The Dangers of Falling. AU

Amelia Shades has been running from her past for awhile, and never looked back. But while running, she runs into the dashing Harry Styles. He's charming, arrogant, cheeky, and nosy; four of the things she hates. But she feels a certain tug towards him; one that makes her want to lose her nomad streak. Can Harry save her, or is she too far gone?

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7. The Truth Is Hiding In Your Eyes.

I sighed as I looked in the mirror. I had woken up late, took ten minutes to find my t-shirt, my jeans were holey in the knee and my hair was frizzy. I looked completely unprepared for my first day of work, and I felt queasy. It had been awhile since I had to work; but, I was running low on all of my saved up cash, so I had to make money somehow. I had a lot of experience with waiting tables, so this was going to be easy money; not much money, but I wasn’t going to complain.

“Hey, you look tired.” Harry commented as I skipped down the stairs two at a time.

“Yeah, a bit.” I replied, tugging on my jacket and my old beanie. Harry stared at me as I did so, his eyes furrowed together like they always did when he was confused or in thought; it was cute, actually, how he didn’t even realize he did that. The entire living room was a mess; popcorn was on the floor, pillow were scattered, and there was an odd stain on the couch. There was doubt this was all left by Jayden and Louis, the two were always destroying something and leaving it be.

“Where are you going?” Harry finally spoke, his eyes flickering back and forth between me and the television. He looked tired as well, his eyes drooping slightly.

“I start my first day of work today. I’m actually running a tad late.” I said, hopping on one foot as I attempted to put on my Converse.

“Oh, that’s exciting. It’s almost 2 o’clock though, why are you working the late shift on the first day?”

“Don’t know, but I don’t mind. It’s only till about ten, then I have to help close, so it’s about eleven. Don’t wait up for me.” I smiled, closing the front door behind me. I hurried to my fixed car, hopping inside. It was freezing outside, as usual. My phone buzzed as I neared the diner.

“Hello?”

“Your shift starts in five minutes. Please tell me your almost here.” Ian sighed.

“I’m pulling in right now.” I hung up the phone, swerving in the front parking lot before a small car could. The car honked, and I unashamedly flipped them off as I slammed the car door. There was a small ding as I opened the diner door, and I was immediately engulfed in warmth and chatter.

“Welcome to Miles’ Place!” Someone called out, and I looked over at the counter where Mia, her hair pulled up like mine in a messy bun, was smiling over at Ian as they talked. Ian seemed bored, and his eyes flickered up to meet mine.

“Hey, Amelia!” he called out, completely cutting off Mia as he waved me over. I frowned, giving him a look as I came around the counter. He wrapped his arm around my shoulder, steering me in a different direction, straight into the kitchen.

“Thanks for saving me from the conversation.” he grinned, opening a door to a small room in the back of the kitchen.

“Mia’s a nice girl.” I scoffed, taking a look at the room. It was about the size of a small dining room, with a cream colored sofa by the right wall, a black vanity on the center wall, and a cubby by the left wall.

“Yeah, but she’s too hyper for me. You know, like all up in your space?” He shrugged, slinging his jacket into a cubby. I carefully copied his actions, hanging up my purse and my jacket. I tied my apron around my waist, slipping my new notepad and pen inside.

“Well maybe if you’d talk to her more often, she wouldn’t be as eager for your attention.” I rolled my eyes, glancing in the vanity mirror.

“Right. And why would I do that? Now come on, you have to meet the manager.” Ian motioned for me to follow him.

“Idiot.” I muttered, following him out of the kitchen. Mia waved as I came around the counter, her smile soft.

“Hey, ready for your first day?”

“Yeah, actually.”

“Sorry you have to work the evening shift, we had someone quit yesterday.” I shrugged. I took a look around the diner, which was filled to the brim. For being placed in a quiet place, it sure was busy. Which, technically, was a good thing since that likely meant more tips. I had to actually be nice to people; even rude people, which bothered me.

“Amelia, meet our first in charge manager, Rebecca.” Ian stated. The person beside him was a tall fiery redhead, dressed in the same attire as myself, except she had on a pair of slacks and her shirt was a different fabric. She had a large purse in her hand, a Coach bag, and matching Coach Sunglasses. No doubt she thought she was above this place. She pulled off her sunglasses, revealing steely gray eyes. I smiled.

“Well, if it isn’t the lady that stole my parking space and flipped me off.” She snapped, and my smile dropped. Mia was wide-eyed beside me, and Ian was shooting me a look.

“I-I I’m sorry, I didn’t know-”

“Of course you didn’t. Listen new girl, and listen close, because you’re only going to be told this once, because if you cross me again I won’t be nice the next time. That parking spot you swerved into? It’s mine. Don’t park there. Also, flipping off people isn’t a very nice gesture, and don’t ever do it to me again. Understand?” Rebecca stated icily, leaning forward across the counter. I was fuming. I always had an issue with authority, but this girl was overdoing it. Being the boss was understandable, but she was just a bitch.

“Yeah, I understand. Doesn’t mean I’ll listen.” I breathed out gently.

“You’d be a fool not to, Shades. I was going to let Mia show you the ropes today, but I think you can handle it, since you seem so assured.” she smiled grimly.

“I’m sure I do.” I smiled back, and Rebecca narrowed her eyes as she stormed into the back.

“It’s official, you are crazy.” Ian sighed, running a hand through his hair, “Can you at least try to be nice to her?”

“Why should I? She’s a bitch.”

“Yeah, we’re fully aware of that.” Ian laughed and nudged Mia, who blushed furiously at the touch, “But she’s the boss. So if you want to keep this job, can you please try to contain your anger?”

“Yeah, whatever.” I grumbled, “So, what tables are mine?”

“Well, there’s four of us, so we divided up the restaurant into four divisions. We gave you a bit of a smaller division since it’s your first day, I volunteered to take up a couple of your tables so you wouldn’t be overwhelmed.” Mia explained, smiling softly as she did.

“Oh, Mia, you didn’t have to do that. I don’t want you to get overwhelmed either.”

“I once worked the lunch shift with just Ian. I can do this, trust me.” Mia laughed, sticking a pen behind her ear. “Alright, so you know your section, so get started. If you need any help, just call my name.” I nodded. I rolled my shoulders back, and painted a pretty believable smile on my face. Confidence. It was all about the confidence.

Ha, what confidence?

I froze, letting my eyes flutter shut. She would not control me today. Breathe in, breathe out.

“Get to work, Shades, you have tables waiting!” Ian shouted as he passed by, two plates in his arms. I smiled weakly, and took one last glance at the division sheet. I took a deep breath, and made my way to my first table.

“Hi, I’m Amelia, I’ll be your waitress today. What can I get you two ladies today?” I smiled. The two older ladies looked up at me, giggling slightly.

“You’re American.”

“Yes.” I held back the urge to roll my eyes. Obviously I was American.

“We’ll take two Darjeeling teas, that’s all.” I nodded, writing it down on my notepad.

“Coming right up.” I smiled, and left two ladies to their giggly chit chat. This seemed a bit easier than I thought; British people seemed simpler, and really tea was the main item they came for. This was going to be a breeze. I hung up the order, spinning it around to face the people in the kitchen. I spun around, ready to attend to more tables, when Rebecca came flying out of the kitchen with a plate in one hand and tea in the other. I gasped as she ran straight into me, and we stumbled for a moment, before we both crashed to the tile floor. The hot tea was spilled all over me, and I bit my bottom lip to keep from shouting about my burning skin. The food was all over Rebecca; in her hair, on her shirt, and on her face. She gave me a look that could kill, before standing up.

“Clean this up.” She yelled, before storming back into the kitchen. Mia scrambled over towards me, her hands grabbing my arms as she helped me up in the tea/food mess.

“You okay?”

“Yeah.” So much for a breeze.
__________________
“That was quite a day.” Ian commented as he came out, jacket laid over one shoulder and his hair a mess.

“Tell me about it.” I sighed, finally taking a seat on a stool. Rebecca, still mad about my stealing her parking space and blaming me for her spilling her food, had not let me have a break. She also made Mia give me the extra tables she volunteered to take. It’s not like I minded. I muddled through decently, and hopefully proved to her I could do this, despite my accidental faults.

“You did well for your first day.” Mia assured me, taking a leftover donut from the container. “You have some sucking up to do to Rebecca, but otherwise you did well.”

“You got in more trouble with Rebecca on your first day than I had the first week.” Ian laughed.

“It’s true. Ian actually walked into the women’s bathroom on mistake and Rebecca was in there.” Mia laughed alongside Ian, and I stayed quiet as the reminisced about the days of being on Rebecca’s bad side. A dark-haired boy came out of the kitchen, along with a guy with pink hair done up in a Mohawk. Dark-haired guy had stubble across his jaw, and had that just-rolled-out-of-the-bed look, but he was cute, so it worked. Mohawk guy was tall and lanky, probably a mega gamer. He seemed twitchy as well, but his smile was nice and his laugh was loud.

“Hey guys.” Mohawk guy sat on the counter next to Mia, and dark-haired guy took a seat next to me. He smiled at me, his hand reaching out towards me.

“My names John, yours?”

“Amelia, nice to meet you.”

“Oh, the pleasure is all mine. Sorry I didn’t get to introduce myself earlier, we were a bit busy in the kitchen.” I shrugged, turning to Mohawk guy who also had his hand outstretched.

“Amelia.”

“Peter.” He smiled, before leaning back on the counter, staring up at the ceiling.

“This is kind of what we do after work. We just hang out, lay on the counters, and enjoy not having Rebecca here to boss us around.” John explained, leaning back along the stools. They were all zoned out, laying on the countertop or stools. It was weird.

“Um, I think I’m going to head home.” I stated, looking oddly at all of them. I stood up slowly and grabbed my bag, slinging it over my shoulder.

“Aw, alright. Are you working tomorrow?” Mia asked, unmoving and her eyes still closed.

“No, but Rebecca said I should come in to watch how it’s done, apparently.”

“Oh, okay.” Mia pouted.

“You better get home to Harry, Amelia.” Ian snickered from his position on the counter. I glared at him, even though he couldn’t see it.

“Who’s Harry?” John commented, his eyebrows furrowing.

“Amelia’s lover.” Ian stretched out the word lover. I groaned, throwing a useless gum pack that was in my bag at Ian, hitting him straight in the forehead. He flinched, and opened his eyes to glare at me.

“We are not lovers! We are just friends.” I shouted.

“You ruined my peace.” Ian frowned, ignoring my statement. I threw my hands up in exasperation and stomped out of the diner, running quickly to my car to escape the cold. The drive to Harry’s flat was filled with cursing at cars and groaning in impatience. London traffic was a pain. Maybe I needed to do what the workers at the diner did—have a night of peace. Maybe then I wouldn’t be as stressed out, or as rude or impatient. Yeah, a relaxation day. That was what I needed.

“I’m home.” I muttered to no one in particular, as I shredded my coat and gloves. I turned as I unwrapped my scarf, seeing a stack of movies on the coffee table. The TV was humming quietly, and when I peeked around the corner, Harry was asleep on the couch, cuddling a stuffed bear. I put a hand over my mouth to muffle my laughter. I took out my phone, quickly snapping a picture of the sleeping boy. That could be used later, if needed. I bent down to his level, smiling softly. His arms were wrapped around the bear tightly, and his face was scrunched up slightly. He looked younger like this. Peaceful.

“Harry.” I murmured, shaking his arm slightly. He groaned, turning slightly. I shook him again, and this time his eyes flew open. I smiled.

“Oh, Amelia!” he flew up, smacking my head with his in the process. I fell from my squat position to the floor, pressing my hand to my forehead, as if it would stop the pain.

“Shit, I’m so sorry! Are you alright? Here, this bear is f-for you, I was out and I thought I’d get you something t-to congratulate you on your first day, and Ian told me that you liked stuffed animals so I thought I-I’d get you it.” Harry stumbled, staring wide eyed at me. I cradled the bear in my arms, staring at it weirdly.

“Oh my god, he lied didn’t he? Oh this is so stupid, you’re too old for teddy bears, why would you even like them? Oh your head is red, I’ll go get you an ice pack—“ I stood up, pressing a hand against Harry’s chest to keep him from moving. He was warm, and a tingly feeling shot from my palm up my arm.

“Thank you.” I said simply, pulling my hand back to hold the bear. It was a rather large teddy bear, but I liked it. “I’ll name the teddy bear Harry.” Harry smiled in relief.

“I’m going to go set him upstairs. You can go back to sleep.” He grabbed my arm lightly, and I turned to look up at him.

“Um, I actually didn’t mean to fall asleep. I was waiting up for you, because I thought after a work shift you’d want to relax or something,” Harry coughed, “So I thought maybe you’d want to eat some popcorn, drink some tea, and we could watch movies?”

“Yeah, sure. You read my mind.” I smiled, and he released my arm. I ran up the stairs, entering the guest bedroom. I sat teddy bear Harry on the bed, and quickly changed into a pair of PJ pants and a t-shirt. I trotted back down the stairs. Harry entered the living room as I sat down, balancing to cups of tea and a popcorn bowl. He smiled and laughed slightly as he set them down one by one. I took the warm cup of tea into my hands, sighing as the liquid touched my lips.

“So, what movie do you want to watch?”

“Um, let’s see,” I set the cup down, looking through the assorted movies. I gasped as I found ‘Finding Nemo’. “This one!” I passed him the DVD excitedly.

“So happy you picked a Disney movie. I can quote this whole thing.” Harry laughed, popping in the disc. We fast forwarded through the commercials, and I made myself comfortable on the sofa. Harry had a giant comforter thrown over us, and he was on one end of the couch and I was on the other. I slowly shifted to the middle of the couch. It felt awkward with both of us on the opposite ends when we were supposed to be watching movies together.

“Coral!” we both gasped at the same time as it started. Harry grinned sheepishly over at me.

“So how was your first day?” Harry asked, and he shifted closer to me as well.

“It was 50/50.” I shrugged, shifting slightly closer to him to reach a hand into the popcorn bowl. We were side by side now.

“Oh, why?” I looked over at Harry, who was staring intently at me, and not focused on the movie. He did that same eyebrow scrunching thing, like he always did. His eyes were bright in the dark, and I lost track of my thoughts for a moment. His pink lips fell to a frown as he continued to look at me, and I continued to stay silent.

“Um,” I dropped my head, averting my eyes to the telly, “I accidentally flipped off the manager when I stole her parking place, she snapped at me in my face, and then I ran into her when she had food and I had hot tea spilled all over me and she had food all over her. So she gave me extra tables and didn’t give me a break. Besides my boss, the rest of my day was fine, I suppose. Except people kept stating I was American and seemed shocked by it.” I muttered. I tensed suddenly as Harry’s hand cupped my jaw, and tilted my face to where it faced him. His eyes met mine for a moment, before they traveled lower. I watched him intently as he lifted a hand and a finger over the burns that were on my neck and upper chest from the tea. Harry was completely focused on tracing my burns with his fingertips. The pads of his fingertips were rough, and my breathing was uneven as he continued. My entire body felt like it was on fire. His tongue slipped out and traced his bottom lip, I noticed, when he was concentrating. His eyes kept flickering up to meet mine, but mine never wavered from him. He had on a ratty Beatles t-shirt today, and his hair decided to stay flat today instead of defying gravity. He looked nice.

“I’m sorry you had a rough day.” His voice was husky and deep as he murmured that one sentence, and his hand left my jaw and his fingers left my burns. I took in a gasp of air, and finally felt as if I could breathe properly. I turned to face the movie, shivering at the sudden blow of cold air. A half hour into the movie, I felt my eyelids start to droop. It had been a long day, and I didn’t realize how incredibly tired I was until now.

“It’s okay. You can sleep.” Harry whispered, and my eyes slowly closed shut.

 

I gasped for air as my head was lifted from the water, the pain pulsing in my head from having my hair pulled too many times.

“I said I was sorry.” I choked out.

“Oh you’re sorry? We’ll see just how sorry you are.” She hissed, with a sadistic grin on her face. She dunked my head back under the water without warning, and my head hit the bottom of the sink. I choked, the water coming up through my nose and into my mouth as I screamed, bubbles blocking my vision. I struggled and bucked to get my head above the water, but she was too strong. Then, my hair was being yanked out of the water, and I was thrown to the floor.

“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?” Lizzie screeched, her body standing over our mother’s. I gasped for the well needed air, then turned to the side as all the swallowed water came back up. Lizzie screamed as mother straddled her body, her hands flying down to hit her face, yank at her hair, and then she began slamming Lizzie’s head onto the floor.

“NO!” I yelled, throwing myself at my mother, knocking her down to the ground. Lizzie was knocked out cold, her chest barely rising. Mother grabbed me by my neck, slamming me into the wall. When my eyes opened, it wasn’t her—it was him, the guy from the bar. His grin was bloody, and his eyes were completely black. His hands were squeezing tighter and tighter…

 

I let out the most inhuman scream, kicking my legs out at the person who was grasping my wrists.

“Stop,” the voice whispered, “Amelia, stop. Open your eyes.” My eyes flew open as I choked on the rushing air, my eyes meeting Harry’s. He was on top of me, holding me down, and my wrists were in both of his hands. His eyes were wild and frightened. We stared at each other intently as my breathing slowed. He released my wrists slowly and reluctantly, I laid beside me on the couch. He said nothing for a while. I reached a hand up to my face, wiping away the wetness on my face from tears I didn’t know had fallen. I was curled against Harry body, and he was hovering mostly over me, as if he was protecting me.

“Are you okay now?” he murmured softly.

“Yeah, I’m fine." I  croaked, laying my arm across my eyes. It was a dream, just a dream. But why was my forehead throbbing, and why did my neck feel like it was on fire?

“You scared me.” He said quietly.

“It was just a nightmare, Harry.” I laughed weakly. Harry stood up, walking away towards the kitchen without a word. I sat up, staring after him with curious eyes. He came back a moment later, a small mirror in hand a squeeze tube of some kind. He squatted in front of me, handing me the mirror.

“What is this for?” I asked, staring at him oddly.

“Look at your neck, Amelia.” He breathed out.

“Yeah, the burns, we covered—“

“It’s not the burns. Look at it.” Harry snapped, his voice raising. I raised the mirror, aiming it at my neck. I gasped, nearly dropping the mirror. Bright red scratch marks marked my skin, some looking close to bleeding. I sat the mirror down on the sofa, looking down at the carpet. He tilted my head with his finger to look up at him. He had some cream in his hands, and he squirted a little into his hand. He glanced at me, as if asking for permission to touch me, and I nodded. I winced as the cold cream met my wounds.

“You were screaming like you were being murdered, Amelia.” I flinched at the word ‘murdered’,

“I tried to calm you down, but you kept screaming, and then I saw you were asleep. You were scratching at your neck as if something was inside, and you were trying to rip off your skin. You kept screaming ‘no’, and you kept saying the name ‘Lizzie’.”

“Elizabeth.” I muttered under my breath.

“Your sister?” he whispered, and I glanced up at him. He remembered.

“Yeah. Look, I’m fine now, Harry. It was just a nightmare.” He put a hand on my knee to stop me from moving.

“I don’t think they’re just nightmares.” He stated, meeting my eyes again. I turned my head, desperate to focus on anything but him. If I focused on Harry, I would lose it. I could not lose it. I had to find some way to get out of this situation.

“Well, you’re wrong. That’s all they are.” I replied, scratching at a stain on my sweatpants. “Look, I’m really tired—“

“Look me in the eyes and tell me they’re just nightmares, and I’ll let you go to bed.” Harry stated firmly, and I moved my head to look him straight in the eyes. My mouth formed the words, but no sound came out. I clamped my mouth shut, remaining silent as I stared into his icy eyes.

“That’s exactly what I thought. Now tell me what’s going on. Please.” He stated, and I took a deep breath.

"They're just nightmares." I stated, and Harry stood up, flinging the bottle of cream down.

"I can't believe you." he said, looking at me with a disgusted expression. I shook my head, staring down so I wouldn't have to look up at him. Harry wasn't a judgemental person; so the look he was giving me made me feel horrible.

"Can't you just leave it alone?" I sighed, and Harry laughed coldly.

"No, I can't. Something is wrong with you." he hissed. I looked up at him with fiery eyes.

"What the hell does that mean?" I stood up, and Harry's word choice slowly dawned on him.

"Amelia, I didn't mean it like that."

"No, I think you did." I stomped over towards the door, grabbing my jacket. "I'm not your fucking charity case, Harry. I am not helpless, and I don't need you. So stop treating me like I'm some damaged puppy, because that's one of the biggest judgement mistakes you'll ever make."

"Where are you going?" Harry asked, and I opened the door and looked back at him.

"Out." I slammed the door as he said my name, and hurried to my car. I pressed the heat button once I got in, releashing my anguish on my car's dashboard. I screamed in anger, throwing myself back against the seat. I took a deep breath, pulling out of Harry's driveway. I caught him peeking through the blinds. Harry, I thought he was different. He just proved my point that I couldn't tell him. I got halfway down the road before I realized it was two AM, nothing was likely to be open, and I had nowhere to go. I pulled out my cell, pulling out the only person in my favorites.

"Hello?" Ian yawned into the phone once he picked up.

"Hey. I'm coming over. Where's your flat at again?"

"Ames, it's two AM. Did you and lover boy have a fight or something?" I heard him rustling around.

"I don't want to talk about it, all right? If you don't want me over, I'll just go stay at a hotel."

"Don't be an idiot. I'll text you the address." he muttered, and I hung up the phone. As soon as I did, warm tears spilled over. I wiped at them furiously, unsure of why I was crying. Was it just the fact that I was mad? I always did get teary eyed when I was frustrated. I hated fighting, and for some reason fighting with Harry was worse. I pulled up to Ian's flat, zipping my jacket up higher. I definitely couldn't have Ian asking about that. I trotted up to the door step, knocking twice.

"Hey." Ian swung the door open, and I moved past him inside. I plopped down on his couch, taking a look at the small flat. The living room was small, with just a couch, coffee table, and a television on a stand. The kitchen was to the right, the bar the only thing marking the line between kitchen and living room. There was a small hallway off to the right, which I assumed led the bathroom and Ian's room. The beige walls were bare.

"Nice place." I muttered sarcastically, and Ian rolled his eyes as he sat next to me.

"What's wrong? What happened?" Ian asked, curiousity sparking in the brown eyes of his.

"Can we talk about it tomorrow? I just want to sleep." I murmured, laying my head against the soft pillow.

"Sure." I shut my eyes as Ian laid a blanket over me, and curled up. This day just needed to be over.

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