Summer Love *Complete*

It was the summer of 2011 and the warm sunlight was streaming through the car window. I groggily opened my eyes to see the family car pulling into our summer house in Australia.

"Arabella, we're here." my mother whispered, turning around in her seat.

"Start grabbing your bags out of the back." my father told my sister Jillian and I.

We were spending the season in our summer house this year. Our home was actually in Mullingar, West Meath Ireland. I didn't really want to come down here. I don't like the beach; mainly because I don't like to tan and I'm insecure about wearing my bathing suit around.

"Perk up, clover. Good luck is coming your way this year." My mother constantly tried to convince me that this year's summer would be better than all the rest, but I obviously didn't believe her. Just because we were some where else, doesn't mean that anything will be different.

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4. Breakfast

I felt his lips against mine, warm and soft. I smiled. I reached out to touch him, and felt him there...he was here. I opened my eyes.

"Ahh!" I screamed. "Niall! What are you doing here?"

"Well, I came to return your mum's pie pan, they invited me to breakfast, and then asked me to wake you."

"And you thought that was the best way to do it?" I countered.

"It worked with Sleeping Beauty."

I smiled at the gesture. "Niall, I'm no comparison to Aurora."

"You're right, you outrank her so there's really no contest." he winked.

I scoot closer to him and hugged him tightly. It felt a bit awkward being so close to some body. He hugged me back and I tensed.

"Arabella, even though we've recently become...friends, I want you to know that you're safe with me." he whispered in my ear. He began stroking my hair. I relaxed in his arms, taking in the musk scent of his cologne. I counted his heartbeats as I listened to his pulse: 14, 28, 56, 112...

"You better get ready for breakfast. I don't want your parents to think ill of me." he kissed me on the cheek then left.

I put my palm to my face and smiled. Butterflies swirled in my tummy. I got up and slipped on some shorts and a tank top. I walked over to my bathroom and began combing through my tangled mess of waves. Just as I was about to put on my makeup, I noticed a yellow post-it note stuck to my mascara.

"Don't bother with this rubbish. You're perfect the way you are. <3 -Niall"

I traced his signature with the tip of my finger. If he didn't want me to mess with it, then I wouldn't. I did a once over before heading for the kitchen.

Jillian set the table as mum and I brought out the food. We all loaded our plates.

"What an appetite you have there," my father chuckled at Niall,"awfully skinny compared to that platter."

"Fast Irish metabolism." Niall replied.

"That's what I keep telling this one," he pointed his fork at me. "But no matter what I say, she still thinks she's overweight."

"I think she's perfect." he stated nonchalantly, looking me in the eyes and rubbing my foot under the table to assure me that that was his honest opinion. My mother stiffened whilst Jillian stifled a laugh. My father pat Niall on the shoulder in approval.

"I don't try to strive for perfection." I told Niall. My dad looked at me amused.

"You don't have to." he said sweetly.

~O~

Breakfast ended, so Niall and I decided to take a walk down the seaside. We walked into my room and I found my swim suit. I stepped into my bathroom and started tying strings. I was having a bit of difficulty with the top one. Remembering Niall's presence, I thought about asking him for assistance. I slowly opened the door, managing to hold my top up.

"Uhm, Niall, could you tie the top string? If you don't mind."

He looked up at me and grinned. "Oh, it's no bother."

Walking over to my side, he took the strings and tied them. To my surprise, he wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me to him.

"Thanks." I blushed.

"You should keep your hair down," he said undoing my bun,"I like it this way." He kissed my hair gently.

I turned around the face him, his hands now on the small of my back. I ran my fingers through his hair, down his cheek, and looked into his beautiful blue eyes. I let my fingers linger on the back of his neck. 

"Have I ever told you that you have the most amazing eyes I've ever seen? Actually, to be honest, you're the most amazing thing I've ever seen. I'm really glad I met you. Even if it was a misunderstanding." I smiled.

"Hmmm, I guess you're okay." he smirked.

I laughed. "Now tell me how you really feel."

"Feeling cocky are we?" he teased.

"Are you kidding me? I barely have a self-esteem." I lowered my eyes to look at the emblem on his shirt.

He lifted my chin up as for me to look at him. "You have no reason to be insecure."

"But I do. I'm clumsy, awkward, and I can't do anything right. I'm shy and absolutely terrible with people. I have no idea what you could possibly see in me." I felt a lump in my throat as tears stung my eyes. I felt them hot on my cheeks. Fed up with myself, I pushed Niall away and sat on the bed.

"Arabella," he sat to my side, draping his arm over my shoulders.

"I'm sorry," I apologized wiping away my tears,"I'm so weak."

He wiped away more of my tears with his thumbs and pushed my hair out of my face.

"Crying doesn't mean you're weak, it just means you have a heart." He kissed my forehead. "Now come on, maybe a long walk on the beach will cheer you up."

He helped me up and hugged me. "One last thing," he was undeniably serious,"I don't ever want to see you cry again." I embraced him tighter, my face in the crook of his neck.

"I'll try my best."

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