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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24. Genius

One, two, three.” He counted down, and then we each began to push against the other. The battle raved on, and I cussed quietly as I realized that there was no way I'd win. Not that I really thought I'd win in the first place... But still! This made Harry laugh, the kind I loved, when his nose scrunched up and he squeezed his eyes shut. I was prepared to surrender, when Harry's strength faltered, and his arm moved with my strength almost all the way to the metal we were propped on. My grin widened as Harry's shrunk, I pushed with all my might, forcing his fist to hit the bonnet of Niall's car. I won! I jumped up, skipping to Harry's side.

“I win.” I grinned, overwhelmed with sudden excitement and happiness (for no good reason I might add).

“You win.” He agreed, the corner of his mouth twitched. Without thinking I placed my hand on the back of his neck, forcing his lips down to connect with mine. He was surprised, I felt it in his kiss. I grinned on his lips, no teasing today, I just wanted a good old-fashioned kiss. When I finally backed away, to read his face, it was smug. My eyes narrowed as a realization hit me.

“You let me win.” I accused.

“A stroke of genius, I'm beginning to think.” He grinned. I shook my head, poking him in the stomach so that he stepped back.

“Well, I get shot gun and a kiss, so I suppose I'm set as well.” I snickered, and it was then that I realized that four pairs of eyes had just watched our entire encounter. I glanced around at them, the onlookers all had amused grins plastered on their faces. Blush crept into my cheeks.

“I forgot we had an audience...” I mumbled.

“That gives you four witnesses to say you beat me in an arm wrestling match.” Harry smirked, pecking my cheek and tugging we toward the car door. I guess he was right...

Everyone now got into their assigned cars. I rode shot gun in Niall's car, which he drove, and Harry sat behind me. Louis, Liam, and Zayn rode together. They followed us through winding streets.

“Harry said he had a lot of fun on the balloon ride yesterday, did you?” Niall asked, peeking over to me.

“Yeah, I had loads of fun. It was amazing.” I answered. I half-giggled-half-screamed as Harry's hands came up and tickled my side. He and Niall both laughed at my reaction.

“You don't seem intimidated by the football game we're about to play.” Niall pointed out.

“That's because I'm not.” I grinned.

“Just tickle her, she'll fall to the ground laughing.” Harry chuckled.

“I could do the same to you, Styles.” I smirked.

“I'm terrified.” He said sarcastically.

“You should be.” I mumbled, smug. They all thought they were so good compared to their girlfriends. Wait, I'm pretty sure those two girls are their girlfriends...

“Hey,” I began to ask a question, but then noticed Niall's huge grin. “What's funny?” I demanded, suspicious. He shook his head.

“Just you two.” He laughed lightly. I looked back at Harry. He shrugged. What was funny about us? I shook it off.

“Anyway, those two girls, they're girlfriends right?” I questioned.

“Perrie and Zayn are engaged, but the press don't know yet. Perrie hasn't worn the ring out in public, and Eleanor is Louis' girlfriend, but we're pretty sure that she'll be a fiance soon enough as well.” Niall answered.

“Okay, I can remember that. When did Perrie and Zayn get engaged?” I asked.

“A month ago.” Niall replied.

“It's still acceptable for me to tell them congratulations, right?” I looked back at Harry, anxious now.

“Of course, they'll be delighted. You should see both of them light up when ever anybody mentions it.” Harry chuckled softly behind me.

“We're here.” Niall grinned, pulling off the paved road onto a dirt one. We drove through a bunch of trees for a few minutes, winding down the path. Suddenly the trees disappeared, and we pulled into an open field, with a football net on either side, completely surrounded by forest. A car with two girls leaning against it was already parked along the edge. Niall pulled up behind them, then the other boys behind us.

“Wow...” I breathed. This was amazing. Our own private field...

“Isn't it awesome??” Harry grinned. I nodded slowly, stepping out of the car only after Niall and Harry had. As if waiting for permission. Not normal, but nothing was normal anymore was it?

“Oh my god Harry is this her??” One of the girl's exclaimed, running over to us all, the other not far behind.

“In the flesh.” He grinned at me. I couldn't hold back my answering smile, no matter how much it made me look like a love sick idiot.

“That's Eleanor, the girl behind her is Perrie.” He whispered in my ear as the distance between the two groups got smaller. I nodded, before I could even think of anything to say back someone had their arms wrapped around me in a suffocatingly tight hug. Whoa, okay, that was new...

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