Nobody Compares

When Addison Selley's family is killed in a car crash, she's forced to live with her new guardian until she turns eighteen- her cousin Harry Styles. Yes, that Harry Styles.
However, a distraction arises in the form of a blonde Irishman.
Right. There's just one foreseen problem. And that problem is Niall Horan.


*WARNING* coarse language, sexual scenes, violence. :)

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19. not.

 

 

“Give it to me!” I demanded, almost angry but not quite. I found there were moments I just couldn’t stay angry at him because he was too goddamn irritating or adorable or sweet at the “Give it to me!” I demanded, almost angry but not quite. I found there were moments I just couldn’t stay angry at him because he was too goddamn irritating or adorable or sweet at the same time.

Niall was jumping up and down on the sofa in nothing but a pair of boxers and a hoodie, which otherwise would be quite distracting if he wasn’t lassoing my bra around in the air and laughing at me.

“Niall!” I growled, trying to dart around the coffee table but he leaped off the sofa with astonishing speed and sprinted past me, laughing hysterically.

“Addie!” he called back in a mocking voice. I stood there staunchly trying to muster as much anger as possible but it was sort of difficult when he was trying to strap my bra around his head while singing Les Miserables.

Tonight was the night where we’d finally discovered what we could safely bond over- alcohol and being total loons. That was until Niall started rummaging through my things when I was in the bathroom and triggering a sort of war where he’d started throwing my underwear around the apartment while I tried to remain angry at him. I think I was too tipsy anyway.

“I swear-” I blurted unsteadily, “You give me that now, or I’ll…”

“You’ll?” he prompted, succeeding in strapping the clasp under his chin. I caught sight of him and burst out into uncontrollable laughter, taking away from the credibility from my threat. “Don’t laugh at me, girl. You’re just jealous.”

I continued laughing hysterically, clutching at my mid riff as I stumbled back and nearly collapsed as I collided into the sofa.

I barely had time to breathe before he came catapulting over to the couch to join me, only to straddle my stomach and pin me to it under his weight. It was like the time we almost killed each other in that hotel room when he was really pissy about his potato pie- only this time, I don’t think he was trying to kill me. He eased a bit off his weight off me and I wheezed, smacking at his thighs.

“What are you doing?” I gasped, trying to claw at him while he chortled victoriously.

“I was just thinking,” he noted, scratching at his head as he squinted down at me. “I’d like a matching set.”

My eyes widened and brows furrowed in confusion.

“A matching set of…? OH no, no, no!” I choked as he dived at me. I writhed around under him as his hands groped at me, apparently trying to prise my bra off me. I gasped for breath as he started tickling me, torn between whether to enjoy this or to strangle him. “Fuck off Niall!”

“Goddamn it, give me your bra!”

“Get off me, psycho!” I wailed as he plucked at one of my bra straps, laughing loudly like a ten year old at the sharp snap. “OW! Asshole!” Somehow, I managed to catch him off guard as I shoved him off me. He toppled off me onto the floor as I sat up, clutching at my still intact, bar insignificant chest.

He sat up weakly, squinting at me. I snorted unattractively at his face, making him start laughing again. There was something about his laugh that made me want to laugh along as well every time, so the two of us just sat there, laughing at absolutely nothing.

“Just saying,” he said, a little short of breath as he fiddled with the bra clasp under his chin. “You’re not getting this back.”

“Eh?” I smirked, “Is that so?”

“Yep.”

“Well then, I think I’ll take a souvenir of my own,” I snickered, before jumping to my feet and running as fast as I could to his bedroom. True, I nearly ran into a wall on the way, but I managed to somehow get through the doorway. I slid the door of his wardrobe open, hearing him chasing after me.

Heart thudding in my chest in anticipation, I wildly threw open the first drawer and flung about half its contents out. I just snatched a pair of boxers from the remnants of what was left in the drawer when he came barrelling through the doorway, spotting his underwear strewn over the room.

“You didn’t!” he gasped, before he snatched the boxers from my grasp and tossed it onto my face.

“ACK!” I shrieked, batting it away in disgust. “Ew! Fuck!” He burst into laughter, I’d noticed I liked the way his laugh sounded, and he started scooping up arms and arms of his boxers on the floor and tossing them at me while I cowered away. I dove at him, clumsily shoving him against the door and falling on top of him. He spluttered at first, as a pair of stray boxers had landed on his head while I laughed, my face fallen quite comfortably into the crook of his neck.

We stood there like that for a few moments of peace, panting and covered in his underwear ineptly collapsed against the door. His chest was heaving against mine, his cheeks were bright red from laughing so much but he was grinning I think.

“You’re crazy,” he murmured into ear soppily as I snickered. For some reason, with adrenalin still coursing through my veins, I wanted to kiss him right there. Fuck. Alcohol and Niall were not a good combination.

Slowly, realising that I might do something I’d regret later, I tried to get off him. I placed my hands on his chest to push off, but he caught my hands tightly as I moved away, smirking attractively at me. I groaned at him, yanking my hands away.

“We gotta clean up,” I sighed, ruffling my hair up as I gazed around the messy room.

“I’d rather not,” he said lazily, sliding down the open door until he was sitting down against it. “It’s kinda nice not having to care.”

“You’re a bum,” I said decisively as he staggered to his feet unsteadily. I leant down, scooping up a pair of stray boxers when he grabbed me around my waist unexpectedly. I shrieked in surprise as he lifted me up in to the air, before setting me down again, the two of us laughing. It was pleasant having him hold me so close.

That was until the cock-block arrived.

“…Addie? Niall? What’s going…” We both whipped around, seeing Zayn standing in the living room staring at us.

He stood there in a thick coat and a scarf, it must have been cold outside, but it was boiling in here. We were just in our pyjamas. Niall let go of me as fast a hot potato, but there wasn’t much point of saving appearances since he still had my bra strapped under his chin and there was a pile of his boxers at our feet.

“What the hell is going on?” Zayn finished, an eyebrow raised in confusion and reproach.

“Nothing,” I said quickly, stepping out from the pile of underwear and nearly tripping over one. “I- shit. Nothing. What’s up?” He shot me a look of semi-disgust, but I didn’t blame him for it.

“Zayn,” Niall said from beside me, his hands behind his back like a guilty teenager. His jaw was a little set, he looked a mix between confused and borderline irritated. “What are you doing here, mate?”

“I just wanted to drop by to say hi…” he said, shaking his head quickly. “I wanted to check in on Addie.”

“Oh,” I said, perking up as I heard my name. “I’m fine.”

“Yeah, hear?” Niall said sharply. “She’s fine.”

“Yeah, I heard her buddy,” assured Zayn, his mouth twitching a little. “Actually, could I talk to you, Ads?”

“Really?” I said, confused. I glanced at Niall, who looked a little peeved now. Didn’t he appreciate his friend dropping by once in a while? “Well, alright. Gimme a second.”

Zayn nodded, turning to sit down while I awkwardly shuffled through the pile of boxers to Niall.

“We’ll clean this up after,” I promised, but he just shrugged. I pulled on a pair of trackpants over my shorts and a jacket and sauntered out of the bedroom just as Niall bustled past me again, already dressed. I looked at him in surprise.

“Where you going?” asked Zayn, curiously.

“Out,” shrugged Niall, looking bored, “I’ll be back soon.” He grabbed a pair of keys and left without another word. I blinked after him, thrown off by how quickly he’d departed. I hoped he didn’t plan on driving, I knew he was still drunk.

“Good thing he left,” Zayn sighed, patting the couch next to him. “We gotta talk, Addie.”

“No need to be so ominous,” I said, with raised eyebrows. I walked over and plopped down onto the sofa. “What’s up?”

“What’s up?” he repeated, leaning back on the sofa. “I wanted you to talk about Niall, actually.”

I sighed wearily, propping my head up on my hand.

“What about him?”

“Well,” he said uncomfortably, shifting on the sofa. “None of us can help but notice…you know, him and you have been getting a little- handsy.”

“Handsy?” I repeated, a little offended.

“Frisky,” he clarified.

“Frisky?”

“You two obviously are dying to fuck, alright?” he finished exasperatedly, throwing his hands in the air.

“What?” I gaped at him, feeling my cheeks redden.

“You must have been attracted to him,” commented Zayn lightly, “At one point.”

“No,” I laughed bitterly, “No. Trust me, never.” He sat back on the couch, his face like he was deep in thought.

“Well, what about the se-”

“Don’t bring up the sex!” I said sharply, holding up my hand. He whooped and high-fived it, before pulling it into his lap.

“Aw, come on Addie,” he cooed, while I pulled a face at him. “We both know if your hot hook up was to happen, then something would have had to happen down there.” I scowled as he grinned cheekily at me.

“Zayn, it’s me,” I said flatly, “There’s always something going on down there.” He laughed loudly.

“I don’t believe that,” he scorned dismissively, “I mean, there’s only so much that can happen without any stimulation.”

“Are we really talking about this?” I asked, bewildered and slightly embarrassed. “Because if this isn’t a nightmare or hallucination, I suggest we stop. Like, now.”

“You two have this awkward sort of chemistry,” he commented, shaking his head. “I don’t why, but…”

“I do not like him!” I said frustratedly, “For god’s sake, Harry’s already worried about us, and suddenly now the entire fucking world is falling apart! I don’t like him!”

“Woah,” said Zayn, holding his hands up in quick surrender. “Calm down, Selley, no need to be so defensive. Jeez.”

I took a deep breath in, before groaning, leaning forward and rubbing my temples wearily.

“I’m sorry,” I apologised briefly, “It’s just that…you know what happened between him and I. And sometimes, he gets so touchy about it-”

“Addie,” interrupted Zayn sharply, staring at me in disbelief. “No offense, but seriously, who cares?”

“I care, alright?” I frowned, sitting up and slumping back on the couch, crossing my arms across my chest. “I have to deal with him when he’s PMSing like a bitch.”

“Urgh,” groaned Zayn, slumping down next to me, staring at the ceiling. “I don’t understand you two, seriously.”

“There’s nothing to understand. Shut up, Zayn.” He snickered at me. “Promise you won’t say anything to the others?”

“About what?” he smirked, sitting up and glancing at me, “You mean how I walked in you groping each other in your underwear? You’re drunk off your head, Addie.”

“Just a bit,” I pouted, shaking my head. “Promise, you little bastard. Harry would die if he knew.”

“Harry’s dying anyway, you know,” he sighed. I heard the door click open as he continued rambling. “I mean everyone can tell that…”

“Yeah, that’s lovely,” I said through gritted teeth, pinching his knee sharply. “Well, is that it? Alright, see you later, Malik.” He glanced over shoulder and spotted Niall kicking off his converse irritably and rolled his eyes as he looked back around at me.

“Fine,” he grumbled, standing up and grabbing his coat and pulling it on. “I’ll see you around, Selley. Bye, Nialler.”

Niall grunted in reply with a dismissive nod as Zayn headed out the door and he bustled past him without much thought. He was clutching a large bag of hot, delicious smelling take out in his arms which he dumped down on the dining table, before he commenced eating it, avoiding my eye the entire time.

“What did you get?” I asked, cautiously. He was silent for a few moments, probably chewing, before replying,

“Chinese.” How was it that before he left, he was all smiles and drunken laughter, and now he was all sullen and cold-shouldering me again? He was unbelievable.

I let out a heavy sigh, turning my gaze to the ceiling again until to my surprise, he swallowed and spoke up.

“What did Zayn want?” he asked gruffly. I blinked in surprise, sitting up straighter on the couch.

“Um,” I said articulately, trying to quickly think of something to say. “About his party. Tomorrow night.”

“What about it?”

“Just reminding us to be there by half past ten.”

“Couldn’t he just have called?”

“I don’t know, Niall,” I said a little shortly, annoyed by his relentless questions.

“Was that it?”

“Yeah, it wasn’t a long conversation.”

“Reckon Harry keeps sending him to ‘check-up’ on you,” he muttered more to himself than me. “You’re fine, aren’t you?”

“I’m fine,” I assured, shifting uncomfortably on the couch. He glanced over at me, shoving a spoonful of rice into his mouth.

“You don’t have to lie,” he said with a mouthful of food.

“I’m not lying,” I shot back. “I’m fine.”

“Yeah?”

Yes, I’m fine,” I growled, getting up and striding past him. “I’ll be even better if you stop asking.” Just as I brushed past him, he caught my wrist abruptly, catching me by surprise. His grip was tight, constricting, familiar in the worst way.

He glared at me carefully, with a frown. He chewed, before swallowing his food.

“What are you playing at?” he demanded in a low voice.

“What?” I irked, trying to pull my wrist away. “Let go of me.”

“Something’s up,” he said, squeezing my wrist tightly, a sharp pain shooting through my hand as I tried to wring myself from his hold. “What have you done?”

“I haven’t done anything,” I protested weakly. “I-I promise.”

“Oh,” he laughed loudly, but it was so different than the one I’d hear just an hour ago. This was cold, sarcastic, biting. “Oh, you promise? For fuck’s sake.” He let go of me, shoving me away. I stumbled back, hurt and rubbing my wrist sorely.

“What’s your problem?” I spat angrily, feeling tears prick in my eyes. Urgh, please don’t cry, please don’t…

“Why do you even bother asking?” he snapped, turning back to his food. “You’re my fucking problem. Everything was fine before you came here, now I have to pretend it’s all dandy and it makes me fucking sick…”

“What are you on about?” I snapped.

“Are you slutting around again?” he snarled, whipping around and his eyes burning with such terrifying fury that I backed away. “Goddamn, I should have known.”

“I’m not slutting around!” I said indignantly, “I don’t why all of a sudden you’re so angry and pissy, but whatever it is, don’t take it out on me!”

“What?” he hissed, standing up. In an instant, he picked up his box of take out and threw it at me. Luckily it was plastic, but I was still bombed with a load of fried rice and honey chicken. “You’re fucking pathetic, Addie.”

The drawl in his voice was so reminiscent of that morning he’d awoken me about four and shoved his tongue into my mouth.

“You’re a bully,” I replied meekly, trying to brush the food off me. I searched for something to hurt him with- words, insults. A thought crossed my mind- Bec…but I pushed it away quickly. “I- just leave me alone.”

“Then why won’t you leave me alone?” he bellowed unexpectedly, his fists balled at his sides, and for a moment I was terrified he was going to lash out and hit me again- bruise me, turn me inside out.

“I’m not-” I began loudly.

“Just get out!” he yelled furiously, turning red again, eyes shining. “Get out of here!” I gaped at him. He wasn’t kicking me out?

He advanced on me and I backed away quickly, finding myself trapped between him and the wall. His hands clasped on either side of my cheeks in a possessive hold, his eyes boring into mine. His were burning blue, but unfocused, unclear. He’d been drinking some more.

“Why did you have to do that to me?” he whispered in a low, dangerous voice. My breath was ragged and short, but I was still so confused.

“D-do what?” I stammered. He blinked, confusion clouding his eyes before he pulled away quickly, stepping back as fast as possible, staring at me. He cursed under his breath, running a hand through his hair anxiously. I stood there, rooted to the spot, covered in rice and shocked.

He swallowed thickly, staring at the ceiling as he leant on the table for support.

“Go to bed,” he said in a hollow voice, refusing to look at me. Speechless, I blindly obeyed, stepping out of the mess and retreating back into the bedroom. After I’d washed up and crawled into bed, I heard him come in at some early hour of the morning and slip quietly into the side bed.

How was I so stupid that I convinced myself he’d changed?

 

same time.

Niall was jumping up and down on the sofa in nothing but a pair of boxers and a hoodie, which otherwise would be quite distracting if he wasn’t lassoing my bra around in the air and laughing at me.

“Niall!” I growled, trying to dart around the coffee table but he leaped off the sofa with astonishing speed and sprinted past me, laughing hysterically.

“Addie!” he called back in a mocking voice. I stood there staunchly trying to muster as much anger as possible but it was sort of difficult when he was trying to strap my bra around his head while singing Les Miserables.

Tonight was the night where we’d finally discovered what we could safely bond over- alcohol and being total loons. That was until Niall started rummaging through my things when I was in the bathroom and triggering a sort of war where he’d started throwing my underwear around the apartment while I tried to remain angry at him. I think I was too tipsy anyway.

“I swear-” I blurted unsteadily, “You give me that now, or I’ll…”

“You’ll?” he prompted, succeeding in strapping the clasp under his chin. I caught sight of him and burst out into uncontrollable laughter, taking away from the credibility from my threat. “Don’t laugh at me, girl. You’re just jealous.”

I continued laughing hysterically, clutching at my mid riff as I stumbled back and nearly collapsed as I collided into the sofa.

I barely had time to breathe before he came catapulting over to the couch to join me, only to straddle my stomach and pin me to it under his weight. It was like the time we almost killed each other in that hotel room when he was really pissy about his potato pie- only this time, I don’t think he was trying to kill me. He eased a bit off his weight off me and I wheezed, smacking at his thighs.

“What are you doing?” I gasped, trying to claw at him while he chortled victoriously.

“I was just thinking,” he noted, scratching at his head as he squinted down at me. “I’d like a matching set.”

My eyes widened and brows furrowed in confusion.

“A matching set of…? OH no, no, no!” I choked as he dived at me. I writhed around under him as his hands groped at me, apparently trying to prise my bra off me. I gasped for breath as he started tickling me, torn between whether to enjoy this or to strangle him. “Fuck off Niall!”

“Goddamn it, give me your bra!”

“Get off me, psycho!” I wailed as he plucked at one of my bra straps, laughing loudly like a ten year old at the sharp snap. “OW! Asshole!” Somehow, I managed to catch him off guard as I shoved him off me. He toppled off me onto the floor as I sat up, clutching at my still intact, bar insignificant chest.

He sat up weakly, squinting at me. I snorted unattractively at his face, making him start laughing again. There was something about his laugh that made me want to laugh along as well every time, so the two of us just sat there, laughing at absolutely nothing.

“Just saying,” he said, a little short of breath as he fiddled with the bra clasp under his chin. “You’re not getting this back.”

“Eh?” I smirked, “Is that so?”

“Yep.”

“Well then, I think I’ll take a souvenir of my own,” I snickered, before jumping to my feet and running as fast as I could to his bedroom. True, I nearly ran into a wall on the way, but I managed to somehow get through the doorway. I slid the door of his wardrobe open, hearing him chasing after me.

Heart thudding in my chest in anticipation, I wildly threw open the first drawer and flung about half its contents out. I just snatched a pair of boxers from the remnants of what was left in the drawer when he came barrelling through the doorway, spotting his underwear strewn over the room.

“You didn’t!” he gasped, before he snatched the boxers from my grasp and tossed it onto my face.

“ACK!” I shrieked, batting it away in disgust. “Ew! Fuck!” He burst into laughter, I’d noticed I liked the way his laugh sounded, and he started scooping up arms and arms of his boxers on the floor and tossing them at me while I cowered away. I dove at him, clumsily shoving him against the door and falling on top of him. He spluttered at first, as a pair of stray boxers had landed on his head while I laughed, my face fallen quite comfortably into the crook of his neck.

We stood there like that for a few moments of peace, panting and covered in his underwear ineptly collapsed against the door. His chest was heaving against mine, his cheeks were bright red from laughing so much but he was grinning I think.

“You’re crazy,” he murmured into ear soppily as I snickered. For some reason, with adrenalin still coursing through my veins, I wanted to kiss him right there. Fuck. Alcohol and Niall were not a good combination.

Slowly, realising that I might do something I’d regret later, I tried to get off him. I placed my hands on his chest to push off, but he caught my hands tightly as I moved away, smirking attractively at me. I groaned at him, yanking my hands away.

“We gotta clean up,” I sighed, ruffling my hair up as I gazed around the messy room.

“I’d rather not,” he said lazily, sliding down the open door until he was sitting down against it. “It’s kinda nice not having to care.”

“You’re a bum,” I said decisively as he staggered to his feet unsteadily. I leant down, scooping up a pair of stray boxers when he grabbed me around my waist unexpectedly. I shrieked in surprise as he lifted me up in to the air, before setting me down again, the two of us laughing. It was pleasant having him hold me so close.

That was until the cock-block arrived.

“…Addie? Niall? What’s going…” We both whipped around, seeing Zayn standing in the living room staring at us.

He stood there in a thick coat and a scarf, it must have been cold outside, but it was boiling in here. We were just in our pyjamas. Niall let go of me as fast a hot potato, but there wasn’t much point of saving appearances since he still had my bra strapped under his chin and there was a pile of his boxers at our feet.

“What the hell is going on?” Zayn finished, an eyebrow raised in confusion and reproach.

“Nothing,” I said quickly, stepping out from the pile of underwear and nearly tripping over one. “I- shit. Nothing. What’s up?” He shot me a look of semi-disgust, but I didn’t blame him for it.

“Zayn,” Niall said from beside me, his hands behind his back like a guilty teenager. His jaw was a little set, he looked a mix between confused and borderline irritated. “What are you doing here, mate?”

“I just wanted to drop by to say hi…” he said, shaking his head quickly. “I wanted to check in on Addie.”

“Oh,” I said, perking up as I heard my name. “I’m fine.”

“Yeah, hear?” Niall said sharply. “She’s fine.”

“Yeah, I heard her buddy,” assured Zayn, his mouth twitching a little. “Actually, could I talk to you, Ads?”

“Really?” I said, confused. I glanced at Niall, who looked a little peeved now. Didn’t he appreciate his friend dropping by once in a while? “Well, alright. Gimme a second.”

Zayn nodded, turning to sit down while I awkwardly shuffled through the pile of boxers to Niall.

“We’ll clean this up after,” I promised, but he just shrugged. I pulled on a pair of trackpants over my shorts and a jacket and sauntered out of the bedroom just as Niall bustled past me again, already dressed. I looked at him in surprise.

“Where you going?” asked Zayn, curiously.

“Out,” shrugged Niall, looking bored, “I’ll be back soon.” He grabbed a pair of keys and left without another word. I blinked after him, thrown off by how quickly he’d departed. I hoped he didn’t plan on driving, I knew he was still drunk.

“Good thing he left,” Zayn sighed, patting the couch next to him. “We gotta talk, Addie.”

“No need to be so ominous,” I said, with raised eyebrows. I walked over and plopped down onto the sofa. “What’s up?”

“What’s up?” he repeated, leaning back on the sofa. “I wanted you to talk about Niall, actually.”

I sighed wearily, propping my head up on my hand.

“What about him?”

“Well,” he said uncomfortably, shifting on the sofa. “None of us can help but notice…you know, him and you have been getting a little- handsy.”

“Handsy?” I repeated, a little offended.

“Frisky,” he clarified.

“Frisky?”

“You two obviously are dying to fuck, alright?” he finished exasperatedly, throwing his hands in the air.

“What?” I gaped at him, feeling my cheeks redden.

“You must have been attracted to him,” commented Zayn lightly, “At one point.”

“No,” I laughed bitterly, “No. Trust me, never.” He sat back on the couch, his face like he was deep in thought.

“Well, what about the se-”

“Don’t bring up the sex!” I said sharply, holding up my hand. He whooped and high-fived it, before pulling it into his lap.

“Aw, come on Addie,” he cooed, while I pulled a face at him. “We both know if your hot hook up was to happen, then something would have had to happen down there.” I scowled as he grinned cheekily at me.

“Zayn, it’s me,” I said flatly, “There’s always something going on down there.” He laughed loudly.

“I don’t believe that,” he scorned dismissively, “I mean, there’s only so much that can happen without any stimulation.”

“Are we really talking about this?” I asked, bewildered and slightly embarrassed. “Because if this isn’t a nightmare or hallucination, I suggest we stop. Like, now.”

“You two have this awkward sort of chemistry,” he commented, shaking his head. “I don’t why, but…”

“I do not like him!” I said frustratedly, “For god’s sake, Harry’s already worried about us, and suddenly now the entire fucking world is falling apart! I don’t like him!”

“Woah,” said Zayn, holding his hands up in quick surrender. “Calm down, Selley, no need to be so defensive. Jeez.”

I took a deep breath in, before groaning, leaning forward and rubbing my temples wearily.

“I’m sorry,” I apologised briefly, “It’s just that…you know what happened between him and I. And sometimes, he gets so touchy about it-”

“Addie,” interrupted Zayn sharply, staring at me in disbelief. “No offense, but seriously, who cares?”

“I care, alright?” I frowned, sitting up and slumping back on the couch, crossing my arms across my chest. “I have to deal with him when he’s PMSing like a bitch.”

“Urgh,” groaned Zayn, slumping down next to me, staring at the ceiling. “I don’t understand you two, seriously.”

“There’s nothing to understand. Shut up, Zayn.” He snickered at me. “Promise you won’t say anything to the others?”

“About what?” he smirked, sitting up and glancing at me, “You mean how I walked in you groping each other in your underwear? You’re drunk off your head, Addie.”

“Just a bit,” I pouted, shaking my head. “Promise, you little bastard. Harry would die if he knew.”

“Harry’s dying anyway, you know,” he sighed. I heard the door click open as he continued rambling. “I mean everyone can tell that…”

“Yeah, that’s lovely,” I said through gritted teeth, pinching his knee sharply. “Well, is that it? Alright, see you later, Malik.” He glanced over shoulder and spotted Niall kicking off his converse irritably and rolled his eyes as he looked back around at me.

“Fine,” he grumbled, standing up and grabbing his coat and pulling it on. “I’ll see you around, Selley. Bye, Nialler.”

Niall grunted in reply with a dismissive nod as Zayn headed out the door and he bustled past him without much thought. He was clutching a large bag of hot, delicious smelling take out in his arms which he dumped down on the dining table, before he commenced eating it, avoiding my eye the entire time.

“What did you get?” I asked, cautiously. He was silent for a few moments, probably chewing, before replying,

“Chinese.” How was it that before he left, he was all smiles and drunken laughter, and now he was all sullen and cold-shouldering me again? He was unbelievable.

I let out a heavy sigh, turning my gaze to the ceiling again until to my surprise, he swallowed and spoke up.

“What did Zayn want?” he asked gruffly. I blinked in surprise, sitting up straighter on the couch.

“Um,” I said articulately, trying to quickly think of something to say. “About his party. Tomorrow night.”

“What about it?”

“Just reminding us to be there by half past ten.”

“Couldn’t he just have called?”

“I don’t know, Niall,” I said a little shortly, annoyed by his relentless questions.

“Was that it?”

“Yeah, it wasn’t a long conversation.”

“Reckon Harry keeps sending him to ‘check-up’ on you,” he muttered more to himself than me. “You’re fine, aren’t you?”

“I’m fine,” I assured, shifting uncomfortably on the couch. He glanced over at me, shoving a spoonful of rice into his mouth.

“You don’t have to lie,” he said with a mouthful of food.

“I’m not lying,” I shot back. “I’m fine.”

“Yeah?”

Yes, I’m fine,” I growled, getting up and striding past him. “I’ll be even better if you stop asking.” Just as I brushed past him, he caught my wrist abruptly, catching me by surprise. His grip was tight, constricting, familiar in the worst way.

He glared at me carefully, with a frown. He chewed, before swallowing his food.

“What are you playing at?” he demanded in a low voice.

“What?” I irked, trying to pull my wrist away. “Let go of me.”

“Something’s up,” he said, squeezing my wrist tightly, a sharp pain shooting through my hand as I tried to wring myself from his hold. “What have you done?”

“I haven’t done anything,” I protested weakly. “I-I promise.”

“Oh,” he laughed loudly, but it was so different than the one I’d hear just an hour ago. This was cold, sarcastic, biting. “Oh, you promise? For fuck’s sake.” He let go of me, shoving me away. I stumbled back, hurt and rubbing my wrist sorely.

“What’s your problem?” I spat angrily, feeling tears prick in my eyes. Urgh, please don’t cry, please don’t…

“Why do you even bother asking?” he snapped, turning back to his food. “You’re my fucking problem. Everything was fine before you came here, now I have to pretend it’s all dandy and it makes me fucking sick…”

“What are you on about?” I snapped.

“Are you slutting around again?” he snarled, whipping around and his eyes burning with such terrifying fury that I backed away. “Goddamn, I should have known.”

“I’m not slutting around!” I said indignantly, “I don’t why all of a sudden you’re so angry and pissy, but whatever it is, don’t take it out on me!”

“What?” he hissed, standing up. In an instant, he picked up his box of take out and threw it at me. Luckily it was plastic, but I was still bombed with a load of fried rice and honey chicken. “You’re fucking pathetic, Addie.”

The drawl in his voice was so reminiscent of that morning he’d awoken me about four and shoved his tongue into my mouth.

“You’re a bully,” I replied meekly, trying to brush the food off me. I searched for something to hurt him with- words, insults. A thought crossed my mind- Bec…but I pushed it away quickly. “I- just leave me alone.”

“Then why won’t you leave me alone?” he bellowed unexpectedly, his fists balled at his sides, and for a moment I was terrified he was going to lash out and hit me again- bruise me, turn me inside out.

“I’m not-” I began loudly.

“Just get out!” he yelled furiously, turning red again, eyes shining. “Get out of here!” I gaped at him. He wasn’t kicking me out?

He advanced on me and I backed away quickly, finding myself trapped between him and the wall. His hands clasped on either side of my cheeks in a possessive hold, his eyes boring into mine. His were burning blue, but unfocused, unclear. He’d been drinking some more.

“Why did you have to do that to me?” he whispered in a low, dangerous voice. My breath was ragged and short, but I was still so confused.

“D-do what?” I stammered. He blinked, confusion clouding his eyes before he pulled away quickly, stepping back as fast as possible, staring at me. He cursed under his breath, running a hand through his hair anxiously. I stood there, rooted to the spot, covered in rice and shocked.

He swallowed thickly, staring at the ceiling as he leant on the table for support.

“Go to bed,” he said in a hollow voice, refusing to look at me. Speechless, I blindly obeyed, stepping out of the mess and retreating back into the bedroom. After I’d washed up and crawled into bed, I heard him come in at some early hour of the morning and slip quietly into the side bed.

How was I so stupid that I convinced myself he’d changed?

 

 

 

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