But I'm in Love With You

If I could burn my memories, I would. If I could take a lighter to a series of photographs and words and music and everything I associate with him, I would. And if I could show you everything I’ve seen, you’d burn them too.


4. #4


Like I said – all over the papers.

Harry thought it was absolutely mindbogglingly hilarious, along with the others. The only one that wasn’t vaguely amused was Zayn, but that was a given. I’ve been forced to change my number as somehow it was hacked and now all I receive are messages of singeing hatred; late-night phone-calls consisting of seething threats.

He told me it would soon die down, that the stories about Harry getting girls pregnant soon dissipated. Zayn’s initial response to the Ferocious one at the signing seemed to have faded into insignificance and now all people could think was babies. Not girlfriend.

After three weeks of complete havoc created by fans, Maddy – the publicist – finally put her foot down. ‘Right!’ she yelled one afternoon after I had received several slashes to the arms during an attempt to get into the hotel from a jealous fan. ‘This isn’t going on any longer. You’re all going out into the city tonight – get pissed, whatever. I don’t care. Just show them that you’re not going to back down because the minute you do...’ she trails off and shakes her head; tsks, ‘they’ll swallow you up.’

I begin to protest – my mother was due to call tonight – but Maddy shushes me and I am shoved into wardrobe where they throw a dress at me; send me on my way.

Red lace and a little too revealing, the dress dips low, clenches at the waist and flares to where it sits halfway down my thigh. Jesus. Subtle make-up done – I never did like to stick out – and several sprays of sweet perfume, this dress couldn’t move further away from subtle. In fact, it ruined my entire look.

There is a cackle of laughter and a series of pounding footsteps outside the door – parading up and down the hallway with less than nothing on again, no doubt. Slipping into my shoes, I wince as I look at myself in the mirror – did I have to look so noticeable? The red velvet skyscrapers didn’t help either. Gingerly making my way across the room, I take my key and slip it onto a pretty chain around my neck; step into the hallway where Niall was sprawled on the floor with Louis running around with some form of rubber animal. Due to the fact that its head seemed to be missing, the specie was undecipherable.

Niall’s eyes pop a little as I make my way down to Harry’s room and knock on the ajar door, and Louis flashes me a smile. ‘Don’t look at me,’ I say gloomily.

‘Another malfunction?’ Harry says, edging the door open with his foot and fixing his hair with the other. He takes me in with one sweeping glance, eyebrows raised in surprise. ‘You look hot,’ he says simply, before turning to the mirror and slapping another blob of hair gum onto his locks.

Blushing slightly, I take an awkward step inside and collapse onto his bed – which was strewn with socks and other curious objects. ‘I look ridiculous.’

‘Then I wish every girl’d look ridiculous.’ He looks up from the mirror and winks.

‘Piss off,’ I mutter, and roll onto my stomach.

‘That’s dangerous,’ Harry says, finished with his hair now – he begins to spray himself generously with aftershave.

‘What’s dangerous?’ I ask with a frown.

‘The fact that your skirt’s so short and you just rolled over,’ he says, amused. He laughs loudly, and I shove him when he sits down beside me. But, just for safety measures, I sit up straight and adjust my skirt; throw my legs up and lean against the headboard.

Turning the volume on the television up, he leans back so that his head is in my lap. I smile briefly. ‘Do you mind?’

‘Not really,’ he says uncaringly; he doesn’t even look at me but keeps his eyes fixed on the screen. Nicki Minaj’s voluptuous backside reflects in his light irises and I smile a little, amused at the immaturity of my humour. ‘When are we leaving?’ he says after a moment.

I push the button on his phone; acknowledge the time. ‘We’re supposed to be leaving now,’ I say with raised eyebrows, ‘but Niall’s practically naked so I doubt it’ll happen.’

‘We could go without them?’ he says, meeting my eyes. Then, a small frown ripples across his forehead and he reaches up for my face; brushes my cheek lightly with his thumb, his forefinger beneath my chin. ‘Eyelash.’

I blush a little at the intimacy, and his mouth slowly forms into a sweet grin. ‘I thought you were used to me by now.’

‘What?’ I laugh. ‘Used to your pervy ways? Never.’

‘I’m not pervy!’ he protests, sitting up abruptly and rolling onto his front.

‘No, you just like to touch people without their permission,’ I shake my head with a laugh.

‘Do I need your permission then?’ he asks. His eyes glint with a mischievousness that I can’t help but smile at, and he bites his lip. Suddenly, I am embarrassed.

Swallowing, I force my eyebrows to rise. ‘Maybe.’

He drops his eyes but not his smile and resumes his position with his head in my lap; fixes his eyes on the television. I watch him for a while before breaking away, shaking my head and rolling my eyes. He was such a flirt.

A little while later, Liam pokes his head in and takes a hesitant step back. ‘You look...good?’ It is said as a question, and Harry practically asphyxiates himself with laughter. Rolling onto his stomach, he splutters until the laughter has subsided before swinging his legs over the bed and sitting up. His grin still sits, vibrant, on his mouth.

I shove him. ‘You’re an idiot.’

‘That may be.’ He winks before standing – holding out my hand, he smiles before pulling me up too. I waver a little in the skyscrapers.

We find Niall emerging from the room both he and Louis share halfway down the corridor, and his eyes pop a little once again. I finally snap and tell them that they’re breaching the strictly-professional relationship that we share.

‘What?’ Harry pipes up. ‘And partying with you isn’t?’

‘I don’t party,’ I say with a shake of the head; the loose curls fall across my face and Harry reaches over to tuck it behind my ear. ‘Pervert,’ I smirk.

‘I am not!’ he protests.

‘Oh, but I’d beg to differ,’ I laugh. He glares at me for a moment before dropping his gaze and, foolishly, I think he had dropped the subject. Of course, he hadn’t – Harry Styles never drops the subject.

Turning to Niall, I open my mouth to begin speaking when Harry has hooked me over his shoulder so quickly that I don’t even have time to scream and begins running full throttle down the hallway, shouting all the way. Winded, I feel myself slipping and curl my arms around his waist in an attempt to save myself. ‘Now whose pervy?’ he yells.

Laughing was too painful – not that I was laughing. This was completely humiliating. ‘Put me down!’ I yell. ‘Harry!’ He stops and spins me, bent at the knees, and laughs like it was the most hilarious thing he’d ever experienced. ‘Everyone can see my –’

‘Ass?’ Louis says from behind us. ‘Yep.’

‘Oh dear God...’ I manage, but suddenly someone’s hands are taking mine and pulling me upright as opposed to dangling before Harry’s backside.

‘You alright there?’ Zayn murmurs with a smile so pretty on his mouth that I just wanted to touch it; brush it with my fingertips. Gripping onto his arms, I nod awkwardly and he kicks Harry lightly on the leg. Lurching abruptly as Harry falls to the ground, I am left standing with the aid of Zayn’s steady hand, and he laughs as I roll my eyes and press my shoe into Harry’s abdomen.

‘Moron,’ I mutter darkly, adjusting both my dress and hair. As if it didn’t look bad enough, I thought. Zayn giggles and I find myself amused at his laugh, and suddenly we are both desperately sucking in breath.

Really, he was the one that I had grown to know most thoroughly, and I seemed to feel at exceptional ease with him. As we are directed to the backdoor of the hotel, he links his fingers with mine – being the most reclusive, sudden thrusting into the hands of pulsing fans made him uneasy.

As we exit through the backdoor and climb into the safety of the car, I watch Louis murmur something to Zayn to which his eyes flick to mine, linger for a moment, before breaking away. He smiles softly, murmurs something else before fiddling with the stereo.

Despite my lack of knowledge to the words they had exchanged, I blush a little. Harry is done speaking to a fan outside the car, he jumps in beside me and we are away to wherever they boys had decided to go. ‘What about Bungalow?’ Harry pipes.

‘I almost died last time we went there,’ Liam says solemnly, and I smile at the seriousness of his face.

‘From alcohol consumption?’ I say cheekily.

‘No,’ he says, sarcastic, ‘a bodyguard the size of the Empire State wanted to knock me into next week.’

I laugh loudly. ‘Oh really?’

‘No,’ Niall chips in, ‘seriously...it was hilarious!’ He cackles, typical Irish-style.

‘It wasn’t really a fair fight,’ Louis says with a grin. ‘Liam was bound to lose.’

Liam shoves him with his boot. ‘I was not! I wasn’t even –’

I zone out as I catch sight of Zayn staring at me, and I smile sweetly and flutter my eyelashes. He chuffs a little at this, and I allow my eyes to wander past him and the windows to the blurring lights of New York City at night; shops and restaurants whizz past in a flurry of glows of varying colours. I wonder if my mother had already called the hotel – she had said eight, and it was now ten past. Harry nudges me with his foot, dragging me back to Earth.

‘Scar?’ he says, and I shake my head a little; said I had missed the question. The others were not listening to our conversation but fooling around, and my eyes flit to his – I frown. ‘You look troubled.’ He smiles sweetly, and I force something of the same.

‘Oh, it’s nothing,’ I lie, ‘I just forgot my lipstick.’

‘You don’t need lipstick,’ he says – a little cheekily, if you ask me. I giggle before my stylist’s eye catches sight of a kink in his hair, and I reach out to tousle it free. He cannot seem to stop smiling.

‘What?’ I say eventually.

‘Nothing,’ he says secretively, and I raise my eyebrows suspiciously. There is a pause where he shakes his head, his smile decreasing in size until it is just a smirk on his mouth. I nudge him with my shoe and roll my eyes before resuming to my observing of the city.

We finally arrive at the club which, needless to say, was bustling with paparazzi; as I step from the car, paps yell at me – turn this way, turn that way – and Zayn grabs at my hand and propels me forward.

By the time we have reached the club, we are all breathless from the struggle and head straight for the bar; whilst the boys order cherry vodka shots – purchased by Joe, our driver, due to our lack of legitimism – I simply requested a non-alcoholic, fruity cocktail. Harry thought it was epitome of hilarity, and didn’t stop laughing on and off for a solid hour.

They danced with various girls – all of which wore shorter dresses than my own, which I was relieved to notice – and all were purchased a drink and lead back to our table. Eventually there were no seats and girls simply resorted to sitting on laps of others and, after one tried to perch on my knee, I stood abruptly and made my way across the floor to the bar.

As I stood waiting for my drink, my eyes searched the club for Zayn – he had disappeared over an hour ago and, with perhaps six shots of cherry vodka running through his bloodstream, God knows what he was doing. To be a mother figure of the group was not something to be desired.

‘Do you have a plaster?’ someone murmurs in my ear, their hot breath whispering across my neck, and I turn sharply to find a man of perhaps twenty leaning into me – far too close, if you asked me. I’m sure a simple puff of his breath could intoxicate anyone, ‘’Cos I just grazed my knee falling for you.’

‘Um...’ I begin, bringing my hand up to my blushing face, but he grabs at my fingers; they are being crippled beneath his crushing grip, and I go to pull away.

‘Where you going?’ His other hand wanders to my waist and pulls me closer, and a shiver etches its way up my spine.

I open my mouth to say something – witty, I’d hope, but I’m sure it would barely be intelligible – but someone had wedged themselves between us and suddenly I can’t breathe for the familiar sweet scent that I can’t seem to carry with me after Zayn hugs me; even takes my hand. He stands strong between us, and I briefly wonder how he had sobered that quickly.

I do not hear the repartee between both Zayn and the brute, but when it is over Zayn turns around to face me – wavering now – and places two hands on either sides of my face. I giggle at this, and he smiles.

‘You alright?’ he asks.

‘I’m fine.’ I smile and blush slightly beneath his intimate touch – that is, until I spot the smear of apple red lipstick at the edge of his mouth. After that, everything seems to fall away – like a curtain that has engulfed everything in sight and then a gust of wind comes and returns my sight.

She lingers at his back, her black skyscrapers hooked onto her wrists – she remains to stand tall, not wavering despite the martini on-the-rocks resting in her slight fingers. She slips the green olive in her mouth and discards the cocktail stick to the floor. Her beauty was vibrant.

Turning to him, I remove his hands from my face and take a step back; I can see a dawning realisation break in his eyes, and I force an attempt at a reassuring smile. What did it have to do with me anyway?

He catches me as I step into the street – there are a handful of fans but they do not notice us instantly – and he spins me to face him. ‘We’re okay?’ His voice searches for reassurance, and I hate that I have to give it to him.

Another smear has appeared by his right eye, and I reach up to brush it away. Force another smile. I’m not sure if what I said next was the thing that I regretted most, or the fact that I said anything at all. ‘Why wouldn’t we be?’

He smiles a little woozily before pulling me into a hug, so close that his sweet scent becomes my momentary source of oxygen, and my feet rise from the ground a little. We stay like that for a moment before he releases me and my feet hit the ground and the fans realise who we are and the reality of what I had just said set in.

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