I Love You, Anyway, No Matter What They Say

"Honey, I'm afraid I haven't been completely honest with you," Stevie's father said quietly. She raised her eyebrows, signalling for him to continue. "You know Maura?" "Your girlfriend?" she smiled. Maura was sweet, perfect for her father. "She has a son; Niall."

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 "Oh, okay. Why didn't you tell me?"

 "I didn't want you to think I was replacing you," her father hesitated, unsure whether it would give her the idea that he was.

 "Oh, come on," she laughed, "replace me? You know I'm too awesome for that." 

 "So you don't mind if they come for dinner tonight. I know it's going to be late, because they're going trick or treating with Maura's niece." Stevie's father fiddled with his thumb, like he always did when he was nervous or unsure. One look at Stevie's face made him grin.

 "I'll make chicken curry and Victoria sponge," she muttered, walking into the kitchen. Soon, all of the ingredients were on the counter, and she was mixing the cake batter while dancing around to her playlist of Mumford & Sons, Kodaline, and Walking On Cars.

 She was so into it that she didn't hear the knock on the front door, or her dad opening it. What she did hear, however, was someone clearing their throat behind her. She jumped, almost dropping the mixing bowl. A short boy with blonde hair was standing in the doorway. When she looked closer, she could see that he had brown roots.

 She put the bowl down, before wiping her hands on a tea towel, and walking over to him. "I'm Stevie," she smiled offering her hand.

 "Niall. What are you making?" He gestured to the bowl.

 "Dessert. Sorry if you're one of those guys who only eats healthy, and works out. I eat a lot."

 "No, I do, too." He grinned at her, and she smiled at his cuteness. "Can I help you with that?"

 "Well, if you really want to..?" He nodded enthusiastically. "Fill the sink and was the dishes." The smile dropped from his face, and he stuck his tongue out at her. "Oh, I love this song! Catch me if you can, catch me if you can..."

 She broke off as Niall yelled, and took a few steps back. He slipped on the water that dripped from his hands, and landed on his backside. 

 "What happened?" Stevie rushed over to help him up.

 "The window. In the window." She leaned on the counter, and strained her eyes into the darkness. As if on cue, a white face popped up. 

 "That's just Mars," she laughed.

 "Mars?"

 "Yeah. He's my grey horse. His name is actually Hopeless Wanderer, but I just call him Mars."

 "He scared the shit out of me." Niall dramatically put his hand on his forehead, and pretended to faint. 

 "He's a sweetie. Well, to me. He's a rescue, so he doesn't trust a lot of people. Only the good ones."

 "Do you keep him here all the time?" 

 "No, there's not enough room. Just when I'm on holidays," she opened the window and Mars stuck his large head in. Stevie giggled as he shook his head, making his long mane catch in the wind. "I must bring him in, and plait his mane to stop it tangling."

 "You bring him into the house?"

 She looked at him like he was an imbecile. "No, idiot. I mean into the stable-shed, thing." He went red, and kept washing the dishes, while Stevie poured the batter into a cake tin. 

"That was amazing," Niall grinned, sitting back.

 "Well, it better have been, you ate two full plates of curry, and half the cake!" He raised his eyebrows at Stevie and winked, causing her to grin. 

 "Stevie, why don't you introduce Niall to Knight?" 

 "Fine," she sighed, but she was smiling. Mars would decide what kind of personality Niall had.

 Two hours later, Niall and Stevie were busy grooming Mars while he dozed, one hind leg resting. The step-siblings talked about anything and everything.  Mostly school, though. Maura had bought a new house, closer to Stevie's school, so Niall would be starting there at the start of the term.

 "You'll be in my year, won't you?" she smiled, running the mane comb through his tail. Unlike most horses, his tail stayed smooth and knot free. Of course, that could have been because Stevie combed it out two to three times a day.

 "Yep. Is there drama?" he looked up from the small grass stain on Mars' shoulder.

 "During lunch. It's not a subject. Neither is music. I do drama, too. We're doing Romeo & Juliet."

 "Most stupid love story of all time." He shot her a small smile.

 "There are worse, but it's pretty bad," she laughed.

 The mid-term flew by, Niall and Stevie hanging out almost every day, teaching each other songs on the guitar, Stevie teaching Niall how to ride, etc.

 "Okay," Mr Tracy, the drama, music and choir teacher, said. "We're practicing the party scene. Everybody will get a chance. seeing as it's mostly girls in the class, every boy will have to go three times." He started picking names out of a hat. "Niall Horan? You're new to this?"

 "I just moved into the school. I did drama before, though." He walked up to the 'stage' ,which was just a marked off section of the English classroom.

 "And Stevie. Come in up."

 "Oh, he's my step-brother, I can't," she protested politely, taking  step back. He shot her a look.

 "It's acting. Get over it."

 Stevie bit her lip, fixed her fringe and walked up."What lady is that, which doth
enrich the hand of yonder knight?" Niall read out.

 "And, kiss. Now!" Mr Tracy barked when the time came.

 The two moved in awkwardly until their lips met.

 A/N:

 3 likes and one comment for the next chapter. Thanks for reading, guys. :) <3 xxx

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