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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2. Party Preparing

 

 

Pietra practically dragged me upstairs, a giddy look on her pretty face. I was 99.9% sure I knew what was coming. Sighing, I trudged up the stairs as she pulled me along, and together we walked down the hall and entered the first door on the right, which was my room.

Right across from that was Louis' room, and of course, he'd hung up a "DO NOT CROSS" sign on his door, along with millions of random little bumper stickers that didn't even make sense.

You'd think that I'd be the neat freak in this family, but in reality Louis was the one that kept his room practically spotless all the time. Maybe that's why he was our mother's favorite.

Our mom worked for a major law firm that caused her to go on business trips constantly, and when she was gone with was more than half of the time, Lou looked after me like the "good" big brother he was.

It was an advantage to him because that meant it was incredibly easy to throw the best parties. Since the school year was starting in a couple of days, Louis and his mates wanted to start the year off with a bang that could blow all his other parties right out of the water. The beginning-of-the-year parties were always the craziest ones, because everyone was in denial that summer was coming to an end. 

That was absolutely peachy for me (note the sarcasm) because I really hated large crowds. Add that to a bunch of drunk, rowdy teenagers, whores wearing almost nothing at all, and the sweaty crush of people grinding on each other on the dance floor, and it was enough to literally make me feel sick. I know, I'm a dork. I'm just claustrophobic, that's all. I guess it was just an example of how my brother and I were different from each other.

Nevertheless, even though I usually stayed up in my room half of the time, I always found myself dressing up in the cutest outfit I owned and going downstairs, having at least a little bit of fun. I still hated it, but at least I knew a lot of the people there, and that made it more bearable. I usually waited until the party was in full swing, and then I took the plunge and walked downstairs.

Pietra practically pushed me inside my room, and she closed and locked the door so none of those pesky boys could just waltz in.

My room was the biggest one in the house, only because when we moved here when I was in kindergarten, I was the first one to call dibs. After my dad died, he left a lot of money in our family account, and since my mom made a fair amount on her own, we had a nice supply of money. That meant my room was pretty cool. I had a fluffy king-sized bed with stylish red and black sheets, and a full mirror covering one entire wall, and a bulletin board covering the other. I had my own Mac computer in the corner, and a huge walk-in closet. I always teased Louis that I had the best room, and that really seemed to get on his nerves, because, well, it was true.

 Pietra flopped down onto my bed with a smile and started to laugh hysterically. I gave her a weird look as I sunk down into one of my beanbag chairs overlooking my flat-screen TV. 

"Are you going to elaborate on the reason you're laughing like a retarded hyena?" I countered, raising my eyebrow, a little weirded out. 

She sat up and wiped her eyes with her finger, careful not to smear her mascara. "Please," she scoffed. "Like you don't know."

I wrinkled my brow in confusion. "Excuse me?"

She threw her hands up in the air. "So you totally didn't see Styles checking you out back in the kitchen?" she asked, her eyes wide. "Or the way he tried every excuse in the book to be physically close to you?"

I threw my head back and laughed. Oh, so that's what she was getting at here.

"Has it actually occurred to you that Harry Styles is a certified man-whore?" I asked incredulously, shaking my head in disbelief. "I mean, you've known him forever, Pietra. He flirts with every single two-legged female on the planet."

"Not with me," she pointed out, fake-pouting as she brought her knees up to her chest. 

"Girl, what drug are you on? Did you not see him wink at you earlier?" I asked. She just rolled her eyes dismissively. 

"What I'm trying to say is," she told me, "I think Styles has a thing for you." 

I put my face in my hands and groaned. "Did you not just hear me, Pietra?"

"I did, but come on. It's obvious, okay?" A smirk played across her pink lips as she spoke. "The way he teases you constantly? Looks you up and down with that glint in his eye? Heck, even that staring contest had big flashing red lights pasted on top of it. And why do you think he kept reaching into the crisp bowl? He knew you were going to slap his hand away. Nice try playing it cool, girl, but it's way too obvious." She smiled triumphantly, obviously satisfied.

I chewed my lip. I hadn't thought of it that way. Harry was totally obnoxious, and he flirted with me almost constantly, but I never thought he actually liked me like that. I always figured it had to do with his ego, like it was all a game to him. Could Pietra be right?

But then again, he flirted with everyone, even the teachers at school. How the hell was I supposed to know if he liked me or not? It wasn't like he treated me special or anything. Once a player, always a player. I'd seen him with a new girl draped over him every week. Obviously he used the same charm on them as he did on me. 

Not that I cared, of course. I mean, ew. For Christ sake, he's my brother's best friend.

"Even if he did fancy me, Louis would kill him," I told Pietra, leaning my head back in the beanbag chair and looking at my reflection in the mirror. My dark hair was so long, it nearly touched the floor. 

"Oh God, remember Liam, Amber? He just wanted to go on a date with you, but he was practically crying when Louis was done with him," Pietra laughed, but I couldn't help but wince at the memory.

It was a few months after my dad had died, and I was in seventh grade. Louis was in eighth, and he was going through a really rough time. His grades were slipping and he got kicked off the soccer team for starting so many fights. He'd always lock himself up in his room the minute he came home from school and wouldn't come down, not even for dinner. No one was really in the mood for a family dinner anyway. At that time, I wasn't even sure we were a family. 

I was really struggling too, although I can't remember much of it at all. Louis says that I cried myself to sleep every night, and he'd have to come in my room and hug me, rocking me gently until I fell asleep. I don't recall that in the slightest, but maybe I blocked it out or something. I don't know.

Seventh grade was a really terrible year for me, nevertheless. I wasn't as social as I used to be and my grades were dropping as well. Besides our dad dying, there was just a lot going on for me. Which was why I was surprised when this kid named Liam Payne asked me out.

Liam was a sporty kid; he ran track in school, boxed, and believe it or not, he actually sang in the choir. He was cute and fairly popular, plus he was nice. He wasn't disrespectful to girls or anything, and he seemed almost bashful and shy when he asked me to the movies.

This was before I knew that Louis would be so protective of anyone going out with me. I really thought he would approve of this, or at least not really care. 

But once he found out that Liam had asked me out, he got this look on his face that scared the crap out of me. I begged him not to, but the next day at school, he jumped Liam and caught him totally off guard.

Liam was a good fighter, and he was able to throw a few defensive punches in, but Louis had punched him over and over again until he fell to the ground, totally weak, and then he began to kick him in the ribs.

I watched, the tears streaming down my cheeks. I just couldn't believe my own brother would do something like this.

By the time they broke the fight up, Liam was in really bad shape. The ambulance had to come and whisk him away. It turned out that he had a bruised rib, almost broken, and a broken arm, along with a black eye, bloody nose, and split lip.

As for Louis, he got away with having only two weeks of suspension. I remember the verbal fight we had after that, when he told me he'd just been trying to protect me, and I told him I wished he'd just gotten expelled.

We didn't speak for weeks after that.

We never saw Liam at school after that. Someone said he switched to the private school a couple of blocks over, but we never saw him at parties or anything. From then on, people knew not to mess with my brother. And ever since then, I've been afraid to date people for that very reason.

"Amber? Earth to Ambs?" Pietra's voice snapped me back to reality. I frowned and shook my head to clear those memories from my head. Funny, I'd forgotten about that until Pietra had mentioned Liam. 

"Sorry," I said, flashing an apologetic smile.

"What were you thinking about?"

"Nothing," I lied, examining my nonexistent split ends. I shrugged nonchalantly, not wanting to talk about the year my dad died. So many awful things happened that year in seventh grade, sometimes it brought me down just thinking about it. 

"Seriously, what is it? Ooh, are you thinking about Harry?" 

I haphazardly threw a pillow in Pietra's direction. She squealed and ducked, and it hit the wall, then slid down to the bed. She flipped me off and stuck out her tongue like a third grader. 

"What makes you think I have a crush on him?" I asked, amused.

She shrugged. "Just the way you two flirt all the time, and-"

"Correction: he flirts with me," I interrupted. 

"Well, yeah, but-"

I laughed dismissively. "Come on, let's get ready for the party." I hauled myself up and made my way to my walk-in closet. 

Pietra eagerly hopped off the bag and trailed behind me, excited. "Can I please borrow a dress for the party?"

I sighed. This was going to be a long night. 

.............................................................................................................................................

Two hours later, it was almost ready for the party to start. Pietra was in my bathroom doing the final touches on her makeup, while I was admiring my reflection in the full-length mirror that was my entire wall. 

I had to say, I looked pretty good, better than I usually did at least. Since this was going to be a bigger party than usual, I decided to put in a bit more effort. My dark hair was curled softly in a half-up, half-down style. I'd finally gotten my makeup the way I wanted to; I'd gone for a natural look that was still a bit flirty. I wore high-waisted shorts that showed off my long legs, and a belly shirt with a zipper and white lace that showed a bit of skin. For shoes, I decided on these super cute wedges that showed off my French pedicure. 

I knew that the minute Louis saw me, he'd get this pissed-off look on his face and tell me to go change, pointing upstairs to my room like I was a five-year-old. I was so sick of him doing that. He didn't have the right to tell me what to wear just because he didn't want guys to hit on his little sister. I mean, jeez. Sometimes he was so protective of me it made me want to scream.

So as usual, I decided to wait until at least half of the people were here, so it was less likely that Louis wouldn't yell at me in front of all those people. I wanted to wear this, because I felt good in it. There was no way my possessive big brother was going to control me. I smiled at my reflection, satisfied, when all of a sudden my phone beeped from on my bed. I sighed and padded over, picking it up and looking at the screen.

It was from Niall, one of my best guy friends. He and Louis were pretty good mates too - they played soccer together- and once Louis saw that Niall really didn't have any intrest in me in that way, he approved of our friendship. 

Niall was just this really easygoing, fun Irish dude who didn't really care what anyone thought of him. That's what I liked about him - he was never boring to have around. Whenever we hung out, something interesting always happened. I really liked him . . . but not in that way. 

To: Amber 

From: Niall:D

Hey Ambs . . . you coming to the party tonight? lol

I smiled and rolled my eyes as I typed a message back on my white iPhone. 

To: Niall:D

Do I have a choice? Ha-ha..

A minute later, my phone beeped again.

From: Niall:D 

Well, I'm only coming if you guys have food this time(:

I couldn't help but laugh a little at Niall's typical response. I was about to type something back when Pietra emerged from the bathroom, wearing one of my super-tight little black dresses and her blonde hair in a messy updo. No doubt trying to impress my brother and his man-whore of a best friend. 

"Who ya texting?" she asked, snapping her gum as she came to sit on the bed beside me. 

"Niall." I slid my phone into my back pocket and shrugged. 

"That Irish dude?" she asked, and I nodded. She whistled approvingly and grinned at me. "He is pretty cute, I'll give you that. But my heart belongs to Louis," she gushed, putting a hand over her heart and sighing dreamily. 

"He's not even yours," I scolded, pushing her playfully. She swatted my hand away, laughing. When she finally sobered up, she looked sideways at me again. "So do you like him?"

"Who? Niall?" I asked, scrunching up my brow. 

She rolled her eyes. "No, Louis," she joked. "Of course Niall!" This time it was her turn to push me playfully.

I groaned. "Oh, wow, Pietra. First Harry, then Niall. What, are you like trying to set me up with someone or something?" 

She shrugged. "It wouldn't hurt." 

"I guess you're right." I got up from the bed and made my way over to the window, plopping down on my window seat and staring out at the pretty August sunset. Just another reminder that summer would be over soon, and we'd be too busy studying for stupid tests instead of appreciating little things like that. There wouldn't even be many parties anymore, except for on Friday nights. "But you know Louis. He'd kill anyone who ever tried to flirt with me. Besides, I don't think I'm ready to date." I lied.

Pietra barked out a laugh. "Not ready to date? Amber, you're almost seventeen." 

I didn't respond to that. I kind of did want to date, there were just so many obstacles in my way. Not just Louis, but most every cute guy at my school was either a total player or taken. I sighed, leaning my head against the window, when I saw a couple of cars park in our driveway. The party had officially started. 

"Hey, people are arriving," I told Pietra, turning around to face her. "Want to go down?" 

"Sure thing, are you coming with?"

"I think I'll stay up here until the party's in full swing. It's what I always do." 

"Okay. I think I'm going to help Louis and Harry pass out drinks. I'll be downstairs in the kitchen." 

"Sounds good." I waved her off and turned back to the window, just watching the sun disappear from behind the trees as more and more people arrived.

 

 

 

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