"Isn't She Lovely?"

Harry Styles hasn't always made the best life decisions. When a tragic event results in him confronting his past, emotions stir and his life changes drastically. Follow Raegan, Harry's little secret, as she loses her mother and is forced to meet her father for the very first time. Read along as she learns to accept her life with her newly found father, and faces the complications and advantages of living with five young men.


17. Small Talk



Chapter Seventeen:

Small Talk



My lips part slightly at the sound of his latest words. I pause before responding, not sure of what to say. If I tell him that I like him too, what will happen? It’s not like Harry’s going to fully support his not-yet-seventeen year old daughter dating his thirty-three year old best friend. I mean, honestly, when you say it that way, I don’t even support it. So what? We do nothing? We keep to ourselves, even though we obviously have feelings toward one another? That sounds like torture in itself! Either way, nothing can happen between us, so maybe I should just keep my feelings to myself. But even if I did, even if I went on with my life without ever talking to him again, I would mentally torture myself for the rest of my existence, for not telling him the truth. What the hell have I gotten myself into? 

I look up to find Liam staring intently at me, waiting for a response. When I don't give him one, his features sadden, and his forehead creases forming a ‘worry’ line. He begins to reach for my hand, but stops midway, unsure if it is the 'right' move. However, before it can drop to his lap, I take it in my own. “I like you too, Liam.” I finally state, almost too quietly to hear. But sure enough, he hears me and a wide smile spreads across his face. Unfortunately, the same questions creep into his head shortly after, and his smile begins to fade. Neither one of us know what the next move is.

Things are quiet for a while after that, but not an awkward quiet, more of a peaceful quiet. Time is slowly approaching four in the morning, and neither of us have spoken since I told him his feelings toward me are mutual. His large right hand lay in between my two frail ones; his other on top of mine. His warm eyes sooth me to the point I think maybe I can finally get some sleep. But I don’t even try. I don't want Liam to leave. I guess he has the same thoughts, for he doesn't move a muscle, though his eyes hang in exhaustion.

“So, now what do we do?” I finally say, breaking our silent connection; though, I know the answer to the question already.

“I wish I knew,” he whispers in his low, raspy voice. I nod, knowing there is no better response. The exhaustion in Liam’s eyes is becoming too much for me to handle. He needs sleep, and to be fair, I'm not doing myself any favors by staying up.

“Maybe you should go get some rest,” I say, softly running my fingers over his knuckles. “We can worry about all of this later.” He nods, though he makes no effort to move. He is content, and so am I. Even so, in a short moment he is up on his feet, heading toward the door. I follow him out, always staying one step behind. Before walking out, he lingers in the door way, leaning up against the door frame. He stares down at me as if he expects something, but makes no move toward me. I lock onto his gaze, getting lost in his eyes, suppressing my ever growing desire to kiss him. I assume he can read my mind, for right before he leaves, a huge grin spreads across his tired face. I too, linger in the doorway watching him wander back to his own room down the hall. When he safely shuts his bedroom door, I wander back over to my large bed, falling gently on the mattress. Without a second thought, I am out cold; ready to face whatever scenario my dreams have waiting for me.


I rise early the next morning, and feel surprisingly refreshed considering how late I was up. Almost routinely, I head for the bathroom to immerse myself in the heaven-like shower. When I  finish, I make my way over to the dresser and pull out some jean shorts and a tank top, not giving any thought to what the whether may be like. Not that it matters. I rarely go outside anyway. I check my phone for any missed calls or texts, but as usual there aren't any. The date reads: "June 7." Just one more week until my birthday. Out of habit, I start toward my door, planning on going downstairs and finding something to eat. However, just as I reach for the door knob, I stop to rethink. What if Liam's down there? I mean, sure, we're supposed to act like our everyday selves. That's fine; I get it. But what if it's just him? Then what? Should I still pretend things are the same between us? I step back from my door, reconsidering the thought of food. I can wait for lunch... or dinner. I sigh. No. I'm not going to hide from him. I won't ignore him like he ignored me. I just need to act normal. With a deep breath, I turn the knob and make my way downstairs. As my foot leaves the last step, and hits the floor, I look around and take in my surroundings. Coast is clear. The house is silent and there doesn't seem to be anyone awake. Heck, what am I worried about? It's only 9:00. No one in this house ever wakes up before 11:00. Satisfied with thought of them all asleep, I proudly march into the kitchen. However, all my confidence is drained when I see a way too familiar face sitting at the island. 

"Oh, erm.. good morn-ing," Liam stutters, just as surprised to see me as I am him. He sits facing the entrance of the kitchen, sipping on a cup of coffee and playing with an orange. 

"M-morning," I repeat. "What are you doing up so early?" I blurt out, dumbfounded by his presence. But before Liam can answer, Louis struts into the room wearing a pair of mesh shorts and a t-shirt, accompanied by knee-high socks and some cleats. 

"Ready, mate?' Louis asks, looking at Liam.

"I suppose so," Liam sighs, setting his empty coffee mug in the sink. As he stands up, I realized he is wearing a very similar outfit. "Going out for a bit of football," Liam says, answering my unspoken question. 

"Football? Dressed like that?" I laugh, gesturing to both Louis and Liam's attire. 

"Yes?" Liam says, raising an eyebrow.

"Something wrong with the way we're dressed?" Louis chimes in, defensively. 

"Well, no... But don't you need pads or longer pants to play football? And what's with the socks?" I ask. It was their turn to laugh at me 

"Not that silly American game they call football. This kind of football," Louis says, retrieving what I call a soccer ball from his duffel bag. Boy, do I feel foolish. 

"Oh....right. Whoops," I say, embarrassed. I had completely forgotten that Americans and Europeans have different definitions of football. 

"Shall we then?" Louis says, glancing at Liam, and heading for the door.

"Yes, sorry. See you later, Rae?" Liam says, as he follows.

"Yeah, see you later." I mumble, knowing that he was already too far out the door to hear me anyway.

When I finally hear the front door squeal shut, I walk over to the pantry and retrieve the cereal. After I pour myself a rather large bowl of 'Lucky Charms,' I walk back to the living room and take a seat in my usual place in the middle of the couch. Before I take my first bite, I flick on the television and look for something interesting to watch. I haven't even made it through four channels before I hear a deep Irish accent echo behind me.

"What do you think you're doing?" Niall bellows. 

I nearly jump through the roof, sending the remote flying behind me. Niall brakes out in a fit of laughter, leaving me scared shitless. "What the hell, Horan?!" I exclaim, trying to process what just happened. 

He continues to laugh for several more seconds before catching his breath. "Now, now. Calm down, you almost broke the remote," he smiles at me.

I sigh, recomposing myself. "Why are all of you up so early today? No ones ever awake before eleven," I state rather harshly.

He shrugs, loosing most of his smile. "Who's 'all of us'? I'm only up because I am restless. You can only lay around for so long before it drives you crazy. Whats got your knickers in a twist this morning?"

"First of all never use the expression, 'knickers in a twist' again." I say glaring at him. He smiles. "Seconldy, I didn't expect any of you to be awake, and yet I've seen you, Liam, and Louis all before 9:30." 

"And?," he questions. "I don't see the problem?"

I sigh. "There isn't one."  

"Well, somethings got you frustrated," he continues.

"You just scared the shit out of me!" I fight back. 

"You were eating my Lucky Charms!" he teases. 

I roll my eyes. "Whatever, Horan." 

"Ohhh Rae, don't be like that," he says, moving closer. 

"Get away from me, Niall." I say, slowly getting up.

"But Raeeee," he says, moving toward me with is arms extended.

"I'm warning you." I mumble, slowly backing away. He continues to slowly move toward me, pushing out his bottom lip in a pout. He circles me completely around the couch before lunging at me, sending me screaming up the stairs. He laughs, chasing me, staying only a few inches behind. When I reach the top of the stairs, I involuntarily run right passed my room and continue down the long hallway. Shit. I don't know which rooms are empty and which ones belong to the boys. I bite my lip, racking my brain for some escape. I remember vaguely which room is Liam's, but otherwise I don't have a clue. Wait. Liam's. Perfect. I run straight forward as fast as I can, listening to Niall's breathing behind me. I shoot passed four wooden doors before making a sharp left and running straight into Liam's room. I slam the door hard, locking it, preventing Niall from entering. I wait silently, listening for some snappy remark from Niall, but hear nothing. I begin leaning back against the door, attempting to steady my breath. I look up to take in my surroundings. I'm in awe. The room is stunning. The walls are painted a deep shade of green, accented by several large, old-looking paintings. Mathmatically, the room is just a hair bigger than mine, though it looks enormous compared to my own. A large, deep brown bookcase covers one of the walls, displaying books, photographs, and even a few awards. On the other side of the room sits a large desk that matches the dark wood of the bookcase. On it sits a large Mac computer and a few pictures. Overall it is very clean.

Being closest to the desk, I eye the pictures trying to get a better look. In one of the photographs two dark haired women are side by side, posing for the camera. They resembled one another closley, though one looks quite a bit older than the other. Right next to it is a picture of all five boys at a younger age, I assume at one of their concerts. I smile, taking in their faces. I hesistate on Liam's, drinking in his young, boyish charm, comparing it to the man I know today. As I look on to the next picture, I start feeling a little queasy. At first glance, I see a baby girl staring at the camera with deep green eyes. Though, as I spend more time on it, I become very aware of my familiarity with the face I am looking at. It's mine. I stare silently at the photograph for what seems like a life time, trying to grasp why Liam would have a baby picture of me in his room. Completely dumfounded, I hesitantly tear my eyes away and look at the fourth, and final photograph. And then I loose it. Sitting neatly in a crisp black frame is a photograph of my mother. Emotions shoot through me as I stand there, wide eyed staring at the photo. Tears begin building in my eyes, and I realize I'm not in Liam's room. My eyes shift slowly to the large bed standing in the middle of the room. Upon it, laying underneath the large white duvet is none other than Harry Styles. "Oh, shit." I whisper quietly to myself. Suddenly, I wish Niall had caught me before I ran in here. I reach back grasping the doorknob, twisiting it ever so slightly, but before I can make my escape I catch Harry moving out from the corner of my eye. I stop dead in my tracks watching as he tosses and turns in his sleep. I let out a sigh of relief when he finally settles down facing the wall. Far too soon, however, I am tense again as he rolls to his side; his sleeping silhouette staring me straight in the face. I take a deep breath, contemplating my next move. The slightest click could wake him up. I finally decide to risk it and click the lock on the door. Quickly, I turn around checking to see if he had heard it. I scan over him, but don't see any sign of movement. I sigh in relief opening the door and stepping out of the unknown territory. To my dismay, the hallway is empty. Did Niall really give up that fast? I turn back around to pull the door shut, but almost instantly, I freeze in place. All color leaves my face as I come face to face with the thing I fear most. Staring directly at me through the newly opened door are two sparkling green eyes. Harry is awake.


I smile shly, and quickly shut the door, hopeful that he hasn't been awake long. I run downstairs, white as a sheet, trying my best not to fall down the steps. Within seconds, I find Niall sitting comfortably on the couch. As I approach him he looks up and notices my rather pale appearance. Though, surprisingly, he shows no sign of worry or concern. In fact, if anything, his face hints at self satisfaction. 

"Have fun?" he asks; the corners of his mouth turning up in a devilish grin. That little shit... He knew. 

"You didn't...." I whisper through gritted teeth, challenging him in his little game.

"Ohh, but I did," he smirks confidently, confirming my suspicions. And in  that moment, I could have slapped the Irish right out of him.

"Why?" I demand, and he knows I'm mad. Niall knew exactly whose room I had entered, and because of who it was, he decided to leave me in there to find out for myself. 

"Because I thought it would be funny. And by the looks of your face, it was." It only takes a few moments of silence for Niall's smile to completley dissapear. "Okay. I'm sorry," he says, finally giving in. "It was just a joke." 

"A joke? Niall you know how I feel about Harry! Why would you let me go in there knowing that he was in there?!" I shout.

He sighs. "Rae, I'm sorry. Was it really that bad?" I stare angrily at him in disbelief.

"Yes, Niall. It was that bad. He woke up while I was leaving and who knows what he's thinking now. This "father-daughter relationship" was awkward enough without him thinking I'm some kind of snoop!" I continue to rant. 

"Raegan, it's Harry. Sleepy Harry to be exact. He probably didn't even realize you were there," he tries to assure me.

"He looked me directly in the eyes," I snap, maintaining my glare. 

He begins to quiet down. "I can talk to him. Ya know, clear things up?" he suggests politely.

"You've done enough, thank you." I state, leaving the room abruptly. I take a glance at him over the balcony as I reach the top of the staircase. He sits quietly looking down at his hands. I sigh. I already feel bad for yelling at him. 

I make it back to my room, heading straight for my bed. Laying down, I take out my phone checking for any new messages; surprisingly, I have two. Excitedly, I open them up. 

Noah Anderson -- Morning, Raegan. How's life in London? 

I smile. It has been ages since I heard anything from Noah. I really do miss him.

Good morning Mr. Anderson! London is lovely. Life is.. complicated. How's life in Colorado? 

I hit send, excitedly waiting for his reply. Meanwhile, I decide to open my other message. As I do so, a look of utter shock spreads across my face. It's from Liam.

Liam Payne -- Hello! Sorry about rushing out on you this morning. )= I didn't expect to see you so early. Hope you're having a good morning! xx

I stare at the message, dumfounded. Not only is he wishing me a good day, but he also apologized for this morning. I wasn't even upset about this morning! The corners of my mouth begin to lift as I read over the message again and again. I can't stop myself from smiling. He cares. 

Hi, Liam. (= No worries. I didn't expect to see you either. My mornings been... interesting. How's yours?

By the time I hit send on my message to Liam, Noah texts back.

Noah Anderson -- Mr. Anderson? Oh please, Raegan. Mr. Anderson's my father. Colorado is the same as when you left it. Why's life so complicated?

Shit. That's a good question. Why is life so complicated? Well for one, my fathers best friend confessed his feelings for me last night. Yeah, that's pretty complicated. Secondly, I confessed them back... that made it worse. My best friend told me that you, Noah, are in love with me! And things still aren't right with my "father." Oh, and to top it all of, I yelled at Niall, making him upset with me. Thats how life is complicated! Unfortunately, I can't tell Noah all that.

Oh, ya know... this "father-daugther" thing. It's still weird. =/ 

Yeah. That's a good answer. No mentioning of Liam. ...Or Niall. Let's keep it that way. Just then, another message from Liam appears on my screen.

Liam Payne -- Interesting? How so? Mines, alright. I'm tired already. Guess I'm getting too old for this kind of thing. ;) 

Oh no... why did he have to say that? Too old? I sigh. He's really not helping my situation. And what's with the winking face? There's never an appropriate time for the winking face! I sigh again. OK, Rae. Calm down. Why are you overthinking everything? Relax. I text back before reading the new message from Noah.

Oh, nothing to worry about. Just a bit of a missunderstanding.

Too vague? Nah. Hopefully he'll just drop it. I really don't want to explain to Liam how Niall lead me into Harry's room, and left me there only for him to wake up and catch me leaving. I put my head in my hands. God, that was so embarassing. I shake my head, opening my message from Noah.

Noah Anderson -- Oh, yeah. I can imagine. Have you guys talked at all?

Have we talked? Hmm. Do I count the "Don't let Zayn take advantage of you" speech as a talk? It'll have to do. 

Yeah, a little. He gave me some hints on how to keep up with the rest of the boys.

Oh no. That sounded weird. Dammit, now he's going to think somethings up. I reread the message. No, Raegan. It's fine. Why do I keep overthinking everything? Oh look, a new message from Liam. 

Liam Payne -- Hmm. Okay. Well, maybe you can tell me about it later. Louis's nagging me again, so I better go. See you this afternoon! xx

Yeah, maybe I'll "tell him about it later." Or maybe, I'll just avoid it, and hope he forgets. I roll my eyes, deciding not to think about it now. I open my new message from Noah. 

Noah Anderson -- Hints? Like what? Look down before sitting in the bathroom? =P

I roll my eyes and smile. Good. He didn't take it the wrong way. See, Rae? What were you worried about? As I begin typing my reply, I hear a faint tap on my doorframe. I look up, surprised to see Harry standing in the doorway. Suddenly, I feel my face turn bright red, and the very recent embarrassment comes back to me.

"Got a minute?" he asks, before I can say anything.

"Uh-h, yeah. O-of course." Oh, no. He's going to call me out on what happened earlier. Breathe, Rae. Breathe. 

He sighs, walking into the room. Oh no, why is he sighing? 

He sits stiffly at the end of my bed, staring at the ground as if he's in deep thought. Finally he speaks. "How are you?" he asks, throwing me completely off guard.  

"G-good?" I stutter, confused by his words. "How-how are you?" I manage to ask back, politely.

"Erm.. good, I suppose." He says quietly. Wow, this is awkward. He sits for a long moment, completely silent as if he's unsure about what he's about to say. "Your birthday.." he finally begins. "Erm.. what are your plans?" he spits out. Again, I'm caught of guard.

"Oh." I think. I honestly have none. I mean, what's to do? My only friends are 5,000 miles away. "I suppose, I don't really have any?" I shrug. "Don't really know anyone around here, so.." I stop, not finishing my sentence.

"Right.." he nods nervously. "Well.." he starts, "Now you do." He smiles and for the third time I'm completely taken aback. Wait. What? Just yesterday you didn't even know my birthday was coming up.

"Oh?" Is all I manage to get out.  

He nods. "Taken care of," he smiles again, trying to reassure me. I smile back, not knowing how else to respond. He lingers another moment, before standing and heading for the door. I exhale deeply in relief, but then he stops. "Oh, and Raegan?" 

"Y-yes?" I ask, softly.

"Next time you want a tour of my room. Just ask." He smirks, and for the first time since he walked in the room, he actually looks relaxed. I flush, bright red, my face reheating. 

"Harry, I--"

He smiles, shaking his head. "Don't worry about it."

And with that, he leaves, shutting the door behind him. I sigh loudly, falling back on my bed. Today's been a long day, and it's just getting started...



Authors Note:

Hello! Thank you guys so much for your patience! I don't know why this chapter was so hard to get out, but it was! I'm happy I can finally release it. I kind of have a surprise that I've been working on, on the side, and I hope you guys like it. I'm releasing a new book, called "Delilah." It would mean a lot if you all checked it out! No worries, I'm still going to be updating this story as often as I can! It's far from over. I, again, thank you for all of your guys' patience! I really appreciate it. Love you all! xx 

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