Trouble in Paradise ~ Book 2 ~ Completed!

It’s been a year since Harry and Bess got married and their beautiful baby girl, Emma, was born. Bess works for the boys’ management now and the three of them are together always. When Harry suddenly starts being all distant and moody though, Bess doesn’t know what to think. But the real problems between her and Harry begin when she gets closer to one other member of the band. ~ Sequel to The Rebound Girl ~

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20. Valentine’s Day 1 - Lonely Niall

‘How much do you hate Danielle Peazer?’ Sophie asked, smirking. She was helping me make eighteen cupcakes. I wanted to write Happy Valentine’s Day on them, a letter on each one, and give them to Harry, because, it was Valentine’s Day, today!

‘I don’t hate her,’ I said, faking a smile and putting pink icing on one of the cupcakes.

Sophie snorted and nudged me with her shoulder. ‘Bess, it’s me you’re talking with, not Harry or Liam.’

‘Fine. I kind of hate her,’ I confessed. ‘But she’s nice and Liam loves her, so, let’s leave it at that.’

Sophie shrugged. Then, she licked icing off her spatula, staring at Niall. He was sitting on the sofa with Emma on his side. He had his guitar on his lap and was stroking its strings, softly singing a song to her. He was hanging around, waiting for Harry to wake up from his nap, so, they could go to rehearsals together. ‘I can’t believe that I’m actually jealous of a toddler right now,’ Sophie complained, shaking her head. Then, she asked, ‘When are you going to fix me up with him?’ She was dead serious and I nearly dropped my own spatula.

‘I’m not going to fix you up with Niall!’ I replied, squealing a little bit, hoping that I had made myself clear enough. Niall was out of earshot and couldn’t know that we were talking about him.

Sophie frowned. ‘Why not?’

‘Because, in all honesty, Soph, you have commitment issues and you know it,’ I said, spreading sprinkles on the cupcakes.

‘Do you think he’s too good for me?’ she asked, glaring, but I knew her too well to know that she felt hurt not offended.

‘No, Sophie, of course not! But I’m not going to let you sleep with Niall and then ditch him like you do with every guy you meet. Niall’s too innocent and I don’t want him to get hurt,’ I said, trying to make her understand what I was saying. I really didn’t want to start a fight with her right now.

‘Oh, wow, thanks for explaining what you really think of me, Bess, that didn’t hurt at all,’ Sophie said, grabbing her bag and coat. ‘Maybe things would have been different with Niall, you know? Maybe he would have been the one that would care enough to save me,’ she completed in a shaky voice and holding back tears.

‘Sophie, come on, don’t go, let’s talk about this,’ I pleaded but she turned her back to me and walked out of the kitchen. She kissed Emma on the cheek and winked at Niall with a flirty grin before she slammed the front door behind her.

‘Great,’ I mumbled to myself, rubbing my forehead. When my eyes fell on Niall, I blinked, taken aback. He had bowed his head and was blushing terribly. Was that because Sophie had winked at him? Did he like her? I sat down on the arm of the sofa, offering him my spatula. ‘Want to lick the icing off it?’ I asked, smiling, but he shook his head. I held back a gasp. Niall had actually just rejected food! ‘What’s the matter, Niall?’ I asked, rubbing his back. ‘What’s wrong?’

Niall shrugged, pouting. ‘I feel really lonely,’ he said. He sat back, hugged his guitar and went on, ‘My four best mates all have someone really important in their lives and I have nobody. I feel really lonely all the time.’

I thought for a moment, sighed and just hoped I wouldn’t regret my next words. ‘Do you like my friend Sophie? She kinda has a thing for you.’

Niall’s baby blue eyes brightened. ‘She does?’ he asked in disbelief, but then, he cleared his throat and played it all cool. ‘Yeah, I kinda like her, too. She’s hot.’

‘I thought you were more into brunettes,’ I said, smiling at his reaction. Sophie was a blonde.

‘Fix us up!’ Niall told me excitedly.

‘Yeah?’ I asked. I really wasn’t sure about this.

‘Yeah, Bessie. Fix us up!’ Niall insisted. ‘I really need someone.’

I looked right into his eyes and warned him, ‘Sophie’s one of my best friends. She’s like a sister to me, so, please don’t break her heart. She doesn’t sleep around because she wants to. She sleeps around because she’s afraid.’

Niall smiled. ‘Don’t worry. I’ll treat her like a princess,’ he assured me.

I wrote Sophie’s number on Niall’s phone but before I gave him his phone back, I told him again, ‘Don’t break her heart.’

Niall chuckled, taking his phone from me. ‘I won’t, Bess, relax.’ I opened my mouth to complain but Niall was already texting her with a big goofy smile on his face, so, I just decided to let fate take its course.

Harry called my name from the bedroom and I went to him. He was on his stomach on the bed, naked and tangled in the bed sheets. I sat down beside him and stroked hair out of his face. He had his eyes closed even though he was awake. His one arm was hanging off the bed, his other was under the pillow and his legs were apart. He was smiling and I kissed his deep dimple but before I could pull away, Harry grabbed my hand. With his eyes still closed, he said in a thick voice, ‘Where do you think you’re going, beautiful?’ I smiled and when I lay down with my back to him, he wrapped an arm around my stomach. He pulled me against the front of his body, slid a leg between mine and smelled my hair. I closed my eyes, too. ‘How long have I been out?’ he asked.

‘For about four hours,’ I replied, stroking his forearm.

‘What? No way…’ Harry said too slowly and too huskily. When I giggled, he kissed the back of my head. ‘So, what did I miss during my nap?'

‘I played cupid,’ I said.

Harry chuckled. ‘What?’

‘I fixed Niall and Sophie up,’ I replied.

‘About time, too,’ Harry said. ‘Irish likes her for a while now.’ Harry pulled me even closer and our bodies pressed hard against each other. ‘You smell nice,’ he murmured, rubbing his nose against the back of my neck. ‘Have you been baking?’

‘Yes! Cupcakes!’

‘For me?’ Harry asked, giving my nape a slow, lingering kiss.

‘Yes, for you, silly, for whom else? It’s my gift to you for Valentine’s Day.’ Harry fell quiet and I looked over my shoulder. His eyes were still closed and his eyebrows were pulled into a frown. ‘What’s wrong?’ I asked and he finally opened his eyes. His pupils were big and black but in seconds, the bright green color of his eyes took over.

‘Ah, about tonight,’ Harry began and I didn’t like his flat tone or his unreadable face. He went on, ‘I know I promised I’d come home early and we’d have a romantic dinner together but management asked the band to stay after hours, so, we’ll go over some new songs.’

‘Oh…’ I turned away.

‘Are you angry about this?’ Harry asked.

‘Nope,’ I lied. When I got out of bed, I felt kind of sad and disappointed that Harry didn’t try to stop me.

Harry stretched, yawning, before he got out of bed, too. ‘I’ll go take a quick shower,’ he told me, walking past me and into the bathroom. When he turned on the water, he called, ‘I’ll be late, too, so, don’t wait up.’ Then, he shut the door.

Frowning and pouting, I just stood there, staring at the closed bathroom door. How could Harry ditch me on Valentine’s Day like this? Didn’t he find me attractive anymore? Was it because I was getting fat? Was he cheating?

Niall came into the bedroom. He was holding Emma. ‘I asked Sophie on a date tonight and she said yes,’ he said. He looked happy and pretty proud of himself.

‘That’s lovely, Niall,’ I smiled. But then it clicked. ‘Wait? Aren’t you staying after hours at the record label tonight?’

‘It’s Valentine’s Day, Bessie,’ Niall replied before he joked, ‘It might look like management hates us some days, but they wouldn’t do that to us.’

Harry walked out of the bathroom with a white towel wrapped around his hipbones. His wet hair fell over his forehead and eyes. ‘I’ll be ready in five, mate,’ he said and Niall nodded, leaving the bedroom. Then, Harry dropped the towel on the floor and turned his back to me. I watched him put his clothes on, thinking that he had lied to me. Harry had actually lied to me! Convinced that he was cheating, I held back my tears and stormed out of the bedroom.

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