My Brother's Best Friend | One Direction (13+)

The name's Amber. Amber Tomlinson. Yes, I'm the sister of Louis Tomlinson, the biggest player in school. That's about all I'm known for, and all I'm seen as. Although I'm attractive, I've never had a boyfriend. Wanna know why? Because Louis tells all of the guys to stay away from me, even his best mate, Harry. Louis says I'm "too nice" for my own good. And Harry . . . well, Harry's even worse. He's the most arrogant, egotistical player I've ever met. And he flirts with me constantly! I could kill him sometimes.

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7. Cheering You Up

I felt like I could stay in his arms forever. Everything felt so cozy, so safe, so right. My heart raced against his chest as I buried my head in his arms, not wanting to let go. It was like holding onto a piece of my heart I didn't want to slip away. He kissed my head and I just let the tears flow harder.

I didn't know why Harry was doing this. He certainly didn't have to. He could have just as well ignored the whole situation altogether, or maybe even stuck to Louis' side like he usually did in these arguments.

But instead he followed me. Me. His best friend's kid sister. The one he teased to no end, the one he liked to see upset. So why would he race to my side, fling his arms around me like he needed me to survive? I had no earthly idea.

He was never like this. He was Harry. That little statement on its own should have been enough to sum up everything. Asshole was practically his middle name! Why the hell would he give a damn about me? Sure, he'd known me all his life, but that didn't mean he cared about me enough to actually run after me and just hold me like this?

I bit the insides of my cheeks, trying to stop from crying. I hated crying in front of people, especially him; it made me feel weak. I didn't like crying, period. It never solved anything. My dad wasn't going to come back. Louis would never stop being protective of me. I just had to suck it up and deal with those things. I couldn't just mope around; it seemed almost selfish to me. 

I took a shuddery breath, drawing my face back from Harry but still holding on tightly to him. He smiled sadly at me, an expression on him I'd never seen, and wiped my tears away with his thumb. I smiled shakily back, embarrassed as hell. God, I was so weak, crying my eyes out in front of him. He probably thought I was an emotional wreck. 

"I'm sorry," I whispered, my voice shaking as I stepped away from him slightly.

"Sorry for what, Dots?" he asked, genuine concern flashing across his face. I stared up at him, dumbfounded. Why wasn't he laughing at me? Was this some type of joke? 

"For falling apart like this." I answered, wincing slightly as I spoke. He chuckled a bit and held me tighter. 

"You don't have to apologize, Amber," he said seriously, his green eyes looking into mine so intensely it felt like he could see into my soul. I dropped my gaze and looked down at my hands, unable to talk or breathe. Dammit! Why did he affect me like this? Why couldn't I speak whenever he looked into my eyes like that? 

"But I must seem so wimpy to you," I protested once I'd finally found my voice, which had strengthened. I wiped the last of my tears away with the back of my hand and looked at him, nervous about what his reaction might be.

He just rolled his eyes and snorted, waving his hand dismissively. "You? Wimpy? Nah," he said with a lopsided grin. I laughed despite myself, causing him to laugh too. 

"Seriously, though, Dots," he said once the laughter had died down. "You're probably...,"

He paused, and I could practically see the internal debate running through his head. He laughed at himself, putting his face in his hands. 

"Nevermind," he mumbled, staring down at the ground. "I won't say it." 

My jaw dropped open. "Come on, Styles, now I have to know," I said half-jokingly, taking him by the arm and shaking it a bit. "Tell me!" 

"No... once I say it, you'll probably think I fancy you," he said with a shrug and a light laugh.

There was something in his eyes that I couldn't place. I swallowed, suddenly feeling really, really warm, and it wasn't because of his hoodie. I bit my lip and shifted from foot to foot, barking out an awkward laugh. 

"That would be totally weird," I said, rolling my eyes and waving that idea off as if it could just disappear into thin air.

"Yeah. Weird...," he agreed, and suddenly the air was as thick and awkward as a wintertime blanket. I shoved my hands into my pockets and stared at the pink tiles on the ground, counting them one by one, from the door to where Harry stood, trying to distract myself from the situation. I could barely breathe.

I had only gotten to twelve tiles when he spoke again.

"So what made you so upset?" he asked, tilting his head. I breathed a sigh of relief, glad the topic had changed.

In response to his question, I shook my head. "You wouldn't understand."

"Sure I would," he countered, his eyes green eyes sparkling mischievously. 

"It's complicated."

"I think I can keep up." 

"Are you challenging me?" I demanded, stepping forward a bit.

"Maybe, maybe not." Harry flashed his trademark smirk.

I rolled my eyes, relenting, but inside I was fuming. Harry knew damn well his games irritated me, and that's what he was doing. Irritating me. Again. Just when I thought he'd stopped being a complete asshole...

"You're just lucky I don't have the energy to smack you right now," I threatened, crossing my arms over my chest.

He laughed, running his fingers through his mess of dark curls. "Oh, that's how it is, it it? After all I've done?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. 

"No, I appreciate that. But I just don't want to talk about it." 

"Okay. Fine with me." Harry raised his hands in surrender, still smirking. His smirk faded, though, when he saw my morose expression. 

"You know, I think Louis is really just trying to protect you," he said.

"I know." I scratched at a mosquito bite on the inside of my ankle with my other toe, avoiding his gaze. I sighed, feeling his eyes study me. "It's just... I'm not a fucking little girl, you know? And ever since Dad died...," I felt my throat close up at my own mention of my father. Furiously, I blinked back the tears prickling in my eyes. Oh hell no. I wasn't going to cry again.

"...He feels like he needs to take his place," Harry finished for me. 

I looked up at him. He smiled sadly at me again, and I fought the strange urge to just run into his arms again, but I restrained myself. Another silence fell upon us, but it was nothing like the first. This one was just peaceful.

 "Oh! Before I forget." Harry finally broke the silence, offering me a friendly smile. He fished something out of his pocket, whisking it behind his back before I could see.

"Guess what's behind my ba-ack," he trilled in a sing-song voice like we were in second grade again.

I covered my face with my hands and laughed. "Oh, God, Styles. Really?" 

"Just guess."

"Why?"

"Pretty please?" he whined. 

"Is it suddenly primary school again?" 

"Sure. Why not? Just guess what's behind my back." 

"No."

"You know you wanna," he teased, rocking back and forth on his heels. 

"Fine. What's behind your back?" I craned my neck and leaned forward, trying to get a peek at whatever he held in his hands.

"Hey! No cheating, missy!" Harry scolded. "It's supposed to be a surprise!" 

"Don't call me missy," I growled. 

"Okay! Jeez! Right, then, I'll give you a hint," he said, his eyes bright. 

"Good lord. What the fuck are you going on about?" 

"It's something to cheer you up," he said with another one of those genuine smiles that made my heart do this weird little dance.

I shook those weird feelings off, whatever they were, and gave him a skeptical look. "Okay...," 

"And you might say it's... out of this world." He giggled like a mad girl on crack.

"What the hell? Harry, just show me!" My patience snapped and I lunged for whatever was behind his back, grinning evilly. He blocked me like a basketball player, moving from side to side jokingly each time I did. I all but flew myself at him, laughing now, but he stopped me, holding me by the sides of my stomach. I tried to ignore the fact that it sent shivers down my spine. I locked eyes with him.

"I'll tickle you," he whispered,

"You wouldn't."

"We'll see about that, Dots." 

And then he tickled me.

I began to squeal, laughing uncontrollably until I couldn't breathe and tears were rolling down my cheeks. But these ones were from happiness, not pain. I tried to wriggle free of his grasp, turning around so I could escape, but he grabbed me and tickled me again. 

"Ha-ha, no you don't," he laughed, and to my surprise he actually lifted me up bridal style as if I weighed nothing at all.

"Damn you, Styles!" I shouted at the top of my lungs. A few people who'd walked in just then stopped and stared at us, but I barely paid them any attention. I couldn't stop laughing, even after he'd stopped tickling me. He spun me around and around until I was dizzy. 

"Stop!" I demanded, my stomach hurting from laughing so much. He did, and it took me a minute to catch my breath. When I looked into his sparkling green eyes, I started laughing again. I couldn't help it.

"By the way, why are you acting so nice to me lately?" I asked as he held me in his arms. He just rolled his eyes.

"What, so you'd rather me be an asshole?" 

"No... but....," 

"Here." He gently set me down, reached into his pocket, and pulled out a little stuffed alien. 

I took it, confused. It was a cute little green martian, with big black eyes and a little smile. "What is this?" 

"An alien," he said with a straight face. I studied him, and after a moment he burst out laughing. 

"I don't know, all right?" he cried. "I won it in the vending machine. I was going to keep it, but then I remembered our little conversation about me being abducted by aliens or something, and then you were crying your eyes out, and I thought I'd cheer you up...,"

My mouth dropped open. Holy crap, he'd actually won this for me? 

Something was definitely wrong with him.

I looked from the little alien in my hands to Harry. "Are you feeling okay?" I asked, a little amused. 

His face fell, and he pretended to be hurt. "You don't like it," he accused, whining like a little kid. 

"You're avoiding the question, Styles. What's with all of this, really? Buying my ticket? Splitting the popcorn? Rushing in to the freaking girl's room just to cheer me up? And now this?" I held up the alien and shook it to demonstrate.

Now his face really fell. He looked down at the ground, falling silent. My heart dropped to my shoes. What had I done?

"I don't know," he mumbled. Then, abruptly, he looked up, and his eyes were sharp and serious. "I just want to be nice. I know I've been an asshole to you, okay? I...," he started to say something, but then thought better of it. "I want to make it up to you." 

"Well... t-thanks," I stammered, my face flushing red. I shook my head, dazed. I couldn't freaking believe this. Who would have thought that Harry, the definition of an arrogant, obnoxious man-whore, was actually guilty about all the things he'd done to me? 

Had Harry Styles... changed?

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