Always and Never

Ariel Tanner believed that love was nothing but an illusion, a sick prank your brain pulls on you. But when she meets Harry Styles she begins to question everything she has put together about love. This frustrating boy was the only truly genuine person she'd ever met. How someone like him could even exist blew her mind. Harry, on the other hand, was amazed at how closed off Ariel acted. He made it his mission to knock down the walls she'd built around herself, because behind the flirting and the sarcasm, he got a glimpse of a girl that he wanted to become as close as humanly possible to. But did he really want to know everything behind those walls?

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36. Diana

I felt like I didn't belong in a building as fancy as that one was... Harry wove his fingers between mine as we rode up the roomy elevator. I looked around in wonder when the doors opened.

They opened straight away into a large room. There were three couches and two lazy chairs arranged in a circle. A guitar and a set of drumsticks rested on one of the couches. Zayn was sleeping across the second couch, Louis was playing on his iPad, stretched across the other. Liam and Niall each took up a lazy chair. They were both on their phones. A full sized fridge sat in the corner. On the other half of the room was a very expensive looking recording studio. Almost every instrument you could need for a band sat on shelves in the back. Lastly five microphones were set up, the huge professional ones. Two men sat in front of the giant keyboard outside the booth.

“Finally mate, we thought you'd never show up.” Louis smirked.

“Hello Ariel, Harry didn't tell us you were coming.” Liam commented, looking pleasantly surprised.

“Yeah, and we saw you pull up through the window, why aren't you driving your Mercedes?” Niall questioned, curious.

“Uh... That's a long story. Not important though.” Harry answered, glancing at me for my reaction. I felt my cheeks heat up, but tried to ignore it.

“You're up first.” Zayn motioned toward the booth, awake now, “Whoever is last to arrive has to go first.” He explained, turning to me. I nodded, smiling slightly. Niall got up and moved the instruments off the first couch for me. Harry pecked my cheek, then made his way into the booth.

“Thanks.” I muttered to Niall as he sat down again.

“No biggie, Liam got some stuff from the bakery before he came in. Help yourself.” He responded, smiling kindly. It would probably help my stomach if I ate something. I shuffled over to the huge box with bakery goods, picked out myself a croissant, then sat down on the couch and began to eat it. I watched Harry sing as I ate, not bothering to get out my phone like the others.

The men had the speakers on so we could all hear him. He looked so happy. The only time I'd ever seen him look so delighted was first, when he was with his family, and occasionally he'd look at me with the same expression...

Every once and a while he'd turn and wink at me, or just grin. He was recording for over an hour. I was amazed by how good he was... When he was finally dismissed Lou got up and began recording. Louis was amazing too!

Harry shared the couch with me, we sat like we had in the backseat of his car. With my feet on his lap and his on mine.

“Is that a tattoo?” He asked, pointing to the small British flag on my foot.

“Yep.” I answered, grinning.

“I didn't know you had this.” He let out a surprised little laugh, tracing my tattoo with his index finger.

“Would you be up to getting matching ones?” He mused.

“Uh, honestly, it hurt really bad and I'd rather not go through it again.” I smiled sheepishly. I only got it to piss off my mom... 

Harry laughed, harder than I would have imagined any one would at the situation. Lou's singing paused, I looked around and all 4 boys were watching us. Louis was getting in trouble for stopping because it apparently had been a really good take.

“Calm down precious, I'll just do it again.” I heard him mumble. He couldn't have heard Harry laughing, so he must have seen it. It made them all grin. Harry ignored it, and I concentrated on Harry. They must love seeing their friend so happy... Who wouldn't? He was like a ray of sunshine.

“Well never-mind then.” He grinned. I laughed quietly.

“I really liked that one song that you did in the beginning.” I complimented. I didn't know the name of it.

“Which one? Diana or Something Great?” He questioned.

“The one Louis' singing right now.” I answered.

“That's Diana. I really like that one too.” He agreed. We talked quietly while each boy took a turn in the booth, then I sat alone while they recorded together. It was around 1 in the afternoon when they all put their big headphones on the microphone stand and joined me again.

“We get a break now, we can leave if you'd like, or stay here.” Harry said, helping me off the couch.

“How about we get lunch together?” Zayn suggested.

“You guys can, but I've got to meet El at her place.” Louis responded. We all squished into the now seemingly small elevator. I was mushed in between Niall and Harry. Harry took the opportunity to tickle my sides. I half giggled/half screamed.

“Harry!” I exclaimed, turning around and tickling him back as he continued poking me. We could barely move so there was no getting away from each other. We each giggled the whole way down.

“You get him Ariel!” Zayn encouraged. The lads were laughing at us. When the elevator doors opened Harry had managed to grab my arms, holding them at my sides. We walked awkwardly, with him behind me, refusing to let go.

"You're a little bit stuck, Love." He grinned. 

"I noticed." I couldn't hold back my answering smile.

"How are you gonna get away?" Harry mused. 

"I could seduce you into letting me go." I suggested, smirking.

"I'd like to see you try." He laughed. 

"Is that a challenge?" My eyes narrowed. 

"You tell me." He growled playfully, releasing my arms so that I could walk freely. I playfully punched his arm, and he laughed.

“Do you guys want to come to my place? We can order a pizza and have it delivered there.” Zayn asked, grinning, just like everyone else.

“Sure, sounds good.” Niall agreed. Liam and Harry nodded. I didn't really care what we did.

Louis looked much too smug driving the opposite way as us, and it made me suspicious, but I didn't say anything. Zayn's house was near where Louis' was. Zayn must have ordered the pizza when we left the recording place because the pizza guy got there at about the same time we did. Zayn's house was more futuristic than Lou's and Harry's. Though it was huge, just like everyone else's. It was awesome. On the inside there were paintings and drawings hung on the walls. Most of which were signed with Zayn's signature.

“Your house is incredible.” I said in awe.

“Thanks. I really like it.” Zayn nodded, setting multiple pizza boxes out on his kitchen counter. Everybody ate a few slices, standing around the kitchen. Zayn's furniture was white. Probably not his smartest decision considering he was in a band with 4 other messy boys.

“I plan on splatter painting them with fabric dye or something. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.” He explained to me when we were done eating.

"That's awesome. I've never heard of anyone doing something like that." I replied.

"Haha. It should be cool." He grinned, nodding.

We had about a half an hour to watch TV together before they had to be back at the studio. I ran to one of Zayn's washrooms before we left. When I was on my way back I heard my name. I decided to stop and listen for a minute. I hid, pressed up against the wall of the hallway so that they couldn't see me.

“She agreed to move in with me.” I heard Harry mutter.

“That explains how happy you looked this morning. Normally it takes you an hour or so to wake up!” Niall exclaimed.

“Shhh! She's just down the hall!” Harry whispered.

“It's not like it's news to her, mate.” Liam laughed.

“I guess... I just don't know if she wanted me to tell anyone or not.” Harry answered.

“Now what else?” Zayn asked.

“What do you mean?” Harry replied, sounding confused.

“I can see it on your face, there's something else you need to say.” Zayn prodded.

“Er... Well, you know how I tracked down her mum and invited her to visit?” Harry started. I cringed against the wall. Damn, he was gonna tell them.

“Yeah, we never heard how that went.” Niall said.

“It was dreadful. They yelled at each other, Ariel was mad at me, she took my car and got drunk in her apartment... I went and got her, but I had to basically break in. I found a pin on the hall ground and I picked her lock, then brought her home with me.” Harry mumbled, sounding sad.

“But she's obviously forgiven you.” Liam tried to reassure him.

“Yeah, she did, pretty quickly actually. Quicker than I think I deserved. She told me how awful her mum was to her and I was too dumb to realize that them getting together wouldn't be all hugs and kisses...” Harry trailed off.

“I think what you did was a goodhearted thing. You wouldn't do anything to hurt her, and she knows that.” Zayn replied.

“Yeah, it's over now Haz, nothing you can do. Just be happy she's not angry.” Niall muttered. I heard Harry sigh.

“I feel like I hurt her though. I hate how... broken she seemed, in her apartment. And on her birthday too...” Harry went on, just getting quieter and quieter. Enough. I didn't want him to keep beating himself up. I tiptoed back down the hall, then walked loudly out to where the boys were waiting. Harry smiled at me when I came into view. They'd all gone silent at the sound of my return.

“Ready to go?” Liam asked to break the silence. Niall, Harry and Zayn mumbled in agreement and jumped off the couch. I walked beside Harry to his car, it was silent for most of the trip.

“I think I'll call my mum tonight.” I said quietly.

“What?” He replied, looking at me like I was a stranger, or an alien.

“I said, I think I'll call my mum tonight. It doesn't feel right leaving things where they stand, so I think I'll invite her to lunch or something. We can talk. Like human beings.” I answered. That should make him feel better. I was planning on seeing mum again after what he'd done- well not until just a few minutes ago, but still... Now he can feel like he actually helped.

“Wow really?” He asked, in awe.

“Yeah. Don't you think...?” I trailed off.

“Yes! Yes, I think it's a great idea. I'm glad that you're gonna speak with her again.” He smiled, parking close to the huge building.

We each got out, he walked lighter on his feet, happier. The rest of the day went quickly, Harry and I messing around on the couch when he wasn't in the booth. By the time they were all done it was quite late. 10 at night. Harry dropped me off at home. We kissed goodnight, not for very long though. We were each tired.

“I'll pick you up tomorrow?” He suggested.

“How about I meet you at your house. I'll, uh, drive myself in your car, then you can drop me off at my house after.” I replied, feeling my cheeks begin to heat up. Harry chuckled.

“I suppose that's a better idea. What movie were you thinking of going to?” He asked.

“They're releasing an old Stephen King movie into the theaters again. The Shining.” I answered, grinning. One of the greats... 

“Alright, I can't wait.” He smiled.

“Should I, er... Pack up some of my stuff?” I questioned awkwardly.

“Yeah, if you want to.” He replied, his smile now lighting up the car.

“Okay, Goodnight.” I smiled back, stepping out of the car into the darkness...

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