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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22. Only Harry (Long)

Babe. Babe wake up.” Someone whispered in my ear, gently shaking my shoulder.

“Come on! Five more minutes.” I groaned, pulling my pillow over my face. Then I realized: first, that there was someone in my apartment, and second, who that someone was. I shot up in bed as Harry laughed.

“How'd you get in?” I demanded.

“You left your door unlocked, which is not a very efficient way of keeping people out.” He smirked.

“I didn't leave it unlocked on purpose! Oh my gosh! I slept in! I'm sorry!” I exclaimed.

“Don't worry, we're just going to my place.” He laughed. I breathed out a sigh of relief.

“Your hair looks like Medusa. Don't worry though, you make it work.” He mused, twisting one of the many loose strands of my hair between his fingers. I felt blush begin to rise in my cheeks.

“Thanks, but I think I'll go shower and calm it down...” I mumbled.

“I'll be here.” He smiled, stretching out across my bed. I smiled back before I jumped into the bathroom. Wow. He was right... How'd I manage to mess up my hair this bad?

I showered quickly, not wanting to keep Harry waiting long. I dressed in skinny jeans and the Maroon 5 t-shirt I bought at the concert. When my make-up and hair was done I met Harry in my bedroom once again.

“Do you have a regular white shirt?” He asked quietly. What could we possibly do that would ruin my shirt? I didn't know, but I nodded and got an old white t-shirt, that I normally only wore for pajamas, from my dresser and put it on. He was wearing a plain white shirt as well, but his looked new. It had that certain brightness to it...

“Okay, I guess now I'm ready.” I smiled. I stuck my phone in my pocket and locked up my apartment, following Harry out to his car.

“So the lads are all coming over later, but we get a few hours to ourselves, and I thought that we could paint.” He explained on the way to his flat.

“Paint?” I asked, confused.

“Yeah, without brushes, like, finger painting, I guess. I bought some empty canvases and a bunch of paint.” He shrugged. He had the most unique date ideas, didn't he?

“I can honestly say I've never done this on a date before...” I muttered.

“Did it ever occur to you that that's my goal?” He smirked.

“I suppose it didn't...” I admitted. The hot air balloon was different too, and being backstage at the Maroon 5 concert... He was being unique on purpose, and he was damn good at it.

“I've got plenty more up this sleeve of mine.” He grinned, rolling up his long sleeve shirt to his elbows while we sat at a stop light. I rolled my eyes at his joke.

“I'm looking forward to trying out those ideas.” I smirked. His smile faltered for a fraction of a second at my words, and his head turned to look at me. It returned bigger than ever. His dimples looked like permanent marks.

We pulled into his driveway after the short drive. He tossed me the keys as he retrieved something from the backseat. His arms were full of paint cans as he followed me to the door.

“Right this way.” He grinned as he led me down a hall and into a big room. There was nothing in the room except for art supplies. He'd covered the floor with big strips of paper. In the middle sat two canvases on stands and a big table where he set all the paint.

“Finger painting...” I muttered, shaking my head. Harry laughed.

“I told you already, it's something I knew you've never done.” He smirked.

“I know, I know. Now, tell me what to do.” I smiled, helping him uncover all of the paints. He had every color you could ask for.

“Just start. Like this.” He grinned. He spread my favorite color blue around on my hand, then pressed it to his canvas. He then covered his hand with his favorite shade of green, pressing it to my canvas.

“See, simple.” He said. I smiled, biting my bottom lip and going for the blue again, but this time letting my finger tips dance delicately over my own canvas in random patterns. I laughed lightheartedly as I flicked different colors around the massive hand print, avoiding it, not wanting to ruin it. I was quite enjoying myself, laughing every once and a while, just because. Carefree. I was shocked when two hands suddenly grabbed my waist, leaving multicolored hand prints on my shirt.

“Ah! Harry!” I giggled.

“There was a reason I wanted us both to wear white.” He smiled. He dipped his fingers in the pink, then left prints up both my sleeves. I covered his torso with marks, laughing as I drew a smiley face with my fingers over his left bicep. He watched as I painted him, grinning at my utter joy.

“Hold still.” I ordered, turning him around so that his back was facing me. I carefully wrote my name in cursive on his back, each letter a different color. 

“Done.” I smiled at my masterpiece.

“What did you draw?” He asked.

“That's for me to know and for you to find out.” I smirked.

“Well, my turn.” He smirked, making a spinning motion with his finger. I turned so that he could draw on my back. His touch caused me to shiver a few times, I obviously didn't know what he was drawing, so while he did I pondered what it could be. When his hands disappeared I began to turn to face him again, but he stopped me by placing his hands on my shoulders.

“I'm not quite done.” He said, I saw his huge grin through the corner of my eye. I waited patiently for a few seconds, then squealed and jumped away as his hand connected with my bum. I whirled around to glare at a laughing Harry. I turned to look at my ass as best as I could. I could see the large, red, hand print.

“Harold!” I exclaimed, not being able to repress a grin.

“Yes?” He asked, trying to be innocent, but still not being able to contain his laughter.

“You're in trouble.” I said, closing the distance between us.

“Go ahead then. Punish me.” He smirked, spreading his arms out wide, waiting to see what I would do. He saw the idea in my eyes, and before he could move to stop me I was tickling him. We each collapsed on the ground, taking a few cans of paint with us. The paint spilled over onto the paper, on the opposite side of us. I sat on Harry's waist as I tickled his sides and stomach. He was helpless with laughter. I couldn't help but giggle along, it was contagious.

“I surrender! I surrender!” He exclaimed. I stopped, smirking.

“I have an idea.” He said suddenly, standing, and picking me up with him.

“Step in it.” He grinned, stepping in the split paint. I followed his lead. I ran quickly to the other side of the room, turning to see the prints that recorded my steps. I laughed as I ran back, stepping in the paint again. Harry grabbed me by the waist before I could take off again. He'd knocked over a few more paints on purpose, adding more color options.

“May I dance with you ma'am?” He smirked.

“I'd love that.” I smiled. We danced around the room, going through the paint spills every once and a while so our prints stayed fresh. Our bare feet turned rainbow as we went on. We twirled and waltzed and pranced... It was incredible.

“How about we try that move from dirty dancing?” Harry suggested after we'd danced for ages, my head now rested on his shoulder.

“Really? Can you do that?” I asked.

“It can't be that hard can it?” He scoffed.

“Okay...” I agreed, skeptical. I dipped my feet in fresh paint, then hopped to the other side of the room.

“I'll count to three, then you run to me.” He instructed. I nodded.

“One, two, three!” He exclaimed. I ran toward him, jumping into his outstretched arms. I thought for a moment that he'd gotten it, but we were far from success. We crashed to the ground. I fell on top of Harry, we landed in a heap, one of Harry's legs in the puddle of paint. Our laughter filled the room, I left multicolored hand prints on his jeans as I used his knee to help myself get up.

“I guess it's not as easy as it looks...” He laughed, a purple hand highlighting his cheek, I didn't recall touching his face, must have happened in the fall... Our chests were almost touching, I brushed his curls away with my stained fingers, leaving light streaks on his face. He stroked my cheek with a orange thumb. We both laughed quietly. I stretched up on my toes and kissed him softly on the lips, lovingly... He responded with excitement, which I soon reciprocated. Again those words almost slipped out. Those three little words that would leave my heart out in the open. I held them in, not willing to take the risk. Besides, my lips were a bit busy at the moment.

“The lads will be here soon.” Harry whispered, poking the tip of my nose, leaving that also orange.

“We'd better get cleaned up then.” I smirked. Harry chuckled, slipping on a pair of sandals and picking me up so that I didn't trail paint through his house. He carried me, bridal style, to his room and then into the connected washroom. He set me on the edge of the tub, turning on the warm water so that I could wash off my feet.

I rolled up my pants, and was very careful not to wash any paint off the fabric. To be honest, I didn't want to wash my feet either, or any part of me. I never wanted to forget our date. Never wanted the feeling of the paint all over my body to fade... 

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