you doing here?" the girl asked animatedly.

 

"I'm here to pick up a friend," I said, gesturing to Amber. "We should really be going. Looks like it's time for you to close up shop."

 

The girl insisted we stay, but I refused and gestured for Amber to lead the way out. I noted she was only wearing a t-shirt, so I quickly pulled off my rain jacket and set it on her shoulders. She awkwardly thanked me and buttoned it up.

 

I opened the car door for her and held the umbrella over her as she climbed in. Then I hurried around to the other side and climbed in myself. I threw the umbrella in back, noting that I was soaked regardless of it.

 

I started the engine and pulled away from the curb.

 

"What was that about?" Amber demanded almost instantly.

 

"Oh, nothing. Female Brits always like to take pictures with hot guys," I said uncomfortably.

 

"That's a bloody lie," she said, imitating a British accent that was so terrible, I had to laugh. "No, seriously. Who are you?''

 

"I'm Harry," I said. "Seirously.''

 

"Harry Styles."

 

"Yes," I said. I didn't ask how she knew my last name. The girl at the cafe had yelled it enough times.

 

"And are you famous or something, Harry Styles?"

 

I frowned. "No."

 

She scoffed and said, "Fine, don't tell me."

 

I was still amazed at the fact that she had no idea who I was. I know she was America, but we were pretty popular over there as well.

 

We rode in silence, and irritated silence on her part, until I finally gave in with a sigh. "Fine, you want to know who I am?" I grabbed my cell phone and typed in my passcode. I handed it to her, "Search me."

 

She looked dubious at first, but she gave into her curiousity and types my name into the searchbar. I could see her scrolling through the results out of the corner of my eye.

 

"One Direction?" she said. She snorted, surprising me, and said, "What kind of name is that?"

 

I glanced at her as I slowed at a stop sign. "Are you making fun of my band name?"

 

"Entirely," she teased.

 

I was pleased. She didn't seem to care who I was, or how famous I was. She still seemed to be annoyed by my very presence.

 

"Well, at least I'm making money, love," I replied.

 

"Is that all it's about?" she demanded.

 

"No, of course not. I'm in love with music," I shrugged. "It's just a plus that I get to make a career out of what I love."

 

She nodded as she continued to search me. "X-Factor? What's that?"

 

"So let me get this straight...You don't know about One Direction and you've never heard of the X-Factor? What are you? Living under a rock?"

 

She merely waited for an answer.

 

"It's a singing competition. We didn't win, but I suppose the world fancied us well enough because we're pretty big." I paused. "Not big enough for you, I see."

 

She rolled her eyes. "For your information, I don't pay attention to the media and I stopped listening to music a long time ago, thank you very much."

 

"So you're pretty behind on the drama then?" I teased.

 

"Celebrities have never interested me. They all seem spoiled and ungrateful."

 

"Ouch, that cuts deep."

 

She didn't take it back. I didn't expect her to.

 

Suddenly, we came to a stop in the road. Lights were flashing and we could just barely make out a jumble of metal-on-metal.

 

"Looks like a nasty crash," I noted.

 

"Can we go another way?"

 

"I'm afraid not, love," I said. "Only other way is that street that the police have blocked off," I said, pointing to her right.

 

"Well, isn't there another way to get to that street?" she demanded.

 

"It's a one way street," I clarified.

 

She scowled at the flashing lights in front of us. "Well, isn't that just great!"

 

I looked at her. "You could stay at my place for the night, and I'll drive you back here in the morning. It should be all cleared up by then."

 

"I'd raher not."

 

"Amber, the rain is still getting heavier and so is the wind. This crash won't be cleared for hours. I say you just stay at my place. It's much safer and at least you'll get a good night's sleep." I watched her as she deliberated.

 

"Fine, but as soon as we get there, I'm calling my brother. Do you have a phone book or something?"

 

"Sure," I said, turning the car around as carefully as I could. The last thing we needed was aother car accident.

 

It took about two hours to get back to my flat after that. We both climbed out and hurried inside, but we still got soaked again. I fumbled with my keys in the rain before opening the door.

 

"Hey, Haz, is that you?" Liam called out.

 

"Who else has a key, Liam?" I demanded, knowing that the rest of the guys were already here. We'd been hanging out when the rain had started, and they'd decided to just stay over.

 

"Did you get your girfriend home safely?" Zayn called out, obviously teasing.

 

I rounded the corner with Amber to see them all sitting in the living room. "Ask her yourself," I said, smirking as his smile slipped away. "Amber, this is Zayn, Louis, Liam, and Niall." I pointed them out as I said their names. "Guys, this is Amber. And before today, she had no cluse who we were."

 

Amber's POV:

 

They all looked surprised at this news.

 

"Really?" the boy named Zayn asked. "You've never heard of us?"

 

I merely shrugged. Dave didn't let me near the TV, and I'd stopped listening to the radio a long time ago.

 

"Wow, you've been out of it," Louis said.

 

I shrugged again.

 

"Well, I suppose I'll go get dried off," Harry said. "Guys, don't bother her too much while I'm gone. Especially you, Niall."

 

Niall grinned and gestured for me to sit beside him. "Ah, don't listen to him, love. I'm a fun guy."

 

"And don't call her love," Harry said, serious this time. He disappeared to dry off.

 

"Why don't you go get some clothes from him and we'll dry your stuff?" Liam said as I stood there. "I'm sure you don't want to catch cold, right?"

 

I nodded and looked around uncertainly. "Uh, where'd he go?"

 

"Down the hall, second door on the right," Zayn supplied.

 

I nodded and went to go find Harry. I knocked on his door, and he said, "Come on in, mate."

 

I opened the door, and there he was, standing naked in front of his closet. He glanced at me and said, "Shit, thought you were one of the guys." He grabbed a pillow of his bed and covered himself quickly.

 

I stared at him for a long moment. Then I began laughing. And it wasn't just one of those uncomfortable giggles. It was one of those bend-over-and-hold-your-belly laughs. Tears leaked out of my eyes as he quickly gabbed a pair of briefs and slipped them on. Then he threw away the pillow and hurried to close the door behind me.

 

"I don't see why you're laughing, love," he said, though he looked pleased.

 

I was surprised at myself. I hadn't really laughed like that in so long. It was a foreign feeling, to be so amused. I wiped the tears away quickly and shook my head. "Sorry."

 

He smiled. "Just as long as your laughing out of shock and not amusement, I'm fine, love."

 

"Oh, don't worry. You've got something to be proud of," I said, not bullshitting him. It wasn't my style to lie, and I was confident enough to say it without a blush.

 

It was his turn to laugh. "You're quite a woman, Amber." He walked over to his drawer. "I assume you're looking for some clothes?"

 

"Yeah, if you don't mind."

 

He tossed me a pair of boxers and a white t-shirt. "Nah, go ahead and put those on. And next time, identify yourself when you knock."

 

I cracked a small smile. "We'll see." I walked out to the sound of his chuckling.

 

I quickly changed and pulled my curly hair into a bun on top of my head. A few strands fell out, but I didn't bother with them. Droplets of water fell down my neck, and I wiped them away half-heartedly. When I walked out of the bathroom, Harry handed me his cell phone and a phone book. "Join us when you're done," he offered.

 

I quickly located Wilke's number and called him.

 

"Hello?"

 

"Hey, Wilke."

 

"Amber, thank God. Where the heck are you?''

 

"I got caught in the rain. I called a friend and when he tried to bring me home, we couldn't get through because of an accident. So he offered to let me stay the night and he'll bring me back in the morning."

 

Wilke paused for a long moment. "I don't suppose you meant to say she instead of he."

 

"His name is Harry. And don't worry about me, I know how to handle myself. You taught me well, didn't you?" I knew flattery was the only way to calm him down.

 

He still didn't sound convinced. "All right. Call me when you wake and tell me when you'll be home. Will I be able to reach you at this number?"

 

"Yes, I'd say so. And I'll see you tomorrow."

 

I hung up and walked into the living room to join the guys. They were sitting in a circle, playing some game called HeadBandz. They looked up when I walked in, and Harry gestured for me to sit beside him. I sat between him and Zayn, who gave me a friendly smile.

 

"Er, thanks," I said, handing over his phone.

 

"No problem, love," he said. "No problem."

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