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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15. Louis

It took me a long time to fall asleep, but when I did I crashed hard. I woke up really late, around lunch time. I had no missed calls or texts from anyone, so I didn't bother to shower or get dressed. My day was spent in an over sized t-shirt and underwear (obviously). No bra, no pants. My most comfortable look.

I heated up some soup for lunch, eating on my bed while I watched corny movies. It was nice, relaxing for a day. When the clock struck 8 I decided to take a bath, and I didn't get out for an hour. Even then I only threw my hair into a ponytail, and got dressed in pajamas.

At around 11 there came a knock at my door. I checked through the peep hole to see who it was before I unlocked the door. I assumed, someone who would come this late, would be Brad. But nope. It was Styles. I opened the door, a confused look on my face. He flashed an amazingly beautiful crooked smile, and suddenly, I didn't care why he was there...

Harry's Pov.

“Hello there,” I grinned, “I have an idea, but it needs one more person, so here I stand.” I explained as much as I was willing. She needed to be somewhat surprised, right? Otherwise it wouldn't be as fun.

“I'm going to need more details...” She prodded, her eyes widening slightly in expectation. I couldn't give her more! 

“I just need your help.” I repeated. I was worried for a second that she would opt to stay home, a thin sheet of sweat breaking out on my skin. Rejection. It still scared me, Ariel was unpredictable anyway. What if she just said no someday? No, go away, I don't want to see you anymore.

“Okay...” She agreed. I grinned wider, my worry evaporated... She grabbed her phone and keys before following me out, not asking to change clothes. We were both in our pajamas. Pretty similar pajamas too, actually. It was kinda funny. She didn't wear lacy, Victoria’s secret PJ's- Damn! Haha, just kidding- she wore flannel pants and an old looking t-shirt. Same as me...

I bit my lip to hold in the laughter when she began looking for my car in the parking lot.

“Where's your car?” She asked, confused. Even in the dark I could see the little wrinkles that appeared between her eyebrows.

“There.” I smirked, pointing to a black pick-up truck in the middle of the nearly empty parking lot. We couldn't have anyone recognize our vehicle! Especially the paps! I know that no body has seen me in this before!

“Where'd you get a truck??” She scoffed.

“I rented it.” I shrugged. It wasn't that weird, well, maybe a little... But I've definitely done weirder. A small, amused grin appeared on her face as I opened the passenger side door for her. It was strange to drive this machine, I felt like I was up to high, but it was pretty cool at the same time. About a minute into our drive she happen to look in the back seat, where the highlight of our night was being stored.

“You're kidding me, right?” She raised her eyebrows at me.

“Oh, that? Nope. That's what we're going to do.” I grinned.

“To who?” Ah, yes, the main question. The one that will set the tone for the date.

“Louis.” I replied. I'd decided on Louis, because I felt like he'd have the funniest reaction. She laughed as she glanced again, at the packages of toilet paper in the backseat.

“What exactly made you think of this?” She mused. Niall, it was Niall's idea, but I wasn't about to give him credit, in front of Ariel at least. I'd thank him later.

“I just wanted to have some fun.” I said, trying my best to sound nonchalant. She nodded, content with my answer, chuckling lightly again. I couldn't help but smile at her laugh, I wasn't gonna lie, it made me... happy. To hear her laugh made this warm joy bubble up inside me, that I didn't recognize, but I really, really liked it. I pulled onto Lou's street, stopping a ways down the road.

We filled our arms with packages of toilet paper and made our way down the street to Louis' house. Noise was strictly off-limits, so we made sure to laugh silently as we mouthed things to each other, throwing TP rolls into the trees. The toilet paper was almost gone when a light suddenly came on in the house. I panicked, so in three bounds I was across the yard and on top of Ariel. It would probably look quite comedic from a third person's point of view. I literally jumped on her and tackled her to the ground.

We landed behind the biggest tree, out of sight. I had to hold my hand over Ariel's mouth to muffle her hysterical laughter, and I had to press my own lips together pretty tightly to keep from laughing as well. Her whole body shook under mine with the waves of it.

“Shh! We can't let him catch us.” I whispered, amusement clear in my voice. Soon the lights turned off, and I was free to remove myself from her. Though, honestly, I didn't want to. Our bodies fit together perfectly, I'm sure she didn't notice, but I did. It took all my strength not to kiss her right there and then, kiss her with all the passion I could muster. I didn't, when the lights disappeared I forced myself to roll off her. No, she hadn't noticed the intimacy I felt, she looked like she was still holding in laughter from the whole tackling-scene.

When all the trees were finally festooned with TP Ariel and I ran down the street, letting our laughter ring out in the streets. The happiness didn't end when we reached the car, it remained, making the air lighter, crisper. Even in the dark car, her smile shined in the corner of my eye.

“Okay, that was more fun than I expected.” She said, her fingers playing with her hair absentmindedly.

“I can't wait until he calls me in the morning to tell me about it.” I laughed. Ah, poor Lou. Who could have possibly done that?? Some fans trying to be funny? Maybe the boys of 5SOS? Would Simon do a thing like that, oh yes I'm sure he would. He'll probably figure out that it was Ariel and I pretty quickly, maybe he'll accuse one of the other boys first, but that's not likely.

“Call me after he does, and tell me exactly what he says.” Ariel replied. No need to worry, I'll definitely call. I wouldn't even think about not...

“I promise.” I grinned as I parked in front of her apartment. Before she could get out of the car, I made a snap decision. Kinda risky, but what's life without risk? 

“So, if it isn't too much to ask, I have an interview tomorrow. It's at noon, so you wouldn't be late for work, I'd like it if you came.” I invited. I mentally kicked myself, I didn't make it sound enough like a question! What if she really doesn't want to come but she says yes because it didn't sound like a question!? A slight sweat broke out on my forehead before she even had time to think about it, but I forced my smile to stay put.

“I'd love to come.” She answered, pretty quickly actually. Now my smile wasn't forced.

“Great, I'll pick you up at 11:30.” I said.

“I'll see you then.” She grinned. She didn't look skeptical... That's good! I almost offered to walk her to her apartment, but then she was gone, jogging to the front door... I sighed, putting the truck in drive and beginning the short journey home.

I wasn't really paying attention to my actions as I wound through the streets of London, and when I arrived in my driveway I just sorta sat in the truck. I just sat there for a long time, letting my thoughts wander and my subconscious do some serious digging. When I finally came to my senses I spoke aloud.

“Love.” I whispered. My eyes widened and my jaw refused to close all the way, hanging agape, which just showed how shocked my insides were. This must be it... I can't imagine it would feel any different. As much as I told myself that being with Ariel would just be to have some fun...

I was going to tell the whole world tomorrow that I am officially taken, and now this?! She's gonna freak! I can't tell her. I can't let it slip out, I know it will scare her away. She will never want to be with me again if she figures it out... Ariel is the kind of person who runs from this, the girl that's scared of it. Hell, I was shocked when she agreed to commit to a relationship! I never would have guessed, in my wildest dreams! I'd so prepared myself for rejection, that I'd even practiced out loud what I was going to say when she said no, that she didn't want a boyfriend.

But she'd said yes, so maybe, just maybe, she'd be different about this too? I didn't know. In that moment, sitting in my rented truck, everything in the world was uncertain, except for one huge fact that changed my life forever.

I am in love; with Ariel Tanner.

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