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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42. Pep-talk

When I opened my eyes in the morning I panicked for a second or two, only to recover quickly as I realized I was actually in my own house... Harry snored lightly beside me. I checked the clock. 8 am. That was acceptable to get up. I tip-toed out of the room and down the stairs, not walking normally until there was absolutely no chance of waking Harry up. I didn't know how long he stayed up last night.

I poured myself a bowl of cereal and added milk, leaving enough for Harry if he wanted cereal too. I ate slowly, chewing each bite carefully. My brain wondered, drifting off in all directions. The sound of bare feet padding against the floor in the other room snapped me out of my trance. The remains of my cereal was soggy, and I didn't know now long I'd been sitting there dreaming about nothing in particular. I couldn't even remember any of the subjects that crossed my mind.

I sighed as I got up and emptied my cereal into the garbage and then the milk into the sink. The footsteps got louder until the kitchen door opened and they were right behind me. They sounded different now though, like he'd put shoes on...

“Morning Babe.” I smiled pleasantly down at the bowl I was washing.

“Good morning Ariel.” A voice answered behind me, not Harry's. I whirled around to confirm who it was.

“Niall? What are you doing here?” I questioned, utterly confused.

“Harry asked the lads and I to come over... He didn't tell you?” Niall responded.

“No, he didn't...” I trailed off, turning back to finish cleaning my bowl, then stepping to the side to dry it and put it away. Why would he ask them to come over? I had to unpack today and I thought he wanted to help... I suppose he didn't have to, if he wanted to go out with his friends. But he seemed so enthusiastic about it yesterday... And it's not like we'd need help unpacking the few boxes, so he couldn't have invited them over for that reason... Why don't you just ask Niall? Part of me wondered suddenly. Yeah! Duh...

“Did he say why he invited you over?” I wondered, struggling to keep the worry out of my voice.

“No...” Niall answered, and now we both wore expressions of confusion.

“Oh, okay, uh... I'm gonna go shower and get dressed.” I said, realizing that I was still in my pajamas, with my hair probably standing on end. Niall grinned, amused, then made his way to the fridge to raid it for snacks.

I hurried out the kitchen door, catching a glimpse of Louis, Liam, and Zayn sitting on the couches in the living room, flipping through TV channels. By the time they realized I'd been there I was already half-way up the stairs. Harry was getting dressed, his hair wet and floppy when I walked into his-our room.

He smiled as he finished putting on his shirt, “Morning Ariel.”

“Why did you invite the boys over?” I asked, cutting right to the point. I refused to feel awkward about prying again. I deserved to know when people were coming, it was my house too now.

“I had something I wanted to show them, it won't take long. I'll be home to help you unpack before lunch.” He promised, obviously not picking up on my worry.

He wasn't telling me something. I was going to try not to let it affect me. It's probably so unimportant that he doesn't want to waste my time with it. Then why would he ask all the boys to come with him to see it? I cringed mentally, simply nodding at Harry's reply.

“I'm going to shower.” I informed as I shuffled to the washroom. I'd had enough of trying to see around what he was telling me. Stress was swallowing me whole. 

The shower helped, relaxing my tense muscles- which probably had no reason to be tense. Whatever he wasn't telling me, was most likely irrelevant.

No reason to worry yourself with it. If it was important he would never, ever keep it from you. He loves you. He loves you. And you love him. I know giving myself a sort of pep-talk was kind of sad, but it was really the only thing I could do to make myself feel better. 

I turned the shower up until it was so hot it hurt a little. It calmed me, almost to the point of falling asleep as I stood there. When a half an hour must have passed I got out, concealing myself in a huge, fluffy towel, that trapped the warmth against my body. I was alone in the house once again. I didn't hear them leave, but I could feel the emptiness and the quiet engulfing me.

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