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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46. Theo

Harry had to work a few days each week, leaving me home alone. One of the days he was supposed to be home was when the strange day occurred... 

He left early in the morning before I woke. I sighed, when I couldn't find him, assuming that he'd gone out again and wouldn't be back for an hour or so. (He's cheating. He's cheating.) To my surprise, he walked in a couple minutes after my thought, while I was drinking fresh coffee in the kitchen.

I shuffled out to the entryway, curious. My eyes widened when I saw what he had cradled in his hands.

“I... uh, offered to baby sit.” He grinned, blush coloring his cheeks. A small child was squirming around in his right arm. He carried a large bag in his left.

I hurried over, setting my coffee down on a side table and taking the bag from him so that he could hold the baby with both hands.

“His name is Theo, Theo Horan.” Harry smiled at me, bouncing up and down slightly to entertain the little guy.

“Niall has a kid??” I asked, shocked. How...?

“No! No, Niall's brother, Greg, is the father.” Harry replied, looking amused by my assumption. It was completely rational, his last name was Horan...

“What's in the bag?” I asked as I opened it.

“Toys, diapers, formula... All the usual baby-sitting shit.” Harry answered.

His eyes widened slightly in the same moment that I exclaimed, “Harry! You can't cuss in front of him!” A laugh left each of our mouths.

“Sorry, Theo, maybe we can start a swear jar? Help pay for university?” Harry joked as Theo reached to grab at Harry's much larger fingers. Harry and Theo smiled at each other, and I couldn't help but grin. Harry looked so full of joy, it was adorable.

Harry and I sat on the couch for a few hours, he held Theo the whole time. I didn't want to hold him. Kids were not exactly my cup of tea. Theo was a happy kid, he smiled and giggled a lot...

When lunch time rolled around I offered to make some food for Harry and I, and warm up a bottle for Theo, but before I could get up Harry was already on his feet. He bent down, handing Theo to me before I could refuse.

“Harry! No! You can't leave him with me!” I panicked, glancing first at the baby in my hands and then staring up at Harry, who was grinning.

“I'm going to make us all lunch, have fun.” He wriggled his eyebrows, and then disappeared.

“Dammit, Harry! Sorry Theo! I meant dang it!” I whispered. I heard Harry chuckle from the kitchen. I sighed. The kid was looking at me like he expected something... It was making me nervous.

“My name's Ariel.” I began, Theo's bright blue eyes bored into mine, I let him play with my fingers as I spoke. “I live with your Uncle Harry. I'm his girlfriend. I've never really baby sat before, and I don't quite know what I'm doing. So... I'm just gonna talk to you like you're a grown up... I really hope that Harry doesn't burn lunch, he burnt a pizza black once when he was cooking for us.” I laughed quietly at the last sentence. Theo was watching me speak, an expression on his face that made me think he was actually listening, and understanding.

“I hope that I get to watch you grow up. I'm pretty sure that I want to be with Harry for the rest of my life, the only way you won't see me again would be if Harry sent me away. And I don't think he will. Well, I hope he won't...” I babbled on.

I talked to Theo for about ten minutes, while we were alone, and I didn't realize when Harry came back. I was busy describing what England looked like from the sky when Harry cleared his throat, a few feet away. I paused mid-giggle, and my fingers stopped wiggling in Theo's hands.

Harry and I's eyes met for a split second, and then I dropped my head, trying to hide my tomato red cheeks. Harry silently handed me a bottle, Theo sat up, knowing what it meant. I supported his head as I began to feed him.

“You've got to say something.” I muttered, he hadn't even sat down.

“About what?” He asked, and then he was gone into the kitchen again. I shook my head, still embarrassed, but after a few silent minutes, I began speaking to Theo once again. When Theo was done eating, and was burped, he began to look sleepy, so I laid down a few blankets on the floor and set him on them, placing a pacifier beside him in case he wanted it. Little Theo was soon asleep, I sat on the ground beside him, watching him. He looked as peaceful as a person could be...

Harry came out a few minutes later with sandwiches and mac and cheese for the two of us. I seriously doubt he was cooking that for 30 minutes. I really hope he wasn't just listening to me talk to Theo. No, he wouldn't. Yes he would. He was probably just giving you some alone time with the baby. I pushed the troubling thoughts away.

Harry and I ate on the floor next to Theo, whispering conversations. When he woke up we played with his toys for a few more hours, but Harry had to eventually drive him back to Niall's. I was sad when he had to leave. Maybe it was my imagination, but I thought Theo seemed sad to leave me, too. I kissed his little forehead, promising to see him again...

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